For my wife’s birthday, I got her tickets to a concert here in town. Before the concert, we decided to go out to dinner at Jim’s Steakhouse. It’s one of these old school steak house places with dark wood everywhere and a piano in the bar. I was looking forward to the concert and wanted a couple beers with dinner beforehand. Like most places, when I asked the waiter what craft beers they had, he responded, “Miller, Miller Light, Bud, Bud Light, Bud Select…” After going back to check to see what they had, he mentioned they had Heineken and Heineken Dark. I haven’t had the dark yet, and wanted to add it to the list. I was surprised when it was delivered to me in a brown bottle… I didn’t know Heineken made a dark lager or a brown bottle.
Location: Poured into a small glass at Jim’s Steakhouse in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 5% ABV, ~ 174 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It was a fairly clear dark reddish brown color with a thin cream-colored, foamy head, which fell somewhat quickly. There were some light malty, bready, and caramel aromas to it.
Taste & Feel: The body was light and the mouthfeel was slightly crisp, but mostly smooth. It started out with a bit of a sweet caramel maltiness and light breadiness. In the middle, the caramel flavors became a little bit stronger and were a bit more roasty and grainy rather than sweet. It finished with a light roasty caramel flavor that didn’t last too long in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: I had this beer with a prime rib and baked potato. It went nicely with my meal, as the light caramel flavors and roastiness added to the seasoned prime rib. The light caramel flavors and light body would make it a good pairing for a thick, hearty steak.
Overall Impression: I wasn’t sure what to expect and was a bit surprised. I was expecting the skunkiness many are familiar with from Heineken, but there was none. Instead, it reminded me of a lighter version of a maibock or oktoberfest beer. Overall, the flavors were pretty light and I found it to be pretty drinkable.