Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Belgian Ale | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

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Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Belgian AleKasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Belgian Ale
Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Belgian AleKasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Belgian Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Style: Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 489
Photo of ThrewRedButter
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

L - Muddy brown body with ruby red tinges and half a finger of almond head

S - Baker's chocolate, subtle dark fruits, flowers

T - More traditional quad here with dark fruits, raisins, figs, and dates. Dark chocolate fudge taste.

F - Full. Some warming, but no booziness.

O - Interesting flavor combo. Individually the chocolate and quad were quite nice, but as a team, it didnt blow wind up my dress. Worth a try.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage; drank 1/1/16 @ the Yarchives.

Dark purple/brown appearance; some light shone through when held up to a lamp.

A rough pour yielded a small khaki head; decent lace.

Roasted coffee bean, sweet milk chocolate, caramel, banana & plum notes in the nose; awesome!

Medium thick, smooth mouthfeel.

Freshly roasted coffee bean & sweet milk chocolate flavors up front; banana & clove notes on the finish. No booze heat.

Strong flavors with a nice balance between sweet & dry; bravo!

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Photo of josanguapo
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

De Tercertiempocervezas. En copa Kasteel. Viendo Sex Education 1x06. Rica mezcla de alcohol y chocolate con algo de metal. Alcohol y chocolate se notan bastante pero el chocolate compensa muy bien el elevado alcohol. Gana cuanto mas tomas De Tercertiempocervezas. En copa Kasteel. Viendo Sex Education 1x06. Rica mezcla de alcohol y chocolate con algo de metal. El chocolate compensa muy bien el elevado alcohol. Gana cuanto mas tomas de ella

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Photo of lmaduells
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A beer in which I have found somewhat unbalanced elements. A very hard smell, alcohol not very well assimilated. A good beer that wants to differentiate from classics with chocolate but I think it is in a good attempt

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Photo of OlaB
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of Ruger_44-Redhawk
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got at Total Wine in University Park, FL. I was looking for La Trappe Quad and they were sold out so they recommended this one. Never had a chocolate quad before. Smell of cocoa nibs. Feel is nice with a little bite from the alcohol. Taste up front is a little tart with plum and dark fruit and on the back end is the chocolate.

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Photo of elnachooo
2.33/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cuerpo medio y carbonatación baja. Aroma tostado, con un poco de caramelo y café. En boca se siente un poco de toffee pero a la vez frutos secos que dejan una sensación amarga y poco agradable.

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Photo of scottwood
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

My initial impression was that this was more of a caramel stout/porter (albeit a lovely one) than a Belgian Quad... but the non-immediately-obvious Belgian underpinnings do seem to provide greater drinkability compared to a similar ABV American-style stout. It wasn't what I expected based on the label, but I'd call it a good surprise. If you don't like caramel-forward beers your mileage may vary.

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Photo of Storm_Rryder
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's good but a bit confusing, it does not taste like a Belgian and with the chocolate/coffee flavor it's like trying to be a stout but it isn't. Still tasty, just it's odd.

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Photo of ChugNBeerz
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad for first time after a huge meal meatball sandwich and inferno chicken wings.
This 8oz Belgian Chocolate Ale was the perfect compliment to the meal , better than Belgian Chocolate cake for dessert.
It is a five star Ale with a great combination of chocolate flavor intruced to to the Belgian Ale.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger khaki head that fades slowly leaving a trace lace. Dark brown color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Chocolate nose and flavor follows almost sweet chocolate. Higher ABV (11.0%) is hidden. $7.99 for a 750ml caged and corked bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of sjrider
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap- pours a dark molasses cola color with a finger of bubbly beige head leaving a bit of lacing. Nose is layers of chocolate with coffee and toasty malt. Taste follows, the flavors are very complex and interwoven. Smooth and delicious, the abv is well hidden.

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Photo of AyatollahGold
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have wanted to try this for a while now. Excited to finally get around to it.
Pours out a cola color with a light tan crown that is fizzing vigorously.
Without even putting it to my nose I smell the aroma. Then putting it to my nose brings chocolate galore. Seems like layers and layers of different chocolate, not just one. Coffee and roast in there as well.
The taste opens up with the chocolate right off the bat. Then turns into this amazing caramel coffee flavor. Has a quality that is reminiscent of peanut butter & chocolate. Like a tag a long. Vanilla is even in there as well along with a nice presence of balanced alcohol too, and I never say that. This is a complex beer with multiple dimensions.
This is so smooth and creamy. Chocolate stays on the lips. It's got a great warming sensation to it. Medium bodied. Carbonation is perfect.
Overall, this is what I needed today. I can see myself picking this up very often. I wouldn't say there is anything wrong with this beer.

