Budweiser Budvar Czech Dark Lager
Budějovický Budvar, n.p.

Budweiser Budvar Czech Dark LagerBudweiser Budvar Czech Dark Lager
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Style:
European Dark Lager
Ranked #17
ABV:
4.7%
Score:
83
Ranked #35,183
Avg:
3.7 | pDev: 12.97%
Reviews:
75
Ratings:
252
From:
Budějovický Budvar, n.p.
 
Czech Republic
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  10
Gots
  63
SCORE
83
Good
Budweiser Budvar Czech Dark LagerBudweiser Budvar Czech Dark Lager
Notes: Exported to US as Czechvar
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 252
Photo of FBarber
4.46/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Although this is listed as a European dark lager here, I believe this is best reviewed as a Černý Ležák. Best by 10/7/19 so this is a pretty fresh bottle.

Pours a dark reddish tinged brown color. Opaque, but allows light through when held up to a light. Thick full four finger tan head slowly collapses leaving a thin layer of tan bubbles on top of the beer.

Aroma has notes of dark bread, caramel malts, pumpernickel and some light earthy notes.

Taste follows the nose with notes of dark bread, pumpernickel, light caramel notes and some roasted malt notes. Bit of earthy hops come through on the back end. Its straightforward, but really well executed.

Feel is light to medium bodied. Smooth and drinkable. Semi-dry finish dries the palate.

Overall, this is a really well executed Černý Ležák - I'm not surprised its not getting much love here through. Its a definite must try for any fans of the style.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best budweiser I have ever had! Har har, ok got that out of the way. This is actually pretty tasty, with wonderful dark notes starring amongst breadiness, like a chocolate, coffee, raisin coffee cake. The smell is more dark roasted malt than anything but still fine. Still very macro in composition, but actually tastes good!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle - probably just the regular Budvar dark lager, but who knows.

This beer pours a clear, very dark orange-brick highlighted brown colour, with four fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat fizzy tan head, which leaves a bit of thick, splotchy lace around the glass as it slowly but surely abates.

It smells of lightly meaty and roasted caramel malt, muddled black orchard fruit, discount store bittersweet cocoa powder, a hint of licorice root, day-old coffee, and some well understated earthy, leafy, and floral noble hop bitters. The taste is bready and grainy caramel malt, a touch of free-range ashiness, dry chocolate, ethereal cafe-au-lait, bruised pome fruit, musty anise spice, and more wan leafy, earthy, and musky floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is quite average in its palate-supporting frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly smooth, nothing really getting in the way of a good time here. It finishes off-dry, the malt, cocoa, and coffee essences most predominant.

Overall, this comes across as a prototypical example of the style - not the generic one listed here, but 'tmavý pivo', the Czech dark lager. Full-flavoured, and easy to put back, it is making me very wistful for the quality time that I spent at U Fleků so many, many moons ago.

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Photo of superspak
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into lager glass, best before 4/13/2016. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 1 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, herbal, wood, grass, light smoke/nuts, and roast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roast/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, herbal, wood, grass, light smoke/nuts, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/spicy hop and roast bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, herbal, wood, grass, smoke, nuts, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great hop/roasted bitter/sweet balance, and zero acrid/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from hop/roast bitterness. Perfectly clean on lager flavors, with zero yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, bready/grainy, and fairly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 4.7%. Overall this is a delicious schwarzbier! All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth, crisp, and easy to drink with the balanced bitter/drying finish. Amazingly flavorful with great balanced malt complexity for the low ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of steveh
4.41/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found some of this at the very decent price of $8 a six-pack, but now I have to wonder if I read the date code backward: Best Before 12.04.17. Of course, I automatically thought December 4, but being bottled in Europe, is that April 12? Keeping that in mind, I'll give it a go -- but rated to the new BJCP guidelines of Czech Dark Lager -- having already sampled a bottle, this is no Heineken Dark.

Poured into my short Becher glass.

L -- Deep, dark brown with ruby highlights from a flash. Dense, creamy tan head that holds up well and long.

S -- Light hints of dark fruit and roasted malts.

