Heileman's Special Export | Pabst Brewing Company

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Heileman's Special ExportHeileman's Special Export
114 Ratings
Heileman's Special ExportHeileman's Special Export

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Dortmunder / Export Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by elmocoso on 08-21-2002

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 114 |  Reviews: 56
Photo of Rollmeaway2loadout
3.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of kojevergas
2.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75


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Photo of ChopperSmith
2.1/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I grabbed one at a friends house, for old times sake. So, here goes...

Appearance: Pours a pale yellow color with a thin white head that fades fast. Little or no lacing.

Smell: Mainly whiffs of corn, grains and alcohol. Slight stale beer smell and slight skunk.

Taste: Sweet and thin with corn and alcohol the main flavors. The carbonation masks the bite of the alcohol a bit, and leaves a crisp dry and acidic corn flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Thin and heavily carbonated, especially from the bottle. A little less carbonated if you pour into a glass and let it breathe for a few minutes. Leaves an acidic alcohol tang on the tongue on the finish.

Overall: It has been a long time since I've had this beer. We used to drink it when I was young (16-18) to get buzzed fast. It's around 6.7% ABV, much stronger than the usual 4% Miller High Life, Bud, or PBR we used to drink back then. It also has that strong acidic alcohol taste, which I don't like now. Back in the day it was the best "bang for the buck" besides the really awful tasting malt liquor stuff. But, with all the decent beers out there now, I never need to drink this crap again.

 1,154 characters

Photo of warpedrevolution
3/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of zaraspook
2.23/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Schlitz74
2.15/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

This beer is neither good or bad, there is nothing special about this beer, it can be hard to find and is not worth the trouble.

128 characters

Photo of Chaz
3.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a brilliant, pale gold in color -- a bit darker than your average American Pale Lager. Fairly good retention (and fairly good lacing) on the barely off-white head. First impression is it's at least average for the style.

Carbonation looks normal in the glass -- streams of very small and uniform-sized bubbles. It's worth noting up front that I typically drink this one straight from the can at my favorite local dive, even though they often offer me a shaker pint. ; )

If this were an perfectly average American Pale Lager I'd think there wouldn't be much of anything going on in the aroma department. But in this beer there's at least a nice character of pale, base malt (shades of a good Helles?) in addition to a clean (and neutral) lager / yeast character. Not much in the way of hops of course, aside from a light grassy character and the barely-discernible twang of citrus zest. But to that end it's much as I've come to expect from Euro imports in the same style.

On that note, some think of the Export / Dortmunder Export style in particular as little more than a stronger Munich-style Helles, but that's never been my impression. I've always considered Exports to have less malt subtlety than is typical of a good Helles, along with being stronger and more bitter / dry. To that end Dortmunder Export was the pale European style which would always left me wanting a Pils rather than another one of the same.

Oh well, on to the palate.

Semi-sweet on the first sip, with a bit of hops half-way through (some of that lemon rind character from the nose) and overall a really well-balanced impression, leaning toward dry finish and even some biscuit malt notes! Carbonation is as expected --lighter-- but not without some effect across the tongue and upper palate.

The bitterness (which I especially prize in a Pils) is rather light in this one, but there's just enough.

Although the recipe has changed a lot over the years, I know that the brewery (Pabst generous hosts at Miller, mostly) have always tried to keep the various "heritage" recipes in the Pabst portfolio fairly distinct, and this one has always been a fairly decent American approximation of an Export -- even while being packaged (30 packs!) for the "Price"-driven buyer.

I keep coming back to the base malt, and even knowing that there's a corn adjunct in here, I can't knock that so much as I can marvel at the rather good drinkability and balance, along with an actual grain/grainy character to the malt.

The mouthfeel is good, and as with the Light version, it is fuller / richer than I expect from the style. Likewise, this is a very, very clean beer with no off-flavors.

It's still pretty good for what it is, and better than average for a American Pale / Adjunct Lager.

Served in a Dave's Brewfarm "imperial pint" glass : )
Best-by date: NOV0716 (bottom of can)

 2,881 characters

Photo of HopliteMpls612
3.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of beer-fan-1
3.09/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of Beginner2
2.8/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of JohnnyLaw
2.84/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Average lager. Mild taste, mild aroma, usual color and head. If you prefer a more robust tasting lager, then this will feel "light". Ignore the noobs rating this low, it's an average beer.

 190 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
2.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - The beer poured a hazy yellow color with a bubbly white head.

Smell - I think the beer carries the aroma of walking into a dive bar. Cereal grains, in liquid form, are spilled on the floor.

Taste - My first impression is dry grass. Then, the cereal grains make their appearance before fading to a dry cereal aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The beer is thin, but the cereral grains stick around for a while.

Overall - It is better than the majority of American Adjunct lagers.

 486 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.1/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Weak yellow sauce, super weak head that looks more like residue on top. Oxidized skunkiness.

Bitter, thin, light body, shitty hop schedule, corn. Sweet, unbalanced. I really can't envision any situation, hot, chicks, whatever, where this should come into play. Avoid.

 275 characters

Photo of dmadsen
2.34/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Photo of firkingroovin
3/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Wer34truh
2.15/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Miniscule head with massive carbonation. A very lively looking beer.

Smells like your regular dish-watery lager. Taste is pretty much reflective of such. A tad sweet, otherwise it's just generic. No better or worse than any other macro-lager. But as far as Pabst Brewing goes, I prefer their flag-ship beer.

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Photo of iRun2Beer
2.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of jpuetz
1.5/5  rDev -46%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Photo of kduke42
4.22/5  rDev +51.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think this is a "consider the whole picture" winner of a beer. Generally cheaper to buy than Bud Light, its taste really captures some of a good, smooth German beer. It's not a 'prize winner,' in a straight up taste competition with fine craft beers or good imports, but it's a very drinkable beer. "Lawnmower beer" pricing, but way better than lawnmower beer taste.
I wish this was more readily available in my area. I can only find it on trips.

 450 characters

Photo of krome
2.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of jgunther71
3/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of alehman
2.77/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

When I'm not drinking PBR between craft beers, I have Special Export. It's a decent tasting beer with an ABV of 5% compared to PBR at 4.74 (I called PBR on this one.)

A simple adjunct lager-like brew with a grainy taste and smell with medium carbonation that is fitting for a warm day and a lighter beer.

Overall, it is a mediocre beer. I love dark stouts and porters, so anything else seems like water, but I do enjoy a nice cheap Special Export from time to time.

 469 characters

Photo of rderedin
2.85/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Dinobambam
2.35/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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Photo of misternebbie
2.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

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Heileman's Special Export from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.78 out of 5 with 114 ratings