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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 DoubleJ
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled again, this time on-draft at Dundee's. The lace sticks to the glass, and it remains good all around IMO, although not as good as I remembered when I reviewed the bottle about eight months ago. Still, I had a hard day and wanted to mellow out on a light fruity beer. At Dundee's, I thought it was cool to see it served in it's hexagonal glass.

 350 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 7/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a pale, pale opaque amber. White ale is appropriate. Moderate snow white head and lacing, continuous bubble formation. Mild wheat aroma. Wheat and citrus, spicy pleasantly peppery carbonation. This carbonation is unusual and refreshing. Somewhat dry finish with lingering cardamon and bitter spices. Interesting and different.

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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 tone77
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pale white/golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Somewhat cloudy and a delicious spicy smell, lots of citrus. Very flavorfull taste with citrus and spices very pronounced and quite delicious. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a top notch beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in the brewery's glass.

A- A cloudy piss colored yellow with some clear spots here and there. Mild white head that bounced leaving no lace.

S- Nose consists of a lot of lemon zest with wheat and a yeast backing. A bit of spice

T- Like a wheat beer with lemon peels added in. The wheat is there but is drowned by the citrus flavors. Some yeast rounding things out.

M- This wheat beer is thin bodied with active carb and a light finish. A very refreshing beer.

D- Easy to drink and light alcohol makes this a go to in the spring/summer time. This actually goes down like water because of the feel and non offensiveness.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours quite hazy with a straw color that almost has a tint of green to it. The head is initially three-fingers thick and is a pale, almost white color that sticks around for a fair amount of time. The aroma is almost bready with a yeasty note and there is a tart, green apple note here as well. As I delve in deeper that characteristic, earthy coriander spice note asserts itself, as well as some soft citrus notes.

The taste has a certain fullness to it, though overall it is quite light and refreshing. There is lots of spiciness here as well; definite notes of coriander, and citrus peel, as well as other notes of ginger, pepper, and clove. There is a fair amount of sweetness here as well, it just hides or sort of melds with the spicy notes. The citrus character, in combination with the light tartness, reminds me most of lemons. There is a nice, light tartness here that keeps this beer quite light on the palate. There is a certain, almost chewy grain character here that is only accentuated by the impact on the palate of the slight body fullness from this beer.

I am a sucker for Wits, especially on warm days (it hit 90*F here for the first time this year here), where I find them refreshing and invigorating. I have not had this in a long time, but I am quite happy to drink this beer, it is certainly much better than quite a few American interpretations of this brew (of course a lot of the American interpretations are better than this), which is a pleasant experience from this once only example of the style.

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

A. Pulled a 12 oz. bottle from my friends fridge. Pours semi clear hazy white.

S. Wheat, spice, citrus, coriander.

T. A slight lemony wheat twang, a bit of spice. Not far removed from a hefeweizen. Alittle more crisp and citric.

M. Zesty on the mouth due to the spices and carbonation. Not bad though. Light bodied.

D. I could have a few of these. Not my fav. but at 4.8 its very managable.

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Photo of plaid75
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy deep straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a solid citrusy twang with a good clove spice and wild yeast.

The taste was light and refreshing with a mild orange sweetness and clove spiciness.

The mouthfeel was full and mildly chewy.

Overall a highly drinkable wit. Well worth the reputation.

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Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An anemic, sickly yellow that is just about as pale as any beer will ever be, the bottom section appears just like squeezed lemon juice. The haze (which is to be expected for the style) blurs transparency but doesn't obstruct all clarity. The head is generally bound and in abundance but this particular sample leaves a bare center and less than thorough lace.

The smell is of a zingy, zesty orange peel with crisp straw, grass and hay to back it. This sour lemon scent is a far departure from the sweet, sometimes caramelized malts of your typical ale. This has a peppery spice (or more accurately, coriander spice) and a tangy, acidic, fruity persona that typifies the witbier. This isn't the best smelling example I've come across but it's a safe bet that if you don't like the smell of this you probably won't like the style as a whole.

The taste is quite dry and very upfront with the things it should be upfront about: stale coriander and dried orange peel that combine for a spicy, zesty, zingy taste. The predominance of wheat rather than barley is quite a contrast. If you've never tried a witbier before be prepared for something different. I find Hoegaarden fairly tasty (especially for a macro offering) but I can think of a number of others I'd favour having in place of it.

Hoegaarden was the first beer witbier launched to market since before the Great War. Considering it reintroduced the style and succeeded in reinstating witbier's rightful place in Belgium's beer culture. Eventually, it would inspire a generation of ambitious craft brewers from all over the world and turn an entire generation onto this zesty, fruitier wheat based style of beer. For all this it deserves full credit.

