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Penn Dark - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Penn DarkPenn Dark

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

370 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 370
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.37%

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
Ratings: 370 | Reviews: 250 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12/18/11 notes. Shared by namnn08; thanks Nate. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of off white and moderate carbonation evident. No real head retention or lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of nuts, bready malts, toasted malts, burnt malts, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes of bready malts, rye, toasted malts, burnt malts, light roasted malts, light spice, and nuts. A tiny bit spicey, a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. A touch undercarbonated.

o - Overall a pretty decent Dunkel. Nothing mind belowing but a nice malty nose and pretty easy to drink. A little spice in the taste. Would try it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 20:29:23 | More by mdfb79
Photo of claytong


3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance - good small head with great retention, sticking well as well. black that thins into a deep red pretty easily with light.

smell - not my favorite but for the style its nice. simple roasted malts, bubblegum and soda (not intense like a farmhouse but more subtle. roast

taste - very light but follows the nose. highly drinkable.

mouthfeel - thin, well carbonated but not overly so. very drinkable.

overall - good for the style but isnt something id search out

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 08:46:13 | More by claytong
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of mgbickel, thanks Mike! Pours a dark brown color with a creamy tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smells very nice, chocolate and mildly roasted malt with a smattering of brown bread and hazelnuts.

Taste is simple, chocolate drizzled roasted nuts. Straight-forward and never gets overly roasty-astringent or sweet. Perfectly balanced lager and really is nice. This is probably the best domestic dunkel I have ever had, right up there with Franconia. Man...I would kill to have this available locally, I could drink it all day. Love me a good dunkel!

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 19:43:33 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of hustlesworth


4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- very nice superdark brown w mahogany and blaze orange highlights. Tan colored head is sticky and German looking and I can tell this is gonna be good.

S- deeply roasted malts, coffee and cocoa with a touch of smoke. Somewhat herbal hop aroma lingers in the back. Leather, wood, soil, rock and mineral. Chocolate cake.

T- tastes just like it smells along with mineral water crispness. Beefy and toasty roasty on the palate, malt sweetness is held in check making this a nice savory brew. Hints of date and fig fruity tartness are tied in with the malt but are gone by time I reach the earthy woodsy finish.

MF- Soft and well carbonated, and just about medium bodied. Roasted feel on the cheeks and tongue.

D- was this made in Germany? Penn brewing nails the style this time with a great flavored, easy drinking dunkel.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 03:30:02 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of tigg924


3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 3/4 inch head, dark-reddish brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: dark wheat and toasted malt

Taste: big dark wheat, pumpernickel, some toasted malt, and light hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light bodied, moderately sweet with a slightly bitter end

Overall: A nice bready beer. I do not find this one boundary pushing, but rather in the very solid category. I could have several of these, but this is also not the first beer I would reach for.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 13:17:15 | More by tigg924
Photo of u2carew


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a big head that is tight and creamy. Settles slightly. Dark body that is mahogany in color.
S) Roasted grain. Subtle hints of chocolate and coffee.
T) Sweet roasted notes. Milky. Rich with a full flavor. Hints of dark tree fruit.
M) Medium body. Fairly smooth. Clean finish.
O) A pleasant brew. I would definitely have another.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 00:13:59 | More by u2carew
Photo of BeerCon5


2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark amber color with a large fluffy off-white head that disappears very quickly.

The scent is of roasted malt, chocolate, and some notes of earthy hops.

The taste is of roasted malt, chocolate, mildly bitter hops, it's an odd taste as someone previously noted it does taste like blood.

Medium body, very smooth and oddly flat, almost not carbonation.

This was sort of an odd beer, maybe I got a bad one, but it seemed like a lot of things were off. I will have to try this again sometime.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 15:02:11 | More by BeerCon5
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

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 03:47:36 | More by ActonBrewer
Photo of OldIronLungs


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass a dark brown with a nice head that settles to a sticky film.

Nose is mostly grainy, pseudo-adjuncty malt.

A sip is lightly toasted dark malt, some caramel. Not too complex, just right on the money.

Medium to lighter body and good carbonation in line with the style.

Something rich enough to be substantive, but clean and light enough to be quite drinkable. I haven't had a proper dunkel since Germany and this one brought me back properly! Sessionable for sure. Prost!

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 00:04:57 | More by OldIronLungs
Photo of StBoisterous


4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear dark brown.

S: Strong aroma, slight cocoa/coffee smell. A bit of a smoked aroma is present.

T: Has a slight cocoa/coffee malt taste, slightly hoppy, and a bit of a smoked flavor.

