Saigon Export | Saigon Beer Company

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Saigon ExportSaigon Export

Brewed by:
Saigon Beer Company
Viet Nam | website

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by slitherySOB on 01-27-2005

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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 195
Photo of omokoro
2.88/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ordered this beer at a Vietnamese restaurant. Served in the bottle. Smells like nothing. Tastes like a standard American lager, finishes a little sweet with a hint of bitterness. I'm sure it would be great on a balmy Saigon night, but it's not the type of beer that excites anyone.

 281 characters

Photo of evlu1441
2.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In honour of booking my summer trip to Asia, I decided to try out Vietnam's beer offerings.

There is a lot of carbonation visible in the beer as it sits in my glass. The head is quite creamy looking and it has a nice golden colour. Quite a nice looking lager!

The smell is kind of a "standard beer smell"...some faint hops and grain... not much to say.

The flavour is sweet and grainy with some faint hops. Quite refreshing, no doubt!

Overall, this is a nice lager with decent flavour, but nothing special.

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Photo of soju6
2.5/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a clear pale golden color with a small fizzy head and no lacing.

S: Very mild aroma of grain, not much else.

T: Has a mild malt sweetness with a grainy flavor. Some bitterness, fairly dry finish but with a mild sticky aftertaste.

Light body, crisp, but a bit gassy. Has sort of a gritty character.

Not one of the better Asian beers I have had over the years. probably goes best with salty or spicy foods.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
2.02/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Picked this up because I figured it would be one of my few opportunities to try a Vietnamese beer. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a clear yellow color, perhaps slightly darker than most adjuncts, with a pitiful fizzy white head (you can literally hear it fizzing like a soda) that fades before I can even take my first sip. Needless to say it didn't leave any lacing.

S: A weak smell overall, not much if anything in the way of hops or malts. Maybe some adjunct grain (probably rice).

T: Although this one doesn't develop much flavor by any measure, it has more malt character than I expected, which starts to come through on the finish.

M: Light-bodied and fizzy. Definitely a lot of room for improvement here, but I suppose this is what you'd aim for when brewing a beer like this.

D: As one would expect, this is really no different from any other adjunct lager in the world.

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Photo of bat6
3/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

currently traveling through SE Asia and sampling the local offerings. this is fairly popular in Vietnam but I haven't seen it elsewhere. beers in this region are almost entirely light-bodied lagers meant for fast quaffing in the blazing heat and humidity. all ratings are based on my understanding of the style here.

A - clear, very pale gold. lots bubbles, 2 finger head w/ decent retention

S - virtually no smell. maybe a touch of grassy hay

T - very clean. doesn't get very sweet (or sour) as it warms, which is a good thing for the beers over here

MF - light, crisp, good carbonation, easily slammed

O - this one's straight down the middle for the style. meant to be refreshing after a long hot day or paired w/ spicy food. if you're in Vietnam there's no reason not to grab one of these

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Photo of Vashtar
2.18/5  rDev -19%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Rice rice rice! This tastes like a beer that was derived from rice, but shouldn't have been.
The appearance is clear, saturated and beautiful. That's where the fun stops.
The smell isn't plesant. It doesn't smell dangerous, just unappetizing.
It tastes like rice. It tastes like they cooked it in some kind of container that they shouldn't have. It doesn't work.
The mouthfeel is too thin.

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Photo of aasher
3.42/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a watery and very, very clear and light bright gold in color with a one finger bright white head. It smells very fresh. You get a lot of crisp dortmunder qualities, light pale malts, light sweetness, and a light hop bitterness. This has got to be the freshest beer I've encountered from Asia so far, Sapporo excluded. The taste too is very sharp and crisp, very fresh. You get the light pale malt sweetness with a light bitter hop finish. It's very light and very drinkable. This one is built for warm weather. Overall this is one of the better export lagers I've tried and pretty similar to Ba Me 33. I don't see this as an AAL.

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Photo of mpyle
2.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Another odd-ball macro lager courtesy of Trader Joes

App - Golden color, brilliantly clear. Poured a moderate sized white head, but dispersed fairly quickly. Carbonation bubbles are large.

Aroma - Aroma is cidery, with some sour apples in it. Hint of some hops that have a noble, spicy note.

Taste - Has a cidery sweetness on top of a pilsner flavor. If this cider were somehow removed, I think the flavor might be pretty decent. Distinct hop flavor, and dries out to a slightly bitter finish.

MF - Light/med body, and med/high carbonation. Nothing unusual for the style

Overall - A near miss for me, as there is a hoppy lager in here, but it is masked by the odd tangy cider.

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Photo of biegaman
3.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saigon Export has a bright, brilliantly clear, twenty-four carat complexion. Given its pin-prick carbonation, little bubbles that flutter like tiny snowflakes, this offering is a marketer's wet dream, the perfect poster boy for commercial beer. The head that puffed up from the pour soon fizzled out, becoming finally nothing more than a plume of smoke.

