Penn Dark - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn DarkPenn Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

257 Reviews

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Reviews: 257
Hads: 448
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 8.29%
Wants: 38
Gots: 42 | 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
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Reviews: 257 | Hads: 448
Photo of Morey
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep rich brown color with occasional reflections of red. Nice light tan head which settles to a thin lace after about 5 minutes or so. If this beer maintained it's head (a little longer), and had better stick...I'd would have rated the appearance at a 5. I love the look/color of this fine brew.

Fresh baked bread and roasted malts in the nose.

This beer has a nice roasted and somewhat nutty taste that goes well with the moderate carbonation and mild hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side for a beer this dark.

I could definitely drink four or five of these no problem.

Morey's Bottom Line: I'm usually not a big fan of Lagers (although I'm trying to sample more of them), but I'm really enjoying this beer. (737 characters)

Photo of butti001
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For a Dunkel, the taste and aroma is not that complicated, being a lager and all, but still maintains a full bodied taste.

Penn Dark pours a dark and quickly dissipating head with a above average amount of carbonation for a Dunkel.

Body is not as heavy as a stout or porter which leaves plenty of room for another due to a thin mouthfeel.

You can get a sense of the carmalized malt leaves a pleasant amount of bitterness after drinking.

The beer doesn't reinvent the wheel as far as Dunkels, but it is worth trying. (523 characters)

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into frosted pint glass

A: Dark chocolate, cola-like brown. A small, but dense head.

S: Not particularly strong smell. Carmalized malt.

T: Starts out with roasted caramel malt flavor and fades into a nicely singed/roasted flavor. Nothing too sweet, but good dark malty notes.

M: Surprisingly light. Medium carbonation, but a nice tight finish.

D: Good for a darker beer, too roasted to drink too many, but a good balance. (447 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
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. (350 characters)

Photo of goblue3509
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color with a khaki color head that measures one finger. Smell is of roasted malts that are very sweet much like sweet bread. The taste has a sweet malt smooth taste. The mouthfeel is little carbonation with a smooth finish. The drinkability is very high on this, just a smooth flavorful beer that goes down easy. (336 characters)

Photo of rtratzlaff
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown to black body under an off white head.
Aromas of sweet malt with a slight roastiness as well.

The flavors are roasty with more sweetness of munich malt and a good bit of hoppiness for a dunkel in the finish.
The body is medium to light with ample carbonation and plenty of character to make this something worth trying. Overall, a great dunkel that beat the pants off most macro versions of the style. (422 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This cold brew shows a dark mohagany color, slightly hazed with a thin off-white/light tan head and a bit of lacing. The aroma is a very solid brown sugar malt and some yeasty bread and grapes. The flavor brings on tart apple and lots more brown sugar malt. It has a decided bite that lodges in the back of your throat and tongue that suggests a slightly smokey, dry light citrus/cracker kind of hoppiness. There's plenty of smooth carbonation and it has a relatively light body, spritzy and refreshing mouth feel. Very drinkable. Not my favorite style but this one has some personality and i could drink a few of these in a pinch, no problem. (643 characters)

Photo of tatoodkelt
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Very murky dark brown that you barely see the ruby highlights through even when held up to light. One finger khaki head that left pretty good lacing.

S- Very mild, a little roasted and a little sweet.

T- Sam as the smell with a little malt and caramel added in.

M- Smooth, medium bodied, and a little sticky.

D- Pretty easy to drink but I wont be looking for any more of this one. (421 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the bottle a dark chocolaty brown that is slightly translucent, capped by a fairly thick pale tan head. Malty, slightly spicy aroma has a hint of molasses. Rich malty aroma has strong tones of cinnamon and cloves and a touch of caramel. Texture is smooth and fizzy. Quite satisfying. (296 characters)

Photo of asabreed
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
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. (1,064 characters)

Photo of PorterPatrol
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (369 characters)

Photo of righthereisay
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best beer I have had to date. Great fresh flavor, nice and dark, a dark beer enthusiast, this is one of the of the lighter darks that I've had. Kind of want to mix 6 ounces of this with 6 ounces of Guinness.

