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Schell's Dark | August Schell Brewing Company

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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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Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 272
Photo of hodgsongreg
4.62/5  rDev +39.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After drinking mainly dark beers and stouts since I started throwing down and subsequently enjoying the brew, I wanted to find a dark beer that was satisfying but not filling. I found this in Schell Dark. When I bought my first case of Schell Dark, it was in a colorful package calling to mind the region it was born, but not in an overtly exploitative manner. The bottle is clear with a colorful wrap, the contents are a dark caramel color. The smell is sweet, with a nice barley aroma. For a dark beer, I was expecting more of a bite, but there was very little bitterness. There was a medium amount of carbonation. The beer went down smooth and it would be good as a session beverage.

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Photo of scoobybrew
4.3/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a pilsner flute from the bottle.

A- clear, deep ruby/amber color with a decent head that settles quickly into a lacing

S - caramel and light roasted malt with a touch of hops

T - light roasted malt flavor, malty/grain with a slightly dry hop finish (more of a hop finish as it warms)

M - medium/light body, moderate-high carbonation

D - I rated this based on the Dark American Lager style, as I believe this was the brewery's intent based on the packaging. For BA purposes, this would probably fall into the Dark Euro Lager category. Nonetheless, it is extremely well crafted and should be recognized as such (I think). It's a very clean lager and extremely 'quaffable'. It kind of reminds me of my memories of Lowenbrau back in the day.

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Photo of GaryT2
4.24/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a sampler pack. Since Miller and Anheuser still control the distributors and retailers here this good stuff has to fight for space. I could drink a lot of this. I am pretty new here and very unprofessional. That said, what I do not understand is the biases of other reviewers. Rules are... do not criticize your fellow reviewers. But, I gotta say .. Art is in the eye of the beholder. I rated this beer high BEFORE I read anybody elses reviews and after I rated it high and reviewed the balance of the thread, I had second thoughts until I started reading comparisons to some beers that would be skipped if I had some of this stuff around. I do every much like this beer. Anyway..this is above average..darn good beer leaving a fresh after taste. Slightly fruity I guess. You certainly aren't even tempted to add a lemon.

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Photo of Buebie
4.17/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up in a 12 pack sampler today.

Poured from a clear 12oz bottle into an oversized snifter.
Aroma on this is very similar to, if not identical to the 2008 Snowstorm brew. Which I enjoyed the hell out of and am very disseminated it wont be back again in a new label form, like the 2006 snowstorm, no stout.
Bits of rye, Vienna malt, lots of cereal grain aroma, honey, chocolate grains. This is an absolute malt bomb. Some hops do come through, although laid back, allowing the malt to shine.

Appearance is a bit of a darker brown with ruby red highlights. The head formed about an inch of white and somewhat quickly melted away to leave a thin layer and thicker collar. Lace is thin and spotty, leaving oily streaks.

Mouthfeel is slick and pillow like with a fluffiness from carbonation. Mostly thin after the carbonation fizzles out, which also is laid back and does not bite the palette.

Taste is extra malty, with a darker roasty quality, chocolate grains, semi sweet all the way through. A bit more rye and vienna malts.

Finishing with a long malt linger and a bit of grassy hops.
Solid brew for a clear bottle. Very much the sessionable beer at 4.8%

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Photo of EZ054098
4.15/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle

I usually steer clear of dark beers and resisted trying Schell's Dark. I often associated dark beers with being bitter and filling. This was not the case. I loved there was very little bitterness. A very refreshing beer, light malt with a great aftertaste. Not a lot of carbonation though. With some types beers I have one and I am done. I will usually have one after work and one with dinner. Goes great with meat and potatoes.

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Photo of hardy008
4.13/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany color with a two finger light beige head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has caramel malt, light toasted bread, and hops.

The taste is much like the aroma, with caramel malt, light toasted bread, and hops. The flavor is also sweet, and there is a bit of nuttiness in the background.

Light to medium bodied, smooth, with average carbonation. This is a dark lager done right. I have had this before many times. Not sure why it took so long for me to review.

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Photo of kegger22
4.06/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Schell's Dark was a transparent Munich dunkel lager with a light beige head that faded rapidly to a thin collar.

The aroma was underwhelming but neutral grainy.

The taste was where Schell's Dark really shone. Roasted caramel malt, nutty and yes, some chocolate too.

The mouth feel improves with warming to barely medium bodied, but oily and adequately carbonated.

The drinkability was excellent. I had purchased it in a Schell sampler pack, but if I could find it in a six pack, I'd rush out and buy one or two.

A very underrated beer, though not aesthetically pleasing enough for a huge rating. For those of you that rated this poorly, take another look, with an open mind and warmed slightly.

