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Hofbräu Dunkel | Hofbräuhaus München

very good
325 Reviews
For Trade:
Hofbräu DunkelHofbräu Dunkel

Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München
Germany | website

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-18-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 325 | Ratings: 1,113
Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

10/02/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Fragrant. Caramel is the first impression but no bitterness. Medium body & long lasting taste. Harkens the days when all the Euro brews were shipping dark versions. Difference is this shows what they were trying for. Good beer.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Poured from a 330 ml green bottle into a shaker pint glass. An aggressive pour produces a one inch, frothy white head. The beer is a burnt-orange brown with light carbonation.

Definitely malty on the nose and palate, with just a touch of a tea-like bitterness. A fruity, tomato-like aroma-flavor punctuates a bready maltiness. The mouthfeel is creamy with a bit of tingle. Plenty of complexity with a semi-clean finish (the fruity flavors linger a bit).

This is a tasty and very drinkable beer. Well worth a try.

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Photo of utopiajane
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fiery copper orange. This beer is aglow with light and with radiance. A fat tan head of foam fell well and left a ring and some spots of lace to look at. Inside the glass it is as serene as a perfect pane of colored glass. The nose is breaddy. Dark crusty bread that is lightly toasted. There is a baked grain sweetness on this plus a sweetness from caramel. No fruity esters, no hops, wonderfully clean. Taste is tantalizing and smooth. All that malt but no heaviness. The body is thin and the lighter side of medium,. The malt is crisp. A brief hint of chocolate comes out as it warms but remains largely and delightfully unfullfilled. It envelops the palate just as it's light sweetness comes up to rescue you. The finish on this one is malty, breaddy and dry with a light touch of bitterness from subtle hops. Perfect.

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Photo of KFBR392
2.91/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: dark amber red color. Half a finger of creamy off white head on the pour which settled in to a thin layer across the top while drinking. Active carbonation is above average for the style.

Smell: Overly sweet toffee jumps out right away. There are some slightly skunky, funky tones going on here as well. Dark fruits and oak show up on the body. Sweetness runs throughout and dominates, to a fault.

Taste: Toffee and caramel hit first. The body is mossy, earthy with accents of oak and some dark fruits. These flavors all come together, but slowly fade into a slightly dry finish with some lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Nothing really note worthy at all here. Carbonation doesn't play a part and no notable lingering textures keep you interested.

Overall: Very disappointed by this. Loved the other Hofbrau offerings I've had, this just has none of the characteristics I look for in a dunkel. I'll stick with the Original and Hefe.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station in Kansas City after learning the hard way that when there is a dunkel and a dunkelWEIZEN on tap, you cannot simply say "I'll have the dunkel" if you want the weizen. Not a problem because I'm always game to try a new beer. Poured into a small Belgian style tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a deep sienna with reddish auburn tints where the light passes through a liquid that is mostly clear. The only thing preventing me from seeing through it is the darker hue. Atop the body rests a two finger ecru head with a similar auburn twinge to it that looks a bit thin and begins to dissipate pretty quickly. Faint watery looking rings adorn the sides of the glass with streaky lace intermittently space throughout. Across the surface liquid are streaks of wispy film.

Smell - Nice grain dominant aroma, with notes of dark grain bread and toasted crust and faint sweetness, along with some pleasant nuttiness and generic toasted malts.

Taste - A bit more interesting than the aroma, as the nuttiness is a little more forward here, providing some depth and complimenting the otherwise slightly boring grain profiles. There is a faint sweetness again like the aroma hinted at, but not enough to really kick this one into gear. Still, a nice unassuming dunkel with a slighly richer flavor twist from the heat-treated malts.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and moderate carbonation, with a semi-dry finish on the tongue.

Overall, a pretty simple beer. There are other dunkels I would probably reach for first, but this one is nice for the price. Definitely a style that I need a bit more familiarity with.

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Photo of bark
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is deep brown-red (60 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger beige head is airy, it sinks slowly leaving lots of lacing.