I really enjoy it from October through March. Very nice body and fresh taste. Not sugary or over carbonated. Very enjoyable. (357 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Deep brown hue, the same as a brown ale, but maybe not quite as dark as a Schwarzbier.

Nutty roastiness with a light creaminess that's always characteristic of the style. A bit of butterscotch in the background.

Very very smooth malts, which give a good amount of creaminess and roastiness along with a strong nutty flavor. Full bodied.

Quite the enjoyable Dunkel Lager. Smooth, creamy, roasty. Everything that needs to be there is there. Good job by the PBC. (488 characters)

Photo of mjw06
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
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. (954 characters)

Photo of BaerBeer
4.78/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I decided to buy a few beers that I already had, but I seen this Penn Dark and decided to give it a try. I was pretty blown away by the superb taste of this beer.

Poured the 12oz bottle into a glass:

A- A nice dark brown color with a tint of amber. Has a chocolaty type look to it. Decent head, with a light lacing that stays for a while

S- Hints of dark wheat bread, slight chocolate aroma, kind of a tobacco smell with a hint of musty-yeasty aroma as well

T- Great, great taste. Sort of a salt cured beefy taste with a few hints of chocolate; sharp yet slightly bitter taste that is very smooth. I would compare the taste to new castle brown mixed with Sierra Nevada Porter.

M- Very pleasant on the palate; Smooth as hell, not very tangy which is a plus in my mind. Kind of a bubbly feel to it, but also pretty sturdy

D- Super drinkable. I think I could drink a full 6 pack of this because of it's smoothness. For some reason, it fells like I am drinking a light meal- very fulfilling.

Overall, an excellent beer. I felt like I stumbled upon gold with this one, and I would definitely buy this one again and again. I think I found a new favorite :) (1,159 characters)

Photo of smerkinb
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle says "Celebrating 20 years". Back label references a Norse legend of drinking for eternity and gives a short description of "roasted barley malt and Hallertau hops."

Pours a dark chocolate color with a loose 1/2 inch tan head. Shows dark mahogany when backlit and head evens to a steady collar.

Smells sweetly malty and-as promised- roasted. Not much in the nose for me, but it is enticingly sweet.

Wow. Sweet, heavy malts with bready, yeasty playing second fiddle. Other flavors that jump in to balance this out are roasty, barely bitter and nearly-there faint dark chocolate.

Penn Dark is of course dark and it's smooth but not heavy or thick. Nice carbonation that leaves little brief bubbles. The dryish finish makes this one a bit too easy to drink.

Great beer! With all the recent talk of sessionable brews, I would raise this as an example every time. It's sweet without ever approaching cloying and it's not at all heavy. Easy to drink and is both satisfyingly tasty and not quite enough to ever really quench my thirst. I want more from the first sip. Actually I'm kicking myself for not getting a sixer. Scratch that--I'm going to get s sixer now. And I'm never going to be without this beer again.

The bottle says "If you were going to spend eternity drinking one beer, this would be the one." I heartily agree. (1,339 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this brew in a trade with JohnTravolta21, Thanks Sara!

12oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

L - deep brown color with a beige head that left some bits of lacing.

S - caramel malt, grain and Euro-hop aroma.

T - good balance of malts and hops in this tasty lager.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - easy drinking beer. (340 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nothing spectacular in terms of appearance or smell. Appearance is average: dark, decent head and retention. Smell is nearly non-existent with some dark maltiness.

The taste, however, is phenomenal. Easily the best dunkel I've ever had. Lots of carbonation, but somehow it is super smooth.

Awesome beer.

3.5 A
3.0 S
4.5 T
4.5 M
5.0 D (338 characters)

Photo of saradad
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12oz glass forming a light tan head over a deep brown body with a good bit of visible carbonation. The head dissipates quickly to a light frost on top and lacing on the glass. There's roasted grain,light toffee and a light spicy hops in the smell. The taste is just like the smell with a medium body feel and a slightly dry toasted grain finish with a herbal/peppery lingering hops note. This is one of my favorites and I hope that Penn Brewing keeps making their beers, they almost make lawnmowing something to look forward to. (542 characters)

Photo of JacktheRabbit
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass - dark brown with black cherry hue with inch off-white head, with solid retention and lacing through the downing.

