Kasteel Donker - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
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Ratings: 632 | Reviews: 345 | Display Reviews Only:
4.63/5 rDev +12.9%
This superb Belgian was the last beer of 2009 (and the first of 2010); poured from the bomber into a tulip glass, it emits a heaving gusher of head that, once dissipated, becomes a dark ruby liquid impenetrable to light. Splotchy lacing abounds and cakes the glass rim. The nose is pleased by a sweet grape aroma, one which might be considered too cloying. Whatever. The palate is blessed with an aggressively creamy concoction of rich malt and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is warm and doughy, as if the mouth were a bakery. Yummy!
What a great beer! I only wish that the year was as good as it's first beer.
08-26-2010 19:14:41 | More by jjboesen
3.8/5 rDev -7.3%
I had the Kasteel triple recently, and loved it. One of the best beers I've ever had. This one, unfortunately, is just too sweet for me. Of all of the Belgian beers I've had, this is the sweetest. Pours a beautiful, dark brown with a prominent foamy head. Nice, foamy lace, some head remains throughout. Hard to describe the taste, being that the sweetness is so prevalent. I feel great while drinking this beer. It leaves me (predictably) with a wonderful, warm feeling. But, with all of the great alternatives, I am not likely to buy this one again. (On the positive side, my wife (who doesn't drink beer), tried it and kind of liked it. Now I can get her to sample some other beers!)
02-13-2003 21:26:49 | More by JohnnyDuvel
4.28/5 rDev +4.4%
Cloudy caramel color...very little head to start..and then gone quickly.
Smells of malt, cherry, phenol and alcohol.
Tastes of heavy malt, caramel, sweet and almost nuttty, with a sherry/port like finish. Improves greatly as it warms.
Heavy mouthfeel...almost syrupy. Low carbonation.
Drinkable in terms a sipping ale...wouldn't want to "down a few"...but really nice to split a 750 with someone.
02-14-2006 20:58:22 | More by Hautacam
4.47/5 rDev +9%
Poured into a chalice.
Pours a deep, dark near-black colored brew that has a once finger thick off white, almost tan colored head that quickly fades. Has some nice lacing.
Smells of candied malts, yeasts, dark fruits - raisins, figs, over-ripened cherries and plums; a faint spiciness and a hint of dark chocolate.
Tastes of big, sweet candied malts up front, dark fruits and spicey yeast - leaves a nice cherry aftertaste with generous alcohol warmth that makes it's presence known, but is done deftly. This brew almost has a burgundy-like quality.
Thick and creamy.
This is my kind of brew - especially for this time of year where it is currently 32 degrees outside. This definitely will warm you up a bit. A nice steady drinking brew - not one to be sessioned, but rather enjoyed with a chill in the air.
01-20-2012 01:15:36 | More by ujsplace
4.4/5 rDev +7.3%
Bottled on date: 09/09/01. I love a beer that doesn't even bother with letting you know when it should be consumed by.
A: pours dark brown, with barely a touch of amber when held to the light; minimal fizz or head (no doubt due to the high alcohol content), light tan in color; almost looks like a dark red wine
S: definite alcohol notes; also, some Beglian spice notes, almost peppery; complex, rich malty sweetness, with a touch of caramel; dark fruits (raisin, plum, dark cherry) are here; a touch of roasted flavors also show up
T: Reflects the aroma (a great thing!); very sweet and alcoholic, like an overly-sweet wine; a hint of bitterness from the toasted malt; the dark fruits and roasted elements are definitely here; also, a touch of the dark candied flavors; strong, Belgian spices are definitely here as the beer warms
M: surprisingly high carbonation, but still a medium-heavy body; smooth and warming, due to the alcohol
D: A little heavy and spicy for my liking; overall, pretty good drinkability considering the high alcohol content; I don't like wines, so this one's somewhat less drinkable for me
Give me this one on a cold night, sitting in front of a fire. It's definitely a great brew.
01-30-2011 02:25:24 | More by boudreaux
4.18/5 rDev +2%
A - A dark brown fluid with some reddish hints. The foam is more beige than off white and transforms quickly till a thin layer.
S - A sweet malty scent mixed with a little yeast.
T - Again a sweet malty flavor with a nice deepness. One can taste this beer is great for aging. There is already some port like tones coming through.
M - A soft to medium carbonation with some alcohol warmth and bitterness in the end. There is noway one can this is a 11% ABV!.
O - An excellent beer! Always good to have a few on you're shelf.
12-19-2011 18:25:12 | More by Mar02x
4.33/5 rDev +5.6%
Poured into Rochefort Chalice
Appearance: Deep reddish brown, nice light tan head, a good amount of lacing.
Smell: Wow, really nice nose with a caramel sweetness and very complex undertones.
Taste: delicious beer, deep complexity, but malty sweetness is the dominant characteristic. Not "overly" sweet just truly great flavor.
Mouth feel: Very smooth, but may tend to coat the palate a little too much.
