Leinenkugel's Original | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Leinenkugel's OriginalLeinenkugel's Original

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-11-2002

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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 564
Photo of Evilyak
3.45/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

it's very fizzy, yellow water. golden in color, with no head or lacing to speak of. not a lot of action in the glass. perfectly clear.

overall, it's rather boring, but smells and tastes like what you'd expect. it's "beer".

that said, it's a nice break to have something like this every once in a while. not everything needs to be special.

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Photo of beergoot
3.56/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden yellow body topped with a rich, sticky, white head;; rings of foam laddering down the glass.. Light cereal grain aroma. Mild, light bread flavor with a well-balanced hop bitterness. Medium body; somewhat warm on the palate. Mainly dry finish.

I'm not sure if this is really an adjunct lager (I've emailed the brewery to find out if any corn or other adjuncts are used). Regardless, this is a solid if unremarkable American lager that does provide some nice, light grain flavors and holds up well in the appearance department.
Update on the ingredients: from an email response from the brewery - "Thank you for taking the time to contact us, we always enjoy hearing from our fans. Our Leinenkugel’s Original is brewed with five different pale malts, both 2- and 6-row and we do use some corn in the brewing process."

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Photo of Adam2200
3.06/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

original lager of the northwood is a favorite of mine. With nice notes and as close to the best and oldest beer that Leinenkugel produces I prefer this beer to any other of the leinie family. If you are able to pick this up anywhere I strongly recommend grabbing a 12-pack at your nearest store.


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Photo of Django5000
3.19/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

It is what it is a great fridge filler at $13.99 a case. Pours golden amber with a decent head that dissipates quick. Clean unimpressive taste. I throw an orange slice in for shits and giggles. This and Point Special Lager my go to home cheap beers. Local brewers can hardly go wrong

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Photo of Squire123
3.39/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Wisconsin gold.

As old brands go this one hasn't been overly tampered with since Miller took over. At least those are my thoughts. Pours a light gold with an aroma like real beer as opposed to one heavily adjuncted. Good flavor on the lighter side, medium texture, well balanced overall. No, it's not all malt, it has adjuncts and should be evaluated in that light. Stands up well though.

Priced as a craft in my area and I don't think that highly of it but if you find it at a good price it's worth a try.

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Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, best before 1/18/2016. Pours crystal clear bright golden yellow color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings down the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of cracker, corn, white bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt and light earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of cracker, corn, white bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of cracker, corn, white bread, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish. Good robustness and balance of pale malt and light earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness. Very clean on lager flavors with minimal yeast ester notes present. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly grainy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.6%. Overall this is a good pale adjunct lager style. All around good robustness and balance of pale malt and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth, crisp, clean, and refreshing to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.01/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Straight up BMC cum Wisconsin. Usual yellow adjunct color, but below average lacing and retention. Aroma was grain, corn.

Taste was sweet, high carbonation, old school, clean, lots of water. Would knock these back for old times sake on the lawnmower in the summer, or at the lake, you get what I'm sayin. . .

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.19/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Both the appearance and the smell are typical to the style. Nothing new under the sun here. Even though the slightly murky appearance is appealing to me.

Taste is very subtle, perhaps even more so than some of the big macros. Carbonation leaves a nice tingling sensation on your tongue. This is an enjoyable beer, but not much more.

The mouthfeel is better than the taste, so I suppose this is the type of beer that is more enjoyable to drink than it is to taste.

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains, malts. Taste is malts, corn, grains, highly refreshing and drinkable. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a is a good example of the style.

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Photo of Libeertarian
2.44/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Golden amber, very clear. Wispy white head with medium retention, surprisingly. Adjuncty and sweet smelling. As at least one other reviewer noted, not far off from Miller High Life. Much the same on the taste. Kind of bready or crackery, but for the most part adjunct grain. Kind of a light lemony tartness throughout, especially in the finish, but hardly anything that could be recognized for hops. Not unpleasant, and easy to drink. That doesn't make it a good beer, however. Light and spritzy, quite the creamy finish.

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Photo of SleepyPoon
1.97/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Look- The beer itself is a handsome light straw color but the lace is a mess. It has all the telltale signs of a sub-standard macro- it is soapy, sticky, and thin.

Smell- Not much here, maybe a whiff of adjunct. No hops, no malt.

