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Penn Dark - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn DarkPenn Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

260 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 260
Hads: 462
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 38
Gots: 50 | 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:
Beer added by: SheepNutz on 08-27-2001

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Penn Dark Alström Bros
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Reviews: 260 | Hads: 462
Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber rather than dark colour. Its plain but its drinkable. Some toastiness, some hop, rather taste is led by malt profile including chocolate malt. Molasses.Appreciated than no sourness. Medium mouthfeel. Part of the German style lineup and nothing special.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Drop Off Service, New York, NY

A: The beer is extremely dark brownish amber in color. It poured with a thin creamy off white head that died down but left a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of dark malts in the nose along with some syrupy sweetness.
T: The overall taste is quite malty and has flavors of dark malts along with hints of malty sweetness, nuts, roasted malts and syrup. There is a very slight amount of sweetness but the underlying hops prevent this from being cloying.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very drinkable and sessionable, especially given all of the malty flavors. I could easily drink this beer all night long.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark cola body with a thin tan head that sticks around for a while; a bit of lacing

Smell - pumpernickel bread and caramel on the nose

Taste - Nicely balanced between the rich, dark bread malt and a touch of bitterness from the hops

Mouthfeel - Slightly thin, but you have to remember that this is a lager and you shouldn't expect it to taste like a porter

Drinkability - A fine effort; flavorful enough to keep you interested and light enough to consume in quantity

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very authentic tasting German Dunkel. Impressive!

Penn Dark pours a solid to dark brown color, good clarity and with an off-white head that forms well but could linger a bit longer. No real lacing.

Malty rich aromas are accompanied by notes of toast, bread crusts, nutty, and light cocoa. No sulfur, phenolic, or ester qualities. Simple nose but pure.

Again, malt flavor dominates with a bready, lightly toasted quality. The nutty and cocoa tastes take a far back seat. Still, a clean and simple flavor with no off-flavors. Hops balance the beer but after that, their job is done.

Creamy and froaty up front but the beer fades nicely into a light dry and toasty finish.

A nice, non-offensive beer that would make any beer lover proud.

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Photo of zeff80
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark burgandy color with a foamy, white, two-finger head.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, caramel and a little hop aroma.

T - It tasted of rich roasted malt with a subtle burnt toastiness. Also, some underlying grassiness.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This was quite good. I look forward to finding more from this brewery.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Date brown infused with orange juice. As it often does with beer of this hue, backlighting changes things to russet. The sandlewood colored head is attractive, as is the wide band of BB-shot lace that has formed just above the nonic bulge. Yes indeed, this is what a Munich dunkel is supposed to look like.

The aroma doesn't hold the line. It's on the musty and (slightly) earthy side rather than being dark malty. Actually, PD smells like a garden variety Euro dark lager rather than a member of this most venerable style.

The flavor makes a minor comeback. I've still had better. The beer doesn't taste old, but it would be nice to have some sort of date to determine if it's as the brewers intended or if it's past its prime. Thankfully, it's improving as the middle of the bottle approaches.

Penn Dark is simple, as are quite a few Munich dunkels. The less than bright star of the show is an earthy maltiness that isn't as dark as hoped for. There's a hint of roastiness, though it's actually more of a brown bread toastiness. Hallertau hops balance things out in terms of both flavor and sweetness-bitterness. A medium-dark fruitiness and a baked nuttiness emerge as the beer warms.

The mouthfeel, while not the least bit impressive, is right about where it should be. It's closer to light than to medium and is adequately carbonated. To be fair, not too many 5.0% lagers impress me with their mouthfeels.

Penn Dark is roughly the same level of quality as Penn Pilsner and Penn Weizen. That is, decent and drinkable without being a standout. It may not be a fair comparison, but St. Nicholaus Bock Bier is still the undisputed king of the PBC hill as far as I'm concerned.

