1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hofbräu Dunkel - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu DunkelHofbräu Dunkel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

815 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 815
Reviews: 278
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 18
Gots: 63 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München visit their website

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-18-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hofbräu Dunkel Alström Bros
Ratings: 815 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a 1L stein at Hofbrau Las Vegas. A dark amber color pour with a bug lasting offwhite foamy head , leaving lots of spotty lacing ,lively carbonation . Aroma of dry caramel malt grain , toasty with some molasses, toffee ,and a wheat type tang .Flavor is dry and nutty with caramel and molasses, suprisingly complex, some earthy hops , a very slight metallic hint , probably from the carbonation, gets much better as it warms .Light body with a slightly dry but crisp and clean mouthfeel , short roasty finish , very drinkable and very good. This was all in all a great beer.

CuriousMonk, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of Brent
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not particularly flavorful. Mild caramel roasted malt notes. Hops and malt combine to produce an apple cider character that fades in and out of the picture. While this style is expected to be relatively mild-mannered, this clocks in toward the bland end of the spectrum.

Brent, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of jss79
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this Dunkel out of a 1 liter stein in Munich at the Hofbrauhaus beer hall. Deep dark reddish-brown in color with perfect clarity. A nice 1 1/2 thick head that only gradually diminished while drinking. Toasted malt aromas with a hint of caramel. Taste was crisp and smooth and paired perfectly with the German sausage and sauerkraut!

jss79, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of obywan59
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2nd of my mixed Christmas 6-pack. This one was only thinking about gushing. I don't have a pilsener, so I used my Schneider Weisse glass.

I poured fairly hard, as usual, and bot a 5 1/2 finger light tan head that I barely had to wait for. It gradually receded to a thin layer. Moderate lacing. The beer is not nearly so dark as I had thought it would be. It was more red than the O'hara's Red I just finished. Maybe just a tad darker than Mad Elf. It looked great against the gold lettering and banner of my Schneider Weisse glass. Some light carbonation bubbles that soon die out.

Smell of sweet, bready, and smoky malt. Just the barest hint of popcorn. It may have been trying to skunk.

Light sweetness dominates up front followed by some light roast and a rising bitterness in the end.

Light on the mouthfeel. Drying. a touch of alcohol burn in the throat. (5.5%)

This is one smooth and easy drinker. A guy could get in trouble in short order.

obywan59, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #40 (May 2010):

Dark, rusty brown in color, this brew's clarity is perfect. Lush, bready malt aroma with some grape skin and fresh hay are present. This beer offers a lot of smoothness with a crispness in the back, which is just as big. Malt character is dialed up high here, heavy on the toasted bread and hay-like graininess. It's clean, with only a hint of alcoholic warmth and subtle hops. The bitterness comes in and does the job it was meant to with a bit of herbal flavor in the finish. It ends dry and bready, and is very sessionable.

We have fond memories of liters of this beer with the band in the background and a big heaping Original HB Brotzeit Platter. The bottled version sent to the US is a fine consolation until our feet are firmly planted within their beer hall again.

BeerAdvocate, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of LittleDon
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown and crystal clear. Very little carbonation. Excellent head retention and plenty of lace. Aroma of toasted bread with some. Medium heavy body up front and very soft on the palate. Some acidity in the middle, but good balance between the malt, alcohol, and hops. Very subtle bittersweet finish with possible a bit of graininess. Some acidity on the back end, as well.

LittleDon, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of jkrich
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Green, 11.2 oz bottle poured into a stein: clear, brown with reddish highlights. The fluffy off-white head lingers for awhile before settling leaving some attractive lacing. The aroma was a fresh, smooth and malty sweetness but a little restrained.
For flavor begins with a nice roasted malt flavor with faint hints of licorice and caramel. There is a very nice complement of hops that keeps this extremely refreshing even as it warms in the glass.
Light and refreshing body for a dunkel with spritzy carbonation, the mouthfeel is clean, malty and for refreshing.
This is an excellent example of an underrated style. While not complex it is well balanced and very quaffable.

jkrich, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of bruachan
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

nice rocky head with a good start of irregular honeycomb lacing (or is honeycomb inherently regular?). beautiful light mahogany color

plenty of munich and pils malt aromas: chestnut, breadcrust and raisin. minimal hop. the aroma is not strong but it's nice

good creamy mouthfeel--not my any means thick, but neither watery. hop flavor is a little more prominent than i would expect (lends a zesty, spicy character). plenty of munich flavor

bruachan, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of Shrews629
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Reddish/Amber in color. Clear. Very, very nice thick creamy off white head. Really hanging around also. Leaving some nice lacing behind as I sip.

Smell - Fresh smelling hops. A bit of the "grassiness" that accompanies most German beers. Some toastiness. Maybe some faint roasted coffee. Very well balanced. Not overdone with the 'grassiness".

