San Miguel Dark Lager | San Miguel Brewery Inc.

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San Miguel Dark LagerSan Miguel Dark Lager
268 Ratings
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

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Ratings: 268 |  Reviews: 176
Photo of hunteraw
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I consumed a lot of San Miguel when I was in Hong Kong, so when I found myself missing HK back in the US, but with a better selection of beer available, I picked up this San Miguel Dark.

Appearance: A little bit redder than coca cola in the glass, pretty clear, good sized off-white head, decent retention, a little lacing.

Smell: Surprisingly spicy aroma, almost like a dubbel, over a sweet caramel/toffee base. Clean.

Taste: Mostly malt sweetness: caramel, molasses, but with a layer of dark fruit, and a bit of spice on the tongue. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: Tasty and drinkable, good for the style.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear brown-red. The fluffy, beige head retains well leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Very malty: caramel, dark fruit, with a light neutral graininess.

Taste: Sweet, bready maltiness upfront. Center is some date-like dark fruit notes with a hint of spiciness. The finish is mildly roasty with a faint bitterness. Flavorful, but too sweet. There's also a metallic character.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, medium-bodied, smooth.

Drinkability: Flavorful, but a bit too sweet.

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Photo of Redrover
4.22/5  rDev +22.7%
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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a pint glass, from a 355ml/12 oz. bottle. Picked this up on a whim at By the Bottle, Vancouver WA - recommended. My first Philippino beer; label says this brewery has been around since 1890 and the beer is "expertly brewed from the finest ingredients"

A: VERY fizzy, looks like bubbly soda - I've never seen a more cola-like appearance in a beer. Caramel-brown, loads of carbonation, noisy (very fizzy) head. Fizzing dies down within a minute or two, virtually no head or lace, just lots of rising carbonation.

S: Semi-sweet malty aroma, caramel, toasted grain, metallic-smelling lager yeast. Spiced like cinnamon toast, a little butter. Simple, but pretty appealing.

T: Ample roasted malts and reasonable caramel sugars. Roast is dark, almost smoky. Tobacco essences, also butterscotch. Bittersweetness, light spiciness, just enough sweetness. Nice.

M: Crisp carbonation (there better be with all that visible bubbling). Lingering dark maltiness and some sweet caramel stick on the tongue. Medium mouthfeel overall.

D: A good beer, a nice surprise. Drinkable, and at 5% the type of beer I would gladly have a couple of. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of dstc
4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

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Photo of bradybeer
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.07/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Clear dark and nearly opaque. When held up to the light, ruby red highlights come through. A thick tan colored head holds well as it settles to a thin bubbly cap. Smooth solid lacing along the glass.

Creamy aromas mix with the dark malts, giving off caramalized sugar and sweet caramel.

Smooth roasty malts mixed with some caramel and some balancing bittering hops. Medium bodied with good carbonation, and a little bit of an acidic feel. The finish is somewhat of a dissapointment, giving off some metallic flavors, that seem to be a standard part of Euro Dark Lagers, for whatever reasons. It's not overwhelming though.

Although it's classified as a Euro Dark Lager, it's very similar to a Schwarzbier. It's very drinkable, however I found that the aftertaste is a little bit of a dissapointment. It doesn't ruin the beer, but I feel it shouldn't be there. It's definately worth a try, especially if it's fresh.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A purply dark pour, some light peeks through at at the edges and a small white head with high carbonation. The smell arrives shortly after the bottle is opened, a little coffee and light malt. The taste is similar but is thinner than expected considering the strength of the aroma. The body is simply too light. This one is oh so close to being a nice sessionable alternative to American lagers. Drinkable, but the subpar mouthfeel and overall bubbliness detract.

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Photo of Morris729
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark mahogany color with a tall bubbly tan head that quickly fades into a thin lace. Nose is sweet roasted malts and, as another reviewer mentioned, “saltwater taffy.” Taste is sweet malt along with some molasses and dark buttery toffee. Mildly bitter hops are present towards the end. The carbonation level seems a bit high. Fairly unremarkable overall except for the odd, if somewhat interesting, taffy-like aroma.

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Photo of treedoctor5002
2.53/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark ruby amber color with an average head. Smell is an average malty flavor and maybe some coffee tones. Taste is a mess without any direction to it. Just a lot of roasted malt flavors. Yes it's dark. Yes it's a lager. I just wish there were more here. No hoppiness to speak of either. Mouthfeel is watery and thin. The aftertaste is acidic and annoying. Not much body to it. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone unless they were stuck on an island in the Philippeans

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Photo of DogFood11
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark shade of brown with some deep red tones in the outer shell. Loose tan head falls to a thin cover with ring lace left behind.

Kind of an oddball as far as smell is concerned. It comes across grassy and light'ish in the nose. Thankfully it doesn't translate across the board into the taste. This has some toffee and chocolate wrapped up in the malt bill. This has a soft mouthfeel thats ruined by an overagressive carbonation bill. There is a touch of bitterness from the charred malts but in the end its more of a sweet malty beer than anything else. Nothing overbearing. The finish could use some work as its ever so slightly tart and kind of annoying

Notes: It was just alright to me. Average would sum it up.

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Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 355ml brown glass bottle, whose shape reminded me of a “stretched upwards Duvel” bottle. The words ‘San Miguel’ and the SM crest are embossed on the shoulder of the bottle in two places. Sealed with a brass colored crown cap which has a San Miguel logo on it and an inkjet code of “31LUUM”. The main label looks just like the one in the BA Database which has the words “San Miguel Dark Lager” emblazoned across it.