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Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deep brown color with some ruby hues,nice rocky head that sticks around.Smell was faintly malty and fruity.Taste was of of chocolate malts and a little caramelly with some lingering dryness.Much better than alot of the German styles I have had,very appetizing and sustaining.

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Photo of jlindros
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this bottle thanks to noslenwerd from his stash, as Penn was not brewing for a while. From what I hear its great beer and glad they are back brewing.

A: Pours a chalky slightly darkened 1 finger head. Color is a very clear dark brown with reddish hue and almost molasses color.

N: Sweet malts first, some molasses, lager aromas, slight roasted characteristics.

T: Starts with roasted malt flavors. A nice roast, followed with some other dark malts, crystal I think. A slight sweet syrupy flavor, perhaps molasses and/or brown sugar. A slight smoked flavor, but the slightest. Then some crisp lager flavors. It has a slight juicy flavor as well, and hints of bitterness.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

F: Finishes still pretty sweet, with more of that syrupy flavor coming through, but continues with that nice roast flavor and more of the crisp finish of a lager. It doesn't leave any real off flavors either. A nice beer, especially for a lager style which I'm not usually a fan of. This is a great session beer if I ever found one.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Penn delivers a very well-made and exceptionally drinkable lager in their Dark. It's clear, deep chestnut body glows with ruby highlights at it's center; and its creamy light tan head holds rather well before dropping to a standard collar and leaves short splashes of lace about the glass. Dark, caramelized sugars and Munich malts dominate the nose; toasty and bordering on becoming subtly roasty with a thin cusp of chocolate in the background. Occassional floral hops sometimes make their way through the malt, lending to quite an enticing aroma. It's somewhat creamy and fairly smooth across the palate with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation that lends a light zest to the tongue before it warms. Dark Munich malts appear upfront in the flavor, mildly toasty, lightly sweet, and even somewhat raisiny. As it warms more toasted character becomes apparent; and it finishes with a flash of floral and grassy hops as it's drying bitterness rises. It's very well-brewed, clean, nicely balanced, and highly drinkable! An impressive dunkel that probably deserves more attention than it gets.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains light roasted malts, lager yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character. Then a very mild sweetness from flavors of chocolate and caramel come in. The hops presence is also mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long-neck bottle with a blurb about the beer on the back ... freshness date notched on the back label.

Appearance: Dark brown with burnt amber hues ... well staying light tan lace.

Smell: Caramel in the nose with hints of grain and dark bread.

Taste: Very smooth with a medium body. Moderate hopping and a sweet caramel and carob malt flavour in the front. Layered with a bready, grainy and carob finish.

Notes: Straight up, a great dark lager ... spot on for style.

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Photo of russpowell
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Melbatoast93, cheers Hart!

Pours an effervescent caramel/cola color with 2 fingers of tan head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Toasty malt, plus a touch of roasted malt

T: Dry, toasty with a bit of powdery brown sugar up front. More dryness & some more roasty malt & a touch of grainyness as this warms. Finishes dry & roasty with leafy hops

MF: Light/medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks easy, but I've had better Dunkels

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear but dark brown. Much ruby showing through when held to light. Nose is mild with slight caramel attributes to it, but overall not much really going on here that blows me away. Flavor brings a nice and deep, yet smooth, ride. Thick malts that stay consistent. Slight roasted aspect. Minor nutty tone going on here. Feel is very good with carbonation and the liquid has a smooth and thicker bodied thing going on. Another very good beer by PBC.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say that in the past, I have boughten a whole case of this stuff and believe me that case was worth it. Each one of those beers were fully enjoyed by all, so now it's time to return to this old favorite and break it down. Appears a very dark nearly opaque with hints of ruby piercing through around the edges when held up to the light. Paired with a tan moccha head, which is binding to the rim of the forming even annular rings of lace as the glass empties. The aroma has some semi-faint fruit tones wrapped in a mild milk chocolate bringing creamy malt to the forefront. Also some of the darker roasted malts are also doing their part allowing a toasted nut scent to dance in the air. The taste leaves me with that creamy milk chocolate sweetness around my lips, along with the trickled chocolate and mild coffee tones comes a crisp smooth lager-like characteristic making this one amazingly smooth. The mouthfeel is full of those creamy sensations down the palate of this fairly heavy bodied beer. Drinkability I would love to find this on tap just to see if it gets any frothier than it already is, and I would like to experiment with mixing this with some Lindemann's Framboise.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours medium to dark brown with a thin tan head that fizzles down to a lasting patch.

