Heineken Dark Lager | Heineken Nederland B.V.

630 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 630 |  Reviews: 261
Photo of dpsychoholic69
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A Poured into a glass. This beer has a nice look, reddish brown clear color with a thick frothy tan head that left a little lacing on the glass, not a lot of carbonation

S Grainy, sweet hops and a hint of malt

T Crisp and hoppy, a little sweetness, kind of oaky hops really hit on the finish

M Thin and crisp, a little watery

D Goes down easily, hops are a little too strong for my taste but not overpowering crisp finish. For a dark lager would be good on a hot day. Would pare well with red meat

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Photo of CityBoy1986
3.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The pour is a dark, ruddy colour with a small tan head. The head goes quickly and leaves some lacing.

Smells detected are fruity with sweet tones, like molasses. The taste includes fruit, molasses, coffee and chocolate. There is very little bitterness, and a bit of a burnt taste takes over at the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with quite a bit of carbonation. Although it goes down well enough, I would drink more than one in a sitting if not for the annoying burnt taste in the finish that lingers seemingly forever. Drinkability suffers because of the aftertaste.

It's not bad; I've had worse that cost more than this. It won't be one of my regulars or even semi-regulars, though.

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Photo of Rhynes2
3.9/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

very surprised by this beer. It is an awesome combo with a good salmon meal. Pours a nice rich red color though not much to say for a nice frothy head. The flavor is right on for a dark lager, not too powerful but still great. I got a cedar/coffee dark taste from it. This may be one of my new favorite brews.

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Photo of lionking
2.28/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Appearance. One finger head which quickly disapeared. Brownish red color.

Smell. Faint smell of grains, somewhat soapy smell.

Taste. Weak grainy taste, like the grains had been used before.

Moutfhfeel. Somewhat dry and crisp.

Drinkability. Nothing jumped out at me. I was expecting more flavor and body. Very bland and weak. Either I got an old bottle or this is a really poor beer.

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Photo of colts9016
3.47/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Mahogany reddish amber hues a half finger head that quickly dissipates. There are carbonation at first.
Smell: Roasted malt hints of coffee, caramel, molasses, hints of ester lemon, and fruity
Taste: Roasted malt molasses coffee hint of chocolate and hops and burnt sugar.
Mouthfeel: Astringent, powdery alkaline
Overall it is an okay beer not to bad.

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Photo of Doomcifer
2.9/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours brown into the glass with decent head that sticks it out a little. Smells of a touch of yeast, maybe a bit of caramel...nothing smacking you in the face, but nothing unpleasant. Taste is decently malty sweet with a touch of caramel flavor up front and fades off to a thin flavor and mouthfeel. Highly carbonated. Better than this beer's more popular brother. Fairly drinkable.

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Photo of currysage1
3.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz into Imperial Pint, it looks so sadly small.

Pours a nice looking clear chestnut topped by a one finger short lived off white head, pops itself down to just a ring. No lacing.

Smell is of light malt mixed with dry apple, slightly perfumed.

Taste is honestly kind of what I expected, its a maltier Heineken. Kind of biscuity, definate lager yeast, with that traditional Heine funk. Certainly better than Heineken.

Feel is better again than the original, but nothing too much. The body is slight but there, and the carbonation is good, keeps it refreshing.

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Photo of avalon07
3.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a nice brown color and a somewhat thick texture. There was about a quarter inch of foamy head and some OK lacing.

S: Smelled mainly of malt, but also yeast and a little hops.

T: An odd taste. Very malty up front, then it thins out and becomes watery and uninteresting. Neither good nor bad.

M: An average amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: While this is certainly better than most other Heineken beers, it's still wildly uneven on the whole.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.04/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Didn't even know that Heineken made this beer up until a few months ago.. purchased a single of it for $1.69.

Well, it's better than the usual Heineken in the green bottle. Actually a beautiful brown color in the glass with a nice small head that stays with it. Taste wise it feels like there is some potential at first, but once swallowed you just get bland-ness. Def above average, but not by much.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish-red with tiny tan cap. Light lacing.

Smell: Black malts and a touch of citrus. Maybe some caramel as well.

Taste: Black malts and some sour-ish yeast. Not much else of note.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body with high carbonation. Carbonation stings at times and leaves mouth feeling fuzzy.

Drinkability: Sits heavier than the mouthfeel would indicate. Flavor is mild. Not a great black lager, but I could drink it I suppse.

