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Dark Lager | Durango Brewing

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Dark LagerDark Lager
55 Ratings
Dark LagerDark Lager

Brewed by:
Durango Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-09-2002

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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of BeerFanDurango
4.74/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a GABF award winning beer and I can understand why. As a Dark lager its already got a special dark and smooth taste but Durango Brewing has really nailed this one. My absolute favorite from this brewery and I think its a real beer drinkers kind of beer.

 261 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.7/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours deep ruby red with a mahogany tones & a 1" tan head in kotsitzer glass. Great effervescence, good lacing & some head retention

Smell: Roasted malt & frutiness

Taste: Caramel & rich toasted malts dominate. Frutty & somewhat dry finish

MF: Rich and very goodcarbonation

Very drinkable dark lager that makes me think I'm back in Bayern! Can't believe only 3 BAs have found this gem so far...

 406 characters

Photo of mentor
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger soda pop-looking head, but it seems to hang around pretty good. Crystal clearn red dark mahagany liquid. Gorgeous. Smells chocolatey and nutty with a small amount of hopping. A little bit pastey and a touch of roast or ashy.

Tastes yummy chocolate toffee and some nut. Sweet, but not wet. dark grains act to dry things out quite a bit. Was expecting some caramel and I don't get it. A little bit of buttery caramel that I attribute to kettle caramelization (rather than crystal malts). Full flavored and well balanced together. Sweet on the mouth, but then a bit of a drying finish due to a baker's chocolate and grainy feel like I've just chewed on a choc covered coffee bean (feel, not taste). Malt dominates the flavor with a rounded play of hop floral. Hop bitter is absent or buried under the chocolate malt. Alcohol ssting is presently lightly. Md body and moderate feel in the mouth. Appropriate carbonation to balance. Well done.

 957 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.26/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Excellent color. Very, very dark, even for this style. Could pass as a porter. Decent layer of foam and nice lacing.

Smell: Chocolate/coffee. Pretty standard. But pretty good.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Extremely creamy mouthfeel to match the caramel nuttiness that prevails here. Coffee and chocolate provide a nice background.

Overall Drinkability: Excellent beer. A real surprise.

 388 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured creating a big, deep-tan head with low retention. Its color was a deep, dark-brown ala cola with ruby highlights. It had a very sweet, lager-like nose. The mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a pleasant cocoa flavor on the palate. The finish had a definite, lingering chocolaty taste. Lager?!? More of this, please!

 325 characters

Photo of binx
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: This beer is mostly dark cola black with a tint of brown coming
through the edges when held up to the light.A chunky, frothy cream sea-foam head
hangs around for a few minutes, then recedes to a wisp of teeny bubbles, but
leaving bigger bubbles on the edges. And let’s not forget it leaves a world map
of lacing -- I’m seeing whole continents of foam on my glass. Score.

Aroma: The aroma is solid with some faint chocolate and cocoa-esque notes
hitting my nose first, but a little deeper in I’m getting more pine and hops.
It’s allergy season, and my city is the Second worst place to live at this time,
so the fact that I’m picking up aroma at all is a blessed sign.

Taste: The taste follows the aroma pretty well here. But it’s even better than
the aroma. Dark roasted malts, subtle, bitter chocolate, and some faint
sweetness hit my taste buds first. On the back end, I’m getting a drier, bitter
hop presence. The roasted, chocolate beginning combines with the hoppy bite
finish to perfection. This is what “well balanced” means in the beer world.

The mouthfeel is light to medium in body, very smooth.

Overall, an excellent dunkel-style beer in my opinion. Delicious and complex.

 1,271 characters

Photo of Domingo
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw this and couldn't pass it up. It's a dark lager...and it's brewed (relatively) local to me. Sign me up!
Pours an extremely dark mahogany color that's about as dark as you can get and remain brown. Not much light is passing through it, even when next to a window.
Smells sweet, nutty, and with a hint of toastiness.
Initially it tastes a little like a brown ale. Nutty cocoa overtones, but with a super clean finish that leaves a lingering mild hop note. More please!
Drinking this is all too easy. I only have a couple bottles, but I plan on going back for more...soon.
This is a neat hybrid between a dunkel and a schwarzbier. It has all of the right dunkel flavors, but with a dash of the roasted flavor from a black beer. The great thing is, it's the best of both worlds.
This is really good, and is a great example of something we need more of here in the US.
If you've had Session Black, I really think this is a better example of where they could've taken that brew.

 977 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No stamped date.

