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Beerlao Dark - Lao Brewery Co.

Not Rated.
Beerlao DarkBeerlao Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

67 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 67
Hads: 137
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 15.48%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lao Brewery Co. visit their website
Laos

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 12-31-2005

Beerlao Dark is an award winning beer brewed with the finest ingredients and roasted malt. A full-bodied tasted experience with a golden brown color.
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Reviews: 67 | Hads: 137
Photo of GRG1313
2.85/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours dark brown with a thick white head that dissipates quickly.

Bretanomyces nose (which I expect is not intentional) with an underlying vegetal character that is not unpleasant and which turns to burnt carmel when in the glass a few minutes.

Thin mouthfeel that thickens and improves. Flavors of burnt carmel and light coffee with a high acid character and a malty fruit mid palate and goes to coffee and cooked fruit in the back palate and initial finish.

Finish then "finishes" with long pleasant malt and hops. End palate and finish is strength of this beer. Not what I would call "drink" friendly. (610 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured clear amber in color with a finger high off white head that has good retention properties. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are faint aromas of caramel and nutty malts in the nose, which is rather sweet.
T: The taste has a mix of light amounts of sweetness and bitterness. There are some notes of caramel and nuts in the flavors.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness perceptible in the finish.
D: It's quite drinkable for a dark beer and is particularly suited for drinking during the summer months (or Southeast Asian climate). (652 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.22/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a thin, wispy, off-white head.

Smell: Light toasty maltiness with maybe, just maybe, a faint touch of chocolate.

Taste: Lightly toasty malts and more of that world-famous Laotian rice with a slight sugary sweetness. Small hint of cocoa powder. Very light hop bitterness. Finishes relatively sweetish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Delightfully tolerable! And here I was worried a tolerable beer from Laos would be as incredibly rare a find as the Laotian Rock Rat. (553 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Apparently the easiest beer from Southeast Asia for me to acquire out here in NoVa. Huh. Anyway, it pours a clear dark tawny with about half a finger of light ecru mini-foam on top. The nose is dark wheat, cinnamon, and nutmeg; a helluva lot better than I was expecting (I blame Thailand and 'Nam for this). The taste doesn't deviate too far, with notes of dark malts, wheat, and a slight underlying sweetness. Honestly, this may be the best-tasting Euro Dark I've had in a long goddamn time. Who'da thunk it? The body is light, with a lightly moderate carbonation and a rather watery feel. Not an optimal feel, but a surprisingly highly drinkable brew nonetheless. Right on, Laos. (711 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.15/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BeerLao Dark pours a clear dark-chestnut body beneath a short cap of creamy white foam. The fact that the head is so light in contrast to the darkness of the body beneath says something. The head retention is fairly good, and it leaves some partial rings of thin, bubbly lacing as it goes.

In the nose it's fairly malty with a bit of nuttiness and caramel. That carries over into the flavor as well, but it's not nearly as malty or flavorful as you'd expect. It's backed by a harsh, somewhat acidic bitterness that cuts through what malt is there and takes you abruptly to the finish before you've even had a chance to swallow it. Fortunately, a sweet dollop of nutty and caramelish malt remains on the tip of your tongue as the back of your mouth is coated in acidic dryness.

Overall, this is much better than the standard BeerLao, and I guess if I was stranded there I'd go for this. (887 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.57/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I purchased this from Half Time, enjoyed the bottle chilled from a tulip

The color is practically black with almost opaque appearance and thick pale tan cap with very fine bead lace clings in rings. The smell is very malty with bready toasted aromas with mild sweetness and light creamy yeast esters. The feel is very good with moderately high carbonation and gentle sweetness with slight toastiness and mild bitterness with slight creamy yeasty feel mid palate and semi-sweet carbonated finish.

The flavor has a mild cereal and bready malt flavor which is mildly sweet essence with toastiness of lightly roasted malt and gentle yeast which has a tangy flavor but not over the top, just enough to notice as it finishes with a slight crisp bran-like taste with a mix of sweetness and earthy malt flavors with slight residual sweetness as it finishes with a slight dark brown sugar accent. Overall a pretty decent dark lager, not the best, but has a nice drinkability and was better than expected (997 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

undated 330 ml bottle.
Pours clear dark brown with a large tan white head that has moderate duration.
Very sweet aroma of roasted malts, caramel and rice.
Also has a sweet and roasty flavor, but not nearly as sweet as the aroma suggests.

