Heineken Lager Beer

Total Score: 5.55/10 Barley1Bread1Corn1Stein1

Sometimes in life a crap macro beer is so cheap that you fool yourself into buying it again, even if you never really liked it, that’s the story of me and Heineken – I never really liked it – but I picked up a 6-pack for $10 the other day and it had been about 3-4 years since I last had it accidentally at a party (someone else paid for it that time). Anyway if I’m going to give out one pivotal TL;DR this year it would be: Don’t waste your time. Regardless though – here’s a review for those who think that I only ever review great beers, enjoy! (because I certainly won’t!)

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a stein.

A: Clear macro lager piss yellow body, as expected… never had an interesting looking macro lager in my life, why would it change with Heineken? The head is a solid white half centimetre foam on top – at least the head looks reasonable, but the body is fugly. 7/10.

S: Hint of dough, grainy malt and a distinct Ethanol note that really stands out for a Lager – I mean I’ve noted straight Ethanol in 10%+ ABV brews but never in a 5% Lager – it’s a bit out of place. An expected Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS) aroma rears its head after a few more whiffs, a common occurrence in many macro lagers, hardly worth subtracting points for these days. 5/10.

T: Bit on the watery side with flavour – which is a melange of the above. It’s not as offensive as you would imagine from the aroma, but it’s nothing brilliant either, just a typical boring macro lager. Aftertaste gets a bit of the metallic, sweet grain with apple treatment and could be worse. 6/10.

M: Mid to light, a touch watery, with a fairly dense (for a Lager) but light carbonation. 5/10.

D: “Heineken: It could be worse” sums up my opinion of this beer, and it really would make a good slogan for this Lager. Let’s face it there are A LOT of shit macro lagers out there, and this one isn’t close to scrapping the bottom of the barrel (there’s plenty more crap to trove through before you hit metal). In any case I don’t feel so ripped off now for buying this. However (and this is a big however) there are a lot of great cheap Euro Pale Lagers out there, off the top of my head: Grolsch, Stella, Mythos, Brok and König (which is a Pilsener – sue me). 5/10.

Food match: HDs and HBs (Hot Dogs and HamBurgers)… easy on the mustard there son!

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Peroni Gran Riserva Puro Malto

Total Score: 6.6/10 Honeycomb1 Bread1 CutGrass1 PokalStange1

I speak Italian. True story. I can demonstrate my demonstrably impressive Italian by translating the name of this beer into my mother tongue (good-old gets-the-job-done English): Peroni (which is a name so no translation required) grand reserve pure malt. Impressed? [so am I] Anyway to the beer at literal hand – Peroni Gran Riserva Puro Malto – surprisingly the only other Peroni I’ve reviewed was their Gran Riserva Doppio Malto, which I thought was good but overpriced, now we get to this average priced ($5 a 500ml bottle) Puro Malto in its mini Spumante-esque vessel, and I must admit I do enjoy a decent Italian Lager so here goes.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Pokal.

A: Slight hazed pale yellow body with a white 1 cm head that soon dissipates to a thin lace ring. Not the best looking Lager out there, but then appearance only counts to 5% of my total score so you’re off the hook Peroni. 5/10.

S: Sweet honey malts upfront, doughy bread centre, with a slight grassy hop note towards the back. There’s nothing “grand” about this aroma – it’s a middle-of-the-road borderline cheap European Lager bouquet here. Middle-of-the-road borderline cheap score for you: 6/10.

T: Refreshing palate is the first thing noticed. The above flavours are present as expected (honey malt/bread dough/cut grass) but it’s the finish that shows a touch of Italian Lager finesse with that grass note crisping up the palate and preparing you for the next sip. Aftertaste has a dry white vinous and floral character. Not bad Peroni, better than your regular Lager, but also not great either. 7/10.

M: Mid to light, almost medium bodied with a sharp, crisp carbonation, I’m partial to extra body in any beer style, points abound. 8/10.

D: Peroni have produced, as it turns out, a solid crisp dry Lager which would have the Japanese scratching their heads. Never discount a country that is good at winemaking when it comes to brewing – Peroni have distilled the essence of a dry white wine into this brew, although a part of me wonders how much drier a beer can get now. In a grape-skin this is a good palate cleansing beer from one of the better macro Italian brewers, and you know IHM (I Hate Macros, it’s the name of my bloody beer blog) but in the case of this beer: ILM (Industrial Light & Magic for all you cinephiles out there). 6/10.

Food match: The label says “pasta, risotti, carne rossa e formaggi saporiti” and I tend to agree for once.

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Mythos Hellenic Lager

Total Score: 5.8/10 Corn1 Barley1 Lemon1 PokalStange1

Welcome to Doktor Hops Brew World Tour! Tonight is country #10: Greece. So without further ado let’s visit the Greek islands, Mythos style. Interesting side note: “Helles” is German for “bright”, so the name could almost be taken to mean “Mythos Bright Lager” (I said almost).

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a 500ml Stein glass.

A: Looks exactly like a Lager. What else is there to say? Clear golden body with a foamy white head… absolutely no surprises here. 6/10.

S: Smells exactly like a Lager (and I’m sure you can see where I’m going next). Grain driven, slight malt, with a slight sourdough hop aroma. So far, so meh. 6/10.

T: Actually not bad. It’s got that grainy/slightly corny malt base, a hint of sweetbread and a tangy zesty hop finish that leaves you thinking “it’s not much but it’s certainly a Lager”. It won’t win any awards, but conversely it’s not nearly as puke inducing as most macro Lagers can be and drunk cold it certainly goes down easy too. 6/10.

M: The usual Lager-foolery. Other than that it’s seems a little denser than most of the Lagers I’ve drunk before, like the Greek kid you went to school with who felt they had something to prove – wanting to be accepted amongst its peers. 4/10.

D: I found it not nearly as bad as I was expecting and taking down a Saganaki with this by its side was a breeze. As I mentioned before it’s not going to win any awards but it will beat most local Aussie Lagers head-to-head any day of the week. Nuff said. 6/10.

Food match: Saganaki was a game, set & food match for me. I could also see a Souvlaki going down a treat… in fact I would mix this drop with pretty much any Greek cuisine you can think of. Yiamas!

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