Appearance - One finger offwhite/tan head with good stick and decent retention. Dark ruby brown body.

Smell - Coffee and chocolate. Somewhat lactic. Very smooth.

Taste - Very smooth. Light coffee and some balancing roasted maltiness. A bit acidic.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and somewhat creamy. Light to medium bodied with a lighter finish. Faint astringency.

Overall Drinkability - No off characters. Somewhat refreshing. Decent as an entry level tasting brew, and good for a session beer.

 543 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark brown color complete with a rich, creamy head. Caramel sweetness in the nose with hints of roasted grain, vanilla, and molasses. The taste follows along with the aroma with the addition of light cocoa. Mouthfeel is smooth, sweet, and rich.

A very smooth and delightful dark lager, packed with rich flavors and creamy mouthfeel. Nicely complex and balanced.

 376 characters

Photo of LittleDon
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Probably left this one waiting around too long. Very similar to what I remembered on draft, with the exceptions that the feel is a bit softer and head retention is poor. Wonderful cocoa aroma and taste. Could stand to use a bit more hopping. Medium to medium light body.

 270 characters

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Kubrickx
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of TheSquire23
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of dcguitar
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of funkel81
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Wasatch
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle

Pours a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, with a nice fizzy off-white head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some hints of chocolate/toffee. The taste is pretty nice malty, with some nice chocolate/toffee notes. Medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

 311 characters

Photo of Kemmerlin
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: 3 finger width head great lacing down the glass dark brown in color.

S: Dark chocolate malts, good hoppy scents and a yeast undertone.

T: Dark chocolate taste with yeast and lightly sour flavor in the back.

M/D: Heavy and thick creamy feel with decent drinkability not my fav but good.

 291 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from jhammerly, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color with a very thin off-white head that fades very quickly and leaves almost no lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, lager yeast, nuts, some spice and a little hops.

T: The taste starts out with smoky malts, nuts, spice and touches of chocolate coffee and dark fruit. There’s a mild hops presence that give a decent balance. The more I drink this beer, the more it grows on me and the more I think it tastes like a Schwarzbier instead of a Munich Dunkel. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, I can’t say it’s a good representation of style simply because I’m not so sure it should be in this style instead of as in the Schwarzbier style (research through the brewer’s web site came up empty), however I think it’s a good beer and worth drinking for a while.

 1,106 characters

Photo of kgotcher
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber to brown color with a tan 2 finger head. Instantly you can smell the aroma of toasted malt and some bread. The aroma is definately a strong point of this beer, especially for a lager.

Taste is very smooth and balanced, Toasted bread with a bit of sweetness some light caramel and some nuttyness. Also Chocolate malt make this taste more porter like than I would expect. Medium body that finishes fairly dry with astringency from the malts, a bit too astringent for me. Hops are fairly subtle but the astringency really drys out the mouthfeel almost to the level of a more highly hopped beer. Great malty flavor with a nice caramel sweetness that tries to balance out the dry mouthfeel.

Good beer, definately a hybrid of a dunkle with a bit of "american" flair. Almost more of a porter flavor but with the clean and crisp feel of a lager.

 859 characters

Photo of Stillmakingnoise
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an extremely clear deep garnet color that you have to aggressively pour to force a head. The head fell within a minute or so to leave a really thin ring around the edge. When held to the light, it looks like a rich DoppelBock.

Aroma: The malt is definitely the key player in the aroma. I don't get the traditional decoction-rich Melanoidins that you would expect from a Munich Dunkel, but there are a lot of toasty notes that I would imagine are Munich malts. There is a generous helping of Chocolate here to make the aroma more rich.

Taste: The taste gives you a lot more caramel than you would expect from the aroma. The Chocolate also obscures the whole profile a bit for a traditional Dunkel. There is some definite fruitiness noticeable, but this may just be my perception of the interaction of dark malts and alcohol. I would expect for the finish to be a bit less syrupy, though the style calls for a "dextrinous" mouthfeel.

Opinion: I like this beer, and think that it is very drinkable. I am a little reluctant to call it a Munich Dunkel. I think that the label is a bit closer, calling it a Dark Lager. It is really rich for your traditional American Dark Lager (like Shiner Bock), but it doesn't have the depth of a true Munich Dunkel (like Augustiner Dunkel). It's lost in the middle somewhere in the Dark Lager category. I would still recommend giving this beer a shot if you like malt balanced beers like myself.

 1,453 characters

Photo of Edie
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of monk2021
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

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Dark Lager from Durango Brewing
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 55 ratings
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