M: Light with a nice level of carbonation. Goes down well. Leaves a sharp/crisp aftertaste.

D: Very drinkable lager, well balanced flavor and aroma. Very smooth for a darker style ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 16:52:23 | More by StBoisterous
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with some clarity. Good beige head and some lace.

Some caramel and toasted malt notes. Not getting alot of nose.

Good beer. Toasted malt with some nuttiness, some light brown sugar up front. Disappears as the maltiness dries out, finishing a little dry, a little bitter, and fairly clean. Domestic Munich Dunkel goodness.

Medium bodied, good carbonation.

Loved this. Hard to find one that won't cost you a mortgage, even harder to find the style done right in this country. Minor flaws are just that. I'll look for his again.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 12:48:24 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of smcolw


3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large off-white head. Settles quickly. Leaves plenty of streaky lace. The liquid is deep ruby brown where light does pass.

Cold cocoa aroma. Minor coffee in the background. Relatively light smell.

Slightly sweet with a touch of sour. Mostly darker malt flavor. The hop is not very present, perhaps only to balance. Good body with a below average level of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 21:11:33 | More by smcolw
Photo of cbutova


3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark murky brown body with a two finger light tan cap. Head retention is decent and it has a foamy texture. A few lines of lace slash down the glass.

S- Slightly metallic feel right off the bat. Toasted nutty caramel malt lurks underneath with some dark fruit. Roast hints.

T- Prominent flavors I get are nutty, toasted caramel malt with dark fruit hints. Slight metallic and somewhat spicy and herbal from the Hallertauer. Some buttery notes.

MF- High carbonation stings the palate in a somewhat light, watery body. Fair bitterness in the finish.

Not extremely familiar with the style but a pretty good beer. Doesn't drink as smoothly as other dark German beers I have had.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 03:23:19 | More by cbutova
Photo of Knapp85


3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice dark brown color. It has a pretty good looking tan head on it. The lacing could have been a little better. The smell of the beer was roasted and had the typical lager smell in there too. The taste of caramel and bitter coffee were upfront on this beer, the aftertaste was of some lager bitterness. The mouthfeel is light enough to consume several in a sitting if you choose to. Overall this beer is surprisingly pretty good. I was impressed by how much it tasted like a real German Dark Lager.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 20:28:27 | More by Knapp85
Photo of horshack7


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: In a pilsner glass is a very dark brown beer with mahogany hues around the edges. On top is a two finger crown of creamy head.

Aroma: Roasted malts are in the front with wisps of roasted hop right beside it. Also in this array are touches of dark bread. Way in the back are notes of ripe bannas and sweet fruits.

Taste: Dark bread or even brown bread roasted malt and hops. Sweet fruit in the middle followed by a soft note of dryness on the palate. Towards the end is a nice creamy finish.

Notes: I am happy I picked this one up a tasty brew all the way around. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 01:16:15 | More by horshack7
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 19:57:46 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of silentjay


3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

deep brown, that turns mahogany when held to a light with a dense khaki head that retains and laces well.

very nutty aroma with some raisiny fruits and some pumpernickel bread. a touch metallic, but with some floral hops coming through slightly as well.

starts nutty, goes a bit buttery, some burnt malts, a slight roast, earthy and floral hops that balance well.

the crispness of this brew is its best quality, i think. it keeps it easy drinking and it finishes clean so that the sweetness never becomes cloying.

a decent brew. goes down so easy, but remains flavorful throughout. nothing earth-shattering, but one that you can drink and enjoy without contemplating.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 05:39:12 | More by silentjay
Photo of jwhancher


4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: With a vigorous pour into a pilsner glass, a nice 3-finger tan head sits atop a body of dark amber colored beer. Head sticks around quite awhile after diminishing to 1-finger width.

S: Lots of roast aromas with some raisin, caramel, and slight cocoa. A little light smokiness, or charred burnt character, can be picked up too.

T: Has a bit of a rauchbier going on. Some really good smokiness is evident in the taste - wow, completely unexpected. Aside from that, some lighter chocolate & dark syrup like notes. I wonder if they used a decoction mash? Either way, a very nice interpretation of the German style.

M: A nicely done light tasting lager with some lingering bitterness at the end. Carbonation levels are appropriate.

