DAB Dark Beer
Dortmunder Actien Brauerei / DAB

DAB Dark BeerDAB Dark Beer
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Lager - European Dark
Ranked #94
Ranked #47,220
3.39 | pDev: 16.22%
Dortmunder Actien Brauerei / DAB
DAB Dark BeerDAB Dark Beer
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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 87 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of RacerX5k
RacerX5k from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

You know, this is actually very good. I'm just rating to beer, not style. Yes I am familiar with just about every style of beer known to man, this one a dark, Euro lager, huh. Whatever. It's an fucking beer, and a pretty damn good one.

Dark, almost black with an very nice frothy, fresh, head. It's different colorization then what you would think. Smells and tastes chocolate, coffee, yeast, bread, malts. Mild puckering there must be hops somewhere. Brewed in the German purity law I hope? please don't lie about that. Yes it followed an 16 oz Arrogant Bastard, then an 16 oz DFH 90 minute, so to hold up to that without boring me did pretty well.

Oct 01, 2018
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pootz from Canada (ON)

3.14/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Can...pours a clear col color beer with a small tan tight-pored cap...aromas are front...light sweetness roasted malts, light grassiness. Flavor is smooth and pleasing even if uneventful...decent roast malt in front, malt forward, noble hops in the background...verges on sweet bit eh finish is long and smooth with chocolate sweetness at the end...decent enough dunkel for a commercial brewer.

Sep 05, 2018
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josanguapo from Spain

2/5  rDev -41%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Can. From Carrefouf. In Bavaria hefe glass. Playing Broken Age. Apart from a slightly unpleasant dertergent touch, in both aroma and taste, like a Fairy, there only is flatness and boredom here. Too much foamy also, although dissipates quickly

Nov 13, 2017
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

3.21/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

500 ml can served cold into a pint glass. Purchase was just above $2.50 CDN.

Appearance - Dark cola brown, near black. Decent finger and a bit of white-ish head and good retention.

Smell - Not much, close to it's pale lager brethren. Grainy with near adjunct aromas.

Taste - Some grainy, but with a weird sweetness that I wasn't expecting. Some caramel. Too sweet for my liking.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, decent carbonation, pretty good and easy drinking feel.

Overall - A bit of a disappointment was expecting more like Czechvar Dark and Schwarzbier combined that the sweet and grainy product here. Decent beer but won't repeat.

May 01, 2017
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TerryW from Canada (ON)

3.51/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very plain looking, cola coloured, but headless, laceless. Nose is sweet and malty, plenty of caramel. Similar taste, noticeably sweet. Thin bodied. Not real sophisticated, but on the other hand delightfully simple and tasty. I'd drink this again.

Mar 12, 2017
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Hergestridge from Illinois

3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

DAB Dark: This is my first DAB offering I have tried and quite frankly, I like this bier. Very much!!!. Aroma is a little light, but that may be my sinus' being ornery. Nice foam, fun Cocoa, light hint of dark chocolate. Not to airy, but not to dense.. This is a good bier and getting a 6-pack 16oz cans for 6$ is a steal! Will definitely have again and will try DAB's other offerings... Soon!!!
~ Carry On Citizens!!!~

Jan 21, 2016
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Hodgson from Canada (ON)

4.46/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I am surprised by the numerous blasé reviews below. This is an outstanding beer with a full, completely natural beer taste, rich toasted malt and incisive hop flavours, everything in the right place.

Short of having dunkel on draft locally, this is as good as it gets. Mine was sourced at TBS in Ontario.

By the way, what craft dunkel is superior to this? Side Launch's dark lager is as good, not superior, IMO. I can't think of another Ontario dunkel style which comes close to DAB's.

HB's bottled dunkel is excellent, a little sweeter and more intense than DAB's, but that's German too, and just a variation of the basic style.

Nov 06, 2015
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.56/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fine for a $2.5 pint can at ferry bodega. 500ml can

A: Draft Quality - what does it mean? A big head, plenty of sticky lace.
A clear, dark brown brick color, with three fingers of cap that laces all the way down.

S: Too faintly of roasted pale, caramel malt, faint dark fruit, dry cocoa, and leafy, grassy, hops

T: follows smell but more abundant - dark caramel malt, toasted wheat bread, char, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit, and earthy noble hops.

