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Heileman's Special Export - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heileman's Special ExportHeileman's Special Export

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BA SCORE
67
poor

91 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 91
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 2.8
pDev: 21.79%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dortmunder / Export Lager |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: elmocoso on 08-21-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (61) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 | Reviews: 49
Photo of Dinobambam
2.35/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Cheap beer. Nothing offensive at all. A little more flavor than most adjuncts.

Photo of RoamingGnome
2.63/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Heileman's Special Export

Poured from the green longneck, with a best by date of 9/22/14. I drank half this right from the bottle, and used a cylinder sampler glass for the rest. This was very well chilled.

A) Golden brew with a thin soapy head. Okay retention....

S) Corny with some grassy hop bitterness.

T) Corny with some grassy hop bitterness.

M) I so wanted to type corny with some grassy hop bitterness, but that wouldn't make any sense at all. The body is light, and the carbonation is lively. No surprises here.

O) My Dad tells me this is what beer snobs were drinking like 45 years ago. Yikes... Guess we've got it pretty good these days. There really isn't anything special about this at all, but if the name of the beer was just Export, well it just wouldn't have a nice ring to it. A fair lawnmower beer, if ice cold. I can't say I was very impressed. Meh...

Photo of MikeP
2.56/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

PROS: More hops than the average bottled macrobrew. At times, it reveals a faintly European flavor. The slightly lighter in texture doesn’t fill you up as quickly as heavy beers or ales. No sweetness.

CONS: The body of the beer – its flavor profile – is very thin. Lack of flavor. Without a stronger body of flavor to balance out the hops, it tends to become annoying after a while. And, it tends to develop sourness as you drink it.

Special Ex is best consumed with food, which has the felicitous effect of negating the negatives of the beer while emphasizing the positives.

Photo of hardy008
1.91/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours clear yellow with a small white head with fair retention, and not much lacing. Smells like grain, grass, and some skunk. Gotta love the green bottles.

Tastes like cooked corn and grain with some skunk. Would be at least somewhat better if not for the green bottle. Somewhat sweet flavor, not complex.

Light bodied with plenty of carbonation. Not a good beer.

Photo of fizzy
3/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

By reading other reviews it's apparent that most people don't remember the Special Export brewed by Heileman when it was brewed in LaCross, Wisconsin. At that time Special Export was a Krausened beer, like Old Style and was a beer a big step up from Old Style or pretty much any other of the hundreds of ordinary beers of it's day. Like Ballantine XXX Ale, Export pretty much only exists in label and fond memories or earlier days.

Photo of richerd
2.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Found this at City Wide Liquors in downtown South Bend, IN. I hadn't seen Special Export in years and decided to give it a try. Poured from a can. Could've been worse, could've been better. Pretty much a mediocre beer with a mediocre taste. Meh...

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Yellow beer, mild white head, about 1/8" in depth, very thin, disappears very quickly. Aroma was bad skunky, not the good kind, this was stale skunky instead of euro heneiken hop skunky.

Mild hopping, very light body, still that negative skunky aftertaste going on. A little on the sweet end, corny adjunct situation seems apparent, maybe its rice as well or in opposition but there's something not 100% barley in here judging by the sweetness and total lack of body. This is basically just a bmc type of lager, there is nothing special about it, other than the inflated price. These are prevalent in the Milwaukee-Chicago I-94 corridor.

WTF is an export lager? Never heard that terminology before.

Photo of TTAmod
3.28/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Can with 16 Jan 11 expiration date poured into pint glass.

A: Clear, medium-dark hued gold with a fervent, quickly dissipating white head.

S: Smells of light grass, grain, biscuit, some metallic smell.

T: Subdued grains and husks up front. There's a pleasant grass and light hop flavor at the end. The overall taste is slightly enveloped in a biscuity malt.

M: Pretty average.

