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Alhambra Negra | Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL

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Alhambra NegraAlhambra Negra

Brewed by:
Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL
Spain | website

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rhoadsrage on 03-18-2005

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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 155
Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights that had a thinhead and left almost no lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma had toffee roastiness upfront with coffee bean and faint vanilla notes. The toffee was more potent on the palate with, nutty, caramel, malts, and vanilla accents. The brew was light in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, malty, nutty, and crisp finish. It drank good and was surprisingly good coming from spain.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.07/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a ruby tint in the shallow part of the glass. Clear and a little watery in the edge of the glass. Big carbonated bubbles hug the side of the glass, and a small off-white head forms but fades quite rapidly and leaves no lace on the glass.

Smell: Slightly metallic caramel and roasted malt aroma.

Taste: It starts with a light molasses sweetness, but there is a contrived, manufactured, extract flavor to the taste. Slightly roasted coffee, and a bit of chocolate malt.

Mouthfeel: Hmm, could have been crisper. Just comes across with a medium carbonation and a little bit watery.

Drinkability: After a few moments of deliberation, I cannot think of any reason to go out and buy this. Any bar or store that has this will have better beers available.

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Photo of darkmartin
2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours to an opaque, dark-brown, with a tiny, off-white head that doesn't last.

Smell: Smells quite sweet with some strong caramel and dark fruits. Also some not-so subtle hops going on.

Taste: Kind of a dull flavor here, subtle caramel and fruit to start off. However, those advertised hops don't seem to come into play. Boring.

Mouthfeel: Much lighter than expected, also quite a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability: Really quite uninteresting, don't think I'd buy it again.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: basic black with plenty of ruby color when held up to the light. Head is a thick finger of frothy tan foam; pretty attractive.

Smell: pleasant caramel aroma with a little bit of earthy hops. Not terribly complex, but pretty nice.

Taste: somewhat light malt flavor but with a pretty rich complexity. Caramel with some very light fruity hints, backed up by a dry breadiness which works rather well. Hops are light and, as in the aroma, earthy in character. I quite like this.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a pretty good level of carbonation. Body is a little bit light to really call this creamy, but it's got a bit of a bite to it which really works here.

Drinkability: this is a very quaffable, approachable lager. Dark in color but light in intensity, the subtle complexities make up for its lack of boldness. Good stuff.

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Photo of eggland
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beverage Warehouse, culver city, CA

a - dark dark, smooth, kinda flat head

s - roasted, simple, not much going on

t - smooth, med co2, sweet, subtle nuttiness, not very dynamic, just sweet and simple

m - smooth and dark, medium of the darks

d - easy going down

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.14/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours almost completely black. 2 finger sparkling tan head.

S - Roasted malt. An old woody aroma, almost like an old church smell. Strange. Raisin and fig come out.

T - Follows the nose. Roasted malt that has somewhat of a stale character. Tart yeast bite with smoky caramel, sweet corn, turns kind of chalky in the middle before a subtly sharp finish. Mouthfeel is thin to medium.

I'm not sure I would qualify this as a session brew. It has some strange aromas going on, which is welcomed sometimes. I would recommend it if you come across it. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.56/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

My first Iberian brew. It pours a translucent garnet, nearly clear when light is added, with nice black highlights (as though Klaus Jansen inked it) topped by over a finger of fluffy ecru foam. The nose comprises dark wheat, that awesome soapy smell that seems to hang around all sorts o' brews, and the slimmest possible slice o' chocolate. The taste holds notes of light chocolate, even lighter coffee, dark wheat, and a hint of hoppy florals and greenery. The body is a heavy light, with light carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Not bad for a Euro dark...if I needed a fairly inexpensive darker, lighter brew, I might definitely lean this bottle's way.

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Photo of MarvinSnyder
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5-17-10 - poured into a traditional pint glass - 330ml capped bottle

Appearance: Pours a dark, brown with reddish highlights. Some decent lacing, albeit sporadic.

Smell: Notes of caramel, butter cream, and roasted malt.

Taste: This beer features toasted malts, a creamy, caramel character, and a hint of anise.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin, but generates a slick mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Good carbonation. Pairs well with many foods, especially grilled meat. It is best when chilled, but don't over do it! Overall, this is a delicious beer with moderate complexity.

Comments: This beer was featured in one of my beer of the month clubs. This is an interesting and solid entry in the Euro Dark Lager style.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got from beer of month club. Poured from a 33cl bottle into a pint glass. The back label had "Best by: AH9351" - WTF? Was a dark brown color with no visible surface carb. It had an averaged sized head that settled into a thin collar. Slight quick sliding lace that didn't stick.

The aroma was roasted malt, metallic, some dark fruit and raw grain. The taste was sweet malt with some molasses and dark fruits. The metallic and raw grain aromas didn't translate into the taste thankfully. No hops in aroma or taste. Mouthfeel was medium with a bit of watery after-taste.