The smell is smooth with some minerals and quite a lot of roasted (but not burned) malts. Chocolate, caramel and some wheat crackers.

The taste is smooth with a fine floral bitterness in the background. It is quite dry with lots of caramel-chocolate. Medium body. The aftertaste is smoothly roasted with complex malt flavours. The finish is fresh with light bitterness and smooth chocolate.

The carbonation is medium strong with lots of mid-sized long-lived bubbles.

A solid Dunkel.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We open a pair of bottles, pouring into our Bell’s Weizen glasses. It shows a deep amber, ruby coloring. This supports a solid three finger head of snowy, cakey golden-hued foam. Retention is excellent. Carbonation is minimal. The nose gives chalky and dry maltiness of wheat, roasty caramels, crystals, and ruddy pales, with support from corn and mineral, vanilla extract, rosehip, aluminum, mineral water, and gingerbread sugars. The taste gives cherry sugars, twine, plastic and chemical phenols, banana esters, black pepper and clovey spice, sweet red apple juiciness, freshly harvested grassy hoppiness, sweaty saltiness, toasty wheatiness and caramel malts, soy sauce, crystalized cane sugar, and dusty muskiness. The body is on the lighter side, with decent carbonation. The mouth is left neither coated nor dried, but rather somewhere in a neutral middle of the two. It shows nice slurp and creaminess to it. The abv is appropriate, and the beer glugs back easily.

Overall, this is a new style for us, and we’ve been very excited for this foray. For whatever reason, of all the styles we’re currently missing on BA, this was towards the top of our list. As lovers of Münich style lagers, this one certainly does the region and the country justice. The beer remains light enough in feel, much in the same way the helles lagers do, to keep the beer from becoming overpowering or overbearing. The flavoring is robust, but packaged in such a simply and decidedly light fashion. It works very well.

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Photo of AmericanPaleMale666
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - body was a dark amber, thin cream colored head
N - malty, chocolatey, you can sense some grain and bread tones also
M - lighter than expected given the appearance but still full feeling
T - great, follows the nose, malty and chocolatey
O - great traditional German brew. Wonderful from the tap at the hofbräus house but great from the bottle as well. Refreshing wether on the beach or inside on a winters night

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Photo of chinchill
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hofbrau Dunkel on tap at Pazzo's (Lexington, KY)

clear red-brown; excellent clarity; large, creamy tan head.

Aroma: light toasted grains; a bit metallic; a touch of earthy hops.

Flavor: richer and better than the aroma. Lacks complexity but provides a nice blend of malts with a proper touch of hops.

Feel: light bodied but not watery; medium carbonation that seems just right

O: good to have a nice fresh version of the German standard, although served too cold.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sam adams custom pint glass, color is dark amber, head is light tan, presents very thin with a denser ring on the glass, very fine carbonation and head bubbles.

Smell is bread, biscuit, toast, light caramel, trending towards a sweeter molasses, very pleasant and lightly sweet.

Taste is a bit thinner than the aroma would lead to believe, crisp malts, lighter german style malt flavors, maybe some vienna; sweeter malts are biscuity, bready, some caramel. Hops are grassy if anything, but there is some noted bitterness on the finish

Mouthfeel is a bit crisp, which for a german dunkel is expected, but the carbonation is not overdone, malt flavors provide lasting flavor impressions.

Overall, this a great, easy drinking dunkel, maybe a touch more flavor could boost its presence.

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2.42/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle. Weizen glass. Brown color, crystal clear appearance. Tan froth creates a lively & brief crown. Toasted, slight woody, herbal aromas, hints of diacetyl. Sweet toasted & syrupy flavors. Light to medium body. Moderate but lively carbonation resolves in a watery texture. Candy flavor, hues of sweet almonds & nutmeg liquor touch are displayed in the middle. Sweet finish. Unbalanced & cloying!

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.46/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams stein. The pour is very dark amber, clear, and sports a nice bloom that lasts a good while. The nose is rich and malty, but I do detect a sulfery skunkiness as well. With everything we know about beer preservation, why do brewers still use green glass?

