Warsteiner Premium Dunkel | Warsteiner Brauerei

624 Reviews
Read the review
Warsteiner Premium DunkelWarsteiner Premium Dunkel

Brewed by:
Warsteiner Brauerei

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-26-2001

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 624 | Ratings: 1,524
Photo of BrewAskew
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Overall, a dissappointing beer. Starts out looking and smelling great, with a nice head, good lacing, reddish brown color, and an aroma dominated by spicy Saaz hops...then the moment of truth. The taste lacks any character but water! What is going on here? It is a frustrating experience. This stuff is drinkable, but damn, you'd think the flavors would be more assertive!

 372 characters

Photo of thekanna
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Dark brown with a decently large tan head and large effervescent bubbles.

S: Somewhat of an earthy nuttiness with a slight roasted malt aroma.

T: Roasted malts and subdued chocolate at first; with more sips this devolves into an unappealing cardboard flavor.

M/D: Somewhat thin body for the style; carbonation is medium. The cardboard-box-straight-from-the-attic quality of the aftertaste really convinces me that I shouldn't have another.

 448 characters

Photo of jar2574
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A subpar brew in every respect. The appearance is watery, dark, and there isn't much head. Nothing much to the smell.

The taste just doesn't cut it. Moderate bitterness, but without the coffee or other flavors of a stout, and without the smoothness and sweet maltiness you expect in a dunkel. It's just an unsatisfying, watery dark beer.

 339 characters

Photo of LacquerHead
2.56/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased a 6-pack for $8.49.

A: Clear deep brown. Head quickly dissipated and left little to no lacing.

S: Not the best - sort of a metallic caramel malt smell.

T: A bit of a let down. There was a metallic undertone to this one, specifically copper pennies. It had a roasted malt flavor along with some weak hops in the background that tasted oily. There was also a brown sugar sweetness lingering about.

M: It was highly carbonated and had a metallic malt aftertaste.

D: Not very high. I grew tired of it after awhile - very uneventful.

Conclusion, not worth its premium import price at the grocery store. The flavors tasted fake and too manufactured. Skip it.

 671 characters

Photo of jscondon
2.56/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a deep and dark amber brown with red hues and little head at all. the aroma is odd, but not in a bad way. it has no hop character, nor a discernable malt scent... is this the infamous DMS that i am smelling? i can't place the aroma. this beer tastes like cardboard, i am not digging it. the front is smooth, then the cardboard bitter slam hits you followed by a real dry bitterness. mouthfeel is average.

i thought this is one of the better looking beers i have poured. for a proud german beer i have to give this the benefit of the doubt and say that the shipping got the better of this one. i would not get this again unless it comes from closer to the source.

 669 characters

Photo of jpkoch1962
2.61/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a a dark ruby brown with a moderate head that fast disappeared. Almost neutral aroma with subdued malt/stale cracker aroma in the background. This was a smooth, thin lager with very little character. Body was thin, very little malt presence; however, it wasn't cloying as the middle and finish were dry. The carbonation was perhaps a bit too much, which masked any malt character.

Very forgettable lager from a brewery which used to be known as top notch. Saint Pauli's actually makes a better Dunkles.

If one is looking for a session beer that can easily be forgotten, well this is it.

 595 characters

Photo of MONKandTUCK
2.61/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I wanna like this beer. I wanna like this style. When in Central Europe, I revelled in the opportunity to break from the Pale Lager norm. Granted many of their offerings are unique and quaffable, but there's a reason the American Craft Brew movement has found its inspiration in British, and even Belgian, ales.

In the Czech Republic Budweiss's Tmave was a nice reprieve on Summer evenings from Pale Lager... but sadly, I couldn't remember much about it. There's good reason... this style seems to have little of mention.

Appearance: thin body, brownish-black. Foam on top, not enough to be called s head. Good lacing.

Nose: grain, lagerish. The scent of spent cheap coffee grinds is about all the roast here.

Taste: refreshing, mild maltiness.

Mouthful: wet, slightly grain.

Overall: uninspiring.

Sure it provides refreshment, but not the way a good Pilsner does. It's like the Black Sheep of every Lager producing brewery. Painfully MACRO!

