Penn Dark | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

very good
265 Reviews
Penn DarkPenn Dark

Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Munich and various roasted malts give it a very malty, rich flavor with a hint of burnt flavor. 100% imported Hallertau hops, moderate bitterness and aroma.

Added by SheepNutz on 08-27-2001

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Reviews: 265 | Ratings: 481
Photo of hunkler
5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pint draught.

Appearance - Light tan head that last for the first 5 minutes. Lacing throughout every taste. Dark mahogany, almost black with dark purplish-red hues.

Smell - Clean. no off scent. Slight nutty and toasty smells.

Taste - Delicious.

Mouthfeel - Light like a lager. Not over carbed but well-balanced carbinated.

overall - Superb for a dunkle. Sweet nose with some nutty/chocolaty tones. Malty with some hop bitterness for balance. Very drinkable and not heavy.

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Photo of chewyboy
4.88/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

yes, I would agree more with Swillinbrew than dungeldauf. I had some of this last night and it was my first experience with munich dunkels and an experience that I enjoyed very much. Because of my lack of knowledge on dunkels I cannot describe or compare and contrast this beer, however I will note the soft, silky, cream like mouthfeel and its delicious dark, deep red appearance.

Brewed 10 minutes away and for 24 a case, along with their other beers, I feel very content with purchasing more.

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Photo of BaerBeer
4.78/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I decided to buy a few beers that I already had, but I seen this Penn Dark and decided to give it a try. I was pretty blown away by the superb taste of this beer.

Poured the 12oz bottle into a glass:

A- A nice dark brown color with a tint of amber. Has a chocolaty type look to it. Decent head, with a light lacing that stays for a while

S- Hints of dark wheat bread, slight chocolate aroma, kind of a tobacco smell with a hint of musty-yeasty aroma as well

T- Great, great taste. Sort of a salt cured beefy taste with a few hints of chocolate; sharp yet slightly bitter taste that is very smooth. I would compare the taste to new castle brown mixed with Sierra Nevada Porter.

M- Very pleasant on the palate; Smooth as hell, not very tangy which is a plus in my mind. Kind of a bubbly feel to it, but also pretty sturdy

D- Super drinkable. I think I could drink a full 6 pack of this because of it's smoothness. For some reason, it fells like I am drinking a light meal- very fulfilling.

Overall, an excellent beer. I felt like I stumbled upon gold with this one, and I would definitely buy this one again and again. I think I found a new favorite :)

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say that in the past, I have boughten a whole case of this stuff and believe me that case was worth it. Each one of those beers were fully enjoyed by all, so now it's time to return to this old favorite and break it down. Appears a very dark nearly opaque with hints of ruby piercing through around the edges when held up to the light. Paired with a tan moccha head, which is binding to the rim of the forming even annular rings of lace as the glass empties. The aroma has some semi-faint fruit tones wrapped in a mild milk chocolate bringing creamy malt to the forefront. Also some of the darker roasted malts are also doing their part allowing a toasted nut scent to dance in the air. The taste leaves me with that creamy milk chocolate sweetness around my lips, along with the trickled chocolate and mild coffee tones comes a crisp smooth lager-like characteristic making this one amazingly smooth. The mouthfeel is full of those creamy sensations down the palate of this fairly heavy bodied beer. Drinkability I would love to find this on tap just to see if it gets any frothier than it already is, and I would like to experiment with mixing this with some Lindemann's Framboise.

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Photo of squish059
4.67/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tried this bottled beverage not expecting much...i was pleasantly surprised. a nice colored drink with a medium head. the smell is outstanding, a roasted dark chocolate smell that is very appealing. the taste was amazing like drinking roasted almonds dipped in dark chocolate. a nice feeling on the tongue and lips. similar to Bass but with much more flavor. I was definately be drinking this treat again.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Deep brown hue, the same as a brown ale, but maybe not quite as dark as a Schwarzbier.

Nutty roastiness with a light creaminess that's always characteristic of the style. A bit of butterscotch in the background.

Very very smooth malts, which give a good amount of creaminess and roastiness along with a strong nutty flavor. Full bodied.

Quite the enjoyable Dunkel Lager. Smooth, creamy, roasty. Everything that needs to be there is there. Good job by the PBC.

