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Spaten Dunkel - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten DunkelSpaten Dunkel

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548 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 548
Reviews: 195
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 12
Gots: 45 | 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.
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Ratings: 548 | Reviews: 195 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yemenmocha
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.51/5  rDev -31.6%
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.

Photo of emerge077
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
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!

Photo of Sammy
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.

Photo of Franz4
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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.

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.


Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A:Poured a clear, dark amber with a small light tannish head.

S: Nose is bready with caramel, perhaps of syrup as well

T: Tastes of caramel and bread, wheat amd syrup

M: Sordove syrupy and coating

D: Ok Dunkel but not one pf the best or one I would recommend

Photo of PintOHops
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glass - Mug

A - A nice mahogany color with a 2-3 finger head, it's slightly off white & dissipated rather quick. A bit of Co2 can be seen but not much, it left a spot here & there with a nice ring of foam that held atop the beer for most of the consumption.

S - Grassy & floral hops with an underlying nutty & biscuit malt. It's also got some caramel that's mild-moderately sweet smelling, soft husk in there as well.

T - Herbal grassy hop flavors hit you upfront & unfold into smooth, soft malt flavors. I get husk, nuts, caramel. It finishes a bit dry with some grassy hop flavor, mild bitterness, and no lingering flavors.

M - It's lite-moderately crisp with a nice smooth medium body.

D - Highly quaff-able, I'd love to sit back and drink a sixer of this brew. I loved it's mild nutty flavor profile that demands you to take sip after sip. Mouthfeel is very good as well, smooth with just the right amount of Co2. I really recommend this beer, I'd definitely like to pick this one up sometime. Cheers!

Photo of JosiahS
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

glass: mug

A: Beautiful mahogany color with a 2-finger head, great looking in a mug. Very clear. No lacing left though, just a few splotches here and there.

s: When i opened the bottle it almost smelled slightly skunked. It is in a green bottle. Once in the mug, i don't get that smell anymore. forward on the malt, lots of caramel, toast bread, just a hint of fruit followed by grassy hops. Semi-dry.

t: It seems that the grassy hops are forward in the taste. Followed by a light date fruit flavor, caramel, cracker, toast and finishing with a little hop bitterness and a nice fresh dough flavor.

m: Light feel, moderate carbonation

d: Highly drinkable, light and refreshing. I prefer a different hop flavor and i almost want to say it's slightly skunked but can't be sure. Decent beer.

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed from the bottle, call me lazy.

A: Awesome bottle design, Munich skyline in the background. The glass is green, uh oh...

S: Smells great. Malt and dark fruit up front; raisins, figs, dates and prunes with a significant yeasty presence on the nose.

T: Same as the smell pretty much but a little watered down. I'd love to try this on tap in a bar in Munich.

D: I could pound these all night. Though I can't claim to be an expert on this style, this seems highly drinkable for a dark beer. It'd be a good dark beer to give to someone who claims not to like dark beers. In fact, I did just that and the guy liked it. Go figure.

Value: $6.99 for a sixer??? Cannot complain.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the beer that made me love Spaten! I would get it by the case!

A - Darkish black tone with inch of fluffy head. Looks perfect in the Spaten Mug

S - Smells of light fruits like raisins, slight caramel and toffee, and mild bread.

T - Wow what a lager! Chock full of fruit caramel sweetness (not too overbearing) and bready finish. Love this stuff.

M - For a dark beer it drinks like an everyday lager. For months I thought it was around 6-7 percent.

D - Yes more please. In fact it's been a while so I will need another pour. Glad its now available in the variety case.

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

I just started seeing this one around recently, thought I'd try it..so, here we go...
poured a dark amber (the color of iced down coca-cola) not much of a head, quickly diminished to thin bubbly collar.
smell of baked bread.
flavor starts with a taste of raisins, and finishing with what tastes a bit to me like rye bread.
mouthfeel was slightly creamy and slick.
drinkability is fine..I could easily drink 5 or 6 of these...no problem! very decent and interesting beer. cheers!

Photo of mdfb79
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.

Photo of Walken
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Spaten: Munchen Dunkel (Obscure bottling date) (Tasted 05/15/10)
12 oz. bottle, poured into a dimple mug.

