Review of Moerlein Barbarossa Double Dark Lager

23 Jun
Today, I thought I would review another beer from the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The brew is called the Moerlein Barbarossa Double Dark Lager. 

I am able to find Moerleins quite regularly, since the brewery is located so close to me, however this will be only the second Moerlein I have reviewed on this blog. 

The website,, has an interesting description of this product.

You’ve made a discovery – a Double Dark Lager honoring Frederick I, Emperor of Germany, known as Barbarossa.  Folklore says he never died…. instead he sits enchanted in a cavern until the ravens cease to fly, signaling for his triumphant return.  Moerlein Barbarossa is slow aged with a deep reddish-brown color and a malt aroma derived from Munich dark malt.  The balanced finish invites a toast to the return of a legend.  

This beer is categorized as a Munich Dunkel Lager, so let’s see how it tastes.

The Barbarossa has an ABV of 5.0% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle. 

The appearance was a clear, maroon/dark brown color with some burnt orange highlights around the bottom of the glass.  A slight, off white head was formed that was somewhat small and had little retention and lacing.  It did leave a bit of a silky film on top after it settled however.

With the aroma, I picked up a creamy, buttery, dark, earthy malt.  Some burnt or toasted grain along with what I found to be a smidgen of sourness.  It smelled a whole lot like soured milk.  I didn’t find that to be too pleasing really.  Way in the back, I discovered hints of bittersweet chocolate and caramel (I wish they would have been more robust).

The taste was rather rich and slightly sweet, although dark, roasted malts seemed to be the forerunner.  More of the burnt grains along with a breadiness and hints of, what I thought to be, “smoke.”  Once more, very faint touches of bittersweet chocolate and caramel and maybe even the smallest bit of a “grassy” hop savor.  I wanted to like this taste, but I just couldn’t get into it.  It could have been the combinations of flavors that were throwing me off.  I may have just not been in the mood for this beer or something.  Who knows?

The mouthfeel was medium/thin and actually seemed to be somewhat watery.  It was smooth, but not as creamy as I thought it would be.  It only did an “ok” job of covering the palate with flavor.

To me, this beer was just mediocre.  I’m sure some may find it to be very enjoyable, but I didn’t enjoy it all that much.  I could probably drink it if it was offered, although I don’t think that I would drink more than one or two at a time.  I doubt I would go out of my way to find it either.  I have a feeling the style was just not to my liking rather than this being a poorly made beer.  I did appreciate the nice color though.  I really liked that burgundy/brown tint that it entailed.  Well, pick it up if you see it and let me know what you think.  I would love to get a second opinion.  I may try it again sometime in the future and see if my interpretation changes.

Thanks for reading and commenting guys.


Score:  3.2 out of 5
Grade:  C+     

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Country: USA, Moerlein


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: