Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Beerlao Dark | Lao Brewery Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
75
okay
78 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
Beerlao DarkBeerlao Dark
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lao Brewery Co.
Laos
beerlao.la

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Beerlao Dark is an award winning beer brewed with the finest ingredients and roasted malt. A full-bodied tasted experience with a golden brown color.

Added by Jason on 12-31-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
78
Ratings:
161
Avg:
3.23
pDev:
22.29%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
17
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 161
Photo of VinceJones
4.5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one amazing beer. I was in a discount grocery store and stumbled upon this, selling for just $2.99 for a 6 pack. Seriously, $2.99. I have tried a few discounted beers, and so far, they rank up there with the best micro brews I have had. Smooth and Zesty! This is one of them, and even my girlfriend (who is not too huge a beer fan) agrees. Amazing is all I can say. It honestly is one of the best tasting micro brews I have ever had. That with the $2.99 price? Unbelievable, like seriously unbelievable. This is a beer that you can drink 1 after another, or drink with a good steak or burger. It is cheaper than most micro brews by 3x (at least at this store here in cali), and tastes as good or better. If you like dark beers, you gotta get your lips on these. I am all for American brews, but this imported brew blows American brews out of the water. As I was drinking it, I was thinking about the cost to make it, bottle it, import it on boats from thousands of miles away, and how it still is so cheap and so damn good tasting. I am blown away. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is because it is the first time I have had it.

 1,140 characters

Photo of shigg85
4.2/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I used to buy this all the time at a Thai restaurant on 9th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen, New York City. Matched my tom yum fried rice amazingly well. It is one of the darkest lagers i've seen from Southeast Asia, only comparable to ABC Stout from Singapore (although this beer is much better). The smell is enjoyable with lots of nutty notes (even more than most Guinness sold abroad). But the highest note for this beer (as it should be for any) is the taste. Amazingly smooth yet thick in the way a good dark lager should be, this brew fulfills all of my expectations of what I want when I order a dark beer. Hard to find, but if you can, get a bottle and enjoy it! A great representation for the country of Laos!

 712 characters

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.05/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at a very good Lebanese restaurant in Portland.
Appearance- Brown with dark tea highlights. Not much of a head at all, but what is there is a light tan color. Little lacing.. 4/5

Smell- Sweet milk chocolate and roasted malts. A lot more aroma than I anticipated. 4/5

Taste- Lots of chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Again, I was surprised that this was as flavorful as it was. 4/5

Mouth feel- The mouth feel was just what a lager should be. I was a little surprised that it wasn't a bit thicker given the flavors that are in this beer. 4/5

Overall- I fully expected a lot less flavor than this. Nice beer. 4/5

 625 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, rich, garnet color with a fluffy off-white head. Dissipates to a thick film and leaves good lacing.
Smell is malt, dark fruit, cane sugar hops and kool-aid.
Taste is most of the same without the kool-aid and adding alcohol. Some oak note after warming.
Dmooth, light effervescence, medium-full body. Some hops in aftertaste after warming. Quite a good beer

 371 characters

Photo of rickyleepotts
3.99/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

There are two beers on the list from the Lao Brewing Company. This is one of them, and we grabbed this the other night at Total Wine & More. We spent $100, so we have enough beer to last us a few weeks! I think shopping for beer is my favorite part. Anyway, this beer is brewed in Laos, a small country in Southeast Asia. I need to plan a trip to Asia. There is some great diving over there, and it is a part of the world I have never been.

I don't recall ever having this beer before, but I do like the Euro dark lager style. The tasting notes mention toffee and coffee… and while I do not expect a lot of those aromas (or flavor) I am sure it will be easy drinking and enjoyable. I didn't realize they used rice in the brewing process. Makes sense, and I will be curious to see if that changes the flavor of the beer. Let's drink!

In the Glass: This is darker than I expected. It has a deep dark red color… almost brown. The head is nice, too. For a beer that I would assume is a domestic to Laos, I didn't expect it to have much character. But the head is nice and white, and it has a decent lace.

