Kasteel Donker | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
392 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:
392
Ratings:
882
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
13.79%
 
 
Wants:
100
Gots:
161
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 392 | Ratings: 882
Photo of AEK
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml brown bottle poured into a Kasteel chalice.

A. A deep, clear brown beer with a white head that disappeared rapidly.

S. Vine fruit, port like, sherry.

T. Plenty of port, hessian and liquid malt bread, burnt sugar, overly sweet.

M. Full bodied.

D. This was my ultimate beer then somehow its qualities were not as good as they once were. I noticed on the label that it no longer seems to be re fermented in the bottle and it is noticeable, which is why I have given it lower marks than I would have liked. Still, a mighty barleywine that will keep you good company whilst reading a bed time book.

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Poured into an Ikea snifter. The liquid is dark mahogany - very nearly pitch black, and the pour produces a thick, creamy khaki head that eventually settles down to a film that leaves a good amount of lace.

Aroma is quintessential quad - plums, molasses, bread, little bit of milk chocolate, little bit of booze, and a slight warming character.

Holy crap this tastes incredible, and has a lot more nuance than the nose! Starts out with intense, juicy dark fruit, like there's actual plum juice in there. Then comes in a wonderful cocktail of spices and yeasty flavors that I can't even begin to try to describe precisely. The milk chocolate is more pronounced on the palate, and is a great complement to the other flavors. The booze flavor brings in a weird kind of mintiness that is also wonderful. Finish is ever-so-slightly bitter, quickly followed by an aftertaste of rich, sweet, malty molasses. Really, really, great flavors and balance.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer has a really incredible silkiness and is wonderfully viscous with just enough carbonation to break it up.

Overall, super great - I couldn't imagine something better to drink during a long Northern European winter.

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Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had 33CL bottle in Hua Hin Thailand and Mondo Vino. Of all the beer places I have scoured in Hua Hin, This one understands how to serve, pour, store beers.

Appearance:
Dark Brown with a dirty white head

Smell: Raisin sweetness with a slight bread like comes out, You know this 11% is going to be sweet from it's smell

Taste: Raisin, mollases fruity, the sweetness is pleasent and does not hit or offend like many beers with high alcohol percentages have. It is well balanced.

Mouthfeel: It sticks to your pallate and leaves a pleasent fruitcake like aftertaste.

Overall: Greatbigbeer! Strong and sweet, I would drink a few of the these over the colder months. As it sits it is quite pleasent in warm weather only as long as you dont excert yourself.

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Photo of dqrull
4.71/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a really beautiful wine-red colour, not a very big head, slightly tan and dissipates quickly leaving some creamy lace.

Smells of prunes and raisins, some belgian yeast esters, sweet malt with a hint of almonds and a small hint of red wine, maybe port.

Wow. This tastes like... if you put a bowl of really tasty prunes, raisins, dried figs, dried peaches, pickled peaches and mandarins in a bowl, sprinkle it with almond icing and caramellized brown sugar, and then pour a good deal of port over it and leave it in the fridge over night, marvelous. The taste is really long, big and smooth, starts off with the expected sweet malt-attack and seamlessly transforms into the fantastic onslaught of fruits and port described above, and all the while, during this increadibly long and consistent taste a light, light tartness is balancing the sweetness so it never even gets close to being cloying or annoying in any way, sublime.

A very light carbonation and a mid-viscous liquid fits this brew perfectly.

I could drink myself to death on this beer.

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Photo of abents
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a midnight black with HUGE tan head, looks amazing.
Smells of dark roasted malts and some fruit. Taste is very sweet with dark fruits abounding. Pretty big alcohol on the finish for me. Really sweet sticky finish. Very creamy feel smooth, but the alcohol and sweetness is a little too much. Very interesting beer very different than a lot of the other "quads" not really my favorite, but fine nonetheless.

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Photo of kegerator
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very nice brew.
pours a deep mahogany brown with ruby tones. A big 2 inch head develops and sticks around leaving nice lacing behind.
aroma was sweet, brown sugar, caramel with hints of cherries and fruits and a slight background vinegary aroma hmm.
taste was aroma like, hits with grape and fruit with hints of brown sugar and chocolate. Sweet but not overly sweet. Its full bodied and packs a punch. Its smooth, sticky and the alcohol makes its presence known as it warms the body, mind and soul.

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Photo of d0ggnate
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle my neighbor brought back from Belgium. Marked "Brewed anno 2008"

A: Poured to my glass with a rich deep brown / mahogony color. Soft single finger tan head that fades to just a rim around the glass. Apparent carbonation rises around the edges of my glass.
S: Sweet raisins and candied sugars. Subtle vanilla and hints of oak.
T: More sweet and sticky raisins. Complex array of flavors. A bit of leather and wood comes out.
M: Well carbonated and very full bodied. Almost creamy. Warming as it goes down.
D: Very good beer. I haven't had a true quad in a while and this one fit the bill. Great example of the style.

