Hoegaarden Original White Ale | Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

very good
1,769 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: 1,769 | Ratings: 5,187
Photo of foXXtail
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
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 +17.5%
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 +15.4%
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 +12.3%
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 +1.8%
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 +0.8%
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 +22.7%
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 -13.6%
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 +8.4%
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 -13.6%
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 +3.4%
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 +12.3%
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 -4.7%
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 +13.6%
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 +6.3%
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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Photo of waughbrew
2.09/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pale lemon color with creamy white head. Spicy chap stick aroma with eucalyptus to boot. Thin, acidic, carbonated lemon juice. Bleh, what the hell. Perhaps I will need to revisit this one. For now it was too phenolic, too thin, and too lemony. This can't be the beer that inspired so many other wonderful beers.

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Photo of danieltothemax
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well this beer is on tap at a local bar. I walked in and told them it was my 21st birthday, which it was, and the owner poured me a Hoegaarden. Jeez, it was a delightful beer! It tastes pretty much the same in bottles, which i'm drinking now. Buy this beer!

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a really really hazy beer thats pale and beige. Hard to see through and it has a thin foam that quickly leaves a thin lacing.

Smell is yeasty with some sourness to it. There are strong citric traces and a great freshness to it.

Taste is sweet, yeasty and fruity. There is a noteable carbonation and delicious traces of oranges and sugar. Some flower-like taste and a rough finish.

A very delicate and light beer thats really delicious. One of my favourites.

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Photo of aquatonex
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say, this beer was one of the first I have tried and it got me hooked into beer. But, it was before I joined here so I have only had a chance now to try this wonder on tap.

Pours hazy hazy white with yellow tinge, looks like lemonade. A little head that swirls around while lingering. Tastes include yeasts (soury) with citrus and banana notes. But, all the flavors meld very beautifully. Smoothness is incredible. It's without doubt one of my favorite beers...ever.

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Photo of dgallina
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

An cloudy pale yellow with a large, if somewhat soapy looking, white head. Nice lemon and orange citrus aromas. Starts off with primarily lemon and orange flavors, but quickly develops into spiciness and finishes with some balancing bitterness. A very well-executed intermingling of flavors, if perhaps a bit timid compared to past years. Light and creamy body which is appropriate to the style but not particularly distinctive. A very tasty and refreshing witbier which can be especially enjoyable on a hot summer day. Too bad it's less flavor-full than it used to be.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a murky, super-pale golden color, like fresh-squeezed lemon juice with a bright white, thick and pillowy head that resembled egg whites beaten to stiff peaks.

Smell: Typical of the style, aromas of cloves, Belgian funkiness and traces of sour fruits.

Taste: Fairly shallow; not a whole lot going on here. Flavors seem watered down as compared to others. Basically, what you'd expect of a witbier... cloves first then light sour apples and a drying, bitter finish that coats the mouth. Maybe even a little alkaline in taste.

Mouthfeel: Crisp with medium carbonation. Body is medium to light bodied.

Drinkability: One of the easiest beers in the world to drink loads of. It tastes pretty good, is totally refreshing and it's straightforward witbier-ness doesn't challenge your brain too much while you're drinking it.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle. Poured a nice cloudy pale straw color with a good bit of head. Had a nice peppery smell with a hint of lemon zest. The taste was fantastic. Wits are among my favorites so I've tried many lately and this one never disappoints. Overall, a great beer. PR 4.75

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Photo of frazbri
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale straw color, cloudy with a strong white head. Lemon and grapefruit - citrus aroma. Lemon zest, pepper, slight tartness with a dry finish. Light to monerate body with fairly high carbonation.

This is still a fine beer. I never had a chance to drink Hoegaarden in its heyday, but I do know it is a good choice for a summer's day. (or any day you need refreshment)

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Photo of NEhophead
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle.

Fizzy, carbonated white head with little retention. Some thin and spotty lacing without much strength. Cloudy, pale golden in color.

Moderate corriander spiciness with a bit of lemon and a touch of diacetyl. Very promising aromatics.

Mild buttery diacetyl aspect complimented with a bold corriander spiciness. As the carbonation cuts through the wit at midsip, a watery quality appears and takes away some of the ale's natural flavors.

Light bodied; thin, slightly watery and certainly very fizzy on the palate.

Easily consumable; very pleasant drinking, nothing spectacular in terms of flavor but a nice witbier nonetheless.

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Photo of Redrover
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the Elmhurst Public House with the correct marked glassware.

The beer is a very light cloudy yellow with a skimming of foam.

Nice nose of spice (pepper and clove) and fruit (orange peel and apple).

The taste is tart and refreshing. I like the way the spices work with and offset the fruit flavors. A very nice combination. No bitterness present at all, I wonder what the IBU rating of this beer is.

The mouthfeel, at least for me, seems a bit stretched. Perhaps this is a more delicate beer than I’m used to, but I have had some witts that are more chewy. Easy drinking beer here. This beer is a perfect compliment to a long, lazy, causal day of conversation on the deck or in the bar.

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Hoegaarden Original White Ale from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
3.83 out of 5 based on 5,187 ratings.
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