Spaten Dunkel | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

204 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Spaten DunkelSpaten Dunkel

Brewed by:

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2009

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 204 | Ratings: 590
Photo of entenduintransit
4.68/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful color, unique and succulent aroma, and a flavor to match. This is a wonderfully balanced lager, and as someone not normally a fan of lagers in general, this impressed me.

 180 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spaten München Dunkel has a thick, lively beige head, a clear, bubbly reddish-brown appearance, and lots of splotchy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet brown bread, and the flavor is the same with some slight caramel, wine, and hop notes. Mouthfeel is light-to-medium, and Spaten München Dunkel finishes semi-dry, crisp, refreshing, and highly drinkable. Overall, this is a most excellent beer.


 414 characters

Photo of Brouwerij78
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best beers I drank at Oktoberfest 2010. I also grab a glass or two on the weekend at the local Bavarian resort near my house. This is a smooth, dark, rich and semi-sweet brew that is very easy to drink (almost goes down like water). I am a big fan of Spaten in general, this being my favorite variety they put out. The purity of the ingredients lend to the purity of the flavor balance and smooth quality of this beer. The flavor of the malt and hops is so delicately balanced being a dark beer it makes this one of the more unique German beers that I have found. The smell is very sharp, fresh and potent which matches the full and robust flavor upon first sip. These are easy to drink indeed, but watch out because they pack a whallop of alcohol that can sneak up on you.

 784 characters

Photo of brewgnome
4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm a Spaten fan and I liked this beer. I prefer darker beers and enjoy the carmel taste and smell as well the color and maltiness. I would really like to try it on tap. This beer is very easy to drink several of. Not a bad back with a glass of scotch.

 252 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

spaten has always had a special place in my heart, especially with the club-weisse years ago, but with the world getting smaller and other, more obscure and nefarious breweries coming to the fore-front, i am realizing their place in the world. spaten has a distinct flavor profile which i cannot pin down but i will always respect them.
A- beautiful dark ruby-esque with minimal head retention and little carbonation.
S- typical spaten. love it, but beginning to realize there's a certain 'commerciality' to it all.
T- same as SMELL above. definitive flavor, which can also be found in the other Spaten brews line up.
M- typical. not as much carbonation as a Beck's or a Heineken, but the covers are starting to be pulled away from the vision and the realization that there is a trademark flavor associated with the brewery.
O- still love 'em. my first love at OLD WORLD in huntington beach. still brings back memories of that under-aged chicken dance with a woman twice my age and the flat tire on the way home during OKTOBERFEST with Steve. like a first romance (which doesnt result in a jail stay), i'll always remember spaten as my first and the great times i had before i found all the other great things brough to my front door due to greater trade abilities in the world. but still a great brew. BRING BACK THE CLUB-WEISSE! also, listed as a 5.2%, not the 5.5% as on the site.

 1,383 characters

Photo of jovy1097
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into nonic pint.

Appearance: Translucent brown with sparkling carbonation and a huge 1 1/2" head that diminishes to a nice film.

Smell: Bready, malty, caramel. Wonderful!

Taste: Delicious, nutty brown bread with hints of caramel and brown sugar. Malty profile with very little hops presence. Toasty and sweet without being cloying.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, noticeable carbonation with a medium feel.

Drinkability: Definitely a keeper. I love bready, malty, slightly sweet beers and this one fits the bill perfectly. I haven't had many dunkel lagers, but this really scored above expectations for me.

 624 characters

Photo of RyanTeeter
4.37/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: A very pretty beer. Ruby red chocolate in color. Very clear, with limited amount of light allowewd through. Head was a pretty khaki color but left as quickly as it came.

s: Wonderful citrus roasted chocolate flavors! Very delightful. I am getting some vanilla aromas on the end.

t: The flavor is delicious. I really am enjoying it. A very smooth chocolate flavor with an ending flavor of vanilla and grassy malts. Again, very plesant.

m: Nice coverage witin the mouth. Not real heavy but not very light. Light oil texture, but each sip and it's flavors all manage to disappear between gulps.

o: I know I mentioned it earlier but I really enjoyed this beer. Veryy unique flavors - reminds me of some vanilla casket beers, only lighter on the vanilla and heavier on the chocolate.

