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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: 166 | Ratings: 560
Photo of swiegner
4.89/5  rDev +65.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There is no better beer in america. i have been drinking this beer for 25 years and would love to be able to pick up some in the tampa fl market.
This is a beer to start off with when you first sit down.
it is so special you dont what to blow thru em like water

7.99 6 PACK

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Photo of Newglarusguy
4.8/5  rDev +62.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Combined with 3 varieties of pale malts and cluster hops this traditonal american lager pours a rich golden colour with a crisp clean taste and great drinkability, for being a light lager it sure tastes like an original german lager because of the traditional brewing process so I say I would recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys a good lager.

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Photo of shbobdb
4.15/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I am not reviewing this beer with my present beer palate in mind, here's why: I used to drink this beer everyday. Usually a couple. I'd maybe have one with my lunch, then another one or two with dinner and then maybe another one later on. I thought, and still think, that it tastes fantastic and goes down smooth.
However, as I continued to drink it, I noticed that it was incredibly sweet. This isn't a bad thing, indeed, it helps push its drinkability up to a 5; however, when you are drinking something this sweet in those volumes, it eventually becomes cloying.
I can't stand Leinie's O from the bottle anymore. From the tap, however, it is still quite tastey-- a testament to the skill this beer took to brew.
Also, Leinie's O has something that most other beers of its flavour class do not: price. This is a great bang for your buck! Cheap AND tastey? Too bad I drank too much of it.

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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 supercolter
3.95/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- decent color, kinda a golden and amber color with a bit of head and lacing
Smell- a bit of a bitter malt scent, maybe a bit of plum
Taste and Mouthfeel- Taste is very complex for the style, bitter malt up front and through, with bit of dark fruit taste to wash it down, mouth feel was a bit too fizzy but not bad
Drinkability- I could definately have a couple

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Photo of mwa423
3.82/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden straw color with about a half finger of head which disappears to a very small lacing.

Smell is of a light malt, pretty typical of the style.

Taste is far better then average for the style along with a smooth mouthfeel.

This is definitely on the high end of drinkable for the style. I think I could down at least a six pack of these without hating myself the next morning.

My rating is based on the style, this beer is about the 2nd or 3rd best I have ever had of the style. (well above your average BMC). In the world of beer as whole I would say this is a C- or C.

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Photo of BigRedN
3.73/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into my pilsner glass a clear pale gold. A 1/2 inch white head forms that settles into a thick cover over the liquid. For a macro it has some staying power. Good patchy lacing to the finish. Healthy carbonation is evident, looks kinda like champagne. This is one of the best looking macros that I have seen (not that that is saying a whole lot).

Smell: While faint, the pilsner glass seems to help concentrate the aromas. Hint of hops (floral) barley malt, and unfortunately some sweet adjuncty aroma (corn?). Still very good.

Taste: Why do I not drink more of this? A bit better than most macro, there is the hint of hops used ( do get a nice little hop burp about half way through) and a touch bitter on the tongue as I swallow. Mostly thouogh, this is sweet tasting malty and adjuncty.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, very well carbonated, lively. A crisp somewhat dry finish with no aftertastes.

Drinkability: A damn fine macro lager brewed by a smaller (regional?) brewery. Purchased a six pack for $4.99, I will definitely be getting more Leinenkugel's products in the future. I had forgotten that these are good inexpensive beers.

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Photo of TechMyst
3.64/5  rDev +23%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4





COST: $7/6pack

HEAD: minimal

LACE: excellent layered

COLOR:light straw

AROMA: sweet


COMMENTS: Owned, I see, by Miller....Says it’s from a German pils recipe, but there’s no skunk and there is actually some sweet to the grain-y side. Wish I could have had this brew before Miller switched it.


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3.63/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into Leinenkugel 2004 Challenge on the Chain Pint glass
A: Pours a golden body that is full of carbonation and clear. The white head settles slowly, but is left on the glass with nice lacing and good head retention.
S: A grainy norm for the style, nothing is too overly interesting, but quality none the less.
T/M: The standard for the style, with a bright spice on the mouthfeel that is smooth and refreshing, while the underlining tastes of malty character are expressing a Leinekugel's classic taste. The off taste is a short, quick off the palate sweetness.
D: I find this to be a good, drinkable beer for the style, one that is easy to put down and does make me want to have more (not that I could say that about most Adjuncts). Great in cans and represents the style in good fashion.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.63/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best by Nov 22, 2010.

Nice light golden colour, looks like many of the style but there's a good 1 finger head of foam to go with it.

The smell is grainy, slightly bitter, with a mild presence of corn. Also quite like many for the style.

The taste has some graininess, very light amount of corn, asome decent bitterness that's very lemon like. Some malt sweets in the background. Not bad at all. In fact, I like.

Good mouthfeel here and I find this very drinkable. The Original just showed up in town and I quite favour it for further sessions.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.62/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pale golden yellow color with a fizzy white head, high carbonation. Aroma is slightly grainy and hoppy for a pale lager. Flavor is crisp , and again quite hoppy fore a pale Lager , nice crisp mouthfeel , light body and quite refreshing , very sessionable , I might buy this again for company

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Photo of jwilli7122
3.59/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a clear straw yellow with a medium sized soda pop head that fades fast and leaves no trace.

Smell is a little bit stale (but not sour like most macro pale lagers), with some bland malt and subtle spicy grass hop scents.

I wasn't expecting much, but I was somewhat impressed with the taste here. Pretty malty, (although in a fairly bland way), with some quiet hop flavors present towards the end. This isn't bursting with flavor by any means, but what flavor there is is pleasant, and the sweet/sour adjunct flavors typical of this style have been avoided.

