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Kasteel Donker | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
386 Reviews
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
Reviews:
386
Ratings:
862
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
20.69%
 
 
Wants:
97
Gots:
151
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 386 | Ratings: 862
Photo of laurastradford
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on my Belgian beer tour at a little bar in Bruge,recommended by a local. It poured a dark rich color with a minimal head and very little lace. I tend to prefer golden beers but this was a delicious dark beer. It had a lightness and sweetness to it that I was not expecting.

 282 characters

Photo of ordybill
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass Aroma- Big sweet malt aroma Appearance- Pours a dark brown with a nice tan head Taste- Has a great malt flavor with a nice fruit blend Palate- A medium to heavy bodied beer with moderate carbonation Overall- A really good Quad. An excellent beer for those who are not experienced with this style to try.

 349 characters

Photo of BostonHops
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml corked and caged bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours an opaque, slightly ruddy, deep mahogany tone with a finger of beige/off-white head that quickly lapses into a thin collar; middling, spotty lacing.

aroma is right there with what i look for in a BSDA: nice bouquet of caramel malts, dark fruits, brown sugar, belgian yeast, and maybe some candied sugar. i'm suddenly pretty jazzed about this beer. flavor, unfortunately, doesn't build off that momentum. it largely follows the nose but with a much greater, almost cloying degree of sweetness... dark fruits up front with a big caramal malt wallop emerging in full mid-palate(ish); packs a boozy punch in the finish.

medium-plus/borderline full bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation. if the sweetness was dialed back a bit this could be a great beer... still very good, but IMO just a bit too sweet. would absolutely be game for another glass in the future, but i won't be gunning for it either.

originally reviewed: 11-01-2010

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Photo of DARIVA
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful and sweet dark beer with a slightly smaller head.
This beer drinks very easy way and has a slight carbonation, which I personally might be a bit more.
The taste of caramel is very present.
Furthermore, an above average beer but not really special.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark maroon brown, thin white head

S-very, very sweet belgian sugars. they smell slightly caramelized, medium strength

T-well this is very clean, crisp, and sweet. the alcohol note is present and fairly strong. there's a good mixture of berries and belgian sugars, with the sugars dominating the after-taste.

M-medium carbonation with a slightly dry finish

D-oh boy, the ABV on this one comes in to play. a better one of this style that i've had and i truly do want to have this again. not an easy drinker, but definitely a happy drinker.

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Photo of Phelps
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at Tops, served up in a goblet.

A: cranberry-colored and mostly clear with no head to speak of save a very thin khaki ring.

S: plums, cinnamon, lots of maple, molasses and some light tart cranberries. Sweet and deep.

T: maple, cinnamon, molasses and brown sugar, in that order. There's an interesting toasty backbone reminiscent of ritz crackers and a tinge of vodka amidst the slightly drying finish. It's decent, but has none of the depth of the top-tier quads.

M: medium, massaging carbonation amidst a smooth medium body. It's lightly fizzy as I swish it about, and there's a slight alcohol burn on the way down.

D: it's a respectable quadruple, for sure. But this 10 ounces cost me $11 (!) and at that price, I expect to be gobsmacked with pure deliciousness. On this front, sadly, Kasteel did not deliver.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.66/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/25/12.

Pours an almost opaque crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, spice, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with super sweet dark fruit and alcohol flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it's very sweet and sugary, even for the style.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with garnet highlights and a small mocha head that leaves small bits of lacing.

Smells of dark fruits and bready malts.

Tastes of dark fruits, caramel, and roasted notes. Dark fruits are characterized by raisins and figs. This is really sweet and adds to the caramel notes. Some roasted notes come through and give the impression of molasses.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Damn! Who dumped the sugar bowl in my beer? Pours out to a cloudy and hazy brown appearance with a big light tan foamy head. Unorganized lace inside the glass. Aromas of sugary yeast and malt, with a candied toffee element. Taste is medium bodied; decent complexity, but way sweet. Candied sugar, mild sweet malt and grain, some bread yeast, a touch of clove and spices. Not bad, but way too sugary for me. Mouthfeel was sticky sweet, almost like a lollipop. Drinkability would be better if again, it wasn't so sweet. Take away some of the sugary-ness, and this is a far improved beer. Worth a try.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown with a 1/2" head that drops really quickly.
Smell is malt, yeast and a kriek-like cherry note.
Taste is malt, a light cherry, yeast with a good balance.
A medium-full body, light effervescence, warming of the palate and throat. Quite smooth. Overall, good stuff.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extremely sweet. I was a little disappointed, because the taste of sugar so overwhelming that it's hard to taste much else. I'll say the alcohol is well hidden....
This is a sweet tooth beer, and i don't really have a sweet tooth..

