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Spaten Dunkel - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Spaten DunkelSpaten Dunkel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

468 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 468
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.81%

Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu visit their website

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2009)
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Ratings: 468 | Reviews: 190 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Brouwerij78

New York

4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best beers I drank at Oktoberfest 2010. I also grab a glass or two on the weekend at the local Bavarian resort near my house. This is a smooth, dark, rich and semi-sweet brew that is very easy to drink (almost goes down like water). I am a big fan of Spaten in general, this being my favorite variety they put out. The purity of the ingredients lend to the purity of the flavor balance and smooth quality of this beer. The flavor of the malt and hops is so delicately balanced being a dark beer it makes this one of the more unique German beers that I have found. The smell is very sharp, fresh and potent which matches the full and robust flavor upon first sip. These are easy to drink indeed, but watch out because they pack a whallop of alcohol that can sneak up on you.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2013 16:51:01 | More by Brouwerij78
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2010 04:52:08 | More by haddon
Photo of drabmuh


3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer served in a tiny wine glass on draft/tap/draught at a local bar. Beer was brown and really hazy with a thin broken yellowish head of tiny bubbles that form some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mildly sweet and really malty. I now realize that this is a lager. Smells OK.

Beer is medium bodied and has some malty sweetness up front and leaves a slightly dry finish on the back. There is no aftertaste and its a good dunkel lager overall. Its a little like a bock. I enjoyed it, I would order it again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2010 01:38:38 | More by drabmuh
Photo of DesMoinesMike


2.45/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

With the dark color I was expecting a heaver body and deeper taste but was disappointed and feel that this is just a pilsner with food coloring and cinnamon. It has that sourness of the original Spaten but toned down with a bit more focus on malts, but not much more. It burns a bit going down and I wasn't too motivated to finish the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2010 02:02:34 | More by DesMoinesMike
Photo of smithza9


2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Of all places, I had this at an Irish pub in Canada. It was in a tall, thin. pint glass. This has a somewhat dirty, golden color. It has a very bitter taste, yet has a very smooth finish. Very bitter for a lager. A very light feeling in the mouth complements the bitterness nicely.


Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2010 00:25:01 | More by smithza9
Photo of mdfb79

New York

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

From 6/4/10 notes.Had on tap at Saloon in DC.

a - Pours a dark amber color with a few inches of off white head.

s - Smells of caramel and bready malts.

t - Taste follows the nose, mostly caramel malts. Also some bread and grain.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent lager. Some nice caramel malts in the smell and taste. Would try again but probably not seek out.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2010 23:55:58 | More by mdfb79
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2010 02:31:57 | More by tempest
Photo of MisterTiat


4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served in a Mass Krug

A: Nice amber when held to light, almost black when on the table. Off cream color head, ok retention

S: Roasty

T: Light roasted coffee flavor, but not so strong as to keep me from slamming! Maltiness well balanced by nice hop presence, I think detect some Hallertau

M: Good mouthfeel, beer feels thick and rolls around pleasantly in the mouth

Drinkability: Surprisingly easy to slam! Actually almost dangerously drinkable. It does get a little bit more difficult in a Mass Krug, 2 1/2 liters may be better

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2009 01:52:24 | More by MisterTiat
Photo of MTNboy


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer has a great true to the name dark brown body with a thick foamy. The lace follows the body as you drink all the way to the bottom, in tight clusters. It has roasted malty aroma. The flavor is a little bit metallic but not enough to really care about. The taste of this beer is all about roasty caramel like malt. The mouthfeel is a little more watery than I thought it would be but it is still a medium bodied beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2009 03:42:41 | More by MTNboy
Photo of atpben


2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at the Gingerman in Houston. Poured in a pint glass. Appears dark brown color with a tan head that dissiptes quite rapidly. Very earthy in the aroma with some grain. Some light chocolate and caramel in the taste but no depth. Quick, dry finish. I expected more from this beer. Was a little let down. The first Spaten beer that I didn't care for too much.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2009 01:27:22 | More by atpben
Photo of BEERchitect


4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this beer on-tap at Marikka's Bierstube, Lexington, KY.

