Schell's Dark | August Schell Brewing Company

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Schell's DarkSchell's Dark
284 Ratings
Schell's DarkSchell's Dark

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer is dark because the barley is roasted longer– a flavorful lager that everyone will enjoy.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-17-2002

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 284 |  Reviews: 126
Reviews by Soilworker:
Photo of Soilworker
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber with a one finger thick off-white head.

S: More malty than anything else but there is still a small presence of herbalish hops. Most interesting aspect is this beer is the sweet brown sugar notes that come through which are a nice touch.

T: Somwhat offputting flavors seem to always stick in the background: kind of cidery with some sourness. Other than that there is a light amount of roasted maltiness (note the light, not much). Some herbal hops balance it out.

M: Somewhat high carbonation and watery mouthfeel overall.

D: Could put a few of these down but the offputting flavors are a little too prominent for prolonged drinking.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of steveh
3.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Just a little disappointed in 2 cases with this beer. First: I thought it was supposed to be Schell's version of a Munich Dunkel, but even their web site calls it an "American Dark Lager." Shades of Mich Dark... or maybe Augsburger Dark? Second: what I thought was a bottling date on these beers is really a best-by date, so 05.22.15 might be a bit past prime. At least they stopped using the clear bottles and switched to brown.

A -- Clear, deep chestnut with a creamy, light tan head that settles quickly.

S -- Bready to nutty with a sweet character I remember from old regionals like the above mentioned Augsburger. I hate to think it, but it could be corn.

T -- Somewhat bready up front, but blending into a lightly grainy and almost fruity sweetness. It's not as estery as some ales, but there's a candy sweetness that's a little cloying. Finish clean, helping the cloying, with some molasses-like character in the aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a light to light-medium body.

O -- Overall, the nostalgia factor of the Midwest-style dark beers is nice, but I guess I'd rather find a good import Dunkel.

 1,138 characters

Photo of Turbo
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of blackearth
3.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased from 3 Corners Liquor in Medford, MN. Pours a dark amber body with lots of rising bubbles, which makes it look like Coca Cola. Aroma is of sweet malts and no hops at all. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavors of toasted malt and toffee sweetness. There's a very faint hop flavor in the overall sweet finish. There's nothing special here.

 369 characters

Photo of skybluewater
2.88/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber color (I was expecting something black!), no lacing to speak of. Doesn't smell the greatest. Taste is pretty basic-fairly malty, but weak, with a touch of hops. Nothing offensive, but nothing at all special.

Not a great brew here, best to stick with Schell's Craft selections. But if this was on tap at some pizza parlor, I'd go for it.

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Photo of NWer
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Dark" beer poured into a pint glass.
Strange to name a beer "dark" as if it tells us anything as to style.
OK, so it's a dunkel lager.
Poured brown with adequate head that dissipates quickly.
Taste of honey. Very sweet. Too sweet to be a session beer but perfectly willing to enjoy one if handed to me.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of MrUse
3.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bsp77
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into single style glass.

Appearance: Dark brownish-amber with very thin head.

Smell: Very sweet - caramel and maybe a little cherry. Maybe a touch of spiciness.

Taste: Very malty and sweet. Lots of caramel and fruit, with maybe a touch of roastiness and spiciness. Really wish there was more than a touch of both. Slightly cloying aftertaste.

Feel: Pretty high carbonation, light to medium body.

Drinkability: Easy to drink but uninteresting.

Schell should make a real Dunkel, this is an American Dark Lager.

 549 characters

Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served by a local chain ice cold in a frosty mug. Brilliant chestnut with a thin white foam collar. Malty aromas and a nice caramel toffee flavor with no roast or burnt notes. Medium light to medium body and medium carbonation.

 227 characters

Photo of MattyG85
3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a darker shade of amber red with lots of rising bubbles. Big five finger off white head with good retention. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Sweet lightly toasted caramel malts with toffee. Lots of wheat grains. Light hint of chocolate. Mostly grains.