 785 characters

Photo of klaybie
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is becoming one of my favorite beers.

Spaten Dunkel pours a dark brown, mahogony I'd say. Good carbonation as well.

Smells malty, rich, and sweet.

There is a good malty sweetness to this one that I happen to like very much. It is somewhat roasted malt and caramel flavored.

The carbonation in this beer is near perfect in my opinion it is quite satisfying to drink.

Overall this beer will always have a place in my fridge.

 432 characters

Photo of MisterTiat
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served in a Mass Krug

A: Nice amber when held to light, almost black when on the table. Off cream color head, ok retention

S: Roasty

T: Light roasted coffee flavor, but not so strong as to keep me from slamming! Maltiness well balanced by nice hop presence, I think detect some Hallertau

M: Good mouthfeel, beer feels thick and rolls around pleasantly in the mouth

Drinkability: Surprisingly easy to slam! Actually almost dangerously drinkable. It does get a little bit more difficult in a Mass Krug, 2 1/2 liters may be better

 532 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.32/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the beer that made me love Spaten! I would get it by the case!

A - Darkish black tone with inch of fluffy head. Looks perfect in the Spaten Mug

S - Smells of light fruits like raisins, slight caramel and toffee, and mild bread.

T - Wow what a lager! Chock full of fruit caramel sweetness (not too overbearing) and bready finish. Love this stuff.

M - For a dark beer it drinks like an everyday lager. For months I thought it was around 6-7 percent.

D - Yes more please. In fact it's been a while so I will need another pour. Glad its now available in the variety case.

 581 characters

Photo of hiikeeba
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - poured up a dark brown with some red highlights and a thin white head that dissipated quickly.

S - Faint aroma of caramel. No hops detected

T - Expected that oxidized, import flavor, but was pleasantly surprised. Malty and finishes with a caramel sweetness. Very smooth, and no hops detected.

M - Medium to full mouthfeel and good carbonation

D - Very smooth and drinkable beer.

 386 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gorgeous firey dark root beer highlighted amber that looks much like an O-fest. A small, dense cap of sandy tanned foam emerges for a bit then escapes without much staying behind other then a slivered collar ring and sparce amount of spotty lace.

Nice nose of gooey dark bready malt with favorably clean cut amounts of dark caramel, molasses, vanilla, and pale dates.

Taste is nice and chewy with a good portion of dark softening breadyness flowing in with a creamy balance of caramel, vanilla, molasses, and tender dark fruity gooeyness hinted at the mid range. Light airy finish of creamy malts sticking it up with a firm coating that is Doppelbock-ish and quite nice to behold.

The body is incredibly smooth and creamy with a malt laden fullness that really clean cuts itself into your palate and makes a for a tender, chewy, candyious treat. Its like a Dobbelbock with a bit of a lighter side to it thickness and ABV.

Yummy stuff and insanely drinkable by many quickly emptying glasses.

 994 characters

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice brown amber appearance, fine head that does not last long, raisiny/grapy kind of malt taste just balanced by hops, not heavily carbonated.

This was drunk whilst eating Sauerbraten und spatezel and the whole meal finished with anisette, I don't think that affects my judgement of the brew!

 294 characters

Photo of berserker256
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce green bottle poured into a pint glass. Beautiful dark amber color with a very light tan head. Smells of sweet roasted malt with a sort of smokey overtone. Tastes like nicely roasted malt with coffee-like hints and semi-sweetness. Nice texture and the right carbonation. Very easy to drink. Very good beer. The Germans do very well.

 340 characters

Photo of aristeros
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had Spaten before and found them to be middle-of-the-road. Part of a sixer; poured into a mug. Pours a light cola brown with half a finger of creamy head. Good lacing. Smells of biscuit caramel, and some nuts, with a bit of floral hops.

