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 zeff80
2.77/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a straw yellow color with a white, bubbly, one-finger head. It was highly carbonated and left no lace.

S - It smelled of corn and malt.

T - It tasted of corn. It also had a nice sweet quality, as well.

M - It was a little thin and watery. A light-bodied beer.

D - This isn't great but it is drinkable. This beer truly is far better poured from a bottle than from a can.

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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.

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Photo of mothman
2.8/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass. No freshness date.

Pours a thin white head. No lace. Color is a clear straw yellow.

Smell is very grain-like. While the taste is quite similiar. Tastes just like an American macro lager, but has a little more quality to it.

Mouthfeel is crisp and similiar to that of water. Nothing over the edge here.

Overall, this is an upgraded macro lager. Not something I would buy again, unless I got into lagers.

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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 NeroFiddled
3.18/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When Homer said "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer", he was talking about something like this...

The can cracks with a quick hiss and pours a clear yellow-gold body beneath a bright white head that exhibits just slightly better than average retention and lacing. It maintains a thin but solid surface covering. The nose is generic lager with a sweetish malt, lightly grassy hops, and yeasty sulphur. It's medium bodied, gently crisp, and then smooth across the palate. The flavor follows the aroma: malt, hops, restrained but balancing bitterness. Dry, grassy finish. Thank God this beer has some character!!! It reminded me of the Schlitz my parents gave me as a kid - a beer with hops, not like most of the mass-produced swill available these days.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.68/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow body with a ½ inch of humble white foam.

Smell: Lightly sweet-scented, lightly grainy maltiness, with little else to show for the aroma. Inoffensive, but certainly an underperformer.

Taste: Light pale malts with touches of grain and imparted sweetness. Faint, vague hop character and bitterness. Things slough along until the drying, clean, but, let's face it, pretty empty finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A simple, easy-drinking lager that, while dull, thankfully doesn't come across as packed to the hilt with adjuncts as many others do.

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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 russpowell
3.16/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with 3+ fingers of eggshell colored head. Zero lacing & head retention

S: Corny with dextrose & perfumy hops as this warms

T: Lemony hops & sweet corn up front. Dryness, honey notes & cooked cereal shows as this warms. Finishes dry, a bit cloying & grainy

MF: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinks okay, a bit too cloying as this warms. Drink ice cold. I'd still take this over BMC

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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 TMoney2591
2.52/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Ah, fishing in northern Wisconsin...the perfect opportunity to enjoy more Leinies than in any other situation. Get some. This "original" pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger or so of very quickly-dying white foam. The nose comprises corn, corn syrup, brown rice, and what the group collectively agreed was a mixture of taco seasoning and Jacob Leinenkugel's sweat and tears (no word on what happened to the blood, though...Count Yorga (or Iorga, to some) is a suspect). The other cans didn't really smell this way, nor did this odor come out of the can itself; we believe the snifter (clean, by the way) brought out some hidden smells. Something like that. Regardless, it smelled pretty damn awful. The taste mirrored the smell, minus that noxious second half of pain, though some tin and hard water seeped their way into the rice and corn syrup. The body is very light, with a moderate carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, not the best of choices for fermented enjoyment, but the price and source are right for downing some brews on a boat while attempting to catch some fish.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.06/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer has been on my CAN Wants List for ever!!!! My deepest gratitude to Chaz for going out of his way to get me one at long last. This is not only a big deal in terms of The CANQuest (TM), but also due to the fact that I am proud member in good standing with the Leinie Lodge. I want to move to the Upper Midwest so badly that I just want to taste it in my mouth every day. Sometimes it tastes like Michigan, sometimes like Kleveland (sorry, GLBC, but yer city sux), and every so often, but not often enough, it tastes like Wisco. My new dream, having fulfilled so many others, is to attend [email protected] to get my Ph.D./Po.D., the last half being a Doctorate of Pornography, in which I would study Victorian-era written porn in great detail.

From the CAN: "Famous Since 1867"; "The Pride of Chippewa Falls"; "Brewed with the Same Recipe by Five Generations of Leinenkugels"; "Back in 1867, our great-great grandfather, Jacob Leinenkugel, began handcrafting his distinctive beer right here in Chippewa Falls, in the very heart of the Wisconsin Northwoods. And, for five generations, our family has proudly carried on his tradition of bringing great tasting beer to the people of the Midwest. So we invite you to experience The Flavor of the Northwoods for yourself. And welcome to our family."

Best of all is the free Native AmeriCAN female with every case, YMMV. Mine was on hand to assist with the Crack & Glug and she did a fine job, producing a finger-and-a-half of bubbly bone-white head with moderate retention that would make any Lodge member proud. Color was a golden-yellow that would have made either/both King Midas and Croesus proud. The nose would make any local pig farmer proud, given its distinct resemblance to silage. The mouthfeel would make any chemist proud, given its resemblance to CO2. The taste would make Greg Koch proud, since he revels in being able to measure his beers by using AALs as his yardstick. The finish would make a drain proud as it either came from one or belonged there. No, sorry, that last was too harsh, but I was at a loss. It was simply a standard AAL. I remain a proud member of the Leinie Lodge, but I have better beer to put in my cooler. Again, YMMV.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
2.83/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The color is a pale golden shade with some light carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the glass. Head size is average with some decent retention. The aroma is a one-dimensional attack of standard sweet adjunct lager. The taste is pretty good for this style, it seems they used a larger amount of malt than expected. The flavor starts nicely with sweet malts, but soon adjunct taste makes itself known. Luckily the malt flavor hangs in there just enough to keep this from entering Miller/Bud/Coors territory. Plus a little saaz-like hop zest is an unexpected treat. This definently fares well with it's style, but still isn't that interesting. I could definently think of many worse choices to wash down a burger or some wings. If this were cheaper around here, this would probably show up in my fridge from time to time.

