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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 DrunkMcDermott
2.64/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I’m starting to find the Leinie brands a little more fun than I thought. This is kind of corny, but not overly sweet like most cheap beers, and there is a bit of hop bitterness. Actually much better than most the usual mega lagers. Slightly darker than expected. A nice sweet malty taste. Still falls into the "Oo-oo-ooh, hops are too scary for me" territory, but basically okay.

 380 characters

Photo of scaliasux
3.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Lite, clear gold. Bubbly like champagne. Short-lived foamy white head. Leaves a little lacing. Maybe a hint above average macro.

Smell - Very faint, but actually a bit more distinct than most macros. Nothing distinctive about the odor, however. Standard adjunct smell.

Taste - Maltier and more flavorful than most macros. A hint of hoppy bitterness at the end. Nothing complicated, but beer with any flavor whatsoever stands out in this category.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly light given its relatively strong flavor. Watery and tongue-stingingly carbonated.

Drinkability - Pretty solid for an american macro lager. Straight-forward unchallenging lager, but at least this has beer characteristics. Certainly not a recipe worth saving for 5 generations.

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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 crzyd12
2.57/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Below average beer overall. The appearance is that of a cheap lawnmower beer, with aromas that aren't far away. The mouthfeel is somewhat better than a prototypical run of the mill American Lager but that is ruined by a watery after taste. The beer is drinkable, I would have no problem drinking a six pack at a party, but after a few sips you forget you are drinking anything at all.

 384 characters

Photo of jimbotrost
3.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled at Casey's Inn in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. 12 ounce bottle purchased for $2.50 in this tourist town. Came out of the bottle with aclear gold color and a fizzy light head. Nose very neutral but some grass and malt in the nose. Buttery grassy flavor then a long for style finish. Very drinkable.

 299 characters

Photo of palliko
2.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance is clear golden with a generous head of foam, but leaves little lace. Aroma is lacking in hops, some sweetish malt, grain and little else. Initial taste is mild malt, almost sweet, and then plunges into nasty. Body is watery, not enough carbonation, and finish is a non-event. Pass.

 293 characters

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 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.

 1,621 characters

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

12 oz can brought back from Brewery Tour on trip to Wisconsin.
Pours clear yellow, thin white head that quickly disappears. No head stability or lace.
The aroma is quite sweet, but what you expect from the style, nothing offensive. Clean taste, a bit grain or grassy. Again nothing offensive. Good carbonation, medium body, a bit watery. Very average.

 353 characters

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

Appearance: Brilliant clear medium golden color, the head soon collapses to scattered patches of white foam, with slight slow-rising carbonation.

Aroma: Slightly tart mild malt aroma, with a little corn and cooked vegetable aroma.

Taste: Mildly tart corn malt flavor throughtout, at the end this fades to a mildly bitter character.

Mouth feel: Smooth and pleasant, with a slight stinging carbonation. A bit thin, but otherwise pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Quite decent, nothing special, but very drinkable.

 519 characters

Photo of HardTarget
2.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle generously provided by BA Pegasus
Aroma: Overall the aroma is dominated by a sweetness generated in equal parts from malt and what to me smells like corn. A definite adjunct aroma in there, but not displeasing.
Appearance: Crystal clear yellow glass with the thinnest of white heads that showed no lace.
Flavor: Clean macro lager taste with a spot of grain. Nothing to fault, nothing to love.
Mouthfeel: Medium light body, fair carbonation
Overall Impression: A light tasting beer. Minor adjunct flavors noted but overall just a bit watery. Nothing wrong, nothing right really either. Pretty dead on for style.

 631 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 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 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.

 707 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.75/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a clear yellow/orange with a small foamy head. Nothing really impressive here. Smell is very grainy and earthy with a hint of floral hops in there.

Taste has a nice sweet pale malt background with a somewhat corny flavor coupled with a slight hop biterness. Slight fruity tones stick out, a bit cirtusy, lemony.

Mouthfeel is watery thin. Basically the consistency of carbonated water...not my cup 'o tea. Drinkability is decent....I could see this going down on a hot summer day...but it's definetly not something I would seek out.

 543 characters

Photo of theozag
2.61/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'll have to make this one fast because I'm dialing long distance just to connect to the Internet! Essentially, Lienie's Original is an okay beer. I don't think I've ever had this sort of lager before, so it's hard for me to judge this beer based its peers. I will say, though, that it tasted like a pale ale or a "relaxed" porter (less abrupt flavor but similar palette complexity) - certainly not something I expected from a lager. Pours absolutely crystal clear and golden in color. A considerable white head forms but fades in about one minute to a few lacy remnants. Smell and taste both had noticable sweetness. Regardless, I felt this beer left something to be desired. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a lager that tastes like a concealed porter and goes down like water ultimately fails at mimicing any of the three. Oh well, it's good enough to finish the four I've got, but I think I'll have to go back to stouts for a while to set myself straight.

 975 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.

 802 characters

Photo of donnebaby
2.63/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Strikingly unremarkable appearance and smell. Scentless. High carbonation and normal beer taste. A twang of worty sour grains in the mouth with an aftertaste of the same with some notes of pine. I searched for positive aspects of this beer but could find none.

Sampled at the Miller Factory in Milwaukee.

 307 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
3.37/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear gold color, moderate white head. Smells of grassy malt, a little stronger than your average macro offering. Taste is very full of malt and a hint of corn, but, unlike the macros, has a definite hops presence. Pretty good for an average priced lager.

 255 characters

Photo of JeffreyG
3.03/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Leinenkugel's Original. A basic macro brew. Good color for a pale lager, golden and not too watery looking. Small white head tha dissapates quickly, fairly high carbonation. Taste is fuller than any of the big three's main beers. A hint of corn but not overpowering. Mouthfeel is fizzy but refreshing. This is a drinkable beer. I'd take it over the big three (but it is a Miller owned product). Personally I'll usually drink grain belt if I want this style (Schell vs. Miller, MN vs WI, easy choice for me)

 506 characters

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.

 636 characters

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...

 1,128 characters

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 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 Brent
2.7/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Once again, a beer happy in its mediocrity. Pale straw, adequate carbonation and head, flavor is slightly grainy but smooth and pasteurized. According to the brewery website, Cluster hops are used, but apparently in great moderation. Another lawn mower beer on an ever-growing list of unmemorable lagers.

 304 characters

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