Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel | Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying

very good
582 Reviews
Ayinger Altbairisch DunkelAyinger Altbairisch Dunkel

Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 12-13-2001

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Reviews: 582 | Ratings: 1,083
Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany/red with a light tan head. Good retention and nice lacing. Warm caramel and toffee aromas, along with a little bit of fresh grain husk. These characters form the base for the flavour as well. Mild to moderate bitterness with some fig/date notes and mild brown sugar. Lingering herbal bitterness with a hint of chocolate. Good texture. A quality dunkel. Thanks northyorksammy!

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Looks like cola with a head! I had this one in the signature Ayinger “hourglass” shaped Weizen Glass poured form a bottle. It pours a clear cola colored brown with an impressive 2 to 3” head that lasts for about ½ the Weizen Glass. The lacing is noticeable for the first ½ glass as well. It has a very smooth malty flavor similar to an Alt, Boch, and appropriate for a Dunkle Larger. A sweet and caramel experience that makes me instantly think of Bavaria. The mouthfeel is larger light with a very, very slight fizz. The aftertaste is pleasant and sweet. This would be a good substitute for dessert. It isn’t a beer for slamming back but for being enjoyed over a good long conversation.

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Photo of Ego
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bubbly, started coming out of the bottle after I popped the cap (and no I didnt shake the damn thing), nice full finger of head (off white) that sticks around, good lacing, sheets rise and fall on a swirl, dark brown with a little light passing through, solid looking.

mildly roasted coffee, dark caramel, cocoa powder (nestle quick in the can, ever snort that stuff?), morning coffee...mmmm

taste etc...
a little thin, cabonation is more subdued than I would have suspected, the nose is better than the delivery but it is not bad. Mild roast flavor and some lingering bitterness leads into the sweet malt flavors. A bit of the roast flavor always remains.

tasty. not a world beater but a nice little brew to have around. In the mood for a stout type without a heavy feel? Maybe this is a good stand in. It has a nice flavor profile but is not overwhelming at all and at 5% ABV is not going to kick you in the pants. Solid offering.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cola brown bottle, lots of carbonation sticking to the sides, with a giant tan head that lingers a long while.

Smell: Roasted, grassy malt.

Taste: Malty and crisp, nice roasted smei-sweet malt flavor, refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Thin, but well carbonated, a good beer.

Dinkability: A very good session beer, I could drink several of these in a row.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany brown color with a nice foamy tan head. Ruby hues sneak through the glass when held to the light. Well, mabye not ruby, its sort of a pinkish/strawberry wine color that sneaks through.

The smell is of toasted/roasted malts. Has a sweet and creamy smell.

The taste is of subtle malts. Nothing overpowering, a very easy-going flavor. The finish is sweet and caramelly with a quick flash of tartness. Nothing overpowering. Almost a little boring.

The mouthfeel doesnt seem very full, and the carbonation doesnt hit me until the swallow. Drinkability is good, I could easily drink this all night. It goes down very easy, but could use a little more unique flavor.

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Photo of NClifestyle
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ayinger Altbairish Dunkel, may be the standard of all Munich dunkel lagers. Ayinger dark lager appears a dark, deep ruby red color in the glass, with 2-finger thick off-white head of very creamy bubbles. Ayinger is earthy in aroma, with a syrup-apple scent, a warm malt and bread smell. It does not offers any pungent hop fragrance. Ayinger has a sharp malt taste, almost a bit spicy, with touches of grain. It gives off a very slight and tasty smoky tinge as they warm to room temperature. It is obvious that this is a lager, however with considerably more flavor than your typical offering.
Mouthfeel is thin to medium, but somewhat creamy and very smooth; extremely easy to drink, and beg for multiple rounds.


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Photo of alexwag
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In one of those tall European bottles, picked up @ Whole Foods in W. Hartford, CT.

A- The head is striking. Tall -- three fingers -- with mocha coloration. Sticks around a while too, with decent lacing. Good to see. Color is a lighter but rich brown -- can see through and through when near the light.

S- Some fruit and yeasty sweetness, sticky and malts. Coffee/toffee, a tad roasted/toasted/burnt. Good, but not amazing.

