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Kasteel Donker - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

558 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 558
Reviews: 338
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 14.91%


Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001)
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Ratings: 558 | Reviews: 338 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of hogrider
hogrider

Florida

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a goblet to facilitate taste and smell; it developed a nice half inch head dissipating slowly. I sniffed it for the first time getting a strong scent of caramel and detected a subtle hoppy background; I tasted this brew and my palate detected flavors of caramel, toffee and fruity complex flavors like guava, this brew is sweet…I like the after taste and honestly I want to drink more. ..and remember folks to support your local brewery DRINK BEER. HOG

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 23:56:52 | More by hogrider
Photo of jcomp21
jcomp21

California

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2012 02:57:41 | More by jcomp21
Photo of Lungman
Lungman

Alabama

4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is in a class of its own. I dont know what class, but never had anything like it. Super nice quad that pours a thick ruby black. Taste like a pissed off chocolate cake. Smells like honey and brown sugar. How the 11% is hidden so well I will never know. Mouthfeel is creamy but a bit awkward like a junior prom tongue kiss behind the first base dugout, but unforgettable just the same. This damn beer is so sweet and strong. I don't know what to do with this...?

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 06:39:30 | More by Lungman
Photo of rem5
rem5

New York

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This bottle was a 2004, got it from the dudes over at shoreline beverage. Having it for christmas eve dinner.

While sipping this beer I was eating apricots and salty almonds which really compliment this beer nicely.

A - Dark brown but not completely opaque. Has orange hues. The head dissapated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. Head was a light tan with little bubbles.

S - Smells somewhat trappist similar to a chimay. I cant place the aroma but you can smell the alc. Nothing spectacular.

T - Sweet tasting. It hides the alcohol very well. Goes down warm on the backend. The taste i cant place either, but I dont taste any specific fruits. Its quite malty but not overly done.

M - Sweet in the beginning to warm going down. While sipping you can smell tickles your nose just adding to the flavor. Very smooth for such high alc.

D - Most definitely a beer to appreciate and sip. I wouldnt want to gulp this one down.

This is my second review, take it easy on me. What is that flavor!?

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2005 22:47:23 | More by rem5
Photo of erok
erok

New York

2.78/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 00:00:07 | More by erok
Photo of akenethon
akenethon

Germany

4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: dark brown with reddish tint, almost no foam
S: I can smell the malt, cinnamon, caramel, and alcohol. it is like a wine that has been aged in oak barrels
T: sweet, sweet, but fine. finesse in all aspects. a berry like aftertaste. it must be blackberry or blackcurrant
M: light mouthfeel despite high alcohol. hits the palate with a little bit of alcohol, absolutely lovely
D: I find this beer a bit too sweet for my taste. I may be able to drink a bottle of it, and maybe two if accompanied by food. it has a high alcohol content for long drinking anyway. Would be an excellent replacement for a sweet wine, but not the thing you could drink in a casual manner. You kind of have to set aside your time psyche to admire it.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2010 20:30:50 | More by akenethon
Photo of JBushEsq
JBushEsq

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Chimay glass

A: A very deep dark brown with very red/copper tones around the edges

S: Smells very sweet and malty with the ethonal coming through at the end

T: Sweet with a lot of malt throughout, reminds me a lot of a sweeter red wine

M: I love the sweetness of this beer, but in the mouth, it is almost too sweet, a feeling that gets more pronounced the more you drink

D: A great beer, I'd get it again without a doubt... But I don't think I could have more than one in a sitting

Overall a really tasty complex beer, though it could be too sweet for some.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2008 18:59:44 | More by JBushEsq
Photo of gauchebag
gauchebag

New York

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at a new joint in town, got it because of high abv. It poured a very chestnut brown with a finger of mocha-ish colored head. It smelled fruity and sweet, nothing too discernible though. It tasted predominantly of caramel and burnt sugar to me, I didn't get any of the fruity notes from the smell, it basically came across as a super-alcoholy Sugar Daddy (which I'm going to say is a good thing.)

The abv was hardly detectable and I didn't give it too much time to warm up as the serving size was only 0.25 L but I greatly enjoyed it and would have had another if I didn't have to go back to work. It was very very easy to drink and I definitely felt a bit of hazy glow after even such a small amount which was pleasing as it usually takes a lot to get me there.

I'll be going back for more for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2010 00:10:40 | More by gauchebag
Photo of djoucy
djoucy

Quebec (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poors dark brown with notes of ruby red. Thin tan head that goes away quickly.

Smell: Strong malt sweetness with typical dark fruits and caramel notes. Spiciness also comes strong, probably not from hops though.

Taste: Very sweet with a lite hop bitter sting towards the end. Still, a lot on the malty side, not very balanced. Touches of dates, dark fruits, caramel and molasses. A bit of spices as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. Alcohol warmth. Medium heavy body with creamy texture.

