Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
816 Reviews
Read the review
Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse DunkelFranziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel

Brewed by:

Style: Dunkelweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 07-13-2001

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 816 | Ratings: 1,660
Photo of allengarvin
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle, poured in a traditional weizen glass.

Appearance: Dark mahogany, touch a red near the thin base. Nice creamy head that stays in place, about a centimeter thick.

Aroma: Bread-like malt aroma, with spicy, tangy yeast notes.

Flavor/Body: Initial flavor of cloves and spices, plenty of wheat flavor. A touch less phenolic than Spaten's weiss. Finishes out smooth and malty. A lot of carbonation and body.

I don't remember whether this beer or Paulaner's dunkelweizen was my first dark German wheat, but it's certainly been a constant favorite of mine for more than a decade (moreso since the Paulaner no longer seems to be imported; I haven't seen one of their dunkels in the US in about 5 years).

 719 characters

Photo of Dmann
4.57/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first Dunkel-Weizen and a good one it was. This beer poured a dark brown color with a very nice head that lasted the whole glass. The smell was typical for a bavarian wheat beer but had a bit more malt presence. The flavor mirrored the smell, with the great bananna and sweet flavors of a traditional hefe but with a bit more malt presence. I can't say if I like this more or less than a traditional Hefe but I can say that it was a damn good beer!

 451 characters

Photo of oxmasterscream
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy, iced-tea color, with a big thick and pillowy head, typical of a Hefeweizen. Immediate aromas are the obvious fermented wheat, overripe bananas, cloves, and a touch of vanilla. Taste was a bit spicy up front, then fruity like sour apples and a bit tangy, with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is light and very carbonated... the mouthfeel was just a little too thin. Nonetheless, a totally drinkable and tasty Hefeweizen Dunkel, just nothing spectacular (and nothing compared to their regular Hefeweizen).

 512 characters

Photo of cypressbob
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle at the kings head belfast

Pours with murky amber body, foamy tan head, not nearly as dark as some other dunkels like erdinger for example

Smell, sweet esters, malty with a roasted barley hint

Taste, malty with a slight hint of fruity phenemols

A far wheat, there are much better dunkels out there

 321 characters

Photo of Sigmund
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(500 ml bottle, bought in Denmark). Cloudy brown colour, large lasting head. Aroma of brown bread and some spicy sweetness. Flavour is malty but not overly sweet, some spicy and subtly roasted edges. Smooth and mellow, nothing to blow your socks off, but still a beer it is a pleasure to drink. I had it on on its own, must be good with a meal too.

 348 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice iced tea looking amber/brown colour with an off-white fluffy head. looks a bit better than i really expected. smells sweet and citrusy with wheat, wood an deearth in the background. everything is a bit muddied though and the smell can be weak at times, but overall, it's pretty nice. the taste is far from what i expected based on the smell here. not bad, but pretty average. the problem is the heavy caramel sweetness here. it's like drinking just the syrup from a soda at times. there's a malty sweetness throughout as well. again, not bad, but too dominant over what amounts to only slight hints of the characteristics that i mentioned in the smell. overall, this is a pretty decent brew, though not great. the flavour balance needs some serious overhaul in my opinion.

 785 characters

Photo of BJ1833
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy dark copper color with a three finger head. Smells of raspberry with a very sweet, malty aroma. The taste is sweet, reminiscent of overripened fruit. A medium body with taste of roasted malt and a light citrus flavor.

Overall a very full flavorful hefeweizen, however I do prefer the regular hefeweizen from this company.

 339 characters

Photo of Suds
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a tall, wheat-beer glass, this is an attractive beer: towering, puffy, solid head and a muddy brown color. The beer has a round, yeasty aroma with a touch of banana and clove. It’s fruity, soft, full of yeast flavors, and a bit malty. There’s a little wheat flavor mixed in there as well. I enjoyed this beer…it’s a tasty example of a dunkel-weizen. I always enjoy this style in the mid-summer, but it’s always better when it’s absolutely fresh and very yeasty.

 472 characters

Photo of finepaws
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy caramel color, with a quick bubbly head, that went from large to small after a couple sips. Smells malty, and possibly like chocolate flavored bananas. Tastes slighty sour. Has a malty flavor, and is dry. More carbonation than some of the other hefes I've had. I don't enjoy the aftertaste at all. This is only drinkable to me for 1. But well worth a try.

 370 characters

Photo of filabrazilia
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light brown with a full tan head. Good lace.

There is a toffeeish malt aroma that mingles with a banana note and invites you to sample it.

