1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Heineken Dark Lager - Heineken Nederland B.V.

Heineken Dark LagerHeineken Dark Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

485 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 485
Reviews: 244
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 19.5%

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)
View: Beers (15) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heineken Dark Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 485 | Reviews: 244 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ktrillionaire


4.15/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Heineken (in the green bottle) is potentially a ‘gateway beer’; for many, including me, it represents a first step away from the budcoorsmillerlightlitedraft nonsense. I will always have a soft spot for it, but I honestly don’t like it anymore. Which brings me to the beer at hand… if Heineken was your friend, then Heineken Dark is like the extremely debonair cousin from out of town that you can’t believe is related at all.

G – Drank out of a disposable cup, then straight out the bottle, and then two bottles at a time in my liter Heineken seidel. This beer is potentially the rare beer that is better when consumed straight from the bottle.

A - Dark and translucent, between black tea and cola, otherwise it looks similar to the green bottled Heineken, effervescent, nice (tan) head, good lacing.

S - It has a caramel and dunkel maltiness, figs, prunes, dark wheat in the nose.

T - The taste is very good. It has a dunkel taste like Flensburger. Nutty tasting. Great caramel flavor in the malt; not crass like, say, 'Old Speckled Hen' (in the clear bottle) or some of Lagunitas' offerings, which are a nasty Cracker-Jack or Smucker's tasting caramel. And not sweet either. Muted hop, well balanced flavors overall.

M - Medium-bodied, well carbonated.

D - I love it. Heineken has a special place in my heart, but regular Heineken is not what I once thought it was. Heineken Dark, on the other hand, is still extremely awesome.

P.S. If you are drinking Green Heineken, always opt for the Heine-can.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 21:51:14 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of TastyTaste


3.35/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice deep maroon color, with a creamy tan head. Smells of roasted malt and sweetness. This is much better than heineken lager. Still a little too thin and sweet to be considered a very good beer, in my opinion, but much improved over their flagship brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2004 02:38:24 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of Offa


2.8/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

While I love many dark lagers and schwarzbiers (not to mention stouts and porters), I often find basic, macro dark lagers incredibily boring and unsatisfying - I'll usually find a basic pale lager more itneresting than a basic dark one - and this is one fits that bill.

Very dark red-brown, this has a thick tan head that vanishes steadily to leave nothing.

The aroma is caramel with very light toasted malt.

The taste is fairly sweet with a hint of bitterness, somewhat toasty with caramel, but develops a faint, unpleasant burnt taste before a fairly nice grainy finish. It's somewhat fizzy and thin, with a weak, watery, fizzy palate that vanishes quickly to leave almost no remnant in the mouth. It also overall gets worse as one drinks it.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 20:06:05 | More by Offa
Photo of allengarvin


3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear reddish-brown, with a good initial head. I was about to give it a 4.0 in appearance, but the head completely disappeared in under 30 seconds.

Aroma: Clean, grainy aroma.

Flavor: Clean, slightly sweet grain. More malt than the standard Heineken, giving a pleasant bread flavor. Hops are fairly low but take the edge off the sweetness. Finish is clean and brief.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and a crisp, clean texture.

Completely ordinary dark lager, basically.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 02:47:32 | More by allengarvin
Photo of Pegasus


3.83/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep garnet brown color color with a compact head of one-half inch or so and slight carbonation, lots of irregular broken lace. Dark malt aroma with mild earthy notes and caramel. Taste begins with toasty malts, caramel flavors, and pronounced carbonation, towards the middle some mild hops appear. Finish is sweet with malt notes. Far better than the familiar Heineken lager, one of the better mass-marketed imports.

I note with satisfaction that this beer is packaged in brown glass rather than the familiar Heineken green.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2002 18:22:19 | More by Pegasus
Photo of clvand0


2.28/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark amber color with a small head and moderate lacing on the glass. The aroma is slightly sweet and interesting. I really had decent hopes for this one because I thought that since it was dark, it would be decent - not sucky like normal Heineken. I was wrong. The taste was a little malty, but pretty crappy and enjoyable - the taste was very reminescent of normal Heineken with a bit more sweetness. Didn't like it much.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2003 03:49:18 | More by clvand0
Photo of bashiba


2.85/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light cola colored brown with a very thin white head that was gone in a flash.

Smell has a light musty maltyness to it.

Flavor is light with a semi sweet and toasted malt dominating flavor, no noticeable hops at all.

Mouthfeel is very watery.

Its ok to drink, but not something I would pick up unless my options were severly limited.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2006 00:07:07 | More by bashiba
Photo of DogFood11


1.98/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Red beer, medium carbonation, thin white head that fades never to be seen again. crystal clear. smell was of light sweet malt, lots of similarities to an Irish red.