A decent session beer and maybe the best leinenkugel product.

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Photo of mynie
3.59/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My original review of Original was probably the worst I've ever written. And, well, tonight we were having people over and this was 14 bucks a case so, whatever...

Pours like a macro. Maybe a bit darker than your Miller or Bud, but there's only the tiniest of heads and it's mostly just yellow.

Smells of very pleasant and rich grain, weedy, sour, sweet, and lightly bitter. No hint of adjunct.

Tastes exactly like it smells. Pleasantly like an old style American macro.

I'd put this in the same league as PBR. Easy drinking, no negative effects, and it tastes good even if it ain't great.

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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 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 AgingWarrior
3.57/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been wanting to sample Leinkugel original for a approximately 5 years. One of my favorite authors, John Sandford, has a character who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota and drinks Leinenkugel. I finally sampled a Leinie original thanks to my first beer trade via Beer Advocate. Thanks, Curt!

I poured my Leinie into a frosted mug and it poured a light golden color with a one finger white head and a fair amount of lacing. The first whiff was great with a slight citrus scent. This brew has excellent mouth feel and a great finish. This is the kind of brew that you can drink all day long, a great session beer. I was well rewarded for my wait, I'll definitely be on the hunt for more of these.

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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 nicksta
3.55/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours an average clear gold macro color. The smell is also average, just like any other macro, plain malts and hops. The taste is okay, pretty good for an Amercan Macro. Nice cereal malts and and pretty good hops, though slightly overpowering, with no crappy aftertaste. The mouthfeel is really good. It isn't very watery at all and it doesn't leave anything any your mouth. Strong for the average macro but it is quite drinkable so I have no problem pounding them down. This is easily the best American Macro Lager I have had yet.

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Photo of xoqx
3.53/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer, once brewed in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin now runs through the old tubes in the former Blatz factory in Milwaukee. It’s a slightly better than average macro brew. It hides is 4.6% ABV somewhat, it tastes more like a 3.2 beer to me. I was surprised to learn from the Brewer’s website that it’s higher. We moved to the West coast and can’t get this beer out here – Henry Weinhard’s is distributed by the same distributor and they would be in competition for too much of the same market. My in-laws (who are Wisconsonians) were passing through the Midwest and were very thoughtful to bring some back for us.

Appearance: Light golden with a very creamy two finger head that stuck around the whole time. The head retention was superb, even at a fairly cold temperature.

Smell: malty, slight yeast smell, sulpher

Taste: It’s crisp and has some hint of hoppiness – good for an American macro lager.

Mouthfeel: Light.

Drinkability: It’s satisfying and I do miss it having moved out of its distribution area

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Photo of Homerbag
3.53/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another old stand by. A very good beer for Wisconsin traditionalists. A little more true to form of a classic pilsner than some of the other macros, but this beer is barely a macro. Easy to find and cheap in the Great Lakes area. Good choice if you are having a crowd over and want a little selection for low price.

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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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Photo of garymuchow
3.51/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A favorite of mine in college. At $5.00/case with returns a more enjoyable beer than many other affordable Wisconsin brews.
Picked up this can for $.35. Good looking can too.
Aroma is grainy and sweet with a slight hoppy spice. Light and a bit sour.
Brilliantly clear of gold yellow. Lots of rising bubbles. One inch fizzy head that recedes rather slowly for style. Some resemblance of head stays throughout the drink.
Flavor is much like aroma especially with the grainy and sweet aspects (especially initially). Bitterness kicks in midway and stays through a shorter finish that also is somewhat dry. Dryness is paired with a fairly strong sourness.
Quite filling from a fairly heavy carbonation that is both biting and soft. Carbonation lends a heaviness to the drink, otherwise thin. Goes down quite easily and has strong thirst quenching powers.
As I reflect, this is a version of style that has some flavor and some complexity. I'd guess that's why I preferred this one long ago (any maybe why others often didn't - image and low flavor were preferred I suppose). It does have a heavier sourness than many, and I would think that would be a turn off, but I don't mind it and I could easily find a place for this drink in the right environment.

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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 benito
3.46/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Leinie's Original is about as good as it gets for American macro lagers, and when asked/forced to drink one, I'll happily choose it over its larger, more famous kin.

It is light gold with a fizzy head that dissipates quickly. It tastes of corn, paper, and, good ole' Wisconsin water. In fact, it's the magic water from Chippewa Falls that makes this have a pleasant body and crisp, clean finish. The effervesence is over the top and overpowers any other texture or sense of body that might develop.

There are many, better, more refreshing lawnmower beers on the US market today--both all-malt lagers, classic cream ales, and ubiquitous summer wheat brews, but there's something about a Leinie's Original, its ability to guard its appeal. I can still have a sip, close my eyes, ignore my better (micro-geeked) instincts, and transport myself to the Wisconsin Northwoods.

If you can get a macro drinker to devote him or herself to Leinie's original, you've done good in the world.

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Photo of lester619
3.43/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This has been my old man's brand forever. I have good memories of sneaking them from the garage fridge growing up. Pours a clear golden yellow with not any head retention to speak of. Just drink it from the can and you don't have to care what it looks like. Not much in the way of smell, some light grainy corn but not much else. Absolutly nothing great about it, but to quote Wendell "It's good honest beer." Nice crisp coarbonation, very drinkable. Just a normal yellow beer from a can. Nothing wrong with that.

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Leinenkugel's Original from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
2.96 out of 5 based on 560 ratings.
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