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Spaten Dunkel - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten DunkelSpaten Dunkel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

490 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 490
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 12
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
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: 490 | Reviews: 190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a flute glass

A: pours a deep amber brown with a thick head of frothy foam that is off white in color and disipates at a quick rate, leaves no lacing

S: sweet scent with a slight malt and nutty backing

T: starts off sweet and then a nice malt flavor works its way in, sweetness lingers on the pallet

D/M: smooth drinking, sweetness makes it easy to drink but it does sit slightly heavy, nice carbonation tingle

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 02:56:47 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Bierkraft in Brooklyn because it was available via the single bottle and I've never had it before. It wasn't the best beer that I've had lately but it was enjoyable and relatively mellow. Not having many offerings of this style leads me to believe that most are like that, but it's hard to say since there aren't a lot of these available around here.

Poured a solid brown with some head and not much of an aroma. The mouthfeel was a bit thin and there was no lacing to be seen after each sip. The taste was that of caramel, molasses, and a bit of nut and had I not looked at the bottle, I would have felt that this was a Brown Ale or something similar to that. This went down pretty easily and like some other reviewers on here, I expected this to "brighten up" as I worked my way down the bottle. Alas, the first sip wasn't much different than the last and beers just don't get much more plain than this.

If you're looking to try more than one, this wouldn't be a bad choice as the alcohol is barely detectable. I wish this had more of an aroma and a punch to it but sometimes, a beer has to be unassuming and I need to just stop overanalyzing and just enjoy it. If this is that beer, than so be it! It's not a bad choice and as I said before, I wish there were more to choose from on my local shelf so I could get a better feel for this style.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 00:47:12 | More by JerzDevl2000
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 redzone3120


3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Very deep and dark with a hint of red, similar to a Coke. The head is a creamy brown color about half a finger thick, dissipates quickly.

S - Strongest smell is yeasty and somewhat sour. Has hints of toasted malts (I think).

T - First thing, the flavor of this brew is nowhere as strong as its appearance. Has a very mild flavor but not bad. Definitely can taste some toasted malt but not really sure what else.

M - Starts and finishes crisp and clean, almost no aftertaste. Carbonation is good but slightly sharp on the tongue.

D - A drinkable beer that is crisp and refreshing. A little too mild for my taste but would go well with almost any type of food.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2010 03:37:05 | More by redzone3120
Photo of Bobby12many


2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
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)

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 01:54:08 | More by Bobby12many
Photo of bagpiper2005


3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour: Ice tea color with a small ring of head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Extremely weak. Some wheat and bread, but that's about it.

Taste: Sweet caramel and wheat malts. Not much else going on. Lightly bready, but lacking the rich flavors of banana or clove that you've come to expect out of a good German wheat beer. One-dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp. Carbonation somewhat overdone.

Drinkability: It's pretty drinkable, more like drinking sparkled water.

Final Notes: Not impressed. You could do much better than this one. And for God's sake stop with the green bottles!

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 00:01:52 | More by bagpiper2005
Photo of bellafromsocal


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

A deep red/brown appearance with little head. Smelled malty with a hint of carmel. You can taste the malt and carmel (although it's not a stong taste) and it is not overly sweet. Has a mild toasty finish. This beer was a little too carbonated for me and also a little too light and watery.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-01-2010 15:34:18 | More by bellafromsocal
Photo of bucklemyshoe


3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle at 42* into a pint glass.

A: This pours a deep mohagany color with a tiny bit of head that does not last long.

S: It shows notes of bready malts, some caramel, and a mild sourness that intensifies as it warms.

D: The taste is that of wet bread, caramel, and lactic sourness.

M: It is much lighter than I imagined and slightly watery.

D: This was quite a letdown for my first time trying the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 03:51:08 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of bigrzman


4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out from a 12 OZ bottle with a clear freshness date. medium Brown to dark brown in color, effervescent carbonation, and wispy head. Smells of herbal hops up front with a roasted malt back, very noticeable. Taste is of a herbal medicine hop up front again with a sweet caramel malt in the back with a notes of grass and grains. Mouthfeel is thin and bubbly and has a balance between drying and thirst quenching like a Dunkel should! This beer was made for drinking and drinking is what I do, I will drink a lot of these. Easy drinking, good taste and refreshing! This style has been hit on the head and then some. Great beer that is appropriate to this style to bad it had a hit in the looks department.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 21:23:05 | More by bigrzman
Photo of Sachsenfreude


3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Overall pretty average for the style, like a watery Bock beer. Flavors are pretty subdued and one taste mostly malt sweetness in the aftertaste. Smells like the taste, some light, sweet malts. Ok amount of lacing, but retains its head poorly. This beer is smooth and light, with a crisp bite in the finish. Pretty good stuff, quite drinkable. This is really nothing special but is true to the style. Not an offensive beer at all, so long as one does not pay too much for it, this beer will not disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 06:17:26 | More by Sachsenfreude
Photo of rebel1771


3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with little head.

S: Aroma of freshly baked bread and candied raisins.

T: Very light on flavor comprising of sweet bready malts with a hint of toasted grain.

D: Overall it's a solid beer, wouldn't mind a bit more flavor though.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 23:11:39 | More by rebel1771
Photo of sommersb


3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with no date code visible, into a pilsner glass.

This beer has a dark copper color with lots of carbonation and is clear. Good lacing followed a creamy, tan 2 fingers head.

Aroma was of sweet malts with some caramel and chocolate notes. Little or no hop aroma.