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Photo of DeepSix
3.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a cold glass. A really dark amber, this is probably just brown. Nice head in the begin, but when it dissipates no amount of agitation can get it back, just a little ring around the glass. No lace.

A musky sweet odor is quite poignant here.

A very "dark" taste to it, its appearance and name isn't kidding. Has a sweet taste to it, caramel -ish.

An ok dark lager, it tasted better on my first six pack, not sure yet if they're be a 3rd.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Single, twelve-ounce bottle just copped from Total Wine and More in River Edge for $1.49...
Pours a deep-purple hue with a minimal head that quickly dissipated and left a minor amount of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Malt-based aroma with hints of caramel, vanilla, and prunes...
Taste, likewise, was very malty, with strong hints of caramel, prunes, dehydrated fruits, including figs and dates...
Light, loose mouthfeel with an average-at-best level of drinkability...
Nothing special...
Average stuff...

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.18/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Poured a dark mahogany red with a respectable 1 finger creamy khaki colored head that lasted for several minutes.

S: some light dried prunes and dark caramel raisins but was pretty faint overall.

T: The initial flavor was light and watery with sour caramel raisins and a light metallic nature. Overall the flavor was wishy-washy at best with some soapiness to it and a light dry burbon alcohol.

M: light, watery and wishy-washy as well.

D: Drinkability was a huge disappointment, dump and avoid at all cost.

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Photo of kinger
3.58/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Back in college I would often treat myself to a six pack if I had some extra cash or I was just feeling special. It's a very good dunkel, completely different in taste from regular Heineken Lager. The heavier flavor and thick appearance are great. Although not real complex in flavor I think the overall taste does this beer justice. My biggest drawback is the over-inflated price of Heineken. If I want to enjoy a good dark beer I can save a couple of bucks and pick up lots of other choices just as good if not better than this one.

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Photo of thepassingofdays
3.86/5  rDev +18%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've never really been a Heineken fan since it's always seemed like everyone who loves it doesn't know much about beer, but I've been to the brewery in Amsterdam and it seemed pretty tip-top.

a- a reddish brown, with a hint of bronze and a large light head. Very clear, not much going on here.

s- very sweet smell, hints of maple and brown sugar, smells delicious.

t- comes on like a typical dark lager, but the middle is very sweet and it has a woody finish. Much more complex than everything else I've had by Heineken.

m- Absolutely no alcohol in the aftertaste which I like. The problem is the woody finish leaves a bitter aftertaste, which I don't like.

d- A very good overall beer. Not too heavy, not too complex, not too expensive, will buy this again.

Heineken, I apologize for my previous bias!

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For some reason, variants of major brand beer interest me. Heineken Dark Lager is no different to this rule, and I'm expecting something decent. Comes in a dark bottle, which is ironic given its paler sibling is famous for its green skunking bottles. On to the beer:

The head is somewhat fizzy, but holds up long enough to showcase a two-finger head on top this leather brown beer. Err, nevermind, the head is gone. The nose brings somewhat sweet and ripe bananas, dark bread is faint. Moving on to the taste, it's light on the palate and in feel. it's just like a smooth dark lager with mass-appeal (aka watered down). More of a sweet bread taste to it with hints of raisin. No off-flavors in here, so that's nice.

Not too shabby, though one can do better in the category. Makes a nice changeup in their portfolio and shows they don't only brew pale colored beer.

 867 characters

Photo of omnigrits
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For a beer from a mass-market brewer, this isn't too bad. Nothing about it is going to excite a true beer-lover but it's a whole lot better than the regular Heineken, that's for sure. Slightly malty and bready with a good nose and a halfway decent head. The taste is good... if only there was more of it. I knocked this one back in no time flat, the way I might with a good quality root beer. There's not a lot to savour and enjoy here, but what little there is deserves some acknowledgement from those of us who appreciate a good beer.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.77/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a mediums reddish-brown color with moderate off-white puffy. Fair retention.

Smell shows some nice caramel notes with a touch of roasted malt.

Taste combines the caramel and roasted malt nicely, and while the flavor is good, it is too restrained.

Finished with some taste retention and a full mouthfeel.

Nice drinking, but nothing out of the ordinary.

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Photo of BeerZack
2.79/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany color, appearing brown with little bubbly head of tan foam that sticks a bit.

