Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei Bonifatius Dunkel

Total Score: 6.6/10 Caramel1Butter1Nut1Stein1

From Pils to Dunkel, like cradle to the grave we traipse onto another brew. Another day another brew, inexorably trekking onwards, ever closer to the sweet release of death… just kidding, I love drinking and reviewing beers! [FML…IA! – F**k My Life… IS AWESOME!] Still I’m going to have to take a self-imposed sabbatical soon, yet I’m so close to that constant looming 1,000 beer reviews… what does this have to do with this Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei Bonifatius Dunkel? Nothing really, can’t a man philosophise every once and a while? Seriously though I do enjoy a good Dunkel, I’ve reviewed like 5 of them… I guess out of 944 beers that makes me “not a fan” of the style, which is a shame because I definitely enjoy Dunkels more than mass-produced macro crap and I’ve definitely reviewed more than 5 macro Lagers.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a stein.

A: Deep, clear caramel/rust coloured body with a sizable beige head that takes its sweet time to dissolve [there’s a pun in there somewhere]. She looks better than the Pils by virtue of simply being a darker brew, pretty harsh bias, however the Pils did look too yellow and clear and ironically (for a klosterbrau) mass-produced. 7/10.

S: Rum-raisin character all over this aroma! [I actually hate rum-raisin… yep] Dark fruits aplenty with this Dunkel, more so than the other 5 Dunkels I tried… I think… it’s been a while for me in the saddle. Toffee and bread notes as well in the aroma, though there is no getting past old mate rum-raisin, he’s a pushy one he is. 6/10.

T: Thankfully the flavour isn’t rum-raisin but more Werther’s Original toffee… dipped in butter. The Diacetyl in this brew is pretty off-the-charts, lucky I don’t mind Diacetyl (when it plays well with the other flavours). Rounding out the flavours are a slight nutty character, maybe pecan, with a herbal leafy tobacco note in the finish. Sweet? Dry? Bitter? It’s a bit of all of those. Surprisingly good balance. Uh oh! Metallic twang in the after taste, my filings are excited now. 7/10.

M: Mid to light, almost medium bodied, with a fairly dense/creamy carbonation, some balance has been restored after the disappointment of Eucharius Pils. 7/10.

D: Damn metallic taste detracting from the rest of the brew! Otherwise I would be all over this like Sundays (and sundaes, which I am also all over). I get an impression from Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei so far as a rather hodge-podge kind of monastery that is into brewing for the fun of it and cuts corners a little to let the old monks have a go at brewing and isn’t fussed about the end product. 6/10.

Food match: Sundaes, which I am all over: “get your Dunkel sundae here!”.


Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel

Total Score: 7.35/10 BrownSugar1 DarkFruits1 Wood1 Stein1

Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel from Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg – The second oldest brewery in the world! Ouch, that’s gotta sting – I bet they’re waiting with bated breath for Weihenstephan to close their doors – not bloody likely as Weihenstephan are the still the best Weizen brewers around. Turns out Weltenburger have been brewing since 1050 AD and Weihenstephan only beat them by 10 years! How about that? Anywho, time to give this Munich Dunkel Lager a good rundown, wish me luck.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a stein.

A: Hazed auburn brown body with a nice dense beige head that soon retreats to leave a light lace covering. Not the worst looking Dunkel Lager out there by any means. 7/10.

S: Truckloads of malt give this brew a brown sugar/dark rum note, this is of course bang-on to style, followed by some light bread notes, hint of nuttiness and a dark fruit (plum/prune) finish. If I had a complaint, and I do, it could do with a bit more of a prominent yeast character. 7/10.

T: Sweet rum raisin! This beer tastes like sweet rum raisin. Along with that is some light woody/nuttiness, a thin veneer of bread characters, and a lacquer dry finish. The sweetness of this brew is perfect – not too under/over powering, and there is a slight herbal aftertaste as a nod to the hops that are no doubt in this brew. 8/10.

M: Mid to light, almost medium but not quite there, bodied with a light but dense carbonation – in the case of this brew a medium body is warranted yet not obtained, oh well. 6/10.

D: The aftertaste, that lacquer dry finish, begin to grate me as I reached the end of the glass – which is a shame because there is an excellent beer struggling to free itself from the shackles of an oppressive aftertaste… or something along those lines. It does however compare favourably to its greatest competitor: Weihenstephaner Tradition – which I found to be less flavoursome overall – so cheers to Weltenburger! WIBIA? (which sounds funny when said out loud and stands for “Would I Buy It Again?”) Yes I think I would – there is definitely a spot in my fridge door for a malt heavy Lager, as there should be in every fridge. 7/10.

Food match: If it’s pork related and BBQ’d you’ll ne’er go wrong with this brew.