San Miguel Dark Lager | San Miguel Brewery Inc.

174 Reviews
Read the review
San Miguel Dark LagerSan Miguel Dark Lager

Brewed by:
San Miguel Brewery Inc.

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stoutman on 03-26-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 174 | Ratings: 262
Photo of Phlyriter
4.89/5  rDev +41.7%
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.

 245 characters

Photo of wattoclone
4.76/5  rDev +38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark brown, substantial tan head that dissipates quickly. Very smooth extremely malty, roasty sweetness with a unique buttery note. As a huge fan of dark beers and in particular schwarzbiers/dark lagers I would have to rate this beer as one of the best. More flavorful than Kostritzer, very sessionable, pairs well with mexican and spicy asian food and is never harsh or bitter. Perfectly balanced.

 406 characters

Photo of wac9
4.66/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

wow what a great beer always wanted to try it they have new bottles a now im sorry i wanted so long a dark pour which makes your mouth water a taste that goes smooths a tasty bit of malts and carmel that will make a enjoy night for anybody only 5.0 so drink drink drink

 269 characters

Photo of stoutman
4.42/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cerveza Negra is the taste of a robust spirit. Full of flavor with caramel tones that tease the palate. when poured, it is rich and creamy. A surprising favorite of mine from the philippines.

 194 characters

Photo of Jacemeister
4.36/5  rDev +26.4%
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.

 288 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.33/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

San Miguel Dark Lager has a thick, beige head and a clear, ruby red (under light) appearance, with some lacing left behind. The aroma is of dark toast, dark-roasted coffee, bread, and sweetness. Taste is of sweet bread, dark-roast coffee, dark-toasted barley malt, some hop bitterness, and even a trace of lactose. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and San Miguel Dark Lager finishes crisp, clean, mostly dry, and highly drinkable. I really like this one, and I recommend you seek it out!


 489 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.32/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a touch of red at the edges. Caramel colored head drops evenly and slowly.
Smell is malt, hops, caramel, hints of peat and smoke.
Taste is malt, caramel, vanilla, hops, peat, smoke and light alcohol.
Fairly smooth with light effervescence at tip of tongue. Medium body (leans towards light). Malt/caramel/vanilla aftertaste lingers and tapers off nicely. Very good brew, I highly recommend it.

 422 characters

Photo of flagmantho
4.3/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: rich, deep amber-brown hue with a crystal clear body and two thick fingers of frothy tan head. Head seems to dissipate somewhat rapidly but the color is just great.

Smell: aroma is rich with a slight fruitiness; caramel malt notes also come through and beneath all of that just a hint of roasted grains. Complex and fulfilling.

Taste: everything you'd expect based on the aroma: a good, light fruitiness, followed by a caramel character and just a hint of roasted grain. Really, quite tasty; possibly my favorite dark lager out there.

Mouthfeel: light-medium body with a good carbonation. This beer manages to be pretty creamy despite not having tons of body; I like it quite a lot.

Drinkability: a richly tasty and ever-so-drinkable beer. It reminds me of the flavors of a mild ale, except with a fruity lager kick. I can really dig it; San Miguel Dark has caused me to raise my opinion of the whole Philippine archipelago.

 988 characters

Photo of Offa
4.3/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a fairly unusual thing for me: a basic dark lager that I actually love and find really interesting, complex, and yet highly drinkable; in short, wonderful.

This is almost black, dark red-brown, with a big tan head that shrinks only slowly and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is very pleasant, full-bodied, a little sweet, with toasted grain, and hints of leaves and chocolate.

The taste is very smooth, with a great sweet-bitter balance, light tartness, and a lot going on. It is constantly interesting, tantalizing, yet pleasant, with toasted grain, licorice, chocolate, fruit, whisky, and leaves. Despite a full flavour and palate, it is light in body with a very lively, engaging palate.

 702 characters

Photo of NaLoGra
4.23/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Great looking beer. Poured very dark, black with just a hint of brown. Great lacing, great head.