Medium body with medium carbonation.
O: Interesting and a little better than expected. (330 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.15/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear deep brownish amber with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some ruby red highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a quarter finger tall pillowy layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall the aroma of this beer is fairly sweet with moderate notes of fruity and nutty malts

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of sweet nutty malts with hints of fruity yeast. There is a light amount of bitterness in the finish that fades very quickly.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery with hints of dryness in the finish.

O: This is a surprising easy to drink Euro Dark Lager with a slightly lighter body which makes it good for drinking in warm weather. Pairs well with intensely flavorful foods. (935 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.41/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a solid pilsner and caramel malt scent that's sweet to the nose, but also dry in the finish. There's also a metallic character as well that takes away from the aroma. The taste is decent. It has a smooth caramel malt flavor laid over a base of pilsner malts. It goes down easy with a velvety sweetness and mouthfeel and finishes dry with a slight metallic edge. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a pretty solid dark lager. It's an easy drinker with good malt character. (654 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

First beer from Laos.

The appearance is dark mahogany with crimson highlights. Big soapy white head that hangs around for a long time. The aroma is pretty faint. Some lager yeast, dark fruits, brown bread. Prickly carbonation (too prickly actually) with some hop bitterness in the back. A tad sweet. Light to medium in body. Ok. (329 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - dark, translucent amber with a big, thick cap of brownish, off white head that has pretty good retention

S - sweet caramel

T - faint caramel, a slight bitterness; very, very light flavor profile

M - light to medium bodied, smooth, a bit sticky, well carbonated

This is a pretty simple, one-dimensional beer. If this were American it'd be a poorly put together amber lager. As a European lager I give it slightly more credit. Nonetheless, it's disappointing and forgettable. (481 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz single bought from my local Asian farmer's market for $1.49. This beer is surprisingly decent. Pours dark chestnut with an okay head that fades to a swirly cap. Smells grainy and malty with some notes of cocoa and cream as well as a touch of lager yeast. The taste is similar, with nice cocoa notes over a grainy, malty base that lacks the grainy sourness you sometimes find in these Euro lagers. Relatively clean in the mouth with a pleasantly creamy finish. Not bad at all. (495 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.34/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beerlao Dark appears to live up to its name; a deep, toasty chestnut tone, the beer is indeed dark (the odd flickering highlight notwithstanding). Although technically transparent, the colour is such that everything appear like shadows when viewed through the beer. Its head looks something like grated parmigiano and leaves rings of lacing.

There's notions of bready, lightly toasted Munich and nutty Vienna malts but they're severely muffled. The distortion is something like when you're stopped at a red light and the car in the next lane rolls up with their radio blaring but the windows closed; you can hear the sounds but can't make out the specific words.

In this case, the clean, natural, and wholesome flavours of the malts are obstructed by what seems to be some kind of corn-derived adjunct. The notes of brown bread crusts and toasted nuts are enveloped in a cloying, corn syrup-like texture, with a minimal amount of the roasted maltiness making it to the aftertaste. It's agreeable, but too far too mild.

Naturally, however, Laos does not have the long brewing tradition of Germany and it would be unreasonable to expect a beer of comparable richness and technical virtuosity. All things considered, this brewery's done a fair job. Overlooking the impressions of adjunct, the lager is reasonably clean with natural apple-y fruit esters and traces of toffee sweetness.

Beerlao Dark does not compare to the dark lagers of continental Europe but it's one of the more approachable, flavourful, and all around better beers I've tried from Southeast Asia. Having never traveled there I imagine this may be as good as it gets in that part of the world (a reasonable assumption given the awful exports I've been subjected to). (1,740 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger cream head that fades quickly to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Nice crystal clear amber color. Mystery bits in bottom of glass that may or may not be yeast. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Faint malty nose. Flavor reminds me of honey cough syrup. Far better than their Lager. $1.85 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma. (362 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another one courtesy of Tyler. Poured into 10oz glass. poured a clean, clear medium brown with almost 2 inches of light tan head (thanks to an over-enthusiastic pour by me) that had very good retention and light lacing.

The aroma was mostly grainy malt, with a touch of hops and a slight skunk. The flavor was also grainy, but a bit cleaner than the aroma. The slight skunk was also present. I received this bottle in July and just stuck it in the fridge a few days age, so the skunk may be due to my storage and handling. Or the beer may just have some skunk.

The body was typical for the style and drinkability was OK as well.
Overall, about what you'd expect from the style. Give it a shot if you're interested. (716 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium brown hue, not unlike a nut brown ale or an ESB. Body is clear and the head is a thick finger of frothy light-tan foam with a good lace. Not bad, actually.

