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Hoegaarden Original White Ale | Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

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1,729 Reviews
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Hoegaarden Original White AleHoegaarden Original White Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 07-08-2001

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Reviews: 1,729 | Ratings: 5,018
Photo of Bierschenker
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

*Can: 33cl
*Alcohol: 4,9%
*Place beer was reviewed: Op kot, Lange Ridderstraat 19/3, B-2800 Mechelen

Hoegaarden is one of my favourite beers. It is a very drinkable beer (read: I can have a lot of them before getting pissed! Because come on, there is a time of reviewing and a time of drinking). You will see that though it is available throughout the year, most Hoegaarden will be sold during the summer. On very hot summer days you will see a lot of people enjoying an ice cold Hoegaarden with some lemon and ice cubes floating in the beer.

Hoegaarden is a classical Witbier, but nevertheless one of my favourites because of it’s richness in flavours. When you pour it in the real Hexagonal glass it will give you a very wild and foggy white-yellowish beer. Even with al the sparkling activity of this beer, the true art is getting a beautiful head. The odour gives you a very warming and fulfilling feeling. It has some spices and lemon in it.
Your first taste gives you a storm on the tip of your tongue, it’s a very carbonated beer. Then a refreshing flavour of citrus, hop and spices follows. It also gives the feeling of being creamy. This is also caused by the fact that the beer contains yeast.
I personally find this beer most enjoyable. I have had a lot of them in the past and more is yet to come. On-tap this beer is enjoyed at it’s best. But the can’s and bottles are ok. The problem with the Witbier on-tap is that it has to flow very regularly. In summer this not really a problem. The yeast is still active, and it works at the end of the installation. When the beer is left in the system for several hours, it can give you a foul tasting brownish beer. That’s why when you pour in a Hoegaarden on-tap, you should let the first beer flow away. A lot of bartenders don’t do this. Money above the love for the beer.

Ut vivat, crescat, floreat!

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Photo of spikemoves
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap in London last month and it was divine. It is served with a lemon which accents the spicey and citrus tastes. The smell is of spices and lemon or orange peels. It came in the Hoegaarden Hexagonal serving glass which accentuates the experience. In the glass it is cloudy white with a little bit of yellow mixed in. The smell is of spices. If poured correctly (a technique which I have since mastered with my own Hexagonal glass and the Hoegaarden bottles I get at my liqour store) the head just hits the tips of the glass adding about half an inch to and inch at the top. Highly Recommended. This is my favorite Witbier.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally tried this on tap at Ri Ra's in Charlotte after having a dozen chances before. Excellent witbier to say the least. Served with a lemon slice which affected the true taste. Sweet malts and hazy appearance. Could have drank this the entire evening but wanted to try some onther new ones as well. My wife really enjoyed this one as well.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with use by date 3/23/06

poured with nice white head

very smooth and refreshing, classic belgian white ale
very drinkable, excellent example of this type beer

one of my favorite types of beer, and one of the finest beers I've had recently, highly recommended

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz., best before October 5, '05. Served chilled in an imperial pint glass. The beer pours a very pale, cloudy yellow/straw color with a 2 finger white head that doesn't leave lacing but remains until the end. Lots of bananas, coriander, and lemon in the nose, along with a hint of orange. The flavor is essentially the same but there is much less flavor than the aroma led me to believe. The carbonation is crisp and the body is very thin, bordering on too thin. It is refreshing and easy to drink but Hoegaarden couldn't keep me satisfied all night because I need more flavor and body than it delivers. Perhaps this is true to style, as it is my first witbier, but it just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of dauss
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz oddly shaped bottle. Has a bulge in the neck, with a couple raised glass logo of the Hoegaarden symbol. Also at the base of the bottle is "Hoegaarden" but it is upside downs and backwards. Best before date stamped, August 16, 2005. Also has instructions on how to pour it.
1. Use Hoegaarden hexagonal glass
2. pour 2/3 into glass
3. swirl bottle
4. Pour out to form head

Appearance: Served almost to instructions, didn't have the glass. A very light straw yellow, very cloudy and hazy. Large bone white head forms is inside the bottle that I had to shake to get out, good retention.

