Heineken Dark Lager - Heineken Nederland B.V.

Not Rated.
Heineken Dark LagerHeineken Dark Lager

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590 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 590
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 3.2
pDev: 20%
Wants: 22
Gots: 56 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Heineken Nederland B.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (33) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 590 | Reviews: 259
Reviews by brewyou2:
More User Reviews:
Photo of woodychandler
4.21/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

What can I say? I recently hit upon a local gold mine in terms of singles for sale. I just want to drink different beers until I find The One. It is sort of the same reason that I am still single.

From the bottle: "Brewed with passion for quality."

The pour erased any question that it might not be dark. I had two-plus fingers of rocky, deep-tan head by the time that I was done and it looked like the top of a root beer float. Color was ruby-red with NE-quality clarity and I began to think of the last time I had seen a beer this pretty. Nose was rich with caramel, toffee, even coconut. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was very caramel-like with a hint of smoke on the tongue. Finish was likewise faintly smoky and semi-dry, not sweet at all. First of all, I am not ashamed to say that I was impressed. Secondly, is it too much to ask them to CAN this beer? I would readily put some in the cooler.

Photo of RoyalT
1.77/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance – Clear light brown body with a typical bee-bop head that went up and down in less than ten seconds.

Smell – Nice scent of toasted malt and caramel.

Taste – Ugh! An insult to dunkel lager to say the least. It’s tough to explain. The cheap, burnt malt flavor is somewhat bitter but nowhere near nice. The tease of caramel sweetness turned into a handful of Sweet-N-Low picked up from the floor of a dirty diner after a long week. I think I actually tasted a cigarette butt in there.

Mouthfeel – Flat and difficult to swallow. The worst.

Drinkability – The smell wasn’t that bad, but that taste was evil incarnate. Sorrow I couldn’t offer much positive here, but the only purpose for making this beer would seem so that a regular Heiny-in-a-can doesn’t taste so bad. This "one" rating was well earned.

Comments – Chase this with a shot of Jaegermeister.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.62/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark brownish copper color with a very thin tan colored head. Nose is dominated by sweet malts and grains with a hint of fruitiness. Taste is roasted malts with notes of caramel and dark bread. A strong maltiness is present both upfront and in the finish. This is a decent beer, but it doesn't really have any distinguishing characteristics aside from the strong maltiness. I wanted to like it more but couldn't.

Photo of BeerDreadz
3.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12onz brown without any date

The appearance of this beer is a red-brown color with thin line of light brown bubbles that goes away almost inmediatly.

The smell is a sweet malt aroma,very nice btw.The taste is like malt to , little bit of sweetnes and i can taste something like a coffee taste far away, some caramel too. It feels very nice on the mouth, refreshing but with a nice body. This is a really nice beer , i would drink it more often.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
2.95/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark red with a tan head. Although it is dark, the body even looks a little thin.

S - Mostly toasted/roasted notes from the dark malts. A little bready.

T - A tiny hint of some coffee/chocolate from the roasted malts, but it is really watered down, so there is not much too it. There is no hop presence to speak of. The flavor is really one-dimensional and dilute and really only comes at the front of the sip. Although there is a little sour yeast flavor towards the end that doesn't really help the taste.

M - A really thin body, with medium carbonation.

D - Considering the thin body and low ABV and really reserved flavor this one is really easy to drink. However, the not-so-great flavor kind of takes away from the drinkability.

Photo of Doomcifer
2.9/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours brown into the glass with decent head that sticks it out a little. Smells of a touch of yeast, maybe a bit of caramel...nothing smacking you in the face, but nothing unpleasant. Taste is decently malty sweet with a touch of caramel flavor up front and fades off to a thin flavor and mouthfeel. Highly carbonated. Better than this beer's more popular brother. Fairly drinkable.

Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz stubby brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Brownish ruby hued beer, exceptional clarity. Thin tan lace foams up nice during the pour but after a minute it disappears into a thin ring and certainly lacks in retention.

Smell: Dark bread malty aroma, not much else and clean at that.

Taste: Moderate body, laid back crispness. Sweet with dark bready flavours, fresh grain throughout. Quite malty with an underlying graininess. Clean to the palate, hops bring an easy going bitterness to the table. The hops bunch up with the graininess in the end and both help to tone down the sweetness. Good lingering maltiness in the end, a bit thin but flavourful none the less.

