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Penn Dark - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn DarkPenn Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

418 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 418
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 33
Gots: 30 | 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: 418 | Reviews: 256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Poured a dark brown with little to no head, nice lacing.

Smells of sweet malt and carmel with a slight roast.

Taste and mouthfeel is smooth and is very sweet and malty caramel. Leaves a fading slight roasty taste at the finish.

This is a great dark lager, could drink a lot of this.

Photo of thaichile
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a blackish brown with a slight head. Nose is roasty and malty. Flavor is slightly sweet and not as roasted or nutty as the color and nose might suggest. Actually this had a very light body but coinciding with that was not much a flavor punch. Actually, this be could be a session beer, but I am going to stick with just the one. Thanks to JohnTravolta21 for the bottle.

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

Pours a dense dark brown, little light gets through. Medium size tan head, average retention and good lacing. Mild malty aroma.

Tastes good, bready malt, rich flavor and just enough hops to keep it from being too sweet. Kind of half way between a lager and a very mild porter.

Mouthfeel is ok for the style. Drinkability is good. This is a well made beer and would be great for a session beer.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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

I've had this on tap twice in the past week at two seperate parties.

A. Poured into a plastic cup from a 1/4 keg. Dark brown lager with a slight khaki head and a nice exhibition of lacing.

S. Slight roasted malt and malted milk balls.

T. A very flavorful lager. Once again a sweet malty taste with some Hallertau hops there to add a earthy bitter note.

M. Full bodied lager here, a bit creamy and smooth.

D. Very good as well. Possibly my favorite micro lager.

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A deep dark brown color. An off white almost tan head a little more than one finger.

S: Lots of roasted malts. Espresso, caramel, nuts and smoke smells.

T: Toasted bread, espresso with some smokey/burnt overtones. An unusual mix, but quite appealing.

M: Medium body, with a sweet, creamy finish.

D: I really liked this beer, but it seemed a little heavy, where I am not sure if I could have more than 2 in one sitting.

Photo of argock
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Freshness date on back label.

A: Very brownish ruby with yeasty-appearing light tan head that recedes to a thin cap with sparse lace.

S: Appealing nutty aroma with bready and caramel notes. Toasted malts and noble hops are also apparent but more in the background.

T: Penn Dark is comfort-beer. Delicious soft flavors of caramel and dark malts are layered beautifully with nutty and chocolate notes with a a crisp, spicy noble hops finish which raises the refreshment factor way up.

M: Fairly smooth with warming chocolate malt aftertaste. Medium carbonation feels a bit heavy in this department but this is nit-picking.

D: An excellent lager with a very comforting, warming character owing to its malty, nutty, and toasted flavors with enough noble hops to make it very refreshing as well.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This dark beauty poured with a nice foamy 2 finger head that quickly receded to a thin foamy across the top of the brew. Deep brown with some visible carbonation. After the first few sips I can already see that there is a huge amount of lacing.

Aroma?? Seriously, can't smell much of anything. Maybe a subtle roasted sweetness, but I am reaching for that to be honest.

Taste is very nice, balanced and smooth. Begins with a little roasted rush of malt, then a slight sweetness, chocolate or dark brown sugar, finally ending with a smooth finish that has just enough hops to bring everything into balance. This is the type of beer that looks bigger than it really is.

Mouth feel is light to medium and this is very drinkable. I could easily enjoy this year round despite its Autumn/winter appearance.

Photo of phrygian68
2.89/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Malty beer with a little bitterness,not anything great,makes a nice session beer,equally good in the winter as in the summer,slight smokey flavor with a roasted malt
I thought it would be a little more robust though! for me it was almost but not quite there. This beer seems to have a bit of an identity crisis ,decent drinking beer have had it many times!

Photo of splat215
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Heavy, bubbly carbonation that subsided quickly, little head which dissipated. Darkish black-brown hue, reminds me of Dr. pepper.
S Overwhelming smell of a cheap lager, with a small hint of nice spiciness ... but mostly overwhelmingly cheap lager smell
T Malty with a small amount of bitterness, fairly clean finish - satisfying
M Carbonated and bubbly leads way to smoothness, feels a bit sludgy but not too much
D Tastes a lot better then it smells, doesn't look as good as it tastes, a little too much carbonation for my liking... but ... it's a nice mix of a lager and the taste of heavier porter or a stout

Photo of bradley194
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed by this beer. I heard a lot of good things about it and it didn't really live up to my expectations.

It pours a really lovely dark/ruby brown with a tannish head which with a good pour comes to about 2 fingers. Does not last for long though.

Smell is roasted malt.

Taste is rather disappointing. NOTE: I AM NOT SURE ABOUT THE DATE ON THE BEER. It could very well have been a little bit too old or something. Has a reasonable amount of malty sweetness with a hop finish. The finish is a bit dry for my taste.

All in all I think this beer is good, but I believe that my expectations were just a bit high. I would definitely suggest trying it. Again the freshness may have been a factor in my situation.

Photo of stewart124
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark to slighty black. There is a small light tan atop this beer.

Slight roasted notes of dark bread and a touch of grape ester.

