What Does Dos Equis Taste Like? (Flavors and Tasting Notes)

Dos Equis from the Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery is a famous Mexican Pilsner-Style lager. If you have never had it you will still recognize it, but you may be wondering if it deserves its fame.

Dos Equis Lager Especial tastes of quality malts with a hint of sweetness and corn. The aroma reflects this without becoming overpowering. It has an ABV of 4.2% and goes well with a variety of foods. Typically paired with lime to add citrus flavor and acidity.

That is just a quick overview of the beer. To find a more complete breakdown, continue reading.

Tasting notes and flavors for Dos Equis

There are other varieties of Dos Equis, but I am focusing on the Lager Especial or Special Lager. 

If you know the world’s most interesting man, you know that he drinks Dos Equis. If you’ve not had it before, you won’t know why. 

This beer is highly refreshing from mouthfeel to taste. It is slightly sweet with notes of malt and corn. In a glass, it is a light gold liquid that foams up when poured. The white foam head quickly dissipates and leaves no lacing.

From first to the last sip, it is an enjoyable brew. It is perfect for a night out on the town or an afternoon at the beach.

Below, I will discuss each aspect of this beer from creating to consuming it. Then I’ll talk about the best way to drink it and what to eat with it.

Taste

Without lime and salt, Dos Equis Special Lager tastes primarily of malt sweetness and corn. It has little to no bitterness and finishes clean.

Other reported flavors include hints of citrus, metal, and cardboard. However, in most cases, any off-flavors are not present.

The preferred way to drink Dos Equis is with a lime garnish and a salted rim. This changes the taste and often overwhelms the flavor of the beer itself.

Does Dos Equis taste like Corona?

While both beers are Mexican lagers, Dos Equis tastes similar to, but not quite like Corona. 

This is heavily dependent on whether both beers are fresh. A fresh Dos Equis will taste similar to a fresh Corona. Unfortunately, Corona is usually bottled in clear glass. This greatly increases the chance of skunking.

It goes without saying that a skunked Corona will taste much worse than a fresh Dos Equis.

Aroma

The aroma of this beer is very close to its taste.

The first aroma you will notice is the corn. It is accompanied by the malty sweetness present in the taste. These aromas are fairly faint and not overpowering.

The aroma of this beer provides a nice representation of the flavors without becoming distracting.

Appearance

This beer does not set itself apart from the crowd in its appearance, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t pleasant.

Dos Equis pours clear and golden with a light white head that quickly dissipates. When drank, it generates little to no lacing. In the glass, there will be bubbles rising as it is moderately carbonated.

Mouthfeel

This beer’s mouthfeel is fairly standard for an adjunct lager.

The overall mouthfeel is of watery but crisp carbonation. It is a very light mouthfeel beer that focuses on being refreshing rather than a complex feeling that demands attention.

While this certainly lends itself to its goal of being a refreshing summer beer, it can be disappointing to some.

Dos Equis recipe and ingredients

As Dos Equis is a macro-beer in the modern beer world, revealing the exact recipe would be unwise. However, most people want to know the gist of what they’re consuming. 

The Dos Equis Lager Especial page on DosEquis.com reveals the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • Malted barley
  • Corn starch/syrup
  • Hops
  • Ascorbic acid

All of which are pretty standard ingredients. The only ingredient that might not be immediately clear if you don’t know your chemistry is ascorbic acid. This acid is just water-soluble vitamin C.

They obviously omitted the yeast they use, but it will be a lager yeast as that is the type of beer. As for the recipe they follow, it is likely standard for a pilsner-style lager. It would certainly include lagering and filtration to achieve the level of clarity presented by Dos Equis.

The rest of the recipe and ingredients can be pieced together by a knowledgeable brewer. Instead of breaking it down as so many have done, I will instead share the work of a homebrewer who has made a Dos Equis Special Lager clone.

Ingredients

  • 6.6 lbs. American – Pilsner 
  • 1.3 lbs. Flaked Corn
  • 1.1 lbs. American – Vienna
  • 0.4 oz Tettnanger Hop Pellets
  • 0.5 oz Saaz Hop Pellets
  • White Labs – American Lager Yeast WLP840
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss

Recipe

  1. Bring your water to a boil.
  2. Add fermentables and Tettnager hops at 60 minutes left.
  3. Add Saaz hops and Irish moss at 15 minutes left.
  4. After boiling, chill at 53°F.
  5. Ferment in primary at 52°F for 5 days.
  6. Ferment in secondary at 62°F for 1 day.
  7. Lager at 33°F for roughly 17 days.
  8. Bottle or keg as preferred.

