Heineken Dark Lager | Heineken Nederland B.V.

261 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: 261 | Ratings: 629
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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Photo of DelMontiac
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The thought of trying this beer never crossed my mind until a friend said I should try it. The color is a nice garnet red and an aggressive pour produces a two finger khaki head that eventually disappears, but hangs on longer than expected with no lace to speak of.

Aromas are meek, but a big whiff should allow you to pick up on the dark fruitiness including some banana and a medium bready-graininess that reminds me of rye bread.

Flavors are of dark toasted nuts and breadcrusts, dark fruits, and some caramel malt. Nothing complex, but still interesting. I like it.

As expected this one is a bit on the watery side, but it's got other positive attributes to counteract this minor detail.

Overall I'm glad I tried it. I was pleasantly surprised. It's a very sessionable brew that I would not be afraid to tote to a party of non-BAs, but still be known as the "beer expert."

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Photo of bluHatter
3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a frosted Wittekerke glass

A: Deep dark brown, copper, nice big creamy head that recedes slowly.

S: Malts, caramels, roasted nuts

T: Nice roasted malt flavor, sweeet with a hint of tangy bitterness at the end, but no aftertaste.

M: Creamy, rich, frothy. A lot better than I expected.

O: Heineken may be known for its green bottled skunk lager, but there's none of that here. I found it very delicious and exceedingly drinkable.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark crimson brown with a 1 inch beige head that fades to nothing. No lacing whatsoever. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and some nutty aromas. Taste is of caramel malt, bread, and nuts. Mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has an almost soda-like carbonation with a very crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good dark lager from Heineken that is much better than their regular green bottle style.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.13/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Heineken Dark Lager

Pours a clear light brown color, fizzy head forms and retention is little to none. Light aroma of sugary malts and noble hops. In the flavor, a crisp caramel maltyness, toasted grain, hint of bitterness and a more or less clean finish. Very unoffensive and easily consumed. A nice macro euro dark lager that has no unpleasant qualities, but little else to offer.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.73/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sort of a reddish brown, mostly clear, head was so-so but the lacing wasn't bad.

Smell and taste were nearly identical, and consisted primarily of caramel malt, along with a touch of nuts and a little bready yeast.

Body was very light and watery, with a slightly slick and sticky feel.

I thought this was sort of "the corona of Holland" and generally wasn't impressed at all.

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

Cool red and brown beer, professional looking in terms of clarity. I miss the regular Henie skunk in the aroma. This one is dead earthy, and not as good, well, not good period.

Taste, wow, this was thicker than I expected. Bitter too. Still not much for hop taste. Seriously thought it was a little rye bready. Malty for a lager. Much sweeter than green Henie.

Not a bad beer, but I wish it was more like the green. With that said, if you hate the green, I'd say check this out, its very different.

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

A: a deep copper, brown and rubi highlights, semi traslucent, a 1 finger off white head, dissipates quickly a tiny lack remains on the top

S: caramel, toast and malts, no too deep

T: a medium light body, some sweet notes, toast flavour, bitterness but the end is not so long

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Photo of JMad
3.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from an English pub glass...

The beer is a dark brown color with red highlights and a bubbly tan head that quickly faded. The smell is mostly roasted malt with some nutty flavor and earthy hops. Tastes a bit weak, there are flavors of roasted malt, molasses abd copper. Feels thin and watery with low carbonation. This is a solid brew I could see myself drinking this if there isn't craftbeer to choose from.

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Photo of magnj
3.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - deep drown with ruby body is dark but clear when held up to sun. head retention low.

s - clean nose with mild hints of dark malts and dark fruit.

t - Dark fruits, bocky, mild roasted malts in finish. sweet throughout.

m/d - medium body, somewhat sticky considering abv. interesting beer, interesting to drink a non-skunked brew from heine.

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Photo of wcintula
3.42/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer at all. Pours brown with red highlights, little tan head with lacing. Very big on the malt smell. Sweet tasting, roasted coffee, with light hopping, lager yeast is evident. Easy drinking, somewhat comparable to Negra Modelo. Good beer, enjoyable even.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby brown, red. Not much of a head and not much retention, although there is some sticky side lace left on the glass. Clear clarity.
Smell is a lot of maltiness and clean. Has a bit of a sweet malty smell, as well a hint of coffee.
Taste is also about malts, a little sweet up front followed by some dry hops that give a little bitter bite at the finish.
Thin, mouthfeel, creamy.
Certainly better than its green bottled lager brother.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.1/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Heineken Dark has a medium, tan, creamy head and a very dark, reddish-brown appearance, with moderate carbonation. The aroma is of malt and some sort of cream or milkiness. Taste is quite malt oriented, and there is some bread flavor with it that is probably from the wheat ingredient. There is little hop character with this beer. Mouth-feel is fairly heavy, and Heineken Dark finishes smooth. Overall, I really enjoyed this sample and would highly recommend giving it a taste.


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

I had some Chinese food tonight with my wife at Mandarin Gourmet in Brookline. On the menu, the beer list includes one offering merely shown as "dark beer". I asked the server, and he replied it was Heineken Dark. I hadn't had one before, so I gave a bottle a try. Poured into a short stemmed water goblet. Dark brown color with red highlights. Got a decent sized head with a sturdy pour. Smell was bready and malty. The flavor was actually decent. It reminded me a bit of a cross between a brown ale and a dubbel; it had the similar flavor profile of each. A bit malty like a brown, but a touch of sweetness as in a Belgian ale. Mouthfeel was somewhat thin but smooth. Drinkability was surprisingly good for a Euro dark beer. It paired well with the food, and was a lot more flavorful than a run of the mill Heineken.

