Barbarossa Double Dark Lager | Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

very good
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Barbarossa Double Dark LagerBarbarossa Double Dark Lager

Brewed by:
Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pwoods on 04-03-2008

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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 217
Photo of DoubleJ
2.68/5  rDev -28.7%
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 witster18
2.8/5  rDev -25.5%
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 stockingcpl
2.91/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This beer pours with an average head, but the lacings are quite good. Foam is tan an the body of the brew is a very dark amber hue. Clarity is high.

Smell: The aroma is rasin with perhaps some plumb/prune. Minor hops and malt. I wasn't very impressed.

Taste: There is a fairly steep flavor curve which settles onto the rasin/prune flavoring. Sustain is high but not particularly pleasant.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel of this brew is characterized by the rather heavy carbonation (for a euro dunkel). This helps with the rasin overtures in mid flavor. There is detectable alcohol.

Drinkibility: Well...I'm a big fan of Christian Moerlein, but this one falls short.


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

Got in the Beer of the Month Club. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The neck had a laser code but no way to decipher the date and no info on website either. It was a reddish brown color. A few carb bubbles and no lacing. It had a small head that quickly evaporated into a collar.

The aroma was bread with some roasted malt in the back. A tinge of wet dog or wet blanket as well. Decent aroma that is just North of the BMC's. Same for the taste. Nothing spectacular but better than the BMC's. I've moved past this types of beers so it's pretty bland for me. However, this would be a good beer to convert some of my friends. Would make a good session beer as well if your buddy only had this or BMC in his fridge. Mouthfeel was alright but a tad watery.

Overall, a decent beer. Session. BMC converter. For me, one and done since not much flavor at this stage in my beer drinking.

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Photo of Tomhet
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
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 Shrews629
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
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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Photo of edskirk3
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce brown bottle, served in a pint glass.

Pours dark amber topped with a white froth. Ends up being a finger of head.

Soft aroma of grains. Not much else. Just dark bread.

The taste is the very much the same except for the addition of a faint hop note. Overall it seems muted and bland to me. However it is easy to drink, and I would happily do so all day if this was the only thing available.

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Photo of Groomsy
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
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 jushoppy2beer
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an unusual and pleasant beer to quaff in the evening. It sports a lovely deep reddish brown color, with a thick creamy beige head that is persistent and leaves a very nice lacing. The nose is toasted malt, but rather light. On the palate, this is a malty but surprisingly light beer for a dark lager, with hints of coffee among the dark-roasted malt overtones. The finish is unremarkable, but pleasant. Good mouthfeel with smoothness and solid carbonation. Refreshing, again for an evening beer on days that are not too hot. This one pairs nicely with a good serving of Cincinnati-style chili. Overall, pretty drinkable, especially with a robust meal.

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Photo of rlshep
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
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 dukedevil0
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brother-in-law brought over a few and left me one 12 oz.

A: Pours a cola brown with a little light khaki head that reduces to a film. Looks like a cola in the glass.

S: bready, caramel malt, cola?, brown sugar

T: similar to the scent, breadiness, caramel, cola and brown sugar all present in the flavor

M: A little thin, high carbonation

D: easy to drink, but not much good flavor to warrant drinking much

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Photo of zac16125
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
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 JustinAniello
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
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 sleazo
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A_Pours a clear burnt sienna with a one finger beige head. This settles quickly into a nice cap which stays for the full session. A few spots of lace manage to cling ot the glass.

S_The nose is very mild. There is a slight caramel/malty aroma along with a bit of a metallic edge. It is clean smelling which is nice but to be expected of a lager

T_The first sip offers up some bready malt with a twinge of caramel. As it sits in the mouth a slight bit of acidity rears its head as well as a minor generic hop bitterness. The finish carries a bit of copper almost like biting on a penny.

M_A nice medium bodied lager with a nice biting carbonation.

D_A nice enjoyable lager but nothing spectacular. Still this is one I would order at a bar if available.

Thanks to Zapata

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

This one pours a dark reddish brown. A small white head site firmly on top and leaves light patches of lacing behind.
Lots of breads aroma and dark fruits are most evident in the nose. There's also a firm hops presence, and toffee sweetness. It's good and balanced, but there's a medicinal, astringent note to it.
The taste follows suit, with a light caramel and toffee sweetness taking the middle of a flavor book-ended by malts up front and hops in the back. There's also a light nuttiness in the flavor that wasn't so much in the aroma. An underlying tone of roasted, earthy and mildly bitter notes round out a nice balance. Unfortunately, the medicine / astringency issues follow through in flavor. It doesn't make it bad, but it detracts. It could be a bad bottle.
This one starts off with a crispness that fades as it goes.It's fairly smooth. I wonder if it's a bad bottle because it seems a tad flat. Body is light to medium.
This wasn't bad, and it's drinkable, but I think it may have been old. I've heard it's good. I'll review again in the future with a fresh bottle.

