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 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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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish brown beer with a bit of tan head.

Smell is lots of roasted grains and whole grain bread scent. Scents of raisin, molasses and brown sugar are in here too.

Taste is mild smoke and roasted grains. Big malt presence but not sweet the smoke and medium hopping level only let you taste a hint of it. The hops give this a pleasant bitter after taste that lingers quite a long time. Damn this is a tasty brew!

Mouthfeel is a good balance between refreshing lightness and body.

Outstanding drinkability here I could drink this all the time and I absolutely am going to stock up on this one. Highly recommended!

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Photo of tjthresh
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle. No date, but there is a touch of oxidation. Brown and garnet with a nice tan cap on top. Strong malt nose featuring chocolate, and toffee. No hops here. Buttery chocolate with a drying at the end. Light carb is nice. Well worth the coupole of bucks fo the bottle.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very clear dark chestnut brown color with a firm inch of tan foam at first pour. There are quite a few bubbles rising to keep the foam lasting for some time. It leaves a good bit of lacing on the glass after being consumed.

Aroma: Munich malts and Melanoidins rule the aroma profile. The earthy aromatics are so intense! This is really nice. I can even pick out a bit of plum hiding in there somewhere. It smells like there may be a tad of Oxidation, but the malt still rules.

Taste: The flavor is rich with nutty/toasty notes and some sweet caramel. The Melanoidins aren’t quite as noticeable to me in the flavor as they were in the aroma. I even get a bit of chocolate in the throat when this beer gets done with me. The malt is really complex in this beer. I can taste a little bit of some floral hops, but the malts easily overpower them.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer, and one that I would probably drink all the time if it were available in Texas (At least I don’t know where to find it in Houston). This is a world class beer, and I bet that it would be fabulous to try in Aying. The example that I reviewed showed some slight signs of oxidation. Still a wonderful beer.

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Photo of blackie
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle. The pour creates a 1/4" off white head that recedes to leave a small amount of bubbles behind. The color is a darker amber.

Smells rich and malty, especially for a lager. Hops are moderate and spicy. Slight metallic hints and some starchy fruitiness.

Carbonation is medium high and the body is on the heavier side of thin.

Nice moderate maltiness on the tongue, with a nice balancing characteristic of lightly spicy German hops. Finishes with a lingering, subtle, spicy bitterness.

A nice, refreshing, drinkable lager...but with plenty of character to keep things interesting. A distinctly German beer.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

To me this beer screams "after dinner" to seel the meal. Light carbonation and rich flavor.

17oz bottle poured in tulip glass. Rich head that quickly fades but leaves lacing with every drink to the bottom. Beautiful shiney dark copper body that leans towards Amber.

I'm guessing by the alcohol i'm picking up in the smell that this beer is higher in ABV. But its only a mere 5%, every bit of it comes through in the nose. Not so much in the flavor although there is a woody burbouny combination that meets toasted roasted malts.

Flavor is heavy malty with some burnt taste that is delightfull. Perfect for a post meal sealer.

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

Appearance is a deep mahogany with a cream colored head that reduces to sticky lace. Aroma is of brown sugar, rich coffee and mixed fruit. Initial taste is yeast, malt and burnt sugar, mellowing into the promised mixed fruit from the bouquet. Bitter hops kick in but do not overwhelm the malt, and end with a lovely aftertaste. Brilliantly crafted!

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Photo of GnomeKing
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer is more complex than its seems after the first sip. It has hints of spiciness and nice, grain-flavored after taste. The grainy character comes through in a subtle smell as well. Additional tastes come forward the more you drink it. The mouthfeel is a little watery, but that detract significantly from the enjoyability. It was surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of DrainBamage
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with decent head that does not recede much. It's a tad too dark to see the carbonation, but fairs well. Smells of roasted malts and mouthfeel is quite strong in the sense that you can get a good taste of it before you even swallow. There is a slight dryness to the aftertaste with a nice ballance of hops. There is also a good nutty malt taste too. This is the second Ayinger I've tried after Celebrator Doppelbock. This isn't quite as good as that, but it's still up there. I give this a thumbs up.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A perfectly clear dark tan with many columns of bubbles and a sturdy white head that leaves a constant ring. Nose smells a little thin with malty bread and cocoa powder notes over top. Taste is mostly malt, with a miniscule hop flavor underneath. Some citrus on the edges and just the beginnings of a dark chocolate flavor, but the thinness prevents it from flourishing. Mouthfeel is thin, though it has more body than other beers I've had in this style. Highly drinkable, pleasant if a tad watery. Give it a shot.

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

Pours translucent dark brown-orange, nice foamy head, good retention and lacing. Nose consists of light toasty malts, minor hops, a nice blend that isn't too strong. Taste matches well with a good balance of toasted malts, some bitter hops, good nutty malted foundation. Another winner from Ayinger, but the Ur Weisse still takes the cake.

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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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