Smell is very malty, slightly earthy

Taste smooth malt with subtle chocolate note and I get a peaty-smoky hint - yet clean finish. Mouthfeel is also smooth but surprised me with moderate carbonation which doesn't affect drinkability at all. Could be a great session beer. (427 characters)

Photo of oldhippie247
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep coppery-brown with a fluffy off-white head that leaves great lacing. The body of the beer is crystal clear with decent carbonation.

The aromas are fairly subtle, but all malt. Wisps of darker malts such as chocolate or a mid-range crystal malt emerge as it warms nearer to room temp.

Palate is also dominated by the malt, but this dark lager doesn't drink heavy at all. A great darker beer for those who have convinced themselves they don't like dark beer (or aleheads who don't want anyone to know they're drinking lager). A light, crisp hop finish cleans the palate and readies it for more.

A really good beer for the price, and these days it's all about value. (680 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one recently from tpd975, thanks man!

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a very dark amber brown hue with a one finger fluffy light tan colored head that dies down to a thin layer which lasts throughout. No lacing to be seen what so ever on the sides of the glass. Smell consists of chocolate malts, noble hops, and toasted grains. Caramel, nuts, and musty earth in the nose as well. Taste starts off sweet with caramel, toffee, and sun tea. Midway some spicy hops emerge with a slight metallic flavor. Aftertaste has some roasted notes and buttered biscuits, nice balance overall. Light to medium body with a soft creamy feel in the mouth and a subtle carbonation. A very drinkable and flavorful beer, one I wouldn't have a problem putting down on a regular basis. Thanks again Greg for hooking me up with this one! (841 characters)

Photo of PatrickJR
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Very deep garnet, nearly opaque. A finger of brown head rises with moderate retention. Minimal lacing.

S - Chocolate and roasty aromas. Sweet with some hints of metal. Slight spicy hop aroma.

T - Milk chocolate-like sweetness starts things off with a very rich and creamy flavor. Mid palate the brew dries out a little bit with hints of burnt bread and some metallic characteristics. Late palate more roasted grain and some earthy bitterness enters the scene with a touch of sour fruit. Finish is fairly clean.

M - Medium bodied with moderate to soft carbonation. Everything works great with the flavors.

D - A solid dunkel worth revisiting. Nothing completely extraordinary but nonetheless a very well balanced and drinkable beer. (790 characters)

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an American pint glass.

A--Pours a deep brown, dark chocolate body with a finger and a half tan head that dies quickly to a ring. Head was denser than I anticipated, however, and left some nice dots and speckles in the glass.

S--Mostly dates, with a hint of licorice and tobacco toward the back of the nose. A little bit of must from the yeast.

T--Up front the malt gives you some soy sauce and beef jerky (not much of either, but they're there) before being cut by a tang of beautiful lager yeast and a bright, brief hop bitterness that has a twinge of fruit, maybe plum? Throughout there are considerable whole-grain flavors from dark, molasses-rich bread. Very satisfying on the barley end of things, and the malt vinegar early on makes this brew memorable.

M&D--Seltzer water. That, to me, is exactly what the mouthfeel mimics. It's kind of refreshing, but I'd like something a little less bubbly and a little more sturdy. Drinkability shines as is typical for a lager--worthy of a keg and a giant pyramid of stacked steins.

I tried this beer because I had a Warsteiner dunkel at an outdoor German Christmas market and, before that, a Penn Pilsner at a Pirates game at PNC park. I had tried neither the Munich dark style nor the brewery before these two, and having liked both I was stoked to see I could combine them. The result is impressive. Looking forward to trying more of Penn's offerings. (1,440 characters)

Photo of Dodo2step
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Market Cross Pub in Carlisle.

A- a dark brown/copper brass pour. A minimal head but lets off great aroma. Somewhat opaque but some light does get through.

S- light aroma of chocolate and caramel malts. Also some german pilsner malts.

T- dark roasted caramel malts with hints of chocolate. Some sour tang as well. Very good and tasty. Not too much hop to it but it is there but this beer is all malt flavor.

M- malt and smooth. Very clean and a pleasure to put down.

D- Easy to pound these back. A nice session beer. this would be good from a keg if you wanted to get one for a party. (591 characters)

Penn Dark from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.