Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel
Ayinger Privatbrauerei

Ayinger Altbairisch DunkelAyinger Altbairisch Dunkel
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Lager - Munich Dunkel
Ranked #3
Ranked #8,433
3.97 | pDev: 9.82%
Ayinger Privatbrauerei
Very Good
Ayinger Altbairisch DunkelAyinger Altbairisch Dunkel
Notes: Up until the Second World War, dark beer was the predominant beer type in the Munich area. The hard water found in the region played a special role in producing this specialty. In his book “Beer International”, the world-renowned English beer writer, Michael Jackson, accurately describes the Ayinger “Altbairisch Dunkel” as: “A good example of its kind. Impenetrably dark with a golden-brown gleam when held up to the light, and with a warm aroma and malty taste, while summoning up coffee taste sensations on going down. It is brewed from five types of malt (two of which are torrified dark), and it is only lightly hopped.” It is produced using the traditional double fermentation process.
Reviews: 633 | Ratings: 1,221 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L- A lovely deep and clear chestnut brown, entirely clear, pours with thin 2mm pale tan head.
S- Notably malty.
T- Notably malty here too, with a slight roasty note and into a mildly hoppy-dry finish.
F- I'm drinking this chilled (it's summer). In colder months I'd chill less and expect the flavour to open up further. Carbonation in the mouth is plenty sufficient, good and neither over/under.
O- It's an easy going and elegant beer, nothing dominates nor challenges - that makes it sessionable! though more likely during winter. This is a notably malted dunkel, something slightly different ('for a lager') and very nice.
500ml bottle. Bought from BeersOfEurope BB: Nov-2020.

Jul 22, 2020
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

3.27/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I like to drink Dunkel in the fall and had this one from a 500 ml bottle in November 2017, purchased at a big liquor store. To me, this beer tasted more like a euro lager than most of the style.

May 04, 2020
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OK_Denise from Oklahoma

3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I mostly really like German beers but this one is kinda on the low end of the spectrum for me. It is an okay Dunkel Lager but I can't say that it is a great beer. It is good, but not great is what I am saying. The flavor just is not outstanding to me.

Apr 19, 2020
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dd53grif from Michigan

3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown color with a foamy head that lasts quite a while. Aroma of caramel, brown sugar and roasted malt. Tastes of malt, sweet honey and brown sugar. But in the the thin side but still an enjoyable German beer.

Mar 15, 2020
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ATL6245 from Georgia

4.77/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Crystal clear, saddle brown with garnet tint. Initial mousse-like, tan head. Persistent retention.

Aroma: Nice, delicate herbal hops aroma, some dark fruit

Flavor & Aftertaste: Herbal hops, mild dark roasted malt. Mild bitterness barely present. Sweet malt backbone.

Mouth feel: Medium bodied. Soft, moderate length finish with very mild bitterness.

Overall: Rating this versus other Munich Dunkel styles - There is a reason why German Dunkel stands the test of time. This one has a wonderful, soft herbal aroma and flavor from the Hallertau hops. The malt base provides some nice sweet, dark fruit like background without overshadowing the hops. Soft mouthfeel. Just enough bitterness for balance. Head retention is excellent. Simply outstanding.

Feb 16, 2020
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OlaB from Norway

3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a medium top off white head that dissolves slowly.
Aroma is caramel, toffee ,dark malts,bread and brown sugar. The taste is sweet and malty with bready caramel notes in the flavour. The finish has some slight bitterness of earthy hops and leaves a decent aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is soft and clean with a medium carbonation and a medium body.
A nice example of a dunkel lager.

Feb 02, 2020
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mishi_d from Romania

3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear ruby / brown color with a foamy head, malty aroma with caramel and brown sugar, malty, bready taste, medium sweetness, medium body, soft carbonation.

Dec 12, 2019
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mothmanscott from Georgia

4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes 3/17/13: Pours a ruby, cola brown with 1.5 fingers of frothy, variously bubbled, beige, somewhat lasting head rising that leaves little lacing as it recedes. Aroma is toasted dark bread with notes of caramel, toffee, dark fruit heavy to dried figs with a hint of vanilla. Taste sweet malt; malt and more malt.... toast, dark bread, sweet caramel, toffee, prune, raisin and dried fig notes with a lingering sweet aftertaste. Oh, so easy to drink. I think I'll have another. Delicious!

Oct 23, 2019
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MaximalC from Illinois

3.51/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent, deep tawny color with a modest cap of khaki foam. Mild aroma smells of caramel apples and nuts with a hint of noble hops.

