Beerlao Dark | Lao Brewery Co.

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76 Reviews
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Beerlao DarkBeerlao Dark
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lao Brewery Co.
Laos | website

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:
76
Ratings:
156
Avg:
3.24
pDev:
22.22%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
17
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 156
Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Beerlao Dark Lager"

330ml brown glass bottle purchased at Cat Bar in Chiang Rai, Thailand for 240 baht. Manufacturing date: 12 JAN 2016. Best before: 12 JAN 2017.

6.50% ABV.

Sticky toffee, dark malts, amber or Vienna malts, prune. Sweetness is moderate. It's not imbalanced, but its simplicity and shallowness diminish that accomplishment.

Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, overcarbonated, and (perhaps oddly) it's somewhat refreshing.

Highly drinkable, which is perhaps uncommon for a dark lager. I'd likely pick this over any of the other beers commonly available in Thailand, and look forward to revisiting it in finer grain. That said, while it's good by regional standards, it won't impress the discerning drinker.

C+ / ABOVE AVERAGE

***
07.04.16

Colour is a cola-like brown black if some translucency; this isn't the robust opaque black one might expect. Head is a pale khaki which recedes fully inside the usual 2 minutes, leaving no lacing.

Dark malt taste. Malted milk balls/whoppers. Some roasted barley is desperately needed to elevate this brew, but as-is it's one of the better dark lagers I've tried in Southeast Asia.

Balance could be better dialed in, but it's not the sweet bread bomb most Southeast Asian attempts at dark lagers end up as.

Creamy and drinkable, with an easily approachable smooth wet texture and apt moderate carbonation. Not too thick nor too thin.

It's a nice little dark lager for those craving exactly that, but most will opt for a Beerlao (original) in the Southeast Asian heat. Definitely worth a go at Lao prices, even if it struggles to run with the big dogs from Germany and the Czech Republic.

Low C+ / ABOVE AVERAGE

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Photo of aleigator
2.9/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a clear, amber-orange color, with a soon collapsing, bubbly head.

Smells of grains, rustic bread and toffee malts, with an earthy, slightly perfumy note.

Has a pleasantly light body, with a malty flavor profile to it, enriched by the beers bubbly carbonation.

Tastes of a bakers chocolate, earthen foundation, together with a faint coppery note, which introduces more and more toffee to the palate. The toffee quality turns slightly sticky during the finish, with a refreshing, slightly metallic carbonation.

Turns a tad one dimensional sweet, solely relying on the malts, while producing a nice earthiness, adding some depth.

 637 characters

Photo of tigg924
2.85/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours clear, light brown in color, with 1/4 inch head. Taste is chocolate and toasted malt. Very light bodied with moderate carbonation. Not a bad beer, but nothing I would rush out for either.

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Photo of bat6
3.85/5  rDev +18.8%
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

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Photo of sokol_1993
3.29/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Got a 330ml-bottle in Bangkok. Can't believe how difficult to get it here, among all the Singha, Chang and Leo!

Look: a good amount of bubbly white head that stay for quite some time. Brownish read. lively. Looking good for a dark beer.
Smell: Sweet malty bread smell.
Taste: Sweet, somewhat herbal taste. Great bread maltiness. Little hoppiness, the bitterness mostly comes from the roasted malt.
Feel: light-medium body. Good malty aftertaste lingering in my mouth.

A great beer coming out of South East Asia. Just wish it was more common, as it definitely beats all other macrobrew offerings here.

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Photo of Frazz
3.98/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a good, cheap beer that I can get at my local asian grocery store. I like the flavor of this beer -- the dark is better than the Beerlao Lager and it goes down smooth and easy. Tasty with Laotian food (of course) like curry puffs or spicy papaya salad.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought from Don Quiote 1.99 12oz. Dark brown color, slightly nutty taste, low carbonation, overall better than I expected after drinking the Beerlao lager, which wasn't that great.

 182 characters

Photo of Kevin_Langford
3.82/5  rDev +17.9%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.32/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thick swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and nut aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, and nut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is easy to drink and solid for the style.

Serving type: bottle.

 539 characters

Photo of woodchipper
3.09/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Take a Negra Modelo, add a little water and a pinch of sugar and you have a pretty good example of what this beer tastes like. Nothing bad about it though. Just down the list if other options are available.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.56/5  rDev +9.9%
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

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Photo of AgentMunky
2.62/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Pepsi glass in Huay Xing.

Clear and brown-gold with short lived but impressive head and good lacing. It smells sour, yeasty, and unpalatable. However, it's actually pretty okay. Heavier and sweeter than Beerlao, it makes sense it'd be stronger but it's not obvious. Overall, it's still a pretty paltry lager; all things considered I'll stick to the standard.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear darker amber color with off-white head. Toasted grain on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a little sweetness from the malt.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.09/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a golden brown color, not all that dark, despite the title. It has a pretty long lasting 2 inch head, and a lot of lacing. The superlatives end here.

This smells musty and stale, like old bread. I have no idea how old this bottle is, but it can't be new.

This tastes musty and stale at all, with a bit of buttery diacetyl feel to it too. This is just simply not good. I'm against drain pouring, but I almost did throughout the whole session. I finished it, but it was hard. If I try really hard I can pull out weirdly sweet caramel. Meh, at best.

This is medium bodied, with a slick, oily, and gross mouthfeel. Really hard to get down. There's a medium amount of carbonation.