Nose: I thought I could smell this as I was pouring it in the glass, but Sheryl was making tea. She is on a tea kick right now… and I will admit, the stuff smells good. Doesn't taste very good, but smells good. At any rate, this beer smells like a traditional Euro pale lager. Beers like this are typically sweet, and have a lot of different flavors going on. Hopefully this one won't disappoint.

Flavor: That's actually really good. I am hooked on this home-grown rice thing. A few weeks ago, I had a wild rice double IPA that was amazing. The rice really came through in the flavor. The rice really comes through in this one, too. I can see what they mean about the beer being easy to drink. Bravo Lao Brewing Company. You have just thoroughly impressed me with this release!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is soft, mellow, and leaves a nice little pillow of flavor on the back of the palate. They claim the rice is what mellows this beer… and if I didn't know about the rice beforehand, I would comment on how easy this is to drink. I wonder if this beer would age for two or three years. Beers like this shouldn't, but as mellow as this is, I wonder what it would taste like with seer carbonation.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is solid, as well. There is a hint of malt and some sublet hoppy characters creeping in there. If you didn't know this beer was over 6% ABV, you could drink 6 of these and not even realize it! Very easy to drink with a lovely flavor. I bet this would also pair well with food.

For our first experience with Beerlao Euro Dark Lager, I am very impressed. I will be buying more of this in the near future. I bet this would be a great beer to pair with some brown rice sushi or with an Asian chicken dish.

 2,846 characters

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.94/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a patchy, white head.
Smell is malts, caramel, cinnamon, and dark fruits. Corny, bready notes as well.
Taste is slighty sweet and spicey malts. Figs, plums, and brown sugar come in after, as well as some more dark fruits.
Mouthfeel is nice and crisp, with a fairly dry finish. Medium-light body.
Good drinkability. Compared to most others I've tried in this style over the past, this one stands out.

 415 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz single bought from my local Asian farmer's market for $1.49. This beer is surprisingly decent. Pours dark chestnut with an okay head that fades to a swirly cap. Smells grainy and malty with some notes of cocoa and cream as well as a touch of lager yeast. The taste is similar, with nice cocoa notes over a grainy, malty base that lacks the grainy sourness you sometimes find in these Euro lagers. Relatively clean in the mouth with a pleasantly creamy finish. Not bad at all.

 495 characters

Photo of bat6
3.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: dark red-brown color, decent clingy head

S: nothing powerful: a bit nutty, dark malts, some toasted bread

T: mild flavors: roasty chocolate, grainy/nutty bread, sweet coffee-ish finish, I detect

F: bright & crisp carbonation, keeps the beer light on the palate

Mild and very easy-drinking dark lager- especially because of the carbonation- pairs great with a lot of different food. If you're in SE Asia for any extended period of time then you'll probably love this beer because it's one of very few non-pilsener styles. Otherwise it's a decent beer for the style, one that I've enjoyed many times

 607 characters

Photo of Kevin_Langford
3.82/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I truly like this beer. I live in China where good, dark beers aren't always readily available. There are a large number of imported German beers, but some places charge more than I'm willing to pay on a regular basis for those. This one is available in my city at few restaurants and wholesale through a restaurant supply company. I buy a case at a time so I always have a few in my refrigerator. If I were back in the States, I'd still get this one on occasion.

It's dark, full-bodied, and very smooth. I drink it slowly as it would be a bit much to drink too quickly. I enjoy it to the last drop.

 610 characters

Photo of beijingbrewer
3.81/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had in Beijing.
330ml bottle poured into a pint glass.
Born on date: 2/7/13.
ABV: 6.5%
Ingredients list water, barley, rice, yeast, and hop.

A- Light caramel brown with hints of red around the outside. Held up to the light looks very red. Quite clear, light passes right through. Better head retention than I was expecting from an Asian lager. Moderate lacing.

S- Nutty, roasted malt. Sweet dark fruit.

T- Sweetness just barely kept in check by a slightly bitter, roasted flavor. Hits the tongue with a bit of dark fruit, cherries and raisins. A bit boozy in the middle. Finishes a bit dried with an acidid, coffee-like bitterness.

