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Kasteel Donker | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

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Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker
BA SCORE
4.12/5
Exceptional
906 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:
#1,942
Reviews:
397
Ratings:
906
pDev:
13.35%
Bros Score:
4.8
 
 
Wants:
100
Gots:
173
Trade:
3
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 906 |  Reviews: 397
Photo of shadyside
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nuts43
3.45/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of threeviews
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured at cellar temperature from a 33cl bottle (Best By: May 2022...packaged 30 May 2017)into the signature, Kasteel stemmed goblet.

A - An aggressive pour yelids a beer that is dark mahogany in color but when set against light, it is more of a deep, ruby red. The head only amounted to 1-finger kahki colored head with little retention. Although the 11% ABV would tend to stiffle head, I have seen other Belgians of this strength create massive tops that last indefinitely. Knowing that this beer does NOT go through referementation in the bottle, the lack of head is understandable and should be a reason that Van Honsebrouck reconsiders using bottle refermentation for ALL of their beers. (4.25)

S - The aroma is a lovely bouquet that includes Milk Chocolate, Caramel, Raisin, Plum, and a hint of Banana. Even when rising above cellar temperature, there is absolutely no alcohol in the nose. (5.0)

T - It is a beautiful Quadruple-style ale with all of the trimmings. It has all of the aromas in the nose with a nice, lingering milk chocolate finish, yet far from cloying. This is an ideal digestif beer on its own or with a rich chocolate or custard-based dessert. (4.75)

M - Medium-Full mouthfeel with a delicate and creamy carbonation which finishes surprisingly dry. Regardless of temperature, the alcohol remains hidden throughout making this dangerously drinkable. However, the pithy flavors and relatively hefty body keep this very much a degustation beer. (4.75)

O - Although the brewery thinks otherwise, Kasteel Donker would benefit from bottle refermentation (in addition to the already 3-week lagering time). Considering the 6.50Euro price for a 4-Pack (in a grocery store), it is an absolute bargain. However, when you see the $20+USD price tag in The States, I think other options exist that are a bit better. This is a well made beer with great consistency but if I am going to spend this type of money, I prefer Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad. (4.25)

 1,978 characters

Photo of rarigney
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of The_Bujon
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a superb full bodied plum looking brew with caramel head. The body looks divine, the head unfortunately dissipated quickly even served at the 12degrees recommended.

Aroma is sweet with figs and perhaps spiced apple.

Taste is sublime, quite sweet, but that mix of fruits, malts, caramel is absolutely top drawer, can't think of too many beers that taste better.

A nice warmer this one, floats down the throat like a medicinal tonic for a chesty cough, and the 11% is reasonably well hidden.

Overall, this is a top top brew, if only the foamy head stuck around, I'd dare say this would be in my overall top 10 beers of all time.....it might still regardless.

A must try beer!

 684 characters

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

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

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L- Pours a dark brown, nearly black, with a 1/2 finger creamy,off-white head..
S- Mostly sweetness and malt. Not big.
T- Very sweet dark fruits slap you in your face. Some carmel malt and brown sugar. A little coffee and nuttiness. A little pepper detected. Way too easy of a drinker for 11%.
F- Incredibly smooth with slight warming
O- very sweet quad that goes down wonderfully!

 389 characters

Photo of StormAles
4.84/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bubblegumsnaps1
3.64/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of priley
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of shigg85
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BelgianBeerChef
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | 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 BrewskiBrandon
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brandonld23
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Estria
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of thehyperduck
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Sept 2021 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a foreboding, dark chestnut-brown colour with brick red highlights; at first it appears utterly impenetrable to light, but holding it up to a lamp reveals that the liquid is actually transparent. One finger of smooth, khaki-tinged foam floats atop the surface initially, receding gradually over the next ten minutes or so. The eventual remnants include a creamy collar and cap about half a centimetre high, as well as a nice, thick coating of lace. Each sniff is positively loaded with molasses, caramelized sugars and dark fruits, including fig, date, raisin and prune. The alcohol is also noticeable, but quite well-integrated; the bouquet almost seems to take on the character of sherry or amaretto as it warms.

A delicious strong dark ale - as has already been noted on countless occasions, it is indeed quite saccharine, but despite this fact, I find it to be neither cloying nor tiresome - just delectably rich. Caramelized sugar and treacle are steady background presences, as are vinous notes of red grape and raisin. Dates, figs, black cherries and prunes come to the forefront by mid-sip, giving it a rather fruitcake-like vibe, with subtle hints of herbal licorice root, spice and cola. Finishes with a slight nuttiness, with more of that boozy, sherry-like note that I picked up in the aroma lingering into the sweet aftertaste. On the lighter side of full-bodied, with soft carbonation featuring tiny, fine bubbles that gently agitate the surface of the tongue. A truly satisfying beer to sip and contemplate; I'd say that this 11 oz serving is just about the perfect amount for one person.

Final Grade: 4.46, an A grade. I'll admit that I had my doubts going into this one - I've heard mixed opinions about it in the past - but in my opinion, Kasteel Donker is an absolutely fantastic quadrupel, and easily one of the best Belgian beers I've tried in months. The hefty 11% abv beautifully harmonizes with the commanding, relentless malt bill and its sweet, fruity flavours, while hints of fortified wine and nutty liqueur only add further to the cohesive complexity of this masterpiece. Glad I had the foresight to pick this one for my 1500th review on BA - it's always nice to celebrate that sort of milestone with a memorable brew like this.

 2,346 characters

Photo of Tomesco
3.31/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of mishi_d
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of the_awesometeer
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer is a dark brown, so dark it is almost black. There was no head but some carbonation. I get a slight wood aroma as well as some booze, but it is mostly dark fruits and sweetness. The beer follows the nose but I get a slight more sweetness. I can definitely feel the ABV in my mouth as I drink. The beer is mouth coating yet felt somewhat thin.

 355 characters

Photo of logicalparadox
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jaisell
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Glorithm
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 906 ratings
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