1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Heineken Lager Beer - Heineken Nederland B.V.

Not Rated.
Heineken Lager BeerHeineken Lager Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,852 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,852
Reviews: 1,247
rAvg: 2.71
pDev: 25.46%
Wants: 15
Gots: 389 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Heineken Nederland B.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 01-29-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heineken Lager Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,852 | Reviews: 1,247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DogFood11
2.48/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Fizzy head even with an aggressive pour. yellow and full of lively carbonation.

This offering in the keg cans doesn't have that skunk I used to associate with heineken. Instead it has a nice hop twinge and some decent mild malts in the background. Grain also is evident although it actually gets overshadowed a bit by a decent hop presence. This is another in a long line of very laid back lawnmower type beer that is not offensive but really has little to offer the palate. Not the worst but far from good.

Notes: I only drink this one place. Vegas. Used to think it was cool to drink an import for free. How times change. I used to drink this only in the bottle because I convinced myself I like the skunk. Ughhh now the only way to even consume one of these is in a can or if I'm in Holland.

DogFood11, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
2.95/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured a pale yellow color with bountious white puffy head. Smell is a very sharp maltiness that is not overly pleasant. Taste is slightly of malt with a strong hop bitterness also present. Finished more bitter than malty and somewhat enjoyable. Not a great beer but OK to have on occasion.

tgbljb, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of misterscooter
2.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For a big beer, this one is alright. It hasn't lost all character but it is still pretty plain.

Light straw color with a fair to middlin' head. Not much aroma there. Just a basic beer with some light fruit in the smell. It doesn't give any indication of it being very complex.

Light malt and hops make this pretty smooth in taste and on your tongue. Tastes like a slightly watered down, run of the mill lager. The one flavor that sticks out for me is a cider taste that sits in between the beeriness of it.

If it is offered, I'll gladly take it. Not horrible and it goes down easy but doesn't give you much to write home about.

misterscooter, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of davidchollar
3.1/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

i really dont think this beer needs any more reviews. what can i say that hasnt been said in one of the nearly 400 previous evaluations? how 'bout, i like the green can with the black and white label (i bet somebody has said that!)
looks very average, pale golden, moderately fizzy, big head sticks around for a minute.
smells faint. loses some points for not having much to sniff. what i can pick up is normal pale lager beer scent.
tastes better than its overall score would lead you to believe. its really not bad, this beats bud and miller in every category, although thats not saying much. it's light and inoffensive, not great but not disgusting.
i give heinney extra points because i think it is a good beer for this category, drinkable.

davidchollar, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.48/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The original skunky beer, drinkable but that's about it. I actually have some feeling for this beer only because these were the ones I would chug bottle after bottle during visits to Las Vegas. They only cost whatever the service was like from the serving girls. I just drank this again recently and it still has that ol' skunky smell and flavor. It's not horrible but constantly present. I don't know if this is intentional or just because it comes in a green bottle. Would I drinbk it again? Maybe the next time I go to Vegas.

Manosbeeroffate, Nov 01, 2005
Photo of Shaw
3.65/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had this beer in years and years. I remember enjoying this as the "cheap beer" when I spent six weeks in England while in college back in 1996.

And when I wanted a beer tonight and the grocery store was closed, I went to a nearby gas station and Heineken seemed the lesser of many, many evils.

It is a nice yellow in color with a foamy, very white head. The head reduces to just wisps in my glass.

The smell is lightly grassy, probably from Saaz hops? It's pleasant.

The taste is fine. I can't say I understand why this beer gets slammed. Perhaps I have a fresh bottle? It has a nice grainy base which is built upon by bitter and malt flavors. I'm not noticing any off or bad flavors at all.

The body is light but that's part of this style.

I guess I'll really be impressed by one of the best of this style here on BA since I think Heineken is perfectly passable if you're looking for a lighter beer with some flavor.

Shaw, Oct 22, 2005
Photo of JerzDevl2000
2.3/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Good ol' Heine...or however ya spell the nickname of it. Doesn't taste like ass like it's nickname might imply, but it's no champ either. One of the standards at most bars my friends frequent, this beer seems like it was built on name recognition and not taste.

Straw colored, doughy, and not that deep in taste. Seems to have a bit of a "skunked" aftertaste and nearly resembles a few of the straw-like beers from the Blelgian/Czech region that I've had on tap.

