Rio Bravo Special Dark Beer
Cerveceria Mexicana S.A. De C.V.

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Munich Dunkel Lager
Ranked #186
Ranked #43,969
3.16 | pDev: 10.76%
Cerveceria Mexicana S.A. De C.V.
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Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 19
Photo of stevoj
2.51/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Nice malty aroma and pleasant appearance, but it falls flat after that. taste is watery and bland, very abrupt finish, slightly metallic. Just malt taste, that’s it, was hoping for better.

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Photo of GMB
3.2/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

An admittedly aggressive pour of Rio Bravo's Mexico's Famous Dark beer yields a beautiful brown body with red and gold highlights and a large beige-grey head that falls quickly only to leave a sticky ring of foam which reaches around the beer. Carbonation is light enough to suggest that this beer's mouthfeel will be supple.

The nose is simple but appetizing. Roasted malts dominate; hops aren't palpable. Toffee and browned butter come to mind.

The first sip goes down smoothly. The beer is a bit on the sweet side, but that's okay. Dominant flavors include toasted pumpernickel bread, browned-butter toffee, butter-braised raisins, and unsulphered dried Turkish apricots.

As the beer warms, its flavors are thrown off balance. Alcoholic flavors move to the fore and ruin the sweet drinkability that characterized the first few sips.

The lack of balance is most appreciable when the beer is swirled around the tongue. This is a huge disappointment because the beer's light, creamy foam nicely would complement the beer's dessert-like flavor profile. Darn.

Despite Special Dark's shortcomings, I'd gladly pick up another bottle. I've had some of the most famous and popular south-of-the-border Dunkel Lagers, and this one gives them a run for their money. A taste-off with Negra Modelo is in order.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color with some reddish highlights, clear with a creamy but short-lived head. Nose is somewhat straightforward with sweetness, slightly metallic, and a toasted barley note. Hints toward adjunct filler sweetness as well.

This one has many of the same traits as a typical Mexican obscura but with an added bit of raisin and dark fruit flavor that sticks it above the rest. Some diacetyl toffee and toasted butter notes, pretty fruity, with a metallic, clean finish.

Again, fairly straightforward, but not as simple as most of this style. Definitely recommended if you don't mind the butterscotch-corn flavor.

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Photo of karait95
3.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice look when served, a big head that dissipates slowly and leaves a lot of traces behind, compact light brown bubbles. Nice brown reddish color bright.

S: This is the poorest part of the beer a faint toasted malty aroma that is not perceived clearly.

T: The taste is also not as good as it could be, you can sense the toasted malt nut nothing beyond.

M: Refreshing tasting not to bitter or sweet just balanced.

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Photo of Shrews629
3.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Clear, dark, reddish/amber. Little to no head and little to no lacing. What head that was present was only the slightest off white. Several bubbles coming up from the bottom.

Smell - Faint roasted malt with an almost freshly stripped tobacco smell. As the beer warmed, some roasted or toasted grain came through.

Taste - Roasted or toasted breadiness in the taste. Sort of a roasted malt, but not sweet.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light mouthfeel. Somewhat watery and didn't leave a lot on the palate. It is smooth and did go down easy. Even and crisp.

Drinkability - This beer was just Ok in my opinion. Nothing horrible, but nothing outstanding either. It's decently drinkable. Better than a macro for sure. I could drink a few however.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just a step off of the pace of German brewed Dunkels, this Mexican version fares fairly well with only a corn-like sweetish flavor and timid malts holding it back.

The beer pours a very clear, darker brown color with a handsome cream colored foam stance that retains and laces quite well.

Aromas of mild caramel and bread crust (maybe light toast) sets the stage for light grain and corn flavors lurking behind.

Flavors of toffee, butterscotch, and bread crust/toast give the impressions of Cracker Jacks candies. But the corn-like sweet flavor eventually becomes a bit more distracting than benneficiary. A finishing note of grain/grain husks leaves the finial impressions.

Medium bodied, the beer starts out lighly creamy and buttery but has a nice fade into a toasty-dry finish that is only impeeded by it's own slickness and sulfury feel.

After having the Pilsner earlier and now the Special Dark, it's becomming apparent that its either a house flavor or flaw that exhibit the corn flavors of dms, light buttery note, and high sulfur notes that all point toward yeast problems.

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Photo of Brent
2.6/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm not sure if perhaps this isn't just a rebranding of the Mexicali dark lager. Chestnut color, no particular aroma. Clean flavor profile wihtout adjunct notes, but at the same time pretty nondescript in flavor overall. Finish as a bit flat and bland. Runs well with the pack of dark Mexican lagers - for what that may be worth.

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Rio Bravo Special Dark Beer from Cerveceria Mexicana S.A. De C.V.
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 19 ratings