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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

555 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 555
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: 555 | Reviews: 338 | Show All Ratings:
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 kajerm
kajerm

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Scored a bottle in Belgium over the summer-- unfortunately I was having this after 2/3 of both the chimay (red/blue) and rochefort (8/10) lines, and a delirium tremens, so my memory might not be as acute as I'd like...

Poured dark brown into a goblet without too much head; super-cloudy, this is beer as God intended. Very very malty and pretty estery, with just a little alcoholic spice (much less than I expected); lots of dark fruit and candi sugar. Tasted exactly like it smells.

This was a gorgeous beer, I'd love to get another shot at reviewing it.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2007 22:09:12 | More by kajerm
Photo of rallison
rallison

California

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

Served into a mini Chimay goblet at Lucky Baldwin's.

Nice dark brown color. Taste is exceptional. Rich, bready malts. Nice, smokey, roasted character that you especially notice toward the end. Some hops to balance out the sweetness. Balance is perfect. Mouthfeel is very rewarding - nice and full and not syrupy. Drinkability is extremely good for a beer of this abv.

Highly recommended. This is a wonderful quad, and great on tap (I haven't tried a bottle yet, but will look forward to). Go, and drink some of this nectar.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2007 09:06:46 | More by rallison
Photo of dedrinker
dedrinker

Kansas

3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

4+ year old 750ml bottle. Poured dirty - looking like rust and stagnant creek water. Aroma of dusty attic and dry earth. Flavor was sweet stewed dark fruit, with port and sherry notes. I keep my cellar bottles well, and they do not get light, heat, or physical disturbance, but this one must have had all the yeast completely in solution, because it was so cloudy, but without any floaty chunks etc. I have had my fare share of five and six year old Belgian ales, but this one was weird. It just came out all weird looking, but still tasted fine.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 07:17:15 | More by dedrinker
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a 11.2oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours the color of Coke. Dark brown with purple and ruby tints. No head to speak of but the foam ring leaves some minor lacing. Very still.

S: Aromas of caramel, figs, plums, green apples, and brown sugar. Tiny hint of alcohol hiding amongst the other aromas.

T: Tons of sweet flavors in this one. Dark candi sugar, plums, figs, caramel, cola nut, did I mention it's sweet? I like my Quads with more balance than this. This beer is crying out for some roasted malt and hops to balance out the sweetness.

M: Big and thick if a tad too syrupy. Rich and creamy.

D: I rate this one just above average. The large (11% abv) alcohol content is very well hidden but the overly sweet flavors make a dent in the drinkability factor for me. With more balance this beer could be quite good.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2007 01:44:46 | More by GbVDave
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is, without question, one of the greatest quads I have ever had. It poured darker than alot of other quads I have seen. Quite murky, as well, with lots of sediment. Smell was toasted cereals, dark fruits, malt, sugar, and perhaps some fresh cut red apples. Quite lovely. Taste was sweet malts and toasted cerals first, some dark fruits and caramelised sugar in the middle, and a brief "mention" of alcohol on the finish. Splendid job of concealing an 11%abv. Mouthfeel was smooth and easy drinking with light CO2.
Wonderful smell, delicious taste, and a solid, fantastic representation of the style. Smashing!!

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 00:42:56 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of EPICAC
EPICAC

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle at Delirium Café in Brussels.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with a thick foamy head that fades into a sudsy film.

Smell: Caramel, dark fruit, and a hint of roastiness.

Taste: Malty and sweet throughout. There are strong flavors of raisins that dominate. The finish is spicy with noticable alcohol, residual sweetness and a light roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A little sweet, but otherwise drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2006 00:15:40 | More by EPICAC
Photo of jettjon
jettjon

Florida

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 date on cork, 750 ml bottle. Pours chestnut brown, nearly opaque with hundreds of tiny bubbles. One-finger head that quickly fades to a solid cap and ring with moderate lacing. Pleasant nose, dark fruit like grapes out front, almost grape juice-like; alcohol on the nose, sweet malts. Tastes very sweet, again reminscent of grape juice; dark fruits: grape/cherry/plums on the mouth; yeast, malt, and mild alcohol burn toward the middle. Finishes dry and lightly bitter. Mouth is viscous and smooth, with low carbonation but not flat. Drinkability is very good, marred only by the slight over-sweetness of the beer.

Overall: This is a very good quad, but a bit overly sweet.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2006 05:45:18 | More by jettjon
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 mmmbeer
mmmbeer

Massachusetts

2.75/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. Belgian stubby, with a freshness date of July 2010, served a bit too cold at Michael's Bistro and Taphouse in a small snifter. It pours a clouded brownish/red that is ruby in the light and is topped with a small, light brown head that retains a thin collar. The aroma is quite vinous, sugary sweet, with a blackberry kick. Think Chambord. It is hugely sweet on the palate, very port-like, with pepper, berries, and maybe some hops near the end. The body is medium, yet syrupy thick, with light carbonation and a medium finish. On the plus side, the alcohol is undetectable, but on the negative side, it is way too sweet and a bit difficult to drink, making me wonder as to why it is rated so highly.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2006 02:37:13 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2006 20:10:36 | More by Boto
Photo of Absumaster
Absumaster

Netherlands

2.6/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a dark brown, red colour with a small head and glass sticking foam.