Baltic Porter and Hefeweizen have proven old country breweries can pump out unique quality product. Step it up, Dunkel Lager!

 1,075 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
2.61/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Are we really calling this premium? Pours a semi-hazy darker mahogany colored brown. A good pour leaves an ample rocky white head. Limited head retention that hides to the edge of the glass and ok lacing.

The nose is distinctive Warsteiner. Some noticeable grainy aroma that has that distinct macro German lagers. Some feint malty notes with some minor astringency and no really notes of Munich at all. Very clean yeast but some minor musty notes.

The taste is similar. Very grainy flavors come out with no Munich notes at all. More of an off roast/carafa a thing that has more of a husky presence. Slight astringency with some very noticeable musty, degraded malt flavor. Some off yeast notes, vegi, but clean for the most part. An earthy hop finish but light.

The body is light to moderate. Would have liked more depth overall but is a light ABV beer. Overall, would have like more Munich malt in my Munich lager. Some off aged notes but not over the top.

 960 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.63/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Lucent reddish brown or burnished dark bronze, take your pick. The pale beige head is soft and pillowy, doesn't last long at all and leaves an underwhelming amount of lace. The aroma is of toasted malt with the barest suggestion of brown sugar. Premium Dunkel doesn't smell very dunkelish to me at all. In fact, it's so lacking in aroma that it's difficult to appreciate much at all.

The flavor struggles to be average. It tastes like a pale lager whose pale malt was toasted a little longer than usual. The amount of malt is also lacking. Consequently, what should be a nutty, caramel-like flavor never materializes.

What we get instead is a harsh, bitter dryness with hints of metal shavings and a too-light body. It isn't quite as bad as all that, but it isn't too far removed from it either. What flavor is present fades to nothingness within seconds (short finishes aren't always bad).

I've never had what I consider to be a good Munich Dunkel Lager. I'm sure they exist and I'd love to have one some day. That day is not today however; Warsteiner Premium Dunkel just doesn't cut it. The back label actually reads 'because life is too short to drink cheap beer'. My thoughts exactly.

 1,198 characters

Photo of TaySuth
2.66/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Best Before: 25 May 2012 (almost 3 months past Best Before date)

Appearance: Better than I expected for some reason. Brown cocoa in color with a solid, one finger head that dissipates down to a thin film after a few minutes.

Smell: Not overpowering but not weak. Sweet dark malt without smelling like molasses. Minimal hops in the aroma.

Taste: The taste is good but a bit on the watery side. Tastes like you would expect an average dunked to taste with the exception of being somewhat watered down.

Mouthfeel: Too light with moderate carbonation. I think Bud Light has a better mouthfeel than this dunkel.

Overall: I liked the appearance but everything dropped from there down to the very disappointing mouthfeel. Not a terrible beer but not something that I would buy again.

 782 characters

Photo of GooberMcNutly
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a Kings pint. Small head, fell quickly to nothing. Not even surface bubbles. Too dark to determine clarity. A solid middle-of-the-road dark lager. Comparable to Mexican dark lagers, but slightly maltier with less head. Little body to back up the color, even for a dark lager.

 285 characters

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I grabbed this off the shelf because a add by it said "the Biggest German Exported Beeer in the world". Was it? Who cares. It had a brownish color to it and a moderate head. The malt was there, the hops weak. Yes, the truth be told, this was aweak German beer with a weird taste to it. Life may be too short for bad beer, but I ain't drinking this again.

 354 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I ran into a bottle of this at a place that doesn't have many good beer options, and I realized that I had never tried it before, so I figured it was a perfect time to give it a shot.

The body is a dark brown but is translucent in the light and mostly clear. A finger and a half of brown head rises, but it disappears fairly quickly, looking like head that is somewhere between a beer and soda. No lacing that I can see.

The aroma is pretty weak, and if anything it smells like a little bit of toasted malts.

Without looking at the color of this beer, I would not surprised to hear people guess that it is a Euro Pale Lager. Hell, I could probably make that mistake. It tastes a lot like watery, pale malts with just a hint of toasted malts. The “choice roasted malts” that the bottle proclaims are inside never materialize.

