Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Spaten Dunkel - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten DunkelSpaten Dunkel

Educational use only; do not reuse.

200 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 200
Hads: 574
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 21.58%
Wants: 18
Gots: 54 | 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.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 200 | Hads: 574
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

 259 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange-brown with a 1 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasty malt, caramel, and some slight metallic aromas. Taste is of malt, caramel, and a fruity flavor on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think it tastes better than it smells.

 433 characters

Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin dense beige head that quickly dissipated, leaving only a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark and caramel malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the initial taste is quite malty with flavors of caramel and a bit of sweetness; however this is quickly offset by flavors of grassy hops and a mild amount of bitterness that continues through the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, smooth and a bit thin (but not watery) on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is easy to drink and rather sessionable. I would have no problem having more than one of these at a time because it’s not very filling.

 861 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

not my favorite here. pours dark brown and flat like the left over morning coffee down the drain with the dinner dishes. smells malty and astringent. taste is really funny, german malts yes, but in weird proportion. the dark roast thing doesnt seem to work here, and the mouthfeel is rough with so little carbonation and a full body. not sure if i got a bad bottle, i know a lot of these green glass imports can be mishandled, but i really didnt care for this brew and i am a lover of dunkels

 492 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spaten makes some really good stuff. They're Dunkel is also quite tasty. This beer pours out as a clear brown color with a tan foamy head. the head settles and leaves us with a nice roasted nutty aroma with some pilsner aromas hidden in the back. The beer tastes good, its got a nice dry roasted flavor to it. The mouthfeel is quite drinkable. It's good dark German brew.

 371 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt caramel color topped by two fingers of ecru foam that leaves a few dots behind

Smell: Crusty brown bread; somewhat grainy

Taste: Brown bread, up front, followed by a twangy, grainy character through mid-palate; the finish, however, is clean with hints of nuts, brown bread and chocolate powder

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit thin

Drinkability: An acceptable product but there are better dunkels from the old country than this

 486 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

 1,224 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Label is marked "L02901"

High clarity caramel color, looks like tea or soda almost. A thin cap of tannish white foam puffs up, then soon fades to a skim. A thin ring at the edge, no lace and not the greatest retention.

Vague notes of husky toasted grain. Initial skunk from the green bottle that faded after a minute or so.

Malty, nutty flavor, more dry than sweet, though there is a hint. Lingering notes of cereal grain. Simple, but with a bit of toastiness that gives it the signature Dunkel character. Well carbonated and somewhat effervescent, suitable for drinking by the liter. Prost!

 596 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark brown color with amber highlights. It had a small, white head of soapy foam that left sudsy trails on the glass.

S - It smelled of malt and some sulfur-like aromas. Not so appealing.

T - Good malty flavor with caramel and toffee. There is a very mild hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied lager that is fairly dry.

D - This is an okay Munich Dunkel. The aroma was disappointing but the flavor was good.

 452 characters

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

 322 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another new one for me, we brought a bunch over to the fourth of July cookout. Served cold and poured
into a nice tasting glass, this one was consumed on 07/04/2010.

Thrilled to see this one back on the shelf. Thrilled enough to go out and get a sixer of it! The nice
dark caramel pour just lifts your feelings right away as the subtle head of light tan just really
pulls it all together for me.

Aroma is nutty, roasted nuts, hints of caramel, brown sugar, touches of light coffee and nice herbal,
grassy notes. Each sip was like caramel and bready heaven. Really nicely done here as it had a
tremendous depth of flavor while maintaining a light and well balanced feel to it. Smooth, rich,
creamy, the perfect late afternoon session ale.

Overall just amazing quality as always. Hard to really find much fault with just about anything they
do. I could have this one again in a heart beat.

 890 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a clear, dark amber-brown body with a smallish, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Aroma smelling of European malts with the predominate notes being toasted bread and humble nuts. Lesser, lighter notes of caramel, dried herbs, and, upon warming, some grains.

