Friday, April 3, 2009

Heineken (2009 original review)

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (742) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 1, 2010
 I enjoy trying various authentic European beers, but one style I don’t like is the green-bottled pilsner
and pale lager. Few beers of this type are at least average, let alone enjoyable. So I gave Heineken a try since it’s the most famous beer on the planet of this type. In retrospect, I’m sorry I even bothered.


Heineken’s stubby bottle shape lends it to a rough pour. The green bottle also enables the beer to easily lend itself to skunking, which is exactly what my bottle (and every bottle of Heineken I’ve smelled at a bar or party) smells like.

The body is a crystal-clear, dark gold color with enormous amounts of carbonation immediately apparent. The head is bright white, fizzy and dissolves quickly leaving no traces to its existence whatsoever.


I’m not a big fan of mass-market lagers and pilsners, because most have no genuine craftsmanship to their taste and that is true of Heineken. Many of the European beers of the style that I have tried have been at least crisp and clean, maybe even creamy. However, the same cannot be said of this beer which is just plain watery with an off-putting taste.

The first thing I notice is an extremely grainy flavor which finishes with a heavy, dry, yeast-like taste. In fact, the beer has almost of a metallic flavor, which is likely the product of the grainy taste combined with the skunky smell. The flavor bad to the point of making the beer only tolerable to drink. There’s simply no appeal at all.


Due to its highly-carbonated content and bad taste, Heineken is a surprisingly difficult beer to actually drink. As soon as it hit my mouth the beer fizzled so much it was annoying (although I’ve had worse). Its gassy composition also makes it difficult to take back-to-back swigs if you know what I mean.


At 5% ABV, Heineken is most likely intended to be enjoyed as a session or party beer, but I’m not sure who would want to drink more than one.


I’ll have to give Heineken the benefit of the doubt and simply assume I got a bad or old batch. Still, from what I can gather about this beer, even under ideal circumstances it’s nothing to write home about. It’s a cheap, imported lager that’s not any better than American brews of the type and how it became so world-renown I cannot fathom. So it’s a beer with little value - avoid it.

Grade: 4/10

Read my 2013 review here: 

Read my 2014 review here:

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