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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

652 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 652
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: 652 | Reviews: 347 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had the Kasteel triple recently, and loved it. One of the best beers I've ever had. This one, unfortunately, is just too sweet for me. Of all of the Belgian beers I've had, this is the sweetest. Pours a beautiful, dark brown with a prominent foamy head. Nice, foamy lace, some head remains throughout. Hard to describe the taste, being that the sweetness is so prevalent. I feel great while drinking this beer. It leaves me (predictably) with a wonderful, warm feeling. But, with all of the great alternatives, I am not likely to buy this one again. (On the positive side, my wife (who doesn't drink beer), tried it and kind of liked it. Now I can get her to sample some other beers!)

JohnnyDuvel, Feb 13, 2003
Photo of monkeybeerbelly
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

monkeybeerbelly, May 04, 2014
Photo of Hautacam
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy caramel color...very little head to start..and then gone quickly.
Smells of malt, cherry, phenol and alcohol.
Tastes of heavy malt, caramel, sweet and almost nuttty, with a sherry/port like finish. Improves greatly as it warms.
Heavy mouthfeel...almost syrupy. Low carbonation.
Drinkable in terms a sipping ale...wouldn't want to "down a few"...but really nice to split a 750 with someone.

Hautacam, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of ujsplace
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice.

Pours a deep, dark near-black colored brew that has a once finger thick off white, almost tan colored head that quickly fades. Has some nice lacing.

Smells of candied malts, yeasts, dark fruits - raisins, figs, over-ripened cherries and plums; a faint spiciness and a hint of dark chocolate.

Tastes of big, sweet candied malts up front, dark fruits and spicey yeast - leaves a nice cherry aftertaste with generous alcohol warmth that makes it's presence known, but is done deftly. This brew almost has a burgundy-like quality.

Thick and creamy.

This is my kind of brew - especially for this time of year where it is currently 32 degrees outside. This definitely will warm you up a bit. A nice steady drinking brew - not one to be sessioned, but rather enjoyed with a chill in the air.

ujsplace, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of boudreaux
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on date: 09/09/01. I love a beer that doesn't even bother with letting you know when it should be consumed by.

A: pours dark brown, with barely a touch of amber when held to the light; minimal fizz or head (no doubt due to the high alcohol content), light tan in color; almost looks like a dark red wine

S: definite alcohol notes; also, some Beglian spice notes, almost peppery; complex, rich malty sweetness, with a touch of caramel; dark fruits (raisin, plum, dark cherry) are here; a touch of roasted flavors also show up

T: Reflects the aroma (a great thing!); very sweet and alcoholic, like an overly-sweet wine; a hint of bitterness from the toasted malt; the dark fruits and roasted elements are definitely here; also, a touch of the dark candied flavors; strong, Belgian spices are definitely here as the beer warms

M: surprisingly high carbonation, but still a medium-heavy body; smooth and warming, due to the alcohol

D: A little heavy and spicy for my liking; overall, pretty good drinkability considering the high alcohol content; I don't like wines, so this one's somewhat less drinkable for me

Give me this one on a cold night, sitting in front of a fire. It's definitely a great brew.

boudreaux, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of jsnoek
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

jsnoek, Nov 22, 2011
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 Mar02x
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A dark brown fluid with some reddish hints. The foam is more beige than off white and transforms quickly till a thin layer.

S - A sweet malty scent mixed with a little yeast.

T - Again a sweet malty flavor with a nice deepness. One can taste this beer is great for aging. There is already some port like tones coming through.

M - A soft to medium carbonation with some alcohol warmth and bitterness in the end. There is noway one can this is a 11% ABV!.

O - An excellent beer! Always good to have a few on you're shelf.

Mar02x, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of allboutbierge
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 bottle drank out of a Kasteel chalice obtained out of a gift set.

