Penn Dark - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn DarkPenn Dark

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BA SCORE
87
very good

415 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 415
Reviews: 255
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 32
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Munich and various roasted malts give it a very malty, rich flavor with a hint of burnt flavor. 100% imported Hallertau hops, moderate bitterness and aroma.

(Beer added by: SheepNutz on 08-27-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 415 | Reviews: 255 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dungledauf
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Growler from Penn Brewery on July 10.
Appearance: Great looking dark lager with gorgeous dark hue, no lacing, and no carbonation.
Smell: Very malty sweet.
Taste: The malty character came through, but the beer was creamy. Expect this style to be clean with a crisp ending.
Mouthfeel: The beer was very flat, under- carbonated with a medium body.
Drinkability: I have had better Penn Darks from the brewery in a bottle and on draft. Certainly would try this again because of the freshness. Not sure why this batch had a creamy mouthfeel, flatness, and low carbonation.

Photo of asabreed
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber, not a lot of lacing, not a lot of retention, which seems to be something I've been saying for a while lately, especially with these "darker" beers.

Smell: I get some biscuit, some mild darker roasted malt sweetness, and that's about it. There's just really not a lot here.

Taste: Again, not a lot here. Some darker mildly roasted malt flavors. A bit of residual sweetness. The faintest of hops. Seems way too toned-down all over the place to be a legitimate German brew.

Mouthfeel: Nicely coating and seemingly fairly light, with good carbonation, moderate, enough to let the flavors come in without feeling too heavy or over-carbonated.

Drinkability: A solid brew, but for me nothing special. I'm starting to believe I either just don't have an affinity for many German styles, or a lot of these domestic breweries of such brews are overrated. There's flavor going on here, and I could drink these pretty easily, but I don't find anything more than above average that I want to keep returning to.

Photo of ActonBrewer
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear dark brown

S: Smokey aroma.

T: Smokey, chocolate. A lingering taste of blood (yes blood) mid-palate. Very strange.

M: Decent carbonation. Leaves a somewhat metallic aftertaste.

O: Ehh... I probably wouldn't revisit any of the beers from this brewery. If I had paid for the bottles I would have been far more disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a dense but clear walnut brown body with a slight amber red hint to it in the light. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles and a perfectly smooth creamy light tan head that last and last.

S- This beer has a smooth but soft green hop note with a soft biscuit malt note in the background.

T- This beer has a smooth dry pale malt with lightly toasted malt flavor. There are some pot caramel note and the dry biscuit flavor comes through with a finish of bitterness that might be from hops or from dark malt it is hard to tell.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a light dry finish.

D- This beer has very soft flavors and some dark malt notes but not much depth to them.

Photo of Cylinsier
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the tap.

Pours a pretty dark brown like coffee with a tan head that's not too thick.

Smells malty and a bit sweet like dark sugar.

The taste is like malts and brown sugar, plus a bit of toastiness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and on the thinner side. Not very carbonated in the feel.

A pretty decent and easy to drink dunkel, but I've had better.

Photo of wattoclone
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My son who lives in Pittsburgh and knows my love for dark beer bought me a case of this for Christmas last year at the Penn Brewery. I used to be able to find it in my local distributors near Philly but since 2008 it has disappeared. The Penn Dark I used to purchase locally prior to 2009 was somewhat richer in flavor and aroma, but the 2012 version was definitely fresher which is important for this style.

This review is based on the newer 2012 batch. It pours a medium brown with light tan head that persists during the session. Aroma is sweet malt with aromatic notes of vanilla. The taste is a quick burst of roasted malt and hints of vanilla with a rather polite short lived bitter after note. I still like it slightly better than the locally available dunkel from Sly Fox but not enough to drive for 5 hours.

Photo of lionking
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Poured from bottle to glass. Small head on the beer with some lacing as I drank it. Dark brown color almost like weak coffee.

Smell. Roasted malts with coffee.

Taste. Dark malty flavor with coffee

Mouthfeel. Ok but a little on the watery side.

Drinkabiliy. Honestly I was a little disapointed with this one.

Photo of antott0523
3.14/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: As brown as the bottle from which it poured. Thin beige head that dissipates. The dark color hides any visible carbonation.

Smell: The yeast comes through with notes of iron. Toasted bread with faint notes bitter chocolate.

Taste: Bread and chocolate. Toasted malt. Limited amount of hop bitterness. The finish is nice, with dry toasted bread.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth finish.

Overall: Not the greatest of the dark lagers that I have had, but it is decent. I prefer the higher carbonation of a St. Pauli Girl or Heineken, but this one probably has some nicer flavors.

Photo of jaluria
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First beer I've tried from Penn Brewing Co.

Poured a dark brown color with subtle dark copper/rust hues at the bottom of my goblet. Heavy carbonation with a thick, frothy head. Heavy lacing, entire rings were left behind. Aromas of alcohol, spoiled fruit, cream, and yeast; together these scents were rather unpleasant. The taste was as might be expected with fruit juice flavors mixing with sweet malt and yeast flavors. Somewhat astringent flavor in association with the yeast and fruit flavors. Semi-sweet with a creamy texture, but not complex or refreshing. Slightly tart and bitter finish.

Photo of nsmartell
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From bottle to standard pint glass.

Appearance: Poured out a nice brown color with a foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Roasted malt, light caramel and slightly hoppy.

