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Kapittel Prior - Brouwerij Van Eecke N.V.

Not Rated.
Kapittel PriorKapittel Prior

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

162 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 8
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Eecke N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 09-20-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 104
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.89/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a murky dark crimson-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of honey, molasses, caramel, dark fruit, and cardboard aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet honey, molasses, and cardboard flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a below average beer with a lot of very noticeable oxidized aromas and flavors that make this one difficult to drink much of.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of bushbeer75
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%

11.2 oz brown bottle

Kapittel Prior Ale filled my tulip glass with a dark brown hue producing a 1 1/2-finger fine bubbly tan head leaving thick rings of lacing behind. The nose was dominated by dark fruits of plums, roasted malts and the sweetness of caramel and toffee. The taste a little bittersweet, matched the nose with the flavor of raisins noted. Make sure you do not drink this ale too cold - as the flavor comes out as it warms. The mouth feel was high- medium bodied with a decent level of fine carbonation and smoothness.

Overall, an enjoyable above average Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Candy apple-amber with lots of floaties and loose tan foam that's gone pretty quick.
Bread, rum, prune, wood and cherries on the nose - sweet.
Fruitcake, glace cherries, some cinnamon, plum and herbal end.
Birch beer finish and tingly linger.
Fizzy, hot, thin, slight cling.

Candy sweet fruit notes without the body or darker malts to hold them. I don't get the bitterness that others mention, so this is way out of balance for me. Aggressively carbonated, too, making the whole thing like at best a mediocre dubbel more than a BSDA and at worst an alcoholic soda pop.

There are far better beers than this.

Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle. Those are some happy-looking monks there on the label.

This beer pours a surprisingly clear red-brick amber colour, with a teeming climbing tower of fizzy, frothy, and loosely creamy beige head, which leaves a few wayward instances of wavecrest lace around the glass as it ever so slowly dissolves.

It smells of brittle caramel and toffee candy, earthy yeast, dried Christmas cake fruit, a sharp dry walnut nuttiness, and weedy, slightly perfumed hops. The taste is bready caramel malt, edgy dry yeast, musty dark fruit - raisins, prunes, and dried cantaloupe - almond and pecan nuttiness, the usual suspects of holiday cookie spice, and more earthy, wet leafy hops.

The carbonation is more than a tad frothy on the high, low, and everywhere in between palate, the body a sturdy medium weight, and adequately smooth, a faint hint of creaminess worming its way into my consciousness. It finishes off-dry, the weirdly subdued caramel and toffee sweetness almost consumed by a cellar dustiness, and some lingering earthy, musty hops.

I like me my BSDAs, and despite the frivolity surrounding this one, it's not quite up to the world beaters of the style. That shouldn't be a knock here, as it's a relative thing, and well, at this time of year, there's tons of good stuff from its Belgian brothers (laic and otherwise) available in Christmas and standard formats kickin' around. Still, try it if you can.

Photo of biegaman
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Kapittel Prior has a deep tone but still plenty of colour; almost as orange as amber-brown, highlights aren't many to come by but they do exist and they do reveal some clarity. It is topped with the perfect mold for Belgian head; it is the Michelangelo's David of beer foam.

I think when Christmas cake was invented they got the idea from Kapittel Prior (or any number of other spicy, dark Belgian ales). With the spotlight on the yeast, there's lots of fruit cake and plum pudding flavours as well as sweet baking as well as more savory spices.

The beer (indeed the style) can be distinguished by a marzipan and dried fruit profile that encompasses notes of prune, raisin, candied cherry as well as cinnamon, anise and nutmeg. You might also taste black licorice and caramel squares. Whatever you taste, it's nice.

The mouthfeel has a surprising degree of creaminess amongst all this spicy and savory yeastiness. There's also loads of brown sugar-like sweetness and a toasty breadiness that resembles near-burnt whole grain crusts and/or heavily toasted nuts (almonds especially). I would have guessed the alcohol at little more than half what it actually is.

Kapittel Prior is a classic Belgian strong dark ale with the mellow and manifold embarrassment of riches that characterizes the style. Beers like this are so tremendously detailed they are worthy of the same attention sommeliers pay to wine, but, unlike the latter, they are low-key and accessible enough for anyone to enjoy readily and at a more reasonable price.

Photo of puboflyons
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From the 11.23 oz. bottle marked best before June 2013. Sampled just in time on June 26, 2013.

The color is very nice with ruby red hues sparkling lively within the mahogany brown appearance. Decent head that settles down after a few minutes.

The aroma tends to be more subtle than what I expect from this style. It has Belgian yeast, Belgian sugar, moderate sweet malts, black licorice, and dark fruits like plum or red grape.

Medium body with a bit more acidity than I prefer.

The taste comes barreling back after a rather straight forward aroma with full malty sweetness and a lingering moderate bitterness - almost sour in its bitterness - at the finale. As it warms the taste improves.

