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St. Pauli Girl Special Dark - St. Pauli Brauerei C.L. Wilh. Brandt Gmbh & Co.

Not Rated.
St. Pauli Girl Special DarkSt. Pauli Girl Special Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.

387 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 387
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.04
pDev: 16.78%
Wants: 1
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
St. Pauli Brauerei C.L. Wilh. Brandt Gmbh & Co. visit their website

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-07-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 387 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hibernator
3.8/5  rDev +25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

St. Pauli Girl Special Dark
12 oz green bottle
Best before 05.2007
Served in a pilsner glass

Pours a dark chestnut brown. A thin head sustains while leaving trails of sticky lacings.

The nose is malty with a spicy hop flair.

Malty flavors lay the backbone with caramel sweetness and light chocolate tones. German hop snap on the finish. Nice drinkability level and a tad better than I was expecting.

I think I got a petty fresh sample. I've had other St.Pauli Girl products in the past and battled the skunk twang. Not the case here, I finished this beer off rather quickly.

Photo of billybob
2.51/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours dark brown with tan head which fades fast. weak taste of caramel burnt toast not much there. smell about the same. mouthfeel, carbonation is good but no body to it for a dark beer feels watered down. drinkability, not for me. I don't think I would give another try.

Photo of dmowen
3.82/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a nice dark brown color with a small head that dissapates rapidly to faint lacing. Smell is kinda sweet and a roasted scent is also dedectable. Mouth-feel for me is real good; not too fizzy but just the right amont of carbonation too let you know your beer isn't flat. Goes down good with a nice rosted malt flavor that leaves a slight afer-taste that wasn't too bad.

For me I enjoyed this brew although it is a little pricey. A good way to treat your-self if you have a few extra bucks in your pocket.

Photo of arnulfooxblood
2.78/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance--Very dark brown, good clarity, almost no head.

Smell--Faint malts, very little smell at all, really.

Taste/Mouthfeel--Crisp and slightly sharp mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Very weak flavor when it first hits the tongue, as it goes down, a little bit of hoppy sourness. As I get close to finishing this one off, the flavor gets a little more pungent, I'm increasingly unimpressed.

Drinkability--Went down easy at first, but as I drink it, I realize that I really don't want another.

Notes--overall I was pretty unimpressed. Maybe it was just a bad bottle?

Photo of afinepilsner
3/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz green bottle

St. Pauli Girl Special Dark was a clear dark brown color with an off-white head. The head had decent retention and left some lacing behind. It smelled lightly of crystal malt. The taste was light as well with sweet malts and a dry, bitter finish. The mouthfeel was fairly light with a fairly high level of carbonation. Drinkability was average. There's nothing special going on here.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.7/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Pastel green glass 12 fluid ounce bottle. The worldwide classic label from the St. Pauli original has a dark brown background with the words “Special Dark”. No strength but the reverse label has a Best Before 05.2007.

Appearance: Dark clear chestnut body sealed with a thinning light brown head on the pour, which sadly fizzes and pops to a lifeless finish in the end. At times it looks a little like a Cola Soda when first poured.

Nose: Mildy toasted nose, crisp malt and a light hint of burnt toast. Decent enough but the aromas are hard work to extract at times.

Taste: Toasted malts entrance, light bitterness in the middle is consumed by a finish which hints at burnt toast, grainy dark roasted barley and a delicate sweetness. Finish is dry and burnt. Simple stuff with nothing that detracts or diminishes.

Mouthfeel: The conditioning is healthy but the head flutters to a lifeless broken covering quickly after each sip, this breakdown is reflected in the overall feel. The dominant feel is of brown sugary with a texture of grainy roasted barleymalt.

Drinkability: The diminishing conditioning and brown sugar feel tend to knock the overall drinkability down a little. But it is a relatively clean and crisp brew nonetheless and nice enough.

Overall: I preferred this to the original St. Pauli Girl. Easy going, but nothing “special”; just a simple Dark Lager really

Photo of acrawf6
2.41/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm not big on these "dark" massed produced euro beers, but i got it at a local store that doesnt care so much, so i thought "what the hell?"

