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Penn Dark | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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Penn DarkPenn Dark
Very Good
490 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 490 |  Reviews: 268
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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Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice dark brown color. It has a pretty good looking tan head on it. The lacing could have been a little better. The smell of the beer was roasted and had the typical lager smell in there too. The taste of caramel and bitter coffee were upfront on this beer, the aftertaste was of some lager bitterness. The mouthfeel is light enough to consume several in a sitting if you choose to. Overall this beer is surprisingly pretty good. I was impressed by how much it tasted like a real German Dark Lager.

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Photo of horshack7
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: In a pilsner glass is a very dark brown beer with mahogany hues around the edges. On top is a two finger crown of creamy head.

Aroma: Roasted malts are in the front with wisps of roasted hop right beside it. Also in this array are touches of dark bread. Way in the back are notes of ripe bannas and sweet fruits.

Taste: Dark bread or even brown bread roasted malt and hops. Sweet fruit in the middle followed by a soft note of dryness on the palate. Towards the end is a nice creamy finish.

Notes: I am happy I picked this one up a tasty brew all the way around. Cheers.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean deep amber to brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, small roast, caramel, and small faint lager like notes. In the taste, coffee, caramel sweetness, and faint hints of lager. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry hint of caramel in the aftertaste. Nice roasty flavors with lager notes under all of it.

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Photo of silentjay
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

deep brown, that turns mahogany when held to a light with a dense khaki head that retains and laces well.

very nutty aroma with some raisiny fruits and some pumpernickel bread. a touch metallic, but with some floral hops coming through slightly as well.

starts nutty, goes a bit buttery, some burnt malts, a slight roast, earthy and floral hops that balance well.

the crispness of this brew is its best quality, i think. it keeps it easy drinking and it finishes clean so that the sweetness never becomes cloying.

a decent brew. goes down so easy, but remains flavorful throughout. nothing earth-shattering, but one that you can drink and enjoy without contemplating.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: With a vigorous pour into a pilsner glass, a nice 3-finger tan head sits atop a body of dark amber colored beer. Head sticks around quite awhile after diminishing to 1-finger width.

S: Lots of roast aromas with some raisin, caramel, and slight cocoa. A little light smokiness, or charred burnt character, can be picked up too.

T: Has a bit of a rauchbier going on. Some really good smokiness is evident in the taste - wow, completely unexpected. Aside from that, some lighter chocolate & dark syrup like notes. I wonder if they used a decoction mash? Either way, a very nice interpretation of the German style.

M: A nicely done light tasting lager with some lingering bitterness at the end. Carbonation levels are appropriate.

O: Had drank this plenty of times before and knew this one was one of my Penn favorites. Wasn't until I actually sat down for a more in-depth review did I realize how good this beer actually was. It's quite an underdog or a surprise hit.

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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 brew...it 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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Penn Dark from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 490 ratings
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