Spaten Dunkel - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten DunkelSpaten Dunkel

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562 Ratings
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Ratings: 562
Reviews: 200
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 14
Gots: 51 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu visit their website

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2009

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 562 | Reviews: 200
Reviews by erz316:
Photo of erz316
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 floz green bottle into special spaten becker.

A - pours well forming a big hear in an light brown. nicely clear brown colour with a good amount of red into the body. the brown-red color is quite nice.

S - notes of brown sugar and toasted malts, also some good yeasty notes. a simple but quite bold nose for this style, even when cold: a good change of pace for this stlye.

T - a good wide taste for such a humble and generally unexciting style of beer. initial taste is a bold aggressive hit of those darker malts, some brown sugar; a real solid and steady taste for something this mass produced. the finsih has a bit of spicy and has some touches of booze. after taste is a residual malt sweetness, very faint but pervasive.

MF&D - a very creamy beer, completely mouth coating. good amounts of carbonation with a great thickness body gives this beer what it needs to be highly palatable.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium russet color with a a slight amber hue, a sticky off white head atop,aromas of caramel and light roast mainly with a slight tinge of iron.Just well rounded flavors of cocoa with light caramel sweetness,not much hop presence but I didnt expect any.Its easy drinking with some nicer subtle flavors to be had.

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

Appearance - This is a very pretty beer. The liquid is dark but not black, more like a darkish brown, but very even with a nice, fluffy off-white head that showed great retention.

Smell - The aroma here really needs to open up as the beer warms, but once it does you get some wonderful sweetish malts just filled with a rich, rich caramel smell.

Taste - The malts here come out nicely and lack that overly bitter bite you find with many cheap efforts at the style. Simplicity reigns here with some big caramel malt flavors and a slight hint of burnt toast.

Mouthfeel - This is light-bodied with some nice, moderate carbonation and a smooth bitterness that is caressed with the gooey sugars into a nice, warm finish.

Drinkability - This is incredibly smooth and quite the rewarding treat. Really this and the Ayinger MDL and maybe the Hofbrauhaus's effort are the only good examples of the style commonly available around the US that I've tried thus far.

Photo of brownbeer
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep red color with a small, off-white head.

The aroma is clean with sweet malt, caramel candy, and biscuit.

Soft malts on the palate with a touch of earthy hops and a nice, chocolaty fade into a long finish. Mellow carbonation, the mouthfeel is a tad thin, though not watery. Definately a solid beer.

Photo of generallee
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a green 12oz bottle into a Pilsener glass. There was no noticeable freshness date on the bottle.

Appearance: It has a deep reddish amber body that is very dark but also has good clarity. On top there is a thin light tan head that fades quickly down to a ring of lacy foam.

Smell: The aroma has just a simple sweet caramel malty presence with no hint of hops at all.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor has a candy like sweetness with caramel, light roasted notes and very light floral hops in the background. The palate has a sweet malty finish, soft carbonation and a modest medium body that is very drinkable.

Notes: It reminds me of a lighter bodied, average tasting bock beer. It's simple and sweet but not cloying, so I could see myself drinking a few more of these.

Photo of NicholasCasber
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: This beer poured a nice dark, almost brown, but seemed a bit more amber in the light.

S: The smell was very dark, and earthy, with roasted barley smells.

T: The taste was very good overall, it was fairly sweet for the aroma that I was picking up, and it finished with a pumpkin aftertaste.

M: The mouthfeel was good, it was smooth and finished smooth, not too much carbonation on this one.

D: I'd rate this higher if it was priced more effectively, and I know, some are going to say, you get what you pay for when you purchase beer, while I agree with that sentiment, I still feel beer of all styles and all greatness should be reasonably priced.

Overall, good beer, I'd recommend it for a fall, or early winter beer. Cheers.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.76/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pour that looked like a generic cola, dark brown flimsy beige carbonation head that falters on the side of the glass. Harsh aroma, not pleasant, alcohol and industrial cleaner type of aroma. Can't recall seeing a beer of this color (dark) in a green bottle.

Taste was a little better, the aroma harshness was a little much, not as bitter or alcoholic as I was expecting it to be. Flavor is lighter and easy going, don't let the color fool you. Some licorice like notes got in there though, I don't know if that's the yeast or what. Not really getting the dark roast flavors, just the bitterness, which, while less than I expected after getting hit in the nose with the smell, is still above average for style.

Overall, this is an average dunkel lager, with a far below average aroma. Sheesh. Bring on the nail polish!

