I poured a 24oz can into a tall mug. Its code indicates it was canned on March 16, 2013. It cost $2.69 ($0.11 per ounce).
Appearance: Slight darker gold than most macro lagers with a bit more
consistent carbonation. Forms a large, white, foamy head which retains
and laces surprisingly well for the style.
Smell: I deliberately bought a can hoping to avoid the infamous skunky
odor associated with green bottles. The can definitely was not skunked,
though the beer doesn’t smell all that good. A bit more pungent and
cheap than most pale macro lagers.
Taste: It’s been over four years since I last had a Heineken. I never
liked it before I started drinking good beer and even though I can
tolerate macro lagers rather well, Heineken still puts me off.
Thankfully, the can does a good job of preventing it from skunking up,
but doesn’t change the base recipe which is boring at best and foul at
worst. From what I can tell this beer isn’t brewed with adjuncts, though
that makes no difference since the palette isn’t improved by their
The first swig envelopes my tongue with a sharp, slightly sour or oily
sensation. There’s little bitterness and certainly no actual hop
character to taste here. The malts are absent as well, since Heineken
just tastes like the epitome of cliché fizzy yellow beer. The second
half becomes rather astringent with increased sourness and other
off-flavors. It’s not terrible or awful (I’ve had much worse), but
there’s nothing to enjoy about it. This is a tolerable beer, but there’s
no reason to seek it out.
Drinkability: I’m not sure why, but for some reason Heineken seems a
little heavier than most of the genre. The mouthfeel is a tad thicker
and more tepid, though it does have a slightly oily sensation across the
tongue. It goes down easily and leaves a slightly starchy aftertaste.
At 5% ABV it’s rather pointless since it’s too heavy to session and with
this dull palette there’s no reason to anyway.