1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Schell's Dark - August Schell Brewing Company

Schell's DarkSchell's Dark

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

199 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 199
Reviews: 113
rAvg: 3.31
pDev: 17.82%

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is dark because the barley is roasted longer– a flavorful lager that everyone will enjoy.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-17-2002)
View: Beers (34) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 199 | Reviews: 113 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of EZ054098


4.19/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle

I usually steer clear of dark beers and resisted trying Schell's Dark. I often associated dark beers with being bitter and filling. This was not the case. I loved there was very little bitterness. A very refreshing beer, light malt with a great aftertaste. Not a lot of carbonation though. With some types beers I have one and I am done. I will usually have one after work and one with dinner. Goes great with meat and potatoes.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 20:36:37 | More by EZ054098
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

3.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Small off white to light tan head slowly settles down above a clear burnt reddish brown colored beer.

Light caramel malts aroma coming from richly roasted grain malts.

Lighter tasting roasted caramel malts taste without much else coming through with this Schell's Dark.

Wettish aftertaste without much taste associated with it with this lighter bodied beer.

This beer seems to be a bit light tasting for a dark, was hoping it would have more and richer tastes, although the taste that it has isn't bad, just lighter than I was thinking I would get with a Dark.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 20:28:12 | More by LXIXME
Photo of Weli


2.6/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Light tawny brown with thin off white head quickly dissipating

S-Bready malt, some subdued fruit, raisins with a hint of caramel corn

T-Light sweet caramel malt, some toastiness and malt flavor. Rather bland. No hop aroma or flavor

M-Crisp and refreshing, prickly carbonation

O- A nice alternative to american adjunct lagers, but really nothing special, there is very little to recommend or criticize with this beer. Probably could use a bit more body and head.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 00:42:16 | More by Weli
Photo of sommersb


3.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 11-11-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. clear bottle, twist-cap
Glassware: Willi Becher
Purchased: Received in a trade

A: Nice and tight tan head atop a cola-colored beer (brown with red accents). Clear, with both good head retention and lace showing.

S: Aromas are sweet and malty -- caramel, dark breads and maple are notes that come to mind.

T: Taste is rich and of malt sweetness as in the nose; flavors have caramel and nutty tones, with just a hint of earthy hop bitterness.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, with a low-to-medium amount of carbonation. Finishes clean, malty and sweet.

O: Very easy drinking dark lager here -- would love to have this as a regular staple. Prost!

Thanks to fLax for this one!

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 23:21:10 | More by sommersb
Photo of JamesMN


3.3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Semi-translucent dark brown/nutty color. Very thin off-white head that's sticking around but not leaving much lacing.

Aroma: Not much there. A bit bready.

Taste: Decently malty. Some roasty notes in there. No hop presence and basically no bitterness to speak of. Very watered-down caramel flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable. Almost lacking body, but not super noticeable.

Final Thoughts: Even though there's not much in the aroma or taste departments, this isn't a bad beer. It's highly drinkable and there are no off flavors.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2012 01:55:37 | More by JamesMN
Photo of jimmah120


3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into mason jar

Look is a slightly cloudy amber with a small head and striped lacing. Smell is 'red' smelling esters, grain, and savory roasted-ness. Taste keeps the esters to a minimum and is mostly grain with roasted tones. Mouthfeel is good, but watery on the back end.

Unremarkable, definitely not my favorite Schell's.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 04:19:35 | More by jimmah120
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, lager yeast, some honey and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a decent breadiness from lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some mild caramel sweetness follows. The hops presence is mild but brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while, but there are better beers in the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 04:23:09 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of isualum12


3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smell- not bad hop with barley
Look golden red with a very thin head no lace at all.
Taste is decent but not impressive with flavor. Not a bad thing but not going to overly impress me either

Mouthfeel- high on the carbonization that in the end hurt the flavor coing through or blocks it with my tongue being numm.
Overall nice beer to grab a 6 pack of for a fishing trip. It wouldn't make it to one of my beer parties though.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 02:57:56 | More by isualum12
Photo of jsisko01


3.93/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a VERY dark brown-amber color.. Poured vigorously which created an inch and a half thick, off-white head that lasted about 2 minutes. Lacing looks excellent.

Smell - Toasty, toffee, caramel, and brown sugar.

Taste - Similar to the smell. Toasty and sweet with caramel, toffee, and a very weak bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Heavy body with mild carbonation. Has that thick, creamy feel to it. It's perfect to me.