Color varies from a black in the center to a deep orangish brown on the edges of the glass, body is completely opaque. Head is not overwhelming large and has an offwhite, slightly beige brown color to it. Aroma is extremely bready, covers up the alcohol smell, and has numerous candy-like sugar notes. A fig scent is somewhere in there--all in all its fairly complex. Taste is extremely sweet and centered on figgy, buttery, and slightly sour notes. Some prune-like qualities are in there. I know I havent used the most appetising words and comparisons to describe taste but dont worry, its actually pretty damn good. The beer finishes with a semi sweet aftertaste. Drinkability is there though I caution against taking up on it. This is no baby beer, packing 11% it will make the biggest man sway if he gets careless. Other than that the taste is extremely entertaining and unique which makes for quite a drinkable brew.

allboutbierge, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of Jeeb
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Jeeb, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of rmehughes
4/5  rDev -2.4%

rmehughes, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of djcira
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

djcira, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of byronic
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

byronic, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of Huffaroma
3/5  rDev -26.8%

Huffaroma, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of baiser
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured dark brown, with ruby highlights, medium tan head, gorgeous lacing. Aroma of raisins, chocolate, rum, sweetness and more alcohol. Taste was rich, wine-like, and extremely sweet. Dark flavours of chocolate, ripe fruit, yeast, spices, wine. Extremely complex flavours. Smooth, full bodied. It was just a bit too sweet for my tastes. Made it hard to finish. It's definitely a sipper.

baiser, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of ibbjamin
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

ibbjamin, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of rredshift
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

rredshift, May 31, 2014
Photo of athomasPSU
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

athomasPSU, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of obywan59
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. You need to peel off the tear strip to get the paper off the top to expose the wired-down cork.

Pours dark brown into my Duvel glass with a 2 1/2 finger head leaving light lacing.

Aroma of tart citrus at first, but then I noticed some sweet maltiness as well.

Oh, wow!! After the tart aroma, I didn't expect it to be so sweet. Taste of dark bitter chocolate and burnt malt with a bit of cherry. Or, perhaps dark dried fruit soaked in rum. Almost candy sweet.

To me it felt a bit lighter than other BSDAs I've tried (except for Mad Elf). This was a good thing, considering the extra sweetness. I think the sweetness, more than the mouthfeel, is what makes it seem almost syrupy. Not cloying.

Excellent sippability. The sweetness definitely slow you down. I think I like this even more than Corsendonk Christmas Ale.

The 11% ABV really fried me!!

obywan59, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into chalice style glass.

Pours a syrupy dark brown to near black, very small head that diminishes to a rather dense short layers of off-white foam. Light lacing.

Lots of dark fruit and hints of alcohol. Heavy sweet malts come to mind as you inhale.

I was a bit surprised by the sweetness that envelops the tongue on the first swig. I know this is considered a strong dark ale but it seemed more like a very sweet barley wine. Very sweet and heavy in the mouth, with the strong flavor of fig most present.

This is quite a brew. Rather a bit syrupy for my taste but it doesn't necessarily taste bad. As for the style of a strong dark Belgian ale, I suppose, but it's closer to cough syrup. I did enjoy it overall though and if you are feeling adventurous, give it a shot.

SIRIUS2, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of Brian700
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a reddish/brown color with an off-white head almost a light brown.

The aroma was sweet with a dark fruit presence, raisins, figs, dates. Very enticing to say the least.

The flavor follows the nose, there is some malty sweetness with the presence of dark fruit again, dates, figs, raisins and such. There is also some alcohol warming in the end.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer but is 11ABV so be carefull and don't hurt yourself.

Brian700, Jul 19, 2006
Photo of seedyone
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap. I admit it. I go for the sweet and this has all the angles going for it...as long as you're 'on the sweet'. Not white sugar sweet, but that raisiny sweet...dates sweet...kind of, but not really that dried fruity sweet. I'm on that in a minute...as long as there is of depth of flavor. I don't want to tarnish or enhance the experience with words that may be misinterperted so I'll just say if you like deep, serious flavors & have the time to savour...make this the one. So stop reading this & order the damn thing already...

seedyone, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of Waveoff
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

Waveoff, May 26, 2013
Photo of RichardMNixon
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

RichardMNixon, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of RWACKO
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

RWACKO, May 10, 2013
Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.