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Witches' Brew - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Witches' BrewWitches' Brew

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

206 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 12
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Beerbuddha on 10-17-2007)
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden colour, two thumbs of big bubbled head with solid retention and some chunky sporadic lacing.

S - Sweet cloves and yeast esthers, hints of mandarin amidst bready malt notes, and a touch of citrus hops on the finish.

T - Fruity cloves and sweet yeast notes dominate, some sour caramel and sourdough bread come through alongside a hint of ABV sweetness and a touch of citrus hop bitterness that lingers on the finish.

M - Lighter bodied ale that fills the mouth, goes down a tad prickly, but finishes nice and wet.

O - Insanely drinkable 9+% tripel that offers up a solid flavour profile and is a nicely balanced offering. I think I might grab myself a few extra bottles before they run out because I really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 00:35:15 | More by andrenaline
Photo of hotsudge

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

01-01-2013 19:03:30 | More by hotsudge
Photo of TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks great, after that it's rather run-of-the-mill.

Monster big fluffy head that lives forever. Big and chunky pretty much all the way down. Clear golden orange colour.

Nose is fairly sweet and fruity. Has a touch of the Belgian about it. Also sweet and malty to taste. Noticeable alcohol and yeast, a touch of spice.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 03:13:51 | More by TerryW
Photo of liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO, 750ml into a tulip. Best before August 13/14.

Clear golden orange, gargantuan white head that sticks around for days. Obligatory lacing and chunks of retention. Nose has some light hopping, a hit her ak with some faint citrus. And a good bit of spice from the yeast. Taste has some hops upfront, moderately sweet malt and finishes with some light fleshed fruits and bitterness. Some sweet gum/chewy candy as well. Alcohol is moderate to minimal, medium full feel and despite the massive apparent carbonation is quite low on the palate. A nice Belgian pale/tripel.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 00:35:29 | More by liamt07
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Though I'd love nothing more than to make some kind of spooky reference, Witches Brew legitimately looks like it belongs around the neck of an Olympian. Polished and golden, the beer sports perfect clarity and athletic bubbles. Tripels characteristically look light compared to the huge strain put on them by a heavily weighted head, but this offering is modestly carbonated.

The aroma has the prescribed amounts of sweet cereal grain, fruity esters, and floral phenols, but while it meets quotas, it far from exceeds them. Tripels are notoriously perfumed, so while this has a relatively heightened level of aromatics, it's actually fairly underwhelming given the style. That said there is a faint note of vanilla cupcake that persuaded me to up the score.

The mouthfeel showcases a much more pronounced mineral presence than is typical for tripels (or Belgian ales on the whole for that matter). It's like calcium or magnesium or who knows what mineral gives an almost 'salty' and definitively chlorine-like tinge. It is awfully bare too and drinks with a coarse graininess and occasional hiccups of unchecked alcohol. Should be less 'raw' and offer more complexity.

Despite cereal notes of wheat and oat, the flavour procures a subtle banana cream-like taste and vague traces of vanilla. There is a slight grassiness and iron salts (or whatever mineral) that really impress on the palate as well. Also, an old book-like mustiness. This has nowhere near the ageworthy structure of the highest-rated brands nor does it pack the high-flying dynamics, but it's certainly very palatable.

Brouwerij Van Steenberge has a long history of underwhelming me and, indeed, Witches Brew is far from bewitching (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun). While it makes a perfectly serviceable strong golden ale, it doesn't touch Belgium's best tripels. The fact that similar, better beers can be more easily found at similar price points makes this hard to recommend, though fans of the style should be able to justify the pickup.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 20:02:05 | More by biegaman
Photo of Digimaika2

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(4.0) A: Hazy golden colour with a tall and large-bubbled foam head. Very good retention and outstanding lacing down the glass as this one really clings.

(4.0) S: Wheat grass, banana, apricot, pineapple, cloves, bubblegum, and cotton candy. Solid mix of aromas with a noticeable sugary candy aroma that is pleasing to the nose. Have to dig a little bit to find some of the aromas but they are inviting when found.

(3.5) T: Similar to aroma with quite a dominant sweet taste and less of a focus on the bitter and dry qualities. Very ripe banana and sugary bubblegum are examples of the sweet with the grasses presenting some contrasting bittering qualities. Perhaps a little too focused and not all that dynamic in the taste profile, nonetheless still very tasty.

(4.0) M: Medium bodied with a moderate-high carbonation. Solid oily texture with a bit of grainy chewiness.