Drinkability: Drinkable, but due to the sweetness and tendency to coat the mouth, this beer may be best when coupled with some other dark ales (like Unibroue La Terrible) in a session.
07-30-2010 01:33:49 | More by BobZ
4.78/5 rDev +16.6%
Brown head with few bubbles. It doesn't last much and leaves almost no lace. Brown reddish very nice colour. Nose of chocolate, cherries, apricots and plums. A hint of vanilla. Sugar cane, alcohol, sherry aged wine. Heavy sweet flavor, I think that I notice it more in the 75 cl. bottle than in the 33 cl one. Don't know why, lately I find the sweetness a bit artificial. Mouth of chocolate, brandy, cherries, plums, apricots, sherry aged wine again, sugar cane, aniseed. A beer of the gods. One of them. Too complex to find all the characters in one taste.
08-30-2006 20:46:26 | More by janubio
4.47/5 rDev +9%
2003 bottle drank out of a Kasteel chalice obtained out of a gift set.
Color varies from a black in the center to a deep orangish brown on the edges of the glass, body is completely opaque. Head is not overwhelming large and has an offwhite, slightly beige brown color to it. Aroma is extremely bready, covers up the alcohol smell, and has numerous candy-like sugar notes. A fig scent is somewhere in there--all in all its fairly complex. Taste is extremely sweet and centered on figgy, buttery, and slightly sour notes. Some prune-like qualities are in there. I know I havent used the most appetising words and comparisons to describe taste but dont worry, its actually pretty damn good. The beer finishes with a semi sweet aftertaste. Drinkability is there though I caution against taking up on it. This is no baby beer, packing 11% it will make the biggest man sway if he gets careless. Other than that the taste is extremely entertaining and unique which makes for quite a drinkable brew.
11-21-2003 22:39:06 | More by allboutbierge
3.85/5 rDev -6.1%
Poured dark brown, with ruby highlights, medium tan head, gorgeous lacing. Aroma of raisins, chocolate, rum, sweetness and more alcohol. Taste was rich, wine-like, and extremely sweet. Dark flavours of chocolate, ripe fruit, yeast, spices, wine. Extremely complex flavours. Smooth, full bodied. It was just a bit too sweet for my tastes. Made it hard to finish. It's definitely a sipper.
03-06-2005 05:24:35 | More by baiser
3.48/5 rDev -15.1%
Paid $5.99 for an 11.2oz bottle from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. It was bottled 080407 and I am tasting in Sep11. I pour into a chalice to review.
An aggressive pour yields a very small head that dissipates quickly leaving little retention behind. Dark, dark brown in color. Opaque and nearly black, except when held to a bright light. Some strings of lacing.
Dark fruits like raisin, plum, prune and fig dominate, but there is a good malt backing. I also noted molasses, brown sugar, alcohol and Belgian yeast in the nose.
The taste is also dark fruit dominated and quite sweet.
The mouth needs more carbonation, but I recon the aging may have toned this department down a bit too much. I don't think cellaring this one helped it much. Medium body and not as smooth going down as the best I've had in this style.
09-17-2011 01:49:51 | More by ibbjamin
3.95/5 rDev -3.7%
Poured from a bottle into chalice style glass.
Pours a syrupy dark brown to near black, very small head that diminishes to a rather dense short layers of off-white foam. Light lacing.
Lots of dark fruit and hints of alcohol. Heavy sweet malts come to mind as you inhale.
I was a bit surprised by the sweetness that envelops the tongue on the first swig. I know this is considered a strong dark ale but it seemed more like a very sweet barley wine. Very sweet and heavy in the mouth, with the strong flavor of fig most present.
This is quite a brew. Rather a bit syrupy for my taste but it doesn't necessarily taste bad. As for the style of a strong dark Belgian ale, I suppose, but it's closer to cough syrup. I did enjoy it overall though and if you are feeling adventurous, give it a shot.
12-09-2009 01:19:14 | More by SIRIUS2
4.6/5 rDev +12.2%
750ml bottle. You need to peel off the tear strip to get the paper off the top to expose the wired-down cork.
Pours dark brown into my Duvel glass with a 2 1/2 finger head leaving light lacing.
Aroma of tart citrus at first, but then I noticed some sweet maltiness as well.
Oh, wow!! After the tart aroma, I didn't expect it to be so sweet. Taste of dark bitter chocolate and burnt malt with a bit of cherry. Or, perhaps dark dried fruit soaked in rum. Almost candy sweet.
To me it felt a bit lighter than other BSDAs I've tried (except for Mad Elf). This was a good thing, considering the extra sweetness. I think the sweetness, more than the mouthfeel, is what makes it seem almost syrupy. Not cloying.
Excellent sippability. The sweetness definitely slow you down. I think I like this even more than Corsendonk Christmas Ale.
The 11% ABV really fried me!!
02-28-2010 07:16:15 | More by obywan59
Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 632 ratings.