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Photo of rec
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Disclaimer: like my Pannepot review, this is a recollection of last night's outing to Delirium Cafe, based on my notes.

This beer looks seriously rich. Different variations of black and brown amidst the glass, as if chocolate into coffee. The head is super-creamy and laces all too well.

Heavy malt and dark fruit are the prominent notes on the nose, and unfortunately being in a beer cafe, I couldn't smell much else at that point.

The taste is immediately awesome. It's perhaps the most rich, sugary, syrupy beer I've ever had. Mostly dark fruit, but there is some strong cinnamon and maple syrup flavours coming through, too. It finishes with a bread-like after-taste which helps create some equilibrium after the sugar high. Not recommended for diabetics?

Unfortunately, without trying to take away from the glorious brew this is, one glass was enough - it's just too rich and too thick to be even remotely considered a session beer. And I love thick beer.

Get it, try it, love it. And leave it at 1.

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Photo of ikantspel
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottled on 5-6-10

served into a duvel tulip

pours a dark brown with a super small head and the slightest of lacing.

dark fruit, plums, and medicinal nose.

candy, dark fruits, phenolic to the max.

not too much carbonation to this bad boy. but its almost everything ive ever wanted in a quad. finishes quite smooth and not too dry. maybe a tad too sweet, but sometimes, it just works.

i picked mine up at the total wine and more about 20 miles away for 14.99 (4 12oz)... but ill be back for more and more

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Photo of seanbhudson
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE:
Pours a nearly opaque amber brown color with a medium tan head that dissipates at an average rate. There is a moderate amount of lacing.
AROMA:
Sweet dark fruit (Plums, cherry, raisin), alcohol. Almost smells like a port/sherry.
TASTE:
Taste similar to aroma. Sweet dark fruit, brown sugar and alcohol. There is hint of sourness that comes through like a granny smith apple.
MOUTHFEEL
Medium-full body with a syrupy texture. Light fizzy carbonation.
DRINKABILITY:
A rich but smooth and easy drinking beer. There are no funky flavors in here. However it is 11% alcohol and a bit too sweet to drink too much of this.
NOTES: BBCSD-0902-Larry

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Photo of OskarL
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Red as a red wine with some foam that disappears.

Smell - Malts, sour red wine, sweet plumbs

Taste - A very sweet taste of malts, brown sugar, sweet dark fruits and almond paste.

Mouthfeel - A full body with a long lasting taste.

It's like drinking a dessert! A bit too sweet but very nice to be sipping of!

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Photo of TripelJ
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
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 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 BelgiumBill
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served up in a tulip glass. Dark brown nearly black with some garnet highlights when held to the light. A quick beige head that was a bit sticky throughout.

The nose was a sweet malty bready with some dark fruit.

The flavors were dominated by sweet ripened dark fruits such as fig and raisin and banana nut bread. really good! Sometimes I don't care for these overly sweet dark fruit flavor profiles but this one was spot on perfect.

It was smooth and slick in the mouth with well balanced carbonation and only a slight presence of alcohol .

Overall, best quad I've tried yet. Complete package.

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Photo of RandomExile
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: brownish red, silty, faintly transparent; fluffy initial tan head, fades to a centimeter ring and covering surface film; spotty lacing
S: sweet, malt, raisin
T: sweet, dark fruit, sugar, alcohol
M: smooth, full-bodied
O: Perhaps too sweet and cloying.. There are fascinating notes of apple peel, raisin, and prune, but you wouldn't want to drink too much of it quickly.

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Photo of faernt
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just opened this last bottle in my storage. It had been there for a while. It popped open with a relieving pop. I must admit to not liking flat beer much and this one can go flat. It poured into the chalice with a fizzy hiss after the white waft of beer smoke appeared. The cork said 4/2000 so it's seven years old. It's good.

This beer can be sweet. I've drunk it over the years. It goes well with Roquefort Caraway cookies at Christmas. But tonight it asked to be opened. I remembered it after having a bottle of Gouden Carolus a few nights ago and remembering the complex, sweet, brownness of this one.

It's not too sweet, but I consider it a dessert beer. It's full bodied but not thick. It's drinkable if you like big sweet beer moving from a dubbel sensibility into a big beer unique unto itself. It remains unique.

