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Heineken Dark Lager - Heineken Nederland B.V.

Not Rated.
Heineken Dark LagerHeineken Dark Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

255 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 255
Hads: 608
Avg: 3.28
pDev: 30.49%
Wants: 25
Gots: 68 | 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 (35) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heineken Dark Lager Alström Bros
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Reviews: 255 | Hads: 608
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark crimson brown with a 1 inch beige head that fades to nothing. No lacing whatsoever. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and some nutty aromas. Taste is of caramel malt, bread, and nuts. Mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has an almost soda-like carbonation with a very crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good dark lager from Heineken that is much better than their regular green bottle style.

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Photo of metter98
3.11/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is crystal clear dark red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down but never completely faded away and left some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Faint aromas of nutty malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of nutty malts along with some hints of toasted and caramel maltss. Neither sweetness nor bitterness is detectable.
M:It feels light-bodied, a bit thin and slightly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink. Although the taste is a little bland, there aren't any "off" flavors.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one poured out as a deep amber coloe with a thin fizzy cream colored head on top. The smell of the beer is pretty sweet with lots of caramel notes on the nose. The taste of the beer was also on the sweeter side, the malts were nicely roasted also. The mouthfeel of this beer was decent but nothing too special. I could have had a little more body to it. Overall this beer was pretty good to me, I would like to have it again one day just to try it again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.95/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Expecting a total disaster, I was a bit relieved when I opened the bottle and was met by dark, toasty aromas instead of pungent, off-putting ones. The pour delivered a thin, dark brown (cola-like) color with fizzy carbonationa and weak head retention. Aromas of toasted grains, light malts, and a mild bready / roasty nature. Flavors are all the same, with emphasis on the toasted grains. I'm not convinced that this is an all-malt brew. The feel is a predictibly watered, moderately astringent feel with hardly an aftertaste at all. Again, a little cola-like late. Not a failure, but still no German Dunkel either.

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Photo of emerge077
2.58/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Appears to be a reddish copper color with bright clarity and some carbonation visible. Compact cap of off white foam, that settles fairly quickly, leaving little lacing at all.

Funky and sweet, grainy lager nose. Some toast, brown sugar, and watered down lager.

Flavor is similar, fairly sweet with wet paper graininess. Very bland and dull. Malt-o-meal cereal (malt oatmeal) and brown sugar, wet stewed grain husks. Watery body, fairly clean aftertaste. Not something i'd revisit, it's a laughable, feeble attempt at a dark lager.

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Photo of zeff80
3.08/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a bubbly, caramel-colored, two-finger head. It left no lacing.

S - It smelled of roasted malt. There was also a toffee-like aroma.

T - It tasted quite sweet. It had a grassy/earthy quality and a little nuttiness.

M - It was crisp and relatively smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay brew. I thought it improved as it warmed up.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.7/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear reddish brown with light (and objects) easily visible through the beer. No carbonation can be seen rising from the bottom of the glass. The beige head is soft, falls to a spotty film and leaves mere scraps of lace. Underwhelming nose of caramelized grain coupled with a light spiciness.

The flavor is acceptable initially with elements of sweet dark caramel and chocolate. Within several seconds though, each mouthful morphs into a whole 'nother flavor, something resembling sour, wet tobacco leaves (it's about as tasty as it sounds). The nastiness abates somewhat as I get deeper into the glass, but it never goes away completely. The body is on the thin side of medium, not too far out of line for the style.

I can't say that I like Heineken Lager, but I do find it to be drinkable. Heineken Dark though needs a recipe change. The Dr. Jekyl beginning is okay, but the Mr. Hyde finish is definitely not.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a decent beer I have to say. Had it my my in laws and did not know what to expect going in. Poured a nice hazelnut brown with a small maybe an inch of head. Quick faded left no real lace. Some nice carbonation. Smell was of light grains with a touch of bittering hops, maybe very light. Taste was a classic heinken but with a bit of a dark wheat twist. Lots of grain here with a bit of the yeast. Nice smooth feel, not slick or watered down. Good carbonation. Could have drank this one all night. Overall a solid dark lager, a good call for sure for a keg or a cooler full

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown body with a small beige head.

Smell: Lightly sweet-smelling aroma of dark malts, plums, and a hint of grain.