It is interesting to note that as recent as March this year I tried the San Miguel “Cerveza Negra” which was brought back from the Philippines by a friend. I’m not sure if the “Dark Lager” is the same beer or different to that, they are both listed as products of the Philippines, have different bottles and labels, so it appears at first glance that they are different. It could be however that the “Cerveza Negra” is the home grown packaging and that the “Dark lager” is for export maybe?! Who knows, figure I’ll give this a whirl regardless.

Appearance: Mahogany front when backlit, dark urban brown body when resting in the shadows. Massive tan colored head on the pour and rises high in the glass; it drops down to ½” thick, but lasts the life of the beer. A seasoned appearance with a sold backdrop!

Nose: Equitable nose but nothing outstanding, molasses and burnt sugar with a light sweetness and some caramel. Simple but decent enough.

Taste: Can’t help but think of Bonfire Toffee as I did with the San Miguel Cerveza Negra. Backdrop is of dark malts, a toasty-roasty but thin finish with some caramel sweetness. Ruddy and rustic Earthy feel, soil and dirt mingle in and amongst the dark toffee. Strange but effective and affable.

Mouthfeel: Suffers from a thin feel at times, the brunt sugar comes through all too easily. That said, the carbonation is supportive and the body has a smooth feel.

Drinkability: This isn’t all that bad, I managed two bottles from the six-pack with very little effort and it doesn’t tax the beer brain too much. Goes nicely with salted pretzels too.

Overall: Trouble-free and uncomplicated but far from boring, a social beer that has an acceptable profile for lovers of Dark Lagers. A reasonable effort which doesn’t disappoint. Above average!

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Photo of jwc215
4.09/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cleary mahogany. Speckled carbonation. Thin, yet bubbly light brown cap. Chocolate and roast tones mingle with sweet malt on the nose. This all translates to the palate pretty nicely. Chocolate and roast and caramel are the main players. Nice smoothness about the whole experience. Mouthfeel is quite agreeable. Meets halfway on the spectrum with creamy on one side and spritzy on the other. Good beer.

Thanks for the Phillipine beer Darren.

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Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.06/5  rDev +18%
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.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a dark brown with a ruby glow. Aroma is of dark sweet malts with a distinct aroma of fresh, dark bread. Taste is more of the sweet dark malt with an element of breadiness. Middle of the sip becomes more bittersweet and is reminiscent of toffee or molasses. The only disappointment here is a weak, abrupt finish. Wow, this is surprisingly very good, with plenty of flavor and enough complexity. This gives most euro dark lagers a run for their money, I did not expect this good of a beer from a macro brewery from the Philippines.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.02/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Part of a "Beers of the World" sampler received for my birthday a few months back.

Pours a dark mahogany with a finger or so of off-white head. Nose is a quirky mix of molasses, caramel, and bready malt. Taste is rather...unique as well - gobs of molasses and caramel, bready malt, lactose, with a hint of dark fruit and a metallic finish. Mouthfeel is medium and smooth. Hard to get a hold on this one. Sweet, milky, bready, metallic, cloying. I can't imagine drinking too many of these in the humid tropics in the Philippines. There's a lot going on but it doesn't quite mesh. One and done for me, not that I could easily get ahold of more

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.06/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle a deep brown with a large head of foam.

The smell has a malty nose...kind of sweetish malty.

The taste has a sweet, almost molasses malt taste with just a touch of roastiness and it's all up front....midway through and the finish are pretty devoid of flavour and that's a pity. Still, on a hot summer day, this would be a good brew to revisit.

Bottom line: This dark lager falls a little short in flavour but it's worth a try.

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Photo of acrawf6
2.23/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours out a brown amber, little light gets throught. Nice tan head. Smell is sharp and roasted malt, is slightly sweet. I really dont like the taste, its just an off roasted maltiness, slightly sweet. It has good carbonation, but the balance sucks.

Overall, avoid.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown into my Carlsberg imperial pint glass. A bit of bubly making its way to the surface to help form a slight ring around the beer foam. Smells very bland, but promising of roasted malts to be enjoyed. Flavor profile was a little roasted and rye bredy, but for the most part, very country kitchen. Pretty refreshing though. Something I could drink all night at a bar if the price is right. Plus the second beer I've ever had from the Phillipines and the first one I've reviewed.

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Photo of Jredner
3.76/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet malty/cola-like aroma. Dark brown color with a thumb thick, bubbly, tan head. Fairly decent looking brew. Lots of raisin in the fore. Quite sweet. Some stewed prunes, caramel, dates and some mild roasty notes. I think they were obvioulst going for a Schwarzbier here and that is mostly what it tastes like. I think it should be classified as such rather than as a Dark larger. It’s a pretty tasty brew if you are into Schwarzbiers, which I am.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reminescent of an Irish Red and a weaker German Bock. A solid lager with toasted, bready, yeasty, malty, and moderatly grainy characteristics in the nose and flavor. Appears clear and mohogany / ruby / brown. Quickly fading head and little protein. Finsihes a bit sugary and, again, grain like. Better than most south-of-the-boarder beers, but still not my favorite.

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San Miguel Dark Lager from San Miguel Brewery Inc.
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 268 ratings