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: 274
Photo of Evilyak
3.56/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

this is the other side of schell's. for every noble star or stag series offering, there are brews like this.

it's safe. malty and sweet, but the longer-roasted barley didn't impart any of that other flavor. mouth was medium and clean.

it's fine for what it is, but not one i'd keep in rotation.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, best before 8/3/2015. Pours crystal clear reddish copper/brown color with a 1 finger dense light tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness/roast, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness/roast, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness/roast, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean on lager flavors with minimal yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, lightly creamy/bready, and slightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.8%. Overall this is a nice dark lager style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth, clean, and easy to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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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 steveh
3.14/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Schell's Dark pours a clear amber color with a nice size lacing head. There is a weak aroma, some roasted malts. The taste is light, nice noticeable roasted malt flavor. Weak body, a little flat. Overall its not great, nothing special, but it is a decent beer.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.13/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a relatively clear brown color, with a minuscule head.

Smells of bread, almonds, and some subtle sweetness - perhaps caramel?

Taste is very subdued, with an incredibly light mouthfeel. This is probably the least offensive dark beer I've had. Which also makes it quite forgettable.

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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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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.7/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz glass bottle. Birthday gift sampler pack! This is my first trial run.

Smell - bready, caramel, sweet. An exquisite smell. Akin to Nordeast.

Taste - Taste is surprisingly pretty good. Smooth and smoky flavor, ending on a slightly metallic sour note.

Mouthfeel - Glassy smooth and bubbly. Goes down easy.

Overall - this is a good beer. I would order it in a pub and drink it again if Nordeast was not available. Not quite as good as a Nordeast but a good 2nd. Schell has done another great job!

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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 LXIXME
3.05/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of Weli
2.62/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Light tawny brown with thin off white head quickly dissipating

S-Bready malt, some subdued fruit, raisins with a hint of caramel corn

T-Light sweet caramel malt, some toastiness and malt flavor. Rather bland. No hop aroma or flavor

M-Crisp and refreshing, prickly carbonation

O- A nice alternative to american adjunct lagers, but really nothing special, there is very little to recommend or criticize with this beer. Probably could use a bit more body and head.

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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 JamesMN
3.26/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Semi-translucent dark brown/nutty color. Very thin off-white head that's sticking around but not leaving much lacing.

Aroma: Not much there. A bit bready.

Taste: Decently malty. Some roasty notes in there. No hop presence and basically no bitterness to speak of. Very watered-down caramel flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable. Almost lacking body, but not super noticeable.

Final Thoughts: Even though there's not much in the aroma or taste departments, this isn't a bad beer. It's highly drinkable and there are no off flavors.

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Photo of jimmah120
3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into mason jar

Look is a slightly cloudy amber with a small head and striped lacing. Smell is 'red' smelling esters, grain, and savory roasted-ness. Taste keeps the esters to a minimum and is mostly grain with roasted tones. Mouthfeel is good, but watery on the back end.

Unremarkable, definitely not my favorite Schell's.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, lager yeast, some honey and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a decent breadiness from lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some mild caramel sweetness follows. The hops presence is mild but brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while, but there are better beers in the style.

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Photo of isualum12
3.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smell- not bad hop with barley
Look golden red with a very thin head no lace at all.
Taste is decent but not impressive with flavor. Not a bad thing but not going to overly impress me either

Mouthfeel- high on the carbonization that in the end hurt the flavor coing through or blocks it with my tongue being numm.
Overall nice beer to grab a 6 pack of for a fishing trip. It wouldn't make it to one of my beer parties though.

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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 TMoney2591
3.46/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Part One of my six-part intro to Schell's regular boys. It pours a clear amber-russet topped by a finger of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises light caramel, light grass, and a touch of rather mild roast. The taste brings in more of the same, though things are a bit stronger all-around, and a small bit o' coffee finds its way in there as well. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a nice little brew, one that was somehow surprisingly enjoyable (something about a MDL in a clear bottle just advertizes itself in the wrong way to me...), something I could see drinking plenty of if presented with the proper circumstance.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.47/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

brown with a smallish off white head, that slowly faded to reveal a decent layer of lace left on the top, as well as a good amount left down the sides of the glass. Some visible carbonation was evident through the chains of bubbles streaming up through the very clear beer. Smell was very unique. It had a nice burnt sort of smell with a definate hint of caramel and coffe, which really suprised me. It was so pronounced, almost like a porter type of hint in there. The taste was very similar, lots of coffee and caramel flavors, mixed in with a nice earthy grain and a slightly bitter hopped back

 597 characters

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.

 476 characters

Photo of OleJohnnieAle
3.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Coke brown with similar head. left nice lacing on the glass as it went down

S: Fairly sweet malts scent.

T: Smells sweet but I didn't get an overpowering sweet taste as the scent would have left me to believe. Nice beginning bite and then you can really taste the roasted malts. The roast is not overpowering though. A little bitterness finished off.

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

O: Very drinkable, It was good, nothing to write home about but a good beer. Bought in sampler pack so good to bring to a holiday as there is something for everyone!

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.47/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by date of 12/28/11. Sampled with listening to Bowie's "Heroes."

A - Poured into an old mason jar-like novelty glass, Crystal clear dark amber body with a shade under 2 fingers of off white head. No lacing, decent retention. Pretty standard...

S - Close to textbook aroma, with notes of hay, dark Munich malt, tobacco, and minty herbal hops. Pretty balanced, with only the herbal presence overpowering the other aromas at any point.

T/M - This is a quite quenching brew. Flavor profile is what I expect from a Munich Dunkel: herbal hops, dark Munich malt, and dried dark fruit. On the nit picky side, I did notice some astringency and the mineral presence, while appropriate for the style struck me as less "crisp" and more empty.

O - This is not a life changing Munich Dunkel, but it does exactly what it's supposed to. It manages to balance out some richer flavors with a solid quaff-ability, at a decent price.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.63/5  rDev +9.7%
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 rowew
2.76/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz clear bottle, label is metallic with an emblem of a buck. 072811 inkjetted on the neck .. I'm not sure if this is out of date, or was produced then.

Appearance: Pours clear, somewhere between an amber and a brown color. Average head, but it fades pretty quickly to leave just a hint of lace.

Smell: A bit of grain, fairly mild. This is sort of a generic "beer" aroma, without much to pick out specifically.

Taste: A little bit of sweetness and malt .. this tastes a bit like a light marzen.

Overall impression: It isn't bad .. it is sort of a generic beer with a bit more flavor than your average macro .. sort of like a Yuengling. Nothing to write home about, but it's drinkable enough.

 711 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.1/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Transcribed from my notebook.

Looks deep brown, reddish around the fringes, small head that doesn't last, vague smell of semi-toasted caramel malt, taste is pretty much exactly the same, slightly too thin a body for my liking, but other than that, it's pretty good. Sadly lacking in complexity, yes, but it is certainly not 'bad', either.

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Schell's Dark from August Schell Brewing Company
3.31 out of 5 based on 274 ratings.
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