Taste: Toasty, bready malts with some light, airy touches of cocoa powder and ground walnuts. Mild caramel sweetness. Slightly herbaceous hops with a low amount of imparted bitterness. The taste picks up some grainy notes in the latter half. Small bite of acidity on the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A reasonably tasty lager that's also rather easy to drink. Still, it's no Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel!

 728 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Gotta love free bottles, right? Thanks, Mike! I'm always down for samples. This one pours a clear sunset ruby topped by a a finger of dusty tan foam. The nose comprises flaky biscuits, light hot cinnamon, light caramel, and maybe a blade of grass or two. The taste holds notes of caramel, light biscuit, and what seems like a pinch of nutmeg. It's all pretty straightforward and ends up pretty tasty. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a mostly fluid feel. Overall, a nice dark lager, very drinkable, if a bit on the dull side.

 611 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +12%
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.

 679 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

All InBev-ness aside...
Poured a clear dark tea brown with a nice layer of off-white head that retained well and left a bit of lacing on the pint glass. Roasted malts and pumpernickel in the aroma, traces of caramel and nuts. The taste follows the aroma, with mainly rich, roasted malts in the foreground, bready, nutty, caramel and brown sugar. Medium mouthfeel, and a nice quaff for any occasion.

 451 characters

Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 8/27/2013. Pours crystal clear ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, light roast, raisin, pear, apple, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of dark/bready malt, yeast ester, and light hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, light roast, raisin, pear, apple, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Zero bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of carmel, toast, toffee, brown bread, light roast, raisin, pear, apple, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Good balance and solid robustness of dark/bready malt, yeast ester, and light hop notes; with a very clean finish with zero cloying flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with no warming present after the finish. Overall this is a good Munich dunkel style. Good balance and solid robustness of dark/bready malt, yeast ester, and light hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A pleasant and enjoyable offering.

 1,329 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 386 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%

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.

 236 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown with dark rubyish highlights. A thin head becomes a wispy cover.

The smell is of caramel/toffee with a touch of noble hop spicing. Nice malty aroma.

The taste is of caramel/toffee/grainy malt. It is sweet with an earthy bitterness and hint of roast balancing it out in the finish.

It has a smooth, almost silky, medium body.

It is a very easy-drinking "sessionable" brew. Nice malty character with balance.

 422 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 505 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a 1/2" tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice sweet caramel malt nose with a dry lager yeast aroma. The is a bit of roasted character as well. The taste is good. It has a smooth pilsner and crystal malt flavor that goes down really easy and finishes dry with some light residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with a tad too much carbonation. This is a good drinker. I like this one better than the their regular offering.

 537 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 355 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Six-pack from the Wine Exchange, on to the beer:

This beer has a tawny brown color to it, which sits at the border of being amber. The head is bubbly looking, decent head retention. The aroma....there is some sweet bready and carmel malt upfront, also some grassy notes from the hops. As expected in the taste, it is sweet, and it is making me a little happy. The usual sweet bread, carmel, and raisin profile is found, on the mild side for the style. Also grassy and herbal from the hops....some hop oils as well...hmmm, imagine if the hops didn't spoil. Easy in the mouth, medium feel in the mouth, drinks easy...good.

I expect Spaten products to be "pretty good", and Spaten Dunkel hits that set target. I'm glad a got a 6-pack, as I will be drinking the rest of my bottles with future dinners. In fact, this beer was consumed with homemade BBQ cheeseburgers with baked potato.

 883 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, always cool to see a new Spaten,

A: Pours brown with a light fizzy head, cola-esque, good clarity.

S: Smoke and baked bread notes, hint of purple Concord grape.

T: Not getting a huge amount compared to other dunkels I've had. Light roast, dark bread, molasses and raisin. A good flavour, but light.

M: Moderate carbonation and body. Prickly, smooth finish.

D: A good dunkel, but it doesn't give me the great malt notes I've come to expect in the style. Certainly an easy drinking dark beer.

 511 characters

Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 514 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
83 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.