Clean tastes and medium body. Smooth dark lager characteristics. Nice bold roasted malts round this beer out. I'm picking up a sweet grape taste on the tongue. Finishes fairly dry and roasty.

Very enjoyable beer. Tasty and right on the spot to what I would expect from a dark lager.

Photo of nsmartell
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
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 zeff80
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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

Clear, dark copper color with a solid, frothy head already leaving some lace on the glass. Mild aroma at first, sweet bread crust and light nuts and caramel. Rich dark malt flavor, medium bodied, clean and firm. Some earthiness. Pretty good, though nothing too exciting.

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

Pours a hazy medium brown with a head that pours a couple of fingers high and then sticks around as a swirly cap. Richly malty, but dry with aromas of bitter chocolate, baked bread, and a little minerality. Taste is quite pleasant, but a little light. More of that bitter chocolate, but it is slight and way in the background. Slightly spicy grain, restrained earthy hops, and some more baked bread flavors round it out. Smooth, relatively light and an anjoyable drinking experience.

Photo of Jbino34
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not impressed with the pour of this beer, minute head with no real lacing. Dark brown in color, matches style.

Smell is nice, malty with a touch of hop flare but overall clean, and crisp.

Taste is light, again matches the style. Good dark beer introduction for those who are afraid of the dark. The sweet caramel malt comes through.

Mouthfeel is a bit week but again, i guess it matches the style. I like a bit more body when it comes to a brown or a dunkel. Low carbonation.

Definitely a nice and drinkable beer. I'd buy more and recommend.

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

Wonderful beer. Glad I ordered this.

Went to a new restaurant with my wife today, it was really a nice place. It was an Italian joint and they had a huge wine list. So I was like "What kind of beers do you have?" Turns out they have a good list of beers too.

I went with this because I'd never had it before.

Poured a dark brown with practically no head. My wife had a pepsi, and this was a couple shades darker than the pepsi.

Smelled of roasted malts and earth, tasted much the same though a little more pronounced with the malty taste.

Great mouthfeel, went down smooth with no unpleasant aftertaste or dryness.

Really glad I tried it, I'll be trying this one again in the future. Went great with the porterhouse steak.

Photo of tmitch75
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A monthly club selection for March.

Chocolatey brown color with 1/2" creamy tan head and some lacing.

Smells chocolatey with a nice roasty accent.

Chocolatey and nutty flavor is the focus with a slightly roasty accent. Sweet in the finish.

Creamy and smooth, full body.

Very smooth and easy to drink. Would go great with barbeque or other grilled meat. Next time I should try this in a flute or pilsner glass (I used a tumbler this time).

Tasted on 3/26/08.

Photo of mooseisloose
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle smell is cocoa and sweet malt hints with a nice background of floral hops and honey. Pours to a sparly almost to be mistaken for Coca-Cola color and consistency. Carbonation seems a litttle high on the pour. The taste is bittersweet cocoa with nice easy bitterness. The carbonation however seems too high just as on the pour. This beer is not heavy but has great multi-flavor aspects. I would buy this brew again.

Photo of Cromster
2.56/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Light brown in color with very little head. No lacing.

Smell - Some malt and caramel

Taste - Toasted malt and a little hops.

Mouthfeel - Very light in the mouth with very little bite. I would even say it is a little watery.

Drinkability - I didn't enjoy this beer very much. It is something you could drink if you are in to lighter beers.

Photo of AMo
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pennsylvania Brewing Company Penn Dark Lager pours a dark amberish brown with a short fizzy head that quickly dissipates. The smell is mild to medium of malts with a distinct lagerish aroma. Taste is ok, good for a lager, but there is just not a whole lot there, perhaps a little lightly malted flavor. For the most part it just taste like a typical light flavored lager. Mouthfeel is thin and watery with a medium to high carbonation. Drinability is ok, it certainly is liquid, but I'm rather bored with its lack of taste and watery feel.

Photo of nohead02
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very dark with a good long-lasting head. Moderate body -- a bit higher than a regular lager, perhaps. The main flavor is that of toasted, almost slightly burnt malt. Though I am more of a hop head than a malt kind of guy, I really enjoyed this. A very good session beer that rewards with ample flavor.

On a side note, the BA tasting notes say that this beer has 5% alcohol by volume. According to Pennsylvania Brewery's web page it is only 4%.

Photo of erosier
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown color with a short and light white head that settles fast and laces the glass pretty well all the way down. It had a sweet roasted malty smell, not much else. The taste is good - a nice sweet malty base over a slight bitterness at the end of it. It is balanced well. The mouthfeel is good - very smooth. The drinkability is good too as I could have a few of these. Worth a try.

Photo of nasty15108
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

A - Dark brown almost black with red hues, looked like black cherry soda when held up to the light. Off white head with a decent amount of lacing.

S - Roasted Malt aroma with a little sweetness.

T - A malty slightly sweet taste up front. Finishes with a slightly bitter hop bite. A very well balanced flavor.

MF&D - Medium bodied dark lager. Goes down easy and coats the mouth well. I'll have another.

Penn Dark from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.