Taste - Again getting the roasted or toasted coffee. Coffee flavor is mild, not like a Stout or Porter. Picking up flavors of grain and a bit of bitterness on the backside.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel that was dry"ish' and left a bit of the palate. Smooth. Very nice mouthfeel.

Drinkabilitly - I thought this was a very solid beer. The more I drink German brews, the better I am understanding what they are about. Of the German styles I have tried and reviewed thus far, this is one of the best. It's easily drinkable and goes down all too easy.

Shrews629, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of pburland23
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle.

Pours a dark brown with ruby around the edges. Bottled produced about a finger and half of head that stuck around and provided a little bit of lacing.

The nose is quite malty...spicy even, with a hint of caramel or toffee. The taste is also malt heavy, but still quite enjoyable. The mouthfeel is middling. The carbonation holds up well and provides a pleasing drinking experience.

I could have a few of these in a sitting without hesitation. A solid interpretation of the style.

pburland23, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of champ103
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color. A tow finger tan head forms with good retention. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Toasted grain is dominate. Light toffee, but mostly grain. Not bad, but fairly neutral.
T: Follows the nose. A very clean toasted grain flavor. Again, pretty neutral, but enjoyable.
M/D: A medium body that is really crisp and clean. Easy to drink. I can put back a few of these without a problem.

Easy to drink, and a nice flavor. An easy choice to quaff a few. Not the best, but enjoyable.

champ103, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of jbphoto88
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beer bottle brown with a solid German head. The cap is white fluffy and sticks to the glass, as for the brew it's clear and bubbly. Not a bad start to a usually disappointing brand in my opinion.

Nose is slight for the style even though the malts are definitely present. Roasted grains are all but invisible as are slight hints of chocolate. The biggest red flag rather then the lack of nose is a hint of metallic bitterness.

Taste is like the nose but with a touch more sweet richness. The metallic taste lasts but is clouded by strong influences of the roasted grain and the ever so slight chocolate and coffee twinge. More of the bitterness from those flavors exist then the actual flavors.

Smooth and silky flavor with light carbonation. Not a bad beer but there are far better dunkels out there. This one reminds me of a strong tea that's been steeped to long. I find it to be too much on the bitter and acrid side of things.

jbphoto88, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clean copper to orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, like a mixture of a lager and caramel. In the taste, caramel, earthy, and a small fruitiness. A smooth and medium to light mouthfeel, with a clean fruit and caramel stickiness in the aftertaste. OK, nice flavor but still quite lager ish.

OWSLEY069, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of moester13
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: very dark red/brown pour, much darker than I was expecting. A nice finger's worth of off-white head. Decent carbonation throughout.

S: Dark, sour notes, aroma of fresh sweet wort. Maybe a hint of apples past their prime, but not offputting in the least.

T: Bittersweet ciderlike apples upfront, with a very subtle hop hint. IMO, would be much more enjoyable with heavier hopping.

M: Medium body, feels quite foamy.

D: Finishes smooth. A little sweet for my liking, couldn't handle a few in a sitting, but on its own, very enjoyable.

moester13, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of philbertk
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hofbrauhaus Munchen--Munich, Germany--Hofbrau Dunkel. 5.50% ABV. 10 IBU's? Off white mild lace head. Clear thin brown color with a hint of amber. Light roasted soft hop front. Mellow sweet smooth dunkel minimal chocolate light roasted lager body. Clean mild hop end. Nice version of bland style. (3.5 / 5.0) Sampled 5 oz. Taste @ Fremont Oktoberfest in Seattle on 9/25/2010.

philbertk, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color. It poured with a finger high off white head that quickly died down but has good retention properties; a moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of toasted malts and caramel in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of toasted bready malts and notes of caramel. The initial taste has a slight amount of sweetness while the finish has a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is rather easy to drink and can be considered sessionable.

metter98, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a ruby caramel tinted brown color with a light tan head forming a nice thicket of billowing head. Aroma slightly roasted malt hints of caramelized toasted malt profile with herbal spicy noble hops. Flavor clean drinkable well made lager, with darker roasts providing caramelized toasted malts, herbal hops bring a beautiful balance. Mouthfeel has easy going carbonation with a nice herbal toaste malt finish. Drinkability overall is very drinkable much like other German breweries, a tasty rendition of a classic dunkel style.

WVbeergeek, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice thick frothy and bubbly head rises to 1 finger and fades at a medium pace, over super clear ruby reddish maroon brown colored beer. A slight messy lacing appears as well as it slowly disappears.

THe nose has some darker malts, crystal, Munich, and a light molasses syrupy aroma. Some light crisp lager aromas, a little dark fruit, a little caramel and toasty malts.

