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Kasteel Donker - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Not Rated.
Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

643 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 643
Reviews: 345
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 14.39%
Wants: 60
Gots: 63 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kasteel Donker Alström Bros
Ratings: 643 | Reviews: 345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kwakwhore
4.18/5  rDev +2%

Dark brown/reddish pour into a Duvel tulip. Not much head, little bit of lacing.
Sweet malt, port aromas dominate the smell. As this beer warms the aroma becomes more and more complex.
This is a very sweet beer, sweet up front with the slightest hint of hops in the finish. The flavor becomes more complex and a little less sweet as the beer warms. The alcohol becomes a bit more prominent as well.
Mouthfeel is rich and full with a bit of heat from the alcohol.
Alcohol content is not obvious in the tasting, but as I drink this I begin to feel it. Couldn't see having more than one of these. This would make a marvelous dessert beer, something to be sipped and savored slowly.

kwakwhore, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.18/5  rDev +2%

pours a confident, dense brown with a thin coating of bubbles on top. lacing is pronounced and slides down the side of the glass like a slug. smells very buttery.. yeast toffee and malt notes. fruity with a definite trappist edge in the nose. wow! explodes with banana and berry flavors. taste is a sweet kick with smoothness going down. alcohol is evident but muted by the intense flavor experience here. leaps and bounds above the lighter kasteel. this is a nice, affordable halfway point between rocs grand cru and a trappist quad or dubbel.

goodbyeohio, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of Suds
4.18/5  rDev +2%

Rich dark brown with crimson highlights and a tan head, this is a pretty beer. Lots of lace, densely bubbled foam, yeah...looks good. The aroma is fantastic as well, with ripe fruit, a little roasted malt (with lots of melanoidins), plenty of alcohol, and a light plum scent. Not as intense as I expected. The flavor, though, is notably impressive. Malty and sweet, low bitterness and decent alcohol feel. Intense malt flavor, and the plum qualities really come out in the taste. The mouthfeel is full and luxuriously smooth. The one downside to the beer is it's sweetness, which is not balanced at all, and can become a bit cloying at times. Still, this is a fantastic brew!

Suds, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev +2%

Holy crappola, was this one strong, but yet sweet as hell brew. Tasty too!

It may have had an average pour, mahogany brown, minimal head – but what foam could live in that booze? TONS of phenolics, alcohol and sweetish malt in the aroma.

Very unique taste- sweet and stickly malt shake of sharp alcohol and dark fruit candy cane, plus the famous Belgium yeast flavor enrichment. This was a <fresh> bottle, the alcohol was just beneath the surface, and the alcohol exhales could clear a room. Nice.

Thanks to my great son, “studying” overseas in Amsterdam. I was brought this for the unique chance to enjoy direct from Belgium.

Only had a lil' 33cl stubby bottle, could have drank a bigger jobber.

Vancer, Apr 06, 2007
Photo of goblet
4.18/5  rDev +2%

picked up a 750 ml bottle with a cork and served it in a pint glass .

a dark unclear auburn color with a bubbly tan head that fades fairly quick to a ring around the glass that leaves nice belgian lace.

the aroma is dark fruit and belgian yeast with some toasted malt ,followed by alcohol . the dark fruits remind me of prunes and figs.

the taste is a pure delight it's dark and powerful with alcohol,fruits ,grains,and yeast that seems to blend perfectly together the alcohol isn't to bitter and noticable ,it's very nice .

full body with powerful malt,yeast and alcohol feel on the palette with a tad bit of an alcohol flavor in the after taste.

could be a fan of this brew, cause it's that good .i would pick up a bottle of this again in the future .a fun treat ..cheers.

goblet, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev +2%

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.

