1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Barbarossa Double Dark Lager - Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Barbarossa Double Dark LagerBarbarossa Double Dark Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

171 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 171
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 5
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Christian Moerlein Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pwoods on 04-03-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Moerlein Lager House, Cincinnati, OH

A: The beer is clear but very dark reddish-brown amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that consistently left a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of sweet toasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of sweet toasted malts along with some hints of caramel. Little, if any bitterness from the hops is noticeable.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and relatively smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and makes a good accompaniment to food but seems like it could use a little more complexities in the flavors to make it a beer to drink on its own.

metter98, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Double Dark Lager isn't double dark, but it is dark burnt orange with a dark bronze glow when backlit with the rising sun. The sandstone colored cap peaked at two fingers and has the sort of tight-bubbled texture that promotes persistence. It's a good look.

The nose is pretty much right on the money for the style. It has the earthy nuttiness of Munich malt, along with dark caramel, tobacco and mushy fallen apples. That's a pretty complex aroma for a lager. This could be the best Moerlein brew yet.

Barbarossa is better beer than Lager House Original Golden Helles. I'm far from an expert on the style, but this one seems pretty authentic. Then again, Cincinnati has a strong German brewing tradition, so it isn't that much of a surprise.

Whatever malts were used (besides Munich dark, as noted on the brewery's website) provide plenty of flavor and precisely the right amount of sweetness. Flavors include brown bread, steely caramel, bruised apples, tobacco leaves and a drizzle of honey. Munich dunkel is far from my favorite style, but BDDL's quality and drinkability can't be denied.

The mouthfeel isn't far off the pace. It's big enough for the style and ABV, and is properly bubbled. Something is keeping it from getting over the hump, but I'm not quite sure what.

Christian Moerlein's Barbarossa Double Dark Lager is one of the finest Munich dunkels in recent memory. It's also something that just about anyone should enjoy. If these guys don't think of it as their flagship beer, they should.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I figured that the extra malts would try to push this beer into Bock territories, but the soft malt with a hint of toast stopped shy of heavy or overly malty. The beer pours a deep amber with brown highlights, good head formation but only fair retention. Aromas hit right on a Bock style, giving up a deep malt and bready profile, but light on the melanoidins and only slight hints of fruit. Flavors are muted in comparison, stopping at the top end of the style for the toast, toffee, and hop flavors. Textures are not as heavy as expected; in fact if you hadn't told me it had an increased malt bill, I may have missed it. Finishes sweeter than most German counterparts but is expected. We'll call it somewhere between a Dunkel and Bock. Still nice and enjoyable.

Notes from '08 NHC.

BEERchitect, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with a smallish, wispy, ivory-hued head.

Smell: Sweetish, toasted maltiness smelling of dark bread brushed with a thin layer of carob sauce along with some faint dried fruit notes.

Taste: A pleasant malty start -- toasted dark breadiness, a teeny tiny hint of roast, and sweet tastes of carob and nuts. Small hint of fruitiness. Just a touch of spicy hops and bitterness. Finishes semi-sweet with some enduring toasted malt qualities.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A bit reminiscent of Ayinger Altbairisch. A clean, malty, dark lager that, for me at least, has plenty of drinkability appeal. Worth a try.

ChainGangGuy, May 26, 2009
Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Grabbed one o' these guys last year after X-Mas Break...decided to give it another go (as I couldn't remember it...). It pours a clear dark-ish garnet topped by a half-finger of short-lived off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, dark toffee, rye bread, and dark greens. The taste is very similar, heavier on the rye bread, with a deep orange-rind bitterness bubbling up from beneath. A splash of what seems like cedar makes its way in there as well. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a decidedly wet feel. Overall, an okay brew, but nothing fully clicks with me. Nothing truly offensive, though.

TMoney2591, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from moose3285. Thanks!

Appearance: Chestnut brown, dark but perfectly clear, with a thin off-white head that settles to a ring.

Smell: Malty but very clean. Nut brittle and toasted cereal grains come to mind.

Taste & mouthfeel: Pretty malt-forward stuff but not actually terribly sweet. Toasty and nutty with a hint of caramel; drinks much like a brown but with the cleanness and light body of a lager. The finish is only mildly bitter, leaving a hint of nutty sweetness on the tongue.

Notes: Second winner in a row I've had from this brewery. Very clean and drinkable stuff.

largadeer, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brewdlyhooked13 for this trade, poured from the 12oz brown bottle into my lager mug.

