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Witches' Brew - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Witches' BrewWitches' Brew

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

223 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 223
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 12
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Beerbuddha on 10-17-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (88) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 119
Reviews by andysk:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a three-finger white head. The beer was hazy when it was poured but cleared up as it warmed. The aroma was strong Belgian yeast with some citrus. I got mainly lemon and orange with some spice as well. The flavor was fruity with a strong yeast character. There was definitely some wild yeast funk to the beer, but it was not overwhelming. Medium mouthfeel and medium-high carbonation.

Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy gold with a huge white head. Thick lacing. Apples, honey, musty yeast, bananas, and soap in the nose. Super-sweet to the point it became too much. Honey, saaz, grain, sugar, banana, fruit, and more sugary sweetness. Good in moderation. Find a couple people to drink the 750 ml bottle with.

Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Huge four finger off white head with decent retention. Leaves a decent amount of bubbly lacing around the glass.

Smell: A very yeasty and spicy Belgian aroma with gig hints of fruits and sugar. Upfront Belgian yeast with some funk and a mix of spice esters including cloves, peppers, and slight cinnamon and nutmeg. Big mix of fruit esters with hints of green apple, pear, bananas, and white grapes. Citrus hop hints of orange, pineapple, and apricot. Dark fruit hints of fig and raisin. Big sweet hints of Belgian candied sugar. Pale malt with hints of grains, straw, caramel, and cracker. Some good hints of bubblegum as well. A very good Tripel aroma.

Taste: As spellbinding as the aroma, a yeasty and funky taste with lots of fruit and spice esters. Big upfront Belgian yeast presence with a good taste of funk and spice notes of cloves, peppers, cinnamon, and a little nutmeg. Sweet taste of Belgian candied sugar. Lots of fruit esters with notes of green apples, bananas, pear, and white grapes along with citrus hop esters of orange, pineapple, and apricot. Some dark fruit notes of raisin and fig come through. Bubblegum notes also. Bready pale malt with notes of straw, grains, caramel, and cracker. A little taste of booze is noticeable. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the higher end of medium. Carbonation is fairly high. Nicely, spicy, juicy, and prickly. Some alcohol heat is there but its still nicely smooth.

Overall: A very good Belgian Tripel. Good mix of spices, fruit esters, and funk. Nicely complex.

Photo of daveytheformer
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My friend Eben shared this with me.

Pours a cloudy golden color with a nice thick foamy head that sticks to the side of the glass as it goes down.

Smells fruity, spicy, sweet and like cloves and yeast. Very Belgian.

Taste is candy sweet with a bread like yeast quality. Kind of a metallic bitterness as well.

Mouthfeel is a light medium, well carbonated and sticky sweet.

Overall a pretty good beer and better than I remembered it being.

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not quite the witching hour yet, but what the everloving hell, it sure seems appropriate...

This beer pours a hazy pale golden hue, with tons of billowy, foamy, and eventually chunky white head, which leaves some nice thin lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of fruity grain, pepper, herbal alcohol, and a bit of yeast. The taste is sweet candied malt, citrus, pineapple, raisin, with a bit of warming alcohol, and earthy, herbal hops. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body full, sweet, and creamy in that fruity manner. It finishes sweet and sugary, the malt still holding strong, the proclaimed 'hoppyness' not really doing all that much to counter.

On the whole, a very sweet tripel, but with well-integrated booze, which sounds very witchy, or like the work of Beelzebub himself...

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL corked & caged bottle. ABV listed at 9.3%. I purchased this beer after it was strongly recommended at Ashe's.

Glowing orange-amber in color with a fluffy, pocked off-white head. It's not a stretch to say this is one of the most beautiful beers I've seen.

