Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel
Ayinger Privatbrauerei

Ayinger Altbairisch DunkelAyinger Altbairisch Dunkel
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Ayinger Privatbrauerei
Lager - Munich Dunkel
Ranked #10
Ranked #12,616
3.97 | pDev: 9.82%
Wednesday at 05:52 AM
Dec 13, 2001
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by JerzDevl2000:
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

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
More User Ratings:
4.59 by Beecham from California on Wednesday at 05:52 AM
4.5 by trevorpost from Pennsylvania on May 17, 2022
Photo of bigdeuce
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by bigdeuce from Pennsylvania

Pours a dark chocolatey color with great lacing down the glass. Scents of semi-sweet chocolate malts and Hallertau hops. Very smooth and balanced. The best Dunkel I’ve had to date is actually an American version, Penn Dark but this other worldly brewing company’s (Ayinger) dunkel is right on par.

Apr 23, 2022
3.93 by SViterileroux74 from Texas on Apr 16, 2022
3.84 by BeerWasp from Germany on Mar 23, 2022
4.01 by bschmidt_37 from Illinois on Mar 05, 2022
Photo of LukeGude
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by LukeGude from Iowa

Bottle from John’s poured into stein. Amber lager. Great head.

Feb 25, 2022
3.94 by Rhetion from Florida on Feb 16, 2022
3 by Bigmoist from West Virginia on Feb 07, 2022
4.03 by DownyIsHungry from Minnesota on Feb 03, 2022
Photo of md3kcn
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by md3kcn from North Carolina

Purchased as a draft pour from a local restaurant, whose name escapes me at the moment for $7.00. Poured into an Ayinger mug they provided.

L - Clear dark brown, with a three-finger fluffy tan head.
S - Brown bread crust and lightly-roasted coffee. Raisin. Assorted malt.
T - Follows nose, with the addition of some earthiness going forward. Faint dark chocolate on the bready finish.
F - Smooth. Easy-to-drink. Medium-full body with plenty of carbonation. One could easily have another.
O - Sets the bar for the style, I'd say. This would go well with nearly any sort of German/Austrian/Swiss food, for sure. A must-try. Will get this again.

Feb 01, 2022
4.15 by clm9 from North Carolina on Jan 07, 2022
4.19 by PaulSlazinger from Pennsylvania on Jan 06, 2022
4.17 by LunchMoney from Minnesota on Jan 01, 2022
4.14 by DDiFran from Ohio on Dec 31, 2021
Photo of Antg8989
4.74/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by Antg8989 from New Jersey

This is near perfect for the style. Pours brown with a lasting light brown head. Aroma is light milk chocolate with hints of raisins/prunes and dark fruit. Taste is similar with slight roasty coffee notes. Feel is medium carbonation. Well done.

Dec 30, 2021
3.43 by Eman17 from Illinois on Dec 10, 2021
Photo of gandres
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by gandres from Philippines

Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 3:58 PM
500 mL/1 Pint 0.9-ounce bottle poured to wine glass
Sight: dark amber/ brownish color, medium/large foam, appears clear
Smell: aroma of malt
Taste: very good, low bitterness, some sweetness
Mouth feel: high carbonation, slightly tart, good follow through, dry finish, slightly bitter aftertaste
Overall: very good beer, ok to repeat, not to look for BA RB

Dec 02, 2021
Photo of jjamadorphd
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by jjamadorphd from Florida

I really love these dunkels. That said, this one is a good offering of the style. The only thing that was lacking was the smell - pretty much non-existent. Otherwise, would not hesitate to reach for another one.

Nov 15, 2021
Photo of LesDewitt4beer
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

11.2oz bottle with Enigma date code into a tall lager glass.
L: Pours crystal clear brown ruby mahogany with a small beige head receding to carbonated edge foam, med-strong solid carbonation, random thin skeletal lacing.
S: Highly roasted malts, grains, dark tangy fruit, raisins, light chocolate, brown bread crust.
T: Dark & deeply toasted malts, rich caramel, strong black tea, semi-metallic taste, light citrus zest, a hint of smokiness, a gentle tart hop zing, raisins, light chocolate.
F: A swift, brisk, lightly drying very clean medium to med-light bodied mouthfeel with a fairly fast fruity finish.
O: A beautiful dark German Lager that is malt forward, brisk, gently fruity and absolutely delicious. It is a gold standard and is excellent in it's style.

