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: 590
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.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is softly malty with notes of European hops. Some nut and biscuit and caramel. Smells okay.

Pours a deep amber copper, almost mahogany brown, with yellow highlights, good clarity, mild head. Looks pretty good. Very nice color.

Flavor follows nose with bitterness and a soft pungent mouthfeel that feels like hop or grain tannins. A deeper maltiness grows with a solid honey/caramel base and soft roast. Hints of vanilla. Finishes softly bitter with a hint of chocolate roast. Tastes good. Feels pretty good. Pretty good drinkability.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz green bottle... Inflatablechair left me one of these on the 4th... Thanks Sam!! Poured into my shaped SA glass.

Descent 1" head dies back fairly quickly with no lace and only a descent cap.. the brew is very pretty deep polished cherry brown.

Nose is crusty bread... sorta toasty.. mild nuttiness... much more complex than my feeble nostrils can describe.

Flavor mirrors the aroma but is more deep and more rounded throughout.. sorta earthy with a very mild but detectable chocolate element... body is medium with a lighter than expected carbonation.. this is a pretty damn fine dunkel.... I like it and would certainly buy it often if it was available to me... thanks again Sam.


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Photo of Rayek
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a Spaten stange.

A: Deep amber, with very nice clarity. A fizzy cream head comes and goes quickly. Leaves no lace. Easily the weakest part of the beer.

S: Simple, but nice. Toffee, lemon and a little grass aromas interplay nicely.

T: The aromas slip seamlessly into the flavor. Malts have a bittersweet toffee flavor. Bitterness is mild and lends a lemon snap. Finishes tart and very dry.

M: The body is slightly slick and has the right amount of fizz.

D: This beer is simple and easy to drink. Greater complexity would have been nice, but the overall effort is solid.

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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.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't been able to do a review for a while, but this is a really nice and easy drinking beer that I would like to get down "on paper".

Appearance: Pours a very clear ruby/garnet color with a small head of tan bubbles that was only there for 30 seconds or so. After the initial presentation, the beer looks rather still.

Aroma: My first impression was of the sweet and moderately toasty notes from the Munich and associated malts. Melanoidins are very reserved and play support to the sweet caramel and toasty malts. The sweetness is in charge here.

Taste: The flavor has more zest than the aroma would have suggested. There is some dark almost roasty notes here that aren't present in the aroma at all. The sweetness isn't nearly the player I suspected in the aroma, the toasty malts and dry attenuation are more the dominant players in the flavor. Interesting. The finish is dry with a mild carbonation and a bite that is from the dark malt acidity and subtle alcohol.

Opinion: I really like the overall flavor and presentation of this beer. It is a little on the light side for my taste, but it is no chump. I never concentrated on the relationship between the flavor and aroma on this beer like I did tonight, so it has opened my eyes to what this beer may be lacking. Some other Dunkels have a lot more toasty qualities to the beer the whole way through, and the melanoidins to make you think that you are drinking something like a "Bock light". This beer has more specialty malts to make the flavor profile than processes or malt complexity from the base Munich malt. I like this beer a lot from just a drinkability perspective, but from a stylistic standpoint...I prefer other examples of this style more.

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Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear red colored lager with a small tan colored head.

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. Good solid bitterness here, much more than expected and it sets this beer apart from the barely hoped versions.

Mouthfeel is thick for the style.

Very tasty and easy to drink beer. Stronger flavored than most beers of this type. The assertive flavor makes this one stand out.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, always cool to see a new Spaten,

A: Pours brown with a light fizzy head, cola-esque, good clarity.

S: Smoke and baked bread notes, hint of purple Concord grape.

T: Not getting a huge amount compared to other dunkels I've had. Light roast, dark bread, molasses and raisin. A good flavour, but light.

M: Moderate carbonation and body. Prickly, smooth finish.

D: A good dunkel, but it doesn't give me the great malt notes I've come to expect in the style. Certainly an easy drinking dark beer.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear medium brown color with a thick, frothy beige head. Nice retention and lacing. It's a pretty beer.

Smell is roasty and scorched caramel maltiness with a nice toasty note and a faint waft of grassy hops. Mostly all about the malt here and the smell is among the better dunkels I've had.

Taste is silky roasty and toasty malts. Just enough sweetness to hold the burnt toast bitter aspect of the beer. Pretty full body for a lager, but thin enough to go down the hatch at a rapid pace. Refreshing crispness and moderatly high carbonation make this a good beverage any time of year. Falls just a touch short of the Hofbrau version, but no by too much. Tasty.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, this dunkel is a deep reddish-copper color with a small but creamy head on top. The aroma is nice and bready, like German pumpernickel, though perhaps a tad grainy. Good european dunkel malt flavor, not just caramel like many American examples--very lightly toasted, crusty-bread taste, low hops. Very clean finish. Perhaps a tad watery in the mouth...

Generally, a good dunkel, which is rarely an exceptional or interesting style.

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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.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce green bottle poured into my customized lager glass.

Pours a rich, deep brown, throwing nice reddish tones when held to the light and displaying wonderful clarity. Raises a very slight half-finger of creamy off-white foam that recedes quickly, exhibiting very little retentive properties and leaving no stick on the glass.

A distinctive malty aroma exhibits itself with deep notes of molasses and caramel showing themselves in the nose, along with vaguely herbal hops.