Overall: Quite smooth for the ABV. Will age well. I should keep other bottle for a few more years. A bit too sweet and has an annoying alcohol bite.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 23:57:16 | More by djoucy
Photo of stonewall2
stonewall2

Virginia

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle an almost clear brown with a hint of amber / red....just a hint. Head dissipates quickly. Smells good, inviting, no harshness. I smell candy, malt, and (?)butterscotch. Taste is smooth, smooth...I don't get the alcohol taste that others have noted. I get earthy tones in the taste that I enjoy. Not overly carbonated, this is a quad after all. If you draw some air through your mouth with this one (through your mouth, NOT through the beer, a habit from my wine days) you get a very nice lingering and mildly sweet aftertaste.

4's straight across. This is less expensive than some of the top rated quads, and I think it is worth the price. Very pleasant and drinkable, do not chug at 11% abv.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2007 00:40:40 | More by stonewall2
Photo of Robertgc
Robertgc

Georgia

4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my top three beers. Slight oaky smell. Sweetness is there at first, and all the way through. No bitterness at all. At the right temperature, sort of reminds me of a "flat" coke. In a good way! So smooth, rich and full. Very sweet and rich. very drinkable with a wonderful mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 23:32:46 | More by Robertgc
Photo of nout72
nout72


3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This could have easily been my favourite beer, but it is just too sweet.
The earlier review in which I stated this beer is on par with the Rochefort 10 I have deleted, very unfortunate.

There is so much in favour of this beer: it is so smooth (no headache or stomach ache ever), the smell is gorgeous, the taste is full and very balanced, ...but why so damn sweet?

I think I have to buy a bunch and store them for a year and come back to review them again.

Still, I cannot give this beer a lower rating than 4 for taste, because with less sweets it could have been a perfect beer.

Edit 04-14-2012
Yes I can give this beer a lower rating than 4 for taste, it is just way too sweet.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 18:11:45 | More by nout72
Photo of TheCyturn
TheCyturn

Belgium

3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a chalice. I held the bottle at least 20 centimeters above the glass in order to get at least some foam. I managed to get some but it collapsed into a very thin layer.
I like the smell: syrup, lots of caramel and the alcohol is very noticeable but that's ok.
Taste: complex:syrup,caramel, extremely sweet,some elements taste a bit like red wine. Almost no bitterness at all. I really had to search for soms hops.
Mouthfeel: excellent!. Very thick and nicely carbonated.
Drinkability: too much sugar and alcohol. I wouldn't drink another one right after having drunk this one.
Tip: the bottle says that you have to serve it at 12°C but I'd drink it a bit colder to mute the sweetness a bit.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 09:24:46 | More by TheCyturn
Photo of afoltz2
afoltz2

Kentucky

4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer rates well for me because of the experience that went along with it, which was "Beer School," one Sunday afternoon at the Beer Trappe in Lexington, Ky. I say that not because it reminds me of a good experience, but part of Beer School is learning about the beers you sample, how they are crafted, what distinct flavors, smells, and feels should be, and you get to compare samples from the same class of beer side by side.

I went to Beer School with my cousin Tony, another beer lover, whose taste differs from mine. I prefer stouts and lagers, he prefers witbiers and hefeweizens. We agreed that both the Kasteel Donker had the best flavor and feel among the six that were sampled that day, all of which were bock beers. I brought home several of the ones I liked to increase my sample size, and reconfirmed that the Kasteel was best in class.

For having a high ABV, this brew does not have a strong alcohol taste to it. It was surprisingly smooth, and the roasted malt flavor was strong but not overpowering beginning and end of taste. I drank from the bottle, like a heathen, so I cannot comment on the pour or the color, sadly, and I will drink from proper glassware next time I try one so I can update my review.

In short, if you like bock-style beers, this is definintely one to try and enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 17:55:26 | More by afoltz2
Photo of crazynipple
crazynipple

Kansas

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: 750ml
Served at 50 degrees F in a goblet.
Not much carbonation, and it poured a dark brown w/red ruby-like color. The alcohol hits you right away, but it has a fantastic burnt caramel taste. I find it to be very heavy and filling. For me, it's powerful stuff and not to be taken lightly. I've had several bottles, and some are better than others, but most are very very good.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2007 00:18:29 | More by crazynipple
Photo of DanGraser
DanGraser

New York

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Serving: Served in a goblet after having been cellared for 4 years.

Appearance: Deep brown, light does not reveal any more depth. Coffe colored in the manner of a lighter espresso.

Smell: Complex sweetness, brown sugar, molasses, lighter sweetness reminiscent of port or a good eiswein.

Taste: Unbelievable, this is easily the finest of the sweet dark Belgian quadrupels. Dark candy mingled with dark chocolate and port yielding a wonderful balance of opening sweetness and a dry and incredibly long finish that finally reveals the power of this brew with a warming alcohol effervescence resulting in a stomach-calming warmth.

Mouthfeel: Rich coffee smoothness and mouth-filling layers of flavor. This is one to be sipped.

Drinkability: Very powerful brew but quite enjoyable. Best suited to having a single drink with some good cheese or as an accompaniment to a rich dessert. (Or maybe just have it as the dessert!) Can stand alone and is a wonderful brew to have with a good book or good friends after dinner.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2007 18:33:55 | More by DanGraser
Photo of alabamagolf
alabamagolf

Alabama

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a tapered capped bottle, with a rust orange/dark-brown color, no head, into my dimpled stein.