Photo of newton99
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

These guys know how to party.
Seriously though: I wonder how many of the so called 'abbey' breweries marketing their ales, are actually marketing the monks instead, without any connection with them

Clear brown ale with a decent head, good lacing.
Smell is clearly roasted malts, cream and coffee. Taste is the same, with some dark fruits.
Overall the beer is pretty sweet from candy caramel and syrup, I would say.
The alcohol is masked very well, but this beer is defenately too sweet. The result makes for a very ordinary experience, if you ask me.

Photo of Patou
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.
Aroma: notes of caramel and raisins. Not that agreable
Taste: notes similar to the aroma. Rather strong in alcohol, vinous one. Rather agreable
Palate: Medium body, average/lively carbonation, rather bitter and abrupt finish
Overall: not my prefered beer but rather good and agreeable in overall

Photo of Flounder57
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger beige head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark brown haze with no clarity, but visions of carbonation can be seen coming up the sides of the glass. Crazy lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel malts, dark fruits, bready notes, some alcohol, and a little bit of chocolate too.

Taste: All of the above plus some spiciness too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, medium carbonation, a little watery feeling, and boozy.

Overall: A very tasty BSDA. 9% is hidden very well and warmed the body up on this cold December night. This is the last of the 4 bottles I got from the BBF '11. Good stuff.

Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into chalice, best by 2/2013. Pours hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice thin cap that lingers. Some light spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of raisin, prune, caramel, molasses, earth, biscuit, light chocolate, herbal, and light yeast spiciness. Some pretty nice aromas with decent complexity; a bit of a metallic note noticed. Taste of raisin, prune, molasses, caramel, biscuit, earth, toast, herbal, light chocolate, nuttiness, pepper, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, molasses, toast, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Pretty good flavor balance and complexity; some slight off notes noticed. A lot more malt flavor over spiciness; slight cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a pretty good Belgian dark ale. Not nearly as complex or balanced as I was looking for; with some slight off flavors. Pretty enjoyable though.

Photo of Filosoof
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely, drinkable beer, a bit less complex than others, but a nice composition though.

L: great lasting top, dark brown;
S: candy sugar, bread, raisins, some fruit, refreshing;
T: a bit straightforward brown beer, bready, great alcohol in disguise (you wouldn't say this is a 9.0 one.
M: very good, but a little thinner than the biggest names, nice dryness at the end;
O: a quite straightforward, but certainly advisable beer.

Photo of tbeckett
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the bargain bin at Local Provisions. Best Before C 3 11.

A - Very dark brown with red edges. One finger of solid creamy light brown head. Good carbonation coming up, wicked rings of nice
lace and a film of retention.

S - Dark fruit, lot's of raisin, yeast, some gentle heat. Really rich.

T - Lot's of dark fruit, rum, raisin, a little yeast.

M - Decent carbonation, full body, fruity and dry finish.

O/D - Pretty good Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Lacks complexity that the big boys have, but delivers solidly. Really rich and flavourful while being easy to drink and allowed me to put it back faster than probably needed.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a one-finger, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left thick rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of plum, currants and other dried, dark fruits.

T - Sweet bready malt backbone with good fried fruit flavors of plum, raisin and currants. Some mild spiciness.

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

O - This is a very nice Belgian ale. Another good one with the Kapittel label.

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into wine chalice. On draft at Hommelhoff. Suddsy thick head high retention. Dark ruby color. Aroma sweet malt belgian yeast, candi sugar, dark pitted fruits. Taste sweet malts. Raisins. Dates. Figs. Most people would say it's too sweet but I love it.  

Photo of u2carew
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml Bottle
A) Pours with a two finger tan head then settles to a nice tight and creamy lacing on top. Hazy amber-ruby body. Sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Dried plums, raisins. Hints of toffee and caramel.
T) Earthy sweetness. Rich malt flavors mixed with alcohol. Molasses and brown sugar. Hints of citrus sour and subtle yeast.
M) Fizz. Crisp. Medium body. Alcohol effervescence.
O) A decent brew. I'd consider another one.

Photo of crnipeter
4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Lot D, Best Before October 2011 so this is an aged bottle and hopefully organoleptics would reflect that.
Pours deep amber, somewhat hazed body with attractive ruby hue, topped by mid-sized tan head that gradually recedes and gets quickly revived with each swirl.
One of the most appealing scents I've ever came across: rich malt with heavy caramel sweetness and pronounced chocolate qualities, strong esters of fully ripen figs and dried cherries; aromas are perfectly mellowed and reminiscent of good port-wine.
Flavor is malty-sweet with light bitterness underneath, dark fruits, quite prominent peppery phenols and smooth alcohol warmth. Finish is surprisingly dry with lightly bitter aftertaste with woodsy notes.
Rather airy initially butt seems to be quickly loosing carbonation trapped within medium body and gets rather flat.

Overall, a good BSDA with remarkable ripen fig & dried cherries aroma. (330 ml, into tulip)

Photo of ckollias
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 11.2oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Dark hazy-brown ale with a thin ½-finger off-white head that very quickly dissipates leaving virtually no head..

S: Strong caramel and boozy aroma. Hints of esters and phenols.

T: This is a very heavy caramel and malty brew. Hints of dark fruits and spices. Heavy on the alcohol also.

