Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel | Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying

Ayinger Altbairisch DunkelAyinger Altbairisch Dunkel
1,114 Ratings
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:
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.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 12-13-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,114 |  Reviews: 594
Photo of confer
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Cola brown with a three finger tan head. Lacing all the way down the glass.
S- Super malty. Like caramel that has been slightly toasted.
T- Very clean smooth malty taste, with a slight bitter finish.
MD - I had not heard of this beer prior to my first visit to Total Wine, but have had a few other Ayinger offerings and have always been pleased. This one is no different. Very easy drinking. As I said before the Germans know how to do it.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured clear dark amber in color with a finger-sized off white head that quickly settled down into a thin layer of bubbles that remained on the surface the entire time. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of dark malts, caramel and toffee in the nose.
T: The taste is dominated by flavors of toasted caramel malts with a little bit of sweetness; a slight amount of bitterness is present in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate; the finish seems to be a bit thin.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink and is good if you are looking for something that's moderately filling because with all of the malts it feels like you're having a slice of bread.

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

Poured from 500mL bottle into a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: rich amber hue, heading towards brown. Body is entirely clear and the head is three fingers of rich ivory foam. I like the look.

Smell: rich caramel malt aroma with a touch of biscuit and a smattering of earthy hops; goldings perhaps. I like it well enough.

Taste: the flavor tracks with the aroma very well as far as malt profile, though the hops aren't as prevalent. There is a sufficient bitterness toward the end, though, which balances the malt and makes this a pretty tasty beer. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: medium to medium-light body with a decent level of carbonation. It seemed to take a minute to get there, but the carb does yield some nice creaminess. I think letting the beer warm a little helped here.

Drinkability: tracking with most of these other characteristics, this beer is pretty drinkable. Its flavors aren't my favorite and its mouthfeel doesn't keep my interest; I wouldn't shun one of these if offered but I won't go out of my way for one either.

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

Pours a three finger cream head that fades quickly leaving a trace of lace. Nice, clear deep amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is caramel with a nice hop backbone, clean finish. $3.70 for a 5000ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

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Photo of crossovert
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml Bomber, the first ever German beer I have had that gushed.

It pours into my DAB mug a nice perfect brownish red with an off white head that doesn't leave much lacing.

The smell is a bit light for a Munich Dunkel. I'm guessing this will fall under the extremely drinkable and not as sweet Munich Dunkel category. It has some Munich malt and some caramel.

The taste is light but good and refreshing. This is a very traditional take at the style. It almost tastes no different than a Helles lager besides a bit less hops and a bit richer malt. It has a subtle nuttiness and roasted character as well.

It isn't the best Dunkel but it is worth a try.

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Photo of turkob
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A beautiful brown color with a medium-foamy head that lasts.

S: Caramel and chocolate, a little toffee. This is one delicious smelling beer.

T: Clean and wonderful. Sweet and yeasty with nice caramel depth. Finishes with nice warm hops, and some roasted nuttiness.

M: Coats the mouth well and finishes dry but the malts linger. This is how a dunkel should be.

O: A standard bearer for dunkels. From nose to finish, hits all the right notes. A beautiful full flavor in a beer that weighs in at just 5%. Prost!

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Photo of jmhart
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Ayinger Brauhaus in Munich across from Hofbrauhaus

Apearance was a deep deep amber. No apparent sediment. A firm long lasting almond colored head and elementary lace.

Nice aromas of honey and caramel. Mild malt aromas but not as much as would be expected. Warm and full of sugar candy on the nose.

Toffee hits you first followed with a balanced bite of bitterness. Toasted nuts and hints of cardamon and cinnamon.

Silky moutfeel with mild acidity. Medium bodied. It's a nice brew, but mildly body than expected and minorly disappointing.

Highly drinkable...not sure the best way to describe the drinkability for this one so I'll just leave it at that.

Overall this was a good brew, but I wouldn't have more than one in a row, and would only drink this again seldomly.