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

Christian Moerlein- Barbarossa

A- Deep reddish copper, clear, with a thcik filmy head.
S- Sweet bready malt with brown sugar.
T- Sweet brown sugar and molasses malt. Toasted bread crust and a slight caramel/ toffee touch.
M- very sweet and malty. Thicker malt body and finish. Slight hoppy bitterness in the end.

Overall- Not too shabby. Good drinkablilty makes this a sessionable beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Grabbed one o' these guys last year after X-Mas Break...decided to give it another go (as I couldn't remember it...). It pours a clear dark-ish garnet topped by a half-finger of short-lived off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, dark toffee, rye bread, and dark greens. The taste is very similar, heavier on the rye bread, with a deep orange-rind bitterness bubbling up from beneath. A splash of what seems like cedar makes its way in there as well. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a decidedly wet feel. Overall, an okay brew, but nothing fully clicks with me. Nothing truly offensive, though.

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

Pours a clear dark reddish brown. Moderate off-white head with minimal retention.

Aroma is bready, with light roast, and a touch of nuttiness, backed up with only a hint of hop presence.

Flavor is bready, & slightly sweet with balance clearly towards the malt. Finishes fairly dry, with a very light hop bitterness.

Medium to medium full body, with moderate carbonation. A decent example of a Munich Dunkel, but I wouldn't call this rich. Would be better if it had a little more depth of flavor as I don't really get a strong bread crust flavor which is characteristic of the style.

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

Paid 8.49 for this at the local corner store. My first session with this beer. I was looking for something to compliment some pork chops and am extremely tired of newcastle so I'm pretty excited for this one.

A- I was hoping for something a lot darker but its still attractive. Pours a deep amber (maybe a little darker than newcastle) with about a milimeter of head that quickly fades away with almost no lacing to speak of

S- Smells kind of like a dopplebock. Roasted malts dominate the nostrils with a touch of chocolate

T- Now the chocolate is much more apparent! It kinds of tastes like they overdid the malts. You guys know what I mean; there is kind of a "farty" presence in the aftertaste. It's well-balanced though, so I'm not complaining too much. There are the feigntest notes of caramel (and maybe a little bit of coffee bean?)on the palate. It's really grown on me by the time I'm halfway through the beer. I might even go so far as to say that this might be the most complex munich style lager that I've tried yet.

M- Probably the best aspect of this brew. Thick for a munich with an impressive malt to hop ratio, even though there is no "bite" to speak of from the hops.

D- Although I could have quite a few of these, I can't say that I could imagine having more than four or five of them (which is a different story when it comes to the dunkels from becks, warsteiner, or hofbrau)

I doubt that I will get this one again. It seems more like a bridge between a vienna and munich style lagers. I would much rather go for one or the other.

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Photo of brown2cu
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard mug.

The appearance was exactly as it should be. It poured pretty dark, but when held up to the light it was ruby going onto something like mahogany. When poured a small head formed that quickly died down into nothingness. No lacing was observed.

The smell was decent. A lot of sweetness was noted; something akin to very thin caramel. Fairly malty with hop notes very well hidden.

The taste was average. More grainy than I expected, to say the least. I tasted a considerable amount of toasted malt, however, I felt this flavor was bland at best. If this were improved on a bit this beer would be something to be admired. To finish up: bland malt taste and a little watery

Mouthfeel was good. Nice and crisp.

This beer was watered down enough that you could enjoy it easily all night. High marks for this one if someone desires a session beer. You really couldn't go wrong if you like dark lagers here.

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Photo of Brent
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deep chestnut with moderate, short lived head. Nicely roasted malt flavor at a level appropriate for the style. Just a touch acidic and seemed like it could have used just a bit more sweetness in the malt. According to the label the beer is "slow aged." As opposed to quickly aged, I suppose.

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Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
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 MuchoCerveza
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I would say that the appearance of this beer is probably it's strongest attribute. The very dark rich Red color just calls you asking you to drink it. Once it hits your mouth the excitement wears off a bit. The smell is pretty good, has a faint dark beer smell to it but not over-powerful.

The taste was above average but compared to it's look, a little disappointing. After you swallow you get a very subtle coffee taste that you kinda have to look for. The mouthfeel is only average because of the soda similarity. Unfortunately this beer does have a soda-like feel to that if you think real hard to you actually taste a soda instead of the beer.

Overall, this beer is definitely drinkable but I would probably choose something else if it came down to the wire. I would suggest the Great Lakes Blackout Stout.

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

Pours a deep amber color with a tan head that falls away to a blanket/ring. Smells of dark roasted malt, molasses.

Taste is as the smell with some chocolate as well. Nice slight dry aftertaste.

Mouth feel is pretty active carbonation. Light/Medium body.

Overall pretty tasty stuff. Certainly had an authentic German Dunkle flavor though not the subtly and smoothness.

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Barbarossa Double Dark Lager from Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 217 ratings.
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