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Heineken Dark Lager - Heineken Nederland B.V.

Not Rated.
Heineken Dark LagerHeineken Dark Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

507 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 507
Reviews: 245
rAvg: 3.22
pDev: 19.57%
Wants: 18
Gots: 20 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2001)
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Ratings: 507 | Reviews: 245 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thrasher


2.75/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2004 01:12:56 | More by Thrasher
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

3.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-pours a very dark ruby red color, nice clarity through the glass, not that much head but what is there does stick around

Smell-dark malts are prevalent throughout the smell, some hops and a dark burnt chocolate aroma overtop

Taste-initially strong with a lot of flavor in the form of dense dark chocolate mixed with sweet malt, lightens as it goes down, fairly smooth as well.

Mouthfeel-fairly smooth going down, aftertaste is quite good not too bad at all.

Drinkability-a very drinkable dark lager, not too light or heavy, balanced enough to have a few when desired.

Overall-a pleasent surprise, this is a fairly well flavored and deviously drinkable dark lager that also isn't too overbearing. This could end up becoming a guilty pleasure for me from time to time.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2005 00:33:26 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of SaxmanRick


3.25/5  rDev +0.9%

08-12-2012 18:50:40 | More by SaxmanRick
Photo of Pog-Mo-Thoin


3.25/5  rDev +0.9%

01-08-2014 02:16:31 | More by Pog-Mo-Thoin
Photo of weaselchew


4/5  rDev +24.2%

11-30-2011 02:15:54 | More by weaselchew
Photo of Lynn


3/5  rDev -6.8%

02-26-2012 17:53:54 | More by Lynn
Photo of IrishGermanAmerican


4/5  rDev +24.2%

05-26-2012 00:38:47 | More by IrishGermanAmerican
Photo of GeoffRizzo


3.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shimmering bright red wine, carbonated tan froth head, dots of lacing noticeable. A nice aroma of caramel, malts and black licorise. A tinge carbonated (expected), toasted wheat bread. Sweet, burnt malts, and a touch of chocolate to finish. For a mass produced dark lager, this one was surprisingly satisfying, quite nice indeed!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2006 02:19:39 | More by GeoffRizzo
Photo of mooseisloose


3.2/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle into a 16 oz beer goblet and got a nice head. Robust dark bronze color. Head not real dense, dissapates quickly with not much lacing to speak of.

Smells real chocolatey in the bottle, in the glass a hint of coffee comes through the chocolate.

Taste is very light, seems lighter than regular heineken. Carbonation is moderate and sufficient mostly a bitter taste with hints of sweetness and a typical european lager (slightly bitter) finish.

Not really the creaminess I would expect from this beer. I could down a sixer of these without doubt if the selection is limited, however this would not be a prefferred selection among many others.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2006 23:52:30 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of goindownsouth


3.4/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All in all, not too bad. I was not really expecting much from this one, but it somewhat held its own in the world of dark lagers. The head was thicker than I anticipated, but quickly was relegated to something less prevalent. The aromas offered something of deep and rich roasted malt, and perhaps something on the mocha side. Not the worst dark lager I have had. A definate surprise, in my book.

Zum wohl!

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2004 18:16:08 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of Dapperticus


4/5  rDev +24.2%

06-09-2012 04:07:15 | More by Dapperticus
Photo of iemailjack


3/5  rDev -6.8%

01-08-2013 03:38:14 | More by iemailjack
Photo of dpgoblejr

New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -6.8%

02-24-2014 15:28:01 | More by dpgoblejr
Photo of ZenAgnostic


4.38/5  rDev +36%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No stamped date.

Appearance - Dark, clear ruby brown/black body. One finger light brown/tan head with decent to low stick and decent to low retention.

Smell - Dark roasted malts. Lots of banana. Sweet, non-hoppy profile.

Taste - Dark chocolate malts. Banana. Coffee. True to the the smell. Extremely faint hop. No off characters. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel - Smooth. Medium bodied. Very light effervescence. Pleasantly non solvent nor sticky. Very mildly astringent/acidic.

Overall Drinkability - While I don't have high regard for its light lager brother, this beer might be one of the best in the Euro Dark Lager style. At least as far as I've had. Not much in the way of off characters except for the slight metallic astringency and mild acidity, but that might be a result of shelf life. Not amazing in any sense, but definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 02:18:02 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of Doomcifer

Rhode Island

2.9/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 01:07:25 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of mjurney


4/5  rDev +24.2%

11-19-2011 16:52:42 | More by mjurney
Photo of bmurray10


2.5/5  rDev -22.4%

05-24-2014 18:49:45 | More by bmurray10
Photo of giblet


3.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a medium caramel dark. good carbonation and head but settles. roasted malt smell but not overly strong. tastes of malts. some lacing in my glass. decent dry feel in the aftertaste. not a bad beer but not as rich as i expect.

suckem up and movem out.


Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 15:23:46 | More by giblet
Photo of halo913


1.5/5  rDev -53.4%

01-07-2012 01:34:21 | More by halo913
Photo of shirfan

New York

3.03/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark clear brown-ruby, with an average, small bubbled tan head.

Smells faintly chemical, mild malt aroma.

Taste trys far too hard to be inoffensive; there's a little bit of roasted malt here, but not enough to be a good dark beer. Bland bittering hops and none too many of them. The only redemption is a mildly interesting bittersweet finish. Would work as a session beer in a pinch if it wasn't so overcarbonated.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2003 21:39:55 | More by shirfan
Photo of Hoagie1973

New York

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

Had this a few years ago at a restaurant in Nashville. It was the only dark beer they had (maybe in the state of TN). I remember being pleasantly surprised, so I bought a single recently to give it another shot.

Looks like a brown ale; medium chestnut color that turns garnet (like an Irish Red) when held to a strong light. Thin head dissipates quickly, but a light foam remains to the end leaving small spots of lace.

Aroma is simple maltiness. Clean and uncomplex.

Flavor is just a maltier version of Heineken lager (which isn't too bad when not skunked. This beer comes in brown glass, so skunking isn't such a concern). Sweet with a slight graininess. Hops aren't completely absent, but not very flavorful.

Carbonation is a little strong. Medium body.

Overall not a bad drinking beer. Is it worth the money? Probably not, but more so than it's green-bottled "I just paid nine bucks to drink skunk urine" counterpart.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2008 22:50:00 | More by Hoagie1973
Photo of TrojanWheels


3/5  rDev -6.8%

01-19-2012 20:19:44 | More by TrojanWheels
Photo of nitter


3.5/5  rDev +8.7%

08-24-2013 00:06:18 | More by nitter
Photo of Mark5252


1.5/5  rDev -53.4%

06-30-2012 01:25:25 | More by Mark5252
Photo of tbeer40

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +16.5%

06-09-2012 21:47:29 | More by tbeer40
Heineken Dark Lager from Heineken Nederland B.V.
74 out of 100 based on 507 ratings.