Heineken Lager Beer | Heineken Nederland B.V.

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Heineken Lager BeerHeineken Lager Beer
5,312 Ratings
Heineken Lager BeerHeineken Lager Beer

Brewed by:
Heineken Nederland B.V.

Style: European Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Also known as Heineken Pilsener

Made with 3 ingredients, and they're all natural: Barley, Hops and water.

Yeast is an important part of the brewing process, but it's not an ingredient! Our natural A-Yeast produces a fruity flavor that is key in making the Heineken you know and love, and is filtered out after fermentation.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 01-29-2001

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Ratings: 5,312 |  Reviews: 1,454
Photo of whynot44
2.94/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of Mindsquall
3.26/5  rDev +19.9%
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.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
2.72/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of dauss
2.39/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.01/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
2.23/5  rDev -18%
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."

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Photo of ski271
2.86/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.4/5  rDev +25%
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.

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Photo of kmcnair
2.93/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.42/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really wanted to dislike this beer. I don't, not in the can at least. I enjoyed this brew on the ferry home from wall Street / nicely chilled from a sixteen ounce can. I usually smuggle craft brews aboard for the Friday ride home. I was beerless and a friend was buying. Poured a pale yellow with coarse bubbled short-lived white head into a plastc cup. Aroma was pleasing and floral with hints of malt. Dare I i say it? Balanced. Flavor was the same mild, balanced, some floral some biscuity malt. Not too sweet. None of the skunkiness that I remebered from past bottles of this stuff. Not bad stuff.

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Photo of BuffaloBilly
3.77/5  rDev +38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is overrated and overpriced. I would call this a good beer. I think it tastes good, but not as great as its cracked up to be. Definetly a drinkable beer. I would buy it again. I drank it out of the bottle. I don't know why all beer companies don't put it in brown bottles, I guess they want it to get skunked. Good beer.

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Photo of pentathlete
2.8/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The wife unit uses these as her "occasional" beer. Mainly because she knows that for years I've disparage them as liquid waste from an equine. But now it is time to get serious and actually review the darn brew.

Clear golden straw in a footed pilsener glass. Solid white ring and minimal visible carbonation. Smell is of saltines and some mild hops...different from the skunky stuff I usually get hit with when trying this beer. Taste is where it is weakest. Starts off with crispy pils taste and then explodes into a mouthful of wet cardboard laced with pepper. It was on the medium side of thin for the style. Certainly consumable, but not my thing.

Wife purchased this on sale at Kroger for $10 for twelve 12 oz. bottles.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +43.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Heineken's hops are it's success. Both the aroma and flavor deliver a combination of herbal and floral hops that seperates it from other pilsners. It's got a decent amount of bitterness to it as well, and it's perfectly balances a solid, medium-bodied, grainy maltiness. It finishes dry with some quickly passing, lightly sweet malt up front; and then lingering hops amidst a dry, long-lasting bitterness. Refreshing, satisfying, and highly drinkable!

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
2.73/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a straw color with an excellent three finger head. Exceptional head retention and lacing, even for a euro lager. The smell is perhaps more hoppy than it's style should allow, but the quality malts blend to make it a pleasent bittersweet aroma. Taste is predictably hoppy; Again a poor job of balancing light-struck saaz with a pale malt sweetness even for euro pale. Accordingly, the aftertaste hinders mouthfeel, which would otherwise be a fairly smooth. Lighter body and medium carbonation. Despite the overpowering skunk, its finish is smooth, boosting drinkabilty. There are better Holland Lagers less expensive than this import.

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Photo of KoG
1.56/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pale straw with a fizzy head. No retention however and lacing is nowhere to be found.

Smells like the business end of a skunk. I tried several times to find anything else, but seemed to fail gracefully.

Taste is grassy and grainy. Strange bitterness that didn't really seem like hops. Yuck!

I was looking for cans to try and avoid the skunk aroma, but only found the evil green bottles. I will try this again someday when I work up the courage... but it won't be from a bottle.

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Photo of cubedbee
2.84/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've always thought Heineken was the best mass-import, but haven't had one since I've been rating beer. Here goes. The apperanace is decent---light golden yellow, a small bright white head, and even the slightest bit of lacing. Smell is fairly faint, some grainy malts, some corn, a little skunkiness. Flavor is much better than the smell, with a fairly strong smooth maltiness accented by a detectable hops presense, a suprise for a macro. Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy. Overall, this is a very good macro, but the fact that it's an import prices it more like a craft, meaning it's a colossal waste of money.

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Photo of TPSReports
2.01/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

wow -- the brewery with the most beer sold per year. That is quite a head scratcher unless you think the drinking public prefer crappy beer. I guess they must.

In any event, the particular beer, one that used to think was very strongly flavored and overdone with hops, pours a clear urine like color into my pint glass.

The brew smells about the way it looks -- like men's bathroom during a very busy sporting event, during a rain delay. But, there is a bit of hops there as well.

Fortunatley, I am not at liberty to say whether this beer tastes like urine as well. maybe some other BA's have that knowledge, fortunately, I do not. This a lightly hopped beer with tinglely carbonation. There is little other character to this mass produced, green bottled atrocity.