M- Not too heavy. Sweet and boozy while still managing to be drinkable and refreshing.

 726 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium brown hue, not unlike a nut brown ale or an ESB. Body is clear and the head is a thick finger of frothy light-tan foam with a good lace. Not bad, actually.

Smell: sweet, caramelly malt aroma without much in the way of hops. Perhaps a bit sweet for my taste, but it is clean and free of flaws.

Taste: much like the aroma, it's a sweet, caramel malt-heavy beer. For that, the flavor seems more balanced than the aroma with a light but present bitterness toward the end. There also seems to be a very light but noticeable smokiness in the flavor which is appealing; perhaps they still kiln malt over wood fires in Laos.

Mouthfeel: quite good. Medium-light body with a massive carbonation which yields the creaminess I like. Perhaps not to-style, but it's certainly to my taste.

Overall: a decent and drinkable dark lager. I'm going to award some bonus points here for the light smokiness, which really is a treat here (again, if not to-style).

 1,008 characters

Photo of Mondayoff
3.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beerlao Dark Lager 330cl poured from bottle.

A: clear hazel nut brown with creamy head which decrease slowly, rocky bubble shows up when time passed, leave few lacing on glass.

S: sweet smell from malt, sugar cane, honey, when take a deeper breath u can feel a bit meltallic at the end. for me, smell is impressive.

T: i love this one much more than beerlao lager. mixture of mellow bitterness from hop which is so nice, a bit sweet from malt but for overall taste is not so complex.

M: something between light to medium body. few carbonation..and again, this make me love dark lager version than lager one.

D: very drinkable and not bad to have another.

summary: i enjoy this one and if i have a chance to travel to Laos i can say that i'll have another dark lager there.

 779 characters

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

Picked up a bottle of this at Austin Liquors in Shrewsbury, MA.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a crystal clear hazelnut shell brown with a one finger creamy white head that leaves average side lacing and a nice dense halo and cloud. Not bad all things considered.

S - Fairly straightforward. Some light malt roast and sweetness. Light grains and a light metallic aroma.

T - More of the same, but it works. Nice creamy lightly roasted sweet malts. Some soft chocolate. This is like a larger-y stout. Very odd, but rather enjoyable.

M - Surprisingly good amount of carbonation for this beer. Beer starts off creamy but ends with a nice refreshing quality thanks to the good carbonation.

O - Overall this is a surprisingly good beer. Definately a hidden gem this is a tasty beer from a country I, quite honestly, wasnt expecting something good from. Would definately purchase this again.

 889 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.57/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I purchased this from Half Time, enjoyed the bottle chilled from a tulip

The color is practically black with almost opaque appearance and thick pale tan cap with very fine bead lace clings in rings. The smell is very malty with bready toasted aromas with mild sweetness and light creamy yeast esters. The feel is very good with moderately high carbonation and gentle sweetness with slight toastiness and mild bitterness with slight creamy yeasty feel mid palate and semi-sweet carbonated finish.

The flavor has a mild cereal and bready malt flavor which is mildly sweet essence with toastiness of lightly roasted malt and gentle yeast which has a tangy flavor but not over the top, just enough to notice as it finishes with a slight crisp bran-like taste with a mix of sweetness and earthy malt flavors with slight residual sweetness as it finishes with a slight dark brown sugar accent. Overall a pretty decent dark lager, not the best, but has a nice drinkability and was better than expected

 997 characters

Photo of matjack85
3.56/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found both the dark and the regular versions of this beer at the new Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL for $9.99 a six-pack. First time trying a Laotian beer. 11.2oz brown bottles with no freshness date.

The beer pours a clear reddish/brown color with a big creamy 3-finger light tan head. Long lasting retention and lots of lace - a pretty good looking dark lager.

Roasted malt and sweet caramel aroma.

Taste starts out with a mild sweetness, and then a strange combination of black licorice and a metallic flavor kick in. I'm sort of indifferent about it. Definitely different but not sure if I like it that much. A mild bitterness and touch of lemon are also present.

Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is a decent beer, but nothing exceptional.

