Bavarian Dunkel Bavarian Style Dark Lager | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Bavarian Dunkel Bavarian Style Dark LagerBavarian Dunkel Bavarian Style Dark Lager
151 Ratings
Bavarian Dunkel Bavarian Style Dark LagerBavarian Dunkel Bavarian Style Dark Lager

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by basaywhat on 10-23-2016

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 |  Reviews: 38
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BigJim5021
2.45/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sorry, but I've gotta call bullshit on this stuff. Normally Leinie's interpretations of classic German lagers are pretty solid beers. This is so far off style for a dunkel that I've gotta knock it.

This is a schwarzbier, and not a good one. The baffling addition of fruit juice offers nothing other than an off-putting acidity on the finish that has no place in a schwarzbier, let alone the dunkel that they claimed to have made.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A rarity, which is fitting on my New Odds & Sods Beer Sunday (Week 625): the opportunity to CANduct a back-to-back/side-by side bottle vs. CAN review! I have done this a number of times in the past, with moderately surprising results. Those in the know are aware that I am the founder of The CANQuest (tm), my stated desire & intent to drink & review EVERY CANned beer in existence. That being the case, you might think that bias would win out and I would prefer CAN to bottle every time. Such is NOT the case. I occasionally find in favor of the bottled version with some ties, also, I encourage you to try the same, whenever possible.

From the CAN (seCANd): " "The pride of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin since 1867."; ""Dunkel beer brewed with natural fruit juices"; "Carefully brewed by the Leinenkugel family for six generations"; "Our Bavarian style dark lager is a medium-bodied beer with hints of berries".

I always save the CAN review until after the bottle so that it appears first on my review. I celebrated my excitement with a Crack! & inverted Glug, resulting in two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, reddish-pinkish/light-tan head with decent retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44) with NE-quality clarity & ruby highlights. Nose had a strong milk chocolate presence underlain by an unidentifiable fruity, berry-like odor. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but big, especially for a lager. Here, the tart fruitiness was more pronounced, I would be more willing to say that it was raspberry in this case and the milk chocolate malt presence continued to be easily noticed. Finish was semi-dry, slightly tart and actually kind of refreshing. I think that CAN wins by a small margin, but it was overall an interesting exbeeriment.

From the bottle (first): "A medium-bodied dark beer with hints of berries brewed with pride by the Leinenkugel family since 1867."; "The pride of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin since 1867."; "Dunkel beer brewed with natural fruit juices"; "Carefully brewed by the Leinenkugel family for six generations".

A screwed-up screw-top cap does NOT endear me to your product! Grrr. I took out my frustration with a heavy-handed pour. This created a momentary pseudo-cascade which then produced two fingers of reddish/pinkish light-tan head with modest retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44) with NE-quality clarity & garnet highlights. Nose smelled both malty sweet and fruity, sort of like milk chocolate enrobed fruit of some stripe, but I could not identify it from the nose. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was kind of mild as compared to the nose. The chocolatiness of the malt was more muted than the nose had led me to expect and there was a light fruity tartness, perhaps raspberry, but not prevalent enough to identify. Finish had a light tartness that led me to characterize it as semi-dry overall, but it lacked an overall cohesiveness. Frankly, it was difficult to discern just what it was that I was drinking.

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Photo of Davedrinkinbeer
4.39/5  rDev +23%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

THIS is by far the best beer Leinenkugel has in their lineup! Smell is a malty smell, not overpowering but pleasant overall. Taste is very consistent-- it is not complex at all, but the good roasted nuts and malt is mostly present. Very good feel with the beer, not over carbonated, smooth from start to finish, and very consistent throughout. This is a pleasant beer overall, and is not hard to drink a few of these in a session. Beer is seasonal, but when you can buy a 12-pack for $14.50 on sale at a major grocery retailer, it is really hard to go wrong with this beer.

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

Photo of deebo
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-Bottle poured into a chalice, this beer is clear with a dark mahogany color. A weak tan head quickly disappears.
S-lightly roasted malt
T-dunkely. Decent toasted malt character with bready, toasty rye flavors. I get a hint of a cherry like flavor and tartness.
M-crisp finish. Moderate to high carbonation. Clean
O-A very drinkable dunkel. A bit light on the body.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not terribly bad but it really lacks character, complexity and solid flavor. Thin mouthfeel as well. Overall it's drinkable but I won't revisit.

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Photo of chinchill
3.59/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a Leinenkugel glass.
Clear dark brown body is essentially opaque in the glass but has ruby highlights at the edges when held to light. Semi-durable tan head leaves ample sticky lacing.
Aroma: Medium roasted and chocolate malts with faint herbal hops.
Flavor: follows the aroma. Moderate strength.
Overall: respectable American dunkel that's true to style.

 385 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBierZu
4.09/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sgttibbs
3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of rossracing
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. "Leinenkugel's Bavarian Dunkel"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, coded "FEB2717" and sampled on 6 DEC 2016
$1.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

OK, now I'm confused... "Dunkel Beer Brewed With Natural Fruit Juices"... since when is that Bavarian? I'm pretty sure the Reinheitsgebot, the Bavarian purity law of 1516, doesn't allow for fruit juice. But OK, let's move on.

