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 CHickman
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
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 -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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Photo of matjack85
4.61/5  rDev +22.6%
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 +6.9%
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.

 611 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
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 +12.2%
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 +5.1%
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 -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.

 1,078 characters

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
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?

 695 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 688 characters

Photo of kegger22
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 393 characters

Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark amber with a slight creamy light tan head that quickly shrinks leaving scraps of lace behind. Toasted malt and raisin make up the nose on this one. Bready and sweet maltiness with just enough mild hop bitterness to balance nicely. Medium light bodied and effervescent. A decent, easy drinking dark lager.

 316 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured fom a twelve ounce bottle into a Sam Adams "bubble" glass
Dark copper color, nice frothy head of foam
Aroma-Toasted malt
Taste-Toasted malts, creamy,easy to drink
not a bad offering, certainly worth a try from this Cincinnati brewery, would malke a decent session beer

 275 characters

Photo of ThaBobfather
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper/brown, like the color of a dirty penny with a sampling of beige head.
Smell is malted heavily with some sweetness and grain in the notes.
Taste is smoothly grained with some sweet malt through the middle of the flavor with some caramel on the end.
Finish is cleanish with a decent sweet malt after-taste.
Drinks great, body is solid and it goes down smooth.

 377 characters

Photo of Soozy
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brown in color with a reddish tint, small lacing of head. Smells of rich caramel malt, maybe a bit of chocolate but overwhelming caramel and some earthy-wood tones. Taste is rich, smooth and crisp. I found it a bit thin, but I attribute that more to the style. This is a straight up malt-bomb. Sweet and tasty, with a hint of bitterness; easy drinking. I could see myself tossing back a mass or two of these. But I suppose 12 oz will have to do.

An excellent representation of the style in my book. Well done.

 510 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It's been a while since I've drank anything from Christian Moerlein and I haven't had anything that I would consider bad, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Appearance: Very solid in appearance, pours a nice deep caramel brown with nice ruby and amber highlights; comes with a short 1/2 finger head that is offwhite and fades to a pretty full, yet uneven skim floating on top; body is pretty clear and shows strong carbonation throughout.

Smell: Sweet sugary and caramel malts, and a faint whiff of alcohol, which is odd since the ABV is so low in this. Not much else is coming out of the nose at all... a abit weak.

Taste: The taste is much better than the smell -- the sweet sugary and caramel-like malts are prominent, but there is also a great toastiness as well to the drink that adds to a very mild hoppy bitterness that brings about a very nice balance. Nothing too overpowering, but a well-balanced and very flavorful beer. This would be a great accompaniment to a lot of food styles.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation throughout a body that is just a little chewy and reminiscent of a doppelbock; there is a slight stickiness left thorughout the palate and the gums are left a little tingly.

Drinkability: Nothing wrong with this beer that would make not want to drink it. The flavors are nice but not overly robust, the ABV is more than manageable and the price is right as Moerlein products are pretty reasonable.

 1,467 characters

Photo of kkipple
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Clear red-nut-brown. Fine tan head, no lace. Fizzy. Appealing.

S. Pop! goes the roasted dark malts. Nutty, biscuity, hints of fruit and black bread. German thru and thru. Very pleasing.

T. Well made and sweet, lots of toasted malt complexity. A little dry and nutty in the finish. Refreshing and easy. If not for the (slightly for style) aggressive hops, I could swear this was made in Germany.

M. Clean, dry roasty-nut finish. Bits of cocoa in the aftertaste, too.

D. I wish I had another!

Barbarossa is good clean beer and there is nothing to knock here.

 564 characters

Photo of beerman207
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown - little lacing, nice head

S - Smell is nuts, chocolate, and some malt

T - Great taste comes through that contains much of what was pickedup in the smell

M - Definately a big bodied beer

D - This is a highly drinkable beer. I could sit down with a few of these.

 288 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with a smallish, wispy, ivory-hued head.

Smell: Sweetish, toasted maltiness smelling of dark bread brushed with a thin layer of carob sauce along with some faint dried fruit notes.

Taste: A pleasant malty start -- toasted dark breadiness, a teeny tiny hint of roast, and sweet tastes of carob and nuts. Small hint of fruitiness. Just a touch of spicy hops and bitterness. Finishes semi-sweet with some enduring toasted malt qualities.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A bit reminiscent of Ayinger Altbairisch. A clean, malty, dark lager that, for me at least, has plenty of drinkability appeal. Worth a try.

 684 characters

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 klewis
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep garnet with a moderate frothy head. Light lacing.

S: Malty with a light toasted smell and a subtle fruitiness.

T: Malty with a nice brown sugar flavor. Very nicely balanced. Simple, but effective.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Super clean finish.

D: Tasty and a solid beer for session drinking. Recommended.

 341 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a chestnut brown/red color with a half-inch off-white head that went away quickly. Lacing is average. The aroma is bready malt, caramel, brown sugar, and some raisins. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's some toasted malt and light hoppiness noticable too. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with above average carbonation. Drinkability is decent, it's not hard to drink at all. I could have this as an occasional session beer. Overall it's a decent enough beer, it's certainly worth trying if you haven't had it before.

 580 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: A deeper brown, like coke. Low amount of head the is now gone..

S: A slight sour note.. essence of fruit and a little yeast.. Some spices in back..

T: Malty, dark and delicious. It starts a little tart, but the finish is roasty goodness.

M: Nothing much to say here.. good or bad

D: My favorite so far of the Moerlein brand. It is very available where I live, so is it quick easy and tastes good. If you are going to try one Moerlein beer, skip the Over the Rhine, and get Barbarossa... Plus added points for having a cool name.

 535 characters

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

 411 characters

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass.

A: Deep chestnut with foamy 1-2 finger head with average retention and scant lace.

S: Nut and cereal grains with a touch of toasting

T: Rich and full-flavored with a strong nod toward toasted pale malt and cereal grain with a nutty finish accentuated by a bit of grassy hops

M: A little fizzy but still pretty smooth and more enjoyable with a slight bit of warming. Aftertaste is more grainy than I thought it would be.

D: Another nice offereing from the Moerlein crew. Not as good as OTR Ale but still solid.

 570 characters

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