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

170 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 423
Photo of Brad007
3.3/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright gold with no head into my glass. Ample carbonation. Looks interesting as it is. Hopefully it tastes good too.

Sweet, crisp, grainy. Wait, can you really put the last two together? Regardless, nothing out of the ordinary here.

Yep. Sweet and grainy here. Ordinary. Clean. I'd like to say drinkable as well. Then again, bud is supposedly drinkable as well.

Finishes with a touch of breadiness. Nothing offensive.

Better than their IPA that I had, despite the fact that they're different styles. I guess it's all in the approach and they approached this style admirably.

 589 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3.03/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, pours crystal clear & golden, fairly thin white head dissipates quickly to thin layer of foam, leaving some lacing. Aromas are typical for a lager of this style...grassy, biscuity, lager yeast, metallic. Tastes are mild with toasty grain, metallic, grassy hop, lager yeast, finishes sharp & very clean. Thin body, moderate carbonation. Nothing spectacular here. Pretty average.

 390 characters

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.

 1,207 characters

Photo of baos
3.27/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes bottle into beer mug. Nice golden appearance with lacing here and there when swirled, but not that great looking. Nose is nice probably cascade, pale malty notes. The taste well I just chewed up two v's so that made the flavor a bit medicinal. Yes have a script, for all the baomoves out there who were wondering. Light carbonated mouthfeel, but not bad, this would make a good hot sun brew. I bought it at a local supermarkt marked down to 5 something... It was worth the price. Better than bud, volks.

 514 characters

Photo of secondtooth
2.88/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Semi-transparent golden in appearance, with decent carbonation. Lace is pretty spotty but present, nonetheless.

Nose is grainy and malty. Seems adjunct and corny to me.

Taste is mild and watery. No sense of hops at all, despite the bottle's claim. Not sure if this was a better beer before SABMiller bought the name, but this one's really pretty uninteresting. Avoid.

 369 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Writing this review for at least the second time, the ol' neverending story about the merge in 2012 (or other reason(s)) have brought us here. A real thin, watery appearance, which lends itself naturally to have more clarity like Lake Tahoe, its all water. Aroma has that Weinhard's flava to it, probably the lager yeast they use, because it can be found almost universally in their beers.

Light graininess to the taste, a little bitter, noble hops, maybe a cascade or two thrown in there. High carbonation keeps the beer lighter on the palate. The yeast or something still stands out, a different bitter twang, although this may be exacerbated by the lack of a malt bill, I don't even know if this is two row, this could be six row.

 734 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
2.61/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Reachin' into the old man's private stash, eh? I'm always up for a little mischief... This stuff pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises straight corn (in the form of both kernel and syrup) and what may or may not be some mild wheat. Sad, insipid smell, really. The taste brings in more of the same, though now my suspicions regarding the wheat are confirmed, and the culprit is shown to be Pigpen-style dirty. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation, a watery feel, and a drying finish. Overall, a sad, mostly lifeless little beer, one hardly deserving of its title. I'd hate to see what he throws away...

 718 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
2.89/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours clear pale yellow with a scant head that reduces to a slight foam ring. I am actual;y getting a few spots of lace on the glass. Some bubbles rising. Nice bright color and really good clarity.

I do not have a cold, or an olfactory condition. My nose is in the glass. My nose is right on the bottle. Really really trying here. Just the slightest aroma (maybe it is my breath) of light malt (as this warmed, it opened up a bit more; still super mild).

This is just over the line from adjunct brew. Light malt, some light corn coming thru too. A little vegetal as well, but that clears as the palate does. Mild bitter in the finish. Fairly crisp and clean (a big plus), and I don't get any of that BMC-type sour aftertaste. But wow, is this is an eyelash over the line from being crap.

Lighter bodied and full tingly carbonation. Good mouthfeel. Dries out a bit and that works very well.

I am really putting time into this review. I'm trying to be very fair and aware of what works.It almost seems like they took an adjunct recipe and pulled out all of the bad elements, but didn't replenish with anything good. It is not the flaw of content, but what is missing. This is a safe beer brewed to appeal to the BMC crowd, but marketed as better than that. Private Reserve? What kind of shit is brewed for the common man then? I saw 2 other offerings from this brewer, and while I usually give multiple shots at redemption, this will not be the case for these guys.

 1,467 characters

Photo of emerge077
2.24/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Best by date of "Jan 07 13" so it's well in code. Served in a tulip glass at a cool temperature. The pastoral label betrays a bland macro lager in the bottle.

Bright pale gold, initial finger of white foam with a drippy halo of soapy foam. Rapidly rising carbonation. Looks good so far.

Smells a bit vegetal, lager yeast, a little stinky sulfur. Tolerable at first, as it warms the telltale signs of DMS rear it's head.

Astringent feel, sharp co2 bite of carbonation, fizzy. Light corn aftertaste, lingering unpleasant cooked veggie flavors of DMS. Thin and fleeting feel, not much in terms of redeeming qualities, starting to feel a headache coming on also. A bit harsh and unrefined with the DMS off flavors being a dealbreaker. Big pass on this.

