Winter Koninck
Brouwerij De Koninck NV

Winter KoninckWinter Koninck
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Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #103
Ranked #44,622
3.54 | pDev: 14.12%
Brouwerij De Koninck NV
Winter KoninckWinter Koninck
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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 86 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Now this is a turn up for the books, a newly introduced beer that looked visually appealing and caught my interest. $6.99 gets you 1 Pint 9.4 fluid ounces of this beer in the classic tall 750ml brown glass bottle. A large obverse single label whose lower third has a Bruegel-ian winter scene whilst the upper two-thirds has the words Winter Koninck in white lettering set against a dark orange. Labeled as 6.5% ABV and a Best Before Date of 10-12-04, that’s a Euro 10th December next year date note! Has a shouldered Cork that is covered with a nice looking all-Gold wired Cap n’ Cage assembly. Looks are “very purchasable”.

Appearance: Some light grey gunsmoke as the Cork (numbered 15/03) ‘fhupped’ from the Bottle. An exceptionally clear dark copper brown body with a few streamers, but not many, some light ruby red when held to the ceiling light. A nice vanilla beige head quickly formed, as with most Belgium Ales, and slowly rescinded as the trapped air escaped to a smooth ½” covering that has a few large bubbles on the surface. Conditioning levels are average, a quick swirl helps swell the already good head that has formed.

Nose: Sweaty malts and some dark sugar odors. Light spices and a smell of freshly dug over soil in the middle which blankets most of the odors.

Taste: Sweet malts with a soil-spice character that is not identifiable at all but moreover is a mish-mash of spice-like flavors that have no form. The sweetness is forced and somewhat cloying and sticky, almost out of place. The finish has the sticky trademark of wet brown sugar on the teeth from an over sweetened soda, whilst the finish also exhibits the same sweet-soil-spice trait that started the beer. I’m not impressed at all with this. This was so nearly a 2.5.

Mouthfeel: There is not much to this beer, the body is like that of a thin dark overtly sweetened Mild - there is not really that much to support the beer in the mouth.

Drinkability: If this would have been the De Koninck or even better the Cuvée, the 750ml would have long gone. As it is the bottle is still half full as I get this far in my Review. To put it politely, this is just a below average drinking dark beer.

Overall: I like De Koninck, but this is a bit of a disappointment sadly. It's thin & has 'forced' incoherent flavors, it is rather boring actually. This just does not quite “do it for me” to be honest, it’s not bad, rather just very average and not great. And – this was three bottles away from the two rows of Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru which was retailing for the same price, $6.99. It’s just no contest I’m afraid. I am not sure I would invest in this one again, in fact, I know I wouldn’t. A big disappointment from a Brewery that I know can do much better than this.

Dec 17, 2003
More User Reviews:
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beerguy101 from California

3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby color. Medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty, bready and slightly sweet. A medium bodied Belgian Ale. Malts are fruity and slightly sweet. Touch of banana and clove, cherries and plums. There is also a touch of must that complements the dry finish. Slightly spicy. Nicely balanced. Soft carbonation. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet

Mar 09, 2004
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oberon from North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have to say I expected alot more from this beer,pours a medium brown with a decent creamy head,aroma was really smokey with some spiced cherries in their as well.The taste was not that pleasant seemed to be very medicinal with those smokey hints in there as well with a light nutmeg flavor that seemed to linger after swallowing.I wont get again but glad I tried it.

Jan 11, 2004
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rastaman from England

3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap, Torando, San Fransisco. Typical Belgian yeast, smells like a spicier De Koninck, candy malts, some caramel, some pepper and spice, soft texture, with a lightly tart finish, not too bad, but typically De Koninck and a little sweet to tell you the truth, quite a lot of carbonation aswell.

Sep 13, 2004
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Pegasus from Texas

4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy golden orange, with a moderate white head, the first pour was free of sediment, the second, although gentle, swirled with chunks of yeast as large as small coins. Thin, finely beaded lace lines the glass walls.

Aroma: Sweet and spicy, with notes of coriander, alcohol, mild hops, apple peel, dark fruit, earthy yeast, and wood.