Pours out a nice clear dark mahogony bown with a small tan head that is giving decent lacing.

Smell. Cereal-like oaty maltiness. Is on the dry side, but does still have a touch of tea-like maltiness.

Taste. This bottle here is dry, tart, and a touch salty. The dryness is from a tiny bit of oat flavor. I dont know why it is having a tart flavor; it doenst really taste off or old. tart is slightly fruity. Aftertaste is a little bit dry, but overall neutral.

Mouthfeel is what you'd expect. Body is light to medium. Balance is a bit incongruent, but the carbonation is average.

Overall. This beer is for the beer drinker not really into beer, but looking for that "german beer." With all honesty, this beer is a bit nasty, and i would be just fine not having it again...ever.

Photo of blackie
3.53/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Nice, khaki colored head almost overflows the glass. It then slowly falls back into the beer, leaving a spotty layer of carbonation on the surface. The beer is a deep, rich brown in color.

smell: Sweet caramel malts with a hint of chocolate malt, with a little toast and some doughy notes. Some skunky euro hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, and the body light.

taste: dark malts, moderate to high sweetness partially balanced with a light hop flavor and bitterness. Hints of cola and dark sugars...maybe a little wood.

drinkability: pretty easy

bottle taken from my dad's fridge...best before 11.2006 printed on the reverse label

Photo of neenerzig
3.56/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber brown color with a nice white head about an inch thick after it settles. This beer has very good head retention, even after sipping has begun. Very nice lacing going on here as well. Hops are definetely the dominant aroma here. The smell just isn't that strong to start with. I couldn't really smell much else. Tastewise this beer is slightly sweet upfront followed by a bit of a bitter and slightly dry aftertaste. A very smooth, creamy, frothy mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink all around. A solid effort, but nothing special here.


Photo of ShamusOGrady
2.81/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I prefer a dark beer over an amber or pale, more flavor, and character, less hangover.

I use to dislike all beer, but i suppose, in my case, as you age you develope a taste for things, and beer most certainly has taste.

S- Bottle into a pint glass

A- Dark brownish red, clear and inviting, slight half inch beige head, which disipated quickly, little lace.

S- Sweet yet skunky, had a second thought as to if I actually wanted to taste it.

T- Taste was reminicent of smell, interesting taste bud dance, a slight surprise, flavorful, darker than expected, slight bite at the end.

M- Light but with body, small carbonation.

D- It was interesting, and flavorful enough to enjoy by itself, couldn't imaging having it with food, would more than likely overpower what you were eating. As noted in taste, the bite at the end was a character that has turned me off this selection, enjoyed it to an extent while i had it.

Photo of Budlum
2.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours with one half inch of tan, foamy head lasting for about one minute. Deep brown body with touches of red on the edges.

Immediately hoppy and fresh on the nose. A slight sense of roasted malts but mainly the fresh, hopppy aroma of a northern German beer.

Light on the tongue with a very faint taste of dark chocolates. Barely noticeable roasted malt flavor followed by typical hop flavors. Not a whole lot going on in the flavor department. Flat and bitter finish. Some noticeable caramel notes as it warms.

Mouthfeel is a little too watery and thing for any descriptive comments.

Drinkability is so-so. The body is light, so it goes down easy but the lack of flavor doesn't drive one towards another sip. An okay choice for a venue dominated by the BMC clan.

Photo of Phatz
3.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I prefer this beer over the traditional St. Pauli Girl but of course they are not the same style. Still, the special dark has some of that European skunked beer smell and taste that some of us like in Heine’s and the like and others complain to no end about to no end. If you don't like the Heineken and Beck’s beers you probably don't need to peruse this one though I think it is a bit better in that it has more flavor.

Appearance: It is a really dark amber, with a moderate sudsy head.

Smell: Toasty malt, caramel, grain, and that classic skunky hop smell.

Taste: This is a macro import but above average. It has a solid toasted malt attribute, sweet and roasty (dark Karo syrup), followed by some dull grain thinning out the beer a bit but it finishes very nicely with a floral hop character. The aftertaste lingers and leaves a pleasant reminder of the beers flavor in your mouth.

Mouthfeel: Crisp but a bit to light in the mouth.