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Photo of qjholler
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip glass.
A) Looks lighter coming out of the bottle than it does in the glass. The head is a light tan and dissipates pretty quickly, not leaving much lacing behind. The body settles as a dark brown, as one might expect from a beer with chocolate in the name. Opaque when held up to the light.
S) The scent of chocolate is immediately apparent without being overbearing. Some fig notes mix with an aroma of dark coffee, with a slight hint of the 11% ABV following the roasty sweetness of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruit.
T) Again, chocolate comes to the fore right away. This sweetness is balanced out by some coffee, although not as much as I had expected from the smell. The taste of chocolate fades into a fruitier fig taste mixed with a nice malt flavor. Coffee is much more noticeable in the aftertaste, and the alcohol taste comes in a bit at the end, providing a warm reminder of just how strong this beer is. Delicious and complex, with far more to offer than I've included in this description.
M) The carbonation isn't too effervescent and the body is rather more light than I had anticipated. I quite enjoy it though. The sweetness of the beer doesn't stick to the inside of the mouth like some beers are guilty of, but the subtly energetic carbonation and soft warmth of alcohol linger on the tongue in a consummately pleasant manner.
O) Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. I bought this beer after looking through my local superstore's selection of Belgian offerings, and I could hardly be happier with it. It's sweet without being cloying, strong without being overpowering, and complex without overdoing it and muddling the core flavors. Truly a wonderful beer, and one I'll surely buy again (when I feel like splashing the $12 on a bottle, that is).

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into glass. No bottling date information found on label or on bottle.
Dark brown colored body with some reddish edges when presented to light. Minimal light brown, fizzy head quickly disappears. A very thin ring appears and is supported by rising bubbles. No lacing.
Aroma is dark roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate, with some reference to dark fruits. Chocolate and coffee aromas are strong.
Taste is dark roast coffee and dark chocolate. Supported by dark roasted malts and sweeter caramel taste. A little bit of tangy dark fruit toward the end of the sip. A whiff of a taste close to cinnamon.
Fuller mouth feel. Beer is well balanced but has strong aroma and tastes. Carbonation is low. Toward the dry side with the higher ABV.
Is this a "pastry" quad? The higher ABV and supporting flavors are those of a Belgian quad but the coffee and chocolate could be viewed as adjuncts, as experienced in a lot of U.S. RIS's with additional flavors. Still a very solid beer, and tasty, but one must like dark roast coffee to enjoy this beer.

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Photo of stevoj
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Prefunk pour 9/11/15: Not as much pit fruit, but plenty sweet. Prior rating: 3.4 What a kick this one has! Pours dark brown / ruby with little head, and almost flat carbonation-wise. Aroma reminds me of a northwest coffee stout., with some dark chocolate thrown in to boot. Scent of alcohol hovers on top. Dark chocolate is more prominent in the taste, some sweet molasses, whiskey barrel. Alcohol heat on the backplane. A lot of different styles seem to be in play here.

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Photo of JeffH_SC
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750ml bottle into a craft beer sniffer not too hard. Almost no head...really rather flat. What little visible carbonation quickly dissipated within a minute. The aroma was wonderful smells of caramel, coffee and chocolate with hints of fruitiness. The taste was coffee in the front end and caramel and chocolate on the back. Lingering notes of sweet plumbs and the warmth of alcohol. Had a flat and somewhat thick feel. Overall, in spite of the flatness (maybe defective packaging??), the experience was very enjoyable! [The sister product, "RaspBarista" was one of the best beer experiences of my life!]

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Photo of tone77
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is strong of chocolate, some coffee. Taste is of rich chocolate, coffee, a bit of alcohol, very tasty. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a quality beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of Beejay
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: dark brown with a light tan head.

S: chocolate goodness. With some fruit.

T: caramel, brown sugar and chocolate. Decadent.

M: medium in body with very active carbonation.

O: damn tasty.

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Photo of Irishman_Scott
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hard poured from a bottle, the color was a very dark brown, the head about two fingers that the majority dissipated in a couple minutes, but a layer remained throughout. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The smell was definitely chocolate with maybe some plums or even cherries. The mouthfeel was semi high in carbonation, but not so high that it was like a fizzy soda pop, and was appropriate for a quad. The flavor was incredible!!!! Basically a classic quad with semi sweet chocolate added, simple yet very effective. I might be catching some fruit and maybe a touch of coffee possibly. This beer is a winner and a wonderful twist on quads. Exceptional and worth a try!