Smells mostly of diacetyl, slight bit of nuttiness and banana.

Buttery popcorn with some slight astringency that doesn't quite seem roasty. Not really a hop dryness as much as a drying astringency.

Medium feel with nice bubbly carbonation. This would be drinkable if I could get past the diacetyl.

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Photo of Offa
2.77/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

While I love many dark lagers and schwarzbiers (not to mention stouts and porters), I often find basic, macro dark lagers incredibily boring and unsatisfying - I'll usually find a basic pale lager more itneresting than a basic dark one - and this is one fits that bill.

Very dark red-brown, this has a thick tan head that vanishes steadily to leave nothing.

The aroma is caramel with very light toasted malt.

The taste is fairly sweet with a hint of bitterness, somewhat toasty with caramel, but develops a faint, unpleasant burnt taste before a fairly nice grainy finish. It's somewhat fizzy and thin, with a weak, watery, fizzy palate that vanishes quickly to leave almost no remnant in the mouth. It also overall gets worse as one drinks it.

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Photo of giblet
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a medium caramel dark. good carbonation and head but settles. roasted malt smell but not overly strong. tastes of malts. some lacing in my glass. decent dry feel in the aftertaste. not a bad beer but not as rich as i expect.

suckem up and movem out.


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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this a few years ago at a restaurant in Nashville. It was the only dark beer they had (maybe in the state of TN). I remember being pleasantly surprised, so I bought a single recently to give it another shot.

Looks like a brown ale; medium chestnut color that turns garnet (like an Irish Red) when held to a strong light. Thin head dissipates quickly, but a light foam remains to the end leaving small spots of lace.

Aroma is simple maltiness. Clean and uncomplex.

Flavor is just a maltier version of Heineken lager (which isn't too bad when not skunked. This beer comes in brown glass, so skunking isn't such a concern). Sweet with a slight graininess. Hops aren't completely absent, but not very flavorful.

Carbonation is a little strong. Medium body.

Overall not a bad drinking beer. Is it worth the money? Probably not, but more so than it's green-bottled "I just paid nine bucks to drink skunk urine" counterpart.

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Photo of albern
3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought this beer expecting much worse things and was pleasantly surprised. I haven't had a Heineken dark in years, decades is more like it, and I'm no fan of their lager counterpart which to me is just a slightly sweeter version of any number of characterless American macros. Enough said. The beer was a bit of a pleasant surprise, just because I was expecting so little. It pours a nice amber, copper color, very clear, clean, with a decent off white head that hangs around a bit and laces too. The smell is nutty malts, caramel, and an off medicinal quality, although some of the off smells dissipate as things settle. The smell is the weakest link. The taste is subdued, it has a nice caramel backbone, plenty of caramelized malts, some roasted flavors, and a bit of a metallic edge as well. The beer is approaching a medium body with not much carbonation. The finish is a bit off and that's where some of the metallic flavors emerge. Not much aftertaste one way or another. Not a bad beer, and I'm glad I gave it a try.

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Photo of osi
2.97/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - poured a dark caramel brown with a head that faded fast. Disappointing really. Minimal trace lingering through the beer.

S - The smell really surprised me. I haven't smelled anything like it before. Dark chocolate malts with a candy sweetness. Reminds me of a calm Jägermeister.

T - Watered down malts and the sweetness lightly comes through with the taste. Misleading from the aromas represented. Almost resembles a light beer.

M - Very light and slick on the tongue. Carbonation hangs at the top of the throat after swallowing for just a second then fades down.

D - Not sure if I would have this again. It would really have to pair well with the food I would eat. Not for casual consumption.

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Photo of ScottUCF84
3.43/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this a long time ago and decided to try it again. Bottle into a pint.

A:A clear dark ruby/caramel with a light tan head that skips town early. Little to no lacing

S: Sweet, slightly roasted malt. Not very strong.

T: Nothing that screams at you, but nothing that really brings this beer down; an all around good flavor; very subtle and smooth. Roasted malts,and a very, very slight hint of coffee...maybe a little chocolate. Although this is a lager, I taste similarities to other brown ales I've tried. The only thing reminding me it's a lager is a very light bite at the end from the carbonation.

M: Very smooth with an almost creamy texture.

D: Could probably have a few.

Good all around beer. Try it if you haven't.

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Heineken Dark Lager from Heineken Nederland B.V.
3.27 out of 5 based on 630 ratings.
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