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:
#1,867
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 endovelico
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 29 - 03- 09. Taken from notes. Poured into kasteelbier chalice. Best before date: 09 - 2013. Reviewed under medium artificial light.

Appearance: Pours a opaque dark brown brew. Forms a thick light brown / créme cap that stays thourought. Unperceived effervescence. Shows some ruby highlights when faced against the light. Decent lacing.

Aroma: Medium high aroma intensity. Sourish notes, strong dark Belgian candy sugar notes, grapy, raisiny, alcohol zing, intense dark caramel complexity.

Taste: Medium high strength. Belgian dark candy sugar upfront, slight smokiness, nutty, grapy, raisiny, dark caramel.

Mouthfeel: Coating. Low carbonation. Low bitterness.

Drinkability: Excellent representation of Belgian Strong Dark Ale / Quad. This is what i have in mind when looking for something of the style. The price quality ratio is also excellent (at least where i got it). Not an easy drink by any means, but not as hard as the ABV or the 11º (Belgian representation for body by the way, means 1.110 OG) suggests.

One thing of note though, i had this brew before and i remember a strong distinct sourish character in the beer that i did not find this time around. I'm hopping to try this beer again to see how it holds up against my two previous experiences.

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Photo of Marc_V
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Belgian Beer Shop. Very beautiful dark red brown colour. Thick, creamy beige head that lasts very well. The aroma is malty, dark fruits, sweet, clear alcohol presence. Candy sugar, sweet, vinous, creamy, malty, heart warming. Very complex. Super beer.

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Photo of Darkale
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love it when you find a beer that you've probably seen a hundred times, and you finally buy it, because someone has recommended it, and you are amazed by it. That is the "elevator speech" for this beer.

I cannot add anything to the descriptions in the reviews for this beer. My only addition is that this is truly one of those beers that lives and dies by the temperature that it is served. Perhaps "lives and dies" is too harsh. I only mean to say, that if it is too cold, then the beer is easy to overlook. But, when it is warm, then the beer is very, very good indeed.

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Photo of Derek
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unfortunately, this is the first Belgian "Quadrupel" I've had the pleasure of tasting, though the style-lines are a little fuzzy.

It's not as carbonated as a Belgian Dark (similar to how a tripel compares to a Belgium Blonde).

It certainly has some more alcohol taste than a Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue / Blauw), which is classed as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Anyway, the appearance is that of a dark malt syrup. Denser and not as bubbly as the Chimay Blue.

Aroma is dominated by sweet malt, with some port-like undertones.

Taste is very complex. The alcohol strength leaves a distinct taste, similar to a tripel. It could be described as Chimay Blue, taken to a higher level (a little more flavour, a lot more alcohol).

Mouthfeel was full, like a concentrated Belgium Brune.

Drinkability is a tough descriptor, this is a must for any serious beer-geek, but it is certainly not a session beer!

Perfect for a night-cap.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Green 750 that is corked, caged, and gold foiled. Best before 05-2009 on back label and the cork sez it was bottled in 01-2004. Served in a Val-Dieu chalice.

Dark reddish brown with a finger of light tan that has good retention and leaves thick lace.

The nose has dark fruits, dry red wine, wood, and a leathery tannic alcohol aroma that fits in perfectly. Faint yeast and earthy malts underneath. The vinous notes become more noticable as it warms.

The vinous notes continue in the taste and are backed by the earthy malt , wood, and a slightly doughy yeast. The dark fruits; plums and a pinch of cherries are still there, and the alcohol comes through as restrained dash of pepper and a warm exhale. This is one of those beers that I can't believe is 11%, but the creeping buzz tells me, "No really, this is some strong brew!". Gotta love that.

The mouth is full, no chewiness or over the top carbonation despite the loud pop when disgorged. At the same time it doesn't lean towards flat given its winey nature. Normally I take a point or so away from a beer that has such a high abv as drinking a lot can lead to a short, but messy night. For this beer, I'm willing to slow down and enjoy as much as I can. Absolutely worth $7.99 a bottle.

