Alhambra Negra | Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL

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Alhambra NegraAlhambra Negra

Brewed by:
Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rhoadsrage on 03-18-2005

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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 157
Photo of Halcyondays
3.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown, nice white head, with good retention and lacing.

S: Sweet brown sugar, caramel, fragrant.

T: Nice and tasty full caramel malt, toffee. Dries out a bit at the end with a nice hop note.

M: Lighter bodied than I expected, creamy, smooth.

D: A real nice surprise out of Spain which has been giving me some good beers lately.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.47/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A deep dark brown color body with a short lasting light tan head , light carbonation . Aroma of licorice, brown bread faint floral hops and brown sugar . Flavor of toasted malt , caramel, cereal grain , light chocolate , spicy hops , and a hint of dark fruit . Light body, thin mouthfeel, with a hint of licorice in the finish . Drinkable and better than expected but nothing special .

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Photo of BeerSox
2.56/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz bottle into nonic. Surprised to see this one here. I've seen Alhambra Especial, but not this one.

Little bits of steely burnt malt along with a little but of a cocoa aroma.

A bit of chocolate mixed with caramel, but tastes more like burnt malts mixed with an overload of diacetyl. Slightly metallic finish, slightly acerbic.

Maybe a bit of oxidation in this one after a long trip across the sea and maybe some considerable shelf time.

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Photo of wl0307
2.08/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

BB 28/03/09, served lightly chilled in a straight pint glass.

A: pours a highly carbonated, deep mahogany body, topped with a dark beige fluffy head that breaks fast down into oblivion.
S: caramel, sweet red dates, licorice candy and black sugar syrup overpower anything else, w/o any support of a decent fruitiness or sourness of a lager-bier at the back. Very simplistic and sweet overall.
T: only a little thin-bodied sour fruity touch (like dates or dried plums) accompanies the otherwise boring and one-dimensional flavour, suggesting thin and slightly metallic dark malts, a little earthy and herbal touch of something, and absolutely nothing else (apart from a little hint of bitterness of... hop extracts??). A weird chewy palate in the finish doesn't go well with the overall (lack of) flavour, either.
M&D: the mouthfeel is effervescent, with any bit of supposedly refreshing carbonation broken up on the palate and disappearing in no time at each sip; this is a artificially fizzy, super thin-bodied, really bad-made beer that has almost nothing to provide apart from sugary water - definitely (one of) the worst I've had in the past two years...

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Photo of SerieDNo3
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Had this at a Spanish restaurant. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a glass.

A: Poured a dark ruby, though some light could get through. Almost no head, and very minimal lacing down the glass.

S: Smelled a bit fruity, with a decent malt presence.

T: Tasted like dark fruit. Very little hop presence, though some malts were there to give some body to the fruity flavors.

M: A very thin and watery beer. The carbonation was pretty low, and it just felt somewhat flat.

D: It goes down easily, and has some flavor to it. I would have rated the drinkability higher, but I don't really want more than one.

This could be a decent dessert beer, maybe with some ice cream or chocolate mousse. The fruit flavors would go well with that. On its own, though, or with a meal, there's just not much exciting about this beer.

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Photo of nick76
2.78/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The aroma is dark fruit and toasted malt with a touch of paper. The appearance is dark brown with a small head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is thin. Overall it's not bad but not good. It's one of those beers where you can feel the potential but the brewer won't get it there.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Burnt walnut brown with red and orange accents when backlit with weak morning sun. If color is a reliable guide, this could be a fairly substantial Euro dark lager. The coffee-with-cream colored cap looks decent as well and is beginning to lay down blurry rings of lace.

The nose is classic for the style. Steely (not metallic) caramel leads the way, with just a touch of molasses. There's also a little dark fruit, which is unusual in a beer that uses lager yeast. This could be an okay Euro dark lager.

Alhambra Negra isn't great beer by any means. It's an acceptable version, but that's as far as it goes. As for substantial... appearances often lie. Does Spain brew anything that's worth a damn? Just wondering.

There isn't much malt and the beer tastes like it was flavored with caramel extract and Splenda. There's also a sweet-tart raisin fruitiness that, actually, isn't too bad. Sugared pecans make an appearance as well. By the end of a six-pack I might be buzzed enough to muster up a little enthusiasm. Or not.

The body/mouthfeel becomes slightly more serious as the beer warms, but it never does impress. Creaminess is hinted at on the finish, and the carbonation is within the broad range of acceptable.

As European dark lagers go, Alhambra Negra isn't bad. Unfortunately, it isn't good either. It has just occured to me that this is what Budweiser Dark (should A-B ever decide to go that route) would taste like. Bottom line: dumbed down dark beer for those who think it's cool to be seen drinking an import.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a slight reddish hint to it and topped by a thin, wispy, ivory-colored head.

Smell: A generally chocolaty malt nose in front of some light earthy tones.