M: Very strong and boozy. Heavy body and minimal carbonation

O: Decent Belgium strong dark ale. Not the best I’ve had, but worthy of a taste.

Photo of flagmantho
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, tawny-brown hue with plenty of haze and a fine one finger cap of frothy tan foam. Nice looking.

Smell: deep, rich aroma. Milk chocolate, brown sugar, raisins and dates are the primary characteristics, and it's got an overall "smooth" quality. Quite sweet, but very, very nice.

Taste: much like the aroma, with chocolate, dried fruits and a bit of a molassesey sweetness. Alcohol is mostly well-masked. Complexity seems lower than the aroma here, though, and the outcome is sort of flat. Not bad, though.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent level of well-integrated carbonation, but something about the texture is so amazingly silky smooth. This is maybe one step below perfect.

Overall: this is a really enjoyable beer. It's not quite as huge-flavored as some other BSDAs, but I like it quite a lot indeed.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)
best before A1011
A- This beer pours a walnut brown body that is dense and a bit hazy but glows a red hint at the base of the glass. There is a tan head that has a slight yellowish hue to it.

S- The dry pot caramel dark sugar has some woody brown malt notes to it and a slightly fruity ester aswell. There is a dark toffee note with some monastery yeast in the finish with an earthy quality.

T- The nutty pot caramel flavor has a soft sweetness to it and a dark caramel flavor also. There is a soft green note and a soft bitter note in the dry finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a tight scrubbing fizz and no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This is a tasty beer that is simple but full of flavor and layers come through as the beer opens.

Photo of sweemzander
3.19/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a dark reddish mahogany color. Produced a great big cap of tan froth. Great retention. Some spotty lace left behind.

(S)- A dry and earthy clay profile primarily. Bits of a yeasty dark fruit aspect.

(T)- Similar to the smell. Tons of dry earth/clay/and yeast. Far less fruits than what was in the smell.

(M)- A nice mellow carbonation level. Heavy on earth and dry qualities with a generic sweet malt finish.

(D)- Nothing extraordinary, but it fits the style easy enough. Easy to enjoy.

Photo of ferrari29
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from bottle in Tulip shaped glass

A - Dark golden colored body with a reddish hue; half finger white foam, which did not hold well; well carbonated and sediment is visible in the glass

S - Caramelized malts; spices; and some yeast, giving it the scent of a young wine

T - Malty and sweet; ginger; yeasty with a kick of slight bitterness; the end of the drink has a high kick of alcohol flavor that lingers in the mouth for a while

M - Effervescent and a bit watery; burns the throat a little bit

D - Alright drink; there was nothing that really stood out about this beer, I would pass on this in the future

Photo of heygeebee
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep copper. one finger head, little lacing.

Good aromas of candi, raisins, toffee with a little hint of burnt sugar.

Taste is a bit of a journey, starts sweet, typical Belgian with caramels and malts, but finishes bitter, with a hint of metallic aftertaste which lingers. Not good, and not sure what's going on. Warm alcohol also kicks in as the glass warms. All in all better warm than cold.

Mouthfeel is all good, reasonably heavy, syrup-like, moderate carbonation.

Overall? Not quite there...

Photo of chumba526
2.66/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It appears dark brown color with a medium sized light brown head.

It smells very sweet. I get strong hints of molasses, brown sugar and caramel. I also get a prune like fruit smell to the beer.

It tastes initially of prune flavor. It almost tastes like prune juice. There is a sweet candi sugar smell, to the beer. There is also a nutty like flavor to the beer. There is a slight vanilla like flavor to the beer. There is also an odd metallic like flavor and a harsh alcohol like taste to the beer as well.

There is a medium amount of carination. The mouthfeel is somewhat smooth.

The drinkability is ok. This beer kind of grew on me (it grew on me like a deadly bacteria though).

This is not a great beer. I do not even think this is a good beer but it is drinkable. I guess it is worth trying if you can get it at a good price.

Photo of bskrtz
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle served 42 degrees in glass beer challis

A) Classic Belgian dubbel: milk chocolate with suspended carbonation and hazy with yeasties

S) Sweet candy, licorice, stewed apples, baked sour dough bread

T) Wonderful cuvee of burnt caramel, dark fruits sweet malt with hint of espresso. Delicious

M) Smooth and complex but this beer is lacking ample carbonation. Could be this specific bottle -- had to travel over a 1000 miles....

D) An excellent Belgian dubbel but a very competitive category.

Photo of crossovert
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle.

It pours a deep brown/plum/black with a huge foamy off-white head. Th head sticks for a long time and eventually recedes with some nice lacing.

I haven't had a BSDA lately and upon sniffing this one I am reminded of the supreme complexity of this style in the nose. Lots of dark fruits, dark bread, and spicy yeast dominate. It is so rich and fragrant.

The flavor isn't as good. There is an odd flavor at first that dominates, it is almost like an earthy chocolate. With some more sips the sweetness comes through, as does the fruit. Flavor wise though this one is a bit all over the place.

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Kapittel Prior from Brouwerij Van Eecke N.V.
84 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.