Huhzubendah, Oct 10, 2012
Photo of basica
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

Wow 11 ABV, this is the highest ABV beer I have had thus far. The next highest I tried was 9.5
ABV which is the Westmalle Tripel. This is also the first Quadrupel I have tried; I expected
more complexity in the taste but I am quite sure that if you give me a Dubbel, Quadrupel and a
Belgian Strong Dark Ale, I may not be able to tell the difference. The Kasteel Brune pours out
almost coffee black with a small head that quickly dissipitates to form an average coffee like
lacing. It smells bready and slightly fruity and I think I sense malt as well. This brune hit
me with a fruity sweet taste immediately but it was not overly sweet as some skeptics reported.
It was sweeter than most of the Belgian dark ales but was also balanced out with the malt. The
taste was sufficiently strong and rich and so was the after taste but I preferred the Boucanier
Dark which was similar but better and more well-balanced than this Kasteel Brune. The mouthfeel
of this beer was not as thick as I expected and I would say it is somewhat between full and
medium body, closer to medium body. Again, the Boucanier dark was better in terms of body (closer
to full). The Alcoholism kicks in quite a bit, going at 11 ABV but is still well controlled and
well hidden. Drinkability was surprisingly high although it is an 11 ABV monster but this is
definitely a sipping beer. If you drink it fast, not only would you taste more alcohol than the
fruity Quadrupel taste, you would probably get intoxicated faster. I had mine over 20-30 minutes
and I was already slightly intoxicated. A pretty good but still a few steps to being a great beer.

basica, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of alabamagolf
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

Poured from a tapered capped bottle, with a rust orange/dark-brown color, no head, into my dimpled stein.

Appearance - Nice walnut color, plenty of carbonation, poor head with no retention, zero lacing after first swallow.

Smell - Sweet, fruity, plum...maybe?

Taste - Beer was brewed with a sweet character in mind. Brown sugar and honey flavors prevail. Not too boozy compaired to some American craft ale's. Minimal alcohol taste. The Belgiun's know how to make 11% ABV so SMOOTH!

Mouthfeel - Texture a bit thick and sticky, but not bad. Hangs around for a minute.

Drinkability - Easy consumption, too sweet for me. The wife liked it, although she likes Reisling too...

Fun, Definitly worth a try.

alabamagolf, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of FrankHashimoto
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

FrankHashimoto, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

From a bottle into the Kasteel goblet at Aufsturtz in Berlin.

Pours a dark chocolate color with ruby notes. Quarter inch dark tan head; lots of lacing.

Dark big fruits, dried plums and figs. Brown sugar, cinnamon, a touch of tart orange. Alcohol is present in the nose, but not obtrusive.

Dense, almost sugary taste. Dried fruit is prime, alcohol makes a nice presence in the beer, then spices and sugars. Balanced flavor, but very dense. A beer to sip.

Very heavy mouthfeel, really rich and dense. Reminds me a bit of 2% milk, but without the milk flavor.

Great beer, but it made me itch. Hmm... that's never happened before. Either way, it's worth drinking.

BillyBoysPie, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

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.

ViveLaChouffe, Aug 14, 2006
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

Pours a darker shade of borwn with a real nice sticky head thats seems to dissapte quickly,great aroma of raisins and light chocolate with some definent alcohol notes.The raisin seems to be the dominant flavor I get with some syrupy flavors as well.A touch of nuttiness and alcohol makes this a nice warmer,I have alot of bottle to drink yet wish me luck.

oberon, Nov 14, 2003
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured into a Chimay challice from a stubby fire plug looking bottle. A mirky muddy brown with a light tan collar with some very tiny bubbles stringing from the sides of the glass barely visible.Leves somes nice webs of lace down the glass

Sweet dark fruityness lots of prune and currants,carmell candy,butterscotch,earthy with a vinious sweetness. Vey malty and complex

Very sweet overripe dark fruit tastes upfront, some nice boozy tastes with a warming feel.candy sugaryness throughout with some burnt carmell flavors near the finish.Mouthwatering bitterness fading out the end of the taste.

Cloying,with some stickyness yet smooth and suprizing drinkability.

jcdiflorio, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

750 mL corked & caged. Button mushroom cork marked "04/2008." The third of three gift beers with matching glasses my wife gave me for Christmas.

Pours a milk chocolate-brown with very little head (even with great effort). What little bubbles there are leave a thick lace on the glass, but there is very little carbonation in this guy.

Soft and sweet aroma - it's a little cold right now, but it should open up more.

