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

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Budweiser Budvar Czech Dark LagerBudweiser Budvar Czech Dark Lager

Brewed by:
Budějovický Budvar, n.p.
Czech Republic

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stcules on 09-11-2005

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Ratings: 219 |  Reviews: 70
Photo of superspak
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
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 +19.8%
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.

 1,411 characters

Photo of MichaelGennings
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

 475 characters

Photo of yaron73
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of toscanoigor
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mishi_d
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of RedAleMan
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of spinrsx
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the lcbo for around $3.

35 characters

Photo of SirDirtJoe
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jcubz
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev +6%
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.

 1,800 characters

Photo of Niceroad77
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TerryW
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

 249 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.68/5  rDev 0%
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.

 1,956 characters

Photo of Electros
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mintjellie
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 290 characters

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 693 characters

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of imbibehour
3.79/5  rDev +3%
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.

 1,035 characters

Photo of cwkash
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bmaggot
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Squire123
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sokol_1993
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Budweiser Budvar Czech Dark Lager from Budějovický Budvar, n.p.
3.68 out of 5 based on 219 ratings.
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