Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve | Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co.

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Henry Weinhard's Private ReserveHenry Weinhard's Private Reserve

Brewed by:
Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co.
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Malts: North American Select Pale Malt
Hops: Pacific Northwest Cascade Hops
Calories/12 oz: 150
Carbohydrates (g): 13.0
% Alcohol by Vol: 4.80
Bitterness Units: 15.0

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-22-2002

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Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 423
Photo of Vito
5/5  rDev +61.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm a lifelong West Coast native, but for some reason I've never gotten around to trying Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve. Well, the time is now.

Appearance: Poured into a clear glass beer mug, the beer has a golden color and a medium-thin head. Lookin' good, so far. Nice packaging, too -- the beer comes in a short brown bottle that really stands out from the macrobrew crowd.

Smell: This beer flat-out smells good, with traces of whole-wheat toast aroma. Excellent.

Taste: This beer tastes great. Very light whole-wheat toast and mild hops are the dominant flavors. Without a doubt, this is the most well-balanced AAL brew I've ever tasted.

Mouthfeel: Once again, excellent. Just enough carbonation to tingle your tongue, but without the usual macrobrew "soda pop" texture.

Drinkability: I drank four more of these straight out of the bottle after I sampled the first one in a beer mug. Exceptionally high drinkability.

Overall: Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve gets my highest recommendation. It's a fantastic all-purpose beer, with an exceptional blend of high-quality ingredients. Classy enough to impress the microbrew crowd, drinkable enough for your next chugging session.

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Photo of marcusy81
5/5  rDev +61.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For an American Made Lager Beer, this is Awesome, Delicious, its LAGER and if you know what this means, you know its quality amber type of beer and it tastes great, you wont even feel the 5% alcohol inside, its that good, i love it, and living in Northwest this is one of our most popular beer. love it.

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Photo of redneckchugger
4.74/5  rDev +52.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours fizzy yellow little to no head or lacing
Citrus hops on the nose with what i term a "lager scent" that is that clean smell from lighter lagers
taste is almost solely light citrus hops, very refreshing, very clean, quite delicious.
This is the single best session beer i have ever had. As far as beers meant for enjoying with friends at a BBQ etc, this is perfection.

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Photo of sondance
4.73/5  rDev +52.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Henry's is a simple delight. Used to be my main brew but I ventured off to the pale, red and amber ales; discovered Lowenbrau.

Then last week I bought a 12 pack of HPR after having ignored it for about a year It is clean, solid, unpretentious and uncomplicated. Finishes well, no lingering aftertaste.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.35/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow, stark white head with decent retention and good lacing.

Nose has some crisp cascade-like hops and a good dose of lagery grain.

Wow! Extremely well done. For a good sessionable lager this is tough to beat. As much of a mAIcro as HW is, this one is masterfully crafted. A nice amount of crisp hop presence without going into pilsner territory, and a very, VERY clean grain bill.

Mouthfeel is ideal for the style.

Drinkability, well, its hard to find anything better. Super slammable, cold, summertime, lawnmower, barbeque awesomeness.

Overall a very clean and very enjoyable lager. Incredibly drinkable and refreshing. Very well done.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.22/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought this was an outstanding beer, and I was happy to find it while driving through Minnesota (it's not available in Louisiana). It has a thick, creamy, off-white head, and a clear, amber color. Carbonation is quite high. The aroma is of barley and hops, and the smell is sharp. The taste is excellent, with good hop balance and deep beer flavor. It finishes crisp. The mouth-feel is light and watery. I'd love to be able to buy this on a regular basis.


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Photo of remmyreel
4.15/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A sixer of HW's private reserve is ultra cheap at my local liquor store, so I'm always grabbing these. The first time, it was just because I grabbed whatever was cheapest. But it turns out it's really good!

Citrusy smell & taste, relatively light and doesn't leave me too bloaty, and the backtaste is exceptional.

I'll probably keep getting it until the store runs out of it :)

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Photo of mjurney
4.12/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden color, clear. Carbonation is moderate. Thin head.

Clean and crisp. Sweet grassy.

Grainy up front along with crisp bitterness in the finish. Very nice grainy character, cereal and hay like with touch of sweet caramel. Spicy hops towards the end, yet very crisp.
Body is light-medium, well carbonated.

Crisp finish. Slight spicy-grainy aftertaste.

Pretty good for a basic lager.