The beer opens with an impressive, solid brown color with some ambers shining through. Bright clarity, fantastic head formation and retention with some lacing left on the glass. Dunkels just don't look better.

A bit bolder in the nose than I am use to from the style. The dry, toasty malts blaze the trail while subtle hints of cocoa, walnuts, and coffee can be found. Bready, fresh yeast aromas provide the pillow for the clean and varying scents.

Flavors are very consistent with the aromas. The bready malts give enough sweetness to compensate for the toasty notes. Avoiding a lot of resudual caramel flavor, the beer tastes as malty as any Dunkel should. Still, the toasty, cocoa, coffee, nutty notes give the needed complexity to the taste without compromising the clean malt taste. Hop flavors are very, very subtle and probably only used to balance the bitterness.

The beers textures are medium-full with a superb roundess, breadiness-maltiness, and finishes very clean with a snappy dryness. Finishing with a clean maltiness and a touch of nuttiness on the tongue.

This is a fantastic beer that is sure to grow on me. I've never had a better Dunkel.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2009 14:36:01 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of projectflam86


3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I went to my favorite beer bar and they just got this one in. I had to try it.

A- Poured a deep red brown color with a creamy tan head with a little bit of lacing.

S- Strong nutty and malted caramel aroma. Maybe a little bit of fig.

T- Lots of malted flavor with some coffee and and hazelnut taste.

M- Smooth and creamy, not too dry. Lacking a bit on carbonation though.

D- Overall a pretty nice beer with a distinct taste. Worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2009 16:01:26 | More by projectflam86
Photo of JerUrbans


3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark amber, with a thin white head.

Smell is toasted malt and a little chocolate,

Taste is a light dark beer. Very clean, slight soapy taste at the end.

Mouthfeel is smooth, light, crisp and very dry.

Overall, a couple buddies, a case of this, some Tuscon sun...Mexican cook out...Heaven to me. Great beer to pair with Mexican, or spicy chicken wings.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 02:38:28 | More by JerUrbans
Photo of Zetcha7x


3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Here we go...My first BA review.

Single purchased from Wegman's in a Mix-A-6 Pack or whatever they call it. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A- amber/brownish pour that produced a finger of light tan head and quickly died down. Minimal lacing. Pretty standard from the other Dunkels I have seen.

S- brown sugar, toffee, some dark fruits

T- sweet malts, zero bitterness, dark fruits

M- light bodied, little carbonation, smooth

O- not a style that I have had a lot of, but I expected more roasted malt flavors. Very drinkable, smooth and clean. Definitely could put a few down...if someone else made the purchase. Not a bad beer, but nothing I would go out of my way to purchase.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 02:13:22 | More by Zetcha7x
Photo of StoutHunter


3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a bottle of Spaten-Franziskaner-Brau's Spaten Dunkel a couple weeks ago for $2.99 at The Bavarian Inn. My buddy @Mottozappa helped re-spark an interest in Dunkel's and Dark Lager's and since I've never had this one before I thought I would give it a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a green 11.2oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, it's got a pretty simple and clean design, but it isn't too eye catching. It poured a fairly clear amber brown color that took on more of a dark ruby and crimson color when held to the light with two fingers of light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left a little bit of spotting lacing behind. This was a nice looking beer, it looked fairly true to style.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness that has a slight brown sugar like aroma to it and it's followed by a the malts being the first to show up and they impart a slightly grainy, brown bread, bread crust, toasted, caramel and toffee like aromas with no single aspect seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes some dark fruit aromas with a light doughy yeast aroma with an equally light nutty aroma. This beer has a nice aroma, but I wish there was some roasted malt aromas.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the malts still being the first to show up and they impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma and they are followed by the dark fruits that show up even more then they did in the aroma and it seem to stick out the most in this beer. Up the finish there's a light nutty flavor followed by pretty much no bitterness and a dark fruit, sweet malt and toasted malt like aftertaste. This was a decent tasting beer, but I want more roast and less dark fruit flavors in my Dunkel's.