Taste: Opens with notes of bitter apple, earth, yeast, and quite earthy undertones as well. There is also a subtle note of bitter chocolate, and some hints of dark fruit. Towards the finish, fairly bitter herbal hop notes appear; these linger on well past the end of the taste.

Mouth feel: Smooth, fairly full, with champagne-like carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: In all, quite well-made beer, certainly suitable for a holiday celebration.

Presentation: Packaged in a 750 ml Belgian bomber with a cork and cage closure, served in a 250 ml De Koninck chalice.

Dec 25, 2006
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A crystal clear, scarlet-tinted deep-amber body rests gently beneath a tall head of rocky off-white foam that holds well and initially leaves thin, creamy rings and splashes of lace about the glass. The nose expresses the typical, dryish spice character of De Koninck. In the flavor, dried dark fruits (prune, raisin) and subtle yeasty spice (sublime cinnamon) appear before a well-balanced, solid bitterness comes into play. It's a touch musty; and there's a very deep caramelization to its subtly sweet toasty malt before leafy hops appear. It finishes dry with a touch of fruit, earth, and must. An enjoyable beer that tempts with its subtle complexities and satiates while beckoning another sip. Excellent drinkability rounds things out. Not unlike the other De Koninck beera, it's not a head turner but the bottle will empty surprisingly quickly. Great during the holidays before, during, and after a meal.

Jan 18, 2004
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UncleJimbo from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled in various places in Antwerp, Belgium, but this reviewed bottle was had in Oud Arsenaal.

This beer poured a slightly hazy, garnet color with creamy, light brown foam that was slow to settle and clung to the glass in spots. The smell was malty with a touch of vinous Munich maltiness. The taste was nicely malty with a light sweetness and fruitiness as well as a bit of vinousness. The mild hoppiness came through in the finish. The mouthfeel was very smooth with medium-full body and good carbonation (crisp up front). Overall a very nice beer, and very drinkable around town in Antwerp.

May 29, 2006
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MAB from Canada (AB)

3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice effort but a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping for more spice, a bigger mouthfeel, and a dark-- almost black-- color.
Instead, the beer is a copper brown with a thin head and plenty of carbonation.
The flavors are muted but very pleasant. Lots of sweetness, a hint of bitterness, a nice yeast. No spice notes or other flavors that I could detect, yet the glass was empty in no time.
For now I'll stick to the "Blond Koninck", though.

Sep 25, 2009
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

2.81/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Copper brown mahogany in color wiht a nice full sized off white head leaves a nice amount of lacing that is intricate in design. Aroma: Stiff hop profile with the malt smelling similar to leather or maybe even some spent caramel malts if it's lucky with a slightly citrus account to tell of. Taste: Very blunt and in your face bitter and off I can't ever remember a big bottle that I disliked as much as this one. I can't deal with this some underlying spice is just no good here scores poorly across the board. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied overcaerbonated. Drinkability: Blah look for anyother winter ale and you'll be happy with what you went for.

Jan 16, 2004
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Gusler from Arizona

4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Deluxe
The beer pours deep amber to almost brown color with a modest light tan head that is semi-creamy in texture and the lace a surrounding sheet upon the glass. Nose has a plum like aroma backed up by sweet malt, fresh and clean to the sense, start is sweet with a nice grain profile. Finish is stern in acidity and the hops pleasantly spicy in their bite, quite dry and the aftertaste long lasting, a fine drinking beer, went great with the food.

Nov 29, 2004
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RBorsato from Virginia

3.26/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brownish-amber with a nice tan head, good carbonation, and lace. Perfumey/spicy aroma is intense. Dry perfumey-spice flavor is prominent with a plastic type flavor ... strange. Medium bodied with a "plastic" dry finish.

A decent specialty brew but not nearly as good or complex as their staple brew... I would not buy this one again.

Per DeK website: 14.7 Plato

Best Before: 101204
Tasted: 12/31/03

($6.74 / 25.4 oz / 750 ml Corked and Caged Bottle)

Jan 16, 2004
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brewdlyhooked13 from Ohio

3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours a muddy reddish brown. A thin froth of light brown foam creates a temporary cap, dropping quickly back to a patchy cover and a solid collar.