The macro lager chain is typically a conveyor belt of adjunct and foulness. This one, however, actually has a considerably clean maltiness, only marginally tainted by cheap industrial fillers, one that, while not terribly exciting, is certainly agreeable. There's a bit of cracker, a bit of bready grain, and, most importantly, nothing remotely off-putting.

That being said, there is definitely some adjunct in the taste - a dry and starchy rice-like flavour, rather than that of sweet, cloying corn - but it's a mere flash in the pan. At least at first, we'll have to see once the chill wears off. (Note: it holds it together alright.) A cereal-y, bready graininess lingers briefly in the finish, but it's more than welcomed to.

Beers with lots of flavour are more refreshing than those without it. I've never understood those who say the opposite. When it comes to pale lagers, especially ones on the watery side like this one, what makes them refreshing isn't the quantity of flavour, it's the degree of cleanness. Clean grain is always flavourful and refreshing; adjuncts rarely, if ever.

Saigon Export is a clean, agreeable lager. Most non-European or non-North American brewers make pathetic mock ups of a great tradition when they try their hands at pale lagers, but this Vietnamese brand is guilty of nothing except extinguishing my thirst. I wasn't sure if I'd finish the whole bottle, but now having done so, I almost wish I had another.

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Photo of MadTown1000
2.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours into a pint glass and looks just like Ginger Ale. Bout the fizziest beer I've ever seen. The head last a little longer than a soda, I suppose. I'm giving it extra points for sheer long-lasting fizzicality. It just keeps coming.

S - Yep, that's an adjunct lager! The usual heap of grain and generic hops.

T - I'd say both sweeter and a bit more bitter than most adjunct lagers. Slightly unpleasantly bitter, maybe. I wonder if the trip over from Vietnam might have treated this beer unkindly. Not obviously skunked, could just as easily be a difference in ingredients.

M - Seriously. Fizzy. Perhaps a little heavier than similar lagers as well. Not bad, really.

O - Seriously, I just bought this because I'd never seen a Vietnamest beer on the shelf before. It's not bad, all told - but if not for the novelty value, also not worth the $8 I paid for a six-pack. PBR, these foreign competitors will never dethrone you in the category...

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Photo of rudzud
1.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Picked up a bottle of this at Austin Liquors.

A - Poured into a Duvel tulip a crystal clear golden adjunct larger pour with a fizzy one finger head that fades at the typical quick rate to leave no head at all.

S - Awfully sweet, lots of malt sweetness. Getting some super light grassy hops but thats it. Too sweet smelling.

T - Taste is screwed too. Way too sweet. More sweet malts and I guess sweet apples too like others have said. No hops, no yeast, just sweet. eh.

M - Nice carbonation cant help the thin, watery mouthfeel.

O - Overall, meh. Save your money. Atleast I get to check off another country.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy 1 inch white head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random legs of lace form down the glass on the drink down. Smell is of some skunk notes, grains, and some grass aromas. Taste is of sweet grains, grassiness, and a slight citrus zest on the finish. There is a slight astringent bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer is a bit too carbonated with a crisp and fizzy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average lager but my first beer from Vietnam which I wasn't even aware had any breweries. I am glad I picked up one of these to try.

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Photo of Jemonster
3.36/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Looks like your average lager beer. Pale gold, white head pretty small bubbles with a lot of carbonation.

S: Skunky funk up front, grass and grains.

T: Better than it smells. Pretty light as expected, but very clean with malt and rice. One of the better Asian lagers I've tried. Very light in flavor. Slight skunk at the end too.

M: Nicely carbonated and light bodied.

O: Pretty good Vietnam. Pretty good. If I am ever in the mood for a summer beer, I might look for this again.

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Photo of IPA35
2.84/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A slightly darker than normal golden colour with a quickly dissappearing white head.

It has quite a strong hoppy smell (green apples), together with the typical grain/rice scent. Some sweetness in there.

The taste is a bit bitter and sweet (indeed the apple, as noted by others) and after a few seconds it turn into a bit of a metallic flavour. Kind of wierd, it is not bad but the second half of the taste is not too great. Still it has more flavour than your average American Adjunct Lager.

Not too bad, and from an interesting country but nothing special.

As it warms up the apple flavour starts to take over, too much.

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Photo of spinrsx
2.22/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

355ml Bottle

Appearance – Crystal clear light yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low carbonation showing and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for around 3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, corn, honey, pears/apples

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation. I can taste breads/grains mixed with a honey sweetness and some cooked corn. There is also a bit of a skunky and metallic taste to it.

Overall – A below average adjunct lager. The taste was bad - even for an adjunct. I wouldn't buy this beer again.

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Photo of zeff80
2.9/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a crystal clear, golden yellow color with a small, white head of foam. No lacing left behind.

S - It smelled of grains and very little else.

T - Grains and some sweet caramel. There was a touch of bitter hop bite.

M - It was crisp and fairly sharp. A light bodied lager with a smooth finish.

O - This was okay. I was better than most Asian lagers that make it to the states.

 393 characters

Photo of wahhmaster
1.99/5  rDev -26%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, vary pale yellow color. Has a very small, fizzy head that dissipates almost immediately and leaves no discernible lacing.

