Heineken Lager Beer | Heineken Nederland B.V.

1,367 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: 1,367 | Ratings: 4,838
Photo of drmeto
2.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

canned version

-pours a clear straw golden with a big,foamy,white head
-low to medium carbonation visible
-grainy,grassy,corn,floral,perfumy,slight vanilla,cardboard
-finishes dry
-low to medium carbonation
-light body
A standard pale lager.Nothing too offensive

 319 characters

Photo of CanadianBacon
3.42/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Poured from a tallboy into a 16 oz bar glass, The can may equate for my better than average review as it was not skunky. It pours a clear golden straw color with 2 fingers foamy white head.

Aroma - Cereal malts, light hops, and some sweet and sour smell almost like green apple

Aroma - Normal cheap lager taste, spring water, light hops, cereal malts but on the back end it has that same apple like taste. It doesnt taste candy though which is good.

Feel - The body is light and and a little watery, perfect for the style. there is a bit more bitterness on the finish than most euro pales have.

Overall - Comparing this to other beers theres not a chance it'll get a decent review, The issue at hand is at least to some degree AAL's and euro pale lagers, japanese rice lagers just need to be compared to eachother to get a fair assesment. As such Heineken is up there with Coors and stella as some of the better beers in the style. Cheers!

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Photo of SteveJeremy
1.65/5  rDev -40%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Only ever had this one out of bottles, which always provides me with an unbearable skunkiness that makes me equate it was Mickey's or another poor malt liquor. Been told this is better out of cans.

EDIT: Tried it in cans - a bit more tolerable, but still not even worth drinking.

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
1.66/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I tried this one finally. I see it all over the world and it is very popular. However, I couldn't get into it personally. It smells like an incredibly light beer, tastes like watered-down beer, and goes down like water - no substance. I really didn't care for this one.

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Photo of Sgt_Drunkered
2.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A go to affordable beer for those who just dipped their toes into german style pale lager. Classic onset of hoppy bitterness with a crisp finish. Much is left to be desired for complexity when compared to other German brews. Light bodied, and easy to drink. An average beer overall.

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Photo of James954
1/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Awful garbage that is only made even more detestable due to the unmerited premium price.

As I write this review, I'm drinking barely cool Heineken from a 24oz can. This beer is tolerable when ice-cold. Mine is not ice cold.

I paid $3 for this can of beer. If I went to a specialty beer store, I could get a pint of Weihenstephaner for the same price.

This experience drives me to stop drinking...this "beer".

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Photo of jamesroses
1.59/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

750ml or 1l bottle. This is beer is the cause of discussion with friends at night.

Appearance: clear shiny golden colour, more bubbly than other beers I'm used to drinking when I go out with friends.

Smell: I've always found this beer to be skunky and never hiding it's alcohol smell. I don't like it.

Taste: same as the smell. It's really skunky, with some roasted grain hiding behind it and mixed with the alcohol. At the second of these I'm usually starting to feel it burn my guts.

Mouthfeel: it kind of burns the mouth and leaves an unpleasant alcohol aftertaste, as most of this massively commercial beers.

Overall: I've never liked this one. It has been the cause of many headaches and a persistent skunky aftertaste that ruined many afternoons.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
2.09/5  rDev -24%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Straw yellow. Smells skunky and hoppy. Taste is bitter, sour barely flavored water. Like a coors light with hops. Feel is bubbly and highly carbonated. Maybe not the worst of the main beers, but not very good.

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Photo of Dave97
3.87/5  rDev +40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poor - from a 24oz can - Nice poor; soapy 2 finger head that settles down very quickly into just a small white ring. No lacing.

Appearance - Nice 14k gold/straw; very clear, moderate carbonation.

Nose - very light sweet pilsner 2-row malt backbone (apparently their barley comes from France) with noticeable noble hop lemongrass sourness. Faint but present. Straw/hay, fresh cut lawn clippings, a tiny bit of corn (although there are no adjuncts in Heineken) and pilsner barley malt. Over all a nice light lager aroma.

Mouthfeel - Light, a little fizzy; but otherwise a very easy drinker. Dry, granny smith apple crisp.

Taste - in my opinion, the quintessential Euro-Lager. I've spent a lot of time in Europe and have drank a lot of macro Euro lagers and that's not a bad thing at all. I love the taste profile of the standard Euro lager. I like Noble hops and I'm not a supporter of the "Skunk" myth. This is a great atypical Euro Lager. Nice, light easy drinking; very sessionable. Sweet light malt, confectionery sugar sweet; Nice light to medium Noble Hop presense (probably mostly Halltertau?, but I know that they also use Czech hops, Saaz?) Very floral/pollen.

Finish - Short. Nothing on the sides of the tongue. Just a bitter/sour on the middle of the tongue and little on the throat. Floral, lemon, apple sour.

Final thoughts - This is my goto lager at most restaurants that don't server craft beer. I also stock this in my fridge. It is a great lager for before and during meals. It's great for all day drinking as well.

Food Pairings - Chinese, Italian, Greek, BBQ, Chili, Sausage, Indian, Thai.... basically almost anything.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Heineken Lager Beer from Heineken Nederland B.V.
2.75 out of 5 based on 4,838 ratings.
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