Medium body with a clean malt flavor. The beer has some nice bready malt up front, a hint of hazelnut, and then a slightly lemony hoppy note at the finish. Very refreshing and simple to drink.

A pretty average dark lager. I'm not sure how old my bottle was, but I doubt I will seek out another one. I have too much exporing to do in this style to revisit this one.

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Photo of RandomExile
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: darkly translucent red-amber; fluffy beige head; genuine webs of lacing
S: distinctly bread and malt, sweet, molasses?
T: primarily malt carries through; caramel and something like roasted corn; tinge of bitterness on the aftertaste
M: medium-bodied; initially rich and full without being heavy, but thinner on later pulls
O: sessionable dunkel, pleasant and engaging. While I enjoyed everything about it, I wish it tasted more like the nose, and had either a bit more clarity or richness on the palate, either way.

12oz / Pint Glass

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Photo of coldy
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a classic German dunkel. Taste is wonderful when had fresh at the Hofbrauhaus. Th beer is an attractive dark amber that drinks much lighter than you would think based on appearance. Very good, every day, 4 season beer. Good in a bottle, but really good in a stein from a keg

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Photo of kaplunk02
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a nonic.

A: Clear brown with a bit of carbonation. The short (maybe half of a finger) beige head disappeared quickly leaving no trace around the glass.

S: The aroma was malty and bready upfront with a sweetness of caramel or molasses. There was also a sublet tart smell which I couldn't place.

T: Flavors matched the aroma with a lot of roasted malt and baked bread but with more sweetness in the taste than in the smell. Bready finish with no real evidence of it being 5.5% alcohol.

M: Medium carbonation (a bit more so than I expected but that's just me) and, otherwise, silky and smooth.

O: I think it is good example of the style. Its not overly complex or unique in its flavors but is a very drinkable brew. Its a nice dark lager that suits any time of year.

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Photo of slusk
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I really like this Dunkel. It's definitely to style with little hop aroma and a very malt forward brew.

Appearance - Pours a deep amber, more brown than copper with a nice two finger head that dissipates to a thin head that rides to the end. a small amount of lacing.

Aroma - Very malty with very little hop nose. It has some bready toffee notes with a bit of spiciness.

Taste - It definitely tastes as it smells with a bready front end with some toffee notes. It has a spicy back end with a bready sweet finish.

Mouthfeel - It is a medium body brew with a slightly slick after taste. There's a slight acidic touch to it from the carbonation.

Overall - I like this brew. For me it's close to a session beer. I could drink more than one but the sweetness would leave me looking for a lawnmower beer or ESB. This is indeed another beer that reinforces my love of the Dunkel style. Another well done beer from Hofbrau.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, clear, dark brown color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that collected in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty and bready. Lots of freshly baked dark bread, like pumpernickel, followed by some sweetness like dark molasses or brown sugar. I get some black pepper, and faint notes of clove.

Taste: Very much like the beer’s aroma, very malty up front, followed by some pleasant sweetness. There is hardly no hops bitterness to this beer, rather it’s a massive malt bomb!

Mouthfeel: Medium and slightly chewy. Some slight carbonation too, but not much. With an ABV of 5.5%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a great German dunkel, and, really, can you expect any less from a Munich beer? Nice and malty and extremely drinkable. I love it!

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark copper color with a huge off white head that persists forever. Smells of toffee light caramel and caramelized sugars with hints of dark dried fruits. The flavor is rich and malt with lots of burnt darker sugars. Light bits of prunes and raisins and a hint of sulfur. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost creamy mouthfeel. Nice dark lager, very well done.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is a nice dark oak-copper color with a cream colored head that recedes quickly buy leaves a moderate film, with light watery lacing on the glass.

The aroma is rich with roasted malts, breadiness, toffee, and faint roasted meats.

The taste is equally hearty with toasted bread, roasted malts, faint toffee, and a nutty finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, really flavorful and a nice brew to have on an October evening.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 11.2 fl. oz. bottle marked L-030-M-08:49. Sampled on October 5, 2013.

