Friday, August 12, 2011
Heineken Pale Lager - Holland
Tonight, I found myself at one of the many military functions that my wife Teri and I always seem to have to attend. This one was being held at Maggie's in Watertown, NY. As soon as we arrived, it was handshakes and hellos, all of which made me very thirsty. My wife and I approached the bar, where I was really surprised at the incredible lack of selection. This was my first visit to Maggie's and I had always heard that they had a fair amount of brews on tap, but apparently they stock very little for these large group dinners. After shaking off the Budweiser's of the world, I decided to grab a Heiny.
Heineken always seems to conjure up images of Europe and sophistication...as in a discerning choice. Or even of European Discos or chic parties...but tonight it was at a military function, to be appreciated as we celebrated new arrivals to the Unit and honored those who have served many years as they prepared to move on. Anyway, here's what the website had to say:
Heineken is a Dutch beer (5% abv pale lager) which has been brewed by Heineken International since 1873. It is available in a 4.6% alcohol variety in countries such as Ireland. It is the flagship product of the Heineken company and is made of purified water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. In 1886 H. Elion finished the development of the Heineken A-yeast, which is still used in the brewing process today. The beer is force carbonated. It is popular in the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Vietnam, Europe and Middle Eastern countries.
It's funny, but all beers brewed in Belgium or Holland or even Germany seem to taste the same. Lagers are the norm there, and they all taste alike. Recently, I reviewed a Stella Artois, and Heineken tasted remarkably like a Stella. It was smooth, with very little bite. There was a slight amount of carbonation, but not so much as to take away from the beer. The taste was consistent, but lacked the complexity that you hope for in a good beer. As far as Lagers are concerned, it was very good, but just not very much to champion.
6/10 - A Safe Bet