M- Smooth, clean, a little crisp, light bodied with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and a decent example of a Dunkel, but I tend to like my Dunkel to have a more noticeable roasted malt aspects and with this beer it was the dark fruits that seemed to stick out the most and that's not really what I'm looking for in a good Dunkel. This beer had ok drinkability, it was smooth, clean, a little crisp and not filling at all, but the taste didn't do a good job at holding my attention and one would be enough for me, but if I wasn't worried about taste I'm sure I could drink more than a few of these. What I liked the most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was nice and it worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was that it wasn't as true to style as I would like and it didn't seem as balanced as some of the better Dunkels. I wouldn't buy a bottle of this again, but I would for sure try it on tap to see if it's any different and I wouldn't recommend this one as a good Dunkel. All in all I was little let down with this one, I was expecting a pretty good Dunkel, but this one didn't live up to my expectations and so far it's my least favorite Spaten beer, better luck next time guys, this one just wasn't for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 04:40:27 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of falloutsnow


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From: France 44, Minneapolis, MN
Date: L299216L on label
Glass: Ayinger willi glass

Spaten's Dunkel is a fairly satisfying, slightly kilned malt forward dark lager that has plenty of caramel-like sweetness with bread crust and toasted nut flavors. Easily drinkable, fairly low alcohol, and generally satisfying. Not sure why this isn't more widely availble in the states, considering Spaten's enormous owners. One I'd pick up again if in the mood for these flavors.

Pours a modest 1cm tall head of beige-colored foam, which fades in about one minute to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass and a few medium-sized islands of thin foam lingering atop the body. Lacing is good, with an above-average scattering of lines and dots clinging to the sides of the glass. Body is a dark golden orange-brown color, with light revealing dark golden orange hues. Carbonation visible through the transparent body, moderate in number, high in activity.

Aroma is smooth and without harsh edges, appropriate for a lager. Fairly bold scents of medium-dark caramel-like sweetness, moderately toasted bread, slight toasted almonds, and light yeast.

Flavor is sweet as from syrupy medium-dark caramel, with toasted bread crust and almond notes, and slight roasted malt and woodsy hop characters adding some complexity. Front of palate tastes toasted cracker, medium intensity caramel, light toasted almonds. Mid-palate of syrupy medium-dark caramel-like sweetness, moderately toasted bread cursts and almonds, hints of roasted malt, and slight woodsy hops in the background. Back of palate of dark caramel sweetness, toasted bread crusts, light roast, and faint woodsy hops in the background. Aftertaste of lightly syrupy medium-dark caramel-like sweetness, toasted bread crusts, very light cocoa, and very mild bitterness from dark malt and hop additions.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a beer that has a moderate initial foaminess that gradually fades to a smooth mouthfeel. Closes dry, with medium-low stickiness clinging to the palate.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 05:54:48 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of Paincane


3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Mahogany hued brew with tan head that leaves behind nice lace.
S: Roasted malt, cocoa and dark fruit aromas.
T: Chocolate, coffee and nut flavors blend together well in this beautifully malty beer.
M: Smooth brew with a creamy texture.
O: Very good München Dunkel.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 23:29:31 | More by Paincane
Photo of scotorum


3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 11.2 oz. bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

a: Clear dark ruby with a finger thick offwhite head which receded to thin surface foam and a little spotty lacing.

s: Mild roasty malt

t: Roasted barley malt with slight fruit undertones. Mild Welch's grape juice-like aftertaste.

m: Light to medium.

o: Not as rich or full bodied as I had expected or hoped for, but a very easy drinking, mildly malty and, curiously, slightly fruity brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 05:09:24 | More by scotorum
Photo of kaplunk02


3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Completely clear dark amber topped with a large, dense head that dissipated quite quickly leaving no trace on the inside of the glass.

S: Very bready and malty aroma with a caramel sweetness. It wasn't upfront or dominant but I also detected a strong hop presence behind the other elements.

T: Mostly malty and bready as with the smell but with a slight bitter bite which I expect comes out of the roasted malt. I didn't taste as much caramel as I expected but there is a sweetness and a raisin-like flavor.

M: Very light and crisp. Goes down smooth.