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Photo of beerpirates
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

75 cl bottel @ kulminator Antwerp

Vintage 1989 !!!

A: Pours a reddish brown, with no head and no carbonation

S: Smells heavily of raw brown sugar and prunes, raisins and figs.

T: This is à very sweet beer ! Full of residual sugar, the heavy sweetness shocked me a little at first, but I soon got into it. This malt barrage is backed by a large amount of dark fruit, specifically raisin and prune, and also chocolate

M: Thick and rich, almost syrupy, warming as well, there is a definite alcohol burn on the first sip.

D: this vintage has had his best years , its not really beer anymore, more like à very sweet port ,
overall, an enjoyable warming beer, or nightcap.

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Photo of brentk56
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear but dark, tawny color with a surprisingly modest head for a Belgian; splashes of lace

Smell: Shortbread cookies and dates

Taste: Starts out with a swweet raisin and date praline flavor with and increasing sweetness the blossoms after the swallow; a lot of vanilla and rum raisin flavors on the finish, with underlying woody tones

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with moderate carbonation; warming on the finish from the alcohol

Drinkability: Really a bit too cloying for my taste; compared to the top quads this lacks the complexity that the great ones have

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Photo of pwoods
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz. stubby 'Duvel' style brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into a chalice.

A: Deep shoe leather pour that's completely opaque. A short fluffy head forms and holds for a bit before falling to a chunky skim. Decent lacing throughout.

S: Alcohol soaked dark fruits dominate most of the aroma. Some sweet caramel malts and maybe a touch of meatiness in the back.

T/M: Alcohol is very present and meets nicely with the dark, plump, pulpy fruits. More of the sweet caramel and light meaty flavor. Has a touch of sour/tart fruit flavor to it but very much an undertone. Still, it's not quite what I want. Body is nearly full but a syrupy feel to it. Lighter carbonation makes for a vinous feel.

D: This would be a very tasty brew if it weren't for that little bit of sour fruit in the back. Still, not terrible, and seems reasonably drinkable for a Quad.

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Photo of chileman13
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 1 pt+ bottle into oversized goblet.
A- deep brown/reddish cloudy brown. It leaves a good lacing on the glass.
S- Sweet fruity very light smell.
M-Smooth medium with average/correct cabonation.
T- Sweet carmel, dried fruit, plumy raisin. Manechevitz dessert beer.
Good 11% abv beer buzz. The abv is not reflected in the taste.
Not my style of beer, however I enjoyed the adventure.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle at Delirium Café in Brussels.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with a thick foamy head that fades into a sudsy film.

Smell: Caramel, dark fruit, and a hint of roastiness.

Taste: Malty and sweet throughout. There are strong flavors of raisins that dominate. The finish is spicy with noticable alcohol, residual sweetness and a light roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A little sweet, but otherwise drinkable.

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Photo of Crosling
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruddy brown, with a small white head. Fairly powerful nose hints of Brown sugar, plums, dates, red apple, golden apple, caramel, toffee and a bit of barnyard. Flavor is extremely sweet and very fruity. Honestly, I think it’s a pretty tasty beer. Well hidden alcohol, with a balanced flavor. This is a fairly tasty, enjoyable Belgian.

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Photo of MikeGill
3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

1pt 9.4fl.oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Medium opague brown with the faintest trace of a head. Some sticky lacing. Rich bitter chocolate aromas up front along with an oloroso sherry quality. I also picked up something resembling really good root beer.