Drinkability: If this is the kind of beer you are looking for, I imagine you will find it quite drinkable. I found it to a bit small compared to a beer like Penn Dark, but otherwise acceptable.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of zeff80
3.57/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 12 oz bottle pour out a dark brown with a small head (it didn't last long)

S - It smelled strongly of roasted malts.

T - It had a coffee taste mixed in with the malt flavor and a hint of bitter.

M - Mouthfeel was crisp and medium bodied.

D - It is quite drinkable.

Photo of Mechphisto
3.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First, I'm wondering if I didn't enjoy it as well as I could have because the date on my bottle was for next month. I don't know what the life of one of these are, but that seems to cut it pretty close.

The pour was very much like a cola. It was a dark brown but see-through; not opaque at all (which is my personal preference.) It looked carbonated like a soda, and the head was a tan and short-lived with no lacing.

The smell wasn't bad at all, though. It was a kind of toasty caramel. Sweet. I think hoppy, but to be honest, I'm not sure if I have a good handle on "hoppiness" yet.

The taste was a little sour. Like it had a tinge of pineapple, but not good pineapple. Toasted pineapple maybe. A touch of sweet on the initial drink but it leaves that sour aftertaste. Not that I couldn't drink it, in fact, I'd still take this over a Bud. But I wouldn't ask for it directly, that's for sure.

Photo of DogFood11
1.77/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Quick dashing head that fades to oblivion, no lacing, tan head for a second. Ruby red around the edges and brown in the middle.

Faint caramel, sweet grain.

Tasted kinda like a watered down version of a rather light style. Hop twinger towards the end cleans it up for a second but then this lingering sweet and simple malt profile lays down on the palate and sets up camp. Has a slightly skunkiness to it that I find to be normal for St. Pauli Girl so I'll add that to the ranking as well. Best before date is a few months off yet.

Notes: Pretty lame by on every level. Only thing slightly interesting is the mirage towards the end that its going to finish crisp and clean only to pull the rug out from under your palate.

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.33/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a deep brown color with an off-white head that diminishes to a ring. Leaves spotty lacing when sipped down.

The aroma is of caramel malts, a bit toasty...then there are hints of cooked veggies.

The flavor is malty, toasty...that is about it.

It is a bit thin in the mouthfeel, but easy to drink. It is an ok brew, but nothing I would chase down.

Photo of monkeybutler
3.48/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown, with little head and no lacing.

Nose is only of a slight maltiness.

Flavor is slightly caramelly, with just a smidge of hops.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean.

It's highly drinkable.

It's a decent representation of a dunkel, though it's certainly on the boring and bland side.

I'd recommend this beer to someone who is looking to branch out from yellow and domestic varieties of beer. It's inoffensive to the palate, and is a good place to get a foothold to ready your palate for more interesting and flavorful beers.

Photo of shbobdb
3.11/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a lucious darkness with a pleasant head that quickly collapses into a faery ring around the glass. The smell is of rich dark munich malt with a pleasant grassy scent.
Then there is the taste -- Motor Oil. Sure, there is the rich flavour of the malts there, but they are too thin. And the hops and roasted malts combine to create a flavour very much like motor oil. Not a good thing, not a good thing at all.

Grab a Warsteiner or Ayinger. Or a Leinie's red. That's where the (good) flavour is.

Photo of TheEclecticGent
1.28/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This review was from a 12-oz. bottle:

Appearance: This beer pours a mahogany brown with very little head and some spotty lacing.

Smell: I knew I was in trouble when I smelt this beer. A slap in the face grassy –medicine smell and very sharp hops.

Taste: The taste is as bad as the smell. Tastes like medicine, very sharp and acidic with a fresh cut grass aftertaste. It took willpower to finish this one beer. I’m wondering why it is dark because I’m tasting no caramel, malt, carbon, or flavors I associate with most dark beer. This tastes like a pilsner gone bad.

Mouthfeel: Very light mouthfeel with a bit of fizzyness.

Drinkability: Yuck!! Nicht mehr, nicht mehr!

Photo of TastyTaste
4.1/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark cola color, tan head which fades to a creamy layer covering the top of the beer.