Aroma - candyish (due to the candi sugar no doubt), some estery vapors here and there. Picked up some light fruitiness and occasional clove and/or allspice.

Taste - the general sweetness of the beer assists with the early grain presence. A diluted cherry juice flavor, chased by some mild alcohol smack and vague but detectable hops. The swallow is fairly drying, with a decent aftertaste of the sugar and the hops.

Mouthfeel - about average body, maybe a touch thin. Carbonation is understated.

Drinkability - an enjoyable Belgian beer. Not a stand out, but pretty good.

Jun 18, 2009
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hobbes2112 from Texas

2.79/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle

I poured this one into a Chimay glass. Nice dark in color with small white head that goes away quicky.

Smell is a bit pungent almost skunky at first, but that goes away after the beer has been in the air a little. Then I see grass, and something oily. There are a lot of smells I am not used to in this style beer and to be honest I am not too pleased with them.

The taste follows up some of the "odd" smells with somewhat odd flavors. Oily grasslike, medicinal and quite sour. There are some nice malts in the finish though.

For as odd as the beer smells and tastes to me, it does feel decent in the mouth. I just wish the sensation was delivering more that I liked.

I will give the one the benefit of the doubt in drinkability and hope that I got a bad sample. I may try this again but no time soon.

Jun 21, 2004
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Morris729 from Texas

3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep amber color with a tall light tan head that slowly drops at an even pace coating the walls of the glass with a sticky lace as it does so. Nose has some sugary candy-like sweetness to it along with some earthy aromas in the background. Medium in body—a bit thinner than I’d expected. Taste begins with sweet malts and a bit of Belgian spice followed by some smoky and peaty notes but is lacking in depth throughout the tasting. A decent beer that I have no problem drinking, but I would have to say that this is a disappointment considering the quality of the other De Koninck beers I have tried.

Feb 14, 2004
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kbub6f from New York

3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been a little underwhelmed by the de Koninck stuff, but I was happy to see the Winter Koninck. There's a good chance for a little more oomph. Let's see...

Clear, jewel-red beer; a touch orangey. A medium-sized, tan, noisy head. Peanuts in the nose and a little tangy. Grainsy front, grapes, a bit sweet. Foamy middle is quite wine-like. More roasty grains in the finish. Nice bitterness. Is that apples? This is a decent, wine-like, grainsy beer. Not bad.

Jan 17, 2004
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TPoling from Texas

4.42/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter Koninck has a deep tan head and gives off a scent of roasted malt intertwined with fresh hay and spice.

There is an earthiness to this ale that is appropriate for its origins. There is a lot of body and an overwhelming flavor of coriander that is balanced well by the maltiness. I am surely keeping the cork in at least one bottle in a cool dark place for a taste next year.

Feb 18, 2004
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DrewBeechum from California

4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on Draft at Lucky Baldwin's in a Moinette glass.

Dark amber beer with intense cherry red highlight with a low white head that sticks to the glass with a splat.

Nose is of dried cherries mixed with walnuts for a deep earthy background not.

Flavor is soft and malty with a waxy rose and cherry candy flavor.

The beer in the mouth is incredibly fluffy with a long lingering cherry pit like touch.

Dec 12, 2003
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to eyedrinkale for sharing this at egajdzis pre-Kennett party...
Appears a hazy, dark amber with a small off white head that fades into a mild cap. Streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, toffee, yeasty, vanilla, brown sugar, toasted grains, mild cork, and light oxidation that still seems to have a bit of life left.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with the caramel, and vanilla as the mainstays in the semi-sweet brew that has just a touch of spicing in the background.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly thin (perhaps due to oxidation), and caramel sweet.

Oct 26, 2007
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beergeek279 from Pennsylvania

2.63/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in the 750 mL bottle, into a snifter. The color was a dark amber, with a large foamy white head. The smell is a plumish malt. The taste was terribly off; a horrible cardboard taste covered up any of the plum sweetness, and the alcohol was far too overpowering for 6.5% ABV. Mouthfeel was average. Drinkability-wise, I certainly wouldn't have another of these.

A shame...I've definitely enjoyed the other De Koninck brews that I've had. I'm just hoping that I had a bad batch; otherwise, this is one I wouldn't have again.

