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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.

207 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 207
Reviews: 113
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 17.88%
Wants: 1
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
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)
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Ratings: 207 | Reviews: 113 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmccallum86


3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brownish red color, semi transparent.

The smell is of deep roasted malt, lots of malt in the nose. Very slight hop aromas.

The taste is all malt, as with many other Schell brews. Very smooth malt taste, some bready and caramel malt flavors, pretty good.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, very nice feeling beer.

If you are a malt head you could drink this all day long, period.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2009 04:49:29 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of jjanega08


3.48/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A=pours a deep amber brown color with a nice two finger head that rises perfectly to fill my glass which is 15 oz from a 12 oz bottle. Really cool when a beer fills your glass perfectly I think. The head doesn't last too long unfortunatly and falls to just a thin skin on the beer with very little lacing.
S= really quite doughy. Reminds me of fat tire in smell actually. Some darker sweeter caramel malt is in it as well. Nothing amazing.
T= really quite interesting in taste. Really smooth and crisp like a lager similar to the firebrick. The doughyness is present but not as loud as the smell. There's a nice bit of dark malt present but mostly just smooth lager crispness.
M= really crisp like a regular macro lager. Pretty good.
D= good. I was scared of the clear bottle and the fact that it was just called dark.... but it wasn't that bad. Really sort of deceptive in color and smell. Tasted plain and somewhat boring but not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 01:24:36 | More by jjanega08
Photo of fizzy


2.8/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I just wanted so bad to rate this beer higher, but just can't. I love Schell's beers and a trip to the brewery is a treat unto itself. But for some reason this one just doesn't make it. The color is weak, the aroma just ain't there, the flavor leaves something to be desired. Good thing this was a $8.00/12pk

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 23:46:35 | More by fizzy
Photo of argock


2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pored from clear 12oz bottle into a clear pilsner glass. Freshness date lasered on bottle neck. Received as part of a 12-pack Schell's sampler.

A: Caramel brown with soft and quickly receding 1-finger beige head. Lace is minimal to none.

S: Aroma is remiscent of Newcastle with candy and brown sugar, pale malts, and some cheaper grains with no hops contribution.

T: Flavor is very middle of the road with sweet caramel cotton-candy flavor, some sweet corn graininess, and not much else. Nothing bready indicative of adequate malting here.

M: Very thin and light in body. Aftertaste is exceedingly sweet and grainy.

D: Easily the worst of the 6 options from this sampler due to its sweet corn graininess and artificial caramel type of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2009 03:37:53 | More by argock
Photo of jsh420


2.6/5  rDev -21.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 02:24:38 | More by jsh420
Photo of bsp77


3.13/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 21:51:02 | More by bsp77
Photo of CHSLBrew


2.75/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a pristine brown brew with a rising and promptly diminishing light-tan head.

S-Caramel, slightly spicy and dry.

T-Sweet caramel and toasty bread with a hint of choco-roasty malt. Hoppy spice is largely masked by the big, sweet malts. Finshes somewhat cloyed, caramelly.

M-Medium-high carbonation is a bit much, but the medium-light body is appropriately moderate.

D-A decent, sessionable brew. Tasty, but I guess it's not a better-than-average brew. I've always enjoyed Schell's Dark, and this brew has been the forefront of a recent (last several years) re-branding of some of the Schell's brang and beers, probably due to its ease of drinking and accessibility.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 19:03:37 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of BedetheVenerable


3.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz screw cap clear bottle with freshness date clearly marked

Appearance: Dark amber beer with medium dark tan cap that has medium retention

Smell: Medium sweet grainy tones...not much else...fairly clean aroma

Taste: Light toasted malts...odd, but toasted mushroom notes...this is simple and kind of odd

Mouthfeel: Light/medium body

Drinkability: Medium

Conclusion: So-so...nothing special

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 06:04:06 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of Buebie


4.15/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up in a 12 pack sampler today.

Poured from a clear 12oz bottle into an oversized snifter.
Aroma on this is very similar to, if not identical to the 2008 Snowstorm brew. Which I enjoyed the hell out of and am very disseminated it wont be back again in a new label form, like the 2006 snowstorm, no stout.
Bits of rye, Vienna malt, lots of cereal grain aroma, honey, chocolate grains. This is an absolute malt bomb. Some hops do come through, although laid back, allowing the malt to shine.

Appearance is a bit of a darker brown with ruby red highlights. The head formed about an inch of white and somewhat quickly melted away to leave a thin layer and thicker collar. Lace is thin and spotty, leaving oily streaks.

Mouthfeel is slick and pillow like with a fluffiness from carbonation. Mostly thin after the carbonation fizzles out, which also is laid back and does not bite the palette.

