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Bink Winterkoninkske - Brouwerij Kerkom

Not Rated.
Bink WinterkoninkskeBink Winterkoninkske

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

160 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 160
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 3
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Kerkom visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: stcules on 12-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 160 | Reviews: 122 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IntriqKen
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love winter brews and this is one of the best, to me.

Pours a very deep tea colored amber with a small head made of tiny bubbles that leave an even smaller ring.

Aroma is cherries, candied sugar, sweet, sweet amber malt. A definite Belguim yeast aroma comes on the tale-end.

Taste is sweet fruits...not as much cherry as I noticed in the nose, but still sweet berries and fruit. Candied sugar coats the sweet amber malt and again the Belguim yeast comes through making this a very different and substantial Winter Warmer after all of the American and British ones I've had lately. Light citrus hops dry the tongue as you swallow and they are followed by some nicely warming alcohol.

Aftertaste is only slightly Belguim....just enough to keep it from finishing truly clean. The yeast strain and sugars blend to give almost a brown sugar aftertaste.


IntriqKen, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of Freshie
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle looks like New England micro, but the beer actually hails from a small brewery in Belgium.

Pours a nice dark red color. Lace is decent.

Nose is sweet (berries), with some hop spice.

The taste is sweet and smooth, with hops and alcohol coming later.

I liked it. The fruitiness was almost like a herbal tea. Not a real standout Belgian, especially for this category, but pleasant nonetheless.

Freshie, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of cbl2
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

cbl2, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of goochpunch
3.98/5  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.

goochpunch, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, with malts and spices. Suitable carbonation, good drinking. Mollasses and malting to tone down the juniper. Chocolate malt. odd taste notes, and mid-sip astringency. slightly bitter aftertaste. Good though not great Belgian from the Belgian Shop.

Sammy, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of Estarrio
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok, a Belgian brewed with juniper and lots of hops? I must try this one. Unfortunately, the promise of bountiful hops would never pass into fruition.

Poured dark, opaque brown with plum tones and a small tan head. The head yields to fine, sticky lacings.

Sweet, chocolate malt in the nose, this somewhat reminds me of a cross between Belgian ale and a bock so far. Not much else going on with the aroma, except for some dark fruit esters and a perceived sweetness.

Sweet and chocolate malt flavors are present up front. The finish includes some dark fruit esters and a cider-like, sweet berry profile. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and tart with no perceived alcohol flavor. The flavors are not unpleasant but they aren't spectacular either. They don't really seem to jive well with each other.

The mouthfeel is the highlight of this beer with a medium/full body, ample carbonation and a delightfully creamy mouthfeel. The drinkability takes a hit from the forgettable flavor.

This is not bad brew at all but it is not one that I would seek out again. The juniper berries really take over the taste as this warms. For a beer that markets the determination to "bring real hops back into Belgian brewing", I'd hope for a hoppier, less cider like brew.

Estarrio, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of Viggo
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Took me a while to find this one on BA.

Pours a super cloudy brown/red, thick tan head forms, nice lacing, settles to a pretty looking layer. Smell is sweet, dates, almost oxidization, toffee, molasses, chocolate and spice, some yeast, touch of alcohol. Taste is very malty, chocolate and molasses, dark fruits, citrusy yeast, weak finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Not great, but interesting and a nice sipper.

Viggo, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

GbVDave, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours with small light-tan head; odors of bubble-gum immediately fill the local area. attractive if un-beerlike. nose is rather sharp, malty, typical for a belgian brune.

taste follows nose, very malty, a bit acidic bite, and what I am beginning to consider a typical Kerkomse metallic note. resemblence to bink bruin is large but this is more drinkable. The aftertaste becomes notably more metallic into the glass.

this concludes my 6-beer series from Kerkomse brewery, and the verdict is Skip. Too many have notable metallic notes, it really doesn't work well with beer.

dogfooddog, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass lightly hazy deep brown with an amber hue. The head was medium, yet frothy and long lasting. (The bottle was darn near completely full!)

The aroma was malty with a very strong dark caramel up front and a strong candy character. Dark fruits were present, raisins and prunes, and a strong bit of muted spice that was impossible to divide into individual components. The aroma contained quite a bit of alcohol.