Smell was roasted and malty, it reminded me of tobacco. What was striking, was the lack of smell, especially for a beer with 11% alcohol, I expect to have a little more smell.

Taste was SWEET!! My teeth almost fell out of my mouth! Unbelievable. The alcohol is also very apparent and off course the beer is sticky. I could barely get my lipps off each other. Every other taste that is possibly in there is masked by the sweetness of the beer. I would not advise this to anyone who is a serious beeradvocate.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2006 22:07:55 | More by Absumaster
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle corked/caged: 11/03 - cork, Best Before 11/08 on bottle...
Appears a dark, dense mahogany brown with a creamy 2 finger tan foam that settles into a foamy cap that doesn't want to leave. Fine amounts of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, raisins, molasses, nuts, earthy yeast notes, and mild clove and peppery spices. There is also a gentle port wine character to it, along with an aged, and slightly oxidized, cork laden aroma that doesn't detract too much from the overall complexity and beauty of this beer.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas in a mix that is comparible to the best that Belgium has to offer. Lots of caramel and candy flavors entice the palate with sweets, spices, and a gentle alcohol punch that lets you know this is a heavyweight.
Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, warming, complex, mildly bitter towards the cocoa powdery, dry finish.
Opened this with a friend to celebrate the births of my new daughter, and his new son. He stays away from dark beer but this one certainly won him over.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2006 16:13:05 | More by weeare138
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 haz77
haz77

Australia

3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep burgundy with a small fizzy head that disappears immediately, leaving a thin ring. Small bubbles of low carbonation.

S - Alcohol, cherry, wet dog, metallic edge, dark sugar, phenols, light solvent.

T - Alcohol warmth comes through almost immediately and keeps building. Sweet cherries at first with caramel appearing in the middle. At this point an overpowering syrupy sweetness quickly builds before the alcohol becomes predominant. Phenolic and warming aftertaste.

M - Smooth medium body and low carbonation.

D - Wasn't particularly easy to drink. If you like sweet beer then give it a go, but it's not something I'll be trying again soon as I found the sweetness overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2006 13:58:09 | More by haz77
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
ViveLaChouffe

Georgia

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Cork dated 11/2003. Best by 11/2008.

Pours a hazy brown with hints of red. Thin tan head. Lots of sheeting lace. Smells fruity. Rich caramel and vinous aromas.

Rich and fruity flavor. Alcohol still present in this nearly three year old sample. Sweetish and candy sugar flavore. Hints of plum and notes of port. Big beer, thick and sticky mouth although the low level of alcohol taste dries it out, keeps the sweetness in check. This is some nice brew. Some more for the cellar is in order.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2006 02:49:52 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of dgallina
dgallina

Georgia

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

750ml dark green magnum. Cork dated 11/2003. Bottle dated best-before 11/2008. Sampled 8/2006.

Pours clouded opaque dark brown with red edges. Small (half-inch) of creamy foam that rapidly recedes but leaves decent lace. Smells yeasty, full of dark fruits (cherries, plums), medicinal alcohol. Flavor begins with sweet & sour medicinal alcohol sting, becomes round and malty sweet in the middle and finishes the same way. Heavy, syrupy body with minimal carbonation. Not a great quad. Kind of heavy on the alcohol tones for my taste.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2006 02:33:32 | More by dgallina
Photo of AndoBrew
AndoBrew

Georgia

3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*I liked it would not buy again*

garnet to brown nice cream tan bubble head nice lacing

a lil tart sour smell then some sweet candy malts.. some dark fruit.. lets sip, shall we?

YUM YUM! I can rock this beer, and I will be honest, I dont rock many belgians ok? YUMMY! It actually has depth and flavor beyond the normal belgian candy taste. Starts with big chewy dark fruits.. dates figs plums whatever, you know the kind.. then it has some good brown toasty choco things, finishes with a pinch of booze and then some of the belgian candy

good beer, mouthfeel is nice, may coat a bit to much as you go.. the candy flavors build and it is starting to get a lil more sweet, not to much yet

ehh its turning into more of a normal candy belgian but still holding its own, I like it, drinkability, yeah, very. I wish they would give you a full 12oz, drinking a 4 pk would be fine, you would want some kinda food to fight the sweet in between beers though.

balance off the candy just a touch more and id be all-in

--side note, I found near the end.. if you drink it slower than I would the adding up of the candy sweet taste does not really happen, SO I would recomend to drink this beer at a slower pace than me, to enjoy it the most, the problem is it will let you drink it fast cause its good.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2006 16:51:14 | More by AndoBrew
Photo of Brian700
Brian700

Michigan

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2006 04:58:07 | More by Brian700
Photo of ybnorml
ybnorml

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2006 21:13:00 | More by ybnorml
Photo of atigerlife
atigerlife

Hawaii

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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].

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2006 12:28:18 | More by atigerlife
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 03:32:51 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
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!!!

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2006 07:29:06 | More by scottoale
Photo of Erdinger2003
Erdinger2003

Iowa

3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2006 06:58:52 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327

Michigan

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2006 22:43:15 | More by Frozensoul327
Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.