Overall - At first I didn't think I was going to like this beer because it's dark, but I was mistaken. It's pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 07:38:05 | More by jsisko01
Photo of TMoney2591


3.48/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Part One of my six-part intro to Schell's regular boys. It pours a clear amber-russet topped by a finger of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises light caramel, light grass, and a touch of rather mild roast. The taste brings in more of the same, though things are a bit stronger all-around, and a small bit o' coffee finds its way in there as well. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a nice little brew, one that was somehow surprisingly enjoyable (something about a MDL in a clear bottle just advertizes itself in the wrong way to me...), something I could see drinking plenty of if presented with the proper circumstance.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 04:28:14 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

brown with a smallish off white head, that slowly faded to reveal a decent layer of lace left on the top, as well as a good amount left down the sides of the glass. Some visible carbonation was evident through the chains of bubbles streaming up through the very clear beer. Smell was very unique. It had a nice burnt sort of smell with a definate hint of caramel and coffe, which really suprised me. It was so pronounced, almost like a porter type of hint in there. The taste was very similar, lots of coffee and caramel flavors, mixed in with a nice earthy grain and a slightly bitter hopped back

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 19:22:25 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of hardy008


4.13/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany color with a two finger light beige head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has caramel malt, light toasted bread, and hops.

The taste is much like the aroma, with caramel malt, light toasted bread, and hops. The flavor is also sweet, and there is a bit of nuttiness in the background.

Light to medium bodied, smooth, with average carbonation. This is a dark lager done right. I have had this before many times. Not sure why it took so long for me to review.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 21:45:41 | More by hardy008
Photo of OleJohnnieAle


3.3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Coke brown with similar head. left nice lacing on the glass as it went down

S: Fairly sweet malts scent.

T: Smells sweet but I didn't get an overpowering sweet taste as the scent would have left me to believe. Nice beginning bite and then you can really taste the roasted malts. The roast is not overpowering though. A little bitterness finished off.

M: Smooth, good carbonation, thin to medium bodied.

O: Very drinkable, It was good, nothing to write home about but a good beer. Bought in sampler pack so good to bring to a holiday as there is something for everyone!

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 03:42:58 | More by OleJohnnieAle
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr


3.48/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by date of 12/28/11. Sampled with listening to Bowie's "Heroes."

A - Poured into an old mason jar-like novelty glass, Crystal clear dark amber body with a shade under 2 fingers of off white head. No lacing, decent retention. Pretty standard...

S - Close to textbook aroma, with notes of hay, dark Munich malt, tobacco, and minty herbal hops. Pretty balanced, with only the herbal presence overpowering the other aromas at any point.

T/M - This is a quite quenching brew. Flavor profile is what I expect from a Munich Dunkel: herbal hops, dark Munich malt, and dried dark fruit. On the nit picky side, I did notice some astringency and the mineral presence, while appropriate for the style struck me as less "crisp" and more empty.

O - This is not a life changing Munich Dunkel, but it does exactly what it's supposed to. It manages to balance out some richer flavors with a solid quaff-ability, at a decent price.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2011 20:55:30 | More by SammyDavisJrJrJr
Photo of MattyG85


3.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a darker shade of amber red with lots of rising bubbles. Big five finger off white head with good retention. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Sweet lightly toasted caramel malts with toffee. Lots of wheat grains. Light hint of chocolate. Mostly grains.

Taste: Mostly wheat grains with some lightly toasted caramel malts. A very light subtle hint of chocolate. Very grain driven and fairly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Subtle but not watery.

Overall: A decent lighter lager. Flavors are very subtle but this brew isn't watery at all.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 08:50:52 | More by MattyG85
Photo of rowew


2.8/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz clear bottle, label is metallic with an emblem of a buck. 072811 inkjetted on the neck .. I'm not sure if this is out of date, or was produced then.

Appearance: Pours clear, somewhere between an amber and a brown color. Average head, but it fades pretty quickly to leave just a hint of lace.

Smell: A bit of grain, fairly mild. This is sort of a generic "beer" aroma, without much to pick out specifically.

Taste: A little bit of sweetness and malt .. this tastes a bit like a light marzen.

Overall impression: It isn't bad .. it is sort of a generic beer with a bit more flavor than your average macro .. sort of like a Yuengling. Nothing to write home about, but it's drinkable enough.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 23:18:20 | More by rowew
Photo of WastingFreetime


3.13/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Transcribed from my notebook.

Looks deep brown, reddish around the fringes, small head that doesn't last, vague smell of semi-toasted caramel malt, taste is pretty much exactly the same, slightly too thin a body for my liking, but other than that, it's pretty good. Sadly lacking in complexity, yes, but it is certainly not 'bad', either.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 00:10:07 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of Mdog


3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark red, good foamy head.

Smell: Toffee, bready, sweetness.