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Photo of Honeybadgers
4.1/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Is it a craft brew? absolutely not. Is it about the same price as miller, budweiser, and all the other American simulated rice beverages? Yep. When held to its price point, this lager is downright outstanding. It's strong enough to have real depth of flavor without sacrificing any summertime drinkability, enough carbonation to survive a pour into a glass without being overly bubbly when enjoyed from the bottle, convenient twist off cap for said outdoor activities, and no strange or offputting flavors. No astringency, bitterness (hops or otherwise), resinous or tinny tastes. It's very bready and malty for a lager, with very subdued hops (particularly so for a PNW hopped beer) but it really does strike a fine balance. As someone who brews his own beer, enjoys craft brews of all sorts, but still wants something cheap that can be kept in the fridge in large quantities at all times, this has been my go-to beer for years now. Nobody tips their nose up when offered a henry weinhardts, when the alternative was a can of horrible, locally brewed rainier or any other mass market american brew.

To reiterate, you have to take into account the insane cheapness of this beer, and when that is factored in, it's just head and shoulders above anything else near the price point.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My local trader, tone77, dropped off about a case's worth of mixed bottles and CANs and I am interspersing the two over the course of this slow afternoon at Chez Woody.

From the bottle: "Our brewery's flagship award-winning lager."; "Brewed with Cascade hops from the 44th latitude".

I have a feeling that this will either evoke pleasant memories or invoke my wrath against whoever is bottling this in MKE, WI. I wanted to be a west coast sailor so badly that I self-negotiated my own transfer to an FFG out of Long Beach, CA and on a work-up cruise, we stopped in Kelso-Longview where I had this beer in its original iteration in 1986.

I cannot say much for head retention as it fizzed up briefly with a finger of bone-white head, but then it dissipated just as quickly, leaving mere wisps in its wake. Color was a sunshine-yellow with NE-quality clarity and evidence of carbonation. Nose was slightly metallic with a biscuit malt base and a grassy hop smell. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was about what I remember from nearly 27 years ago! It was a mildly hopped grassy flavor that I first noticed in the mouth and the finish had a bready/biscuit-like sweetness to it. I remember thinking that although it was not something wildly different like a Belgian ale, neither was it gag-inducing like so many mass-produced lagers of the time. I was not totally hip to the difference between lagers and ales, but I knew that one existed. This was a really pleasant semi-dry lager and a definite nod to the original. Obviously, they are not going to cop to their adherence to the original recipe, but this was a solid beer. Now, if they would just start CANning Henry's ...

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.02/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Finger of head, clear, light straw color with lots of bubbles.
Smells nice with apple and pear predominating.
Sweet beginning taste, a little pear, medium bitterness from the middle on, short finish.
Normal light and crisp texture with moderate carbonation.
Overall a pretty good example for the style.

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Photo of industrialswill
4/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is being done by someone who actually loves lagers.
This beer pours and looks just like any other, no surprise.
The aroma and flavor is what I expect, nice with no sour "after bite".
Price is right in there with the rest, if I'm in a mood for a light, simple brew..this is a good choice.
I rate this one as being good.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.9/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer at a BBQ in Pullman Washington. Poured into a pint class. Nice brown color, different.

Great sweet smell, with some hops present.

Great malt, chewy, cereal flavor. Much more malty than others in this style. Hops is the afterthought with this brew.

Can easily drink these all night though.

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Photo of atliens81
3.9/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a 6 pack from Hyvee supermarket. Poured from a bottle in to a glass. First thing I noticed about this beer is that it was extremely refreshing. Hence, the exceptional rating for drinkability. I could really see this being a good fit if you were looking for a beer to drink if you were pulling an all nighter with some friends. As far as the actual taste and aroma... there's not a ton going on here. No hoppy taste, or bitters really. It's actually got an almost sweet sorgum-eque flavor to it. But overall, no overpowering taste to it. It's just a good, crisp, smooth, and extremely drinkable beer. I would absolutely drink it again.

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Photo of Snow81
3.86/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden yellow that's clear as class

Smell: grassy and malty

Head: nice white head, but dies out pretty quickly

Taste: Reminds me of Henry Weinhard's Blue Boar which is there Pale Ale, but the maltyness has been dropped in and the sweetness has left. Nice maltyness

Weight: Nice body on this medium carbonation

Finish: Grassy, granny, and malty

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Photo of eballard
3.85/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light yellow in color with a light head. It has a light hops smell and a clear grain smell. The taste is very balanced not too hops and not too malt. This beer has a clean feel and a refreshing after taste. It is very drinkable and would be had to beat. If youÂ’re looking for a hard beer this is not your beer but it will quench your thirst for a well brewed beer

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3.8/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 6'er of this at my local supermarket while there to pick up ingredients to make nachos. Had never tried any of the brews from Weinhard's, so was kind of curious as to what this would taste like.

Poured in to a pint glass, this looks like your average C-M-B macros. Smell wasn't anything special and the head from an aggressive pour was maybe two finger, which dissipated a little slower than your average macro. The taste, however, made up for the shortcomings of the presentation. First thing that struck me, which I haven't really seen noted on these reviews, was the spicy body. Kind of reminds me a bit of Sam Adam's Winter Lager, which is a spicy, winter brew. This one is spicy up front, with a bit of hop at the end, but not a lot. In between is a biscuit flavor that actually forms a good 3 pronged taste bud attack. This is a good winter beer, what with the spicy flavor.