It's basic, flat, and exotic to most beers drinkers that have yet to dig any deeper into what Europe has to offer. A bit more hops and boldness in the color would do this brew a lot of good - not like most fans of this will ever see the light and abandon it for something better!

JerzDevl2000, Oct 19, 2005
Photo of Daredevil
3.23/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Frank Booth: What kind of beer you drink, neighbor?
Jeffrey Beaumont: Heineken
Frank Booth: Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!
[courtesy "Blue Velvet" by David Lynch]

... not sure Pabst Blue Ribbon is the better choice .... but Heineken Lager would not be the beer for the desert island either ... another brew made big by advertisment millions rather than taste ... anyway, this one is clean, has a nice bitterness and as a flaw just some sour notes in the palate ...

the bottle I had was of course not the original one, but brewed under license in Switzerland ...

Daredevil, Oct 15, 2005
Photo of jakester
2.9/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this at Fellingham's in Southampton, N.Y. I drank it in a wine glass, because they had no beer glasses!

Pours a crystal clear straw yellow with a 1/2 finger head of white bubbles. The head quickly drops to nothing, with no lacing on the glass.

Aroma is DMS, light bready pils malt, and a slightly spicy hop smell. Smells OK, but there's not much there.

Flavor is doughy grain, pretty darn sweet, with faint spicy hops. Hop bittering is low, but good for style. This is basically insipid, but it's OK. Aftertaste is sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a medium carbonation bite.

In a pinch this would do, but it's not one I would seek. Certainly better than American macros, but it's insipid and not very interesting. It's also too sweet for me.

jakester, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of futaboots
3.08/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This review will be short. I'm gonna say my piece, and be on my way.

This beer is way overhated. I mean, it's mediocre, and overpriced. However I still find myself drinking this every now and then, and I don't hate it. Case in point, tonight I worked until almost midnight, and on my way home tired and soaked in grime I thought I'd really like a beer. All the good beer stores were out of my way, so I stopped at a gas station and picked up a pint bottle of this stuff. Most of the time when I drink this though, it's because someone else bought it.

One thing this overpriced import does better than it's macro-American peers, it actually smells and tastes like beer. Wow, what a concept. Color is a bit too pale for me though.

futaboots, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of stof0048
2.95/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I am used to drinking specialty and Belgian beers to this is a bit of a departure for me so I'll try to keep it as subjective as possible. Also of note: I did not get it on true tap, I was drinking this from one of their mini kegs with the spout tap.

Pour: Pours a light golden/yellow with a decent sized head that does prevail for a bit then gently fades to a thin layer of froth. The lacing does stick to the glass for a considerable time.

Smell: Smells of hops, hops, and more hops. Kind of a bitter smell but not entirely unpleasant but also nothing to write home about.

Taste: Tastes largely of hops and some grain. Also has a good bit of bitterness to it. Nothing special, but not a bad beer to have around for a cheap night of drinking with the buddies.

Mouthfeel: Starts out with a bit of carbonation that fades quickly. Goes down the back of the tongue with a smooth glide. Kind of a watery, thin beer. Not a bad mouthfeel, but slightly less than average.

Drinkability: Ok, so I know a lot of people drink this stuff on a regular basis, and that's fine. However, for myself this is something I'm going to stick to for the occassion of having the buddies over and just hanging out having a few drinks. Ok for drinking on a regular basis, but I prefer other beers.

Overall it's an alright beer. Definitely better stuff out there in my opinion. It's nice to have around if you don't feel like dropping a ton of money on a night or two of drinking with the boys, but I'll definitely take my Belgians or even a nice seasonal craft beer over this.

stof0048, Oct 10, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
2.63/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a strange)

A-This beer pours a pale golden yellow with a gentle carbonation and an active foamy head that you can actually hear (like soda). The body is crystal clear.

S- The smell of bitter German hops and a light raw grain smell are strong and a hint of sulfur is also noticed.

T-Very light taste of bitter hops upfront with a slight sulfuric and carbonic finish. The more I drink the more I taste the finish and it is more of an aftertaste of carbonic acid and sulfur.

M-Light mouthfeel with some watery feel to it but no fizziness.