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Photo of TripelJ
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now Quaffing: Kasteel Donker 750ml

I enjoyed the tripel so much I had to try the dark offering from this fine brewery. The deepest crimson-brown with little trace of light through the glass. Smells are abundant, mostly sweet malts, rum raisin, maple syrup, figs, slight phenol from the alcohol. Tastes are sweet with a variety of flavors on the palette that reflect the nose--Raisins, figs, maple syrup (nice thick mouthfeel), maybe some currant to round out the sweetness. This beer is all sweet and it hides the 11% alcohol well in the taste, although you quickly feel the effects. Overall, not the best dark belgian I've had, but certainly worth a try, and I could drink a 750ml by myself anytime.

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Photo of akenethon
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: dark brown with reddish tint, almost no foam
S: I can smell the malt, cinnamon, caramel, and alcohol. it is like a wine that has been aged in oak barrels
T: sweet, sweet, but fine. finesse in all aspects. a berry like aftertaste. it must be blackberry or blackcurrant
M: light mouthfeel despite high alcohol. hits the palate with a little bit of alcohol, absolutely lovely
D: I find this beer a bit too sweet for my taste. I may be able to drink a bottle of it, and maybe two if accompanied by food. it has a high alcohol content for long drinking anyway. Would be an excellent replacement for a sweet wine, but not the thing you could drink in a casual manner. You kind of have to set aside your time psyche to admire it.

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Photo of joaombj
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of xJMFCx
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of -DF-
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tomislav
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Served into a mini Chimay goblet at Lucky Baldwin's.

Nice dark brown color. Taste is exceptional. Rich, bready malts. Nice, smokey, roasted character that you especially notice toward the end. Some hops to balance out the sweetness. Balance is perfect. Mouthfeel is very rewarding - nice and full and not syrupy. Drinkability is extremely good for a beer of this abv.

Highly recommended. This is a wonderful quad, and great on tap (I haven't tried a bottle yet, but will look forward to). Go, and drink some of this nectar.

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

Came in a 750ml., corked green champagne bottle, with the label stating: Donker-Foncee, Alc.11% Vol. on the front. On the back of the label there was a date of: 11-2000 and on the cork 11-2003 Gebotteld.

Pours a murky mahogany brown with burgundy highlights and a thick, frothy two-finger ivory head with dense sticky lacing aplenty.

Dark ripe fruity sweet aroma, really sweet with alcohol coming through strong. A few more sniffs and the sweetness subsides but the alcohol shines, almost smells like a Port or good fine wine.

The flavor...hmm the flavor, tastes like a well matured Port. Sweet dark fermented grapes with a light carbonation, sweet right down to the finish. The finish is clean with a nice earthy rich malt aftertaste that's quite mellow and pleasant. The high ABV is warming...very warming, almost down to your toes!

Full body with a velvety smoooth mouthfeel, and I do mean smoooth. Too easy to drink, tastes like candy...Cheers!!!

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

I was introduced to this beer in 2000 by a friend from Maastricht, Netherlands (near the Belgian border) who'd bring it on her visits to Germany. Alas, I was happy to rediscover it at Martin Wine Cellar during a recent trip to New Orleans.

Sampled a 750ml bottle with a "Gebotteld" date of 11-2003. Poured a beautiful dark copper color into my goblet. Left a medium head that quickly dissipated into a heavy lacing. Smelt of caramel, chocolate, and fruits. These aromas became more pronounced as the beer warmed. A pronounced, yet balanced, sweetness that was consistent to the last milliliter. Had an exquisite creaminess which is surprising when one considers the 11% abv. Most certainly drinkable, but probably better enjoyed in sips versus quaffs. I'm pacing myself so my six bottles will last until my trip to Mardi Gras next month when I pick up at least another six bottles. Don't pass this beer by if given an opportunity to sample it. Now if they can only find a Texas distributor.

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

Honey colored. Cloudy brown with ruby tones in the light. No head to speak of. Smells wonderful and full, wow! of roasty pruny flavors, raisins, port wine, honey, sweetness. Mouthfeel is slick and slightly syrupy. Asks to be drunk a little slower than you wanted to drink it. :) Similar prunes and raisins and port wine sweetness in my mouth. Wow. This is a wonderful beer. The sweetness is best appreciated as or with dessert. Also paired beautifully with a Dutch Gouda-like cheese with caraway seeds in it. The slight spice in the cheese with the sweetness of the beer was great.

