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 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.

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Photo of T100Mark
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A 12 ounce bottle (no Euro Weenie bottle here) in a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Dark amber color. Great clarity. The head disappeared almost immediately. Zero lacing.

Smell - Nutty. Malty. Nice.

Taste - Malt. Carmel. Herbs. Faint smokey flavor. Slightly sweet. Very smooth. Mild.

Mouth - A little thin. The carbonation is on the fine side.

Overall - Good but not great. I expect a bit more from the Germans.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Beautiful dark ruby color. Thin white head that fades a little too quickly

Mouthfeel - Could use some more carbonation. other wise, a nice consistency.

Taste - Dark fruit, I taste raisins, a touch of bitterness to help balance the great malty sweetness, nothing overpowering,

Smell - freshly poured, it's amazing, rich, full flavor, dark fruit,

Overall - tastes like a beer that should have more alcohol, I really wish it did. If it had as much alcohol as Spaten's Optimator (7.5%), I'd get a sixer of this regularly. Nonetheless, a great tasting brew with plenty to offer. My first dunkel, and based on it's low ratings, I'm guessing I need to go try some more of this style.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a brown-mahogany color with highlights of red shinning through. Upon pouring there is a small off-white head that fades fast leaving very little lacing on the sides of the glass but a thin film floating atop the brew that lasts for quite some time.

Smell- The aroma is heaviest of a caramel and toffee sweet smell mixed with some notes brown bread and a light amount of cocoa.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready flavor of dark roasted malt with some light chocolate and caramel. The sweeter flavors that were present initially fade quickly as some flavors a more bitter grape/wine come to the tongue. This more bitter wine like flavor as well as a light herbal hop flavor, that comes to the tongue at the end of the taste, end up combining with the roasted malt and the light sweetness to leave a odd fruity, roasty, and somewhat of light bitter tannin flavor to be left the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The thickness and creaminess of the beer was very average with a carbonation level that was average as well. The middle road fits this beer rather well as the darker flavors would likely be better with lower carbonation and higher thickness, while the wine like tannin and sweet flavors are likely better with the opposite (thin body and higher carbonation).

Overall – While at first I wasn’t wild about the brew, it grew on me as I drank it more. The mix of the roasted flavors and the more fermented grape flavors create a rather soothing taste. Not bad.

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours dark dark brown with red highlights. A nice creamy tan head forms around the top of the beer.

The aroma is of dark malts, caramel, an chocolate. Everything is in wonderful harmony and no off flavors are detectable.

The taste is sweet without being cloying and a mixture of caramel, roasted malt, bread, and chocolate.

The body is medium but very smooth on the pallate.

This is really enjoyable. I don't get to drink enough dunkel an this beer reminds me exactly what I am missing out on.

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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.


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Photo of acevenom
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass mug. Pours clear dark brown with a quickly dissipating off-white head. There are lots of visible tiny bubbles in this beer. There are aromas of toffee and roasted malt. I don't get many hop notes in the nose. The taste follows the nose. There's some mild sweetness and the roasted malt is there. The hops bring some grassy flavors. It's very straightforward and non-offensive. The body is light to medium with moderate carbonation. The beer is smooth with a crisp finish. It's very drinkable. This is a good beer.

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Photo of BigBarley
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out nicely, looks thin and fizzy. Carbonation swelled to about half a finger and recedes fairly quickly. Head is an off-white color. Deep amber, brown hue, but visibly thin. Looks about right for a dark lager.

S - Sweet caramel, roasted malt, slight biscuit notes. Virtually no hops detectable except possibly an extremely faint note at the back. Very prominent sweetness, but not much complexity, A good smell, regardless.

T - Initially the taste is very much a roasted taste. Black malt domination, with a roasty bitterness at the end. Negligible hops. Fairly one-dimensional, all you can really discern is a faint caramel touch, wrapped and dipped in black Munich malt. If you like stout but need something lighter, this is a great option.

M - Excellent feel, light enough for a lager, but not so light you forget you're drinking beer. Carbonation is lively and crisp, without being overpowering. There's a thickness that's necessary in dark beers, and this beer just touches that line. Thin enough for a gulp, but nicely filling for a lager.

O - Not what I would call a spectacular, mind-blowing brew, but it's quite delicious if you're in that dark, malty mood. Not entirely complex, but satisfying nonetheless. I'd drink it again, but I can't honestly say this style is anything more than an occasional treat. Highly recommended for early explorers of craft brew

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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!

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Photo of RichardMNixon
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a seidel. Transcribed from notes.

A: Dark ruby-brown body with lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Thin off-white head that eventually disappears.

S: Lots of yeast and malt with a faint whiff of dark fruit and caramel.

T: Bready with some chewy caramel malt.

M: Medium bodied, a bit sticky sweet at the end.

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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.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spaten dunkel is like ruby brown in color and is super crystal clear. Really good carbonation, but a smaller head that fades real fast.
Aroma is as expected sweet malts with hints of crusty bread and dark fruits.
Taste is sweet and malty with crusty bread stewed fruits and toffee. It's super smooth and really soft on the palette.
Good drinking, no doubt but is kinda sweet too.
I think this beer woud pair well with Sugaree by Jerry Garcia.

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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.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a clear dark brown with vibrant ruby hue, large thick and foamy light tan head that reduces to a solid inch layer on top.