 774 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.56/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a 330 ml bottle, with no date

Medium brown in color, nice head. Mild sweet nutty aroma and taste. Okay flavor, easy to drink, smooth mouthfeel. better than expected

 167 characters

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

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

Tarnished reddish brass color with great clarity, big towering head that clings to the glass quite well. Mild, malty aroma with ghost-like suggestions of licorice root, mint and lemon peel. The nose ends up bready and clean. Light to moderate body with a bitty grainy mouthfeel. Bready malt with a pleasant but light-toasted character, clean on the palate. Hops are very modest with only a mild bitterness. A little husky and lemon in the drying finish.

Very easy to drink; dark in color, but the flavor doesn't reflect that too much other than a slightly toasted tone. A good pick to change things up.

 658 characters

Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a small head. Smell is of caramel and malts. Taste is good, a bit nutty, malts are there as well as a hint of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality brew.

 280 characters

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

This beer is the change-of-pace brew around Laos. It's also a little bit stronger, which is good if you want some extra relaxation for a good price. The flavor is nice and is different enough with some toasted malt and a slight molasses sweetness. Definitely the beer of choice in Laos.

 286 characters

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

This a tasty dark beer for the Asian beer

Beer in Asia is pretty light

this one is a bit tasty

color is dark amber

white head

smell a bit roasted

taste pretty good for laos..

Mouth feel, good inside on a warm night in Vang Viang after a hot after noon of tubing down the river stoping for whisky shots all the way

drinkability is alright, its hot humid and this dark beer lao is easy to drink and a bit more tasty than other brew

 437 characters

Photo of weezyfart
3.49/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark, opaque and typically dunkel in apppearance. I love the malty aromas with roasted coffee bean and toffee that isn't too overbearing. It's just right. The taste is a liitle bit of a letdown unfortunately. I mean, again, it tastes like a usual dunkel beer from Germany, but I feel that it is lacking character considering I've never had a beer from Laos before and was hoping for some ingenuity. I don't consider rice additives ingenuity by the way. The finish has enough bitters to keep me reaching for my glass, though the length is slightly short.

 553 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is fruity and a bit fruit-sweet with a malty undertone. Pours a slightly hazy cinnamon- brown with a decent cream-colored head. Flavor is crisp, malty, slightly yeasty and just a little fruity with just a tiny bit of sweetness. Texture is rather smooth and fizzy, rather typical. Worth a try.

 298 characters

Photo of thekanna
3.46/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear chestnut brown with about 2 fingers of white head.

S: Sweet malts and adjunct grains with a bit of clove; maybe a little anise?

T/M: Great honey sweetness and malts; crisp, effervescent and enjoyable. Slightly medicinal aftertaste.

D: Decent, and I can see it complementing Laotian food well by providing respite from the strong flavors.

 351 characters

Photo of HeyItsChili
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was acquired from Club DADA in Shanghai, China, where I was working for the summer and found few good beers. This was one of the better East Asian beers I had.

A - Brownish, clear Coca-Cola look with little to no head.

S - Faintly spicy, sugary.

T - Just a little nutty, a little spicy, with some brown sugar sweetness being the main character.

M - Slightly watery, high carbonation but still a little silky.

Overall it was a solid, enjoyable beer and boasted one of the higher ABVs you're going to find in an Asian beer available in Shanghai.

 559 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Apparently the easiest beer from Southeast Asia for me to acquire out here in NoVa. Huh. Anyway, it pours a clear dark tawny with about half a finger of light ecru mini-foam on top. The nose is dark wheat, cinnamon, and nutmeg; a helluva lot better than I was expecting (I blame Thailand and 'Nam for this). The taste doesn't deviate too far, with notes of dark malts, wheat, and a slight underlying sweetness. Honestly, this may be the best-tasting Euro Dark I've had in a long goddamn time. Who'da thunk it? The body is light, with a lightly moderate carbonation and a rather watery feel. Not an optimal feel, but a surprisingly highly drinkable brew nonetheless. Right on, Laos.

 711 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Beerlao Dark from Lao Brewery Co.
3.23 out of 5 based on 161 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe