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Bink Winterkoninkske - Brouwerij Kerkom

Not Rated.
Bink WinterkoninkskeBink Winterkoninkske

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

128 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 128
Hads: 179
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 14.14%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Kerkom visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: stcules on 12-28-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bink Winterkoninkske Alström Bros
Reviews: 128 | Hads: 179
Photo of taez555
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark ruby coca cola colored body with a fizzy off-white head that died quickly.

Smell is very intense with a lot of funky Belgian dark ale notes. Dark ripe fruits, raisins, plums, prunes, dark candy sugar, and a very strong alcohol.

Taste is medium bodied with a much simpler taste. It almost has a mix of Belgian Dark and German Bock. Very earthy, and even gamey with German dunkel notes. Dark malts, a slight burnt flavor, lots strong Belgian dark ale flavors. Raisins, plums, prunes, dark fruits, sugar and some caramel. Hops are non existent, or only give it some backbone to balance out the malt.

I know it says it's a Belgian Dark ale with junipers, but I honestly couldn't taste any, Overall though, a really nice Belgian Dark ale. Smell is kinda funky, but taste is right in line with any quality Belgian Dark.

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Photo of EtOHMD
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as a gift as part of a 5 pack of Belgian Christmas beers.

A: Dark brown to ruby red with very thin head

S: Best quality of this beer. Vanilla, clove, and ultimately egg nog.

T: Expected more based on the smell, although improved as drank more of it. Caramel, dark fruits, with an almost whiskey like aftertaste.

M: Crisp, surprisingly light.

D: Seemed to get better with more sips. Would have been interested to drink more to get a better feel.

Overall, an average to above average beer with better smell than taste.

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Photo of RickS95
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Certainly looks the type--deep, dark brown, just shy of black. Slow forming head, neat to watch due to the contrast of the dark liquid mixing with the lighter bubbles. Little retention, and leaves almost nothing behind.

Has an almost smokey scent, light notes of coffee and dark chocolate, slightly malty with the faintest bit of fruit.

Only slight touches of everything found in the nose, but on the tongue the juniper berries finally make a presence with a hop-like piney taste.

Very little upfront, almost watered down before the good stuff comes on strong. Near the back of the tongue any sweetness turns to a smokey, bitter that clings to the tongue well into the swallow. Medium bodied with a slight pale ale finish.

This was pretty easy to drink. I've only had juniper berries one time before but this was more pronounced. The beer isn't something you can drink a lot of, but the bitter is mild and the high alcohol easily hidden.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

what is up with the picture of the beer? the neck of the bottle looks bent or something. weird.

anyway, this is served from the winter 05/06 release in 12oz bottles. poured into a unibroue tall tulip.

dark belgian appearance with some muddy orange highlights where the beer thins. microfilm skin of tan foam sticks around on top, lacing is nonexistent.

the aroma given off by this beer is absolutely amazing. sweet belgian malts bleed a plethora of candied fruits.. apricots, cherries, and raisins secrete sucrose. something (possibly the juniper berries) add a slight tart element and hint of licorice to the aroma. very complex and a joy to sniff.

taste is a little rough. mouthfeel/drinkability-wise, this beer hits all the right notes like a traditional dubbel.. creamy yet carbonated and richly sweet yet following through with an alcohol sting in the belly. the nice raisiny malt flavor is torn apart by an offsetting blend of hops and the unripe pucker of the juniper. some nice fruits emerge in the finish, and with warmth.. sweet and light like blueberries.

an interesting experiment with a very solid belgian abbey-style base. recommended for a try, but not my cup of tea for repeat purchases. it's kerkom, whaddya want???

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Photo of OStrungT
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a mohogany brown color, with a tan color head. The creamy head fades a little fast, leaving sparce lace.

This beer has a strong date like aroma. It smells spicy, with some coriander, and some allspice. A slight lemony zest, citrus aroma is also present. Earthy yeast aroma makes it way into the nose as well.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. The only differance is that the date like flavor is less pronounced that the aroma led me to believe. That is good because I dont care for a strong date like flavor in my beer.

This beer goes down smooth. It leaves a slight date like and spicy aftertaste. It is well carbonated.

This beer may make a decent session beer. It tastes good, and is not too overbearing. It is a little high in alcohol, so that may become an issue.

Overall: This beer was good. It didnt leave a lasting impression, but it was above average.