The taste features caramel, lightly toasted bread, and earthy, grassy hops up front. Warming reveals notes of apple peel and honey as well. Medium body and subtle, fine carbonation make for a crisp, drinkable mouthfeel.

This beer is about as no-frills as they come. Caramel sweetness becomes a little cloying with time, but for the most part it's just a tasty German brew.

Oct 12, 2019
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AZBeerDude72 from Arizona

4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Deep brown/auburn with massive head and lacing.
N: Bread, caramel, sugar, malt, honey, and brown sugar.
T: Very nice bread hit with some burnt sugar, malt, some sweet honey notes, and figs.
M: Light with loads of flavor.
O: Outstanding beer all around.

Aug 05, 2019
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laketang from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear deep brown with a slight ruby hue. Small off white head foamy head.

Notes of chocolate and a fruity sweetness and roast tones.

I het definite chocolate flavor, and some caramel sweetness too. A good coffee roast flavor and just a ting of hop bitterness. Some date and raisins.

Light mouthfeel, soft creamy finish.
Light carbonation.

Great drinker that goes good with some pasta.

Jun 01, 2019
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up recently, having never had this before. I've been on a bottled beer kick and going through a lot of the classics that I should have reviewed ages ago on here, so it was nice to finally give this a go. This was such an easy beer to enjoy and true to form that my only regret was not being to more easily find offerings of this style!

Lovely, rich mahogany hue to this as it shone nicely when held up to the light. Lots of tan, bubbly head that looked like bread topped this off as it slowly and smoothly settled down. Very little lacing was left behind as I sipped this, which wasn't that big of a surprise given how thin the liquid was. Dark bread, dark malt, and dark fruit notes filled the subtle, but pleasing, notes as this smelled just liked it looked! More dark bread, figs, nuts, and tons of malt filled the palate as there was little carbonation and even less hops to get in the way of this unique taste. A clean finish and mild chewiness rounded this beer out as I quickly fell in love with this...

And guess what? It's a session beer so go ahead and grab another bottle. I wish I had as I may go back soon and get another one of these. For a welcome change and a taste of the way things used to be for us imbibers, this would be a great choice to reach for. One of the few year-round beers that I've had lately...

May 17, 2019
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500mL bottle, shared with my wife. Mahogany colored bier with a foamy beige head. Aroma is caramel, molasses, dark grain, spicy noble hops, yeast. Flavors are excellently balanced with notes of toasty grain, caramel, burnt caramel, faint molasses, spicy & earthy noble hops. Medium body, ample carbonation, balanced and semi-dry finish. It's been a long time since I had this one, but it's just as good as I remember.

Mar 19, 2019
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Didn’t really find a good balance in the different malts: there is some bready pumpernickel notes, a little roasted malt but also a sweet note that runs throughout that clashes with the rest of the beer.

Mar 01, 2019
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JamFuel from Sweden

4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with reddish highlights and a thick cap of soft, light brown head.

Smell is malty and a bit bready with notes of caramel, coffee, leather and a light floral hint.

Taste is sweet and malty with notes of crackers, caramel, leather and a soft bitterness. Very easy to drink and finely balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium, well carbonated.

Overall, a terrific Dunkel, this is how the style is supposed to be.

Feb 16, 2019
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Gadzook from Georgia

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Rich brown/deep dark amber, clear. Nice 2 1/2- 3 finger fluffy off-white head that leaves very attractive lacing.

S: Malt, malt, malt. Dark bread. Slightly sweet with notes of caramel/toffee, but just there. A nice hint of grain.

T: Malt if forward. Toasted grain is predominant, but light. Toffee undertones with a slight hop finish balancing the mild sweetness.

F: Nice medium body. Carbonation is not too much. Moderately dry finish.

O: Solid dunkel, and probably my favorite. I've had several American attempts, but none of them are quite up to this level. A very enjoyable beer that goes great with roasted and grilled food. Maybe a little heavy for the warmer weather, but great in the fall and crisp evenings.

Jan 28, 2019
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NickSMpls from Washington

4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark, almost brown pour. Nice, thick and long lasting head. The nose gets molassses, carmel, roasted grain. A sip gives up a solid malt ale with light bittering. We can image having this in a German biergarten with sausages and dark bread. A light body with good carbonation and a pleasnt finish. Ayinger, if you can get it reasonably fresh, rarely fails to deliver.