Taste- While I've had worse, this disappoints. It is a ringer for Miller High Life. Sweet and thin.

Feel- About what you'd expect from a can of macrobrew.

Overall- Meh. I remember drinking this in college and, as such, this is an ok beer for the sake nostalgia. That aside, if you are drinking on the cheap, you are far better getting your hands on another beer from the Miller family- Hamms.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.27/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Sampled last night on 5/3/15. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "Leinenkugel's" pint glass.

Brew pours a golden-yellow in color with about a half-finger foamy white head. Some light spotty lacing was seen but not a real lot. The aroma is of gains with a hint of corn. Bit more going on with the taste as there is some floral hops in the mix also. Slightly dry finish at the end. Overall it was OK but nothing really special as I am not a really big fan of this type of brew style overall. Lighter to medium bodied with good carbonation.

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Photo of alexvhrk
3.14/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

My go-to-beer. I live nearby Chippewa Falls where this liquid gold is brewed and the history of the brewery is only the start of the reason I love this beer.

It has a strong amber body with a large and somewhat bubbly white head. That first sip has a strong blast of crisp carbonated mashed corn and it only begs you to drink more of it.

It's flavor almost could take it one step further, leaving just enough for you to want to keep drinking.

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Photo of DarkBeerSux
3.38/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer I remembered fondly from my youth that I decided to try again. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. A refreshing lager that would be great anytime.

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Photo of bmeehan
3.25/5  rDev +9.8%

I think all of Leinenkugels' fruit beers are the same: fruity and delicious, but leave you wishing they had something more distinguishing than which fruit is in this particular beer you're drinking at that moment.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.37/5  rDev +13.9%

Let me start this out by saying a few years ago when I was first starting to venture out and try new beers, I swore off Leinenkugels completely as it was a nasty beer to me. But as we all know, tastes change, and I'm here to review it, as I know my likability has improved with it since then.

Appearance (3.5) : a fluffy three fingered head, descending to a 1 finger sudsy foam within a minute or two. Body is transparent gold straw color.

Aroma (3.5) : fresh malted barley, some creamed corn, slight floral, straw, and faint grassy hop. A fresh smelling beer. Bouquet is medium strength.

Taste (3.25) : It is a bit aggressive, with some rough hop leaf and charred malt out front, but it smooths out by the swallow, becoming a creamy, delectable and flavorful lager with hints of corn, dirty cabbage, barley malt, and dark grain. The finish is somewhat gritty and pasty, with a semi dry feel. It does leave a little to be desired but it's not horrible.

Mouthfeel (3.5) : light bodied, heavily carbonated, and look above for the finish remarks. It has character.

Overall (3.37) : yeah, I'd drink it again. It's not the horse pee I remember it being, but it isn't really fantastic either. I'd say if you mixed Pabst and Miller High Life this is what you'd get. Dirty hop leaf, creamed corn, gritty finish.

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Photo of jwc215
2.75/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Best by March 31, 2014 marked on the neck of the bottle:

Pours golden with a nice white head. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of musty grain with a hint of soap.

The taste is of grainy malt, husk and a touch of soap. Virtually tasteless hops gives some dry balance to the sweetness in the finish.

Pretty crisp, a little fizz sticks to the tongue, but not too fizzy overall.

A bland lager with an odd, though mild, soapy undertone. Personally, if I had to choose, I would take Miller High Life over this. There are cheaper bland brews out there, too.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
2.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Pours a perfectly clear, straw yellow in color. Small, frothy head that actually retains well. Lacing is ok. Looks like your average American pale lager, except with better head retention.

S- Light and grainy with a bit of a German pilsener bitterness in there too. The bitterness is mild and borderlines on a classic euro-lager skunkiness.

T- Starts with a grainy flavor, typical of many American lagers. In the middle of the drink there is more of a light malt and slight fruitiness. Light towards the end with the flavor focus shifting back to light grassy grains and a slight hop bite.

M- Light, easy to drink, and incredibly high in carbonation. Nothing special or out of the way as far as feel goes.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised after smelling it. Smell was definitely of a light struck beer, but the flavor of the beer was actually more full and malty.

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Photo of Brenden
3.04/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A beer brewed by a gateway craft berwery for those who want a BMC? Why not?

