Topvar Dark Beer | Topvar Brewery

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Topvar Dark BeerTopvar Dark Beer
25 Ratings
Topvar Dark BeerTopvar Dark Beer

Brewed by:
Topvar Brewery
Slovak Republic

Style: European Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gusler on 01-14-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of AlexAfonin
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of 86sportster883
3.77/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a Topvar Dark on the shelf of my local beer store for a $1.99 (500ml) and, since I'd never had a beer from Slovakia, I decided to give it a try. I wasn't disappointed.

It's a little hard to rate this beer, as the style seems to be a mix of Euro dark styles, while not quite fitting in completely to any one. It looks like a Munich Dunkel with its creamy, medium tan head sitting above a dark brown body that shimmers ruby red when held to a light. The aromas are rich and malty with cocoa, caramel and a light spicy hop.

The mouthfeel is moderately full with medium carbonation that seems to suite the beer well. The taste is malt sweetness with sweet caramel flavors balanced by a bit of roasted acidity and very, very mild hop bitterness. The finish is mostly clean and dry.

Overall, the Topvar Dark is a pretty worthy beer that was quite drinkable and, for the price, a definite repeat.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.46/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, almost four-finger thick, brown tinged, tan colored head that sits on top of a very dark, concentrated, burnt amber colored brew that shows a brilliantly clear, concentrated red color when held up to the light. The head leaves minimal lacing on the sides of the glass as it subsides. Aromas of roast caramel, a certain nuttiness, a thin graininess, a green plum note as well as notes of green apple (acetaldehyde?). The aroma was fairly appetizing at first, but seems to be a bit flawed in the end.

Quite sweet for a beer of this strength. It finishes with a chalky, dark malt character and a bit of peppery carbonation. The dark malt provides a bit of bitterness in the finish as does a light hop character. The sweetness somehow makes me think of lactose (though I don't think they used that here). This has quite a bit of body for a brew of this strength; described by a medium heft and a certain palate sticking quality. Flavors of raisin, dark caramel, touches of roast (even a touch of burn acidity) and cocoa powder all meld together in the middle of this brew.

Not a bad beer, the aroma is a bit flawed by Lager standards, but I like that this is a full flavored beer that is light enough to still be an easily quaffed brew.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark ruby with a tan head. Nose is bland and almost non-existent. Flavor is mildly sweet with almost a porter like back end quality (but still not much to speak of). A fair amount of sweetness, but not much else to mention. Feel is slightly on the thicker side, but still borders on nearly thin. Drinkable, sure. It is a decent brew, but not anything overly unique. With anything that comes from so far, I think if you can get it fresh, of course it will be better and worth trying. But if it has been sitting around for a long time, or is traveling an even longer distance that NY (where I got mine), then I can see how it would alter your tasting of it and it might end up being one you wished you had avoided.

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Photo of Padron4KM
1.96/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

500 ml brown bottle. No freshness date noted.

Light ruby with a thin espresso colored head.

Aroma is lightly roasted, lightly sweet.

Flavor is almost non-existent. Light roasted malt, some watered down fruit, and corn syrup.
Thin lifeless body. Couldn't finish the bottle, because it was that boring

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Photo of yelterdow
3.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Found at Smart Buy in Fort Lee, NJ... tall 16.9 oz. bottle with gold foil at the top. Served at just over fridge temperature in an English pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a dark cola with crimson hues within... the head crackles loudly and peaks at about an inch. After settling, there is nothing left but a thin film that doesn't quite stretch fully across the top. No lacing at all.

Smell- Sweet, dark, plummy malts abound... an absolutely delectable nose. I'm even getting some molasses and sarsaparilla, bringing an old world character to the beer. Certainly an aromatic feast that exceeds my expectations.

Taste- The spicy, rich palate offers a nutty character and a unique mix of dark fruit and chocolate... reminiscent of a doppelbock, it's big in flavor. The finish, long-lasting and quite tasty, is somewhat cloying; there is an overrriding sweetness that shadows the more subtle, enjoyable flavors.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- This beer's Achilles heel, the biting carbonation rips into the mouth and creates an unsafe environment for the teeth, gums, and any other random friends living inside. Gassy and overly effervescent, the resulting burps are annoying and unwelcome after the first few endearing performances. A hell of a tasting.

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Photo of PEBKAC
4.12/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A gold foil wrapped cap sits atop this 500ml bottle. A nice crack alerts me as I pop the bottle open.

A weak head comming from this dark, ruby hued brew. As it glugs along, nothing develops, but the sweet aroma fills the air. A little roasted something, alongside stale nuts & oats. Malt House indeed. :)

Taste is much the same, but a nutty, almost almond-like flavor makes its presence known. A bit of smoke is in here too. Nothing approaching rauchbier levels though. Body is light, slightly smooth at the finish. The carbonation suits it well. Quite enjoyable, but I have such an urge for ribs now, I'm going to have to sit on the rest of these for a bit.

Not bad for $1.50. :)

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is really dark with a small 1/4" head of tan bubbles. The aroma is reminiscent of rich dark caramel. It has a molasses like aroma to it also that gives it a rummy edge. There is also some roast in the aroma giving the beer the impression of having dark fruit in it.

The flavor is sweet and somewhat syrupy that is definitely malt driven. There is a little roast there to linger with the flavor for some time. It has a very clean and sweet flavor overall. After the beer warms a bit, there is a more noticeable slick feeling that goes with it to give the impression that there was an Oatmeal addition to the grain bill.

This is a pretty good beer. It comes across to me as much as a mild Baltic Porter as anything. It is a little hard to classify, but it is still an enjoyable beer just the same. I would drink this beer again.

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Photo of Daredevil
2.35/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Slovakian dark beers have traditionally been rather soft and sweet, altough a new generation seems to go a different direction.
This brew is particularly sticky with a toffee like taste (someone called it liquid marshmallows) and some roasted notes. Some might like it, I do not.

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Photo of orsulacp
3.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer at an Israeli restaurant in Tempe, AZ, Sabuddy. They had beers from Poland, Hungary, and Bosnia; the food was great and the service was exceptional. The beer came in a 500ml bottle with a foil wrapping. It was black with some ruby highlights and a decent tan head. There wasn't much of a smell; I got a hint of caramel and some smokiness but not much else. The taste made up for the smell, good roasted malt flavor and a hint of espresso. It drank fairly easily, and was quite refreshing.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.62/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't quite know the appeal of these obscure eastern European lagers but I must like them because they keep ending up in my fridge. Could be the fact that they're usually pretty cheap although not as cheap as in their native lands.
Dark brown color that reminds me of a porter but almost completely lacking in head. Nose is dark malt but fairly faint. Fairly flat looking overall.
Flavor is brisk and tempered but fairly satisfying. Could use more hop balance. Mouthfeel is pretty solid for an anonymous Eurolager.
It's a good attempt at a dark lager by a brewery more famous for pilsner and goldens.

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Photo of russpowell
2.32/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Must've gotten a bad bottle, but call them they way you see'um when there are no obvious signs of something amiss...

Appearance: Mahogany with nice looking dark tan head that dropped off to nothing too quick. Some bubbles cling to the side of the glass upon the pour and then like the head vanish. No head retention or lacing

Smell: Toasted malt, doughy notes, licorice and a metallic smell ( think steel weights with a little rust), weird

Taste: Roasted malt, dough/shortbread notes, licorice, and raisuny/pruney taste

MF: Thin with almost no carbonation

Not drinkable unless your senses are AWOL. Had potential, but tasteslike a dunkles that was left out all night..

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Photo of Stubbie1
2.97/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark Lager that pours a deep born with hints of red. Large off white head quickly fades to nothing. No action in the glass but hints of carbonation in the mouth. Aroma is sweet like candy. Taste matches the nose sweet up front with a mild bitterness midway and in the end. Maybe the style or the beer is out of its prime (no freshness date) but it didn’t do anything for me, average but to be sure I will try it again.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a large pilsner glass. Dark ruby, almost black. Very little head, no retention. Sweet, malty aroma. Taste is very sweet up front, slightly nutty, mollasses is prominent. Very tasty, but the sweetness goes unchecked without any hop bite to reel it back in. I still give it good marks for taste though because it is a tasty beer. Somewhat thin in the mouthfeel, needs more carbonation to add body. Sweetness hurts drinkability. I'm glad I tried it and at $1.49 its hard to go wrong, but there are better examples of the style. Lev being one.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 1 Pint + 0.9 fl.oz. bottle. White lined foil covers the neck and crown cap and has the words ‘Topvar’ in red on it. The main white label has a gold and red edge to it. Simply called ‘Topvar Dark Beer’ there is little risk of this Slovak beer confusing foreigners. No strength or freshness date.

Appearance: Dark brown turbid body that has some ruddy chestnut twinges. Decent light brown head forms easily into a super smooth covering that builds into a nice looking ½” thick carpet. Average carbonation but little lacing.

Nose: Three Words. Bonfire Night Toffee!!! Hell Yeah, that’s the 5th November when us British, specifically the English, burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes on large Bonfires all over the UK and set off Fireworks in celebration of the discovery and prevention of the Catholic Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. In fact, the whole aura of this brew has a “Guy Fawkes Night” smoky aroma about it. Spent Fireworks, viscous Home Made Black Toffee, Sticky Parkin and a warm air thick with fiery red floating embers. Sweet Roasted Malts linger with a smoky Rauch feel.

Taste: Lovely smoked roasted start, molasses commence, thick malts and a decent burnt caramel middle, with a dry but sweet Bonfire Toffee ending. Dry and sweet, back and forth……Molasses and dark plum fruit laden malts that finish with a chewy toffee exposition. Damn tasty.

Mouthfeel: Lovely creamy feel that has some dark chocolate and a cocoa feel mixed in with a Porter-esque facet that mingles well with a decent English Brown Ale body. What style is this anyway?

Drinkability: A damn tasty brew that drinks *extremely* well. Loved this one. Goes well with a very hot and spicy Fresh Cod Madras Curry [that’s a home made creation in case you wondered].

