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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: 80
Gots: 126 | 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 oldhippie247
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours basically opaque with just a little ruby-ish hue around the edges when held to a light. Big, fluffy off-white head lingers nicely.

Nose is dark, estery, and definitely Belgian. A little alcohol comes through despite an overall subtle nose that really only features dark fruits such as dates and figs. Something a little artificial in the nose is a bit of drawback.

Smooth mouthfeel that seems to fill out as the beer warms a bit. Again, dark date-like fruits with just the slightest hint of spice (as a substitute for hops it seems), make up the flavor profile. ABV of 11% is well-balanced and does not come across as too boozy.

I really wanted to like this beer because I really like the Rouge from Kasteel, and at first I thought I was going to be disappointed. If tasted cold this beer is less than great, with both nose and palate closed. I would suggest serving this just barely below room temp (NC in mid-March). The nose doesn't open much, but it tastes tons better.

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Photo of dgallina
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very black hue with reddish hi-lites on arrival.
The crown was short, limited island lace but a nice glass cling and ring.
I do believe the carbonation is light but diffacult to view thru this ebony body.
The nose is of raisins and alcohol.
The taste is a fruit mash collaberation with a nice minor balance of hops to tame the aggresive fruity explosion.
The high ABV at 11% is not really a factor in the taste.

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Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful off-white head of three fingers. Lots of lace. The color of the brew is brown where light barely shines through. Attractive.

Farmlike smells; earthy and dark. Some crystal and chocolate malt aromas.

Sweeter than I expected. Strongly malty. Notable alcohol warmth. The body is warming (from the alcohol strength) and thick. The carbonation is relatively light for the creaminess. I don't detect any hop or any other balancing ingredient.

This is an easy beer with which to get snookered. It's subtle and powerful. It isn't a beer with complexity.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked this one up at the Carrefour in Varna, Bulgaria. I am so happy to see good beer starting to make its way into this country. This beer was labeled "Kasteel Bruin-Brune 11^o". I believe that this is the same beer. Anyway, on to the beer...

Poured from the stubby 330mL bottle into a snifter.

A: The beer is a carbonated, opaque, pure brown, with a bit of light coming through when held up. the beer is topped with a frothy tan head of about 2.5 to 3 fingers with ok retention.

S: A big sweetness is the first noticeable aspect, heavy with dark fruit and some sugar. Some light roasted nut. Yeast.

T: Wow this is an unexpectedly sweet beer. The first sip is molasses and brown sugar coating overripe dark fruit. Malt begins to make an appearance after being held in the mouth, light and somewhat fleeting, but present in the form of dark breads. Then the yeast comes in and blows everything away in the finish, again with a very sweet character. Somewhat cloying, this beer took some time to get used to, though as it warmed, some different and more subtle notes came into play, including a light roasted nut flavor that was nice for a moment and a touch of cinnamon-sugar...

M: Very smooth with a touch of soft carbonation.

D: This is a pretty sweet beer, but still ok for such a high alcohol content. Masked very well, there is hardly any burn, but the sweetness does become a little annoying later down the line. Pick this one up to give it a try - could be a good gateway beer into Belgians, but I could have used a bit more balance.

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Photo of TheCyturn
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a chalice. I held the bottle at least 20 centimeters above the glass in order to get at least some foam. I managed to get some but it collapsed into a very thin layer.
I like the smell: syrup, lots of caramel and the alcohol is very noticeable but that's ok.
Taste: complex:syrup,caramel, extremely sweet,some elements taste a bit like red wine. Almost no bitterness at all. I really had to search for soms hops.
Mouthfeel: excellent!. Very thick and nicely carbonated.
Drinkability: too much sugar and alcohol. I wouldn't drink another one right after having drunk this one.
Tip: the bottle says that you have to serve it at 12°C but I'd drink it a bit colder to mute the sweetness a bit.

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Photo of AndoBrew
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of DrJay
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very nice dark chestnut brown with deep amber and red highlights. This was topped by a thin lacing of light brown foam that showed a little stickage and good retention.