A - Deep Ruby w/ a ruddy brown appearance and a tan cap of 3 fingers that is fluffy and has a tight bead

S - Bready w/ a sweet dark malt arom w/ a slight roasted nut scent

M - Mild sweetness, creamy w/ a slight char feel in the background w/ moderate carbonation. The finish is roasty possibly from caramelized malt

T - A mildy full flavor of roasted malt w/ a caramel taste and bits of acidity on the flipside of the toasty dark lager. The flavor is sweet, but not overdone w/ good balance. There is a mild roast coffee flavor w/ hops adding some spice. The malt is creamy w/ the breadiness of the lager yeast. Overall the maltiness is smooth and very tasty

D - A fine dark lager, very very drinkable for me. I just enjoy the smoothness and malty flavor w/ balance of gently spiced hops in addition to the subtle roast. To me this went down great and could be session worthy for sure

Slatetank, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

wrightst, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of chinchill
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz undated bottle purchased in Ohio and served in a Belgian snifter.

A: clear, dark reddish-brown with a small but moderately durable head. Some lacing.

Aroma: very sweet light and medium roasted malts.

Taste; still sweet, but thankfully not as sweet as the aroma. Still, a little sweeter than optimal. Rather simple and very malt dominant.

Feel: smooth; medium-light body seems a bit thin; medium-light carbonation.

O: a decent Tmavy.

chinchill, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of Bitterbill
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this bottle in a trade with zapata. Thanks Ben!

This pours a clear red brown with a 1finger head of foam. Some lacing here and the foam is not shrinking very fast at all. 1 lovely brew in my glass.. The colour, I think, is spot on for a Dunkel.

The smell has notes of roasted malt, some sweet malt, and some good hoppiness that smells very fruitlike.

The taste is very nice. Some nice sweet malt notes with a touch of roasted malt, some light nutty flavour, and a decent amount of hop bitterness in the background to take the edge off the sweetness and put this in a very nice balance. Yum. There's also a touch of earthiness right before the finish which itself is slightly sweet. Again. Yum, and a very nice brew to sit with and session with.

Imo, this is a great example of the style, a style that I don't have a lot of experience with but the ones I have tried generally are too light in the flavour department. Not so with this one. Highly recommended!

Bitterbill, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Hopheadjeffery, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of bluejacket74
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a chestnut brown/red color with a half-inch off-white head that went away quickly. Lacing is average. The aroma is bready malt, caramel, brown sugar, and some raisins. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's some toasted malt and light hoppiness noticable too. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with above average carbonation. Drinkability is decent, it's not hard to drink at all. I could have this as an occasional session beer. Overall it's a decent enough beer, it's certainly worth trying if you haven't had it before.

bluejacket74, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of SixPackSunday poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, deep copper with a small off-white head that dissipates quickly to a ring with no lacing. The aroma has a lot of roasted malts with sweet dark fruits and caramel on top. A hint of hops in the nose as well. More of the same (in a good way) in the taste with a huge sweet caramel malt backbone and only a hint of the roasted quality in the finish. Hops make an appearance in the aftertaste with the faintest bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, and sweet. This is an extremely drinkable dunkel and a very good beer overall.

gford217, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a dark reddish brown. A small white head site firmly on top and leaves light patches of lacing behind.
Lots of breads aroma and dark fruits are most evident in the nose. There's also a firm hops presence, and toffee sweetness. It's good and balanced, but there's a medicinal, astringent note to it.
The taste follows suit, with a light caramel and toffee sweetness taking the middle of a flavor book-ended by malts up front and hops in the back. There's also a light nuttiness in the flavor that wasn't so much in the aroma. An underlying tone of roasted, earthy and mildly bitter notes round out a nice balance. Unfortunately, the medicine / astringency issues follow through in flavor. It doesn't make it bad, but it detracts. It could be a bad bottle.
This one starts off with a crispness that fades as it goes.It's fairly smooth. I wonder if it's a bad bottle because it seems a tad flat. Body is light to medium.
This wasn't bad, and it's drinkable, but I think it may have been old. I've heard it's good. I'll review again in the future with a fresh bottle.

Brenden, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of Brent
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deep chestnut with moderate, short lived head. Nicely roasted malt flavor at a level appropriate for the style. Just a touch acidic and seemed like it could have used just a bit more sweetness in the malt. According to the label the beer is "slow aged." As opposed to quickly aged, I suppose.