T -- Roasted malts up front with a toasted bread character, mild dark fruit and light caramel. There's a hop bitterness back that lingers through the aftertaste and is very discernible from the roasted malt bitterness. Some very light diacetyl and lightly tart fruit character is present in the aftertaste, but the roasted malts are king here.

F -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a medium-full body.

O -- A very rich, complex beer that reminds me of many Stouts and Porters, but benefits from lagering in its very smooth drinkability. I can taste the comparisons to Schwarzbier, but the roasted character seems smoother -- less harsh than many Schwarzbiers I've tried, yet it's more roasted and less sweet than most Munich Dunkels. Highly recommended to anyone interested in Eastern European Dark Beer.

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Photo of MichaelGennings
4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Czechvar B: Dark Lager. 500 ml. 4.7% alc. Brewed in the Czech Republic.

The beer has a thick mocha coloured head. The colour of the beer is much like black coffee.

There is no smell to this beer, however, the taste is barley malt, dark brown bread, and hops. There is also a faint taste of coffee, although none is actually in the beer. The hops create a nice bitterness that is underlying throughout.

The beer is medium bodied and the finish jumps between wet and dry.

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Photo of mishi_d
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reddish dark color with tan head, aroma of roasted malts, brown sugar and dark chocolate, taste is the same, lighly sweet, medium bitter, medium body, average carbonation.

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Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Budweiser Budvar Dark (or Czechvar B: Dark as it's sold in Canada) is just shy of black; glimpses of ruby highlights are observed at odd angles to the light. Regardless, clarity and colour are not easy to find in this rather smoky, shadowy complexion. Head isn't especially prominent either, though foam is visible in some quantity or another at all times.

For those unfamiliar with European Dark Lagers, this is exactly what they should smell like: medium-rich maltiness void of any true coffee flavour or overwhelming roast, but still exuding rounded, subtle undertones of heavy-toasted bread, dark fruit, cola and medium-dark chocolate shavings for some 'oomph'. It's a little like a stout, but before it gets too carried away.

Keep in mind, we're talking lager here - malt is huge but not in the gooey fudge or espresso kind of way. No sir. This maltiness is deep with more intricate Maillard products (toasty notes with a light residual nutty sweetness). The absence of big, burly roast allows almond, licorice root, and plummy fruit flavours to exist alongside the dark caramel malts.

Anyone who holds the impression that dark beers can't be as approachable or gluggable aught to visit the Czech Republic - even wimps would have no problem with Budvar Dark. The light presence of roast upgrades it to medium-body but there's nothing heavy about it; the mouthfeel is clean and smooth, with a flavourful but mild finish.

The green glass bottles of Czechvar we get in North America are typically mishandled and often maligned. Still, even those light-struck and heavily pasteurized samples show glimpses of why Budvar was once the brewery of kings and why its beers continue to list among the BJCP's leading stylistic examples. The Dark Lager is certainly that - something worth studying.

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Photo of TerryW
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Meh. Looks pretty good, but that's about the limit. Smells okay, a whiff of chocolate and fruit under noticeable alcohol. Thin-bodied, quite subdued in taste, again a bit of chocolate and fruit. Nothing extraordinary here. Just straight macro stuff.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before July 3 2017 and served well-chilled. Labelled as "Czechvar B:Dark Dark Lager" in the Canadian market.

Pours a deep chestnut-burgundy colour with reddish highlights, generously topped with nearly two fingers of frothy, light beige-coloured head. Though it fades over the next couple of minutes, it splashes a messy, uneven curtain of lace onto the inner perimeter of the glass as its level drops, soon reducing to a modest collar and patchy surface. An attractive dark lager. Not sure what to make of the nose - there's a savoury, almost meaty quality to it, with hints of roasted grains, milk chocolate, caramel and woodsmoke.

This dark lager starts off by offering up flavours of toasted bread and nuts, roasted grains and a slight hint of chocolate. Restrained treacle sweetness surfaces mid-sip, with faint woodsmoke and coffee grounds; finishes with an herbal, earthy hop bitterness with just a touch of spice - not unlike their flagship pilsener, though the dark malts give this one a more robust flavour that lasts to the finish, and lingers thereafter. Fairly light in body, with a smooth texture and relatively mild carbonation that gently nudges the surface of the palate. Highly drinkable, with a balanced, approachable flavour profile.

