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Beerlao Dark | Lao Brewery Co.

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76 Reviews
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Beerlao DarkBeerlao Dark

Brewed by:
Lao Brewery Co.

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

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 156
Photo of rickyleepotts
3.99/5  rDev +23.1%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.33/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

undated 330 ml bottle.
Pours clear dark brown with a large tan white head that has moderate duration.
Very sweet aroma of roasted malts, caramel and rice.
Also has a sweet and roasty flavor, but not nearly as sweet as the aroma suggests.

Medium body with medium carbonation.
O: Interesting and a little better than expected.

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Photo of tdm168
3.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - dark, translucent amber with a big, thick cap of brownish, off white head that has pretty good retention

S - sweet caramel

T - faint caramel, a slight bitterness; very, very light flavor profile

M - light to medium bodied, smooth, a bit sticky, well carbonated

This is a pretty simple, one-dimensional beer. If this were American it'd be a poorly put together amber lager. As a European lager I give it slightly more credit. Nonetheless, it's disappointing and forgettable.

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Photo of stoutman
2.2/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Quite disappointed with this beer like the other beer lao. It is just a sweet and malty bland beer with some caramel and just a hint of spices. Quite sweet and sugary. Very little bitterness. Has some of that old lager flavor but for the most part it goes down fairly easy. It’s still drinkable, but far from a great beer.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev +13.6%
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).

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Photo of matjack85
3.56/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent, ruddy color with a generous cream-colored head. Aroma is mildly malty and nondescript. Flavor profile is malty (dark malt) and one-dimensional, but not unpleasant. An easy-to-drink beer with enough flavor to keep you interested, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of shigg85
4.2/5  rDev +29.6%
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!

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Photo of Jimmys
3.04/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

adding a country and a style to my checklist. score. 11.2 oz bottle. not seeing a bottled on date on this rather light brown bottle.

A: a dark, deep reddish hue. however, still very clear. decent head, retention and lacing.

S: a very light toasted caramel aroma. maybe oh-so-slightly fruity from a little bit of hop character? that may be a stretch.

T: drinks light a lager should. clean. a touch of roast. i suppose that is the "dark" quality. nothing too discernible, but nothing notable either.

M: moderate/average carbonation on a medium body.

D: drinkable? yes. desirable? hardly. cool to sample a brew from Laos, but otherwise not really worth seeking.

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Photo of jayhawk73
2.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a super dark brown w/ a one finger cocoa head. Impossible to see through, and almost zero lacing on my snifter glass. Nose is that of caramel malt, nuttiness, and diapers. Not a big fan of that last smell. Fortunately, I don't get the diaper in the taste, just caramel malt and nuttiness. Maybe a hint of chocolate as well. Mouthfeel is probably the strongest part of this beer. It's full bodied malty- actually pretty good. Overall, I would not seek this beer out again. My first brew from Laos though, so I wanted to check it out. Cheers.

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Photo of ronniebruner
3.13/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly Beerlao has created a pretty decent beer here. This is my first Laotian beer and I have to admit I was honestly surprised. The beer has a nice nutmeg brown color, and a somewhat spicy aroma. The beer pours smoothly and goes down smoothly. It tastes very clean and goes down smoothly. The beer has a decent amount of alcohol in it but does not have the overly sweet taste usually asociated with higher alcohol content beers. A worthy effort, I look forward to finding more Laotian beers in the future.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
4.05/5  rDev +25%
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

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Photo of rudzud
3.58/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ahhh, a Laotian tick.

A - Pours rather nice like dark Heineken with a white head.

S - Smells slightly sweet with a bit of raisiny malt and grain and alcohol.

T - The taste is slightly sweet, carrying on the notes of the aroma. There is a hint of something mineral-metallic that is strangely pleasant.

M - Thin, watery and refreshing.

O - I found this beer to be surprisingly good. I would definitely have it again.

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Photo of WesWes
3.41/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a solid pilsner and caramel malt scent that's sweet to the nose, but also dry in the finish. There's also a metallic character as well that takes away from the aroma. The taste is decent. It has a smooth caramel malt flavor laid over a base of pilsner malts. It goes down easy with a velvety sweetness and mouthfeel and finishes dry with a slight metallic edge. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a pretty solid dark lager. It's an easy drinker with good malt character.

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Photo of Everydayoff
3.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a pint glass with filling date on Nov'10 but no best before date.

Translucent deep brown amber color with off-white thick head, it well retains and gradually dissipates into small foamy layer on the surface with small lacing appeared.

Lead by honey and caramel then follow by fruity scent resemblance of prune with subtle alcohol fusel.

Grainy malt sweetness, slight breadiness, moderate hop bitterness with hint of citric zest, alcohol is meek and barely noticeable.

The body is light to medium with good crisp and a bit fizzy mouthfeel. Finish is dry.

Really good drinkable not too light yet not too overburden load. I would definitely pick this one up again.

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Photo of Mondayoff
3.67/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of CoalPorter
2.87/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had a bottle poured into a pint glass at a sushi place.

A - dark amber color with a light head that clings well

S - very sweet and bready, with caramel and burnt sugar overtones

T - again very sweet and malty, with a bitter finish and aftertaste that I found unpleasant

M - medium bodied with fair carbonation

D - I wouldn't go back for another.

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Photo of chefelf
3.4/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this and purchased it for the distinct reason that I'd never had a Laotian beer before (to my knowledge). The first sip tasted strongly of molasses and it was surprisingly high in alcohol at 6.5%.

I enjoyed this beer a lot if for no other reason than that I can cross off another Southeastern Asian country off my "To Drink" list!

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

Another one courtesy of Tyler. Poured into 10oz glass. poured a clean, clear medium brown with almost 2 inches of light tan head (thanks to an over-enthusiastic pour by me) that had very good retention and light lacing.

The aroma was mostly grainy malt, with a touch of hops and a slight skunk. The flavor was also grainy, but a bit cleaner than the aroma. The slight skunk was also present. I received this bottle in July and just stuck it in the fridge a few days age, so the skunk may be due to my storage and handling. Or the beer may just have some skunk.

The body was typical for the style and drinkability was OK as well.
Overall, about what you'd expect from the style. Give it a shot if you're interested.

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Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
3.45/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- bottle poured into a snifter, full finger of fluffy tan head that fades gradually, slight haze, chesnut brown.

s- nice nose, light roast, but of spicy character, very bready, maybe a touch of honey.

t- interesting, a little bite, maybe a touch of alcohol, some honey, a bit peppery, maybe a bit of wheat, roasted caramel malts.

m- smooth, slight chew, slick medium body.

d- okay, i just happened upon a free single of this and figured why not. it's not an awesome beer, but it's solid. i probably won't pick it up again though.

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Photo of metter98
3.13/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured clear amber in color with a finger high off white head that has good retention properties. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are faint aromas of caramel and nutty malts in the nose, which is rather sweet.
T: The taste has a mix of light amounts of sweetness and bitterness. There are some notes of caramel and nuts in the flavors.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness perceptible in the finish.
D: It's quite drinkable for a dark beer and is particularly suited for drinking during the summer months (or Southeast Asian climate).

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Beerlao Dark from Lao Brewery Co.
3.24 out of 5 based on 156 ratings.
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