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Penn Dark | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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very good
263 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 263 | Ratings: 478
Photo of AltBock
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this in Pennsylvania at a beer distributor in a 24 pack of 12 oz bottles.
Apperance: A dark ruby color with an inch of foam that left some lacing in the glass.
Smell: Roasted malts. I didn't expect much of a smell except for a strong malt aroma.
Taste: Has an excellent balance of malt and hops to it. It had a nice solid dark chocolate malt taste to it.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, lots of carbonation and with a clean crisp malty aftertaste.
Drinkability: A wonderful German style beer from an excellent Pittsburgh brewery. This would make an excellent session beer!

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Photo of JackTheRipper
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In bottle at Sharp Edge Beer Emporium. No ABV%, BBD not punched.
A: Dark copperish~brown in color. Clear with a smallish tan head that soon fades to just a thin layer of suds.
S: Roasted malts, faint smells of caramel and a hint of coffee. Hop aroma is very low.
T: Tastes, I don't know, dark. Nice flavor of molasses and a bit of coffee. Nicely toasty malt flavors. Solid.
M: High level of CO2, alcohol is nicely warming without being too punchy. Feels almost dry. Medium/full body.
D&N: Another quality offering from a local brewer. Goes down quite easily, more full bodied than I was expecting. Way to go, guys.

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Photo of OldSock
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Solid dark brown, not hazy in the least. Creamy off-white head that sticks around with some nice lacing to boot.

Smell – Mostly malt with just a little floral hop aroma.

Taste – Hops and grain are the two main flavors present, hops up front, grain in the back. There is also a good yeasty bread flavor as well throughout. Almost no aftertaste, very crisp and clean flavor.

Mouthfeel – Creamy light-medium body with brisk carbonation on the tongue.

Drinkability – Very drinkable, but not too interesting. Pretty good for the style, very fresh, just nothing fantastic.

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Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, some sort of feshness dating, but just having the first letters of the months along one side of the label doesnt do much for me.( bottled on? best before?, what year are we talking about???, c'mon brewers out there we can give better info w/o that much trouble) Alright my ranting is done, this one pours dark honey amber, a tad murky, with an off white/tan head and it leaves nice fine and well scattered lacing. Nose is toffee and brown sugar. this is a tasty sweet malty brew. Notes of vanilla, toffee, some nuttyness and sweet malts. Clean finish, free of esters and phenolics, minimal hop notes detected. I'm not really a huge lager drinker, but this clearly is a quality product and a worthwhile sessioner

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Photo of brewQ
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at the brewery.
This is the one I settled on after tasting several at the bar.

Black "schwarz" color with a touch of ruby. Off white head with strong lacing. Mild, malty aroma.

With my sweet tooth this would be a very good session beer.
Full flavored with just a bit of hop for balance.

I have to admit I am such an ale/hop fiend that I had to adjust to this all lager brewey.

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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 NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Penn delivers a very well-made and exceptionally drinkable lager in their Dark. It's clear, deep chestnut body glows with ruby highlights at it's center; and its creamy light tan head holds rather well before dropping to a standard collar and leaves short splashes of lace about the glass. Dark, caramelized sugars and Munich malts dominate the nose; toasty and bordering on becoming subtly roasty with a thin cusp of chocolate in the background. Occassional floral hops sometimes make their way through the malt, lending to quite an enticing aroma. It's somewhat creamy and fairly smooth across the palate with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation that lends a light zest to the tongue before it warms. Dark Munich malts appear upfront in the flavor, mildly toasty, lightly sweet, and even somewhat raisiny. As it warms more toasted character becomes apparent; and it finishes with a flash of floral and grassy hops as it's drying bitterness rises. It's very well-brewed, clean, nicely balanced, and highly drinkable! An impressive dunkel that probably deserves more attention than it gets.

