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Hofbräu Dunkel - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu DunkelHofbräu Dunkel

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very good

730 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 730
Reviews: 272
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.97%
Wants: 15
Gots: 36 | 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
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Ratings: 730 | Reviews: 272 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, green glass...

what the hell? i thought green glass was basically against the law in Germany except for Becks and Spaten because the beers are only a step up from garbage. Im sure this beer had promise at one point, but the glass ruined the entire experience, and honestly its flavor as well. I have no idea how long this has been sitting in a warehouse under lights, heat, cold, etc. It poured a murky brown color with a decent tan head. Roasted malty nose with some nutty tones. It tastes like it could have been good at one point. Toasted barley, mellow aged hop undertones and an easy drinking body. This thing was just off. Put this in brown bottles. Beer inside green bottles doesn't have to be old to taste bad.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2008 02:04:36 | More by ATPete
Photo of germanbeerluvr

New York

4.88/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

By far, my favorite beer of all. The flavors in this beer explode along with the wonderful aroma of caramel. I usually have two liters of this great beer on tap, at the Heidelberg in NYC, the food and beer are fantastic, I have never been disappointed. I have serious trouble trying to keep my glass on the bar.

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2008 01:47:28 | More by germanbeerluvr
Photo of drxandy


3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from green glassed' 12oz to footed ale glass, pours a thin deep reddish brown, nice white head

smells bready and malty

on first taste i realized i had this beer too cold, the german skunk flavors came out, i let it be for about half an hour and man there was no comparison. nice bitterness, great balance of hops and malts, crisp, malty, a nice drinking dunkel

mouthfeel is crisp from carbonation, bitter, easy to drink, extremely sessionable

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 00:43:18 | More by drxandy
Photo of animal69


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

pours a deep copper-brown with a fizzy white cap that quickly subsides leaving a nominal lacing in my pilsn glass ; a subtle smell, steely grain and a bit of grassy hops, just a hint of nuts and dark fruits ; a smooth flavor w/ a decent bite, more cereal grains than anything, a bit of caramel/nuts present, finishes dry and crisp ; a dry, light bodied beer, a bit thicker and "wetter" than most dunkels, decent co2 level ; a quaffable brew and a decent dunkel, i'm certain to have this again...

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2008 01:44:30 | More by animal69
Photo of jeremyd365


3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark, dark brown with a thin head. Seemed to be a pretty standard German dunkel, with the taste and smell having substantial malt with overtones of mild hops. Seemed pretty medium-bodied for being such a dark beer and went down smooth. Went great with my tacos for dinner!

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2008 14:49:37 | More by jeremyd365
Photo of BeerBelcher


1.63/5  rDev -56.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I had this from a bottle (no date code of course) and thought it quite marginal. It was quite vegetal in aroma and flavor, with abundant cereal-ness that reminded me a great deal of Play-D. I poured most of it out.

Color was a surprising bronze-color, that was unlike any other beer I can recall. Aroma and flavor were unpleasant, vegetal and grainy. Mouthfeel was unremarkable.

I do not recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2008 19:15:21 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of Pencible


4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Obviously a German beer, this poured a clear dark brown with a nice head. It smelled malty with wild hops. It had a sweet malt and cream flavor with some hops in the aftertaste, although it wasn't very bitter. The texture was fairly thin with lots of carbonation. Overall it was pretty enjoyable and easy to drink. I like the dunkel!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 22:31:09 | More by Pencible
Photo of dedrinker


3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's a funny root-beer color that I can't say is brown, amber or reddish, but a strange triangulation of those colors. Mostly white head. Aroma of mild toffee and bread-like caramel notes. The flavor is quite similar but has a sweet malt note that is cut short by just the minimum amount of hops to balance it out. The finish barely manages to become dry and the body is medium. I took a bite of a mildly spiced delicate pork sausage with mustard, some onions, peppers, and cabbage, and pumpernickel bread, then took another swallow of the beer and it suddenly came alive. Some beers can seem so-so until you find the right food to activate it.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2008 04:32:28 | More by dedrinker
Photo of dreadnatty08