Aroma is inviting, with hops, apricot, green apple, coriander, and a touch of alcohol. The first sip is delectable -- nice and crisp up front, with fruity, slightly spiced sweetness to follow. This is very, very nice. I get why this was so highly recommended -- I'll have to have it again.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged. Amber pour with a short, foamy white head. Sweet malts, candi sugar, dried fruit, light flowery notes and cake in the aroma. Taste is floral and slightly bitter with more sweet malt, light candi sugar, powdery yeast, fresh fruit and almost a powdered donut type sweetness. Body is medium and very bubbly but not champagne-like. Ends with more sweet malts, candi sugar, fruit notes, floral hops, light spice and soft yeast notes. Pretty good brew.

Photo of russpowell
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent golden/honey with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Average head retention & some lacing

S: Slight phenolic hints, band aids & pineapple & honey

T: Coriander, dryness & band aids, some pineapples. Grassy hops, more pineapple, green bananas, grapefruit & lemon, candi sugar as this warms. Finishes with a slight acidic twang, & more tropical fruit, plus green apple

MF: Sticky, with low carbonation, but a slightly acidic twang, that morphs into a more champagne type feel

Drinks alright, this is not really a tripel to get too excited about, let it warm waaay up

Photo of beveritt
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 750ml green corked bottle into a Duvel tulip. My mother in law gave this to me as a Halloween gift. Blue label with start and classic hook nosed green witch holding a mug of beer. "It Will Put A Spell on You." No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with 2 fingers of pure white head. This settles to a thin layer of foam with a substantial island above the nucleation site. Nice, sticky lacing. The beer itself is the color of light honey and slightly hazy.

Smell: Sweet malt with hints of honey and lemongrass. Slightly acidic in the nose. Distinct presence of wheat twang.

Taste: Sweet, sugary malt upfront, notes of banana and papaya. Very mild hints of mellow, aged hops. Ends with a slightly citrus sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Higher than average carbonation; nice and bubbly just like a Belgian should be. Body is very good.

Drinkability: Smooth and creamy, with a high ABV that is hidden well. Not sure if this is a seasonal brew or a simply repackaged for Halloween, but I would certainly pick some more up. I remember hearing that they are deeply discounted in early November.

Photo of billybrew21
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this lying around since around Halloween, but decided to pop the cork and give it a try tonight.

750 ml bottle with no freshness date poured into a Duvel tulip.

This one pours a slightly hazy orange-honey color with a massive almost off-white head comprised of soap like bubbles, some of which shine incandescent in the light. The head is not as thick or condensed as I expected, and dissipates rather quickly compared to other tripels I've had. Leaves nice lacing though and remains around a half centimeter throughout the duration of drinking. Funky Belgian yeast dominates the smell, accompanied by an herbal characteristic (coriander, clove?). I also get some banana type fruit scent, as well as alcohol esters. Not getting much hop scent, which is strange considering how it's advertised as being on the hoppy end for tripels. The taste starts very sweet with some fruit and spice. I get that funky yeast right around the middle, but it doesn't linger as the alcohol comes through a bit strongly on the finish. Some green apple rind flavor at the end as well. There's a malt backbone definitely present, but not very noticeable. The tartness of the beer tingles the tongue at first and the moderate carbonation creates a pleasant mouthfeel. Light bodied and dry, even with the ABV, this is a significantly drinkable beer. Decent qualities for the style, I neither love nor hate the taste -- just not sure how I feel about it. I'm glad I found this and was able to try it. I might come back to it this fall.

Photo of elricorico
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange and mostly clear with a very white foamy head. Decent retention, but little lacing.

Fruity aroma, pears and melon. Slightly spicy and yeasty, but mostly fruity. Alcohol notable in the nose, but not overly so.

Sweet melon is first on the tongue. Some candy sugar I presume. Finish is yeasty and flowery mix, with just a touch of liquor taste.

Just a touch of stickiness to the body. High carbonation, but it isn't coarse.

This is a pretty good tripel, but something about it keeps it from being great. I'd suggest that maybe it is just a bit too sweet, covering some of the complexity.

