San Miguel Dark Lager
San Miguel Brewery Inc.

San Miguel Dark LagerSan Miguel Dark Lager
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European Dark Lager
Ranked #80
Ranked #45,793
3.47 | pDev: 15.85%
San Miguel Brewery Inc.
San Miguel Dark LagerSan Miguel Dark Lager
View: Beers
Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 273 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of flyingpig
3.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle from Coco Supermarket, Seminyak, Bali (Rp 29,000):
Dark brown to ruby red in colour with a bubbly, tan coloured head that sits about a centimetre tall before halving in size. Roasted malts & darker notes open the nose with sugars & caramel showing before a nutty aroma sees things out. Similarly the taste is dark with the same roasted malts & toasted flavours the nose hinted at, I got more of a nutty flavour here too with & earthy bitterness near the end. It's smooth & medium bodied beer with a semi-sweet, crisp & wet feel to it & the balance was better than expected too. This one was easy to drink, enjoyable & one of the better San Miguel beers I've had into the bargain. 

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flyingpig from United Kingdom (Scotland), Oct 23, 2019
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a nonic glass from the bottle.

Appearance: Thin dark amber color coming off with a semi hard carbonation creating an off white head rising a notch below one finger's length.

Smell: Has an aroma I have smelled before consisting of brown sugar and malt.

Taste: Sweet lightly malty with a feel of cola. I hate to compare it but has the look and feel of cola. Aside from being sweet, smooth bitterness with offset tone of malt and feel of light barley.

Mouth: Semi Full body with medium carbonation at best.

Mouth: Descent brew. It packed a bit of body and resembles a Vienna lager with a shot of sugar but needed a little something extra that I was looking for. Still not bad and great brew to start the night with. Salud!

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BlurryVisi0n from New York, Aug 10, 2019
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.79/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a medium to dark reddish orange with a fine, one finger khaki head with great retention and thick lacing; looks nice. Aroma of lightly toasted biscuit malt, light notes of molasses and cocoa. Flavor is semi-sweet medium dark toasted malt, cocoa, brown bread with light nutiness. Finishes with more of the same, smooth and balanced, if a little light in depth. Medium bodied with light creaminess, nice for this ABV. I'm not quite sure why there is such lack of love for this here. While it's not a robust dark beer, it is a good looking, well integrated and nice tasting Euro dark lager; reminiscent of a lighter brown ale in profile. The malt and cocoa flavors are good with other light notes like the brown bread and molasses. It is light to moderate in flavor, not a deeply flavored lager, but the flavors here are very nice and satisfying. I'm actually glad to know that this around, because I'd get this in a heart beat at a restaurant with a non-craft beer selection. Relatively light, but enjoyable.

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LiquidAmber from Washington, Mar 11, 2018
Photo of ordybill
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a cloudy dark brown color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is caramel malt, slight hops and bread. The flavor is malt driven with a hint of bread flavor.

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ordybill from Georgia, Jun 15, 2017
Photo of Bluegrass49
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 ml bottle to a lager glass. Clear dark brown color with a 1-2 finger head; decent lacing and retention.
A very strong chocolatey , malty taste. Minimal hops which appeals to my taste. Very surprised at how good this beer was (is) and will definitely recommend it.

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Bluegrass49 from Minnesota, Nov 08, 2016
Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into lager glass, no bottle dating. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toasted dark bread, brown sugar, and nuttiness; with lighter notes of molasses, toffee, coffee, dark fruit, slight herbal/grass, and roast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toasted dark bread, and nuttiness; with lighter notes of molasses, toffee, coffee, dark fruit, slight herbal/grass, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toasted dark bread, brown sugar, nuttiness, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from hop/roast bitterness as well. Fairly clean on lager flavors; some light fruitiness and minimal off flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5%. Overall this is a good dark lager style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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superspak from Michigan, Oct 09, 2016
Photo of Jacemeister
4.36/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

They should change the image/picture of the beer in this site because the bottle no longer looks like that. This beer has a very strong taste of roasted malt that I find very pleasing. Has a sweet aroma and boldness of a premium dark lager. One of the best Philippine beers in my opinion.

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Jacemeister from Philippines, Aug 06, 2016
Photo of gr0g
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the Philippines, labeled "Cerveza Negra." Very dark brown in color, near black. A head about three fingers tall forms and displays good retention. Aroma of caramel and dark toffee. Faint notes of brown sugar and soy. Floral notes contributed by the hops.

It's got a malt-forward flavor profile with a balancing bitterness that follows right behind the initial malty sweetness. A little bit of charred malt on an otherwise bland finish. Slick texture, devoid of any harshness from the carbonation. This is just an eminently drinkable dark beer that compares somewhat favorably with German-brewed dunkels. Good stuff.

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gr0g from New Jersey, Jul 18, 2016
Photo of woodychandler
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I spent some time in the P.I. (Philippine Islands) in my early-20s as a young sailor. Somehow, I came away disease-free & unmarried, although both were certainly an option. I had public sex in a hammock over there and hung up my boxing gloves for good after receiving a slashing blow that damn near broke my nose. You can imagine my excitement when my neighbor (a bottle shop) recently put out singles of this one!