District of Columbia

3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear ruby tinged caramel color with plentiful off-white head; decent tracing to boot. Aroma is a rush of malty sweetness, reminiscent of toasted bread, ginger ale, a bit of light caramel and a slight nuttiness. On the palate, the malts continue to come through with their slight toastiness, quite sweet indeed. Only a moderate caramel like amount of toasted flavor pervades, with a strong nuttiness in the background. Barely to no hop bitterness comes through in the finish. This is a style I don't plan on visiting again as I see the malt level close to cloying and one-dimensional.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 22:55:29 | More by dreadnatty08
Photo of PhageLab


3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard pint glass.

A - Dark brownish amber coloration, low bit of froth that stuck around a good while, decent yet spotty lacing.

S - Not too much here, some malt presence, but not much of anything else.

T - Good bit of sweet dark malts, and call me crazy but I'm detecting some sort of dark fruit presence, and even a bit of grape. I dunno, this is my first brew of the night here at the bar, so I know my taste buds aren't shot. Pretty good at any rate.

M - Light bodied, smooth feel, good carbonation level, dry finish.

D - Very good, this is an easy drinker and a pretty tasty one at that. I'll have to look for some bottles later, but for now I'm just going to enjoy a few pints of this on draught. If you see this one, don't hesitate.

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2008 23:50:29 | More by PhageLab
Photo of elmore


4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 12oz green bottle I bought as a single. My first review of a Dunkel. Poured a translucent,amber/brown into a pint glass with a short white head that rapidly receded with little lace.

Smell of "skunky" hops lets you know your drinking a lager. A nice carmel malt prescence. Taste is of weak carmel malts. A touch of bitter hops aftertaste.

Watery mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very drinkable.

Not very complex, but extremely drinkable. A nice alternative to a typical light lager. I think this would be great for washing down some kraut and Knockworst.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2008 18:10:11 | More by elmore
Photo of Domingo


4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this at the Hofbräuhaus on a few occasions, but never made any notes on it before. I walked into my local store and saw this, so I had to buy it. It's one of my favorite dunkels and it's a style that's almost impossible to find here in the US. I'm not fond of the green bottles, but I bought a case, so this is safe from any light damage.
Pours a very clean medium brown color with tannish highlights (no red ones here) and a fluffy white head.
Smell is lager yeast (clover honey-like), cocoa, and noble hops.
One thing I recall about having this fresh is that it was the hoppiest dunkel I've had. The bottled version holds up nicely although they're still subdued a bit. This batch is from last fall, so I'm sure age might play a factor.
Tastes initially like a helles, but the sweetness and chocolate flavors kick in once it hits the back of your mouth. Not too sweet, but just right. Caramel comes out a little more, too. The finish has a little bitterness from the hops and the darker malt, and it's clean and dry. No off or skunky flavors AT ALL. Thank you closed case.
Mouthfeel is intentionally not too thick as this is designed for normal consumption. No sipping here. Drink it like you would any session beer.
This is a solid representation of a legendary brew. I'm not fond of the green bottle concept, but as long as I can get this by the case, I will.
A great import and something German beer fans should love. Probably the closest any import has come to capturing the flavors of Munich.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 17:40:07 | More by Domingo
Photo of theopholis


3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a clear dark amber. Head is a fluffy, off-white affair with some lacing, but no head retention.

Aroma- Lots of toast, roasted malts and malt sweetness up front. Some bittering hops in the nose, but it's at a pretty low level. Clean and crisp.

Taste- Nice an malty. Some malt sweetness, but not as much as the style calls for. Bittering hops through-out. Some heavily roasted grains , but they are in the background.

Mouthfeel- CO2 level just about right. Medium body; a tad bit on the light side for the style. Carboantion disappears very quickly on the tongue.

