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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

557 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 557
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: 557 | Reviews: 338 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

3.15/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown. Actually black from many angles. The biege head is fizzy and weak. The aroma is faint - sweet, slightly citric. Flavor is surprisingly light considering color. Sweet but not cloying. A bit of wood. Don't let it get too warm however as the sweetness grows and becomes sticky. Works well with sweet foods, however. Far from dry in any sense of the term. Far from bad but is a bit wimpy, which lets the sweetness run wild.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2003 00:08:47 | More by aracauna
Photo of fairdinkum2
fairdinkum2

Georgia

3.15/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Loads of sweet malts in this ale. The level of sweetness obscures much of the taste profile, leaving an ale that doesn't really show the complexity or balance of others in this style.

Low carbonation leads to a poor head, even with a vigorous pour, although the ale is attractive in color.

Nothing wrong with the high alcohol content, which is masked by its syrupy character

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2010 00:29:12 | More by fairdinkum2
Photo of p1nt
p1nt

New York

3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a fresh 750 bottle. happened to be the cheapest 750 in the market, and one I hadn't tried already; I enjoyed the kasteel tripel ok so I thought I'd give it a shot. the beer poured a minimal head which dissipated quickly; had the appearance of flat pepsi, plus a bit of lacing. standard taste/smell for something between a quadrupel and a belgian strong dark ale: overly sweet, raisins, figs, and rather medicinal. body/mouthfeel was much lighter than expected, and offered almost no carbonation - a substantial amount of which I think might have helped balance out the overwhelming sweetness.

I was expecting to enjoy it more as the 11 abv kicked in (like the 120 minute IPA, which went from cough syrup to amazing), but nothing doing - to be honest, I couldn't even finish it.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2008 20:24:45 | More by p1nt
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.2/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap 4/5/08 at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in an over-sized wine glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a medium off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, brown sugar, Belgian yeast, dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste malty and sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit and Belgian yeast up front. There's a mild hops presence and a strong alcohol burn. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, this one really didn't appeal to me all that well. I've certainly had other strong Belgians that I like better.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2008 23:54:00 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of jdubjacket
jdubjacket

Georgia

3.2/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into two pint glasses. Very mixed feelings about this beer. Pours an opaque dark brown color that looks like murky pond water. Nose is sugar, candy, dried fruit. Taste is VERY sweet. Unfortunately, I could only handle a few sips of this beer. This beer is so sweet, it's nearly undrinkable. I've tried giving this beer a chance two times now, and both times, it's just too alcoholic and too sweet to finish. Not my favorite quad - too sweet to be truly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2008 02:41:02 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of Stunner97
Stunner97

New Jersey

3.2/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- dark brown and highly carbonated with tan head quickly fading away, see through when held to the light

Smell- very malty nose and lots of raisony and sweet smell, rum

Taste- very malty and sweet, decently long finish, raison, brown sugar, alcohol noticeable,strong flavor and good amount of heat

Mouthfeel- heavy and boozy, a little to much heat

Drinkability- not bad but a little to much alcohol and packs a bit of heavy punch for smooth easy drinking, would have tough time finishing whole bottle but enjoyable flavor overall

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 18:06:24 | More by Stunner97
Photo of Oxymoron
Oxymoron

Colorado

3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Iron curtain anyone? An aged beer brought from a friends cellar. Pours a mostly hazy dark amber to brown color. The pour was flowing at the start but need help as we went along. Big fizzy head that quickly dissipated and no real lace to speak of.

The nose is sweet with some noticeable Belgian characteristics. Some lighter caramel and melanodian malt aromas. Some very noticeable sugar notes. The yeast is very present with some alcohol heat and some minor yeast. Some plums, figs and rose but also some dank and slight butyric notes as well.

The taste is noticeable sweet and has that noticeable boarder line under attenuated feel. To start the malt has a strong sugary flavor that really is off. Some malt backing with a more kettle caramel flavor/Special B taste. Very muttled malt profile that is just off. The yeast comes out but not as harsh as the nose. A good ester profile with raisins and plums. Some minor butyric notes as well, but not as bad.

The body is a bit cloying with the sweetness. The lack of carbonation might be effecting this. Overall, this is way too sweet for a quad, not even throwing a Belgium quad into the mix. Some off notes in the nose and continue into the taste. Maybe it's some cup of quad, but there are better US version out there.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2008 22:24:17 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear brown color ale with a below average head that had some pretty good retention. Aroma is exclusively comprised of roasted malt with some faint alcohol in the back.. Taste is quite simple, which was a bit surprising for this type of beer and consisted of mildly roasted malt with some warm alcohol at the end. Overall, this is not a bad beer but it is lacking complexity.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2005 19:28:58 | More by Phyl21ca
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 jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Drank from a bottle into a chalice in Brussels at Delirium Cafe.

