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Kasteel Donker - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Not Rated.
Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker

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

645 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 645
Reviews: 345
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 14.39%
Wants: 60
Gots: 62 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kasteel Donker Alström Bros
Ratings: 645 | Reviews: 345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brian700
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a reddish/brown color with an off-white head almost a light brown.

The aroma was sweet with a dark fruit presence, raisins, figs, dates. Very enticing to say the least.

The flavor follows the nose, there is some malty sweetness with the presence of dark fruit again, dates, figs, raisins and such. There is also some alcohol warming in the end.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer but is 11ABV so be carefull and don't hurt yourself.

Brian700, Jul 19, 2006
Photo of ybnorml
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark brownbeer with mahogony highlights, Has a small light brown/tan head and some lace. There is a dried fruit character in the aroma with some grainy malt in the background along with an alcohol presence. A raiseny/ fig dried fruit coating slides all over your tongue. With hints of cherries and caramel in the background. All followed by a nice warm alcohol note.

ybnorml, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of atigerlife
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark reddish/brown with a small light brown head. Decent lacing. Medium carbonation can be seen.

Aroma of dark fruit [plums] and caramelized malts.

Taste has a strong alcohol profile, dark fruit [plums, figs, raisins] as well as some molasses, caramel and sweet malts.

Mouthfeel has a medium body and is very smooth.

Overall, a very nice quad. Nice sipping beer for a relaxing evening. Of course, can't drink too many of these [my limit is one].

atigerlife, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

O! Chateau Donker, why must you put hard-to-remove gold foil on your caged and corked beer?

Appearance: Deep maroon-purple body, medium tan head. Sticky lacing around the glass.

Smell: Sweet carmel and honey, very sweet, with some pineapple, brown sugar, and a little earthiness.

Taste: Rich and very sweet, carmel and honey flavors are up front. More mellow than I remember the on-tap version being. This is a differently styled beer, one that would be good with a slice of apple pie, i think.

Drinkability: The sweetness is more subdued than on tap, if my memory serves, making this a more balanced and mellowed beer. A great dessert beer, above average vs. the style.

TastyTaste, May 31, 2006
Photo of scottoale
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Came in a 750ml., corked green champagne bottle, with the label stating: Donker-Foncee, Alc.11% Vol. on the front. On the back of the label there was a date of: 11-2000 and on the cork 11-2003 Gebotteld.

Pours a murky mahogany brown with burgundy highlights and a thick, frothy two-finger ivory head with dense sticky lacing aplenty.

Dark ripe fruity sweet aroma, really sweet with alcohol coming through strong. A few more sniffs and the sweetness subsides but the alcohol shines, almost smells like a Port or good fine wine.

The flavor...hmm the flavor, tastes like a well matured Port. Sweet dark fermented grapes with a light carbonation, sweet right down to the finish. The finish is clean with a nice earthy rich malt aftertaste that's quite mellow and pleasant. The high ABV is warming...very warming, almost down to your toes!

Full body with a velvety smoooth mouthfeel, and I do mean smoooth. Too easy to drink, tastes like candy...Cheers!!!

scottoale, May 17, 2006
Photo of Erdinger2003
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is ok, the head dissapates almost completely away, but holds a good sticky lacing.

Smell is spicy and has a pepper smell. Very little flowery smells, with small traces of cloves, nutmeg, burnt sugar and dark fruit.

Sweet and spicy, I really enjoyed the taste. Burnt sugar is thick and overpowering with flavor. Dark fruit, grape taste.

Mouthfeel is creamy and carbonated, pretty smooth.

I would love to drink more of this beer if it was in my area, I would go looking for it.

Erdinger2003, May 02, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Damn! Who dumped the sugar bowl in my beer? Pours out to a cloudy and hazy brown appearance with a big light tan foamy head. Unorganized lace inside the glass. Aromas of sugary yeast and malt, with a candied toffee element. Taste is medium bodied; decent complexity, but way sweet. Candied sugar, mild sweet malt and grain, some bread yeast, a touch of clove and spices. Not bad, but way too sugary for me. Mouthfeel was sticky sweet, almost like a lollipop. Drinkability would be better if again, it wasn't so sweet. Take away some of the sugary-ness, and this is a far improved beer. Worth a try.

Frozensoul327, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Hautacam, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of kmpitz2
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle served at room temperature. It pours a deep amber to ambered brown color with a finger of off white head that falls to a solid coat over top. Solid lacing remains as things recede. Nose is full of big dark fruit, fig soaked it rum. Light puffs of alcohol. There is also a healthy dose of bready and spicey notes as well. Flavor is very mellow. Good sweet fruity fig with a healthy but not offensive alcohol in the background with light doughy breadyness and a healthy spicey yeast character in there as well. I like it. Feel is big and thick, almost chewy, with a light carbonation. I enjoy this beer. Even with the alcohol presence, it is pretty drinkable. I can feel it going to my head a bit as I drink it more, so I know one of these a night would do me just fine.

kmpitz2, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of tavernjef
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Blue Nile: A browned, dark cherrywood color with a firm capping of off-white foam that lasts a short while. Once the foam has drifted off it keeps a web thin collar and a slight whisp of topical foam residue. Lacing is slick and glaring with some soft spots and stringy patches sticking to the Kasteel chalice in which it was served.

