Kasteel Winter - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

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Kasteel WinterKasteel Winter

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

206 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 20
Gots: 52 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Zach136 on 10-29-2013

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 45
Reviews by cindyjeffsmith:
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

appearance: A relatively hazy reddish brown. Nice tan swath of a head and messy lacing. Handsome brew.
smell: Wow, lots happening. Roasty, delicate coffee, subtle spice and fruit, touch of semi-sweet chocolate. Well done. Quite a nose.
taste: Very nice again. Much like the nose. Subtle but full of flavors. A hint of sour in the finish.
overall: Quite a brew.

More User Reviews:
Photo of AngusOg
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Didn't have the "usual" Belgian flavor, and the sweetness of the first sip put me off a bit. However, the more I drank this one, the more it grew on me. The flavor absolutely delicious; coffee, chocolate, vanilla, almonds, and dark fruits. Abv totally hidden. I hate to sound sappy, but sitting in front of the fire, surrounded by the family, loved ones, and dogs a few days before Christmas, this was heaven in a bottle. I can definitely see buying more of this one in the future.

Photo of Spreetaper
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Schnitzel Haus - Brooklyn,NY

Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 7/13/2013.Pours into a chalice a beep roasted chesnut brown with burgundy hue,a slightly fizzy light beige head atop.Aromas of plums,chocolate,spiced phenols,and a bit of must but all cometogether quite well,I pick up faint burnt toast in there as well.Yeasty on the palate but not over the top in the phenol department,chocolate,hard toffee, and spiced cake flavors along with some plums,the spiced notes linger in the finish.This is a warming spicy beer that's perfect for winter sipping.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark brown with a tan head and ruby hints when held up to the light. Lots of lacing all down the chalice.
A complicated aroma! Raisin and toffee and booze, chocolate, molasses, maybe a hint of a bold red wine.
Very tasty. Milk chocolate sweetness is first up with hints of candied fruit, sweet plums and port. There's a pleasing boozy tingle. As it warms, it's like a ripe plum covered in milk chocolate.
Mouthfeel is medium and very smooth.
Great stuff.

Photo of kenjcom
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not one for chocolate beer but this stuff is great. It's one of the few beers that I enjoy at room temperature or slightly chilled. If it gets too cold, the taste changes too much for me. Great stuff.

Photo of chinchill
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Large bottle served at about 58F in a Belgian snifter. Bottled in July 2013. Seems like just the right thing on a cold winter's eve with snow in the forecast.

Pours clear, chestnut brown with a decent off-white head. Good lacing.

Aroma: rich, with hints of toffee, vanilla, and dark dried Fruits.

Mouthfeel: full and smooth - excellent for 11%ABV. Good soft, medium-light carbonation. Warming.

Taste: rich; lots nad lots of chocolate with relatively faint roasted grain, coffee, and dark fruit flavors. Lots of chocolate in the finish, with an aftertaste reminiscent of a Tootsie Roll but better.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark brown/almost black color with an eighth of an finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed a few wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Lots of roasted malt and freshly baked dark bread. Some notes of licorice, coffee, clove, black pepper, brown sugar and dark molasses.

Taste: Strong notes of coffee and licorice up front, followed by some slightly bitter dark chocolate, clove, brown sugar and cinnamon. I also get some strong notes of sour cherries and plums.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, but with some pretty good carbonation as well. With an ABV of 11%, there is some alcohol present on the palate, but I’m surprised that it’s not more pronounced. It’s pretty well subdued.

Overall: This is a delicious beer! I love the balance between the coffee, sour cherries, licorice and the brown sugar and molasses-like sweetness. I’ll definitely get another bottle or two of this for drinking this winter.

Photo of HankFinkel
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A great surprise! Bountiful flavors of coffee and chocolate. Fabulous mouthfeel, like a rich creamy porter, which adds to the intense flavor. Great pairing with any of your favorite sweets, I had mine with some salted dark chocolate caramels. Can't wait to pickup a couple of more bottles to help with my New Years Eve celebration.

Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Top notch winter beer at Hopcat.

Photo of docoman
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tastes like a liquid tootsie roll had on draft at clubhouse BFD, very sweet.

Photo of monketeeth
3.47/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Attractive brown color with very nice lacing.
S- Starts out with some slightly burnt toast and coffee. After warming, turns more toward toffee and ground dried fruit.
T- Smoky, Toasty dried fruit and a bit of coffee. Nothing really jumps out but a nice blend of flavors. Alcohol of 11% is well hidden.
M- Lots of carbonation, maybe a bit too much and a bit watery for the style.
O- A tasty brew but not excellent like many of the others from this brewery. Would drink it again but I wouldn't seek it out.

Photo of JuMa44
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good winter beer don't drink if you don't like black coffee

Photo of Immortale25
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Back label says 2013/06/26.

A- Pours a mostly opaque dark brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a tiny center patch of bubbly surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Rich chocolate melds together with the yeast to make for a pleasant, semi-sweet aroma. Some dark roast and vanilla also show up.

T- Milk chocolate dominates the flavor along with some nuttiness and vanilla. Alcohol is decently concealed and the yeast complements all the other elements quite well. Caramel aftertaste.

M- Pretty thick with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- A solid BSDA that'll help keep you warm in the winter months. The chocolate is the key to this one and is the main driving force in the drink.

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear but very dark red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige colored head and left a thin head that nearly continually covered the entire surface.
S: Moderate aromas of nutty malts and toffee are present in the nose along with bits of coffee.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a little nutty and reminds me of amaretto along with notes of toffee and coffee in the background. Little if any alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very unique compared to other Belgian Strong Dark Ales as it doesn't have and flavors of dark fruits. It makes for a nice after dinner drink to sip and savor.

Photo of MaillardRx
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bomber into a wide mouthed wine glass

A: Good auburn, kind of a deep copper color. The head dissolves quickly into simply a tender, white meniscus along the interior of the glass. Little to no lacing here

S: It smells like a sweet coffee shop, notes of fruits, nuts and rum. As it warms up, it starts smelling like root beer too!

T: Candied fruits, rum, brandy, licorice, port wine, a hint of cocoa, coffee notes permeate as it warms up

M: Effervescent at first pour, but the carbonation is tamed over time and temperature

O: A real treat. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The alcohol is barely palpable, but very delicious.

Photo of stortore
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled 7/10/2013.

Pours dark and opaque with a garnet tint, small head. Smell is a pretty big coffee blast. Also chocolate, malts, some vanilla, a touch of licorice. A pretty interesting aroma. Taste follows the nose on the big coffee, chocolate, vanilla and malts. Kind of a cola taste, too. Slight bitterness on the back end. A little boozy, but still pretty smooth. Well carbonated.

A pretty unique beer, too bad it's been retired. Had this at a beer fest and remember it being heavy on the chocolate, where this bottle is definitely coffee forward. Either way, it's very enjoyable. so pick up one if you can still find it.

Photo of nmarshall87
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 7-10-2013. Pours a semi-opaque mahogany brown with a sticky tan head. Smells like tootsie rolls, milk chocolate, hazelnut, almonds and a bit of dates. On the palate, Super chocolatey and full of sweet coffee notes with flavors of chocolate covered cherries. Simply delicious. Sweet but not at all cloying and the 11% alcohol is barely noticeable but a small bit of warmth. A delicious winter/Christmas beer.

Photo of patre_tim
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with a copper tinge near the edge when held to the light, a half finger of brownish foam, too dark to see carbonation though there’s some visible near the edges.


S: Coffee, dark chocolate, Kailua, creamy coffee and candy like.


T: Coffee, Kailua, some alcohol noticeable and some cherry as well. A hint of orange, dark toffee notes.


M: Thick body with a fair amount of carbonation leaving a smooth, lightly syrupy finish.


O: An amazing brew. Really reminds me of Kailua, but is just full of flavor, coffee, and just a solid nice unique overall impression. I saw this in Bruges at B2, but didn’t pick it up. Overjoyed to find it in Kunming, China at a small specialty shop only a handful of people know about. Drank January 29th, 2015.

