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Dark Traveler by Goose Island
Munich Dunkel Lager
4.90 % ABV

This latest in Goose Island’s Fulton & Wood series is a style rarely seen on tap in Chicago, the Munich Dunkel. Malt-forward, made with three types of wheat, Caramunich malt and Belgian oats. Brewers Dave, Keith, Brian and Ken also replicated the hard water profile traditionally found in Munich to accentuate the sweet malt flavors inherent in the beer. Finally, they used a mix of both Czech and American Saaz hops for subtle earthy hop flavor. 

Review by rhoadsrage on 04/23/13  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 3 9 17 4 9 2013
(Served in an American pint glass)
A- These beers pour a dense almost opaque charcoal brown with a thin film of light tan head that last a good bit. A few tiny bubbles trail up the side of the glass.

S- The well lagered aroma has fresh hints of deep roasted malt that takes on an earthy black cola note as it opens up. It does have some nice subtle depth.

T- The smooth taste has a nice full but lagered dark malt flavor with some roasted flavor but no bitterness from the malt. There is a slight oat tartness and a rounded earthiness to the finish. There is just a hint of sweetness to the finish that it adds freshness to the malt with out becoming sweet. A nice mineral water taste comes through in the middle as the beer opens up.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a crisp little fizz brick that cleans the finish and adds a bit more body to each sip. No alcohol heat was noticed.

O- Dark lagers are the only style I can drink from a boot (2L glass) and many of those are a bit dull and one dimensional. This has a nice full flavor but is clean and just shows through hints of dark roast and some dark toast notes but they stay soft enough to keep in mysterious and the last sip wants me to take another sip. Delicious.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by everetends on 04/06/13  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 5 9 2013
32 oz growler served in a pilsner glass.

A: The beer hits the glass and builds a seemingly dark black body. As the light wraps around the glass, it appears the beer rests on a deep garnet pedestal. Held to direct light, those garnet hues push through the whole body and create more of a deep brown that resembles a soda. A steady carbonation stream slides up the sides of the glass and through the middle of the body. The pour yielded about a finger of tan head. It had me worried when it cut itself in half almost immediately, but the remaining foam clung to life and the glass for almost the entire experience. Flecks of lace spot the glass all the way down.

A: The aroma is not overpowering by no means muted or simple. Toasted/roasted grains great the nose along with an incredibly earthy heartiness from the wheat and oats. The malts take on an almost nutty quality. The roast brings out some light coffee notes and even a touch of semisweet chocolate greets the nose from time to time. All of this is held up by subtle hop quality that adds some earthy, Noble bitterness to the fold.

T: The flavor starts with a combo of nutty and bread like flavors, almost mimicking a rustic oat and nut bread. The roasted notes kick in and mix with a light sweetness, a kiss of chocolate, and then an almost bitter coffee note. This coffee note moves effortlessly into the earthy hop qualities working in this beer. The beer finishes with this lingering hop flavor with just a touch of hazelnut sweetness.

M: This beer has shined in all categories, but it is just ridiculous in the mouthfeel department. It is medium to light in body with a moderate carbonation. This creates an almost creamy weight to the beer that makes you believe it might be heavy, but it dries up beautifully with a refreshing snap to it. The 4.9% ABV lays low and out of sight. The aftertaste is just the lightest touch of bitter, earthy hops and a faint, toasted nut sweetness.

OA: The best way I could possibly describe this beer is that it is incredibly well rounded every department. The care that went into this beer is noticeable. Any chance of a rough edge was honed with utmost attention, leaving only a wonderfully smooth experience in every aspect. The beer has a depth of layered flavor and aroma that can only be described as nearing perfection. Although at time it can almost seem rich and creamy, the beer never teeters or falls out of the realm of refreshing and incredibly drinkable. It is just delicious and simply beautiful.

Served In: Pilsner Glass

Review by emerge on 04/04/13  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 3 9 17 5 8 2013
Multiple drafts at the release party at Hopleaf. Congrats go out to the brewing team, Dave, Keith, Brian, and Ken... and a high five to Dave for the concept of a MDL with some interesting twists to it.

