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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

560 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 560
Reviews: 339
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 560 | Reviews: 339 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Spiderhouse
Spiderhouse

California

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

A--Monster head with two fingers of tan foam. Amazing retention and very heavy lacing. Best part? Tiny, slow rising bubbles that i have never seen in a beer; mostly, in expensive champagne.

S--Chocolate, warm pumpernickel, heavy spice notes. Never smelled anything like this on a beer. Intoxicating.

T--Semi-sweet baker's chocolate, dark bread, and rich butter. My wife (of Swedish extraction), said this reminded her of "Swedish Christmas". The finish is long and comforting. Pretty damn amazing.

M--Syrupy, but not in a bad way. Emulsified egg whites and cream. Delicious.

D--The high ABV and heavy texture make it hard to repeat, but this is like the great dessert that sends a meal from merely 'good' and into 'unforgettable'. One of the best beer experiences I have ever had.

Served in a brand chalice at Lucky Baldwin's, Pasadena, CA

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2009 01:56:07 | More by Spiderhouse
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 Todd
Todd

Colorado

4.83/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A "donker" beer, brewed in 1999 (mine was). A dark brown brew. Very rich and malty with a port-like finish. Sweet bliss in a bottle with a shelf life of over 25 years. One of my favourite of the sweet dark beers that I tried when in Belgium (March 2000).

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2001 12:33:58 | More by Todd
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

4.83/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2005 18:18:06 | More by clvand0
Photo of Brew_More
Brew_More

Kentucky

4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is a dark, sweet beer. Not something I might drink on a hot afternoon. However in the evening, this is my favorite beer. Heavy, filling, unique. I have never had a beer quite like this one. This beer is like "Port" is to Wine. It is a beer with a different, unique flavor, that is great to finish off an evening with. Belgium classic.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 03:22:32 | More by Brew_More
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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

A rich dark brown color, more reddish in light, below a large creamy head. Nose is very sweet, with notes of toffee, cream, nuts, and a particular toasty character. Hints of spices, cloves, anise. Soft, spicy, and warm on the palate, with a lush and lasting finish. ABV unknown to me, but it's starting to deliver now. Perfect consolation on this freezing cold late January Minnesota afternoon. Full-bodied, tangy, hugely characterful, and an ever-unfolding delight to drink. Much like a hybrid of brandy and a candy bar! Delicious, delightful, d'lovely!
Mine was served in a Scaldis glass, which ably did the trick.

11-02-03
Above review from a tap sampling at Bryant Lake Bowl. Just had a 750ml bottled I'd been saving, this one labeled as "Donker-Foncee", and I echo my previous statements: this is one incredible brew. Just wish I could find more bottles around here!

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2003 15:55:56 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

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

(10/02 on the cork; best before 09/07)

Shadowy and clear burnt crimson hue under a smallish tan dome that endures as a film.
Yeasty aromatics coupled with bursting ripe darks fruits. Merely a foreshadowing of what is in store.
A wall of sugared plums and candied raisins comes crashing down. In its wake resides figs and dates with a liquid caramel topping. Dark, fruity and twisted wreckage. Brown sugar and molasses ride in triumphantly. Hugely sweet, borders on overpoweringly so, but the yeasty tones that enter next prevent such a fate. Peppery spice, sourdough bread and traces of farmhouse create enough of a countering force to allow the sweetness to be tempered, albeit momentarily. Cane sugar resurges and couples with dark rum and port. Lingering vanilla-creamed blackberries complete things.

A consistency of melted soft-serve ice cream. Thick and heavy, sticky yet runny.
The alcoholic wrath is never noticed in the taste. Hidden is an understatement. This is frightening, and perhaps illegal in its high-octane rush down the throat.
A sipper, but an insanely drinkable one.

A sweet-toothed fantasy.
Find this one.
Please.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2003 00:44:55 | More by cokes
Photo of pbrian
pbrian

Connecticut

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

Cork dated 08-2001

Deep crimson red highlights make it through this clear, dark brown bier. The vigorous pour produced just a medium rich tan head but a thin film lasted the whole glass and left a mess. Port-like, sweet dark fruits in the aroma, with some mild spices, sweet bubblegum, and alcohol vapors. Flavor is very rich, sweet, fruity. Again, very vinous and port-like. Dark candi sugar, dark caramel malts, dark raisins and plums, everything's sweet, dark and beautiful. Low carbonation, thick, creamy sweet mouthfeel. Very warm and flavorful. Did I mention sweet? I don't know if a fresh version would receive such high numbers, but the aged version sitting in front of me is fabulous.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2004 03:11:50 | More by pbrian
Photo of janubio
janubio

Spain

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2006 20:46:26 | More by janubio
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 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 dqrull
dqrull

Sweden

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a really beautiful wine-red colour, not a very big head, slightly tan and dissipates quickly leaving some creamy lace.

