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Hofbräu Dunkel | Hofbräuhaus München

very good
328 Reviews
Hofbräu DunkelHofbräu Dunkel

Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München
Germany | website

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-18-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 328 | Ratings: 1,130
Photo of bonns42
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed straight out of the bottle on a hot evening after a long day of lab work.

Appearance- dark amber, clear, no head.

Aroma- Fresh-baked bread, with caramel notes and maybe a little brown sugar hiding in the back.

Taste- Strong caramel malty sweetness that lingers on the tongue, with just the slightest touch of hops at the end to cut the sweetness.

Mouthfeel- thicker on the tongue, but rather short, which keeps the beer from feeling too heavy. Still pretty refreshing on a hot summer day.

Overall- Definitely recommend. First had in a litre stein at Hofbräu in Munich, and this bottle brings back great memories. Delicious beer! Don't fear the dark!

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Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love me a good dunkel and decoded to hit a local steak house for lunch and it was on tap. mmm mmm mmm haven't had this one in a while. such a solid classic example of the style. great bready caramel malt.

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Photo of House_Common_Brewery
3.39/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Nice translucent chestnut color with a thin fluffy head. Not many carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Smelled malt upfront with a light burnt caramel. Very faint hop notes come thru the maltiness.

Taste: Dark bready taste what's soft of the tongue. Not sweet but not bitter. Nice balance on the pallet of toasted malt flavored and a smooth lager feel.

Overall: Definitely an easy beer to drink but not something I would drink every day. I will really enjoy this beer during the fall on a cool fall evening!

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Photo of tone77
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a green 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a chestnut color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malts, bready, light skunk. Taste is dark breads, very malty, some caramel and nuts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a highly drinkable beer that was finished quickly, and a fine example of this style.

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Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear chestnut brown with a slightly browned fluffy head. Aroma and flavors are toasty bread, slight caramel, some noble hop character, and even a hint of raisin and honey. Creamy mouthfeel. Perfect for pairing with food and very quaffable.

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Photo of Malt_Man
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served cool from brown 500ml bottle into straight pilsner mug.

L) The head is a good 3cm, fluffy, brown-tinged . The colour has a strong red tinge to the medium brown colour. Clear with lots of smallish bubbles rising.

S) Lightly roasted fruity malt.

T) Nicely fruity, very clean flavour for a Dunkel. There is a bit of roasted malt bitterness on the aftertaste, but it is subtle. A hint of sourness.

F) Light mouthfeel, nice carbonation, no bitter aftertastes.

O) This is at the light end of the Dunkel spectrum, but it is a nice easy drinker and I like it, so happy to recommend.

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Photo of MACrist
2.04/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

APPEARANCE: A very dark red/ruby. Finger of eggshell foamy head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a ring on top.
AROMA: Now I really know what a skunked beer is. That is all, skunk.
TASTE: Sweet malt. And maybe it's just the aroma added in but, some of that skunk.
FEEL: Medium thin body, slightly sticky, dry finish. Plenty of carbonation.
OVERALL: Last green bottle purchase I make. Just bought a single, but that was major skunk and it ruins any enjoyment I can get out of this beer. If I get a free one in the future and it isn't skunked I'll update. Get rid of the stupid green bottles!

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Photo of dar482
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in ruby brown color.

The aroma offers nuttiness, whole wheat bread , hints of diacetyl.

The flavor follows with toasty bread, dried nuts, stiff bitterness and earthiness on the finish. A crisp beer with a medium to medium minus mouthfeel and medium depth of toasty malt and restrained caramel sweetness.

 320 characters

Photo of josanguapo
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From Hipercor. In Teku glass. Reading CPPHTP10 Ch16. Very drinkable, but have gone up my head more quickly than expected, not sure why as its ABV is pretty low

 159 characters

Photo of ranger7
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark and clear with a thick off-white head which sticks around. Nice smell and taste; malty. Very smooth and not too toasty. Just the way I like it.

 154 characters

Photo of Cimperman17
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Different style beer than I have previously had before. Drank out of bottle so hard to tell the look. Smelled like oats and malt. To me it has an aftertaste like rye bread. medium body beer. Its alright, i guess its not what i'm used to.

