Barbarossa Double Dark Lager | Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

very good
79 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
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.

 733 characters

Photo of bwood06
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
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

 1,661 characters

Photo of Matthew_Feist
5/5  rDev +33%
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!

 254 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.76/5  rDev 0%
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.

 541 characters

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.

 448 characters

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

 685 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

 692 characters

Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 259 characters

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.

 1,077 characters

Photo of McNealc31
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
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

 331 characters

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.

 738 characters

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.  

 940 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 277 characters

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.

 633 characters

Photo of steveh
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
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!

 962 characters

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...

 788 characters

Photo of keeganfrank
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 261 characters

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.

 648 characters

Photo of cboesing
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 1,026 characters

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.

 1,766 characters

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.

 912 characters

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.

 946 characters

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.

 306 characters

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.

 681 characters

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

Single bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. While there are batch/date codes on the bottle, I can't interpret any of them, or at least it's not obvious to me what it means.

Appearance: Brown with red hints on the table, clear dark orange with ruby red highlights when held up to the light with plenty of visible carbonation coming up through the glass. Thin light tan ring of foam around the edge of the glass, with some thin wisps of foam across the top. This was despite a vigorous pour to get a good head - nope - this one is not persistent. Lacing is minimal - thin strands at the edge that sink back down the glass wall.

Smell: When cold, this reminds me a bit of a doppelbock with some serious dark fruit smells, but as it warms up, those smells get muted and are replaced with some toasted malt and hints of toffee. The smells coming off the beer are stronger when the beer is cold and first poured - they dissipated with time and warmer temperatures. The smells are good, I just wish they were stronger.

Taste: Definite toffee flavor and roasted malts, followed by a faint crisp hop middle and an end which I swear tastes like warm grape nuts cereal. Well...there is roasted barley in this beer isn't there? I rather like the finish.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation on the tongue, just right in thickness and smoothness, but otherwise nothing special.

Drinkability: Went very well with a meal (BBQ sloppy joes and fries) and I could easily have one ore two of these by themselves. The taste is interesting and grows on me with every sip.

 1,551 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Barbarossa Double Dark Lager from Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 217 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.