S - Malty, almost toasty.

T - Very nice, tastes exactly like it smells, good aftertaste/

M - Definitely medium to heavy bodied beer, with great thickness to it.

O - I would buy again, overall nice thick lager with great malty flavor.

 338 characters

Photo of Redrover
4.22/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

San Miguel dark lager - 12 oz brown semi-stubby bottle. No freshness dating.

Served in a glass, the beer is dark brown with a tan head. Decent lacing.

The aroma is of toasted malts, brown sugar and plums. Nice!

The taste tracks close to the smell. It is sweet with coffee undertones. Baker’s chocolate and grains add to the complexity.

The mouth is sturdy and yummy. This is a great dark lager. I can see why it was so popular with GIs that were stationed in the Philippines.

I will be searching for this one again. I would love to see this on tap.

 566 characters

Photo of DrainBamage
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black, but when held near light it has a dark red hue. It has a foamy head and is existent until the end. I sense some sweet malty and scotch aromas. Scotch is apparent in the taste a and maybe a little bourbon too. Goes down quite smooth even though it is quite carbonated. Has a slightly bitter aftertaste. This happens to be a tasty full-bodied brew and enjoyed this better than the regular San Miguel.

 413 characters

Photo of MadeInOregon
4.13/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this one a long time ago when I was first getting into beer and remember enjoying it so I wanted to give it another go and see what I would think now that my palate is more 'mature'.

The first thing you would probably notice is that the bottle is pretty nice for a macro. The label, on the other had, is kinda ghetto-fabulous and resembles malt liquor!

Poured out San Miguel Dark looks like an English porter, that, being very dark reddish-brown rather than black. The head is nice, big, airy and mocha-colored. There is much retention and lacing of the foam which was unexpected for a lower-priced beer like this. This is a highly filtered beer as there is absolutely no sediment at the bottom of the bottle or visibly suspended in the body.

The smell is definitely lager-like; light, hoppy, and watery. There is a bit of sweet and roasty aromas too. Smells like a mild winter warmer, overall.

The taste is very nice and surprisingly full bodied. Ahhh. Good stuff. Overall I would say it tastes like an English/European porter or even a mild double bock, not a lager. It is very smooth, bittersweet, slightly chocolaty, and slightly hoppy.

I'm very impressed with this beer. It's given me hope that there is actually good Asian beer out there.

 1,255 characters

Photo of dstc
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany/dark brown with a full light brown head. Leaves a nice thin lace on the glass.

Toasty malt in the nose. Hints of caramel and a nice roasted smell.

That roasted smell comes through in the taste. Nicely roasted with a bit of a metallic taste.

Very smooth in the mouth, more so than I was expecting. Lightly carbonated, just the right amount of carbonation.

A very drinkable beer, I love the way this feels in the mouth, so smooth.

 462 characters

Photo of DrZarkov
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

In all respects this is an excellent beer. Although being quite dark it doesnt have the creamy texture of many darks, but the texture certainly had nothing wrong with it. Smell and appearance are slightly above average.

Very nice flavor with a little bit of a carmel taste and hints of coffee. Its also not bitter in the least. All in all, one of my favorite beers to drink both at home and at the pubs.

 406 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.09/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown - almost black - with a fizzy head that soon fizzles to nothing. Nice color - disappointing head.

The smell is of sweet molasass and dark fruit. A very inviting, pleasant aroma.

The taste was of upfront maltiness- sweet molassas with hints of dark fruits. Slight bitter notes balance out the sweetness pretty well. Some breadiness emerges as the drink progresses. A tinge of an alcoholic taste finishes it out.

It thins a bit in the mouth, but the flavors hold. Smooth and pretty well-balanced.

Overall, a good example of the style. A solid lager with deep, dark flavors. A good year-round choice.