O: Had drank this plenty of times before and knew this one was one of my Penn favorites. Wasn't until I actually sat down for a more in-depth review did I realize how good this beer actually was. It's quite an underdog or a surprise hit.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2011 20:18:03 | More by jwhancher
Photo of ThirstyBird


4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent reddish brown in color. Tan head falls quickly to a wisp and small ring. Smell is dark bread, molasses, licorice - a good aromatic nose on this one. Taste is similar to the aroma. This is a pretty tasty brew...it finishes with a nice light hop dryness. Body is light/ medium and the carbonation is mild but enjoyable. If I could get one locally it would be in my regular rotation.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 03:25:51 | More by ThirstyBird
Photo of number1bum


4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color, a sort of mahogany really, with a finger and a half of tan head. Keeps a mostly full lace and a nice coating of stick on the side.

Smell is very nice, with a moderately sweet bready aroma to go along with some lightly roasted malt. There is a nutty quality to it as well, plus some caramel.

Taste also consists of a bready, very lightly roasted malt base with some light caramel sweetness. I get some nuts like I did in the nose. Nose was a tad sweeter, although there is a bit more hop character to the taste as there is an earthy, somewhat floral flavor.

Mouthfeel here is light bodied and quite clean. It's smooth and nicely balanced.

This is a nice beer and very drinkable. I could session this very easily and it definitely hits the spot when I am in the mood for something light yet dark. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 01:47:31 | More by number1bum
Photo of mschofield


4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown, lighter 'caramel' color at the edges. Half inch foamy tan head. Broken webs of lacing.

First off it's a nice clean beer, fresh malty and roasty, with coffee notes.

Again, just a nice clean fresh Dunkel, coffee, roast, Munich malt possibly Dark Munich and a touch of chocolate.

Full bodied, but contradicts itself with a light crisp finish, very nice. Drinkability is very good, especially when I thought it was 4% ABV, turns out it's 4%ABW or 5% ABV, still great, but a 4% lager with those characteristics would be outstanding.

It's a shame more breweries don't make Dunkels

Thanks to radioscooter for the sample

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2011 00:13:12 | More by mschofield
Photo of JMad


3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The beer was almost black with brown hues and a thick, white, bubbly head.

It smells of chocolate, caramel candies, there is a small hint of maple syrup.

There is a dry bitter bite on the back of the tongue with hints of coffee, dark chocolate, and lemony hops.

It feels light with medium carbonation, it's a little metallic and leaves the mouth dry.

I liked this beer, it gets smoother as it warms up and is light but full of flavor. I found it more enjoyable than most dark lagers that I have had in the past.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 03:24:08 | More by JMad
Photo of letsgopens


4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm amazed I haven't gotten around to reviewing this one. Being from the Pgh area, this is one of the brews that helped introduce a lot of us yinzers to craft beer. This nice dark Munich Dunkel pours a deep ruby brown with ruby amber highlights. The tacky beige head holds its shape decently well and leaves some nice tangles of lacing.

Dry, husky German yeast and grain character. Pleasant notes of spent coffee grounds and bitter/sweet chocolate. The dark malt is definitely the start here but with a hint of leafy, floral hops. As always, sticking strictly to the traditional German style. A bit of buttery toffee and toasty biscuit underneath the mild roast.

Lush and malty while remaining crisp and clean. Malt forward but not at all overly sweet. Hints of chocolate, weak coffee, toffee and buttery/toasty biscuit. Dry and husky with loads of German yeast notes. A mild metallic note and subdued booze. Extremely authentic and true to style. Well balanced and pleasantly restrained.

Such a nice carbonation character; the full effect of the carbonation on the mouthfeel doesn't come on immediately and leaves way for the complexity of the malt to shine before cleaning up and lightening the brew.

Fantastic drinakability, even for a characteristically drinakable style. Flavorful and straight forward without becoming burdening after a couple. Penn rarely misses point on the traditional German styles (which is sometimes more than I can say for their newer American styles) and this one is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 18:38:13 | More by letsgopens
Photo of mwa423


3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Continuing with the Penn Brewing hit parade...

A - Pours a vry clear dark amber with some ruby redness when held up to the light. Head is minimal and lacing is nonexistent.

S - The aroma is all rich malts, some toffee and sweetness.

T - Good dunkel flavor with smooth maltiness and sweetness with caramel and toffee notes.

M/D - Mouthfeel is smooth and rich and sldes down the throad. A very drinkable beer, especially at only 5 pct abv.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2010 02:01:00 | More by mwa423
Photo of RJBeverage


3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark but translucent color with a head that goes away quickly. The lager smell has a bit of toasty overtone. The taste is pleasant, just what I want in a dark lager, the toast and coffee overtone that smooths the lager flavor.

There's a very strong carbonation compared to other dunkels, but not so much that it's over-fizzy.

I would drink this in bottles again, but look forward to trying the draft.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 00:42:07 | More by RJBeverage
Penn Dark from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 370 ratings.