Sweet, but not the sweetest dunkel I've had. Toasted malts, biscuit, some nuts, with a surprisingly crisp hop finish. Medium-bodied, with a lighter, brown-ale-like mouthfeel. Good drinkability due to a decent amount of character and a low ABV. I could finish the six-pack, and would, if this weren't the last one!

 556 characters

Photo of mempath
4.19/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep bourbon amber with little to no lacing and an off-white head.

smell is a deep sweet roasted toasty sour dark dried fruit marinated in molasses. something like that which translates more subtly in the flavor...mouthfeel is a bit thin, but crisp enough. dry, but finish lingers a bit. carbonation actually a bit over the top is a good thing here. the flavor could be so more rich if the mouthfeel was thicker, but it works in a refreshing way as it is. 'good'...which makes this pretty much a delicious though not as complex as i'd like brew. sure it would work with food, but pleasant enough to enjoy a few rounds. not a go to. but at its price, quite tasty when compared to almost every american macrobrew. there's something admirable here. and somewhat disappointing.

edit: revisited this today on this second record breaking day of east coast heat....5:30pm and it's still 100 degrees! so, this being a very cold brew hits the spot...and some of the above 'criticisms' work to be highlights now...GLAD it isn't thick and overbearing and subtle...very refreshing...actually, the flavor profile is much more pronounced than the day i tried it first in tongue seems to change with the seasons. so, i bumped up a few points to balance these two samplings.

 1,280 characters

Photo of Franz4
4.19/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice color, burnt brown w/ a tint of redness, exactly what I'd expect from a dunkel, but even after an aggressive pour there's no head to speak of.

S- Smells like a loaf of fresh baked bread, lovely, very crisp scent.

T- like toasted dumplings, slight maltiness at the end that makes me go back for more.

M- very fine carbonation fades to give you something to chew on

D- I could drink this all day.

 406 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this beer on-tap at Marikka's Bierstube, Lexington, KY.

The beer opens with an impressive, solid brown color with some ambers shining through. Bright clarity, fantastic head formation and retention with some lacing left on the glass. Dunkels just don't look better.

A bit bolder in the nose than I am use to from the style. The dry, toasty malts blaze the trail while subtle hints of cocoa, walnuts, and coffee can be found. Bready, fresh yeast aromas provide the pillow for the clean and varying scents.

Flavors are very consistent with the aromas. The bready malts give enough sweetness to compensate for the toasty notes. Avoiding a lot of resudual caramel flavor, the beer tastes as malty as any Dunkel should. Still, the toasty, cocoa, coffee, nutty notes give the needed complexity to the taste without compromising the clean malt taste. Hop flavors are very, very subtle and probably only used to balance the bitterness.

The beers textures are medium-full with a superb roundess, breadiness-maltiness, and finishes very clean with a snappy dryness. Finishing with a clean maltiness and a touch of nuttiness on the tongue.

This is a fantastic beer that is sure to grow on me. I've never had a better Dunkel.

 1,224 characters

Photo of mjurney
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber-brownish color, clear. Some carbonation. Thin head.

Rich maltiness in the nose, toasted, touch of molasses.

Malt is very rich... I get biscuity, toasted, just a touch of nutty and molasses. Hop character is very mild at the end, yet is pretty crisp. Body is medium, carbonation is very soft.

Very smooth finish, almost crisp.

For a Dunkel Lager, it's very good.

 414 characters

Photo of erz316
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 floz green bottle into special spaten becker.

A - pours well forming a big hear in an light brown. nicely clear brown colour with a good amount of red into the body. the brown-red color is quite nice.

S - notes of brown sugar and toasted malts, also some good yeasty notes. a simple but quite bold nose for this style, even when cold: a good change of pace for this stlye.

T - a good wide taste for such a humble and generally unexciting style of beer. initial taste is a bold aggressive hit of those darker malts, some brown sugar; a real solid and steady taste for something this mass produced. the finsih has a bit of spicy and has some touches of booze. after taste is a residual malt sweetness, very faint but pervasive.