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Photo of schellsbeer
4/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Now this is what I am talking about.

Great taste!!! Great drinkability!!

This is the beer that made me a Schell's fan.

Dark beer that isn't too dark. Light enough that you can drink several without feeling full.

Light on the tongue and light on the waist. Not a heavy beer by any means.

This isn't a porter or stout. This is just a darker beer done right. Who cares what it smells like, or what flower it tastes like....Let's be honest...this is a good tasting beer that happens to come from the 2nd oldest family brewerys in the USA. Please don't get all girly on us. If you want a good tasting beer that will go down smooth and would make a great addition to deer hunting camp, then this it the beer for you. HELLO!!!

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Photo of Greggy
4/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a light amber/brown color, crystal clear, with a 1 finger head that recedes pretty quickly leaving some nice thick lacing.

S- Nuttiness, toasty caramel, light cocoa, and a nice light hop edge.

T- Starts with a nice creaminess that I don't often see in munich dunkels, with notes of caramel, roasted grains, light cocoa, and a light hop finish. A bit on the sweet side, but nice.

M- Mouthfeel is right were it needs to be on the low side. I enjoyed the creaminess of the beer.

D- This beer surprised me. I wasn't sure what to expect so it really impressed me. the sweetness can sometime be a little cloying making it a bit less sessionable.

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Photo of biteme398
3.99/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a six-pack sampler bought in Minnesota. Appearance is a dark shade of amber, somewhat small head and very little lacing. Smell of grain and caramel while the taste is similar with an interesting sweetness at the end that entices another sip. Mouthfeel is not quite chewy but not thin either. Kind of wish I had more than just this bottle. Very good beer that can't be found out here.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.97/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 02-19-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - 1 finger of foam, brown in color, little carbonation

S - Roasted nuts, malts, fair amount of sweetness

T - Medium to light body more towards the lighter side, malts, little bit of hops lingering about, with some caramel sweetness mixed in.

M/D - A pretty decent brew. A liked the smoothness and the pretty sessionable quality. Nothing too strong, very enjoyable. I recommend at least trying this brew. I will purchase again!

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Photo of jwc215
3.97/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to morimech!

Freshness date of 031010 stamped on the neck:

Pours brown (as seen through the clear bottle) with a thin off-white to tan head that eventually becomes wispy. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of roasted grain, nuts and caramel.

The taste is of sweet caramel with a roasty balance and a nutty, earthy undertone. Remains sweetish. It has a clean, crisp finish.

Light-to-medium bodied with a lager smoothness, this is an "easy-drinking" brew with a fair amount of complexity for the style. A nice caramel/nutty/roasty balance. A fine choice for a dark "sessionable" lager!

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Photo of nrmiller
3.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a Pilsner glass, cola brown, cream colored head.

S: Smells fairly strong of sweet malts.

T: Starts off with a little crispness and goes into rich, smooth, and slightly roasted malts. A touch of bitterness to finish things up.

M: Smooth, good carbonation, thin to medium bodied.

D: Very drinkable, i enjoy the malts in this one, it makes it creamy and smooth. It is a lager, so the flavors aren't strong or bold, but they are still there (not saying EVERY lager is mild). This is one of my favorite go-to beers, an excellent session beer.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pils glass

Pours a clear deep chestnut color with a one and a half inch light tan head. It falls to a skim and leaves some pretty good lacing.

Aroma is full of sweet caramel malt and a bit of toasty malt character. There is a faint hop hint in there too, slightly grassy and herbal, but light.

Taste is deep and malty up front with some caramel and more toasty malt. A very slight dark fruit character, slightly watery in the finish with some mild grassy hop flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, slightly hurt by the bit of wateriness that I'm getting. Smooth and creamy going down though.

Not sure how this beer is rated so low, it's a very good Dunkel. Like everything else I've had from Schell's, it's very good.

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Photo of Tone
3.94/5  rDev +19%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of grain, yeast, slight sweet malt, pale malt, hint of hop, and slight roasted malt. Fits the style of a Munich Dunkel Lager. Mouth feel is slightly smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of grain, yeast, slight pale malt, slight hop, slight sweet malt, and slight roasted malt. Overall, a good blend, body, and aroma.

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Photo of morimech
3.93/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with a large off-white head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick, dense cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Aroma of rich malt, slightly earthy. Hints of noble hops as well. Nice flavor of Munich malt, slightly toasted and musty. The sweetness of the malt is nicely kept in check by the hops. Bitterness is moderate for the style. The body comes off as a little thin considering the richness of the malt. A little overcarbonated as well. A nice dunkel lager that is very drinkable. As good as many of the German imports.