F: finish is good, off-dry, cocoa, bread, and charred firepit leaves you in a good place.

Typical German - great value - pure. Gets better as it warms. Bring on the long wooden tables.

Aug 20, 2015
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

DAB Dark looks a little like coffee, I'll grant you that, but put that thought out of your mind. As it's suggested by the softer, more colourful chestnut edges and the clarity that's easily observed when held into the light, this is not the decadent beer that's served alongside (or as) dessert.

People look at dark beers and just assume they are all like stout. Of course, Munich Dunkel is a very different style altogether, and that much should be apparent from smelling it. Though the average person might note milk chocolate, it's certain that this aroma doesn't have any burnt, black malt characteristics.

On the spectrum of toast this piece of thick, crusty bread is hardly singed, its seeds, nuts and wholegrains left deliciously intact. The natural richness of the malt is enhanced by flavours of hard toffee and black licorice, which provide a flash of sweetness without registering as cloying.

There's a certain level of paradox to a Munich Dunkel: it's dark yet light; rich yet simple. If you're wondering how this enigmatic anomaly is achieved Google the term 'decoction mashing'. Then enjoy trying to make sense of all the complicated scientific brewing terminology...

Or, just know that Dunkels require high-quality ingredients, skilled people and a very time- and energy-consuming brewing process. Whether or not industrial giant DAB still uses all three of those for their Dark Beer I'm not sure - it's not all that satisfying but it is perfectly serviceable.

Jun 30, 2015
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DaveBar from Canada (ON)

3.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at The Beer Store for around the $2.50 mark or so for a 500ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well and pours a tiny head that is gone in seconds. Incredibly dark and rich looking.

S- Metallic.

T- Nice burnt nut flavor. Good malt base. Nice blend!

M- A touch watery but the style is this way. Won't penalize it much as it's not a RIS or anything that requires thickness.

O- Pretty good brew. When the selection is low and this is on the menu I will choose it.

Food Pairing

This pretty good little brew went well with..... Beef stew! Root veggies like potatoes and carrots with some celery then a bouillon cube and voila!


Mar 06, 2015
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FRANKIE65 from Canada (ON)

3.02/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a strong dunkel by any means. Basically tastes like a decent pilsner with coloring.
I'd drink it again, but, wouldn't go out of my way for it. At $1.90 for a tall boy can there are definitely many worse beers, here in Ontario, that cost more.

Feb 24, 2015
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

3.27/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

500 mL can picked up at TBS; best before Sept 2015 and served well-chilled. Not sure if I can even remember the last time I cracked open a dunkel lager, imported or not.

Pours a reddish-chestnut colour, dark in hue but still technically translucent. One finger of dense, creamy, light-beige head is seated atop, steadily dissipating over the next few minutes until only a tiny collar, bubbly film and a decent curtain of lace remain. Looks good, but the aroma is subtle at best and neither enticing nor interesting. Hints of caramel, plum, roasted malt and possibly some floral hops come through, but that's about it.

Nothing ground-breaking here - this is an approachable, fairly dull dark lager. More caramel, dark fruit and some (rather mild) roasted malts comprise the majority of the flavour. Faint notes of baker's chocolate accompany a grassy, floral noble hop finish. Finishes rather clean/dry; no lingering flavours, really. Light-bodied, with surprisingly restrained carbonation for what is basically an industrial lager - this one has a smooth mouthfeel, though it suffers from a lack of crispness. It's not a terrible way to go, but I like my low-abv lagers to have a firmer bite from the carbonation than this.

Final Grade: 3.27, a C+. Maybe I'm expecting too much here - this is not a style of beer I have much experience with - but DAB Dark Beer is a bit of a yawn-inducer. As far as Euro dark lagers go there is nothing overwhelmingly wrong with it, and it's definitely cleaner-tasting than some of the others that I've tried. Not bad, but not my bag at all - unlike DAB Original, which I still purchase here and there, I'm not sure I'll be back for more of this one. It still makes for a cheap tipple, so fans of dark lagers will still want to give this one a shot - as I'm sure there are others who will find that this lager suits their needs quite well, indeed.