Taste is extra malty, with a darker roasty quality, chocolate grains, semi sweet all the way through. A bit more rye and vienna malts.

Finishing with a long malt linger and a bit of grassy hops.
Solid brew for a clear bottle. Very much the sessionable beer at 4.8%

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 20:50:08 | More by Buebie
Photo of Rayek


3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Chestnut brown with minimal carbonation and excellent clarity. A decent sized cream head formed and had OK retention. Left spots of lace.

S: Bittersweet toffee makes up most of the nose, plus a hint of a corn aroma.

T: The toffee theme continues. Bittersweet toffee flavors are bolstered by a touch balancing bitterness that doesn't add any flavor. Gets slightly acidic toward the end.

M: The light body is slightly chalky. Carbonation feels about right.

D: The light body and low ABV make this an easy beer to consume. It's not terribly complex, but still decent.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 15:46:07 | More by Rayek
Photo of Riccymon


2.23/5  rDev -32.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 18:22:39 | More by Riccymon
Photo of morimech


3.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with a large off-white head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick, dense cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Aroma of rich malt, slightly earthy. Hints of noble hops as well. Nice flavor of Munich malt, slightly toasted and musty. The sweetness of the malt is nicely kept in check by the hops. Bitterness is moderate for the style. The body comes off as a little thin considering the richness of the malt. A little overcarbonated as well. A nice dunkel lager that is very drinkable. As good as many of the German imports.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 20:19:04 | More by morimech
Photo of ChopperSmith


3/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2009 19:07:40 | More by ChopperSmith
Photo of roadhouse


3.95/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pils glass

Pours a clear deep chestnut color with a one and a half inch light tan head. It falls to a skim and leaves some pretty good lacing.

Aroma is full of sweet caramel malt and a bit of toasty malt character. There is a faint hop hint in there too, slightly grassy and herbal, but light.

Taste is deep and malty up front with some caramel and more toasty malt. A very slight dark fruit character, slightly watery in the finish with some mild grassy hop flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, slightly hurt by the bit of wateriness that I'm getting. Smooth and creamy going down though.

Not sure how this beer is rated so low, it's a very good Dunkel. Like everything else I've had from Schell's, it's very good.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 05:01:10 | More by roadhouse
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on Tap at a smaller bar in New Ulm.

Poured into a 20 oz plastic cup (very sad).

Creamy slight tanned head. Left good lacing. Color is a dark ruby brown, which was quite appealing.

Aroma: Not very much here. It just reminds me of an American macro lager with some extra flavor added to it. Malty, slight caramel, very grainy.

Taste: Darker malts. Again, very grainy. Not very much going on here.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and smooth. Medium bodied. High carbonation. Ends fairly clean.

Overall, a very easy drinking 'dark' lager. Looks dark, tastes fairly light. I could have a few of these during a session.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2009 18:55:46 | More by mothman
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a clear 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Mellow brown color with a head that disappears quickly.

Nose is of malt and minerals.

Tastes pretty good, caramel malt with a slight roasted edge. A bit sweet. No real bitterness but adequate to say the least.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

This is a drinkable brew and worth the try. Sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 14:01:14 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of DocTheDJ


2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks: Alright spungy soft malty lookin head that even has a few small lumps. Holds and fades fairly slowly with okay light lacing. NOT over carbonated surprisingly. Looks pretty good.

Smell: Slightly roasted nutty smell and light bread. Nice but nothing real stimulating, strong or overpowering.

Taste: Does not taste as strong as it smells which was kind of disappointing. Tastes like it smells realy not much bitterness here. Nice light malty roasted and slightly nutty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Wow, this bugger is smooth like milk with the itty bitty carbonation bubbles inside each mouthfull. What it may lack in taste it has made up for in it's silky smoothness.

Overall: the taste is a bit disapointing which is odd (intentional?). I was hoping for more on taste but the smoothness and smell is quite nice. I am not sure where this one is for an exact style. They go done quite fast and smooth. Drink it again - oh yes, go out of my way to buy it probably not. Okay beer.

Would be a great one for craft beer nubies I think. Not overpowering in any way.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 12:33:59 | More by DocTheDJ
Photo of BierFan


3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce clear bottle into a pint glass. Printed expiration date of "050609".

Appearance: Clear reddish brown body with a light tan head. Decent head retention with light lacing. Looks really good for the style.

Smell: Crisp smelling with caramel sweetness. No depth to it.