O: It's not Dortmunder Gold, but it's better than something like DAB and for $5.99 for a 6-pack of tallboys, you can't do much better. The taste is pleasant and unoffensive. It's readily available here and I'll grab it before Miller or something similar when I'm in the mood to just have an easy-drinking, cheap session beer.

Photo of Humulus85
3.6/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My old standby when money is tight or when camping/canoeing in wild. Thought I'd give it a formal review. Poured from a 16oz can into my trusty nonic.

It produced a surprisingly thick, 1 1/2 finger head and some actual retention with minimal lacing. Color is typical pale straw yellow with copious bubbles.

Smells of grain and wheat. There is some slightly sweet malt and maybe a faint smell of hops. Very crisp and clean smelling.

Taste is cereal grains, a touch of malt. There is a nice dryness throughout that I will attribute to hops; no real hop flavor however.

Mouthfeel is heavier than your average American lager, and markedly dryer. Tons of carbonation.

Overall, and like I stated before, this is my go-to cheap beer for camping, canoeing, Sunday football. It actually has flavor and drinkability but only costs me $5 for a sixer of tall boys. Cheers!

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.83/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Heileman's Special Export has a very thick, white head and a clear, golden appearance, with lots of bubbles streaming up and some minimal lacing. The aroma is faint, but a stereotypical American beer smell can be picked up. Taste is fuller, richer, and sharper than the average American-style lager, and one gets grain, sweetness, and a relatively high hop bite here. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Heileman's Special Export finishes crisp, clean, dry, and refreshing. Overall, I really like this one and recommend trying it if you ever see it.

RJT

Photo of EgadBananas
3.16/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale, straw color, with a big white fluff of a head that laces well. My first of this style, but I have to think this is looking good for it.

Definitely got a bisuity aroma to it with maybe the faintest touch of citrus hops, but I may be reaching. It's ok overall.

Biscuits on the taste and a hint of sweetness. I dont think I get any hops, unless it's mixed in with the usual suspects for a pale lager.

Feel is crisp, light, maybe too crisp like the carbonation is a bit much. Texture has a slight creaminess to it and it's got a clean finish.

It's refreshing, which will come in handy in the coming months with summer looming.

Photo of CorporateTool
3.58/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Special Export has a special place in my heart - an American beer that is light and drinks like an american beer, but tastes more like a German beer than most other domestic macro brews.

I used to drink from the bottle, so no real report on head/lacing. More bitter and full-flavored than your average macro brew. Pabst brands are all contract brewed by Miller, so this one is probably made in Milwaukee.

It's been several years since I've enjoyed one, so I can't give a better review until my next trip to the "Great White North". I'll edit this review as soon as I can refresh my memory...

Photo of LWG1970
4.14/5  rDev +47.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Was in Chicago for a Convention, Found this a the Liquor store.
I wish we could get this in Ohio. Brought a Six Pack Home, In Fact I am drinking one NOW..

Poured it into my Favorite Pilsner Glass, Light Head, Slight Lacing.
Great Easy taste, Very Smooth, but somewhat sharp. Sweet Aftertaste.

Got a Six Pack of 12 Oz Cans for about 3 Bucks.

Whan I go Back to Chicago I'll get a Case of Bottles to bring home..

Photo of emerge077
2.96/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A few years ago, there were a handful of dwindling corner taverns in Chicago that showcased Special Export signs above their doors, as opposed to the ubiquitous Old Style sign, with their interchangeable tagline: "Zimne Piwo" or "Cerveza Fria". These lighted Special Export signs have become extinct in trendier locales, but certainly still exist in the folds of the city where few care to look. To me, Special Export is a snapshot in time, a time capsule of tavern culture in Chicago, dating back a few decades.

Little known fact: This was the champion beer of the Chicago
Beer Society's first Fall Tasting in 1977 (credit to Steve H. for the info).

Tallboy can from the corner liquor store, $1.20. JAN3111 on the bottom of the can, still a few months til the best by date.

