Schell's Dark - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Schell's DarkSchell's Dark

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244 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 244
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 16.87%
Wants: 1
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-17-2002

This beer is dark because the barley is roasted longer– a flavorful lager that everyone will enjoy.
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Ratings: 244 | Reviews: 120
Reviews by kegger22:
Photo of kegger22
4.06/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Schell's Dark was a transparent Munich dunkel lager with a light beige head that faded rapidly to a thin collar.

The aroma was underwhelming but neutral grainy.

The taste was where Schell's Dark really shone. Roasted caramel malt, nutty and yes, some chocolate too.

The mouth feel improves with warming to barely medium bodied, but oily and adequately carbonated.

The drinkability was excellent. I had purchased it in a Schell sampler pack, but if I could find it in a six pack, I'd rush out and buy one or two.

A very underrated beer, though not aesthetically pleasing enough for a huge rating. For those of you that rated this poorly, take another look, with an open mind and warmed slightly.

More User Reviews:
Photo of blackearth
3.17/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased from 3 Corners Liquor in Medford, MN. Pours a dark amber body with lots of rising bubbles, which makes it look like Coca Cola. Aroma is of sweet malts and no hops at all. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavors of toasted malt and toffee sweetness. There's a very faint hop flavor in the overall sweet finish. There's nothing special here.

Photo of skybluewater
2.88/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber color (I was expecting something black!), no lacing to speak of. Doesn't smell the greatest. Taste is pretty basic-fairly malty, but weak, with a touch of hops. Nothing offensive, but nothing at all special.

Not a great brew here, best to stick with Schell's Craft selections. But if this was on tap at some pizza parlor, I'd go for it.

Photo of NWer
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of bsp77
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into single style glass.

Appearance: Dark brownish-amber with very thin head.

Smell: Very sweet - caramel and maybe a little cherry. Maybe a touch of spiciness.

Taste: Very malty and sweet. Lots of caramel and fruit, with maybe a touch of roastiness and spiciness. Really wish there was more than a touch of both. Slightly cloying aftertaste.

Feel: Pretty high carbonation, light to medium body.

Drinkability: Easy to drink but uninteresting.

Schell should make a real Dunkel, this is an American Dark Lager.

Photo of MattyG85
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of ADR
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear dark tea-like brown, OK head that's down to a rim-clinging rim in 40 seconds. Slightly chocolate aroma. Mostly malty but pretty non-descript. A little bit of a nut flavor but not much. Some light brown sugar predominates, very little sense of hops at the finish. This is really ordinary in all aspects, not a beer I would choose to purchase on my own. Maybe a starter for people who like Michelob Dark. The bottle was a part of a sampler pack I got in order to try this year's Snow Storm rendition.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from a clear bottle, labeling and bottle together bring out a retro feel to the product. Pours a dark copper ruby brown hue with a nice creamy tan head quickly dwindling. Aroma has hints of grainy malts, a touch of caramel and tart fruit in there as well. Flavor wise roasty malts/husky graininess/fruits with apple/raisin coming through with a touch of a grassy finish. Mouthfeel is a bit rough around the edges but a light to medium bodied lager from New Alt Minnesota is a welcome addition to the beers I've tried. This is nowhere near Penn Dark was it's hayday, but it's a decent drinkable beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in 2 American pint glasses) it was happy hour I guess

A- This beer has a dark brown shoe polish colored body with a thin light tan film of head and a strong carbonation.

S- The smell of pot caramel had a faint dry dark malt note to it.

T- This beer had a pot caramel malt flavor with a nougat note. There was a faint sulfur note and a faint noble hop hint in the finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel had a watery texture and a tight fizz in the finish.

D- This beer didn't have a lot of flavor and the flavors it did have were a little off. It would be nice to taste some other malt flavors like maybe some Munich malt or other lightly toasted malts.

Photo of LXIXME
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of zjungleist
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber/brown in color with a low medium head. The smell is generic caramel malt. Taste is caramel and roasted malts, with a distinct absense of hops, and kinda funky sulphury aftertaste. Mouthfeel is on the high side of medium and carbonation is average. Overall, I can't really say I was a fan.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.02/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Well, I've seen darker. Here we have a caramel color with very good clarity and a half-inch soapy head that settles to a thin layer quickly.

Aroma: Light caramel notes and even lighter notes of chocolate and brown sugar arise from the glass.

Flavor is brown sugar, hazelnut, caramel. Barely any hops detectable, this is definitely more about the dark malts. It tastes okay, but leans toward the unspectacular.

On the thin side, body-wise, with a strange puckery, distracting feel during the dry finish.

The clear bottle scared me...the previous two Schell's I've had didn't psych me up...the label reminded me way too much of a Hamm's or Schlitz thing. All that hesitation doesn't help what is basically your average brown ale...err, I mean Munich Dunkel Lager. Whatever you call it, it's severely average.

Photo of kittywamp
3.92/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

Photo of cokes
3.71/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

When Gramps speaks of "real beer", this is what we means. No, not Westy. Nor Stone. Not even Sierra Nevada. He's talking about Schell Dark.

Now shuttup and listen.

This is American Lager done right.

"Dark" might be an overstatement. More of a golden copper. Obligatory, fizzy white cap.
Nose is grainy. Maybe with a touch of corn. Gramps tells you to stop your highfallutin' bullshit. This smells like beer. 'Nuff said.

Begins lightly sweet. Faint caramel notes, probably (though not certainly) adjuncted with corn. It doesn't develop much from here. Grainy midesection. Hopping is light but drying, especially in combonation with the carbonation (which, to its credit, does not seemed forced).
Simple stuff. But it works. Find your complexities elsewhere, and just drink.

