St. Pauli Girl Special Dark | St. Pauli Brauerei C.L. Wilh. Brandt Gmbh & Co.

238 Reviews
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St. Pauli Girl Special DarkSt. Pauli Girl Special Dark

Brewed by:
St. Pauli Brauerei C.L. Wilh. Brandt Gmbh & Co.

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-07-2000

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Reviews: 238 | Ratings: 405
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.92/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Best before 7/2012. Oops.

Pours a clear dark reddish-orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and bread. Taste is much the same with burnt and fruity flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a slightly below average beer that is drinkable but nothing I would want to drink again.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice shade of brown, the head was a little fizzy but still had some left over clumps on top. The smell of the beer had a little bit of the skunky lager aroma going on but was almost hidden by the sweeter malts in the brew. The taste of this brew had good flavor all around. The sweet caramel malts work well with the lager elements. The mouthfeel was pretty good, on the lighter side but had enough body to remain flavorful. Overall I enjoy this beer from time to time. I would pick it over a Becks Dark and a few others out there any day.

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Photo of metter98
3.2/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear very dark ruby red in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down a bit and left some bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sweet toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has some sweetness along with some notes of tea leaves and hints of nutty malts. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Although this beer came in a green bottle, it doesn't taste skunked. The beer is very easy to drink and I would have no problem drinking several of these in one sitting.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.95/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Simply ok. There were no attributes to gravitate toward, while showing blandness and a substandard body. The beer came across a bit like charcoal with the toasted grains, little breadiness, little yeastiness, and not much else. The aroma was light a mimics the charred flavors. Finishes a bit watery and dull. Cannot compete with great German Dunkels.

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Photo of zeff80
3.57/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 12 oz bottle pour out a dark brown with a small head (it didn't last long)

S - It smelled strongly of roasted malts.

T - It had a coffee taste mixed in with the malt flavor and a hint of bitter.

M - Mouthfeel was crisp and medium bodied.

D - It is quite drinkable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Skunked despite its dark color, the nose is still somewhat inviting with its "European" flair; and it reveals some mildly toasted, grainy malt once the 'skunk' has passed! Its deep chestnut/mahogany body supports a creamy off-white head that holds quite well before dropping to a wide collar; and it leaves some minor spotty lacing throughout the glass as well. It's light and crisp in the mouth with a fine, standard carbonation that awakens the tastebuds and refreshes the palate. The flavor reveals a toasted, delicately grainy malt amidst some yeasty sulphur, a touch of floral hoppiness, and a firm bitterness. It finishes crisp, dry, and refreshing with a subtle reminder of it's toastiness left in the mouth. Quite nice!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pilsener glass.

A: The beer is a dark copper color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, nuts, brown sugar, a touch of dark fruit and a little bit of hops.

T: Sweet flavors of berries, raisins, brown sugar and caramel jump out first. Grain, roasted nut and malt flavors follow along with a mild hops signature. The after-taste is sweet and a little bready.

M: Smooth with a little bit of crispness, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, I wasn’t expecting much from this beer, so I was surprised that I actually found it to be pretty decent overall. However, it wasn’t much better than decent.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.13/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear medium brown in color with some ruby red highlights and some very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall fizzy dark beige head that reduces to a medium mottled patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of Munich malts with some nuttiness and more than a touch of sweetness to it. Very light notes of toasted malts.

T: Upfront there is a decent amount of malts in this beer - I detect roasted and Munich malts with some light amounts of nuts and light to moderate amounts of sweetness. Light notes of earthy malts which lend a very light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fade quickly.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: Overall this is a very easy drinking beer that is sessionable and would definitely be worth having again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.18/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark reddish brown with orange highlights. The head is medium tan, average in size and average in appearance. Neither soft nor dense nor sticky, it's pretty unremarkable in all respects. Lace is limited to a stubby collar on the opposite side of the glass.

Special Dark doesn't smell like a dark beer to me. It gives off almost nothing in the way of roastedness or even toastedness. In fact, in a blinded smell test, I'd call this a pale lager.

There's a bit more (very light) roastiness on the palate, but it's perhaps the least dark malty of any dark beer that I've ever had. The metallic notes in the first few sips were pretty overwhelming. They did lessen somewhat as I got deeper into the glass, but never went away entirely.

The biggest problem with this beer, among many, is that it lacks malt support. It's bitter, harsh and thin, though not to the extent that I'd consider it to be a drain pour. The finish is short and... metallic. Annoying, to say the least.