Medium-to-full bodied with a middling carbonation and smooth mouthfeel. Soft yet fully malty-sweet; overtly malt-forward, with just enough hops to balance things out and keep the malt from becoming cloying. Finishes with a sweet, caramely malt sweetness and mild grain astringency that lingers on the back of the tongue for ages.

Overall, a nice Dunkel, but not the best. The malt character teeters a little too close to cloying, but otherwise the brew remains a distinctive variant and is rather drinkable.

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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.

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Photo of beerman207
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found this sitting as a single at Whitey's Liquors in Lawrenceville, Indiana

A- Poured a deep reddish brown color - looks almost exactly like coca cola in the glass. No real head or lacing present

S- Malted caramel, some coffee tones coming through,

T- malt flavor, some coffee (slight), nice balance

M- Not much carbonation, light body

D- Could have a few of these- nothing amazing considering how much I like Spaten Oktoberfest and Opitimator. I will stick with those two for now.

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Photo of stephens101
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown with dull orange hues and a good looking two-finger creamy tan head which dissipates rapidly, settling into a thin head and leaving a very diminutive lacing around the glass. Smells of toasted malts with some sweet and sour undertones. Tastes of sweet malts, honey and spice and is fairly complex for a dunkel, but not really big or anything, just nice and tasty. A slight alcohol heat shows up toward the very end. Goes down smooth with some crisp edges. There's not a lot of carbonation to speak of. Nice dunkel which is suiting me very well at the moment with the right amount of taste which doesn't detract from its drinkability. Damn, why did BL completely ruin that word!

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Photo of nocheinsbitte
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this bier from a 12-oz bottle.

A: Pours a nice dark amber color with a decent head and minimal lacing. A nice rich look.
S: Chocolatey smell, mild caramel. Very inviting.
T: A little unexpected in that is a tad watery. Was it meant to be like that? Not sure. But it is not a stout, that is for sure. Taste follows the smell well.
M: Nothing spectacular here.
D: A good drinking bier; could have 2-3 of these then that would be it. Not a session bier.

Overall, a good taste, not one of the best but still worth your efforts. Prosit.

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Photo of biggred1
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark amber with a small light khaki head that leaves wisps of fine lace on the glass. Fresh bread dough and roasted malt dominate the nose. Tastes of roasted malty caramel and bready yeast with a bitter hop bite in the finish. Medium light bodied and mildly carbonated, this beer is right between the lager and optimator. A decent brew.

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

Spaten- Dunkel

A- Deep creamy brown with a big heavy lacing head.
S- Sweet brown sugar and caramel malt.
T- Thick and sweet caramel malt. Brown bread and bread crust with molasses and caramel make this a nice thick malty beer.
M- Thick and creamy smooth. Moderate sweetness throughout.

Overall- very easy to drink and quite good for 1 of my first Dunkel's of 09'

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Photo of steveh
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this on the shelves in Wisconsin, first bottle availability in this area in my 20+ year memory of good beer drinking in the Midwest. The label colors are reminiscent of Dinkel-Acker Dark's label, brewed for export by Spaten, so I'm a little concerned. But since Spaten's Pils & the Dinkel-Acker Pils taste like different brews, I'm also hopeful.

A -- Pours a clear, dark chestnut color with a very persistent, light tan head. Not as dark as Optimator, but not as light a shade as the Oktoberfest.

S -- Malt and vague hops up front, maybe a little disappointing here. Bready characters peeking through.

T -- Somewhat light in malty melanoidin character than what I expect in a good Munich Dunkel. Not very rich at all, though it starts to come alive with a little warming; some breadiness and slight sweetness. Hops apparent in the finish, but not tipping the balance from the malt.

M -- Light-medium body, just a little thin to style. Soft mouth-feel.

D -- Not a bad drinker, though I might expect more to style.

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Photo of lhaqq
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear ruby orange body with a 1cm tan head.
S: Drawn butter, KarmelKorn, toffee, and toasted malts.
T: Toasted malts again, mixed with toffee. A bit watery but not bad.
M: Might have liked it a bit thicker or darker.
D: Probably around the fourth beer I've had from Spaten. Overall quite easy to drink but just uninteresting. They do an overall good job of representing German beers generally.

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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.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cola colored brownish hue with copper highlights. Less than one finger of head after the pour, but leaves some film that slowly recedes to nothing. Crip toasted and light roasted malt nose that smells very sessionable. Roasted malts mix very well with the toasted malts and balancing grassy hops. The finish is just a little metallic when its too cold. Let this beer warm up just a bit, and you have a great session dunkel.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pokal glass.

Appears a deep brown with reddish hues. A one inch off-white head sits atop and falls to leave a bit of lacing.

Aroma is quite caramelly with a hint of some dark fruits, perhaps some raisins. A bit of herbal noble hop tones also come through.

Taste has a good amount of caramel up front with a slight dark fruit character, and some toasty malt, then it fades into a herbal hop flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, it's quite creamy and very drinkable.

This was pretty good but it comes off as a watered down Doppelbock to me. This is actually my first from the style so I can't compare it to anything else, might have to update in the future after having tried some other offerings, but they seem scarce.

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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.

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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.

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Spaten Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.66 out of 5 based on 590 ratings.
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