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange amber with a thick white head and is appealing.

Big bee's wax nose; big Belgian fruit and ripe bananas and spice in the nose, quite nice.

Pleasant full mouthfeel. Clean flavors of spice, orange, honey and fruit. Rich full body and character. Flavors and general character is a bit sweet but not unappealing. Big sweet medium fruit finish.

This is simply a nice example of a decent and appealing triple. It is very pleasant and almost in the catagory of a holiday ale with the spicy/sweet character. Worth the try.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 10/31/2010 (Starting a tradition):

750 ml bottle at 42* into a chalice.

A: This pours a lovely golden color with a finger and a half of fluffy, off-white head that remains in large clumps on the edges of the glass.

S: We have spicy yeast, different citrus fruits, banana, barnyard funk, and some breadiness.

T: The taste is dominated by the earthy spicyness but it also features citrus notes, sweet berries, and a bit of breadiness.

M: It is medium-bodied with very heavy carbonation.

D: This is a nice tripel. It's a bit too spicy and shows a little alcohol at the end but it's still a nice brew.

Photo of aepb1
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy golden with a huge white head (it was a bit of a rough pour, but after trying again with a smooth pour it was still immense!) and I guess that added to the allure

S- Yeasty alcohol and some sweet fruit in there too

T- Yeasty malts in the fore, sweet malts in the middle and a surprising dry finish no bite from the alcohol in the nose at all!

M- Surprisingly not over carbonated from what the head would have you think. It's nice and smooth really

D- Like it a lot and goes down easy... beware the 9.3% abv!

Photo of BierFan
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a corked 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Decent head and okay lacing. Clear light amber/golden body.

Smell: A lot of alcohol in the nose. Pretty malty.

Taste: Alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering. Seems like a pretty standard tripel beyond that. but I will say that the hops in the finish are pretty yummy. Grassy and herbal.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a hazy bright golden color ale with a super large foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma of fruity ester with peppery yeast and sweet Belgian style malt notes are quite nice. Taste is a mix between some fruity ester and peppery yeast with some rustic Belgian malt notes with light residual candi sugar notes. Body is fuller then average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed and enjoyable without re-writing the style.

Photo of theopholis
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the brown 750ml.corked bottle, into a standard tulip.

Appearance- Stunningly clear, sparkling apple juice color that continually effervesces for quite a long time. The effervescence is very aggressive. Despite a fairly careful pour (so as to not disturb the yeast cake) the head is a huge, 3-finger, white, pillowy affair. Lots of staying power, and it leaves behind a very sticky lacing. Very inviting looking.

Smell- Very clean, sweet and fruity. Difficult to identify individual fruits. Maybe some nice, crisp apples, banana. Everything else is to subtle for me to identify. again....very inviting. Can't wait to taste it.

Taste- Starts off with a very pleasant malt sweetness, with a tartness lingering in the background. Hints of mild citrusy hops, hints of a spiciness that I often find overpowering in Beligian triples. This one is just right. Has a semi-dry champagne like finish.

Mouthfeel- Body is fairly light, with a lively carbonation that really causes it to dance over your tongue. Clings to the mouth very nicely to, giving you a warm, flavorful after-taste.

Drinkability- I'll get some for my friends.

Photo of vickersspitfire
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours out with a thick white bubbly head that cover the entire top of the ale and slowly vanished. It has some medium lacing to it and has a mild sweet and fruity aroma mixed in with some wheat smells. This is a dirty blonde ale, there is some haziness to it and plenty of carbonation as well. It has a smooth sweet taste all around, some mild tartness on the cheeks and is slightly dry in its aftertaste along with a hint of alcohol. This is a medium bodied ale leaning toward the lighter side of thing. It's very tasty overall and I look forward to drinking this ale soon.

