Dunkel | The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Liked This Beer
4.02 w/ 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 |  Reviews: 31
Photo of jegross2
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

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Photo of Joeybland
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of StateMech
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of steveh
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of warelphant
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of herrburgess
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of whitekiboko
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Zraly
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
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

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Photo of crossovert
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of jpro
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
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!

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Photo of andersen8185
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of CBlack85
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev +5%
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 +1.5%
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.

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Photo of SouthernBeerGuy
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
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 !

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Photo of beerdown77
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of GehenHerzog
3.9/5  rDev -3%
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 -6.5%
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.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with a thick whitish head and a good amount of residual lacing. Smells of roasted malts, a little pecan, and maybe toffee. Tastes of roasted malts, pecan, walnut, caramel, and again maybe toffee. Mouthfeel is nice with just the right amount of carbonation. Fairly easy to drink.

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Photo of kkipple
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Growler filled from the brewery, shared with friends a few days later. Always share your beer when possible; it tastes better that way.

A. Clear pecan brown. Long lasting, low head. No lace.

S. Dry and roasty, a tad short, noticeable German malts, reminiscent of hearty brown bread, clean.

T. By Jove, clean again! Rather similar to the (delicious) Copper Alt, but drier, nutty-er, and a bit darker. I still prefer the Alt. This is not bad.

M. Say what you will about the flavor, I find it very difficult to fault any of Olde Meck's offerings on mouthfeel. It's just so... perfect. Crisp, well carbonated, has that indescribable quality that makes you want to drink more, and yet more.

D. But, naturally.

This is a good work-in-progress Dunkel, I feel like. Could use a little more character as it seems to have not yet hit its stride, a la the Alt. I look forward to trying it again.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Liter swing-top growler into my OMB stange. Thanks go to my buddy Barscream for hooking me up with latest offering from the brewery. Thanks Greg!

Pours a crystal clear coppery amber, with 2-3 fingers of rich off-white foamy head. The retention on this stays very frothy, leaving thick swathes of patchy lace all down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet with toasted bread and green citric notes up front. Floral and spicy hops mix in to add some deep zesty tang to the nose. Man, the more this warms up, the more roasty smelling it is getting. I'm digging it.

The taste has that same deep roastiness to it but not quite as sharp as the aroma was. There is a terrific feeling silky undercurrent of toffee sweetness also at work here, while that earthy bitterness and spice of the Noble hops gives the profile some lively balance but doesn't overstay it's welcome, instead just gently fading away with this spice and dryness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a touch lighter, with a crisp yet still smooth and creamy nature to the carbonation that just seems to skate across the palate at times. Just a great drinkibility on this, as I killed this growler in no time.

Wow, just another well crafted German style here and these guys are definitely impressing me more and more with each offering that I have from here. This is a great seasonal that I would be drinking a ton of if it was local to me.

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Photo of bdupree
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Glowing brown without a great deal of foam. Looks a great deal like the OMB Copper.

S: Aroma definitely better than color. Earthy with a woody smell, hints of roasted malt.

T: Very nice and smooth. The flavor of this beer far surpassed what I expected from the appearance. The more you have, the more you pick up in the taste. Very true to traditional German Dunkel Lagers. Caramel, a hint of molasses, not much from hops.

M: Not heavy at all, all the ingredients blend together quite well.

D: Extremely drinkable brew. Hope to see this around in Charlotte for some time.

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

74oz growler, split/consumed on christmas eve

cell phone notes

appearance: poured into a standard pint, dark mahogany body with garnet hues, light tan foam head

smell: nutty, toasted grain, caramel malt

taste: dry and nutty - nice toasted malts, caramel, earthy. a nice dunkel lager - 2nd most impressive beer so far from old meck behind the yule bock

mouthfeel: light and dry

drinkability: good

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Photo of AnalogReigns
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again, Old Meck is bringing an authentic tasting German beer to American palates. This dunkel is tasty...unlike many of the big name German (overpastuerized, overfiltered, dumbed-down, emasculated) brands, which really only make their big name beers darker...and call them "dunkel." This is a very drinkable, easy to take, yet, flavor-full beer, very representative of the style, AS ONE FINDS IT IN GERMANY.

Smooth, nicely aromatic of noble hops and malt, with a clean finish--a terrific dark lager.

John Marrino really knows what he's doing in authentic-tasting German-style beer. At the pub, typically one can find at least a table of German nationals lauding his efforts--high praise indeed!

I'd encourage all those in the greater Charlotte, NC area to pay a visit. In less than a year OMB is on tap at over 80 locations....for good reason too.

"Good people drink good beer!" (Hunter Thompson) Old Meck brewpub is FULL of good people...

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Dunkel from The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
Beer rating: 85.6% out of 100 with 125 ratings
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