El Steinber Dark Lager - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
El Steinber Dark LagerEl Steinber Dark Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

158 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 158
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 12.22%
Wants: 7
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mdfb79 on 07-26-2012

Midnight Wheat malt gives this complex lager its dark brown color while additions of roasted Indio-Hispano® blue corn create both a lighter body and unique, toasty flavor. German Pilsner malt and Saaz hops round out this dark lager producing a crisp, clean finish and smooth drinkability that is perfect for any occasion.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 43
Reviews by ripperltj:
More User Reviews:
Photo of MikeC144
2.5/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was not bad

Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz glass at Beer Revolution.

This beer appears a clear, bronze-tinted chestnut brown colour, with a thin cap of wispy off-white head, which leaves loosely webbed lace around the glass as things duly sink away.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, toasted nuts, a mineral flintiness, and very mild earthy, weedy hops. The taste is lightly toasted bready caramel malt, ethereal earthy nuts, a hint of dry cocoa, and musty, leafy hops. Simple, but in a good way.

The carbonation is rather active in its tight frothiness, the body on the light side of medium weight, and a tad mealy, but generally smooth. It finishes mostly dry, the roasted graininess and oily nuttiness calling home to say they'll be late for dinner.

A decent enough dark lager, with more than a few Munich Dunkel notes to recommend it by. Perhaps a tad plain, but that's a positive aspect in this realm, where off-flavours and unwelcome phenols tend to lurk. Worthy of a round or two over dark wooden tables.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a clear but dark auburn/ruby brown with a light tan w finger head. Good retention, leaving a fair layer of suds across the top. Good lacing and with good stick.

Smell - Malt aroma lands somewhere between toffee and caramel. Like most corn-added brews, the corn aroma gets more noticeable as it warms.

Taste - Follows the nose. Toffee and caramel sweetness is most prevalent. Light notes of corn. Faint roasted notes; again, hits more noticeably once the beer has warmed. Hops hit near the finish with a mild spice and grassy bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with tingly carbonation. Crisp, semi-dry finish.

Overall - This beer's got some nice things going for it, in fact it might be the best Euro dark lager style beer I've come across. This is a beer, in can form, I'd bring with me to the river. That said, it's not a style that really grabs me. I'd rather go with a nice ESB, even without that crisp lager edge.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anderson Valley "El Steinber Dark Lager"
16 oz. can, no apparent freshness dating
$2.99 @ Total Wine & More #901, Tampa, FL

I don't really have a lot to say about this beer. Anderson Valley makes some incredible beers but this is not one of them; it's just a solidly made, high quality, drinkable dunkelbier.

It pours a clear deep mahogany brown body beneath creamy head of light tan that holds well and leaves some very nice lacing. The nose it gently caramelish (mainly dark caramel), nutty, and lightly toasty. The flavor adds some more golden caramel to it, a hint of light fruitiness, and a touch of dusty chocolate as well, backed by some leafy and herbal hops. It's got a very firm bitterness to it and it finishes dry with a bit of crushed granite, some bakers chocolate, and more leafy hops.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.81/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a finger and half of head on a dark brown body.
The aroma is grain and lemon.
The taste is cream, malty sweetness and grapefruit bitter in a wonderful blend.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
Overall an enjoyable beer with some great flavor.

Photo of Kegatron
3.29/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

16oz can. Deep clear amber with a rocky off-white head. This retains with a smooth froth that rings the sides of the glass with sticky lace. The aroma is a nice mix of sweet and roasty (maybe even smoky) with a tinge of green citrus and floral accents on the edges. The taste has a crisp green hop bite, surrounded by a combination of malt sweetness and lingering roast. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a tight creaminess to the carbonation, yet this remains very smooth. This was decent. It could have used a bit more of a push from the malts but it’s still pretty drinkable.

Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque deep russet brown color with a huge and super sticky 3 finger lightly tanned head. Nose mildly kilned barley and modest earthy and noble hopping.

Light body but full feeling in the mouth. Prickly and brisk carbonation but the beer holds up to it. Typical of something akin to a negro modelo but definitely more roast character a bit more complexity and body. Lightly roasted malt up front, dry grains along the mid palate and balancing faint hop bitterness, roast character lingers, subtle notes of coffee and toffee. Pairing oddly really well with garlic pesto right now, brings out the more sublte flavors. Pretty good.

Photo of tone77
3.29/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A big thanks to the legendary woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a cola color with a 1 inch head. Smell is very mild, some light roasted malts are detected. Taste is also kind of light, some roasted malts, a touch of smoke, really not a whole lot going on. Feels medium/full in the mouth and overall is pretty much a mediocre beer.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pounder can picked up at Bier Thirty in Bown tonight for about $2.25... Poured into my slim tulip produces an abundant 3 finger tannish head atop a clear walnut brew.... the head dies back pretty quickly but leaves good lacing.

