What Does Dos Equis Taste Like, And Is It Good?


Dos Equis is a refreshing, enjoyable Mexican lager. It has a slightly sweet, mild flavor with a minimal body, very much in keeping with the American or Mexican adjunct lager style. It is easy to drink and best enjoyed by the beach or with a flavorful, complex Mexican meal.

Dos Equis, named for the two Roman numerals adorning its label, has the corny sweetness and pale color typical of a Mexican lager. With its easy drinkability and clean, mild taste, this is a very drinkable beer, especially if you enjoy a light, easygoing lager in the summertime. 

Dos Equis Lager is the flagship beer of the Dos Equis brand, but it does not have the widespread distribution of some other similar beers. If you’re looking to find out what it’s like to drink Dos Equis, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll take you on a tasting tour of the Dos Equis experience, including this Mexican lager’s flavor, smell, appearance, and the care taken by Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery in preparing this iconic beer.

Flavor

The first thing to consider when looking at a beer is its flavor. Dos Equis, as a Mexican lager, is quite similar to the American adjunct lagers that many American drinkers will be familiar with. It has a clean, crisp, easy-drinking character with a distinct note of sweetness on the palate.

The first sip of Dos Equis offers a pleasantly malty, corny sweetness. There are notes of malted barley that quickly give way to an overall clean, crisp finish. The beer is notably sweeter and cornier than other similar lagers, but it does not have much character or assertiveness on the palate.

The finish of this beer has no bitterness at all. Any lingering hop character that might be there is virtually unnoticeable. The beer’s website cites “malts, spices and earth tones,” but we didn’t notice any spices or hoppy bitterness in the Dos Equis palate. Its IBU rating is 10, indicating a beer that has little to no bitterness at all. The IBU scale can range from zero to over 100, so an IBU rating of ten indicates a minimally bitter beer.

Dos Equis is a very mildly flavored beer. Drinkers who are accustomed to hefty, complex stouts and ales will find Dos Equis lager to be very crisp and inoffensive. Those who prefer a light, crisp, summery beer by the beach will enormously enjoy this beer’s clean drinking experience. Dos Equis’ taste politely refuses to overstay its welcome, leaving you ready for the next sip.

Dos Equis is clearly not a beer to be contemplated, swished, or discussed. It’s easy to imagine enjoying a couple of Dos Equis bottles by the beach on a hot summer’s day or after mowing the lawn. This is definitely a beer best served cold, as allowing it to warm up would highlight too much of the bready character. 

As Dos Equis is sold in green bottles, it’s important to note that the beer risks “skunking” if exposed to direct sunlight. If your Dos Equis has any sour or bitter hop notes, it’s likely that exposure to direct sunlight has spoiled your beer. Dos Equis should have a clean, crisp flavor with next to no aftertaste.

Mouthfeel

Dos Equis, as expected for the style, has a light, refreshing mouth feel. There’s some moderate, fine carbonation, just enough to bite and let you know you’re drinking beer, not water.

The beer feels light and thin on the tongue, with a crisp, dry finish. Overall, Dos Equis is very drinkable, and the beer’s mouthfeel reflects its light, easygoing palate. It’s not quite as watery as some American light beers, with more body than many other lagers, but Dos Equis is still a light, crisp beer. 

Smell

Raising a glass of Dos Equis to your nose reveals a very light, minimal aroma. There’s, as expected, some malty sweetness. There’s a touch of light, sweet grain, like a freshly opened box of Cheerios. Gently laid atop the grain notes is a spritz of citrus freshness, but this quickly dissipates. Overall, Dos Equis has very little smell at all, and this makes drinking it remarkably easy.

Appearance

Dos Equis poured into a glass, offers an attractive, clear golden color. The finger’s width of the frothy, soapy white head quickly dissipates, giving way to some lively carbonation in the body of the beer.

The appearance of this beer is very much standard for the style. The clear, golden color of this beer’s body looks great in direct sunlight!