 238 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deeply brown but still with light penetrating it. Off-white head drops to a thin film and no lace to be found.
Smell is malty, of course, with a hint of wood and some grapes.
Taste is classic dunkel, malt, grapes, wood. Extraordinary balance.
Medium bodied, sharp but middle carbonation. A bit ashy in the aftertaste.

 317 characters

Photo of MattBeer
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

This is a great smelling and tasting beer, held back only by its watery feel. Perhaps that's its lager character--and the 3 for feel would be offset by a 5 for drinkability; you'll be on your third before you realize you've started your second. A great respite from an IPA-heavy world.

 285 characters

Photo of harleyridr63
3.12/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Probably the most disappointing of all Hofbrau I've tried.Winter Spezial, Maibock are exceptional. This beer is lacking in taste for the price.I wouldn't purchase it again.

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Photo of rapayn01
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a big fan of the style, but I was at a German restaurant and it seemed like the right thing to do. I liked it well enough, but it was not especially memorable. Drinkable with reasonable flavor for the style.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.39/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

DATE TASTED: December 5, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Celebrator doppelbock pokal... OCCASION: easing out of the annual Sheridans' Christmas party... APPEARANCE: cola black body; off-white, fizzy half-finger head that settles to a reasonable ring; lacing is sweeping in arches... AROMA: sweet hints of chocolate and peat; slight roasted elements; hops are light and floral... PALATE: medium-bodied, smooth and mellow in its intensity; a late weight holds the throat; otherwise, oily and dry...TASTE: the taste profile is agreeable in its mellowness, with the sweet malts pleasing in its chocolate and candied sugars--as such, the balance in hops keeps the experience from being one-sided, and the light, aromatic hops welcome the next sip... OVERALL: a sessionable accompaniment to an evening, as either a nightcap or a main course...smooth enough to swig, but just flavorful enough to slow it all down...

 896 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'Dunkel' is German for 'dark', a descriptor for which Hofbräu Dunkel barely qualifies. Its chestnut complexion is laid against a perfectly clear backdrop and is well lit with glossy auburn highlights. The official hallmarks of dark beers - black colour and opacity - are nowhere to be found in this one.

The rich toasty qualities of Munich malt are surprisingly accompanied by an underlying Noble hop presence. The smell has an earthy, spicy bitterness that is vaguely cabbage-like. Or maybe that's just my stomach putting ideas in my head - this one certainly suits the traditional wurst and sauerkraut.

Hofbräu Dunkel sends a clear message to those weary of dark beers: there's nothing to be afraid of! Nevermind the deeper complexion, this lager - yes, lager - drinks every bit as easily as the Helles and has a similarly crisp, clean malty flavour. There's no heavy or bitter chocolate or coffee notes, I swear.

The palate is instead occupied with hearty flavours of toasted pumpernickel crusts and thick, crunchy almond butter, both lightened by a lemon-like acidity on the finish. There may be a small pinch of cocoa powder but it's more an imagined off-shoot from the inherent nuttiness of the malt.

I worry that today's generation of craft beer drinkers don't have an appreciation for more understated styles or iconic producers. Hofbräu Dunkel falls into both those categories - there's scarce few breweries with as much history as this one and Dunkel Lager isn't exactly a sexy style or currently in vogue.

But Hofbräu Dunkel is the essence of the German beer tradition: quality, quaffability, consistency. Anyone truly passionate about beer - and especially brewers - need to explore the portfolio for Hofbräu as well as the likes of Ayinger, Weltenburger, and Paulaner to get a sense of what a truly great lager is.

 1,847 characters

Photo of Dirtyhands
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A deep, Amber, ruby red appearance. Frothy head with active carbonation giving a prickle to the tongue (draught). A toasted bread character with faintest note of caramel and biscuit. It's refreshing and toasty, but nothing to write home about.

 243 characters

Photo of wisebier
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's not a bad beer but it's not a great dunkel. Bottle to glass.
L: dark brown with ruby tints. Poured in glass and almost no head. Disappointed with that.
S: a lot of caramel and Malt
T: malty and caramel . Rather smooth but not much going on and it was really low carbonated (would be better on tap).

