Dunkel | The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

very good
125 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Winter has met its match in the form of this classic Munich-style dark lager. Smooth, with caramel and roasted malt flavors courtesy of Dark Munich and Carafa malts, Dunkel offers an easy-drinking finish to even the coldest, darkest days of winter. It may be freezing outside, but the conditions inside this bottle of Dunkel are always absolutely perfect. Enjoy it all winter long.

Added by AnalogReigns on 12-19-2009

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 125
Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Charlotte, NC

A: The beer is clear very dark amber in color. It poured with a short beige head that consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell but has a little more sweetness than toasted malts. There are notes of underlying bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very malty but is easy to drink because it is not sweet.

Serving type: on-tap

 597 characters

Photo of gopens44
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

What was once a two finger off white head recedes to a thin layer with underwhelming lacing. Nice color, as deep and dark burgundy prevails.

Roasty malts and maybe dates? Really not a ton else happening with the smell.

Taste is bright with that whole roasty malt dates thing but add in a little caramel.

Incredibly thin, like water.

 341 characters

Photo of tempest
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lovely brown lager. Very drinkable with a dry, toffee finish and lingering bitterness (feels like a little extra for the style). There's caramel in the nose and while this beer is clean and has some bonus hops, I still wanted a little more depth.

 246 characters

Photo of wedge
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber color with a thick head of creamy froth. Aromas of grain, caramel, grapes, bready sweetness, crackers, and dough. Nutty grain flavor, brown bread, dough, fruit, and grassy hops. Easy-drinking medium-light body. I would love to see all the OMB beers east of Greensboro.

 284 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber

Yet another beer sent my way by the likes of Wilson. Who does he think he is? Olde Meck's Dunkel is mahogany hued with glowing ruby highlights in each facet of the mug. The clarity and glow are exceptional. A dusty beige head, bubbly and crackling, rises to a finger in height, peaks, then falls to a skim coat. Odds and ends of foam decorate the glass.

The nose is chock full of clean, mouthwatering maltiness. Brown bread, still warm, along with a sprinkling of spicy hops are the first components to emerge. Toasty grains and caramel maltiness, as clean as can be, runs middle to finish. While the hops seem spicy upfront they become herbal toward the back.

Flavor runs along the same vein as the nose. Malt and hop in perfect balance. Brown bread kicks things off, a little spicy with the hop character. Doughy sweetness and toasty grains rise mid palate with herbal notes stepping forward. Undercurrents of caramel add depth. Each individual flavor is bright and crisp. Very well put together.

The body feels like it has a moderate weight but with the perfectly dialed in carbonation it pushes through with ease, creating weightlessness. The herbal happiness is mild but lingers long after the swallow with balancing doughy sweetness. Drinkability is off the charts.

I've had a few of Olde Meck's offerings and I'll be damned if they're not one of the best, most authentic brewers of German style lagers in the States. Their dunker is malty and clean with just enough bitterness to create a balance that's infinitely quaffable. Thanks again, Wil, a new favorite!

 1,585 characters

Photo of Bernoulli
3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

No head, a bit of lacing

No odor.

Deep amber you can just barely see through

Not as good as the Warsteiner, but grows on you. Maltiness that rolls gently down the throat. Very little carbonation.

A back-up utility infielder of beers.

The first one we've struggled to get 250 characters on.

 294 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with a somewhat modest head; still, it leaves some splashy lacing around the pint glass

Smell: Toasted brown bread with earthy and slightly herbal hop tones

Taste: Toasted brown bread and earthy hop flavors on the front end; a bit of herbal lager twang builds in the middle and controls the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not many craft brewers try the German styles and the dunkel, in particular; this is a pretty good example of the style

 517 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tap at the brewery

Pours a clear brown with a white lacing.

Aroma of coppery bready malt with some caramel.

Tastes of light bready malts with a light hop bitterness.

Medium body with a tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A really good dunkel, great flavor and highly sessionable.

 293 characters

Photo of n2185
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper with two fingers of off-white head that fades into a thin cap with a little lacing.

S: Sweet crystal malt aromas with candy sugar-like notes, biscuits, sweet breads, and some apricot-like notes.

T: Crystal malts here as well with sweet and hearty bread flavors dominating. There are some caramelized sugar flavors as well and a slightly bitter finish.

M: Light body with medium carbonation, this beer is crisp and refreshing.

O: A drinkable and refreshingly clean beer. I wish the flavor had the complexity of the aroma, but it's still tasty, smells nice, and is quite enjoyable.