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Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A muddy, mucky looking beer that sits a really deep, dark russet brown colour. Lighter tones of cinnamon are accented on some angles, managing to actually brighten up the otherwise miry complexion. The 'Winter King' wears a modest sized crown, one barely thick enough to even make a noticeable outline.

The aroma is so sugary sweet I'm starting to worry about tooth cavities just from smelling it. The combination of dark fruits - raisins, figs, plums - smells as though it was smothered with sugar and scorched under a high flame until the point of caramelization. The sweetness brings to mind a mulled mead, although I think a spiced apple cider is a bit closer to the mark.

The flavour blends the taste of caramel apple with a high proof spirit. Which spirit? I can't say exactly, it does after all taste most like a beer. Still, there are some characteristics shared with (very cheap and watered down) dark rum, brandy and cognac. That taste is blended with notes of dark toffee, caramel as well as raisin, plum and especially figs and pear.

Whatever has been done or whichever ingredients have been used, it's made for an interesting combination of textures. As noted, the beer is less than discretely sweet; the sugary sensation is felt all the way through to the gums. A sticky, syrupy, very sappy texture acts in conjunction with it. Just a pinch of yeast spice works itself into the mix as well.

The importers' web site says the beer "is brewed with juniper berries and a touch of lavender, but neither overwhelms the flavor... in fact, you may not even know they're there". Well, no I didn't. And yes, I would have liked to of. The flavour doesn't need them to be enjoyable, but that said, it could have used them for that little something extra. I'm not sure how lavender and juniper would fit into this style, but I'm still left curious to find out!

I've seen various sources list this beer as various things: brown ale, Belgian strong dark ale, and even quadruple. Whatever the case it's either average (or below average) relative to what else is out there. It's also a little underwhelming as being something you'd reach for in the midst of a cold winter. Don't get me wrong, I like Winterkoninkske, I'm just saying it's not deserving of the 'Winter King' title.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pouring a super dense and cloudy rust-colored amber, this Winter offering comes with nary a head in sight and no real lacing to speak of. 'Tis but minimally carbonated as well, me hearties...Super-robust sweet aromas of figgy pudding, allspice, pumpkin pie, and black cherry...Awesome....Flavor is not a huge as the nose might think it is, and I get some dense and chewy fig right upfront. $4.49/11.2oz. bottle is pricey and kills drinkability for me. At 8.3% ABV, it's big but the alcohol only really makes itself apparent right near the end, along with a wash of hops that's usually absent from Euro Winter brews. The whole flavor profile revolves around the figgy pudding notes, and it definitely tastes and feels like a Winter ale. Very nice and well-rounded, and not nearly as sweet as one would expect from the nose. Pretty good beer, but not elite.

What I like most: The wonderful Holiday dessert aromas.

What I like least: The price and lack of a head.

Verdict: Excellent well-balanced Winter ale but not top-tier.

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Photo of Risser09
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz served into a pilsner - 2007 bottling - Cellar temp

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with red highlights. Light tan head that reaches 2.5" tall. Ample lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell: Belgian yeast, hops, ripe cherries, date bread. Spices of clove and allspice round out the aroma. Kinda phenolic.

Taste: Tart and hoppy. Chewy and bready. Granola, alcohol, walnut, caramel. This beer has a nice balance of malt, fruit and spice. Pretty complex.

Mouthfeel: Lingering alcohol. Not as hoppy as the label description would like to indicate. Spicy, carbonated, bready.

Drinkability. Very good. This is another good Belgian Strong Ale. Perhaps it is a little boozy and pedestrian. Another thought: what do juniper berries taste like, because I don't sense anything like them at all. Worth a try.

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Photo of Wildman
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark red amber color and formed a small light tan bubbly head that left trace lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. The aroma is of malt, chocolate and carmel with a hint of cherry. The flavor is of malt, chocolate and a hint of cherry. The body seems fairly light for the style and a slightly sweet finish.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle via DBL- thanks John! Pours a dark ruby with off white head, nice lacing. Nose- huge waft of candi sugar and figs, raisins and plums. Taste- very rich sweet caramel malts and molasses but also a mineral like dryness. The juniper is tough to pick up but is somewhat noticeable on the finish as the beer thins out. An excellent winter warmer.

