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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: 814
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 20.94%
Wants: 81
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: 814
Photo of TheRougeBastard
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.5 oz bottle, that was bottle on Jan 25, 2012! The color was a cocoa black with minimal head as poured into my liberated pub glass. The aroma was pleasant with only a slight knod to the 11% abv. First taste revealed hints of dark chocolate, caramel and figs, but surprisingly little alcoholic bite! This is a very smooth beverage! It is a tad heavy so like another poster suggested, this would not be a good choice for a summer BBQ, however a perfect choice for later on! World class all the way!

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Photo of Blindpigbiz
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Style/abv: quadruple/11%

Smell: milk chocolate, figs, tinges of apricot, and caramel sauce

Taste: subtle caramel notes with intense dark fruits, figs, and cherries, with coca-cola (minus the effervescence) and a warm-scotch bite at the finish

Pairs very well with barbecue chicken pizza and hot wings: enough said

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle into a snifter, bottled 1/25/12. Just over a year old.

A: Pours a very dark amber/brown, almost black. Two fingers of dense off white foam forms with great retention.

S: Strong dark fruits dominate - mainly prunes and raisins - a touch of plums as well, but in the background. Nutmeg and orange peel help balance the intense dark fruits. Very sweet, but complex with nice yeast esters.

T: Again very sweet, now prunes mix with caramel to produce a very nice malt character. Again, nutmeg comes through quite nicely. A bit of citrus comes through as well, but not as much as I'd like.

M: Quite thick for the style with rather low, creamy carbonation.

O: quite sweet for the style, but very good. I'd enjoy a bit more yeast character as well. Either way, a nice Quad.

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Photo of Brew_More
4.76/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Beige head on a hazy deep tudor brown body. Soapy lacing sticks to the glass. Aroma includes candi sugar, brown sugar, dates, overripe banana, some alcohol and raisins. Mouthfeel is thick, tongue coating. Tasting notes are similar to the aroma although the alcohol is not noted on tasting. Very nice quad, as expected from Kasteel.

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Photo of pkalix
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark, thick, not clear through. half-finger head, dissipating to nothing within a minute.
aroma of dark fruit.
taste is dark fruit, sweet malt. too sweet. what the heck did they do to this to make it so sickeningly sweet and yet retain the alcohol? is it a brewed down liqueur?
actually, it's not a bad sipper. maybe that's how i should be approaching this, eh? 11% abv?
i had to give it 4.5's across the board. it's got its ups and downs but this is an enigma. this is special. this a quad and quads are complex. i dont have the patience to evaluate most quads, i just appreciate the ability to drink it and the high abv. i'm a lush, eh? what more can you expect from me? it all comes out here and now. i think i need a good stout after this....

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Photo of tbeckett
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle at Poo Restaurant in Sukhothai. Bartender poured the entire contents of the bottle into a Kasteel glass, which is an unorthodox practice with Belgian beers. This is the first 'craft beer' I've had in about 3 months.

A - Poured murky brown with a half finger white head that faded fast. Good carbonation. Decent lace down the glass and head that maintains as film.

S - Vinous, rich dark fruit, lot's of sugar and brown sugar, vanilla, really smooth aroma.

T - Lot's of sugar, grapes, shark dark fruit, vinous, brown sugary fruits, a touch of alchohol that works well.

M - Nice full body, sweet finish, not cloying, nice carbonation.

O/D - Very little alcohol which is surprising for the ABV. A tad sweet, otherwise quite nice. Warms up to become nice and smooth. Doesn't break the mold but definitely does the trick.

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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 Danny1217
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle, poured into a St. Bernardus goblet.
Pours a very dark brown color - darker than most quads I have tried. The head dissipates rather quickly, but leaves a bit of lacing behind. Kind of disappointing head retention for a Belgian ale.
Smells of molasses, caramel, and some dark fruits. Raisins, cherries, cranberries, and figs. A nice and complex aroma.
First thing I notice when it hits my mouth is the extreme smoothness. The body is a tad light in comparison to some other quads and dark Belgian ales, but not to a point where it hurts the beer. The body is still quite full, actually. The carbonation is fairly light. The taste is somewhat similar to the aroma. Lots of caramel, molasses, and candy sugar sweetness. Lots of dark fruits flavors.

A quad that can stand among the elite abbey and trappist quads of the world.

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Photo of jonb5
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, poured into Leffe Chalice. Dark with auburn edges, almost opaque. A small tanned head bursted out towards the end of the pour but it faded straight away. Initially the yeasty, cranberry aroma was weak but it got stronger as the beer warmed. Tasted brown sugar, cranberry, cherry, yeast and molasses. Finish was delayed and had a biscuity edge to it, there was also a slight burn from the booze. Had an initial prickly edge from the carbonation, smooth texture, light bodied for the strength. I liked how it hid the booze, need to explore a few more strong dark Belgian ales before I can really give a good judgement on this.

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Photo of Marc_V
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Belgian Beer Shop. Very beautiful dark red brown colour. Thick, creamy beige head that lasts very well. The aroma is malty, dark fruits, sweet, clear alcohol presence. Candy sugar, sweet, vinous, creamy, malty, heart warming. Very complex. Super beer.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 33cl into Westvleteren chalice.