 607 characters

Photo of sommersb
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 01-07-2013
Freshness: Bottled on 11-19-2012
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Willi Becher
Purchased: Single from Brawley's Beverage, Charlotte

Appearance is a clear, reddish-brown beer with a huge tan head. Retention is excellent and lacing is very good.

Aromas are clean, of dark malts and brown bread, plus some caramel sweetness and earthy hops.

Taste is rich and consists of toasted malt flavors, but is not in the realm of burnt or bitter roast. Hop bitterness is light and has a woody character. The malt sweetness is light as well, for a good balance. It doesn't taste as sweet as the aromas led me to expect.

The mouthfeel is of medium carbonation and a body that is between light and moderate. The finish is somewhat dry and has a light bitterness of the hops.

Overall, this isn't a flashy beer, but is a well-made and tasty dark lager. Old Mecklenburg does a great job on German styles and this is no exception.

 955 characters

Photo of oberon
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 1/2 liter stein a deep chesnut brown with garnet hue,a reat looking fluffy tan coloread atop.Some bready notes,iron/metallic and light chocolate linger in the nose,lighter but true to form.A little sharp in the mouth with dryer lightly toasted bread flavors along with some light nuttiness and mild caramel-like sweetness.It's a more subtle dunkel and it's good for easy drinking and pairing with food like Iam doing tonight.

 439 characters

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into pint glass at clt airport.
Pours a syrup looking amber brown.
Smell is of typical dunkel malts; slightly sweet. Taste is very similar. Ssweet malt and a slight chocolate note. Really smooth and full of flavor. This is a very nice dunkel. Not quite exceptional caliber but still very good.

 311 characters

Photo of Mantooth
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft pour at Sammy's (Belmont, NC) into an OMB pint glass (nice touch, helps to advertise the local boys).

A: Light amber, minimal head and some thick creamy lacing.

S: Big whiff of toasted bread and nuts.

T: Thin up front prior to revealing an interesting complexity of notes, lots of nuts - the bitter husks around pecans especially, some vanilla. Nicely done.

M: Initial effervescence on the tongue evolves into dry bitter goodness.

O: Nice representation of the syle. Easy drinking brew with loads character.

 518 characters

Photo of jegross2
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Dunkel Lager from The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (OMB).
Score: 78

20 oz pour served in weizen glass at the Carolina Beer Company bar in Terminal D at the Charlotte airport during a two hour layover on 02/11/12. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: The beer is a transparent, chestnut brown or caramel syrup color. Average lacing. Served with a thin layer of off-white frothy head. 3.5/5

Smell: Caramel, dark licorice, roasted barley and toasty grain. 3.5/5

Taste: Toasted grain malt and non-sweet caramel. A little roastiness is counterbalanced by a super mellow hop character. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Light-plus bodied, medium-plus carbonation. Malty finish. 3/5

Overall: For an airport beer, this one is pretty good. Full and fair disclosure -- I do not like lagers. This one was certainly in a class above most lagers that I have had the opportunity to sample, but overall this one did not do it for me.

Recommendation: If you like lagers, this one is certainly a beer worth trying. Casual beer drinkers will probably enjoy this brew as a major step up from the American adjunct lager.

Pairings: Rye or pumpernickle crackers.

Cost: $5.99 for a 14 oz pint or $7.49 for a 20 oz pour in a weizen glass (airport prices). If you buy the 20 oz pour at the Carolina Beer Company bar in Terminal D, you get the option of purchasing a shot of any liquor for $3.

 1,371 characters

Photo of steveh
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another in trade with Herr Burgess.

Already a little concerned as the label proclaims, "Smooth with a roasted malt finish courtesy of Carafa malt..." Characteristically, Dunkel should not have any roasted flavors or aromas. Let's see.

22 ouncer bottled on 12/30/11.

A -- Deep, clear chestnut brown with amber highlights and a persistent, off-white head that leaves nice lacing.

S -- Dark bread crust aroma with some mild sweetness, lightest of roasted character, but nothing that would be confused with Stout or Porter.

T -- An initial hit of the dark bread crust character, mildly sweet, but the finish has the bitterness of roasted malt that is more associated with Schwarzbier than Dunkel.

M -- Mouthfeel is smooth and lightly sticky with a medium to medium-full body.

O -- I have yet to find a good Dunkel brewed in the US, let alone one that holds up well in the bottle with export." It seems that US brewers just love that roasty character, but a good Dunkel can be so delicious when you let Munich and Pils malt do their thing. That said, this beer is certainly well-made and delicious -- just expect more of a Schwarzbier in character.

 1,150 characters

Photo of Zraly
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with chestnut highlights. Light tan head. Smell of bread.