Nov 15, 2021
Photo of Franziskaner
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Franziskaner from Missouri

Dark copper colored with a half inch of frothy brown foam on top. The aroma is of chestnuts, toffee, and marzipan. I’m tasting toffee, marzipan, and honey wheat bread. The mouth is smooth and easygoing.

Nov 14, 2021
Photo of MrFinonacci
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by MrFinonacci

Pours a clear dark copper with a thin lacy head. No noticeable bubbles or activity in the glass. The smell is sweet, yet sharp. When drinking the flavor evolves from first sip until swallowing. Initially it explodes with a surprising amount of carbonation and a full bodied bready cheddar flavor. It mellows out and finishes with slightly sweet flavors of vanilla and bourbon.

Nov 10, 2021
Photo of Rug
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Rug from Massachusetts

Bottled 10/19/20, I sat on this one for a bit too long unfortunately

There’s really not many Dunkels out there in today’s beer scene, so it’s nice to see a classic like this. It’s the third highest rated in the style, so even despite the freshness issues I’m anticipating a pretty good beer. Let’s crack it open and find out

Pours a clear dark amber with 2 fingers of soapy off white head that slowly fades to a cap and leaves decent lacing

The sweetness in the nose here is intense and very round in character. I’m picking up on aromas of sweet honey, toasted grain, bready malt, apple skin, caramel, and light white pepper

Unfortunately it shows its age in taste much more, but it’s still quite good. On the front end of the sip I’m tasting doughy malt, apple skin, peppery hops, caramel, and brown bread. The swallow brings notes of brown bread, honey, caramel malt, and herbal hops

A light medium body pairs with gentle tingling carbonation, resulting in a smooth beer. Finishes neutral and a bit too sweet

So this obviously lacks the bite of a fresh beer, but for what it is it certainly isn’t bad, so I won’t dock points for that

Nov 04, 2021
Photo of MNJR
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by MNJR from Illinois

Delicious dark lager. Not too dark, copper-brown colored, not a heavy or thick beer but pleasingly light while having complex flavor. Malty overall, slight raisiny fruit sweetness, cocoa and coffeeish flavors. The best thing about this beer and what is outstanding is the feel - excellent crisp carbonation and body. A beer to seek out, one that I would like to have many more of.

Oct 25, 2021
4.25 by andyjeigh from Oklahoma on Oct 17, 2021
Photo of deleted_user_995920
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by deleted_user_995920

Pours a transparent reddish,brown color with a very healthy mocha colored head. Smell is Sweet malt and cherry,cinnamon toast. Taste is strong hints of cocoa, some stone fruit again(cherry),slight cola taste. Feels soft on the palate , sufficient carbonation, finishes sweet and juicy. Overall this is a delicious example of a Dunkel by a brewing icon.

Oct 13, 2021
3.77 by Roejogan from Canada (BC) on Oct 12, 2021
Photo of officerbill
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by officerbill from New York

Altbairsch Dunkel is a beautiful deep, deep brown amber (almost like a super strong breakfast tea), an aggressive pour gives a foamy pale tan head that slowly dissolves into a thick ring with islands.
The aroma is heavy malts with hints of coffee and chocolate.
The taste is smooth, soft dark malt with subtly sweet overtones and some dark Russian rye bread.
The feel is smooth and easy, sliding down your throat with a touch a bitterness to leave a surprisingly dry finish.
My bottle was 11 months old and, sadly, you could tell that the beer had lost freshness. This beer is good, but all of the signs are there that a few months ago it was excellent

Oct 10, 2021
4 by mkh012 from Colorado on Sep 20, 2021
3.81 by MGibbons from Maryland on Sep 19, 2021
3 by prisdefer from New York on Sep 14, 2021
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by GreesyFizeek from New York

This one pours a fairly dark brown color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This one smells like toasted malt, light chocolate notes, breadiness, and a touch of hop character.