This beer is very thick but with bad head. Its dark black with a tan oily head. There is some decent lacing.

It smells very much like coffee and caramal, ands tastes the same.

Its pretty good, but you can't drink more than one.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2009 19:24:50 | More by jrallen34
Photo of RuudJH
RuudJH

Netherlands

3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 33 cl.
Chestnutbrown coloured , creamy thin head, the boozyness is upfront in both the smell and the taste, but nevermind that. It's fruity and malty, but mainly the whole brew is too much sweetness from caramel and candy burnt sugar, to me a bit over the top.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 18:24:28 | More by RuudJH
Photo of phishgator
phishgator

Florida

3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Chimay Chalice. Small white head that dissipates quickly. Color is a rich brown with a little amber on the edges. The smell is candi sugar and ripe figs. The taste is sugary sweet! After it warms up the taste isn't as potent. The stickiness of the brew brings down the motuhfeel and drinkability. It will warm you up at the end of the night. A definite sipper.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 20:25:46 | More by phishgator
Photo of Naugros
Naugros

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very brown in color with little head to speak of. Not what I expect from a Belgian beer. I'm used to billowy heads, but this did not develop one. Maybe it was the drinking vessel (a chalice) the precluded it. It did however leave nice lacing down the sides of the chalice.

I'm getting pears off of the nose and caramel sweetness and some dried fruit...raisins.

Yep, definitely raisins. You can taste them and they are sweet, very sweet...too sweet for me. The sweetness wrestles the heat of the alcohol to the ground and subdues it, but if you listen closely you can hear the 11% ABV crying "uncle". It's there but masked by the sugars. This is the frou frou drink of Belgian beers...almost schnapps-like.

The body is medium but all the sugar made it feel heavier. I could not perceive the carbonation.

I'm not sure I can finish this beer. I'm afraid that it will give me a headache. I'm not fond of the sugary flavor and maybe it's because I am unfamiliar as to what a donker should taste like. If this indicative of the style then I'll steer clear. I'm now hesitant to try their tripel.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 02:39:43 | More by Naugros
Photo of rwathree
rwathree

Iowa

3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, poured into a snifter. Had this once before three years ago at a private tasting. I'll admit right away that I remembered a different beer than the one I had last night.

A: Nice, dark brown color, but weak, barely-there head.

S: You can tell right away that this one's going to be sweet. Heavy commingling of brown sugar and raisin.

T: Overwhelmingly sweet at first, which threatens to ruin the beer from the get-go. After I got past that, I could appreciate some of the other elements, especially a pleasant, champagne-like effervescence.

M: For all it's sweetness, it's not an overly thick beer. Nice and rich, and the carbonation is pleasant.

D: On the plus side, the alcohol presence isn't too powerful. But that sweetness makes this hard going down.

I can see this going well with a rich cheesecake or something equally bold and sweet, and maybe it mellows over time. That said, I won't drink this again as a stand-alone beer, and don't think I could get through a 750ml. Not bad, but I'm not likely to revisit this (again).

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 17:05:20 | More by rwathree
Photo of acrawf6
acrawf6

Louisiana

3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a dark murky brown with a small and disappointing tan head that drops to clumps of big bubbles resting on top.

Smell. A sweet smell with dominant of raisons. Pleasant, but that is all i get

Taste. A heavy sweetness, with more juicy raison flavors. There is also a small spiced and pepperyness to it. The sweetness is fruity with the raisons, and also marrichino cherries. Aftertaste is warming with a sweet and pepper taste, and a tartness at the final end.

Mouthfeel. Body is thick, but not exactly full. Feels like a concentration of a beer, but not all the flavors of a quad. Carbonation seems proper with the beer, but on the lower side.

Overall, one of the sweeter beers i have had. Tasty, but not complex, and one i would really have to be in the mood for to truly enjoy the sweet characteristic. I do like it, but i think the flavor is just too one dimensional, and would much rather many other quads, bsda's, and a few dubbels over this one.

This one really hides the 11% extremely well.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2007 02:16:50 | More by acrawf6
Photo of Biscuit033
Biscuit033

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Brown but you could see through it with small white head and OK lacing.

S: Dark fruits and sour cherry hit me immediately and not much else.

T: There is prune, raisins, brown sugar and molasses, tart cherry flavors that add to the sour flavors but very, very sweet.

M: Full body but a bit oily and long tart finish.

