Penn Dark | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

very good
483 Ratings
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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Ratings: 483 |  Reviews: 265
Photo of ThirstyBird
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent reddish brown in color. Tan head falls quickly to a wisp and small ring. Smell is dark bread, molasses, licorice - a good aromatic nose on this one. Taste is similar to the aroma. This is a pretty tasty finishes with a nice light hop dryness. Body is light/ medium and the carbonation is mild but enjoyable. If I could get one locally it would be in my regular rotation.

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Photo of number1bum
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color, a sort of mahogany really, with a finger and a half of tan head. Keeps a mostly full lace and a nice coating of stick on the side.

Smell is very nice, with a moderately sweet bready aroma to go along with some lightly roasted malt. There is a nutty quality to it as well, plus some caramel.

Taste also consists of a bready, very lightly roasted malt base with some light caramel sweetness. I get some nuts like I did in the nose. Nose was a tad sweeter, although there is a bit more hop character to the taste as there is an earthy, somewhat floral flavor.

Mouthfeel here is light bodied and quite clean. It's smooth and nicely balanced.

This is a nice beer and very drinkable. I could session this very easily and it definitely hits the spot when I am in the mood for something light yet dark. Good stuff.

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Photo of mschofield
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown, lighter 'caramel' color at the edges. Half inch foamy tan head. Broken webs of lacing.

First off it's a nice clean beer, fresh malty and roasty, with coffee notes.

Again, just a nice clean fresh Dunkel, coffee, roast, Munich malt possibly Dark Munich and a touch of chocolate.

Full bodied, but contradicts itself with a light crisp finish, very nice. Drinkability is very good, especially when I thought it was 4% ABV, turns out it's 4%ABW or 5% ABV, still great, but a 4% lager with those characteristics would be outstanding.

It's a shame more breweries don't make Dunkels

Thanks to radioscooter for the sample

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

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The beer was almost black with brown hues and a thick, white, bubbly head.

It smells of chocolate, caramel candies, there is a small hint of maple syrup.

There is a dry bitter bite on the back of the tongue with hints of coffee, dark chocolate, and lemony hops.

It feels light with medium carbonation, it's a little metallic and leaves the mouth dry.

I liked this beer, it gets smoother as it warms up and is light but full of flavor. I found it more enjoyable than most dark lagers that I have had in the past.

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

I'm amazed I haven't gotten around to reviewing this one. Being from the Pgh area, this is one of the brews that helped introduce a lot of us yinzers to craft beer. This nice dark Munich Dunkel pours a deep ruby brown with ruby amber highlights. The tacky beige head holds its shape decently well and leaves some nice tangles of lacing.

Dry, husky German yeast and grain character. Pleasant notes of spent coffee grounds and bitter/sweet chocolate. The dark malt is definitely the start here but with a hint of leafy, floral hops. As always, sticking strictly to the traditional German style. A bit of buttery toffee and toasty biscuit underneath the mild roast.

Lush and malty while remaining crisp and clean. Malt forward but not at all overly sweet. Hints of chocolate, weak coffee, toffee and buttery/toasty biscuit. Dry and husky with loads of German yeast notes. A mild metallic note and subdued booze. Extremely authentic and true to style. Well balanced and pleasantly restrained.

Such a nice carbonation character; the full effect of the carbonation on the mouthfeel doesn't come on immediately and leaves way for the complexity of the malt to shine before cleaning up and lightening the brew.

Fantastic drinakability, even for a characteristically drinakable style. Flavorful and straight forward without becoming burdening after a couple. Penn rarely misses point on the traditional German styles (which is sometimes more than I can say for their newer American styles) and this one is no exception.

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Photo of mwa423
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Continuing with the Penn Brewing hit parade...

A - Pours a vry clear dark amber with some ruby redness when held up to the light. Head is minimal and lacing is nonexistent.

S - The aroma is all rich malts, some toffee and sweetness.

T - Good dunkel flavor with smooth maltiness and sweetness with caramel and toffee notes.

M/D - Mouthfeel is smooth and rich and sldes down the throad. A very drinkable beer, especially at only 5 pct abv.

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Photo of RJBeverage
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark but translucent color with a head that goes away quickly. The lager smell has a bit of toasty overtone. The taste is pleasant, just what I want in a dark lager, the toast and coffee overtone that smooths the lager flavor.

There's a very strong carbonation compared to other dunkels, but not so much that it's over-fizzy.

I would drink this in bottles again, but look forward to trying the draft.

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Photo of paulmanz
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Appearance appropriate for style. Clarity was a bit off - flashlight showed a slight haze. Lacing. Color of beer and head was good.

S: Malt with a slight roast character to it. Munich Malt. Some noble hops.

T: Roasty, perhaps a bit more than is appropriate for style but over all OK. Would have expected more breadiness.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation is on the high end of appropriate. Felt like it could have used just a bit more body. Well attenuated and not cloying.