Mouthfeel is thin with tingling bubbles.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found a leftover in the fridge from a previous party. One of the better mass produced imports. Color is a bit of a turn off because is is very pale. But it has a big head that quickly receded. Aroma is very grainy and slightly sweet--got a hint of corn. Flavor is actually a little bit hoppy. Kind of surprised me. Also, slightly sweet tones that help make this beer ery drinkable to the masses. Personally, it would bore me after a bottle or two. I sued to drink this a lot about five years ago but have not touched it since. Mouthfeel is nice and crisp.

Note: I noticed the cap they used was not an oxygen absorbing cap. I always remember this beer being easily "skunked." I wonder if that is why.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear, wan yellow hue, big sturdy head that holds at first, then settles to a slim layer of white...

Nose is not my cuppa. Too easy to call it skunky, but it's a typical lager-y smell, not one I particularly like, and find hard to describe without getting into vulgarities. Designed for people who have no intentioin of inhaling the aroma, or who've settled for the bottom. (not true, there's lots worse)...

Taste: Big carbonation, small flavor. Soft and creamy at the start, very clean, smooth, with a grainy aspect riding at the forefront of the palate, drifting back. Leaves easy, soon forgotten. Brilliant tactic, as the thirsty imbiber will have dismissed any memory of it's faint flavor and wispy character.

Nothing that terrible, really, it's "just beer." Which is why this is one of the most popular in the world. I spent more time in it's company than I do any of my favorite's, not due to any desire, but through my occupation: I serve beer, and that's what my customers clamor for, Lord love 'em.

Oddly, in bottles, I'm often put-off more than I am by this can. Makes me wonder if it's somehow even more superior on draft?

And P.S., I really thought I'd end up knocking this, but, hey, it is what it is.

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Photo of cooter
2.63/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I poured it too cold. Pillowy, billowy, soft, thick and creamy foam crowning a pale yellow body with moderate carbonation. It may be reputation speaking, but I may smell adjuncts. The nose has faint faint hops, but mostly just a crisp malt character.

Empty, grainy body that dissipates into an aftertaste that resembles artificial strawberry sweetener, it's revolting. Towards the front there is a weak, one-dimensional taste with zero bitterness or hops. I wish the aftertaste wasn't so blech, because otherwise it's very drinkable--more so than even a U.S. macro. But the flat sweetness ruins it.

The carbonation is too weak for my taste, but I have to say--there isn't any alcohol taste, so that's good. I am totally unimpressed with this one, but I don't hate it.

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Photo of BrewMaven
1.26/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Had one after many years without. It's the same watery pale macro swill that it was when I didn't have any gray hair.

Pale yellow with a short lived coarse head that knew better than to stick around.

Smelled skunky right off the bat...Sorta like the beer cap laying in the sun on a handball court during summertime.

Bitter but bland personality that left a bad taste in my mouth and gave me a headache. Start to finish the taste experience was the same...BLAHHH!! Thin mouthfeel with decent carbonation.

Now I realize why I haven't had one of these for years. If I must have a Heiny, make it a dark.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
2.35/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer has never impressed me.
Sure, I think of this beer as "better" than American macros but usually given the price difference involved and the kind of occaisions when asked to choose between a "heiny" and miller or coors (or pabst), I end up choosing the latter.
This beer has a bite to it but I tend to liken that bite to that of a carnivorous bug.
I find it amusing when Americans drink this stuff because they feel it above or better than American beers... that this is what real, "German" beers are supposed to be like.
It isn't even German!
I've had European friends tell me this is usually the cheapest beer you can find in pubs... probably not a horrible choice when fresh.
Good advertising for a foreign beer, but really just another mass produced money maker.

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Photo of beeroclock
1.61/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is one of those beers that you have to double check to make sure the mug isn't dirty or you aren't drinking it out of some old gym shoes. Then you realize you are drinking it straight from the bottle. The smell is bad, the taste is bad and the feel is weak. Heck i'm surprised people still buy this stuff, let alone that it was once such a popular beer..

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Photo of rousee
3.78/5  rDev +39%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I don't understand why most BAs hate Heineken. Maybe because they're too big worldwide. Of all the mass produced lagers in the world, I think this is a pretty good one for the style. Sometimes, it can be skunky but the keg cans help to minimize the likelihood that the green bottle does not.

Light gold straw, nice wispy white foam on top.Good carbonation. Some lace. Standard euro-lager smell but no skunkiness whatsoever. Malt is there predominantly with some buttery aspects.

Taste is a standard lager taste. To me-this is a good example of a plain gold colored easy drinkin' beer. Corn and malt with some lemonny essences. Pretty good but not too great on drinkability--you can grow tired of these rather easily.

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Photo of BigBry
2.68/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330 ml green glass bottle. Pours into the glass with a golden yellow color, large foamy head that sticks around the edge of the glass for a little while. Very active carbonation that causes constant bubbles. Personally, I can't get passed the "euro skunk" smell. Once you get that smell stuck in your nose, the taste is that same skunky bitterness. Slightly watery mouthfeel, with lots of carbonation giving it an acrid bite. Overall pretty average. The green bottles just don't do anything for me.

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Heineken Lager Beer from Heineken Nederland B.V.
Beer rating: 2.72 out of 5 with 5,312 ratings