In With The Old

Brewery and Country of Origin: Warsteiner Brauerei of Im Waldpark, Warstein, North Rhine-Westphalia 59581, Germany

Date Reviewed: 3-11-13

Thanks to macrobreweries like Anheuser-Busch or Miller, many beer drinkers think of a lager as a lighter bodied, light colored, light and grainy tasting beverage which is cool, crisp, and refreshing. But it wasn't always that way. Today there is a little known annual festival which takes place in the autumn in a faraway place called Germany. And in Germany, there is a place called Bavaria and within Bavaria, is Munich. Munich of course, is host to Oktoberfest, the world's largest festival and fair. And the festival exclusively serves and celebrates local lagers, specifically Oktoberfest beers. But beer in Germany is more than just a festival, and German lagers are definitely more than Marzens and Oktoberfests. As we all know, the Germans are very good at streamlining industry and making things more efficient. Think of it as the European Japan... Kind of. They were strong military allies at one point. But that's the past. Anyway, during the dark age of modern brewing (aka, when global consolidation grouped respectable, regional breweries into singular multinational macrobreweries), a lot of money was poured into saving money, meaning that breweries would take measures that would cut costs and make making beer cheaper. Simple. Cheaper ingredients, bigger batches, less variety, lower quality. And not only was it (for a while that seemed like an eternity) the end of an era of innocent, guilt free brewing, it was also nearly the end of a Bavarian style of beer known as the dunkel. Back in the day, old Bavarian lager was dark brown or amber colored and full of malty flavor. Of course, this style is still enjoyed among the locals, but today there are plenty of other Bavarian lagers which are more common. Bavarian beers of today are still brewed to high standards using only ingredients allowed under modern Reinheitsgebot law.
Date Sampled: 2-20-13 (7-09-11 original) At: Yard House Fenway, 126 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA, 02215, USA
Beer Style: Munich Dunkel Lager
Alcohol by Volume: 4.90%
Serving Type: Keg, 32 oz Half Yard Glass
Rating: 3.13


This beer has a smooth pour with a quarter inch tall foam head. This beer has a medium low level of carbonation action. The foam head has a low density and a weak retention. The appearance is clear with no sediment and a brown color which shines a good amount in bright light. This beer has a small amount of lacing ability.


The medium high strength aroma is full of dark chocolate and roasted malt with a some sweetness as an overtone and a tad bit of hoppy bitterness at the close. This beer is slightly nutty in its aroma with some biscuity notes mixed in. This beer also has a small amount of cereal smells including grassy and grainy tones. There is no alcohol in the aroma.


This is a medium bodied brew with a low amount of carbonation, a medium high weight, and a medium low viscosity, all of which make up a combination which is somewhat easy to drink, a bit crisp, and pretty smooth overall. This beer has a crisp finish with a mixed, but dry linger.


Warsteiner's Dunkel has a full roasted malt flavor with a slightly grainy flavor as secondary. There are some lighter hops and bitter notes toward the finish and an aftertaste which lingers for a fair amount of time. This beer has a small amount of nuttiness and biscuity notes toward the beginning of the profile, as well as some sweet toffee flavor.

Our Take

This is a traditional style beer which comes from one of the most prolific breweries Germany. Yes, it does conform to the Reinheitsgebot law, and yes, it tastes pretty good. This is a very typical dark lager, coming with all of the accoutrements of a satisfying, average bodied, malty Bavarian Style lager, even though this beer isn't produced in proper Bavaria. If you're looking for a lighter, light colored traditional Bavarian lager which has a refreshing, light flavor, you're going to want to look elsewhere. This is a good brew which is full of Munich malty notes, a sweet overtone, and a good amount of aromatic properties. This beer's average stature and broad flavor make it good all year long, and it goes well with a variety of different cheeses and meats. This beer can go well with lighter meals with sweeter fish or grilled veggies as well. In general this brew is wholesome, traditional, and satisfying on all levels. Though nothing terribly special, this beer makes a good go to for anyone looking for a moderately priced sweet bit of old Bavaria.