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Kasteel Donker | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
378 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
378
Ratings:
845
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
20.94%
 
 
Wants:
89
Gots:
151
For Trade:
2
Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001

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Reviews: 378 | Ratings: 845
Photo of Evocatus
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle. Has a dark color, like a coke but with a hint of read. Head was a dark beige that dissipated into a ring rather quickly. Smelled of dark fruits. Tasted like a light rum; a mix of sugarcane and a little bit of spices were there. Alcohol taste started to become prevalent after it warmed. Mouthfeel was thick but not too bubble. Overall pretty good. I was worried that it would be too heavy for an 11%, but there wasn't a strong alcohol kick at all, instead just a subtle feeling in the aftertaste.

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Photo of Deus1138
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time reviewing a beer I had the pleasure off drinking at a bar, rather than my usual at home reviews.

I sampled this brew at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, GA. Anyone in the metro-Atlanta area that has an affinity for beer should go here. I'll be posting a very complimentary review of their service right after this.

The brew was brought to me in a delightful little bottle along with a Kasteelbier Bruin-Brune goblet. It had gold around the rim...very nice touch.

I'm really not that great at smelling beer. I don't know what it is, because I have a great sense of smell. I just have trouble detecting all of the flavors and subtleties in beers that I see so many of you talk about in your reviews. I'm working on it though. This brew, however, did not challenge my nose one bit. When I poured it into the goblet at half an arm's length away, I could immediately smell plum and sweetness. I couldn't believe the strength of the smell! I usually have to bring a glass right up to my nose and swirl it a little to smell anything. This was incredible!!! It wasn't overwhelming or too much, it was just a very strong smell of incredible sweetness.

The taste was exceptional. Plum, plum, plum, raisin, and sugary sweetness. Smooth on the palate, creamy, and a nice after taste. The alcohol was slightly noticeable. I began to notice it more with each sip. It only SLIGHTLY detracted from the flavor, which by the way, is one of the best and sweetest I have ever had. At 11% abv, it's a sipping beer. I don't know what it would go good with, since it is just so darn good on its own.

If you have the means, get your hands on this beer. I would have ordered another if I didn't have to drive home!

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Photo of TheViolator666
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely a beer I wouldn't go out and look for because I'm not a huge fan of Belgian yeast, but I ended up pleasantly surprised by this one... though I still think the name is hilarious.

750ml corked and caged wine bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep dark auburn color. Fair head with decent lacing, nothing too special here.

S: Smell is fantastic. Very sweet, raisins are dominant. Malty as well and hints of darker fruit, plums come to mind.

T: This one instantly reminded me of a cane sugar beer. Pummeled up front by sweetness and an awesome sweet raisiny/grape flavor. No alcohol burn surprisingly. Also, I'm thankful to have a Belgian beer where the yeast isn't so dominant in the taste!

M/D: This is more of a treat beer, though it wasn't too hard to put down a good 10 ounces of it. Nice medium body, overall an interesting and excellent beer.

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Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle into the Kasteel goblet at Aufsturtz in Berlin.

Pours a dark chocolate color with ruby notes. Quarter inch dark tan head; lots of lacing.

Dark big fruits, dried plums and figs. Brown sugar, cinnamon, a touch of tart orange. Alcohol is present in the nose, but not obtrusive.

Dense, almost sugary taste. Dried fruit is prime, alcohol makes a nice presence in the beer, then spices and sugars. Balanced flavor, but very dense. A beer to sip.

Very heavy mouthfeel, really rich and dense. Reminds me a bit of 2% milk, but without the milk flavor.

Great beer, but it made me itch. Hmm... that's never happened before. Either way, it's worth drinking.

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Photo of irs
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

holy MF S! this was a gift from a very very very generous friend. bottled on date is 071102. So this is an 8 year old Belgian, and I know he aged it well.
I am so not worthy, this is my first review on BA, but I feel like I just can't just drink something this rare and try to pay some homage to my friend's generosity.
A - looks like Newcastle, warm, moist, medium dark brown with a sweet beige lacing along the glass.
S - Sweet. Feels like walking through ripe honeysuckle, but not...Caramel and butterscotch. I hate very sweet smells, but this is somehow addictive.
T - very sweet. Like a cake infused with brandy, or rum, more like rum, but very intense and sweeter than rum.
M - this is what I like best. its chewy, yet light. it leaves a very nice aftertaste on the palate. Carbonation seems just what it should be for the whole experience.
D - Hard to answer. One is very nice. I wouldn't have two. Two would be awful. For a nice dessert, I think this is wonderful. But just one.