S- Cereal grains, sweet malt, musty, caramel, cacao, toast, slight herbal hop.

T- Sweet and malty, a bit of toffee, Biscuity, hints of cocoa, finishes dry and slightly bitter with an underlying herbal hop.

M- feels a little watery, medium body, low carbonation, just a little too slick for me.

O- a pretty good Dunkel, nothing special but definitely sessionable.

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Photo of DerekP
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown with reddish hues in the appearance of this beer. Not opaque, but dark enough to keep you from really checking out what's going on in the glass (the most you'll see is a reddish brown wall with the shadow of your fingers holding the glass). A frothy nougat head sits quietly up top. Carbonation bubbles rising. Appearance: 4/5

Caramel in the nose. Chocolate fudge, raisins, figs, crust of brown bread. An underlying herbal hops aroma rises up as it warms. Aroma: 4/5

Dark and caramel malts send suggestions of cocoa nibs and caramel to the taste buds. Hops come through with a gentle and balancing bitterness. Cold coffee. Dark chocolate bar flavor drys and lingers on the tongue. Taste: 3.5/5

A touch watery at times, but a quaffable dunkel, for certain. Medium to full bodied; I really can't decide. Feel: 3.5/5

Overall I give this brew a 4 out of 5. The fragrance is really enjoyable and appealing as it is malty and robust. The taste is complex, rich, sweet and dry. Though I said it was a touch watery, that characteristic improves its drinkability. 5.2% ABV on the bottle, lower than what I've read elsewhere, and that's a good thing.

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - ruby amber with a thick half inch of thick, fizzy, brownish, off white head that has decent retention

S - must, grains, caramel

T - caramel, very faint chocolate, plum, raisin, figs

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a decent dunkel. It has decent flavor and solid drinkability. It's a bit sweet and fruity but overall pretty good.

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

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a deep ruby brown color. An off white head dissipates quickly to a thin film. Little or no lacing is present. The beer smells slightly bready, malty, and with faint caramel notes. The taste mimics the aroma. A nice sweet malt note up front. There's breadiness in here somewhat. The mouthfeel is fairly light to medium bodied.

Overall, a pretty average dunkel, but not bad at all. Very sessionable.

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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 joecalderoni
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pour a very nice dark amber color wilth a nice medium white head on it!

S: caramell, toffee aroma! A little hint of nice roastiness in the back of nose! Slight diacetyl aroma!

T: very sweet taste, super malty beer! Caramel and toffee taste! Little roastiness followes by a bit of diacetyl!

M: medium body with medium carbonation! Very chewy!

O: not the best dunkel you can drink! I think anyone can brew a better example! Its a cery drinkable beer,good for a nice session dunkel!

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

Nice caramel amber in color, with a large, off-white head and solid spoke-style lacing.

Nose is malty -- I get caramel, toffee, and a hint of fruitiness. Definitely sweet.

Taste is similar, sweet with toffee tones and some fruit coming in. Body is light, and this is an easy-drinking and enjoyable dunkel.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear, brilliant rust color with 1 finger head and no lace.It becomes whiskey colored as it warms. It's aroma has hints of bread crust and root beer. The flavor leads off with root beer with bread crust, spice, and faint floral notes. The mouthfeel is light-medium and there's a slight warmth as the beer warms. Spaten Dunkel is a good brew, recommended!

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Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep caramel brown with a solid one finger khaki head that lingers.

Aroma is bready, sweet, toasted caramel malt, with light herbal hop adding complexity. Toffee finishes the profile.

Toasted malts form the backbone of this brew, providing a nutty finish. Flavors of caramel, bread crust, and a hint of toffee emerge. A bit of diacetyl is present, but not unwelcome. This bottle exhibits a bit of skunky character.

Body is moderately heavy, with moderate carbonation.

Overall, definitely a malt dominated beer. The herbal hops prevent it from being overly sweet. Very drinkable.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange-brown with a 1 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasty malt, caramel, and some slight metallic aromas. Taste is of malt, caramel, and a fruity flavor on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think it tastes better than it smells.

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Photo of ChrisPratz
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spaten Dunkel, blast from the past of my college days. Interesting to review this beer on taste and not chug a bunch to get messed up for the night!

A: Nice deep brown hue, totally transparent. Less then a fingers worth of head, gives way to very minimal lacing around the edge with little clouds of lace floating around. Remember this having more head in previous outings.

S: Nice roasted malt, light hints of caramel and some toasted grains. Very nice mix of roast and sweetness.

T: Wheat and some maltyness, not overpowering at all. Tastes of some bready/biscuity/yeast-like goodness. Caramel sweetness thru most of the taste, with molasses coming thru at the end. Stays for nice all the way thru with an ever so slight touch of bitterness at the very end.

M: Lightly carbonated, very nice feel.

O: Very good brew, they've done well with the flavoring. Everything flows well together and finishes with a crispness leaving you ready for another. Def a great brew while watching the game with some friends.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is a german Dunkel. The smell is skunked, but lets see what I can do to get past the skunk ass. Smell is irrelevant in this review. Clamped the nose closed and plowed through it. Its got those Dunkel flavors that I love, but its dry. Almost like super sugary caramel. Its a very sweet, in spite of the skunk from the damn green bottle.

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