Very light body is pretty high carbonation.

I'm not a fan of this one, it doesn't really hit the style at all. No rich malt flavors, not really any roasted malt flavors. Just a watered down beer that could be a pale lager with food coloring added.

 1,081 characters

Photo of Zadok
2.71/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-1 finger off-white head that dissipated very quickly. Very nice dark mahogany with a tint of red.

S-Smell was almost nonexistent; far off in the distance was a tinge of malt.

T-Nothing much to mention here, watery malt and light coffee bean is about all I could come up with.

M-Very light for this style of beer, moderate carbonation.

D-A very drinkable beer if you're not looking to be wowed. Quite frankly I was a little disappointed and can't foresee buying again.

 473 characters

Photo of albern
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This one is mediocre at best and not worth spending too much time on. It pours a decent mahogany brown with a small head, no lacing. The beer is very clear. This is a light bodied beer and fairly unidimensional. The nose has a mustiness to it and a lagery grassy aroma some off notes and some sweet adjunct type maltiness.

The taste is very sweet, adjunct type of sweetner, maybe some cooked veggies added along the way with a slightly roasted malt flavor, maybe some caramel in there too. This is a light bodied beer, not much taste or aftertaste either. There is a slightly off sourishness to the beer that doesn't add to the enjoyment of it. This beer is not all that interesting and I'm going to reach for something better starting now.

 741 characters

Photo of rfbenavi80
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap at Rheinland Restaurant in Independence Missouri.
Served in Warsteiner Mug.

A- Pours a light Chestnut color, with very froth bubbly head that lingers leaving little to no lacing.

S- Malty, Yeasty.

T- Not much there. I guess you could say its "dark beer" thats about it.

M- not thick at all, very thin. Med-High carbonation.

O- So, so. it feels like a mass produced dark beer. Like the "Bud Light of dark beers"

 431 characters

Photo of meatmallet
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Kind of a mahogany color with a small tan head that disappears quickly to leave a small head with very little lacing.

Smells: Smells like dark roasted malts and not a lot else.

Taste: Kind of dry with a sour carbonated bite. A carmel taste without any of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Nothing special and definately not something I could drink more than one of.

 385 characters

Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.76/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out very dark to the point of pitch, a white head bubbles like uncooked pizza dough...

Smells of light coca cola and wheat sweet wet grains and roast

Sweet and sour immediately come to tongue with a split wheat flavor. Almost a sourdough afterthought. Not too complicated, but then it is not meant to be. Without that semi sour tinge this would perhaps be a waste of time

Mouthfeel is light bodied with champagne bubbles

You could drink these until you die because the flavor won't slow you down. It is a weak beer and maybe something to give to beginners to cut their palates on

 589 characters

Photo of latercol
2.76/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer looked pretty decent on the pour, but suffered thereafter. It is nut brown with a decent vanilla ice cream colored head that actually stuck around in the form of lace for awhile.

Smell is lagerish.. according to the bottle this follows the german purity law of 1516. No use of ajuncts in other words. I just dont smell high quality here. Very average.

Same for the taste. some darker malts, but not a lot going on here.

Mouth feel... light... much lighter than the color would suggest.

Overall not that wonderful and therefore not especially drinkable. Wont go searching for this one.

 598 characters

Photo of FanofHefe
2.76/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on-tap in a pint glass. Clear dark brown body with a little light getting through around the edges creating a red tint. Very small light tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

Very light aroma, nearly non-existent and I am NOT stopped up in the nasal region. A tiny bit of lager yeast and a minute bit of roasted malt.

A little better on the flavor, but not much. Some dark malt, a little coffee flavor, and that's about all. If I try real hard, I can imagine some chocolate flavor coming through.

Very thin mouthfeel. Far less than I expected from a "classic."

