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Hermann's Dark Lager - Vancouver Island Brewery

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Hermann's Dark LagerHermann's Dark Lager

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BA SCORE
88
very good

45 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 7.09%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Vancouver Island Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: lipschitz on 08-02-2003

A proud and passionate Bavarian, Hermann was one of our original Brewmasters. He handcrafted this traditional German recipe to satisfy his longing for a local beer that reflected the true taste of his homeland. Consistently recognized as one of the world’s best dark lagers, this refreshing beer has a toasty malt body, yet is very smooth and finishes clean. We hope you enjoy our authentic Bavarian Dark Lager. Prost!
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 21
Reviews by RooferOnFire:
Photo of RooferOnFire
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Vancouver Island comes a dunkel that's been on my wish list for quite some time. I poured this from a bottle into a 20oz pint glass

Appearance - pekoe tea coloured with medium carbonation that vanishes very rapidly

Aroma - roasted coffee, malt. Subtle and clean.

Taste- Coffee entry, burnt toast, yet quite refreshing. Light for a dark beer. Slightly sweet aftertaste. Carbonation makes an appearance when traditionally taste-tested, giving off a bit of cola punch that feels as good as it tastes.

This dark is tradition, and for a Bavarian dunkel, this shines. It's a smooth homage to the brewmeister's homeland that is great cold and pretty decent warm. It's not as heavy as most Dunkels I have tried, so do drink wisely. VIB has upped the ABV to 5.5% and due to the lightness, you could get very drunk on these very quickly.

More User Reviews:
Photo of elricorico
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, nearly black with a thin tan head.

Smells sweet and nutty, chocolatey malt aroma being the strongest of smells.

Taste gives away the fact that this is a lager. A grainy maltiness through the first half of the mouth reminds me of a less dark lager. From there a slight coffee flavour and a balancing hop finish. Pretty tasty.

Good amounts of body for a lager of regular strength, with a full dose of carbonation. Pretty good mouthfeel.

Easily a session brew, but with plenty of flavour. Well worth trying. My thanks to my friend Jay who brought me a bottle from Victoria.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap @ Garick's Head

A - Dark brown; completely opaque with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Sweet bready malts, roast, toffee and a hint of chocolate.

T - Toffee, brown sugar, roast and a slight bitterness with a hint of chocolate in the background.

M - Light to medium body. Somehwat creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint on tap at a local restaurant, Sauce. Arrives, in a nonic pint, a jet black, light fuzz on top. This used to be a regular in my early craft beer days, nice to have a chance to revisit.

Smell is light light, roasted malts.

This beer is all about drinkability. Lightish roasted malts flavors mix with a slight bittering hops in the finish to provide a nicely rounded, light beer. Nice carbonation. This is a food beer - pair it with anything. Not over the top in any area, light enough to appeal to the average beer drinker, and yet enough going on to please the discerning beer drinker.

Great local brew that is often the best choice when out on the town in most local stops.

Photo of mountsnow1010
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep deep amber with hint of red and a tan head. Distinct lack of lacing.
S - Lighter malts, hints of toast. Interesting, but not super complex.
T - Lager with a hint of oak and bourbon (very light). Very flavorful especially for a lager. Picking up the toasty-roastiness as well. Hints (slight hints) of metal.
MF - Creamy, with a reasonably sharp carbonation.
O - Solid brew, very pleasant. Easy drinker. However, I would prefer some nuttiness as well; not really picking up much of that. Not a huge fan of the metallic flavor but it is minimal.

Photo of Derek
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this again July 2009 & thought it was quite nice. Good depth to the flavour, a little roasty & chocolatey, pleasant aroma, average appearance, quite drinkable.

Original review 12/24/2005:

A2.5: Ruby-black, no head or lace.

S3: Roasty caramel odour, slightly fruity.

T3: Bready caramel malt with a little chocolate, slightly fruity. It doesn't taste as "dark" as it looks, and could definitely use some more depth/complexity.

M3.5: Moderate body and carbonation.

D4: Good. Should certainly appeal to the general public.