Light bodied and totally guzzleable. As a regional/macro, it is positively top shelf.
This features a solid malt statement. Embrace that.

I received this as part of a Schell sampler pack, which defeats its very purpose. This should not be sold in denominations less than 12 (or, more likely, 24). If this was readily available and cheap, it'd be a staple in my fridge.
And Gramps would be proud of me.

Photo of ChopperSmith
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a clear 12 oz. bottle into a chilled pint glass. Part of a 12-pack sampler from Schell's Brewery.

Appearance - Pours a clear brown with red tints, nice tan foamy head that retains well. Leaves a little nice lacing as it recedes.

Smell - Malty, malty, malty with a little hint of floral hops.

Taste - Smooth and no bitterness at all. Very pronounced taste of malted barley, with a little caramel and sweet hops on the finish. Not too shabby. A good dunkel lager.

Mouth Feel - Light and a little watery and thin. Good carbonation.

Drinkability - Surprisingly light and refreshing for a dark beer with dark roasted barley. Easy to drink, would definitely have another if it was around.

Photo of pmcadamis
2.28/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Clear bottle...ahhh! This one pours a clear wood-varnish brown with some purple highlights. The head is about two fingers after a vigorous pour, and looks fluffy and puffy. Some foamy lace is left on the glass, and retention is decent, but not great.

S - Weak toffee notes make up the brunt of this nose, while some husky and grainy notes peg this as a lager. Some milk chocolate comes out as this one warms up, and some cinnamon dusted pumpkin pie is evident. This smells like a really weak oktoberfest.

T - This is a malty brew that shows some earthy mushroom notes on top of toffee and pumpkin. This isn't very complex or interesting, but it's not bad.

M - Light bodied and watery, but with a foamy-ness that doesn't do it for me. The finish is weak and unassertive.

D - Not terrible, but a sub-average brew. I don't like this very much, and it's a bad example of an already uninteresting style.

Photo of GaryT2
4.24/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a sampler pack. Since Miller and Anheuser still control the distributors and retailers here this good stuff has to fight for space. I could drink a lot of this. I am pretty new here and very unprofessional. That said, what I do not understand is the biases of other reviewers. Rules are... do not criticize your fellow reviewers. But, I gotta say .. Art is in the eye of the beholder. I rated this beer high BEFORE I read anybody elses reviews and after I rated it high and reviewed the balance of the thread, I had second thoughts until I started reading comparisons to some beers that would be skipped if I had some of this stuff around. I do every much like this beer. Anyway..this is above average..darn good beer leaving a fresh after taste. Slightly fruity I guess. You certainly aren't even tempted to add a lemon.

Photo of tempest
3.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Stub and Herb's

Yeah, it's not a great dunkel, but it's a nice, standard American interpretation for the most part. It appears a dark brown with light tan lacing. The aroma has a hint of DMS with sweet grains. The flavor is pretty subtle with an initial sweet bready rush followed by a gentle chocolate note. The DMS is distracting, but not surprising. Not a bad beer.

Photo of hodgsongreg
4.62/5  rDev +39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After drinking mainly dark beers and stouts since I started throwing down and subsequently enjoying the brew, I wanted to find a dark beer that was satisfying but not filling. I found this in Schell Dark. When I bought my first case of Schell Dark, it was in a colorful package calling to mind the region it was born, but not in an overtly exploitative manner. The bottle is clear with a colorful wrap, the contents are a dark caramel color. The smell is sweet, with a nice barley aroma. For a dark beer, I was expecting more of a bite, but there was very little bitterness. There was a medium amount of carbonation. The beer went down smooth and it would be good as a session beverage.

Photo of Brandt
3.17/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer poured out a semi dark brown color, similar to brown sugar with a little bit of white head

the toasted malt comes through decently here and some other sweetness that is almost along the line of fig but thats a stretch

has the typical sulfury/lager flavor in it and some pretty strong flavors of toasted malt.

this beer finishes out with a soft sweetness and med-light body. i must say it was better than i had expected/remebered and is something that goes down pretty easy but nothing too special over all.

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Opens with a malty, earth smell. Pours a nice amber with a fluffy. Taste has a malty richness and is nice and bubbly, but there were some distracting off-flavors. A bit of oxidation and a medicinal phenol character overwhelms the light hop profile. I think if I had another sample, it should turn out pretty good.

Photo of Infamous7100
3.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice, caramel, rich brown color with a very thin a toasted looking head.
Great aromas here....caramel malt, bread, nuts. Very pleasant.
Taste is a little lackluster up against the smell. Starts a tad bitter but quickly merges into the sweet malts, faint as they may be. A lot of bread in the finish and this actually is the best part.
This brew is quite quaffable as it is tasty and medium bodied. Great alternative brew to session with. If only the taste was a tad richer, we'd have a real winner.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Originally reviewed on September 24, 2005. Poured from a 12 Oz Bottle on the Beer Train. Deep reddish pour. Dusty malt aroma, with no character. Flavor continues, I’m detecting a pattern here with these guys. Definately some corn flavor. Watery. Blah. Admitting you use corn to build a dunkel is a horrible, horrible thing to do. On par with swill.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.47/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of bashiba
1.63/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours a slightly darker than average amber color, certainly not the dark I would expect from a so called Dark Beer, which leads me to wonder why a brewery as competent as schell's would label this simply Dark, not one other mention of what style of Dark this is on the label anywhere.

Some very mild burnt malt smells lingering through, but not to much.

Taste - wow is this ever a lame beer. The taste is very a non descript macro like watery flavorlessness. Some very minor Malt tones and no hoppiness to speak of at all.

Mouthfeel is slick and watery, very, very thin.

Drinkability is about the same as any American Macro, you could drink it on a hot day, but would never go out of your way to get it.

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Schell's Dark from August Schell Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.