D- The first sip had a nice hop note to it but as I keep tasting the finish and aftertaste seem to dominate any other flavors. It would be nice to have some more character of grain or hops or something.

rhoadsrage, Oct 04, 2005
Photo of petercmartin1
3.1/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Years ago this was the beer I abandoned the large American macros for. It was cool, hip, and I felt so superior to the mindless masses drinking Miller, Bud, etc. That was years ago, and a life time of learning. What was once my "apex" of beers has now been relagated to be a mediocre beer. Don't get me wrong. I still drink quite a bit of the stuff. When Im out with friends, often times this is the only other beer available besides the American crap. And yes, I still do enjoy it at home. In fact, there is one sitting in front of me as I write this review. Poured into a tall pilsner glass, it's easy to get caught up watching the bubbles rise in it's golden, crystal clear liquid (ok maybe that is just a throwback from my drug days!). Overall it is a mild and unoffensive beer. A little more full flavored than the American macros, but not much. But that makes it a great beer for drinking one right after the other. My biggest problem with Heineken is its inconsistency. Due to the fact that they bottle it in a green bottle it can very easily become skunked. I know it has become a "trademark" but they really should get it right and bottle in brown bottles.

petercmartin1, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of JayQue
3.53/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I know this one gets slam-dunked by most beer lovers, but if I have a choice between Heineken and most macro lagers at a restaurant, I will take the Heineken. Appearance and smell are average. Light gold color, thin head, no lacing. The taste is fairly good, no Sierra Nevada Pale Ale but not tasteless like Coors Light either. I had a couple of bottles at an Indian restaurant tonight (they were out of Yuengling and had nothing else there of any interest). Even in the 6 oz. plastic beer mug, they were still enjoyable and complemented the food well. I can't see paying premium prices for Heineken as a session beer, ice cold macro lagers are fine if you are planning on having four or more and the company is good!

JayQue, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of alankwak
3.98/5  rDev +46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a glass from a 12 oz bottle.

A: Light in color and clear. Decent head retension and some lacing to boot.
S: Nice hop aroma but not too strong.
T: Very nice lightly hopped, refreshing taste. Not Saaz hops but similar.
M: Light mouthfeel. I would not say weak, but for this style, very nice and light as I think it should be.
D: I could throw back may 'o these. Very good drinkability.

Honestly folks. As far a true macros go, this is about as good as it gets. Again, I'm talking macros. This is the best beer you can get at most convenience stores, etc. When some one makes a beer run to a local mart, I tell 'em "if you can't find my "A" list beer, grab me some Heinekin". Can't go wrong if you enjoy this style.

alankwak, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
3.35/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz green bottle
Served in a 16 oz pilsner glass

Pours a light golden color with carbonation bubble patterns. Thin lace for a head.

Very clean to the nose. Light sulpher aroma with sweet grains.

Thin, bubbly mouthfeel. Very clean and grainy with honey flavors. Thin and watery quality to it. Solid drinkability if you drink these quickly and cold. Heineken has a funny way of becoming sour when getting to room temp.

Sometimes A Heineken can hit the spot, other times it misses. It's one beer that is overpriced...let's be honest here and for the record, Heineken is one of the only beers that I truly prefer a can over a bottle. I'll glady pick a Heineken over a Budweiser.

Also for the record, Heineken and TBC & SAC go hand in hand.

Hibernator, Sep 30, 2005
Photo of whynot44
3.03/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light bodied, pale gold color with a foamy white head that disappears quickly without leaving more than a trace of lacing.

The aroma - that's not exactly the right word - mild malt and sulfur.

Mild grain/malt flavor with a mild but nice hops finish.

A little watery for those who like stronger flavors, but drinkable and refreshing. Should work well in hot weather or with most lighter food.

whynot44, Sep 28, 2005
Photo of funkengruven
3.35/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is one of those timeless classics i'll never get tired of. The appearance I find is not unlike that of most european lagers. Smells pretty skunky, most certainly not the nicest smelling beers. It does however taste pretty good, and it does feel nice on the mouth. slightly bitter but not completely overbearing. It is as drinkable as other beers of this genre. Overall this beer isn't really exceptional, but it's really not that bad either. Certainly worth a try.

funkengruven, Sep 27, 2005
Photo of DaveFL1976
2.73/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow, a truley unimpressive beer. Heineken pours a golden straw color with an instantly-flattening head. After a minute, there was no head to be found at all and it looked like I could be drinking a pint of apple juice. Smell and taste are strangly metallic, with a hint of sweetness. Tastes sort of corney, too. I find it amazing how widespread and popular this beer is. Great marketing, I guess.