D: I could drink a lot of this for sure but I did feel that it needed a stronger malt presence and a bit more mouthfeel. I would pull back on the roast malts and use more Munich.

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Photo of Beejay
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark body, with some wonderful ruby tones when held up to the light. Slightly off white head, nice and creamy.

S: Definitely some lager characteristics. Sweet with a hint of tartness. Some roasted character hidden in the end.

T: There is a nice toasty flavor to it. as well as a bit of tartness. The finish is has notes of cream and dark bread.

M: Medium bodied, the carbonation is fairly high. There is a bit of smoothness in the finish.

D: It is nice, but not amazing. Enjoyable and I wouldn't turn away if offered it.

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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 SummitVA
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours nice ruby brown, yet quite clear. Half inch head lost quickly, leaving a little lacing from first few sips.

S - Lovely roast aroma, along with some sweet malt that suggest dates and raisins. Perhaps a little hop character in the distant background.

T - Wonderful roast character, malt sweetness (raisins especially), toastiness, and finished perfectly with a crisp bitterness.

M - Big malt presence, but the crispness of the finish makes this quite quaffable.

Overall - Beautifully complex in the manner of a good German beer, giving you both a big bready sweetness and crispness in character, as well. Nice to have "big taste" that isn't a 13% barrel-aged brew of some kind. This is far and away the best beer I've had from the brewery. This one will keep me coming back to them. Cheers!

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Photo of dungledauf
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Growler from Penn Brewery on July 10.
Appearance: Great looking dark lager with gorgeous dark hue, no lacing, and no carbonation.
Smell: Very malty sweet.
Taste: The malty character came through, but the beer was creamy. Expect this style to be clean with a crisp ending.
Mouthfeel: The beer was very flat, under- carbonated with a medium body.
Drinkability: I have had better Penn Darks from the brewery in a bottle and on draft. Certainly would try this again because of the freshness. Not sure why this batch had a creamy mouthfeel, flatness, and low carbonation.

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Photo of Procrastinator
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle poured into tulip pint glass. I've had this beer a few times prior. No freshness dating can be found on the bottle.

Appearance: dark rootbeer brown with areas of total blackness. The 3/4" head is beige colored and small-bubbled. Alot of carbonation can be seen around the head, which breaks down to leave a layer of suds and nice lacing.

Smell: sweet chocolate maltiness dominates with tootsie rolls and pumpernickel bread. In the background is an earthy hop scent.

Taste: equal portions of semi-sweet chocolate and bitter hops. Roasted grains have a nice burnt flavor. Alcohol is hardly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: well-balanced and slightly drying on the tongue. The carbonation is agressive, but not overwhelming. Medium bodied with a crispness in texture.

Drinkability: this is one drinkable beer. Flavors and scents are really enjoyable. Lower alcohol helps in this sessionable dark beer.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours dark mahogony brown. Some residual white foam. Very little, if any, lacing. Sweet smell with roasted notes. Light hoppy caramel taste. Almost has a root beer/birch beer flavor. Modertaly carbonated, works in the mouth.

Nice drinkable brew, smooth and clean finish.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very authentic tasting German Dunkel. Impressive!

Penn Dark pours a solid to dark brown color, good clarity and with an off-white head that forms well but could linger a bit longer. No real lacing.

Malty rich aromas are accompanied by notes of toast, bread crusts, nutty, and light cocoa. No sulfur, phenolic, or ester qualities. Simple nose but pure.

Again, malt flavor dominates with a bready, lightly toasted quality. The nutty and cocoa tastes take a far back seat. Still, a clean and simple flavor with no off-flavors. Hops balance the beer but after that, their job is done.

Creamy and froaty up front but the beer fades nicely into a light dry and toasty finish.

A nice, non-offensive beer that would make any beer lover proud.

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Photo of david18
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I think this was a good time to have this beer (a chilly spring day). Good dark malt with an overall light character in weight and alcohol by volume. I'm not sure exactly what the difference is between a dunkel and a schwartzbier but this is not as interesting as many of the Schwartzbiers I've had.

That said, the Penn Munich Dunkel Lager was pretty good. Good malty aromo and flavor but, as expected, light on the head and stomach. Aroma is not that strong, flavor is ok. Drinkability was good but I don't know how many more of these I'll order.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, coppery-brown. Decent head develops then drops to islands. No noticeable lace.
Smell is roasted malts, hints of wheat, hops, alcohol and a fruitcake-like note.
Taste is the same as the smell with some slight dark fruit and yeast notes joining the party.
Smooth, medium bodied, slightly warming in the throat. A really nice beer overall. Could quaff several without any problem.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark brown beer with hues of red shining through. the head is a light tan color, thin and bubbly, no retention or lace.