I'm not impressed. St. Pauli Girl Special Dark isn't special, nor is it particularly dark. Take away the metal flavor and it might be a drinkable beer. Might.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.21/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice hazelnut brown, very clear with a smallish off white head that quicly faded leaving just a token little bit of lace ring on the top. Nice carbonation could be seen rippling from the bottom

Light, nutty a bit with alot of grain, decent amount of sweetness came through on the back Yummy, very light but a good malty lager. Had a bit of a roasted taste to it, and a touch of sweetness as well. Decent profile. Crisp, clean, quick finish. Nice carbonation made the drinking easy, and the lightness let it go down quick

Overall this was a nice little dark lager. Better then I expected. It was very light in feel and flavor, and served cold went down very easily.

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Photo of Jason
2.28/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Good clarity but the head retention is lacking with only a thin ring of lace. Bight brownish amber in colour.

Faintly sweet caramelized malt and a bit metallic in the aroma with a cloying note in the back.

Carbonation is level with a decent crispness, both grain and the little amount of hops have a mild astringent bite to them. Malt seems a bit lost and does not lay down much other than some vague toasted grain. Mild metallic taste middle to end. Dry and a bitty after taste.

This is a poor example of a dark Euro lager. Needless to say I have no need to go back to this beer and don’t recommend it at all.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.76/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I was expected/hoping for a more...shall we say, ethnic?...version of the Girl on the label. Oh well... This stuff pours a clear garnet-brown topped by a finger of sandy tan foam. The nose comprises barley, very light and watered-down cola, and very-lightly-toasted biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, with a thorough sense of sourdough-ish bread pervading the proceedings. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a wet feel. Overall, a pretty limp beer, with hardly any character to its name. Thankfully, though, this means it has little in the way of true offensiveness as well, but that's a pittance of a consolation.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.33/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Nice dark brown, with slight ruby hue. Head is fairly short, but moderately creamy. Weak head retention.

Smell- Typical lager smell with some sweet undertones. Strictly average.

Taste- Nice dark lager taste with tasty, mildly sweet finish. Not complex enough for greatness.

Drinkability- I could drink a lot of these easily. Tasty, but easily accessible to newbies. Price isn't too bad either.

Note- Slightly better than standard St. Pauli Girl. Both beers aren't great, but are solid all-around and easily accessible.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.47/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Once again, I am thankful on Thanksgiving for my local trader, tone77, and his ongoing onslaught of bottles. I am a CAN junkie, but I take amusement in his bottled beers without having to buy them myself.

The label is all wrong! If this is a Special Dark, then they should have a Sista on the label, vice some Wendy Whitebread blonde chick. I can almost imagine the outcry if they used a schwartzer to sell a Dunkel. Hee hee. The old tag line was "You never forget your first girl" and while I remember my first St. Pauli Girl (Blonde Div.) as a skunked mess, I also remember my first schwartzer. We had pulled into Djibouti, Djibouti and I was using a divining rod to seek out some happiness. It led me to one of the most special dark places I have ever visited. I am going to E-mail the brewers and suggest a change.

I used an aggro pour to divine as much head as possible and lo and behold, just under two fingers of deep-tan head with excellent retention appeared! Color was special and dark - it looked like a museum-quality ruby with NE-quality clarity. My uncle is a geologist who volunteers in a museum and I have held a ruby of this color. C'est magnifique! Nose smelled of coffee, chocolate and grassy hops. I love a mash-up/melange and this seemed poised to satisfy. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, but the flavor began with a Saaz hops bite, then kicked in with a light roastiness and I was sent. Man, this was about the best beer yet today, which my not be saying much, but it was more than I had hoped for going into it. Finish was semi-dry and the roasty/hoppy flavor lingered well after the swallow. Again, being realistic, it may not have been any great shakes, but if you see it next to its white bread, same-old, same-old sister, try some strange for yourself. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it, dig?

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.25/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It's hard to believe I've never written my thoughts down about this accessible, this one appears a dar cola brown with ruby highlights forms a light beige head that sticks around for some time. Minimal scattered lacing lines my 1/2 liter mug. Aroma has a slight toasted malt character with minimal herbal hops accenting the malts. A bit of a sourdough or biscuit yeast edge in the nose as well. Flavor is decent a touch of chocolate mild tartness from that yeast driven malt profile. Herbal hop bitterness in the finish, a nice mass produced dunkel it is what it is. Mouthfeel is thin lighter bodied, flows well everybody has crossed paths with this beer on their way to craftbeerdom. Drinkability is decent a twelve pack was on sale for 10 bucks that's a great deal so why not here I am drinking some St. Pauli Special Dark.

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Photo of jwc215
2.68/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours medium-to-dark brown with a thin off-white head that vanishes, leaving a clean glass.