Smell: Big roasted malt aroma with some alcohol, dried fruit, tobacco, and floral/perfumy hops. Nice complexity and balance.

Taste: A little too sweet for my taste. Maltiness is quite strong with a good deal of cherry-like fruitiness. Not much in the way of bitterness to balance the sweetness. The finish is quite long, with a spicy phenols and alcohol becoming prominent.

Mouthfeel: Full body and viscous, with lots of unfermented sugars. Low carbonation. In fact, it leaves a sticky residue on the lips. Alcohol warmth is noticeable on the tongue and at the back of the throat.

Drinkability: The syrupy sweetness makes it difficult to get through a whole bottle by myself. The aroma and flavours are quite pleasant, but I just can't get over the sweetness...

330 mL short brown bottle with best before date stamped on the rear label.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked 750 ml bottle. I've had both Kasteel Tripel and Kasteel Rogue (that one is amazing for a sweet fruit beer/kriek) So I figured I'd give the dark variety a try.

A: Pours a ruby red/brown with decent tan head that does not retain itself long. Lots of lacing as well. Nice looking strong Belgian dark ale.

S: I can only detect maple brown sugar, candy sugar and alcohol. Doesn't seem as if the alcohol has been hidden on this one too well.

T: Woah. Lots of sugary sweetness with a malt and caramel background. As I predicted, alcohol is a bit upfront, but I didn't notice until now that the ABV is 11.0. I orginally thought it was 7 or 8. No wonder the alcohol seems so pronounced. Still a decent strong Belgian brew.

M: Somewhat syrupy and mildly carbonated. Decent balance, but I can't help myself in thinking that there is a syrup base for this beer, and it's simply add to carbonated water.

D: Because of the high ABV, this is an okay sipper. I have this 750 ml bottle to finish myself, and that's probably going to be difficult. This is good to share with a friend. Especially if that friend likes sweet, boozy beers.

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Photo of peabody
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a semi dark brown with two fingers of off-white suds.
Smell is a sugar carmel malt with hints of dried apricot and raisin skin. Slight alcohol notes in the nose.
Almost a dried walnut aroma. Fig works here.
Taste is really sweet carmel malt with a slight hop dryness. As it warms there is a dark cherry with a cover of dark chocolate.
Mouthfeel is a bit oily with aftertones of raisin residue and caramel sugars on the toungue.
Drinkability is low because of the 11% abv.
Can 't taste the alcohol but you can smell it and feel it.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

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Photo of MikeGill
3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

1pt 9.4fl.oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Medium opague brown with the faintest trace of a head. Some sticky lacing. Rich bitter chocolate aromas up front along with an oloroso sherry quality. I also picked up something resembling really good root beer.

Felt the carbonation was a tad too low especially for something this strong served in a Champagne-like bottle. Sweet malt dominates producing flavors of chocolate covered fruit along with fresh wild cherries. The subtle bitterness is juxtaposed by big sweetness finishes somewhat boozy reminding me of straight coffee liquor.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first quadrupel. Never even heard of the style until now. Pours a dark, almost black colour with a hint of dark red when shone through a light. Sadly, next to no head. And lacing was nonexistant. Smells strongly of malt and chocolate. Despite the 11% ABV, not a strong alcohol smell. Taste starts out very sweet and malty. Has some ripe fruits as well, particularly plums and red grapes. Finishes with a chocolate and port taste. Afterfeel is bittersweet, kind of like a dark coffee with sugar and no cream. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Very nice for this beer. I think two would last the night, but a highly drinkable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Crosling
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruddy brown, with a small white head. Fairly powerful nose hints of Brown sugar, plums, dates, red apple, golden apple, caramel, toffee and a bit of barnyard. Flavor is extremely sweet and very fruity. Honestly, I think it’s a pretty tasty beer. Well hidden alcohol, with a balanced flavor. This is a fairly tasty, enjoyable Belgian.

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Photo of pwoods
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz. stubby 'Duvel' style brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into a chalice.

A: Deep shoe leather pour that's completely opaque. A short fluffy head forms and holds for a bit before falling to a chunky skim. Decent lacing throughout.