Taste: Sweet with very little bitterness. Almost a light roastiness to it.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth. A real easy drinking beer. Not a great beer, but it's something I would suggest to a new craft beer drinker.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 03:32:19 | More by BierFan
Photo of jera1350


3.25/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copperish brown appearance. Smell of toasted grains, slightly nutty. Light malty taste, not bitter at all. Smooth mouthfeel. Drinkability is above average.

Overall this beer is pretty good. It's not great in any aspect, but it's easy drinking and has some decent flavor. My wife loves this stuff and is not a beer drinker. It's very similar to a Newcastle in my opinion. More of a nut brown than a dunkel.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 22:48:46 | More by jera1350
Photo of Mistofminn


3.73/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz clear (uh-oh...) bottle from my Schell's Sampler.

Pours a clear brown color that looks predominantly ruby colored when held into the light. Pour produced a nearly 2 inch tan head. After a couple minutes it shrunk down to a clumpy and sticky mass of froth that sat on top of the beer. Also a small amount of lacing is noticeable.

The aroma is lightly roasted malts and a small amount of hop bitterness. There is also a sweet smell here, possibly caramel or honey.

Very light taste. Lightly roasted malts, with a slight hop finish. There is also alcohol present, but not in a bad way.

This beer is very light bodied. It has a minimal amount of carbonation.

Not bad, not bad at all. The aroma reminds me of their newest Snowstorm recipe (the taste does not however). I most likely wont go out of my way to buy this again, but if I have no other options, this would definitely be a winner.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2009 21:53:39 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of scoobybrew


4.33/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a pilsner flute from the bottle.

A- clear, deep ruby/amber color with a decent head that settles quickly into a lacing

S - caramel and light roasted malt with a touch of hops

T - light roasted malt flavor, malty/grain with a slightly dry hop finish (more of a hop finish as it warms)

M - medium/light body, moderate-high carbonation

D - I rated this based on the Dark American Lager style, as I believe this was the brewery's intent based on the packaging. For BA purposes, this would probably fall into the Dark Euro Lager category. Nonetheless, it is extremely well crafted and should be recognized as such (I think). It's a very clean lager and extremely 'quaffable'. It kind of reminds me of my memories of Lowenbrau back in the day.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2009 00:39:03 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of AdmiralDiaz


2.78/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Brown-light brown as it fades to the edges. Small off white head with a little bit of retention but no lacing.

S: Smells pretty good, not strong, but appealing. Smells like a bit of roasted malts with a bit of earthiness and some coffee.

T: Smells much better than it tastes. It's kind of bland. Malt flavor up front with a bit of earthiness and a semi-sweet toffee finish.

Overall it was fine for a cheap $2 on-tap drink but I can't see myself ever seeking it out to but. It's crisp with a decent amount of carbonation but the lack of flavor didn't make me care if I finished my drink or not.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2009 16:21:46 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled this one at the brewery during the tour/tasting - the only selection that was only available on draft (all other samples were bottled.)
Dark brown color, cream colored head of an inch of foam. Smell of toasted caramel, nice aroma. Solid flavor, dark malt, a bit nutty, nice floral hop finish. Good body, not too heavy, smooth, great sessional. Doesn't get super high marks, but was one of my favorites on the day. I would definatley have another if it was available.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2008 22:07:47 | More by BigBry
Photo of schellsbeer


4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Now this is what I am talking about.

Great taste!!! Great drinkability!!

This is the beer that made me a Schell's fan.

Dark beer that isn't too dark. Light enough that you can drink several without feeling full.

Light on the tongue and light on the waist. Not a heavy beer by any means.

This isn't a porter or stout. This is just a darker beer done right. Who cares what it smells like, or what flower it tastes like....Let's be honest...this is a good tasting beer that happens to come from the 2nd oldest family brewerys in the USA. Please don't get all girly on us. If you want a good tasting beer that will go down smooth and would make a great addition to deer hunting camp, then this it the beer for you. HELLO!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 06:03:11 | More by schellsbeer
Photo of pweis909


3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Initially ,this seemed a rather satisfying beer, with a light brown complexion and a creamy head, about half an inch thick, which gave way to caramel and fruity and toasty nutty aromas. But ultimately, the taste is too sweet. The first bottle, I had after dinner, and at that time, it almost worked for me, as a dessert. A few days later, I had a second bottle, and found it's sweetness cloying. Although I like the way this beer greeted me with so many aromas, the taste is overpoweringly sweet and the beer consequently suffers in the drinkability department. I suspect this is a case of deriving too much color/flavor from crystal malts and not enough Munich malt.

The beer's classification on this site is Munich Dunkel, while the bottle proclaims it an American dark lager. I suspect it would not hold up well at all if reviews held it to the standard of either of these styles.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 02:39:43 | More by pweis909
Schell's Dark from August Schell Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.