Smell: Sweet wheat smell, a nice lemon aroma remains in the background while the coriander takes center stage. I also detect a tiny bit of alcohol too.

Taste: Sweet malty wheatiness in the start with tons of coriander, and a little lemon in the background. The coriander almost gives it a minty quality. Has a yeasty wheaty finish.

Mouthfeel: Strong piercing carbonation makes this beer seems light. Body is a little thin.

Notes: Very good Belgian Wit.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy pale yellow, almost white beer. Has a big bright foamy white head. There is a light citrusy, lemony aroma with some clove in the background. A prickely carbonation starts the flavor and leads it into a light lemony sweetness. Which is followed by some corriander and a bit of clove in the back.

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Photo of BeerNutta
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahh.. The great summer beer.

Cloudy in appearance (as one would expect for an unfiltered beer), with a citrus aroma and a thick white head.

Tastes fruity with a lingering wheaty finish.
Slightly expensive in Australia, but worth the money. Definetly a good summer beer. Very drinkable. Even non beer drinkers would find it appealing.

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Photo of BigBry
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Barley Mill in Calgary in the 500ml chunky Hoe glass. Yellowish (lemonade as others have described) in color with haziness from the suspended yeast. Short bright white head, but thick and stable and leaves some nice lace. A beautiful presentation that starts everyone around you whispering "what is that?" The aroma is quite citrusy, but clearly can smell the coriander and orange peel. The flavor is sweet and citrus. Very well balanced and refreshing. Light but still very complex. The standard for witbier, even with the Interbrew stigma

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Photo of ahking
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served to me in a 23oz. mug, on draught. Looked exactly like a tall glass of lemonade, and truthfully the taste was not too far off of that. I think I like this beer from the bottle a little bit more. Lemon-citrus flavors explode in your mouth with a bannana-like aftertaste. This is nothing like I remember this beer to be when I first tried it several years ago in a bottle (right when it was first imported to the States). Still, an interesting brew. Seemed a bit too sweet so I could not order another one.

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Photo of foXXtail
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I’m very glad that this beer is fairly widely available. It’s one of the top quality beers that I can find walking into just about any grocery store in the area, a jewel nestled among the adjuncts. I find it on tap occasionally, too, and this is the serving style this review focuses on. The main difference is that the nose is slightly stronger on tap.

That nose is bright and highly citrusy. A slight musk is present, but it is not unpleasant. The color is quite nice – pale yellow and cloudy. The head is about ½ inch and is snowy white.

The spice characteristic of this beer is quite strong: cloves, pepper and nutmeg are all evident. There is a heavy orange citrus that blends perfectly with the spice. A sweet bubblegum flavor balances out the heat. The mouthfeel is heavy but well carbonated.

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Photo of cncbofh
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sole Restaurant in Philly Town.

An opaque white colored gem with a miniscule head.
Smells of lemon and yeast were immediatly noticeable, followed by apricot and sweet honeycomb.

The taste was sweet and sour - lots of traditional wheat characteristics with nice malt and yeast. A spicy fruitiness is followed by a sour aftertaste that lingers for quite a while. Neither thick nor oily, it was a very pleasant session beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Opethsprite
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beast pours a foggy wheat color with a white head that diminished substantially, but didn't completely evaporate. The bottle denotes that this cloudiness is to be expected, as it is unfiltered. The nose is strong in grains with a bit of acidity and fruits. It tastes of yeast, hops, and a modest sweetness on the end. This is a gem, in my book anyway. Enjoyable year-round!

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Photo of Citadel82
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at MJ Grill in Lower Manhattan. Served way too cold. Had to let it warm up a bit to really enjoy.

Arrived at the table with a wedge of lemon which I discarded. I finger of creamy head. Sunshine yellow and very cloudy. Brought back memories of summer on a very cold day in the Big Apple.

Aroma of fresh cut hay drying in the morning sun, some orange citrus scent mingled with some subtle floral notes. Summer evening on the front porch with friends.