Dos Equis takes its name from the two large Xs that adorn its packaging. This beer was originally named Siglo XX (for “twentieth century”), to commemorate the arrival of a new century. The bottles were marked with the Roman numeral for 20 (XX), giving the beer its name of “Dos Equis”, Spanish for “two Xs”.

Dos Equis comes in a green bottle, setting it apart from other Mexican beers, which come in clear bottles. This protects it partially from UV radiation and gives it the feeling of a more premium beer than a brown bottle would. The bottle’s label is adorned with Mexican colors of green, white and red, with some gold foil to make Dos Equis feel like a premium Mexican lager. Cans of Dos Equis bear the same colors and logo.

Dos Equis Alcohol Percentage and Calories

Dos Equis lager has an ABV of 4.2%, fairly standard for the style. Each 12oz serving has 131 calories and 11 grams of carbs. 

Why Does Dos Equis Taste Like This?

Dos Equis was originally brewed by Moctezuma brewery’s founder, Wilhelm Haase, a German who wanted to brew Mexican beer with a clear German heritage and sensibility. Accordingly, in 1897, he launched this golden pilsner, echoing the popular pilsner style from his native Germany, brewed with “pure spring water and the choicest hops”.

Dos Equis, as a lager, is bottom-fermented at lower temperatures between 35 and 50 degrees F. Its ingredients include water, malted barley, corn starch/syrup, hops, and ascorbic acid. 

Dos Equis is also heavily filtered to remove any yeast cells or lingering sediment that could cause the beer to become hazy or cloudy. The result of the filtration process is a clear, golden color and the beer’s distinctively crisp flavor profile.

Dos Equis Brand Image

A big part of the Dos Equis brand is its famous “most interesting man in the world” campaign. This featured British actor Jonathan Goldsmith as a confident, charming older gentleman with outrageous, often humorous stories about his various exploits. This campaign became one of the first viral internet memes and is credited with boosting Dos Equis’ popularity in the early twenty-first century. 

What to Eat with Dos Equis

Dos Equis’ clean, crisp flavor profile makes it a very versatile pairing for food. Of course, as a Mexican beer, it goes very well with strongly flavored Mexican meals. Tostadas, enchiladas, and burrito bowls all pair very well with Dos Equis lager, as the beer’s clean taste and dry complements the strong flavors in these dishes.

Dos Equis also pairs well with grilled meat and seafood. If you’re enjoying a tasty steak, or a perfectly seasoned, marinated piece of fish, a sip of Dos Equis between bites or even between courses makes an excellent palate cleanser.

Dos Equis’ clean flavor profile also makes it perfect for a Michelada! If you’re feeling adventurous, you could mix your Dos Equis lager with lime, salt, hot sauce, and tomato juice for a refreshing, tart evening drink.

What Do Other People Think?

It’s always worth looking at how others view a brew. Dos Equis enjoys widespread distribution and is widely available at bars and restaurants throughout certain parts of the United States. As a result, many drinkers have tried Dos Equis lager, and we considered reviews across the internet, weighted their scores, and determined an average in the table below.

PlatformDos Equis
BeerAdvocate5.5
Untappd6.2
RateBeer4.18
Drizly9.4
Influenster9
Average Score6.86

Dos Equis lager has a very broad spread of reviews. It had a remarkably low score of 4.18 on Ratebeer, compared with Drizly’s near-perfect score of 9.4. Beer drinkers’ opinions on Dos Equis varied widely, with some praising the beer’s easy drinkability and excellent pairing with Mexican food, and others disliking its mild palate and lack of character.

The experienced beer drinkers of Beeradvocate, Ratebeer, and Untappd tended to be more critical of Dos Equis lager, while some did emphasize the beer’s adherence to the tenets of its style.

Here’s what one Beeradvocate reviewer had to say about their Dos Equis lager:

Really, I’ve had this maybe three times previously, but not in at least fifteen years, and I had no memory of the experience(s), other than it happened. It is much better than I expected. Nothing much to recommend it, but nothing awful either. It’s liquid, it’s cold, and it’s carbonated. If that’s all you need at a given moment, and there are no GOOD options, this will do.

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