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Witches' Brew - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Witches' BrewWitches' Brew

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

119 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 119
Hads: 226
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 13
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

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 (92) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 119 | Hads: 226
Photo of jktedder12
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay tulip glass. Burnt orange in color with a very foamy head, which dissipated fairly quickly, but still leaving a thin covering throughout the session. A fair amount of lacing remained as well. Smell of spices, cloves, nutmeg, with a slight hint of brandy. Strong taste of spices with some fruit. Alcohol also noticeable with a bitter aftertaste. Nice bold mouth feel, as a strong ale should. Overall, very enjoyable ale.

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Photo of billybrew21
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of Vixie
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a bit brighter orange than I expect from this style, but doesn't mean it's not a nice looking beer. Forms a huge off white head, and plenty of bubbling.

Fairly intense aroma. Very fruity, mainly citrus. I can also smell the yeast and malt, and a bit of pine, and floral notes.

Comes across as very spicy. There is fruit there, then a dose of peppery spice hits. Not detecting a whole lot else here.

A bit on the thin side for the style.

Overall just an ok beer. Lacks the complexity I expect from this style. It does go down nice and easy, but I feel there should be more depth of flavor. Worth a try, but there are better tripels out there.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this is a gift frombrandon722, thanks!

Poured from bottle to globe glass.

A - The beer pours a slightly cloudy yellow gold color with 1.5 fingers of a cream colored head. Decent retention with minimal lacing.

S - A fair aroma of clove, coriander, Belgian yeast and malty sweetness to pair the minimal floral hop character.

T - The beer starts off extremely sweet. It develops a little throughout but remains sweet. The middle brings a mild hop bitterness along with the yeast, clove, and coriander flavors on the nose. Ends with a bubble gum flavor.

M - Medium bodied, little carbonation. A little oily.

D - Hides the alcohol well, but not all-together that drinkable.

Overall, glad to have tried this beer as I am not sure I would have picked it out.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-01-2011 19:03:23

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Photo of zachary80
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cork and caged, no visible date information

Thick white head, golden orange hue, thick lacing

Aroma is very citrusy, tart, peppery on the finish. Smells like a cross between a berliner weiss and a tripel.

Flavor is somewhat bland and doesn't match the aroma at all. Yeasty but not very complex; somewhat sweet, somewhat peppery.

Mouthfeel is good, nothing notable.

Overall Witches Brew is above average but not special

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml served in a Tripel Karmeliet tulip.

A - Golden honey color with a firm 3 finger white head that leaves lines of sudsy lacing around the glass.

S - Dry spices-mainly clove. Dry and musty basement yeast, sugary dough, apricots, and peaches. Dried skunky herbs mellow out as it warms. Spicy alcohol vapors.

T - Sugary stone fruit-peaches, apricots, and persimmons. The clove and herbal spices lace the outside of a full and rich Pils malt while finishing nice and dry orange-flavors and light peppery alcohol.

M - Moderate carbonation helps lift the sweet and heavy body and turns almost creamy. Finishes slightly herbal and dry.

A wonderful Tripel! I thoroughly enjoyed this brew. Great fruity and funky yeast. Finished well and had a good mouth feel.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice beer, but somewhat standard. Goilden orange with a big white head. Malty scent, with spicy hops, candi sugar and fruits.

Nice malty tasty. Spicy, with hints of sugar and fruit. As it warms, banana and apple are quite noticeable in the flavour.

Good carbonation. Fizzy, but not overdone. Light alcohol profile. Not spectacular, but definitely a nice beer. Worth drinking again, but not the best.

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Photo of fultonj
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Corsendonk 33cl long stem tulip glass. It had more head than the average tripel. Thick bubbles stood above the glass before making their way down after a couple of minutes and leaving a fluffy mountain range with smaller bubbles near the center and larger bubbles on the side of the glass. This difference in elevation stayed after several sips and each sip left a thick lacy ring on the level above as I worked my way down. It had a hazy copper color; not as clear as other tripels. The scent after pouring was not as distinctive as the taste; I mostly smelled bread like yeast. Esters produced a flavor of honey which was strongest, followed by apricot, and finally a little bit of apple. Phenols gave a nice spice with a slight after taste of cloves. As expected from the exceptional carbonation, the beer left a nice dry after taste appropriate for a tripel, not too hoppy. Overall it's a pleasure that I'd happily drink again.

