Heineken Dark Lager | Heineken Nederland B.V.

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Heineken Dark LagerHeineken Dark Lager
637 Ratings
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: 637 |  Reviews: 262
Photo of prototypic
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one's crystal clear and a scarlet infused brown color. It has a nice deep red tint to it. An off white head tops it off (for a minute), but recedes quickly. It only reached a finger or so deep. Little to no lacing lined the glass. The color's pretty good, but the rest is a little disappointing.

The nose is weak and underwhelming. It features some caramel and toffee malt sweetness throughout. Yeast and grainy notes take up the secondary level. Smells like there's some light dark fruit present (mostly plum). There's a faint spicy scent on the tail. It's tough to get much out of it. It's all very weak and the individual parts don't work well in tandem. Aside from the lack of strength, there's nothing overtly bad about it. It's just not very good either.

The flavor is a little better, but not enough to trigger a bump in score. Primarily, it features a sweet caramel and toffee malt flavor. There's a light cocoa flavor that wasn't apparent on the nose. It's grainy and yeasty throughout. Whatever dark fruit I was getting in the nose is extremely faint. So faint that I'm questioning whether my palate's playing tricks on me. A light spicy and herbal flavor emerges it late. It's somewhat light and subtle. I can't tell exactly what individual spice or herb it may be. It doesn't really hurt or help. It's just there. The flavor's much like the nose. There's some individual flavors floating about, but they never really mesh or collectively work to produce a meaningful flavor. There's just a little here, a little there. Meh. Average.

It features a light body that feels a tad watery. It's not smooth at all. Carbonation is fairly light, but doesn't seem to help it attain any desired level of smoothness. Drinkability is average at best. Everything about this beer is average and pretty forgettable. It goes down quick and easy, but doesn't present anything to really enjoy.

Heineken Dark Lager is very average in the grand scheme of beer. The nose is weak, the flavor's convoluted and uninspiring, and it's not enjoyable. That being said, I don't really hate it. There's just not much to like. If it had something to add some pizzazz, it'd be dramatically improved. Maybe some hops? Pretty average all around. Maybe worth a try, but I wouldn't suggest seeking it out.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at the state liquor store in Vernal, UT. Around $.95.

A: Light brown with a tan head about half an inch thick that recedes to a thin film of bubbles. Fairly nice lacing. Excellent clarity. Not a lot of carbonation moving around in this one.

S: Roasted malts, some caramel, a little bit of nuttiness, definite lager yeast strain, and that's about it. Nothing offsetting, nothing exciting though.

T: Caramel, honey sweetness, nice malt characteristic, almost reminds me of a dunkel lager, fairly sweet, nice nuttiness too. A few brown ale flavors are really strong here. Overall, not a bad tasting beer. Just as good as I remember it.

M: A little creamier than what you would expect from a lager, quite smooth really, light carbonation, somewhat dry, pretty crisp really.

D: Easy session beer. I've drank this beer a lot, just not recently. One of my "gateway beers". Its good to see that this is one that I still enjoy. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of a change.

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Photo of mjw06
3.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

first and foremost let me comment on the presentation. this beer caught my eye by being a heineken with a RED label. wow was that weird. a red heineken actually looks kinda cool, almost like a special edition/halloween version or something. also, the bottle is brown as opposed to being green, which adds to the weirdness.

a dark, deep, raspberry red color, almost purple. with a two finger size tan head that dissaptes quickly.

lacking in smell, but the smell i do get is rich cereal malts.

the cereal malt smell is replicated in the taste, except just a little sweeter. not much hop and theres really not much taste here at all. its funny that the dark lager would have this much less taste than the flagship brew. it also had a metallic finish that i didnt appreciate too much.

lacking in body with a carbonation that is there, but is hard to find. the carbonation doesnt hit until the back of the tongue.

drinkable despite its flaws. the prospect of a darker heineken excited me, however ill stick to the regular stuff.

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Photo of cottonkoozie
2.44/5  rDev -24%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Head doesn't last even 15 seconds, and leaves no chance for lacing at all. Dark brown color with some red hues. Really nothing impressive at all.

S - Smells like a dark lager, some malts, nothing else really. Not a whole lot of smell here.

T - No a lot going on, a little bit of roasted taste and some hints of caramel malts. Also some kind of weird taste there too though that leaves a strange aftertaste.

M - Pretty watery.

D - wouldn't be to bad if it wasn't for that aftertaste, but that really makes me not want much of this. Won't reach for another one.

Not a very good beer. Just has a very odd taste and its just not good.

 639 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
2.86/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish brown with a decent fizzy head and some lacing.

Light scents here -- some caramel and brown bread notes.

Light light flavors, with caramel malt sweetness, some bready notes, and a green vegetable/leafy hop element. The carbonation in this one also gives it an acidic feel on the tongue, which worked well as a palate cleaner and with food. My big fault is that the flavors are too muted, a bit too thin.

Overall, not too bad, but nothing you'd put near the top of your list either. I always find this on the beer menu in Thai/Chinese/Vietnamese restaurants but never try it. Glad I did, as it is an interesting spin by this huge brewer.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.33/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A deep, clear, reddish-brown. A moderately-large, foamy tan head with decent retention and some sticky, patchy lacing.

S: Some lightly toasted, vaguely caramel malt. A breadcrust-like character as well. Some mineral and slightly leafy hop scents.

T: Malts provide some bland sweetness and a bit of roasted, breadlike flavor. Again, mineral and leafy hops, along with a dry, seltzery characteristic.

M: On the light side. Dry and again, somewhat seltzery into the finish.

D: Well, it's better than Heineken's lighter offerings. Why don't they use this wonderful brown bottle for their other beers? Maybe then they wouldn't have such a bad reputation for being light-struck all the time.

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Photo of LyonsHead
3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: dark brown, minimal head and lacing

S: malty smell with hints of coffee

T: tastes to me about how it smells. nothing to blow you away

M: light body, which was weird cause you don't usually expect that from a dark beer

D: this beer was just okay for me, I would have trouble buying it if it was next to something else in the store.

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Photo of dpsychoholic69
3.5/5  rDev +9%
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 +0.6%
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 +21.5%
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.

 309 characters

Photo of lionking
2.28/5  rDev -29%
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 +8.1%
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 -9.7%
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 +2.8%
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 -1.9%
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 -5.3%
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 -8.1%
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 +10.6%
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 -2.8%
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 -32.1%
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 +11.5%
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 +20.2%
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 +4.4%
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.

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Photo of omnigrits
3.33/5  rDev +3.7%
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 +17.4%
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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Heineken Dark Lager from Heineken Nederland B.V.
Beer rating: 3.21 out of 5 with 637 ratings