Smell: Grainy with a bit of a fruity character to it. Actually better than I was expecting and better smelling than most adjunct lagers.

Taste: Moderately bitter up front. Finishes slightly sweet and a little sour. This beer has almost no flavor and doesn't even really stack up against most American macros. Kind of a let down after a better-than-average smell.

Mouthfeel: Thin, like carbonated water.

Drinkability: This is awful. Yes, it's "drinkable" but would you really want to drink it. I would give it lower marks but it's not overtly offensive just outright flavorless. Skip it...

 816 characters

Photo of CrazyMike
3/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Has a pale straw yellow appearance with bubbly head that quickly disappears. Smell is grainy and sweet with a hint of malt.

Taste consists of grain, apples and malt. Has an alright hop bitterness, very crisp. The taste is very light, but it stops short of being to watery. Light bodied with a high carbonation. Aftertaste is dry.

Overall, this is an average adjunt lager. Nothing really special, but it is refreshing. I'd recommend trying this with something spicy at a Vietnamese restaurant, I wouldn't bother with a 6 pack though.

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Photo of secondtooth
2.25/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This lager pours a pale, straw gold, with medium white foam and no lace to speak of.

Sweet adjunct aroma. Nothing special here.

Taste is overmalty and light. Rice is evident.

Not a great beer by any stretch of the imagination, but mine was likely out of date (purchased from a less-than-reputable liquor store).

I'm sure this one would fare much better alongside some spicy Asian carryout, but as it stands, I'd avoid this one.

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Photo of largadeer
1.5/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

My first tick from Vietnam.

Pale yellow with decent clarity. The thin and fizzy head disappeared as quickly as it came.

Tons of green apple on the nose, along with cabbage and buttered Wonder Bread. Smells like a hobo's dinner.

Palate is similar, offensive amounts of green apple met by milder but no less offensive amounts of buttery diacetyl and cabbage-like DMS. Some pale malt and filmy rice sweetness appear in the slick finish. Pretty horrid.

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Photo of fizzy
3.23/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just got done downing a couple of these at a Pho resturant here in Saigon, Vietnam. With the Pho the beer was just fine, but I refuse to let them pour my beer into a glass with a big ice cube. The beer was cold at the table in the bottle, but the "real" reason for diluting a 1/2 decent beer with ice is beyond me, they say it's to cool it down. When in Saigon (HCMC) drink the local and watch the motor bikes and cycles churn past on the street. Things could be worse!!

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.13/5  rDev +53.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a pale straw color with a stark white, fluffy head of three fingers. Head is very slow to drop. Lots of meringue lacing left behind.

Aromas of grain, earthy hops, and sweet malt.

First sip is grainy, malty, sweet, green apples, with a balancing hop bitterness. Finish is long and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is light, not watery. Appropriate carbonation, no carbonic bite. Very smooth character.

Very drinkable. Nothing aggressive, nothing offensive, nothing really memorable. Light, refreshing beer, good session beer. Nothing to distinguish it from other similar beers.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #34 (Nov 2009):

Bubbly, pale-golden clarity shines in the light. Green apple skin and dried grass hit the nose hard. Delicate crispness balances on top of the light body. Green apple splashes down and leaves quick, dried, husked malt; a hop bitterness with muted flavor is all that really comes to the top. Dry with a nearly clean finish and more dried grass, which is at this point a little astringent, seems to not want to leave ... not too much of a bother.

On its own, this beer will become tiresome; better off just pairing it with a piping hot bowl of canh Chau (Vietnamese sour soup) to counter the astringent finish of the beer.

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Photo of matjack85
2.99/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL for $1.79. No freshness date but the label tells you that this beer is made with rice as the adjunct grain, which is not surprising considering where it comes from.

The beer pours a clear golden/amber color with a 1 finger white head that doesn't last very long and leaves zero lacing.

The smell is pleasant enough. It has a touch of sweet malt, some grassy hop aromas, plus a touch of lemony citrus.

The taste is nothing special. It leans more to the sweet side although it's not sugary sweet. Rice and grassy hop flavors are evident wth no bitterness at all. A touch of lemon rounds things off. There's nothing offensive here, but nothing memorable either.

Light body without being watery. It could stand a little more carbonation and the finish leaves a bit of a metallic aftertaste.

It's not great but it's drinkable with no alcoholic taste.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
2.33/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear, light yellow body with a fizzy white head. Sounds like I just poured milk into a bowl of Rice Crispies.

Faint aroma is sweet with notes of green apples and DMS.

Acetaldehyde, DMS; a real bundle of off flavors for a beer with so little flavor. Carbonation provides more stimulus for the palate than either the hops or the grain. Slightly sweet on the finish.

Fizzy and thin.

Imagine if you paid for Stone IPA but got Hamm's instead. That is Saigon Export. It is the very definition of a flawed Adjunct Lager, but it retails for about $10 a 6pk. I feel sorry for Viet Nam if this really is their national beer. Budweiser is clearly MUCH better than this.

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Saigon Export from Saigon Beer Company
65 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.
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