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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 rye726
1.43/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This is a bit over priced for what it is, and that's an average macro lager. It is a clear straw color with a lacking whitish head. The nose and taste are both light and grainy. A watery body has a bit too much carbonation. Not the most drinkable due to a lingering bitter presence.

 282 characters

Photo of RushLimbmalt
1.46/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Ugh, the epitome of Midwest corn beers. It is actually worse than I remembered. It looks like normal macro swill and it sure tastes like half of Iowa's corn is in the beer. If it wasn't for the overpowering corn taste it would at least be drinkable. Note to self... Avoid this beer!

 282 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
1.46/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer pours a clear straw color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of very faint malt. The taste is of corn, malt, and more corn and metal in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a high level of carbonation. Overall, this is an awful beer. The taste is a look more bold than other macro lagers, but it is so metallic and corny that it is undrinkable.

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Photo of LeonTrotsky
1.64/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I had this on tap at the CC Club in Minneapolis with a friend because it was their special $7 pitcher for the night. We shouldn't have ordered the pitcher.

A: Yellow and fizzy, like any other beer of the style
S: It had the faint odor of tortilla chips
T: Gross! Tortilla chips! It seriously tasted like someone soaked corn chips in Miller Lite, then poured the resulting liquid into a pitcher.
M: Average mouthfeel for the style
D: Awful, I will never drink this again

I'm not a macro basher, I drink Grain Belt Premium on a regular basis and have some Miller High Life in my beer fridge right now, but this stuff was awful. The only worse beer I have had is Beer 30 Ice (yes, that is actually the name of the beer).

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Photo of smcolw
1.77/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

After one sip, I sent this one back. The choices from this brewery looked promising, so I decided to start with the "Original". I received an attractive pint--golden in color, clear, nice head.

The smell was very, very light. Often this is the result of a full pour in the pint glass, but this was under the rim.

Very disappointing...think <<insert brewery name>> Light. Watery, no discernable hop, weak malt, no body...in short, a dud.

If you like Light beers, this one might suit you. It's not for me.

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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 bashiba
2.01/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured a straw yellow with a light fizzy head.

The smell has a bad vegetal odor to it with a bit of corn sweetness.

The flavor has a bit of a copper and tin flavor mixing in with the slightest touch of grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is the same as water, no carbonation to speak of.

Boring stuff. I don't know why anyone would pay premium price for this stuff.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.03/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Yellow-gold body. Large, smooth white head, recedes some, leaves some light lacing. Looks better than it drinks. No real strong aromas. Just a very basic American Lager beer smell, but not stale. Very little taste at all, but a soapy aftertaste. Nothing to really recommend it, I would prefer Bud, Coors, or High Life, at least they are not pretending to be a craft/micro. It is certainly not in Yuenglings class as a traditonal American lager.

 446 characters

Photo of hero27
2.05/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Well..it pours a pale yellow with virtually no head to speak of. Well carbonated but looks really thin.

Smell: Nearly scentless...faint aroma of corn and grains. pretty bland if you ask me..

Taste: Grainy taste with some hops at the end. a little maltier than most light macros, but nothing special at all.

Mouthfeel: Wayyy too watery.. I mean, Budweiser seems thick compared to this stuff.

Drinkability: The only plus of this beer is that they sell 24-packs of bottles around here for around $10. this is about the cheapest stuff you can get in bottles..and you can down them in succession. If you're strapped for cash and want to get drunk on a subpar macro, pick up a case.

This beer is probably my least favorite out of all of Leinie's endless array of subpar offerings.

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Photo of pweis909
2.06/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A regional version of an American macrolager. Pale gold and with a thick white head, as is typical for all these beers. Aroma? Nothing special. The smell anticipates the taste. You can tell it is a beer. The high carbonation puts an unpleasant burning bite to the taste, so I found this more palatable as it sits a little.

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Photo of ngandhi
2.11/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On-tap at Murphy's Pub in Champaign, IL.

The appearance is unsettling. A little fizzy, a little straw-like, yet decent head retention. Not bad, but suspect for some reason.

Smell: corn or rice, take your pick.

