Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Beerlao Dark - Lao Brewery Co.

Not Rated.
Beerlao DarkBeerlao Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.

67 Reviews

(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

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.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Beerlao Dark Alström Bros
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 67 | Hads: 137
Photo of jayhawk73
2.95/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a super dark brown w/ a one finger cocoa head. Impossible to see through, and almost zero lacing on my snifter glass. Nose is that of caramel malt, nuttiness, and diapers. Not a big fan of that last smell. Fortunately, I don't get the diaper in the taste, just caramel malt and nuttiness. Maybe a hint of chocolate as well. Mouthfeel is probably the strongest part of this beer. It's full bodied malty- actually pretty good. Overall, I would not seek this beer out again. My first brew from Laos though, so I wanted to check it out. Cheers. (546 characters)

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

Surprisingly Beerlao has created a pretty decent beer here. This is my first Laotian beer and I have to admit I was honestly surprised. The beer has a nice nutmeg brown color, and a somewhat spicy aroma. The beer pours smoothly and goes down smoothly. It tastes very clean and goes down smoothly. The beer has a decent amount of alcohol in it but does not have the overly sweet taste usually asociated with higher alcohol content beers. A worthy effort, I look forward to finding more Laotian beers in the future. (513 characters)

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.05/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at a very good Lebanese restaurant in Portland.
Appearance- Brown with dark tea highlights. Not much of a head at all, but what is there is a light tan color. Little lacing.. 4/5

Smell- Sweet milk chocolate and roasted malts. A lot more aroma than I anticipated. 4/5

Taste- Lots of chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Again, I was surprised that this was as flavorful as it was. 4/5

Mouth feel- The mouth feel was just what a lager should be. I was a little surprised that it wasn't a bit thicker given the flavors that are in this beer. 4/5

Overall- I fully expected a lot less flavor than this. Nice beer. 4/5 (625 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 ktrillionaire
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ahhh, a Laotian tick.

A - Pours rather nice like dark Heineken with a white head.

S - Smells slightly sweet with a bit of raisiny malt and grain and alcohol.

T - The taste is slightly sweet, carrying on the notes of the aroma. There is a hint of something mineral-metallic that is strangely pleasant.

M - Thin, watery and refreshing.

O - I found this beer to be surprisingly good. I would definitely have it again. (422 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 Everydayoff
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a pint glass with filling date on Nov'10 but no best before date.

Translucent deep brown amber color with off-white thick head, it well retains and gradually dissipates into small foamy layer on the surface with small lacing appeared.

Lead by honey and caramel then follow by fruity scent resemblance of prune with subtle alcohol fusel.

Grainy malt sweetness, slight breadiness, moderate hop bitterness with hint of citric zest, alcohol is meek and barely noticeable.

The body is light to medium with good crisp and a bit fizzy mouthfeel. Finish is dry.

Really good drinkable not too light yet not too overburden load. I would definitely pick this one up again. (711 characters)

Photo of Mondayoff
3.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beerlao Dark Lager 330cl poured from bottle.

A: clear hazel nut brown with creamy head which decrease slowly, rocky bubble shows up when time passed, leave few lacing on glass.

S: sweet smell from malt, sugar cane, honey, when take a deeper breath u can feel a bit meltallic at the end. for me, smell is impressive.

T: i love this one much more than beerlao lager. mixture of mellow bitterness from hop which is so nice, a bit sweet from malt but for overall taste is not so complex.

M: something between light to medium body. few carbonation..and again, this make me love dark lager version than lager one.

D: very drinkable and not bad to have another.

summary: i enjoy this one and if i have a chance to travel to Laos i can say that i'll have another dark lager there. (779 characters)

Photo of CoalPorter
2.87/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had a bottle poured into a pint glass at a sushi place.

A - dark amber color with a light head that clings well

S - very sweet and bready, with caramel and burnt sugar overtones

T - again very sweet and malty, with a bitter finish and aftertaste that I found unpleasant

M - medium bodied with fair carbonation

D - I wouldn't go back for another. (350 characters)

Photo of chefelf
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this and purchased it for the distinct reason that I'd never had a Laotian beer before (to my knowledge). The first sip tasted strongly of molasses and it was surprisingly high in alcohol at 6.5%.

I enjoyed this beer a lot if for no other reason than that I can cross off another Southeastern Asian country off my "To Drink" list! (339 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 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 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)

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

This beer was acquired from Club DADA in Shanghai, China, where I was working for the summer and found few good beers. This was one of the better East Asian beers I had.