Depending on your packaging method, you will be force carbonating or bottle conditioning. Whatever the method, read this article to get a good idea of what each one involves.

Dos Equis Style

Dos Equis Special Lager is classified as a pilsner-style lager. The style is characterized by its crisp, clean taste. This beer is light in almost all aspects. Off flavors are seldom intended in a pilsner style.

Dos Equis ABV

Dos Equis Special Lager has an ABV of 4.2%

Dos Equis calories and nutritional information

In a 12oz serving of Dos Equis, you’ll find the following:

  • Calories: 131
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • IBU: 10

How to drink Dos Equis for the best flavor

Every beer you drink will have good and bad ways to drink it. Many are forgiving and will taste good no matter what. Some will only taste good under specific conditions.

With Dos Equis, there are a few factors that will affect your enjoyment of the beer. They can range from garnishes, temperature, packaging, and glass type. Below are a few suggestions on how to best enjoy Dos Equis.

Garnish

Mexican beers are famous for being better with lime.

Squeeze a little lime in your Dos Equis and it will be a completely different drink. Fresh lime wedges are the best. Whether you’re drinking from a glass or a bottle just squeeze the lime and drop it in your beer.

Additionally, salted rims are not just for margaritas. Add a little salt to the rim of a glass or lip of a bottle and enjoy. Adding both salt and lime will make your Dos Equis shine.

It is such a commonly done garnishing that Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery has made a Dos Equis that already includes them. This beer isn’t available everywhere so be sure to try it if you find it.

Temperature

Temperature is almost as important as garnishing when it comes to this beer. While there isn’t an official recommended temp, in general, it is best at cold temps. 

A good rule of thumb for this is 38-55°F. Dos Equis will be better on the lower end of this range.

Hot Dos Equis should be avoided if possible. The heat does no favors for the flavor of this beer.

Bottle, can, or draft?

Dos Equis is commonly available in each of these options. Though depending on where you live, certain options may be less common or more expensive. Depending on your drinking preferences you may find one option to be the best.

In this case, the general “best” would be drinking this beer on draft. It has the benefit of being fresh, cold, and lacking any potential off-flavors.

Canned Dos Equis has the advantage of being portable as well as no possibility of becoming light-struck. The downside would be the fact that even with a cooler, it won’t stay cold for long.

Bottles are very similar to cans except for the opacity. Dos Equis Special Lager is typically bottled in green glass. This glass isn’t as bad as clear glass, but it isn’t as protective as brown. This increases the chance that the beer becomes light-struck or skunked.

Draft Dos Equis will be kept in the ideal conditions ready to be consumed. At a bar or home bar, you will likely have access to fresh ingredients for garnishing which has already been established as desirable.

Type of glass

Believe it or not, the type of glass can have an impact on your drinking experience.

Dos Equis is best complimented by being served in either a shaker or a nonic pint. Both of these glasses will allow you to fully experience the beer.

Both of the above glass styles will show off the clear golden appearance, light corn and malt aroma, and light refreshing taste.

That said, Dos Equis is a beer that can be served in nearly any glass. Some are just more practical than others. 

What kind of foods pair best with Dos Equis

As a Mexican beer, Dos Equis pairs well with many Mexican dishes. However, those are not the only foods it goes well with. Here are a few examples:

  • Burgers. A good hearty burger is well complimented by a refreshing light beer.
  • Chips & Salsa. Pair the perfect appetizer with a great lager.
  • Chorizo. The spice of this sausage will be quenched by the crispness of Dos Equis.
  • Pizza. For a great night in there is always pizza. Pair it with a crisp beer to make it perfect.
  • Tacos. Whether you enjoy yours with a bit of a kick or not, Dos Equis will be a perfect companion.

Is Dos Equis a good beer to drink?

The biggest qualification for this question is if you enjoy the beer. If that answer is yes, then it is a good beer to drink.

Dos Equis is a great beer for plenty of situations. Enjoying a nice meal? Dos Equis. Enjoying the shade of an umbrella on the beach? Dos Equis. Spending time with friends around a fire? Dos Equis. The list could go on.

Whatever the situation is, remember the ways to get the most out of Dos Equis. Don’t let it get too hot, store bottles away from sunlight, and keep some limes on hand. 

Don’t forget that it is a cool beer to drink. After all, this is the beer of choice for the most interesting man in the world. 

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