Smell: I could grassy malts immedietly when i opened the bottle. Getting closer reveals some roasted malts, also.

Taste: Fairly clean, crisp, with some light cocoa and roasted malt flavors. Malt definitely drives the beer, not much hop presence. Still drinkable and not offensive.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, slightly metallic, fairly good.

Drinkability: A good dark euro lager. Not my favorite style, but a good example of it, in my opinion.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Initially pours a clear reddish brown color with a small <1/4" head of tiny white bubbles. The head was gone within a few seconds to end up being a small ring around the top of the beer. There are no bubbles rising to maintain the head.

Aroma: Some sweet caramel malt along with some subtle toastiness, and that is about it. There seems to be a bit of a sulfury note coming out as it warms up some, but that is about the only change in the aroma from my vantage.

Taste: It starts out initially sweet with a pretty pleasant caramel presence. This fades pretty quickly to be a pretty neutral beer washing over your plate. The finish is malty and toasty with a little bit of a dry roast character to linger. The beer has a very uneventful mouthfeel due to light carbonation and light body.

Opinion: Well, I have drank Shiner Bock, Ziegen Bock, and now St Pauli Girl dark in the same night. I guess I am making the rounds in cheap dark beers tonight. This one is definitely my favorite so far out of the three. I will have to go back and try Becks dark again after this. I would drink this beer if it were the best they had, but if I go out to a real liquor store, I am sticking with the better known German beers like Paulaner and Spaten.

Photo of woemad
3/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, best by May, 2006 according to the label. I picked this up at Gourmet Way in Coeur D'Alene along with some Laughing Dog beers. I'd never seen it in Spokane, so I figured, what the Hell. It set me back $1.19.

This poured a dark cola color, which took on a reddish amber hue when held to the light. The head was an inch of off-white fizz that dropped in about two minutes. There was a vague attempt at spotty lace. A small foam collar remained this beer's companion as it retreated down the sides of my EWU pint glass (Go Eags!).

This wasn't terribly dominant in the nose. There was a vague caramel sweetness, accompanied by a faint earthy grainy scent, and that was about it. Letting it warm up did nothing to help matters, but it didn't get any worse, either.

The taste was a little more interesting, but not enough to matter significantly. The caramel sweetness stands out more, and it has the good sense to not be too over the top and cloying. The grainy flavor in the nose is there too, but is so in the back seat it might as well be in the trunk. I didn't get any hops at all.

The mouthfeel is medium, leaning towards light. Carbonation was slightly stronger than a typical macro lager, but otherwise unremarkable.

This is an unremarkable dark lager that will not offend, but it won't do much else. Buy this for your dark beer fearing friends if you can get it cheap.

Photo of Backer2004
3.7/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The main thing I got out of this Special Dark was that it actually tasted like Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate, at least the the end of it. Whatever flavors are added to make dark chocolate versus regular had to be added to this. One of the better Munich Dunkel's I've tried, but nothing too exceptional.

Photo of willgro
2/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is, in a word, underwhelming. It is from a great beer maker (st. pauli) and i thought it would be great. what a letdown. don't even bother picking this up, its so sad. i really love what this brewer has done and continues to do with its other lines, but this tastes like a champagne in that it is overly carbonated and has a so so aftertaste. no head on the beer out of the bottle. i really don't understand what they are trying to do w/ this brew. disappointing.

Photo of jettjon
3.55/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Nose, mouthfeel
Lows: Slight metallic taste

Pours a very dark brown or deep amber. Thick brown/tan head fades slowly leaving some lacing. Nose has subltle hints of hops, some malt, and a faint floral odor. Flavor is malty again with a hint of hops, but an odd metallic off-flavor lingers around the edges. I encountered no “skunkiness” that many have complained of. The mouth is interesting, almost “meaty” and quite thicker than expected. It’s smooth and nearly creamy. Yet this is a drinkable beer, with a smooth, bubbly finish. A bit of malt and bitterness lingers on the palate.

Overall: An above-average lager, definitely recommended.

St. Pauli Girl Special Dark from St. Pauli Brauerei C.L. Wilh. Brandt Gmbh & Co.
71 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.