Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel
Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying

Ayinger Altbairisch DunkelAyinger Altbairisch Dunkel
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Munich Dunkel Lager
Ranked #3
Ranked #7,420
3.97 | pDev: 9.82%
Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying
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: 624 | Ratings: 1,193
Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This dark lager pours a very dark brown color with a nice tan head that leaves a considerable lacing. There is a crisp, malty scent that is very common with German beers. There is a really nice malt backbone for this beer that imparts a molasses bready flavor that is unmistakably German. It has a pretty full body, but still manages to have a nice crisp finish. I could definitely drink these all day. There’s nothing fancy or revolutionary about this beer, but it’s just a really well done delicious beer. It’s a highly rated Munich Dunkel Lager for a reason.

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Photo of PhilsPils
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a glass stein at the Gasthaus by the brewery in Aying. Wonderful malty aroma and taste with just enough German hops (Hallertauer?) to somewhat control the malt. I say "somewhat" because the crystal malt flavor definitely runs the show here. No burnt or roasted grain flavors like so many faux Dunkels from the U.S. Decoction mashing doesn't lend itself well to mass production but this sure tastes like my triple decoction attempts at this beer style. I have no idea what mash procedure they used but it is one delicious Dunkel. Their Dunkelweizen is awesome as well, IMHO.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I like brewers that make lagers and wheat ales particularly well. And Ayinger may stand alone, or nearly alone, in this regard among Bavarian brewers.
This dark lager I like and may have again. But it is hard to top Ayinger's bocks.

MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave this Dunkel 2.5 of 4 stars and said "a splendid example the Bavarian dark style with a warm, slightly fruity aroma, malty middle and coffee-isn finish."

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, cola-like brown. A thin, off white head. Lots of carbonation with this one.
Smells of malt and Carmel, with banana and yeast coming through. Slight clove.tastes awesome! The Carmel, malt and yeast combo produces an awesome taste beginning. A slight clove and hop hint that adds to interest.
What a balanced beer. Great mouthfeel that enters just medium status. The finish provides a crisp feel.
Great dunkle!

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Photo of q33jeff
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is raisin, prune, must. Appearance is Clear Dark Brown Color-reddish copper hue. Taste is toasted malt, caramel, raisin. Feel is crisp, with medium carbonation. Very nice Dark Ale.

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Photo of stevoj
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Missing Germany in the fall right about now. This one is a perfect example of the classic Munich dunkel lager. Dark and nutty, Clear brown with nice thick velvety head. Yummy stuff!

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken 03/09/16:

Medium-dark syrupy brown, quite clear and topped with moderately well-retaining head of fine, foamy grey-tan. All I can really detect on the aroma is unsulfured molasses. On the palate, tart grassiness throughout, roasty-toasty suggestions, and light toffee. Floral hops and light pepper as it finishes. Medium-bodied, watery texture at first, then prickly, the sloshy, then creamy. May be a Munich Dunkel, but also comparable to a Euro Dark.

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Photo of Groenebeor
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Dark ruby brown, no head. I think that is the result of this bottle's age.

S: Faint smell of caramel and raisins

T: Caramel and toasted wheat bread, residual sugars, some faint raisin, molasses.

F: Slightly syrupy, low amounts of carbonation due to the age of this bottle I'm sure. Light overall.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.29/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: [4.25] Beautiful ruby to blood red color in the glass. Extremely transparent with no clouding of haze. Forms 1 finger of medium bubbles. The head is off white in color. The bottles have no dating but list the ABV at (5.0%)

S: [3.25] Brown bread, rust, copper, clove.

T: [3.25] Follows the nose with mild brown bread and caramel. The "rust" on the nose is not in the flavor. There is a mild hop finish.

M: [3.00] Thin with some tingly carbonation.

O: [3.25] My first real foray into German beers (made in Germany). This beer is pretty tame on my American palate. Nothing really stands out or defines it. This is my first dunkel - so I have no basis for comparison but it seems lacking.

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Photo of matcris
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Dark copper, ruby up to the sunlight. Nice bunch of medium size bubbles slowly rising up the glass. Crystal clear beer. 2+ fingers of eggshell creamy/foamy head. Stays around for just a little bit and leaves a nice ring on top. Leaves a decent lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Big sweet caramel notes. Minor sweet chocolate. Lots of breadiness in the aroma.
TASTE: Not nearly as sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe. You get the breadiness, caramel, and some chocolate. The slightest bit of sourness, but in a great way.
FEEL: This beer is dry through the entire sip. Wow is this dry. But in a good way, like I need another sip, right now, kind of way.
OVERALL: You get all the breadiness, caramel, and a really cool slight sourness quality to this beer that you could want. If you don't like an incredibly dry lager, it may not be for you.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark rooty color, 3 finger head

Smells of wheat and molasses, dark malts

Taste is nice and roasted, cocoa malt, smokiness.

Feel is creamy and carbonated. Semi dry finish.

Id have this one again. Nice to share with friends.