Jan 20, 2019
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MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle

A pretty standard pour yields a huge three finger head into my can-style glass. Kinda ridiculous here. Head is just off white. Very pillowy and creamy looking. The body is brown with a huge amount of red as well, almost more of a mahogany. Medium to large amount of bubbles coming up. Other than the annoying pour, this looks very good. Color is lighter than I was expecting.

Nose is full of rich malts. Apparently that is more to style than the drier dunkels I've had recently. Very bready, toffee very present too. Caramel notes as well. It's earing on overly sweet, but we'll see how the taste goes. Some mineral lager-y notes as well. Smells good overall, the malts are quite nice, but slightly concerning in the sweet department.

Taste starts off significantly drier than the nose. Finishes with an acceptable sweetness. Has a clean lager base, with the caramel, bread, and toffee supporting in the background. Honestly I'm surprised there isn't a little more flavor, considering how pungent the nose was. We'll see how it goes as it warms, for now it's good, but could use more flavor.

Carbonation is medium, maybe just a touch above. The body is very light. Feel overall is crisp and quite dry. Bitterness is extremely low, not really noticeable. Nice mouthfeel, it's what I would expect from a clean fermented lager.

The drinkability is very high, it's very light bodied, not heavy on the sugars, and tastes good.

The appearance turned out very nice. head retention wasn't world class, but certainly above average. Lacing was thick from top to bottom. Great looking beer.

The flavor got a little more depth as the beer warmed. On one hand the taste is lacking compared to the nose, on the other hand it's probably exactly what a dunkel should be, clean, some flavor but not too crazy. I think I like this quite a bit, it's a little dry, clean, and (now) has enough flavor to make it enjoyable every sip. Very good beer.

Dec 28, 2018
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sokol_1993 from California

4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: dark black
Taste: very roasty at first, with light hoppiness balancing.
Feel: Yet, after the roastiness faded away, it turned into sweet maltiness. Excellent aftertaste!

An excellent brew, nothing less from an excellent brauhaus.

Dec 05, 2018
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josanguapo from Spain

3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

De Decervecitas. En copa Teku. Jugando a Avernum 5. Muy bebible, seca, con notas tostadas. Muy bebible pero algo aspera. Echo en falta mas dulzor y menos carbonatacion y levadura

Oct 13, 2018
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Nass from Florida

3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

It looks dark brown in a beer glass. I agree some of you folks mentioning it tasting like toasted grain & it being medium bodied. I am getting a little raisin & fig notes on the backend but it is slight which is a good thing at least for me it is. Cheers! B

Oct 09, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Pilsener glass, the appearance had a dark brown color with some dark red hues along the sides. Capped by a finger's worth of white to eggshell white foamy head, this gently slid off to allow some semi-string lace rolling here and there.
The aroma had a lovely blend of sweet dark malts, some nuts, gentle roast, subtle coffee bean, earthy yeasty dark breadiness and a touch of ash.
The flavor seemed to stick towards the sweet and German yeasty lager-like maltiness. The ash and the coffee bean didn't show up at all in the taste. Mild aftertaste of dark bread, nuts and German yeastiness.
The mouthfeel was between light and medium bodied with a nice crisp sessionability about it. Mild carbonation and duly noted ABV (seems as projected), this beer delivers a nice lager-like nutty and roasty finish.
Overall, this, my friends is one of the my standards for Munich Dunkel lagers. If you like the style and haven't had this yet, I'd be putting it on my beer bucket list if I were you.

Sep 12, 2018
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beergoot from Colorado

4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper body; clear; dense, sculpted head. Roasted malt aroma; tree nuts; faint suggestion of molasses. Toasted grain flavor; faint charred sugar; subtle hop bitterness. Medium-heavy body; soft and velvety; warm on the palate; slightly sweet at the finish but with a sneaky dryness percolating about.

A fine malt-forward German lager, well-balanced between the roasted grains and underlying bitterness.

Sep 10, 2018
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JWsimpleton from Oregon

4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A darn good beer! A touch sweet, toasty, malty, and full-flavored but not too strong and rich like some malt-heavy beers. Maintains a balance bewteen crisp, smooth drinkability and a nice, full body. The head is a little lacking... but still the best Dunkel I've tried so far!

Sep 03, 2018
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mehak from California

2.95/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Dark amber color. Caramel, candy corn smell. Very malty, caramel taste, almost like caramal and coffee. Light body, light carbonation.

Overall I am enjoying this brew but it is a bit sweet.

Sep 01, 2018
Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel from Ayinger Privatbrauerei
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 1221 ratings