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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: 165 | Ratings: 558
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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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.

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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 imasloth
3.18/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My first reviewed lager that i can recall so bear with me ... and an American Adjunct no less!

A- Pours a light yellow, a shade lighter than apple juice with small bubbles reminiscent of champagne. Starts with a reasonably sized white head which disperses quickly in my pint glass. Minimal lacing.

S- Pretty light malt. Clean, some must and alcohol.

T- Starts sweet, with a light malt and a dry, vinous finish. Aftertaste is decent.

M- Very light-bodied with little mouthfeel of which to speak.

O- We initially bought this and some 1960s Schlitz for a party we were attending where there'd be beer pong and flip cup. I preferred the Schlitz at the time (review forthcoming), but am surprised by how drinkable I find this compared to the PBR I had recently.

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Photo of soju6
2.88/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear light golden color with a small head and a bit of lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus, syrup sweetness and some grain.

T: Sweet taste witha bit of fruit and some grain. Very mild bitterness with a clean finish.

F: Light body, smooth and refreshing.

O: Not bad for the style. Better than the BMC alternative.

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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 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 BeerLover99
2.88/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: clear, straw yellow body, light white up + down head, light/patchy lacing

S: sweet corn, light grain

T: sweet corn, grain, hint of malt, dry/crisp finish

M: light/med body, big carbonation, bubbly on tongue

O: Ok BMC substitute, good hot day/session beer.
Leinie's is good craft beer gateway brewery, baby steps
for your friends and family.


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Photo of Chaz
3.42/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost-textbook "straw" in color, topped with a pale off-white head of about two fingers. Head drops at a pretty average rate, so it takes a good several minutes before there's nothing left but a thin film atop the glass, and a bit of stubborn, clingy lace on the sides of the glass.

Nose is pale malts and a light blast of corn grits (although from taking the tour I'm pretty sure that they use corn syrup). The nose reminds me a bit of Grain Belt Premium, but with just a little more soft, biscuit-y malt (there's a different proprietary yeast strain too, but there's no real yeast character on the nose to speak of...) Lightly-tangy lemony/citrus hop character on the nose -- just a touch though.

Crisp, lightly-sweet, and lightly tangy on the first sip. Aromatic hop use is evident here, some form of domestic and Nobel hop combination rising to prominence as the first sip winds-down; I'm getting flashbacks to my memories of "Schmidt" as a kid... Biscuit-y malt lingers alongside a rather good bitterness.

Second sip brings a little more hop bitterness and tang to the forefront (and the beer is warming also beginning to warm in the summer heat...), and this makes me recall both how well and how often I've enjoyed the basic goodness of "Leinie's Original" in the past. The bitterness here isn't too assertive, but it lingers nicely throughout, and this more than anything else sets it apart from other offerings in the "AAL" catch-all style category. A little tart/lemony hop goes a long way here, and just as the hop bitterness is never too assertive, neither is this too tangy.

There's a good mouthfeel, excellent hop/malt balance, and good drinkability overall. The adjunct quality never detracts too much from the beer's better traits, and this is just about the right weight (at 4.6%) for several in one sitting, especially on a hot summer afternoon.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
2.63/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Tried this on tap- in a plastic cup. Sorry I had no choice in the matter. This lager poured an almost clear yellow color with a thin white head. Head retention is poor and there was no lacing. The Aroma of the beer was malty and sweet. The taste was mostly sweet with slight hints of grain. I didnt pick up much of a hop flavor- this for sure was not triple hops brewed! Not very good- lawn mower beer at best.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.14/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For an adjunct this is rather nice. There was absolutley nothing offensive about this brew like many others I've tried.

It's a nice golden color with plenty of fizz and a fat finger of foam. The aroma was light with corn or grain and some hops. The taste was some grain, fair amount of crispness. It's super drinkable with a small amount of the crispness remaining. It isn't complex, not very distinctive, but you can enjoy it bottle after bottle. This was the first bottle of Original I've seen in the DSM area so I hope to see more of it.

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

Bottle (dated MAR1411) poured into a pilsener glass.

A- A moderate pour produced a full, 2-finger, white head. The body is a clean, golden color with heavy carbonation. The head sustains around 1/2-finger and leaves nice, sticky rings on the glass.

S- Sweet and slightly bready malts. A bit vegetal. Cooked veggies increase with time/warmth.