It actually doesn't look bad. It's a smidge darker than the usual straw yellow, bright and clear and evidently carbonated. A pure white head is on the spritzy side, big-bubbled but still reaching one finger and maintaining some structure, however wispy, for the long term. It even leaves some decent spotting on the walls of the glass.
It smells and tastes a bit sweet and has some corn but not as much husk as the style tends to offer, with some actual malt to back it up and a slightly herbal and floral note that might even proffer a slight bitterness. It's slightly vegetal, though not as badly as I fear it could be. It goes mildly metallic into the finish. For a terrible style, it's an overall average beer.
The feel is what can be expected. It's light=bodied with a firm crispness. Carboantion is moderate, not too heavy, which is nice. It's got a touch of smoothness in the body, too.

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Photo of MikeAAL
4.15/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

When I drink this beer, I usually have it on tap but, I've had it in bottles and cans plenty of times.

Appearance is a light, straw color with a white head.

Smells hoppy and grainy.

Tastes I get are hops, adjuncts and citrus at the end.

Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Leinie's is a very good Northwoods brew. The brewery isn't that far from where I live either.

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Photo of Lemke10
2.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

They always say “nothing is as good as the original.” Well, I don’t really think that always applies to the realm of beer. Leinie’s Original is perhaps the oldest recipe that the brewery still makes. This beer is aimed to be a slightly less than premium beer cost wise so you’ll see a case go for $12-$16 depending on the market you live in. So a lot of the drinkers of this brew are either senior citizens or poor college kids.

It pours a clear, pale yellow color with a foamy, off-white head. The scent is not very strong, but there is the aroma of cheap grains mixed with a little malt and citrus. Pretty basic, but as you would expect from a pale ale.

Well it tastes like good cheap beer so that’s always a good thing! There is a mild taste of grain and wheat that makes for a smooth and quick drink. For the price you pay, this really isn’t too bad. I would definitely drink this over a MGD any day. It doesn’t quite beat Pabst as my favorite cheap beer though.

We live in Wisconsin so Leinekugel’s is pretty much a household name around here. I will say though, I get out of town customers at work that pretty much go ape-shit crazy when they see we have Leine’s Original in 24pk cans and bottles. I hear them tell their stories of how they can’t find it where they live, etc. So you can’t help but feel slightly like a hipster while drinking this stuff even though there’s nothing all that special about it.
-Chris Lemke of WisconsinBrewReview.com

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Photo of A60sburnout
3.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An aggressive pour created two fingers of creamy white head that held together longer than I would have expected and left some nice lacing.

There is a mild aroma of malt and a hint of citrus, almost, but not quite lemony. Not unpleasant, but more like a macro brew than a craft or import.

A mild malt taste is hindered by the sweetness of an adjunct (corn?); just a hint of hops presence, not unlike the macros that I'm assuming it's profiled to compete against. However Leinie's Original has much more 'beer taste' than many/ most of its competitors.

Mouthfeel is average, finish is clean with little aftertaste.

Great session beer, or a good choice for a hot summer's afternoon when the weather calls for multiple servings.

However, I'd choose a Leinie's Original over its competitors any day. It does its job well.

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Photo of michiganminer
3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 6er for 4.88. In my area this is considered a "better" beer. It's the completely average beer. Definitely a Miller product with a pronounced corn taste. It's not offensive but not good either. I probably won't buy again.

Note: I review for the style. I refuse to let my prejudices slant any review. Nothing worse than the typical beer snob reviewing an AAL, same for your AAL drinker reviewing a craft brew.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Leinenkugel's Original has a thick, stark-white head, and a clear, bubbly, yellow-golden appearance, with almost no lacing. The aroma is of mild, pungent, sweet and sour grain. Taste is of sweet grain, a touch of hops (which comes out more in the undertaste), and a bit of grass. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Leinenkugel's finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, and very dry. If there was ever a stereotypical American-style lager, this is it. It's worth checking out, if you ever see it, which you probably won't.


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Photo of jsisko01
3.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a clear golden color with a centimeter thick, soapy white head. Has nice lacing.

Smell - Sweet, grainy, corny, and light spices.

Taste - Basically the same as the aroma.. Sweet, grainy, strong corn flavor, and light malts.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with high carbonation.

Overall - This is a pretty good, generic type lager. I'd like it better if there was less carbonation.

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Leinenkugel's Original from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
2.96 out of 5 based on 564 ratings.
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