I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about German beer. As far as imports go, I’m much more knowledgeable about beer from England, Ireland and Scotland. This is interesting because my first real beer drinking experience was in Germany (Berlin and Munich) when I was 18. Oddly enough, I don’t remember much about the beers I drank, though this is probably because I didn’t know anything about beer at the time. Then and now, I’m more experienced with lighter German beers like pilsners. In fact, I think German and German-style pilsners are the best of that type of beer in the world. I have not had very many darker German beers that I can recall. After getting married to my lovely wife earlier this month we took a mini-vacation to Fredericksburg. It’s a town in the beautiful Texas hill country that was originally settled and founded by German immigrants and that heritage is still alive and well today. We went to a German tavern, The Auslander, there a couple times, the type of place that looks sort of like a Disney version of old Bavaria minus any talking animals. It has pretty good food though and a good selection of German beer. I asked the waitress to recommend a darker German beer and she suggested Warsteiner Dunkel, saying it was “popular.” That word definitely doesn’t always mean the best but like I said, I don’t know much about German beer so I took her up on that suggestion. I do know the Warsteiner brand. It’s easy to find all over. I have had their Premium Verum. Their Dunkel proves to be very Shiner Bock like, which is I guess not too surprising, considering Shiner Bock is a German-style beer. Warsteiner Dunkel does have some characteristics though that make it a little more unique. There’s an interesting smoky taste lingering in the background. Otherwise, the beer shares the ever so slightly sweet, malty and lightly-hopped flavors with Shiner Bock. It is perhaps a bit darker but also shares Shiner Bock’s mid-level body as well. Warsteiner Dunkel isn’t a bad beer but I’m still not impressed enough to declare a great love for German beer…yet. But I am at least intrigued enough to keep trying Deutsche bier until I find one I really love, if that ever happens.