839: Beerlao Dark Lager

839 - Beerlao Dark LagerName: Beerlao Dark Lager
Brewery: Lao Brewing Company
Country of Origin: Laos
City & State: NA
Style: Euro Dark Lager
Alcohol Content (ABV): 6.50%
First Brewed: 2005
Price: $1.99

Tasting Notes
Chestnut brown with a whisper of toffee and freshly ground coffee on the nose; the palate is smooth, with more toffee, dried fruit, and caramel notes. Hoppy, bittersweet finish.

Ricky’s Thoughts

There are two beers on the list from the Lao Brewing Company. This is one of them, and we grabbed this the other night at Total Wine & More. We spent $100, so we have enough beer to last us a few weeks! I think shopping for beer is my favorite part. Anyway, this beer is brewed in Laos, a small country in Southeast Asia. I need to plan a trip to Asia. There is some great diving over there, and it is a part of the world I have never been.

I don’t recall ever having this beer before, but I do like the Euro dark lager style. The tasting notes mention toffee and coffee… and while I do not expect a lot of those aromas (or flavor) I am sure it will be easy drinking and enjoyable. I didn’t realize they used rice in the brewing process. Makes sense, and I will be curious to see if that changes the flavor of the beer. Let’s drink!

In the Glass: This is darker than I expected. It has a deep dark red color… almost brown. The head is nice, too. For a beer that I would assume is a domestic to Laos, I didn’t expect it to have much character. But the head is nice and white, and it has a decent lace.

Nose: I thought I could smell this as I was pouring it in the glass, but Sheryl was making tea. She is on a tea kick right now… and I will admit, the stuff smells good. Doesn’t taste very good, but smells good. At any rate, this beer smells like a traditional Euro pale lager. Beers like this are typically sweet, and have a lot of different flavors going on. Hopefully this one won’t disappoint.

Flavor: That’s actually really good. I am hooked on this home-grown rice thing. A few weeks ago, I had a wild rice double IPA that was amazing. The rice really came through in the flavor. The rice really comes through in this one, too. I can see what they mean about the beer being easy to drink. Bravo Lao Brewing Company. You have just thoroughly impressed me with this release!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is soft, mellow, and leaves a nice little pillow of flavor on the back of the palate. They claim the rice is what mellows this beer… and if I didn’t know about the rice beforehand, I would comment on how easy this is to drink. I wonder if this beer would age for two or three years. Beers like this shouldn’t, but as mellow as this is, I wonder what it would taste like with seer carbonation.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is solid, as well. There is a hint of malt and some sublet hoppy characters creeping in there. If you didn’t know this beer was over 6% ABV, you could drink 6 of these and not even realize it! Very easy to drink with a lovely flavor. I bet this would also pair well with food.

For our first experience with Beerlao Euro Dark Lager, I am very impressed. I will be buying more of this in the near future. I bet this would be a great beer to pair with some brown rice sushi or with an Asian chicken dish.

Beerlao Dark Lager – The bottle says: “NA”

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Ricky commented that today’s beer smelled really good when he poured it into the glass.  It actually doesn’t smell too bad.  It’s a dark brown color, which I like.  There are a lot of little tiny bubbles floating around in there, which I find interesting, since it looks to me like a brown ale, and you don’t usually see too much carbonation in those.  It smells… nutty.  That’s the most I can smell out of it.  Also, the head looks better today than the beer we had yesterday.  It’s thick, but not as… fluffy.  Anyway, let’s find out how it tastes!

Well, the first thing I taste is the foam in that head.  It kind of just floats right into your mouth.  First off, this beer isn’t hoppy at all.  It doesn’t really taste carbonated, either.  It actually reminds me mostly of a brown ale.  But the flavor is very balanced and solid.  Ricky really likes it, and while I think it’s pretty good, I’m not sure I’m quite as impressed with it as he is.  I wish I could give it a 3.5 rating, because that’s where I think it falls.  The nutty flavor of a brown ale, but I’ve also had some better brown ales, like Moose Drool.  But it’s not bad, and certainly very different for an Asian beer.  To me, they are usually pretty boring.  This is one I might buy again, so I guess I will give it a 4.

Rating: 4/5

838 bottles of beer on the wall…

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