Brent, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

cdwil, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a stange.

4.25 A: Clear light brown color. Two fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is good and a finger of lacing is left.

3.75 S: Roasty and sweet with great balance. Chocolate with caramel and a pleasant toastiness.

3.5 T: Again this has great balance. Rich neutral malty sweetness. Caramel, toastiness, chocolate, roast with a touch of raisiny fruits.

4.5 M: Heavier medium body. Rich, velvety creaminess. Good moderate carbonation. Quite nice here.

3.75 D: Good beer overall. Good flavors with a wonderful mouthfeel.

DavoleBomb, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a dark reddish caramel with a thin light mocha head. Quick-lived, it is at a scant cover inside a minute. Leaves some lacy trails around the glass during the sampling.

Aroma - even biscuit and caramel aromas with a nice balance of roasted grain.

Taste - sweet roasty, caramelly grain. Just a touch buttery, then a light hoppiness for balance post-swallow. A breath of alcohol warmth on the aftertaste along with resonating grain roastiness. Completely tasty for a non-extreme style. It's good.

Mouthfeel - lighter than expected for it's color. Good crispness keeps this one from feeling too heavy.

Drinkability - very much so. I went through several cases before I finally sat down with one to review. Right up there with OTR for my favorite CM beer. Has a great color for a Halloween tasting this fall...

brewdlyhooked13, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of argock
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass.

A: Deep chestnut with foamy 1-2 finger head with average retention and scant lace.

S: Nut and cereal grains with a touch of toasting

T: Rich and full-flavored with a strong nod toward toasted pale malt and cereal grain with a nutty finish accentuated by a bit of grassy hops

M: A little fizzy but still pretty smooth and more enjoyable with a slight bit of warming. Aftertaste is more grainy than I thought it would be.

D: Another nice offereing from the Moerlein crew. Not as good as OTR Ale but still solid.

argock, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear dark amber, ring only. Some lace.

S - Roasted malt, light, with caramel sweet in background.

T - Dry, toasty malt, thin on sweet malt. Snappy.

M - Nice blend of charred malt and bitter. Small sweet malt is glue between the two.

D - I like this one. Could session.

srandycarter, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Christian Moerlein- Barbarossa

A- Deep reddish copper, clear, with a thcik filmy head.
S- Sweet bready malt with brown sugar.
T- Sweet brown sugar and molasses malt. Toasted bread crust and a slight caramel/ toffee touch.
M- very sweet and malty. Thicker malt body and finish. Slight hoppy bitterness in the end.

Overall- Not too shabby. Good drinkablilty makes this a sessionable beer.

NJpadreFan, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of Overlord
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks for the extra, RoyMunson!

Pours a dark brown with ruby/amber highlights. Interesting. I had to go look up with this beer was, as I've never seen one quite like it before. Thin white crust of a head.

Smells surprisingly earthy and hoppy, with a background of roasted malt. The taste is surprisingly balanced, pruney/figgy malt blending with that same earthiness.

Very, very nice. I would drink this by the literful in Bavaria.

Overlord, Jun 28, 2008
Photo of RedneckBeerz
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

RedneckBeerz, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of matjack85
4.6/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Found this 12oz brown bottle at Binny's in Glen Ellyn, IL for $1.79. There was no freshness date or born on date anywhere to be found.

The beer pours a reddish brown color that takes on a clear reddish amber hue when held to the light. It produced a 1½ finger creamy tan head that disappeared in less than a minute and left no lacing at all.

The smell was very inviting. Roasted malt aroma blended with sweet caramel, chocolate, and baked bread smells, along with a faint whiff of alcohol.

The taste was rich in roasted malt flavor, perhaps even a little bit burnt. Caramel sweetness, bready grain, and the flavor of crushed nuts all add to the enjoyment. There is not much hop bitterness in here but there is a bit of a tart tanginess to help balance it out.

I would have expected more of a creamy, thicker mouthfeel in a beer as sweet as this, but surprisingly it sticks to style and remains on the lighter side with a hefty dose of carbonation.

This stuff is really easy to drink with low and almost undetectable alcohol. Wish I had gotten a 6 pack instead of a single bottle.

matjack85, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of Brew33
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Brew33, Jun 12, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Barbarossa Double Dark Lager from Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.