Taste: Nice bready flavor with mild toffee sweetness mixed in. A little earthy bitterness in there too.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, but more substantial than most <5% abv beers.

Drinkability: Pretty decent session beer, the guys on my softball team go through 4 or 5 pitchers after games.

Another from the sampler, though I've had plenty of this on tap this summer as my teammates love this stuff. I'm not as big a fan of it, but it is a solid dunkel lager and a good changeup from lighter lagers.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 20:28:56 | More by Mdog
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pickings were slim at the MSP airport, and as I already was familiar with the mediocrity that is summit EPA (the other "craft" option), I went with this. Can't say it was a huge improvement, but....

The beer pours a brownish amber color with fairly good head retention and lacing. The nose is almost nonexistent, but I did pick up some light brown surgar, sweet malt and apple cherry. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this moderately sweet, simple beer, but there are no off flavors and drinkability isn't bad. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and thankfully the beer isn't over carbonated (a frequent problem in airports). The finish is soft and moderately sweet, and I found this beer to be fairly enjoyable.

Nothing spectacular here, but it beats the hell out of any of the grainbelt line. If stuck in airport waiting for a delayed SWA flight, I'd probably order this again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2011 21:54:22 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of jsprain1


3.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a splendid brown with red highlights and a thick three finger head that is frothy and foamy and sticks at one finger with decent enough lacing.
S- Smell is relatively clean, but there is some sweet caramel, toast, and the faintest of cocoa aromas.
T- Not even as deep as the nose. Clean, with light caramel and toast flavors.
M- Medium body, very light carbonation.
O- It looks great but it only tastes so-so. Easy enough drinking but otherwise it's a pass for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 20:49:10 | More by jsprain1
Photo of pBRale


2.6/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Beautiful deep amber pour, huge dense creamy pale tan head that settles very slowly with super thick and heavy retention and a strong, foamy lace down the entire glass. A great looking beer.

Smell: Not much here. An odd metallic-like / astringent smell is dominant, with some sweet malts detectable.

Taste: Light malts followed by an odd aftertaste (can't quite put my finger on it) that is thoroughly repulsive. Not a good taste. Wish I was spliting this beer with someone, but I never waste a beer so I guess I'll down the rest of it. Utterly lacking in taste. Very disappointed.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied but not watery. Medium-low carbonation. Crisp finish that is refreshing and light.

Overall: A great looking beer that is sadly lacking in smell and taste. Would not recommend to try. Go for Schell's pils instead.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 01:18:40 | More by pBRale
Photo of NWer


3.23/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Dark" beer poured into a pint glass.
Strange to name a beer "dark" as if it tells us anything as to style.
OK, so it's a dunkel lager.
Poured brown with adequate head that dissipates quickly.
Taste of honey. Very sweet. Too sweet to be a session beer but perfectly willing to enjoy one if handed to me.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 19:23:26 | More by NWer
Photo of kittywamp


3.93/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a nice brown with highlights of red

S: sweet, grain spice with a note of something i cant place the smell.

T: sweet caramel, malty and a hint of nut

M: creamy, buttery and smooth goodness

O: this is a great starter beer. made by a great brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2011 17:35:42 | More by kittywamp
Photo of JackieTH


2.93/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cola brown. Half-inch of light tan foam that subsides quickly leaving no lacing.

Smell: Traces of malt and grain. Very little here.

Taste: Light. Mildly roasted malt, slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light body, well-carbonated.

Overall: Good for hydration. Not unpleasant, but what flavor there is, is very, very mild. Watery.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 01:58:06 | More by JackieTH
Photo of Moon2Goddess


3.93/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: Enticing, under illumination it apears as golden autumn dancing in sunlight, you can't wait to bring it to your lips.

Head: Its presence makes the drink look like an iced ginger cookie in liquid form. Fairly thick, lovely cream color, good lacing but lacking height. Moves toward the edges and thins out at an average rate.

Aroma: Classic beer malt, acorn, butter and spice.

Texture: Like a delicate velvet glaze smoothing the rough texture of your tongue, coating your palate and gliding down your throat. A nearly sexual encounter.

Flavor & Balance: A friendly companion beer that you would invite back often. Full rich flavor yet a gentle, easy drink (this is a lager, not a stout after all.) Smooth maple undertones, sweet, balanced, harmonious. Could easily drink two or three in a row. Easily…in fact, I could do that right now.

Sustained Taste: A beer you can rely on for comfort at the end of a grueling day. Extremely consistent from first-taste to swallow to after-taste. A genuine pleasure from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 04:46:08 | More by Moon2Goddess
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Schell's Dark from August Schell Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.