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Spaten Dunkel - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten DunkelSpaten Dunkel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

499 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 499
Reviews: 193
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 12
Gots: 21 | 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: 499 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
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 oberon

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2009 22:42:58 | More by oberon
Photo of riversider76

New York

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

Pours medium brown with a ruby hue. Thin head. Not much retention and no lacing. Aroma is of dark fruits,bready malts, and hints of grassy hops. Body is light with some carbonation. Taste is of raisin bread and butter. Earthy hops in the mix as well. Complex. A decent version of this style.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2009 23:41:40 | More by riversider76
Photo of Anthony1


3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smells of malt and dark bread with fainter chocolate and raisin scents. Mild herbal hop mostly it just adds a grassy note. There is a fruity aroma here but it can only be described as raisin.

Starts out sweet and malty with a solid bitterness, more bitter than I would have expected judged by beer type. Strong dark bread flavor like serious Russian black bread flavor deep and rich, nothing at all like the light stuff.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 13:37:38 | More by Anthony1
Photo of BeerManDan


3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It started out with a nice reddish amber color with a medium amount of white foam and a little lace retention. The smell of roasted malts and mild hops were very evident. But, the taste was also of roasted malts and hops, but, a little to weak to carry over a pleasant flavor of the combination of both. A little to bitter on the finish also. Just an OK Dunkel, nothing to get excited about.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 23:40:08 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The chilled 12-ounce pours clear and ruby-tinted amber in color with a short topping of fast-fading off-white foam. Tiny wisps of filmy lacing mark the passing of the drink onto the sides of my shaker pint glass.

The aroma is mild and malty with a hint of crushed cola nuts and a hefty tracing of dark-toasted bread.

The taste is mild and on the malty-sweet side of things with just a sprinkle of spice. Diluted caramel and more darkened toast are accented by a twinge of drying earthiness.

The drink is light-medium in body with fine-bubbled carbonation. Very drinkable, but pretty unexciting.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 23:02:57 | More by cvstrickland
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 jnezda


2.55/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tried this Dunkel with no real preconceived notion of what I would end up with.

Appearance: Pours with very little head that dissipated quickly, as is the case with other Spaten beers I have tried. No lacing at all. A dark amber colored beer.

Smell: Dark fruit, perhaps raisin, or berry apricot, some yeast smell carrying a heavy expectation of a full taste.

Taste: Surprisingly light, slight yeast taste but still with a little dark fruit. Average flavor for a dark German beer. Expected something a bit more robust.

Mouthfeel: Flat with little carbonation for a bottle beer. Enjoying this glass seems like a draft from an under carbonated draught.

Drinkability: Good flavor for a session beer

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 02:50:24 | More by jnezda
Photo of william5586


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

A- Appears light brown at first but takes on a reddish hue when held to the light. Very clear with a small fizzy off white head.

S- Sweet caramel malt.

T- Lightly toasted sweet caramel malt. A little grainy with some nutty flavors. Ample carbonation gives the beer some bite. Light body and maybe a touch watery, but it doesn't really hurt the beer to much. A slight sweetness lingers through the dry finish.

D- A great session beer that I could drink all night.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 02:14:04 | More by william5586
Photo of Overlord


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A bit underrated, if you ask me.

Pours a dark, softly hued brown with some dark amber. Maybe an inch of off-white foam.

Smells faintly of dark fruits, raisins, and bread-y yeast. Yum. Taste basically delivers on the smell. Bread, yeast, raisins, more dark fruit sweetness than expected. Pretty good. Solid, quaffable. Mouthfeel a bit watery, but decent.

Very drinkable brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 07:32:42 | More by Overlord
Photo of tavernjef


4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gorgeous firey dark root beer highlighted amber that looks much like an O-fest. A small, dense cap of sandy tanned foam emerges for a bit then escapes without much staying behind other then a slivered collar ring and sparce amount of spotty lace.

Nice nose of gooey dark bready malt with favorably clean cut amounts of dark caramel, molasses, vanilla, and pale dates.

Taste is nice and chewy with a good portion of dark softening breadyness flowing in with a creamy balance of caramel, vanilla, molasses, and tender dark fruity gooeyness hinted at the mid range. Light airy finish of creamy malts sticking it up with a firm coating that is Doppelbock-ish and quite nice to behold.