Pale pastel gold, about a finger of white foam that sticks at the edges, but audibly dissipates like rice krispies. There's some lacing happening, forming a drippy semicircle around the rim.

Stale grain aroma, puffed rice and corn cereal.

Floral hop component to the flavor, that almost becomes vegetal. Malt is present in the aftertaste. This actually has some hints of flavor compared to other macros. Honestly I prefer this over PBR.
Moderate carbonic bite, lots of CO2. Bland and flaccid, somewhat seltzery feel, hiccups are guaranteed.

With the green can and skunky hop presence, I can only imagine they are going for a Heineken clone here. Not too successful, but hey the can is cool I guess.

Photo of tone77
3.09/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to woodychandlerfor the trade.Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a pale yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts and grains. Taste is very mild, crisp and light, not much going on at all. Feels light in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall a good beer on a hot day, but otherwise mediocre.

Photo of woodychandler
4.03/5  rDev +43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The CANQuest (TM) CANtinues to find new beers in a CAN as evidenced by my recent visit to Madison, WI by way of Chicago. CAN you dig it?

My pour initially produced a finger-and-a-half of rocky bone-white head, but its retention level caused it to do a pretty quick fade. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Holy nose, Batman! This actually smelled like clean, unadulterated lager! It had a clean lager sweetness with just a hint of hops. Oh, be still, my beating heart! Mouthfeel was medium with a smooth, pleasant flavor of simple lager, slightly sweet with a touch of bitterness in the mouth. Finish was equally pleasant and devoid of any off flavors. Houston, we have a winner! This is definitely going into my cooler, if I had the opportunity to score some on a routine basis.

Photo of Mistofminn
3.02/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My friend brought a bunch of these to a party once. Handed me one. I'd never had one before (and at the time had no idea whatsoever that Pabst brewed it). It's hard to remember exactly what this brew was like because it was our beer pong beer for the evening.

From what I remember, its best quality was drinkabilty. Goes down smooth and easy. Taste and smell weren't bad either. Although it was thin and watery, it had a nice carbonation to it. The appearance was not impressive in the least, but what do you expect. Not a bad beer pong beer if I do say so myself.

Photo of morimech
3.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

As a Dortmunder this is a below par example. As a macro-lager, it has decent flavor and a hell of a value. Pours a typical macro lager straw yellow with a white head that quickly disapears to just a thin cap. Very little if any lacing is left on the glass surface. The aroma is a bit schizo. Sometimes it smells fine with light malt and floral hops, other times it is grainy with a sweet corn and cooked pea aroma. If drinking straight from a can or bottle this shouldn't be much of a problem. Slightly sweet flavor and adjunct heavy. A touch of noble hops is present which sets it above many macros. Has a light body and fizzy carbonation.

If I am looking for a cheap beer with some decent flavor I will pick this up. I have always wondered if the ABV is higher than most macros.

Photo of Getinthevan
3.1/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into my friend's Indiana Jones pint glass.

The color resembled a shade of dark yellow with light carbonation and little to no head. Looked just like a typical lager with barely any lacing.

Smell was high in corn and faint malts. Nothing really spectacular about it, but for $12 a case, cheapness is the priority here.

Taste was a bit smooth, with the hints of corn and a very small minute amount of spice. It tastes like a smoother version of Pabst Blue Ribbon with just a little bit more flavor, but nothing eye opening.

Mouthfeel was pretty smooth, but no frothiness or fullness existed to the beer. Pretty mediocre, but as said before, it's a cheapie and a pretty decent one.

Drinkability is pretty good. While it isn't a fulfilling beer, it's not bad for the football season and for $12 a case, you certainly cant beat it.

