Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Impartial Pursuit: Deel Drie

This is part three, which you would be aware of if you speak Dutch (assuming Google Translate is reasonably accurate for once), of my occasional series where I dip into the world of multinational flagship beers. Part one was Budweiser, part two Coors, so given the Dutch in the post title, I guess it is pretty obvious that we are talking Heineken here.

The last time I drank Heineken was in the middle of November 2008. How can I be so confident and specific I hear you ask? Simple, I was in Ireland for my birthday and I was drinking with Reuben from The Tale of the Ale - he had one of those mini-keg things and if memory serves we polished off the entire keg before hitting some fine Irish whiskey.

The decision to get a large can of the stuff though this time was rather less prosaic. I was in the shop and decided it was time for another post about those beers people rail against without actually having drunk the stuff. Cynical side note, I have this evil plan to make an IPA using the grist of an American lager, hopping the shit out of it, and then putting it in a homebrew competition as an American IPA - you get the drift.

So how was the stuff? Well, for a start is pours a much richer yellow than either the Budweiser or Coors from previous posts, it was almost golden, topped off with a nice fluffy white head. "Ah yes" I hear the cognoscenti ask "but what about the skunky aroma?" Sorry to disappoint folks, but there was no skunky aroma, I assume because of the can rather than being in a green bottle. What there was though was a general cereal character, maybe a touch of honey, some grassy hop notes, and nothing offensive whatsoever.

"But it tasted awful, right?" come the cognoscenti, and again they would be disappointed, bless their little flannel shirts. Once again that lightly honeyed cereal grain thing is to the fore, maybe a trace of a corny sweetness as well, but nothing anywhere near as bad as some of the craft beer I have had from a couple of local breweries in the last year or so. I didn't find much in the way of hop flavour, perhaps some lemongrass skulking about, but there was a nice bitterness that left the  palette clean and ready for another mouthful. The beer was medium bodied, not thin, not insipid, and not leaving me wretching over the bog in dramatic fashion to prove my craft credentials.

So there we have it, Heineken is a pretty decent, clearly well made beer that suffers from a single issue - ubiquity. It is far from a bad beer, but not one to go expecting inspiration from, and to be honest if you are the kind of person looking for inspiration at the bottom of a bottle, I would suggest you have deeper problems.

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