Drinkability- Pretty good. Not great.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 22:48:29 | More by theopholis
Photo of JArami


4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a couple bottles from Mr. Dunderbak's. They have it on tap there, one of 22 or so other imports.

A: Dark amber, almost reddish. A little head that recedes quickly, very transparent with dark orange light behind it.

S: Malty and sweet. Granted there are no fruit in it, get the image of dried dates.

T: Very balanced. The roasted malts sweeten and compliment the bitters of the hops very well. Faint toasted caramels and other sugars. The sweetness shows through in the aftertaste leaving you with a fainting baked fruit flavor.

M: Smooth and crisp while cold, much better on tap.

D: Very drinkable, no alcohol shows through. Very satisfying. The carbonation doesn't fill you up, even with a big sandwich.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2007 20:49:54 | More by JArami
Photo of Sleestak


4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

3 12 oz bottles poured into my Paulaner liter mug. Nice dark brown/violet hue. Big light tan head that recedes quickly. Smells of sweet malts a bit of apple. It's clean no skunk, (a big plus coming from green bottles). Tastes of toasty malts, green apple, minimal hops. Very clean, crisp and refreshing. It hits the spot... especially a liter at a time!

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2007 03:48:50 | More by Sleestak
Photo of SkeeterHawk


4.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very clear red-brown...bordering on light garnet. There is a small 1/4" head of off white bubbles that is there after a cautious pour. The head was on its way somewhere within the first 15 seconds, but it takes it at least a minute before it receeds into the beer.

Aroma: Lots and lots of toasty malts are the dominant aroma, and I don't think that there is really any hops here. The malt is so rich that it gives me an impression of dark cherries. It is dry and cracker like with a clean noticeable sweetness, with lots of toasty notes.

Taste: The flavor is even more malty than the flavor suggested. The sweetness is definitely there, but it is so attenuated with so many toasty notes that it is not cloying in any way, shape, or form. There is a noticeable caramel sweetness that makes itself apparent in the middle of the sip and sticks with you throughout the rest of the flavor profile. The finish is clean and malty with only a bit of sweetness and the dryness of the malt to linger. No alcohol is noticeable the entire time.

Opinion: This is a great beer, and one tha I like to drink pretty much as often as I find it. I am actually surprised that I haven't reviewed it until now because I drink it frequently...since it became available in Texas. I would recommend that you give this beer a shot if you want to know what a quality German session beer tastes like. Plenty of everything to make it a great experience to drink. Prost!

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2007 02:29:08 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of rohrbachsfan

New York

3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep reddish brown witha good head.

Smell: Roasted malts with a slight sweetness.

Taste: Toffee and sweet malt with a medium hops bitterness. A slight metallic aftertaste on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with medium/light carbonation.

Drinkabilty: A nice tasting beer. Saved the day after tasting a not so good Witbier.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2007 01:04:40 | More by rohrbachsfan
Photo of goochpunch


3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out kind of a dark maple syrup with no real bubble activity found. Head is rather thin and doesn't leave any lace. Aroma is malty, worty, with caramel, bread, nuts, and honey. Hops are very floral and tea-like. Beer starts off with some toasty and faintly roasty malt flavors along with sweet bread. The end bring on the floral hops and a punch of bitterness that is welcome. Dries up a tad in the finish but still a bit sweet. Mouthfeel is not necessarily light but does not lean towards the middle either. Feels in between the two. Carbonation is nice as it pricks the tongue. This beer is pretty good, but the sweet presence gets a bit much for me.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2007 02:01:44 | More by goochpunch
Photo of phisig137


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

Pours a medium brown/reddish color, with a thick two finger head. Fantastic retention leaves behind a huge amount of lace.

Aroma is dominated by toasted malts, caramel, and raisons. Clean, yet very bready/biscuity.

Flavor is malt driven, mostly with toasted grains. Huge bread yeast and biscuit flavors mix with more malty caramel type flavors. Clean fermentation, with no yeast presence. Mouthfeel is creamy and relatively light. Drinkability is good.

