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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

653 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 653
Reviews: 347
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: 653 | Reviews: 347 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pbrian
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cork dated 08-2001

Deep crimson red highlights make it through this clear, dark brown bier. The vigorous pour produced just a medium rich tan head but a thin film lasted the whole glass and left a mess. Port-like, sweet dark fruits in the aroma, with some mild spices, sweet bubblegum, and alcohol vapors. Flavor is very rich, sweet, fruity. Again, very vinous and port-like. Dark candi sugar, dark caramel malts, dark raisins and plums, everything's sweet, dark and beautiful. Low carbonation, thick, creamy sweet mouthfeel. Very warm and flavorful. Did I mention sweet? I don't know if a fresh version would receive such high numbers, but the aged version sitting in front of me is fabulous.

pbrian, Feb 19, 2004
Photo of janubio
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

janubio, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of Robertgc
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my top three beers. Slight oaky smell. Sweetness is there at first, and all the way through. No bitterness at all. At the right temperature, sort of reminds me of a "flat" coke. In a good way! So smooth, rich and full. Very sweet and rich. very drinkable with a wonderful mouthfeel.

Robertgc, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A rich dark brown color, more reddish in light, below a large creamy head. Nose is very sweet, with notes of toffee, cream, nuts, and a particular toasty character. Hints of spices, cloves, anise. Soft, spicy, and warm on the palate, with a lush and lasting finish. ABV unknown to me, but it's starting to deliver now. Perfect consolation on this freezing cold late January Minnesota afternoon. Full-bodied, tangy, hugely characterful, and an ever-unfolding delight to drink. Much like a hybrid of brandy and a candy bar! Delicious, delightful, d'lovely!
Mine was served in a Scaldis glass, which ably did the trick.

11-02-03
Above review from a tap sampling at Bryant Lake Bowl. Just had a 750ml bottled I'd been saving, this one labeled as "Donker-Foncee", and I echo my previous statements: this is one incredible brew. Just wish I could find more bottles around here!

feloniousmonk, Feb 01, 2003
Photo of Brew_More
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Brew_More, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of Todd
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A "donker" beer, brewed in 1999 (mine was). A dark brown brew. Very rich and malty with a port-like finish. Sweet bliss in a bottle with a shelf life of over 25 years. One of my favourite of the sweet dark beers that I tried when in Belgium (March 2000).

Todd, Oct 14, 2001
Photo of clvand0
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew was shared by a fellow homebrewer. Pours a red/brown color with a large head that has ok retention and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is excellent. Filled with all the goodies: Dark fruits, raisins, alcohol, toasty, spice, sweetness, yeasty, malty - all just jumping out. The flavor is equally complex and great. As it warms, tons of dark fruits and raisins come across with some spices, citrus, alcohol and plenty of caramel malt. The mouthfeel is on the high end of moderate and the drinkability is great. This is one of the better Belgian beers I've had (except Westy and Rochefort) and probably the best brew I've had in a long while.

clvand0, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of Big_Beers
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a brown .750 from homebrew store.

smell: ripe fruit, baking spice, heavy on the candy

Taste: sugar coated fruit, candied goodness. I really like this interpretation of a quad. Very sweet like a fine dessert wine.

Mouthfeel: interesting twist between a very wet yet feels dry when the mouth closes. perfect

Overall: I am only saddened that I have not bought this sooner. Makes my fav list for sure

Big_Beers, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of Spiderhouse
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A--Monster head with two fingers of tan foam. Amazing retention and very heavy lacing. Best part? Tiny, slow rising bubbles that i have never seen in a beer; mostly, in expensive champagne.

S--Chocolate, warm pumpernickel, heavy spice notes. Never smelled anything like this on a beer. Intoxicating.

T--Semi-sweet baker's chocolate, dark bread, and rich butter. My wife (of Swedish extraction), said this reminded her of "Swedish Christmas". The finish is long and comforting. Pretty damn amazing.

M--Syrupy, but not in a bad way. Emulsified egg whites and cream. Delicious.

D--The high ABV and heavy texture make it hard to repeat, but this is like the great dessert that sends a meal from merely 'good' and into 'unforgettable'. One of the best beer experiences I have ever had.

Served in a brand chalice at Lucky Baldwin's, Pasadena, CA

Spiderhouse, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of roblowther
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33cl bottle. It looks ruby red black in the glass. Is that possible? The head is minimal, tan, and a touch sticky. The smell is astringent, dusky malt, and sour cherries. The taste has a surprising sugar dominance over a cherry background. The finish shows the hops, subtle but adding a great balance. In the immortal words of Homer Simmpson....Swet Jeebus. This stuff is begging to be aged and that just became my plan for the 2nd bottle I have. The mouthfeel is syrupy but nicely carbonated. It has enough bubbles to keep it from falling into the trap that barley wines do for me. They become cloyingly sweet. My apologies to the fans of 35 year old Thomas Hardy ale but its not for me and this really is. The drinkability is excellent. Even though it clocks in at 11 percent the alcohol really only manifests itself as a warmth down the throat and chest. Nice, nice nice. If you can find this stuff. Buy it. Period.

roblowther, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of becktone
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From notes 2-10-09

Eye: Dark brown in color with garnet highlights. Head formation was nice but retention could be better. Lacing is nice-sheets. Color of head is mudslide brown. Texture of it is creamy.

