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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 263 | Ratings: 478
Photo of mountdew1
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner. Color was a nice medium dark brown that was partially transparent. Had a nice 2 finger cream head that faded to 1/4 inch after a few minutes. Aroma was interesting. Had hints of fruity sweet, as well as sweet grainy bread. Kinda like orange flavored oatmeal bread. Flavor carried over the slightly sweet fruity flavorbefore shifting to a malty note, and then finishing with just a tad of bitterness. Was a bit thin and watery. Carbonated well, but just seemed too thin. Overall a good beer. Nice subtlety throughout.

 539 characters

Photo of claytri
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a rich brown with a tan head. The aroma was of dark malt and a hint of cherries. The taste was toasted malt with a coffee middle and a cherry finish,and all with a wonderful smokey undertone. The feel is medium and dry. I really like this beer. Sort of like throwing my best pitch and they caught it in the wheelhouse.

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

12 oz bottle into tulip. no bottled on date.

A: dark brown, but by no means opaque. off-white brown-ish tight bubbled head looks good. good retention and lacing.

S: banana split. chocolate sauce on top. sweet, a little fruity, and definitely chocolatey.

T: tobacco leaves. chocolate. dry cocoa powder into the finish. a certain chocolate/banana flavor as well. chalky.

M: average/moderate mouthfeel on a light/medium body.

D: another solid lager offering from penn brewing co. out of pittsburgh, pa. good flavor on a really drinkable brew.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, it is dark and well crafted, with no glaring flaws. No funkiness of any kind, but also not a ton of character.

The head is pretty thin. The aroma has a slight hint of roasted flavor - very slight. It gets better with warmth as you would expect for the style.

Although this brew is very drinkable, I don't think I will seek it out and I would recommend getting actual German versions of this (they often are just as low priced if not even lower).

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Drop Off Service in New York, NY

A: Pours a very dark reddish brown with light hints of dark amber when held up to the light. The beer has a thin beige head that reduces to a ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant lacing is observed.

S: Overall a pretty light smelling beer with hints of roasted malts, smoke, and a little caramel sweetness.

T: A malty sweetness that is not unlike flavored pancake syrups (not real maple) with lots of caramel notes and some hints of nuts. There are also some roasted malts and a very light bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Really easy to drink and very refreshing on a beautiful spring day here in NYC. Definitely an easy drinking session beer and one I would certainly get again. Very true to the style.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Drop Off Service, New York, NY

A: The beer is extremely dark brownish amber in color. It poured with a thin creamy off white head that died down but left a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of dark malts in the nose along with some syrupy sweetness.
T: The overall taste is quite malty and has flavors of dark malts along with hints of malty sweetness, nuts, roasted malts and syrup. There is a very slight amount of sweetness but the underlying hops prevent this from being cloying.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very drinkable and sessionable, especially given all of the malty flavors. I could easily drink this beer all night long.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Dark brown with a 1.5 finger head that lingers
S: Toasted nuts and roasted malts. Caramel. Smooth and pleasant.
T: The flavors are light but nice, with toasted nuts/roasted malts come through here as well.
M: Somewhat thinner than I expected; light and smooth
O: A bit lighter than I personally enjoy, but it seems that's typical of the style. I can't say I've had a lot of experience with Munich Dunkels; I will have to search out more to do a comparison.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.57/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an A-B flute on 2/3/12

Pretty dark beer; it's a medium shade of ruby and brown with some rusty highlights. One and a half finger head drops quickly to a much thinner but even layer. Some lace, but not much.

Aromas of ground dark grains, bitter cocoa with a hint of roast and dried bread. Overtones of raisin sweetness and reduced dark fruit sugars. A fine layer of yeast lingers underneath. The raisin and fruit translate to the palate but whereas it was sweet in the nose it takes more of a tangy bent, clashing with nippy roasted grain notes. The finish has a musty earthiness and a wash of stale, bitter coffee. Thin body with over-reaching carbonation. The finish also has an unpleasant coating feel.

Penn Dark just isn't doing it for me. Maybe a sub-par bottle? Old bottle? I dunno, but I have a hard time believing this is as the beer was intended. I'll pass.

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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 keeganfrank
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dark brown beer with a thin, foamy head. Aromas of toasted chocolate and coffee. Malted chocolate and mild coffee flavor with hints of caramel. The caramel becomes more pronounced as the lager warms. This is a really enjoyable example of a dark lager; it's almost a dessert.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.94/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown with amber hues. A finger of head slowly recedes wo a thin ring.

S: Lots of dark fruits with a hint of caramel. Slight vinegar smell that I am used to getting with sweeter lagers.

T: The slight vinegar aroma I got is much stronger in the flavor. There is also a metallic flavor that I find distracting. Behind all of this, I get prunes and breadiness that is quite pleasant.

M: Medium to thin bodied with good carbonation.

O: There are some off flavors that I find distracting. Behind all of this, there is a good balance between dark fruits and breadiness.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Penn Brewery restaurant.

A - Pours a very dark brown almost black with a half inch of mocha colored head. Very similar to the black IPA.

S - Light roasted malts, touch of bread, maybe a bit of raisin, and a good bit of almonds.

T - Transitions pretty well maybe not as much nut or fruit flavors but a good bit of roast and bread with a touch of buttery flavor which leans more toward lager.

M - Light to medium I found it very easy to drink.