Taste: A faux chocolate-type maltiness, though it doesn't provide too terribly much sweetness. A touch earthy and nutty. Faint hint of white grapes. Very minor hop bitterness. Odd hint of sorrow right on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Not so bad. Oh, wait, this isn't a malta?

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
2.05/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From a bottle - Pours dark brown almost black but clear pale with a small almost non existent head. Smells of malts and corn. First sip is malty with some corn with a not much hop presence. Finishes well. Nicely bodied not typical of beers from Latin America.

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Photo of jbphoto88
2.83/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured an dark amber brown with a just off white head that is soft, fluffy but very unimpressive.

Smell is very sweet and of light caramelized grains. Weak and uneventful.

Taste is a disappointment. It reminds me mostly of corn syrup, overly sweetened and not much else to balance it out. There are some light caramel and toasted cereal flavors but those are eclipsed by an over aggressive carbonation and a slight metallic taste.

Thin body with not much going for it other then the fact that its cold and wet. Feels slightly watered down and has an unnatural processed flavor. This one I bet tastes great on vacation in Spain but here in the comfort of my home its a poor showing.

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Photo of Drew966
3.06/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Alhambra Negra pours a dark brown with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is a touch malty and a bit estery. The flavor pretty much reflects that too. No real hop flavors standout. Tastes kinda like a macro lager. No real off flavors, but not compelling in any way.

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Photo of baos
4.2/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into Barilla spaghetti sauce jar.

A: looks like root beer with a really nice creamy 2 finger tan head that retends pretty well. Superb lacing lads.

S: Toasty caramel. Bit of hops and malt malt malt.

T: Toasted malts then a dry hop finish. Take a bit (about half my glass) until I really tasted or smelled the hops very nice how it grows on ya. (thats what she said)

M: Full carbonation and a medium body. Pretty nice.

D: This beer is very unique for me. I think a sixer is just what the Dr. ordered.

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

Received from unholy2, a bonus beer in a on-going trade

Pours a ruby tinged chestnut with 4+ fingers puffy tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Toasted malt & herbal hops

T: Roasted malt & cola-like sweetness, dryness & herbal hops up front. Slight molasses flavor, more dryness & a slight cardboardy taste as this warms. Finishes with a kiss of licorice, a touch of toasted malt, some cornyness & some dryness

MF: Light/medium bodied with minimal carbonation

This was alright, but seemed a bit tired/old, could be better at the source. Not a style that please me to begin with, but would take it over BMC or most Eurolagers I've had...

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Photo of avalon07
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: When poured from a bottle to a pint glass, had a black color and a thick texture. There was almost no head or lacing whatsoever.

S: There was a kind of malty smell, along with a small bit of hops. Not a lot else.

T: The taste was malty and grassy, but not exactly brimming with personality. Not much going on in this department.

M: Had a fair amount of carbonation a good finish.

D: This beer didn't do much for me. While it did have some strong points, it didn't measure up with its taste.

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Photo of Redrover
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on at Emilio's Tapas, just a great restaurant in Westchester, IL.

12oz brown longneck with no apparent freshness dating. Poured into a pilsner glass, the beer is coco brown with a large but quickly collapsing tan head.

The aroma is of slightly toasty malts, brown sugar and brown bread.

The taste is similar. It is slightly sweet with just a bit of caramel and toast. Not bad, but not earth shattering.

The mouth is slightly above pedestrian. Easy enough to drink and went well with the grilled octopus, curry chicken salad & olives.

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Photo of AgingWarrior
2.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a semi-translucent black with approximately one half finger of reddish brown head. The head disappeared almost instantly and there was minimal lacing. I drank this at a cigar bar and they poured it into a semi-frosted mug.

Nothing distinctive about the smell of this brew. A bit of malt perhaps.

The taste is somewhat bland, nothing remarkable.

Mouthfeel is thin and unremarkable.

I would not drink this beer again unless I were presented with extremely limited options.

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Photo of alamode
2.64/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

bottle given to me by my neighbor, who didn't care for it. Poured into an English pint glass.

A - nice dark color with some head. looks promsing.

S - sweat, malty, grassy, didn't expect much, so its no surprise I'm not really diggin' it

T - malty, weak, no aftertaste, not much happening. almost tasted better than it smelled. the foundation is average, but it delivers nothing at all. very blah.

M - decent, good carbonation

D - tried it cold: didn't like it. let it warm: liked it less. maybe paired with the right dish it could be better... I have no idea how old this is, but based on the carbination I imagine its within expiration. I've moved past my days of being a beer snob (like I had any rite) and try my best to go at every beer I try with an open mind. we have american macro-lagers that turn their nose up at this one. Maybe this is an aquired taste?

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a 1 1/2 finger head with retention that stays for 1/2 of the glass. Dark brown in color.

Smell is of caramel and some chocolate malts. However, there is a bad corny aroma that I don't care for very much.

Taste is somewhat adjuncty and has some weak caramel and pale malts followed by a weak attemppt to balance with some chocolate malts. Sort of a step above BMC euro lager.