T- Crisp and remarkably clean, with the malt (lil' coffee, lil' chocolate) becoming more apparent. Then a small wave of bitterness piques the tongue, but it's the right amount to balance. Finishes ...

M- ... very creamy, with poignant crispness. Quite pleasant. Just the right amount of carbonation. A good feeling.

D- This is a good beer. The taste is there but not overpowering, and I am really down with the mouthfeel. A fine lager, good til the end. Sign me up again.

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Photo of OldSock
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – .5L bottle from Colonial Spirits poured into my .5L mug. The beer is an odd clear brown color akin to rootbeer. Creamy off-white head with great retention and spotty lacing.

Smell – Slightly toasted malt character with a moderate noble hop aroma. An underwhelming aroma, but nothing off about it.

Taste – Clean flavor with chocolaty toasted malt and moderate hop flavor. Finishes malty and slightly sweet, overall very well balanced. Zero esters, just like a good lager should be.

Mouthfeel – Medium-light body with medium-full carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – As primarily an ale drinker it is nice to have a good lager that lets the malt really shine through. Very easy to drink, but lacks the complexity that I crave.

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Photo of PenguinBeerFan
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber into a Samuel Smith pint glass with one inch of head. Smells sweet, smooth, and dark. Taste is very earthy and malty, hints of chocolate. Hops are typical for this style, you have to try real hard to get the faintest hint. Reminds me of an unwatered down Heineken Dark. Quality dark lager, I can drink this all night though its nothing special.

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Photo of masikon
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first of this style I picked this up for under 3 bucks at my local grocery. Dark amber in the glass with a soothing malty aroma, little hops to be detected in the nose. Taste is very pleasant and earthier than the beer looks. True to style there isn't much hops or bitterness here which makes this very easy to drink and it goes down quite smooth. Definitely A nice style and one i'll make a point to try out more examples of.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ayinger half-liter tumbler, this beer produces a huge rocky head. I can't help but notice the delicate aroma of fresh malt accented by toffee candy. The mouthfeel of this beer is luxurious, the perfect canvas for the toffee character of the caramelized flavors in the lager. I wouldn't be surprised if the wort of deliberately caramelized in the kettle. The beer is malty without being too cloying; it has the right amount of bitterness. The hops are barely noticeable, but you no they are there. Simply an outstanding dark lager!

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oh Sweet Malt!

Looks: A great looking beer. Not as bright as other German lagers, even in my thin Bitburger Pilsner glass. Nice brown color that glints amber in light. Great head that fades eventually with little lacing.

Smells Like: I think brewers and homebrewers will get off on this smell more than your lay beer fanatic, but WOW!!! Altbairisch smells like malted barley -- simply fantastic. Muchich-malt and caramel dominate, but there is some chocolate and bread crust. No fruit whatsoever. Very clean smelling. And, perhaps there is just a hint of Euro-hop perfume...

Taste: Malt! Malt! Malt! This is what happens when you take the time to decoct a lager -- simply transcendant. If you like malt -- which I do! Picture the tastiest, dense-ist loaf of bread you've ever had; now springle that with cocoa. What a flavor. Deep, rich and complex -- a great example of a malt-foreword style.

Mouthfeel: Medium -- should be more biting and carbonation present. Water tastes a touch soft for the style. No biggie, though.

Overall: This is an exceptionally well made beer with an utterly fantastic flavor. A real homerun, especailly for $2.89 a pint. As in I'm going to buy a lot and then run home to drink it. American brewers are really missing the boat on this fantastic style.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darkest tawny with a reddish blush and bright orange trim. A full, frothy head of equal parts pastel orange, gold and beige sits atop the beer, resembling an especially dense version of cotton candy. It's admirably persistent and leaves something less than admirable lace.

Although the nose is underpowered, what reaches my nose is decent. I can appreciate a toasted barley, brown ale nuttiness and a hint of earthy hops. I can't detect much fruitiness and there's very little depth or complexity. It'll do, but I want more... and expect more from Brauerei Aying.

Altbairisch Dunkel is okay on the palate, no more than that. Unfortunately, it's meekly malted. As far as I'm concerned, that's the gravest sin that beer of a malt-dominant style can commit. At least it doesn't have that artificially sweetened, dark syrupy flavor that some dark lagers (especially from Eastern Europe) possess. It's a little dark malty, neither sweet nor bitter, a trifle nutty, barely hoppy... that's about it.

