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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: 5,009
Photo of funkengruven
4.82/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has to be one of the best tasting and easy drinking beers i've ever had. I've had it on tap and in the bottle, and both make for a wonderful drinking experience. A nice cloudy yellow pours to a quick settling head. The smell is sweet and aromatic, kinda citrusy, not skunky in the least. Unparalleled in taste and drinkability, mouthfeel is very delicate, like a mildly carbonated soda, not aggravating in the least. This beer definitely ranks as among my favorites, and definitely one that will be in my fridge at all time.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a sense, it has the great qualities of beer and, in some ways lemonade. It is light, but has body to give. Drank on tap and poured into a thick, 6-sided Hoegaarden glass, the beer has a hazy yellow, almost fluorescent color about it. The draught did not allow for much foam, but what head the beer had was made up of big, white bubbles. The aroma of this beer is quite nice, with hints of fresh grass and flowers, along with the expected lemon. Hoegaarden starts with a sweet taste of yeast and maybe banana, followed by a lemon and citrus taste. You do notice some tart flavor near the back of the mouth, although it offers a crisp finish. Mid mouth, a fruit and spice character is noticeable. A definite bittersweet finish is present. As it warms, a honey taste arises from the ale. This wheat beer has some bubbles and thickens as you drink it to a perfect creamy medium with a fresh mouthfeel; Smooth and creamy, but not thick at all, and not overly yeasty. At 5% ABV, you will know it’s not a light beer, but it’s not so strong that you can’t drink a few. Possibly the easiest drinking wheat beer, and is easy to find on tap.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale almost pastel yellow with a huge rocky bright white head. Settles to a small cap that lasts the whole beer, leaving behind some decent lacing. Smell is a very nice clean wheat malt with strong pepper and spice notes and a delicate lemon peel twang underlying everything. Taste is light, malty, and refreshing with a spicy coriander finish and some fruity banana and orange notes. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, highly carbonated, and finishes dry. This is definitely one of the classics of the style, and is an absolutely fantastic summertime beer.

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Photo of Illinick
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Truly the O.G. of Witbiers.
A: Pale, straw yellow and of course cloudy as this is not filtered (note: if consuming via the bottle, make sure the pour is correct as to make good use of the settled yeast).
S: Pepery lemon, banana cloves and a hint of creamy spice.
T: The nose carries throughout the taste: banana, lemon and clove zest.
MF: Actually a very nice mouthfeel that is somewhat chewy and not too light. Fills the palate nicely.
DR: One of the most drinkable beers out there, even though the flavor has seemed to be trailing off lately in the bottle variety-but don't fret on tap is still quality.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was purchased at Family Beer & Liquor in East Dubuque and brought back to Iowa City courtesy of my friend & co-worker.

This is the original white ale indeed. It sets the bar for any witbier produced since, and if this were the standard of judging beers by, I wouldn't doubt this beer would be worthy of a perfect 5.

It pours to a glowing light yellow color that almost looks white through the light. It produces a nice delicate and crispy white head that settles to a millimeter. Carbonation is nice and active.

The smell is enticing. A great blend of unmalted wheat, coriander, and orange peel, with a bit of a clove ester. The bouqet isn't quite as strong as I would have liked, but it is quite delicious.

The taste is great. Light and malty with a little bit of a wheat bite. Orange peel and coriander have a strong showing in the initial taste as well as the finish. A bit of a bite in the finish, as well as a nice yeasty flavor.

A bit dry, but it serves to bring me back in for another quaff. Very highly drinkable witbier.

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Photo of SetarconeX
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not a half bad beer, and one that aims more for simplicity than many similar ones I've seen. Cloudy yellow appearance, with a decent froth that quickly settles down to just a nice lacing. Scent is quite lemony.

The taste is a bit sweeter than I would have expected, with a lemon citric followup. Crisp, clean finish. Rather one of the more quaffable Belgian beers I've had in a while.

