Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beerlao Dark Lager



Continuing my exploration of random beers from random countries around the world, this time I look at a dark lager made in the Asian country of Laos (right next to Vietnam). Since this is a "dark lager" and not just a pale lager like the others we often see, would this be any different or just the same old macro lager only darker? Watch the review for a surprising answer.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (630) - Albany, USA - JUN 8, 2011
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a tumbler.

Appearance: Straight brown, mostly opaque but some transparency to it. Large sediment chunks floating throughout the body. Forms a small, tan, foamy head with low retention and lacing.

Smell: Slightly sweet notes of iced coffee and toffee, but with a strong generic lager backbone aroma.

Taste: For a lager from a country not associated with quality beer, Beerlao Dark Lager is impressive by just how flavorful it is. The beer is remarkable sweet with flavors of coffee ice cream, toasted malts and a pleasant aftertaste. I’ve never encountered an American dark lager with this much flavor, so to get this kind of palate from Laos is very surprising (and pleasantly so).

The palate here isn’t as thick and sticky as a stout, nor is it as roasted-tasting, as it does have the thinner, lighter taste of a lager. The coffee-like flavor incorporates slight bitterness, but complemented by a very tasty confectionary sweetness of sugar, cream and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to the letter - neither thick nor thin. Not fizzy, either. Residual sweet flavors too.

Drinkability: The bottle indicates this beer weighs in at 6.4% ABV, but it definitely do not drink as such. The alcohol probably accounts for the robustness, but has no effect on the drinkability. The medium mouthfeel and low carbonation make for an utterly smooth lager. The sweet, flavorful palate makes it something of a liquid dessert, although I’d imagine it would pair well with authentic Laotian food.

Overall, this is a diamond in the rough and a hidden gems of beer stores everywhere. Give it a try and you’ll be see what I mean.

Grade: 8/10