For the lion's share, the nose shows toasty malts... but there is a "tinny/metallic" quality that I am picking up on pretty heavily... it dissipates with warmth, but is no doubt there.

Flavor is better, but still a mild metallic element remains.. more though the malts shine very clean... no real hoppiness to come into play.. dark toast is the big player on the finish.

Body is light/medium and a pretty abundant carbonation...

Decent beer (and I love dark lagers), but the tinny quality is pretty off-putting.

Overall, this is a nice beer for peeps that appreciate dark lagers. Otherwise, they will pan it. I like it a lot.

3.5/3.25/3.5/3.25/3.5

Photo of metter98
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Beer Authority, New York, NY

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber brown in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down but left a very thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are sweet aromas of malt extracts in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of syrup extracts and toasted malts along with slight hints of sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied and very thin on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The thin and watery nature of this beer makes it taste somewhat like a Mexican Munich Dunkel Lager.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler into a beer stein. Pours with a massive sandy-brown head. It appears nearly black, but when held to the light is actually a clear, extremely dark mahogany.

Medium body and mostly firm feel, though a bit thinner than the best lagers. The beer has a nice, clean toffee-like malty flavor up front and a slight spicy note at mid-palate that carries through to the finish. Unfortunately, the beer lacks the malty ``chewiness'' one finds in the best examples. Still, a nice easy-drinking, sessionable lager in the European tradition that accompanies just about any meal.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.67/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a can of Anderson Valley's El Steinber Dark Lager last week for $2.59 at The Lager Mill. Anderson Valley seems to be a pretty solid brewery so I decided to give their Dark Lager a try, i'm in the mood for something dark, but not strong and this seems like a good choice, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date, but it just showed up so I think it's fairly fresh. Poured from a 16oz can into an imperial pint glass.

A- The can looks pretty good, what's not to like about a bear with antlers wearing a poncho, it's fairly eye catching. It poured a nice and fairly clear darker brown color that took on some ruby/mahogany like colors when held to the light with three fingers worth of tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice lacing behind. This was a good looking beer that looked fairly true to style.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with a good amount of malts that have a pretty grainy aroma to them along with some caramel and lightly roasted aromas. Up next comes a lighter nutty aroma with a slight metallic aromas towards the end. The aroma was just ok, I thought it was a little bland and it could have been just a little more complex.

T- The taste seems to somewhat like the aroma but not as bland, it starts off with a lower amount of sweetness followed by a good amount of malts that impart a grainy, caramel malt, and a medium roasted flavor that was a little on the lighter side and it stuck out nicely. Up next comes a slight chocolate, nutty and smokey flavor that adds a little complexity and it's followed by some earthy hops that impart a lighter amount of medium bitterness with a roasty and malty aftertaste. This was a pretty nice tasting beer, that was fairly true to style.

M- Pretty smooth, clean, fairly crisp, on the thicker side of being lighter bodied, with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good, it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a good example of the style, it had some nice roasty flavors with some crisp and clean lager flavors, it fulfilled my craving for this style. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it was pretty smooth, crisp, clean, and the flavors did a nice job at holding my attention, I could drink a few of these on a cool summer night, I think it's fairly sessionable. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance and the mouthfeel, they were pretty good and the taste was pretty nice also, it's pretty much what I want from the style. What I liked the least about this beer was the aroma, it was pretty bland and it didn't get me too excited to drink this beer, I think the aroma could use a little work. I would buy this beer again when in the mood for a Black Lager, it's got just about everything that I look for in the style and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the style and it might make a for good introduction to dark beers. All in all i was pretty happy with this beer, it really hit the spot on this warm spring night and I know I will be drinking a few more of these this summer, good job guys this is one solid beer.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Well it looks like a dark lager deep hazelnut brown with just a 1/4 inch of head that pulls back to a thick lace ring.
S - Soft skunky lager tones, some bread, and a touch of caramel malts.
T - A touch more yeasty than I expected, very dry but almost like Yingz with some skunky lager yeast, some bready malts, a touch of acidic and some caramel sweet malts.
M - Light to medium, easy enough to drink but drier than I wanted.

Overall this is quite a fail on Anderson valley, I expected a dark lager with chocolate tones and sweet malts and got a dry bitter lager. Skip it if you can.

Photo of Zorro
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Clear brown colored brew with a small to medium sized khaki colored head.