There is an added depth in the taste, sweetness has a caramel lean to it although I'm admittadly reaching. Really no hop presence and I wasn't expecing one so this came through in the clutch. If you like soft malt profiles, innoffensive, uneventful brews this is worth a shot.

Whoa back up the bus, It's been a while since I've been on a blah beer streak but this makes 2 in a row that just have me wondering.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2006 05:12:34 | More by DogFood11
Photo of JDV


2.95/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very Dark Amber pour with a smallish light tan head that doesn’t last too long unfortunately. Good looking beer. Smell isn’t too strong to begin but the lightly malty caramel, alcohol smells I do pick up are subtle but nice at first, but then turn into an almost nauseatingly artificial syrupy caramel smell. Tastes of some lightly roasty malts, a touch of yeast, and has a very quick finish and basically no bitterness. Body is a tad watery, yet has a fairly rich, full flavor for a (dark)lager nonetheless. Overall, a good easy drinking darker session beer. Not terrible, but I wouldn't get this again.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 22:23:24 | More by JDV
Photo of BeerSox


2.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into mug. Not sure of the freshness. Cryptic date code appears to be mashed in with other numbers. No %ABV found, but it seems low just from tasting it.

Crystal clear dark red, almost brown. Bright red edges. Half inch thick tan colored head that dissapears quickly, leaving a tin rim of foam along the glass. Lacing is almost nonexistant.

Very light aromas, nothing overpowering. Light molasses can be detected along with light malts.

Light malty flavors paired with minimal hop bitterness. A little bit of lingering malt flavors, but nothing really there.

Very watery mouthfeel with not a lot of carbonation. Smooth finish, but mostly because there is little flavor to being with.

This isn't the worst beer, very middle of the road. I was actually surprised with the components of this beer. It does have some flavor and good aromas, but it is so bland it's nothing to brag about. Pretty much what you would expect from Heineken.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2006 03:41:15 | More by BeerSox
Photo of marc77


2.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Light brown / garnet hue w/ a head that settle into a thin but persistent layer. The aroma consists of lightly toasty Munich malt, a bit of dark caramel and a touch of chocolate malt. Hop nose is completely absent. The malt profile and body is lacking for a Dunkel, consisting of understated Munich malt and light chocolate. Hop bitterness is low and lets residual malt sweetness to assert itself. There's really not much else there flavorwise. The finish is a bit grainy and sweet. This is a pretty insipid example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2002 19:54:02 | More by marc77
Photo of Phatz


3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I wouldn't usually let a Euro Dark Lager warm as much I did. I pulled it out and got distracted by my daughter before I got to open it. I think it did well for the beer though; looking at the other reviews. I don't find this to be my favorite style, but within the style I really enjoyed this beer. Much better that the rest of Heinekens beers.

Appearance: Pours a ruby colored lager brown, with a *HUGE* 3+finger tan head. I couldn't even fit it all in my pint glass.

Smell: There was no offensive smell but there was very little pleasing smell. There was a faint hint of dark bready sweet malt but very muted.

Taste: Straightforward sweet malty lager. The flavor is very easy to accept. It is subtly ‘caramel and bread flavored’ malty with very little hop bitter. The hops only seem to appear in the finish but very gently. The aftertaste is very pleasant with a hint of dry and yet still sweet with grain as well.

Mouthfeel: Malty and smooth. A bit thin (watery) through the center but still apropos for the style.

Drinkability: This beer is so approachable and easy that I believe it probably will have a large mass appeal (even if it doesn't show on Beer Advocate). It is an easy drinking session beer but there are cheaper equivalent lagers at most bars around here so ... I see it to have little demand for me.

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2006 07:19:33 | More by Phatz
Photo of Drew966


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

Heineken Dark Lager pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a fluffy off white, almost tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is malty and very sweet. Taste is heavy on the malt, very sweet, but balanced out in the finish with some mild hop bitterness. It's a lot more interesting than their regular and light lagers.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2006 23:48:15 | More by Drew966
Photo of RonaldTheriot


4.13/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Heineken Dark has a medium, tan, creamy head and a very dark, reddish-brown appearance, with moderate carbonation. The aroma is of malt and some sort of cream or milkiness. Taste is quite malt oriented, and there is some bread flavor with it that is probably from the wheat ingredient. There is little hop character with this beer. Mouth-feel is fairly heavy, and Heineken Dark finishes smooth. Overall, I really enjoyed this sample and would highly recommend giving it a taste.


Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 01:38:22 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of albern


3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought this beer expecting much worse things and was pleasantly surprised. I haven't had a Heineken dark in years, decades is more like it, and I'm no fan of their lager counterpart which to me is just a slightly sweeter version of any number of characterless American macros. Enough said. The beer was a bit of a pleasant surprise, just because I was expecting so little. It pours a nice amber, copper color, very clear, clean, with a decent off white head that hangs around a bit and laces too. The smell is nutty malts, caramel, and an off medicinal quality, although some of the off smells dissipate as things settle. The smell is the weakest link. The taste is subdued, it has a nice caramel backbone, plenty of caramelized malts, some roasted flavors, and a bit of a metallic edge as well. The beer is approaching a medium body with not much carbonation. The finish is a bit off and that's where some of the metallic flavors emerge. Not much aftertaste one way or another. Not a bad beer, and I'm glad I gave it a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 19:24:54 | More by albern
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


2.73/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sort of a reddish brown, mostly clear, head was so-so but the lacing wasn't bad.

Smell and taste were nearly identical, and consisted primarily of caramel malt, along with a touch of nuts and a little bready yeast.

Body was very light and watery, with a slightly slick and sticky feel.

I thought this was sort of "the corona of Holland" and generally wasn't impressed at all.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 12:44:45 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.88/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is not a bad beer. In fact, I like it. It's far better than traditional Heineken, and about the same price. Pours out to a dark brown / reddish amber color with a nice 1/4 inch head of foam. No lace. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas of roasted nuts and malt mix with some pepper and earthy notes. Taste is very balanced and enjoyable; flavors of roasted malts, nuts bread and herbs intermingle very well. Very easy to drink, I think most would find this brew easy enough to consume. Mouthfeel is medium light bodied and smooth going down. Perhaps a bit watery. Better than average drinkability; this may not be the most complex brew, but when I would want to throw back a few with little trouble, this is the way to go. Definitly worth a try.

THE BLOODHOUND FACTOR: Benji loved this one. Damn near took my glass and went for more. Peaches didn't care of it as much. Oh well, her loss.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2005 22:09:14 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This always seems like a beer that a lot of bars and restaurants try to pass off as something really exotic, which slightly irritates me. However, there have been many times I was glad it was there in a pinch. It's megabrew but it's good megabrew, which is tolerable.
A stately brown color with a ruby tinge and a head that doesn't sustain itself long. Nose is malty, with a strong sweet odor and maybe a little caramel as well.
The hops stand out in the taste, which does it justice for me. The smell was too sweet but the taste is good, if not delicious. mouthfeel is malty with a creamy aftertaste.
Heineken Dark is respectable drinking most of the time, although probably a little too sweet for serious drinking

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2005 15:43:19 | More by daliandragon
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

2.55/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 05:41:48 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of hardy008


2.53/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reddish brown color with a tan head and decent retention. Smells of dark malt with grain. A slight caramel aroma. Tastes consists of caramel , grain, and some chocolate. Thin watery mouthfeel with decent carbonation. The drinkability is below average. Not much to get excited about here.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 02:18:37 | More by hardy008
Photo of aracauna


2.13/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had to force my way through it. Almost no flavor and the metallic aftertaste was unpleasant to say the least. Not bad looking, though.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2002 21:04:48 | More by aracauna
Photo of brdc


3.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Small capped bottle into a pint produces a dark brew with some dark red highlights, a foamy tan head with little retention, leaving no collar or lacing within 3-4 minutes.
Aroma is mildly "malted", toffeeish, bready, but quite mild.
Rather thin on the palate, is mildly sweet and caramelized, but the flavor has little depth or aftertaste.
Acceptable, but I will not be getting this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2007 01:09:19 | More by brdc
Photo of SaCkErZ9


4.1/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dispensed from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A dark brown beer emerges, not quite opaque, with a small but puffy tan head. Im not sure what the aroma of a euro dark lager is but this one is very very fruity. Lots of plums and figs. Tons of malt here. Not one sign of a single hop leaf in this one. This is a nice beer. I really dont know what category this may be, but I cant imagine all dark euro lagers are like this. Very fruity and a bit sweet, but I may try this one again. Due to its sweetness and overwhleming fruitiness, drinkability may be small, but still a nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2006 02:11:55 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of MTNboy


3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Dark brown but not opaque like stout. Very minimal head that died very quick with a small amount of head.

Smell- You can smell the roasted caramel malts. I love the smell of this beer it is not overwhelming at all but strong enough to enjoy. There is a little bit of a hops bouquet as well.

Taste- There is a mild sweetness a little bit of a roasted taste but it is balanced with the bitterness.

Mouthfeel- A little thick but not too much.

Drinkability- On the higher end of average.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2007 12:49:14 | More by MTNboy
Photo of jsprain1


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

A- An amber, or perhaps ruby colored beer. very thin khaki lace.
S- bready malty aroma, rather subdued.
T- Dark bread, some malt, and just enough hops to balance it all out throughout the palate.
M- Medium weight, less than average carb, but not in a detrimental sense.
D- All around a slightly better than average beer, and one preferible to the mainstream "normal" heineken.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2010 06:50:37 | More by jsprain1
Heineken Dark Lager from Heineken Nederland B.V.
74 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.