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Heineken changes its bottle

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by CircusBoy, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. CircusBoy

    CircusBoy Savant (330) Ohio Mar 10, 2008

  2. I like how they also bought into Heineken's PR about the recipe being the "same" since 1873 (didn't they used to claim "1886"?). In the early '90's Heineken was reformulated as an all-malt lager, dropping their use of corn which, in the US at least, was frequently mocked in ads from Boston Beer Co. Before that, in the late 1940's, long time US importer, Leo Van Munching was quoted as claiming that Heineken was the first brewer to use rice as an adjunct "...to increase the foam".

    And, of course, since that first shipment of Heineken reached the US on the docks of Hoboken, NJ on April 11, 1933, that recipe was obviously different than today's, since beer was still limited to 3.2% abw or less. (Also, newspaper reports at the time noted that the first shipment of Bass Ale arrived the same day).

    (Snarky "old man" comment about the reporters in the WSJ clip- "Are those guys even old enough to drink?")
     
  3. steveh

    steveh Champion (850) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Hah! C'mon -- the one guy's name is Rolfe, that ought to count for something! :D
     
  4. I started to watch the video but when they said or I read the bottle change was being done to try to increase market share, my first thoughts were B.S! Either they are saving money or trying to make Heineken bottles look like Beck's bottles or any reason but trying to increase market share. If they really wanted to increase market share, they would drop the price for a limited time.
     
  5. Domingo

    Domingo Poobah (1,030) Colorado Apr 23, 2005

    I was hoping that we'd see the brown bottles like they have in Amsterdam. When it isn't skunked, Heineken isn't so bad.
     
  6. Here in Brazil Heineken bottles look like the new bottle for a few years at least. They are obviously standardizing their bottles to save some money.
     
  7. ggroller

    ggroller Savant (290) Pennsylvania Sep 26, 2004

    Ah, come on man. Heineken is a solid beer.
     
    misterid likes this.
  8. Duffman929

    Duffman929 Savant (380) Illinois Nov 27, 2010

    I couldn't even troll comment on this because OP used the best line!
     
  9. Lipstick on a pig...
     
  10. mjryan

    mjryan Advocate (515) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    When not skunked as fuck, Heineken ain't a half bad beer.
     
  11. To rescue flagging sales? Hmm.
     
  12. Skoallrebel

    Skoallrebel Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2012

    couldnt they change the bottle brown so it stops tasting like a skunk!
     
  13. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (490) California Dec 11, 2010

    I've never had it not skunked. I thought it was supposed to taste like that.
     
    Mullinger1980 likes this.
  14. tectactoe

    tectactoe Champion (845) Michigan Mar 20, 2012

  15. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,320) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    That's why I occasionally buy it in cans.
     
    Reneejane and mjryan like this.
  16. When I first read the post I hoped they were changing the bottle color to brown to address the all to common skunked experience. Making it taller and sleaker for sales increase, WTF.
     
    Sunhunters likes this.
  17. steveh

    steveh Champion (850) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Not at all. Try it in cans or on tap and you'll see there is no light-struck ugliness and it's a pretty decent light lager -- if that's what you have a taste for at the time.
     
  18. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (490) California Dec 11, 2010

    I have, and it still tasted like skunky pisswater. I also had it in Europe numerous times, and thought it sucked over there too.

    I've never actually had one that didn't taste skunky. Probably one of my least favorite beers in existence.
     
  19. steveh

    steveh Champion (850) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    I have the feeling that you, like many others, don't understand what "skunk" actually is. Many light lagers will have a mild hint of DMS, which comes across as a cooked vegetable character -- but that is not skunk and usually isn't as pungent. Others can have a grassy or spicy note from hops -- but that is not skunk and far from being as pungent.

    Skunking comes from light effecting the beer, hard to light-strike beer in a can or keg. Brown bottles can block the light well, but even they can run foul with too much exposure.