 581 characters

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

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy cream colored head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a dry, yet fruity Belgian yeast aroma. The scent is sweet and creamy; very nice. The taste is great. It has a very smooth and rich malty flavor with a sweet and warm finish. It is full of flavor and malt complexity. The mouthfeel is excellent as well. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer. It is full of flavor and aroma; a great drinker.

 569 characters

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

Photo of HippieDave56
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Poured from 33cl into Westvleteren chalice.

A. 1 finger head. Good retention. Not much lacing. Color is dark amber brown.

S. Dark fruit, brown sugar, caramel, rasisins, figs. Good amount of Belgian yeast. Slightly on the sweeter side.

T. Nice raisiny dark fruit mixed with quite a bit of caramel. Has a little spice on the finish. Taste is delicous. Also get some bready malt as it warms. Really dig the caramel spiciness, which is different then the full on dark fruit onslaught of some other quads. Almost has a cookie quality to it.

M. Full bodied. Low carbonation. Finishes with touch of sugary spice. Really nice mouthfeel on this one. Coats the mouth in creamy caramel dark fruit delicousness.

O. Damn good Quad. Up there with the best. Nice balance. Hides the ABV away without a trace.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown/redish color with a creamy thick looking two inch head. Good retention, great big amounts of little bubbles on top dancing away leaving lacing on the side of my glass.

Smells like banana bread, cinammon, syrup, dark sugar, figs. Very great smell.

Taste is a smooth creamy caramel like, dark sugar, raisins, plums.

Medium body, smooth, nice amount of carbonation, great taste.

This was a tasty brew, good quad that I could drink again.

 452 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz chubby bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 2/6/13

A- pours a deep brown color with a ruby hue, small foamy off-white head reduces to leave a ring around the edge

S- dark fruity aromas of black cherry, raisin, date, plum & fig. Fresh brown bread with hints of caramel, candied sugar, brown sugar, licorice & alcohol

T- lots of sweet malt up front with flavors of candied Belgian sugar, brown sugar & molasses. Dark fruits kick in mid-palate with flavors of cherry juice, plum & fig. Bready brown malt adds fruit-cake-like flavor, more sweetness on the finish with more dark fruit on the linger

M- viscous body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a slightly chewy warming finish

O- this is definitely a sipper that drinks more like a dessert port, this would be a fine choice for an after dinner drink

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 330 ml bottle to a chalice.

A: pours a deep brown with red highlights. There is a thin one finger head that breaks quickly and leaves a thin ring of bubbles. Small lacing with a swirl.

S: sweet dark fruits such as figs and prunes are up front. Brown sugar, malts and some yeasts are also present. Very pleasant.

T: much of the nose follows onto the palate. Those dark fruits are dominant but the sweet of brown sugar or candy comes through a bit more too. The malts and yeasts round this out nicely. Alcohol is there but not invasive.

M: medium carbonation with a full body. Very smooth and enjoyable.

O: I would say this beer was a sleeper for me. I wasn't expecting what I got at all. While I know some would call it a touch sweet, I liked the dark fruit profile a great deal. If you like big Belgians I think you will like this.

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Photo of 2GOOFY
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bonbini26
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish brown, with a thick tan-orange head, that's the best I can describe it, which lasts forever, though the bubbles are a little too fizzy in the beginning.

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

T: This may be the sweetest beer I have ever had. 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 what good be a bit of almond brittle, and Mission fig.

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

D: An interesting beer, I've heard this described as a Belgian Barleywine, and I can understand why, though Quadrupel seems to fit it well as a style on this site. A very good beer, sweet and warming, the smell and taste could use a bit more "oomph," but overall, an enjoyable warming beer, or nightcap.

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Photo of Douberd
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great colour, deep brown-red with some bubbles visible when hold against the light. One finger beige head that quickly disappeared.
Caramel aroma. Bitter-sweet taste, it was leaving me with a taste of bubblegum after each sip. The high ABV is not at all noticeable, good. Carbonation is balanced. Medium thick on palate.

A truly great beer!

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