Appearance: Pours out a nice tan color, looks to be a bit more dark, chestnut brown in the glass with a slow to form head of thick meringue, off-white with a mocha tint. Head leaves some soapy bubbles on the glass and fades into a millimeter crown, thicker around the edges.
Odor: Suggestions of ripe red fruit, hints of toasty, nondescript bread in the background, no sign of hops.
Consistency: Full malty palate, medium, pushing high end of medium bodied. Carbonation is very subtle, there's an almost syrupy aspect to this beer.
Taste: Very sweet from the get-go with hints of chocolate and burnt sugar, slight roasted edge to the chocolate flavors that doesn't offer much in the way of balance. Restrained hints of fruit that lend either acidity or sends my taste buds screaming false positive. Finishes a tad dryer, not by much.

Middle of the road dunkel that loses a bit of steam in my book for being overly sweet for style, especially in the finish. A little bit more carbonation might make this beer a bit crisper, more drinkable, who knows?

Photo of crossovert
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz green bottle. Ditch the green, Spaten.

Pours a dark ruby brown with an off-white head and no lacing.

Skunked dunkel. This one is skunked but below it you get the amazing munich dark malts. It is fruity and carmally and wonderful. I'm docking it points though for the use of the green bottle.

Taste wise this is one of the less sweeter versions of the style though it sticks on your tongue a hit heavier than others. It is just an abundance of dark syrupy malt flavors that excite the palate but this one is one of the lesser Munich Dunkels.

Hofbrau dunkel also comes in the green bottle but I've always gotten it fresh, now that is how you do Dunkel, this one is sorta like, meh, but good.

Photo of maleman
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness dating noted. Dark, almost stout-colored pour. Thin head that receded quickly into nothing. Slight, oily lacing.

S - toasted malt, chocolate, some coffee, is predominate.

T - very biscuity taste that followed the nose. the grain is quite evident.

M - medium-bodied with an aftertaste that tends toward bitter in the back of the mouth. medium carbonation.

D - not a bad quaff. can sit around with friends and have several of these. not a Chimay, but not bad, either.

Photo of colts9016
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pokal glass at 41 degrees.

Appearance: A two finger light tan head that is foamy and creamy with some retention. The color of the beer is dark brown color with some dark garnet highlights. The clarity of the beer is slightly opaque.

Nose: A slight funky/skunky aroma. The malt is sweet, toasty, bready, yeasty notes: There is also a phenols, toffee, nutty, and a slight fragrant floral aroma.

Taste: The flavors, sweet, toasty, caramel, yeasty, toffee, nutty, and a slight phenol notes. The funky /skunky aroma doesn't carry through.

The mouth feel of the beer is creamy, carbonate, and slightly astringent.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium light and the finish is light. This is good dunkel, nothing special.

Photo of mempath
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep bourbon amber with little to no lacing and an off-white head.

smell is a deep sweet roasted toasty sour dark dried fruit marinated in molasses. something like that which translates more subtly in the flavor...mouthfeel is a bit thin, but crisp enough. dry, but finish lingers a bit. carbonation actually a bit over the top is a good thing here. the flavor could be so more rich if the mouthfeel was thicker, but it works in a refreshing way as it is. 'good'...which makes this pretty much a delicious though not as complex as i'd like brew. sure it would work with food, but pleasant enough to enjoy a few rounds. not a go to. but at its price, quite tasty when compared to almost every american macrobrew. there's something admirable here. and somewhat disappointing.

edit: revisited this today on this second record breaking day of east coast heat....5:30pm and it's still 100 degrees! so, this being a very cold brew hits the spot...and some of the above 'criticisms' work to be highlights now...GLAD it isn't thick and overbearing and subtle...very refreshing...actually, the flavor profile is much more pronounced than the day i tried it first in april...my tongue seems to change with the seasons. so, i bumped up a few points to balance these two samplings.

Photo of NA1NSXR
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Clear caramelly color with some quickly disappating head. Very little carbonation in the look.

Smell - Lightly roasted aroma of medium to medium-weak strength.

Taste - Sweet-ish and light roasted. No bitterness and finishes quite cleanly.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and light bodied while offering some of the flavors that usually only come with a heavier beer.

Drinkability - This beer offers some the flavors of heavier beers in a lighter bodied package that is not gimmicky, 'lite', or watery.

Photo of cgmees
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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.

Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
83 out of 100 based on 548 ratings.