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Heineken Dark Lager | Heineken Nederland B.V.

258 Reviews
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Heineken Dark LagerHeineken Dark Lager

Brewed by:
Heineken Nederland B.V.
Netherlands | website

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: 258 | Ratings: 621
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours a dark amber with a bountiful head. The initial cap becomes a thin covering inside of a minute, and nothing at all eventually. A solid looking beer, but it could use a hat.

Aroma - a light whiff of malts, then ground coffee. Pleasant but weak.

Taste - doesn't taste as malty or robust as it looks. The light flavors are kind of hard to define, just a bland maltiness. The carbonation isn't overpowering, but enough to prevent much taste pre-swallow. After the swallow, some warm smooth chocolate tones are picked up. A better finish, just barely getting this one above average.

Mouthfeel - average carbonation, average body and weight. Good balance between crispness and smoothness.

Drinkability - a worthwhile session beer for the most part. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.45/5  rDev +5.2%

A: Pours a ruby hued mahogany color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to a tiny cap

S: Some roastiness and dark fruit come through, mostly cherry pits or almonds. Definitely malty and bready

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a bit of the fruitiness and bready malty notes and finishes with a bit of the roast and cherry/almond notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: This one surprised me. It's very easy to drink and quite flavorful. Worth a shot if you're into dark lagers or dark beers in general

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Photo of allengarvin
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear reddish-brown, with a good initial head. I was about to give it a 4.0 in appearance, but the head completely disappeared in under 30 seconds.

Aroma: Clean, grainy aroma.

Flavor: Clean, slightly sweet grain. More malt than the standard Heineken, giving a pleasant bread flavor. Hops are fairly low but take the edge off the sweetness. Finish is clean and brief.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and a crisp, clean texture.

Completely ordinary dark lager, basically.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.03/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a sparkingly clear very deep ruby, forming a large whipped dark khaki head with excellent retention and wonderful lacing. Wonderful looking brew. Carbonation is mild. The aroma is of sweet candy malts with a touch of toast and freshly mown hay. Hops are mild but floral and clean. Mouthfeel is slick, crisp and clean with a medium body. Taste begins with upfront herbal and floral bitterness which is quickly parlayed by the sticky amber malts. Mildly sweet, akin to a lighter Bock. Toast, leather and tobacco in the middle with some lingering pleasantly woodsy bitterness in the aftertaste. The finish is crisp and clean as well. No discernable skunk, off-flavors, or alcohol. Very well brewed.
I was skeptical, but this is actually very good and is highly competetive with some of the better dark Euro-Lagers like Ayinger, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, etc. Nicely brewed and very easy to drink. I can see myself drinking more of this in the future. Recommended.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep garnet brown color color with a compact head of one-half inch or so and slight carbonation, lots of irregular broken lace. Dark malt aroma with mild earthy notes and caramel. Taste begins with toasty malts, caramel flavors, and pronounced carbonation, towards the middle some mild hops appear. Finish is sweet with malt notes. Far better than the familiar Heineken lager, one of the better mass-marketed imports.

I note with satisfaction that this beer is packaged in brown glass rather than the familiar Heineken green.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.12/5  rDev -4.9%
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 ADR
3.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear tea-like brown color with a middling head in size and overall duration. Laces in spare simple strings. Some pumpernickle to the overall bready aroma. Mouthfeel is a tad on the watery side, the flavor is pleasantly neutral in malt sweetness with a decided graininess to add some texture. Low degree of hoppiness overall. The finish is the most distinct part of the beer, light but dry with a continued grain fabric. The attenuation and non-threatening middle-of-the-road flavor leads me to believe that a lot of people could find this brew accessible.

 556 characters

Photo of animal69
3.88/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I went into this knowing the subtle dif. between Dutch & German lagers ( acc. to period styles, dutch lagers were drier, lighter in body & hopped about the same as most german ones, due to the demand for grain in germany); pours a deep, dark copper w/ a slight head which lasted a bit, nice lacing; a sweet caramely malt aroma, w/ some alcoholic notes; a creamy caramel taste w/ that Heiny hop flavor behind it, that "curing concrete' kinda flavor, not sure what does it but iv'e always liked it; light,airy,dry( & puffy feeling ?) mouthfeel kinda too bubbly w/ added dextrins, they should've let it be thinner to match the lighter taste; a very drinkable beer, i'm 1/2 way through a six already...

ps. the ABV is either 4.6 or 4.8 i'm not sure which, I knew at 1 point, but you know how brain cells go...

 807 characters

Photo of jsprain1
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- An amber, or perhaps ruby colored beer. very thin khaki lace.
S- bready malty aroma, rather subdued.
T- Dark bread, some malt, and just enough hops to balance it all out throughout the palate.
M- Medium weight, less than average carb, but not in a detrimental sense.
D- All around a slightly better than average beer, and one preferible to the mainstream "normal" heineken.