Final Grade: 3.68, a B grade. This is my second bottle of Czechvar B:Dark, and also the second time that it didn't exactly blow me away - but to be fair, I have no real complaints to voice, either. Like most of the "Euro Dark Lagers" that I've reviewed, this one is a little sweeter than a schwarzbier, which means it might not be up your alley if you're looking for something drier. But for a Czech dark lager, it's perfectly adequate. I'll grab a few more bottles while it's available - the price is right, and it's not like us Ontario beer geeks have access to all that many dark lagers, particularly imports from Europe. Give it a try and decide for yourself.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep chocolate brown with a towering beige head. Decent retention, spotty lacing. Smells like bread and chocolate. Faintly grassy. In the mouth, lightly burnt toast and dried fruit with a hint of cocoa powder. Moderately bitter finish. Feels light and soft with fine carbonation. Good beer.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served cold into a tulip. Purchased from the LCBO for around $3 CDN.

Appearance - pours a dark brown, near black coloured beer. A nice finger and a half of tan head with ok retention. Spotty lacing up and down the glass.

Smell - plenty of graininess with a healthy dose of caramel malt. Not a lot else going on, but this classic combo does the trick.

Taste - plenty of grain with a slightly roasty flavor and some caramel sweetness. Well executed.

Mouthfeel - smooth, well carbonated and light bodied. Really easy drinking.

Overall - this one's a winner, even better than the pilsner from the same brewery. A beer where the overall products greater than the sum of its parts.

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Photo of Smakawhat
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pokal style glass. Green bottle. Best before Jan 20th 2017.

Dark walnut brown body, totally opaque. Fizzy head, off tan in color, makes a bit of two finger top, but has a bit of snapping and quick soda like dissolve. Does settle to a nice collar, and thin topped sheen for a head.

Aroma is quite mineral smelling and wet. Muted senses of chocolate malt, and quite a bit of sensing carbon dioxide and gaseous like smells. Very dry grain, almost powdery sensing. Not awful, but not particularly pleasing either.

Palate improves quite nicely. A mineral finish that is noticeable from the nose does hit the palate, a simple light body but brings solid flavors. Light bodied roast and chocolate tones. Finishes classically clean, a bit of a drying palate and almost tannic after leaving sips behind for awhile. There's a bit of depth to this malt bill that manages some good density, and stays away from a wet quality.

A solid pound-able simple dark lager. Tastes luckily better than it smells.

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Photo of SCproUA
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

What can I say, one of the most legendary breweries, one of the most legendary beers when you take it in your hands feel any special feelings, cool beer, a great story !!!

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Photo of Lucas_Druid
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fantastic dark lager. I feel like Czech dark lagers should be their own beer style and not be categorised under "Euro Dark Lager". Pours an opaque, dark brown body with a decent light brown head and a strong, pleasant aroma of roasted malts. One of the best non-craft beers I've ever had, and it's relatively cheap for its good quality. This is now my standard dark lager.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another famous lager of Europe has a dark side as well. I have found it, and there is 11.2 ounces to drink. On to the beer:

Semi-creamy head sits above this ruby brown beer. The retention above leave some a fine tanned lace above. I smell a dark lager alright, but it smells musty. A little roasted malt, a touch of sweetness, husky as well. It could smell better.

This isn't nearly as malty as I envisioned. Light echoes of dark malt create a sweet bread flavor that doesn't weigh one down. A touch of raisin and cocoa powder add a little more distinction to the beer. The hops are slightly spicy beneath the surface of the malt. It comes in light bodied and aoft, almost as soft as water. It is also easy to drink.

Dark Czechvar is a pleasure to drink. A possible repeat in the future, especially if a future trip to the Czech Republic is established.