D: It is very sweet and not tart enough to balance all of the flavors to drink an entire glass.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2008 13:12:04 | More by Biscuit033
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330ml brown bottle at "beermania", a belgian beer bar in beijing, served in branded chalice.

clear, dark cola w red tint, some head but soon fades to thin ring. minimal lacing.

smells of caramel with phenolic sweetness, something like prune juice. hint of herbal grassiness.

slightly medicinal sweetness on the palate shocks me. again some caramel and candy. faint bitterness. finish starts cloyingly sweet as well, but at least the faint bitterness rounds it out slightly, albeit not enough.

feel is syrupy, with some fluffy carbonation which is otherwise quite gentle. finishes out smoother though.

this thing is just too sweet, without enough other complexities that stand out or even hold their own. maybe passable as a dessert, but even then the medicinal notes might detract from that as well...

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2008 14:14:29 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of abents
abents

Wisconsin

3.38/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a midnight black with HUGE tan head, looks amazing.
Smells of dark roasted malts and some fruit. Taste is very sweet with dark fruits abounding. Pretty big alcohol on the finish for me. Really sweet sticky finish. Very creamy feel smooth, but the alcohol and sweetness is a little too much. Very interesting beer very different than a lot of the other "quads" not really my favorite, but fine nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 05:48:07 | More by abents
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 beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a bright, and vibrant cranberry-sherry color with a thin creamy khaki colored head which quickly gave way leaving a thin, broken film lacing on the way down.

S: very vinous, tart grapes and berries with some noticeable alcohol.

T: sweet sugary malt with vinous grapes, tart berries and a big tart alcohol flavor. There was a big acidity with a wine like nature. Ripe fruit and sugar plums were detected before finishing with a warming tart alcohol finish. Overall a sweet, very acidic, vinous drink that drank more like a sherry or wine then beer. Good overall, but probably wouldn't be interested in buying again.

M: light, very vinous, smooth with sweet sugary malt and tart berries followed by a big tart alcohol finish on the swallow.

D: A nice drink overall, but definitely a slow sipper and the bomber will take a while to get through. The alcohol was noticeable but was halfway through the bottle before I read the 11.0% abv which soon made sense. A good drink I thought but more wine then beer which sways me not to try again.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2008 23:25:32 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into a tumbler, in Amsterdam. Dark ruddy brown, small light tan head, scattered lace.

Smell is kind of acrid, nut liqueur like maltiness that doesn't hint of the extreme sweet alcohol blasts that for comes the first sip.

Taste is very hot, sweet, alcoholic but not fusels, cleaner, not very phenolic, intense focus

Mouthfeel is sticky syrup and coats the back of the throat, with a lighter body.

Drinkability is OK, not this beers strong suit, as it is so intense you must sip slowy. The kind of beer you need to sip with water. An extreme quad, and must try for lovers of the style. A bit too much for me here though to love.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2009 17:42:33 | More by ccrida
Photo of mopargoof
mopargoof

Ohio

3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice 750ml bottle. Looks like a very dark belgium but then poors off red from a green bottle. Very little head. Sweet aroma. Very soft and silky at first sip followed by an overly sweet sugary body.

I was a little disappointed in this beer. Several of my friends say this is the best beer that they have ever tasted but I found it to be extremely sugary and sweet. Good alcohol content at 11% and no indication of the kick until its on you. Very expensive - buy 1 bottle and try before you spend the $100 plus on a 12 750ml bottle case.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 03:30:26 | More by mopargoof
Photo of ryanonline
ryanonline

Florida

3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Looks nice, dark and deep with Ruby highlights. Big tan head. Good lacing.

Smells very sweet and light roasty. No hops.

Tastes a bit too sweet, almost saccharin. And a touch of roastiness.

Clean and creamy with a slightly dry finish.

Too sweet and a bit heavy i coukd only stomach like one or two of these.

This is one sweet muuhfuuh.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 22:57:53 | More by ryanonline
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 ibbjamin
ibbjamin

California

3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $5.99 for an 11.2oz bottle from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. It was bottled 080407 and I am tasting in Sep11. I pour into a chalice to review.

An aggressive pour yields a very small head that dissipates quickly leaving little retention behind. Dark, dark brown in color. Opaque and nearly black, except when held to a bright light. Some strings of lacing.

Dark fruits like raisin, plum, prune and fig dominate, but there is a good malt backing. I also noted molasses, brown sugar, alcohol and Belgian yeast in the nose.

The taste is also dark fruit dominated and quite sweet.

The mouth needs more carbonation, but I recon the aging may have toned this department down a bit too much. I don't think cellaring this one helped it much. Medium body and not as smooth going down as the best I've had in this style.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 01:49:51 | More by ibbjamin
Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 557 ratings.