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Heineken Lager Beer | Heineken Nederland B.V.

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1,357 Reviews
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Heineken Lager BeerHeineken Lager Beer

Brewed by:
Heineken Nederland B.V.

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 01-29-2001

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Reviews: 1,357 | Ratings: 4,788
Photo of Franziskaner
2.8/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Light golden in color and very clear. A fingernail of off white is present around the rim and half of the top. I smell Danish lager yeast and well water. I taste that Danish lager yeast and faint Hallertau hops. The mouth is light,crisp, and moderately carbonated.

 268 characters

Photo of JimKal
3.1/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I haven't had one in years but while visiting Europe I thought I ought to give it a try since it was on draft and, therefore, wouldn't have that familiar skunk smell and taste. It looked good in the glass for a pale lager but, for me, it was downhill from ther. There just isn't a lot of taste to this nor much mouthfeel. I'd take a SABL any day.

 346 characters

Photo of Myotus
2.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.
LOOK: Pours with a finger's worth of white foam that shrivels down to a quarter's worth after 45 seconds. Rising bubbles are in high amounts. Straw yellow in color. Lacing is thin and moderate.
SMELL: Mild aromas of pale malts and subtle sweet malts are surprisingly balanced out by mild aromas of spicy and bitter hops. Subtle boiled cabbage aromas are also there.
TASTE: Mild pale malt and and sweet malt flavors enter initially. Mild cabbage, spicy hop, and bitter hop flavors enter right after as malt flavors persist, but cabbage flavors quickly die out and do not continue into the aftertaste.
FEEL: Somehwere between medium-bodied and light-bodied. Subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth and finishes crisp.
NOTE: This was pretty decent. If I had to choose between Bud, Miller, or this, it would be this.

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Photo of SlamKing
2.2/5  rDev -20%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sometimes I have stuff like this when I go out to eat because it's easy to drink. I needs to be very cold to taste good though. It's not a very mature beer, maybe something to chug in college. Not really worth buying unless you're just messing around with a bunch of friends and want some cheap beer.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
2.94/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Light yellow, clear, fizzy, keeps a couple fingers of head. So, more or less appropriate. Smell has a hint of lemon, grassiness, rice crackers, pasta water. Taste follows; this is brighter than the Heineken I often experience. Perhaps they've been working on quality control / freshness, but I'd actually say this is pretty solid.

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Photo of Chris912
2.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Smells kinda skunky right off the bat. I've heard that at the brewery "accross the pond" that this beer tastes and smells very good. I find that somewhat hard to believe. Its not the worst I've drank, but if im at a BBQ and its cold (colder than i typically like), i'll have a couple.

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Photo of Pantalones
3.31/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Second can from the discount bin at Kroger; can't find anything that clearly resembles a canning date, but the code on the bottom of the can reads "5059528A0603." If there's any robots in the audience, maybe one of you can translate that.

The beer is a pretty pale yellowish color, maybe just a tad darker than some lagers (it's certainly darker than a Bud Light; maybe a toss-up between this and a PBR) but still on the paler end overall. There are A LOT of very visible bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass at all times, and a pretty decent head of white foam formed on top as I poured -- the fizz was audible from a foot away on this one, too. The foam has now shrunk into a thin coating on the surface with a few holes starting to form here and there, and a thicker ring around the edge with some trails clinging to the glass just above it. It's a fairly nice-looking beer, overall. Reminds me of a Peroni more than anything, though this one seems to have better retention of the foam on top.

Smell is light and "beery." Mostly just getting the sort of breadiness that's pretty common in lighter lagers. Almost comes across as pasta-like, interestingly. Not sure if I'm picking up anything hop-oriented or not; if so, it's not more than the tiniest trace of an extremely faint grassy hop smell. After the halfway point of the glass, that grassy/spice hop smell has become a bit more noticeable, but it's still pretty faint.

