Barbarossa Double Dark Lager
Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

Barbarossa Double Dark LagerBarbarossa Double Dark Lager
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Munich Dunkel Lager
Ranked #59
Ranked #32,174
3.74 | pDev: 12.3%
Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
Ohio, United States
Barbarossa Double Dark LagerBarbarossa Double Dark Lager
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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 226 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ichorNet
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got several bottles of this from my cousin who originally received them as part of a Beer of the Month Club, and since he wasn't a fan of any of the styles in the box, I ended up scoring some stuff I wouldn't typically be able to drink. Cheers Matt!

This pours a chestnut/mahogany brown color with a long-lasting ring of off-khaki foam that leaves behind little-to-no lacing. Solid-enough legs, though. I really like the color here, but there's a bit of chill haze it seems like, as this doesn't seem to be an overly "hazy" beer but still appears a bit too unclear for my liking. Maybe a slightly deeper hue would give it that certain something to really stand out.

The nose here is nice and bready, slightly-roasty, and even a bit caramel-driven with a good helping of maltiness that I quite appreciate right off the bat. It has that nice "Czech dark lager"-style clean profile as well, with a hint of floral hops popping up at times. Maybe a sniff of ethanol in here, for some reason, but it seems seasonally-apropos as we move into some semi-colder weather (in the early morning, anyway) in New England. Not much else here, but I dig it. Almost has a "brown ale" heft to it, but it's clean and simple like a Munich dark lager should be.

Really warming and rich flavor profile... toffee-forward malt and a filling, almost-fruity mid-palate that has a great toasty-graininess in the transition to the finish. This is really flavorful and surprisingly dense! I'm impressed at the amount of good, clean flavors in this one. Caramel, brown bread, slight raisin/fig jam, and toasted bread crusts combine with a light, marmalade-like hoppiness and some florals at the end of each sip. Slightly nutty but mostly bready and semi-sweet with balancing bitterness in there as well. Really good stuff!

Feel is pretty crisp while the beer is cold, though it's definitely more on the medium-bodied end of things for the style. There's a certain "creaminess" to this that makes it a bit more filling than similar beers, but the rich flavor makes it worthwhile. I've had some lighter, less-flavorful Munich dunkels from local breweries, but this is definitely a hidden gem if you prefer yours a touch more complex and interesting.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

March 2018...pours very dark brown with a light ring of foam. Chocolate nose and sweet smell. Subtle cocoa taste with some coffee grittiness and a light mouthfeel. Colas too. Tasty.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I got a bottle of this from a mixed 12pck I got from my local meijer. It poured a clear dark amber with huge fizzy white head. The scent had dark Munich malt with hints of sweetness. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with hints of chocolate and molasses. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with big carbonation. Overall its a decent beer.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap at Moerlein on the river in Cincinnati. This is a good, rich tasting beer. It's a little less sweet than other dunkels but well within range for this style. Has a good balance between malt and hops.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.68/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A cool winter afternoon calls for a dark lager. Barbarossa, you get the call. On to the beer:

The beer is amber colored with orange and autumn red hues visible in the spectrum. Carbonation bubbles of small and large rise from bottom to top while a somewhat creamy head rests. The beer has a caramel-like sweetness in the aroma, also a phenolic note which doesn't belong, and brown sugar crusted raisins.

I still get a phenolic note in the taste as well, which spoils what could be a good dunkel lager. The toasted malt, raisin, and toffee notes want to pop out, but are brushed to the side. It's light bodied, somewhat watery, but it is easy going down.

Remove the phenolic accent and this could be a dunkel worth talking about.

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Photo of bwood06
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I rated this beer several years ago but was not doing reviews at the time. Since my wife traveled to Cincinnati recently, I decided that it was time to revisit this beer and give it a full review. Luckily, she was able to bring back this beer, but also a few others for me to review.