 376 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
2.9/5  rDev -11.6%
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 Offa
2.77/5  rDev -15.5%
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 OtherShoe2
2.86/5  rDev -12.8%
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 BretSikkink
3.08/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Better than Heineken's light lager offerings, but nothing stands out here. Slightly fruity nose, big black color. Mostly malty, hops kick keeps it balanced. Lingering maltiness is good, but nothing takes your tongue for a ride - good or bad. I don't think taking down a six-pack would be difficult, but nothing really makes me come back for more.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
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 ktrillionaire
4.12/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Heineken (in the green bottle) is potentially a ‘gateway beer’; for many, including me, it represents a first step away from the budcoorsmillerlightlitedraft nonsense. I will always have a soft spot for it, but I honestly don’t like it anymore. Which brings me to the beer at hand… if Heineken was your friend, then Heineken Dark is like the extremely debonair cousin from out of town that you can’t believe is related at all.

G – Drank out of a disposable cup, then straight out the bottle, and then two bottles at a time in my liter Heineken seidel. This beer is potentially the rare beer that is better when consumed straight from the bottle.

A - Dark and translucent, between black tea and cola, otherwise it looks similar to the green bottled Heineken, effervescent, nice (tan) head, good lacing.

S - It has a caramel and dunkel maltiness, figs, prunes, dark wheat in the nose.

T - The taste is very good. It has a dunkel taste like Flensburger. Nutty tasting. Great caramel flavor in the malt; not crass like, say, 'Old Speckled Hen' (in the clear bottle) or some of Lagunitas' offerings, which are a nasty Cracker-Jack or Smucker's tasting caramel. And not sweet either. Muted hop, well balanced flavors overall.

M - Medium-bodied, well carbonated.

D - I love it. Heineken has a special place in my heart, but regular Heineken is not what I once thought it was. Heineken Dark, on the other hand, is still extremely awesome.

P.S. If you are drinking Green Heineken, always opt for the Heine-can.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.38/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice deep maroon color, with a creamy tan head. Smells of roasted malt and sweetness. This is much better than heineken lager. Still a little too thin and sweet to be considered a very good beer, in my opinion, but much improved over their flagship brew.

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Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This is a much better beer than their "green meenie". it is very flavorful and is lightly carbonated. Not often seen in the states but worth a try.

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Photo of clvand0
2.33/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark amber color with a small head and moderate lacing on the glass. The aroma is slightly sweet and interesting. I really had decent hopes for this one because I thought that since it was dark, it would be decent - not sucky like normal Heineken. I was wrong. The taste was a little malty, but pretty crappy and enjoyable - the taste was very reminescent of normal Heineken with a bit more sweetness. Didn't like it much.

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Photo of hardy008
2.53/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reddish brown color with a tan head and decent retention. Smells of dark malt with grain. A slight caramel aroma. Tastes consists of caramel , grain, and some chocolate. Thin watery mouthfeel with decent carbonation. The drinkability is below average. Not much to get excited about here.

 287 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.73/5  rDev -16.8%
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 JDV
2.94/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very Dark Amber pour with a smallish light tan head that doesn’t last too long unfortunately. Good looking beer. Smell isn’t too strong to begin but the lightly malty caramel, alcohol smells I do pick up are subtle but nice at first, but then turn into an almost nauseatingly artificial syrupy caramel smell. Tastes of some lightly roasty malts, a touch of yeast, and has a very quick finish and basically no bitterness. Body is a tad watery, yet has a fairly rich, full flavor for a (dark)lager nonetheless. Overall, a good easy drinking darker session beer. Not terrible, but I wouldn't get this again.

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Photo of bashiba
2.85/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light cola colored brown with a very thin white head that was gone in a flash.

Smell has a light musty maltyness to it.

Flavor is light with a semi sweet and toasted malt dominating flavor, no noticeable hops at all.

Mouthfeel is very watery.

Its ok to drink, but not something I would pick up unless my options were severly limited.

 355 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.22/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown in color with a fingernail of beige foam on top. Aroma is caramel and faint chocolate. I taste caramel notes at the forefront along with light malt. The flavor improves as it warms. The mouth is smooth and creamy.

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Photo of DogFood11
1.97/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Red beer, medium carbonation, thin white head that fades never to be seen again. crystal clear. smell was of light sweet malt, lots of similarities to an Irish red.

There is an added depth in the taste, sweetness has a caramel lean to it although I'm admittadly reaching. Really no hop presence and I wasn't expecing one so this came through in the clutch. If you like soft malt profiles, innoffensive, uneventful brews this is worth a shot.

Whoa back up the bus, It's been a while since I've been on a blah beer streak but this makes 2 in a row that just have me wondering.

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Photo of BeerSox
2.87/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into mug. Not sure of the freshness. Cryptic date code appears to be mashed in with other numbers. No %ABV found, but it seems low just from tasting it.

Crystal clear dark red, almost brown. Bright red edges. Half inch thick tan colored head that dissapears quickly, leaving a tin rim of foam along the glass. Lacing is almost nonexistant.

Very light aromas, nothing overpowering. Light molasses can be detected along with light malts.

Light malty flavors paired with minimal hop bitterness. A little bit of lingering malt flavors, but nothing really there.

Very watery mouthfeel with not a lot of carbonation. Smooth finish, but mostly because there is little flavor to being with.

This isn't the worst beer, very middle of the road. I was actually surprised with the components of this beer. It does have some flavor and good aromas, but it is so bland it's nothing to brag about. Pretty much what you would expect from Heineken.

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Heineken Dark Lager from Heineken Nederland B.V.
76 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.
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