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Hofbräu Dunkel

Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

The venerated Hofbräuhaus invariably comes up in any discussion concerning “classic” or “epic” breweries, and their sublime Münchner Dunkel most certainly contributes to the reverence in which beer aficionados hold the brewery. This beer bursts with lush aromas of sweet caramel and light toffee, accentuated by a solid punch of spicy Munich malt. As expected of the style, the hop aroma is barely above threshold and evinces a delicately herbaceous character. While Rick waxed poetic over the “enfolding, rich nutty malt” aromas, Tim likened the tantalizing traces of cocoa and toffee to those of a “savory chocolate torte.” Filling the glass with a deep, shimmering copper glow, this beer is crowned by a lush, rocky, pale tan head that lingers to the very end of the glass. The dark, brooding color portends a massive malt presence, and this beer is saturated with succulent, sweet flavors of treacle, golden toffee, caramel and spice. Though it is intensely malty, the beer finishes rather dry and quenching. Tom complimented the “slightly burnt sugar and toffee” flavors and the deft use of bittering hops to balance the sweetness. Like Tom, Pete found the beer perfectly balanced between malty sweetness and hop bitterness, and he enjoyed the “silky smooth and seductive” caramel and spice flavors. Yet another demonstration of Hofbräuhaus’s artistry, Münchner Dunkel is a most satisfying beer, as well-suited to a warm spring afternoon as it is to après-ski quaffing.