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Photo of Flyer
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Might be the best example of this style I've come across. Pours a deep brown with a good head. Has wonderful raisin and plum notes, very boozy tasting (in a good way). The mouthfeel is rich and thick without ever being sticky. Some wine-like flavors come through late. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Nick3
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle with a bottled on date of March 28, 2007. Cool artwork on the bottle depicts the brewery I believe. Beer poured into a Kasteel beer glass commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Van Honsebrouck brewery.
Beer is a dark, dark brown with little head. Gorgeous lace envelops the glass as you work your way through the beer. Smell is reminiscent of molasses and anise. Beer is very rich and complex in flavor; molasses, candied sugar, chocolate, portlike. Alcohol makes itself known but is well masked by the strong, rich flavors. Chewy and sticky on the palate; it's one of those beers that you can still taste for minutes after the last sip . . . and it leaves you wanting more. Not for the faint of heart with it's alcohol level but definitely a great sipping beer to be savored. I really liked this beer and will seek it out again. Holds it's own against some of the best strong belgian darks out there. I likened it to St. Bernardus Abt 12.

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Photo of pigpen892
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark brown heading to maroon with little or no head, promising a boozy Belgian quad. Smelled like raisins, currants, and dark, sticky fruit in general. Tasted like a tawny port -- rich, sweet and booze on the front fading to fruit on the finish. Had a silky smooth feel perfect for the sweet alcohol. Overall one of the best, most balanced, beers I've tried even if one of the sweetest.

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Photo of The_1084
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice brown color with some amber undertones.

S - Unlike any other beer I have smelled. Presents a mixed fruit aroma with the presence of cherry and raisin being easily recognized. Also, gives off the hint of a sweet wine.

T - Very sweet with a strong taste of wine that is mixed with a variety of fruits.

M - Thick and creamy with light-medium carbonation.

O - This is the first beer I have drank of this style, but overall I am impressed. For a beer with 11% ABV, aside from its high level of sweetness (almost too sweet for my personal taste), it is very easy to drink. A little added carbonation may help balance out the sweetness, but that is just a small note to make in comparison to the many qualities this beer contains.

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Photo of texashammer
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of RomanW70
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI. Pours dark brown. Nice aroma of dark fruits, brown sugar, and a hint of alcohol. Flavor of dark fruits and brown suagr with a warming alcohol finish. Has a very vneous quality, Quite tasty, but very sweet, which is a little distracting. Underneath the sweetness is a beer with a loy of complexity. I enjoyed the beer, but it's defintely not an everyday beer.

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Photo of Evocatus
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle. Has a dark color, like a coke but with a hint of read. Head was a dark beige that dissipated into a ring rather quickly. Smelled of dark fruits. Tasted like a light rum; a mix of sugarcane and a little bit of spices were there. Alcohol taste started to become prevalent after it warmed. Mouthfeel was thick but not too bubble. Overall pretty good. I was worried that it would be too heavy for an 11%, but there wasn't a strong alcohol kick at all, instead just a subtle feeling in the aftertaste.

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Photo of Deus1138
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time reviewing a beer I had the pleasure off drinking at a bar, rather than my usual at home reviews.

I sampled this brew at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, GA. Anyone in the metro-Atlanta area that has an affinity for beer should go here. I'll be posting a very complimentary review of their service right after this.

The brew was brought to me in a delightful little bottle along with a Kasteelbier Bruin-Brune goblet. It had gold around the rim...very nice touch.

I'm really not that great at smelling beer. I don't know what it is, because I have a great sense of smell. I just have trouble detecting all of the flavors and subtleties in beers that I see so many of you talk about in your reviews. I'm working on it though. This brew, however, did not challenge my nose one bit. When I poured it into the goblet at half an arm's length away, I could immediately smell plum and sweetness. I couldn't believe the strength of the smell! I usually have to bring a glass right up to my nose and swirl it a little to smell anything. This was incredible!!! It wasn't overwhelming or too much, it was just a very strong smell of incredible sweetness.

The taste was exceptional. Plum, plum, plum, raisin, and sugary sweetness. Smooth on the palate, creamy, and a nice after taste. The alcohol was slightly noticeable. I began to notice it more with each sip. It only SLIGHTLY detracted from the flavor, which by the way, is one of the best and sweetest I have ever had. At 11% abv, it's a sipping beer. I don't know what it would go good with, since it is just so darn good on its own.

If you have the means, get your hands on this beer. I would have ordered another if I didn't have to drive home!

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Photo of TheViolator666
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely a beer I wouldn't go out and look for because I'm not a huge fan of Belgian yeast, but I ended up pleasantly surprised by this one... though I still think the name is hilarious.

750ml corked and caged wine bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep dark auburn color. Fair head with decent lacing, nothing too special here.

S: Smell is fantastic. Very sweet, raisins are dominant. Malty as well and hints of darker fruit, plums come to mind.

T: This one instantly reminded me of a cane sugar beer. Pummeled up front by sweetness and an awesome sweet raisiny/grape flavor. No alcohol burn surprisingly. Also, I'm thankful to have a Belgian beer where the yeast isn't so dominant in the taste!

M/D: This is more of a treat beer, though it wasn't too hard to put down a good 10 ounces of it. Nice medium body, overall an interesting and excellent beer.

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Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
4.06 out of 5 based on 882 ratings.
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