Smells lightly of coca powder and a sweet herbal hop. Grass and light smoke with a little hay. Faint chocolate brownie scent.

Starts out slightly sweet with a chocolate and tobacco leaf flavor. Mild bitterness and a slight metallic flavor. Mild toasted grain flavor. Little bit of charcoal taste. Smooth flavor but I'm not picking up much hop.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a good beer. Not something I will likely buy again though. The beer just doesn't wow me.

Photo of shand
3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

El Steinber, for what it's worth, is a spot-on American craft version of a Euro Dark Lager that's not in a green bottle. It nails the taste of the Euro imports I've had, from the nice maltiness, right down to a slight metallic aftertaste. It'd be better if they lost that characteristic aftertaste, but it's still a good beer that's highly drinkable.

Photo of cbutova
3.02/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A- Can poured to a glass for the review. Dark, dark brown body that almost reaches black with a one finger, light tan head. The foamy, frothy cap has pretty nice retention and eventually falls to a thick ring. Lacing is a mix of large blankets and drizzled webs.

S- Very mild and actually reminds me of an English Mild in a way. Fruity yeast, apples, raisins and nutty dark toasted malts. Something metallic?

T- Yeasty and malty for the most part. Fruity yeast hints like apple, figs and raisin come to mind as well as the standard bread notes. Malts form a base but aren't as deep as say a Brown Ale. Malts have a roasty bitterness and are toasted and have a somewhat sweet crystal malt feel. Hops give off hints of herbal and spicy qualities. Something metallic again.

MF- Light bodied but has a fairly creamy, foamy feel when agitated on the palate. Carbonation at a moderately high level. Finishes with some hop and roasty bitterness.

A strong roast bitterness but not necessarily a deep roast malt feel with a light yeast character. Just doesn't blend together all that well for me with the flavor switching from yeast to roast to a metallic off flavor (very small but comes out nonetheless).

Photo of Clydesdale
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a surprisingly dark brown; this is darker than many porters. I'm not complaining, but I was expecting something closer to an amber lager this. The light brown head is tall and reasonably dense, with a frothy texture. Retention is good, and lacing is scattered but prominent.

S: Mild malt sweetness and toasted aromas. Very faint roasty and cocoa notes. Firmer notes of dark and dried fruit and leather add depth and complexity. There is a bit of an herbal/grassy hop aroma as well.

T: Mildly sweet, with firm toasty and moderate roasty malt flavor up front. Mild notes of plum, raisin, and leather lend a European feel. Hop bitterness is medium, and balances the rest of the beer well. Grassy/herbal flavor is most prominent, but here the hops are mostly adding bitterness.

M: Medium-firm body. Carbonation is moderately active. The finish is dry, with some roasty feel.

O: This is a nice dark lager. It's a bit surprising to see this coming from California, but Anderson Valley did a good job of capturing a well-rounded, drinkable version of a somewhat unpopular style.

Photo of neenerzig
4.11/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My good buddy Jon Passow, who as of a few months ago became the Manager of Barrel Room Operations at Anderson Valley sent me this in a package from northern, CA. Poured out of a 16 oz can into one of my mugs, this beer pours a clear, very dark amber/brown color with some deep yes bright amber highlights when held up to the light. Has a slightly off white head about 2/3 to 3/4 inch thick when first poured that eventually settles to nice thick white ring lining the inside of the glass along with lots of big swirls of foam covering the beer's surface and very nice lacing here too. Aromas of roasted caramel sweetness with some nuts and a bit of corn. I was informed by Passow that blue corn is indeed one of the ingredients used in the beer. Smell is rounded out with a mild aroma of minerally, earthy hops. Has a slightly toasted, caramel and slightly biscuity/bready malt sweetness that gives way to a darker malt profile with subtle hints of nutty and chocolate notes that gives way to a definite blue corn presence. I really like how the blue corn is used here in addition to the malted barely. The corn definitely adds something unique. The flavors are rounded out with nits of earthy hops that add a little bit of bitterness which balances out the overall flavor profile very nicely. Has a slightly crisp and prickly, but also smooth, frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. I am very glad I got to try this, as my friend Passows told me he is pretty sure that this is not one of Anderson Valley's beers that gets distributed here in Ohio.

Eric

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass.

The beer is a dark cola color with a ruby tint coming through in the light. A cream colored head recedes to a thick film while splotches and foamy lines of lacing appear on the glass randomly.

The aroma is coated with a subtle sweetness of vanilla or caramel while the center is toasted grains and malts.

The taste also starts out with a nice sweetness, almost lulling the taste buds to sleep. Roasted barley and malts hold up the body.

Mouthfeel is bright and clean if not a little thin.