 752 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.56/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a yellow-hued, bubbly (soda-like) body of good clarity with a medium-small, short-lived, white head.

Smell: Mealy-scented cereal malts, incredibly faint citrus, and a slight touch of DMS. Not diggin' it, Henry.

Taste: Flaccid cereal maltiness with a sweet edge to it kept in check by a slight sulfury hint. Very weak citrus hop character. Lightly bitter. Drying, crackling finish from the carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, but watery. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Insufficient on many levels.

 595 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
3.25/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a light, clear gold with a foamy white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Aromas of cracker, biscuit, minerals, straw, and grass are apparent on the nose. I'm not picking up any of the lemon and lime scents I generally associate with Cascade hops.

T: Notes of mineral, biscuit, grass, straw, and minerals are balanced by subtle traces of pine, lemon, and lime. The finish is dry and clipped with notes of minerals, lemon, and biscuit most noticeable.

M: Light-to-medium in body, crisp, and dry. Carbonation is quite active. Very drinkable.

O: This one is just kind of meh. I mean it's really not bad for the style, but it is also not great either. Just sort of a mediocre effort. I wouldn't turn it down if it were offered to me or if it were the best option I had on-tap, but I highly doubt I would go out of my way to track it down again.

 851 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.42/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1 1/4" finely frothed white head of average life. The body is the classic clear straw yellow but seems a touch brighter. Smells of malt and mild hops, and less grassy than some other BMCs. Taste is a light smooth malt, very clean, with cracker undertones and a slow zing of a fizz. Easy drinking, uplifting, satisfying, yet not a big departure from mainstream lagers either. Decent. Note although it's apparently an Oregon brand mine came from Milwaukee.

 463 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.03/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Damn after really enjoying the amber lager I am irate to see such a low rating for this beer. I will not let this distract me from my own personal one.

A - Wow is that clear. Granted I have seen a lighter shade of yellow but I guess I expected a deeper hue of golden yellow. Head is fairly good giving me a 1/2 inch that takes a while to settle despite the fizzy nature of the style.

S - Faint corn and adjacent lager smells. I do have to say it doesn't smell skunky one bit but as mild as other brewery takes on the style. Eh...

T - Simple, refreshing, and well mild. Corn is there and also picking up some malt, hops, and grains but all is reduced back. Simplified to woe even the simplest of BMC drinker. Not bad or good just drinkable.

M - Light and not as fizzy as I expected. Passable.

Overall I still have the IPA but feel I paid too much mixing and matching these for 10 bucks a sixer. Ow well its not my favorite style to boot.

 941 characters

Photo of KarlosT
2.5/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer at the Amesbury Beer Festival on Sep 22 2012.

Most of the beers were served from bottles into small 3oz plastic pixie cups.

Although I took notes on the 20+ different beers that I tried, it is difficult to remember all of the details associated with each beer. My apologies to readers of these notes. However, I did pay attention to my overall scores, and noted what I thought were unique positives and negatives w/ each beer.

Note that for me:
< 2.5 = would not finish the beer
3.0 = drinkable beer, but likely would not buy again or look for
>3.5 = will try to buy again in the future

 615 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
2.91/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle purchased in a six-pack at Market Basket in Somersworth. Pours a very light yellow crystal-clear body with a good inch of persistent white head. Grainy malty aroma lightly wafts from the beer. Grain, cooked vegetable, and a slight sweetness comprises the flavor. Aqueous body with ample carbonation. Fairly quaffable. Not bad. Not great. A par-for-the-course American-style pale lager. Worth the five dollars per six-pack, but no more.

 449 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.24/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass as per usual.

Very pale light gold color with tremendous clarity and brightness. Almost straw in color, to be honest. The head barely formed and fizzed away to some surface residue.

Slightly corny aroma. Faint hop aroma mixed with stewed grains and some cracker notes. Not much else to say. Pretty muted and unimpressive, in general. Clean for a pale lager, I guess.

Watery. Light hops that I can take notice to. Surprising in this brew. Tastes great for just a pale lager. Malts are quiet, but clean. More cracker notes with just the hint of warm biscuits. Could definitely be thicker in flavor.

Thin-to-medium body. Light carbonation, too. Extremely drinkable.

Not too shabby for an APL. I'd take a few more of these down, no problem.

 777 characters

Photo of jtierney89
1.5/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

beautiful crystal clear golden color with a thin white head. Semi-sweet corn husk and undercooked biscuit on the nose.

Taste is semi sweet with some off flavors. Slightly sour, a little too acidic. Definitely some strange off flavors going on, not sure what they are but not liking them. Not a good beer even at the cheap price. For whats supposed to be a lager, to much off fruit flavors. Not as clean as it should be.

 421 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.08/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

L - clear golden color with a white head that thinned out leaving some thin rings of lacing.

S - sweet and grainy with a little citrus rind.

T - like the aroma it tastes sweet with a wisp of citrus rind bitterness before finishing sweet.

F - light bodied, crisp and easy to drink.

O - it's ok.