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Photo of drpimento
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wellll... while a solid effort, not so different from the mainstream tasty Belgian golden/ tripel/ blond/ strong ales. I let the bottle warm some out of the fridge and then poured a colossal, off-white, extremely flothy, fluffy, wispy head that settled after a bit and some clingy lace. Color is a minisculey hazy amber with no bubble trails. Aroma is yeast, bread dough, crackers, hop, malt, white wine. Flavor's very similar to nose, but with vineous sweetness on top then bitter tang, followed by other stuff including apples, pears. Body and carbonation are good. Finish is similar to flavor, easy and of short to average length with little alcohol warmth. Nice beer to get comfortable with. Be great for a picnic or to cook with.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweet, spicy, and fruity- this Halloween Tripel delivers what's best about the style but doesn't add much to capture the flavor of the scary holiday.

Pouring a hazy hue of orange, copper, and peach- the beer builds a fluffy and airy ivory white head that retains impressively while leaving connected patterns of lace all around the glass. A very nice looking Tripel, but a tad richer shade toward amber than I'm used to in the style.

Peach, appricot, pear, apple, and oranges all fill the nose along with a spicy note of white pepper, clove, and ginger. A backbone of malt sweetness give a candy-coated fruit scent throughout.

Flavors are very consistent with the aromas. The malt flavors represent a range of powdered sugar, cookie dough, and freshly baked light breads. An estery mix of peaches and appricots become dominant flavors along with the background notes of pear, apple, and orange. Low hop bitterness allows for a yeasty spicy of ginger, clove, and white pepper to balance. Lightly herbal and grassy late, the hops have only a mild impact at finish.

Rich and somewhat sugary to feel, the beer has a more robust malt character that doesn't dry in finish the way more classic versions do. Low hopping rates also disallow the dryish ending and promote a sweeter, longer finish that hinders drinkability everso slightly.

An overall very straight forward Tripel with more malt character than the style forcasts. Where hop balance is foregone for yeasty spice, the beer still balances fairly well. A great choice going into the Halloween weekend.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden color into my snifter- nice sheets of lacing on the glass. Almost has an orange tint to it, after looking at it for a bit. Great looking Belgian brew. Nose is pears, apples, yeast, malt, spice, and a tiny bit of alcohol. No complaints on the smell, other than it's not super balanced- still really nice though. Taste steps it up a notch. This is a really fine tripel, and even though I'm partial to the style- I'm surprised the scores on here aren't higher. Taste adds more fruit flavors and hops to the already complex nose. Really fantastic and unique tripel. Feel is a little above medium, w/ sweetness/hops mixing nicely. Carbonation is pretty good in the mouthfeel. Overall, I was surprised at this beer- it's a great tripel, and I'll definitely look for it again.

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Photo of ccrida
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Man the Steenberge's rip out a ton of brews. Is this one that will be distinct by taste rather then marketing? Dark gold with a fluffy white head leaving lots of foamy lace.

Smell is very herbal, dried skunky styrians, this is really heavily hopped, in a good, very Belgian way.

Taste is really quite good, this is a big, modern blonde, yet really well balanced, banana esters and a slate edge. I'm impressed! This is trending towards BIPA style, I dig, very continental, modern, Hotel Costes. Sans soucie...

Mouthfeel is very dry, crisp, palate-cleansing, light bodied and smooth.

Drinkability is high. This is really drinkable, dangerously, with lots of classic Belgian blonde flavors exaggerated without overbearing. Another very well executed blonde by Van Steenberge, makes me miss my Sharp Edge days.

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Photo of dbexpert
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A:Good. Deep Golden hue. Rocky white head showing good life.
S:Bannana and fruity esters are prominent, slight floral hop notes sneak thru
T:Not quite as heavy as expected leaning towards a golden vain. Yeast offers good spicieness. Hops are subtle but offer a bit of complexitiy
M.Average. Dry, lingering finish, alcohol is noticeable but not negative.
O. A good worthy beer. Drinkable. I would purchase this again.

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Photo of impending
2.91/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml into a tulip. Pours a nearly transparent clean copper penny, dense cream colored head subsides slowly, very nice lacing.

Aroma lacks, simply ok, sweetness & phenols. Doesn't inspire leisure sniffing, generic.