Taste is smooth, bready, cracked wheat with some mild malt taste not too sweet and some peppery spice. Ffinish is mild hop bitterness. The overall sensation is a softly balanced brew.

Light in body and very drinkable. Pair this with spicy Thai or Indian food.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah... Hoegaarden, the beer that brought the witbier style back from the dead. I think we owe much to Mr. Pierre Celis for resurrecting this style, as it is one of the most quenching styles of beer imaginable while still being quite flavorful. This may be an InBev beer now, but it is still probably one of the best wits that I have had to date.

Hoegaarden pours a very pale yellow color with a haziness that is intensified when the yeast sediment is added. If held up to a light, the beer almost looks like an off-white color, true to the "White Beer" name. A nice creamy looking foam forms and retains very well, leaving some sticky lace behind. A nice spicy aroma eminates from the beer. Obviously the corriander attributes much to this, but I thought I detected some light cinnamon qualities as well. Some wheaty smells are also present. The mouthfeel is smooth, with a low-moderate level of carbonation. Dangerously drinkable. The flavor is both fruity and spicy, sweet and (mildly) acidic. The corriander presence is probably the most distinguishing feature, although some clove-like notes show up. The fruity flavor is citric, a bit like a mixture of lemon and banana. A wheaty twang is present, and there is some light dryness in the finish. The aftertaste is surprisingly clean, but some of the orange peel flavor comes through. A light, lingering spiciness remains with no alcoholic warmth in the end.

I would have loved to try this beer before Interbrew/InBev got its hands on it. Still a world class beer in my opinion. When I eventually get to Belgium (I'll do it sometime in my life) I'll have to give it a try to see how it compares. Very refreshing and very easy to drink, which epitomizes a witbier.

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Photo of CVC
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Came in a slim 12oz bottle; served in a pint glass. Pours a cloudy pale yellow with a thin pure white head, which dies quickly with thin lace. A mild smell of citrus, lemon, and yeast. Tastes very zesty and lemony with a thin mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable.

This beer is the supposed king of white beers. Besides it's impressive history, I can see why, too--a very drinkable and tasty lunch beer.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/23/04- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- Poured into a huge Hoegaarden glass...24oz??

Apperance- Huge fluffy head, decent lacing and nice cloudy lemonade like color. More white-grayish than yellow.

Smell- Different spices, pepper, citruis, lemon, orange. Lots of good stuff here.

Taste- I'll have a glass of corriander please. Along with other different spices that I can't describe, plus lots of citrus goodness. Kind of sweet, but kind of sour too. Odd, but very good.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation. Kind of filling. Still goes down super easy because of the yummy taste.

Drinkability- This has always been one of my favorites. Much better from the tap than the bottle as most beers are. One of the most refreshing beers I have had.

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Photo of joecast
3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

cloudy banana yellow in color, but no almost no head at all. very few bubbles dancing around the top of the beer.
very nice nose. full, fruity, spicy (clove/corriander?) aroma.
heavily yeasty in the taste with some of the fruity/spicyness as well. very much like most german hefes i've had.
being bottle conditioned, it gave a rather full mouthfeel which, after consulting with Mr. BJCP, is correct for the style. though, i didnt think it worked that well for the beer.
overall a fairly good beer. didnt seem to work as well as a hefeweizen. but thats just my opinion.

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Photo of Biffster
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours with a fluffy generous head that slowly drops, leaving a lace around the glass. The beer itself is light straw colored and somewhat cloudy.

The aroma is citrusy and spicy. The coriander and orange peel are evident. There are also floral honey notes, mingling with a touch of malt and bread. There are little estery notes in this sample and no hop aroma, but on the whole, the aroma is balanced and pleasant.

The start is clean but slightly malty. Very little sweetness is evident, and the tartness quickly follows. The beer is spicy, grainy and tart as it follows through and it swallows with a crisp tart finish. The tartness and spiciness linger in a pleasant and not overpowering way.