Overall, a standard dark lager. Didn't suck but didn't impress either. If in Spain or Spanish themed restaurant and faced with limited choices, I could have another but outside of that I wouldn't have another. [N;N]

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Photo of oglmcdgl
3.93/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle enjoyed at bar ferdinan with friends and lots of tapas.

A- Very dark almost completely black with a brown haze on the edges. Not much head if any at all but as it warms you can get a bit with a swirl.

S- Sweet dark malts and roasted nuts. The nuttiness really grows as it warms and balance out the malts nicely.

T- malty and sweet but the aforementioned roasted nut is even better in the taste, almonds and peanuts really work great with the dark brown sugar caramel coming from the malts.

M- Medium bodied with a nice amount of carb, far lighter on the palate then the full flavor and dark color would lead you to believe.

D- Super nice drinkability i was able to pair many very excellent dishes with it and the best being some simple roasted almonds go figure.

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Photo of armock
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured a very dark brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt and some dark fruits

T - Follows the nose roasted malt and dark fruits

M - This beer has a thin body with lighter carbonation to it

D - Overall this is a decent beer definitely not the first beer I'd grab but if given to me I'd still drink it if Euro lagers are your thing its worth a shot

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Photo of kirkpjr
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: Thin pour, as expected from a lager. Dark brown, practically opaque with 2 fingers of light tan/beige head thanks to my vigorous pour. Head sticks around for a bit and some lacing forms.

S: Bananas, very yeasty. Almost smells like a hefe. Some malts as well. Nothing outstanding.

T: Reminds me of mix between a Newcastle and a Negra Modelo. Sweet caramels but very crisp. Gets better as it warms.

M: Moderate to high carbonation. Very light creaminess. For the most part - exactly what I would expect in lager, crispness.

D: Could definitely drink a few of these with a meal. Would love to see this offered at Mexican restaurants. Would be good on a hot summer day too.

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Photo of KonigObHops
3.46/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This dark lager has a rich, dark brown color and a creamy (yet quick to disapear) head.

The beer produces an inviting crisp, roasted, nutty aroma that is almost smokey.

The taste begins a little sharp, but mellows quickly. The main feature of this beer is the roasty caramel taste that is present from beginning to finish. This beer is not all that complex and has a full body as a dark lager should. The finish, like the aroma, has a lingering roasty sensation that borders on being smokey.

Overall, this is a good dark lager that I would reccomend to others, particularly since you don't often get a chance to sample a quality Spanish beer.

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Photo of dtivp
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this beer from the Beer of the Month club.

Poured a dark cola brown into a tulip glass, nice foamy off white head that does not last long, some lacing remained after the head dissipated. Aroma was not strong, a earthy dark fruit smell. Tasted some malt, maybe a little fig or raisin. The beer was thin not much body body which you would expect with this type of beer. Was drinkable and I would drink again, however, I would not go out of my way to obtain one.

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Photo of birdypowder
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's amazing what some dark malts can do. In the case of Alhambra Negra those dark malts were able to transform what otherwise would be a lackluster brew into a tasty, highly drinkable dark lager worth buying.

Corn and a slight DMS note (which brought it down a bit) swirl around with chocolate, earth, and smoke. Attractive except for that DMS hit at the beginning. It seems the aromas from the dark malt help mask the DMS a bit but even so the DMS is light and doesn't overpower or ruin the overall aroma.

Almost opaque, a very deep brown. Bright, no haze. Almost a two finger foam but minimal lacing. A unique mysterious brown color to the foam lends an ominous quality to this brew.

Corn and other grain flavors appear up front but luckily soon afterward the roast and smoke flavors kick in helping you forget the lackluster beginning to this highly sessionable light bodied brew. The finish is pleasant. Very dry, with no lingering bitterness, very clean.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this in a BotM club shipment.

Poured into a tulip pint: dark brown you can round up to black, with lots of ruby highlights. 2 fingers of off-white head that leaves a little lacing around the crown.

Smell is lightly bready, sweet malt, slight molasses. Lightly fruity & honey-like, like white grape jelly. As it warms a cookie-like smell develops, like shortbread.

Smell notes dominate the taste, combined with a cola-like light caramel, crisp. Mildly peppery hops. Starts off good, but a metallic aftertaste grows after a while & sticks around, not real pleasant.

Mouthfeel is very active & crisp, on the prickly side, thin-bodied.

Not bad in small doses, but that aftertaste shows up & just builds, which hurt my overall enjoyment of it.

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Photo of rfabian
3.98/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tumbler it produces 10 mm of head with persistence and light lacing. The appearance is very dark brown and clear when held up to the sunlight. The aroma is spicy with earthy hops. The taste is of roasted malts, mildly bitter earthy hops, and some muted spice overtones, anise perhaps. The feel is light with a clean finish.