Great appearance. It's a very dark chestnut brown in color - almost black. The creamy dark tan head holds quite well, and it leaves better than average lacing behind.

The aroma is fruity, which is odd. With a few exceptions, lagers are not supposed to be fruity. It's a little bit like berries and grape. The maltiness is nice though. It has a subtle cocoa note to it, and it's almost smoky.

The fruit is quite clear in the flavor, appearing even more berry-like, and just slightly like grapes... more like raisins in fact. It's not bad, it blends with the dark malts well (soft dark chocolate, cocoa, medium-dark caramel, gentle ashen roastiness, subtle toast), but it's not what I'd expect of a Munich dunkel, or any other dunkelbier for that matter. I'd even suggest that it's more like a porter except that it doesn't have enough chocolate or roast to the malt. And what of hops? I don't find any in the aroma, and not much in the flavor. What is there is that kind of generic hop character that reminds me of cluster hops. It's OK, nothing wrong with that, and that does fit into the dunkles style. It also works well with the added fruit juices. Bitterness is limited, probably in the low 20's; and it's smooth and almost creamy across the palate with a medium-light body and moderate to standard carbonation level.

In the end it's a really charming, satisfying and drinkable beer. The fruit gives it a touch of character that rounds it out and keeps it interesting, but it's not a Bavarian dunkel. So how to review it? Clearly it would fail if it's held to standards, so I'll have to give it some slack and review it on more of a world-wide scale with a hedonistic bent. It's pretty decent, and I wouldn't be surprised if this could get a lot of people who don't drink dark beers to open up to them a little more.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I bought a bottle of this off the single shelf at Binnys. It poured a nearly opaque dark with off white head that is not leaving any lace. The scent had roast and dark fruit. The taste is nicely balanced and easy to drink. There was some citrus notes mixed with peat. The Mouthfeel was lighter in body with smooth carbonation. Overall it's a decent beer and worth a try.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
3.44/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz draft pour into a pint glass is a deep dark black, purple/reddish in the light.
Heavy roast aroma, bordering on smoky, follows in the taste. Malt carries the day and is quite sweet.
Creamy feel and a clean dry finish.

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Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a 20 oz mug at the Taco Mac in Atlanta. The appearance is a dark brown color with a off-white head. The aroma is full of malt and oddly placed fruit. The taste is roasted malt and raisins. This is a unique blend. It is really good. I am not sure if purists will like it.

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Photo of freewill35
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bjm94
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of draegerjosh
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hophugger
3.34/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not a big fan of dunkel style beers but this one really stood out. Nice malty German feel and a pleasant, refreshing berry aftertaste that balanced it all out quite nicely. Hops are in the background but add that special touch to make this one of the better Leinenkugel beers that I have tried..

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Photo of nbaker290
2.92/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Leinenkugel's Bavarian Dunkel. I got a 6-pack (I haven't tried it before now) from the cold beer section while running errands and brought it home. Took a thermometer out after they were chilling in the fridge for a little (I'm getting scientific now, hah), and poured it into a Weizen glass and the temperature was 46 degrees, which makes sense for a Dunkel.

It pours a dark dark brown color with a somewhat creamy but dark brown head which lingers for a little while. The top bit of the beer has a red tint in the light.

The smell is almost like a stout. A sort of Guiness Extra Stout smell to it. But also earthy.

The taste is of several malts. Carmel, maybe toffee tasting, but definitely roasted.
It goes down smooth and somewhat dry, but sour, lighter side of medium body. The roast flavor still lingering and somehow I taste fruit? The finish is dry, sour, somewhat fruity (what the hell), but does not last long.

Overall, I don't know what they were trying to do with this beer. Why is there fruit in a "Bavarian Dunkel?" Seriously, what the shit!? This is not a Dunkel. This is not a dry stout. This is not a shandy. This beer, I don't know what it is. One thing is for sure: it is a let down when you're ready for a Dunkel.

I just read the bottle to explain the sourness and fruity taste. For some God awful reason, they added FRUIT JUICE. Leinie's ruined what I expected would be a good beer. I bet this beer was a lot better BEFORE the fruit juice a was added.

Overall I give it a 3.5/5. It's not What it says it is, so for a Dunkel category beer I give it a 2/5, which is what I should rate it, but I won't because the beer is not that bad. I could kill a 6 pack (which I will) fairly easily, but I will not be going back to this beer for a while. This beer's problem: 1) identity issues, and 2) the damn fruit juice. I mean, seriously?

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Photo of Danielr26
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dhannes
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter via a friend from work---Thanks Randy!
This nice dunkel pours a nice cola brownish black with a nice head of off white
foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin light pool, and light lacing. Nose of sweet
malts and a tinge of stone fruits. Flavors exceed the nose with nice molasses and cocoa
notes touched by light peach notes on the rear with an herbal hop note that is nice and
muted so as to not overly zest the taste that is the malt. Excellent mouth feel within the
style that is medium on the feel, smooth, malt forward, and moderately carbonated.

Overall a very nice representation of the style.


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Photo of tone77
3.64/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of bready malts, some nuts. Taste has plenty of bready malts, some nuttiness, a bit of smoke. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Sully19771
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pleasant aroma. Taste reveals a malty and nutty front with a mild fruity finish.

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Bavarian Dunkel Bavarian Style Dark Lager from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 151 ratings