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Photo of Zaktcc
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. "Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad"
11.2 fl. oz. brown glass bottle without freshness dating
$5.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. "Kasteel RaspBarista Raspberry Chocolate Quad"
750 ml brown glass bottle, corked & caged, cork marked 2017
$15.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

I thought for this review I'd do two beers side by side, the Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad and the Kasteel RaspBarista Raspberry Chocolate Quad. My guess is that they're both the same beer with raspberries, or raspberry flavor added to the second one. Interestingly enough, nowhere on either label does it say anything about flavorings so I guess they've got to be brewed with real ingredients, right?

They both have the same appearance. A very dark brown body that looks black in the full glass is topped by a creamy finger-thick head of tan. It might be my imagination, or it might be the lighting but the head on the raspberry beer looks just slightly lighter in color. Over a period of a few minutes they've both dropped and condensed, but they still have a completely solid cap, and actually appear creamier. The raspberry seems a little bit fuller and creamier, whereas the straightforward chocolate version has some bubbles mixed into it. That could have to do with the cleanliness of the glasses, although it appears that the raspberry version also offers better lacing. Is it possible that it might also have a bit more carbonation? Does the bottle size affect the beer? The raspberry was in a 750 ml bottle that was corked and caged. Moving on...

The chocolate quad clearly displays chocolate in the nose, and the raspberry chocolate clearly displays raspberry. If you look closer there is some chocolate to the raspberry version but it's not nearly as strong as it is in the regular chocolate version. Hmmm. Perhaps they start as the same quad but then both have different additions. A bit more chocolate in the chocolate quad might explain why its head and lacing don't seem quite as nice as the raspberry. It might be that the oils from the chocolate are stifling it. Regardless, both have bright, captivating aromas. On to the flavor...

What was found in the nose remains true in the mouth, the chocolate version is quite chocolatey over a dark malt "quad" base whereas the raspberry is the main note in the RaspBarista and the chocolate only follows it. It's so strong in fact that it's almost at the point of being too much, and between the two I think that the straightforward chocolate version is probably the more drinkable throughout an entire glass. The raspberry even seems to stick in the mouth. It also seems a little hotter, which is odd because they both offer the same 11.0% alcohol by volume. Could it again have to do with the difference between a smaller capped bottle and a larger corked and caged bottle? So what else?...

They both seem to have roughly the same mouthfeel: medium-full in body and creamy smooth. It's hard to say even with toggling back and forth between the two, but I think that the chocolate version seems a little bit fuller and creamier than the raspberry, and that perhaps the raspberry has a hint more carbonation. Again, could this be the packaging? I should have sought out a 750 ml bottle of the chocolate quad so they both would have matched.

Overall, both beers are quite magnificent. The Chocolate Quad delivers a rich, malty experience with notes of chocolate, toffee, a hint of coffee-like roastiness, and Belgian yeast character that's backed by a moderate bitterness and warming finish from the alcohol. It could easily work as a dessert beer on it's own, or pair well with plenty of dishes, not just desserts, even becoming an ingredient, or simply as a rich beer to be enjoyed at anytime of the day or night. The RaspBarista is a touch more aggressive in its raspberry, and seemingly sweeter, or at least a little bit tarter, but also a touch more bitter as well. Either beer is definitely worth trying, and probably worth the effort of seeking out.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black pour, good clarity. Beige head settles quickly. Spotty lacing.

S: Coffee aroma hits fast and hard. Like fresh coffee grounds. Dark chocolate underneath, making a mocha impression. All other elements of the beer are buried beneath this. Some roasty malt notes, cola, vague darkfruit.

T: Huge coffee flavor leading. Again- fresh grounds. Roasty acidity and cola. Dark chocolate/cacao is there, but more subtle than the nose. Figs and vague fruits. Perhaps a touch of earthy yeast and peppery phenol. Chocolate pulls through more on the finish and mingled with the pervasively dominant coffee.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy with a slight sense of heft, though it glides over the tongue fairly easily. Ample carbonation prickles lightly.

O: Pure hedonism. Not a very complex beer- it hits hard with coffee and chocolate while sacrificing the more Belgian aspects of the base beer. But it's good. And it would make for some interesting and versatile food pairings.

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Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Belgian Ale from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 489 ratings