Sweetly scented aroma with a good load of toffee and caramel intertwined with some fig and raisin fruityness. A tone of unique Belgian lambic-like sourness and spicy yeast adds a queer funkyness over the top of its sweetness adding a bit of strangely acceptable earthy, nose hair grabbing, spunk.

Taste is wonderfully sweet and mellow. Very well rounded toffee flavors and caramel stickyness is allowed to settle right in on the palate. It sinks off from there merging into a dark fruity melange of raisiny, plummy, dark cherry syrup and/or jam. Little tropical nuances of apricot and pineapple seep in as it really warms up with a port-like, alcoholic laced, big malt back splash of the toffee and caramel stickyness. Wow, what a ride of sweet candyness. Very nice!

Feel is super silky smooth and fairly full with the malts. Slighty sticky, yet, soft and quite warming on the back end staying smooth and candy soaked with just a nudge of some yeasty spice peppering the edges.

A sweet, sweet treat. Very sensitive and smooth. A carefully crafted sipper that'll keep you planted in one place for a while as it takes hold of your senses. A very nice brew and highly recommended.

tavernjef, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of rem5
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
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!?

rem5, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of clvand0
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew was shared by a fellow homebrewer. Pours a red/brown color with a large head that has ok retention and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is excellent. Filled with all the goodies: Dark fruits, raisins, alcohol, toasty, spice, sweetness, yeasty, malty - all just jumping out. The flavor is equally complex and great. As it warms, tons of dark fruits and raisins come across with some spices, citrus, alcohol and plenty of caramel malt. The mouthfeel is on the high end of moderate and the drinkability is great. This is one of the better Belgian beers I've had (except Westy and Rochefort) and probably the best brew I've had in a long while.

clvand0, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Green 750 that is corked, caged, and gold foiled. Best before 05-2009 on back label and the cork sez it was bottled in 01-2004. Served in a Val-Dieu chalice.

Dark reddish brown with a finger of light tan that has good retention and leaves thick lace.

The nose has dark fruits, dry red wine, wood, and a leathery tannic alcohol aroma that fits in perfectly. Faint yeast and earthy malts underneath. The vinous notes become more noticable as it warms.

The vinous notes continue in the taste and are backed by the earthy malt , wood, and a slightly doughy yeast. The dark fruits; plums and a pinch of cherries are still there, and the alcohol comes through as restrained dash of pepper and a warm exhale. This is one of those beers that I can't believe is 11%, but the creeping buzz tells me, "No really, this is some strong brew!". Gotta love that.

The mouth is full, no chewiness or over the top carbonation despite the loud pop when disgorged. At the same time it doesn't lean towards flat given its winey nature. Normally I take a point or so away from a beer that has such a high abv as drinking a lot can lead to a short, but messy night. For this beer, I'm willing to slow down and enjoy as much as I can. Absolutely worth $7.99 a bottle.

ypsifly, Nov 01, 2005
Photo of Shiloh
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very black hue with reddish hi-lites on arrival.
The crown was short, limited island lace but a nice glass cling and ring.
I do believe the carbonation is light but diffacult to view thru this ebony body.
The nose is of raisins and alcohol.
The taste is a fruit mash collaberation with a nice minor balance of hops to tame the aggresive fruity explosion.
The high ABV at 11% is not really a factor in the taste.

Shiloh, Oct 29, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an long stemmed chalice)

A- This beer has a smooth creamy head on a dark dense brown thick body. I couldn't tell if there was any visible carbonation but it was low light in the bar.

S- Nice smell of dark sweet malts with notes of prunes and other dried fruit. A hint of molasses in the finish also.

T- This is deep complex flavors but hints of apples and prunes stuck out the most. As it warmed it became more of an apple juice flavor. However there were lots of other flavors like port and brown sugar with some prunes and red wine hints also.

M- Medium-light mouthfeel with a hint of alcohol but it doesn't feel like 11 %

D- This is a good complex malty beer that has great complexity. I happen to meet the brewer after I wrote my review and he said the kegs are all pasteurized but the bottles are still alive and kicking so I will have to try those next.

rhoadsrage, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of fisherman34
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in colour. Complex caramel malt aromas along with notes of raisin, vanilla, and other dried fruits. It’s fairly thick bodied, and has some interesting flavors going on, such as malt, prunes, brown sugar, more vanilla, and a mild chocolate note. I actually drank this stuff at the proper temperature this time. Complex and strong stuff.

fisherman34, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of texashammer
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey colored. Cloudy brown with ruby tones in the light. No head to speak of. Smells wonderful and full, wow! of roasty pruny flavors, raisins, port wine, honey, sweetness. Mouthfeel is slick and slightly syrupy. Asks to be drunk a little slower than you wanted to drink it. :) Similar prunes and raisins and port wine sweetness in my mouth. Wow. This is a wonderful beer. The sweetness is best appreciated as or with dessert. Also paired beautifully with a Dutch Gouda-like cheese with caraway seeds in it. The slight spice in the cheese with the sweetness of the beer was great.

texashammer, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of whynot44
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful deep mahogany color with a rather thin tan head that subsides quickly to just a collar but still manages to leave a bit of lace.