First taste almost has the consistency of cold cocoa - smooth and rich. Hint of chocolate, with caramelized fruits and maple syrup. So very soft on the palette - really a unique mouthfeel, just velvety smooth. As it warms a touch, the depth of sweetness comes through - this is a caramelized, rich custard in a glass. Despite the 11% ABV, there is nary a hint of abrasiveness from the alcohol.

A fine sipper, and would make an excellent dessert all on its own.

RockyTopHeel, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of dirtylou
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

11.2oz stub, post-mussels at dr granville moores

cell phone notes

appearance: very dark mahogany with moderate garnet tint. maybe a faux purple shade. almost no head to speak of

smell: big and sweet - booze soaked plum, fig, hot caramel, big candied sugars

taste: pretty original belgian dark - big emphasis on brown sugar, alcohol infused plum, sugar coated raisin, caramel swirls, peppery alcohol.

mouthfeel: sweet and smooth, on the full end of the body scale

drinkability: good enuff

dirtylou, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of TLove
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

The appearance is a medium brown, with a light, subtle head and a beautiful consistency all the way though.

Smell is very fruity and strong, reminiscent of a strong dark ale or a quad. The taste rolls over dark fruits, birch wood, and fig on the palate, though the 11% ABV presence is seemingly overwhelming to the initial taste. The complexity of the body is not engulfed by the high ABV and the beer eventually comes into its own after a few more sips.

The mouthfeel is well-laced with a balance of hops, fruit, alcohol, and a wood-induced earthiness. The drinkability and finish are not as well-rounded as I have come to expect from most Belgians, but the complexity and taste speak for themselves.

TLove, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of crazynipple
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

crazynipple, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of Evocatus
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured from a 330ml bottle. Has a dark color, like a coke but with a hint of read. Head was a dark beige that dissipated into a ring rather quickly. Smelled of dark fruits. Tasted like a light rum; a mix of sugarcane and a little bit of spices were there. Alcohol taste started to become prevalent after it warmed. Mouthfeel was thick but not too bubble. Overall pretty good. I was worried that it would be too heavy for an 11%, but there wasn't a strong alcohol kick at all, instead just a subtle feeling in the aftertaste.

Evocatus, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Brabander
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

I got two of this bottles, each 75 centiliter, from my beerbuddy Apophis666, thanks Sietse!!!

This is a beer which has been bottled in 1999. vintage beer! Poured in my Struise glass on the first day of Christmas the beer looks very good. The head tsays for quit a while. Darkred to brown fluid with no carbonation, that's a pity.

Great taste, sweet smell and sweet in the mouth. This is a well balanced top fermented beer. Dark sugars.

Brabander, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of macster
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

Bottled 01/2004. Best by 05/2009. Yeah, indeed this is one to quench a sweet tooth, but still a unique, well crafted Belgian Ale.

Pours a fairly clear maroonish-brown hue displaying a thin, patchy head with spotty lacing.

Complex, but somewhat reserved aromas of brandy-soaked plums, figs, black cherries and orange slices with some caramel and malt lingering in the background.

A quite intense sweetness is the initial impression on the first sip; almost reminiscent of Myer's Dark Rum. Body is full and chewy. Dark, ripe fruit flavors nicely mimic the aromas, but much more rich and muscular. The 11% alcohol is definitely a necessity here to cut through the sugary sweetness and it comes real close to doing its job and rendering some respectable balance here.

This baby would certainly make an excellent dessert after a hearty dinner.

macster, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of keithmurray
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a chalice

appearance - dark mahogany color with thin lacing of khaki head

smell - red wine, purple grapes, malt, brown sugar, cinnamon

taste - plums, raisins, red wine, malt, brown sugar

mouthfeel - medium bodied, ample carbonation,rich, sweet upfront and in the finish, slight detection of alcohol - warming but not overwhelming

overall - this is a really good Quad,on the sweeter side, but if you see it, be sure to try it

Price Point - $4.79/11.2 oz bottle

keithmurray, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of danthehopslamman
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

danthehopslamman, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of Doomcifer
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Doomcifer, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

JakerLou, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of Tarks
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Tarks, May 17, 2012
Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.