This is a big miss, in just about every way.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.01/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Pours a light brown color with a decent tan colored head and a nice retention.
The aroma is very weak, hardly picked up, just some basic malty aroma.
The taste ois sweet throughout, quite bland withouth any real finish.
Drinkable but that's it. No real taste to it.

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Photo of VinceJones
4.5/5  rDev +38.9%
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 biegaman
3.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beerlao Dark appears to live up to its name; a deep, toasty chestnut tone, the beer is indeed dark (the odd flickering highlight notwithstanding). Although technically transparent, the colour is such that everything appear like shadows when viewed through the beer. Its head looks something like grated parmigiano and leaves rings of lacing.

There's notions of bready, lightly toasted Munich and nutty Vienna malts but they're severely muffled. The distortion is something like when you're stopped at a red light and the car in the next lane rolls up with their radio blaring but the windows closed; you can hear the sounds but can't make out the specific words.

In this case, the clean, natural, and wholesome flavours of the malts are obstructed by what seems to be some kind of corn-derived adjunct. The notes of brown bread crusts and toasted nuts are enveloped in a cloying, corn syrup-like texture, with a minimal amount of the roasted maltiness making it to the aftertaste. It's agreeable, but too far too mild.

Naturally, however, Laos does not have the long brewing tradition of Germany and it would be unreasonable to expect a beer of comparable richness and technical virtuosity. All things considered, this brewery's done a fair job. Overlooking the impressions of adjunct, the lager is reasonably clean with natural apple-y fruit esters and traces of toffee sweetness.

Beerlao Dark does not compare to the dark lagers of continental Europe but it's one of the more approachable, flavourful, and all around better beers I've tried from Southeast Asia. Having never traveled there I imagine this may be as good as it gets in that part of the world (a reasonable assumption given the awful exports I've been subjected to).

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Photo of FLima
3.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Brown reddish color with a one finger caramel head with a medium retention and leaving some laces.
Aroma of caramels, booze and pine.
Flavor of sweet toasted malt, booze, toffee, prune and herbal and earthy hops. Dry and bitter aftertaste
Light to watery body with good carbonation.
Decent dark lager. Its body is a bit too thin and boozy, but its hoppy and caramel profile were a positive surprise. Overall it became an interesting beer.

 438 characters

Photo of sleazo
3.36/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A_chestnut brown with a tan head. Retention not so good though there is some lacing.

S_Caramel malts with a vague tinny presence.

T_Caramel hits again up front followed by a grassy dryness. Finish is a nice combo of the two. A hint of alcohol also lingers.

M_Light bodied and fairly effervescent.

O_Not bad as far as Asian lagers go. It goes well with spicy food.

 371 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.57/5  rDev +10.2%
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

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.17/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

First beer from Laos.

The appearance is dark mahogany with crimson highlights. Big soapy white head that hangs around for a long time. The aroma is pretty faint. Some lager yeast, dark fruits, brown bread. Prickly carbonation (too prickly actually) with some hop bitterness in the back. A tad sweet. Light to medium in body. Ok.

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Photo of beijingbrewer
3.81/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.17/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head that appears to have pretty good retention. The head is a very light beige while the body is a dark amber to maroon which shows flashes of medium amber when held up to the light. Some lacing is left behind.

Nose- Nothing much at the moment. I get a little bit of caramel and banana from the bottle but nothing from the glass. When I swirl the glass, I get some roasted notes and bit of rice but that's about it. Fairly boring.

Taste- At first taste, this seems to have rice around the edges. Some roasted notes appear along with some faint caramel. More interesting than the nose but there is still a considerable lack of presence. Faint hint of chocolate as the roasted malt/coffee finish begins to strengthen. It's pretty well integrated but also rather boring. Some woodiness to the finish. Slightly above average and a little bit better than Guinness Black Lager.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with light carbonation. Some smoothness to the texture.

Drinkability- Very easygoing. However, I will have to pass on this in future because of 2.29 price tag. No heat.

Overall- Slightly above average. Wouldn't purchase again but I wouldn't refuse it if someone offered it to me.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear deep brownish amber with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some ruby red highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a quarter finger tall pillowy layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall the aroma of this beer is fairly sweet with moderate notes of fruity and nutty malts

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of sweet nutty malts with hints of fruity yeast. There is a light amount of bitterness in the finish that fades very quickly.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery with hints of dryness in the finish.

O: This is a surprising easy to drink Euro Dark Lager with a slightly lighter body which makes it good for drinking in warm weather. Pairs well with intensely flavorful foods.

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Photo of tbeckett
2.76/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bottle at a restaurant on Don Det. From notes.

A - Pours bright with a root beer colour. One finger light beige head. Mild-medium carbonation. No lace, tiny spot of retention on the side of the glass.

S - Nutty. Sugar, dark fruit, coffee. Sweeter elements def come through stronger. Mild but pleasant.

T - Sugary. Some coffee flavour. Mild nuttiness again. Quite sugary, but the nuttiness is alright.

M - Strong carbonation, medium body and a sweet, nutty finish.

O/D - An OK dark lager. Definitely a step up from the run of the mill yellow lagers around the country. I could have a few of these but it really doesn't stand out too much style wise. Decent, but off style and far too sweet.

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Beerlao Dark from Lao Brewery Co.
76 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.
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