Barbarossa Double Dark Lager | Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

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Barbarossa Double Dark LagerBarbarossa Double Dark Lager
218 Ratings
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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Ratings: 218 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of 1Adam12
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of JustinAniello
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
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 mcorwin
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of steveh
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
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!

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Photo of witster18
2.8/5  rDev -24.7%
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 -1.9%
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.

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Photo of rlshep
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
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 +6.7%
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 -10.8%
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%
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 brown2cu
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
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 -5.1%
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 TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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 damndirtyape
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of CHickman
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear chestnut brown with a 2 finger creamy tan head that faded about average time; very nice lacing that grips the glass and leaves rings.

Smells of roasted malt, syrup, sweet caramel, cocoa, toffee, light citrus hops and toasted grains; very nice rich aroma for a lager, hence the dark lager tag. Not sure it smells "double dark", but it sure smells rich and malty.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, syrup, coffee beans, cocoa, citrus hops, light orange peel, faint lemon, roasted grains, some burnt wood or charcoal, and a flavor like burnt wheat bread in the end, which is on the bitter side. Pretty tasty and mellow, with a nice overall roasted essence and plenty of malt flavor. The hops come through with just enough bitter bite to add balance.

Mouthfeel is light, smooth and crisp, with very high carbonation and a watery feel that's very light; this beer looks heavy and smells like it should be heavy and malty, but it was actually very light and refreshing, which was a great surprise.

Very nice beer that is highly drinkable for any malt fans and a nice change of pace! Don't judge this beer by it's looks, just take a sip and start the enjoyment.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
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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Photo of matjack85
4.61/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Found this 12oz brown bottle at Binny's in Glen Ellyn, IL for $1.79. There was no freshness date or born on date anywhere to be found.

The beer pours a reddish brown color that takes on a clear reddish amber hue when held to the light. It produced a 1½ finger creamy tan head that disappeared in less than a minute and left no lacing at all.

The smell was very inviting. Roasted malt aroma blended with sweet caramel, chocolate, and baked bread smells, along with a faint whiff of alcohol.

The taste was rich in roasted malt flavor, perhaps even a little bit burnt. Caramel sweetness, bready grain, and the flavor of crushed nuts all add to the enjoyment. There is not much hop bitterness in here but there is a bit of a tart tanginess to help balance it out.

I would have expected more of a creamy, thicker mouthfeel in a beer as sweet as this, but surprisingly it sticks to style and remains on the lighter side with a hefty dose of carbonation.

This stuff is really easy to drink with low and almost undetectable alcohol. Wish I had gotten a 6 pack instead of a single bottle.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up in Findlay, OH. Poured into a mug. Pours a dark sweet tea-looking color with a thin tan head resting on top. Little retention, less lace. Scents of dark fruits, raisins, faint alcohol, and warm pumpernickel.

The body is of moderate depth. Carbonation level is decent. Good crisp feel. As far as flavor goes, this is one of the best of the style I've ever had. They really nailed it where it counts. Great bready flavors abound, some faint molasses, and plenty of chocolate malts. This reminds me at times of a chocolate drink. Very well-done. I could have another, no problem. Recommend.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to bamadog

pours a dark slightly translucent brown. hints of cola. inch high creamy head, decent retention. light lacing.

very light roasted malt. hints of sweetness.

dominant malt profile. hints of a light roasted malt. lots of brown ale, biscuit, light nuttiness. reminds me of a brown ale, but lagered if that makes sense.

medium body, light carbonation, goes down nice and easy.

lots of flavors but light and low ABV. this is quite good. well balanced and well done.

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Photo of LyonsHead
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: dark brown with orange hues. off white head with decent lacing

S: Deep toasted notes, all kinds of dark wheat breads. also some dark fruits. heavy whiff of dark munich malt. This is all malt but real complex and nice

T: Big, Rich munich malt, very complex. Lots of melanoidans, dark toasted breads, with big biscuity backbone. Very malt forward, as any dunkel should be, hop bitterness is low. there is a caramel sweetness that comes with the maltiness, but the entire beer finishes dry

M: Medium-light body, dry finish

D: This is a very drinkable beer. Probably my favorite offered by my hometown Brewery thus far. Cheers to moerlein for this Dunkel

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Double Dark Lager isn't double dark, but it is dark burnt orange with a dark bronze glow when backlit with the rising sun. The sandstone colored cap peaked at two fingers and has the sort of tight-bubbled texture that promotes persistence. It's a good look.

The nose is pretty much right on the money for the style. It has the earthy nuttiness of Munich malt, along with dark caramel, tobacco and mushy fallen apples. That's a pretty complex aroma for a lager. This could be the best Moerlein brew yet.

Barbarossa is better beer than Lager House Original Golden Helles. I'm far from an expert on the style, but this one seems pretty authentic. Then again, Cincinnati has a strong German brewing tradition, so it isn't that much of a surprise.

Whatever malts were used (besides Munich dark, as noted on the brewery's website) provide plenty of flavor and precisely the right amount of sweetness. Flavors include brown bread, steely caramel, bruised apples, tobacco leaves and a drizzle of honey. Munich dunkel is far from my favorite style, but BDDL's quality and drinkability can't be denied.

The mouthfeel isn't far off the pace. It's big enough for the style and ABV, and is properly bubbled. Something is keeping it from getting over the hump, but I'm not quite sure what.

Christian Moerlein's Barbarossa Double Dark Lager is one of the finest Munich dunkels in recent memory. It's also something that just about anyone should enjoy. If these guys don't think of it as their flagship beer, they should.

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Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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 WeezyBoPeep
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Dark, clear brown with an amber/red tint around the edges. Small tan head all but disappeared within about 3 minutes.

S: Rich, roasted malt, coffee, molasses, toffee, burnt sugar/caramel and faint notes of black cherries.

T: Follows the smell: with some chocolate added as well. Not overly sweet and perfectly carbonated. Slightly tangy finish that compliments the sweetness well.

D: If I didn't have to work this morning, I woulda had 4 or 5 of these last night. Easily.

Value: Perhaps the best thing about this beer. Easily as good as beers priced 30% higher. I paid under $8.00 for a six pack from the grocery store. Can you beat that?

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

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a transparent dark brown with a modest light brown head. The head disappeared quickly, leaving a patchy skim of bobbles. The aromas has tones of toasted malts and some woodsy hops. There are a few different flavors present, there is some slight coffee bitterness as well as some molasses-like sweetness. The beer has a light body and just the right amount of carbonation; it tickles your tongue but doesn't distract from the flavors. This is an easy drinking beer that is very enjoyable to drink. It's worth picking up if you need a craft beer to enjoy over an evening, but that won't be the center of your attention.

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Photo of kegger22
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Barbarrosa was a see-thru, medium brown and had a tan colored head that didn't last. It smelled malty sweet and tasted similar to the aroma, sweet, grain-like, maybe a little cola flavor. Barbarrosa was light to medium bodied and had good carbonation. The drinkability was good, I'd have a few in a sitting. Good beer, I enjoyed it more than the only other Munich dunkel lager that I've tried.

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Barbarossa Double Dark Lager from Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 218 ratings