Felt the carbonation was a tad too low especially for something this strong served in a Champagne-like bottle. Sweet malt dominates producing flavors of chocolate covered fruit along with fresh wild cherries. The subtle bitterness is juxtaposed by big sweetness finishes somewhat boozy reminding me of straight coffee liquor.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first quadrupel. Never even heard of the style until now. Pours a dark, almost black colour with a hint of dark red when shone through a light. Sadly, next to no head. And lacing was nonexistant. Smells strongly of malt and chocolate. Despite the 11% ABV, not a strong alcohol smell. Taste starts out very sweet and malty. Has some ripe fruits as well, particularly plums and red grapes. Finishes with a chocolate and port taste. Afterfeel is bittersweet, kind of like a dark coffee with sugar and no cream. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Very nice for this beer. I think two would last the night, but a highly drinkable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of peabody
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a semi dark brown with two fingers of off-white suds.
Smell is a sugar carmel malt with hints of dried apricot and raisin skin. Slight alcohol notes in the nose.
Almost a dried walnut aroma. Fig works here.
Taste is really sweet carmel malt with a slight hop dryness. As it warms there is a dark cherry with a cover of dark chocolate.
Mouthfeel is a bit oily with aftertones of raisin residue and caramel sugars on the toungue.
Drinkability is low because of the 11% abv.
Can 't taste the alcohol but you can smell it and feel it.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a 11.2oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours the color of Coke. Dark brown with purple and ruby tints. No head to speak of but the foam ring leaves some minor lacing. Very still.

S: Aromas of caramel, figs, plums, green apples, and brown sugar. Tiny hint of alcohol hiding amongst the other aromas.

T: Tons of sweet flavors in this one. Dark candi sugar, plums, figs, caramel, cola nut, did I mention it's sweet? I like my Quads with more balance than this. This beer is crying out for some roasted malt and hops to balance out the sweetness.

M: Big and thick if a tad too syrupy. Rich and creamy.

D: I rate this one just above average. The large (11% abv) alcohol content is very well hidden but the overly sweet flavors make a dent in the drinkability factor for me. With more balance this beer could be quite good.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked 750 ml bottle. I've had both Kasteel Tripel and Kasteel Rogue (that one is amazing for a sweet fruit beer/kriek) So I figured I'd give the dark variety a try.

A: Pours a ruby red/brown with decent tan head that does not retain itself long. Lots of lacing as well. Nice looking strong Belgian dark ale.

S: I can only detect maple brown sugar, candy sugar and alcohol. Doesn't seem as if the alcohol has been hidden on this one too well.

T: Woah. Lots of sugary sweetness with a malt and caramel background. As I predicted, alcohol is a bit upfront, but I didn't notice until now that the ABV is 11.0. I orginally thought it was 7 or 8. No wonder the alcohol seems so pronounced. Still a decent strong Belgian brew.

M: Somewhat syrupy and mildly carbonated. Decent balance, but I can't help myself in thinking that there is a syrup base for this beer, and it's simply add to carbonated water.

D: Because of the high ABV, this is an okay sipper. I have this 750 ml bottle to finish myself, and that's probably going to be difficult. This is good to share with a friend. Especially if that friend likes sweet, boozy beers.

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Photo of DrJay
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very nice dark chestnut brown with deep amber and red highlights. This was topped by a thin lacing of light brown foam that showed a little stickage and good retention.

Smell: Big roasted malt aroma with some alcohol, dried fruit, tobacco, and floral/perfumy hops. Nice complexity and balance.

Taste: A little too sweet for my taste. Maltiness is quite strong with a good deal of cherry-like fruitiness. Not much in the way of bitterness to balance the sweetness. The finish is quite long, with a spicy phenols and alcohol becoming prominent.

Mouthfeel: Full body and viscous, with lots of unfermented sugars. Low carbonation. In fact, it leaves a sticky residue on the lips. Alcohol warmth is noticeable on the tongue and at the back of the throat.

Drinkability: The syrupy sweetness makes it difficult to get through a whole bottle by myself. The aroma and flavours are quite pleasant, but I just can't get over the sweetness...

330 mL short brown bottle with best before date stamped on the rear label.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very black hue with reddish hi-lites on arrival.
The crown was short, limited island lace but a nice glass cling and ring.
I do believe the carbonation is light but diffacult to view thru this ebony body.
The nose is of raisins and alcohol.
The taste is a fruit mash collaberation with a nice minor balance of hops to tame the aggresive fruity explosion.
The high ABV at 11% is not really a factor in the taste.

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Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful off-white head of three fingers. Lots of lace. The color of the brew is brown where light barely shines through. Attractive.

Farmlike smells; earthy and dark. Some crystal and chocolate malt aromas.

Sweeter than I expected. Strongly malty. Notable alcohol warmth. The body is warming (from the alcohol strength) and thick. The carbonation is relatively light for the creaminess. I don't detect any hop or any other balancing ingredient.

This is an easy beer with which to get snookered. It's subtle and powerful. It isn't a beer with complexity.

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Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
4.06 out of 5 based on 862 ratings.
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