Spaten Dunkel | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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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

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Reviews: 204 | Ratings: 589
Photo of mcoh1030
2.18/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another reviewer noted the term "boring". I'd echo his sentiments. I'm not familiar with Dunkels so I'm not in a position to compare this brewer with others.

However, if you like dark beer don't expect this one to give you the German dark beer experience. It just falls short. Sure it's got flavor and a nose but all in all I can't think of a moment in time where I would choose this style over others.

If your going for an imported dark, stick with Spaten's Optimator.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.46/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clean deep amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, well, standard European lager like smells. In the taste, a small roast inside of a standard European lager. A smooth and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry lager like grain in the aftertaste. Basically, a standard European lager with a note of like caramel like roast.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
2.51/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliant reddish-mahogany and smells bready and faintly malty with delicate touches of cereal and apricot. The nose is a little weak considering the color and that weakness continues on the palate which feels a little watered down. A slight oily maltiness and a balancing, but equally nonstriking, hoppiness lead to a crisp and very short finish.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.51/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

With the dark color I was expecting a heaver body and deeper taste but was disappointed and feel that this is just a pilsner with food coloring and cinnamon. It has that sourness of the original Spaten but toned down with a bit more focus on malts, but not much more. It burns a bit going down and I wasn't too motivated to finish the bottle.

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Photo of jnezda
2.54/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tried this Dunkel with no real preconceived notion of what I would end up with.

Appearance: Pours with very little head that dissipated quickly, as is the case with other Spaten beers I have tried. No lacing at all. A dark amber colored beer.

Smell: Dark fruit, perhaps raisin, or berry apricot, some yeast smell carrying a heavy expectation of a full taste.

Taste: Surprisingly light, slight yeast taste but still with a little dark fruit. Average flavor for a dark German beer. Expected something a bit more robust.

Mouthfeel: Flat with little carbonation for a bottle beer. Enjoying this glass seems like a draft from an under carbonated draught.

Drinkability: Good flavor for a session beer

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Photo of stevoj
2.58/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one seemed too sweet, lacking the usual roast nature and somewhat smoky nature of a German dunkel. sweetness dominates the aroma and taste, and that’s what is remembered, a cloying sugary taste. Disappointed.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.63/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looked like coca cola. Carbonation fades away quickly. Aroma was brutal chemistry set, roasted elements.

Taste was still harsh bitter roastiness without a lot of malted body to provide help in the mouthfeel. Not a big dunkel fan, but this was just a thinner body with above average bitterness and roasty flavors that made for acridity.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.76/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pour that looked like a generic cola, dark brown flimsy beige carbonation head that falters on the side of the glass. Harsh aroma, not pleasant, alcohol and industrial cleaner type of aroma. Can't recall seeing a beer of this color (dark) in a green bottle.

Taste was a little better, the aroma harshness was a little much, not as bitter or alcoholic as I was expecting it to be. Flavor is lighter and easy going, don't let the color fool you. Some licorice like notes got in there though, I don't know if that's the yeast or what. Not really getting the dark roast flavors, just the bitterness, which, while less than I expected after getting hit in the nose with the smell, is still above average for style.

Overall, this is an average dunkel lager, with a far below average aroma. Sheesh. Bring on the nail polish!

 823 characters

Photo of Bobby12many
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Cola brown with very little head, even with an aggressive pour.

S - Wheat, mixed with a very distinct light-struck funk. Some Caramel malts in the background, but are hard to discern through the off funkiness.

T - A bit better than the smell, but still pretty disappointing. Lots of malt, mostly of the sweet variety. Pretty one dimensional but not bad.

M - A bit watery, even for the style, without much carbonation. Feels quite limp and thin.