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Photo of cbl2
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

3/31/2007 $4.39 11.2 oz. 8.30% No best by date.


Pours a deep dark brown with loads of carbonation revealing a hint of scarlet red. Topped by a foamy film of tan head.


Candied orange soaked in rum and butterscotch. Odd, but somewhat appealing.


Lush chewy mouthfeel is accompanied by a sweet, but not too sweet dark candied fruit and orange peel sensation, with maybe a touch of brown sugar. Bottle states it is brewed with Juniper berries, but I cannot detect that. They also claim to be brining hops back to Belgium, but those are lacking as well, not that I'm complaining, as what is on display is quite pleasurable.

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Photo of mschantz
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Plus dark red brown with a sliver of brown head that sticks around a bit. Nose is plum, molasses, over-ripe banana. Flavors include rich date, slight prune and anise with very little bitterness. Sweet finish left me smacking my tongue against the roof of my mouth.

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Photo of antzman
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep brown with a full off-white head that leaves lacing on the glass as it recedes. The aroma is full of raisins, plums, cardamom, cinnamon, and molasses. The flavor could best be described as liquid fruit cake. Cherries, plums, dates, and caramel flavors dominate initially, but then it finishes with a slight bitter hoppy finish, not typically found in this style of beer. It is a pleasant twist on a traditional brew. Though the alcohol level in Winterkoninkske is 8.3% alcohol by volume (ABV), it is hidden very well in the beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apparently the Kerkom brewery knows me all too well. They know that as the Christmas time draws near that my endulgence in all things succulent, sweet, and decedent increases. And they're taking full advantage.

Dark ruby-brown colors are surprisingly light in haze and shows off a a dainty glow of black cherry from underneath. It's dark color hides the rise of bubbles that work to construct a creamy and stubborn head that laces with clinging lace.

Malt and fruit converge in the aroma with impressionable memories of plumb, raisin, cherry, and a candied sweet scent that smell like candy stores. Confectioner's sugar notes align with a winy and earthy scent that promises as much acidity as it does bitterness.

Malty sweet with the supple taste of candied fruit, the beer prefers the taste of hard candy, plumb, raspberry, red grape, and cider that begins to give rise to the more earthen taste of prune, apple, orange, and raisin; all before fading into a semi-dry malt taste and light peppery spice.

Medium-full, the beer leads with a creamy-sweet candied texture. But a turn to mid palate of acidic bite and sprite effervescence provide lift, the finish is warm, spicy, and earthen.

Kerkom's winter warmer certainly captures the taste of the more candied taste of Belgian dark strong ales and less of the "darker" tastes- just in time for my sweet tooth to wake from its hibernation and demand attention.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From an 11.2 oz bottle this poured a nice dark brown with a fat tan head and good lacing rings. Nose of ripe fruit, chocolate, and molasses. Medium mouthfeel, and lots of flavors. You can detect the alcohol in the taste, and flavors of caramel malts dominate. Good beer.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Belmont Party.

Poured hazy brown color with an average frothy light brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate yeast, spice and dark fruit aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture and flat carbonation. Medium fruiity sweet flavor with a medium rich sweet finish of moderate duration.

Good complex warming brew.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep, dark brown with a moderate cafe au lait head that settles to a fine ring. Big nose of chocolate, dark, sweet malts, and some herbal hops. Has some porter-esque qualities to it, but with Belgian esters. Where's the juniper? Flavor is very chocolatey, with lots of dried fruits. Vinous. I get some apples and pears along with some toast and mild herbal hops. Again, where is the juniper? I get more juniper character from beers made with PNW hops rather than form a beer actually made with juniper. Regardless, this is very tasty. Mouthfeel is soft and rather full from the sugars left over in the beer. Drinkability is fine, but I imagine if I had more than the 11.2 oz I have here, it would get tough to get through. Overall, I would recommend this, but I would just warn that, at least to me, there really is no juniper quality to this, and also that I don't think this is really worth the $5 I paid for an 11.2 oz bottle.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with little head or lacing. Aromas of sweet malt and bitter spices There aren't a lot of specific spice notes, merely a blend that gives you a short, sharp jolt. Tastes sweet with malt and with lingering notes of juniper and spice- light cinnamon and allspice? Creamy mouthfeel and quite drinkable. Nice, but nothing super special.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fills a Dogfish Head snifter ruddy, dark bronze with a modest fine almond head that leaves light lacing. There are tiny streams of carbonation within and a viscous film on the glass.

