Another lovely weekend has passed here in Southern California. Another “Sip with us Saturday” is under our belts. One more shift in the weather patterns has occurred for many of us. If you’ll remember, I mentioned that this beer was something of a season bridging beer. The lager part says summer; the darker, drier malts say fall. It’s been a long time since I’d had this particular beer. Actually, I last tried it at a place called Cousins when I lived in Springfield, MO, many moons ago (6 or 7 years). Unfortunately, the place is now closed. But Warsteiner Dunkel was one of the beers that moved me out of the American macros, thus it holds a special place in my heart. Most of my nostalgic moments these days are beer memories. At any rate, I sipped this beer on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Here are my thoughts.
The Pour: As I poured this beer, I reflected on the pitiful lack of dark and black lagers out there. Luckily, there has been somewhat of a resurgence when it comes to black lagers specifically. Warsteiner Dunkel poured with a very brown color and revealed some slight hints of red in the body. Being a lager, it had a very clean body with small carbonation bubbles coming through to prop up its very small head. Occasionally, a bigger carbonation bubble would come through the beer, giving the appearance of a bubbling cauldron of oil.
The Nose: Unlike many of the ales that we review on the site, this didn’t not have that much going on. Appropriately, there were no fruits on the nose. This beer was all malt with no discernible hops on the nose. Sometimes it’s nice to have a “meat and potatoes” type beer. The malts had a pleasant tinge of sweetness, which highlighted their dominance. I can’t be absolutely sure, but I caught the smallest sulfur aroma on the nose of this dunkel.
The Taste: Again, sometimes simplicity is a virtue. There simply isn’t too much going on in this beer. A tinge of malt sweetness came through on the taste, and a dry maltiness dominated the 4.8% ABV beer. The hints of sulfur seemed to come through but only a minimal amount of hops and darker malt flavors. I can’t stress enough that this is a simple beer. No one ever said it is hugely complex, but that’s what makes it an immanently drinkable, not overly thinkable beer.
Overall, If this was a beer that I drank once a week I wouldn’t complain. It is smooth, agreeably dry, and simple. However, I wouldn’t make special efforts to go out and get this. It’s a good session beer that you don’t have to over analyze.
Among other German Lagers: