Warsteiner Premium Dunkel

Review Date 9/28/2007  Last Updated  4/23/2023  By John Staradumsky


Warsteiner was in need of a new beer. They were, for the most part, a one-beer operation, with the lionís share of their sales coming from their Premium Verum (true reward). At least in the United States, that much was true. When you think of the worldís best selling German beer, what name pops into mind? Beckís? St. Pauli Girl? Youíd be wrong on both counts. That title goes to Warsteiner, and I am of the opinion that their beer has a tad more character than the first two candidates mentioned.

So, they turned to the Dark Side. After all, Beckís and St. Pauli Girl each had a dark beer; even Heineken did for that matter. So why not Warsteiner? At first, they brought in Isenbeck Premium Dunkel.This, however, was a violation of one of the cardinal rules of business: when you have a premium, well-regarded brand name, use it. And so they did, renaming Isenbeck to Warsteiner Premium Dunkel.

Dunkel is, of course, the German word for dark. But itís also a German style of beer. A Munich Dunkels is a soft, malty lager, dark in color from the use of a bit of chocolate or Munich malt. These beers are not harsh in their roasty character, but remain smooth and drinkable with a balanced finish. Such a beer is Warsteiner Premium Dunkel. Many people are put off by the notion of dark beer, but a beer like Warsteiner Premium Dunkel is not like anything they might expect.

Warsteiner also wins kudos for their impressive and rather utilitarian website (www.warsteiner.com, of course). Here you can find information on their beers, where you might find it, and stuff to buy. Thereís lots more available too, everything from desktop themes to graphics to screensavers. You can even send an e-postcard to a buddy.

Warsteiner Premium Dunkel pours to a dark caramel-chestnut color with a creamy head formation and a pleasing malty nose. The palate is a fresh-malty delight, slightly nutty, with hints of chewy caramel, a touch of chocolate, fresh malt, and a light roast character. The roasted malt flavors are, as previously stated, not as harsh as one might find in a porter, stout, but they do add much flavor and character.

The beer is creamy and smooth, and very, very drinkable. The finish is nicely balanced with a subtle touch of hops, just enough to balance. Warsteiner Premium Dunkel is also brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot, or German beer purity of law, of 1516. That makes this an all-malt beer. Meaning mo adjuncts or coloring are used in the brewing process.

This is a perfect beer to match with German food, as I did tonight. A plate of Weisswurst (white sausage made with pork, veal, and spices), Spatzels (German egg noodles served swimming in butter and seasoned with salt and pepper), and Rotkohl (pickled red cabbage) along with a slab of fresh baked rye bursting with caraway seeds were washed down nicely by this tasty brew.

Itís also a great beer just for casual sipping on its own, and one beer enthusiasts and novices alike can enjoy. Itís available in 12-packs for around $13 or so, which is a pretty good deal indeed. So donít be afraid of the dark. Try one today, and see just how alluring the dark side can be.

Update 9/7/2017: For September of 2017, Warsteiner beers are featured as Beer of the Month at Taco Mac! That means you can enjoy a delicious Warsteiner Oktoberfest, Pilsner, Dunkel or Konig Ludwig Hefeweizen and on Thursdays get a free logo glass. I first enjoyed a Warsteiner Dunkel and it was better than I remembered, bursting with fresh malt flavor, like chewing a handful of biscuit chocolate and Munich malt. It's normally $6.25 and would be well worth that, but for just $12.99 I enjoyed a 23-ounce Chancellor mug of this delicious beer with 3 mini-brats with caramelized onions and spicy mustard, a side, and got the glass to boot! Adding a half star on because this is so incredibly good.

Update 4/23/2023: Today is the Tag Des Deutschen Bieres! This celebrates the Reinheitsgebot of 1516. To commemorate, I am drinking a Warsteiner Dunkel, which I think is an underrated brew. It is nutty, chocolaty, roasty, smooth, creamy, with delightful cookie malts. It is indeed an exceptional Dunkel, and one of which I do not partake often enough. The bottle I am enjoying tonight was part of a birthday present from my wife, a box of 12 German assorted beers from Half Time beverages. It is marked as 4.8% alcohol by volume, just under the 4.9% I have this beer pegged as in the past. My bottle is labeled best before 28,JUN.23. Warsteiner Sunkel is also a great value. In my neck of the woods, Total Wine sells it for $9.48 the six-pack of bottles or, better yet, $13.99 for a 12-pack. Hard to beat that these days.

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned