Thursday, October 8, 2015

Heineken Light

2.6
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (1471) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 8, 2015
The only thing craft beer nerds dislike more than macro lagers is light macro lagers. I’ve tried almost all of them and I’ve yet to find one I truly enjoy, though Heineken Light comes awfully close. It has a cleaner taste than most American lights, in my experience. Still, the actual palette is featherweight in all aspects, so being relatively inoffensive will only get you so far.

I poured a 22oz bottle into a pilsner glass. It was bottled on 3/19/15 (if I’m reading the freshness code correctly) and cost $2.69 ($0.12 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale straw golden color, though crystal clear. Head is brilliant white. Pours fairly large at first, but fizzles away very quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Since this was from a green bottle it’s not surprising it has a strong skunky scent. I’ve built up a tolerance to this smell over the years since some of the Noble hops tend to have a similar aroma. It does seem to fade rather quickly and once I start drinking I can pick up faint malt character.

Taste: The first word that came to mind upon taking my first sip was “clean.” It’s usually not a good sign when that is the predominate adjective to describe a beer, but in this case it’s not only apt, but practically a compliment. Obviously, this is a beer intended to be mild so it’s understandable. The first sip or two has a bit of a sour tang from the light strike, but it dissipates quickly. Eventually I start to taste a genuine malt sweetness – faint to be sure, but noticeable at least. Hops are practically non-existent as far as bitterness goes, but I get a touch of rye-like spice. The finish and aftertaste is remarkably clean compared to so many foul examples of the style – no metallic or dirty sensation here (maybe just a trace amount of cooking oil, though).

Drinkability: It doesn’t say on the bottle, but my sources indicate that Heineken Light is only 3.2% ABV. It’s amazing a brewery this mammoth is capable of putting out such a small beer that’s not utter swill. Though that lightness definitely shows in the mouthfeel which is, not surprisingly, paper thin. Though it is pretty crisp throughout and actually a little refreshing while in the mouth. Much too boring to session, but I can see why mainstream audiences enjoy this.

RATING: 3/10