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Photo of redmosquito
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle. Pours a amber brown, with a tan head that left little lacing. The initial aroma was fruity, and then nutty, but as it warms I pick up malt and honey. It has a nice malty flavor that finishes dry and bitter, but not overly intense. The body is good but it seems to slip off the sides of the tongue a little. Overall this is a really nice dunkel.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown with a nice fluffy 2 finger head that lingers for a while with some nice lacing. Smells of caramel, rye, and spices. A very nice, complex taste with mellow hops balancing out very strong malt flavor. Finishes with roasted almonds and spices, with almost a tart flavor. A nice heavy carbonated feel in the mouth with a good malt feel. Once again the Pennsylvania Breweing Company has created a great beer in a luckluster area. Cheers!!

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Photo of AaronRed
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am never one to underestimate a Dunkel, but I must say I was surprised. At first it poured a bit flat, a slight tan head. Color was nice for a Dunkel, but I thought it was going to be undercarbonated. I was wrong, great color and smell, with taste to match. It has thay nice German fresh aroma- malty, but tempered. A rich and fairly sweet lagar, I found this so enjoyable that I wanted more. This brew has a wonderful balance when you want something with texture and flavor, but not heavy. This beer is great with food- not overwhelming at all.

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Photo of brentk56
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark cola body with a thin tan head that sticks around for a while; a bit of lacing

Smell - pumpernickel bread and caramel on the nose

Taste - Nicely balanced between the rich, dark bread malt and a touch of bitterness from the hops

Mouthfeel - Slightly thin, but you have to remember that this is a lager and you shouldn't expect it to taste like a porter

Drinkability - A fine effort; flavorful enough to keep you interested and light enough to consume in quantity

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Photo of heidelbeerg
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. Color is a wonderful dark ruby when held to the light. Almost opaque with no light behind the glass. Nice creamy head. Smell and taste are wonderfully rich. Toasty, malty, rich, chocolate. Just enough hops flavor to give it a crisp, clean flavor. Nicely balances the rich creaminess and slight sweetness of the beer. Unbelieveably tasty and smooth. This is not a sip and discuss the subtle flavors for hours beer. This is a holy s*** is this good give me another one beer.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown, like cola, with a light tan head. Smells of roasted Munich malts and weak chocolate with some low-alpha (Hersbrucker?) hops in there, too. Tastes earthy and a touch sweet, but pretty well balanced. A little bit of hops show up mid-palate, which keeps it all in check. Pretty good, but I've had some better dunkels.

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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 marc77
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Crystal clear deep ruddy chestnut. Persistent, pitted, thickset leight tan head yields frothy lace. Mellow milk chocolate and dark toffee contrasted by a mildly savory, lightly salted grainy pumpernickel impression in aroma. Trace herbal hop nose. Agreeably understated aromawise. The flavor profile of this brew exhibits fine balance. Malt character is of judicious dark caramel with a singed kiss from chocolate and black malts. Skewed slightly towards sweetness overall, although hop bitterness lends a near dryness mid palate that helps facilitate exceptional drinkability. Toasty Munich hints complement chocolate character aptly. Dryish, but unfortunately marred by a thin mouthfeel. Still, that doesn't detract the entire package too much. Finishes with a snap of black malt acidity yielding to a pleasantly lingering bittersweet cocoa wash. A well crafted dunkel with stately chocolate and toast impressions. Soft on the palate and immaculately clean.