A nice, all around, easily drinkable whitbier. Nicely balanced, with no one part overwhelming the rest. Perhaps more a dinner beer than a session beer (tried it with some lemon pork chops, which went quite well), but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of ReebShorts
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent head on pour which is reduced to a thin layer after a couple minutes. Poured this into a pils glass and was light pale-yellow in color and cloudy giving it a whitish hue.

Smell is lemony citrus, with some lightly spicy floral tones, maybe even picked up on some clove.

Definately, on the sweet side upon intake but thankfully that is squashed fairly quicky by some spicier yeasty flavor. plenty of carbonation here too, but not overdone. Good summertime beer.

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Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surprising, what a light (white) beer should be!! Very refreshing and drinkable, matches well with the STL heat (98 today). Pleasing lemon yellow pour, sticky white head, multi=lacing. Citrusy malt nose that extended into the quaff – which added some lemon grass notes.

Highly carbonated and tangy. This is a very good one, I’ll have to take over to the next family BBQ, I know it would be a hit!!

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Photo of JustinBathurst
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pale yellow like a cloudy grapefruit juice. Has a full sudsy head that goes at a moderate pace.

The aroma is spiced citrus, with pieces of banana and bubblegum.

The mouthfeel is middle-ground carbonation and light.

The taste is close to the aroma--spiced citrus, banana, bubblegum--but the sweetness is nicely overcome by a spicy finish. I'm guessing I should thank the coriander [Extends hand]. Nicely done.

Twangy. Like a ginger beer, but better.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a cloudy pale gold with a two finger head that settles over a span of about three minutes. Served in the appropriate witbier glass. Freshness date: 04/09/06.

Smell- Coriander and Belgian spices, a bit mellower than my personal fave, Allagash White. Slight funk with a floral hop background that grows deeper and sweeter as the beer warms.

Taste- Very subtle spiciness on the sides and back of the tongue, with the most downplayed hop bitterness lingering behind. The coriander notes are in focus more than the other spices, good balance.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Pleasant in the mouth, enough activity to keep it interesting. Easy drinking for a summer session brew, when Belgium calls your name from across the ocean.

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Photo of niangelo
3.19/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard beer-glass.

First white-beer I have seen! Very interesting smoky pale yellow appearance. Head stayed around for a good while.

Smells - tons of apples, slight fruity smokiness, smells like dessert.

Taste - again with the apples. Lots of smoky characteristic with floral notes. Mouthfeel is not spectacular, mild carbonation and a bit thin.

I'm not really familiar with this type of beer. I had it next to a red ale and Hoegaarden really knocked my socks off - I went in totally uninitiated and I think the experience suffered a little. But I shall try it again, I think I will appreciate it later...

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Photo of mobyfann
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid 250 Hungarian Ft for a 330mL bottle in Budapest.

*Reviewed on 25.07.2005

The beer pours a cloudy white base, medium-large fluffy white head, excellent retention and a nice lacing along the glass. The beer has a very refreshing floral smell to it.

Key note on taste is the pleasant aftertaste, a pretty flavorful beer, noting slight hops and a mix of fruits, undistinguishable. The beer is light in the mouth, the floral notes with the head retention make it a pleasure. This is hands down the session Witbier, and maybe one of the best overall session beers on the market, this stuff is so refreshing.

Final Thought: Belgium just keeps on rocking it in my beer journal, their ales kick ass and this beer kicks some ass too, what a beer!

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Photo of dwvarner77
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy, very pale straw yellow with a tall white, foamy head that falls quickly to complete the pour of the bottle into the Hoegaarden glass.
Aroma is spicey, peppery with a slight citrus; the characteristic wheat, banana, yeast, and cloves are all present.
Taste is standard wheat, grainy, taste of yeast, with a bit of follow-up coriander and spice. Taste is very slightly sweet, no real hop bitterness to speak of. Mouthfeel is appropriate, light and crisp, enjoyable.
Drikability is dangerously high. One could put down half a dozen of these without even noticing.