From the bottle: "Expertly Brewed from the Finest Ingredients"; "A distinctive lager brewed with roasted malt for a rich, bittersweet taste and pleasant aroma. Expertly brewed in the San Miguel tradition of excellence - the ultimate choice for discriminating drinkers."

"Discriminating"?!? Not me! That said, I Pop!ped the cap & let fly. I watched in fascination as just over a finger of dense, deep-tan/light-brown head formed & then fell. Color was as advertised - Dark, as in Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing zero light penetration. Nose had a carob-like smell. Interesting. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste had a medicinal sharpness, like Geritol, so my initial thought of carob was not too far from the mark. Finish was slightly sour, slightly bitter, but very reminiscent of either carob or Geritol. I remain a fan of regular Sammy GooGoo & if I find out that this is being CANned, I will revisit it, but In this format, it a one-and-done.

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woodychandler from Pennsylvania, Jul 05, 2016
Photo of Squire
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nicely colored, nicely scented, dark malty brew whose flavor is just short of promise. Low hops, malt core that first builds then diminishes leaving little in it's wake. Not complaining, it does the job, then goes away. I get the impression this was designed as a food beer which job it does admirably.

Worth trying, more than once.

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Squire from Mississippi, Apr 16, 2016
Photo of RotWyler
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a case of San Miguel Dark left over from 1987. it was stored in the garage for 23 years.
The case was never refrigerated. I believe that's why it didn't spoil. Instead it got better :D
The bubbles were still there. Such a velvety treat :) even the buzz was unique.
I wish there were a source for more 20+ yr old beer .
The term, Velvet Hammer seems to fit :)

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RotWyler from California, Apr 11, 2016
Photo of Phlyriter
4.89/5  rDev +40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My Wife and I are not great beer aficionados and take note of the lower scores for this beer from the more seasoned reports, But this is our favorite dark beer. It is the smoothest beer with a strong chocolate taste and no bitterness whatsoever.

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Phlyriter from California, Dec 06, 2015
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a very dark brown, nearly black color with a tiny fizzy head of cream colored foam. The head fades almost instantly, leaving just a trace of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is strongest of a roasted malt smell mixed with a bit of chocolate and smoke. Along with these aromas comes a little bit of grain and a hint of dark fruit.

Taste – The taste begins with a mix of a roasted malt taste and a bit of a molasses and chocolate sweetness. As the taste moves on the roast seems to fade a little bit with more sweetness of molasses, chocolate, and some corn syrup coming to the tongue. With a little bit of a smoke and toast developing at the very end, a moderately sweet, but easy drinking darker taste is left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the slightly thinner and crisper side with a carbonation level that is rather average. For the abv. and lager style the slightly thinner body was rather nice, but for the darker flavors of the brew a little less carbonation and thicker body may have been slightly more appropriate. Overall, the feel was rather decent.

Overall – A decent dark lager, but nothing all that out of the ordinary. Just alright overall.

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Darkmagus82 from Virginia, Nov 29, 2015
Photo of Libeertarian
3.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Clear. Dark garnet to brown in color. Head is light brown, of lower retention, and film-forming. Aroma fades fast. Dark fruit, molasses, and a small amount of smokiness are what I'm getting. Not as fruity as I expected when I start to drink. Roasty. Milk chocolate. Tart maltiness throughout, strongest in middle. Amazing coffee, sugar and cream finish! Can't get enough of that. Light to medium in body, and lower level of fine carbonation. Good beer, especially considering the other San Miguel beers I've had.

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Photo of gandres
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle to wine glass
Mouthfeel: not heavy bold for a dark beer
Overall: very good beer, good value. ok to repear and look for

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gandres from Philippines, Oct 07, 2015
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into snifter
Aroma of roasted malt, faint; dies before end of glass
Head average (three cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to three mm ring and partial layer
Lacing – poor – few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body deep red-amber around edges, opaque
Flavor sweet, roasted malt, some caramel and some chocolate flavors; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, syrupy, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 2.75, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania, Aug 29, 2015
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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

This one pours a dark brown, almost black, with a full, foamy 2 inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

This one doesn't smell like a whole lot, but doesn't smell bad. A bit of chocolate and smoke and not much else.

This has a pesky metallic flavor to it that I don't love, but it's not all that bad. There's some chocolate and char flavors, with some roasted malt flavor as well. Not all that bold, but not bad either.

This is light bodied, with a crisp, and slightly metallic mouthfeel, with a moderate level of carbonation.

Slightly boring, but very drinkable.

