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Spaten Dunkel - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten DunkelSpaten Dunkel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

525 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 525
Reviews: 194
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 13
Gots: 30 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 525 | Reviews: 194 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cgmees
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%

A - Poured a reddish brown color with a small head that quickly disappeared.

S - Aoma is sweet, malty and a little citrus.

T - Balanced which makes it hard to really standout. Sweet with a lit bitter note and as another review indicated, tastes like a toned down weak Optimator.

M - Smooth and a slight fizz of carbonation, slightly slick on the mouth with a pleasant lingering.

D - Drinkable, I still like other brews by Spaten and will likely not buy again simply because I can find other brews that I like better.

cgmees, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

tempest, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of beerfairy
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%

A - Pours a nice head with a reddish brown body. However the head disappears quickly and leaves no lacing in the glass.

S - Prunish, malty and bready smells but not overpowering.

T - Taste of raisin bread and malt

M - Smooth and very little carbonation, close to being flat but still decent. Gives a bit of a slickness to the mouth. Might work well with smoked foods.

D - It's drinkable, not my favorite Spaten product but certainly not horrible.

beerfairy, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of zeff80
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%

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.

zeff80, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of Tone
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Poor retention and poor lacing. Smells of sweet malt, yeast, pale malt, and sulfur. Fits the style of a Munich Dunkel Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, pale malt, yeast, sulfur, and a hint of pale hops. Overall, the sulfur is dominate, but other flavors account for a decent Munich.

Tone, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of klaybie
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%

This is becoming one of my favorite beers.

Spaten Dunkel pours a dark brown, mahogony I'd say. Good carbonation as well.

Smells malty, rich, and sweet.

There is a good malty sweetness to this one that I happen to like very much. It is somewhat roasted malt and caramel flavored.

The carbonation in this beer is near perfect in my opinion it is quite satisfying to drink.

Overall this beer will always have a place in my fridge.

klaybie, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of whynot44
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%

Clear brown color with a modest tan head that disipates quickly to just a ring, but manages a bit of lacing. Looks a lot like coke once the head dies, but less carbonated.

The aroma is toasted malt, bread and caramel with some light earthy, grassy notes.

The taste is also malt, pumpernickle, caramel, toasted nuts and raisins or plums. Finishes with a bit of burnt toast bitterness and grassy hops.

Medium bodied, fairly smooth and very drinkable.

whynot44, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%

A - Pours cola/pekoe tea brown. Some off white head leaves fast. Ring remains. Some lace, but also leaves fast.

S - Nice toasted malt. A little peppery and some spice like coriander.

T - Straight malt. A little thin for me. Some bitter finish.

M - As I said, a little thin and a little undercarbed for me.

D - SUPER easy to drink, for sure.

srandycarter, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of KrisPaulk77
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%

The beer poured a deep garnet color, with a minimal cream colored head. The head faded after a minute into a ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Bits of lacing seen as the beer was consumed.
The aroma was a clean, bread and caramel affair. A slight toasted malt was noticed.
The taste followed suit, clean and simple. Sweet malts, caramel, and a balancing bitterness. A tasty dark lager.
The beer had a decent carbonation and feel.
A decent beer overall. Fairly easy to drink. I'd probably have it again.

KrisPaulk77, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of brownbeer
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

brownbeer, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

DoubleJ, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%

A: Poured a bright cranberry-marzen with a 1 finger, foamy beige colored head that was short-lived. The lacing was clean, while the visible effervesce was strong with a rapid sense of bubbles.

S: The nose was toasty bread, slightly dry of munich grains with dried apple skins. Semi-dry and tart cranberries notes are also noted here. The overall strength was fair to medium.

T: The flavor was tart and fruity of cranberry and apples. A nice sense of sweetly toasted grains and dried caramel apple composes the malting. There is also slight hints of dry hay and straw lurking beneath. A nice toasted grain finish combined with a rich apple skin fruitiness closes things out. Solid by example with a good deal of tart fruitiness and a nice drying finish.

M: A nice burst of carbonation livens things up quite a bit. Bubbly, lively with a thick syrupy fell that offered quite a bit of resistance sliding around the tongue.

D: A flavorful and wonderful fruity dunkel that was enjoyable and easy to consume and like. Can't go wrong with a six-pack. A well brewed, clean german example that gets good regards and a worthy recommend.

beerthulhu, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of jovy1097
4.43/5  rDev +20.7%

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into nonic pint.

Appearance: Translucent brown with sparkling carbonation and a huge 1 1/2" head that diminishes to a nice film.

Smell: Bready, malty, caramel. Wonderful!

Taste: Delicious, nutty brown bread with hints of caramel and brown sugar. Malty profile with very little hops presence. Toasty and sweet without being cloying.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, noticeable carbonation with a medium feel.