The mouthfeel is light and fluffy, as to be expected from a Wit. The carbonation is medium/high, but there is a distracting astringency as it finishes.

Wit is one of my favorite styles. I am quite familiar with the style and brew it often myself. This is a fantastic example of the style; much better than I remember from past years from this brewery. It is crisp and tart and refreshing, with only a hint of astringency to mar an other wise perfect experience.

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Photo of oracle
3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had two pints of this at the company x-mas gathering yesterday. The difference in appearance between the two pints was dramatic. The first arrived with about 1/2 inch of head so dense and creamy that I suspect it was a nitro pour (although I've never heard of a belgian wit using nitro). It left pretty decent lacing. The second arrived with a faint wisp of a head and left no lacing.

In all other aspects, these two pints were the same. Beer was light yellow and very cloudy, as typical of unfiltered wheat beers.

Smell was average. Mild ripe bananas and sweetness.

Taste was crisp and clean. Again, a hint of banana and lemons over a mildly sweet malt.

Mouthfeel was light. Low carbonation and minimal aftertaste.

Very drinkable. Probably would have had another if the boss hadn't been sitting there.

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Photo of moocey
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I haven't yet had 100 different beers, so this takes the title of Oddest Beer to Ever Cross my Palate. Is this bananna flavored lemonade, or is it beer? Took me forever to try this one since It's sandwiched between a bunch of shitty imports at my local beer-buying location. Anyway, this beer is unfiltered. I love it when I can't distinguish objects when looking through my pint glass, so unfiltered beers get a high appearance score in my book. I've never seen a yellow unfiltered beer, so I'm giving Hoegaarden a five. It smells wonderful. I must have sniffed the white, frothy head about five or six times before I even took a sip, just because it smelled that good. This beer tastes like bananna-flavored lemonade. What I recognize as malt cannot be found in this beer. Just esters, hops, and yeastiness. (I tried one without yeast, then one with yeast since the back label says you should dump the yeast in.) I didn't notice anything about moutfeel one way or the other, so I give it a score of average. As for drinkability, this is a highly-flavorful light beer that a person could have quite a few of in a drinking session. Four for drinkability.

So, anyway. I don't like the taste of this beer and I"ll never buy it again. However, I do recognize it as a solid beer, even though it doesn't suit my taste.

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Photo of tatterdash
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy yellow with a foamy white head that laces well. Aroma was a strong citrus smell with some spiciness as well, very different than other beers. Taste was refreshing like most witbiers, though this one tastes a little watery. Very citrusy and some coriander, definitely pleasant but use a little more "oompf". Light mouthfeel, but refreshing. I prefer this on draft on the bigger (20oz.) glass, but you must be careful, as many bartenders insist on adding a lemon wedge to it... It is much better without (of course).

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Photo of watermelonman
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured to a good light gold and yellow color with a medium head that lasted well. It left a small amount of clumped-up lace.

The smell is a little light but still nice, having a bit of a citrus kick. The flavor in the taste similarly good but light. Spice undertones finish it off. The mouthfeel is smooth and light, and it's easy to drink.

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Photo of MrSeth
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my second bottle of Hoegaarden Witbier. The first nose was citrusy, but now the yeast is more noticable (not in a bad way).

It forms a decent head, though it doesn't take long to settle.

I'm usually looking out for an off-taste in a white beer. That will make it one to avoid. But this beer taste like it should: a natural water source, wheat and yeast.

I can imagine this beer pairing well with a variety of foods. Perhaps the toughest being poultry. Hoegaarden Witbier would pass with flying colors.

Well worth a try.. and try again!

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Photo of BDTyre
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first foray into Witbier...I've had a few heffeweizen before, though.

Pours a yellow cloudy colour. Smells citrusy/orangey. Taste very similar: orange peel and coriander...do I detect a hint of clove? Not a christmas beer style, but the taste is christmas-y enough.

A little thin and fizzy/tangy for my likes, but good. Very drinkable, almost like a spicy, natural orange pop.

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Hoegaarden Original White Ale from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
3.84 out of 5 based on 5,018 ratings.
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