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GreesyFizeek from New York, May 13, 2015
Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brilliant brown with traces of garnet under a 2” tan foam collar that descends to a thick, clingy film that hugs the side of the glass.
S: Some roast, moderate to low malt, low sweetness, no big hop action, mild earthiness, clean lager yeast.
T: Moderate malt character, light roast, no harsh or burnt flavors, caramel, medium sweetness slowly fades to dry, light hints of chocolate. Medium low to medium bitterness, no fruity esters or diacetyl.
F: Medium light body, moderately high carbonation, creamy, clean and smooth. No astringency, no harshness, hop bitterness is moderate.
O: A well made easy to drink Euro Dark Lager.

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pat61 from Minnesota, May 01, 2015
Photo of Chaz
2.84/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber-red in color, darker than fizzy non-alcoholic cola-pop, and is brilliant or with excellent clarity. Pale tan head looks pretty good, with tight, small bubbles and uniform rather than rocky. Looks good is a glass...

The nose is sweet, malty, a little neutral and boring. But there's an off-note, medicinal as well. Plus, there's a oxidation to this one that makes me believe that the bottle I pulled from the undated six pack is fairly old.

Sweet and lightly-tangy on the first sip. The roast malt character which features in the language on the label is rather minimal. Finish is dry, but the oxidation is interfering with the nicer character of the malt (dark fruit notes, of plum and date, which I ordinarily love in stronger, richer ales.)

The body is thin. Carbonation is okay -- neither under or over-carbonated.

Altogether I can see this as being a nice, easy-drinker in the summer heat, as it's not too strong and is rather refreshing in its own right. It's not bad for the price I paid for it ($6.99), but I'm sure it would be a better beer within code!

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Chaz from Minnesota, Jan 26, 2015
Photo of damndirtyape
3.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. No date.

Appearance: Dark ruby red to amber. Thin tan ring and skin across the top. No lacing.

Smell: Hint of raisin, roasted malt, something metallic.

Taste: Raisin, roasted malt, molasses, with a mild metallic finish.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated - fizzy. A little bit sticky.

Overall / Drinkability: I've had this before and I remember it with more fondness then, but it was the summer and I had it with a spicy meal, which is where I think this beer would shine better. It doesn't quite work well in the winter with a simple stir fry. Still, I rather enjoyed it and I wouldn't mind another, but I need to find the right food to pair it with.

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Photo of Spikester
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Dark brown with one plus fingers of tan head. Five minute retention. No lace.
Smell is all roasted malts.
Taste is sweet dark malts. Hop character not found.
Mouthfeel is light to medium body with average carbonation.
Overall an easy drinking somewhat sweet beer that would pair well with spicy Asian or Mexican food. Tasty beer. No bottling date found.

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Spikester from Oregon, Dec 02, 2014
Photo of nelsonsaigon
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Experienced in : US, Manila
Appealing to me : Inviting look and really great taste
Less appealing to me : accumulated sweetness as you drink more

I like this beer and will look forward to my next drink.

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nelsonsaigon from Viet Nam, Nov 29, 2014
Photo of BMWiens
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Got it on sale, and I'd never had a Filipino beer.

Quite dark, little head. More malty than hoppy - not much hops at all. Roasted malt predominated, a bit sweet.

I paired it with a bean stew, and it went quite well. Probably would go well with a grilled burger, maybe with BBQ.

Good value, and pairs well with food, but I wouldn't seek it out.

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BMWiens from California, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of zeledonia
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first beer from the Philippines; trying it mainly for that reason. Tasted 2 July 2014.

Pours deep brown, quite dark actually, and clear at the edges. One finger of yellowish head, okay retention and decent lacing.

Smell is toasty! At first sniff I could mistake it for some kind of savory pastry. Reminds me a lot of the dark lagers of Latin America (the smell had me thinking of warm winter evenings in Mexico). A bit nutty, a hint buttery. Pretty good, though on the faint side.

Taste is fine. Again, toasty, with a touch of very light roast putting the claim on the label to shame. Mildly sweet, a little too much so for a beer like this. Not bad, just kinda meh.

Feel is okay. Medium-bodied, mouth-filling, with carbonation lower than I'd like it.

A pretty standard, toasty, malty dark lager. Flavorful enough, nothing wrong with it. As mentioned above, the kind of beer that feels right to drink on a warm evening.

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zeledonia from Washington, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
2.43/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Bert's labeled Cerveza Negra
Pours a solid dark brown with clear ruby highlights at the edges and a huge creamy off white head that takes forever to dissipate. Aromas of molasses overwhelm me as soon as I get beer to meet glass. Hints of smoke, roast, and chocolate round out the aroma, but my God this smells like sugary unfermented molasses mostly. Wow the flavor does not stray from the aroma much. Sweet brown sugar and molasses run the show here. Light prunes and plums in the flavor as well and little to counter the malty or adjuct-y sweetness in this beer. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet thick sugary syrupy mouthfeel. I have no way to tell how old this bottle is but I suspect it may be less than fresh. That said the burnt sugar and molasses seem to be all this beer offers, it reminds me more of the barley malt sodas that I had in the Caribbean than actual beer.

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johnnnniee from New Hampshire, Jan 17, 2014
San Miguel Dark Lager from San Miguel Brewery Inc.
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 273 ratings