Very balanced. Bread with a touch of roasted caramel. Mouthfeel is lush; rich but not heavy. Good carbonation and medium-bodied. Smooth, slightly spicy hop presence in the finish. So easy to drink, and so fresh!

Just simple, straight-forward drinking. Give me meat and bread.

 355 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery. Single finger frothy head, slightly off white with good retention. Clear and amber. Aroma is strong and mostly consists if sweet caramel malts. More caramel malt in the taste with a spicy and slightly bitter hip finish. Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Overall I think this is the first of these I have reviewed so new to the genre. Overall I really liked this beer

 409 characters

Photo of crossovert
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle. Bottled on 11.10.11.

It pours a nice deep brownish copper with a fluffy off-white head.

The smell is hop-forward. Not what I was expecting but interesting. It is really flowery with some sweet dough in the background and a hint of cocoa.

The flavor leans towards both the hops and the sweetness. This brewery seems to like a decent amount of sweetness. It is pretty tried and true though, a solid dunkel.

 421 characters

Photo of jpro
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the pleasure of trying one of these at the brewery last weekend and decided to pick up a growler. Poured into a Stiegl stange...

A: Pours a crystal clear, old-penny copper. A nice, two-finger, light beige head forms, supported by a steady stream of tiny bubbles. Great retention and lacing top things off pretty well in the appearance department.

S: Bready, toasty malts... smells very clean. Definitely nothing complex or in your face - just straight and simple dunkel goodness.

T: Dark, sweet breadiness, with some hints of toast / bread crust evolves into a somewhat nutty flavor toward the finish. Light, earthy hops provide just a touch of bitter balance. Very smooth.

M: Medium-bodied, which is a bit more than I was expecting, and high carbonation... a little prickly, but oh-so-smooth and quaffable.

O: The drinkability on this beer is through the roof! Its very clean, smooth, tasty and enjoyable. What else could you ask for?! Hopefully I’ll be able pick up more of this before they’re on to the next seasonal. Great brew, OMB!

 1,051 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #49 (Feb 2011):

Daydreaming of beer halls in Munich, and this beer appears in front of us. Chestnut darkness lures us in; tight head on top is not big enough to give us beer mustaches ... we move on. Massive onslaught of a pleasing breadiness in the nose, with hints of herbal hop. Firm, malty palate; semidry. Dark bread, faint sweet edge up front, quite toasty middle to end. Hops for balance, and a great balance there is with undertones of wild herbs and mint. This lager brings us further into that daydream of us drinking liters of Dunkel, which makes us crave fresh Bavarian brezel. Amazing.

 640 characters

Photo of Bung
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shaker pint, from notes. A brownish orange pour. Thin layer of white head. Minimal retention or lacing.

Nice toasted malt and caramel aroma. Some straw/grass.

Taste has much more and a lot for a low abv brew. Malt, caramel and large chocolate tones. Finsihes with some nut shel and dry cocoa.

Lighter bodied, drinkability is a no brainer. Only problem for me was the chocolate became a little odd with not much backing it up.

 428 characters

Photo of SouthernBeerGuy
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tonight we finished three growlers form OMB ! First the Mecklenburger, then the Copper, then the Dunkel !

Color pours dark bourbon with a small nutty foam. Coffee tones can be found from the roasted barley. Dark caramel is upfront without being overbearing.

One of the best dark beers available right now !

 309 characters

Photo of beerdown77
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bitterness in this reminded me a winter warmer. It poured a little darker than OMB Copper. It smells warm and sweet. The taste is similar, but more bitter. I like OMB beer because it is always filtered to be crystal clear and drinkable. I enjoyed alternating between this and copper.

 287 characters

Photo of GehenHerzog
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Vintner Wine Market (Charlotte) poured into a tulip glass.

Notes that I made on the cell phone. Short review.

A- Poured dark, pecan brown with a khaki head.

S- Nutty, roasted malt and caramel malt.

T- Roasted malts, nutty and caramel malt in the back end. Solid tasting beer.

M- Light, smooth and good carbonation for the style.

D- Quite filling.

First beer I have had from OMB, which is weird considering I live about 15 minutes from the brewery. I am impressed so far and will start trying to find a little bit more from this local brewer.

 562 characters

Photo of atsprings
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer Charlotte served in a standard pint glass a crisp dark copper with a decent khaki head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is mild dark malts, not much else. The taste is a nice amount of smooth dark malts with a nice caramel finish. The beer is quite light, crisp and refreshing. This is a very enjoyable lager for a winter afternoon.

 394 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Dunkel from The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
3.98 out of 5 based on 125 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.