A great fruity banana flavor dominates the taste but is balanced by the malt slightly.

This beer is thin but very resfreshing to drink.

A very solid beer that is worth another try. Very nice.

 355 characters

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

This beer poured a cloudy brown with a very good head . It took some time to die down to lace rings.

The aroma was of rich malt and dark bread. Very good for a dark beer.

It was rather more intensely carbonated than I expected, and the malt taste was strong. It had hints of yeastiness and bread. Quite nice.

 314 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a thick frothy off-white head. The aroma is good. It has a nice wheat scent with some dry crystal malt sweetness. It is a fruity with a refreshing yeast aroma. The taste is decent. It has a dry malty flavor with some wheaty notes. It is lightly fruity on the finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine Dunkel. It has good aroma and mouthfeel.

 441 characters

Photo of silenius
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is an opaque hazy chestnut brown in color and pours with a off-white rocky head that settles to a quarter-inch cap for the remainder of the beer.

The nose is of banana, wheat, and citrus and gets more sweet smelling as the beer warms.

The beer tastes a bit like the nilla wafers in banana pudding my grandma used to make us when I was a kid. There is an underlying sweet note as well, but by no means is this a sweet beer. The end taste is a bit thin and a little disappointing though.

Mouthfeel is lively and cleansing and smooths out as the beer gets warmer in the glass.

 593 characters

Photo of rdrummer
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on tap at Ludwig's in Philadelphia. The beer came in a 20 ounce Franziskaner glass that took some time to pour. You can't hurry these German Weisse beers. It had a huge off white head on top of a very dark brown beer,. There was only medium lacing on the glass. The smell was primarily wheat with undertones of the malt and some yeasty smell.

The taste is unbelievably flavorful with the overwhelming wheat that makes me understand why Germans believe that beer is food. This could get me throught the day or night. There is a hint of the yeast near the end. It is very thick in the mouth and is extremely easy to drink. It is satisfying in almost every way. I haven't had many dunkel weiss beers but this one will have me looking for others.

 758 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle, pours a soft dark brown and cloudy. Stately puffy tan head, excellent retention and leaves creamy lacing. Nose is of ripe bananas and a wiff of chocolate. Soft creamy mouthfeel, medium carbonation. Flavors of bananas, chocolate, vanilla, and cocoa. Reminds me of a yeasty chocolate milk shake. Love the style and love this Spaten creation.

 355 characters

Photo of oracle
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

20 oz draft served in an tall Franziskaner glass

Delivered with a 2.5 inch creamy dense head that stuck around for a while. You could sculpt this head with a putty knife and turn it into artwork.
Mild to minimal lacing on the glass. Beer was extremely dark, almost looked like a porter.

The smell was yeasty wheat with hints of malt underneath.

The taste was heavenly, a mix of wheat malts and yeast to satisfy the palate. It's a hearty beer, good for cold winter nights. I could easily see this beer pair with fine food of almost any type.

The mouthfeel was smooth, with minimal carbonation to get in the way of the beer. Not challenging but very satisfying.

Overall, the best example of the wheat dunkel style I have come across yet.

 752 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep hazy brown with a huge, fluffy, tan head. Smells of strident clove and smooth ripe banana.

Taste is of dark wheat malt, some banana and clove but muted and disappointing. Some hop bitterness in the finish. Light sweet maltiness. Very thin in the mouth and not creamy at all like it looked during the pour. Drinkable, yes. Fulfilling, no. Very disappointing.

 373 characters

Photo of ElGordo
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with a touch of orange, topped by a surprisingly creamy head that lingers for a while. Deep nose of lightly sweet malt and a hint of yeast. Nice creamy mouthfeel yields a malty body balanced by the yeast. Not particularly my favorite style, but this is definitely a quintessential dunkel weiss. A good one nonetheless.

 337 characters

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

poured a brownish orange hazy body with a white head that lasted well through the drink. pleasant aroma and flavor, definately wheaty with some banana and tropical flavors along with some darker dried fruit and a dry finish. a good beer with tasty, but mellow flavors.not something that wowed me but its all around a good choice.

 329 characters

Photo of Doiv
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very complex beer. Pours a cloudy dark woody colour, with a creamy off-white head.

Aroma is of toffee, fruity and estery hints, a little herby.

Taste is of bananas, toffee apples, malty, wheaty, very clean, slightly sour and citrussy aftertaste, but leaves a watery note that leaves it a little let down. Thats why it gets 4 and not 4.5.

Smooth and very drinkable.