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Photo of irisier
4.92/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 500 ml bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Reddish brown body with a nice beige lace. Good clarity.

Smell: Sweet bread and caramel aromas. Some fruit hints in there as well.

Taste: Bready and a bit sweet with some dark sugar flavors, maybe a little treacle hint in that sweetness. Some faint fruits as well, raisins I think. Just a kiss of hops that give a brief bit of earthy bitterness, before finishing with a little bit of roasty malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, not too much carbonation. Pretty smooth but with a little heft when the hops surge in.

Impressions: Tasty and goes down well. Very flavorful without being so complex that you have to really think about each taste. Just drink one over a nice conversation and watch your glass empty without effort. Perfect ABV for sessioning. I'd say this is one of my favorite session beers.

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Photo of vacax
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with good clarity, good finger of khaki head with high retention and plenty of lacing. Aroma is quite worty or malt syrupy, fairly intense and appealing, perhaps a some treacle in there, a bit husky. Taste has lots of worty malt, some toast, not quite roasty, but robustly malty with a great malt finish that doesn't taste overly sweet or cookielike like I've had in a hundred beers. The body is light to moderate, seems to match its lagerness, luckily carbonation avoids being overdone, so pretty nice. I really like the use of munich malts here, it gives it a rich, worty flavor without being sweet. Real nice beer from an underutilized style, highly drinkable lager with a rich malt flavor.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: mahogany in color and crystal-clear, allowing the extravagant lacing to be fully visible. A cream colored head quickly fades to a thick foam.

S: the reserved bouquet is composed of dark bread and sweet honey and molasses.

T: dry and refreshing, with pumpernickel and honey at the start and crisp hops bringing up the rear.

M: light in body with a decent amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel definitely complements the brew's refreshing-yet-indulgent nature.

D: a great example of what is quickly becoming my favorite style. Ayinger has delivered a beer that is both highly sessionable and incredibly flavorful; delicious and delicate. This is definitely worth a shot if it is in your area.

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Photo of Flashsp2
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ayinger Altbairsch Dunkel .5L into Pilsner glass

Pours a deep ruby with nutty brown highlights and a dense three finger beige cap that looks nice and leaves a few spots of lace. A steady string of carbonation adds a champagne style touch of class.

Nose is steely caramel, melanoidin, raisins, prunes. Just a hefty dark malt presence, and not much else. A real faint touch of roastiness.

Palette is a little less on the dark fruit side than the nose. The raisin is still there, but more subdued. Light caramels, toffee, and a soft creamy roastiness are at the forefront. A soft malty sweetness and touch of nuttiness as it warms. The taste is definitely better than what the nose lead me to believe. Quite tasty actually.

Body has a solid heft and a medium-high carbonation, just like a German dark lager should.

A pretty straightforward, well crafted, easy quaffing Munich Dunkel. Germans know how to make a tasty beer that is clean, inoffensive, and easy to throw down the hatch. The nose was a little ehh, but the rest of the beer I enjoyed quite a bit.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful deep amber/brown with a decent off-white head to start. Dissipates to a ring with some lacing.

Toasted spicy malt aroma, some brown bread and toasted grain, light chocolate scent. Strong and inviting.

This is what I think of when someone says German beer. Great toasted malt flavor, with pumpernickel bread notes, light touch of sweetness (grain), with a long finish that is all clean dry malt. Just great.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Just right.

This is a very drinkable beer. Nothing off or odd about this one. I have a slight cold and I am still getting everything in scent and flavor. Another terrific beer from Ayinger. Rich, complex, drinkable, and delicious.

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Photo of lumikuuro
4.87/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle.

Appearance: Clear mahogany with huge beige head that has good retention but only leaves some lace. The colour is wonderful.

Aroma: Malty fruit, toffee, a little chocolate and smoke, distant herbs and spices; all of this blended with an unusual aroma of something similar to strong cheese. The latter sounds terrible, but it actually makes this beer very inviting and it smells really good.