Taste mirrors the nose, sweetness & phenolic notes. Zero bitter zero dry, just a phenolic kick trying to substitute. Hint of zinc in the aftertaste. Medium bodied creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of claytong
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - somewhat murky golden color, 2 inch head on controlled pour, 3 to 4 when being a little wild

smell - clove and other spices, biscuit, earthy hops

taste - very similar to a pale ale which i wasnt happy about, biscuit and minor hops dominate

mouthfeel - light body and loads of carbonation make this quite refreshing

lot of good tripels so i doubt ill be coming back to this one

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Dark golden color with some transparency and a huge head that falls apart somewhat quick

S- Fruity and spicy with a solid alcohol note that reminds me of wine

T- Solid grain flavor comes across tasting like a biscuit. Hops, fruity esters and warm alcohol spice up the biscuit flavor

M- Very fine carbonation and a relatively light body make for a perfect mouthfeel.

O- Solid Tripel but I don't see myself getting this again. Definitely worth a try though.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged

A - very heady/foamy hazy gold.
S - certainly coriander with some hops.
T - starts spicy/sweet and finishes bitter with a little more sweet in the middle.
M - foamy from the higher carbonation but finishes clean.
D - despite the foamy feel I find it very drinkable and the high alcohol is barely noticed, yet....

Maybe a little hoppy for a Belgian but I like it.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Then I realized I should have used a Belgian glass. I own one... it was on the shelf... it was next to the pint glass.

Poured properly, but I got a very large head. Over four fingers. Looks pretty thin as a head, which is appropriate to the beer.

The color is a pretty shade of golden yellow. And now I see some pretty dots of lacing where parts of the head are sticking

Smells like a normal belgian tripel. I smell a lot of hoppiness coming through. This is pretty refreshing.

The flavor is a very strong impact of hops, and I don't think they are really well balanced. There is a decent amount of bitterness; maybe too much.
I like this beer, and I may buy it again. The mouthfeel is clean, and the flavors really stay after each swallow.

Give it a try. They did a good job with this Tripel.

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Photo of daveytheformer
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of Radome
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A - Beer is slightly cloudy with a golden orange color. The head is thick and fluffy and lasts a long time.

S - The aroma is very complex with all kinds of aspects. There is sweet malt, bubblegum, honey, citrus and alcohol.

T - Delicious and surprisingly subtle. Sweet malt, honey, oranges and alcohol.

M - Light hop bitterness, spritzy carbonation.

D - Complex and yummy.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottled poured into a tulip

A:Poured a hazy amberish color, almost resembling apple juice. Came with about two fingers worth of creamy white head and pretty good lacing all the way down to the last sip.

S:Lots of light fruits coming off the beer: Pear and apple are the most prominent. Has a spice kick to it as well along with a very developed sweetness. Belgian yeast a big factor as well as some pilsner malt.

T:From the get go it was pretty sweet on the palate. Light fruits again are dominating the beer paired with some spices. Has caramel and honey qualities to it as well.

M:Very well carbonated medium bodied beer. Alcohol has a presences but not problematic.

D:Well being my first Tripel i have ever had, i really don't have anything to compare it with so i am going to set it at average. For the beer in and of its self, i find average drinkability to be right were it sits as well. Really really sweet beer that could become a problem.

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Photo of crossovert
2.74/5  rDev -29%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml corked and caged bottle.

IT pours awful for a Tripel, the head is reminiscent of an adjunct lager's and it is super carbonated looking.

It smells of citrus, pears, an raisins. It has a subtle tanginess to it and some metallic notes.

The flavor is tangy with some lemon tartness, honey, caramel, apple cidre, and pear/apple skins.

It feels a bit boozy and metallic.

Stay away from this tripel.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Lukas Liquors because it was on sale for $3.99. No other reason. Poured a light to medium golden color with a huge, creamy three finger white head (which quickly settles into a few random spots on the surface). Aromas of juicy pear, green apple skins and a little yeast. Light bodied and creamy, a little tartness, green apples, pear, warming finish.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 750ml bottle into goblet. Large white head atop hazy apple juice body. Aroma is moderately sweet, orange, bubblegum, yeast, clove, some turpentine. Taste is moderately sweet, alcohol, yeast, some orange, alcohol astringency. Medium body, some effervescence. Reminds me of a Belgium Tripel, definitely not belong to the autumn category.

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Photo of Snamnoum
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Witches' Brew from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.