The positives outweigh the negatives, but that's only because there are very few negatives. My impression hasn't changed as I begin my second glassful. There just isn't a whole lot to chew on here. A pleasant brew? Sure, but that isn't enough, especially at this price.

The mouthfeel can only be described as light. To its credit, though, it holds up throughout the mouthful and doesn't even approach watery. The amount and feel of the carbonation is spot on, which helps.

I was all set to be impressed by Altbairisch Dunkel since this brewery (along with Brauerei Weihenstephan) is my favorite in all of Germany. My lack of enthusiasm for this particular beer probably has more to do with my lack of enthusiasm for this particular style than anything else. At least now I know that when it comes to Ayinger, I should stick with the excellent Brau-Weisse and the equally excellent Ur-Weisse.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle served in an imperial pint. Pours a very nice red mahogony color with a finger of beige head, decent retention, not much lacing. Smell is a pretty rich malt, with just a slight roast and fruity hints of cranberries and raisins. Taste is a clean doughy malt, with a slight roasted chocolate hint and a touch of hops at the end that struggles to keep up with the malt. Lingering sweet malt after each sip. Mouthfeel is very smooth, but is a little watery on the finish. Malty dark lagers aren't really my thing, but this was a solid one, and I could definitely quaff a few of these if I had to.

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Photo of pjwilson
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: really picture perfect head on this one. The head is just insane, four fingers with each pour, keeps overflowing out of my mug. nice dark amber color, looks real great in my mug
s: i'm getting nothing here. This would probably have alot more smell on draft but oh well. distant malts with a really hard smell, some roast grain too. getting more on the second half of the bottle
t: creamy and man is that smooth. those dark muinch malt's are ruleing here, not much hops. it's mildy sweet and it mixes well with the roasted grains. It's about the perfect balance between the roasted malts and the smooth malts.
mouthfeel: smooth and creamy.
drinkability: gone before i can finish the reveiw. I love dunkle's. love. It's a crime that it comes in this tiny pint bottles, i could do a 12er of this. Man I wish I could get this on tap/ go back to munich.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a great looking beer, but that's one of the few things that this beer really has going for it. Pours to a deep coppery reddish brown color that seems to glow like a precious gem. This glowing liquid ruby supports a nice thick fluffy white head with a decent retention and a great lacing. Furthermore, the carbonation erupts from the bottom of the glass in several different spirals further making this beauty shimmer.

Unfortunately all other areas of this beer were kind of a let down for me. The smell is sweet and malty with a bit of smoke. Also has a bit of a cranberry tart hidden in the background. No hops detected.

The taste is very similar. Sweet and earthy up front, fading into a mix between a light cranberry tart flavor mixed with a bit of a rauchbier-like smokiness in the finish. This is not a sipping beer, in my opinion. When I sip it I pick up on several undesirable flavors, but it goes down great in larger gulps that can envelop the entire mouth, washing the palate clean as it goes down the gullet (though not to sound anti-advocate in this respect).

The mouthfeel seems to be a bit light, dry and has a lingering mix of the smoke and tartness, along with a bit of a bite in the back of the tongue. Drinkable in the sense that it's easy to put one down quick, but probably not one I will drink again.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A clear garnet with a tight off-white head. Decent retention and a bit of lace. Tiny streaming carbonation.

Smell: Hmmm. Very fruity with a dense malt underbelly. No real hops coming to the fore.

Taste: Whoa, not at all what I expected. Bold; malty, a bit of dark fruit and surprisingly smoky, almost smoked to my palette. Hops make an appearance midway through and definitely bitter and dry things out. Finishes almost metallic -- hard water, perhaps. Really unique favor. Mouthfeel is pretty typical for a German lager, thin and crisp. There is a bit of a syrupy smoothness from the malt, though.

Drinkability: Quite. This is a step down from a full-on smoked beer, but offers some very bold flavors for a light-ish ABV beer. Major surprise, this one.

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Photo of tom444
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving: 500mL bottle.

Appearance: Pours a rich reddish brown, wth a thick light tan head. Head retention is excellent.