Overall the best beer I had of the night. It was light, good flavor, and went well with my meal. If ever there again I could see myself ordering a couple.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12/18/11 notes. Shared by namnn08; thanks Nate. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of off white and moderate carbonation evident. No real head retention or lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of nuts, bready malts, toasted malts, burnt malts, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes of bready malts, rye, toasted malts, burnt malts, light roasted malts, light spice, and nuts. A tiny bit spicey, a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. A touch undercarbonated.

o - Overall a pretty decent Dunkel. Nothing mind belowing but a nice malty nose and pretty easy to drink. A little spice in the taste. Would try it again.

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Photo of claytong
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance - good small head with great retention, sticking well as well. black that thins into a deep red pretty easily with light.

smell - not my favorite but for the style its nice. simple roasted malts, bubblegum and soda (not intense like a farmhouse but more subtle. roast

taste - very light but follows the nose. highly drinkable.

mouthfeel - thin, well carbonated but not overly so. very drinkable.

overall - good for the style but isnt something id search out

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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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Photo of hustlesworth
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- very nice superdark brown w mahogany and blaze orange highlights. Tan colored head is sticky and German looking and I can tell this is gonna be good.

S- deeply roasted malts, coffee and cocoa with a touch of smoke. Somewhat herbal hop aroma lingers in the back. Leather, wood, soil, rock and mineral. Chocolate cake.

T- tastes just like it smells along with mineral water crispness. Beefy and toasty roasty on the palate, malt sweetness is held in check making this a nice savory brew. Hints of date and fig fruity tartness are tied in with the malt but are gone by time I reach the earthy woodsy finish.

MF- Soft and well carbonated, and just about medium bodied. Roasted feel on the cheeks and tongue.

D- was this made in Germany? Penn brewing nails the style this time with a great flavored, easy drinking dunkel.

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Photo of tigg924
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 3/4 inch head, dark-reddish brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: dark wheat and toasted malt

Taste: big dark wheat, pumpernickel, some toasted malt, and light hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light bodied, moderately sweet with a slightly bitter end

Overall: A nice bready beer. I do not find this one boundary pushing, but rather in the very solid category. I could have several of these, but this is also not the first beer I would reach for.

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Photo of u2carew
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a big head that is tight and creamy. Settles slightly. Dark body that is mahogany in color.
S) Roasted grain. Subtle hints of chocolate and coffee.
T) Sweet roasted notes. Milky. Rich with a full flavor. Hints of dark tree fruit.
M) Medium body. Fairly smooth. Clean finish.
O) A pleasant brew. I would definitely have another.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark amber color with a large fluffy off-white head that disappears very quickly.

The scent is of roasted malt, chocolate, and some notes of earthy hops.

The taste is of roasted malt, chocolate, mildly bitter hops, it's an odd taste as someone previously noted it does taste like blood.

Medium body, very smooth and oddly flat, almost not carbonation.

This was sort of an odd beer, maybe I got a bad one, but it seemed like a lot of things were off. I will have to try this again sometime.

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Photo of ActonBrewer
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear dark brown

S: Smokey aroma.

T: Smokey, chocolate. A lingering taste of blood (yes blood) mid-palate. Very strange.

M: Decent carbonation. Leaves a somewhat metallic aftertaste.

O: Ehh... I probably wouldn't revisit any of the beers from this brewery. If I had paid for the bottles I would have been far more disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of OldIronLungs
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass a dark brown with a nice head that settles to a sticky film.

Nose is mostly grainy, pseudo-adjuncty malt.

A sip is lightly toasted dark malt, some caramel. Not too complex, just right on the money.

Medium to lighter body and good carbonation in line with the style.

Something rich enough to be substantive, but clean and light enough to be quite drinkable. I haven't had a proper dunkel since Germany and this one brought me back properly! Sessionable for sure. Prost!

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Photo of StBoisterous
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear dark brown.

S: Strong aroma, slight cocoa/coffee smell. A bit of a smoked aroma is present.

T: Has a slight cocoa/coffee malt taste, slightly hoppy, and a bit of a smoked flavor.

M: Light with a nice level of carbonation. Goes down well. Leaves a sharp/crisp aftertaste.

D: Very drinkable lager, well balanced flavor and aroma. Very smooth for a darker style ale.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with some clarity. Good beige head and some lace.

Some caramel and toasted malt notes. Not getting alot of nose.

Good beer. Toasted malt with some nuttiness, some light brown sugar up front. Disappears as the maltiness dries out, finishing a little dry, a little bitter, and fairly clean. Domestic Munich Dunkel goodness.

Medium bodied, good carbonation.

Loved this. Hard to find one that won't cost you a mortgage, even harder to find the style done right in this country. Minor flaws are just that. I'll look for his again.

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

Large off-white head. Settles quickly. Leaves plenty of streaky lace. The liquid is deep ruby brown where light does pass.

Cold cocoa aroma. Minor coffee in the background. Relatively light smell.

Slightly sweet with a touch of sour. Mostly darker malt flavor. The hop is not very present, perhaps only to balance. Good body with a below average level of carbonation.

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Photo of cbutova
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark murky brown body with a two finger light tan cap. Head retention is decent and it has a foamy texture. A few lines of lace slash down the glass.

S- Slightly metallic feel right off the bat. Toasted nutty caramel malt lurks underneath with some dark fruit. Roast hints.

T- Prominent flavors I get are nutty, toasted caramel malt with dark fruit hints. Slight metallic and somewhat spicy and herbal from the Hallertauer. Some buttery notes.

MF- High carbonation stings the palate in a somewhat light, watery body. Fair bitterness in the finish.

Not extremely familiar with the style but a pretty good beer. Doesn't drink as smoothly as other dark German beers I have had.

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