Spaten Dunkel | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten DunkelSpaten Dunkel

Brewed by:
Germany | website

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2009

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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 581
Photo of Samp01
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish brown with a medium beige head. Aroma and Taste of toasted caramel malt, barley, some yeast and grassy notes with some hops bitterness. Palate is a light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Finish is sweet toasted caramel malt, barley, yeast with some bitter hops ending for balance. Nothing really outstanding, but overall a pretty good easy drinking dunkel, an average brew

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Photo of bubseymour
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark brown with minimal white head

Smell - Nice malty caramel smell

Taste - Nice for the style. Good flavorings of honey, caramel and a crisp finish.

Mouthfeel - light

Overall - I good beer for this style. A little light on flavor but still tasty, light and easy to drink. Will be glad to sample more.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly, being from a very German Catholic region of Indiana, my first Dunkel.

A- Pours a medium brown, semi-translucent hue. About a quarter inch frothy head that doesn't hang around long. Acceptable lacing.

S- Smells familiarly like a Czech or German pilsener. Mainly grassy notes with light malts mixed it. Slight skunky aroma. Maybe a hint of underlying caramel malt.

T- Essentially what I would call a dark Czech or German pilsener. Very light up front with lots of grassy-grain notes. Little to no bitterness from hops, but underlying sweetness. A little malty towards the end, but not much at all.

M- Also drinks like a pils. Very carbonated, but very drinkable. Weight on the palate is slightly heavier than your standard full-body pilsener.

Overall, not a great, but not a terrible experience for my first time with a dunkel. An interesting mix of malt and light bodied drinkability that makes it obvious why this is a favorite of Fruedenfest every July near my hometown in Oldenburg, Indiana.

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Photo of TaySuth
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Small, half finger head with a good retention. Minimal lacing. Chocolate brown in color.

Smell: Nice smell with some hops and grains. Aroma has a nice balance.

Taste: Well balanced taste. Nice blend of grains and some hops with hints of coffee. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Very nice amount of carbonation. Good body.

Overall: An enjoyable beer but not spectacular.

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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

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Photo of grover37
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a sixer at Rodman's for $8. Poured into a pilsner glass at 47 degrees. Warmed up a bit before drinking.

Appearance (4): Clear, dark brown or mahogany with orange highlights. Two fingers of light cream, thick head reduces to a quarter inch layer.

Aroma (3.5): Very grainy with notes of cereal and caramel. More sweet smelling than anything.

Taste (2.5): Watery up front with a touch of toasty biscuit and grain. Caramel comes through immediately after that and intensifies throughout. A touch sweet through the middle and especially the finish. A bit of spicy pine in the finish too.

Mouthfeel (4): Thin and effervescent. Very watery throughout, even in the slightly sticky finish of caramel semi-sweetness. Light bodied and high carbonation.

Overall (3): Pretty average, even for a generally unremarkable style. Light and drinkable but not much stands out except for the cereal graininess and a light caramel. Very clean if watery and thin.

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Photo of jifigz
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint.

A: The beer pours a nice dark yet transparent brown. The head disappeared quickly and the head died and disappeared extremely fast.

S: The beer smells of sweet malts. The aroma reminds me of molasses and a very slight spicy hint.

T: The taste mirrors the aroma almost exact. It is extremely sweet and just a little spicy on the tongue. The sugary smell is very much like molasses.

MF: The MF is very clean and leaves your mouth dry. The carbonation is very effervescent.

O: This is a tasty beer. It is a rich and clean tasting dunkel and very sweet and palatable. I drink a lot more ales than lagers and a good lager every now and then really hits the spot.

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

Funny how you can realize you never reviewed what is a fairly common beer. Straight down the middle on the German dark lager style here. Roasted malt flavor is forefront, with a bit of astringency thinning toward the end. Finish is firm, with a parting hops note. I can't imagine we ever get this beer anything approaching fresh, and, particularly for a lager style, it would be interesting to try this in its prime.

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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.

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Photo of OutFox
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Found it left over in a fride from an Oktoberfest sort of party I atteneded.

A - Good dark sort of brown color. Poured into a regular pint glass. Thin sort of head.

S - Caramel malt in the nose. And a lot of it. Underlying sweetness. Smells pleasant.

T - Woah. Raisins. I mean for some reason they are so dominate in the flavor profile and I really like it. Caramel and roasted malty flavor/sweetness is there as well but the raisin flavor for me dominates and is so good.

M - Its sort of heavy but not overly so. Good dunkel mouth feel.

O - Good dunkel from Spaten Haus. I liked it. Really got a lot of raisin, but that might just be me. Enjoyed it.

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Photo of fx20736
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Mug.

Burnt Umber Amber with a thin offwhite head.

Aroma of toasted malt and a whiff of fragrant floral hops.

mouthfeel: solid, decent.

taste: toasted caramel malt with a light gentle sting of Noble Hops.

Notes: pretty simple stuff. Easy to drink but lacking in complexity. The taste feels a little hollow in the middle. A little more toasted caramel than Spaten's Oktoberfest but seemingly not as well made. Will continue to look for a better Dunkel.

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

Poured from a bottle into a schooner. No obvious best before date on the bottle.

A - deep brown, clear with a one finger tan head that disappears after a couple minutes with just a hint of lacing.