 587 characters

Photo of beragg
2.78/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Funny, that after drinking better beer, something you used to like doesn't taste as good. That's what happened with this dunkel. My friend introduced me to this after he returned from a stay overseas in Germany with the Army. It poured a dark brown with a head that quickly dissapated. There really wasn't any aroma. The taste was malty, metallic and thin with a little hops. Mouthfeel was watery. Now this beer is better than most American macros but really is barely average

 476 characters

Photo of biegaman
2.78/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Cherry cola with glinty bronze accenting. Underachieving carbonation fails to even amplify the outline, let alone fill out the surface. Like most German words 'dunkel' sounds to me harsh and heavy - this certainly doesn't look it however. As they should, lagering and filtration have ensured complete transparency and a spotlessly clean complexion. Apart from its darker tone the beer looks no thicker than this brewery's standard lager.

Even more, I wish that it smelt a little different. Eyes closed I couldn't tell this is a dark beer - it shares the exact same off-putting, syrupy sweet aroma that in no small way doesn't resemble corn syrup. Even a vivid imagination couldn't place toasted malts, chocolate, caramel or nuts in this aroma. It smells artificial, it smells cheap, and it smells nothing unlike any typical mass produced lager I've tried from Germany or elsewhere. Borderline putrid.

The flavour swings and misses for strike three. Like its appearance and aroma, Warsteiner Dunkel does nothing to set itself apart from other macro lager offerings. It shares the same syrupy sweet, adjunct-ridden industrialized corn syrup flavouring only with a dash of cheap caramel extract added. That drop must have been more for colour sake because it contributes nothing to aroma or taste. This departs not even slightly from the realm of mass produced, industrial processed beer.

A shot of colour may have ensured the beer look 'dunkel' for marketing sake, but anyone with half a palate should be able to see past that. The use of real Munich malt (not cheap extracts or adjuncts) would create something much more rich and complex than this. The beer would be nutty, toasty, and deliciously sweet with caramel - not flat, bloating, and cloying with syrup. Even as a Canadian I feel personally insulted by this cheap, kitschy rendering of the classic German style.

This beer is probably agreeable to some, but that group certainly wouldn't include those who have tried a real Munich Dunkel. Even for something aimed at swill lager drinkers it surprises me that a nation so rich in brewing tradition, one of the few places on Earth with a long-standing and still prominent beer culture, and a people (rightfully) proud of their national drink could release something this low in quality.

 2,299 characters

Photo of aaronh
2.78/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish brown, with a loose off-white head. It exhibits good head retention and leaves a nice lace on the glass. Very hoppy, floral aroma with a hint of malt. The classic "beer" aroma . The flavor is rather light, with some hop bitterness on the finish with some roasted flavors. A slight metallic edge in the aftertaste gives me a somewhat "stale" feeling about the flavor. The mouthfeel is very light, while the large bubbles of carbonation give it a harsh edge in the mouth. Due to the slightly "off" flavor and aftertaste coupled with the light mouthfeel, drinkability suffers for me. Nice to try, but I probably will never buy again (actually, this one was given to me by a friend for an opinion). Seems like it is brewed to appeal to the American masses, rather than the German beer drinker.

 810 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown pour, with more clarity than it should, decent off white head, not much in the lace or retention department. Wheat, light aroma, nothing fancy.

Taste, seems like clove and a yeast strain I'm not fond of. Woodsy, light bodied, off flavor bitterness on the aftertaste. Caramel and toffee. A little more watery than it should be, but you can still pull some nuttiness out of it. Qualifies as easy drinking, if you get past the appearance (for some reason a lot of people think anything not light yellow can't be easy drinking).

Not a fan, wouldn't recommend.

 563 characters

Photo of BeerBob
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Warsteiner “Premium Dunkel” Pours a very pleasing very dark red from a 12oz dark brown glass bottle. Head went to about two fingers before disappearing to nothing, gone, zip...

Nose is a burnt sweet barley malt with a side of faint, very faint alcohol fumes. Palate is a teasingly sweet barley malt, just a specter of what a sweet barley malt should be.

I like Warsteiner Premium Verum... a lot, (I drink it about 45% to 55% of the time), this “Premium Dunkel” is a bit of a disappointment, it is a shame that I could not give it higher marks.

 553 characters

Warsteiner Premium Dunkel from Warsteiner Brauerei
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,524 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.