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Photo of palliko
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a lovely hazy gold with an ecru head of foam and not much lacing. My least favorite aroma is pepper (in a Zin or beer!) but here it is in my beer, with an unidentifyable odor plus some lemon peel. The initial taste has notes of corn sugar, thick, syrupy, nasty something or other, lemon pepper, and sour mash. Finish has a raw grain taste that leaves a bitter taste in ones mouth.

 394 characters

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


On tap at Isaac Newton's.

Appearance- cloudy off white with a decent thick white head.
Smell- light wheat and spice.
Taste- bananas, very light clove, biscuits, and a little lemony citrus.
Mouthfeel- watery yet crisp.

Overall- a very good beer on a hot summer afternoon. Maybe a little too pricey though.

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Photo of Schwarzbart
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale light yellow in color and cloudy with plenty of little carbonation bubbles. Head was big and pillowy and settled down to a nice frothy cover which produced nice lacing. Smell: More like a Hefeweizen than many other witbiers that I have had. Yeast aromas, floral scents and a little bit of lemon is present. Taste: Much like the smell. Yeasty and bready with some lemon flavor. Simple and clean tasting. Mouthfeel: A little creamy at first, but goes down thin and smooth. Drinkability: A nice beer for a hot summer day by the pool.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There seems to always be a distinct pleasure when drinking a beer that basically defined the style. As originator of today's witbiers, it's hardly arguable that there are any better.

With a soft glow of canary yellow color, the haze of wheat protiens and yeast are evident. The protiens allow for a froathy, cotton head of mousse-like proportions. A very elegant and initing appearance.

Citrus, spice, and floral aromas are a careful blend of corriander, sweet orange peel, and a soft peppery scent; all of which rests on a wheaty scent of light breads or bread dough. Lemony esters and mild malted milk scent give a sturdiness to the nose with zeal and zest.

Lemon flavor with curaco take the early command with an assertive citrus taste. Fresh winter wheat and pilsner malt flavors give a soft bread impression along with mild powdered sugar sweetness and crisp grain flavor follow up and easily govern the middle palate. Crisp lemony notes close the flavor along with a refreshing lactic tartness and malted milk whimsy.

Creamy and somewhat expansive early with a fleeting, spicy finish that reduces to near-watery feel with semi-dry character.

Hoegaarden is the opidome of refreshment with high character and quality. Where the flavor and aroma profiles carry enough complexity with effortless ease, the body might make too quick of a transition and surpasses refreshment into a slight empty or watering ending. Still, nearly an ideal session.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a really light cloudy yellow. It didin't look appetizing the first time i saw it but after you drink it you will appreciate it. The smell is very citrusy. The taste is nice, more citrus flavors, orange also. Also picking up some cinnamon maybe. refreshing. The mouthfeel is interesting due to the carbonation, sort of creamy, moderate though. Very drinkable.

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

The beer poured into the chalice hazy pale yellow golden with a white and tall frothy head which retreated to the surface and then lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was deeply citrusy with bitter orange peel all around coupled with a strong coriander spice presence. The aroma also contained a nice wheat backbone and a slight peppery sense of being.

The flavor was less dramatic than the aroma. The orangey citrus peel flavor was slightly present and more lemony in nature. The spice was low and was mainly coriander.

The finish was dry with lasting wheat, and then slight citrus and slight coriander impressions that fade out into the aftertaste. The body was medium light, but just a bit watery in nature. Very nice aroma, wish the flavor had backed up that promise.

12 ounce bottle, best before 17/05/06 on back label.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on 18th June 2005, best-by date was 24/03/06 (330ml bottle). Poured into Hoegaarden tumbler in the manner directed on the label, including the final "swirl and pour". Appearence was already very cloudy before adding the sediment. Cloudy honey colour with nice white head.