Photo of chinchill
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%

On tap
Dark amber brown with a durable foamy beige head.
Surprisingly rich and nutty aroma. This is followed up by the flavor which is nutty but not rich. The feel is a bit too thin and might benefit from a touch higher carbonation.

Photo of Tilly
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A real nice dark red/brown colour with a slight khaki head.
Malt and caramel aromas.
Sweetness, nutty, malt flavours.
Mild mouth feel. Nice and gentle carbonation.
Quality German beer! Before the craft beer explosion, this would have been a favorite.

Photo of glid02
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a mixed pack received as a gift.

Pours a clear chestnut color with a one-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sticky dark caramel malts with hints of nuttiness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Dark caramel malt flavors that are lightly toasted kick things off and are followed by a hint of nuttiness that carries through to a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my bottle without a problem however I'm not sure I'd like another.

Overall this beer didn't have a whole lot going on to make it stand out but I thought it was solid. Worth a shot.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a green bottle (scary!!!!) into a pils glass. It looks good despite my initial fear from being in a stinky green bottle. The beer is garnet with dollops of just off white suds. Not a bad start.

The nose is sweet and has a full malt aroma. Slightly toasted in the background but not overly caramelized. Nice and simple.

A fine lager. Clean and crisp with a meaty malt backbone. There is a nice subtle bitterness that works well to just balance the larger grain presence. Again, simple and fantastic.

The mouthfeel is the only thing that slips a little in my book. It tends to be a little tart and not really a full bodied beer as the style should be. The carbonation is also a tad aggressive which sizzles a little much and distracts from the fine malt profile. It is however an easy drinking beer and one I've been happy to wrap my soup coolers around.

Photo of RichardMNixon
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a seidel. Transcribed from notes.

A: Dark ruby-brown body with lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Thin off-white head that eventually disappears.

S: Lots of yeast and malt with a faint whiff of dark fruit and caramel.

T: Bready with some chewy caramel malt.

M: Medium bodied, a bit sticky sweet at the end.

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

Spaten- Dunkel

A- Deep creamy brown with a big heavy lacing head.
S- Sweet brown sugar and caramel malt.
T- Thick and sweet caramel malt. Brown bread and bread crust with molasses and caramel make this a nice thick malty beer.
M- Thick and creamy smooth. Moderate sweetness throughout.

Overall- very easy to drink and quite good for 1 of my first Dunkel's of 09'

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours chocolate colour body with some mocha head. From Half Time. Maltish aroma, a modest roastiness. Average mouthfeel. Very good drinkability, though somewhat sweet. A tad yeasty. Finishes a little drying. Another decent INBEV beer. I would have this again.

Photo of haddon
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this on tap at flying saucer in Nashville.

dark mocha color with decent off-white head. little lacing down pint glass. looks like it has potential

notes were a little light on the nose. did catch some malty caramel smells with lightly toasted grains and nuts. was expecting more considering its appearance

sweet malts on the palate. cocoa & caramel with very little hop presence. kept waiting for more to come through as it warmed but didn't happen

light to medium body with light carbonation

this beer was drinkable but borderlines on not much happening. I kept thinking it was going to start slow and take off, but no. not bad and not great. just OK.

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - ruby amber with a thick half inch of thick, fizzy, brownish, off white head that has decent retention

S - must, grains, caramel

T - caramel, very faint chocolate, plum, raisin, figs

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a decent dunkel. It has decent flavor and solid drinkability. It's a bit sweet and fruity but overall pretty good.

Photo of mempath
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep bourbon amber with little to no lacing and an off-white head.

smell is a deep sweet roasted toasty sour dark dried fruit marinated in molasses. something like that which translates more subtly in the flavor...mouthfeel is a bit thin, but crisp enough. dry, but finish lingers a bit. carbonation actually a bit over the top is a good thing here. the flavor could be so more rich if the mouthfeel was thicker, but it works in a refreshing way as it is. 'good'...which makes this pretty much a delicious though not as complex as i'd like brew. sure it would work with food, but pleasant enough to enjoy a few rounds. not a go to. but at its price, quite tasty when compared to almost every american macrobrew. there's something admirable here. and somewhat disappointing.

edit: revisited this today on this second record breaking day of east coast heat....5:30pm and it's still 100 degrees! so, this being a very cold brew hits the spot...and some of the above 'criticisms' work to be highlights now...GLAD it isn't thick and overbearing and subtle...very refreshing...actually, the flavor profile is much more pronounced than the day i tried it first in tongue seems to change with the seasons. so, i bumped up a few points to balance these two samplings.