That being said, this itself isn't the beer it used to be since being bought out and commercialized by giant mega-conglomerate InBev. I won't take away from what InterBrew has done to pry the witbier style into mainstream beer culture but just as much praise (if not more) is due to the man actually from the town of Hoegaarden, the man originally responsible for the recipe: Pierre Celis. If you like this beer than do yourself a favour, take the next step, read up on and seek out the St. Bernardus Pierre Celis Signature Witbier.

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

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a hazy, light yellow, with a medium white head, with medium retention, into a Hoegaarden glass tumbler. Pretty much the classic wit look.

S: A perfume like mix of Belgian spices, soft citrus like orange and lemon, with a hint of lime.

T: Smooth citrus flavor, with some slight bitterness from the hops and coriander. A bit of wheat malt comes through, with a pasta-like consistency. A light, refreshing beer that is tasty and easy to drink, oustanding.

M: Smooth, spritzy, slightly acidic, just what you want from a witbier.

D: One of my favourite all-time wits, one of the classics, immensely drinkable, a great summer or brunch beer.

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Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a milky off white brew, almost too clear to be a beer.

Smell is spicy and medicinal, lots of clove flavor.

Taste is sweet and spicy with a bit of fruit. Fairly mild flavor.

Mouthfeel is OK I guess.

An OK brew I like stronger stuff normally, I prefer Duvel.

 274 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This review is of a 33ml tin, obtained in Brussels, 4.9% on the tin.

First time I have ever had Hoegaarden out of a can. I have had many a bottle or draught one, before I joined this site, but haven't reviewed them.

Poured a pale yellow with a full white head.

Aroma of nothing at first, but as the beer warmed up, citrus, mostly grapefruit smells came through.

The taste was slightly sour and grapefruit from the start, with other citrus flavours joining in as the beer warmed and the head reduced in size.

A summers day drink, not for winter nights.

 566 characters

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

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a wine goblet.

Appearance: light, pale, opaque, creamy ... very much white in appearance. Relatively thin head.

Smell: very pleasing full-bodied wheat aroma with a slight hint of citrus and spice.

Taste: really delicious wheat taste with just the right amount of citrus tang. Not sure if they used coriander in this, but if they did, they limited it enough to not get that fruity Pebbles thing going on. Just spot-on for me.

Mouthfeel: relatively light body but the right amount of carbonation so it is very creamy. Love it!

Drinkability: I just bought one bottle of this but now I wish I'd bought a sixpack. At 4.9%, it would make a great session beer.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This familiar brew comes in on the lighter, simpler side of the register for the style, not really on the level of my favorites like the ones from St. Bernadus or Allagash. It's still a highly drinkable, fun Wit that's easily accessible and has turned many casual drinkers onto something more complex. It's hazy and yellow with a nice white head, not much lace. The aroma is of orange and coriander, mostly.

Tastes the same...slight malt underneath the yeast, orange, and spices (coriander/clove). Somewhat herbal hops are quite muted, not bitter at all. Just a bit watery and will likely seem a tad bland to the experienced drinker. The yeasty notes don't pop as much as I'd like them to.

As I said before, highly drinkable, sessionable even. Modest ABV, decent carbonation, fairly short finish. Refreshing. Not gonna make a BA jump through hoops but a good choice if faced with the standard BMC offerings - you'll see this one at a lot of non-craft bars and restaurants.

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

Not a lot of options at the local Buffalo wildwings, but at least they did have this on offer.

The beer pours a light gold color with a slightly hazy, somewhat whitish overlay. The beer has pretty good head retention and lacing, especially for the abv. The smell is attractive enough, though it's clearly dominated by clove, but with some light underlying coriandor and orange peel as well. The flavor profile replicatest the nose pretty closely, though I was a bit surprised by the level of sweetness I picked up. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and the beer finishes well, with some noticeable clove and sweetness.

Hadn't had this beer in a while, but there's nothing wrong with it, and I wouldn't hesitate to order it again the next time I'm confronted by the likes of what I saw at a BWW.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This looks like murky watered milk (very faint yellow). The head is rather large, white thick - looks great. Some lace on the glass and some sediment in the bottle.

S: Very refreshing smell. There is obvious citric notes (orange and faint lemon), lots of spicyness (coriander), the wheat is also present in the smell. Some floral hops.

T: Very refreshing. The coriander is complemented with a nice pepper tone. The citric notes from the smell are also present in the taste. Yeast is noticable as well as the wheat.

M: The aftertaste is rather short, some sweetness though. Medium body and a tickeling sencation from the small bubbles.