MF&D - a very creamy beer, completely mouth coating. good amounts of carbonation with a great thickness body gives this beer what it needs to be highly palatable.

 895 characters

Photo of bigrzman
4.14/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out from a 12 OZ bottle with a clear freshness date. medium Brown to dark brown in color, effervescent carbonation, and wispy head. Smells of herbal hops up front with a roasted malt back, very noticeable. Taste is of a herbal medicine hop up front again with a sweet caramel malt in the back with a notes of grass and grains. Mouthfeel is thin and bubbly and has a balance between drying and thirst quenching like a Dunkel should! This beer was made for drinking and drinking is what I do, I will drink a lot of these. Easy drinking, good taste and refreshing! This style has been hit on the head and then some. Great beer that is appropriate to this style to bad it had a hit in the looks department.

 708 characters

Photo of fountainofyouth
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a sizeable white head that settles quickly. Color is amber, more reddish held up to light.

Smell: It's a lot like Spaten's Optimator doppelbock -- hearty figs, apples, and brown sugar (and no hops).

Taste: Has some good complexity and breadth, but not necessarily a whole lot of depth. It's got a good mix of the lighter Munich malt and the schwarzbier-like Carafa flavor. I'm less familiar with German hop varieties, but I couldn't really detect much.

Mouthfeel: Modestly filling and medium-bodied, with a clean lager finish. Some lingering sugar in the back.

Overall: Solid beer. Would pair well with marinated steak.

 682 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear deep-mahogany brown body beneath a frothy head of light tan. The head retention and lacing are good.

Smell: Interestingly malty like a bock. Hops (which are nice, and quite often missing from the style), caramel, and a bit of toasty malt.

Taste: Caramel, scorched brown sugar, floral hops, gently bready malt. A touch spicy, and moderately bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Once warmed a bit, it's smooth and almost creamy across the palate. Prior to that it offers a standard crispness from a median carbonation level.

Overall: Very nicely done. It's rich, but not overdone; and it's maltiness is superbly balanced by the spicy hops and moderate bitterness.

 679 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another new one for me, we brought a bunch over to the fourth of July cookout. Served cold and poured
into a nice tasting glass, this one was consumed on 07/04/2010.

Thrilled to see this one back on the shelf. Thrilled enough to go out and get a sixer of it! The nice
dark caramel pour just lifts your feelings right away as the subtle head of light tan just really
pulls it all together for me.

Aroma is nutty, roasted nuts, hints of caramel, brown sugar, touches of light coffee and nice herbal,
grassy notes. Each sip was like caramel and bready heaven. Really nicely done here as it had a
tremendous depth of flavor while maintaining a light and well balanced feel to it. Smooth, rich,
creamy, the perfect late afternoon session ale.

Overall just amazing quality as always. Hard to really find much fault with just about anything they
do. I could have this one again in a heart beat.

 890 characters

Photo of PintOHops
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glass - Mug

A - A nice mahogany color with a 2-3 finger head, it's slightly off white & dissipated rather quick. A bit of Co2 can be seen but not much, it left a spot here & there with a nice ring of foam that held atop the beer for most of the consumption.

S - Grassy & floral hops with an underlying nutty & biscuit malt. It's also got some caramel that's mild-moderately sweet smelling, soft husk in there as well.

T - Herbal grassy hop flavors hit you upfront & unfold into smooth, soft malt flavors. I get husk, nuts, caramel. It finishes a bit dry with some grassy hop flavor, mild bitterness, and no lingering flavors.

M - It's lite-moderately crisp with a nice smooth medium body.

D - Highly quaff-able, I'd love to sit back and drink a sixer of this brew. I loved it's mild nutty flavor profile that demands you to take sip after sip. Mouthfeel is very good as well, smooth with just the right amount of Co2. I really recommend this beer, I'd definitely like to pick this one up sometime. Cheers!

 1,010 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.66 out of 5 based on 590 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.