 337 characters

Photo of BDIMike
3.39/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden lager color. There is almost no carbonation and no head is created. Very flat looking.
Smell is very nice for an American pale. A strong wheat and biscuit base has a nice West coast hop tinge to it.
Taste is nice. A very nice balance between the biscuit wheat tastes and the hoppiness.
Mouthfeel feels flat as well. A little bit of thickness, but no carbonation and a very flat feel.
A nice balanced beer. A good drinkable American pale, but nothing special.

 479 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a 12-oz mug, this is a crystal clear very light gold beer with a small, dissipating head. The nose offers mostly grainy notes, but with a bit of floral, lightly citrus hops. Taste doesn't offer much more. It's grainy malt with just enough bitterness to keep you from mistaking it from a generic macro.

I'm not sure why Whole Foods was carrying this. The "Private Reserve" makes as little sense as Michelob "ultra". It's a pretty label, but it's all show with no substance. Don't buy.

 496 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a clear golden yellow with a good fingers worth of head, average retention, leaving behind a fine, semi-sticky lacing.

Smell - Smells of grainy malt and some grassy notes.

Taste - Starts with some grainy, bready malt sweetness, followed by a slight citrus hop bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel - Light in body. Carbonation lends to some decent crispness.

Overall - One of the better reasonably priced lagers on the market. Drinks closer to a pale ale than a lager at warmer temps.

 510 characters

Photo of loren01
3.18/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear bubbly yellow color, good sized head with nice lace down the glass
S: Smell is floral and grassy.
T: Slight sweet corn/grainy flavor up front followed by herbal bitterness.
M: Light bodied, carbonation seems to be good.
O: This is a pretty decent pale lager. Would be a good session BBQ type beer on a hot day.

 327 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.08/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

nothing special here. smells like a slightly more malty version of the american adjunct stuff, bittering hops only, and in small doses. flavor is fairly bland as well, some english style malts give it a decent profile, but its rather watered down. it does have a fairly crist finish, which serves it well. lighter medium body, decent carbonation. this is one of those beers that serves the purpose of being a better than mass produced lagers, but not being too offensive to the less adventurous palate. not a beer id suggest to any of my mates, but i might buy a 6er for my molson drinking old man.

 598 characters

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
2.79/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pretty nice one finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is completely white and is surprisingly a little fluffy and creamy looking. However, I can literally hear the bubbles fizzing away. Head retention is frankly better than I thought it would be, I still have half a finger of head left, better than most adjunct lagers. I know this isn't an adjunct lager, but I've had it before and it might as well be. The lacing looks like it will actually be pretty nice, but we wont know for sure until I get down the glass. The body is pretty damn transparent, but I suppose it's not the clearest beer I've ever seen. Carbonation looks like it's just through the roof. Overall it's actually not a horrible looking beer considering everything, the body is pretty crappy, but what can you expect with a lager. The head is actually nice though, lacing looks like it will be good, and the head is still hanging in there. The smell is just your standard adjunct lager smell, super sweet, pretty sour smelling. Pretty carbonated smelling too. extremely pale malts on the nose. Overall it's just your standard adjunct lager smell, not that great. Not a horrible smell, but nothing more than a miller or coors. Taste is just the same, adjuncts, corn, etc. Very sour, slightly bitter, pretty darn sweet. I mean it has more flavor than a BMC, but it's just the same overall as they are. Just very sweet overall, really it's not that watery, which is good, but it just doesn't have anything else going on other than sweetness and some sourness. Overall better than BMC, but just barely. The mouthfeel is actually pretty good for an adjunct lager. Somewhat dry on the mouth. Also, it's not nearly as carbonated as I thought it would be, the carbonation is more medium than high. The body is obviously super thin, but for sure not the thinnest lager I have ever felt. Not a bad mouthfeel at all. The drinkability is obviously super high, it's extremely light, and it's not ever 4% ABV. Overall I wish there was more to say about this beer, but there really isn't. It's not a terrible beer, but it's not much more than a BMC. It has more flavor than your standard lager, but it's not necessarily a better flavor. Overall not terrible, but not something I really want to have again.

As I drank more and more of this beer, it did get quite a bit smoother, further backing up that 3.5 rating for the mouthfeel. It went down really well. The taste got a little nicer too, just a nice easy beer, no real problems with the flavor. With that being said, I don't really think I'm going to change my grade.

The appearance turned out to be actually pretty darn good. The lacing was really outstanding for a lager. For the first half of the glass the lacing was literally just one big lace, no wholes or anything on the lacing. As I got down to the second half the lacing started to break up a little bit, but it was still thicker than your average lacing, and it followed me all the way down the glass to boot! Really...the body wasn't very good, but it was a lager after all. The lacing and head were so great that I think I'm going to have to give it a 4 for appearance, even if that is too generous.

 3,190 characters

Photo of timtwoface
3.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

While I'm a fan of lagers, there aren't many that wow me. This beer is among that group - but it's still very good for a basic, delicious lager with a nice smoothe easy-drinking taste with no aftertaste. The price-point at under $1 for a stubby bottle is nice, too. I'm a fan of supporting Henry Weinhard's brews so I would always consider this a beer I'd gladly purchase again in the future.

 392 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.