    I've had Heineken that wasn't skunked and very fresh. It has a good malt profile and no skunkiness at all, and I stand by my last statement (as do many others).

    It's not barley wine, IPA or imperial stout, but it's not pretending to be either.
     
    Reneejane, drtth and jesskidden like this.
  20. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (490) California Dec 11, 2010

    I understand full well what skunk is. In the most technical sense, it's when UV light degraedes isohumulones into undesirable compounds (thiols) which contribute the skunky taste to the beer. Beer skunking can happen in as little as 30 minutes of exposure to light.

    My use of the word "skunked" was partially in jest, though somewhat inaccurate. I am well aware that light is the only thing that "skunks" beer, and the canned and kegged Heineken I had probably wasn't technically "skunked."

    That aside, I still think every Heineken I've ever had has tasted terrible. Even the canned and kegged versions. It is likely that my response is psychosomatic from so many years of trying skunked bottles, the green label is an instant turnoff.

    I love good light lagers. I have had many beers of that style that have tasted excellent. Heineken is not one of them.
     
    SatlyMalty likes this.
  21. steveh

    steveh Champion (850) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Ah hah.

    An opinion, everyone has them.

    You mentioned psychosomatic, it would be interesting for you to try a blind tasting of a few beers side-by-side. It can prove very revealing. I'm not saying Heineken is the best light lager you can find, far from it, but I think it gets a real bad rap because so many have had so many bad experiences -- blame that damned marketing department for the green bottle.

    Me, I've had both good and bad and they haven't deterred me from the opportunity to try a fresh Heineken if I can.
     
  22. I actually enjoy it just for the super skunky flavors....
     
  23. steveh

    steveh Champion (850) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Skunk is aroma, not really flavor. Sorry man. ;)
     
  24. Mosstrooper

    Mosstrooper Savant (415) California Jul 17, 2008

    Photo, because I was too lazy to watch the video. Found the picture, 'cause I can't be the only lazy BA with spotty internet:

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Aforaker

    Aforaker Aspirant (30) Oct 10, 2012


    Couldn't agree more. Heineken is something like the standard of mediocrity. Can't say it sucks. Can't say its any good. Perfectly mediocre. And way way over priced. A+ to their marketing department. Somehow this product is relevant and oddly popular. Beats me...
     
  26. Having it not skunked is as easy as buying cans instead of bottles.
     
    Cubatobaco likes this.
  27. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (490) California Dec 11, 2010

    And the sensation of flavor is comprised of both taste and smell. Without smell, you wouldn't be able to taste complex flavors and would be limited to the five basic taste sensations.

    So "skunkiness" definitely contributes to the flavor of the beer. ;)

    Yeah we already discussed this above. My word skunked was inappropriate, but I was implying that the beer sucks.

    I did this last weekend with family. We used Heineken out of a can, Pilsner Urquell, Stella and Harp. Not surprisingly, I could tell which one was Heineken and it was by far my least favorite. There is something about that beer that tastes like sh!t, and i don't think it can be fixed by cans.
     
    dianimal and SatlyMalty like this.
  28. steveh

    steveh Champion (850) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Sure, but if you try to dissect it down you really can't "taste" a skunk character. Try drinking a skunked beer while holding your nose, no real flavor.

    To your Heineken aversion, well -- sounds like that's just what it is. Surprised you liked the Harp more than the Heineken.

    But here's a question, was it truly blind? Or did you know what beers you had for the tasting -- that can sway your assessment as much as anything, "I know one of these is Heineken... it's gonna make me sick..."
     
  29. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (490) California Dec 11, 2010

    Alright, you've decided to dive into semantics based upon your previous erroneous statement. I'll bite. Taste is defined as "the sensation of flavor perceived in the mouth and throat on contact with a substance." Flavor is defined as "the distinctive quality of a particular food or drink as perceived by the taste buds and the sense of smell."

    Your second sentence agrees with my previous claim.

    I didn't love any of the beers - it's just not my style. But I definitely thought Harp edge out Heineken.

