Kasteel Donker - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
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Ratings: 633 | Reviews: 345 | Display Reviews Only:
2.75/5 rDev -32.9%
11.2 oz. Belgian stubby, with a freshness date of July 2010, served a bit too cold at Michael's Bistro and Taphouse in a small snifter. It pours a clouded brownish/red that is ruby in the light and is topped with a small, light brown head that retains a thin collar. The aroma is quite vinous, sugary sweet, with a blackberry kick. Think Chambord. It is hugely sweet on the palate, very port-like, with pepper, berries, and maybe some hops near the end. The body is medium, yet syrupy thick, with light carbonation and a medium finish. On the plus side, the alcohol is undetectable, but on the negative side, it is way too sweet and a bit difficult to drink, making me wonder as to why it is rated so highly.
11-07-2006 02:37:13 | More by mmmbeer
2.78/5 rDev -32.2%
A - poured with little head or carbonation. Reddish brown color. I was afraid I had a bad bottle based on the low level of carb.
S - alcohol and fruity sweetness
T - Cloying sweetness - almost port wine-like, a little estery fruitiness, but not as much as I'd like of for a dark belgian. The alcohol is also apparent in the taste. You can tell from the smell and the taste that this beer is in 11% - it's not hidden.
M - Full and syrupy. The sweetness lingers. Little perceptible carbonation.
D - I wouldn't have another.
Bottom line: If you're expecting a Rochefort, Chimay Blue, or St. Bernardus, you'll be quite disappointed. In contrast, if you like some of the sweeter Belgian-style darks/dubbels (Grimbergen comes to mind), you may find this enjoyable. If I brewed this myself, I'd lament the lack of attenuation.
10-13-2009 00:00:07 | More by erok
2.8/5 rDev -31.7%
Purchased in Antwerp and hand-delivered to Moscow (thanks Marjut and Michael!), this 33cl brown stubby features a big bulge in the neck and a tan and yellow label centered around a drawing of some seventeenth century palace. Ingredients conform to the purity law. Best before 9/09, I opened it on 3/25/05.
Clear but very dark cola like brown hue under a thin 1/2 finger head that fades to collar almost immediately, but then leaves some pretty impressive lace strings along the side. Sweet caramel malt nose, like candy. Mildly carbonated and pretty sticky, basically the consistency of a semi-flat coke (but in a good way...). The opening taste is way too sweet (what? no sugar in here? Ha!), almost like maple syrup. Some hops try to fight their way through the sweetness, and manage to get noticed before falling back into the sugary swamp. The overall impression is way too sweet for me. I can't recommend it.
03-25-2005 19:20:49 | More by Globetrotter
2.85/5 rDev -30.5%
33cl into a tulip. Pours a ruddy old rootbeer float dreg. Lowly carbonated. Very minor head subsided quickly.
Aroma is more of a dubbel than a strong dark as it lacks that in your face dark fruits. Solvent alcohol smells strong. The dark fruits are overly ripe, way past their prime.
Dark fruits also do not dominate the taste. Pronounced phenols. Alcohol kicks in very early, too early, and is very warm, boozy, too boozy ;) Full bodied slightly viscous mouthfeel.
At room temp - notes of cough medicine from when I was a kid.
12-04-2010 06:57:22 | More by impending
2.9/5 rDev -29.3%
Chocolate aroma and taste of both toasted bread and dried fruit. In the mouth it is thick, has a taste of port, but more importantly, it is overly loaded with sugar. It feels the sugar granules on the tongue. The taste of alcohol is therefore fairly well hidden and is therefore withdrawn. Unbalanced and heavy.
01-02-2010 16:10:24 | More by ThaCreep
2.9/5 rDev -29.3%
Kasteel Brune poured with a very dark brown colour. It was opaque due to its dark colour (no floating sediments). The head was brown, foamy and very low (impaired retention).
The nose was dominated by the alcoholic vinous plus molasses and fruits.
The taste was very sweet and again the alcohol was the dominant feature in the palate with the added presence of molasses and sweet malts. Very light on the hops.
The mouthfeel was unctuous with low carbonation level, obviously strong alcohol and a full body. Lingering sweet warming alcohol aftertaste.
I did not fell in love with this one. Some interesting characteristics but overall it is too sweet for my taste.
