Kasteel Barista
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

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Style:
Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #15
ABV:
11%
Score:
93
Ranked #1,628
Avg:
4.22 | pDev: 10.43%
Reviews:
146
Ratings:
516
From:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  39
Gots
  161
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Notes: The name ‘Barista’ conjures thoughts of the fragrance of steaming coffee below a layer of expertly created froth. This may sounds rather far-fetched for a beer... However, the aromas and the flavours of caramel, cacao and roast malt match seamlessly with the ‘black gold’ and chocolate. This beer builds bridges with the world of hot beverages, with warming alcohol in the finish. One to enjoy all the year round: with a meal, in front of an open fire or on an outdoor terrace.
Reviews: 146 | Ratings: 516 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by REVZEB:
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.69/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was left feeling like this was an american palate assault on a beloved classic style. Bitter coffee with the yeasts followed by huge sugary dark fudge note. I guess the quad dark fruits are buried under there somewhere. Has some earthy base flavors, but otherwise nothing really special. The smell especially was coffee and roasted malt, not quad like at all. If you want the sweet stout flavors in a different mouthfeel, this is for you.

Sep 18, 2018
More User Reviews:
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MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown with hints of ruby. Lots of bubbles and a big two finger tan head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A rich, roasty, and sweet dark malt and yeast driven aroma with a scent of chocolate, coffee, and spice. Dark roasted barley malt with a huge presence of chocolate and coffee. Also some malt hints of toast, biscuit, caramel, toffee, smoke, and nuts. Belgian yeast with spice hints of clove and pepper. Fruit hints of banana, apple, and pear. Dark fruit hints of grapes, raisin, cherry, fig, and prune. Hints of candied sugar sweetness. Hops are pretty light. A very nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a rich, roasty, and sweet chocolate and yeast driven taste with notes of sweet chocolate, coffee, and spice. Dark roasted malt with a big taste of chocolate and coffee beans along with some biscuit, toast, caramel, toffee, nuts, and smoke. Belgian yeast with notes of clove and pepper spicing. Sweet notes of candied sugar. Lots of fruit with some notes of banana, apple, pear, raisin, dark grapes, fig, cherry, and prune. Light earthy hops. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a carbonation level on the higher side of medium. Rich, slick, and somewhat syrupy. Alcohol heat is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A very good twist on a Belgian Quad. Huge sweet taste of chocolate and coffee along with the Belgian fruit and spice esters. Kind of tastes like liquid tootsie roll in a Quad.

Jan 15, 2016
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BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip.
11% ABV

A - Clear dark brown upon the pour, this beer might as well be coal black in the glass. Topped by a pillowy ivory head, the foam settles to a thin ring of suds with tots of lace adorning the glass.

S - Barista's explosive aroma is so powerful that this beer only needs to be opened to be smelled. It's bold chocolate and coffee aromatics center around milk chocolate covered coffee bean with a rich cocoa and milk presence and subtle undertones of dark fruit. Even the raisin and plum might as well be chocolate covered! Even if quite strong the adjuncts remain wonderful compliments to the beer, not completely overpowering attributes.

T - Dark chocolate Easter bunny ear fills the mouth with a vanishing touch of chili spice that quickly turns to fleshy coffee bean. Unlike a black cup of roasted Arabica coffee, this beer has a coffee presence more akin to Barista-made coffee drink, hence the name I would imagine. Dark fruit undertones emerge as the beer warms, hearkening back to the classic base beer: Belgian Quad.

M - The robust, full body of Barista plays tricks on your mind as the appearance, aroma, and flavor try to convince you that this beer is fuller-feeling that it really is. In reality, the sugars are fermented out (super weird for a Kasteel beer, I know!) leaving the palate with a thinner bodied beer that's dry and roasty upon the finish, not sweet and cloying.

O - As a self-proclaimed Kasteel hater (ok, sidebar, I don't really HATE them, I just don't care for the overly sweet beers they're know for producing) this is me going on record saying this is clearly the best Kasteel brew available and a damn good quad. Thus far I've found most of their offerings unnecessarily and cloyingly sweet, loaded with apparent alcohol but, Barista takes a really good base quad and expands on it in a way you'd expect Americans, not Belgians to, and they give it a really unique twist while keeping their tradition for deep and complex beers alive.

Just drink one, you'll agree.

