San Miguel Dark Lager | San Miguel Brewery Inc.

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172 Reviews
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San Miguel Dark LagerSan Miguel Dark Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
San Miguel Brewery Inc.
Philippines | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
172
Ratings:
259
Avg:
3.45
pDev:
19.71%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
15
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 172 | Ratings: 259
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 gr0g
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 628 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

 1,362 characters

Photo of Squire123
3.44/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 336 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

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 Darkmagus82
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 1,301 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
3.69/5  rDev +7%
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.

 512 characters

Photo of gandres
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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

 160 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
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

 514 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 624 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 Chaz
2.84/5  rDev -17.7%
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!

 1,092 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.69/5  rDev +7%
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.

 711 characters

Photo of Spikester
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

 356 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 BMWiens
3.21/5  rDev -7%
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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Photo of zeledonia
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 927 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

 935 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #65 (June 2012):

LOOK: Great head retention, ruddy brown

SMELL: Molasses cookies, raisins, coffee, sweet, mildly roasted

TASTE: Creamy, smooth, medium body, chicory, coffee, burnt sugar, brown bread, modest hopping, soft charcoal, faint soy, sweet finish

This is one of those beers that just never gets talked about--no hype, just an all-around good brew. It is way outside of the box, as most beers in this realm, light or dark, are dry and usually lacking any real complex characteristics. It is the same thinking of the sweeter Stouts consumed in hotter climates. For something completely different, give it a go.

 653 characters

Photo of migwell
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is sold in the Philippines as Negra. I believe that this is the same brew that appeared in the USA back in thew 70's as San Miguel Dark and was mildly popular for a brief while. Beer is cheap in the Philippines and San Miguel has the monopoly. Negra is not widely available there, and is only found occasionally in the larger cities.

It is drinkable, not unpleasant, but nothing special on a global scale.

 411 characters

Photo of soju6
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a reddish-brown color with a decent tan head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt and some grain.

T: Taste of roasted malt with a mild sweetness and a bit of grain. Nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Fairly medium beer, smooth and somewhat creamy. Nice balance.

First had this years ago when it was known as Creveca Negra. Enjoyable beer.

 374 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 barczar
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Saving grace when I was in the philippines for a month.

Pours an opaque deep brown with garnet highlights visible when held to light. A solid one inch, frothy tan head lingers, eventually leaving thick lacing.

Nutty, toasted bready malt and a hint of fruitiness form the initial aroma. There's a touch of roast and a hint of chocolate, along with tar. It's decidedly doughy.

Flavor reveals more roast character initially, becoming more toasty mid palate, and finishing a bit acrid and dry. There's a bit if a vinous character that is slightly offputting. Dark berries emerge as it warms. There's a subtle chocolatey sweetness.

Body is a bit light, with moderate carbonation and a touch of alcohol warmth.

Great toasted malt character, fairly nutty, with just enough roast to not overwhelm. Some off flavors, but not am offensive beer.

 839 characters

Photo of JeanPaulValley
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I got a bottle of this (under the cerveza negra alias) as a part of a mix and match 6 pack. I included it on a whim, as a generally enjoy dark lagers and had never heard of this beer. I was very pleasantly surprised. Even drinking it straight from the bottle, the roasted malts and caramel tones were very evident. It was an extremely smooth lager witha great mouthfeel. Thick, but not porter thick, it was exactly what a dark lager should feel like. This may become my new go to session beer.

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San Miguel Dark Lager from San Miguel Brewery Inc.
3.45 out of 5 based on 259 ratings.
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