Heineken Dark Lager | Heineken Nederland B.V.

259 Reviews
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Heineken Dark LagerHeineken Dark Lager

Brewed by:
Heineken Nederland B.V.

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2001

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Reviews: 259 | Ratings: 627
Photo of B_Sloane89
4.25/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I would consider this an underrated beer for sure. I never heard of it until I was at a friend's place, and was handed a bottle of it, and was very thankful once I started drinking it. It is definitely a little bit darker than a normal lager, but that makes it enjoyable to me, since most porters are too dark, but sometimes I like to have darker beers than a traditional lager. If you have not tried this beer, I would definitely recommend it.

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Photo of MIDogman
4.27/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

This beer makes me feel like I am drinking a less filling porter. I love the flavor and smell. It's smooth with a great semi-coffee aftertaste. I'm definitely a Brown/Amber Lager kind of guy, so this beer fit right into my preference. I think this beer will be my staple for a while.

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Photo of Mavigo
3.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Hmm, looks alright. Served in a pilsner.

A: Pours a dark brown-red, with a tall light brown-beige head that dissipates fast, leaving not much lacing.

S: Smells of wheat, barley, grains, woods, yeast, chocolate

T: Tastes of barley, wheat, hint of chocolate, bit of coffee

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, alright

O: Kind of tastes like cheap gas station coffee. Not too bad but not too good either. It's alright, I could drink lots of these so I'd recommend it, nothing amazing, just another beer.

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Photo of BierStein711
3.19/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into pilsner

Brown lager with thin to almost no brownish head

Smells: apple, caramel, cocoa.

Taste: roasted malt, cocoa, with a carmel to cocoa finish that is semi-sweet

mouthfeel: thicker

Overall, this wasn't too bad but it isn't anything to get excited over. I'm surprised I chose this beer as I've had poor results with dark lagers.

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Photo of Smock19nathan
4.05/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The poor was something off of a beer documentary for me, the smell was what i dream of, and the taste was completely comforting and warm.
I first tried this beer with a friend and was a little unconvinced that heineken could pull this off. Well i was wrong they nailed it for me. If a dark somewhat "light" lager is what you prefer with hints of chocolate, caramel, cream, and roasted malt. You have to try this stand out beer from heineken. Top 5 of mine for sure.

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Photo of beergoot
3.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The beer exhibits a dark, ruby-red body with a thick, chunky head. Malt grains combine with a faintly chocolate scent to produce a pleasant aroma. Taste comes across with a nice roasted malt character with hints of mild chocolate; light hop bitterness pops up at the finish. Light yet deceptively rich body, smooth and buttery.

Another beer that I used to drink decades ago but haven't touched in years. I recall back then that this beer was a delicious find and I think this holds true today. Perhaps a little fizzy on the mouthfeel side of things, but its warm, welcoming dark flavors are the highlight.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.21/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

What can I say? I recently hit upon a local gold mine in terms of singles for sale. I just want to drink different beers until I find The One. It is sort of the same reason that I am still single.

From the bottle: "Brewed with passion for quality."

The pour erased any question that it might not be dark. I had two-plus fingers of rocky, deep-tan head by the time that I was done and it looked like the top of a root beer float. Color was ruby-red with NE-quality clarity and I began to think of the last time I had seen a beer this pretty. Nose was rich with caramel, toffee, even coconut. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was very caramel-like with a hint of smoke on the tongue. Finish was likewise faintly smoky and semi-dry, not sweet at all. First of all, I am not ashamed to say that I was impressed. Secondly, is it too much to ask them to CAN this beer? I would readily put some in the cooler.

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Photo of baddogrudy
3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is a good beer. Its lighter bodied than your typical dark. Also more carbonation. Taste of carmel and malts.
Overall its a smooth easy dark thats a little light and a bit too much carmel. Brewed in Holland. 5%abv
I would definitely give this one a try, even if you don't care for typical darks.

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Photo of Satanic
2.11/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

A - Poured at an angle, little to no head- about a quarter inch of white cream. It looked like coca-cola in the glass I poured it it almost- maybe just one shade lighter. A good amount of carbonation. A couple inches above the bottom of the glass as I have drank it down, the color seems to change to a brownish/red in hue.

S - It barely smells even when poured into a glass, maybe a slight amount of roast and sweetness. As I drink it further down the smells seem to come out a little stronger. I almost feel like I sense a hint of chocolate.

T - It initially tastes a little bit like a very light chocolate mixed with perhaps a dark cherry flavoring and an almost undetectable sweetness familiar with molassess. Afterwards when you swallow your tongue can feel a very small amount of bitterness remaining. The flavours are not very intense and it is an easy drinker.

M - This beer isn't thick nor extremely watery feeling, sort of in the middle grounds. I let it warm up a little bit to 40-45 degrees as the six-pack's box recommended.

I would give it a 2.25/5. I don't think I will buy it again, but its not bad! Definately worth trying atleast once.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.91/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, no apparent bottled on date, 5.00% abv, not listed on the bottle. This was my first Heineken beer ever, reviewed in detail on the back of a K-Mart receipt. Poured into a miniature pint glass.