Overall, I was expecting more from a stellar brewery. This beer is certainly drinkable, sessionable, but lacking a real knockout punch of flavor.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.51/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear very dark amber in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and some golden amber + garnet red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall creamy beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer along with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of sweet toasted malts with some lighter aromas of roasted malts.

T: Similar to the smell, the flavor of this beer is all malts - moderate to strong flavors of sweet toasted malts with light to moderate amounts of roasted malts and just a hint of caramel + grainy sweetness. No bitterness is present but overall the flavor is not overly sweet.

M: Light bodied with a moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Not amazing but easy to drink and pairs very well with some lamb sausages off the grill. There is a little more subtly to the flavor and aroma of this beer but I can appreciate it.

Photo of jlindros
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Do love craft beer in cans, and this brewery has some good beers and some bad ones.

Pours an OK fizzy bubbly foamy head that fades semi quickly after hitting 2 fingers but with the air and fizz it's like an artificial head, just a touch of wispy lacing, dark but very clear root beer brown colored.

Nose is so-so, some darker malts but not much, a little dry black malt, touch acrid and some metallic like aromas, some dark crystal malts and a little syrupy mess, faint cocoa dust, some lager aromas but not a very clean lager.

Taste starts with dark creamy like malts, more dark crystal malts, little caramel and syrupy, light black malt, dry powdered cocoa, into some fruity flavors a little fig like somehow, fruity lager characters, a light metallic twing too, and some mild warm lager fermentation characters but not sulfury at least. Mild spicy bitterness, little earthy and fair bitterness. finish is dry but sticky, bit syrupy, bit more earthy spicy hops and fair bitterness, more cola syrup and caramel.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb, little syrupy.

Overall meh, not the best schwarzbier, lager seemed a little too warm, some metallic notes, decent dark malts, overall just not the best put together beer.

Photo of woodychandler
3.99/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was SO glad to find this in the cooler at The Foodery (Northern Liberties) as I had co-hosted a talk in Pittsburgh alongside Tony Knipling in which this was one of the featured beers, but we drank them all and I could not find another for inclusion in The CANQuest (TM). Grrr.

From the CAN: "Bahl Hornin' since 1987".

What CAN you do when a beer foams through the opening right after the Crack? NOT an inverted Glug, I assure you! I allowed things to settle in until two fingers of dense, deep-tan head had formed, evincing good retention. I had poured it into my Anderson Valley CAN glass, which is pretty darn cool. Color was a deep, dark brown (SRM = > 34, < 44) with NE-quality clarity and ruby highlights. Nose had notes of milk chocolate and a light smokiness. Mouthfeel was medium and the the taste was very chocolaty, more sweet than I might have preferred, but not bad. Beautiful lacing began to appear as I drank from the glass. Finish was silky smooth and I was halfway through it before it even registered how quickly that I was drinking. Good stuff and worth a shot if this is your style of beer. For me, I'm going back to an IPA.

Photo of vkv822
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz : mug

Pours a clear, dark mahogany red with a thick, foamy off white head.

Grassy, lightly spicy hops, lightly sweet caramel, bready malts.

Medium+, smooth body from the wheat malts. Foamy carbonation.

A well done dark lager. Easy drinking, but still quite flavorful.

Photo of MerkinMan
3.96/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I hate when people smack their lips when tasting beer. Why do they do it? Does it make them taste more?

A: Dark copper and very clear. Billow off-white head that is quite persistent.

s: A bit corny with some caramel and toasty notes. Very low earthy hop aroma, and nothing in the way of yeast or fermentation byproduct scents. Clean, as you may say.

T: Corn grainy sweetness with a toasty back -- nice. Finish has a slight metallic edge to it that I think may be from chocolate malt. Some bitterness from dark malts as well. Hop bitterness is in balance with the malt, and the finish is more bitter than sweet (once the (very)slight metallic favor subsides). No esters or phenols -- it's a lager, duh.

MF: Medium light bodied with effervescent carbonation. Pleasantly prickly on the tongue with slight creaminess and no alcohol heat.

O: This is a very drinkable beer with a couple slight rough edges, but nothing that would prevent me from drinking many more. Quite enjoyable. Corn sweetness and bitterness level makes this very enjoyable.

Photo of avalon07
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a can to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of creamy, off white, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: Not a whole lot of smell, but some traces of malt and caramel.

T: Tasted of toasted malt, caramel, and a little nutty quality. A decent enough flavor, but it won't exactly wow you.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a sharp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Considering that the Euro Dark Lager isn't exactly the greatest or most complex style, El Steinber is a pretty good version of it. Oddly drinkable.

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El Steinber Dark Lager from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.