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Photo of kittywamp
3.92/5  rDev +18.4%
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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Photo of Moon2Goddess
3.91/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: Enticing, under illumination it apears as golden autumn dancing in sunlight, you can't wait to bring it to your lips.

Head: Its presence makes the drink look like an iced ginger cookie in liquid form. Fairly thick, lovely cream color, good lacing but lacking height. Moves toward the edges and thins out at an average rate.

Aroma: Classic beer malt, acorn, butter and spice.

Texture: Like a delicate velvet glaze smoothing the rough texture of your tongue, coating your palate and gliding down your throat. A nearly sexual encounter.

Flavor & Balance: A friendly companion beer that you would invite back often. Full rich flavor yet a gentle, easy drink (this is a lager, not a stout after all.) Smooth maple undertones, sweet, balanced, harmonious. Could easily drink two or three in a row. Easily…in fact, I could do that right now.

Sustained Taste: A beer you can rely on for comfort at the end of a grueling day. Extremely consistent from first-taste to swallow to after-taste. A genuine pleasure from start to finish.

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Photo of jsisko01
3.91/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a VERY dark brown-amber color.. Poured vigorously which created an inch and a half thick, off-white head that lasted about 2 minutes. Lacing looks excellent.

Smell - Toasty, toffee, caramel, and brown sugar.

Taste - Similar to the smell. Toasty and sweet with caramel, toffee, and a very weak bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Heavy body with mild carbonation. Has that thick, creamy feel to it. It's perfect to me.

Overall - At first I didn't think I was going to like this beer because it's dark, but I was mistaken. It's pretty good.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.86/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed glass

A: Thin head that lingers halfway down. Really defined lace left on glass. Deep caramel color with lots of red hues.

S: Lightly sweet with hints of banana candy, cherimoya, malt.

T: Noticeably roasted malt flavor that is somewhat reminiscent of a hazelnut liquer. Nutty with a very slight metallic taste. No hint of unpleasant aftertaste.

M: Pleasant carbonation/viscosity balance.

D: Overall very drinkable. Really great when you are looking for something smooth but with flavor to back it up.

Altogether no Schell's best product but still very quaffable. Looking forward to reviewing more Schell's in the future (i.e. Hopfenmalz, Shmaltz's Alt, Caramel Bock, Firebrick, etc.)

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Photo of sommersb
3.83/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 11-11-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. clear bottle, twist-cap
Glassware: Willi Becher
Purchased: Received in a trade

A: Nice and tight tan head atop a cola-colored beer (brown with red accents). Clear, with both good head retention and lace showing.

S: Aromas are sweet and malty -- caramel, dark breads and maple are notes that come to mind.

T: Taste is rich and of malt sweetness as in the nose; flavors have caramel and nutty tones, with just a hint of earthy hop bitterness.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, with a low-to-medium amount of carbonation. Finishes clean, malty and sweet.

O: Very easy drinking dark lager here -- would love to have this as a regular staple. Prost!

Thanks to fLax for this one!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a clear 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Mellow brown color with a head that disappears quickly.

Nose is of malt and minerals.

Tastes pretty good, caramel malt with a slight roasted edge. A bit sweet. No real bitterness but adequate to say the least.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

This is a drinkable brew and worth the try. Sessionable.

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Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of Mistofminn
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz clear (uh-oh...) bottle from my Schell's Sampler.

Pours a clear brown color that looks predominantly ruby colored when held into the light. Pour produced a nearly 2 inch tan head. After a couple minutes it shrunk down to a clumpy and sticky mass of froth that sat on top of the beer. Also a small amount of lacing is noticeable.

The aroma is lightly roasted malts and a small amount of hop bitterness. There is also a sweet smell here, possibly caramel or honey.

Very light taste. Lightly roasted malts, with a slight hop finish. There is also alcohol present, but not in a bad way.

This beer is very light bodied. It has a minimal amount of carbonation.

Not bad, not bad at all. The aroma reminds me of their newest Snowstorm recipe (the taste does not however). I most likely wont go out of my way to buy this again, but if I have no other options, this would definitely be a winner.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%

Sampled this evening on 8/24/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a 'Dinkel Acher' .3 liter glass boot.

Pours a reddish-mahogany in color with about a 1-finger foamy off-white head that settles down to a thin layering on top. Some spotty lacing is seen when sipped. The aroma is of yeast and sweet caramel malts. Pretty much is the same for the taste with a slightly sour finish but didn't last. Lighter to medium bodied. Overall, it wasn't a bad brew.

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Schell's Dark from August Schell Brewing Company
3.31 out of 5 based on 272 ratings.
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