D - The thin feel of this mixed with its slightly off nose makes it a tough one to enjoy. It is an easy drinking Lager, but far from interesting. Overall just an average beer that I doubt I will buy again. (if anything, I may pick up another bottle in the future just to make sure it wasnt a bad bottle due to improper storage. the lightstruck hint in the nose has me a bit concerned that this bottle was not truly representative of this brew)

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Photo of StonedTrippin
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

not my favorite here. pours dark brown and flat like the left over morning coffee down the drain with the dinner dishes. smells malty and astringent. taste is really funny, german malts yes, but in weird proportion. the dark roast thing doesnt seem to work here, and the mouthfeel is rough with so little carbonation and a full body. not sure if i got a bad bottle, i know a lot of these green glass imports can be mishandled, but i really didnt care for this brew and i am a lover of dunkels

 492 characters

Photo of smithza9
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Of all places, I had this at an Irish pub in Canada. It was in a tall, thin. pint glass. This has a somewhat dirty, golden color. It has a very bitter taste, yet has a very smooth finish. Very bitter for a lager. A very light feeling in the mouth complements the bitterness nicely.


 291 characters

Photo of bagpiper2005
2.96/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour: Ice tea color with a small ring of head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Extremely weak. Some wheat and bread, but that's about it.

Taste: Sweet caramel and wheat malts. Not much else going on. Lightly bready, but lacking the rich flavors of banana or clove that you've come to expect out of a good German wheat beer. One-dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp. Carbonation somewhat overdone.

Drinkability: It's pretty drinkable, more like drinking sparkled water.

Final Notes: Not impressed. You could do much better than this one. And for God's sake stop with the green bottles!

 627 characters

Photo of atpben
2.96/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at the Gingerman in Houston. Poured in a pint glass. Appears dark brown color with a tan head that dissiptes quite rapidly. Very earthy in the aroma with some grain. Some light chocolate and caramel in the taste but no depth. Quick, dry finish. I expected more from this beer. Was a little let down. The first Spaten beer that I didn't care for too much.

 370 characters

Photo of Samp01
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish brown with a medium beige head. Aroma and Taste of toasted caramel malt, barley, some yeast and grassy notes with some hops bitterness. Palate is a light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Finish is sweet toasted caramel malt, barley, yeast with some bitter hops ending for balance. Nothing really outstanding, but overall a pretty good easy drinking dunkel, an average brew

 397 characters

Photo of Tone
3.02/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Poor retention and poor lacing. Smells of sweet malt, yeast, pale malt, and sulfur. Fits the style of a Munich Dunkel Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, pale malt, yeast, sulfur, and a hint of pale hops. Overall, the sulfur is dominate, but other flavors account for a decent Munich.

 407 characters

Photo of taylor714914
3.04/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a mug, a dark ruby color and frothy white head covers the top.

Smell is exceptionally carmely and toffee like. Tons of bready sweetness here.

Flavor is the same. A touch of toffee and hint of roasted character, but mainly dominated by the sweet bready and caramel flavors.

A bit too much carbonation for my liking, but still within the realm for this style.

A decent dunkel, not the most complex beer, but easy to drink.

 450 characters

Photo of beerfairy
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice head with a reddish brown body. However the head disappears quickly and leaves no lacing in the glass.

S - Prunish, malty and bready smells but not overpowering.

T - Taste of raisin bread and malt

M - Smooth and very little carbonation, close to being flat but still decent. Gives a bit of a slickness to the mouth. Might work well with smoked foods.

D - It's drinkable, not my favorite Spaten product but certainly not horrible.

 452 characters

Photo of dmamiano
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

medium to dark brown...virtually no head with slight lacing.
yeasty in the nose, ever so slight metallic with notes of bread.
taste seems to me fairly rounded in the mouth.
slightly viscous with a malty dominance. Hints of wheat. Bready with a ever slight hop ending.
Not a bad beer. Pretty solid.

 297 characters

Photo of NicholasCasber
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: This beer poured a nice dark, almost brown, but seemed a bit more amber in the light.

S: The smell was very dark, and earthy, with roasted barley smells.

T: The taste was very good overall, it was fairly sweet for the aroma that I was picking up, and it finished with a pumpkin aftertaste.

M: The mouthfeel was good, it was smooth and finished smooth, not too much carbonation on this one.

D: I'd rate this higher if it was priced more effectively, and I know, some are going to say, you get what you pay for when you purchase beer, while I agree with that sentiment, I still feel beer of all styles and all greatness should be reasonably priced.