Overall, a very good beer that really isn't a huge leap over the macros, but definitely won't be confused with them when somebody tries one. A good cold weather beer that I'll buy again at the $5.99 price for a 6'er. BTW...drank 3 of these with my nachos and they went great together. Easy drinking all the way.

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Photo of Spikester
3.77/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear amber with a small white head. Has some minor lacing.
Aroma is grainy.
Taste is sweet malts, a little soap, a fair amount of hop bitterness. Slightly too much carbonation for best drinkability.
An exceptional macro-brew. Too hoppy for the Bud crowd, a nice introduction toward the micro-brew taste. In other words, will not please the micro or macro drinkers but a nice transition beer.
No bad attributes and usually priced just a little above the macros. A great barbeque beer. Now brewed in Hood River Oregon by Full Sail. This is the best of the Henry Weinhard line IMHO.
Revised original review from 7-28-2007.

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Photo of JEdmund
3.73/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw yellow, lots of carbonation, and a modest head. I was surprised that a head didn't form more easily considering the style.

Nice light fruitiness that I wasn't expecting; some typical lager yeast; not a whole lot else

Taste & Mouthfeel
Yum, super clean lager! If this were truly macro, then it would be a great one to choose from as it's very clean. The mouthfeel is a big plus on this as it has a bite to start off with and a creamy finish.

Light but tasty and nothing offensive about it. Pretty solid for what it is. I wouldn't normally buy this, but I wouldn't complain if someone handed me a bottle.

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Photo of echoes
3.72/5  rDev +20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a glass.

A: Pours a golden yellow color that is very carbonated/bubbly. Head is pure white, very bubbly and dissipates slowly leaving little lacing.

S: Very earthy-malty smell (hops/yeast). Also a hint of a floral or citrus-type scent.

T: Slightly bitter. Has a yeasty, (roasted?) malts taste such as barley and hops. Slight bitterness.

M: Light, airy, and smooth. Not sticky. A bit fizzy but not much.

D: Goes down easily enough. Not sure there is enough in this to make me want to have another but I could drink more if offered.

Fits the APL style pretty well in my opinion. Comes off as a kind of a light beer yet better than a light beer, if that makes sense. I like it but overall it isn't one of my favorites.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.7/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty clear golden color with not much white head, but the glass had been sitting out for a little while. Rich aroma is mainly fruity - pear and apple - with some malt and a hint of hay. Malty, fruity, slightly sweet flavor has a hoppy hint and is quite enjoyable. Texture is smooth and quite fizzy.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.67/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, pale hay color. A handful of strings of bubbles rising to this thin layer o' foam film.

Crisp hay and grass with barely toasted malt make up the the simple, yet satisfying aroma.

Grass, crackers, hay, with a crsip and pleasant palate. This is a lager meant for easy and enjoyable drinking and enjoyment. Good for after a long days work, or relaxing with friends and shooting the shit.

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Photo of Briken
3.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A golden yellow with a big off white head that disipates fairly quickly. There is a clean pale malt and citrusy hop aroma. Taste is a crisp pale malt nicely balanced with a nice lemony hop presence. A slightly astringent taste on the finish which could possibly be an adjunct effect. A good full-bodied but crisp carbonated mouthfeel.

This beer was kind of a surprise. My expectations were fairly low so that would be a factor. It's surprisingly robust for a cheap lager and were it not for the slight lingering aftertaste it would be rated higher. Although I will say by the end of a 24 oz. can, I had had enough.

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Photo of Offa
3.62/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty standard, simple, but solid, clean American lager.

Fairly deep gold, it has a smallish white head that soon shrinks to a thin foam, which itself gradually recedes to a ring.

The aroma is very pleasant, flowery sweet lager with grain, apple, hints of grass and pine.

The taste is a nice, pleasant grain with lemon, apple, smoothly sweet before a very faintly grassy-piney bitter finish leaving a lingering, tingly faint bitterness and soft grain aftertaste. The bitterness, though, is very faint and overall the beer is on the sweet side. However, it has pleasant taste, is nice, clean, smooth, crisp, and very drinkable.

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Photo of JosiahS
3.6/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to pint. Straw or apple juice color. Gave a 1/2 finger white head that is non-existant after half a minute.

Smell is of mild citric hops and vegetables.

Taste is of grain and a nice citric hop flavor that is carried throughout. Lingering malt helps to round things out.

Mouthfeel is light but a little more full than say, a macro light lager would be. Moderate CO2 gives it a nice crispness.

A decent lager, very drinkable.

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Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve from Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co.
3.1 out of 5 based on 423 ratings.
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