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Kasteel Donker - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Not Rated.
Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker

Educational use only; do not reuse.

368 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 368
Hads: 816
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 20.94%
Wants: 80
Gots: 127 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kasteel Donker Alström Bros
Reviews: 368 | Hads: 816
Photo of dqrull
4.71/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of EkimGram
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.67/5  rDev +15%
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!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.67/5  rDev +15%
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!!

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Photo of broker0078
4.67/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of Offa
4.67/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of Donnie2112
4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
4.64/5  rDev +14.3%
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

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.64/5  rDev +14.3%
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!

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Photo of DarrellK
4.63/5  rDev +14%
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.

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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 jjboesen
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This superb Belgian was the last beer of 2009 (and the first of 2010); poured from the bomber into a tulip glass, it emits a heaving gusher of head that, once dissipated, becomes a dark ruby liquid impenetrable to light. Splotchy lacing abounds and cakes the glass rim. The nose is pleased by a sweet grape aroma, one which might be considered too cloying. Whatever. The palate is blessed with an aggressively creamy concoction of rich malt and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is warm and doughy, as if the mouth were a bakery. Yummy!

What a great beer! I only wish that the year was as good as it's first beer.

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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 bditty187
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at From The Vine monthly beer tasting Oct 13th, 2003: This was probably my favorite beer of the tasting and a pleasant surprise. This is the beer Chimay Bleu wants to be. Pours a brownish-amber color with a medium thick beige head. Lots going on in the aroma - fruit, malt, port wine and caramel. Nicely rich body with a complex blend of malt, grain, chocolate, raisins and spicy alcohol. The finish is sweet toffee and malt. Outstanding.

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

Pours a four-finger brown head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Mahogany/brown color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is caramel, dark fruit, sweet. Clean finish. High ABV is hidden. I need more of these to cellar! Bottled Jul 2007, $4.20 for a 330ml bottle from a Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

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

Exceptionally deep and rich in color, the beer is a dark brown leather hue with an off-white head that rapidly disappears, becoming little more than a ring around the glass.

Huge aromas of all sorts of blended varieties of sweetness -- over-ripened fruits, perhaps, more than anything. Very sweet to the taste. Sugary. Dark raisins. Very intense flavor that masks the 11% behind a wall of candy-like flavor.

I had only a tiny scrap of a napkin on which to write notes about this beer, and it's most unfortunate. It's fruity complexities are impressive and very fun. I'm sure there are far more adjectives that one could use to describe this beer. It's aroma and taste are compelling to say the least.

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

33cl bottle: This one pours a slightly hazy caramel brown. There was a very small head on mine. The aroma is quite nice. Caramel malt comes through, with some breadiness. Some fruits in there also, possibly raisins and plums. Very full, rich taste. Some candi sugar, plums, breadiness, many others. An exceptional brew.

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

Live Review. Poured from a short stubby ~12 oz. bottle that I purchased at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY last October. Poured into my Samuel Smith pint glass since (going by the name) I thought this was a brown ale (I would have poured it into my 3 Philosopher's snifter instead!).

A Caramel chocolate brown body that glows in front of direct light with a generous but brief (one minute) head that has now dissipated to a single ring around the top.

S Ahhh....that glorious Belgian sweet malt and yeast with a dose of alcohol and oh...so inviting. Great smell appropriate to the style. The sweetness is a dark fruit sweetness like a date or a raisin.

T Yummm...deep dark fruit tastes of dates and raisins follow right into the taste and dominate the first 2/3 of the taste. After that there is the warmth of alcohol and then a return of a more muted dark fruit.

M Oh sooo smooth. It goes down like liquid caramel and the sweet nectar is syrupy sticky.

D Great if it wasn't for the cost and rarity of the beer. Really though I savored every drop and it is quite good in it's style.

Notes: I kept thinking of a Raison d'extra from DFH while drinking this.

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Photo of marc77
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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Photo of afoltz2
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
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!

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a New Belgium tulip from a small bottle which says ``bottled on 100506''. The pour is brown, clear, and very dark. Carbonation is low and there is a thin layer of foam on the beer. The nose is quite unique. I haven't encountered a beer like this one before. I get cherries and raisins, then once I start swirling I start to get a little bit of alcohol, a slight sour note, and a strong wine-like component.

The beer is full-bodied and the taste is complex, sweet, and strong. Initially, I get lots of dark fruit, brown sugar, and caramel. There is a slight touch of alcohol warmth, but the real treasure lies at mid-palate. The flavors develop there and take on port-like qualities. It is absolutely delicious. The mouthfeel is viscous and ``chewy''.

What a wonderful beer. It is like drinking a nice glass of port. It's definitely a sipper and not the easiest beer to drink, and I think it could use a bit more carbonation to help stimulate the palate, but that doesn't take away from its great qualities. I wouldn't suggest this to someone new to beers of this caliber. It has a lot of complexity and a lot of power.

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Photo of obywan59
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. You need to peel off the tear strip to get the paper off the top to expose the wired-down cork.

Pours dark brown into my Duvel glass with a 2 1/2 finger head leaving light lacing.

Aroma of tart citrus at first, but then I noticed some sweet maltiness as well.

Oh, wow!! After the tart aroma, I didn't expect it to be so sweet. Taste of dark bitter chocolate and burnt malt with a bit of cherry. Or, perhaps dark dried fruit soaked in rum. Almost candy sweet.

To me it felt a bit lighter than other BSDAs I've tried (except for Mad Elf). This was a good thing, considering the extra sweetness. I think the sweetness, more than the mouthfeel, is what makes it seem almost syrupy. Not cloying.

Excellent sippability. The sweetness definitely slow you down. I think I like this even more than Corsendonk Christmas Ale.

The 11% ABV really fried me!!

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Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.