D: Nice, really nice refreshing summer beer. I've got a friend that told me he had this beer with craw-fish (swedish style) and it was the best thing ever - I'm going to try that next fall.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 330 ml bottle marked 15/03/10-T-02217-3511 and sampled on June 5, 2009. The pour almost looks as thin as water when it fist spills from the bottle but within a moment it evolves into a very cloudy but pale yellow. Not a significant amount of head or lacing. The aroma is full of a roasted smoky composition and wheat and other field elements. A pretty god mouthfeel somewhere between medium to bold. The flavor is brimming with wheat and coriander but in better balance than other witbiers that I have had. A slight hint of citrus and tartness but overall a pretty well-balanced beer.

 593 characters

Photo of Derek
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Back-to-back-to-back with Celis White (Vansteenberge) & Blanche de Chambly. A battle of Wits?

Best Before 22/03/07.

A: This one's got the fluffiest head & leaves the most lace. The liquid looks the same as the Celis... slightly lighter than the Unibroue.

S: Plenty of aroma. Earthier than the Celis.

T: More clove than the other two. A little earth, citrous, bubble-gum & bready malt, nice rounded flavour.

M: The body and carbonation fit between the other two, but it seems to be the creamiest!

D: Very good.

I've always liked this one, but I'm surprised the interbrew faired so well!

A high quality, consistent brew.

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Photo of dar482
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a super hazy bright yellow lemon drop color.

The aroma has Belgian breadiness and yeast. Banana, spices, some sweet orange.

The flavor follows with sweet banana, some orange, a hint of lemon, yeasty bread. The finish is clean and a bit of sweetness.

A fine beer and actually stood up very well blind against Allagash White.

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

Will pour a five+ white head. Just as expected for a wheat, pale straw and cloudy, good head, faint yeast and distinct wheat flavor but what else would you expect - this brewery has it down after 568 years. 330ml bottle from Gift Specialists Oceanside, California.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gorgeous. Beautiful pale cloudy yellow body. Heady is frothy and pillowy, but light, and sinks to be just film after a while.

Wonderful. Sweet citrus fragrance. Herbiness, traces of dried fruit. Some yeastiness, not very pronounced, but enough to give the nose a little lightness.

Refreshing and clean. A beautiful balance between the sweet malted wheat and the coriander spiciness, with a beautiful lingering dryness. Better every sip. It's just so mellow and drinkable, but with enough subtleties to keep you interested. Mouthfeel is smooth, cleansing and refreshing.

A truly wonderful beer. If anything, it seems to gain a little something in bottled form. Refreshing and beautiful, and the yardstick by which to judge other wits.

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Photo of corby112
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Grey Lodge in Northeast Philadelphia.

Pours a golden yellow color with thick foamy white head. Citrus aroma consisiting of lemon and orange peel, zest and other spices. Flavor very similar to aroma with a balance of peppery spice and citrusy lemon peel.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers, although I will admit it is probably a tad bit overrated (by me and others). For the review I even did the little twirl at the end of the pour (like it instructs on the label) and actually had a octagonal pint glass. This left a two finger head and a very clody yellow/white body, but the head desisted quickly. The smell is one of cirtus fruits, most notable an orange (note: I do NOT and will NOT have an orange w/ my wit beer).
The taste is citrusy w/ hints orange and peach, and the wheat sediments make it very smooth, although it is not a complex flavor at all and the spices, which overpower the wheat, are still barely noticable. Because of this you can just sit back and keep pouring it down your gullet. For the price (almost $10 for a six pack where I live) and its easy drinkability I love this beer and, believe it or not, this is one of my most favorable reviews.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 11.2oz bottle to Due South pint glass on 6/27/12
*From notes

A: Unfiltered lemon to a tee. A standard pour yields a loose two finger white head.

S: Smokehouse banana and lots of clove.

T: As expected. Banana mash, plenty of smoke and a touch of warm caramel.

M: Kinda champagne like. Bubbly and easy to drink. The feel makes this a lot easier to get down.

O: This may not my thing, but it's certainly decent for the style. Not a expressive as some, but I'd down one of these in a pinch if I was a Wit guy, I suppose.

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

A: Pours a pale straw hazy lemon color with a thin white head.

S: Spicy aroma full of orange peels and coriander and a funky yeast sourness.

T: sour with great complexity of spices providing a sweet and sour palate that tingers the tongue. Crisp, acidic, lemon bread, coriander, with a tart funky finish. Flavor is loaded with citrus, lemongrass, and some bananas along with spicy hops. Great sour finish refreshing.

M: nice mouthful and carbonation, tart, acidic and lemony

D: very good drinkability. prime example per style.

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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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