Notes: Not too shabby, if you like dark lagers this is not really that bad. It is somewhat middle of the road but there are no off flavours or complexities that jump out and make your taste buds scream.

Photo of Rifrafboy
2.9/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A decent example of a macro European dark lager. Head is dark white, with very little lacing. Taste is of chocolatey malts, with a slight hop taste. The finish is a bit rough, burning on the way down. I liked this somewhat. I wish it were cheaper here in the states, as I might try it more often. Not a great dark lager, but not bad.

Photo of Billolick
3.13/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, pours dark brown, with an average looking off white head. a bit of chocolate in the nose. Taste is a bit skunky (yes even the dark is skunky!) with notes of cocoa, caramel and chocolate maybe a little wet cardboard. Medium body. Fairly smooth stuff. Clean and non descript with flavors that are sort of muted. Eh, not my favorite stuff. worth a try if youre into dark lagers.

Photo of fdrich29
3.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle that was sitting in my fridge for an undeterminate period of time, purchased by someone other than me.

Poured a deep brown with hints of red. Thin tan head that receeded to the center, leaving a miniature depiction of Hurricane Grace. Left a ring of lacing around the glass.

Smells strong of malt with a malty, bready taste. The beer says what it needs to say, lets you think about it for a bit, then goes away and expects you to take another sip. I could have one or two of these, but I'm certainly not sitting back with a six pack to pass the waning hours. Worth a try if it's free, like this one was.

Photo of LyonsHead
3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: dark brown, minimal head and lacing

S: malty smell with hints of coffee

T: tastes to me about how it smells. nothing to blow you away

M: light body, which was weird cause you don't usually expect that from a dark beer

D: this beer was just okay for me, I would have trouble buying it if it was next to something else in the store.

Photo of Thrasher
2.8/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I am a true lover of lagers, in all styles. That said, I absolutely despise Heineken. It's one of the worst beers out there, and its high price and huge popularity constantly infuriate me. Heineken's trademark skunky flavor has been the subject of countless beer-geek discussions, and I for one have resolved never to touch the stuff again. So when I stumbled across a sample of Heineken Dark, I wasn't sure what to expect. I approached the beer with an open mind, and was pleased to discover it didn't have the sewerlike skunkiness that makes their regular pisslager so hateful. So is the beer a success? Does it redeem the Dutch as a nation of beermakers? (I hate Grolsch and Amstel too.) Not exactly. The beer is too sweet and remains cloying long after the swallow. I've experienced good German dunkel lagers, and I recognize that the big malt sweetness is a force to be reckoned with, and that a delicate interplay with the hops is necessary to keep the beer from going overboard. However, either the makers of Heiny don't know jack about hops, or wanted to make the beer as licorice-sweet as possible to appeal to the tasteless masses. A somewhat appealing dark ruby liquid sustains a buoyant, persistent head, with a heaping aroma of sweet caramel and molasses. The flavor is initially appealing, but there is no dryness, no finish, simply a lingering sweetness that tastes like red licorice (a confection I hate with a similar acuity to that of yellow Heineken). The beer is not BAD; in fact with the proper caramelized dish it might be pleasing. At this particular moment in time, though, it is too sweet, too cloying, although I am pleased to say it is not nearly as disgustingly bile-inducing as that dribble that comes in the green bottles.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cool red and brown beer, professional looking in terms of clarity. I miss the regular Henie skunk in the aroma. This one is dead earthy, and not as good, well, not good period.

Taste, wow, this was thicker than I expected. Bitter too. Still not much for hop taste. Seriously thought it was a little rye bready. Malty for a lager. Much sweeter than green Henie.

Not a bad beer, but I wish it was more like the green. With that said, if you hate the green, I'd say check this out, its very different.

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

Clear tea-like brown color with a middling head in size and overall duration. Laces in spare simple strings. Some pumpernickle to the overall bready aroma. Mouthfeel is a tad on the watery side, the flavor is pleasantly neutral in malt sweetness with a decided graininess to add some texture. Low degree of hoppiness overall. The finish is the most distinct part of the beer, light but dry with a continued grain fabric. The attenuation and non-threatening middle-of-the-road flavor leads me to believe that a lot of people could find this brew accessible.