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

Lienenkugels Original pours a clear yellow with good carbonation that provides a bubblely white head...bot which dissipate overtime. Some lacing was present. The smell had sweet corn and light grain with balance hop. The taste followed suit....sweet corn, grain, hint of malt and hop with good finish. The mouthfeel was good and could be sessioned easily. Overall it is a fine american adjunct beer.

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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 tempest
3.16/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my cousin Pete for bringing a 6er of this Midwest classic for Christmas. First off this beer gets an A for appearance. It's about the only macro lager I've found that actually has head retention and lacing. The aroma and flavor have a clean, cooked corn/DMS character with toasted grains. Smooth, only a slight barley aftertaste, very drinkable. This beer is to the American adjunct lager, what Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is to American pale ales.

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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 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 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 Bighuge
2.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very pale, very clear light, light golden tone. Decent sized white head on top that has some retention. Carbonation looks to be minimal from the appearance. Only sporadic bubbles make their way up. This beer's got a cereal graininess to it on the nose. And some light barley notes as well. Overall, it's a very faint nose however. The beer is a little on the flat side...not totally, but definitely not carbonated the way an American Style Adjunct Lager should be. The taste is quite subdued. Nothing off about it. (Is there ever with the Big Macros??) But nothing on about it either. Light sprinkles of grainy maltiness blend with a bland cereal note. I just had Milwaukee's Best and prefered that to this.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lenie Original, for those who want to pay a little bit more for their BMCesque beer. Pours a typical yellow with white head and lots of carbonation but not much retention or lacing. Aroma is mostly sweet lagery corn. Hey, this is the midwest.

Taste, extremely light, barely a hop presence, barely a malt presence, probably comes close to being a malt liquor the barley use seems so low. With that said, it is a pretty clean taste, there are no off flavors, its just really a lot of water and not much else of the ingredients that make good beer. A good beer for those who don't like beer too much, or like keeping their edge on a warm day outside.

The worst are the people paying $5 for these on Water Street at the Leinie lodge. No dude, you aren't totally into bad ass craft beer, its just a brand that was bought by Miller, please stop embarrasing yourself.

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Photo of ZAP
3.35/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Update: Not adjusting scores but really noting a strong lemony hop impression in 2011.
Can't believe I haven't rated this yet...This was a cult classic back in college...it lost some of its mystic when they went away from the red and white bottles with the big Indian on the label..now it's just a little Indian..the other one looked like a Chief..this one looks like some young buck....

Anyhow, toured this brewery three times....at one point I thought they rocked...now I see them as average..

Pours a light gold...big fluffy white head...nose is above average for the style...husky with some spicy hop notes...body is a strong point...one of the thicker American Lagers...some creamy texture (from the corn?)...Flavor is corny and sweet...I remember more of a bitter hop profile in the olden days....still not a bad taste...I actually like the sweet flavor....finish is very slightly dry...

Overall this is no world beater, but it isn't horrible either...middle of the road American lager I'd drink over Bud, Busch, Old Mil (despite the fact they some how keep winning awards)...Perhaps the best of the Leinie bunch...

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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 BeerFMAndy
3.14/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into a Nonic. Markings but no date.

A - Poured a nice clear golden yellow with a sudsy and loose white head. Decent retention and some sticky lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet roasted corn, light malts, and a touch of dry straw. A very light hop aroma on the nose as well.

T - Starts with a sweet corn and light malt flavor and turns quickly to dry straw and light hops. There is a mineral water and slight metallic taste being imparted that I don't ever remember in this beer. Possibly the can on this one.

M - Light bodied, crisp, and refreshing, it's got a small carbonation bite to the finish.

D - It's beer. Not fantastic and definitely not bad for a lawnmower brew. I enjoy it from time to time and would never pass up the opportunity to consume one...especially for free.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single with no freshness date. I am surprised we do not get this beer here in Tx as we get at least a half dozen other Leinie's. Pours a crystal clear light yellow color with a 2 finger bone-white head that displays average retention and no lacing.

Nose is sweet light malts, I really dont get all that much in the way of adjuncts in the smell. There is even a smidge of floral hops in here. Not bad for an AAL.

Taste is grainy malts that taste and feel a bit stale and cardboardy. Very light tasting beer and certainly corn oriented. A bit too much fruitiness shows through for a lager - green apples and grapes. Mouthfeel is a bit watery and carbonation is not that high for the style. Not too much to get excited about, but I would choose this over a bud light anyday. 12 pack for 10 bucks...I might do that every once in a while. For an adjunct lager, one could do worse.

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