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Photo of stingo
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

At first, this brew reminded me very much of Yuengling's Lager, but as I tasted it it differentiated itself quite nicely. Nice malt flavors up front with a smooth buttery finish (without the bite the Yuengling has). A great drinking brew that I will have to try to find locally.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.59/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer is a clear dark ruby red. Thin light brown head leaves some sparse lace. Nice nose of toaste malt, burnt caramel, toffee and licorice. Really nice. The taste follows through in a big way. Nice caramel and burnt malt tones. Bitter roasted notes. Great flavor. One of the best tasting dunkels I've had the pleasure of consuming. Mouthfeel is appropriately smooth, creamy, silky. Body is about medium. Very good beer.

I'm sold on Penn. Nice brewery there.

Thanks for the Penn samples marc77.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(Freshness dated February) — Appearance: Pours a rich chestnut color with amber hues; the head is creamy and tan in color, holds decent then fades to a nice thin layer of creamy foam. On the nose the aroma of roasted malts, dark toasted bread, and hints of caramel and orange peels. On the palate the flavors consisted of dark toasted bread, graininess, mellow hop bitterness, sweet caramel, bready…the mouthfeel is fairly smooth. What a great brew!

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours to a deep brown color.

Overall : The aroma is malty sweet with hints of molasses and brown sugar. The taste is a touch of sweet malt, a touch of roast, a touch of chocolate. This is a very smooth beer, very clean. It finishes with more good malt character up front, then is balanced out again with a mild hop bitterness. This beer is excellent!!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap @ the Brazen Head in the Bklyn Zoo. Dark brown with almost black/ruby highlights. Head is off-white and small, but lacing is decent. Aromas are all wheaty, yeasty, and clove-ridden with some banana fruit in the bready mixture as well. Taste is very weizen like with some more roasty dunkel malts in the mix as well, this is what a real dunkel lager/weisse should ride like. Mouthfeel is creamy, medium bodied, and faboo. Drinkability is killer. Kick-ass stuff, fo shizzle.

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Photo of cooch69
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Penn Dark is a very refreshing very drinkable Lager that can be enjoyed just as much in any season of the year.
It is a dark brown with red overtones. It has a compact off white head.
The nose is reminiscent of dark bready malts and nutty nuances. Barely any hop aromas if any are present.
This beer tastes to me a lot like a tradional bock. Its very nutty crisp and pretty refreshing. It had a really smooth aftertaste and is really enjoyable in any situation.

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Photo of AngryDutchman
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 6-beer variety 12-pack.

Dark with a lovely ruby tone from roast grains. No overwhelming aroma for me. The taste is terrific with just the right sweetness and biscuity quality that transitions into a sugar cookie /toll house dough aftertaste. Vanilla where it belongs :). Probably the best aftertaste I've experienced, which means the Perle hops are spot on perfect. Feels great on the tongue with an understated carbonation that I prefer. This is for me an absolutely perfectly executed German-style beer and one I'll be getting again

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Photo of irishevans
4.44/5  rDev +15%

a good beer to drink after a long day at Hidden Valley, where a few friends and I would drink the ski-in bar clean out of stock days after there shipment came in. similar to the sam adams black lager, but much more viscus. smooth drinking, and an almost porter-like taste (not quite that thick). delicious on tap or out of the bottle a must try if your ever in my home town.

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Photo of smerkinb
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle says "Celebrating 20 years". Back label references a Norse legend of drinking for eternity and gives a short description of "roasted barley malt and Hallertau hops."

Pours a dark chocolate color with a loose 1/2 inch tan head. Shows dark mahogany when backlit and head evens to a steady collar.

Smells sweetly malty and-as promised- roasted. Not much in the nose for me, but it is enticingly sweet.

Wow. Sweet, heavy malts with bready, yeasty playing second fiddle. Other flavors that jump in to balance this out are roasty, barely bitter and nearly-there faint dark chocolate.

Penn Dark is of course dark and it's smooth but not heavy or thick. Nice carbonation that leaves little brief bubbles. The dryish finish makes this one a bit too easy to drink.

Great beer! With all the recent talk of sessionable brews, I would raise this as an example every time. It's sweet without ever approaching cloying and it's not at all heavy. Easy to drink and is both satisfyingly tasty and not quite enough to ever really quench my thirst. I want more from the first sip. Actually I'm kicking myself for not getting a sixer. Scratch that--I'm going to get s sixer now. And I'm never going to be without this beer again.

The bottle says "If you were going to spend eternity drinking one beer, this would be the one." I heartily agree.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brown body with chestnutty highlights, good clarity, no mudy river here. Rocky light beige head rose above the rim. A damn fine good looking beer.

Appealing nose has roasty coffee/chocolate elements (though to a far lighter degree than a porter/stout) and blends in some noble hop hay and a bit of biscuit.