T- A mix of bready malt with some fruity qualities that come off as berry-like. Flavors stay sweet in the end and kind of linger for a long aftertaste.

M- Pretty heavy on the carbonation, making it light and a little fizzy. Long finish isn't so desireable.

D- Served cold, it's one of those beers that you can put back a couple in a sitting (as I've done with family during holiday evenings). Doing a formal review makes me see some of the mediocre (if not flawed) aspects of this beer. It's a good BMC substitute.

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
2.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Average, average, average. It is a light fizzy lager which defines the shitty adjunct style. Smells pretty standard, cheap malts. A bit of a soggy bread smell yet somewhat crisp. Tastes plain, some grainy, adjunct malt flavour, a hint of hops.

It is quite bubbly in the mouth, a bit too much actually. The body is also quite light. Not wretched like some Adjuncts, yet-- unless you have some non BA buddies and it is on sale-- it is undrinkable.

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Photo of lstokes
2.58/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Substandard adjunct lager. Is there anything else to say? It's sweet pale malt which fades into watery grainy nothingness with maybe a hop or two peeking through, it's light-bodied and I drank one over two hours of talking to somebody about how bad the job market is. Which is usually a three-beer conversation.

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Photo of jmich24
3.03/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I am reviewing the Yuengling Lager vs. the leinenkugel Original Lager. My brother-in-law who loves Yuengling needed a substitute since yuengling is not sold in Michigan. I offered him a taste test and Linenkugels won.

A: Crystal clear amber color. Thin 1/8 inch head dissipates fast. Zero lacing
S: BMC but with some maltiness. Bit earthy.
T: Sweet grainy maltiness touch of carmel malt. Zero bitterness
M: Better mouth feel than BMC but still somewhat thin.
D: This is very drinkable improvement to BMC. But I would drink this over many other offerings.

Overall Score: 3.20

A: Golden. crystal clear. Thin 1/8 inch head. Stay around as a cap for the entire beer.
S: Super bland. Touch of grain and yeast.
T: A little sweet. Nice buttery graininess to it. Zero bitterness.
M: Medium mouth feel, somewhat creamy finishes wet. Very smooth the whole time.
D: Very drinkable, improvement on BMC.

Overall Score: 3.00

Both Not super good, but definatly inprovments on BMC. In the end Yuengling Wins by a slight margin.

I do not think these are all that similar to each other. My brother in a law is a Miller Light drinker who love Yuengling on vacation. I'm not surprised he liked Leinenkugels more, it is more like Miller Light to me.

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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 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 Vdubb86
3.01/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

This was the main beer consumed on guys weekend. Appropriately it was in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, just like this brew was intended to be enjoyed. The appearance as expected is a pale straw color with light head on it. The smell makes me think I shouldn't have poured it into a glass. It smells of corn syrup and stale hops (or some other foul off smell). It's rather sharp on the nose. The taste has a slight bitterness to it which seems ok for a pale lager that it is other than that it tastes similar to the smell, just a little less foul. Bitterness seems to come from the corn syrup but there is some malt and maybe honey in it. That makes it surprisingly a lot smoother than I expected. I will consume a lot of this so I hope it's as drinkable as I think it is.

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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 herman77
2.55/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Clear pale yellow with lots of ripping carbonation bubbles. Decent sized eggshell colored head that dies off quickly. Has a decent amount of sticky lacing actually.

S: Sweet grain and corn. Adjunct sweetness. A little bitterness too.

T: Light malt and bitter hops. Cereal grain sweetness. Finishes a little dry. Nothing special at all, but as expected. Could be a lot worse.

M/D: Light body. Pretty thin and watery. Carbonation is on the higher side. Pretty easy drinking though. Probably would be one of my top adjunct lager choices, especially being pretty local.

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Photo of AmberMan22
3.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gotta admit, this or Coors takes the cake as the best Macro AAL in my book. Don't think I'd ever turn these down if offered.

The smell is slightly sweeter than most adjunct lagers, which I find enjoyable. The malt flavor just seems to present itself a bit better.

carbonation might be a little strong, but I also drank this leaning on 'too cold', so that probably didn't help. Having it slightly warmer is much more enjoyable.

Overall, this is a macro I can drink without grimacing. That's what I mean when I say best AAL.

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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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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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Leinenkugel's Original from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
2.96 out of 5 based on 558 ratings.
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