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Kasteel Donker - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Not Rated.
Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

742 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 742
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 14.11%
Wants: 72
Gots: 102 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 742 | Reviews: 363
Photo of Dentist666
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip.
Very dark brown beer with thin tan head. Thick smell of dark fruits, molasses, licorice, toffee, caramel. Taste is sweet, surprisingly, not very alcoholic, candy sugar, plums, sticky. Light carbonation, still drinkable, despite high ABV.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay challice from a stubby fire plug looking bottle. A mirky muddy brown with a light tan collar with some very tiny bubbles stringing from the sides of the glass barely visible.Leves somes nice webs of lace down the glass

Sweet dark fruityness lots of prune and currants,carmell candy,butterscotch,earthy with a vinious sweetness. Vey malty and complex

Very sweet overripe dark fruit tastes upfront, some nice boozy tastes with a warming feel.candy sugaryness throughout with some burnt carmell flavors near the finish.Mouthwatering bitterness fading out the end of the taste.

Cloying,with some stickyness yet smooth and suprizing drinkability.

Photo of beerpirates
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

75 cl bottel @ kulminator Antwerp

Vintage 1989 !!!

A: Pours a reddish brown, with no head and no carbonation

S: Smells heavily of raw brown sugar and prunes, raisins and figs.

T: This is à very sweet beer ! Full of residual sugar, the heavy sweetness shocked me a little at first, but I soon got into it. This malt barrage is backed by a large amount of dark fruit, specifically raisin and prune, and also chocolate

M: Thick and rich, almost syrupy, warming as well, there is a definite alcohol burn on the first sip.

D: this vintage has had his best years , its not really beer anymore, more like à very sweet port ,
overall, an enjoyable warming beer, or nightcap.

Photo of rale
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my crystal beer mug , the color being dark brown, but held into the light, being very red, almost like a red wine. Little head building , dissipating fast ,but leaving some lacing on the glass.
Smell is dominated by sweet notes like caramel honey and fruits like fig, plum, cherry.
Tasting the beer, the alcohol presence is immediately felt. Sweet caramel and honey up front, followed by by roasted malt flavor in the middle and a nice fruity lingering of plum, fig and dark cherry.
Very smooth sweet beer, with a creamy after feel. Very pleasant!
It is a great beer, which reminds me of doppelbock.
I am glad, I tried this beer!

Photo of ordybill
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Naugros
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very brown in color with little head to speak of. Not what I expect from a Belgian beer. I'm used to billowy heads, but this did not develop one. Maybe it was the drinking vessel (a chalice) the precluded it. It did however leave nice lacing down the sides of the chalice.

I'm getting pears off of the nose and caramel sweetness and some dried fruit...raisins.

Yep, definitely raisins. You can taste them and they are sweet, very sweet...too sweet for me. The sweetness wrestles the heat of the alcohol to the ground and subdues it, but if you listen closely you can hear the 11% ABV crying "uncle". It's there but masked by the sugars. This is the frou frou drink of Belgian beers...almost schnapps-like.

The body is medium but all the sugar made it feel heavier. I could not perceive the carbonation.

I'm not sure I can finish this beer. I'm afraid that it will give me a headache. I'm not fond of the sugary flavor and maybe it's because I am unfamiliar as to what a donker should taste like. If this indicative of the style then I'll steer clear. I'm now hesitant to try their tripel.

Photo of jeremiahoden
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of WillAndSarah
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of jonb5
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, poured into Leffe Chalice. Dark with auburn edges, almost opaque. A small tanned head bursted out towards the end of the pour but it faded straight away. Initially the yeasty, cranberry aroma was weak but it got stronger as the beer warmed. Tasted brown sugar, cranberry, cherry, yeast and molasses. Finish was delayed and had a biscuity edge to it, there was also a slight burn from the booze. Had an initial prickly edge from the carbonation, smooth texture, light bodied for the strength. I liked how it hid the booze, need to explore a few more strong dark Belgian ales before I can really give a good judgement on this.

Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Marius
3/5  rDev -27%

Photo of kingjohnh
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of LordAdmNelson
1.89/5  rDev -54%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Reading the reviews here makes me think that I got a bad bottle. Until I have another (which I probably won't for a while), I think this post should stand. I am of the opinion that bad bottles reflects the overall quality of the beer's production and thus should be factored into the beer's rating.

Poured a murky brown with minimal head. Nose is all phenols and a fake grape-y-ness. Gross. Taste is the same, this over-sweet, fake awful grape note. Feel is fine, drinkability is zero. Awful, awful, awful. Drainpour.

Photo of Dapperticus
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of cowboy83
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of perrymarcus
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours an opaque, slightly ruddy, deep mahogany tone with a finger of beige/off-white head that quickly lapses into a thin collar; middling, spotty lacing.

aroma is right there with what i look for in a BSDA: nice bouquet of caramel malts, dark fruits, belgian yeast, and maybe some candied sugar. i'm suddenly pretty jazzed about this beer.

taste is a bit of a disappointment: largely follows the nose but with a much greater, almost cloying degree of sweetness... dark fruits up front with a big caramal malt wallop emerging in full mid-palate(ish); a bit an alcohol kick in the finish, but other than that an 11% ABV is well-hidden. if the sweetness was dialed back a bit this could be a great beer... still very good, but IMO just a bit too sweet.

medium-plus/borderline full bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation. i wouldn't mind having this again in the future, but as far as this sitting is concerned i can see the 750 bottle wearing on me soon.

Photo of JxExM
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of monkeybeerbelly
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of TheHammer
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured with a rather lame finger of head that quickly retreated to half a finger, put up a solid fight and then disappeared. The body is a thick molasses colored brown that seems to offer thin carbonation.

Smell: A heavy kick of molasses like malt which seems to be the trademark of the style to a backing of pecans and candied raisins. Warming really helped it come out.

Taste: Very sweet, which I suppose isn't surprising for the style, as the molasses-like malt dominates the beer. Notes of pecans, raisins, berries drown in overwhelming sea of malt. If it wasn't for the heavy alcohol content being noticeable, you could pass it off as some kind of malt soft drink.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation fell flat really quick which was disappointing, but the sweet malt aftertaste doesn't cling, so that is nice. Transitioning is decent I guess, but even though it in no way lingers, you get this sticky sensation as you drink it.

Drinkability: Well, I didn't have any issues getting it down and it settled down nicely in my stomach. The high ABV is concealed very well, and while it's not the most refreshing thing around, I wouldn't turn it down.

Final Thoughts: All in all, I was kinda a bit disappointed by it. I think part of the reason is I saw Donker, and thought Dunkel and was expecting something richer and bitter then something this light and sweet. It's ok, but I get the feeling Quad's are the malt version of IPA, meaning too much of one aspect of the beer dominating the others.

Photo of groleau
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of RuudJH
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 33 cl.
Chestnutbrown coloured , creamy thin head, the boozyness is upfront in both the smell and the taste, but nevermind that. It's fruity and malty, but mainly the whole brew is too much sweetness from caramel and candy burnt sugar, to me a bit over the top.

Photo of chrismattlin
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of phisig137
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork pops with quite a commotion, and tells me that this was bottled 8-2004. I thought it was much newer than that. Deep brown body lets little light through, and has a nice two finger head with decent retention. Good amount of chunky lacing, and a dense blanket of foam on top of the glass.

Aroma is dominated by sugars. Deep toasted malts, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, and just the slightest twinge of spicy alcohol.

Flavor is much the same, but with more fruity yeast esters. Deep dark fruit flavors of raisons, figs, prunes, and coffee are most prevalent amount the strong malt. Still very sweet from front to back. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth. Drinkability is dangerously good for a beer of 11%.

An odd brew, but a great one. It's great when fresh, and better when it's 3 years old (like this bottle is). I really think this needs another 5 to 10 years to really shine. I'll hold on to another few bottles for a decade or so to see how they turn out. Right now it is good, but it's just a little too "cola like". It really almost tastes like a thicker version of pepsi.

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Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
92 out of 100 based on 742 ratings.