The taste comes a little different, with more sweet syrupy flavors, almost an extract like flavor but not quite. Some toasty malts, Munich, crystal, etc. A touch of smoke too, molasses, a touch of a mild grassy hop flavor too, and hint of bitterness, but not much. Some sweet flavors, and touch of a toffee like flavor. It finishes still somewhat sweet, but dries a bit, and some syrupy flavors linger for a bit. Some bitterness lingering as well, it comes out more on the finish as the other flavors die off.

The mouth is a medium body with lower carbonation, and some syrupy feel.

The drinkability is a little lower, as the syrupy flavors and feel stick for a while, and dark malts linger, but it does dry well for how sweet it started.


jlindros, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of cpanossian
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the source in Munuch. 1L masse mug Dark Beer served with Old Munich browned "Milz" sausage. Juicy watery quenching lightly sweet malty deep amber/brown. Lace rings descend down the inner mug wall like evidence of past alluvial foam floods. No matter what they say, Hofbrauhaus is fun and infectious. The brass band encourages audience participation (or is it the other way around?) and you leave with a certain glow and love of mankind. I've visited Hofbrauhaus (Munich) four times and it never gets old. Actually it reinvigorates me and validates my passion for beer with the people who mean the most to me.

cpanossian, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of jwhancher
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My fiancé bought me a case as I'm always up for trying a new German beer. Poured a bottle into my Victory Prima Pils pilsener glass.

A: pours a nice amber with nice three-finger head. Good carbonation evident.

S: very bready, slightly toasty malt aroma. Nice floral hop notes. Great display of German malts.

T & M: nice caramel malt profile. Each taste gives a nice slightly creamy sensation that delivers malt goodness over the tongue. Dry tasting with nice medium mouthfeel. Really great tasting dunkel!

D very drinkable beer. Could be nice for a session, as a compliment for whatever food, or a great after work brew. A delight.

jwhancher, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of RedSpecial1
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a rich reddish brown with just a little off white head that quickly dissipates. The smell is mostly of caramel and malt. The taste matches the smell exactly with a little bit of toasty flavor at the end. The mouthfeel is about what you would expect from a beer of this style. Overall a pretty tasty beer, but as these are fairly sweet I don't think I could drink more than a couple of these per session.

RedSpecial1, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of xylophonica
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a schooner.

A - Dark brown-slightly ruby colour liquid. Minimal head which subsides fairly quickly.

S - Chocolate, bread & dark malts. Big coffee whiff as well.

T - Bitter at first but leading to something sweeter. A distinct tang of coffee is a big part of that bitterness.

M - Mostly smooth and slightly sweet when floating around the mouth.

D - With the smoothness of feel and pleasant taste it's a good one for the colder months.

As with the Hofbrau Original I reviewed earlier, I've had this one on-tap many times and it's actually a personal favourite - I make a point of not leaving my local Bavarian cafe leaving without having at least one of these! But in the bottle it's a slightly different proposition. The coffee aromas and overtones so notable here barely rate a mention in the tap variety and this version also seems well down on creaminess which is something the other version had in spades. Good either way but if you can get it on tap then that's the best way to drink this one.

xylophonica, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of BranfordBound
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, no freshness date, served in a pint glass.

Pours a very dark copper. One and a half finger white head forms quickly which subsides to a covering. Some carbonation streams. Leaves a tiny bit of lacing.

Smells of molasses, brown sugar, and a big dark fruit note which stands out. Raisin, plum, etc.

Big malt note at first. Definite bread and dark fruits hit the tongue very strong. Slight roastiness to it. This lingers to a barely noticable hoppy bitterness. Once gone the bread still remains and leaves a pretzel aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is nice, a tad bit wet, but desired. Not too much from the carb, but that is nothing bad for a dark beer.

Nice drinkability. ABV isn't too high and the flavor isn't too strong. I'm drinking these in the summer, so this is a good all year round malty beer.

BranfordBound, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of gkunkle
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thick head. Smell is sweet, nutty with a little bit of caramel. Taste is a wonderful, its sweet and malty. Finished with just a touch of hops. Has a feel that is soft and smooth but crisp. I truly enjoy this beer and need to find it in the states somewhere.

gkunkle, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of DrJay
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear, coppery brown with a thin cap of beige bubbles. A thick collar left streaky lace on the glass. Malty aroma, bread and dough, brown sugar and nuts, faint hops. Mild bitterness and hop flavour, mostly malt up front, bready with a light nuttiness. Bitterness was more prominent in the finish, as was a bit of herbal hops. A little more than light bodied, a bit dry, moderate carbonation, decent texture. Not bad at all - I enjoyed it. Certainly balanced towards malt, but with a nice hop presence and flavour profile.

DrJay, Jul 17, 2010
Hofbräu Dunkel from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 815 ratings.