Dec 07, 2015
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AlbieTom from Georgia

4.76/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I recently had this at Hop City in Atlanta. I love a good Belgian Quad and I have never had a Chocolate Quad before but this was a wonderful beer. Careful though this will hit you hard at 11% ABV. It has a great Mouthfeel, amazing flavor. If you have the opportunity do not pass this up.

Jan 31, 2017
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thoroughly enjoyed from the 750 ml bottle in a snifter. This most excellent ale pours a deep dark brown with ruby highlights, and a thick khaki foam head that settles to a thick ring, subtle layer, and nice sudsy lacing. Nose of rich coffee, sweet milk chocolate, subtle char, and strong booze. Flavors exceed the nose with sweet milk chocolate and lightly bitter coffee on the front and sides, notes of burnt sugars and fruity notes of figs comes through on the middle to back, and a strong warming alcohol rages in with light grain notes on the back. Great mouth feel with good carbonation that keeps this an easy sipper with a roasted malt aftertaste mixed with cocoa that is lightly bitter yet sweet and boozy. VERY NICE. One of my new favorites from this great brewer.

Cheers

Jan 09, 2016
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TheSupremeAJ from Pennsylvania

4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As somebody who was a barista in his teenage years, this hit the nail on the head. This is one of the best beers I've ever tasted; true to the craft. The lactose, espresso roast, creamy mouth feel and lack of bitterness reflect a perfect cappuccino in strong beer form! This is dangerously outstanding.

Dec 16, 2016
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cmurkar from California

4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a goblet. Dark amber with a thin white head. Disappeared pretty quickly. Smell is strong caramel malt with chocolate on the finish. Alcohol is prominent in the smell. Chocolate hits heavy on the taste. Follows with fig and grape notes and sweet malt. Mouthfeel is medium with slight carbonation. Very heavy on the booze. Be warned, this beer packs a wallop.

May 29, 2016
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JohnnyDuvel from Florida

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

I was really wondering what this combination would be like, as the chocolate and coffee are usually added to stouts and porters. Trying to imagine a somewhat thinner and sweeter Belgian quad with this combination was intriguing. Well, it tastes exactly like you would expect. Initially, the coffee is prominent. The Belgian sweetness does begin to come through (chocolate not as much). Compared to the best chocolate/coffee stouts, the body is a little thinner, but overall this is very enjoyable. The ABV is well hidden (probably more so than other Kasteels (which I do like, btw). This is definitely worth a try if you like quads or Coffee beers. Nice surprise!

Dec 12, 2015
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp 11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter. the beer pours a dark chocolate brown color with fizzy beige head of 1.5 cm foaming up and then fading to a sturdy edge layer with one large island in the center of my glass.
The aroma is rich and fairly sweet with chocolate and some roasted malt and a bit of vanilla and ready cookie aroma. No hops and the booze is pretty well hidden at this point.
First sip reveals a silky smooth texture and sort of thick body. the carbonation is soft and fine and rolls gently across my palate with each mouthful.
Flavor is sweet and chocolatey with some hints of vanilla and roasted coffee too, but just enough to balance the sweetness of the beer. I dont get any hops and the booze is very well hidden on this glass of 11%brew.
I dont get any Belgian character on this one and find it to be chocolate dominant. Its good, but I hoped there would be a little more complexity from the yeast or Belgian candi or something.
It is fairly one dimensional, good for what it is but was hoping for more.

Aug 06, 2018
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the heels of their famed Donker, the Kasteel brands launch a new Belgian stronger, darker ale that flirts with the additions of coffee and chocolate in nearly perverted fashion. Its results are deeply succulent, savory and oh so silky.

Deep and hazy with a stern garnet gaze, the robust ale builds a creamy, meringue-like column of foam. With the nose hovering, the unexpected dominance of french-press coffee and cocoa powder strikes the olfactory senses with force. Its initial taste reverts back to the classic belgian taste of hard candy, brown sugar and toffee before the fruit and spice show up on the middle palate.

Once the sweetness relaxes, carried away by its turbulent carbonation, the flavors of plum, blackcurrant, black cherry and raison pierce through the malt, coffee and cocoa and begin to counter the resting sweetness with slight tartness and a complex fruity twang. peppercorn and chicory rise late to balance the fruit and offer an earhy bite to the simmering coffee and chocolate additions.