Photo of smakawhat
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A real nice peach orange color, cloudy a bit with a real nice off white banana like yellow colored head. Makes a nice somewhat creamy/soapy presentation, but also gives real nice carbonation rising too.

Wonderful nose on this tripel. Clove spice and sweet nutmeg, light taffy sugars, a real nice brown toasty dry spice and sweetness. Just classic tripel smelling really digging this.

Taste has a real great feel first and foremost. Creamy and just a hint of wet but gives big depth to the palate. Rich malt and slight booze, but a real mix of clove and hop bitter. Big warming in the pit of the stomach finish with no burn. Mild sugar sticky sweetness combining with a creamy milk also. Crisply carbonated just a hair to make it playful, with honey coating lips on each sip.

A delicious tripel, going to be buying more of this in the future for sure.

Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice:

A - Golden in color, slightly hazy with a decent head that dissipates quickly.

S - Nice bouquet of fruity scents and Belgian yeast strain.

T - Sweet with complex fruity tastes. Some honey and a decent alcohol kick for the finish.

M - Well carbonated, medium to light bodied.

D - Pleasant and smooth. I enjoyed this one.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 3/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a murky medium orange amber with a huge white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet malt and light fruit, with Belgian spicing. Sweet fruit and light malt start, with an almost metallic spicing. Finishes sweet with hints of fruit, caramel and honey. The somewhat astringent middle does not meld well with the other flavors. A well made ale with some nice flavor, but marred by the spicing.

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Travis Air Force Base.

Poured into goblet

Appearance- orangish color, nice 1 inch head, nice lacing

Smell- citrus, spice, yeast

Taste- excellent flavor, nice bitterness, fruity notes

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- Excellent, I love this. Wonderful flavor and aroma

Photo of scottoale
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"It will put a spell on you", or so the label says with a TM (trade mark). I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing?!

Anyhow, good things to say about this ale and nothing bad...and that's good...

Poured from the brown 750ml.cork finished bottle, into a standard Duvel tulip is a radiating apricot gold with a solid two-finger off-white head with stamina. The pillowy thick foam sticks like cotton candy to the inside of the glass...web like and intricate.

The smell is sweet and fruity...over-ripend mango, apricot, green grape, faint banana with a mildly citrus hop and light yeast spice. Lots of nice aroma with each sniff and more so as it warms, yet the alcohol is well masked for an ale of this strength.

And the taste...that's where this brew really shines. All the flavors from the fore mentioned with complexity increasing with each sip. A wonderful tasting ale from the pleasant sweet start that is perfectly balanced by the mild citrusy hops, then winding down to a dry champagne like finish. Very lively carbonation at the start that gives it the dry crispness and no sign of alcohol until the very end when the brew eventually flatens out and warms to near room temp.

A great brew with a solid body for a light Triple and a lot going on...need I say, never a dull moment and superb drinkability.

I must say, this is a skillfully brewed ale that deserves recognition...great stuff!

Photo of CBlack85
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

Pours a cloudy deep orange color with few yellow/orange highlights. About three fingers worth of a bready thick head, with a fair amount of lacing.

The first thing to hit your nose is a yeasty sweetness, and alcohol. They seem to have made no effort at all to hide the big 9.3% ABV. Aside from that there is a fair amount of fruit aromas.

First impression is that it is very malty, unfortunately there is not much balance here. A little sweeter than I ususally like in a triple, but the overall package is actually pretty good. The deeper into the bottle I get the better I seem to like it, I don't know if it is the fact that the beer is warming or if I am just adjusting to the flavor.

Slightly sticky and well carbinated, even/medium body.

The trick to this beer is to serve it closer to room temperature.

Photo of Brent
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer generally gets good reviews, but perhaps at the time of sampling it was lined up against too many other top-notch examples of the style. A bit over-carbonated, fruity with some spice - almost witbier-ish at times. Sweetness seemed out of balance to the sweet side. Not bad, but the overall effect was not well blended.

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Witches' Brew from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.