The smell is of "Euro-skunk"/sulfur with a toch of lime and a vague hint of roasted caramel. Smells like a generic Euro-lager, with the "dark" barely coming through.

The taste is pretty much the same - sulfur-ish with just a hint of roasted, almost burnt, caramel. Sweetish at first, it becomes metallic and bitterish dry as it progresses.

Light-bodied and crisp. About average for the style.

Not undrinkable, but the metallic notes and the vagueness of the "dark character" didn't thrill me. Still, it has a certain drinkability to it, though there are other European dark lagers I would easily take over this one.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.57/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color, but accompanied by a sad, small head. Aroma is on the dry side, vegetal, small caramel notes, but a bit flinty, a touch on the non-distript side. Flinty, medium-bodied, some fine malty richness. Taste is fine, but nowhere near spectacular. An average "dark lager", better than Heineken or Beck's , if that can offer any consolation.

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Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a green 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mostly of malts. Taste has malts, a bit of nuttiness, some grains, just a touch of hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of WesWes
3.45/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a semi-sweet crystal malt scent along with a dry toastey aroma. The taste is decent also. It has a dry, toastey flavor that goes down easy and finishes malty with some metallic notes. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average lager. It's got decent malt flavor, but the lager yeast makes the mouthfeel too metallic tasting and dry.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.83/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It took me almost 6 years since my encounter with first and only St. Pauli Girl to go to the dark side. At this rate it will take me another 6 years to go to the non-alcoholic version. Here comes a 12 ounce green bottle. On to the beer:

Amber brown in color with caramel hues. Carbonation bubbles are visible in the body despite the dark color. The head forms small on top, with little retention and leaving a few dots of lace. The nose has a slight toastiness, husk, a little caramel. Actually kind of bland at first sniff, only to become more full with time.

St. Pauli has the character of a dark lager, but a little more watered down and with the addition of sulfur. Modest dark bread and touches of raisin make a decent overall flavor. The body is light and spritzy, yet easy enough to drink.

Better than the pale lager, but a way's away from a good dunkel. That said, it would be an acceptable choice in a pinch.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.16/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darker semi brown in appearance.
Not much of a smell, just a slight roasted aroma.
A dumbed down dunkel.
Good carbonation on the palate.

Overall. A decent brew. Definately drinkable in mass quantity. Better than regular St. Pauli Girl. Something I may try time to time when resteraunts have a small import section.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
2.81/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2 finger very lite tan head drops leaving splotchy lacing.. very clear chesnut brew.

Aroma is all dark toasted malts .. whaffs of bottle cap as it warms.. aluminum even though it came from a (green) bottle.

Sorta discombobulated palate.. Dunkels are one of my favorite styles if done right.. this one seems a little scattered and confused. Minerally dark malts touches of chocolate... lite skunk but no doubt it is there... This brew needs direction and a brown bottle to go with the brown malts... even then... it needs more brown malts and a touch more body across the board... uninspiring.

I only bought the St. Pauli Girl brews today to review; in the past, I've purchased them on brew days if I was attempting that particular style.. after tonight, I can honestly say, I will never buy this company's brews ever again.

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Photo of Zorro
2.83/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear dark brown brew.

Smell is mostly malt and molasses, also some fruity and grassy smells.

Taste is sweet and grassy with a bit of malt flavor. A lot like Heineken regular only sweeter, and smells better.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Ok drinkable, but I can get much better.

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Photo of Derek
2.68/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's hard to believe it's brewed in Germany (it seems like a bad copy by an American macro). They must export it because none of the locals would drink it!

A: Dark black, with a little tan head. Poor head retention.

S: Malty, with an out-of-place fruityness.

T: It's like a cheap macro lager, with a little black patent malt for colour. There certainly isn't an array of malty flavours.

M: Light to moderate. Not bad considering the low ABV.

D: A newbie could drink it. A beer geek could, but probably wouldn't want to!

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Photo of clayrock81
3.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz green bottle. An inviting St. Pauli Girl, steins in hand, on the front, best before date on the back and foil neck.
Poured a dark brown that light passed through slightly when held up to light, and had a decent head that left minor lacings. A light smell of hops and very faint maltiness comprises the aroma. A very smooth, light-bodied beer that has some mild sweetness, as it tastes a little like roasted malts mixed with caramel or honey (or something thick). Didn't really get much of a hop presence, although there is a dryness on the end that I chalked up more to the malts than any hop bite (still an earthy, floral hop presence is there). Not a bad beer, better than the regular St. Pauli.

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St. Pauli Girl Special Dark from St. Pauli Brauerei C.L. Wilh. Brandt Gmbh & Co.
3.05 out of 5 based on 405 ratings.
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