This lager pours a black and opaque hue that has a bit of mahogany around the edges and shows a light amount of visible carbonation. The head is off-white, almost a light tan, and is a thick froth in appearance that dissipates very slowly to a rocky layer that is retained. 4/5 The aroma is quite sweet but also earthy with notes of dark cherries, dates, toasted wheat bread, vanilla, and red wine grapes. The hops are herbal in nature and not very strong. 4/5 Dark caramel, dark cherries, and dates come out right off the bat before transitioning to dark toasted wheat bread and a bit of red wine grapes. There is a bit of molasses that shines through throughout the entire profile, providing a sweet but earthy feel to the flavor. There is a moderately light bitterness on the back end from herbal hops with this bitterness lingering lightly on the palate. 3.75/5 A light carbonation tickle greets the tip of the tongue but then quickly disappears, allowing the creamy mouthfeel to come through along with the medium body. There is next to no drying on the palate and no lingering dryness. 4/5 This is a very enjoyable, sessionable, moderately light lager that is a bit fruity but also dark and toasty. As the beer warms, more of the malt and graininess comes through, moderating the initial fruity flavor. This beer is well balanced and well executed. 4/5

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Photo of Matthew_Feist
5/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This Bavarian Dunkel-style lager has a beautiful nutty and toasty malt body. Despite its darkness, it drinks lightly. This beer is perfectly carbonated to scrub the palate without being burdonsome, has good head retention, and a smooth finish. Delicious!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a stange.

4.25 A: Clear light brown color. Two fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is good and a finger of lacing is left.

3.75 S: Roasty and sweet with great balance. Chocolate with caramel and a pleasant toastiness.

3.5 T: Again this has great balance. Rich neutral malty sweetness. Caramel, toastiness, chocolate, roast with a touch of raisiny fruits.

4.5 M: Heavier medium body. Rich, velvety creaminess. Good moderate carbonation. Quite nice here.

3.75 D: Good beer overall. Good flavors with a wonderful mouthfeel.

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Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz undated bottle purchased in Ohio and served in a Belgian snifter.

A: clear, dark reddish-brown with a small but moderately durable head. Some lacing.

Aroma: very sweet light and medium roasted malts.

Taste; still sweet, but thankfully not as sweet as the aroma. Still, a little sweeter than optimal. Rather simple and very malt dominant.

Feel: smooth; medium-light body seems a bit thin; medium-light carbonation.

O: a decent Tmavy.

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Photo of screamking
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance-pours dark red-brown with minimal head, no lacing to be found. 3

Aroma-sweet smelling with a slight hint of roasted malts. Some small plum smells but mostly just a typical lager aroma. 3.5

Taste-sweet malts right up front, some mild dark fruits, a little vanillia, brown sugar, not bad at all for a dark lager. 4

Feel-light bodied, drinkable as hell, a little watery, coats well but doesn't linger. 3.75

Overall-this is a great session beer and it doesn't taste half bad to boot. This would be a good beer to give to someone who doesn't drink much craft. The flavors could be stronger but for a lager they are better than most. 3.75

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a clear stein. Beautiful clear, dark coppery color with a massive majestic bloom of a head. On the nose I get nice bready malty goodness. No fruity notes or spice. Just bread, toffee, and perhaps a hint of cocoa.

The flavor is all about malt. Nice sweet malty flavors abound. The feel is a bit thin, but the flavor is pretty nice. There is a slight lemony kiss of hops at the finish, but the predominant flavors are bread, nuts, and toffee. Very nice.

Overall, a nice dark lager. I prefer a bit more chewiness in the feel and a spicy instead of a citrus-like note on the finish, but this is a nice, traditional lager. If you must have lots of hops, look elsewhere.

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Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got as part of a botmc. Pours a ruby brown, big head, Los of lacing. the aroma is light, biscuity. the favors are subtle, grassy,biscuity, clean finish. The beer is light in body, good carbonation. It is a good representation of the style, great session beer.

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Photo of Tomhet
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a frosted mug because I can. The color is a dark brown that reveals a nice amber tinge when held up to light. A fairly large two-finger tannish head dissipates rather quickly but leaves some very nice creamy looking lacing. Given that I'm very unfamiliar with this style, the smell doesn't seem too nuanced to me; there's the typical lager smell with a heavy bready malt backbone supported by some sweet sugary notes that I hesitate to call "cinnamon" given the slightly saccharine bent to it. Still smells fairly good.

