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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

220 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 220
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.37%
Wants: 12
Gots: 21 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 220 | Reviews: 118 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Snamnoum
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - hazy honey color. Gentle pour produced two fingers of off-white head. Good retention

Smell - smells of yeast, cloves, and coriander. Phenols and medicinal spiciness are accented by floral hops.

Taste - very sweet malt, overly sweet for my taste. Fresh doughy yeast, some bitter hops, and bubble gum.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, fairly light for the style, low carbonation, slick feel.

Drinkability - drinkable for the for a high abv beer but a little too sweet and somewhat boring. Not the best tripel I've tried but somewhat interesting. A little over priced IMO.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

750mL corked & caged bottle - $9.99 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a relatively clear, pale golden body with a tall, billowing, meringue-like, white head.

Smell: Pils malts, a distant toastiness, and notes of pears soaking in sugar water, honeysuckle, Granny Smith apples with a touch of floral apple blossoms and a very teensy hint of spice, all cut with some stinging wafts of alcohol.

Taste: Pilsner malts, light toasted grain accents and a sweetness akin to rock candy. A few drops of simple mead, a splash of Tott's champagne. Fruit tastes of pears and sourish green apples, though, as it warms, a hint of orange marmalade comes out. Noted yeastiness. Modestly bitter. Slight flourish of acidity. Dusting of spices and some warming alcohol tones approaching the finale, but it still finishes a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Lively mouthfeel with an effervescent degree of carbonation.

Drinkability: A near-ten-buck threesome between a Belgian blonde, a malt liquor, and a low-grade champagne. Eh, it's alright, though I find the sweetness a bit tiring in the long-run.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml
Caged/Corked

Poured into a chalice a very nice hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, with a nice creamy/foamy one-finger white head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with a nice yeast note, some coriander, slight peppery note, slight hoppyness. The taste is malty, sweet, yeasty, with a nice touch of spices. Medium body. Drinkable, this one really surprised me, a nice tasty brew.

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, orange color with a two-finger, khaki, soapy head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of clove, spices, yeast and light caramel malt.

T - It had a very nice spicy and yeasty character with a good dose of clove. It had a nice caramel malt backbone.

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

D - This is a very good tripel. Pretty easy drinking despite its high ABV.

Photo of Mightyscoop
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cork & caged bottle pured from 750ml champagne bottle

A- Golden body, and a pure white, frothy, 2" rocky head. Bubbles cling to the glass slightly. Initially pured more clearly than I have grown used to from this style, hazed nicely.

S- Malty with some nice floral notes. Fades to traditional style with citrus and apple scents.

T- Sweet. Slightly sour. Honey with some spiciness. Soft green apples and familiar Belgian yeastiness. Hop bitterness is present, though subtly.

M- A bit too carbonated for the style in my opinon. Otherwise a good medium mouthful that stays with me well after the sip.

D- Drinkable. I split a bottle with the S.O., but could see myself drinking the entire 750.

Overall - a good tripel. There are better out there that I feel better fit the bill (and cheaper.) Would drink again.

Photo of Brent
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of thekoz
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottled.

Poured a slightly hazy, golden color.

Head on the first pour dissipated fairly quickly, subsequent pours were better.

Slightly over carbonated for my tastes, as the beer sat and some of this was reduced and more well balanced with the spicy flavors of the beer. Had a yeasty aroma to it, perhaps a bit of diacetyl as well.

Flavor developed as the beer warmed. When it was initially poured I got a strong alcohol sensation, but as it warmed this was reduced. Similarly initially (fridge cold) it was very spicy and lacked other flavors, as time passed it was more well balanced. Still a little too spicy for my tastes. I get some fruity esters as well that I cannot complete identify.

Overall a nice beer, lots of flavors especially as it warmed and open up the flavors. Probably wouldn't choose it again, but certainly wouldn't turn it down.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
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 TheSarge
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours perfectly for a soft pillowy white head, which is about three fingers thick in a 25cl tulip. The body is mildly hazy and gold in color.

In the taste and aroma, there are characteristics of toffee, orange peel and coriander.

Overall a refreshing strong beer with lots of complexity. Crisp and chewy in the beginning but dives into warmness in the end.

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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 MrHungryMonkey
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose is indeed tripely. It smells of soft malt and a crisp fermentation with a slight sour twang.
Smells good.

Pours softly hazy honey with larger head. Looks good.

Lots of soft maltiness. Very dry well attenuated body/finish - good champagne like effervescence. Soft sour/tartness. Good bit of bitterness. Tastes pretty good. Feels good. Good drinkability.

Fairly run of the mill Tripel - but not bad.

Photo of bmwats
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pored from 750 ml bottle into a chalice.

A: Cloudy dark golden hue. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, off-white head. Settles fairly slowly, and unevenly leaving a blanket of foam on the surface. A little beer ring lacing remains as you drink it down.

S: Nutty, woody, peaty nose. A little pungent with a hint of butterscotch.