Overall: Now this is not that bad actually, very Czech Dark Lager style, a very malty brew but with a thin body. I actually tried this for the first time when I was in Bratislava in [the then] Czechoslovakia back in 1991 whilst on a BackPacking tour of Europe with my best friend. Is this a Dark Lager, a Porter, A Dunkel, a Brown Ale…….who knows, hard to nail this one down….nevertheless, I love the Bonfire Toffee feel that this exhibits throughout. Maybe I’m just a sentimentalist, but I do like this one. Tasty…worth trying if you’re anally retentive when it comes to styles – try this one and BM me when you make a decision.

Robert Catesby would no doubt have approved of this one.

Na Zdravi!!

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.42/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm re-reviewing this, as the first bottle was beyond it's "best before" date. Tall brown half liter bottle with a colorful lable featuring a buxom blond tapping a dark brew and giving a knowing look. The label calls this a Schwarzbier, and christens it "Marina" (or maybe that's the blonde's name...) Ingredients conform to the purity law. Best before 4/1/05, I opened it on 5/29/04.

Pours a dark but clear burgundy under an elusive tan head. The initial pour produced almost nothing, while the follow on very hard pour generated one finger, which settled very quickly. For 5.0% ABV, that's pretty poor. The nose is full of sweet caramel. The mouth is very prickly and heavy with sweetness. The initial taste impression is caramel candy, with some nice bready malt in the background. This is followed by a mild but distinctive hoppy bite in the finish, which does not last, ceding the aftertaste to the caramel. This is an OK, reasonably pleasant dark beer. Sure, I'd have it again.

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Photo of WesWes
3.9/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice dark brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a clean, yet malty scent with a sweet refreshing finish. The taste is decent. It has a light malty flavor that goes down smooth and finishes dry, yet creamy. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a great dark lager. It has good aroma and flavor; a real good drinker.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears at first like a stout, but there is a litttle light that can shine through. Smells like very roasted malts, so much so that it reminds me of the gingerbread smell of Sheaf Stout. LIttle tan head that dissipates pretty quickly. Has a very burnt malt flavor, a very sweet beer, with some hints of coffee, damn near a stout. Makes me think that "Dark Beer" is Slovak for "Stout". ;-)

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Translucent reddish-brown color with an light brown head. Smells sweet and of roasted malts. Significant malt taste inconsistent with a dunkel. Tastes more like an unhoppy porter because it really seems to have same ale-like qualities. Tastes low in alcohol but big on taste. I believe it's brewed to be rather weak (in it's style, though), around 5% or so. I like this dunkel because it tastes bigger than what it is. It's a little sweet which cuts down on it's drinkability, but, overall, a solid dunkel.

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Photo of sparkydoyle
1.81/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Maybe I got a bad bottle. Skunky nose, very little hops flavor that did not balance the sacherine sweetness. Strangely colored dark brown head rose quickly, and hung in there like laundry suds. This is the first beer in a long time that I didn't finish.

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Photo of aaronh
3.57/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber color, topped by a light tan head. The aroma is a very pronounced caramel and sweet malt smell. The taste is also very sweet up front, but then a good bitterness kicks in and cleanses the palate. Aftertatse is a nice sustained hoppiness as well. Mouthfeel is pretty solid, with the carbonation being just enough to support the beer. Drinkability is fair, but the sweetness just starts wearing on you a bit. This is sort of like a combination between a dark lager and a sweet brown ale. Not bad, but definitely not a favorite. Glad I split the 500ml bottle with a friend. A good beer to try first before you buy any quantity of it. If you like sweet beers, and you like lagers, you'll probably like this one. I'm glad I experienced it, but doubt I would buy again.

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Photo of Gusler
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On the pour a deep blackberry color, with the head portly in size, the structure frothy, color a light chocolate, dissipates quite quickly, leaving a thin covering sheet to obscure the glass. Malt dominates the nose, sweet, fresh, with a slight hint of toasted grains, start is sweet, the top skeletal. Finish has a delicate acidity, the hops pleasant and purposeful in their spiciness, quite dry and long lasting aftertaste. As it is 105 degrees Fahrenheit as I write this review, these rather “Thin Waisted” lagers and pils, due have their place.

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Photo of Suds
3.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very dark, bronwish-red beer with a large, stable tan head. Aroma isn't pronounced, but is of malt and roasted grains, with hints of dark fruit. Taste is very malty, with a very sweet foretaste. I detect cherry and licorice flavors, and the finish is a little spicy/peppery. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy; medium to light in body. There's a bit of a metallic taste flaw. Overall, it's an enjoyable, solidy good beer.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I may be totally wrong about the style here. The aroma has the earmarks of porter, but the texture is too light. Is it a bottom-fermented porter, so popular in the Baltics and Scandanavia, or a chocolately dunkel lager? I tossed a dart and guessed the latter, but I freely invite one and all to
correct that .
Creamy brown, sturdy head, atop a black body. Aromas of cocoa, nuts, almonds. Fresh nose, with a sweet, buttery tinge. Full body, low hops, very pleasant and mellow finish. Very malty, sweet, satisfying. Just wish I knew what it was.

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Topvar Dark Beer from Topvar Brewery
Beer rating: 3.34 out of 5 with 25 ratings