Taste: Just like the aroma: malty fruit, toffee, chocolate, smoke, strong cheese, herbs and spices. Also a vague hint of coffee and some vinous qualities. Fairly sweet. A seriously complex taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth but chewy. Rewarding.

Drinkability: I couldn't help but reach for the glass with this one as there is so much going on. The unusual but accomplished flavour may not be for everyone or for every occasion, but this is quite an extraordinary example of the style.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, mahogany topped by a thick bubbly head that lays down intricate webs of lacing. There isn't any way I can think of that this could look better.

The aroma is caramelized malt and raw dough, pumpernickel, metal...nice, but nothing to write home about.

Nice clean toasted caramel flavor gives way to a slightly herbal, metallic bitterness. There's some pumpernickel in the taste as well, all with a dry finish.

The mouthfeel is a tad thinner than I'd like, but with good carbonation.

I dunno. This is really good. Don't get my wrong. But it's not great. Maybe I just expected more from the top rated example of its style on BA? But what does it say about a style when nine out of the ten top examples here don't rate any higher than a B+? Maybe I'm just one of a lot of BAs who don't understand the style enough to rate it any higher?

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

500ml bottle poured into pint glass mar7 2010

A clear reddish amber with lots of bubbles floating up to a thumbs width of head that had decent retention but left no lace

S a little molasses and lots of malt and some cereal

T what I smell but some bruised banana, a nice touch of sweetness that works well for it and a little chocolate

M not to thick but enough carbonation to give it a creamy feel

D no problems with this beer good in all areas

I liked this beer and can't think of any reasons not to drink it again so that says something

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

Pours reddish in color with a generous, tan head.

Caramel and nutty aroma with a bread dough yeasty note, pumpkin bread.

Rich malt flavors that are like nutty banana bread with vanilla in the fade. Pretty big flavors for the style. The body is soft and smooth, and if you don't mind a little sweetness, it's very easy to drink.

Ayinger makes truely great beer. Nothing extreme or flashy, just great.

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Photo of LyonsHead
4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark ruby red with deep browns. Creamy white head

S: Very bready on the nose. This is like a liquid version of a variety of freshly baked breads. There are some nice melanoidans and som subtle toasty notes as well. Im getting a very distinct smell of a smoore that has been slightly burnt in the microwave... toasted graham, burnt marshmallow and chocolate.

T: Malty sweet and malty melanoidan mix as soon as this beer hits the palate. A variety of toasty notes, with none reaching the roasted level. There is a mild caramel sweetness and a nuttiness in the finish. Hop bitterness is firm enough to balance the sweetness well

M: medium-light body, almost slick. This is a sweet beer, but the finish is moderately dry with just a slight residual sweetness.

D: A well made munich dunkel is always a drinkable beer and this is no exception. It came in a 16 oz (true pint) bottle but I could see this being served by the liter. Very good beer from a very good brewery!

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

Poured into a Unibroue tulip. Nice, off white head on a dark ruby body. Aroma is of sweet malts and maybe raisins and other dark pit fruits. Taste follows suit in a very delicious way. Sweet, but not too sweet. Not too complicated but just plainly delicious and very expected considering the source (Ayinger)

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Photo of speter
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pilsner glass

A: Pours a clear dark tan with a fluffy one-finger off white head.

S: Malt, malt and more malt.

T: Wonderful rich malt flavor with just enough hop bitterness to keep the beer from being too sweet.

M: Good body with just-right level of carbonation.

D: This beer immediately takes me back to Bavaria. Wonderfully drinkable.