Taste: Roasted malt and hops, but not much else.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium-bodied beer.

Drinkability: Not my favorite dunkel I have ever tried. A little lacking in flavor for me.

Photo of woodychandler
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This arrived with a big, deep-tan head above a dark brown colored beer, like cola, with ruby highlights. The nose had a slightly sweetish aspect. The mouthfeel was thin, but approaching medium, not out-and-out watery. I perceived notes of licorice and chocolate in the mouth and on the tongue. The finish was lingering with a semi-sweet chocolaty aftertaste.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean deep amber to brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, small roast, caramel, and small faint lager like notes. In the taste, coffee, caramel sweetness, and faint hints of lager. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry hint of caramel in the aftertaste. Nice roasty flavors with lager notes under all of it.

Photo of hayesez
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received, along with numerous other locals, from ceptrone84.

Poured into my Pilsner Urquell glass. Dark caramel color that stacked up nicely in the pilsner glass. Small amounts of bubbly sandstone head grace the surface.

Very malty nose with a fair amount of graininess. Small amounts of sweet caramel are also present.

The taste is fairly straightforward. Very malty with a small amount of roastiness. The sweet caramel is also in there, but you have to dig deep. The graininess in the nose is not quite as evident in the taste, but definitely still there. This beer certainly does not stand out; it is not overly complex and tastes very much as I expected. Standard.

Medium-bodied, light carbonation. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this is a good representation; you get what you would expect. Very, very easy to drink.

Consumed: 3/8/2010

Photo of JPMcKirk
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Petegrieco
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of RupertRonco
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of DrJay
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, chestnut colour with a nice reddish brown hue, topped by beige foam. Head retention was alright and lacing was on the sticky side. Quite nice looking. Aromas were of sweet malts, caramel, and a hint of roast, with a pleasant nutty character. Low bitterness, definitely on the sweet side, with a mild grainy/roasty quality. Bitterness became a little stronger in the finish. Lightish bodied with moderate carbonation and a little residual sugar left behind by the yeast. Not bad at all, but a little too sweet for my palate without having a full, malty character to back it up.

Photo of Illos
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of mjw06
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

dark mahogany color with a small one finger size tan head that dissipates fairly quickly

barley malt with caramel tones and a metallic tone as well

a sharp malt taste that glides across the tongue all the way to the finish. the taste doesnt conjure up the presence that the smell has. though it does mock it with a little metallic accompaniement. for some odd reason it always bothers me when a breweries "dark" selection has less taste than its regular of flagship version. this is such the case with penn dark, as it carries significantly less taste and complexity than penn pilsner. little to no residual. not very rich at all and overall a dissapointing taste.

light to medium body, kind of thin overall in the feel of the malt, and slides right by to the back. little heavy on the carbonation on the side.

despite its flaws, overall its a good beer that is pretty drinkable and enjoyable. but ill just take a regular penn pils over this anyday.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Side by side with some other Penn stuff. Pours a dark amber brown color with small off white to light khaki head. Aroma is nice, with some sweet dark fruits, light toffee, chocolate notes. Flavor is a lightly spicy chocolate, clean finish, and medium sweetness. Medium bodied with low plus carbonation. A really nice brew that could pass as a winter warmer or a fall cookout beer. I'd have this again.

Photo of PorterPatrol
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a traditional American pint glass, this Pittsburg beer offered a nice clean head with rich dark brown hues often found in German style dark lagers. The brewery is consistent in their beer making quality and this dunkel is another winner with roasted notes along side a teeth-lingering crispness with a subtle sweetness and enjoyable maltiness on the finish.

Photo of schoolboy
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, it is dark and well crafted, with no glaring flaws. No funkiness of any kind, but also not a ton of character.
slight.

The head is pretty thin. The aroma has a slight hint of roasted flavor - very slight. It gets better with warmth as you would expect for the style.

Although this brew is very drinkable, I don't think I will seek it out and I would recommend getting actual German versions of this (they often are just as low priced if not even lower).

Photo of Dogbrick
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark brown color with a medium thin beige head with decent retention. Stringy lacing. Roasted malt and nuts in the nose. Medium body with a smooth mouthfeel. Roasted malt and caramel flavors, along with lightly floral hops. The finish is mildly nutty and sweet and does not last long. Decent overall.

Photo of prototypic
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's clear and very dark brown in color. Head is off white and two fingers deep. Retention was good, but lacing was on the light side.

Smell: Light on the nose. A mix of roasted and caramel malts is noticeable if you stick with. A bit grainy smelling. Light yeasty smell toward the end.

Taste: Caramel and roasted malts blend well giving the beer an initally sweet taste. It is grainy and a bit earthy. Perhaps a little watered down, but not offensively so. Hops are light, but noticeable. A bit yeasty on the tail.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied. Carbonation is good. Decently crisp and refreshing. Good beer for a hot day. Pretty smooth and drinkable. Overall, it's pretty solid. I wouldn't turn it down.

Photo of jhammerly
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received by Imstillthegman as part of SS07, thanks again.

An easy drinking brown hued lager with a one-fingered beige head. Body is light to medium and easy on the taste buds. Light caramel sweetness in the nose (as well as in the flavor). Add a slight nuttiness to that with a very mild hop character. A good beer.

Penn Dark from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 415 ratings.