As expected, this is tremendous. It's got such a soft malt sweetness, with loads of bready character, rye spice, etc. It's just so well balanced and wonderful to drink.

This is slightly creamy, very crisp, and just super drinkable.

This is quite easily one of the benchmarks for the style. Ayinger is unbeatable.

Sep 09, 2021
Photo of LanceBiggums
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by LanceBiggums from Canada (AB)

Clear brown with a tinge of dark cherry. Tan seafoam head that unfortunately settles down quite quickly. Toasty malts dominate the nose, with caramel and bready malts underneath, a hint of ripe plum, and a whiff of alcohol, which at 5% I would normally dock points for, but in a Dunkel seems somehow fitting. Hops are nowhere to be smelled. Taste is all malts. Toasty malts up front, then fruit and caramel, then an almost coffee-like toastiness on the bittering finish. Can't really detect a hops presence. And yet it has decent complexity and a good balance, all from the different malts. Description says 5 types of malts, two of which are roasted, and I personally get 4 distinct malt currents. There is a nice balance between the sweeter fruit and caramel and the bitter toasty and coffee notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. Very drinkable. Lovely stuff.

Sep 03, 2021
3.95 by SpaethJam from New York on Aug 22, 2021
Photo of Alexander_Williams
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by Alexander_Williams

Truly exceptional dunkel. My first dunkel that I tried I believe was Hofbräu dunkel back in about 2007. And I swore by that as a bench mark standard. It is still a great beer but the Ayinger is in a league of it's own. In point of fact, most everything that is produced from the ayinger brewery is delicious, memorable , traditionally faithful with a touch of class. This dunkel has an aroma of walnuts, hazelnut, biscuits, toffee, honey, raisins , chocolate with hints of brown sugar and red fruits. Mouthfeel is slightly oily yet deep and medium bodied. Complex refreshing, with long lasting toasty flavours that linger on the palate after every drink. The colour is reddish, mahogany with excellent lacing and head retention. Alcohol content of 5% abv is just about right for my taste..
Great ingredients, great beer crafted brilliantly again by the Germans.

Aug 16, 2021
Photo of StJamesGate
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by StJamesGate from New York

Glowing cherry amber with a steady cap of tan froth; tin, stewed plums, salted caramel + challah crust on the nose; warm country loaf crust, chicory, light caramel, hints of copper, salted peanuts + cocoa powder; smooth, lt-med, round.

4 4 4.25 4.5 4.5

Handsome to start, though not as dark as style or reputation would suggest.
There’s enough else going on that the Munich richness is slow to come to the fore, both in aroma + flavour, but it’s there as a solid backbone.
Unfolding on cue are half a dozen different expressions of malt and malt alone - there’s no roast, no yeast character and no late hops. It’s no surprise that this manages to be complex but drinkable, malty without heaviness - that’s dunkel dunkeling.
What really impresses is the body: past light but not by much, a lagery light-footedness, never cloys - indeed, this is not a sweet beer - yet with a malty richness that suits the taste. The mouthfeel is the unsung hero here.

And this example is 6 months old.
Paragon of the style + endlessly fun to drink.

Aug 13, 2021
Photo of DefenCorps
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by DefenCorps from Oregon

Bottle from QFC.

A very dark brown with a light brown head with good retention and lacing this looks great. The nose is soft, toasty, bready, with dark wheat bread, a light earth note. Caramelized Munich malts add so much depth. The palate opens soft, toasty, bready with a definite note of super fresh corn flakes, in a good way, and not in a cereal-like way. Light toffee, light coffee, light caramel, all very subtle. Drying, bitter, mildly acidic on the finish with a lingering bready flavor. Lovely.

Aug 02, 2021
Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel from Ayinger Privatbrauerei
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 1293 ratings