Taste: Mostly wheat grains with some lightly toasted caramel malts. A very light subtle hint of chocolate. Very grain driven and fairly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Subtle but not watery.

Overall: A decent lighter lager. Flavors are very subtle but this brew isn't watery at all.

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Photo of Timmuh
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of ADR
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear dark tea-like brown, OK head that's down to a rim-clinging rim in 40 seconds. Slightly chocolate aroma. Mostly malty but pretty non-descript. A little bit of a nut flavor but not much. Some light brown sugar predominates, very little sense of hops at the finish. This is really ordinary in all aspects, not a beer I would choose to purchase on my own. Maybe a starter for people who like Michelob Dark. The bottle was a part of a sampler pack I got in order to try this year's Snow Storm rendition.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from a clear bottle, labeling and bottle together bring out a retro feel to the product. Pours a dark copper ruby brown hue with a nice creamy tan head quickly dwindling. Aroma has hints of grainy malts, a touch of caramel and tart fruit in there as well. Flavor wise roasty malts/husky graininess/fruits with apple/raisin coming through with a touch of a grassy finish. Mouthfeel is a bit rough around the edges but a light to medium bodied lager from New Alt Minnesota is a welcome addition to the beers I've tried. This is nowhere near Penn Dark was it's hayday, but it's a decent drinkable beer.

 605 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBierZu
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of
4/5  rDev +19.4%

You had this beer. Write a review.

Photo of sgttibbs
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in 2 American pint glasses) it was happy hour I guess

A- This beer has a dark brown shoe polish colored body with a thin light tan film of head and a strong carbonation.

S- The smell of pot caramel had a faint dry dark malt note to it.

T- This beer had a pot caramel malt flavor with a nougat note. There was a faint sulfur note and a faint noble hop hint in the finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel had a watery texture and a tight fizz in the finish.

D- This beer didn't have a lot of flavor and the flavors it did have were a little off. It would be nice to taste some other malt flavors like maybe some Munich malt or other lightly toasted malts.

 671 characters

Photo of richkrull
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of LXIXME
3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Small off white to light tan head slowly settles down above a clear burnt reddish brown colored beer.

Light caramel malts aroma coming from richly roasted grain malts.

Lighter tasting roasted caramel malts taste without much else coming through with this Schell's Dark.

Wettish aftertaste without much taste associated with it with this lighter bodied beer.

This beer seems to be a bit light tasting for a dark, was hoping it would have more and richer tastes, although the taste that it has isn't bad, just lighter than I was thinking I would get with a Dark.

 564 characters

Photo of bif_fat_sellout
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of optimator705
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of zjungleist
3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber/brown in color with a low medium head. The smell is generic caramel malt. Taste is caramel and roasted malts, with a distinct absense of hops, and kinda funky sulphury aftertaste. Mouthfeel is on the high side of medium and carbonation is average. Overall, I can't really say I was a fan.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.02/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Well, I've seen darker. Here we have a caramel color with very good clarity and a half-inch soapy head that settles to a thin layer quickly.

Aroma: Light caramel notes and even lighter notes of chocolate and brown sugar arise from the glass.

Flavor is brown sugar, hazelnut, caramel. Barely any hops detectable, this is definitely more about the dark malts. It tastes okay, but leans toward the unspectacular.

On the thin side, body-wise, with a strange puckery, distracting feel during the dry finish.

The clear bottle scared me...the previous two Schell's I've had didn't psych me up...the label reminded me way too much of a Hamm's or Schlitz thing. All that hesitation doesn't help what is basically your average brown ale...err, I mean Munich Dunkel Lager. Whatever you call it, it's severely average.

 819 characters

Photo of kittywamp
3.92/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a nice brown with highlights of red

S: sweet, grain spice with a note of something i cant place the smell.

T: sweet caramel, malty and a hint of nut

M: creamy, buttery and smooth goodness

O: this is a great starter beer. made by a great brewery.

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Schell's Dark from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.35 out of 5 with 284 ratings