This is a very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.2/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A – Very dark cola-brown hue, nearly impermeable to light, with a two-finger soda-foam head that lasts, and clings desperately to the glass.

S – Dark bread, figs, raisins, light anise and clove impressions. Similar to Doppelbock and/or Dunkel.

T – The taste is an extension of the aroma, basically. It has a vaguely discernable alcohol bite, perhaps it’s a bit too malty, and the flavors are slighty muted, but overall it’s pretty damn tasty. I am a fan of the style, I guess.

M – Thin, but relatively full-bodied.

D – Very drinkable, quenching, substantive and pairable. This is mass brewing at its finest.

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Photo of feelmefoam
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaquely dark brown color with lighter nut brown highlights clinging to the edges of the darkness. A fluffy, pockmarked, tan head pushes up just about two fingers over top of the liquid. Although retention isn't spectacular, it still leaves really nice lacing around the glass. Good lookin' beer.

Pretty run of the mill aroma, a bit of dark maltiness with a smidgen of caramel as well as a slight dark fruit presence. Pretty aromatic, too.

The flavor is actually the least attractive part of this beer. Not a lot of maltiness up front, rather a bit of maltiness mixed with a "watery" flavor. There is a little nuttiness followed quickly by some sweetly acidic dark fruits, then that about wraps up the flavor.

Alhambra Negra is pretty smooth, but a little thin. Maybe a bit more on the syrupy side and this would be better; still, the carbonation works nicely by not overpowering the beer too much.

Pretty drinkable... my first beer of the style, so I don't know a whole lot about them, but this certainly isn't bad. It's just not great. I'll have no problem finishing these, but there's probably better out there.

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Photo of crossovert
2.89/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle "Brewed with the waters of the Sierra Nevada".

Pours dark brown with a hint of ruby and a terrible looking head that quickly dissipates.

It smells super malty just like really unexciting smelling dark malts.

It is watery, tinny, but mostly has the flavor of chocolate cake.

Average stuff from southern Spain.

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Photo of beertunes
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a barely translucent black with just a thin cap of dark tan colored head that dissipated immediately and left just the barest of traces of lacing.

There is pleasant, grainy aroma with just a hint of roastyness hiding at the back. The flavor profile is what the aroma said it would be, with a bit of a hop tang on the finish.

The body was what you'd expect from a lighter lager like this. The drinkability was also typical for the style. Overall, a pleasant enough beer, I'd grab another one from the deli to go with a sandwich, buy I probably wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of tone77
2.96/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a small head. Smell is very mild, some malts. Taste is of malts and chocolate, finishing a tad bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall not bad, but nothing special about this beer.

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Photo of drperm
3.46/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one was a pleasant surprise. I was intrigued by the selection of Spanish/Brazilian/Central American beers at a local Latin/Mexican restaurant. I've had plenty of generic Latin lagers, as well as the famous Spanish Damm Lager. This one, though, was quite nice. And excellent along with my Cuban dish!

Ap: Dark and alluring. Thin tan head laces the glass.

S: Nice and mellow-malty, fresh lager nose. It invites me in for a closer inspection.

T: Mellow again. And smooth. No awards here, but nothing offensive either. A hint of hop bitterness seals the deal.

M: Spritzy, easy-going, and nice.

D: Highly drinkable!! This is a nice schwarzbier that could be an easy session beer, especially with spicy Latino food.

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Photo of bohemiandonut
4.5/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

9/6/2010- Aged 3 months room temp. Everything below but a much thicker mouth. Figgy sweetness coats the nose. Off-notes are diminished replaced with with folds between the flavors. Oddly gorgeous.

I have a feeling this will be an ongoing review for me, as the experience tends to cycle around an unapproachable center.

Poured a snifter.
Black and glassy, ruby-rimmed cola. Thin cirrus ceiling with intricate, Archimidean formations.
Scent of bran and kola nut with raisin, cherry, vanilla. Bittersweet.
Tastes like undersweetened Coke. Hard to describe this. Somewhere between a stout and a craft lager; Sam Adams comes to mind with its cherrywood bite.
Mouth is a little thin but definitely smooth and crisp. A great session beer for the barbecue or the beach.

As far as the most underrepresented category goes, this beer produces a very pleasant warmness after a single bottle. Lovely.

This beer is very unique for me. I think it could be improved on, but the overall character is something refreshing to my senses. Hard to find, but definitely worth the trip if you do.

EDIT: How I cherish
being the first
to speak of

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown, nice white head, with good retention and lacing.

S: Sweet brown sugar, caramel, fragrant.

T: Nice and tasty full caramel malt, toffee. Dries out a bit at the end with a nice hop note.

M: Lighter bodied than I expected, creamy, smooth.

D: A real nice surprise out of Spain which has been giving me some good beers lately.

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Alhambra Negra from Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL
77 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.