Full, lavish and robust, the complex ale has enough acidity and effervescence to slice the malts and offer a semblance of drinkability though its texture is velvety and lush. An after tow of coffee and bittersweet chocolate long outlast the beer's natural attributes and suggests that it's best suited as an after dinner aperitif or a replacement for dessert all on its own.

Jul 13, 2015
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look: Very dark ruby. sparse tan head.
smell: Coffee and more cocoa powder than straight chocolate, dark malts.
taste: Much like the nose. Very smooth. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. Dark fruits emerge that aren't as present in the nose.

Jan 17, 2016
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Smakawhat from Maryland

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

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep mahogany brown out of the bottle, and filling with a solid opaque dark walnut brown. Quite a bit of clarity through the head with some chestnut brown edges. A one finger creamy perfect tanned puck is always present.

Chocolate malt hits right off the bat, with a nice mix of ripping grain. The dry grain goes right into a dark chocolate espresso ripped coffee bean angle as well. Shocking amount of coffee notes on this brew, and very unexpected as it dominates and the chocolate is soon forgotten. There's a little bit of purple grape juice hiding in here also strangely.

Really singing palate. Mid palate awakens with excellent amounts of roast coffee char, and mild sensing chocolate notes more so derived from a killer thick almost stout and porter like richness. This is a quad? But then somehow some excellent plum and fruity sweetness that is very subtle kicks in. Even fruited classic coffee notes get accented by this brew with a nearly velvety soft feel.

This is a remarkable brew that took an angle in flavor and taste that I was completely not expecting. Real memorable winner and delicious.

May 14, 2016
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Shockey from Ohio

3.76/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aug 07, 2016
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown with a fizzy head. Aromas of coffee, chocolate amd dark fruit. Taste is an odd but flavorful mix of coffee, cocoa and belgian yeast fruityness. Alcohol is felt more than tasted. Plum and coffee are major flavors. Full bodied with tons of flavor that clash then blend together nicely enough. Its extreme beer.

Apr 04, 2016
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ordybill from Georgia

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the tap into a tulip glass. The appearance is a clear dark brown with a large white head. The aroma is chocolate and coffee and it smells wonderful. The taste is coffee and chocolate with malt. An outstanding beer.

Dec 21, 2015
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oriolesfan4 from Maryland

4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Feb 16, 2016
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Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin

4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dec 17, 2015
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jabergess from Tennessee

4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan 15, 2017
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zachthelaxer93 from South Carolina

4.94/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Aug 05, 2016
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap. Pours opaque, dark brown in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste is coffee, molasses, sour mix, plum, and Belgian sugars. Heavy bodied, moderately sweet and roasty. Nice mix of coffee beer and Belgian quad. Tasty sipper and a treat. Glad I found this. Would definitely get this again.

Oct 23, 2016
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Zaktcc from Maryland

4.84/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pitch black in color with a bright white, 1 finger head. No lacing present.
S - Overwhelming chocolate, pleasantly accompanied with aromas of coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, and a subdued hint of caramel.
T - The mouth follows the nose, however the overwhelming flavor appears to be coffee. As I continue to drink, the chocolate flavors feel as if they are being replaced by the coffee. Roasted malts are backing it up the whole time.
M - Beautiful mouthfeel. Incredibly smooth, crisp, optimal amount of carbonation... overall just an enjoyable experience.
O - Delightfully surprised for a random buy. Incredible brew, will definitely enjoy again and hopefully can cellar one or two to see the complexities it takes on.

Jan 18, 2018
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Tarps68 from Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jul 21, 2018
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Bubbawilly88 from California

3.81/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aug 03, 2016
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OlaB from Norway

4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark-brown color with a medium top of beige head that dissolves rapidly.
Aroma is of milk-chocolate, tofee, coffee, vanilla, caramel, raisins and bread. Almost cake like.
The taste follows the nose with sweet and malty roasted tones in the flavour. The chocolate, coffee, caramel ect. lays strong in the background. The finish has a slight bitterness mixed with the roasted feel in the back and leaves a long aftertaste. It,s kind of a strange flavour combination in a quad, but it works very good. Mouthfeel is creamy,silky and smooth with a medium carbonation and a medium body.
A very nice and enjoyable example of a quadruple.

Mar 30, 2019
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Haybeerman from Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Sep 29, 2017
Kasteel Barista from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 516 ratings