Smells of prunes and raisins, some belgian yeast esters, sweet malt with a hint of almonds and a small hint of red wine, maybe port.

Wow. This tastes like... if you put a bowl of really tasty prunes, raisins, dried figs, dried peaches, pickled peaches and mandarins in a bowl, sprinkle it with almond icing and caramellized brown sugar, and then pour a good deal of port over it and leave it in the fridge over night, marvelous. The taste is really long, big and smooth, starts off with the expected sweet malt-attack and seamlessly transforms into the fantastic onslaught of fruits and port described above, and all the while, during this increadibly long and consistent taste a light, light tartness is balancing the sweetness so it never even gets close to being cloying or annoying in any way, sublime.

A very light carbonation and a mid-viscous liquid fits this brew perfectly.

I could drink myself to death on this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 01:22:17 | More by dqrull
Photo of EkimGram
EkimGram

New York

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

Appearance: Poured from 11.2oz bottle dated 080407 into large snifter. Colour is a dark espresso brown. Pours a half-inch head, rather bubbly, that died down quickly.

Smell: Dark fruits, roasty, a little boozy, and some mild spice.

Taste: Not what I had expected from the smell. Tame, rather sweet in the way a plum is sweet. The alcohol blends in nicely with the complex flavours of what I sense to a be a little rich, sweet, somewhat roasty, almost a meaty flavour if I may. Very difficult to pick out a single flavour.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, relatively thick yet it has a very nice creamy-velvety characteristic.

Overall: Nothing I have ever drank before with an 11+% ABV has been smoother. Truly a wonderfully crafted beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 04:58:12 | More by EkimGram
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 NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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

Carefully poured from the lees, its clear mahogany body rests gently beneath a short, creamy head of light tan foam as very tiny bubbles steadily rise up to support it. The head drops shortly to a wide collar and lacy surface covering, but also leaves some wide rings of sticky lace about the glass. The nose welcomes you with a delicious combination of chocolate covered raisins and caramel splashed with sweet red wine and backed by some earthy and leafy hops. As it warms some candyish - and also peppery - yeast character comes into play adding greatly to its complexity. The body is medium/light, and combines with its very fine, natural carbonation from bottle-conditioning to leave it just lightly zesty on the tongue before fading smoothly away. The vinous character of the nose is immediately recognized in the flavor along with assorted dark fruits (plum/prune, dates), a soft note of chocolate, and a sweet light caramel that morphs into a harsher note of molasses that's less refined and a bit edgy at the finish (due in part to alcohol, and in part bitterness). It lingers with some alcohol that fades to reveal the true hop bitterness; then some candy sweetness (bubblegum); and finally a last note of caramel that's charged with delicate clove-like spiciness. Quite complex, rich and flavorful! And although the alcohol could be slightly more restrained, its sweetness is impeccably balanced and never interferes or build on the palate. An impressive brew that's well worth seeking out!

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2003 02:25:10 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

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

Presentation: The ‘Kasteel bier Donker-Foncee’, or Bruin-Brune to you and me, comes in a Green 750ml flask like Belgium bottle that has an inverted base. Champagne presentation, right down to the fact that the entire neck is covered in a thin gold foil. Cork, Capped and Caged; once the foil and cage was removed, the thumbed cork was easily extracted with a light “thrupp”. The main label is the exact same design as the newer Kasteel incumbent, the Blond (or Gouden Triple), except for the fact that the label edges are a darker shade of orange. Listed at a whopping Alc. 11% Vol., the cork is dated ‘Gebotteld 09-2003’, but the bottle has a Best Before Date of 11-2008 on the reverse label.

Appearance: Very dark mahogany body, clear at first but gets a little hazed as I dredge out the dregs from the recessed concave bottle bottom. Big head at first, it settles with the first pour to a bubbly halo cover and a broken surface leaving some nice lacing. Subsequent top-ups induce a more permanent cap-like uniform covering. I drank this from a Chimay Glass, but I wish I had the proper glass, a high stemmed flat base Goblet that lends this monster a truly magnificent presentation.