The flavor was without much character. Some dark caramel and a light trace of spice, but mostly just muted and muddy flavors with no standout amongst them except for some earthy hop contributions. Spices did seem to increase as the beer warmed, but the dark caramel overwhelmed them and led to a very boring flavor.

The finish was dark caramel and light muted spice into the aftertaste. The body was medium full with a moderate carbonation. An ok beer, but nothing exciting enough to purchase again.

11.2 ounce bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of acoatley
2.65/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: poor head dissipates quickly opaque black

Aroma: dusty not much else maybe I'm suffering from palate fatigue

Flavor: Kind of tastes juniper berries light butterscotch and Belgian yeast but the after taste sucks I think this beer is soured

Mouthfeel: creamy but lingers on the palate like sour milk

I definitely got a bad bottle

acoatley, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
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???

goodbyeohio, Mar 21, 2006
Photo of ybnorml
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown beer with mahogony highlights. Has a small off white/custard colored head. There is a strong dried fruit character in the aroma. Mostly apple and a hint of fig. A light sweet malt note at the start of the taste with hints of cherry and apple. Has a very dry finish. The dry finish made my mouth feel odd and made me think of alum. Probably the juniper.

ybnorml, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

rhoadsrage, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkest bronze-brown on the coaster, muted crimson with orange borders when exposed to the bright morning sunshine. The head was several fingers in height after the pour and hasn't noticeably fallen in the past several minutes. It's a wonderful shade of toasted golden beige and is an appropriate color foil for the beer beneath. A paltry amount of lace is a minor disappointment.

The nose is a good one. It's dominated by sweet, dark fruit such as dates, figs and raisins. Actually, it probably isn't dark enough to be considered overly raisiny. In addition, there's a sweet apple cider vibe goin' on. An understated Belgian yeastiness keeps the aroma well within the bounds of the style.

Winterkoninkske strikes me as a BSDA that is dark maltier and sweeter than most, even if those aspects of its personality aren't that far from the style average. Fruitiness is still the centerpiece, with raisins now on equal footing with the others. Dark caramel and earthy tobacco make contributions as well. As I continue to sip and savor, the beer seems less sweet to me. Or at least the sweetness is countered by a still active bitterness.

I like it, but I'm still waiting for that little neuron flash that says 'damn, this is great beer'. Good? Undoubtedly. Great is another matter entirely, however. The 8.3% ABV has to be a misprint. Perhaps the person who sent the information to the label maker has dyslexia and it's really 3.8%. In any case, no alcohol is noted on the palate.

The final pour brings a turbidity to the appearance, a greater intensity to the flavor profile and an ever so slight fullness to the mouthfeel. Not enough to make me want to change any of the scores, but I do like the beer at the bottom of the bottle more than I like the beer at the top of the bottle. And I liked the beer at the top of the bottle just fine.

Winterkoninkske translates as 'winter wren'. My bottle is aged (although it's still almost a year away from its 'best by' date), so perhaps it had more verve when fresh. Perhaps not. I set the bar pretty high when it comes to this style, so a 'merely good' BSDA is certainly nothing to sneeze at. I may pick up another bottle if the opportunity presents itself.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of aquatonex
2.98/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wasn't so impressed with this Belgian Strong.

Pours dark brown, almost translucent pitch with light carbonation, not much head, some lacing. Smell is a bit watery, heavy sweet fruits, malts and a melange of spice are noted. Taste is a bit better, but the balance is all off. Sweetness and strongness (almost sangrialike) abound with a heavy dose of all sorts of spices that I am not completely enjoying (cinnamon, coriander, vanilla, mints??). Now I'm a big fan of heavy spice, but it needs to work well together. A whole lotta stuff going on, no, more like competing. Harmony wasn't there.

aquatonex, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of cokes
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddied midnight magenta mimickry of black, and spouts a healthy and enduring buttery brown rise.
Fragrant of prunes, acidic grapes, mocha, molasses, liquorice, wet tile, and cobwebs.
It layers first unto the mouth a plush malt blanket, deep with black raisins and burnt caramel, and carob, and molasses. Takes a detour towards things more chocolatey and roasted, but veers instead towards the earthen yeast qualities. Briefly funky, with horse hair, slate, and chalk dust, along with spicier pangs of clove, black pepper, and vanillin oak. Fruit regroups towards the close, with black cherry skins and green grapes, both vaporously tannic, vinic, and tart. Any hopping is a general nonfactor, but a timid tea-like herbality ekes itself out at the rear.
The body is full, but very approachable with a cottony, puffed-up airiness.
All perceptions of alcohol are absent, this is big ol' malty quaffer.
It's not hugely unique or rule-bending, but it does what it does quite well. I'd appreciate a larger bottle.