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Photo of drmeto
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

-pours a clear ruby-brown with a medium,foamy,offwhite head
-low to medium carbonation
-caramel,raisins,chocolate,slight coffee,black bread,plums
-medium carbonation
-light body
Roastier than your typical Munich Dunkel.
Good, though a little too light

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Photo of ranger7
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft in Ayinger's biergarten on 8/1/2015:
What an amazing appearance; dark and clear with an amber hue. This beer has an amazing, foamy head with excellent lacing. This sets my bar for how a Dunkel should look. Smells terrifically malty. Tastes dark and malty. Malt aftertaste with a smooth feel. I asked someone here which would be a good beer to try. He said, "I don't know, all Bavarian beers good." I'm beginning to believe him.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Pilsener glass. It pours a dark copper color with one-finger of milk-white head and lacing. It smells of malt, caramel, nuts, and raisin. It taste begins with toasted grain with a touch of caramel and dark fruit, then becomes increasingly dry with some nut flavor, with some slight bitterness at the end. It has a really nice balance of malt and hops. It's medium-bodied, lightly carbonated, and very drinkable at 5% ABV. It's refreshing and enjoyable to drink. Overall, this is a very pleasant and enjoyable Dunkel.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This starts off promising with some nice toasted bread, hard crust and all, and some bittering cocoa to balance, but there are also notes of dark fruits and tobacco.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle, no date. Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish brown, perfectly clear with four fingers of tan head. Outstanding, truly other-worldly retention. Ample visible carbonation. Epic lacing.

Aroma: Extremely sweet maltiness, like Hatuey or Malta Goya. Caramel maltiness and a touch of toasty grain. Toasted grain increases as it warms and as I drink it down. Smells like Roman Meal 100% whole wheat bread crust. Slight noble hop touch and familiar lager yeast.

Taste: Drier, toastier arrival than expected. Quite dry and toasty across mid palate, too. Very nice clean and light bittering. As much bittering from the malt as from the hops. Somewhat salty finish. Really malty, complex, and clean.

Mouthfeel: Mid-to-lightweight. MUCH lighter than it looks or smells. Very clean. Slight effervescence; much less than the appearance would let on. This may be a touch light for the style.

Overall: The smell is wholly sweet, but the taste is wholly lager. I was expecting something more akin to Eliot Ness Vienna Lager, but this is far less sweet. There is tremendous malt complexity here; many layers of taste. Really delivers for a 5.0% ABV lager.

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Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this at the brewpub/biergarten in Germany... Wow! I thought at the time that it might be the best dunkel in the world, and I still stand by that. Perfect balance, just like the Germans do best in their beers. Man...

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Photo of REVZEB
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The feel is spot on for an amazing dunkel. The taste and appearance are right there too, bringing signature malt along with some breadiness and coffee. All this is done while staying lighter as not to bring the feel down. The smell had more coffee than expected for a malt forward beer, but still pleasant

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Photo of James954
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Medium amber-caramel color with carbonation rising from bottom and lacing around the edge.
S: Light plum-raisins with a malty note
T: A light plum-raisin again but I like this flavor a lot whereas normally I don't prefer dark fruit and raisin flavors... Toasty malt on the back-end with a sneaky peach or apricot that is barely detectable? There is a little syrup action, but it isn't off-putting thanks to not over sweetening. No excessive sweetness, no stale malts, no skunk, it may be as good as dunkels get.
F: Medium-high carbonation with a remarkable smoothness. I cannot rave enough about how impressively SMOOTH it is for a dunkel!

Overall: Nearly perfect for the style. I HATE overly sweet dunkels and dunkels with a stale hop finish. This brew avoids all the pitfalls of bad dunkels!

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

In what is becoming a fall Sunday ritual, it's time for a German beer and some football. This dark lager hits the glass in a muddled brown-copper color without the slightest bit of haze. A decent sized, frothy head forms and is a light tan in color. Retention and lacing are both very good. There is just a touch of red in the color of the body when held to the light. Crisp and light grains hit your nose first when taking a whiff of this brew. In the middle of the smell there is just a hint of darker malt, displaying a tiny bit of caramel character. Just a touch of balancing hops bitterness is present in the lightest floral note possible at the end. Smells exactly true to style.

The beer hits the lips with a small burst of caramel malts before the flavor lightens to the more traditional German lager flavors. A slight bit of sweetness up front transforms into a light and crisp pale malt flavor in the middle of the drink. Towards the end of the drink, the balancing, light hops I have come to expect out of great German lagers gives the malt a check and just enough bitterness to be noticed. The hops are borderline spicy before the drink washes off the tongue crisp and clean. The feel of this beer on the palate is what I have come to expect out of Ayinger; smooth and medium in weight, with a great refreshing quality. I could drink many of these in a sitting (shout out to the German heritage in my liver!).

Overall, I do not know why I don't buy Ayinger brews by the case. This is the third of their beers in a row that has really impressed me. The best part about a brew like this is the clean, easy drinking, sessionability that made German beers famous. Next time you are craving a lager, reach for one of these beauties.

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Photo of JRed
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep purple, almost brown in body with an off-white head that lingers on the edges of the glass. Aroma of prunes, earth, dark fruit sugars, wine, banana, background mild note of peanut butter. Tastes of prunes, grape, past its prime pear, banana, leaves, cocoa, lingering flowers (Honeysuckle?). Light in body with light carbonation. Many flavors but none are offensive.

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

Revisited 7/30/19

A-Pours an amber color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has caramel and spice hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a caramel and spice flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A good beer

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Photo of jjboesen
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ayinger is a superlative Bavarian brewery and their dunkels epitomizes the style: smooth mouthfeel with sweet caramel and brown sugar notes with a toasted hoppiness at the finish. Wunderbar to say the least.

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Photo of MightyMonk
4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This wonderful dark lager is one of the top dunkel styles out there for your tasting pleasure. You can't go wrong with any Ayinger beer unless of course it has been outdated or carelessly stored or treated on its trip to the US.
It exemplifies the German/Bavarian style of world class beer.

I can see the roasty color and smell the malty aroma as I pour it in a 20 0z Becker. It pours dark rich and heady that quickly settles. It's malty rich sweet flavor is unique.
Love this beer.

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Photo of JetFeather22
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Definitely the best Dunkel i have ever had, The Warsteiner one sucks and it's rated not to much lower than this one, I think this is a world class Dunkel

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Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel from Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 1193 ratings