Saturday, February 22, 2014

Heineken (2014 re-review)


3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (1059) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 22, 2014
I poured a 24oz can into a large mug. It was canned on 11/8/13 and cost $2.69 ($0.11 per ounce).

Appearance: Clear dark gold hue with calm effervescence visible. Pours to a rather small, white, foamy head which retains and laces poorly.

Smell: Pretty standard pale lager aroma, though cleaner than most due to lack of adjuncts.

Taste: I used to hate Heineken with a passion. The green bottles they’re usually served in are skunky and taste sour. However, I’ve started to come around on this brew, at least a little. I met the "International Brewmaster" last year and learned a lot about the brewing and pouring process. I also learned this beer is all-malt, unlike so many North American macro lagers. Additionally, this placed 2nd overall in a blind macro lager showdown I held with friends last year (and scored the highest of the pale lagers). I haven’t had it since, so drinking it with this newfound respect has definitely swayed me… a little.

Let’s be honest, Heineken is still as much a macro lager as the BMC brands. It does offer slight differences in character, but they are quite subtle. There does seem to be some genuine malt flavor here. A touch of caramel or honey is noticeable and creates for minor sweetness. There also seems to be some faint, dry, spicy hop character to this brew. While nowhere near that of a pale ale, it’s definitely stronger than most pale lagers. Unfortunately, even the can still seems to have a tang or astringent off-flavor on the finish. And the palate certainly isn’t all that complex, either. Regardless, it’s genuinely not bad-tasting from the can or tap; just avoid the green bottles since the lightstrike makes them drink like a completely different beer.

Drinkability: Weighing in at only 5% ABV, Heineken should be a borderline light beer. But the mouthfeel is actually not all that light - it’s a little heavier than most of the genre, but still has the crispness you want in a lager. It finishes clean, though it’s not especially refreshing. It does have the most flavor for its weight compared to other macro lagers. 
Grade: 5/10
NOTE: Read and watch my 2013 review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2013/06/heineken-2013.html