A - Pours a very dark black cherryish type color. Nice two finger cream head.

S - Vague smell of smokiness and dark fruit, but they are minimal and somewhat artificial smelling. Little bit of bourbon vanilla presence begins to emerge as the beer warms.

T - Dark fruit of some kind and cherry come to mind initially. Carbonated; but not overwhelming. Slight artificial type sweetness. A decent adjunct styled beer, better than I was expecting, considering the terrible rap that regular Heineken Lager gets from people I know.

M - Nice chocolate kind of aftertaste, slight carbonation is well balanced enough.

Overall, definitely worth trying at least once. I haven't had the regular Heineken Lager yet, but judging from the hype I imagine that the Heineken Dark Lager is probably a better choice.

Heineken Dark Lager ---3/5.

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Photo of metter98
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is crystal clear dark red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down but never completely faded away and left some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Faint aromas of nutty malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of nutty malts along with some hints of toasted and caramel maltss. Neither sweetness nor bitterness is detectable.
M:It feels light-bodied, a bit thin and slightly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink. Although the taste is a little bland, there aren't any "off" flavors.

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Photo of ToddL
3.7/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first dark beer I ever drank 30 years ago, but have not seen one on the shelf for years.
I had one this weekend and was pleasantly surprised, it was a nice blend of flavors with good color and smell. nothing to overpower the senses. but nothing to offend them either.

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Photo of Jwicker
3.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a much better evolution from the original classic Heineken beer. This dark lager is tasty, and I would drink this as a casual drink anywhere.
THE APPEARANCE is that of a dark amber, beautiful coloration in this brew. Nice foaming effect, lasts for quite a bit on top, nice amount of carbonation just like the original.
THE SMELL is that of a sweet chestnut, with a hint of wheat or corn If you will.
THE TASTE- I was surprised here, it actually tastes pretty dark. Slightly sweet twist of burnt toffee, deep roasted chestnut, and a smalll hint of sweet black coffee. That's the best I can really describe it lol. Its still a bit watery as the original was, but I think this is on purpose to let people know that they are still drinking Heineken.
Good job on this brew. Its beautiful, and definitely worth the price.

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Photo of TheCondor
2.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Side poured from the bottle with standard vigor into a Boulevard pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a reddish/brown color with a weaksauce little half finger head that dissipated so fast I almost didn't capture it in my picture for LNBA. Very clear pour, no cloudiness or carbonation seen. Leaves no lacing.

Smell - Smells like Heineken with a little chocolate and a little dark fruit added to it. It is certainly a lager, but it has hints of porter smell to it.

Taste - Much the same as the smell. Tastes like Heineken with a slight kick of dark fruit. The chocolate smell kinds of fades on the palate, being replaced with really nothing. Grains and metallic notes also come into the taste.

Mouthfeel - A substantially watered down porter. Go find a decent porter, then add 6 oz. of water, and this is the feel of this beer. Carbonated, watery, no aftertaste.

Overall - I would not recommend this, but it is better than standard Heineken, which is one of the worst beers I've ever had. I guess you could give it a shot once, but I would never buy this again.

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Photo of donmonkey1
3.7/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown with a brown/tan head that dissipates too quickly. Little or no lacing.

Smell: Raisins

Taste: Raisins, sweet malt, possibly molasses, hint of hops

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, good carbonation.

Surprisingly tasty and flavorfull. Much much better than a regular Heineken. I'm suprised.
This is a totally decent beer.

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Photo of mikeg67
2.58/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle at Brazilia Grill. Pours dark amber with short lived white head. Aroma is of caramel and a lot of dark fruit. Body is light and smooth. Taste is similar to aroma with mostly fruit and caramel, slight hint of hops. Short, sweet finish. It was Ok with steak, better than other selections at this place.

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Photo of cbutova
2.45/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Poured into a pint glass with a dark brown hue, some red hints around the edges. Light tan head forms to about a finger but doesn't retain very well. Small ring but no lace.

S- Lager yeast, buttery hints and a dark caramel malt profile. Fades after just a few sips.

T- A mix of a dark lager and the general Heineken flavor. It starts out with buttery hints, cereal grain, brown sugar and some slight roast, caramel and toasty malts. It then kind of takes on a slight fruit, sweet and yeast bread feel. Ends up closer to straight up Heineken.

MF- Light, watery body with high carbonation that stings that palate. Somewhat foamy feel with light bitters.

Tastes somewhat comparable to other examples of the style I have tried. It just lacks depth generally and reminds me too much of regular Heineken in the end.

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Photo of CowsCanBark
3.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Samuel Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown with a huge four-finger tan head. Sticky lacing lines the glass.

Smell: Sweet malts, slightly fruity, slight hoppy scent

Taste: Sweet and malty, pretty metallic, kind of watery

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Would be better if it were more creamy.

Overall: Pretty nice looking and smelling, but the taste and mouthfeel are pretty lackluster.

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Photo of chinchill
3.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle {"Product of Holland"} served in a pint glass. Pours a nice, clear, reddish brown with a modest tan head that has rather weak durability.