S - big caramel malty nose on this one; mixed in with a bit of bread as well

T - initial hops bitterness is subdued and quickly overtaken by the big caramel malt profile. This never quite gets sweet like a Maibock and instead finishes with a combination of mild bitterness and caramel malt. Some spiciness at the end as well.

M - medium bodied with moderate carbonation; definitely heavier than a lager

D - goes down very easy

Hard to pick a final review on this one: it's got some flashes of brilliance, but in the end may be just a touch too subdued to be exceptional. I certainly don't regret drinking it as it was solid, but it wasn't truly outstanding.

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Photo of Callaghan
3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Czech Pilsner glass. I couldn't find a freshness date or anything on the bottle, but on the inside bottom of the six pack carton was a stamped code of 13 01 02. Maybe this is an exp. code?

A: A thick off-white head quickly died down to nothing in the glass, not even a thin ring. Virtually no lacing. Beautiful mahogany color beer.

S: Malty and hops/floral hints. Toasted something too, but not sure what it is. Simple and nice.

T: Sweet malts dominate. Hops on the back end provide a little bite. Again, simple and nice.

M: After taking a sip, I feel a nice, heavy carbonation. Smooth is the word here, and it slips over the tongue with ease, enticing the taste buds as it moves over the palette. It does not linger too long, but long enough for a nice aftertaste.

O: This beer adds up to more than the sum of its' parts. If you break it down and pick it apart, there are flaws. If you sit back and enjoy this, it's pretty good.

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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.

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

I drank this from a tumbler...

It pours a brown color with a filmy tan head that faded quickly. I could smell some earthy tones along with a hint of toffee and maybe even raisins. The taste is similar with some dark fruit and toffee with some earthy hops coming through in the finish. Feels light with moderate carbonation and it leaves the mouth wet. This is a solid beer, nothing amazing but still good.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

This pours a brownish color with a slightly off white head. The smell is kind of sweet, a little earthy smells and perhaps some toffee. Feel is light. The taste is a little sweet but also sort of light, there is a little bit of bitterness at the end. Overall not bad.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice brown amber appearance, fine head that does not last long, raisiny/grapy kind of malt taste just balanced by hops, not heavily carbonated.

This was drunk whilst eating Sauerbraten und spatezel and the whole meal finished with anisette, I don't think that affects my judgement of the brew!

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Photo of Stunner97
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- light brown with very little head and very low carbonation

Smell- nice biscuity and malty smells, slight raisins and brown sugar,

Taste- has a pretty nice flavor profile, its on the sweeter side but there is a little bit of hops on the finish that kind of keeps things in check, brown sugar and malty notes from nose are there

Mouthfeel- medium bodied with low carbonation right for style

Drinkability/overall- i wound up overall enjoying this six pack from spaten, one thats not most complex but make very nice session beer, though slightly sweet the balance is just right to keep you coming back for more, another respectable showing from a pretty good brewery

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

I was looking forward to tasting this beer because in general I like Spaten beers.

It is a Carmel/brown color that is cloudy and a diminishing head.

I first got a sweet aroma with some earthy and biscuity hints.

Sweet taste and the more I kept drinking the more I started to get some grain or grassy flavors.

Mouth was smooth, light with a short finish. I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I smell the delicious nutty roasted malts with slight floral hops. It has a flavorful brown nutty malt quality to it with some floral grassy noble hops on the end of the taste. I'm also getting a brown sugar taste in there as well. This is a very straight forward beer but an excellent example of a quality beer. This is probably my favorite dunkel beer I've ever had.

It is a very very smooth beer and the malts arent too sweet either. They are sweet but not overly so. It seems to smooth out the hops but I did get more of a hop bite as the beer warmed. It has a bit of a creamy mouthfeel as well and I'm sure thats the lager quality jumping out in this beer.

For coming in a green bottle this literally has 0 skunk to it. It tastes like a fall beer and can easily compete with some top notch beers. Spaten is a top notch brewery and pretty much one of my favorite imports from Germany.

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

A: Pours a light/medium brown with a trace amount of head into my snifter glass

S: Softer smells. Sugary caramel with some darker nutty malt aromas. Not as sugary as a lighter style german lager.

T: Lots of nutty flavors intermix with the caramel sweetness. A little but of hop bite (at least for a lager)

M: Pretty light feel on the tongue. A light Carbonation hits the lips and continues all the way down.

O: A very decent/enjoyable beer. Would not mind having this one again.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light brown body, light enough to have excelent clarity. Oatmeal colored three-finger bubbly head. Rapid decay, minimal lacing.

Mild nutty aroma, with just a hint of hay at the edge.

Taste is basically nutty throughout, with a pleasant noble hop nip at the swallow that mingles with the nuts in the aftertaste.

Nice smooth mouthfeel throughout.

A pleasant, tasty non-agressive sessionable German lager.

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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.

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Photo of RickS95
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Comes out of the green bottle a medium brown color. It's almost translucent, despite the brown and has a thin white head that has no retention.

Has an earthy, sourish, malt smell. Maybe some licorice in the background.

Tastes like is smells, only there's a breadiness to it, with the slightest hint of chocolate and coffee in the swallow.

It's kind of sour and kind of bitter from beginning to end.

I liked this more than I expected, probably because it's a German lager and not a crappy American lager. It's just more refined than the lagers I'm used to.

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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.

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Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
83 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.