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Heineken trying to make a decent brew, this dunkel is not that bad, but then again it's not that good. Pours a very dark ruby amber with a tan fizzy head high levels of artificial carbonation. This beer leaves practically no lace, definitely a macro we're dealing with here. The aroma is an off astringent metallic scent, and underneath of that there is sweet malt with nutty tones smells pretty good. Lighter in flavor than it looks, this is a the caramel malt is toned down, and there are some fruit tones in the background all tied together with a little bite of alcohol. Mouthfeel is thin, lacking a lot of body here. Overall though I would order when while out at a place with a shabby selection, depending on the price. I wouldn't drink that many of these because it's nothing special, but it does pull off an overall pretty enjoyable beer that could be consumed in quantity.

Photo of chinchill
3.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle {"Product of Holland"} served in a pint glass. Pours a nice, clear, reddish brown with a modest tan head that has rather weak durability.

A couple of decades ago, or longer, this was a go to beer for me ... one with a fine dark malt flavor. Then it became unavailable, at least in the Eastern US, as far as I could tell. When it returned, I am fairly sure the formulation changed and it is no longer a beer I would sekk or recommend, This may also have something to do with the poor handling the beer routinely receives during the long and circuitous trip from Holland to a retail outlet in the US (or so I heard from a retired distributor).

Anyway, my sample is sadly lacking in bready, toasted malt flavors I once loved, and has a slight skunkiness. While slight, the skunkiness is the longest lasting flavor and eventually comes to characterize the aftertaste. This is a recently purchased bottle with no visible signs, on the bottle or in the beer, or being anything other than fresh. Anyway, there is a nice bit of that baked bread/toasted grain in the aroma, but the flavor falls short. While I would prefer a heavier dose of toasted grain flavor, there is plenty of caramel malt sweetness here.

M: medium body with good carbonation.

O: looks like a Munich dark; tastes like a Mexican amber. Does improve a little with some warming, and significantly better than the widely available imported lager in the green bottles and cans.

Photo of brewQ
3.45/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

You know, I do not see nor seek this out as it stands in the shadow of its lackluster green big brother.

This brew is worthwhile.

A nice brown/red appearance; though the bubbles are somewaht large and uneven

Pleasant maltiness and roasted sweetness in the aroma.

Taste is fine for style but I also pick up some fruitiness,

Germanic character trumps the flagship beer by far.
Nice food accompaniment.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.59/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The color is a brilliant crimson amber, decent carbonation has many slow moving bubbles creating a light, bubbly one-finger, brown-ish tinted head that quickly dissipates to nothing.
The aroma is much more pungent that I had suspected, butter-scotch malt, pretty sweet on the nose with roasty, mossy and slightly nutty whiff's. The flavor though is not as sweet, it's much more roasty and herbal, clearly the hops are in good balance but the malt is missing that smooth, buttery effect a nice heavy lager should have and not enough sweetness. This is much more flavorful than it's lighter lager counterpart. There is still that classic Heineken chemy "skunked" or soured effect right at the end. The after-taste is that of lingering sour lager yeast and a mildly bitter edge.
it feels slick, a light bodied brew trying really hard to be medium bodied...but falls short. After a few minutes this stuff is lifeless and flat. Drinkability: one is enough, maybe too much.

Photo of BrewMaven
3.41/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Leaving work today, I was given this because it wasn't the other guys "thing".

Pours a nice deep, clear ruby, sporting a half inch tan head..Lace was present throughout the glass.

Roasty malt aroma..maybe a hint of cocoa?

Taste was same as and the roasted taste was followed by some charred notes on the dry finish.

Light to medium mouthfeel with lively carbonation.

Not a bad drinking beer.. I prefer this over standard Heineken for the simple fact that there is a little more going on here and the brown bottle better ensures the beer won't be skunky from being light struck.