 304 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium shade of brown, or deep copper. Clear, bubbling from bottom. Fluffy, biscuit colored cap with moderate retention and weak and sparse, but fine, lacing. Parts roasty, toasty, tart, and barely sweet, aromatically. Lager is tart with first inspection, but as and after it fizzes and foams, reveals roasted and caramel malt notes of slightly overdone toast (the way I like it), mild toffee sweetness, creamed coffee, and a subdued amalgamation of smoke, leaf matter, menthol, and iron. Lighter in body than a fair amount of other darker German brews, with lots of fine, sudsy bubbles making for smooth drinking. Finishes relatively clean apart from metallic aftertaste (faintly bitter, I suppose, but not from hops).

 719 characters

Photo of kevinlater
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic pint. best before 03.06.2016. consumed oct 19 2015

a: transparent dark brown-ruby-caramel-mahogany kind of hue. two fingers of tan head

s: grains, raisin, bread, and a hint of chocolate. not much going on, smells good though

t: sweet caramel and raisin bread in the front. turns into a kind of chocolatey, nutty mid-palate. has a lingering caramel sweetness as well as nutty notes. low bitterness

m: light with moderate carbonation and a slighty sweet, sticky finish

o: love the caramel and nutty notes in this. good stuff

 551 characters

Photo of GOBLIN
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice dunkel. Pleasent aromas, feel was a little thin otherwise it's a solid German lager through and through. Delicious and a terrific example of the style.

 156 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Jun 3 2016. Not a style that I consume particularly often.

Pours a deep, clear copper-amber hue, stirring up one finger, of loose, soapy, light beige-coloured head. It dissipates entirely over the next couple of minutes, leaving behind a small ring of lacing, in addition to a narrow cap of creamy foam and a bubbly film on the surface. The nose is a tad underwhelming; it's a blend of caramel sweetness, figgy dark-fruitiness and some toasted malt notes that suggest bread and biscuit. Approachable enough, but a bit, well... blah.

Thankfully, the flavour profile is less subdued. Fairly malt-forward, which should not be a big surprise for this style - lightly roasty, with notes of bready, biscuity malts, caramelized sugar and treacle sweetness, with hints of toasted nuts. Notes of dark fruit (fig, date) are present too, though less dominant than they were in the aroma. Finishes bittersweet; thanks to some earthy, grassy hops that help counteract the sweetness, the aftertaste is not at all saccharine. Light-medium in body, with lively carbonation levels that agitate the palate and result in a crisp, prickly mouthfeel. Pretty well-balanced, and quite easy-drinking, though not necessarily something I'd want to session.

Final Grade: 3.77, a B+. I've had a handful of Munich dunkel lagers, and I'm starting to think that this style just isn't for me. I will say that Hofbräu Dunkel is one of the best examples I've had so far, but it still strikes me as a fairly straightforward, two-dimensional beer. Keeping my personal biases in mind, I'd call this a relatively good Munich dunkel that I would consider drinking again, but not a beer that I'd be inclined to seek out in the future. Anyone unfamilar with this somewhat neglected German lager style should consider Hofbräu's Dunkel to be a safe, worthwhile introductory selection.

 1,887 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber brown, thin layer of head with some retention and lacing. Nose has loads of toasted grains, burnt toast and grassy hops. Flavour are alike with burnt grains, hints of molasses and a solid dose of earthy, grassy hops. This brew nails the style and goes down easy. Well worth seeking out as a prime example of the style.

 338 characters

Photo of TLS28
4.55/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An amazing dunkel. If this was rated to style it would be in the 90's. It is one of the best dunkels I have ever had. Count on the Germans to do it right. The beer pours nicely, leaving a firm head. It assaults your nose with various malt aromas and tastes nearly how it smells. The flavor is sublime and cuts off just quick enough to keep you coming back for another sip. It drinks easy, like most lagers, but is very flavorful. It's also a great price point and is usually very cheap. You can't really go wrong with this one and I would highly suggest trying it out if you are looking for a tasteful, sessionable drink.

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Hofbräu Dunkel from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 328 ratings.
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