Taste kicks off with some roasty/toasty coffee above, and way down below there seems to a sub-basement with a bit of dark chocolate. Not huge like a stout or porter, but nicely done. Good earthy tones gently rise before a crisp snap and a smooth finish. Pleasat memory lingers on without overpowering.

Mouthfeel is just right - more than a helles, less than a porter.

Drinkability is... damn fine.

Really a neglected beer in a neglected style. They got it right here.

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Photo of aaronh
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This richly colored chestnut brown brew pours with about a half inch, creamy tan head that slowly fades to a thin layer of tan foam. The aroma is of rich roasted malt and beautiful Hallertau hops. Very clean yet robust at the same time. The first sip treats the mouth to a silky smooth roasted malt flavor that gradually gives way to the hop bitterness. The second sip is more of the same, but a touch of sweetness is discernable, now that the taste buds have recovered from their blissful state of shock. This beer has the mouthfeel of a smooth bock, but the finish of an exceptional pilsner. The only option you have is to drink this beer quickly, because it is exceptionally smooth and so delicious. There is no defense againt this urge; no option of savoring this beer for a while. The mouthfeel is exceptional, matched by virtually no other lager. And the drinkability is better than most municipal water supplies. Buy this one by the case, 'cause six won't last long at all. Once again, a tremendous beer from Pennsylvania Brewing.

BTW, the bottle is almost gone in the time it took to write this short review. Wow, what a beer!

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a nice ever brown with good carbonation. The head is 2 fingers rocky with some lace.

The smell is very nice, Sweet dark dunkel, Mmmmm!

The taste follows, This is a very good rendition of a very hard to brew style. Dark roasted sweet malt, easy on the hops.

The mouthfeel is good, medium body, good carbonation.

The drinkability is good. I will be looking to get more and send some to friends. Prosit, und Zum Wohl, MK

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Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Poured a dark brown with little to no head, nice lacing.

Smells of sweet malt and carmel with a slight roast.

Taste and mouthfeel is smooth and is very sweet and malty caramel. Leaves a fading slight roasty taste at the finish.

This is a great dark lager, could drink a lot of this.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the bottle a dark chocolaty brown that is slightly translucent, capped by a fairly thick pale tan head. Malty, slightly spicy aroma has a hint of molasses. Rich malty aroma has strong tones of cinnamon and cloves and a touch of caramel. Texture is smooth and fizzy. Quite satisfying.

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Photo of nohead02
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very dark with a good long-lasting head. Moderate body -- a bit higher than a regular lager, perhaps. The main flavor is that of toasted, almost slightly burnt malt. Though I am more of a hop head than a malt kind of guy, I really enjoyed this. A very good session beer that rewards with ample flavor.

On a side note, the BA tasting notes say that this beer has 5% alcohol by volume. According to Pennsylvania Brewery's web page it is only 4%.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

S = A subtle caramel smell.

T = Moderately sweet with the caramel coming through and a very slight roasted maltiness holding it together. Near the end, a trace of hops bitterness appears, but then is gone. The finish is very nice with no bitterness.

MF = Very creamy with moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is one of my favorite beers regardless of style. It is quite enjoyable and makes for a great "session" beer.

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Photo of tom444
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich dark brown, with a tan head.

Smells a bit of chocolate, with plenty of malt.

Taste is smooth, with plenty of roasted malt flavors. Definite chocolate tastes, and a bit of caramel flavor. Just the right amount of hops. All around, an excellent beer from Penn Brewery.

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Photo of IronLover
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark chocolatey brown in color with amber hues and a deep chill haze to start. Poured with a rich off-white foam that reduced to a thick cap that left sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. A mellow, pleasant combination of roasted, chocolate and toasted malt. Thick, but delicate malty feel. Roasted and chocolate malt flavors up front and into the middle. Moderate bitter hop flavors are introduced in the middle and intensify toward the end only to taper out at the finish. Finishes with a delicate roasted malt aftertaste. A fabulous dunkel!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of mgbickel, thanks Mike! Pours a dark brown color with a creamy tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smells very nice, chocolate and mildly roasted malt with a smattering of brown bread and hazelnuts.

Taste is simple, chocolate drizzled roasted nuts. Straight-forward and never gets overly roasty-astringent or sweet. Perfectly balanced lager and really is nice. This is probably the best domestic dunkel I have ever had, right up there with Franconia. Man...I would kill to have this available locally, I could drink it all day. Love me a good dunkel!

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Penn Dark from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 481 ratings.
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