S: Alcohol soaked dark fruits dominate most of the aroma. Some sweet caramel malts and maybe a touch of meatiness in the back.

T/M: Alcohol is very present and meets nicely with the dark, plump, pulpy fruits. More of the sweet caramel and light meaty flavor. Has a touch of sour/tart fruit flavor to it but very much an undertone. Still, it's not quite what I want. Body is nearly full but a syrupy feel to it. Lighter carbonation makes for a vinous feel.

D: This would be a very tasty brew if it weren't for that little bit of sour fruit in the back. Still, not terrible, and seems reasonably drinkable for a Quad.

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Photo of chileman13
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 1 pt+ bottle into oversized goblet.
A- deep brown/reddish cloudy brown. It leaves a good lacing on the glass.
S- Sweet fruity very light smell.
M-Smooth medium with average/correct cabonation.
T- Sweet carmel, dried fruit, plumy raisin. Manechevitz dessert beer.
Good 11% abv beer buzz. The abv is not reflected in the taste.
Not my style of beer, however I enjoyed the adventure.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of beerpirates
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

75 cl bottel @ kulminator Antwerp

Vintage 1989 !!!

A: Pours a reddish brown, with no head and no carbonation

S: Smells heavily of raw brown sugar and prunes, raisins and figs.

T: This is à very sweet beer ! Full of residual sugar, the heavy sweetness shocked me a little at first, but I soon got into it. This malt barrage is backed by a large amount of dark fruit, specifically raisin and prune, and also chocolate

M: Thick and rich, almost syrupy, warming as well, there is a definite alcohol burn on the first sip.

D: this vintage has had his best years , its not really beer anymore, more like à very sweet port ,
overall, an enjoyable warming beer, or nightcap.

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Photo of brentk56
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear but dark, tawny color with a surprisingly modest head for a Belgian; splashes of lace

Smell: Shortbread cookies and dates

Taste: Starts out with a swweet raisin and date praline flavor with and increasing sweetness the blossoms after the swallow; a lot of vanilla and rum raisin flavors on the finish, with underlying woody tones

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with moderate carbonation; warming on the finish from the alcohol

Drinkability: Really a bit too cloying for my taste; compared to the top quads this lacks the complexity that the great ones have

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Photo of TastyAdventure
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extremely sweet. I was a little disappointed, because the taste of sugar so overwhelming that it's hard to taste much else. I'll say the alcohol is well hidden....
This is a sweet tooth beer, and i don't really have a sweet tooth..

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with garnet highlights and a small mocha head that leaves small bits of lacing.

Smells of dark fruits and bready malts.

Tastes of dark fruits, caramel, and roasted notes. Dark fruits are characterized by raisins and figs. This is really sweet and adds to the caramel notes. Some roasted notes come through and give the impression of molasses.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown with a 1/2" head that drops really quickly.
Smell is malt, yeast and a kriek-like cherry note.
Taste is malt, a light cherry, yeast with a good balance.
A medium-full body, light effervescence, warming of the palate and throat. Quite smooth. Overall, good stuff.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.66/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/25/12.

Pours an almost opaque crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, spice, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with super sweet dark fruit and alcohol flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it's very sweet and sugary, even for the style.

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Photo of Phelps
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at Tops, served up in a goblet.

A: cranberry-colored and mostly clear with no head to speak of save a very thin khaki ring.

S: plums, cinnamon, lots of maple, molasses and some light tart cranberries. Sweet and deep.

T: maple, cinnamon, molasses and brown sugar, in that order. There's an interesting toasty backbone reminiscent of ritz crackers and a tinge of vodka amidst the slightly drying finish. It's decent, but has none of the depth of the top-tier quads.

M: medium, massaging carbonation amidst a smooth medium body. It's lightly fizzy as I swish it about, and there's a slight alcohol burn on the way down.

D: it's a respectable quadruple, for sure. But this 10 ounces cost me $11 (!) and at that price, I expect to be gobsmacked with pure deliciousness. On this front, sadly, Kasteel did not deliver.

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