Penn Dark - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn DarkPenn Dark

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BA SCORE
87
very good

444 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 444
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 38
Gots: 40 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 444 | Reviews: 259
Photo of brewQ
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at the brewery.
This is the one I settled on after tasting several at the bar.

Black "schwarz" color with a touch of ruby. Off white head with strong lacing. Mild, malty aroma.

With my sweet tooth this would be a very good session beer.
Full flavored with just a bit of hop for balance.

I have to admit I am such an ale/hop fiend that I had to adjust to this all lager brewey.

Photo of tom444
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich dark brown, with a tan head.

Smells a bit of chocolate, with plenty of malt.

Taste is smooth, with plenty of roasted malt flavors. Definite chocolate tastes, and a bit of caramel flavor. Just the right amount of hops. All around, an excellent beer from Penn Brewery.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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

From the bottle. Pours a amber brown, with a tan head that left little lacing. The initial aroma was fruity, and then nutty, but as it warms I pick up malt and honey. It has a nice malty flavor that finishes dry and bitter, but not overly intense. The body is good but it seems to slip off the sides of the tongue a little. Overall this is a really nice dunkel.

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

Pours a deep ruby brown with a nice fluffy 2 finger head that lingers for a while with some nice lacing. Smells of caramel, rye, and spices. A very nice, complex taste with mellow hops balancing out very strong malt flavor. Finishes with roasted almonds and spices, with almost a tart flavor. A nice heavy carbonated feel in the mouth with a good malt feel. Once again the Pennsylvania Breweing Company has created a great beer in a luckluster area. Cheers!!

Photo of AaronRed
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am never one to underestimate a Dunkel, but I must say I was surprised. At first it poured a bit flat, a slight tan head. Color was nice for a Dunkel, but I thought it was going to be undercarbonated. I was wrong, great color and smell, with taste to match. It has thay nice German fresh aroma- malty, but tempered. A rich and fairly sweet lagar, I found this so enjoyable that I wanted more. This brew has a wonderful balance when you want something with texture and flavor, but not heavy. This beer is great with food- not overwhelming at all.

Photo of brentk56
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
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

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

I love this beer. Color is a wonderful dark ruby when held to the light. Almost opaque with no light behind the glass. Nice creamy head. Smell and taste are wonderfully rich. Toasty, malty, rich, chocolate. Just enough hops flavor to give it a crisp, clean flavor. Nicely balances the rich creaminess and slight sweetness of the beer. Unbelieveably tasty and smooth. This is not a sip and discuss the subtle flavors for hours beer. This is a holy s*** is this good give me another one beer.

Photo of crookedhalo
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown, like cola, with a light tan head. Smells of roasted Munich malts and weak chocolate with some low-alpha (Hersbrucker?) hops in there, too. Tastes earthy and a touch sweet, but pretty well balanced. A little bit of hops show up mid-palate, which keeps it all in check. Pretty good, but I've had some better dunkels.

Photo of Bighuge
4.59/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer is a clear dark ruby red. Thin light brown head leaves some sparse lace. Nice nose of toaste malt, burnt caramel, toffee and licorice. Really nice. The taste follows through in a big way. Nice caramel and burnt malt tones. Bitter roasted notes. Great flavor. One of the best tasting dunkels I've had the pleasure of consuming. Mouthfeel is appropriately smooth, creamy, silky. Body is about medium. Very good beer.

I'm sold on Penn. Nice brewery there.

Thanks for the Penn samples marc77.

Photo of marc77
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Crystal clear deep ruddy chestnut. Persistent, pitted, thickset leight tan head yields frothy lace. Mellow milk chocolate and dark toffee contrasted by a mildly savory, lightly salted grainy pumpernickel impression in aroma. Trace herbal hop nose. Agreeably understated aromawise. The flavor profile of this brew exhibits fine balance. Malt character is of judicious dark caramel with a singed kiss from chocolate and black malts. Skewed slightly towards sweetness overall, although hop bitterness lends a near dryness mid palate that helps facilitate exceptional drinkability. Toasty Munich hints complement chocolate character aptly. Dryish, but unfortunately marred by a thin mouthfeel. Still, that doesn't detract the entire package too much. Finishes with a snap of black malt acidity yielding to a pleasantly lingering bittersweet cocoa wash. A well crafted dunkel with stately chocolate and toast impressions. Soft on the palate and immaculately clean.

Photo of Suds
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap, this beer is a dark brown with a frothy head. The aroma is very restrained, but there’s a little malt, graininess, and yeast in the smell (I had to hunt for it, though). The taste is a little nutty and grainy, with caramel. The finish is dry, clean, and a little hoppy, and the body is medium (maybe on the lighter side of medium). Not really complex, but nothing really wrong either. It’s a solid and enjoyable, if not particularly interesting beer.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep ruby red, almost black, with two fingers of head. There is some lacing left on the glass. The smell is sweet and malty with caramel and toffee. A hint of hops in the smell as well. A nice full aroma that fills the nose well. The taste starts with lots of roasted malt up front, some sweetness. A good hop bite on the finish. Balanced out fairly well. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth. The drinkability is really nice due to the smoothness and the 4% abv. A great dark lager.

Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours out as a real handsome pint, with two fingers of rocky, sticky head just leveling off at the top of the glass. Head subsides with some nice-looking clumps and pretty good cling. A few streamers of carbonation shoot through this brew's nice, glowing chestnut translucence that shows maple-colored highlights. Aroma is clean but not particularly distinctive; buttered wheat bread with a sweet caramel maltiness that is slightly hullish; very light nosefeel. Flavor comes in the form of more caramel sweet malt up front; a full barley backbone complemented by butterscotch in the body; the finish posesses the buttery Hallertau hops that seem to be characteristic of this brewery. Nicely carbonated, light mouthfeel can get a bit syrupy, IMO; sticky, refreshing finish. Drinkability is about as high as it gets, a result of the balance of flavor to body to alcohol. If I can find this on tap I'll be drinking it by the pitcher.

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

I've drank a lot of Penn Darks (mostly on tap) over the years, but haven't done a review since I've joined B.A, so thanks to P. D. for the bottle. Clear dark amber appearance, head is light brown and frothy, like steamed milk on a latte. Laces are mostly rings with some interconnecting tendrils. Malty aroma, biscuity with some sense of light honey. Texture is fun, if lighter, some medium-toasted graininess plays in concert with a solid if non-complex caramel flavor. The finish is best, dries slightly with well-done hop balance. Just a solid Dark Lager, brings back the memories.

Photo of pezoids
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber color and was almost brown and was topped off with a thinning white head. Slight hint of roasted grains in the aroma, but overall not much there. There’s a buttery texture in the flavor. Buttery and bitter with a dry bite. Not bad for a dark lager.

Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color. Medium head. Aroma is dark roasted malt, chocolate, slightly sweet. A medium bodied dunkel. Malts are roasted, slightly sweet and fruity. Raisins, plums and cherries being the dominant flavors. Hops are slightly bitter and a touch citrusy. Nicely balanced, A very drinkable, tasty beer. Would be a great session beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean, smooth and a touch dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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

This beer poured into the glass a medium/dark brown that when held to the light had a reddish hue to it, and was very clear. The head that it produced was a light tan/beige head that was fairly dense and decent staying power and left some lace behind. The aromas that came from the glass were of sweet caramel, malt, hops, and some spices (cinnamon). The flavors were of dark malts, sweet caramel, hops, roasted nuts and some spices, some aftertaste of caramel and nuts were left behind. This was a crisp and clean beer, decent body and flavors that seemed to match and combine well. A good drinkable beer.

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

Penn Dark lager pours black with red against the light and a nice tan head that disappears very quickly. The smell is almost that of a smoky Guinness.

The smoky malt dominates the palate, but still allow for some crispness expected from a lager. Hops are subtle and the aftertaste is of smoke with some sweetness.

Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of bmills1608
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep brown, touch of red, excellent clarity with a nice off white head, medium sized bubbles.

Nose is bready, a touch of wheat but predominately malty. Spicy, cinnamon like hop aroma is evident but not at all overpowering. The nose in general is fairly well balanced. Carbonation was medium low and boosted the beers drinkability.

Taste is full, slightly sweet at first with a nice dark malt and caramel flavor. Again the dark bread flavor comes to the forefront followed by some gentle bitterness and a bit of spice. Overall an extremely well balanced and dangerously drinkable lager. I enjoyed this beer a lot. I can envision big tankards of this being enjoyed en-mass at some festival with buxom waitresses and sausages and a big stupid grin on everyone's face. Nicely done.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.7/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

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

Dark brown in color with a tan head. Somewhat opaque.
Aroma of medium roasted malts with a caramel character and hops nicely intertwined.

Taste is clean and smooth. Roasted malt, chocolate, and dark caramel flavor. Nicely balanced. Hops keep the beer neutral between sweet and bitter, but don't make their presence any more known than that. Finishes well.

Good mouthfeel.
Smooth, easy-going, and very drinkable.

Overall, a good beer. One of the better dark lagers I've had.

Big thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the 2 Penn samples he shared with me.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle with what appears to be a freshness dating marked on the back. "If you were going to spend eternity drinking beer, this would be the one." Hmmm....we'll see.

Appearance: A very, very dark brown brown/deep amber color on the pour. An amazingly creamy head appears and in addition to lacing the glass in a patchy sort of way, it also lasts the entire trip to the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Caramel sweetness over a bready aroma.

Taste: Toasted rye bread mixed in with roasted nuts and smooth caramel. Towards the end, a little more bitterness creeps in.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a smooth and just slightly crisp finish.

Drinkability: An excellent lager. I'm not usually one for this style of beer, but Penn's Dark has carved a niche in my heart. With just a slight aftertaste, this one is very easy to keep drinking. A pleasant surprise from the folks at Penn.

Photo of LarryKemp
2.62/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a deep, dark brown with a nice ample just off white head that stayed atop the beer for a long while. That is where the good story ends. I might have gotten a bad bottle, but the aroma is very mild and barely any malt. The taste is bland and in no way could I call this complex. There are no chocolate flavors. The mouthfeel is almost American Lager light. I will be trying the other two bottles I have of this beer sometime and may reevaluate this beer. BUT this bottle REALLY SUCKS.

Penn Dark from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.