Overall, good beer, I'd recommend it for a fall, or early winter beer. Cheers.

 733 characters

Photo of grover37
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a sixer at Rodman's for $8. Poured into a pilsner glass at 47 degrees. Warmed up a bit before drinking.

Appearance (4): Clear, dark brown or mahogany with orange highlights. Two fingers of light cream, thick head reduces to a quarter inch layer.

Aroma (3.5): Very grainy with notes of cereal and caramel. More sweet smelling than anything.

Taste (2.5): Watery up front with a touch of toasty biscuit and grain. Caramel comes through immediately after that and intensifies throughout. A touch sweet through the middle and especially the finish. A bit of spicy pine in the finish too.

Mouthfeel (4): Thin and effervescent. Very watery throughout, even in the slightly sticky finish of caramel semi-sweetness. Light bodied and high carbonation.

Overall (3): Pretty average, even for a generally unremarkable style. Light and drinkable but not much stands out except for the cereal graininess and a light caramel. Very clean if watery and thin.

 960 characters

Photo of craft4mike
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A- Light brown and amber (when light is shone thru it) Looks pretty much like a dark lager should.

S- Generally pretty tame. Little bit of caramel malt maybe a hint of chocolate.

T- Caramel malts, roasted nuts, hint of chocolate.

M- Lite carbonation medium body. Pretty decent beer to "chew".

O- What it lacks in flavor profile or complexity it makes up for in drinkability. Its a good but not great offering.

 414 characters

Photo of Anthony1
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smells of malt and dark bread with fainter chocolate and raisin scents. Mild herbal hop mostly it just adds a grassy note. There is a fruity aroma here but it can only be described as raisin.

Starts out sweet and malty with a solid bitterness, more bitter than I would have expected judged by beer type. Strong dark bread flavor like serious Russian black bread flavor deep and rich, nothing at all like the light stuff.

 421 characters

Photo of redzone3120
3.14/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Very deep and dark with a hint of red, similar to a Coke. The head is a creamy brown color about half a finger thick, dissipates quickly.

S - Strongest smell is yeasty and somewhat sour. Has hints of toasted malts (I think).

T - First thing, the flavor of this brew is nowhere as strong as its appearance. Has a very mild flavor but not bad. Definitely can taste some toasted malt but not really sure what else.

M - Starts and finishes crisp and clean, almost no aftertaste. Carbonation is good but slightly sharp on the tongue.

D - A drinkable beer that is crisp and refreshing. A little too mild for my taste but would go well with almost any type of food.

 666 characters

Photo of Mistofminn
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this at my girlfriends parents house. It was the only beer they had that I hadn't tried before.

Pours a dark brown reddish color with a tan off-white head with great retention. It leaves a little bit of lacing but nothing spectacular. Good looking beer.

The nose really evolves as the beer warms, starting off kind of bland and boring and gaining fruity and caramel like aromas as it rises in temperature. I get sweet malt, dark fruits, caramel and toffee.

Just like the nose, this gains complexity as it warms. Sweet malts, sweet fruits, caramel and toffee with a light toasty character. Pretty good, but nothing too great.

Mouthfeel is light in body with a low to moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy, but sort of watery. Drinkability is ok.

I'm not very familiar with the style, so I can't really say if this is true to style or not, so I'm just going to assume it is. I guess I'm just not the biggest fan of the style.

 936 characters

Photo of Zetcha7x
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Here we go...My first BA review.

Single purchased from Wegman's in a Mix-A-6 Pack or whatever they call it. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A- amber/brownish pour that produced a finger of light tan head and quickly died down. Minimal lacing. Pretty standard from the other Dunkels I have seen.

S- brown sugar, toffee, some dark fruits

T- sweet malts, zero bitterness, dark fruits

M- light bodied, little carbonation, smooth

O- not a style that I have had a lot of, but I expected more roasted malt flavors. Very drinkable, smooth and clean. Definitely could put a few down...if someone else made the purchase. Not a bad beer, but nothing I would go out of my way to purchase.

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Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.66 out of 5 based on 589 ratings.
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