 375 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - poured into a Franzis hefe glass, it creates a multi-level head with crests and valleys. The creamy tan cover laces well and is vigorously fed from bubble streamers below. While it yields its size from 2+ fingers, it holds at a third-finger or so of dense creamy foam all the way down. Quite impressive endurance (the better part of an hour). The beer is a caramel amber with some haze, though I did minimize the bottle yeast added. This bottle has been sitting upright for at least 6 months undisturbed, so the sediment did not get stirred up much.

Aroma - heavy banana/yeast nose. Simple, straight-forward with very good staying power.

Taste - good blend of malt and wheat. The taste buds pick up dunkel and hefe influences at different times on different sips. The swallow is more malt with some roastiness coming through. Finishes clean, almost diluted with no lingering flavors.

Mouthfeel - a bit watery for a dunkel type, but the outstanding carbonation makes up for it. Well done for the style, but a little more body could go a long way.

Drinkability - very pleasant experience, especially in its proper container. A session beer with some class, I still like their hefeweiss a little better though.

 1,232 characters

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

Pours out to a cloudy brown, forming an off-tan head of airy sea-foam consistency with average retention and absent lacing. Carbonation is moderately strong. Aroma is very similar to the Hefe-Weisse....predominant cloves with a faint suggestion of bananas, perhaps less so than the former...with a very distant caramel note. Mouthfeel is spritzy with a light body. Tastes very similar to the Hefe-Weisse (see my review)....the darker color isn't evident in a thicker body or more robust malt profile. The tart, semi-dry finish is clean and brief...the hops are kept to a minimum. Subtle metallic taste is appreciable in the middle. Peppery alcohol approaches in the middle. Mild husk astringency seperates it from the Hefe. As it warms, the metallic tang becomes mildly grating..

This is a very good beer...don't let my review fool you...but it's a disappointment if you expect more malt, body or ripe bananas (I would have preferred it this way). This is a light-bodied traditional Bavarian Weisse, and in this case, the "Dunkel" preface only refers to color, not taste. For a Hefe-Weisse, Franziskaner is the one, but for a Dunkel-Weisse, I'll go elsewhere (Weihenstephaner or Julius Echter).

Personal note: warm 40-mph winds on the patio and this brew give me warm fuzzies.

 1,283 characters

Photo of Beastdog75
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I kind of stumbled upon this beer, as it isn't as common as its relative the regular Franziskaner Hefe in my area. The Franziskaner Dunkel has all the characteristics of a regular hefe with the added addition of some darker malt flavors. Other than that, I thought this beer was pretty average but still a good quencher.

This beer pours a dark amber/light brown color that has a decent hazy/cloudiness to it. A large, slightly off-white foam forms and lasts for a few minutes but eventually thins out and leaves behind some lace. The smell had the usual spicy/clove hefe smell mixed with some caramel malt aromas. The mouthfeel was light and moderately carbonated. With the first sip, the taste was similar to a generic hefeweizen. The clove/spice flavors were there, and a very light banana note was present. Some caramel malt flavors and some nuttiness eventually show up, especially when the beer warms to room temperature. For a German wheat, this is more on the sweeter side. The finish is only moderately dry, and the spicy notes along with the dryness linger for a few moments. The beer finishes off with no alcoholic warmth.

I was expecting this beer to be much more assertive in the flavor department, but it didn't offer much more than what a regular hefeweizen would. This does happen to be my first dunkelweizen, so maybe I just need more experience with the style. I usually don't give a beer the same numbers all across the board, but this one pretty much finishes up the same in all categories for me. All in all, it just seem to be a little too similar to a hefe but it adds up to be a good all around easy to drink wheat beer.

 1,649 characters

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

Pour begins with a gush of sound as the bubbles release! A nice beige head rises like a cresting cake. The color is that of a cloudy brown ale.

Complex aromas fight each other here- maltiness and subtle spices. Less citrus than most Helles weiss. The smell and the taste are somewhat detached in my experience. Taste says dark lager and aroma promised a tangy weiss. I find it very drinkable- perhaps deceptively good sippin'.

Maybe it just hits my personal button- I like this brew.

 489 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the few times that I will say that this Hefe-Weisse Dunkel had a better smell and flavor while being poured into a glass from a bottle. The color was a nice medium dark brown with loads of lose foam and plenty of lace while drinking a pint glass. The flavor had a sweet wheaty flavor but not much spice in the flavor or aroma. Nice Dunkel, but not the finish I expected while poured out of the tap!

 413 characters

Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,660 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.