DaveFL1976, Sep 17, 2005
Photo of dauss
2.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: from a small keg shaped can into a tulip glass. I guess I can't use the skunk excuse now.

Appearence: Light straw golden color, a rather large bone white head formed, with fair retention, and left a good amount of lacing.

Smell: very faint grassy hop aroma, you have to really get your nose in there and get any aroma out. There is some off aroma, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Taste: at first its like drinking club soda, its a carbonated liquid with no flavor, and then this faint light grainy maltiness and grassy hop flavor comes through. The body is nonexistent, and finishes with a dry sensation, but it leaves a dextrinous mouthfeel. There's also a very slight hint of bitterness, but very slight.

Notes: I haven't had it in a long time. Its so bland, thin, and uninspiring, you can't help but feel ripped off. At least the can was free.

dauss, Sep 16, 2005
Photo of jmz62565
3.03/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This lager is a big commercial brewer trying to make a good beer and making a typical macro seller..It has good color and a good head,but the smell is screaming of skunk.I enjoy this beer for summer grilling,but it is weak.Alot of people discount this beer,but it is what it is.A very drinkable beer,not good,but a beer to get drunk on.

jmz62565, Sep 13, 2005
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
2.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Okay, I found a bar that was serving Heinie from InBev's "PerfectDraft" system, using those 5 l minikegs, with a nice Belle-Epoque steel tap handle. Thinks, "a chance to fairly review an unskunked Heieken." So I ordered a draft in an appropriate .3 l tulip glass. What do I get?

A slightly deeper gold lager color than I expected. A frothy head that thins quickly. But I still can't find anything resembling a "taste." Almost a total lack of malts and a very slight bitter "tone" instead of bitter"ness." Nothing "off" about it, but also nothing that makes me want another. True "barley pop."

DrunkMcDermott, Sep 12, 2005
Photo of ski271
2.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Large 22oz. green bottle with foil-covered cap. Pours a medium-light gold with a large, white, foamy slowly diminishing head. A good amount of spotty lacing most of the way down.

Smell: Yikes, when I popped the cap a puff of skunk rushed out at me. Fortunately, that smell was only initial. The smell that followed was better… but not great. Hay, grass, sulfur and light soap. Actually, as the beer warmed up and I poured the second glass from the bottle, it seems the skunk has returned a bit. That’s a shame.

Taste: Vegetable, corn husk, light cookie-like malt sweetness and a nice herbal bitterness. The finish is medium in duration and crisp with a little bit of that sulfur and skunk hanging around.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, fizzy and crisp texture, lively carbonation.

Drinkability: When I’m in the right mood, this beer can be really satisfying. And being here in central PA, I often find myself at a restaurant with the choice of this or some crappy domestic macros. And this is usually a small step up. However, I don’t think the step up from macro swill warrants the heftier price tag. And compared to other euro pales out there, there are better ones out there that cost less (such as Aass). So overall, I find this beer average at best.

ski271, Sep 05, 2005
Photo of kbnooshay
3.43/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Massive 1pt sized keg can. Oh how i love my keg cans. This pours a piss color with a frickin huge airy light head.The smell isn't skunky like i mentioned in the review i did with the bottle. I really wonder why. The smell is actually pleasant, sweet and malty. The flavor is simple a little hopyy a little malty and sweet. Jesus, never get this in bottle form, i actually like this! i mean it is no microbrew but or what it is it is good in keg can form. Very drinkable. Watery mouthfeel.

kbnooshay, Sep 01, 2005
Photo of kmcnair
2.95/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12oz keg shaped can poured into a pint glass. Makes a clear yellow color with a light white head, not really any lacing going on, head dissipates quickly. Aroma is light caramel malt, not really anything else going on here, and I am honestly surprised to see anyone call this beer "skunky" when sampled from a can or on draft... in my experience the only skunky heineken is the stuff in the green bottles that has had some exposure to sunlight. Flavor is clean with nearly no bittering, sweet, light caramel and cream with a slightly fruity finish. Light bodied and smooth on the palate, spicy carbonation and a dry finish. I'll only drink a heineken if my choices are severely limited and never when served from a green bottle.

kmcnair, Aug 26, 2005
Heineken Lager Beer from Heineken Nederland B.V.
62 out of 100 based on 3,852 ratings.