Photo of Grunewald
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 341ml bottle into a pint glass. It pours clear ruddy black. The head is tan and leaves a consistent dusting of lacing that slowly falls back into the brew.

S - roasted malt, light fruit/flower, leather and some charcoal

T - rye bread, roasted malt, not sweet but lightly tannic, leathery hops and a light charcoal/burnt finish

M - medium-high carbonation, medium-thin body, and wet finish

D - very easy drinking. I like that its not sweet in taste despite what the smell imparts.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a 1/2 finger tan head. Really nice lacing down the glass.

S: The aroma is a little faint, but I picked up some coffee, some light yeast and a bit of banana.

T: This is probably my favorite lager. Roasted malts, coffee and some bready malts with some chocolate on the finish. Nice depth and great drinkability.

Photo of kitsgrad84
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Very true to the same in Munich, but thicker head from GIB. Nice finish with dark full taste that went down thick at first ,but smoothed out after a few sips. Have seen and heard alot of negatives from a few folks, but I really enjoy this southern German dark. A filling brew as you would expect. This is a very true to original beer, that I would dare anybody to complain about.

Photo of Viggo
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark very refreshing and drinkable brew. Pours an amber/dark brown with some generous white head and lacing. Smells like a lager, with some malty notes. Taste is malty, with some hints of bitter chocolate, hops and coffee (in that order) and a smooth finish. Drinkability is very high, I could see myself putting back quite a few of these. Very good for summer drinking.

Photo of beerguy101
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty, fruity and sweet. Medium bodied Dunkel. Roasted malts, slightly sweet. Nicely hopped, good balance. Mouthfeel is full and round. Smooth taste. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Photo of McBastard
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cola black with ruby highlights. A nice tan head with some lacing. Smells sweet, with coffee and bread. Tastes of toasted malts and grains, with some coffee and cocoa. Has a pleasantly bitter, nutty finish. Has a smooth mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Altogether a delicious, very drinkable beer. The best beer offered by VIB - in my opinion - and the best Canadian version of the style.

Photo of wordemupg
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into pint glass 27/1/12

A clear reddish cola with loads of bubbles and a short lived two finger head that quickly falls to a thin film that looks like a slow boiling pot due to all the bubbles

S nutty toffee with a little chocolate and cold coffee

T mimics the smell quite well but with roasted nuts and a little smoked meat, pretty decent actually I wasn't sure what to expect

M light bodied, lots of big bubbles but not foam, nutty after taste lingers faintly

O pretty nice light beer with some full flavours, went down pretty fast so that says something

not a bad start to my mixed pack from a brewer I've never heard of. this ones worth trying if you like the lighter dark stuff

Photo of Graham5161986
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

pours a dark, almost opaque blackish brown with just the slightest ruby hints. Gives a 2 finger, off-white head with decent retention and lacing. Smell is of minerals and chocolate with a touch of caramel and grassy hops. Taste is chocolaty up front with some decent coffee notes and a nice, crisp, mineral presence. This beer is medium bodied, creamy and well-carbonated with a smooth, slightly oily finish. Drinkability-wise, this beer is very easy drinking with a good crispness to it that helps lighten the load from the malts. This is a great go-to beer for those looking to try dark lagers. I will certainly be buying this beer again.

Photo of canucklehead
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks nice and dark with a bit of a healthy shine to the body. The nose is malty and slightly burnt but the taste is clean and refreshing. This is a really drinkable dark lager with none of the overt sweetness some versions have but there is still lots of body and finish. Well deserving of the gold medal bestowed on it recently.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this one on a trip to Victoria, BC in August. Brought back a couple bottles; poured this 341ml to a pint glass. Label lists 5.5% alc./vol. rather than the 5.0% shown above.

A: Briskly-poured, this lager presents a steadily fizzing, light tan head, cresting at around 2-fingers high. Several minutes later it's reduced to a splotchy patchwork of sparkly film, evidence of the plethora of tiny bubbles streaming to the top. Color is a deep, dark mahogany with a ruby redness trimming the clearer edges.