Smell: Nice and malty, strong chocolate notes, hints of raisin, apple, some other fruity notes, and a few floral hop notes. Alcohol is definitely noticeable.

Taste: Tons of malt, with a good bit of dark chocolate and some strong fruity notes. Rather sweet, with just enough bitterness to round out the taste. Finishes cleanly, with a bit of a lingering malty aftertaste.

Overall: A nice bold dark lager, one I'll have to try again.

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Photo of KroMagnon
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice tan head, dense and long lasting. Beautiful reddish brown color and very clear. Aroma is clean, not very intense though - a hint of bready, cookie-like maltiness, it would be nice if it were stronger. The flavor is wonderful as well, starting with some toastiness and nuttiness along with a slight sweetness and a decent dose of bitterness at the end. This is a delicious beer! Super drinkable.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is a pleasant burgundy when held up to the light, translucent with a brown tint. The smell is perfect, like cranberries, very tart and almost bitter. You can really smell this all the way up your nose. The taste is much like that, a little bitter with almost a tingly sensation. The overwhelmingness is much like cranberries in the first gush, then it mellows out but the bitterness still lingers. For mouthfeel and drinkablility I didn't think it was that special... there is a strange chalky sensation that overtakes the back of your mouth so to remedy it you take another sip, but then find yourself right back in the same predicament. For a sipping beer this is great, but don't expect to enjoy too many.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown, huge head which disapates in awhile, lots of lacing throughout the drink. Scents of malt, caramel. Medium body with a smoky/nutty taste. Very nice brew, will add to my list. Very drinkable, makes a good session beer, definitely would recommend this to people.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown and almost soda-like in appearance, this beer has a nice fluffy eggshell head that drifts away to nothing but a few flakes on the side of the glass.

Malty almost cola-like hints on the nose, black tea, nuttiness, metallic twinges.

Oddly leathery in flavor but captivating; spicy, leafy, slightly green, and floating suggestions of licorice. Some tart roastiness.

Not necessarily my style of beer but tasty and interestingly eye-opening. Like to be sure I have a fresh example next time...

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Photo of kgotcher
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle. Dark rich amber color with a nice foamy tan head, looks very nice. Aroma is toasted malt all day long. Medium carbonated body with a bit of crispness to it and a nice clean and dry aftertaste. Heavy malts have a very bready, toasty flavor.

Overall a great beer and very drinkable with a unique flavor. Definately adding this one to my long list of favorites.

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Photo of baiser
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, mahogany colour, with a cream coloured head, good retention and lacing. Sweet caramel and toffee flavours, with some smokiness. Taste was full of bready malt, caramel, toffee and some smoke reminiscent of a rauchbier. Some bitterness from the hops. This lager is dominated by its malt character and is pretty delicious.

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Photo of Domingo
4.53/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great stuff. I've never had anything but amazing beers from Ayinger, but this brew is nearly as good as their famed Celebrator...maybe better in some respects.
Pours a nice brown color and like most dunkel lagers, it's opaque enough to have light pass through, but still MUCH darker than a typical lager.
The smell is pure malt, but with some cocoa highlights. A little hops in the end, but not really overly prevalent.
Taste is smooth and VERY chocolatey. In fact, they could likely call it a chocolate brew if they wanted to. I'd say it's got more chocolate flavor than Sam Adams' Chocolate Bock or Young's Double Chocolate. At the same time, some of the Celebrator raisin highlights are present, too.
I could drink these all day.
The biggest compliment I pay pay this beer is to it's drinkability. It's just the perfect beer for any occasion, be it a warm summer day or a cool snowy evening.
If you like dunkels or even if you like Dopplebocks, give this a try. This is kind of like Celebrator's easy drinking little brother.

EDIT: Having been over to Bavaria a few times, I think I can safely say this is one of my top 2-3 dunkels. In fact, it's likely my overall favorite. Of all things, there's an excellent Indian restaurant near Marienplatz (Garam Masala) that serves this on tap. I find this makes a wonderful accompaniment to spicy and savory Indian dishes. Kind of a random food pairing, but it works. I wish I could bring a bottle to my own local Indian spots.

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Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel from Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying
3.96 out of 5 based on 1,083 ratings.
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