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
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.