Photo of Karo
3/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

very strong coffee flavor, did not care for it much

Photo of Braz
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%

Not what I expected. Very heavy on the black coffee notes but with a sweeter finish that balances it out. Interesting beer. Bitter with some sweet raisin aspects. Not over carbonated though the bottle packaging makes you expect different.

Photo of zac16125
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle into a tulip
Bottled on: 7/10/13

I bought this today, and it was just recently put on the floor of the beer store, so not sure how it was cellared over the last year plus.

A: Pours a very dark brown, nearly black, with some ruby hues when held to light. Just under 1.5 fingers width of tan colored head builds and then dissipates down fairly quickly, leaving only a few small patches of lacing. 4.25

S: Starts with coffee notes and cocoa, then lots of dark fruit like raisin and fig. Really surprised by how big the chocolate notes are. I bit of balancing booze. Not really what I was expecting but this smells fantastic. 4.5

T: Cocoa, anise, dark fruits, blond roast coffee, a bit of booze. Licorice and dark fruit lingers forever in the aftertaste. Wonderful. 4.5

M/D: Medium body, carbonation on the higher end but appropriate, ABV is well restrained and drinkability is very good for the style/alcohol content. It is a bit thin for such a big beer though. 4

O: Exceeded expectations. Loved it. If you are reading this, stop right now, and go out and buy one to enjoy yourself. Great beer. 4.5

Photo of lochef81
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This wonderful dark belgian pours a deep chestnut brown with a small but lasting off white head that leaves great lacing. The nose is a rich, warming bouquet of toffee, coffee, smoke, burnt dried fruits, and earthy notes. The mouthfeel is very full and sticky; almost too much so. The flavor follows the nose but better and it lasts forever on the palate. The coffee and toffee flavors are strong but followed by nice dark rum and root beer like notes. As well as dried fruits and leather. This is good, real good. I can't wait to get more next year.

Photo of byronic
4.25/5  rDev 0%

This nice surprise from 2013 pours a clear dark brown with a small white head. The lacing remains for the whole glass. The first sniff of this beer is something almost magical. Great notes of toffee, caramel, lots of rich coffee and some classic Belgian fruits. The taste follows the nose almost perfectly, the coffee and toffee are the star and creates an almost sticky delicious taste which lingers. While the ABV is well hidden it does have a warming effect making this a fantastic winter beverage!

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle dated 2013/07/10 poured on 01/21/2015 into a Chimay Chalice. Bought for $11.

Pours dark brown and cloudy with a minimal but very lasting creamy off white head. Impressive head retention for the ABV, and looks almost like a mild based froth on a coffee beverage.

The aroma is astounding. Huge dark sugary malt complexity with some dark yeasty esters thrown underneath. A bit of raisin fruit and some big caramel, but the malt itself takes center stage. Impressive and inviting.

I have never tasted a foreign beer like this before. I would have almost thought that Southern Tier made this as the vanilla and spicing is sweet, velvety, and bold. However, the base beer is so massive and characteristic of a BSDA that it would be unlikely an American brewer could concoct this. A blast of vanilla sweetness opens the flavor, and is followed by layers of malty and spiced flavors. Perhaps there is a touch of ginger? Authentic chewy caramel taffy, chocolate drizzle, and an interesting sugared-up holiday coffee/milk flavor (Starbucks!?!). Wasn't expecting it to go that direction!

The feel is on the lighter side of medium bodied with loads of bubbly carbonation and almost too much sweetness for me.

Conclusion: In your face sweet holiday vanilla/chocolate BSDA bomb. I just didn't expect this type of beer from Kasteel. Honestly, I am a bit disappointed that it isn't more traditional, but it is a very good beer and does a great job so I can't complain (but I don't think it reaches the lofty heights of the likes of St. Bernardus Christmas). If age reduces the sweetness at all I would probably like it more after a few additional years. Perhaps I will pick another up and see.

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Kasteel Winter from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.