Flavor is much stronger and definitely better than the smell -- bready and a little grassy right away on the first sip, with just a slight bit of sweetness after that and then everything pretty much fades away. Second sip is similar; there's definitely a lot of bready, almost biscuity flavors and then some grassiness which I'm guessing is from hops, as it borders on that European hop spiciness at times. The sweetness becomes less noticeable the more you drink. A bit of a dry grass, biscuity type aftertaste lingering for a second or two after a drink now that I'm around halfway done with this glass, but as I like those sorts of flavors you'll hear no complaints from me about that. Burps are mostly bready with a tiny bit of sweetness mixed in. Bitterness starts off low but increases a bit over time, with the grassy/spicy hops coming out a bit more in the flavor along with it.

Feel is not bad. It's pretty light and fizzy, but usually doesn't come across as prickly or harsh in the least (noticed some occasional prickliness early on, but after a couple sips that went away.) Works pretty well. It's light enough that I could easily drink two or three, while being substantial and tasty enough that I might actually want to.

Overall, this is a pretty nice beer, and makes me want to try (or revisit, in the case of Peroni) more of the green-bottle European lagers when/if I can find them in cans so I don't have to worry about skunking. I have to wonder how many of the low reviews for this one would've been a point or two higher had they tried the beer from a can rather than those infamous skunk-prone green bottles; I'm certainly not getting any skunkiness here, just a basic tasty European lager -- bread and grassy/spicy hops, dry, just a little bitterness. Heineken is a decent beer that's very easy to find in cans and enclosed 12-packs, unlike many similar green-bottled European imports, so I may be having more in the future. Seems to be a seriously underrated beer to me. Out of the 5 beers I've had from Kroger's discount bin, this one has been the best so far (with PBR taking second place.)

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Photo of akdo
1.99/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this beer from a can of 500 ml.

Look: The body is dark yellow, looks like an American adjunct lager, is transparent and has a very visible carbonation. The one-finger head has a barm and recedes to a film with some lacings.

Smell: Because I had this beer from a can, you can smell the hops and some sweetness. Nothing more, nothing less.

Taste: I will divide this segment in two parts. Whilst the head or the thin layer is still there, the palate leaves us under the impression we are tasting a few drops of raw sugar combined with hops. As a result of that, the beer's bitterness is very low. Once the beer becomes flat, it oxidizes in that there will be a taste of skunk from the front to the back end. The skunk will also be on the nose.

Feel: The mouth-feel is akin to water that has been made just bitter enough, but not too much to make the masses run away. Nothing impressive.

Overall: Avoid Heineken at all costs! Unfortunately, this is a beer that is meant to be consumed quickly before it loses its simplistic taste. It is mostly watery and has a small hint of hops. That is pretty much it.

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Photo of Strat58cat
2.17/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Heineken is a very lightly colored lager. It is a light yellow, resembling an American adjunct lager. However Heineken is not adulterated with rice or corn like the domestic industrial brews. Heineken is brewed only with malted barley, hops and water. The difference can be seen. Heineken foams up a good head, retains and laces. It's not on the order of Boston Lager with its uncompromising two-row barley malt, but it's not Budsaki either. It's a nice-looking very light lager. It actually should qualify as beer under German laws.

Heineken stinks. I'm sorry, what I mean is that literally it stinks. Any Heineken I ever have had was skunked, including this tasting. The green bottle permits too much light possibly, or shipping conditions do it. I don't know why. I suppose that I could say that I don't really know what Heineken smells like. Literally, I probably never have smelled this beer when it's aroma is in good shape. The bottom line then imho is to count on a skunked aroma if you drink Heineken. My solution is to just drink it out of the bottle. Anyway, the bottle looks cool. That's what the green bottle's got to offer.

Heineken tastes good, except for the skunk smell. Smell is really important though. It has a great malt flavor right up front, with just a little bit of hop bitterness to finish. Drinking out of the bottle, the skunk aroma does not overwhelm so much. The very light malted barley makes its presence known in a pleasant grainy flavor.

Heineken has good mouth feel. It's a lager brewed only with barley, not rice or corn. The feel is noticeably better than domestic industrial brews. It's full enough to describe as a rich feel, possibly also due in part to the very little hops in the beer. Hops are expensive.

In sum, don't drink Heiney. It stinks. If you can choose Heiney, you can opt for Boston Lager with 99.9 percent certainty. Get the delicious, noble-hopped Sam Adams instead because it is so much better. Failing that, get a Budweiser. Sure, Bud is not technically beer as per the Germans, but it does not stink. Bud is always fresh and pleasant to drink. Plus, Bud is cheaper.

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Photo of PhillyFoodie
1.95/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Only posting here because I've had 3 today (guest brought to my house, of course) and was curious what others thought about it.

Drinking it straight from the bottle but I can see there is no head at all and is almost crystal clear. I guess the skunky smell and taste is from being shipped on a slow boat from Holland or something.

On the good side it is pretty drinkable and light on the belly. I'm on my third even though I feel like I just cracked my first. I guess the lack of any complexity make them go back easier, but I still prefer a single sip of a beer with multiple characteristics than a case of one-trick ponies.

 627 characters

3.07/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Gateway beer.
Skunky . Light Golden. Clear. light .
forgettable ..
Used to love it before i knew anything about beer.
I look back at Heineken like riding a bike with training wheels.
Never look back.

 203 characters

Photo of DodgeStealth93
3.41/5  rDev +24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cheap euro lager mass produced but definitely has a nice flavor to it! Has a tendency to get skunky very easily due to the green bottles! Whenever i buy Heineken i prefer it in the can! Must drink ice cold for the best experience! If i want a cheaper euro lager i pick up a 24 pack of these at my local beer distributor for around $30 a 24 pack! Overall not a bad lager but it is what it is!

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Photo of MissYa
2.17/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Been a long time since I tasted this. But from my non beer drinking experiencing, this tasted kinda like a skunk, so I wouldn't buy this at all. Quite popular to Hennessy drinkers that I have noticed.

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Photo of LouAleHead
2.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This use to be my go to cheap beer, until I discovered bud light, which in my opinion tastes about the same, and is cheaper than Heineken. However, I still like to enjoy one on occasion, especially during hot summer day.

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Photo of Gajo74
2.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

For me, not a terrible euro lager. It's best qualities are that it is somewhat crisp and refreshing under the right circumstances.(hot summer) However, it is mostly bland; not much aroma(some malt) mostly watery taste with a hint of hops. That's about it.

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Photo of Yackmo360
1.67/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Never like this beer much. Just hadn't ever rated it so I thought I would. Hate the smell. Regular boring looking lager. Hate the way it smells. Taste is not tat much better, and that's what I really care about. Feel? Whatever, didn't care.

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Photo of hopphead31415
2.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

This is one of those beers that you’ve probably tried a hundred times at a party or a restaurant and it was the only thing on the beer list that you recognized, or maybe you do know this beer but you prefer real beers like craft brews. This Heineken is accessible and so common and has a mild 5.0% ABV.

Look-It pours a light yellow with a decent clarity and plenty of carbonation trails. The head is medium and vanishes quickly. The lacing is almost non-existent.

Smell-It smells like yeast and corn with a decent malt base, but it is not very dynamic.

Taste-I get a slightly better flavor than the nose suggested, but it is still a bit one-dimensional. The palate easily picks up corn, yeast, buttered cornbread, a little alcohol, and carbonation.

Mouthfeel-It is light-bodied, crisp, and leaves a yeast textured coating on the tongue.

Overall-This beer is pretty standard and is nothing special. It has a place in my hand maybe once in a Blue Moon (get it?) and is not something I drink often. It isn’t a bad beer, but is not excellent. And in the world of Lagers, this one is decent.

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Photo of hophead723
3.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a good beer to review to set it apart from mass produced craft beer and mass produced overpriced lagers. This is a common beer that seems to blur the lines between the two, but I am here to put that to a stop once and for all.

Look: Very light gold, with lazy streams of carbonation and a towering white head. The head diminishes down to a half centimeter ring and veil. There was very loose lacing that did not last. When everything is settled the veil turns weird and choppy that breaks up with each sip and looks like rotten milk or yogurt. Not very appealing.

Smell: The aroma presents an upfront rush of lager yeast, a corn-like sweetness, and a bit of milled grain. It is somewhat one dimensional but is somehow mildly appealing.

Taste: Light malty corn sweetness, a slight tang from the yeast, a bit of dry green apple, and watery alcohol. It is loose overall but undeniably drinkable, especially on a hot day.

Feel: Light, crisp, loose, and slightly dry at the end. It is just about as light as you can get a lager without making it a light beer. The flavor relies on yeast and is completely void of hops.