Photo of dpsychoholic69
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A Poured into a glass. This beer has a nice look, reddish brown clear color with a thick frothy tan head that left a little lacing on the glass, not a lot of carbonation

S Grainy, sweet hops and a hint of malt

T Crisp and hoppy, a little sweetness, kind of oaky hops really hit on the finish

M Thin and crisp, a little watery

D Goes down easily, hops are a little too strong for my taste but not overpowering crisp finish. For a dark lager would be good on a hot day. Would pare well with red meat

Photo of thepassingofdays
3.86/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've never really been a Heineken fan since it's always seemed like everyone who loves it doesn't know much about beer, but I've been to the brewery in Amsterdam and it seemed pretty tip-top.

a- a reddish brown, with a hint of bronze and a large light head. Very clear, not much going on here.

s- very sweet smell, hints of maple and brown sugar, smells delicious.

t- comes on like a typical dark lager, but the middle is very sweet and it has a woody finish. Much more complex than everything else I've had by Heineken.

m- Absolutely no alcohol in the aftertaste which I like. The problem is the woody finish leaves a bitter aftertaste, which I don't like.

d- A very good overall beer. Not too heavy, not too complex, not too expensive, will buy this again.

Heineken, I apologize for my previous bias!

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark, ruby-accented mahogany body is topped by a short but creamy head of dark ivory foam. The retention is just slightly above average, and the lacing is limited.

The nose offers a pleasant note of bready malt, dark caramel, and a delicate pinch of sweetened cocoa powder.

In the mouth it's medium-light in body and gently crisp with a restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation that leaves it quite smooth across the palate.

The flavor is not much different than the aroma, although, notably, there are some floral hops present. The maltiness presented in the aroma remains intact, but it's not as sweet as might have originally been suggested. It is really well-balanced though, with a firm to solid bitterness that anchors it completely. It finishes with a drip of mildly sweet almost-scortched caramel, some dulled floral and grassy hops, and a mild, underlying bitterness.

Well-crafted; superbly balanced; interesting enough to have more than one.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.38/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brownish amber color that displays bright red hues when held up to the light. The beer pours with a brilliant clarity and a thin head that disappears in an instant. Smooth, nutty lager that's a bit dry on the palate, but very well balanced, and that seems to emphasize toasted malt over any other flavor component.

Photo of prototypic
3.03/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one's crystal clear and a scarlet infused brown color. It has a nice deep red tint to it. An off white head tops it off (for a minute), but recedes quickly. It only reached a finger or so deep. Little to no lacing lined the glass. The color's pretty good, but the rest is a little disappointing.

The nose is weak and underwhelming. It features some caramel and toffee malt sweetness throughout. Yeast and grainy notes take up the secondary level. Smells like there's some light dark fruit present (mostly plum). There's a faint spicy scent on the tail. It's tough to get much out of it. It's all very weak and the individual parts don't work well in tandem. Aside from the lack of strength, there's nothing overtly bad about it. It's just not very good either.

The flavor is a little better, but not enough to trigger a bump in score. Primarily, it features a sweet caramel and toffee malt flavor. There's a light cocoa flavor that wasn't apparent on the nose. It's grainy and yeasty throughout. Whatever dark fruit I was getting in the nose is extremely faint. So faint that I'm questioning whether my palate's playing tricks on me. A light spicy and herbal flavor emerges it late. It's somewhat light and subtle. I can't tell exactly what individual spice or herb it may be. It doesn't really hurt or help. It's just there. The flavor's much like the nose. There's some individual flavors floating about, but they never really mesh or collectively work to produce a meaningful flavor. There's just a little here, a little there. Meh. Average.

It features a light body that feels a tad watery. It's not smooth at all. Carbonation is fairly light, but doesn't seem to help it attain any desired level of smoothness. Drinkability is average at best. Everything about this beer is average and pretty forgettable. It goes down quick and easy, but doesn't present anything to really enjoy.

Heineken Dark Lager is very average in the grand scheme of beer. The nose is weak, the flavor's convoluted and uninspiring, and it's not enjoyable. That being said, I don't really hate it. There's just not much to like. If it had something to add some pizzazz, it'd be dramatically improved. Maybe some hops? Pretty average all around. Maybe worth a try, but I wouldn't suggest seeking it out.

Photo of beerluvr
3.48/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours with light brownish head that settles on top of clear ruby liquid tinged with brown. Dark malts and some caramel detected in the nose. Taste is pleasing to the palate, with notes of light roasted malt that offers a bit of dryness, minimal hop bitterness..just enough perhaps, and again, some scant caramel flavors pop up midway. Finshes smooth and satisfying with a light, light bittersweetness that quietly fades away. Fresh samples really make all the difference here. A great intro to dark beers for someone curious about them.

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Heineken Dark Lager from Heineken Nederland B.V.
74 out of 100 based on 590 ratings.