Photo of NOOGIE
2.94/5  rDev +5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served straight from a can, nothing really special with the look. Normal beer golden color. Little head, which quickly dissolves. Smell nothing special, and nothing pungent. Taste better than your normal Pabst Brewery Beer. Average overall, nothing special, but to me my beer tasted FRESH, which was a plus. Mouthfeel and drinkability average. OVERALL its an average beer, which is a good thing. To me its also a good thirst quencher.

Photo of SargeC
2.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer turned out a bit better than I remembered. This was a staple while I was growing up, the can has changed but the product is still similar. Light yellow appearance and cheap beer smell. The taste is crisp and an attempt not to offend. It seems to be a bit thinner than it used to be. This is an OK low priced beer for kicking back in the garage.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
1.8/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I bought this one while on an out-of-state trip to Illinois. I took advantage of the opportunity to try several beers that are unavailable in my area, this being the cheapest. At 3.89 for a six-pack, I couldnt say no, but also couldnt expect much. I dont think ANY beer is that cheap where I live.

It pours a fizzy yellow color with a quickly disappearing head. Smells malty and of adjuncts. The taste isnt all that bad, actually probably better than the big macros i get back home, not that thats saying much.

At such a cheap price, this is quite drinkable. Especially when just looking for a quick buzz this would be and excellent choice.

Photo of mooseisloose
2.63/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The old classic "Green Death". Bottle smell is corny and sweet. Poured into a tankard, great head, tiny bubbles, real foamy. Golden color. Taste is very pilsner-like. Good carbonation. No notable bitters even in finish. Taste is same throughout. Kind of boring. Good lawnmower beer. Recommend ice cold on a hot summer day.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
2.4/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz can left over from the 4th poured into pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours a crystal clear light amber darker than most macros with decent active carbonation with the trademark overly fizzy pure white head that quickly fades into nothing, not even a decent sized ring! This beer is better appreciated in the can, which is pretty invinting compared to what comes out of it.

S: Smell is about as good as the appearance with nothing to hide outside or corn corn and more corn, sort of fruity with the sweetness that comes along with the adjuncts, at least it has a smell though, better than most macros that don't even give you that much.

T/MF: Sort of astringent which is strange because no hops are present on the tongue, very bubbly and slick. The taste is much like the smell with super sweet corn and overcooked mixed greens that is, that's the end of the taste. But to be fair, it is more flavorful the the other 30pack picks out there.

D: I rememeber this tasting a lot better on the 4th (maybe I had a few too many) and better out of a can instead of poured into a glass. If you're going to pick up a cheapy make it this one but do yourself a favor and leave it in the can.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sparkling sunflower gold beneath a pearl colored cap. An abundance of carbonation keeps the head alive for a few minutes, but it's unable to change the flat featurelessness of the foam. A few blips of lace are all that make it to the glass.

I suspected that Special Export isn't a Dortmunder, but is a typical American macro lager. The nose tells me that I'm right. It's corny sweet with a mere whiff of musky noble hops. I'm sure the 'Export' in the beer's name was the fooler.

Yep, this is a macro lager all the way. Too bad I didn't enter it in a Macro Smackdown, since Pabst products usually fare pretty well against the likes of BMC. As in the nose, there's nothing out of the ordinary on the palate, nothing even remotely interesting.

My first thoughts are that SE is a little sweeter than most, with a slightly lighter body. I'm still betting on corn as an adjunct, but it's hard to say for sure. While some hoppiness reaches the taste buds, the beer certainly isn't what I'd call bitter. An early metallic vibe faded by the third mouthful. All cans are lined now, right?

Now I'm not so sure that the mouthfeel is lighter than average for the style. It's always nice to review another beer alongside a macro lager since it's easier to comment on differences than it is to think of yet another way to say 'light'. At least it isn't too fizzy.

It looks like Heileman's Special Export has a strong local following. I'm not sure why since it's really no different from PBR or Hamm's or Old Style or what have you. This is drinkable beer in a pinch, but don't kid yourself that it's anything 'Special'.

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Heileman's Special Export from Pabst Brewing Company
67 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.