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Photo of RodneyFarva
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a snifter

a: deep brown, nearly black, with a two finger tan head which took several minutes to dissipate, nice lacing.

s: dark roasted malts, toffee, alcohol heat.

t: malts, bittersweet cocoa, butterscotch and toffee, plums, raisins, a touch of brown sugar, alcohol heat at the end. very rich and smooth. coats the tongue with its richness.

o: splendid, although somewhat sweet quad. alcohol was present but surprisingly, did not end up being a detraction. lots of complexity, and still incredibly smooth.

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Photo of goblet
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked up a 750 ml bottle with a cork and served it in a pint glass .

a dark unclear auburn color with a bubbly tan head that fades fairly quick to a ring around the glass that leaves nice belgian lace.

the aroma is dark fruit and belgian yeast with some toasted malt ,followed by alcohol . the dark fruits remind me of prunes and figs.

the taste is a pure delight it's dark and powerful with alcohol,fruits ,grains,and yeast that seems to blend perfectly together the alcohol isn't to bitter and noticable ,it's very nice .

full body with powerful malt,yeast and alcohol feel on the palette with a tad bit of an alcohol flavor in the after taste.

could be a fan of this brew, cause it's that good .i would pick up a bottle of this again in the future .a fun treat ..cheers.

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Photo of ncbeermonger
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The one I had was left in a cellar for a little over a year.
It was super smooth, and the abv was noticable but not over powering. This Brown style beer leaves others of its kind in the dust!
If you see one of these (in this area that's not so easy!) you should grab it up, put it away and forget about it. When you find it trust me it will make your day!

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Photo of ClevoPiwo
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from a 750ml bottle. The color is a deep burgundy with a medium head that dissipated into a frothy ring around the glass with some lacing.

The smell is very sweet. Lots of raisins come through and give it a vinous quality. Dark fruit, malts and raisins dominate the smell.

The taste is very similar to the smell; very sweet with lots of raisin and dark fruit coming through. Raisins in the front with a nice sweet fruity aftertaste. The alcohol is present as well, giving a warm mouth feel that warms on the way down.

Overall, a very interesting and vinous beer. The mouth feel is thick and coats the palate with a sweet raisin taste - very full flavor.

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Photo of Ant777uk
2.67/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

11%..? Nice

Look is kind of dark red, still see through though. Froth goes down very fast.

Aroma is fruity,kind of different and complex.

Taste? OMFG wow. Intense. This is almost like someone has mixed vodka with my Chimay Blue...

No way is it worth 100 as a score. It is not a complex, highly balanced, beautiful taste. But if you value a beer by how strong it is, there are not many more than this...

Chimay Blue is much better than this, give it a try. This reminds me of the extra strong canned beer that we have all tried on the occasion...

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Photo of DiUr
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown looking, almost black, with a thin beige head that leaves little lacing. Some yeast down there in the glass.

Deep aroma of dark fruits and malt, with a hint of yeast. Grapes, apples and figs. It resembles both the one of English Ales and Port-Red Wines, as complex as it sounds. You can almost smell the cork and wooden barell, and while sweet in the nose it is also slightly acidic, the kind of an old red wine. Alcohol is present.

The taste is very sweet, but quite delicious and somehow balanced. Dark fruits and Port wine, with alcohol noticeable and very little hops.

Thick and sirupy mouthfeel, but with good drinkability.

I don´t like my beers to be so sweet but it was done in a good way, and i learnt to love it while sipping. Had no problem in downing 75 cl., and i would definitely have this nectar again to get deeper in its complexities.

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Photo of jcomp21
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wooowwww!

You gotta try this beer. Strait outta belgium, this beer makes me smile. One of my favorite types of beer, the beglian quadruple/belgian strong dark ale.

Appearance - Very dark brown with some red undertones, there was a quick head that evaporated quickly... but at 11% abv that is expected!

Smell - Wow - like falling in love with a blonde girl in lederhosen on the alps. very figgy and sweet. Some strawberries and chocolate on the back of the nose. Take me to Belgium!!!

Taste - Sweet, pruny, cherry/strawberry, tart raison, with a bite and you can feel a bit of warming from the alchohol.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and smooth

Overall - I want to drink this alot

see you on the next one.