 626 characters

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a nonic glass from a stubby brown Belgium looking bottle with San Miguel in raised letters with a crimped on cap

Clear,deep mahogany color,creamy off white head with fair retention,leaving some curtians at the top of the glass. Finishing with a slight ring of foam around the glass.

Good roasty aroma,a bit metallic with some dark fruit aromas,figs, and a bit vinious. Good inviting aroma.

Roasty.dark fruity tastes,vinious,nutty,with a smooth clean finish.Just a bit watery but still enjoyable.

Light mouthfeel,some creamyness and a grainy texture. Goes down very smooth. A good refreshing taste could session this one. Reminded me of Samuel Smith,if you like those beers you'll like this one.

 718 characters

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.06/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep burgudy with mahogany highlights and good clarity. Soapy, dark tan head shows poor lacing and no lacing whatsoever. Roasted barley with a hint of coffee in the nose, background crystal malt and very faint fruitiness. The taste is crystal sweet with a good roasted bitterness and a faint raisin flavor. Semi-dry aftertaste with very low english hop profile. The roasted character takes care of the bitterness and the flavor is well-balanced. The Smooth, light body has medium carbonation and finishes mellow with a hint of licorice. Quaffable with a pleasent sweet/roasted flavor.

 590 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

 635 characters

Photo of bradybeer
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut brown with dark tan head which settles to a nice light tan. More carbonated than I would like and it has little malt or hops aroma coming through. Tast is slightly toasty with a hint of carmel-and hops bit in the finish.
Mouth feel is light and refreshing and I think would be a good pairning with Mexican food or Thai-pour me another

 352 characters

Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What an odd and interesting beer. It certainly doesn’t fit the typical Euro Dark style but it is very tasty.

Appearance: Pours an opaque red/brown with a tan head and no notable lacing.

Smell: Caramel cocoa nuts wood and butter malted milk balls tempt the nose and increase the anticipation for the first sip.

Taste: Burnt caramel with maple syrup drizzled on top, molasses and a bunch of spices thrown in the mix. A buttery cream malt character is balanced by a splash of earthy hops. Finally after a bit of alcohol pinches the cheeks the toffee and cocoa show up to play.

Mouthfeel: Thick chewy mouthfeel that is syrupy and viscous to start but runs out half way through and goes limp supported only by the carbonation and spices. Not bad though.

Drinkability: My first beer from the Philippines is quite pleasing. As it appears there is only one brewery, I guess my next beer from the area will also be a San Miguel product. That said. I enjoy sweet beers and roasty beers and this was both. Simple and tasty, and I will buy from them again sometime.

Hope this is helpful.

 1,103 characters

Photo of nelsonsaigon
4/5  rDev +15.9%

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.

 219 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a big tan head. Splashy lace and a skim retention.

Big molasses aroma, coupled with some dark brown sugar and nice toasted malt.

Smooth and drinkable, the balance of flavors is what makes this brew shine. Up front you get blackstrap molasses, but without the sweetness (wrap your head around that). Brown bread, some nuts, and an even bitterness throughout. Your nose and mind play tricks with you, as you smell all of this stuff and expect there to be sweetness. There's a hint of it at best. Where the brewer hits it right is that they don't kill it with bitterness.Moderate malty bitterness at the finish. I could drink these all day, any season.

Medium bodied, finishes with alot of flavor, and a little crispness.

I dug this a lot. Not what I expected it to be. A nice rich, flavorful beer.

 821 characters

Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

San Miguel Dark Lager comes in a twelve ounce stubby (I like the retro look, although I'm not sure they've ever changed their bottle). It pours a dark brown color, as advertised, with a tan head. I've got to say, the aroma is much more interesting than I had anticipated, it consists primarily of sweet malt. Nice, sweet malty flavor, hops aren't a player in this beer. Frankly, much better than I anticpated, definitely worth a try.

 433 characters

Photo of RotWyler
4/5  rDev +15.9%
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 :)

 376 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
San Miguel Dark Lager from San Miguel Brewery Inc.
3.45 out of 5 based on 262 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.