The body is incredibly smooth and creamy with a malt laden fullness that really clean cuts itself into your palate and makes a for a tender, chewy, candyious treat. Its like a Dobbelbock with a bit of a lighter side to it thickness and ABV.

Yummy stuff and insanely drinkable by many quickly emptying glasses.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 23:26:48 | More by tavernjef
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 21:54:20 | More by WesWes
Photo of generallee

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 22:06:47 | More by generallee
Photo of mcoh1030


2.17/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another reviewer noted the term "boring". I'd echo his sentiments. I'm not familiar with Dunkels so I'm not in a position to compare this brewer with others.

However, if you like dark beer don't expect this one to give you the German dark beer experience. It just falls short. Sure it's got flavor and a nose but all in all I can't think of a moment in time where I would choose this style over others.

If your going for an imported dark, stick with Spaten's Optimator.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2009 13:25:24 | More by mcoh1030
Photo of jwc215


4.08/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2009 16:56:08 | More by jwc215
Photo of TheTrevor

New York

3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark brown with a reddish tinge and a single-finger tan head. The smell is some bready malt and graininess. The taste starts off with some toasted malt with a bit of nuttiness towards the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with a moderate amount of carbonation. This beer has no problem with drinkability, but doesn't really stand out or strike me as a great version of the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 23:20:10 | More by TheTrevor
Photo of BradLikesBrew


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

Spaten Dunkel pours a dark brown body with ruby hues. Sweet caramel aroma. Palate is caramel, brown sugar, with nutty malt flavors in the finish. Crisp and smooth. A pretty good Dunkel. Very simple, but also quite sessionable and affordable. Good dark(er) beer to introduce to folks who think all dark beers are rich and heavy.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2009 19:09:15 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of daledeee


3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this into my oversized wine glass and found a head hard to keep. Clear very dark brown and little lace was left after a moment.

The nose is like corn bin and some faint malt.

Taste is kind of sweet with some malt and hop aftertaste, but not much.

Drinkability is lessened by the lack of finish and carbonation. Weak mouth feel. This beer is not hard to drink just very boring.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2009 23:52:55 | More by daledeee
Photo of tone77


3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a green bottle into a weizen glass. Has a dark brown color with red tint and 1/2 inch head. Very weak aroma, mild grains. Taste is also mild, a tad malty, overall pretty good. Feels medium bodied in mouth and is fairly drinkable. Overall a pretty good brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 22:37:25 | More by tone77
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2009 22:37:17 | More by ChainGangGuy
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2009 18:24:54 | More by erz316
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is softly malty with notes of European hops. Some nut and biscuit and caramel. Smells okay.

Pours a deep amber copper, almost mahogany brown, with yellow highlights, good clarity, mild head. Looks pretty good. Very nice color.

Flavor follows nose with bitterness and a soft pungent mouthfeel that feels like hop or grain tannins. A deeper maltiness grows with a solid honey/caramel base and soft roast. Hints of vanilla. Finishes softly bitter with a hint of chocolate roast. Tastes good. Feels pretty good. Pretty good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2009 00:57:37 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz green bottle... Inflatablechair left me one of these on the 4th... Thanks Sam!! Poured into my shaped SA glass.

Descent 1" head dies back fairly quickly with no lace and only a descent cap.. the brew is very pretty deep polished cherry brown.

Nose is crusty bread... sorta toasty.. mild nuttiness... much more complex than my feeble nostrils can describe.

Flavor mirrors the aroma but is more deep and more rounded throughout.. sorta earthy with a very mild but detectable chocolate element... body is medium with a lighter than expected carbonation.. this is a pretty damn fine dunkel.... I like it and would certainly buy it often if it was available to me... thanks again Sam.


Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 08:16:07 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Rayek


3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a Spaten stange.

A: Deep amber, with very nice clarity. A fizzy cream head comes and goes quickly. Leaves no lace. Easily the weakest part of the beer.

S: Simple, but nice. Toffee, lemon and a little grass aromas interplay nicely.

T: The aromas slip seamlessly into the flavor. Malts have a bittersweet toffee flavor. Bitterness is mild and lends a lemon snap. Finishes tart and very dry.

M: The body is slightly slick and has the right amount of fizz.

D: This beer is simple and easy to drink. Greater complexity would have been nice, but the overall effort is solid.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 22:40:36 | More by Rayek
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
Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
83 out of 100 based on 499 ratings.