S-the nose is quite rich with candied sugar, caramel, and a touch of dark fruit with ripe plums and some dark cherries

T-the taste is sweet but a little watery, it brings caramel, brown sugar, and dark ripe fruits. Plums and a hint of dark cherries.

M-this is extremely smooth, ever so smooth with very little carbonation. thinner in body and slightly dry with a clean finish.

D-this is extremely easy drinking and has a pretty good amount of taste to it. definitely a solid session beer!

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Photo of hayesez
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received, along with numerous other locals, from ceptrone84.

Poured into my Pilsner Urquell glass. Dark caramel color that stacked up nicely in the pilsner glass. Small amounts of bubbly sandstone head grace the surface.

Very malty nose with a fair amount of graininess. Small amounts of sweet caramel are also present.

The taste is fairly straightforward. Very malty with a small amount of roastiness. The sweet caramel is also in there, but you have to dig deep. The graininess in the nose is not quite as evident in the taste, but definitely still there. This beer certainly does not stand out; it is not overly complex and tastes very much as I expected. Standard.

Medium-bodied, light carbonation. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this is a good representation; you get what you would expect. Very, very easy to drink.

Consumed: 3/8/2010

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Photo of jlindros
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this bottle thanks to noslenwerd from his stash, as Penn was not brewing for a while. From what I hear its great beer and glad they are back brewing.

A: Pours a chalky slightly darkened 1 finger head. Color is a very clear dark brown with reddish hue and almost molasses color.

N: Sweet malts first, some molasses, lager aromas, slight roasted characteristics.

T: Starts with roasted malt flavors. A nice roast, followed with some other dark malts, crystal I think. A slight sweet syrupy flavor, perhaps molasses and/or brown sugar. A slight smoked flavor, but the slightest. Then some crisp lager flavors. It has a slight juicy flavor as well, and hints of bitterness.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

F: Finishes still pretty sweet, with more of that syrupy flavor coming through, but continues with that nice roast flavor and more of the crisp finish of a lager. It doesn't leave any real off flavors either. A nice beer, especially for a lager style which I'm not usually a fan of. This is a great session beer if I ever found one.

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Photo of stakem
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color with a slightly tanned head. Little bit of lace along the glassware. Nice roasted grain and malt aroma that is a little bread-like with a slight hop character in the tail end of the nose. Taste is lightly roasted grain and slightly nutty malt character. Light bodied, moderately carb level and a crisp finish. This is really one drinkable beer. 4% labels it as a good sessionable candidate but I could picture myself drinking quite a few too quickly.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Deep garnet in color. About a fingers worth of brown head rises with moderate retention. Minimal lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malt aromas, with a strange hint of apples.... There is also a slightly spicy hop aroma.

T: Just like the smell... wonderful sweet roasted malt.... very sweet with a breadiness. Midway in I'm getting some spicy hops and a hint a apple.... The finish is very clean, with little aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to soft carbonation. Perfect for the style.

D: A solid beer.... A little on the sweet side, but I like it. Good flavors, good ABV.... very drinkable....

My first Penn... and it is a good one...

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Photo of coalcracker
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish brown in color with off-tan foamy head. Carbonation sticks around for quite some time.

Smell: Grainy and malty aroma with a touch of very light floral hops. Reminiscent of the typical lager.

Taste: Light roasted malt quality, caramel also evident. Hallertau hops balance out the malts quite nicely. In fact, the hop presence is bit more pronounced here then in other lagers in my opinion. Otherwise well-balanced. Pleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and quite smooth.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable in terms of taste profile and ABV.

Overall, a pretty solid dark lager. Tasty and robust despite a low ABV.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark just like it says. Cola looking brew that peaks red at the edges. Small, decent head that receded quickly.

S - Lacking in the nose department surprisingly. Crystal malts with toffee and caramel hints, light caramel presense.

T - What you would expect, but this is not a bad thing. Coffee and toffee with malts and a hint of roasted bitterness taste. Solid tasting beer.

M - Bit thinner than you would expect from the look of this beer, which seems to give it a bit of a slippery feel. Not unpleasant though.

D - Pretty solid beer that is easy to drink. It's not a great beer, but it's definately not a bad one.

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Photo of eljefe21
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown cola like color. Thin head quickly vanishes. Some fine thin lacing.

S: Sweet malt smell with hints of raspberry. I like it, but am not sure what it'll lead to.

T: Hints of sweetness that never take full hold in the mouth. Balanced out nicely by hints of bitterness.

M: Medium bodied but a bit thin for the look of the beer. Low carbonation is nice.

D: A nice beer for cooler weather. Extremely drinkable and enjoyable. Not sure how strong this is but it feels very sessionable.

Served: in an imperial pint glass.

Review from notes taken on: 9/1/09

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Penn Dark from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 483 ratings.
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