Taste: This is an adjunct based beer. It's all grain and, having tried the other Leine's, I can tell why this is called Original: it must be the base from which the other Leine's are developed. In every other Leine product, you will taste Leine's original; it's just a matter of subduing it. And there's good reason to have these other lines of beer because Leine's Original is a sharp, grainy beast that can hardly be called beer. It used to be my beer of choice when it was all I had ever had. The returnable bottle thing was eco-friendly and it seemed like an honest brew.

That isn't to say I won't drink it, it's not that bad and at least it has a pronounced flavor vis-a-vis most domestic macros, but there ought to be mandatory nomenclature developed for labeling so people know their adjunct and adjunct-free beers before they buy them. This beer is all grain with a slight kick from the hops (which ain't that bad). The malts are there, not for flavor, but to sustain a good medium body. Leine's Original is well engineered, but not well brewed or conceived.

Relax, relax.

 1,310 characters

Photo of Winter
2.17/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear pale yellow with a white foamy head. Stale malt aroma combined with hops. Smells of lake water.... ugh. The mouthfeel is thin to just slightly medium in body. It's gritty and fizzy. Light hop bitterness with a soft malt presence. Some grain sweetness rolls back toward the front after the finish. By no means is this a great beer, but surprisingly less offensive than I expected.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
2.21/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This isn't a beer I'd reccomend to friends or family. It is your typical "It needs to be near frozen to tolerate". I traded this from my father for a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA so he can see what good beer is. It is a standard yellow color, decent head. Taste and smells of malts, if you've had one macro brew you've had them all. The mouthfeel is very sharp with the carbonation. Drinkabilty would only get bumped up a notch or two if you had already had a few beers, then it becomes almost tasteless. Is it the worst beer I've ever had, far from it. But I wouldn't run out and buy this.

 588 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
2.23/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

G: Poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

A: Very light in color, nearly transparent. Pours with a decent, though quickly-receding, head and plenty of visible carbonation bubbles.

S: Smells like the typical adjunct. Minimal amounts of malt and pretty much zero hops.

T: Taste isn't terrible. Poured out of a bottle, although it has a mildy-metallic taste. Other than that, plenty of adjunct and slightly bitter.

M: Slightly creamy. Light mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation.

D: Good amount of carbonation and the right mouthfeel, though not much in the way of taste. Although I'm not a big fan of Leinie's to start with, this definitely is not one of their better offerings.

 697 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
2.23/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

Appears straw yellow, with a typical short-lived one finger head and bland sweet corn on weak grains aroma / flavor. Light watery body, but at least it is well carbonated. Really just barely a tiny step above any BMC you may encounter, but not quite better enough to justify the price tag IMO.

 315 characters

Photo of longarm
2.25/5  rDev -24%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a big foamy head that's rocky at first, but dissipates quickly. Color is straw yellow with a barely noticeable tinge of orange.

Aroma dominated by corn and adjuncts. Very little malt perceptible, but a very slight hint of hops seems existent.

Lots of corn flavor and not much else. A little bitterness helps balance it out, but a corny and strong grassy flavors take-over the finish.

Mouthfeel is the weakest aspect. Lots of extra aftertaste and a failure to cleanse the palate leave it missing that crispness that I like in any decent pilsner.

Drinkability is below average, even for the style. As far as adjunct lagers, it's not quite as good as it's local peers in the same category, namely Berghoff or Point.

 735 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.28/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bright yellow-gold with a pure white head of semi-stiff froth that lasts for a while and doesn't look too shabby on the way down. There isn't an abundance of lace, although a few odds and ends remain just above the surface of the falling cap.

Original smells like slightly sweet grain. It isn't as adjuncty smelling as most macro lagers, yet it isn't as purely malty and hoppy as it could be either. In fact, I don't know that I appreciate any hoppiness at all.

Maybe I should have limited myself to looking at it and smelling it. The start of each mouthful (lightly sweet pale malt) isn't too shabby. The flavor begins to deteriorate almost immediately and doesn't stop until it reaches the beginning stages of grimace-inducing. The advanced stages of grimace-inducing will require a few more degrees. No worries, I won't be drinking it by then.