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Photo of cro250klr
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's been a while since I had a Kasteel Brune. Four months to be exact. It was one of our main staples while we were in Belgium. Finally, Kasteel has made it back to northeast Pa. Just in time too, as fall is here and the weather is getting cooler. This has to be one of the best belly warmers on the planet. If you don't like sweet, smooth and malty high abv brews, stay away. I absolutely love strong dark Belgians and this is number three on my all time favorite list. Only a Westy 12 and a Rocheford 10 can give this brew a run for it's money.
The murky apperance in the chalice with it's light tan head is a sight to behold. The sweet fruity aroma and that first alcohol blast just have to be experienced. The yeasty, malty taste reminds me of the sweet dough bread my grandmother used to make. The 11% stands out like a sore thumb but, coupled with the nose and taste, that makes this an amazing beer. When Franklin said, "Beer is proof that God love us and wants us to be happy", he must have been sitting next to a warm fire with a bottle of this liquid ecstacy.

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Photo of jsp2
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml corked bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Beautiful deep reddish brown hue topped with thin foam.

Aroma of freshly baked sweet fruity pastries, with raisin, orange, and apple.

A very complex and earthy, fruity flavor with huge sweetness. Sweet, intense, complex, and delicious. It is sweet and the hop level is low, but the earthiness really balances out the sweetness.

Carbonation is low to moderate and keeps the brew lively and light, a great sipper.

Among the best tasting substances to ever come from a bottle, a perfect quad.

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Photo of BarryNL
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep brown in the glass with gorgeous ruby highlights when held to the light. The head is light tan and lasts well.

S: Full, sweet malty smell.

T: Perhaps a little on the sweet side, but certainly has the strength and flavour that it's not really unbalanced. The flavour is pure sweet malt with some underlying dark fruit. This beer almost has a desert or fortified wine quality to it.

M: Rich and smooth. Low carbonation, just enough to give that melt-in-the-mouth effect.

D: Very drinkable - more so than the alcohol content really allows - especially if you have to get up in the morning. Surprisingly the sweetness doesn't become cloying at all.

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Photo of cwc
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting beer. Wait, is this beer? I guess so. A new experience for me, for sure.

First of all, the bottle itself is intriguing. Not unusual for a Belgian beer, of course, but this bottle stands out in the world of beer. Basically, it looks like a bottle of champagne, with gold foil covering the cork. Oh, this one was brewed in 2008.

When we corked the bottle, we didn't smell much of anything, but the smells come out when you pour it into a glass. Definitely a sweet smell. The color itself is beautiful, an interesting reddish brown.

It's sweet. Sufficiently sweet that my wife said, "this is really interesting and makes me reconsider what I think of as beer, but you can have mine". Fair enough, it's delicious and the flavors are really complex, I tasted one on the initial sip, something different when I swished it around my mouth and then another in the aftertaste. You like complex beer? This is it. It's sweet, for sure, and you can also taste the alcohol (although not so much after you have more than a glass or two of it.)

Really interesting beer and I'd like to try others from this brewery.

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Photo of santa109
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at L'autre-oeil in Gatineau, QC.

A: Poured a very nice dark mahogany with no head at all into a snifter. A small head started to appear after a few minutes which I found very interesting. It left beautiful lacing on the glass.

S: Enticing aromas of caramel and brown sugar. There was also a bit of grapes in there and it reminded me of port.

T: Very sweet! Plum and dates with some brown sugar. It does get a bit cloying after a while and I generally enjoy this kind of taste.

M: Medium body that is a bit oily. Feels quite smooth.

D: I enjoyed it even though I found the sweetness a bit overwhelming towards the end so I have to deduce a point here.

Overall, a different quadrupel than the ones I'm used to and that I enjoy more. This was still interesting but I don't think I would go for it again.

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Photo of chileman13
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 1 pt+ bottle into oversized goblet.
A- deep brown/reddish cloudy brown. It leaves a good lacing on the glass.
S- Sweet fruity very light smell.
M-Smooth medium with average/correct cabonation.
T- Sweet carmel, dried fruit, plumy raisin. Manechevitz dessert beer.
Good 11% abv beer buzz. The abv is not reflected in the taste.
Not my style of beer, however I enjoyed the adventure.

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Photo of Seru1
2.7/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Dark Blackish brown with a very very thin head, almost non existant

Smell- Shoe leather slightly, Some sweet syrupy aromas

Taste- Maple, Molasses, slight burnt character, some jammy red fruits. I like sweet beer and all but this is abit much. The wheat and Belgian yeast are there, albeit in a rather unpleasing form.

Mouthfeel- About what you'd expect from the style, a little thick.