12-06-2010 23:58:22 | More by AlexLMS
2.94/5 rDev -28.3%
As noted by others, this is somewhere between a high ABV brown ale and a Belgian quad, but not really either definitively. I was served a bottle of this in Ghent, Belgium. It was poured into a Kasteel goblet; Belgians really take delicate care to utilize proper glassware. In the same bar I reviewed this in, a waitress was ashamed when a customer asked (in Flemish) for the proper glassware, because she realized she had served a beer in the wrong glass. Dropping more eaves than was polite, I noticed that the "wrong glass" was actually a glass from the correct brewer but not the exact beer for the bottle. Respect. Reviewed from notes.
A: Half-finger head; actually thin. Fair retention, especially considering its 11% ABV. Black colour. Perhaps some might call it an extreme dark brown.
Sm: Caramel, nuts, and light alcohol. I was disappointed to discover the alcohol is present even in the smell, which isn't a great sign.
T: Caramel and nut hop body. Complex. Balanced but strangely built for either style (brown & quad). The dark fruit I've come to expect in a quad is missing, replaced by the standard brown ale nutty hops. The effect is confusing, if not jarring, but the beer still tastes good. You get acclimated and it tastes better.
Mf: Nicely coarse and wet. The alcohol is warming, but a bit unwelcome.
Dr: Not good enough to order again at this price. I can't imagine what this costs in countries in which it's an import.
Reviewed again on-draught in SoCal. 2009 vintage.
A: Pours no head at all. Body colour is a caramel-brown. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.
Sm: Caramalts. Biscuit malts. Brown malt. Residual sugars. Minimal floral hop character. Toffee. Quite sweet. A mild strength aroma.
T: Sweet. Malty, with caramalt, biscuit malt, and brown malts. Simple but enjoyable. Decently balanced for what it is.
Mf: Smooth and wet. Decent carbonation. Good thickness. Suits the flavour profile well.
Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but a bit too sweet and simple. I wouldn't get it again, but I'm glad I revisited it. Liqueur-esque.
06-01-2011 16:45:11 | More by kojevergas
United Kingdom (England)
3.03/5 rDev -26.1%
Appearance: Ruby red. Slight off white head. No lacing
Smell: Sweet and sugary.
Taste: overly sweet. Boiled too much to get the ABV. Way too much candi sugar. No blance to this beer
Mouthfeel. Cant tell due to the sweetness
Drinkability: I will not have this one again.
02-13-2011 21:15:39 | More by Squelch
3.03/5 rDev -26.1%
Pours a lovely chocolate brown with ruby tinges and little head. The nose is straightforward quad, with sugary smells, some raw alcohol, and lots of chocolate and some sweet, raisiny fruit notes. On the palate, overly sweet first off, with some definite cloying going on, before a dusty, slightly rough date element comes out. Some creamed-and-sugared coffee toward the end. The finish is long and active but way too sweet, with no balancing hop influence to speak of. Mouthfeel is hot with alcohol and heavy on malts, with little lightness on display. Not that I want my quads to be light, but you gotta have balance somewhere. Overall, this is not a good quad. Too sweet, no balance, and not nearly enough complexity to save things in any way. Pass.
10-11-2007 02:47:36 | More by geexploitation
3.03/5 rDev -26.1%
Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 1999.
Appearance: glowing brown color, with tan foam head (not persistent).
Smell : fruity aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel: soft palate, taste of Porto and coffee, strong sweet sensations.
Drinkability: a beer in the style strong dark ale, too strong and too sweet.
Review translated from french 6-11-2008.
11-21-2007 19:33:43 | More by thierrynantes
3.15/5 rDev -23.2%
Loads of sweet malts in this ale. The level of sweetness obscures much of the taste profile, leaving an ale that doesn't really show the complexity or balance of others in this style.
Low carbonation leads to a poor head, even with a vigorous pour, although the ale is attractive in color.
Nothing wrong with the high alcohol content, which is masked by its syrupy character
02-20-2010 00:29:12 | More by fairdinkum2
3.15/5 rDev -23.2%
Very dark brown. Actually black from many angles. The biege head is fizzy and weak. The aroma is faint - sweet, slightly citric. Flavor is surprisingly light considering color. Sweet but not cloying. A bit of wood. Don't let it get too warm however as the sweetness grows and becomes sticky. Works well with sweet foods, however. Far from dry in any sense of the term. Far from bad but is a bit wimpy, which lets the sweetness run wild.
05-28-2003 00:08:47 | More by aracauna
Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 633 ratings.