Spaten Dunkel | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

590 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 590 |  Reviews: 204
Photo of Callaghan
3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Czech Pilsner glass. I couldn't find a freshness date or anything on the bottle, but on the inside bottom of the six pack carton was a stamped code of 13 01 02. Maybe this is an exp. code?

A: A thick off-white head quickly died down to nothing in the glass, not even a thin ring. Virtually no lacing. Beautiful mahogany color beer.

S: Malty and hops/floral hints. Toasted something too, but not sure what it is. Simple and nice.

T: Sweet malts dominate. Hops on the back end provide a little bite. Again, simple and nice.

M: After taking a sip, I feel a nice, heavy carbonation. Smooth is the word here, and it slips over the tongue with ease, enticing the taste buds as it moves over the palette. It does not linger too long, but long enough for a nice aftertaste.

O: This beer adds up to more than the sum of its' parts. If you break it down and pick it apart, there are flaws. If you sit back and enjoy this, it's pretty good.

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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.

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Photo of JMad
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a tumbler...

It pours a brown color with a filmy tan head that faded quickly. I could smell some earthy tones along with a hint of toffee and maybe even raisins. The taste is similar with some dark fruit and toffee with some earthy hops coming through in the finish. Feels light with moderate carbonation and it leaves the mouth wet. This is a solid beer, nothing amazing but still good.

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Photo of DavidST
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

This pours a brownish color with a slightly off white head. The smell is kind of sweet, a little earthy smells and perhaps some toffee. Feel is light. The taste is a little sweet but also sort of light, there is a little bit of bitterness at the end. Overall not bad.

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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!

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Photo of Stunner97
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- light brown with very little head and very low carbonation

Smell- nice biscuity and malty smells, slight raisins and brown sugar,

Taste- has a pretty nice flavor profile, its on the sweeter side but there is a little bit of hops on the finish that kind of keeps things in check, brown sugar and malty notes from nose are there

Mouthfeel- medium bodied with low carbonation right for style

Drinkability/overall- i wound up overall enjoying this six pack from spaten, one thats not most complex but make very nice session beer, though slightly sweet the balance is just right to keep you coming back for more, another respectable showing from a pretty good brewery

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

I was looking forward to tasting this beer because in general I like Spaten beers.

It is a Carmel/brown color that is cloudy and a diminishing head.

I first got a sweet aroma with some earthy and biscuity hints.

Sweet taste and the more I kept drinking the more I started to get some grain or grassy flavors.

Mouth was smooth, light with a short finish. I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I smell the delicious nutty roasted malts with slight floral hops. It has a flavorful brown nutty malt quality to it with some floral grassy noble hops on the end of the taste. I'm also getting a brown sugar taste in there as well. This is a very straight forward beer but an excellent example of a quality beer. This is probably my favorite dunkel beer I've ever had.

It is a very very smooth beer and the malts arent too sweet either. They are sweet but not overly so. It seems to smooth out the hops but I did get more of a hop bite as the beer warmed. It has a bit of a creamy mouthfeel as well and I'm sure thats the lager quality jumping out in this beer.

For coming in a green bottle this literally has 0 skunk to it. It tastes like a fall beer and can easily compete with some top notch beers. Spaten is a top notch brewery and pretty much one of my favorite imports from Germany.

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Photo of gregshead
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light/medium brown with a trace amount of head into my snifter glass

S: Softer smells. Sugary caramel with some darker nutty malt aromas. Not as sugary as a lighter style german lager.

T: Lots of nutty flavors intermix with the caramel sweetness. A little but of hop bite (at least for a lager)

M: Pretty light feel on the tongue. A light Carbonation hits the lips and continues all the way down.

O: A very decent/enjoyable beer. Would not mind having this one again.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light brown body, light enough to have excelent clarity. Oatmeal colored three-finger bubbly head. Rapid decay, minimal lacing.

Mild nutty aroma, with just a hint of hay at the edge.

Taste is basically nutty throughout, with a pleasant noble hop nip at the swallow that mingles with the nuts in the aftertaste.

Nice smooth mouthfeel throughout.

A pleasant, tasty non-agressive sessionable German lager.

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

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

All InBev-ness aside...
Poured a clear dark tea brown with a nice layer of off-white head that retained well and left a bit of lacing on the pint glass. Roasted malts and pumpernickel in the aroma, traces of caramel and nuts. The taste follows the aroma, with mainly rich, roasted malts in the foreground, bready, nutty, caramel and brown sugar. Medium mouthfeel, and a nice quaff for any occasion.

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Photo of RickS95
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Comes out of the green bottle a medium brown color. It's almost translucent, despite the brown and has a thin white head that has no retention.

Has an earthy, sourish, malt smell. Maybe some licorice in the background.

Tastes like is smells, only there's a breadiness to it, with the slightest hint of chocolate and coffee in the swallow.

It's kind of sour and kind of bitter from beginning to end.

I liked this more than I expected, probably because it's a German lager and not a crappy American lager. It's just more refined than the lagers I'm used to.