A. 1 finger head. Good retention. Not much lacing. Color is dark amber brown.

S. Dark fruit, brown sugar, caramel, rasisins, figs. Good amount of Belgian yeast. Slightly on the sweeter side.

T. Nice raisiny dark fruit mixed with quite a bit of caramel. Has a little spice on the finish. Taste is delicous. Also get some bready malt as it warms. Really dig the caramel spiciness, which is different then the full on dark fruit onslaught of some other quads. Almost has a cookie quality to it.

M. Full bodied. Low carbonation. Finishes with touch of sugary spice. Really nice mouthfeel on this one. Coats the mouth in creamy caramel dark fruit delicousness.

O. Damn good Quad. Up there with the best. Nice balance. Hides the ABV away without a trace.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by CesiumBrews. Thanks Caleb!

Hooray Belgium.

The beer is chestnut brown with crimson highlights, sporting nearly an inch of beige head. The aroma offers dark fruits, yeast, malt, alcohol, brown sugar. The taste follows suit, with the 11% abv well hidden. Sweet, but not cloying. Thick body with moderate carbonation. Palate coating and a tad syrupy. Notes of nuts (clever alliteration, n'est pas?), perhaps almonds. Brown sugar, spices, perhaps nutmeg. a solid quad. I would definitely have this again.

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Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had 33CL bottle in Hua Hin Thailand and Mondo Vino. Of all the beer places I have scoured in Hua Hin, This one understands how to serve, pour, store beers.

Dark Brown with a dirty white head

Smell: Raisin sweetness with a slight bread like comes out, You know this 11% is going to be sweet from it's smell

Taste: Raisin, mollases fruity, the sweetness is pleasent and does not hit or offend like many beers with high alcohol percentages have. It is well balanced.

Mouthfeel: It sticks to your pallate and leaves a pleasent fruitcake like aftertaste.

Overall: Greatbigbeer! Strong and sweet, I would drink a few of the these over the colder months. As it sits it is quite pleasent in warm weather only as long as you dont excert yourself.

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Photo of psuKinger
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25.4 ounce bomber, corked and caged, poured into one of my Kasteel chalices.

Bottle *pops* with a lot of force. Good carbonation here.

A: Pours a murky brown color with a thin white head on top, and carbonation readily visible, enveloping all edges of the chalice.

S: Molasses, with a hint of figs and prunes, all at a moderate volume.

T: Rich and sweet, this beer tastes like "beer brownies" to me. The molasses is prominant. Figs, prunes, and other dark fruits are present. A healthy dose of candied sugars just heap on the sweetness.

A good dry finish, with some slightly sour acidic notes on the back end that give this beer some depth.

M: A surprising amount of *heft* to this beer for such a large amount of carbonation serves as a good reminder that this beer is indeed 11% ABV. It finishes moderately dry, and sticky-sweet.

D/O: Enjoyable as "dessert beer", but it's just a shade too sweet for me to enjoy multiple pints of in one sitting.

The 11% ABV also puts an upper boundary on this beer's drinkability for me.

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Photo of The_1084
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice brown color with some amber undertones.

S - Unlike any other beer I have smelled. Presents a mixed fruit aroma with the presence of cherry and raisin being easily recognized. Also, gives off the hint of a sweet wine.

T - Very sweet with a strong taste of wine that is mixed with a variety of fruits.

M - Thick and creamy with light-medium carbonation.

O - This is the first beer I have drank of this style, but overall I am impressed. For a beer with 11% ABV, aside from its high level of sweetness (almost too sweet for my personal taste), it is very easy to drink. A little added carbonation may help balance out the sweetness, but that is just a small note to make in comparison to the many qualities this beer contains.

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Photo of laurastradford
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of BostonHops
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml corked and caged bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours an opaque, slightly ruddy, deep mahogany tone with a finger of beige/off-white head that quickly lapses into a thin collar; middling, spotty lacing.

aroma is right there with what i look for in a BSDA: nice bouquet of caramel malts, dark fruits, brown sugar, belgian yeast, and maybe some candied sugar. i'm suddenly pretty jazzed about this beer. flavor, unfortunately, doesn't build off that momentum. it largely follows the nose but with a much greater, almost cloying degree of sweetness... dark fruits up front with a big caramal malt wallop emerging in full mid-palate(ish); packs a boozy punch in the finish.

medium-plus/borderline full bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation. if the sweetness was dialed back a bit this could be a great beer... still very good, but IMO just a bit too sweet. would absolutely be game for another glass in the future, but i won't be gunning for it either.

originally reviewed: 11-01-2010

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Photo of jhtipton
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up in southern Spain. 750 ml bottle with a best by date of July 2016. Poured into my wine glass and it had a minimal head. Very much a dark fruity small and taste. Not much head but it was light brown head and did lace slightly. Deep brown almost ruby color. Lots of fig cherry sweet dark fruit taste. Definitely a sipper and some warming from the alcohol. Very heavy beer and coats the mouth and throat. Overall a splendid quadruple dark Belgian and will consider packing a few when I leave Spain and will continue to stock this.

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Photo of jcomp21
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


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.

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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 nout72
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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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 DaftCaskBC
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1/2" tan coloured head over brown liquid with decent clarity.

S: Yeast, pears and figs.

T: Raisins, figs, pears, yeast, honey and barley malt. Quite sweet.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of carbonation.

O: Tastes like sweet raisins. If you like that sort of thing, this might be your beer.

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Photo of MrMichael
4.97/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Dominated by dark, dried fruit.

A little fruity. It was sweeter than I expected, but incredible. There's a little coffee or red wine note as well

Smooth with very light carbonation

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

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