Kasteel Donker | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker
BA SCORE
81.1%
Liked This Beer
4.12 w/ 896 ratings
Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Belgium
vanhonsebrouck.be

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,868
Reviews:
395
Ratings:
896
Liked:
727
Avg:
4.12/5
pDev:
13.59%
Alströms:
4.8
 
 
Wants:
102
Gots:
169
Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 896 |  Reviews: 395
Photo of kdevilliers
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of infinitebruner
3.46/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

May 24, 2016

11.2 oz. bottle, snifter

A – Extremely dark brown, not quite black, and on the cloudy side. A centimeter, maybe, of light tan head, gone as quickly as it appears.

S – Black cherry, a ton of cola, stone fruit, and big alcohol esters. Warm on the nose. Smells a bit thin, like a cordial or a port or dessert wine. A bit of chocolate and toffee in the background. No hop character.

T – Stone fruit, pear, fruity esters from the alcohol. Light chocolate, almond, and sweet cola. May be some licorice in there as well. Zero hop flavor.

M – A bit on the thin side, the presence of a lot of alcohol very obvious. Drinks almost like a lightly carbonated port or dessert wine. Sweet, on the verge of cloying. Some alcohol warmth on the finish.

O – A strange beer, almost more like a cordial or wine, as noted a couple times. If I tried this blind, I’d be convinced there was a ton more alcohol in it, or that it wasn’t beer at all.

 969 characters

Photo of MFS_71
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Freepack88
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Darcj5
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of blueberryann
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of jkhara12
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mattreitz49
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of YvesB
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Trosevear
4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark brown with a slight white head leaving nothing and no lacing at all.

S: Sickly sweet but what I expected from a quad slight hop and malt smell as well.

T: Dark maple and a syrup taste as well and kinda brown sugar, all super sweet tastes to it.

F: Full bodied flavour and carbonation to it.

O: A really amazing beer would buy this again and sip on it again slowly!!

 377 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This may well have been my first "Eureka" revelations in the world of beer.
It came on November 18, 2009 at a cafe in Ghent. We were sitting at an outside table on a quiet plaza containing a church. The sun -- however low it was -- provided enough heat to sit outside. As the setting sun's shadow covered me, the minimal heat was replaced by this quad; called a Bruin in the Flanders part of Belgium. Since I am not writing a novel and you are not reading one, I'll cut that experience short.

When I got home, I did something I have done for no other beer during the course of my 62 years: I bought a case... and I am a better man for it.

So consistent was this case over five years that I cannot change my previous rating based on this current one, the final beer in that case. (I hoped the case would last ten years.) The disappointing part is that this ale is still improving; still melding its flavors, still complexing its dark fruits, still getting sweeter without getting syrupy. In brief, this is still a great quad.

For a more temperate opinion. listen to someone who knows.
MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave the quad we now call "Donker" 3 of 4 stars... (I roughly adjust his rating as about 12% less than my effusiveness.)

Donker and its tripel brethren are not so much as reviewed in his "Great Beers of Belgium", as he tells the story of his repartee' with the owner of Van Honsebrouck. Very hilarious material. If you can get the book, I recommend it... but particularly this passage.

Bottom-line: if you haven't tried this quad, buy it.... and you won't go wrong... particularly if you end up buying a case.

A fresher 4 pack was bought in August 2016 and I just Had one (in lieu of dessert.) I concur with buying a case: it is best to let this Donker age. It becomes graceful, which is better than I can say for us in what is supposed to be an important election year.

 1,883 characters

Photo of bnes09
2.49/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dense, super hazy and syrupy appearance with no head at all. Ultra sweet flavor. Tastes like apple cider with added syrup. No head character or hop balance. Feels like syrup. Minimal carbonation.

 200 characters

Photo of noz03
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gregcordle
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mitchellrhen
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of golf4collet
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of syaoran_kun
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of EdmundBlackadder
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dzu
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into chalice.
L: Dark red/brown with a weak white foam head.
S: Caramel, dark fruits, raisin.
T: Sweets, plums, complex taste, that i liked.
F: Low cabonation medium body.
O: Veryimpressive quad.

 202 characters

Photo of MonkeyBread
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Single 12oz bottle with a bottle on date of June 12, 2012 so this baby got some age on it.

Looks like a standard strong dark Belgian. Dark brown hue.
Smell is booze soaked Carmelized bananas. Brown sugar, big Belgian yeast esthers.
Taste is similar to nose, like Banana's Fosters. This is super sweet. Caramel, dark candi sugar, bananas, booze soaked apples and pears. Low amount of alcohol heat

Overall this has held up well with almost 4 years of age. An after dinner dessert sipper, this is an excellent Belgian Strong Dark Ale as long as you like sweet.

 562 characters

Photo of gsourcepn
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of baldini
4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Heeenrik
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Beer rating: 81.1% out of 100 with 896 ratings
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