T: Really woody malt flavor. A little unsweetened chocolate, and hints of sweetness.

M: Full, robust body with a bit of a pungent aftertaste. Very clean and full.

D: Great drinking, sipping brew.

Atmosphere is really good here. Really great appearance. Nice color, great head, and good lacing. Nose has some really fine components with a great woody malty tone. Flavor is very clean and tasty, with a full robust body. Nice complexity. Overall, this is a great quaff.

Photo of John_M
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle, the beer pours a darkish gold color, with a considerable, pillowy, fluffy white head. Head retention is pretty good as well, and there is considerable sticky lacing all around. The nose is pretty much your standard Belgian tripel, strong golden ale, with considerable honey, light coconut, canned peach and apricot. The beer smells as if it will be fairly sweet, strong, and spicey. Flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, with the moderate sweetness nicely countered by some noticeable hoppy bitterness. The sweet tropical fruit wins out in the end, but there's enough hoppy bitterness to keep the beer from becoming heavy or cloying, and the bitterness dries out the sweetness pretty well on the finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long finish, and drinkability is good. While I'm aware this beer has some serious alcohol, it's not overwhelming and doesn't tire out the palate (too much).

While nothing out of this world, this is certainly another very solid beer from this talented Belgian brewery. Quite tasty...

Photo of irishking1977
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy golden hue with a massive, white rocky head. Reminds me of Duvel. Which is quite a compliment.

S: Sweet, malty, baked bread, Belgian yeast. Very nice.

T: Citrusy, with a malt backbone. Hints of apple, pineapple and caramel. Very tasty.

M: Carbonation is pretty good, but could be a bit better. Spicy finish is a pleasant surprise with each sip.

D: Catches up quick. The 9+ ABV is sneaky, since other than the spicy finish, you can forget how potent this is because it's so tasty and easy to drink. Definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of aristeros
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Took the basket off the cork and left it for a moment and it opened itself! Thankfully, I scarcely lost any beer to the incident. x I was excited to see this offering from the same place that makes Gulden Draak.

Poured into a tulip. Pours a reddish gold--sunset, nearly an amber--with a massive, foamy head that's lasted a good minute or more, lacing the glass. Looks great, but I'm not one hundred percent sure it looks like a tripel.

The nose is full of sweet malts over alcohol, with subtle banana, coriander, black pepper, and cloves dancing just under the surface.

Syrupy, malty sweetness up front yields to warming alcohol and spices. Moderate carbonation and body, with good alcohol masking--it doesn't feel heavy or boozy at all. Simple, decent, and deceptive in its concealment of its alcohol.

Photo of BierFan
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
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 hustlesworth
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

after reading of reputed booziness, i opted out of pouring this *FIIIFFFF* into a tulip and went with the chimay goblet instead. $95 a case here in ohio. i'm selling for $13/bottle so it better be good if i'm gonna move it.

witchi-tai-to...

A- dense puffy white head becomes creamy as it hastily settles. glass etchings hold it strong at about 1/4in. alluring hazy golden orange-apricot colored body. sticky waves and rings of lace are spot on although i would have expected a little more becky from a bottle conditioned belgian. yes i said becky. dome piece, fool. head clinic.

S- deep, complex, and delightful. the other half of this bottle will definitely go in a tulip to further appreciate the aromatics. sweet tart fruity and creamy custardy dessert like. creamy fruits, peach, pear, melon, strawberry, soft citrus, pound cake, vanilla, reisling, waffles, yellow cupcakes, mango, pineapple, light grainy aroma, with an underlying sugar cookie toastiness and notes of cedar, light colored leather, and most forwardly, golden brown toasted marshmallow. *nice*

T- a flash of mineral water at the beginning sets the pace for the flavor profile here-- subtle yet direct flavors darting in and out in seemingly processional order. there's really no "hmm i can't quite put my finger on it"s within this hag's cauldron. hard minerally flavors are hopefully from the water and not something else, as they are something i enjoy in beers of this nature. no sulfur compounds, just calcium and magnesium mineral water freakin taste until the palate becomes accustomed to it. ok enough of that. following that is a dash of custard and vanilla sweetness followed by a double dash of green apple, pear, white grape, bitter orange, and the general taste of green colored orchard fruits. then a dash of pound cake, sugar cookie, toasted marshmallow. then some sugary candi stuff which is not so good until it is balanced out by what seems to be a combination of saaz hop, peppercorn, and pineapple-floral alcohol bitterness. sweetness resurges in the finish with only mild alcohol to keep it in check. i would have appreciated more tart yeasty flavors but this stuff is pretty damn good.

MF- carbonation is perfect but the body could be a little more rounded to suit my preferences. when i think good tripel, i think trappist. as i'm sure many of us do. and although no amount of witchcraft can even attempt to golf with their holy pious ways, i have had non-trappist tripels which (witch) have wowed me on body. this isn't one of them. thus i have concluded that black magic and the dark arts do nothing to contribute to a firm beautiful mouthfeel. although this one isn't terrible, it is not da bomb. it is sugary then dry then oddly sugary again then finally lush and downy then flame torched by alcohol heat then barren. harsh words for such a decent score, but when it comes to belgians nothing less than perfection can stand. damn i'm boisterous tonight.