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Photo of glid02
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a dark brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of sweet and lightly toasted caramel malts - very syrupy. As it warms hints of earthy hops waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly toasted and syrupy caramel malt flavors kick things off. The flavor profile borders on too sweet but doesn't quite reach that point. Midway through the sip hints of hops come in attempting to balance things out but don't quite get there as they fade before a sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I finished my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I was expecting a little less sweetness in this beer. Worth a shot if you're a fan of the style but not one to seek out.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a wheat beer glass. Beer is brown and clear. Carbonation is steady and of medium bubbles that rise through the beer quickly, feeding an off white head of medium bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is primarily malt. Overall weak but pleasant.

Lots of carbonation on the palate, overall the flavor of the beer is weak. Some sweetness a nice pleasant aftertaste, medium body, high drinkability and good mouthfeel.

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Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a crystal clear amber color with a 1" head that lingers around a while. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of earthiness and citrus comes through.

Taste: bready and grainy malt base with caramel, brown sugar, a hint of lemon, and a hint of ripe apples in the background. Bitterness is mild but nicely balancing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout. Aftertaste is very brief as the flavors leave the mouth quickly.

Drinkability: if you are in the mood for a dunkel lager, this one will fill the need. Easy to consume and a definite session beer.

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Photo of bobsy
3.21/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife cracked this open while I was performing my evening ablutions, but I managed to swoop in and grab some for myself. This bottle was picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

The only dunkel in the world that's supposedly better than Denison's version according to you BAs (damn rDev), so what better a glass to put this in than a Denison's weizen glass? Pours a touch lighter than expected, presenting a clear light oak body with a frothy off-white head that makes this German beer look pretty damn fine. After a while the head drops to a fine film that's retained for the rest of the drink, and leaves some streaks of lace as it descends.

Lightly toasty aroma, with notes of brown bread, nut and earth. Its all rather muted, though, and the last thing I expected from a brewery of Ayinger's quality. At first I wondered whether my bottle was old, but the general consensus seems to be that the nose is lacking, though this doesn't rule age and handling out as a cause. The flavour is also underpowered, presenting much the same notes as the aroma, but without the force and complexity I hoped for. Strong brown ale elements jive with caramel and toasted grain before dropping off into nothing. Its not that it isn't drinkable, but it does seem underplayed and a shadow of its potential. At least the mouthfeel is somewhat on par, but again it could do with being a little more fuller.

Seeing words like muted, lacking, underpowered and underplayed in a review is never good. This isn't a bad beer by any means, but there's absolutely nothing here that makes me want to buy another, and how this is ranked ahead of far superior dunkels I do not know.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear chestnut, ruby color with a tiny off white head that does not stick around.

S - Toasted bread, caramel, Slight chocolate and hint of dark fruits with a touch of spice. Very light aroma.

T - Rich breadyness, caramel, toffee, chocolate with a hint of spice.

M - On the light side of medium with a lot of carbonation. Lingering sweetness. Very clean.

D - Somewhat light in aroma and flavor but goes down very easily. The sweetness builds making more than 1 bottle a bit much.

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

Poured a 500 ml bottle into a weissbier Ayinger glass.

Its color is a beautiful aged-brown. Imagine a dark brown that you can see through (I could see my fingers through the other side of the glass). Has almost a dark maroon tint to it. A one-finger head, light tan in color, stays for the first half of the session, but dissipates for the 2nd half.

It's very aromatic. I smell clove, tea, and a little citrus mixed with caramel, and something that represents musty aged wood.

Its taste matches the aroma with the caramel malts taking center stage. All elements fade together into a bitterness on the back end that lingers on the tongue. Almost medicinal at the end.

The Mouthfeel is smooth, but fairly thin. Carbonation is moderate.

Drinkability is great.

This beer is one that I would consider taking on a deserted island with me if I was told I could only drink one kind of beer for the rest of my life. Whether or not I'd choose it, I don't know - but I'd sure as hell consider it. It's just solid. Nicely balanced, bold enough, quenching enough, malty, historic tasting, but also a little citrusy and earthy. Bravo to Ayinger. They do no wrong in my eyes.

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Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel from Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 1,114 ratings
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