A great beer from Hofbrauhaus. Nicely balanced, and well made. It's hard to find a flaw in this one, and it packs a good deal of flavor into a beer that is fairly light. I think this is the best of the Hofbrau beers that are available here, and is definitely worth a try. I know I'll be buying another six pack....

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2007 02:03:41 | More by phisig137
Photo of BeerManDan


2.83/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When poured in my glass, it showed promise in the color. A nice dark amber with average off with foam.

But the smell of this ale was not promising. The armoa was something I couldn't put my finger on.

With the first sip, I could taste the roasted malts, but that was it. After the first sip, it was really nothing special. In fact, it sort of boring. Not impressed with this dunkel ale. I'm really disappointed, I expected much more!

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2007 23:14:42 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of albern


3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is an old standby. It doesn't pour a particularly good head, the smell is a little on the skunky side, but that has been characteristic of all the Hofbrau brews. As one reviewer mentioned, the beer does smell a little like wort. The taste is a little on the caramel side, malty, a little nut or almond flavor, a little watery, a little tinny as well. The hops come through in the finish. The caramel taste is a bit more pronounced as the beer warms a bit. This is a fairly tasty beer, a little dry in parts, not the best Dunkel by a long shot, in part because it is a little thin and watery, and the metal in the finish is a bit much. I would come back to this again as more of a 6 pack type of beer to have around in the frig, as opposed to something special or of noteworthy merit. L'Chaim

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 19:45:39 | More by albern
Photo of IceAce


4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber body with a medium tan collar of foam. Roasty and toasty aroma, wonderful clarity, and 30% lacing.

Entry is subtle and leads to a midtaste of rich caramel malts with roasted walnut overtones. The finish sports an almost perfect hop balance to the earthy malts and manages to reign in the inherant sweetness of this brew.

A amgnificent example of the style, so pass the bread pudding...

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2007 06:16:12 | More by IceAce
Photo of AltBock


3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this on-tap at one of Cleveland's best German restaurants, Der Braumeister. It came to me in what I believe was a big and thick 16 oz. or bigger official Hofbräu mug. The perfect glass for this beer. They also served it at the right temperature too. It wasn't too cold where I had to let it warm up or it wasn't too warm in where the beer burned my upper lip. Just the right temp. The beer was a dark mahogany with cherry red highlights all through out the beer. The head of foam on my glass was about a 1 finger and it was a dirty white color. Not a pure white color and it wasn't tan colored either. The smell was that of dark roasted malts, hint of chocolate, sweet caramel, and a trace of bitter hops at the end. Dark roasted malts came sweeping in the beginning and then gave way to sweet caramel and a hint of bitter hops at the end. Basically it tasted like it smelled, except for the fact that I really couldn't taste any chocolate. It was medium bodied and with a smooth aftertaste of roasted malts with no alcohol in sight. I could see why people at Oktoberfest might drink liters of this kind of beer. That's because there is plenty of good flavor and is easy to drink. I don't know about you, but I know I could easily drink another 16 oz. mug of this beer. Not the most flavorful beer, but it is another great German session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2007 07:29:18 | More by AltBock
Photo of stephendr


3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle- color of clear dark brown , with a medium head – nose of salt , malts , soy sauce , barnyard , and cocoa – taste of malts , baking chocolate , and mild hopps - body medium , medium carbonation , and acidic – aftertaste of sour , and acidic long lasting

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2007 06:15:01 | More by stephendr
Photo of Gmann

New York

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

Poured a deep brown color, which reminds me of a Coke after the ice cubes have melted. Had a decent off-white head that dissipated to almost nothing but left some lacing. The smell is of roasted malt, slightly chocolate. Taste is quite similar to the Munich lager, the roasted malt doesn't really come through. It has a fizzy light mouthfeel, it leaves just a little bitter twang at the end. It's a very drinkable beer, just not something I am overally impressed with. It's a good beer to get people to drink a 'dark' beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2007 04:50:43 | More by Gmann
Hofbräu Dunkel from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 730 ratings.