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Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin dense beige head that quickly dissipated, leaving only a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark and caramel malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the initial taste is quite malty with flavors of caramel and a bit of sweetness; however this is quickly offset by flavors of grassy hops and a mild amount of bitterness that continues through the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, smooth and a bit thin (but not watery) on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is easy to drink and rather sessionable. I would have no problem having more than one of these at a time because it’s not very filling.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spaten makes some really good stuff. They're Dunkel is also quite tasty. This beer pours out as a clear brown color with a tan foamy head. the head settles and leaves us with a nice roasted nutty aroma with some pilsner aromas hidden in the back. The beer tastes good, its got a nice dry roasted flavor to it. The mouthfeel is quite drinkable. It's good dark German brew.

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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.

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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 Bung
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Pretty solid amber/brown pour. Minimal white head.

Aroma, Chocolate malt, lager yeast.

Taste is more pronounced. Malt, toffee some herbal earthyness. Typical German lager yeast hints. Very light chocolate in there as well. Finishes with some light chocolate and tea.

Lighter bodied with ample carbonation. Drinks very well, was surprised this was listed at even 5.5%. Good standard German version of the German style.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an Aventinus weizenbock glass.

A: Medium dark brown. Pours a slight bubbly, white head. Medium carbonation. Head disintegrates quickly leaving just a slight beer ring. No lacing.

S: Yeast, caramel, and molasses. Kind of a sweet tea thing going on.

T: Nice yeasty flavor with molasses and a little peat.

M: Heavy carbonation feel. Bittersweet palette with a peaty aftertaste that lasts throughout.

D: Light body, with a little robustness.

Atmosphere is pretty nice. Appearance is very average, nose is a nice combination of yeast and sweetness. Tastes like it smells. Yeast and sweet. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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

Its a dark rich brown color, somewhat coffee. Hoppy with some caramel malt flavors. Caramel notes and slight floral nots. Its really rich and its maltiness smooths out. Its a good beer if you ask me. it has a nice balance of hops and malts. Its a medium feel, not too heavy. Its a nice session beer, I'd drink this with a meal.

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Photo of gabedivision
3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to a pint glass.

A- Dark reddish brown, light to almost no head.

S- Malty, yeasty smell that goes bland as the further up your nose.

T- Bitter and malty.

M- Comes off very strong and leaves pale and watery.

D- Nice drinkability for its style, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. green bottle into pilsener glass.

A: Mahogany with a short-lived, off-white head. Head is moderately sticky and leaves some lace.

S: Clean. Not much to go on. Something sweet. Brown bread-like aroma from the malt, but very little hop character. Also, because it's a lager, the yeast doesn't do anything special in this category.

T/M: Slightly sweet, very malty with that brown bread character from the aroma. Slight bitterness to balance and prevent the finish from being cloying.

D: hmm...lager, moderately low alcohol content, balanced, no off-flavors...of course it's highly drinkable.

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Photo of TacoShark
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass, served at 45f.

A: Minimal head retention and light lacing. Beer has a red-brown color that seems slightly thin for the style. Prominent rising bubbles: this one's gonna be carbonated.

S: All of the specialty malts that go into a dunkel come out swinging on the nose: this beer has a very malty aroma. It's fairly sweet, with notes of buttered toast, and no noticable hop characteristic. Very nice.

T: Doesn't quite follow through on the aroma. The taste is somewhat thin, actually. Very little in the way of bitterness and hop complexity, and the malt characteristics are lighter than one might expect from a dunkel, and similar to a much lighter lager.

M: This has the mouthfeel of a fairly large beer. Big carbonation gives it a tingly, effervescent feel that's quite refreshing. Ends with a clean malty finish.

D: A great smell and feel, with a fairly subdued flavor, make this beer, I think, rather dangerous! I was done with mine before I really was aware I'd finished it. It's a good lager for session drinking.

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

Reviewed from notes. I poured this bottle into a large wine glass.

A: clear medium reddish-brown color, cream-colored head with adequate retention, thin cap and decent lacing.

S: gentle fruity nose, cherry, Germanic yeast funk, a bit of sulfur.

T: fruity and lightly sweet grain up front, the middle is earthy, with a nice lingering sweetness, the finish has a vanilla creaminess with floral and fruity notes.

M: medium-bodied, creamy, moderate carbonation, silky finish.

D: I really enjoyed this beer, and look forward to trying more examples of this style.

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Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt caramel color topped by two fingers of ecru foam that leaves a few dots behind

Smell: Crusty brown bread; somewhat grainy

Taste: Brown bread, up front, followed by a twangy, grainy character through mid-palate; the finish, however, is clean with hints of nuts, brown bread and chocolate powder

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit thin

Drinkability: An acceptable product but there are better dunkels from the old country than this

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark walnut with a burnished look and good clarity, but a somewhat short head. Smells surprisingly fruity, followed by a light graininess, a touch of chalky malt, and a tiny bit of grain sourness. The taste is even grainier, with more of that fruitiness and a somewhat seltzer-like finish. Somewhat pleasant, but needs more depth- especially on the finish. As is, it could have been made by Shiner.

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