Taste: Watered-down dark caramel flavor with a medium sugary sweetness. Plum fruitiness. Very mild bitterness. Clean, easy finish

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation. A tad watery, I'm afraid.

Drinkability: While never complex or overly impressive, it does exhibit far more character than the standard Heineken.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

I was told this wasn't half bad, though it was by a wholesale salesman selling it... It pours a deep, dark ruby topped by a finger of dusty pale-tan foam. The nose comprises flaky biscuits, caramel, and a vague sense of mandarin orange syrup. The taste follows suit, with some slightly darker caramel, some very light cocoa backing that up, and a slightly less-vague sense of the mandarin orange syrup. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a watery feel. Overall, I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It's not all that great, but it's nowhere near offensive, and it borders on downright easily-drinkable. In fact, I could see drinking this again. Not bad, for once, Heineken...

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +21%
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.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Didn't even know that Heineken made this beer up until a few months ago.. purchased a single of it for $1.69.

Well, it's better than the usual Heineken in the green bottle. Actually a beautiful brown color in the glass with a nice small head that stays with it. Taste wise it feels like there is some potential at first, but once swallowed you just get bland-ness. Def above average, but not by much.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, lager yeast, nuts, brown sugar and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of grain and dark malts followed by mildly sweet flavors of caramel and brown sugar. The hops presence is mild but complementary and the malt character is hearty but not too heavy. Both help provide a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, I found this beer to be much better than I had anticipated. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this beer is quite sessionable.

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Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.88/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.2/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a slight rubyish hue. A thin head eventually becomes a patch.

The smell is of carmelized grain - malty with an earthy touch.

The taste is of carmelized grain with some brown sugar sweetness that becomes dryish (with the help of some hops) in the finish.

Medium-bodied and smooth.

Not bad at all for the style. Lacks the "Euro-skunk" and sulfurish blandness of its pale counterpart. Not a bad brew for a conventional/almost pedestrian "sessionable" dark lager.

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Photo of WesWes
3.83/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a beautiful ruby red color with a thick frothy tan head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with lager yeast. The taste is decent. It has a smooth malty flavor with a dry lager yeast finish that is a bit watery. It has good mouthfeel. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good dark lager and another fine offering from Heineken. It goes down easy; a good drinker.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.21/5  rDev +28.4%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
3.13/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For some reason, variants of major brand beer interest me. Heineken Dark Lager is no different to this rule, and I'm expecting something decent. Comes in a dark bottle, which is ironic given its paler sibling is famous for its green skunking bottles. On to the beer:

The head is somewhat fizzy, but holds up long enough to showcase a two-finger head on top this leather brown beer. Err, nevermind, the head is gone. The nose brings somewhat sweet and ripe bananas, dark bread is faint. Moving on to the taste, it's light on the palate and in feel. it's just like a smooth dark lager with mass-appeal (aka watered down). More of a sweet bread taste to it with hints of raisin. No off-flavors in here, so that's nice.

Not too shabby, though one can do better in the category. Makes a nice changeup in their portfolio and shows they don't only brew pale colored beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Heineken Dark Lager

Pours a clear light brown color, fizzy head forms and retention is little to none. Light aroma of sugary malts and noble hops. In the flavor, a crisp caramel maltyness, toasted grain, hint of bitterness and a more or less clean finish. Very unoffensive and easily consumed. A nice macro euro dark lager that has no unpleasant qualities, but little else to offer.

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Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown brew.

Smell is sweet with a big whiff of ORANGE CIRCUS PEANUT! Up the nose! There is a malt and bubblegum smell in this too. The 4.0 is more for uniqueness than greatness.

Taste is much more sedate than the smell. Candied fruit and molasses. No sign of any bitterness, this is Newcastle Brown Ale Times 3 in the taste.

Mouthfeel is adequate.

Drinkable, great for a macro but I can find better.

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Photo of Wasatch
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color, some carbonation, tiny fizzy tannish head, minimally sticky lacing follows. The nose is slightly malty, toffee and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, with some toffee, and caramel. Light-Medium body. Slight drinkability, most likely would not buy again.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a four-finger light tan head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Clear deep amber color. Medium bodied and very light carbonation. Sweet malty nose. Starts sweet finish is like a dry root beer. Better than their lager. $1.45 for a 12oz. bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Heineken Dark Lager from Heineken Nederland B.V.
76 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.