    In regards of it being "truly" blind - I didn't know which beer was which prior to tasting them. I couldn't see the pouring of the beer, nor am I familiar with what each beer looks like outside of the bottle.

    That's all that is really needed to have a blinded taste test. Since I don't really like any of the beers I tried (and wouldn't order them at a bar,) there was no lopsided bias against any of the samples. So yes, it was truly blind.
     
  30. steveh

    steveh Champion (850) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    :rolleyes: Sorry that I can disseminate between my senses when I want to.

    What was that about semantics? :D

    The fact that you say you didn't like any of them to begin with is lopsided from the start. And while you may not have known which beer came from which bottle, you still knew that one of those beers was going to be that one beer you really can't stand. No, no bias at all.
     
  31. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (490) California Dec 11, 2010

    0 for 2. I said "lopsided bias." That was regarding bias inherent in the blinded tasting, which is what people try to avoid by blinding a test in the first place. Your logic is failing you.

    You don't really know what bias means in regards to blinded tests, do you?

    I was not comparing beer I didn't like to beer I liked. Let me rephrase that for you. I did not put Heineken, a beer I dislike, up against other beers I know I like. I did, however, blindly sample four beers that I know I don't like. Therefore, there was no inherent bias in the test, since they all suck. Heineken just happens to suck the most.

    Seriously, you are being nitpicky and completely wrong. Time to stop this nonsense.

    It is very clear you are not a scientist, nor a statistician, and you are offended when someone says Heineken sucks. Good talk.
     
  32. steveh

    steveh Champion (850) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Really. This is not inherent or lopsided?

    I never said I was offended, just marveling at such obstinance.

    Could not have said it any better.
     
  33. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (490) California Dec 11, 2010

    You still don't understand. But that's to be expected, since you think Heineken is "decent." And you don't know the difference between taste receptors, taste, and flavor. And you don't know what disseminate means. And you claim I'm obstinate, when you are the one formulating counter-arguments using the same viewpoint as me.

    So no, it doesn't surprise me that you have no idea what "bias" means in a blinded experiment.
     
  34. steveh

    steveh Champion (850) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Uh, no -- Seems you are the one who has a comprehension problem now.

    Just because Heineken doesn't "offend" me doesn't mean I have faulty taste receptors, they work just fine -- from HB Helles to Sam Smith Imperial Stout. I just don't find beers distasteful because they aren't incredibly different or packed with overdone character. Do I think Heineken is the best beer for anyone to try? Of course not, but I'm never going to refer to it as pisswater either -- there are plenty others to wear that crown.

    That's the whole gist of my opinion on your irrational, overblown dislike of a pretty tame, unassuming beer (when stored and served properly, of course). And now, as you attempted to so eloquently state earlier, time to move on.
     
  35. The only sensory information your tongue gives is the balance of six basic tastes. The balance between sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami, and metallic. Everything else is your nose. You wouldn't taste banana and clove in a weissbier if you had no sense of smell.
     
  36. drtth

    drtth Poobah (1,040) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    Indeed the sense of smell makes such a strong contribution to flavor that it can over ride the sense of taste leading you to believe you are picking up the flavors of what you are smelling when you are actually tasting something else entirely.
     
  37. Not quite what I mean. What I mean is that, were you to lose your sense of smell entirely, you would no longer be able to differentiate between flavours. All you would have is a balance sweet, sour, salt, bitter, umami, and metallic tastes.
     
    jtmartino likes this.
  38. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (490) California Dec 11, 2010

    Don't worry about trying to explain it to him, he won't understand. :)

    He fails to grasp that tastebuds contribute only a very basic part of what people perceive as "taste" or "flavor." Most "flavor" characteristics from food come from olfactory glands (the nose.)
     
    mintjellie likes this.
  39. Exactly!
     
  40. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Advocate (725) Oklahoma Oct 22, 2010

    Couldn't recognize it without the skunk!
     
    jtmartino likes this.