Overall: This beer is simple to sum up; it is too light to really call it craft beer and would be good on a hot day but with so many other great choices you are better off with an easy drinking pale ale or bock without sacrificing flavor.

 1,368 characters

Photo of zac16125
3.04/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass
lots of numbers on the bottle but no discernible dates

A: Crystal clear, pale light yellow, 2 fingers of dense appearing white colored head which dissipates down fairly slowly but leaves essentially no lacing. 3.25

S: Sweet malts, floral,some noble-like hop spice, biscuit and a honey like sweetness. Surprisingly good nose for the style3.5

T: Flavor isn’t as good as the aroma. Some bitterness up front, and floral notes; along with sweet biscuit. Those flavors are pretty nice but thats a fairly unpleasant, burnt plastic-esque off flavor thats distracting and is quite prominent on the aftertaste. 2.75

M/D: Medium body, appropriate carbonation, drinkability is average. 3

O: Overall, better than I remembered it but not something I really drink unless there are close to no other options. 3

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Photo of leantom
2.69/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Perhaps not as bad as the ratings indicate. True, it is a corny/grainy macro brew, but it has more nuance than some of the other macros. Here goes:

A: Clear yellow. Well-carbonated. Head is small but, surprisingly, the lacing is decent (better than most macros).

S: Mixture of corn, cereal grains, and Pilsner hops. Surprisingly floral hops - pretty unusual for a macro (corn usually predominates).

T: Lots of grainy cereal and corn. Hops are faint but adequate for the style.

F: Smooth and crisp. Not bad.

O: Not a bad macro.

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Photo of nach0king
3.31/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Yep, I'm the guy who actually enjoys Heineken!

L: Appealingly pale. It lacks much head and lacing but its energetic carbonation and straw color serve it well.

S: Sweeter than it will end up tasting, and a bit of grassiness.

T: A surprisingly complex flavor profile; some bitterness on the end but the yeast and grain leading up to it is the signature Heineken taste. Line this up next to other macro lagers and you'll identify it thanks to the yeast and roasty flavors.

F: Meh, average.

O: Draft Heineken is quite often the only 'import' choice when I travel overseas and it's one that I'll gratefully take ahead of many local brews. A very solid choice - perhaps not one to choose when you're at the liquor store, but it's very reliable otherwise.

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Photo of hopley
4.27/5  rDev +55.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really like Heineken - it just hits the spot sometimes. The intentionally skunky smell and taste, and the yeasty back of the mouth feel overpowers the adjuncts, and lack of body for me. Certainly not a "craft beer" - but it can be mass produced and taste good, at the right time of course!

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Photo of schoolboy
3.14/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

What does the name of this style mean? Well, it sort of means euro-trash, doesn't it. So Heine needs to be judged with other euro-trash, and I've had more that were worse than better. That said, my life is too short to drink beer I don't care for.

It looks OK in the glass. The bubbles are a little large. I am drinking an old can - my dad is 86 and just can't drink any alcoholic beverages any more, so I am trying to finish these, but I am inclined to pour them down the drain. Maybe I can give them to the guys who will be cutting a big tree down for me as a tip.

Anyway, this gets worse as I drink it. The aroma is a little funky - I've noted over time that the bottles get real funky but the cans are better, but this can is bad too. It's slightly sweet and dirty smelling.

The taste is dull, slightly sweet. There is a slight hops finish.

Fortunately, this is never the best beer available anymore, there are always better choices to be had. Youngsters, drink one of these once, then move on. Edit - a fresh bomber can taste OK. Great aroma, light taste.

 1,069 characters

Photo of furballkazoo
3.01/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap or in a can, this can be a fine pale lager; however, if bought in a bottle, and exposed to sunlight, the beer will quickly take on a skunky aroma and flavor.

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Photo of Beertsipper
1.46/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

I can't believe that this was my favorite beer thirty years ago as a twenty one year old kid. Had this one from a can. Watery, no flavor, just terrible. I'd much rather have a Bud over this garbage.

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Heineken Lager Beer from Heineken Nederland B.V.
2.75 out of 5 based on 4,788 ratings.
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