The aroma is fruity, sweet, brown sugar, caramel, alcohol. Full bodied, sweet malt, fruit - plums, grapes, more plums, maybe some apples - caramel, vanilla, cognac.

Amazing flavors, sweeter than I normally like but somehow pulls it off without being offensive. Only the barest trace of hops to offset all that sweet fruit and caramel.

Smooth, very nice feel in the mouth, definite warmth in the finish but drinkable. This would be a good desert beer either by itself or accompanying a dark, fruity torte. Great beer.

whynot44, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of Derek
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unfortunately, this is the first Belgian "Quadrupel" I've had the pleasure of tasting, though the style-lines are a little fuzzy.

It's not as carbonated as a Belgian Dark (similar to how a tripel compares to a Belgium Blonde).

It certainly has some more alcohol taste than a Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue / Blauw), which is classed as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Anyway, the appearance is that of a dark malt syrup. Denser and not as bubbly as the Chimay Blue.

Aroma is dominated by sweet malt, with some port-like undertones.

Taste is very complex. The alcohol strength leaves a distinct taste, similar to a tripel. It could be described as Chimay Blue, taken to a higher level (a little more flavour, a lot more alcohol).

Mouthfeel was full, like a concentrated Belgium Brune.

Drinkability is a tough descriptor, this is a must for any serious beer-geek, but it is certainly not a session beer!

Perfect for a night-cap.

Derek, Jul 13, 2005
Photo of kegerator
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very nice brew.
pours a deep mahogany brown with ruby tones. A big 2 inch head develops and sticks around leaving nice lacing behind.
aroma was sweet, brown sugar, caramel with hints of cherries and fruits and a slight background vinegary aroma hmm.
taste was aroma like, hits with grape and fruit with hints of brown sugar and chocolate. Sweet but not overly sweet. Its full bodied and packs a punch. Its smooth, sticky and the alcohol makes its presence known as it warms the body, mind and soul.

kegerator, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of Viggo
1.63/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Only beer I've had that got progressively worse and undrinkable as time went on. Pours a dark mahogany brown, lots of off white head and lacing. Smells is sweet malt, alcohol, and dark fruits. Taste is horribly sweet, dark cherries, and overpowering alcohol. The mouthfeel was the only pleasant thing about this beer, the carbonation was good. This beer is only good for cooking, it tasted like brown sugar mixed with rubbing alcohol, and this was a bottle that had been aged for 7 months at my house. Insanely one dimensional, it burns from the alcohol. Not recommended at all, horrible. It took all my willpower to force it down and not throw this out.

Viggo, Jun 25, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quite a pleasant surprise and find. Paid $8 for a 750mL bottle in a store that's a bit on the pricey side. Hadn't heard of or tasted this one before so I thought it worth a go.
Poured a pretty mahagony color into my chalice with some head and good lacing on the glass. Smells slightly sharp and mildly fruity.
I don't think I can detect any hops in this one... or juuuust barely. This is quite sweet, almost to the point of cloying but seems to stop just short of that. Very, very smooth flavor and mouthfeel. The tastes I'm getting are mostly dark raisins and dried figs, perhaps a bit of dark sweet cherries. Reminds me a bit of other quadrupels but perhaps without some of the depth or maybe even without some of the smokyness. I find the taste to be quite delicious and juicy.
The sweetness is a little bit over the top and maybe a bit unbalanced which takes some drinkability out of this; however, with a bare whisper of detectability of the alcohol content (a head heavying 11%) you probably dont need to worry about drinking a lot of this.
Great stuff.

ommegangpbr, May 21, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a confident, dense brown with a thin coating of bubbles on top. lacing is pronounced and slides down the side of the glass like a slug. smells very buttery.. yeast toffee and malt notes. fruity with a definite trappist edge in the nose. wow! explodes with banana and berry flavors. taste is a sweet kick with smoothness going down. alcohol is evident but muted by the intense flavor experience here. leaps and bounds above the lighter kasteel. this is a nice, affordable halfway point between rocs grand cru and a trappist quad or dubbel.

goodbyeohio, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of Sigmund
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle, at Les Moules Belgian restaurant in Prague. Served too cold. Beautiful deep brown to ruby colour. Large head which disappears rapidly. Aroma of dark malts, oak, old sherry, spices and leather. Flavour is very malty and sweet with a warming mouthfeel, elements of Christmas spices and old sherry. Very good. Yummy!

Sigmund, Mar 30, 2005
Photo of Globetrotter
2.8/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Globetrotter, Mar 25, 2005
Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 645 ratings.