The taste was a rich lager, with malts, toast and chocolate flavors, but not overly sweet. A good balance of the malts and hops.
Mouthfeel had a slightly bitter aftertaste and a full body.

Drinkability is good - a very pleasant brew that I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 04:58:31 | More by sommersb
Photo of LacquerHead


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

It pours a dark clear brown.

S: it has a malty smell.

T: It's acceptable. The malts pretty much run the show. It has a mid-level sweetness to it. I had one of these, and that was enough to satisfy my curiosity. I don't really have to have this one again. To me it was too one sided - a semi-sweet malty beer. The hops didn't make much of an appearance. Overall, it was worth trying once, but I would rather go with a domestic craft beer of the same price.

Note: There was an initial skunk smell and taste in the very beginning.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 02:13:52 | More by LacquerHead
Photo of Haybeerman


4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear dark chestnut brown color. Poured a i finger tan head that dissipated to a skim. Laced in thin rings.

S: Bready toasted malts. Hay and grass in the background. A little nutty. Very clean aroma

T: Lightly toasted malt. A little peppery bitter. Clean and flavorful with very nice balance.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Crisp and clean with a really nice balance.

D: Very drinkable. Good flavor without being too overbearing. Sessionable ABV.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2010 15:32:29 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of ComfortablyBum

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 o bottle poured into a pint glass

A deep copper color. Almost tea or soda. Thin head.

S. Yeasty bread smell. Not much there.

T sweet malty goodness. Hops don't really make ank a appearance, but the sweet caramel malt makes up for it.

M. Light mouthful. Low carbonation.

D. Smooth and dry beer. I would like to have a cople of these.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 01:19:24 | More by ComfortablyBum
Photo of cetherid


3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured into a pint glass


pours a very dark red. a decent sized head the dissipates very quickly. almost looks like you poured a dr pepper.


very good. dark fruits with sweet malts. smell of dark bread in there as well. like your usual dunkel lager.


similar to nose but not as prevalent. very malty with a subtle fruit flavor. the smell is much stronger than the taste. its a little weak in this area. getting a little weird after taste as well.


feels light bodied. a bit too thin for me. decent carbonation. just wish i had a little more thickness to the brew.


decent but not high. doubt i'd go out of my way for a sixer but would definitely try again. be interested to try it on draft.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 01:22:04 | More by cetherid
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 yemenmocha


3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cola colored shade of brown with decent head at first that recedes to little after awhile. Nose is light with some caramel and malt. On the palate the malt sweetness comes across with a toasty quality. Finish is light in flavor with a lingering toasty malt flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 05:45:33 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of damndirtyape


3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Single bottle (no date anywhere on bottle) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark orange (shades of red and brown when held up to the light - mostly browns on the table) with lots of carbonation coming up through the glass. Thin off-white head that is persistent the whole time. Lacing not very persistent - tends to slide back down into the beer.

Smell: Some caramel malts, a hint of dark fruits, and a metallic lager-like smell (faint) at the end.

Taste: Sweet malt with caramel flavors and a very mild bitter finish. It's a little too sweet, not cloying, but unbalanced. The bitterness becomes more metallic the longer I drink it.

Mouthfeel: Slick with mild carbonation on the tongue (despite the appearance of lots of bubbles). Thicker than water but otherwise nothing special.

Drinkability: Maybe when paired with the right meal I would enjoy this more, but by itself I'm getting tired of it about halfway through the glass. It didn't go well with baked pasta (tomato base and mozzarella) so maybe that's what's throwing me off, but the fact that there is no date on the bottle could mean the beer is old.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 22:16:41 | More by damndirtyape
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 emerge077


3.58/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2010 23:08:13 | More by emerge077
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 04:40:02 | More by Sammy
Photo of Franz4


4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice color, burnt brown w/ a tint of redness, exactly what I'd expect from a dunkel, but even after an aggressive pour there's no head to speak of.

S- Smells like a loaf of fresh baked bread, lovely, very crisp scent.

T- like toasted dumplings, slight maltiness at the end that makes me go back for more.

M- very fine carbonation fades to give you something to chew on

D- I could drink this all day.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2010 22:04:05 | More by Franz4
Photo of BeerFMAndy


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

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint. No date or info.

A - Clear dark amber brown and foamy from a vigorous pour. The light coffee cream head sank rather quickly and didn't leave much lace to speak of.

S - Immediately after the pour i got a very nice, strong malted milk ball and nice chocolaty aroma. Smooth toasted Münich malts and crisp, clean aroma. Very nice dunkel smell. I'm glad it didn't skunk in the green bottle, especially with where I picked it up.

T - Crisp and clean dunkel malts with a good slight toastiness but lacking that good flavor profile in the aroma. A hint of dusty metal pokes in and out as well.

M - Crisp and clean with a lighter profile that allows no imperfection to be hidden. Well-carbonated, dry, and dusty.

D - Good drinkability, this dunkel is a fair beer. The aroma offers up much more than the flavor does in terms of potency but it's still a nice brew for the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 17:15:41 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of rkinsella


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

Poured into a dimple mug, cola colored, clear, off white head, average retention and lacing.

The smell of toasted raisin bread, perhaps a bit of plum and a very slight whiff of alcohol.

Taste is bread like and toasty...brown sugar note trailing to a minimal hop finish.

Medium body and medium carbonation.

Drinkability is high

Very good Dunkel overall. Exactly what it should be, a bit more complex and toasty than a Helles, with the same drinkability. I really want to try this on tap with some German food.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 00:42:18 | More by rkinsella
Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
83 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.