The mild sweetness hangs around and a sourness intercedes that brings to mind stale rather than fresh grain. It's also a little fruity, but in a general rather than a specific sense. The mouthfeel starts out at light, slides into watery at the midway point, and becomes frankly water-like by the finish. The carbonation is acceptable initially and is AWOL by midglass.

Leinenkugel's Original Lager is, I presume, the first beer that this brewery ever produced. I wonder if it was better back in the day. That is, prior to being dumbed down by virtue of its acquisition by Miller. It's difficult to say since I haven't had a High Life in a while, but I'd put it somewhere in that beer's league, taste and quality-wise. Drinkable when cold? Yes. Desirable? Definitely not.

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Photo of hotstuff
2.3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Definitely a beer that I was not impressed with as it lacks character and there was not much going on with it.It poured a medium white creamy head with fine sized bubbles that mostly dissipated.The body was cloudy with a lot of lively carbonation.The hue was gold and there was very little lacing.The nose was hoppy and slightly sweet with a slightly bitter flavor.The mouthfeel was tingly and light bodied.

 407 characters

Photo of uabigdaz
2.33/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is one of my beers I brought home with me from Chicago because I had never seen or heard of it here in AZ. I'm not too impressed with this one overall, and here's why:

The pour is nice with decent enough head retention and adequate streams of carbonation making their way to the top of my glass. Color is the same you see in any macro brew, you name it, it's that same straw color. The taste is overly bitter and not well balanced. Taste, again like the appearance:pretty standard.

This is the "original" of Leinenkugel's options, they should call it "unoriginal" as it reminds me of a beer you can buy anywhere, in any town, at any store.

 651 characters

Photo of botham
2.33/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner. pours an extremely light straw color with a few fingers of white, frothy head. this brew is crystal clear. moderate spider lacings.

aroma is mainly of pale malts and a floral character from the lager yeast. a very slight grainy feel is detectable as well. little else.

taste is watered down at best. light pale malts and a touch of floral yeast, with a grainy aftertaste that discounts what little flavor the actual liquid has.

mouthfeel is reminiscent of water.

drinkability is great, because this brew is devoid of any boldness or character that could make it worthwhile (and less drinkable).

 635 characters

Photo of Chugmonkey
2.38/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I've been knocking these back for 20 years. Used to have an Indian head on a white background on the can - really cheap looking. You had hard time giving it away cuz nobody knew what it was. Amazing how well they did marketing the brand - now acquired by Miller.

Average boring lager with a slightly bitter, grainy bite that lingers. Really not much else to say about this beer. They brew a Light in cans which I don't mind taking along on hot days out in the boat as a nice thirst quencher however.

 500 characters

Photo of xtremejammn
2.38/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not terrible, but there are much better american macro lagers out there.

A: Quickly fading white head with a corn yellow body. Not impressed.

S: Smells grainy, with a hint of wheat. Nothing special.

T: Tastes a bit spicy, with an unpleasent dry after taste.

M: It's bubbly but not too bubbly, not bad.

D: Although it's bubbly, it's drinkable.

Although I thank my father for hooking me up with this beer, I can't say i'd reccomend this to anyone but budweiser and Miller fans. Cheers

 506 characters

Photo of daaru
2.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

absolutely unremarkable beer. not offensive but no real reason to drink it either, unless the other options are from the coors family of beers. drinkable enough, i suppose. this was brought to a dinner at my house, so i'm not sure how much it costs, but hopefully not too much. if it is cheap then it might be a good value over the major macro pilsner type brews.

 363 characters

Photo of keoki182
2.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Leinie's Original is the best yard beer I can imagine. Based on a complex algorithm I cannot explain here, it's taste per yen is out of this world. It's actually cheaper than other Miller macroswill, which is amazing considering how much better this beer is than the rest of its competition. It pours a yellow/light gold with a very grainy aroma. It's considerably full bodied for its kind. Original brings to mind a Sam Adams Boston Lager, which may seem like blasphemy to some. For less than $7 a 12er, you can do a lot worse.

 528 characters

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