Nose: Faint aroma overall. I get lightly roasted notes as well as a bit of chocolate. Dark fruit is in here as well, rasins mainly. Bready notes as well. Some vinous characers are coming through as well as some oaken character associated with them. Hints at alcohol.

Tongue: Very complex beer, this one. Big on the dark fruit, lots of rasins, some faint chocolate notes. Black cherries...this beer almost gives me the same taste as chocolate covered cherries. Alcohol is noticeable, but helps to balance out the brew, it counters the sweetness. Dark malt really comes through in this one, this is one great beer. One of the best Belgian darks that I've had in quite a while.

Feel and Drinkability: Medium body with moderate delicate tiny carbonation bubbles. Nothing all that special about it really. It does feel just as it should though, I can't see this one feeling any different and having it work as well as what it already is. This is an easy brew to drink and its worth picking up and trying. I know that I'll be going back to it in the near future. Its a great beer that I feel is overlooked.

becktone, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of Lungman
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is in a class of its own. I dont know what class, but never had anything like it. Super nice quad that pours a thick ruby black. Taste like a pissed off chocolate cake. Smells like honey and brown sugar. How the 11% is hidden so well I will never know. Mouthfeel is creamy but a bit awkward like a junior prom tongue kiss behind the first base dugout, but unforgettable just the same. This damn beer is so sweet and strong. I don't know what to do with this...?

Lungman, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of bigbelcher
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best Belgian beers in the world. Packs a wallop at 11% alc. One of my personal favorites and now available in Arizona. If this beer has any drawbacks it is that it is too strong to be a session beer but I could drink it all day long.

Dark, very rich, sweet and malty.

bigbelcher, Jul 10, 2003
Photo of rvdoorn
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1998 vintage. Knowing i really don't like this beer fresh (waaay too sweet with sharp alcohol) i was very curious popping this bottle. Poured into a kasteel beer glass. The beer pours a dark brown colour with no head. Smell is very sweet: dark fruits, figs plums and the typical vintage smell. Taste is still sweet,but much less strong than the fresh one.plums, figs,candy sugar. This beer is so balanced,it is incredible. Very soft mouthfeel,no sharpness at all, liquid silk. Reminds me of a good porto. One of the best vintage beers i ever had!

rvdoorn, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of Steamer
4.96/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Thick, almost dirty appearance; like freshly stomped grapes with all the residue that goes with it. Strong smell of fig, reminds me of the fig newtons I loved as a kid; you can also catch a hint of alcohol in the nose - not surprising considering the high ABV (11%). Nothing tame about the aroma. Wow! Tastes of grapes, fig, sweet caramel, and a little alcohol bite; sweet and fruity after taste. Mouthfeel - Like a high gravity, squeezed fruit drink, very full bodied. Overall - This is about as good as it gets for a quad. I didn't think I would find one better than Trappistes Rochefort 10 but this one is tops it in my book - a little pricey at about $19 for a four pack but well worth it.

Steamer, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of jim102864
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yet another spectacular Belgian experienced during a recent business trip to Atlanta and while visiting the Brick Store Pub in Decatur.

This special Belgian Quad was poured from tap into proper Kasteel stemmed glass with a beautiful gold rim and a painted picture of a brick building with "Kasteel Bier" adorning the front. This brew was special from the very start.

The appearance was deep dark brown with a thick, creamy head and lovely thick lace that graced the glass during each round. So far, everything one could hope for in a strong Belgian.

The aroma was incredible...oh so sweet! Perfectly aged prunes, raisens and dates, all aged to perfection. Only a hint of alcohol, but what a pleasant aromatic sensation. Sweet, fruity, but all balanced in harmony with one another.

The taste was very sweet, but balanced with raisens and fruit. The brew simply glides accross your tongue in a fruity cacophony with a warm alcohol finish. Somewhat port like and malty, but it's perfectly balanced.

As to the mouthfeel, I experienced a biscuity and chewy, viscous treat. Just perfect, or as close as you can get to it. This was a pleasure to enjoy and to think it was available on tap. I only wish the pubs in my area would pursue such a treasure as this. Thank you once again Brick Store !

jim102864, May 28, 2007
Photo of MrMichael
4.98/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

S
Dominated by dark, dried fruit.

T
A little fruity. It was sweeter than I expected, but incredible. There's a little coffee or red wine note as well

M
Smooth with very light carbonation

O
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.

MrMichael, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +22%

Photekut, May 19, 2013
Photo of kjc111
5/5  rDev +22%

kjc111, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of Snellgg5
5/5  rDev +22%

Snellgg5, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of ns_banker123
5/5  rDev +22%

ns_banker123, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of MSCUSN
5/5  rDev +22%

MSCUSN, May 07, 2014
Photo of biernack
5/5  rDev +22%

biernack, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of kurgan3
5/5  rDev +22%

kurgan3, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of cornucopia
5/5  rDev +22%

cornucopia, Apr 15, 2012
Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 653 ratings.