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Photo of Suds
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap, this beer is a dark brown with a frothy head. The aroma is very restrained, but there’s a little malt, graininess, and yeast in the smell (I had to hunt for it, though). The taste is a little nutty and grainy, with caramel. The finish is dry, clean, and a little hoppy, and the body is medium (maybe on the lighter side of medium). Not really complex, but nothing really wrong either. It’s a solid and enjoyable, if not particularly interesting beer.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep ruby red, almost black, with two fingers of head. There is some lacing left on the glass. The smell is sweet and malty with caramel and toffee. A hint of hops in the smell as well. A nice full aroma that fills the nose well. The taste starts with lots of roasted malt up front, some sweetness. A good hop bite on the finish. Balanced out fairly well. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth. The drinkability is really nice due to the smoothness and the 4% abv. A great dark lager.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours out as a real handsome pint, with two fingers of rocky, sticky head just leveling off at the top of the glass. Head subsides with some nice-looking clumps and pretty good cling. A few streamers of carbonation shoot through this brew's nice, glowing chestnut translucence that shows maple-colored highlights. Aroma is clean but not particularly distinctive; buttered wheat bread with a sweet caramel maltiness that is slightly hullish; very light nosefeel. Flavor comes in the form of more caramel sweet malt up front; a full barley backbone complemented by butterscotch in the body; the finish posesses the buttery Hallertau hops that seem to be characteristic of this brewery. Nicely carbonated, light mouthfeel can get a bit syrupy, IMO; sticky, refreshing finish. Drinkability is about as high as it gets, a result of the balance of flavor to body to alcohol. If I can find this on tap I'll be drinking it by the pitcher.

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Photo of ADR
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've drank a lot of Penn Darks (mostly on tap) over the years, but haven't done a review since I've joined B.A, so thanks to P. D. for the bottle. Clear dark amber appearance, head is light brown and frothy, like steamed milk on a latte. Laces are mostly rings with some interconnecting tendrils. Malty aroma, biscuity with some sense of light honey. Texture is fun, if lighter, some medium-toasted graininess plays in concert with a solid if non-complex caramel flavor. The finish is best, dries slightly with well-done hop balance. Just a solid Dark Lager, brings back the memories.

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Photo of pezoids
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber color and was almost brown and was topped off with a thinning white head. Slight hint of roasted grains in the aroma, but overall not much there. There’s a buttery texture in the flavor. Buttery and bitter with a dry bite. Not bad for a dark lager.

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Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color. Medium head. Aroma is dark roasted malt, chocolate, slightly sweet. A medium bodied dunkel. Malts are roasted, slightly sweet and fruity. Raisins, plums and cherries being the dominant flavors. Hops are slightly bitter and a touch citrusy. Nicely balanced, A very drinkable, tasty beer. Would be a great session beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean, smooth and a touch dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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Photo of Jarod
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured into the glass a medium/dark brown that when held to the light had a reddish hue to it, and was very clear. The head that it produced was a light tan/beige head that was fairly dense and decent staying power and left some lace behind. The aromas that came from the glass were of sweet caramel, malt, hops, and some spices (cinnamon). The flavors were of dark malts, sweet caramel, hops, roasted nuts and some spices, some aftertaste of caramel and nuts were left behind. This was a crisp and clean beer, decent body and flavors that seemed to match and combine well. A good drinkable beer.

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Photo of TPoling
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Penn Dark lager pours black with red against the light and a nice tan head that disappears very quickly. The smell is almost that of a smoky Guinness.

The smoky malt dominates the palate, but still allow for some crispness expected from a lager. Hops are subtle and the aftertaste is of smoke with some sweetness.

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Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deep brown color with some ruby hues,nice rocky head that sticks around.Smell was faintly malty and fruity.Taste was of of chocolate malts and a little caramelly with some lingering dryness.Much better than alot of the German styles I have had,very appetizing and sustaining.

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Photo of bmills1608
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep brown, touch of red, excellent clarity with a nice off white head, medium sized bubbles.

Nose is bready, a touch of wheat but predominately malty. Spicy, cinnamon like hop aroma is evident but not at all overpowering. The nose in general is fairly well balanced. Carbonation was medium low and boosted the beers drinkability.

Taste is full, slightly sweet at first with a nice dark malt and caramel flavor. Again the dark bread flavor comes to the forefront followed by some gentle bitterness and a bit of spice. Overall an extremely well balanced and dangerously drinkable lager. I enjoyed this beer a lot. I can envision big tankards of this being enjoyed en-mass at some festival with buxom waitresses and sausages and a big stupid grin on everyone's face. Nicely done.

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Penn Dark from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 478 ratings.
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