Nov 08, 2014
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Dortmunder ActienBrauerei "DAB Dark Beer"
500 ml can, "BEST BEFORE: 12.2014 N"

Dab Dark is a clean, well-brewed dunkel that offers a pleasant, deep, and dry roastiness amidst notes of bittersweet dark chocolate. There are no distinctive hop flavors although there's an overall floral character. The bitterness is assertive, and it finishes quite dry in combination with the roasted notes. At first it doesn't appear to linger long on the palate, cleaning up very quickly. As the roastiness builds in the mouth, however, the length of the finish increases greatly, mixing notes of dark chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder, ashy roastiness, and floral hops. At times it can seem even a touch smokey.

Aug 25, 2014
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.49/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml can - nice to see more dark beers from Germany's more prominent brewers make it this way. The label proclaims 'draft quality' - how so, given that I detect no supporting evidence as such?

This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick amber colour, with three pudgy fingers of puffy, bubbly, and weakly foamy ecru head, which leaves some stellar cobwebbed lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells quite lightly of roasted pale and caramel malt, faint muddled dark fruit, a bit of dry cocoa powder, and mild leafy, grassy, and weedy hops - did I mention it was light? The taste is more tell-tale - bready caramel malt, toasted wheat crackers, wet char, bittersweet chocolate, still well understated dark orchard fruit, and typically restrained leafy, earthy noble hops.

The bubbles are pretty low-key in their quotidian fizziness, the body an adequate medium weight for the style, and plainly smooth, a burgeoning biscuity essence steering things slowly in the other direction. It finishes a twinge off-dry, the cocoa, soaked bread, and morning after firepit notes landing on my palate just so.

A pleasant enough dark German lager, the roasted character kept mostly to a minimum, with plenty of other black lager subtleties to render things drinkable and enjoyable for at least a few rounds, one would think - but first, bring on the scarred, spartan wood tables, so that we might imbibe this one properly!

Jul 29, 2014
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.37/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to the king of canned brew, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a cola like color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, of roasted malts. Taste is roasted malts, light smokiness, some bitterness at the finish. Mild and sessionable. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

May 08, 2014
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Many, many thanks to the good peeps of The Foodery who set aside some CANs for me at Marnie Olds' fest at the Philadelphia German Heritage Club a few weeks back! Apparently, the CANs have only recently returned to the U.S. market and I am proud to add the beer to The CANQuest (TM).

From the CAN: "All Natural Draft Quality"; "A smooth dark beer imported from Germany"; "Brewed according to the German beer purity law."

It came in a tallboy CAN, so an inverted Glug was out of the question. However, a heavy handed pour was not and so I proceeded smartly following a rather soft Crack! My pour still resulted in a pseudo-cascade, eventually settling into three fingers of dense, light-tan head with great retention. Nose had a soft, grassy, Noble hop quality underlain by a light cocoa chocolatiness. Color was a deep-brown with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity (SRM = > 22, < 27). Mouthfeel was medium and the grassiness was very pronounced in the mouth, followed by a semi-sweet chocolate bitterness. I really liked the interplay between the malt and the hops and neither seemed to get in the way of the other, as CAN happen with Black/Cascadian IPAs. Finish was semi-dry, not fully dry, but highly refreshing and very pleasant. I would definitely put this in the cooler for Hula in the Coola Day (01 Feb, annually).

Mar 12, 2014
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animal69 from Louisiana

4.5/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is what I base all my dunkel recipe's on, the perfectly clear, 'cherrycola' color always gives a good tan(?) head (you can float the cap), the taste & aroma match the color w/ plenty of earthy toasty grain flavor and aroma, not agressively hopped at all, the hop flavor comes out right at the end, though there is some slight hop aroma; i really can't believe how light the body is w/ such a full flavored beer, it makes this, in my opinion, the most drinkable dunkel.

Oct 04, 2007
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First of all I can't believe there's only 26 reviews for this beer?? I remember seeing DAB back in the mid 80s. Maybe something changed as far where or who brews it??? Will not even guess at what the hell 6 34
L means datewise, well maybe it means 34th week of 06?? Don't know

Pours chestnut/mahogany with a 3 fingers deep offwhite head. Good head retention & so-so lacing

S: Toffee & caramel. Fruiityness as it warms.