Black body with dark brown edges, the pint arrives with a finger of creamy tan foam on top, the surface creating a convex dome that rises above the rim of the glass. The retention is good, and a persistent patchy skim remains for the entire glass, and there's also a fair bit of lacing around the edges.

Nutty toasted malts in the aroma, dry and rich with hints of coffee and dusty blocks of unsweetened bakers chocolate in the periphery. There's a unique note that comes and goes, a slight hazelnut coffee inflection that's hard to pin down but keeps you sniffing trying to figure it out.

More nuttiness in the flavor, toasty and bready with a substantial malt character and an underlying noble hop bitterness that compliments subtly. A Czech pils yeast added a finely dry finish, showcasing the Caramunich malt. It drinks more like a light and dry porter, definitely feels substantial, though it's light to medium body never sacrifices maximum drinkability here. Extremely smooth due to the addition of 3 varieties of wheat and Belgian oats.

I and many others went through a number of pints, and we were more than a little envious of the liter boots the brewers were equipped with.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by howardf on 04/04/13  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 3 9 16 5 9 2013
Huge thanks to Dave for sending this beer, and for making it in the first place.

Pours cola brown with crimson highlights. Think corn syrup blood crimson. There is a huge tan head. Small bubbles make bigger bubbles, and they eventually fall to a thick cap.

The smell is very clean, and very malty, with a touch of sweetness and brown bread. There's a hint of spice in there too, reminded me or pumpernickel.

The flavor is all dark, bready malt, with a hint of sweetness. There's a little bit of noble hops in the middle, and the slightest taste of chocolate in the finish. Balance is impeccable.

Mouthfeel is light, but not thin. It really coats the mouth and lingers long after you've set the glass back down. It's smooth and creamy, with just enough carbonation to keep it from being sticky.

This is a fantastic beer that you want to keep drinking. My growler is fading fast, and I find myself wishing I had another.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by braconid on 03/27/13  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 5 9 2013
The growler cracks with a decent hiss of carbonation, filled to the brim. A vigorous pour is needed to keep it from spilling. This produces a finger and a half of tan head that falls to half a finger that sits nicely over the beer for the duration of the glass. There is a slow yet steady stream of carbonation visible helping to maintain the head. The aroma on this brings strong roasted maltyness, with just a hint of a bready backbone to it. There is almost a nutty quality to it as well. As it warms I get just the slightest hint of alcohol The lines are as clean as can be. The flavor follows suit, with a stronger nutty flavor with the roasted malt being more subdued. The middle brings a nice and mild bitterness that carries through to the finish. If there was such a thing as noble hop bread, that is what the middle of the flavor tastes like to me. I really like the kiss of hop bitterness that sits on the finish along side some really tasty bread notes. This is a tasty beer. The mouthfeel has a creamy quality to it, with a moderate carbonation that fits the rest of the beer very well. I am not sure the mouthfeel could be any better. Overall, this beer is clean and delicious. A keg of this would not make it past the month mark in my house. I'll be sad when the growler is done. Very sad indeed. A big thanks to Dave for sharing this gem with me. I hope this one makes it into the rotation again, as it is really damn good.

Served In: Tulip

Review by Tip Top on 03/27/13  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
82 3 9 17 4 8 2013
No hiss when I popped the bullet, but the pour produced a one finger head of dark khaki foam. Decent staying power. Dark brown in color with some garnet highlights when you bring the glass up to the light. Spotty lacing sticks to the sides of the glass.

Smell is roastier than you would expect, that is if you hadn't read up on the brew before. Much roastier than your run of the mill dunkel. Whole grain bread. A bit nutty.

Flavor follows the nose pretty accurately. Up front there is just a moment of malt sweetness, quickly giving way to the breadiness. Nutty almost like a brown ale, but more rounded. Roastiness starts and doesn't let go, almost turning a touch bitter as it sits on your tongue in the aftertaste. There's a sweetness towards the end that I can't quite put my finger on.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied. Good, fine carbonation that seems to cleanse the palate so you're ready for another drink and another and...

Super drinkable, sessionable beer in a style that you don't see represented in many American brewery's portfolios. Very balanced. I can see sitting around a spring fire and drinking lots of these.

Sorry for the lame review, but I'm rusty. I can't even remember the last time that I sat down to write one.

Served In: Other

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