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Photo of tozz8
2.27/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A--Dark Amber with an inch of fizzy,light tan head

S--Almost no smell. Bready with a little caramel

T--Watery with bready and caramel notes. Bitterness from hops is present, but it doesn't add to the flavor much at all

M--Thin to medium body with decent carbonation

D--Easy to drink. Just not interesting to drink

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Photo of ronniebruner
3.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely one of the better Euro dark beers. No similarity in comparison to regular Heineken. Has a bittery malty taste, a beautiful dark amber color, minimal head, and a slight, but welcomed aftertaste. Definitely a beginner beer, but you can never go wrong with Heiny Dark!

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Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
2.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark red with a tan head. Although it is dark, the body even looks a little thin.

S - Mostly toasted/roasted notes from the dark malts. A little bready.

T - A tiny hint of some coffee/chocolate from the roasted malts, but it is really watered down, so there is not much too it. There is no hop presence to speak of. The flavor is really one-dimensional and dilute and really only comes at the front of the sip. Although there is a little sour yeast flavor towards the end that doesn't really help the taste.

M - A really thin body, with medium carbonation.

D - Considering the thin body and low ABV and really reserved flavor this one is really easy to drink. However, the not-so-great flavor kind of takes away from the drinkability.

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Photo of mbrown26
3.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark ruby color with a beige two finger head. Went down to a nice lacing that liked to stick to the side of the glass.

S: Definitely some sweetness, bread and yeast. Maybe some caramel.

T: A mixture of bread tastes and sweet tastes with a clean bitterness on the back end. Leaves somewhat of a bitter aftertaste.

M: Lots of carbonation. Well balanced beer. Not syrupy, but not a light bodied beer either.

D: Easy to drink. My second Euro Dark Lager and I like this style, so far.

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

Pours a deep brown russet color with a thick soapy off white head and some lacing. Smells of vanilla and barley soaked in wet dog scent. Tastes of barley, some sweet malts, and a little hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium with minimal carbonation. Drinkability is decent.

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Photo of Swill5786
3.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. One finger head gone in a jiffy. Fruity aroma dominates - a blend of prunes and apples. Also a faint malt essence coming in under the rest. Taste is initially covered up by carbonation, but malt sweetness eventually emerges and fruity hops come in behind the rest. Nothing firm and distinct about this dark lager, but several qualities are muddled together. Vague breadiness long into the aftertaste. Medium body. Lack of excellence and clarity leaves me done at one.

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Photo of MrGuinness77
5/5  rDev +52.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a friend recommended this beer for me to try, and im glad he did. its incredibly hard to find it but i finally found it after looking @ 30 different liquor stores i finally found 3 six packs at a bevmo in orange county (and bought all 3 of them). normally i cannot drink heineken but i can easily say this is brew is now one of my top 5 favorites of all time. if you ever get a chance to at least try it DO NOT pass it up.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.57/5  rDev +39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: The beer pours forth from the bottle with a deep ruby/mahogany color. One-finger thick head recedes to a simple frothy coating on the top of the beer. Very dark...not opaque, but close to it.

Smell: This is a very intriguing scent, something I haven't experienced a lot of lately. At first, it seems like licorice, but I suppose it could be nutmeg and/or cinnamon as well. This is a beer that would go great with pumpkin pie, a great fall beer. Smells amazing.

Taste: Truly spectacular. Definitely a nutmeg/cinnamon vibe to it which sets complacently in the malty base. The hops are not overdone; nothing about this brew is overdone. Though I can detect six or seven distinct flavors (anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, malt, hops) not one overshadows any other. The fact that it is so perfectly mixed makes me want to give this brew a five. What the heck.

Mouthfeel: Lightly syrupy, it gently coats the tongue. Savorable, yet it rinses cleanly. Also very, very good.

Drinkability: I could definitely drink more than a few of these on a long night. The only stopping point is the fact that this beer is so extraordinarily tasty, I wouldn't want to burn myself out on it. It's also just a little rich for a session beer, so I can't give it a perfect score here.

This beer (according to the label) won two awards in Paris in the 1800s. If that's the only critical acclaim this beer has enjoyed, that would be a shame. I would definitely recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys a good dark lager. Just fantastic.

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Photo of 828beagle
4/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass a dark mahogany with a nice foamy beige 2 finger head. Good retention and substantial lacing. Slight roasted nutty aroma. Taste was dominated by sweet malt, caramel, and raisin bread. A medium-light body with big carbonation. Goes down easy and is quite refreshing. Unintrusive aftertaste. A year-round session brew and much more likable than regular Heineken lager.

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Photo of savaship
3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - The first thing that struck me was how impressively dark the color of the beer was, Dark amber and very clear, no cloudyness at all.

Smell - heavy pleasent smell of toasted malts, hints of other lighter smells my nose is not attuned enough to pick out.

Taste - Sweet initial blast, followed by a gradual transition after swallowing to a clean bitter aftertaste that lingers in the back of the throat for a bit.

Mouthfeel - very slightly heavier feeling than a domestic light beer. Carbonation seems appropriate for the feel without affecting the flavor.

drinkability - Average drinkability, the lasting bitter aftertaste wears on my palette after awhile, making this beer a shorter than wanted experience.

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Heineken Dark Lager from Heineken Nederland B.V.
3.27 out of 5 based on 629 ratings.
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