A couple of decades ago, or longer, this was a go to beer for me ... one with a fine dark malt flavor. Then it became unavailable, at least in the Eastern US, as far as I could tell. When it returned, I am fairly sure the formulation changed and it is no longer a beer I would sekk or recommend, This may also have something to do with the poor handling the beer routinely receives during the long and circuitous trip from Holland to a retail outlet in the US (or so I heard from a retired distributor).

Anyway, my sample is sadly lacking in bready, toasted malt flavors I once loved, and has a slight skunkiness. While slight, the skunkiness is the longest lasting flavor and eventually comes to characterize the aftertaste. This is a recently purchased bottle with no visible signs, on the bottle or in the beer, or being anything other than fresh. Anyway, there is a nice bit of that baked bread/toasted grain in the aroma, but the flavor falls short. While I would prefer a heavier dose of toasted grain flavor, there is plenty of caramel malt sweetness here.

M: medium body with good carbonation.

O: looks like a Munich dark; tastes like a Mexican amber. Does improve a little with some warming, and significantly better than the widely available imported lager in the green bottles and cans.

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Photo of emerge077
2.58/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Appears to be a reddish copper color with bright clarity and some carbonation visible. Compact cap of off white foam, that settles fairly quickly, leaving little lacing at all.

Funky and sweet, grainy lager nose. Some toast, brown sugar, and watered down lager.

Flavor is similar, fairly sweet with wet paper graininess. Very bland and dull. Malt-o-meal cereal (malt oatmeal) and brown sugar, wet stewed grain husks. Watery body, fairly clean aftertaste. Not something i'd revisit, it's a laughable, feeble attempt at a dark lager.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one poured out as a deep amber coloe with a thin fizzy cream colored head on top. The smell of the beer is pretty sweet with lots of caramel notes on the nose. The taste of the beer was also on the sweeter side, the malts were nicely roasted also. The mouthfeel of this beer was decent but nothing too special. I could have had a little more body to it. Overall this beer was pretty good to me, I would like to have it again one day just to try it again.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Never reviewed a "Heineken" but this one stood out so I picked it up. Hope it's as good as the reviews...

A - Wow this is a pretty beer. Color is a clear dark amber and the head is a creamy half inch of mocha head that turns quickly to a lace ring.

S - Damn that's faint. Maybe some chocolate of cocoa but it's mostly lager yeast and sweet malts.

T - A bit harsh maybe it's the yeast or hops but I do get some sweetness out of the mix. Mostly chocolate and caramel are the strongest taste but you really can never forget the harsh flavors of this euro lager...

M - Medium bodied kind of hard to drink.

Overall man are some folks trying to hype this beer? not nearly worth the A rating to some and not close to a B+ either this is just a typical Heineken brewed with more malt. Pass on it if you can!

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Photo of phenomenologian
4.13/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this beer is an especially pleasing brew to enjoy. its a nice dark lager. the beer has a smooth taste to it. it tastes hoppy and has a nice carmel or chocolate flavor to it because of all that is in it. I cannot really name what makes this wonderful flavor except for one of those things being hops. I can taste malt there also. it has a sort of dry, tannish brown head. the head gets medium large. the color of the beer itself is about lighter than guinness but darker than an amber ale. it almost has the consistency and color of guinness but lighter. the smell is kind of of caramel because of how the whole beer yields that certain taste. the taste is, in my opinion, delicious enough making it very smooth. the caramel taste is very very pleasing in this beer. it being very smooth makes it easy to drink. I drank it down within ten minutes because its pleasing and smooth. I really like this beer. if you don't like dark beers, don't try it, but if you do this is a must try. being one who has guinness as the favorite beer this one fights to be up there with guinness. I would give it a B plus just because I save the A region for extremely pleasing beers.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

I was told this wasn't half bad, though it was by a wholesale salesman selling it... It pours a deep, dark ruby topped by a finger of dusty pale-tan foam. The nose comprises flaky biscuits, caramel, and a vague sense of mandarin orange syrup. The taste follows suit, with some slightly darker caramel, some very light cocoa backing that up, and a slightly less-vague sense of the mandarin orange syrup. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a watery feel. Overall, I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It's not all that great, but it's nowhere near offensive, and it borders on downright easily-drinkable. In fact, I could see drinking this again. Not bad, for once, Heineken...

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.37/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No stamped date.

Appearance - Dark, clear ruby brown/black body. One finger light brown/tan head with decent to low stick and decent to low retention.

Smell - Dark roasted malts. Lots of banana. Sweet, non-hoppy profile.

Taste - Dark chocolate malts. Banana. Coffee. True to the the smell. Extremely faint hop. No off characters. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel - Smooth. Medium bodied. Very light effervescence. Pleasantly non solvent nor sticky. Very mildly astringent/acidic.

Overall Drinkability - While I don't have high regard for its light lager brother, this beer might be one of the best in the Euro Dark Lager style. At least as far as I've had. Not much in the way of off characters except for the slight metallic astringency and mild acidity, but that might be a result of shelf life. Not amazing in any sense, but definitely worth a try.

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Heineken Dark Lager from Heineken Nederland B.V.
3.27 out of 5 based on 627 ratings.
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