Nose: Intensely fruity and inviting. At first you are comforted with a raisin soaked plum pudding mixed with some caramel and a yeasty alcohol presence. Then, a crafty punch of strong fruity fortified slightly vinegary red wine cum port like whack gets the finish, when a powerful alcohol soaked wood and funky soil aroma come into play also. Complex but in an inviting way, temperature really plays an immense part on the nose of the brew, it gets sexier as it warms, or does it get warmer as it gets sexier?? Argh, who cares!! Superb.

Taste: Where the nose starts, the tastes certainly continue. The dark fruity entrance is adorable, but the best aspect of this brew is the last two-thirds. Hard to describe, but an aged red-wine vinaigrette and wood soaked port aspect comes through but only ever in a background role, yet it adds an immensely massive character to this brew. All the while, raisins, plums, toffee, caramel and fusel alcohols swim around in an orgy of indulgence.

Mouthfeel: Somehow, whilst the 11% alcohol provides a dark fusel alcohol feel to the darker fruits, and it adds to the warming aspects, it never interferes with the middling mouthfeel, which lends an awesome Drinkability to this fantastically fruity Strong Dark Belgium Ale.

Drinkability: For an 11% goliath, this is seriously and dangerously drinkable, easily a 4.0, and at times like tonight, a very dangerous “might not get to work tomorrow after a 750ml all to myself” 4.5.

Overall: It’s been a long day at work today, but “holy f**k” if a whole 750ml bottle of this powerful 11% dark fruity warming monster all to myself didn’t relax me immediately when I got home! I have many happy memories of my first trip to Belgium; however, after drinking several of these quaffable monsters in the ‘old’ Bottelje bar in Ostende, this was most certainly not one of them. Oh yes, this is the old favorite that I “don’t” remember!!! LOL.

A dependable, solid, very impressive and well put together complex brew. It does not age that well I find, but is at its best after 1 to 2 years when the alcohol softens a tad and the dark fruits and vinous aspects really balance and shine through.

Along with Rochefort 10, St.Bernadus 12 & Westie 12, this is a brew that I always try and seek out for the last brew of the night after a hard days drinking when in Belgium! It makes a fantastic Nightcap, and has given me a second wind to continue drinking on more than one occasion. Treat this one with some serious respect!!

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2004 03:53:23 | More by TheLongBeachBum
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 DarrellK
DarrellK

Florida

4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great expression of the style. The pour from the 750ml bottom produced a great foamy head that was quite peresistent and left a classic Belgian lace. Very dark with ruby hints, the aroma was there but not as strong as I might have imagined, mostly sweet and raisiny. Mostly a sweetish malt flavor with some raisin taste with a drying burlap finish. Shae a bottle for desert and you will make a friend, drink it alone and you will be asleep early.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2003 19:42:23 | More by DarrellK
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aug 04 bottling, bought this because my mind is getting feeble, just reviewed this the other week. Oh well, different batch, so let's compare:

Pours mahogany & murky with a 1 finger off white colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Sweet malt & then chocolate & booze as it warms

T: Rich sweet malt & chocolate with a hint of booze up front. Bready notes & caramel & toffee surfaces as it warms, along oakyness & dryness. Finoshes dry with hints of pecans & brandy This actually works for me better than the more mature version.

mF: Syruppy with low carbonation, but enough to bring out some flavors

The 11% is a little more evident, but complexity makes it more drinkable. Talk about your winter warmers! looking back at my review, my instincts were right, this better than the stuff supposedly in its prime

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 02:07:46 | More by russpowell
Photo of Donnie2112
Donnie2112

Alaska

4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: deep, dark opaque brown, tinges of red and orange, nice little bits of lacing and a thin layer of head on top.

smell: Maple, very sweet smelling a bit of alcohol as if I'm smelling red wine

taste: again maple syrup or molasses,vanilla, a tinge of chocolate a bit of cherry in the malt. finishes snappy with a bit of alcohol, I detect a trace of hops. I keep coming back to red wine in my mind for some reason, even though there's not a lot that I would normally associate with a red wine. Just a fascinating flavor for a beer.

mouthfeel: creamy with plenty of carbonation

drinkability: this is simultaneously full flavored and refreshing. I quickly finished the 1 pt 9.4oz bottle and wished for a case of the stuff. It's very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2008 02:23:01 | More by Donnie2112
Photo of RodneyFarva
RodneyFarva

Spain

4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 20:15:26 | More by RodneyFarva
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is a wonderful, rich but very drinkable quadrupel that belies its strength and is a great after-dinner/dessert ale in particular. but also great with cheeses, etc.

Extremely dark red-brown, almost black, it has a small tan head steadily shrinking to foamy ring and wisps.

