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.