MOuthfeel is semi crisp and dry

The adjuncts in this beer make it a lower quality brew. I got this in my beer of the month package and it's the only thing that has disappointed me so far.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.86/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was poured into a pilsner flute from the bottle.

A - deep dark ruby amber color with a thick ice cream-like head that settles slightly into a chunky lacing

S - clean roasted malt aroma

T - roasted malt flavor characterized by bready, chocolaty and licorice notes; a faint hop dry finish; overall very clean

M - medium-light body with moderate carbonation

D - This is a nice clean, drinkable lager. Even though Spanish beer might be viewed as a novelty beer in the US (and perhaps North America), this beer is done well and I believe it is suited well to quite a wide range of food pairings. I tried this with North African-style marinated fish and spicy Spanish rice and it was quite wonderful.

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Photo of smcolw
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a solid brown where light passes through on the edge. No head beyond the thin layer of micro-bubbles on the edge of the glass. Absolutely no lace.

Sweet molasses and brown sugar smell; No noticeable hop. Really too coyingly sweet, even for a dark beer.

A little better balance on the taste. Not quite as sweet as the smell would indicate. Slight cardboard in the swallow. A touch of hop in the swallow, nearly no aftertaste. The body is very thin--like there was a lot of adjuncts added. The carbonation is too high for this style.

This may be one of the more interesting beers in the wine-loving country of Spain. However, its mass-appeal style is not my style. It is different from the ubiquitous light lagers of the world.

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Photo of AlexLMS
2.75/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: light black and good clarity despite the dark colour. Head: light brown and low head with very poor retention (no lacing whatsoever).
Aroma: weak nose with some sweet malt notes.
Taste: slightly roasted with corn presence.
Mouthfeel: smooth, gassy, low alcoholic strength (5.4% ABV) and light body.
Finish: short slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall: not offensive but weak watery beer. It can be quite refreshing for a dark lager but not much in there.

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Photo of bigeyedfish
2.43/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle by way of Amada restaurant in Old City.

Pours a dark brown, almost root beer-ish color into a pint glass; halfway through the pour the color becomes even darker, finishing at an almost RIS-level color. Gives a thin, off-white head that fizzles out very quickly.

Smells primarily of malts, with a sporadic hint of an almost piney/licorice thrown in for good meaure.

The taste is primarily flat- not sure if this is the bottle, or just the style. Some malt in the beginning, maybe a little lingering oak in the middle part and again, licorice coming on strong at the end. But in all, not that much really going on.

Mouthfeel, I mean, yeah, I guess ok. Some hops on the front of the sip, but after that it's just a light coating of malts- goes down very easy, that's for sure.

Drinkability is good, I guess, since this beer is less than 5.5% alcohol. To be honest, if it were not for the black color to it, there's a chance in a blind taste test I might confuse this with something served at a party; a ballsier, more complete version of Pabst/Natty and on par with Yuengling.

Not a bad beer, and it sure is a nice treat to try a European beer not from Belgium, just to see what other countries are doing again. If I'm at Amada, I might order it again. But I just can't see myself buying this beer outside of a restaurant.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.37/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review number 200 is this dark lager from Spain. On to the beer:

Pours dark brown into a pint glass, it has a black body that fades towards the edges of the glass. The head on top of this one crackels and doesn't retain itself too well. It has a well balanced taste that isn't overly sweet and has some roasted charactersitcs to it. It felt a little stronger than the listed ABV, but still quite enjoyable. Matched nicely with my BBQ beef sandwich.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.65/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Guess I was expecting a beer more similar to Negra Modelo. I am a bit disapointed. Instead of a creamy, malty, Vienna Lager, I got this grainy concoction of semi-roastiness and raw cereal grain. Not that this session was a disapointment, just lacking any of the benifits that I hoped to receive. The beer begins with a moderately brown, lightly headed, medium carbonated brew; eerily similar to an Amber Bock, but more robust in it's look. The aromas show a light Brown Ale maltiness, but soon follows with a lot of graininess and adjuncts (residual) sweetness, and soul-less. Flavors continue the part malt / part cereal grain character, with hints of nuts, toast, and grain hulls. Nearly thin in the body with an emphasis on an over-sparge astringency that hurts the drinkability. finishes quite grainy and void. Not the beer that I was hoping for at all.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.01/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not the greatest beer in the world, but not bad. Its generally hard to find negras in Spain, and I'm not sure I had more than one when I was over there, so I thought I'd try this here in the States. Poured a nice dark brown, almost black with some chestnut highlights. Thick creamy head with no lacing. The smell consists merely of a light sour graininess, and its surprisingly sharp. The beer's worst feature. Happily, the flavors don't taste off. It's fairly light with a little toasted grain and smooth relatively thin malts. Clean, and mostly without the grainy sourness of the smell. Light to medium bodied and smooth mouthfeel. A hot weather beer that is more interesting than some- especially other Spanish brews I've had.

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Alhambra Negra from Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL
3.32 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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