D- you know, this bottle i have here isn't as boozy as it's been reputed to be. not even close, not even as it warms. i will tell you one thing however-- i ate a full spaghetti meatball garlic bread and cake dinner about 4 hours ago and somehow 10oz of this potion has put a solid buzz on me. i mean like a little wavy in my chair. like i'm moving back and forth on the keyboard like when we all would jerk the nintendo controller to the side back in the day hoping that it would either make mario jump farther, or save him from imminent doom after a failed maneuver. like my girlfriend when she's texting (sorry baby)...(i know you won't read this anyway). that being said, dude i can't quit sippin. now that i near the end of the glass, i see hwere this boozt reputation comes form. it's like takin a shot of vodka almost but dflerghtgt. just kidding. awesome beer.

Photo of GallowsThief
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 1 pint 9.4 oz. corked bottle into the Duvel Tulip.

A - Nice deep golden color with a monstrous head that stayed about 1/2 inch the whole time in the glass. Nice lacing.

S - Subtle sweet smell with just a sniff of something spicy.

T - A good creamy flavor with just a taste of back of the throat alcohol. Not overwhelming.

M - Medium body with a clean finish.

D - Its a decent tripel for sure. I wouldnt have more then one on any given night.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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 AmieMize
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this from a 750 mL bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

A--lovely golden orange color, slightly hazy. Large white head.

S--fruit, candied sugar, slight pepper

T--more of the same. A lovely tripel.

M--very luxurious, full bodied.

D--I could drink the whole bottle by myself. As it warmed, the alcohol became more apparent, but it was very very lovely.

Photo of aepb1
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
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 champ103
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cloudy golden/orange color. A large white head rises to over two fingers. The rocky foam has excellent retention, and rings of sticky lace are left on the glass.
S: Spicy aromas, yeast, and banana like esters. Simple, but enjoyable.
T: Follows the nose. A big spicy aroma up front with some yeast. Banana esters are dominate as well. Simple, and the flavor does not linger at all.
M/D: A medium body that is really effervescent. To much carbonation, and not nearly dry enough for me. Not hard to drink. I am having no problems finishing the 750ml bottle.

Not bad at all. I little simple and one dimensional, but still very enjoyable. A nice beer to share during a hot summer night.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear yellow gold with a small head of white bubbles made up of various sized bubbles. There were a whole lot of bubbles rising to maintain the head so it never got below about 1/8".

Aroma: I initially get some malt mixed with a generous amount of banana and other esters. I get a little bit of honey-like sweetness in the beer and there is a tad of alcohol noticeable in the aroma of the cold beer.

Taste: The flavor is significantly different than the aroma. It is actually quite dry and malty with a whole lot of floral components that are more from yeast as from any hops. The beer overall is rather light bodied, but there is a ton of carbonation that makes it really light on the palate. There is dryness that is there the whole time, and it leaves the alcoholic warming and the graininess out in the open with little support. There is a little bit of citrus support as a light lemon rind. The finish is dry with some alcohol and attenuation and some grain left to linger on the palate for quite some time after the sip.

Opinion: Well, this beer is OK. I don't really care for the malt balance as it doesn't have much complexity. It seems like it may have been over-sparged so that the beer got too grainy. I will most likely drink the whole bottle, but it is getting late for me now and if I leave a bit in the bottle, it won't hurt my feelings. I doubt that I will be purchasing this beer in the future.

Photo of scruffwhor
2.62/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a light hazed, golden cantaloupe and hay color. Thick head, but dissipates in only a few seconds. No foam or film o' foam and only a single column of bubbles rising to the top. The aroma is of sweet spring fruits, then freshly toasted malts, a little sweet bread, and some odd metallic scents. The taste starts fruity and malty sweet. Then the alcohol quickly takes a turn to the metallic and bloody. From the middle to the back of my palate, all I get is metal and blood. Then it softens up a little to a more cand sugar sweet white bread. Still not what I was expecting. This Witches' Brew certainly didn't put a spell on me.

Photo of Shadman
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Has the color nailed down, head, lacing and retention are lacking...slightly.

Smeels to my neophyte nose to be a lot like Duvel..yeast, phenols from the booze, some spiciness...basically apple juice and booze...which to me are too things that can smell good in combination...

Quite a bit of yeastiness mixed in with the pale malts in the front end. Alcohol doesn't bite ( scary) but is noticable lurking in the shadows. Sweet belgian candy sugar noticeable in the middle, finish is moderately dry.

Fizzy @ the very start of a swig, but after that quite smooth and almost creamy on the palate.

@ $16cdn per bottle it's still worth a try...only because it is so damned easy to drink...

Witches' Brew from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.