It has a handsome looking Dunkel-like pour of mahogany brown with occasional red highlights and a short-lived off-white head. A minor chill haze.

Green bottle, so yeah, it has a touch of skunkiness unfortunately but once I pushed that aroma aside I picked up a decent German malt character, nuttiness, molasses, and a general sweetness.

The body is about medium.

The taste is generally on the sweet side with a full malty character, a hint of smoke, and a low to moderate bitterness. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of safaricook
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this in a half liter mug drafted in an irish pub in Guilin, China. For someone who was born a good hours ride from Munich it is remarkable that I had this first on the other side of theworld

Looks nice but not extraordinary with its white fine foam that reduces to a thin layer leaving lacing and its dark rather brown than black body

Smell is also not the strong point. There are dark malts and maybe some sweetness but it is difficult to get smell out of a mug sitting outside in heavy tropical rains though.

I taste sweetened coffee but no roasted flavors. Ends on a moderate bitter note

Feels smooth, light to medium body, fine carbomation

Very nice Dunkel, great dark malt flavor without any roasted malt bitterness, very drinkable. Great find in this part of the world.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Great red-brown-amber color with a heavy layer of tan lacing on the rim. Foam and carbonation are just ok, but I love the color.

Smell: Heavy notes of oak. This is also has that skunky-but-not-really-skunked smell to it due to how musty it is.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Definitely has that musty German flavor to it. Heavily malted with hints of coffee. Molasses and raisins in the finish. Mouthfeel could use some more carbonation. Definitely too light. I know it's a lager, but this is too clean.

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Photo of mikethebeerguy
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my favorite beers, a smooth brew with good flavor. After 2 or 3 you will be feeling pretty good. A bit pricey for what it is though. It's a great beer that packs a punch and leave a good aftertaste. Not dry at all, down to the last drop. A truly notable brew.

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Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pretty straightforward brew from Hofbrau... and Germany in general.

Has a very good caramelized darkness. Almost a rusty red tone with touches of orange/gold. A very fine head that dissipates quickly with bubbles that hang around the rim.

Smell is pretty faint. You pick up the carmel malts and a bit of the green bottle tint. A sort of minerally water smell is present. Very... very faint smell though.

Taste is pretty good, not very powerful, not hugely intriguing. Very straightforward. It asserts itself as a lighter and more refreshing dark lager. And that's that. Has a nice rich caramel character with a bit of toasted grain. Hints of minerals and a touch of green bottle skunk, but the slight skunk blends well and adds another level to the beer. Ends on a bit of a tad dry note, a hint of the hops that are a tad citrusy/lemony. Warmth helps brings out all the flavors throughout this beer really well.

Mouthfeel is pretty spot on. Easy to drink and refreshing, a bit of a malty body just to separate it from lighter lagers. I could picture drinking this on a pretty humid or hot summer evening even.

Overall, a good dark lager. A great introductory beer for someone wanting to ease into German beers, ease into dark beers in general, or just ease into beers outside the norm. A fine offering.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a medium brown hue with a 2 finger head of dense, frothy bubbles. Head sticks around for a while, leaving a moderate amount of lacing down the glass. Clarity is fairly high, with very minimal haze in the glass, but the darker color of the body limits sight through it.

S- Lighter and slightly grainy with a hint of hops at the end. Little of the darker malts are detectable, but a little bit is there in the form of semisweetness.

T- Right of the bat a small amount of hops bitterness is evidence, followed by the typical, light German lager flavor. Crisp and somewhat grassy in flavor before moving towards a hint of darker malts. The darker malts linger on the tongue after the drink, turning into a slightly metallic flavor before fading away.

M- Light, yet smooth on the palate, this beer represents a typical, easy drinking German lager. Medium to high in carbonation. This is a beer to drink all day long like you're at Oktoberfest.

Overall, this is a pretty standard dunkel lager. Nothing special, yet I would say it's on the better end of the commonly available dunkels. I would love to try one on draft at a Hofbrauhaus.

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Hofbräu Dunkel from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.