A - Brownish, clear Coca-Cola look with little to no head.

S - Faintly spicy, sugary.

T - Just a little nutty, a little spicy, with some brown sugar sweetness being the main character.

M - Slightly watery, high carbonation but still a little silky.

Overall it was a solid, enjoyable beer and boasted one of the higher ABVs you're going to find in an Asian beer available in Shanghai. (559 characters)

Photo of thecarster1
3.06/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- bottle poured into a snifter, full finger of fluffy tan head that fades gradually, slight haze, chesnut brown.

s- nice nose, light roast, but of spicy character, very bready, maybe a touch of honey.

t- interesting, a little bite, maybe a touch of alcohol, some honey, a bit peppery, maybe a bit of wheat, roasted caramel malts.

m- smooth, slight chew, slick medium body.

d- okay, i just happened upon a free single of this and figured why not. it's not an awesome beer, but it's solid. i probably won't pick it up again though. (534 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 thekanna
3.46/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear chestnut brown with about 2 fingers of white head.

S: Sweet malts and adjunct grains with a bit of clove; maybe a little anise?

T/M: Great honey sweetness and malts; crisp, effervescent and enjoyable. Slightly medicinal aftertaste.

D: Decent, and I can see it complementing Laotian food well by providing respite from the strong flavors. (351 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 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 PorterLambic
4/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, rich, garnet color with a fluffy off-white head. Dissipates to a thick film and leaves good lacing.
Smell is malt, dark fruit, cane sugar hops and kool-aid.
Taste is most of the same without the kool-aid and adding alcohol. Some oak note after warming.
Dmooth, light effervescence, medium-full body. Some hops in aftertaste after warming. Quite a good beer (371 characters)

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

Well, like most people here this is my first Laotian beer. Honestly, it wasn't bad at all...just wasn't a go to. Enjoyed in a Palm tulip glass.

Pours a chestnut brown with deep amber tones. Head is two fingers, and fizzles immediately into light patching. Nose is metallic, with subtle malty tones. My fiance noted a bit of salt water in there, and I tend to agree when it was pointed out, but perhaps its more salt toffee.

The body on this beer is a bit light for the style, it initially feels medium, but really is a bit too watery on the way down. Flavor has an earthiness to it, and exhibits a decent malty character. Weakness is the lack of any balanced sweetness. Makes you wonder how water from different regions affects the beer - in this case, its a negative to me. Overall a fairly drinkable beer, and better than any other asian beer I've had. (856 characters)

Photo of sprucetip
3.21/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

UPDATE: revisiting this one after a couple of months in SE Asia. It is far superior, head and shoulders above, anything else sold in bottles in the region.

From notes. Pours a clear light mahogany with ample off white head and good retention. Moderate activity, and looks good, similar to but lighter than a brown ale.

A bit nutty and malty sweet, but faint and hard to find. What little I can find is pleasant. Would increase the score if it were any stronger.

Malty sweet body balanced pretty well by a few hops. Almost but not quite tea bag grainy, and light roasty flavors contribute to a generally earthy character. Extraordinary for where it comes from.

Nice carbonation level, and legitimately medium bodied. Pleasant, almost rich texture, vague bitterness emerging for the finish.

With exponentially more body and flavors than the other beers made in this region, for now, this is the go to beer in SE Asia (other than any imports you can find, which are scarce but increasingly available in some places). Overall, it is pretty easy drinking, wherever you may enjoy it. (1,085 characters)

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.94/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a patchy, white head.
Smell is malts, caramel, cinnamon, and dark fruits. Corny, bready notes as well.
Taste is slighty sweet and spicey malts. Figs, plums, and brown sugar come in after, as well as some more dark fruits.
Mouthfeel is nice and crisp, with a fairly dry finish. Medium-light body.
Good drinkability. Compared to most others I've tried in this style over the past, this one stands out. (415 characters)

Photo of alkemy
2.19/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark brown with a hint of orange under nary a finger of beige head. Smells of skunkiness and caramel malts. There's a metallic thing going on in the taste as well as a sour overtone. This is really quite bad. It's thin and drinkable if you can overcome the flavor. Not for me. (276 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
2.94/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured into a pint glass to a half inch of head. It is a dark rust color. It has a kind of skunky import smell with a side of roasted malt. The taste is mainly of roasted malt. It tastes better than Beerlao because of the malt. It's not that bad of tasting beer. It has an almost cocoa taste to it. It is an average beer. I could probably session it if I had to, but let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Can chen! (415 characters)

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Beerlao Dark from Lao Brewery Co.
76 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.