(3.5) D: Glad I had an opportunity to try this. Not as varied in the taste profile as I would prefer but still a solid Tripel and one that I would recommend trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 05:34:15 | More by Digimaika2
Photo of Treb0R


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

12-13-2012 16:30:33 | More by Treb0R
Photo of peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden honey colour, 3 fingers worth of big fluffy white head, nice lace all the way down. Smell is fairly fruity, spicy belgian yeast, grassy hops, green apple and some bubble gum with a faint bit of alcohol. Taste is of green apple, fruity and a bit of spice as well, a little bit of spice, lightly sweet, medium hop bitterness, drying in the finish. Fairly high dry carbonation, medium body, good feel. Quite the nice Tripel, not terribly complex but still rather enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 18:02:01 | More by peensteen
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB August 13, 2014.

Beer is golden coloured with a very large white head. Very good retention, head stays forever. Lots of lace.

Smell is a bit faint. Belgian yeast, a bit of spice. Some dry fruit scents, apple and pear.

Taste contains Belgian yeast, white pepper, banana, bready malt and peach. Moderately sweet, with alcohol noticeable but not overly so. A bit creamy, with a honey flavour. Good, but nothing exciting or particularly noteworthy.

Full bodied, highly carbonated, very active in the mouth.

Overall, a very solid tripel. Nice beer, but certainly not one of the greats.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 01:39:08 | More by jrenihan
Photo of WeissBoy

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

11-28-2012 03:54:31 | More by WeissBoy
Photo of Hellpop65


3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

11-18-2012 18:24:33 | More by Hellpop65
Photo of andthevolcano


4/5  rDev +3.1%

11-18-2012 05:23:09 | More by andthevolcano
Photo of t0rin0


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

11-15-2012 02:04:31 | More by t0rin0
Photo of JayQue


3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good Tripel. Served in a Chimay goblet from a corked and caged bottle. Pours a hazy apricot color with a medium size delicately bubbly white head. Head retention is pretty good for this style.

Smell is fairly mild until the beer warms. Since I split the bottle, and it was good, I drank most of it before it warmed up. Cold...a little light fruit (especially pears) and some alcohol. As it warmed there was a yeast aroma as well.

Taste is good warm or cold. Mostly light fruit...some alcohol and a good yeast presence as it warms. Not a great Tripel but a pretty good.

Mouthfeel is rich and the alcohol presence is not overwhelming.

In all...a solid (but not great) Tripel.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2012 04:25:30 | More by JayQue
Photo of 2GOOFY


4/5  rDev +3.1%

11-04-2012 22:20:34 | More by 2GOOFY
Photo of Chokobo


4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

10-29-2012 03:04:25 | More by Chokobo
Photo of Murrhey


3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large 750ml bottle into a wine glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Two finger cloudy white head that recedes rather quickly to a 1.5 inch head with peaks and nice lacing. Relatively large bubbles, and torrents of carbonation. Cloudy straw color with nice density. Appealing.

S- Bubblegum and banana, cream, yeast and light fruits. Alcohol is present on the very edge of the aroma but is not heavy.

T- The alcohol comes into much heavier play here. The light fruits and bitter backbone of yeast are here in full force as well. Pineapple? Sweet but finishes bitter.

M- Medium viscosity, wet and full at first, dry finish. Semi-vinous feel.

O- I had higher hopes, although admittedly I am not a huge fan of Tripels.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2012 00:57:24 | More by Murrhey
Photo of MrJolly


4/5  rDev +3.1%

10-20-2012 01:43:37 | More by MrJolly
Photo of smakawhat


4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2012 02:39:21 | More by smakawhat
Photo of swgwilt


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

09-19-2012 02:54:35 | More by swgwilt
Photo of tfsimpkins


5/5  rDev +28.9%

09-10-2012 02:52:16 | More by tfsimpkins
Photo of Hbat68


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

09-09-2012 14:29:24 | More by Hbat68
Photo of WynnO


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

09-08-2012 06:00:42 | More by WynnO
Photo of Ispeakforthetrees


4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

09-06-2012 22:56:09 | More by Ispeakforthetrees
Photo of superspak


4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into chalice, 26HH bottle code(?). Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a good 2 finger foamy white head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass, with a small amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of apple, pear, apple skin, caramel, grape, candi sugar, raisin, clove, herbal, earth, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of apple, pear, raisin, grape, clove, candi sugar, caramel, herbal, earth, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, candi sugar, clove, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Awesome balance of malty flavors with great complexity; no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Very smooth to sip on. Overall this is a highly excellent tripel! Great flavor balance and complexity; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2012 05:31:34 | More by superspak
Witches' Brew from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.