Taste offers a surprisingly nice kick right from the outset with that sweet breadiness omnipresent in the aroma that works every part of the tongue from start to finish. The only sort of hop bitterness comes through in the middle with a very earthy, slightly grassy taste, though it's frankly too mild to be of any considerable note. Body is medium and the finish is very smooth. Given my inexperience with the style, I can't say much other than that it's very tasty, though everything seems simply par for the course. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of McNealc31
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a deep brown with ruby edges. Sweet caramel and roasted malt dominate the aroma. Smooth and creamy, with caramel, roasted malt, and a bit of bittersweet chocolate. Perhaps a touch of smoke, too, but definitely not enough to make this a Schwarzbier.

Tasty and balanced, and with just 5% ABV, you can enjoy Barabarossa all day

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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Moerlein Lager House, Cincinnati, OH

A: The beer is clear but very dark reddish-brown amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that consistently left a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of sweet toasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of sweet toasted malts along with some hints of caramel. Little, if any bitterness from the hops is noticeable.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and relatively smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and makes a good accompaniment to food but seems like it could use a little more complexities in the flavors to make it a beer to drink on its own.

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Photo of zac16125
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass
No born on date or other distinguishing numbers

A: Pours a translucent dark amber brown with a big 3 fingers of tan colored head, which takes a good amount of time to dissipate down to only a slight outer ring.  Leaves absolutely zero lacing.  

S: Smells crips with some caramel malts and notes of sweet bread.  Smells good but very mild aromas.

T: More flavorful than the nose implies. Very malt forward, again with a caramel malt sweetness, some earthy notes, a very subtle hint of hop bitterness.  

M/D: Crisp from the moderately heavy carbonation,  medium bodied but gets somewhat syrupy as it warms.  Drinkability is below average, but they may just be personal preference as I feel that way about most dark style lagers.  

O: Overall, decent.  I'm not a huge fan of the style (or lager styles in general), but this one wasn't bad.  I won't drink again, but it was worth a try.  

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Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear dark amber, ring only. Some lace.

S - Roasted malt, light, with caramel sweet in background.

T - Dry, toasty malt, thin on sweet malt. Snappy.

M - Nice blend of charred malt and bitter. Small sweet malt is glue between the two.

D - I like this one. Could session.

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Photo of JustinAniello
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours dark reddish-brown with a one finger head. Dissipates to almost nothing.

S - Malt and spices, mostly cinnamon, take up the aroma. There is a metallic smell in there as well.

T - Sweet malts followed by hearty cinnamon. Some dark fruit flavor as well. No metallic flavor that was prevalent from the aroma.

M - Light-medium body with medium carbonation. Nice and crisp, good for the style.

O - Nice evening beer, good for the upcoming winter months. Nice flavors, but some bitterness would add some needed depth to the beer. The aroma needs to lose the metallic scent as well. Overall though, I wouldn't deny one offered.

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Photo of steveh
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed some of this when I spotted the CM on the shelves. Always like a good Munich Dunkel, hope this is good. "Double Dark Lager," reminds me of the bartender I encountered in the early '90s who tried to convince me that Doppelbock meant "double dark" and wasn't a strong beer...

A -- Beautiful clear chestnut with a dense, firm light tan head. Very inviting.

S -- Earthy clay, somewhat caramel character -- acceptable to style.

T -- Same mild caramel with dark bread crusts, but also a final hit of dark-roast barley bitterness; not great for a Dunkel style. There is the lightest of hop character throughout too, which is good.

M -- Mouthfeel is crisp with a medium-light body.

O -- This beer is certainly drinkable and enjoyable, but as most Dunkel brewers outside Munich seem to do, the use of roasted malts takes away from a sweet, toasty breadiness that should be more prominent. If this had been labeled a Schwarzbier, I'd probably rated it all 5s!

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Photo of witster18
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

bitter malts, not much of a hop profile, kinda blazaeblah for me...

pours reddish brown.. kinda looks like an amber bock...

smell is raisin/sour/herbal...

taste is malty with a japanese apple backbone.

just a touch sour for my tastes.. probably the yeast... kinda has that sprecher sourness to it... i like the apple profile, and this is pretty easy to pound for a dark lager, but the apple and sourness would get to me after two...

points for originality and it smells pretty delightful, but taste, mouthfell, and sessionability suffer here.... an O.k. beer... over-rated here though...

stick to sam adams black lager for the same money - at least in my neck of the woods... or sprecher black bavarian... which has all the viscocity and appearance qualities that this does not...

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Photo of keeganfrank
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not much head formed, even with a fairly aggressive pour. Nice-looking beer the color of dark cherry wood. Smells strongly of sweet caramel with some fresh crispness also noticeable. Also tastes primarily of caramel. There's an undertone of crisp apple as well.

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Photo of rlshep
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Very malty, bready, raisiny. Alcohol noticeable.

Appearance: Light lacing, off white head. Dissipates quickly, very little lacing. Deep dark ruby color. Very clear.

Flavor: Lots of malt, bready, light milk chocolate and toffee as main flavor, some raisons. Very clean. Very low bitterness. No noticeable hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium high mouthfeel. Sweet stickiness. Alcohol medium high.

Overall: Clean well made beer. That said it is not that interesting and alcohol seems too high. This could be a style issue with me. I was really excited to try this beer and it was a bit of a let down. Maybe, with some age this beer would improve.

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Photo of cboesing
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I've seen this beer often in the store, and finally decided to try it out.

A - Poured a dark mahogany color with a creamy, tan finger width head leaving a little lacing. Overall, the appearance is what I expected for the type of beer.

S - Personally I really like the smell. Lots of toffee, caramel, and I picked up a little coffee as well. Very sweet smell, but not overwhelming.

T - Doesn't taste quite as sweet as the smell, but the sweetness is definitely still there. Lots of malts and caramel flavor come through.

M - Like a lot of the other Christian Moerlein beers, the mouthfeel is pretty light. Good carbonation. Not exactly what I expected for the type of beer, but not surprising since it's a Moerlein.

D - These go down real easy. The sweetness wasn't overwhelming for me at all. It would be easy to put down a 6 pack in a few hours.

I'm glad I finally tried this one after seeing it so often. It's a good beer, and I could drink it any time of the year. One of my favorites out of the Moerlein selection.

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Photo of Groomsy
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, review taken from notes. Consumed on Jan. 12 2011. Thanks to my buddy Thomas for saving a bottle of this for me from a six pack.

Appearance: Pours a rich mahogany color with hints of ruby red and burnt orange, very close to a dark brown color. A thin one-finger creamy head dissipates to film very quickly leaving little lacing down the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and malty, almost candy-like. Hints of caramel and toffee with ample roasted malt and a slightly earthy hop character and subtle nutty notes. I'm also picking up some hints of vanilla and bread for some reason... I wish there were some more hops to balance out the almost cloying sweetness. It smells rich, but almost too sweet for its own good.

Taste: A little bland, but still good. Lots of toffee and caramel along with some fairly standard roasted malts hit the tongue. A little bit of a hoppy bite in the finish as well as a nutty flavor close to some brown ales, but not bitter or challenging. No aftertaste at all. A fairly easy-drinking dark lager, but watered down in comparison to others I've had. Could be much more than it is, and the sweetness is almost too much for its own good. The hints of vanilla and bread also come through as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: For a dark lager I was expecting a lot more, but the feel was decent: Light to medium in body, well carbonated but not fizzy. A little too watery for this kind of beer, though. The lack of flavor in the finish probably contributes to this. Crisp, but not drying. About right for the flavors in the beer.

Drinkability: Average, nothing more or less. I wouldn't turn one down, but I wouldn't seek it out either. A decent dark lager. Flavorful, but nothing to get too excited about either.

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Photo of Shrews629
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - A clear maroon/dark brown color. Slight off white head that was small and had minimal retention and lacing. Some burnt orange highlights around the bottom of the glass. Did leave a slight film on top.

Smell - Picking up a creamy, buttery, earthy malt driven type of nose. A touch of sourness. Maybe even detecting some bittersweet chocolate.

Taste - a rich, slightly sweet taste. Still mostly earthy malts, but I also got a small taste of some smoke or toastiness. Again, slight touches of bittersweet chocolate. Maybe even the faintest bit of a "grassy" hop.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel that was sort of watery. It was smooth and it did and ok job covering the palate.

Drinkability - This beer was just ok in my opinion. I could probably drink it if it was offered, but I just don't think this is my favorite style of beer. After 1 or 2, I would probably want to move on to something else.

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Barbarossa Double Dark Lager from Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 226 ratings