This one has a fruity, plum pudding nose with some brandy. The usual BSDA dark fruits are showcased, including dates and figs. This one is sweeter than most.

This was aged about a year and the flavors are not quite to style. It does somewhat follow the nose, vacillating between sweet candy sugar and light bitterness. The complexity works well with the subtle nuances as it warms. There is a light, lingering finish.

A full, luscious body with alcohol about as expected and a light, prickly carbonation.

This is a good, relaxed version of the style. Best after dinner or while enjoying the calmness of life.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle purchased at the Boise Coop for around $5. Enjoyed from a red wine glass. Listening to Renaissance Worldwide Singapore; Dave Seamen mix.

Nice beige head on the pour but quickly goes away. Dark brown ... just lighter than a standard porter... Dark cherry highlites when held up to a light.

Smell is caramel sugar ... figs ... and raisins. Alcohol clears the nose with a finish of piney hops.

Good mouthfeel ... thick and slick at the same time... yummy ... caramel sweetness is prevelant. Good balance sort of a black tea bitterness .... odd but nonoffensive pink bubble gum in there somewhere. Big boned; a definate sipper.

This is a very good but not great BSDA ... Descent complexity, I would buy it again, but this time I would let a bottle or 2 cellar until next holiday season.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampling this bottle at room temp in a snifter. Kind of a prep for the belgian fest tomorrow AM. The beer pours a rich clear mahogany and develops a beige and orange tightly packed cream head. Good retention.
Aroma is rich and malty with various spices as well. I get some anise, ripe dark fruit such as a plum, raisins, some sweet brown sugar and maybe original flavor bubble gum.
First sip reveals an average bodied brew with fine and prickly carbonation. The flavor is sweet and fruity up front with a mix of toffee, red grapes, plums, brown sugar. I definitely get some anise again on the finish ( I find this flavor unpleasant but just my taste) others probably like this. There is also a bit of bitey maybe peppery flavor on the finish as well. The beer is smooth and has a bit of a creamy texture to it and I dont notice the ABV until it hits my belly and gives some warming. Quite a nice complex brew I would definitely enjoy this on a cold winter's eve!

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Photo of philipquarles
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with a negligible head. Very little lacing. This all could be because the beer is a year old.

Smells of malt, yeast, fruit esters (dates, bananas), chocolate, and spices.

Taste is similar, lots of malt (reminds a bit of Chimay Bleu), backed up by banana, spices, and a bit of chocolate. Alcohol is only evident in the warm feeling. Very complex.

Very good, drinkable beer that is great after a meal

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- The beer has a deep dark brown body that is opaque with lots of big bubbles rolling up the sides of the glass. The head is a light brown spongy mat that lasts for a good spell.

S- The smell of sweet dark cherries and caramel malt has a hint of cola in the finish. The finish also has a fresh brown sugar pine note that is interesting, it must be from the juniper berries.

T-This beer has a nice smooth fruity sweetness with some notes of caramel, malt and cider. The finish has a soft alcohol bite with some sweetness that taste faintly like fresh green apples with out the tart bite.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel but the fizz really makes it feel full. There is a soft smooth alcohol warmth in the finish.

D- This beer has nice rich dark sweet malts with good complexity and flavor. The fruit notes are different that most fruity flavors in this style. A very nice twist for the cold winter months.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a DT tulip.

A: Pours a dark, cloudy, muddy brown. Slight ruby tint. One finger head evaporates to a tiny ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Virtually no lacing.

S: Smells of caramel, raisins, brown sugar, spice, and plums. As it warms a slight minty quality becomes aparent (must be the Juniper berries that they brewed this with).

T: Large, sweet malt flavors couple with everything detected in the nose. Could maybe use a little more hops (or Juniper berries) to balance out the sweetness.

M: Thick and coating. Not at all thin.

D: I liked this. Could have a few in one sitting if it weren't for the price tag. Over $5 a bottle, yikes!

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried fruits - raisin, plum and currants. Nice malty nose, too.

T - It tasted of plum and raisin. Good sweet maltiness with a nice spicy bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This a really good Belgian Dark Ale. Another good winter brew from the Shelton Bros.

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Bink Winterkoninkske from Brouwerij Kerkom
87 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.