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Schell's Dark - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Schell's DarkSchell's Dark

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

224 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 224
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 17.47%
Wants: 1
Gots: 12 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 224 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dwhitney
1/5  rDev -69.9%

dwhitney, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of bashiba
1.6/5  rDev -51.8%
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.

bashiba, Nov 14, 2004
Photo of Oxymoron
1.7/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Are you afraid of the Dark? Maybe you should be. Pours a darker brownish color that is mostly hazy. A quick disappearing head and no lace.

The nose has a slight smell of malt. Some burnt astringent notes with a light toffee backing. Som off yeast notes with a little bit of buytric. Some oxidation notes as well.

The taste is also limited. There is a watery taste and had little to no body. The presence of malt was limited where there should be a strong German influence. A more US feel for both malt and yeast.

The body is really lacking. Overall this is very limited beer with not much to it.

Oxymoron, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of badelsman
1.75/5  rDev -47.3%

badelsman, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of jwilli7122
1.8/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

pours golden red with very fizzy soda pop head that immediately settles. smells like plain lager. nothing foul though.

Does not taste good at all. mixture of prune juice, caramel, alchohol, and sour apple with zero hops and zero body. extremely light mouthfeel and way too sweet.

A distaser.

jwilli7122, Dec 31, 2003
Photo of ptarmigan98
2/5  rDev -39.8%

ptarmigan98, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of Beerlover
2/5  rDev -39.8%

Beerlover, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of Revenant
2/5  rDev -39.8%

Revenant, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of Riccymon
2.23/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours from the bottle a transparent brown with red highlights. A finger of head quickly dissipates, leaving the beer lifeless. When I agitate the beer, I smell a raw, earthy wheatiness that I enjoy, but that aroma gives way to something more like mineral water.

Taste, unfortunately, resembles the weak, mineral smell more than the maltiness I'd expected. Without the dark appearance and a small hint of caramel, I'd have thought I was drinking any old light lager, minus the fizziness. Mouthfeel is thin and watery, and Dark does indeed finish much like water or weak cola.

This is a very easy drinking beer, but I'm left wanting more during the entire glass-- more aroma, more flavor, more body.

Riccymon, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of doucmehu
2.25/5  rDev -32.2%

doucmehu, Oct 02, 2012
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.

pmcadamis, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of MNAle
2.4/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

MNAle, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.45/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear orangish copper beneath a head of soft, airy, beige foam. The cap is of poor quality, falls rather quickly to a lifeless lump--prior to disappearing altogether--and chooses not to grace the glass with its presence.

The nose is indistinguishable from the nose on a mass-produced lager, except that it's a little more aromatic and a wee bit more pleasant. It smells of slightly sweet, barely toasted grain with very little evidence that it's a dark beer at all.

Schell Dark tastes like what I would imagine Miller Dark would taste like if it existed. It's woefully undermalted with a smidgen of fake caramel, as if artificial extract was used to 'darken' and to flavor the beer. Sugar-dusted, toasted grain dominates the palate, as it did the nose.

The mouthfeel is the very definition of watery. What flavor is present is washed away soon after it registers. Is it possible for the finish to come prior to the swallow? This beer's only positive attribute (if the lack of a negative can be considered a positive) is that nothing about it is really offensive. Unless, of course, simple poor quality offends you.

I found an interesting quote on the Schell website regarding Dark: "The perfect beer for people who want a specialty craft beer, but may not want all the flavor and heaviness". Playing into the 'flavor is a bad thing' mindset is inexcusable for a brewery that expects to be taken seriously. Schell Dark is light years away from Schell Pale Ale. So much so that it's hard to believe that the same brewery is responsible for both beers.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of feloniousmonk
2.45/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: clear, coppery-bronze color, with a short, soon-departing fizzy head.Aroma: none to speak of, really, light and airy, with nutty hints and an unflagging cola-like flavor.
Taste: there's some small amount of flavor, caramel and nuts from the malt, but that sweetness is it. Thin is the by-word here, weak comes in handy, too. No hops, sufficient malt, no body, teensiest, tiniest texture, and virtually finish-less.
Very, very sad, and I can't help but suspect they've merely caramelized their regular, light lager. Real dunkels have some character, and this guy wears his insipidness all over him like a drunken lout on St. Patrick's day.
Almost undrinkable. Sorry, Schell.

feloniousmonk, Nov 14, 2003
Photo of CrowElam
2.5/5  rDev -24.7%

CrowElam, May 17, 2014
Photo of FreshHawk
2.5/5  rDev -24.7%

FreshHawk, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of Metz
2.5/5  rDev -24.7%

Metz, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of jzlyo
2.5/5  rDev -24.7%

jzlyo, Jul 02, 2013
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.

CharlesDarwin, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of jsh420
2.6/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

best by 10/13/09

pours amber brown with a 2 finger head that left spotted lacing

smells of lighty roasted sweet malts not much else

taste is very odd - there is a cherry flavor that reminds me of SA Cherry Wheat (Yuck!!) - this beer is just too swett

mouthfeel - not much carbonation - lifeless

drinkability is bad - i had a hard time drinking the whole bottle

i would never buy this beer again - god thing it came in a sample sixer

jsh420, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of pBRale
2.6/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

pBRale, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of proc
2.6/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out to an amber, not necessarily dark color in the glass. As with the other Schell offerings, this one has a very slight head. Little to no aroma other than fairly light malt. Taste is predominantly that of malt with a slight sweetness. Comparible to Michelob Amber bock crossed with a Killian's Red. Average at best.

proc, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of Weli
2.6/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

Weli, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of alexgash
2.63/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear brown-amber with a small, off-white head. Cereal sweet malts. Toasted, caramel, and nuts. Minor adjunct taste. Sweetish toasted malts. Not that bad though. Slight vegetal hop finish, but more adjuncty malt sweetness in the end. Light bodied, mass lager feel. A better choice than Michelob Amberbock…

alexgash, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of tavernjef
2.7/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Color is a clear orangish cherrywood color, it could be darker with more brown, pours out to a medium beige head that fades quickly, no real lace sticking. Aroma is quite sweet and fruity with dullish apple and pear, a malty nose, touches of dry nuttyness, but it has a bit of a souring smell and reminds of flat white wine or something. Interestingly off. Taste comes across quite thin and far to sweet, malts are in flavorful amounts but not in a good way by any means, very light and twingy with a watery mix of white wine fruityness and dulled crispness. Feel is watery and thin, characterless and boring. Boy, a disappointing beer at best. I so want to support Schell's other brews other then the FireBrick and Pale, but it just ain't happening.

tavernjef, Dec 22, 2003
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Schell's Dark from August Schell Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 224 ratings.