cokes, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of paterlodie
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before 12-06. Pours out ok with yellowbrown head and a blackbrown color. Nose is mostly matly( caramel and litle coffee), esters giving you apples but also litle soapy. Taste is rich; lots of maltaromes sweet and burnt. Good balance between alcohol, sweetness and bitterness and a clean roastbitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is enormous wich influence the drinkabillity.

paterlodie, Mar 03, 2005
Photo of ZAP
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark ruby red color...small tan head....nose is sweet....dark fruits(big black cherries)...also raisens...nice sweet flavor....again the black cherrries and raisens are evident...also a hint's of brown sugar and molasses....finishes with a nearthy hop note....subtle, but crisp bitterness on the finish to keep the sweetness in check...

Very nice beer....the price is steep (4.99 for 11.2 ounces) but worth trying...falls a little short of some of the true Belgian Standouts..

ZAP, Dec 25, 2004
Photo of sulldaddy
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
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!

sulldaddy, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of CharlesRiver
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out a very dark brown with some reddish tints. A good size off white head seems to stay. The smell is very malty with hints of raisins and nuts. The taste is smooth and rich, almost like a dopplebock but more rich. Again the raisins and nuts come through. I also pick up something smoky. Bright and clean in the beginning and smooth and mellow in the end. A good beer that seems well balanced. Nothing seems to be overpowering but rather, just right.

CharlesRiver, Sep 03, 2004
Photo of daledeee
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark brown beer with a nice off white head that goes away and leaves a nice lace. The nose is exceptional with a nice grape and other fruit aroma.

Taste took a different turn. Very velvety feeling drink with a prune taste and some strong hops. Malt also comes through. The alcohol is not apparent.

Another unique Belgian beer that I will get again.

daledeee, Apr 11, 2004
Photo of RedBaron
4.78/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This very dark and rich brew poured seductively and viscous with a dark, nearly opaque color and and creamy, off-white head which hung in nicely throughout the 11.2 oz. sample.

The smell was of fig, raisin, chocolate and God only knows what other sweet fruits and spices. This is a true winter warmer of the first degree, and the nose alone told me that.

The taste was of a bold and beautiful malty richness, up front and in the end. I got a raisin and date foretaste, followed by a chocolate-y, and banana finish, with a wonderful wrapping of the residual yeasts rounding out the sweetness of the malts.

The mouthfeel was dense as hell, but balanced wonderfully: you're not just innundated with a malt kick (a nice 8.3%abv), but also with those wonderful seasonal spices in full force. Much like the 'legs' down the side of the glass, you definitely get legs in the mouth and down the throat with this ale.

Drinkability factor is very high, though this is most certainly a beer to be savored, and not chugged.

I can't give this beer enough credit, really. I poured it in a fitting-enough glass: a St. Bernardus chalice. A beautifully strong beer in its own right, I'm sure the good brothers at St. Bernardus would understand if I used one of their glasses for the sample of the divine Winterkoninkske.

I'm glad I'm having this beer on a late March, cold evening. It's perhaps one last reminder of a winter season that can be full of joy, especially of the malt variety. I'll definitely be on the lookout for this beer come next winter...

RedBaron, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a light brown, one-fingered head, fades quickly, leaves hardly any lace. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Color is a dark, cloudy amber. Nose is raisiny. Starts and finishes sweet and raisiny. Nice beer for this winter weather. Pricey, $4.30 for a 330ml bottle.

jdhilt, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of Gusler
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a murky brown with ruby high lights and the head mountainous in size, semi-creamy in texture and the color a winsome tan as it dissipates, the lace forms a fine veil to hide the glass. The aroma of molasses, sweet and thick, a tad earthy, nice malt under layment, fresh and grainy, start is lightly sweet, rich in malt with the top middling in feel. Finish is biting in its acidity with the hops benign in their spiciness, very dry aftertaste, a quaffable brew, and a good one to start the evening with or the end of my 13 hour work day.

Gusler, Jan 10, 2004
Bink Winterkoninkske from Brouwerij Kerkom
87 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.