Taste: Toasty malts, then slight grainyness. Choclate notes sneek through. Finishes dry, with toasty grain/raisin notes

MF: Medium body with slight pricklyness & slight over carbonation

Drinks okay, needs a little more character to hold your interest, still not bad at all for a short fling..

Sep 01, 2006
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tgbljb from Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured an attractive deep copper color with boisterous tannish head that lasted throughout the glass. Smell is of toasted malt mixed with caramel. Taste is OK, but it reminds me of the taste of a non-alcoholic beer, so much so that I had to grab the bottle from the recycle bin to make sure. A bit a dry hoppiness at the finish is somewhat redeeming. Very easy to drink, but not something great.

Nov 02, 2005
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TastyTaste from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear cola brown body, with a just a thin layer of foam sitting on top. Smell is grassy, with a slightly nutty tinge to it. Taste is fairly well hopped, has some nutty earth flavors that are overshadowed by the larger grassiness. Good mouthfeel. Even though I don't think many euro lagers are worth taking a glance at, this one is one of the better examples.

Aug 22, 2005
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Andreji from Texas

3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although DAB seemed like an unconvincing brew, I was rather pleased at the end.

The pour is a dark combination between brown and red with a nice, light tan frothy head with considerably good retention.

The smell wasn't very complex, but highlighted an essential malt dominance, with a slight grassy hoppyness coming in at some point.

The taste was rather pleasing, above what I'd look for in a Negra Modelo, for example. rather strong and malty, all within a medium to thick mouthfeel. It ended with a sweet/bitter combination as the hops became present, making it rather more pleasing and refreshing. not too carbonated.

The beer was ok for a light session-wise drinking. I'd easily drink it again.

Aug 16, 2005
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An impressive session beer. I think many people undermind these 'finess' beers because we are used to appreciating higher gravity beers more--our mistake. DAB Dunkel pours a medium copper or rust color with orange tones woven in. Looks fairly creamy and laces reasonably well. Moderately carbonated with a white adequate head. Smells lightly malty, caramelly and bready. Slight hop aroma adds spiciness and complexity. Maybe a touch grainy. Tastes lightly malty and caramelly as well. Toast-ey flavors revealled in the body. Slight tones of traditional german hops for balance and offests the malt. Thins toward the body and finished quite dry without being alcoholic or hot. Aftertaste is clean and crisp. Give me another; this is a increadibly easy drinking beer.

Jul 22, 2005
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TongoRad from New Jersey

2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear yet dingy looking orangy/brown. Head is slightly tan, solid and rocky.

Aroma is too mild- there are bready and spicy elements along with a touch of caramel and malty sweetness, but there is just not that much of an impression.

Flavor is disappointing as well- not nearly enough of a malt profile. A roasted malt character dominates what is there, but the finish borders on over-attenuated. Otherwise, this beer is simply bland.

Can't win 'em all, I guess. I don't think I'll be buying this one again- not much of interest here.

Jun 08, 2005
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aquatonex from New York

3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had as a draught at Hofbrauhaus.

Pours dark brown, slightly more opaque than Coke. Head was 2 fingers tall, light, bubbly, not much retention. Carbonation was light. Smells of malts with hints of bitterness (hops, cocoa, coffee). Taste follows with a light to medium bodied malts, chocolatey coffeeish bitterness, I'd like to have a heavier malt presence. Slight sweetness is overpowered by the bitter flavors. Mouthfeel is decent. I'd drink it again, was pretty solid.

Mar 13, 2005
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shapudding from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No dating, but stamped "6L34" if that means anything...?
I cannot remember having this in a bottle before, but did wind up drinking quite a bit of draft over the summer at a local German themed beergarden.
Poured out clear and bottle brown with a very nice thick head that settled down to an off-white creamy layer that you can just see through in areas. Deeply malty scents, caramel and karo syrup, strong molasses. Smooth feel with a light to medium body, lightly creamy. You can feel the carbination only barely, nice. Tastes of coffee, dark roasted malts, honeyed sweetness coming through. Very good mild flavors, goes down easily.

Feb 06, 2005
DAB Dark Beer from Dortmunder Actien Brauerei / DAB
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 87 ratings