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Photo of djura
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found it here in Serbia, can 0,5l

A - Nice big brown foam, but lasting only minute or two. Dark ruby color. No bubbles at all.
S - Lots of dark fruits, coffee. Typical aroma for Czech dark lagers, which is plus. Some burned malt.
T/M - Again, typical Czech aromas for dark lagers. Really good. Creamy, full of tastes, dark fruits. Low carbonation. Bitter from dark malts. Easy to drink.

O - Good lager.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From bottle, Pours black/dark brown with a good off-white head. Aroma and taste is sweet roasted malts, caramel, coffee. Soft carbonation. Dry roasted finish.

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Photo of KentuckyBrews
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has long been a favorite pils. I'm not a big fan of the style, but I can drink these all night. It's a go to beer for me when in doubt... like Sam Adams, S. Nevada Pale, Fat Tire, etc. Not the best in the world, not in my 10-20 fav beers, but a solid, drinkable masterpiece for the style. Still want to have on draft one day.

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Photo of DiUr
4.44/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Black hue with ruby highlights by the sides, decent retention and nice lacing.

The Porterish aroma seems to be flawless and shows roasted bread crumbs, molasses, cream, burnt sugar.

Roasted malts, bitter chocolate and herbal hops, with just enough creamy sweetness in the background to keep you craving for another sip. Dry finish and lovely aftertaste. It is a hint less sweet than other czech dark lagers, with both the roasted malts and the hops providing a distinctive bitterness.

Very smooth and creamy with a light to medium feel.

Lovely beer, this was a very fresh sample which takes it from 'well balanced/pretty good' in the past to 'really great'. I always liked it but i would put it now over other favourites like the Praga Dark, which has been showing pretty fresh in the past few years but it is 'just a bit' cloying. This the Budvar one is probably my favourite Czech Dark Lager. Don´t drink it too cold or else you will miss the subtleties.

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Photo of drmeto
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L:
-pours a clear dark brown with ruby tinges and a big,frothy,beige head
S:
-very spicy.bready,grassy,slight caramel and slight roast
T:
-Follows the nose exactly with a more pronounced roastiness
F:
-light-medium body,low-medium carbonation
O:
A nice dark lager

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The American label for this beer has this one named Czechvar Dark.

Best before: 6/27/15.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, toasted nut, molasses, and burnt sugarcane aromas. Taste is much the same with somewhat watery roast, char, nut, molasses, and slight cocoa powder flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with some solid aromas and flavors, but it is a bit watery tasting and the carbonation level is too low to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

i think i prefer the basic lager to the dark one in this case, it seems a little thin for what it is, and the lager yeast sort of clashes with the mildly tannic grain feel, but i like the beer on the whole, and its one of those darker beers you can have with a big meal, or drink by the pitcher during the game and not get full, so in that context its a winner. there is a nice light brown foam head on it at the pout, but it dissipates rather quickly, leaving a silky medium brown beer with a ruby glow in the bright light. notes of chocolate malt, wheat, and a little oxidation arise in the smell, and the taste holds those aromatics accountable, as the two sensory experiences are essentially identical. finish is longer than it is in other dark lagers, not quite done or something, but the low alcohol and lighter medium body help it drink easy. less of a classic than the original, but there is a nuttiness i like in it, and i appreciate its deep roots. better on draft than in a bottle too.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
2.84/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm sorry but I found this a little disappointing since I hold the Budvar original in esteem
it is so similar but with a little charcoal in the flavour
It's decent enough, just not that bold.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Pours a dark black-brownish, with a small half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells a little grainy, with some smoke and dark chocolate, and some fruity lager-ish yeast overtones.

This is interesting. Definitely not the best black lager I've ever had, but it's cool to try the dark Czech Budweiser. There's some good smoky coffee bean flavor, some dark bitter chocolate, some ash, and some very slight skunky flavors that add rather than detract. It's not particularly bold or in your face, but it's tasty and easy to drink.

This is light bodied, with a really creamy mouthfeel, and a medium amount of carbonation. It's very drinkable, especially given the 4.7% ABV.

Finally got to try this one, I have been looking forward to it.

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Budweiser Budvar Czech Dark Lager from Budějovický Budvar, n.p.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 252 ratings