The smell is of dark roasted malt with a hint of floral Hallertau hops.

The taste is of lightly roasted sweet malt with some balancing, floral bitterness. Slightly nutty. Crisp, sweetish finish.

Light-bodied, even a touch watery, it is clean and crisp.

Well-enough balanced and inoffensive, it's an easy-drinking dunkel lager.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Drop Off Service in New York, NY

A: Pours a very dark reddish brown with light hints of dark amber when held up to the light. The beer has a thin beige head that reduces to a ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant lacing is observed.

S: Overall a pretty light smelling beer with hints of roasted malts, smoke, and a little caramel sweetness.

T: A malty sweetness that is not unlike flavored pancake syrups (not real maple) with lots of caramel notes and some hints of nuts. There are also some roasted malts and a very light bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Really easy to drink and very refreshing on a beautiful spring day here in NYC. Definitely an easy drinking session beer and one I would certainly get again. Very true to the style.

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Photo of stakem
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color with a slightly tanned head. Little bit of lace along the glassware. Nice roasted grain and malt aroma that is a little bread-like with a slight hop character in the tail end of the nose. Taste is lightly roasted grain and slightly nutty malt character. Light bodied, moderately carb level and a crisp finish. This is really one drinkable beer. 4% labels it as a good sessionable candidate but I could picture myself drinking quite a few too quickly.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, some sort of feshness dating, but just having the first letters of the months along one side of the label doesnt do much for me.( bottled on? best before?, what year are we talking about???, c'mon brewers out there we can give better info w/o that much trouble) Alright my ranting is done, this one pours dark honey amber, a tad murky, with an off white/tan head and it leaves nice fine and well scattered lacing. Nose is toffee and brown sugar. this is a tasty sweet malty brew. Notes of vanilla, toffee, some nuttyness and sweet malts. Clean finish, free of esters and phenolics, minimal hop notes detected. I'm not really a huge lager drinker, but this clearly is a quality product and a worthwhile sessioner

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Photo of Gavage
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: lovely reddish brown in color with a 1" head.

Smell: malt sweetness is the lone aroma pulled from the glass.

Taste: nice malt profile with a light red ripe fruit sweetness, mild bitterness, and barely a hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp from start to finish. Lighter side of a medium bodied beer. Short aftertaste leaves the mouth quickly.

Drinkability: simple but tasty lager. Easy to quaff and a pure sessionable beer.

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Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ooh, definitely the hoppiest dunkel lager I've ever had. The malt could stand up a little more, but there's still a nice subtle caramel and cocoa taste with a burnt toast edge. The hops, along with a lot of the flavor, fade as the beer warms. They were grassy and funky before, now they've become lame as I finish the beer. Frankly this beer is still a bit bland. Nice and plenty tasty at times, but a little light on flavor.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.84/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown, with a very small and short-lived head, no lacing, nice colour though, so I bumped it up a notch, good clarity in this lager, but overall, not very appetizing.

S: Huge caramel malt notes, with a bit of acid and coffee.

T: Get a large acidic twang on first hit, then the malt comes, tasty, but the acidity kind of overwhelms the other flavours, off-putting.

M: Light, kind of thin, acidic, and sour.

D: I mean this beer is OK, but not something I'd buy again, not a very good example of the Munich Dunkel style out there, when Ayinger's roaming around.

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Penn Dark from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.