It seems as though Heineken is very popular these days. Everywhere you go, people are drinking Heineken out of those little green bottles. I’ve never been one to follow trends, and so I made a point of staying away from this beer just on general principle. Recently, however, I decided I should take the time to find out for myself whether or not I thought Heineken was as good as its popularity would make it seem to be. To that end, I did a little research, bought a can of beer and took some notes. Here’s what I’ve found out.

Heineken lager has been brewed by Heineken International since 1874 and is the brewery’s flagship beer and is one of the world’s most popular lagers, especially in Europe. today, Heineken operates 40 breweries spread through 39 countries around the world. In addition to Heineken lager, Heineken brews a variety of famous beers including Amstel, Newcastle Brown ale, Foster’s and Strongbow. Today, however, we’re going to stick to my review of Heineken lager.

On pouring, Heineken looks the colour of pale straw. The beer forms a big fluffy head which only lasts a couple of minutes before dissipating. Not as long as I would like, but given the beer’s mainstream nature, the head lasted longer than I expected. The lager is well carbonated with fine, pinpoint bubbles rising through the glass. In this way Heineken distinguishes itself from American lagers with their big, gassy bubbles.

When it comes to aroma, the first thing I smell is biscuits. Then there’s the faint aroma of malt, but there’s no significant aroma of hops, which is disappointing. I was hoping for the delicate aroma of something floral or herbal, maybe the faint aroma of hay as is common with European hops. But no, nothing but malt and biscuits. In short, Heineken smells pleasing enough, if a little basic.

In tasting, Heineken’s flavour profile pretty much mirrors its aroma. Pleasing enough, but lacking in any depth or complexity. You definitely get some malt sweetness followed by a pleasingly dry finish which is normal enough for a German style lager. But again, no hop flavours to speak of. There was only the faint flavours of biscuits and dry finish backing up the maltiness. I was looking for a faint bitterness or the flavor of hay to back up the beer’s dry finish.

Overall, I’d define Heineken lager as a perfectly good lager that someone watered down, although it is refreshing, easy to drink and ultimately inoffensive. In fact the highest praise I can heap upon Heineken lager is that it is inoffensive and refreshing. If you’re looking just for something to quench your thirst in the middle of summer, Heineken will certainly fit the bill. In the end, I would recommend Heineken for anyone who wants to drink something better than mainstream lagers but doesn’t know what kind of micro brews or imports to try. Heineken might be a good gateway to other brands and styles of beer for those who want to move on to better beers and ales.


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