O: Not the most complex flavors but totally true to the style. A great beer if you are after something darker in color and flavor but with the smooth, refreshing, simplicity of a lager.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 21:14:31 | More by kaplunk02
Photo of taylor714914


3.04/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a mug, a dark ruby color and frothy white head covers the top.

Smell is exceptionally carmely and toffee like. Tons of bready sweetness here.

Flavor is the same. A touch of toffee and hint of roasted character, but mainly dominated by the sweet bready and caramel flavors.

A bit too much carbonation for my liking, but still within the realm for this style.

A decent dunkel, not the most complex beer, but easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 22:35:48 | More by taylor714914
Photo of Hex


4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a go to beer for me and I can never speak many flaws about spatens line up.

A- right of the bat the beer is beautiful. Pours a gorgeous deep reddish brown. Almost like a cherry cola. 4 finger head no less, of khaki colored froth. Nice little retention not too much not too little. Lacing just hangs around, with every sip it records the level of beer in the glass! Couldn't ask for more at this point.

S- Very strong malty presence with coffee and oatmeal raisin dreams just emitting from the glass. Not too much beyond that. Leaves a bit of space for the imagination.

T- Malts... endlessly deep malts; very toasty. Currants, concords, and raisin... a little bit of butter cracker, a small aftermath of dark chocolate. All is pronounced and nothing is overpowered. Sheer Perfection.

M- Not the highest carbonation. Some people may describe this beers mouthfeel as "chewy" but I do enjoy those... It happens to have some calories so do not expect the beer to be super refreshing. To me yes, to most... no. Medium bodied beer no doubt.

O- Still and will always be my favorite spaten! the others in the line up compete and though not much separates them, they fail to beat the Dunkel. Year round, its a great beer to enjoy, but perfect for the beginning of spring and mid fall.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 01:22:38 | More by Hex
Photo of wac9


3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

what a wonderful beer its a great tasting beer a dark red beer taste great , but the smell its smells like a green bottle not skunkie just a green bottle smooth tasting dark red smooth going down very nice beer to drink hope to find it again enjoy it

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 01:33:08 | More by wac9
Photo of RyanTeeter

New York

4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: A very pretty beer. Ruby red chocolate in color. Very clear, with limited amount of light allowewd through. Head was a pretty khaki color but left as quickly as it came.

s: Wonderful citrus roasted chocolate flavors! Very delightful. I am getting some vanilla aromas on the end.

t: The flavor is delicious. I really am enjoying it. A very smooth chocolate flavor with an ending flavor of vanilla and grassy malts. Again, very plesant.

m: Nice coverage witin the mouth. Not real heavy but not very light. Light oil texture, but each sip and it's flavors all manage to disappear between gulps.

o: I know I mentioned it earlier but I really enjoyed this beer. Veryy unique flavors - reminds me of some vanilla casket beers, only lighter on the vanilla and heavier on the chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 01:42:19 | More by RyanTeeter
Photo of T100Mark


3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A 12 ounce bottle (no Euro Weenie bottle here) in a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Dark amber color. Great clarity. The head disappeared almost immediately. Zero lacing.

Smell - Nutty. Malty. Nice.

Taste - Malt. Carmel. Herbs. Faint smokey flavor. Slightly sweet. Very smooth. Mild.

Mouth - A little thin. The carbonation is on the fine side.

Overall - Good but not great. I expect a bit more from the Germans.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 03:01:29 | More by T100Mark
Photo of TastyAdventure


3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Beautiful dark ruby color. Thin white head that fades a little too quickly

Mouthfeel - Could use some more carbonation. other wise, a nice consistency.

Taste - Dark fruit, I taste raisins, a touch of bitterness to help balance the great malty sweetness, nothing overpowering,

Smell - freshly poured, it's amazing, rich, full flavor, dark fruit,

Overall - tastes like a beer that should have more alcohol, I really wish it did. If it had as much alcohol as Spaten's Optimator (7.5%), I'd get a sixer of this regularly. Nonetheless, a great tasting brew with plenty to offer. My first dunkel, and based on it's low ratings, I'm guessing I need to go try some more of this style.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 00:36:54 | More by TastyAdventure
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Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
83 out of 100 based on 468 ratings.