Appearance - Nice walnut color, plenty of carbonation, poor head with no retention, zero lacing after first swallow.

Smell - Sweet, fruity, plum...maybe?

Taste - Beer was brewed with a sweet character in mind. Brown sugar and honey flavors prevail. Not too boozy compaired to some American craft ale's. Minimal alcohol taste. The Belgiun's know how to make 11% ABV so SMOOTH!

Mouthfeel - Texture a bit thick and sticky, but not bad. Hangs around for a minute.

Drinkability - Easy consumption, too sweet for me. The wife liked it, although she likes Reisling too...

Fun, Definitly worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2009 23:25:37 | More by alabamagolf
Photo of broker0078
broker0078

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has stayed on top of my beer list for about a year now. I started moving to onto Belgian beers based on tradition rather than reviews. My goal was to taste every Trappist beer I could because I like the history behind a "Trappist" beer.

I like the fact that I could pour this bottle at any angle and the head would be small every time.

I was surprised how little carbonation was in this beer compared to other Quads. I like the fact that the carbonation was low because it seemed to go down smoother.

The dark color was fitting for a Quad and the flavor was like a cup of coffee with roasted malts and raisins.

I feel like Kobe the few times I walk into the distributor and buy this case. But my wallet feels cheated like his wife for the price of it.

Relax baby, I'll fill you with money and keep you happy.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 16:48:13 | More by broker0078
Photo of MrMichael
MrMichael

Pennsylvania

4.98/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A
Very dark. There was a little foam, but it quickly went away

S
Dominated by dark, dried fruit.

T
A little fruity. It was sweeter than I expected, but incredible. There's a little coffee or red wine note as well

M
Smooth with very light carbonation

O
This is one of the best beers I've ever had. The one I had was part of a Belgian sampler and I went out the next day and bought a whole case.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2012 18:45:09 | More by MrMichael
Photo of laurastradford
laurastradford

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on my Belgian beer tour at a little bar in Bruge,recommended by a local. It poured a dark rich color with a minimal head and very little lace. I tend to prefer golden beers but this was a delicious dark beer. It had a lightness and sweetness to it that I was not expecting.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 19:31:16 | More by laurastradford
Photo of monketeeth
monketeeth

Florida

4.54/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 03:50:33 | More by monketeeth
Photo of scottstrades
scottstrades

Virginia

2.08/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I am amazed that this beer is rated so highly. Unless you like your beers amazingly sweet, and I am talking SWEET, then this is not the beer for you. I love Belgians and seek out the micro beers from Belgium whenever I can and I have nothing slightly sweet beers. This beer, though, is something else. I could not get beyond the overpowering sweetness of this beer and if there is any redeeming quality to this thing, it is lost in the syrup like taste. The taste was so bad that I had to cut it with another beer. Interestingly, I mentioned this to another Belgian beer friend of mine and he said he had to do the same thing. Overpriced and overrated is my opinion. The Triple was also unimpressive. There are many far better Belgians out there for less money.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2004 16:19:58 | More by scottstrades
Photo of p1nt
p1nt

New York

3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a fresh 750 bottle. happened to be the cheapest 750 in the market, and one I hadn't tried already; I enjoyed the kasteel tripel ok so I thought I'd give it a shot. the beer poured a minimal head which dissipated quickly; had the appearance of flat pepsi, plus a bit of lacing. standard taste/smell for something between a quadrupel and a belgian strong dark ale: overly sweet, raisins, figs, and rather medicinal. body/mouthfeel was much lighter than expected, and offered almost no carbonation - a substantial amount of which I think might have helped balance out the overwhelming sweetness.

I was expecting to enjoy it more as the 11 abv kicked in (like the 120 minute IPA, which went from cough syrup to amazing), but nothing doing - to be honest, I couldn't even finish it.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2008 20:24:45 | More by p1nt
Photo of mopargoof
mopargoof

Ohio

3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice 750ml bottle. Looks like a very dark belgium but then poors off red from a green bottle. Very little head. Sweet aroma. Very soft and silky at first sip followed by an overly sweet sugary body.

I was a little disappointed in this beer. Several of my friends say this is the best beer that they have ever tasted but I found it to be extremely sugary and sweet. Good alcohol content at 11% and no indication of the kick until its on you. Very expensive - buy 1 bottle and try before you spend the $100 plus on a 12 750ml bottle case.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 03:30:26 | More by mopargoof
Photo of beergirltammy
beergirltammy

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was served this beer at a small bar in Brussels, Belgium. I am a huge lover of dark beers and was really excited to try this. It was poured in the proper glassware and had a very nice mahogany color to it. I got about a 1/2" of head to it, which receded fairly quickly. The smell was surprisingly sweet. I was expecting more of a subdued earthy scent, but this smelled almost like cherry cough syrup. The first sip yielded more of the cough syrup taste, but as I let it roll around in my mouth a bit, I tasted more of a molasses/brown sugar hint. Honestly, I feel as though this is a good beer, but it is hard for me to get past the cough syrup taste of it.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 19:10:16 | More by beergirltammy
Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.