Aroma is wonderful zesty fruit and spice, gingerbread, dried figs and cherries, dark toasted bread crust.

Taste is not quite as complex as the aroma but is wonderful, full, well-rounded and approachable despite the richness and strength. It has sweet-spicy dried fruits, ginger cake, port, sweeter up front but a slightly direr finish of dark toast and dried fig. It is not extremely complex, but has some complexity and a nicely well-rounded character. Feel is firm with a hint of oiliness but also a bit lively, and it is not heavy or truly oily, much less viscous. The high abv is hinted at in the port-like element, but otherwise the boozy alcoholic quality is nicely restrained, adding an enriching warmth without making the booziness overtly noticeable, much less harsh in any way.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 00:30:29 | More by Offa
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown hue with maroon influences, brightly reddish highlights were the light penetrates it, the beige head reached a modest finger in height but it held like cement. As I quaffed sheets of lace were formed. An impressive sight visually. The aroma wafting from my glass is delightful with tart fruitiness, hints of oak, and toasty malt. I was expecting more, especially in hindsight after I tasted it. The nose lacks the complexities of the palate. Chocolate-coated raisins soaked in brandy aged in oak barrels starts the palate, glorious sweetness settles in and then explodes on the tastebuds, igniting a fire of alcohol, tropical fruit, and traces of pepper. The sweetness is absolutely wonderful, simply perfect. It isn’t cloying and offset perfectly with the bourbon, brandy alcohol heat, then add in the complex fruitiness and WOW! The maltiness is damn near identical to cake. Where did that toffee come from? Apples? The finish is sweet like a chocolate cake soaked in alcohol topped with a tropical fruit jelly spiced with peppery-cloves. Low but playful carbonation, nearly perfect for this beer, the body is slightly fuller than medium, near ideal. The aftertaste is long and wonderful with qualities similar to an aged Barleywine but with so much more. The alcohol potency is not noticeable on the taste, impressive, it is easy to drink but so tasty you want to sip and savor it. As I did. This is seriously one of the best beers I have ever tasted and shockingly I bought it in Nebraska! Lincoln to be exact, I must go get more 750mls to cellar, even if they did run $12 each.

Seek this out.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2004 20:42:54 | More by bditty187
Photo of marc77
marc77

California

4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Crystal clear deep garnet hue, w/ a head that quickly dissipates into a tight tan ring due to the high apparent alcohol content. Spotty isolated bubble inlands are left. The aroma is dominated by vinous, alcohol soaked dark fruit w/ a contrasting dark caramel and chocolate malt. Hint of dry, coffeeish roasted barley is present as well. Earthy Styrian Goldings hop nose. When combined with the light clove phenol, bubblegum esters and pleasantly peppery alcohol the nose knows this is a potent Belgian. Unfortunately, there's a slight hint of lightstruck derived mercaptans (curse of the green bottle) that prevents the aroma from acheiving greatness. Assertive, molasses like, dark candi sugar sweetness is perceived initially in flavor, then is ceded by a melange of dark, dried fruit including raisin and sugary dates. The dark fruitiness then melds with dark caramel malt, light chocolate and pseudosweet alcohol to lend an overall impression of bourbon soaked chocolate cake. Yeast derived flavors emerge late and mirror their presence in aroma, consisting of clove and mild bubblegum. Ethanol flavors are well controlled, w/ only slight peppery notes percpetible. Hop bitterness is paltry and leaves malt sweetness virtually unhindered, yet sweetness doesn't become cloying, due to this brew's inherent complexity. Moderately bodied, w/ a sugary and dextrinous mouthfeel. Finishes both sweet and lightly roasty, with enveloping alcohol warmth surfacing concomitantly. Kasteel Donker is a tremendously flavorful brew. Although sweet all around in character, the sweetness is multi faceted and contrasted by both yeast esters and mellow dark grain. Considering its strength, the drinkability is supreme. Donker is an oxy moron of a brew-- ballsy and refined. Bottled 8/2001.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2002 18:33:04 | More by marc77
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark raisin to walnut brown with a light head in a Kasteel chalice.

The aroma fills the room with a rich, peppery scent reminiscent of merlot wine. Even my wife said, "Wow!"

Subtle chocolate and caramel flavors intermingle with occasional spicy bursts.

This is crisp, yet smooth and creamy without being overpowered by the alcohol which does bite in the throat.

Sip this, one serving per sitting - but what a sitting!

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2008 21:22:06 | More by SLeffler27
Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.