Immediate release of citrus smell. Taste was fresh with a definite citrus peel tang though with a certain sweetness. Had a "sharpness" to it that Iliked.
Mouthfeel quite smooth and a little syrupy, even a bit soapy.

The head diminished to a 1/2 cm but never disappeared.
I have been drinking this beer fairly regularly over the years, it is a solid (lowish alc) offering that is consistent and is a refreshing summer cooler, or middle-of-the-day beer. Also I can buy it at several outlets (even the local supermarket).

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Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Belgium brew ever. Nice intro. Bottle sez best by 5-10-05. The pour was a very white/yellow with a big head which disapated after awhile. Brew sit's cloudy with a slight rim/head. Never had a beer/ale with this kind of taste, but I like it. Taste is kind of mellow with no bitterness at all. I really like this brew and I will buy more if available, I do wish that the alcohol content was higher.

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Photo of kegerator
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

good beer overall.
pours a very pale almost white yellow color with very faint fizzy head that goes away before it builds up. no lace no white rim nothing. it sits in the glass looking almost lifeless with some slight bubbles rising to the top of the glass.
aroma was typical of a white, coriandr/clove scents with bready aromas and slight citrus peel. nothing jumped out but it was clean and blended in the aroma
taste was very delicate, nothign hit you, it was very nice blend of the flavors and as i said delicate yet as lifeless as it appeard it tingled and fizzed a bit in my mouth. very refreshing.
very drinlable and refreshing, clean, delicate and very slightly crisp.
personally I would not pay the $10 for 6 again but its still a nice beer.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Penguin Pizza in Boston, MA.

Incredibly unique pour. The middle was a hazy, see-thru yellow that faded out to a whitish color as it neared the glass. Very cool. There was a tiny head on it that was very white. The aroma consisted of mostly lemons and a little bit of pepper. The taste was even more lemony. It reminded me a lot of lemonade with a lot of carbonation. Very smooth, silky feel to it. This beer is one of a kind and a definite thirst quencher. Perfect for summer. I am not a fan of witbiers, but this is probably the best one I have tried to date.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blurry, almost milky, pale straw that is as clear as a bell when viewed through direct sunlight. Indirect light truly does give it a 'white' look. The head is white as well: bright, bleached white devoid of even a hint of color. It's also impressively large after the pour, although its inherent softness keeps it from maintaining its size for long. It also prevents much lace from sticking to the glass.

The nose is wonderful, with all of the witbier essentials. You have your sweet orange zestiness, your spicy coriander and your tangy wheatiness that holds it all together and binds it up into a neat little package. It could be a mite stronger, but it's still pretty snazzy.

Hoegaarden is a good wit, not a great one. As in the nose, everything that should be present is present (more or less), but nothing really stands out and demands to be noticed. Coriander is probably the most prominent. Orange peel is now in the background, despite the fact that I'd prefer it to be in the foreground. Subtle is the operative word here.

The beer isn't all that sweet, it isn't hoppy bitter and it isn't wheaty sour. I guess that means it's balanced. The finish leans toward dry without even approaching arid. The same spunky carbonation that created the massive head keeps the mouthfeel hoppin' and is a good fit for the beer as a whole.

Hoegaarden ('The Original Belgian White Beer' according to the label) isn't the best of this style that I've ever tasted, but it's pretty good all the same. While it's a little too laid back for me, I did enjoy all twelve ounces.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoegaarden pours a very light pale yellow/white color with a suddy froth white head. Carbonation is incredible to the eye, lacing will coat your glass. The aroma is that of lemon pepper and cloves, with hints of melon and morning dew aromas. The taste is light and fruity, hints of peach and melons arrive to meat the zip of spicy currant. The yeast is held back. A well rounded beer and one that will find itself in the fridge again.

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Hoegaarden Original White Ale from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
3.84 out of 5 based on 5,009 ratings.
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