Smell: sweet, caramelly malt aroma without much in the way of hops. Perhaps a bit sweet for my taste, but it is clean and free of flaws.

Taste: much like the aroma, it's a sweet, caramel malt-heavy beer. For that, the flavor seems more balanced than the aroma with a light but present bitterness toward the end. There also seems to be a very light but noticeable smokiness in the flavor which is appealing; perhaps they still kiln malt over wood fires in Laos.

Mouthfeel: quite good. Medium-light body with a massive carbonation which yields the creaminess I like. Perhaps not to-style, but it's certainly to my taste.

Overall: a decent and drinkable dark lager. I'm going to award some bonus points here for the light smokiness, which really is a treat here (again, if not to-style). (1,008 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a small head. Smell is of caramel and malts. Taste is good, a bit nutty, malts are there as well as a hint of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality brew. (280 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.58/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Austin Liquors in Shrewsbury, MA.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a crystal clear hazelnut shell brown with a one finger creamy white head that leaves average side lacing and a nice dense halo and cloud. Not bad all things considered.

S - Fairly straightforward. Some light malt roast and sweetness. Light grains and a light metallic aroma.

T - More of the same, but it works. Nice creamy lightly roasted sweet malts. Some soft chocolate. This is like a larger-y stout. Very odd, but rather enjoyable.

M - Surprisingly good amount of carbonation for this beer. Beer starts off creamy but ends with a nice refreshing quality thanks to the good carbonation.

O - Overall this is a surprisingly good beer. Definately a hidden gem this is a tasty beer from a country I, quite honestly, wasnt expecting something good from. Would definately purchase this again. (889 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is fruity and a bit fruit-sweet with a malty undertone. Pours a slightly hazy cinnamon- brown with a decent cream-colored head. Flavor is crisp, malty, slightly yeasty and just a little fruity with just a tiny bit of sweetness. Texture is rather smooth and fizzy, rather typical. Worth a try. (298 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
2.76/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bottle at a restaurant on Don Det. From notes.

A - Pours bright with a root beer colour. One finger light beige head. Mild-medium carbonation. No lace, tiny spot of retention on the side of the glass.

S - Nutty. Sugar, dark fruit, coffee. Sweeter elements def come through stronger. Mild but pleasant.

T - Sugary. Some coffee flavour. Mild nuttiness again. Quite sugary, but the nuttiness is alright.

M - Strong carbonation, medium body and a sweet, nutty finish.

O/D - An OK dark lager. Definitely a step up from the run of the mill yellow lagers around the country. I could have a few of these but it really doesn't stand out too much style wise. Decent, but off style and far too sweet. (697 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.09/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a golden brown color, not all that dark, despite the title. It has a pretty long lasting 2 inch head, and a lot of lacing. The superlatives end here.

This smells musty and stale, like old bread. I have no idea how old this bottle is, but it can't be new.

This tastes musty and stale at all, with a bit of buttery diacetyl feel to it too. This is just simply not good. I'm against drain pouring, but I almost did throughout the whole session. I finished it, but it was hard. If I try really hard I can pull out weirdly sweet caramel. Meh, at best.

This is medium bodied, with a slick, oily, and gross mouthfeel. Really hard to get down. There's a medium amount of carbonation.

This is a big miss, in just about every way. (789 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
2.62/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Pepsi glass in Huay Xing.

Clear and brown-gold with short lived but impressive head and good lacing. It smells sour, yeasty, and unpalatable. However, it's actually pretty okay. Heavier and sweeter than Beerlao, it makes sense it'd be stronger but it's not obvious. Overall, it's still a pretty paltry lager; all things considered I'll stick to the standard. (393 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.56/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a 330 ml bottle, with no date

Medium brown in color, nice head. Mild sweet nutty aroma and taste. Okay flavor, easy to drink, smooth mouthfeel. better than expected (167 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear darker amber color with off-white head. Toasted grain on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a little sweetness from the malt. (153 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

Tarnished reddish brass color with great clarity, big towering head that clings to the glass quite well. Mild, malty aroma with ghost-like suggestions of licorice root, mint and lemon peel. The nose ends up bready and clean. Light to moderate body with a bitty grainy mouthfeel. Bready malt with a pleasant but light-toasted character, clean on the palate. Hops are very modest with only a mild bitterness. A little husky and lemon in the drying finish.

Very easy to drink; dark in color, but the flavor doesn't reflect that too much other than a slightly toasted tone. A good pick to change things up. (658 characters)

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Beerlao Dark from Lao Brewery Co.
76 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.