Photo of secondtooth
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice caramel amber in color, with a large, off-white head and solid spoke-style lacing.

Nose is malty -- I get caramel, toffee, and a hint of fruitiness. Definitely sweet.

Taste is similar, sweet with toffee tones and some fruit coming in. Body is light, and this is an easy-drinking and enjoyable dunkel.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear deep-mahogany brown body beneath a frothy head of light tan. The head retention and lacing are good.

Smell: Interestingly malty like a bock. Hops (which are nice, and quite often missing from the style), caramel, and a bit of toasty malt.

Taste: Caramel, scorched brown sugar, floral hops, gently bready malt. A touch spicy, and moderately bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Once warmed a bit, it's smooth and almost creamy across the palate. Prior to that it offers a standard crispness from a median carbonation level.

Overall: Very nicely done. It's rich, but not overdone; and it's maltiness is superbly balanced by the spicy hops and moderate bitterness.

Photo of RickS95
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Comes out of the green bottle a medium brown color. It's almost translucent, despite the brown and has a thin white head that has no retention.

Has an earthy, sourish, malt smell. Maybe some licorice in the background.

Tastes like is smells, only there's a breadiness to it, with the slightest hint of chocolate and coffee in the swallow.

It's kind of sour and kind of bitter from beginning to end.

I liked this more than I expected, probably because it's a German lager and not a crappy American lager. It's just more refined than the lagers I'm used to.

Photo of Bobby12many
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Cola brown with very little head, even with an aggressive pour.

S - Wheat, mixed with a very distinct light-struck funk. Some Caramel malts in the background, but are hard to discern through the off funkiness.

T - A bit better than the smell, but still pretty disappointing. Lots of malt, mostly of the sweet variety. Pretty one dimensional but not bad.

M - A bit watery, even for the style, without much carbonation. Feels quite limp and thin.

D - The thin feel of this mixed with its slightly off nose makes it a tough one to enjoy. It is an easy drinking Lager, but far from interesting. Overall just an average beer that I doubt I will buy again. (if anything, I may pick up another bottle in the future just to make sure it wasnt a bad bottle due to improper storage. the lightstruck hint in the nose has me a bit concerned that this bottle was not truly representative of this brew)

Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a pitcher at J. Ryan's in Syracuse. The pitcher made this beer look like a porter, but in a smaller glass is became clear brown. I have to say, this brew reminds me a lot of Spaten's Optimator. I guess I wouldn't be surprised if they shared the same yeast and similar grains. Anyways, that meant this dunkel had a big, dark breadcrust flavor with mild licorice around the edges. There wasn't a lot of flavor upfront, but Spaten is a more corporate-tasting (read simple) brand. Not a bad dunkel for a session.

Photo of mlockman
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was early in my beer-experience, so I'll have to revisit; not well acquainted with the style, but it did little to impress

Photo of DerekP
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown with reddish hues in the appearance of this beer. Not opaque, but dark enough to keep you from really checking out what's going on in the glass (the most you'll see is a reddish brown wall with the shadow of your fingers holding the glass). A frothy nougat head sits quietly up top. Carbonation bubbles rising. Appearance: 4/5

Caramel in the nose. Chocolate fudge, raisins, figs, crust of brown bread. An underlying herbal hops aroma rises up as it warms. Aroma: 4/5

Dark and caramel malts send suggestions of cocoa nibs and caramel to the taste buds. Hops come through with a gentle and balancing bitterness. Cold coffee. Dark chocolate bar flavor drys and lingers on the tongue. Taste: 3.5/5

A touch watery at times, but a quaffable dunkel, for certain. Medium to full bodied; I really can't decide. Feel: 3.5/5

Overall I give this brew a 4 out of 5. The fragrance is really enjoyable and appealing as it is malty and robust. The taste is complex, rich, sweet and dry. Though I said it was a touch watery, that characteristic improves its drinkability. 5.2% ABV on the bottle, lower than what I've read elsewhere, and that's a good thing.

Photo of maleman
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness dating noted. Dark, almost stout-colored pour. Thin head that receded quickly into nothing. Slight, oily lacing.

S - toasted malt, chocolate, some coffee, is predominate.

T - very biscuity taste that followed the nose. the grain is quite evident.

M - medium-bodied with an aftertaste that tends toward bitter in the back of the mouth. medium carbonation.

D - not a bad quaff. can sit around with friends and have several of these. not a Chimay, but not bad, either.

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Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
83 out of 100 based on 562 ratings.