Drinkability: Definitely a keeper. I love bready, malty, slightly sweet beers and this one fits the bill perfectly. I haven't had many dunkel lagers, but this really scored above expectations for me.

jovy1097, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of jbphoto88
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

jbphoto88, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of charlzm
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%

Consumed direct from bottle, 2009/01/20.

Cannot comment on appearance as beer was not visible inside bottle.

Aroma has a bit of sour cherry and some caramel malt, though these aromas were bashful.

Flavor is similar to other Spaten beers - melanoidin. Traces of the tart cherry (infected?) and toasted malt peek through. Flavor comes on sharply and leaves fast. Unremarkable, at best.

Well-carbonated and lively in the mouth, though not amazingly so.

One's my limit on this middle-of-the-road brew. I want something more flavorful.

charlzm, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of aristeros
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

I've had Spaten before and found them to be middle-of-the-road. Part of a sixer; poured into a mug. Pours a light cola brown with half a finger of creamy head. Good lacing. Smells of biscuit caramel, and some nuts, with a bit of floral hops.

Sweet, but not the sweetest dunkel I've had. Toasted malts, biscuit, some nuts, with a surprisingly crisp hop finish. Medium-bodied, with a lighter, brown-ale-like mouthfeel. Good drinkability due to a decent amount of character and a low ABV. I could finish the six-pack, and would, if this weren't the last one!

aristeros, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of beerguru15
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%

I tried the Spaten Munchen Dunkel not to long ago. When pouring the beer it appeared to be a Dark Amber color, with little smell to it. The head was small, but depreciated fast

The Dunkel has a smooth taste, but I didn't think it was as strong as the typical German dunkel.

Overall this beer wasn't bad, and had a nice taste to it, I'd buy again but it wouldn't be my top priority.

beerguru15, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of kpoole25
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%

12 oz green bottle to glass. Dark brown, with some red at the edges, tan head faded quickly. Smelled sweet and grainy, some roast, maybe a little funk (but no skunky smells despite the green glass). Nice malty flavor, some caramel and roasted coffee (or nuts?). Didn't detect hops much. Good carbonation (more creamy than prickly), overall not too heavy, easy to drink.

kpoole25, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of animal69
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%

A- pours a clear deep reddish-brown color w/ a thin off-white head which dissipates immediately leaving little lace in my pilsner glass

S- not a strong smell, mostly a darker baking bread aroma with hints of nuts and toffee

T- a sweet, strong whole grain bready malt taste from the onset, a light initial bitter hop keeps it in check tho, some roasted nuts and dark fruits come in at a certain point, a fairly clean, crisp finish leaving nothing but maltieness behind

M- a surprisingly light body with plenty of co2

D- a highly drinkable beer, one of the best dunkels around IMO

animal69, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of glid02
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

glid02, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of jeranbrews
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%

A - Small head almost need a magnifying glass (-pts). Beer color is that of light viscosity motor oil. No carbonation, however great lacing. (+pts)

S - Strong rich powerful hops that invade and annex your nostrils. But after a few min the smell turns to a more simple pacified malt.

T - A few of the aforementioned hops. A bit simple but not bad. Some acidic sourness. Pretty strong flavor, a bit simple but not bad at all. There was an aftertaste of burnt toast and burnt caramel. Even a bit of sweetness after the blitz-hop.

M - Sadly too watery. Needs life. A bit acidic. Like flat Alka-Seltzer.

D - Balance is too far off. And way too flat, otherwise very enjoyable.

jeranbrews, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of NicholasCasber
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%

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.

NicholasCasber, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of Mistofminn
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%

Tried this at my girlfriends parents house. It was the only beer they had that I hadn't tried before.

Pours a dark brown reddish color with a tan off-white head with great retention. It leaves a little bit of lacing but nothing spectacular. Good looking beer.

The nose really evolves as the beer warms, starting off kind of bland and boring and gaining fruity and caramel like aromas as it rises in temperature. I get sweet malt, dark fruits, caramel and toffee.

Just like the nose, this gains complexity as it warms. Sweet malts, sweet fruits, caramel and toffee with a light toasty character. Pretty good, but nothing too great.

Mouthfeel is light in body with a low to moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy, but sort of watery. Drinkability is ok.

I'm not very familiar with the style, so I can't really say if this is true to style or not, so I'm just going to assume it is. I guess I'm just not the biggest fan of the style.

Mistofminn, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +9%

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.

RoyalT, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of jeffjeff1
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%

I got this from Cost Plus.

Appearance- auburn color, little head

Smell- sweet malt, banana

Taste- sweet malt, banana

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- really good, I will definitely drink it again. Spaten has always done a great job with their beers. I'm a big fan.

jeffjeff1, Dec 08, 2009
Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
83 out of 100 based on 525 ratings.