Drinkability- One's good for me thanks.

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Photo of danmouer
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A sweet, rich, candy-like strong dark Belgian ale. This beer is like a sinfully rich chocolate cordial truffle. Sweet, rich, warming. What a great way to end an evening, sipping this sinfully luscious brew.

To me, however, it fails to win top marks simply because it is so luscious,,,TOO luscious. The beer is not balanced. It is candy sweet, sinfully rich, dangerously strong...it really works much better as a sinful chocolate sweet than it does as a strong dark ale.

Let's be clear...this is a superb treat...an aperitif or liqueur perfect to warm the soul at the end of the day. But not at all what most folks look for in a beer.

You don't want to drink much of this...but a few sips on a cold night, and then off to beddy-bye with sweet dreams, Oh yes!

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Photo of Paisan
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a mean, bad-ass SOB. In a good way, I mean.
You smell AND taste chocolate, dry fruit, raisins, toffee. This is SO sweet, kinda syrupy, but it fits. Very warm alcoholic afterfeel. Creamy, smooth, full.
Drink it slowly, drink it wisely, coz it WILL kick you in a place where it hurts.

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Photo of jenitivecase
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle from Brussels.

A: Dark amber brown, clear, with substantial carbonation rising up continuously. Pours with a smallish tan head that subsides rapidly into a sizable crown.

S: Malty, and very sweet. I'm picking up an aroma of port with some undertones of dark fruits and brown sugar.

T: Whoa, also very sweet. Mirrors the nose pretty closely; the fruitiness is still present, but with some added caramel tastes and a very sweet, almost syrupy sugar taste. It definitely conceals the presence of 11% alcohol, but I'm worried about the sweetness making this cloying after a while.

M: Good carbonation makes the mouthfeel quite enjoyable. The beer is smooth and creamy, and seems to just glide down the throat. Leaves behind a definite film, but it's coupled with a remaining tingle from the carbonation, so it's not unpleasant.

D: For a quadrupel, this is pretty drinkable. That said, I don't know if I could handle more than one in a go, but I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of this one.

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Photo of monketeeth
4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Drinking this one out of a Chimay chalice. Hazy dark brown with a 1 finger head that quickly dissipates. Light lacing holds the side nicely when you swirl the glass. Medium thickness, I would not say syrupy but in the ballpark. Very inviting when held up to the light.

S- Maple syrup, assorted dried fruits (figs, dates and prunes in a good way), brown sugar and a very light touch of cinnamon.

T- Taste follows the nose. Pleasantly sweet ,but not cloyingly so, with lots of those dried fruits and a bit of brown sugar and maple syrup. Really reminds me of the fall going into winter with the dried fruit preserves or even a bit like apple butter. Wow!!! I really love this stuff! As it warms the flavors become more pronounced. Light but very pleasant burn on the back end.

M- Smooth and a bit syrupy with that hint of burn on the way down. The alcohol is nicely hidden with just enough to let you know that it is there. Light to medium carbonation. Overall very pleasant.

O- This bottle was aged for 3 yrs. and I must say, I reeeally love this stuff. I've had other bottles of varying years/age and this one was the best. Simply outstanding as a stand alone or a dessert beer. I would not say that this is a "whole bottle in one sitting" beer. Best shared with a friend.

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Photo of oldhippie247
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours basically opaque with just a little ruby-ish hue around the edges when held to a light. Big, fluffy off-white head lingers nicely.

Nose is dark, estery, and definitely Belgian. A little alcohol comes through despite an overall subtle nose that really only features dark fruits such as dates and figs. Something a little artificial in the nose is a bit of drawback.

Smooth mouthfeel that seems to fill out as the beer warms a bit. Again, dark date-like fruits with just the slightest hint of spice (as a substitute for hops it seems), make up the flavor profile. ABV of 11% is well-balanced and does not come across as too boozy.

I really wanted to like this beer because I really like the Rouge from Kasteel, and at first I thought I was going to be disappointed. If tasted cold this beer is less than great, with both nose and palate closed. I would suggest serving this just barely below room temp (NC in mid-March). The nose doesn't open much, but it tastes tons better.

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Photo of Blindpigbiz
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Style/abv: quadruple/11%

Smell: milk chocolate, figs, tinges of apricot, and caramel sauce

Taste: subtle caramel notes with intense dark fruits, figs, and cherries, with coca-cola (minus the effervescence) and a warm-scotch bite at the finish

Pairs very well with barbecue chicken pizza and hot wings: enough said

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Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 378 ratings.