S: Meh, really not much going on in this nose. A lightly buttery caramel and gently toasted malts. A hint of fruit syrup, ripe cherries perhaps.

T: There we go, loads of toasted dark grains. Quite husky, with a clean roast that borders on being 'smoky'. Cocoa powder-like subtle bitter-sweetness. A smattering of caramelized sugars are offset by hop bittering.

M: Mouthfeel is fizzy like a soda, though carbonation is smaller and tighter so it's more of a zesty tickle on the taste buds. Body is medium-light, maltiness leaves a sticky residue. Darker bittering clings for a while in the middle of the tongue; cheeks draw inward a little, too.

D: A straightforward and well-done rendition of the style. This bottle was tasted on its own (for reviewing), but the one I had in Victoria paired surprisingly well with a rich meat & veg-loaded pasta dish. I liked this one today, but may have liked it even more with that dinner. Worth giving a try, either way.

Photo of ZachT
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Ruby brown color, clear, about a finger of thick, amber head
S: Rich caramel malt, hints of chocolate malts, toasted aromas, very slight hop aroma in background
T: Toasted malt flavor, some caramel and chocolate malt notes, very well balanced by a slight hop presence
M: Medium body, rich malt character, good carbonation, very nice finish, not too sweet and just a slight, slight bitterness
O: Nice malt profile, and very well balanced by a touch of hop aroma and flavour, rich malt body and a refreshing finish

Photo of lipschitz
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 341 ml Bottle

Pours as dark as cola, with attractive garnet tones as the light penetrates. Head is minimal, but there is some nice lacing and stick. Smell is rich & malty, with overtones of seared plums. Taste is heavily on the caramel side with generous portions of dates & raisins. There are also some suggestions of nuts and gentle licorice, as well. Hop presence is fairly hidden – just enough to keep the sweetness in check. Mouthfeel is slick, yet amply carbonated.
Notes:
This is another excellent offering from this brewery. A fantastic warm weather dark lager – a pleasure to drink.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery's tasting room in Victoria, just down the street from Phillips where I missed tasting their Dr. Funk dunkel by maybe 15 minutes (keg got changed out). Oh look, here's another dunkel, and this one is in fact Vancouver Island Brewery's original beer. A ruby brown brew with some beige bubbles dappled on top, with a pleasingly roasted aroma that recalls light roast coffee, somewhat smoky and floral with no component coming off too strong. Palate is dark bready malts that come across a bit like pumpernickel bread (probably in combination with spice notes from the hops), raisin, and weak cold coffee. Its obviously full of Munich malt yet remains crisp and clean, little bright fruitiness or yeast apparent (maybe a faint whiff of sulfur) and no harsh astringency from heavy duty chocolate or black malts. A guy like Gordon Strong would be ticking off the style guidelines, giving this one high marks for adherence and steering clear of common faults. Its proficient to be sure, but also somewhat refreshing, both literally and figuratively in its strict cleaving to old-school guidelines (they actually hop this with Cluster).

Photo of maclean25
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank three bottles from a sampler pack. One of the few Vancouver Island Brewery's beers I've had in the past. I have a positive impression of the brewery thanks to their Hermannator, though I've haven't had one of those in over a decade.

It pours with lots of brown head with lacing as it recedes. The body is opaque and brown. It has a rich toasted, malty scent. The taste is rich with honey, rye, and burnt malt. It isn't sweet or bitter but is well-balanced. Impressively smooth and clean. Overall, while I'd go for a Hermannator everything over this, it is actually good, especially for a dark lager.

Photo of lespaulrocker
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very, very dark. Small tan head, moderate lacing. Beautiful.

S: Sweet, nutty, malty, maybe a little bread.

T: Very tasty. Malty at first, gives way to more citrus/flower notes, coffee and bitter finish. Wonderful.

M: Moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

I loved this beer. Of all the beers I had while visiting Victoria (and there were many) this is probably the most memorable for me. I would seek this out again.

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Hermann's Dark Lager from Vancouver Island Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.