Dec 24, 2003
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IronDjinn from Canada (AB)

3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The last bottle sampled from a De Koninck gift pack, poured this one into the chalice as well. Best before date on the back label is 22/09/06.

Pours out a gorgeous copper ruby cherry oak hue, lots of carbonation, and the best head retention I've seen from De Koninck yet. The head rests at a thick creamy off-white bubbly cap and remains that way. A sticky wall of lacing. Sweet toffee malt, cherries, and rum soaked dates and raisins on the nose. Plums and a buttery profile catch my attention shortly after as well. The flavour can't live up to that aroma though, and falls apart quickly. Light buttery toffee malt up front, almost bitter preserved fruits in the middle, with practically an anticlimactic finish. The flavour is subdued and watered down, regardless of what it is aiming for. A buttery coating on the lips for the finish however. Disappointing. The mouthfeel is a bit fuller to what I've become accustomed to from De Koninck's line thus far, fuller and creamier, but still light in its way. The visuals, smells and texture of this beer are very fine, but the flavour is bland bland bland in comparison, cannot maintain the rest of the glory that this ale wishes to tout. It starts off well, but can't keep it up. I'd pass on this one next time. I enjoy a good looking beer, but if the flavour can't follow that up, then there's no point in the end.

Feb 12, 2006
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jahred from Illinois

3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The last of my beer reviews from a winter tasting with my friends.

The Winter Koninck pours a dark brown with a fairly thin head. There's a yeasty plum scent to the beer, but not much else in terms of smell. The taste if rich and malty and of raisins, with a yeasty, lemoney aftertaste. After it warmed up a bit I noticed that the beer is definitely a little bit thin. Overall, the taste and smell were nice, but nothing spectactular, especially for a winter/strong belgian dark ale (ie you can definitely do better for this style).

Jan 13, 2004
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EPICAC from Massachusetts

3.56/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Paters Vaetje in Antwerp.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark ruby-brown with a beige head that fades to a thin film, leaving sheets of lace.

Smell: Lightly malty, light dark fruit. Pretty clean overall, though what is evident is pleasant.

Taste: Light sugary sweetness throughout. Some light fruitiness, with some good spiciness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, low-carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable for a winter beer.

Dec 08, 2006
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dauss from Colorado

3.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750ml caged and corked. Date stamped on the bottle, 10 12 04. Cork came out quite easily and almost gushed over when it came off.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep amber ruby. A small light tan head rests on top.

Smell: lots of plums, malt, brown sugar, and alcohol. Very pleasant.

Taste: malty and very sweet, maybe a little too sweet. More brown sugar, with a clean, sweet, and a slight astringency. Light mixture of spices, very subtle and hard to pull apart, but I think there's a little cinnamon. Alcohol is barely detectable at 6.5%.

Notes: Body is a little on the thin side. A little too sweet. Strong carbonation affects the drinkability. It's a fairly good beer, but I've had better belgians.

May 05, 2005
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ViveLaChouffe from Georgia

3.39/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the several bottles of Christmas or "Kerst" beers I brought back from Belgium.

Kind of an amber brown in the glass with a thin ivory head. Some floaties in the beer, doesn't look like yeast but more like coagulated protein. Not so appetizing! Fruity maltiness and an earthy, yeasty aroma. Prunes and baked apples with just a hint of oakiness.

Earthy and spicy in the mouth, a bitterness in the finish. Cinnamon and clove is prominent and a sweetness that hints at candy sugar used in the brewing process. More candy sugar in the finish, a mild bitterness accompanies the sweetness in the finish.

Man, a lot of spice in this ale! Fruity, sweet and spicy pretty much sums it up.

Dec 17, 2008
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EPseja from New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tasting glass (tulip) at fridge to eventually cellar temperature. Scores based on the "warmed" beer.

A - Thick, dense, cratery meringue head on top of a dark, tawny copper color - similar to a strong iced tea with slight haze.

S - First thing in the nose is a sterile, metallic note, but that could be because it's a bit too cold... After warming a bit, there is a well rounded and moderately roasted malt smell. Light hops and alcohol as well.

T - A bit nondescript and metallic off the bat with a malty, lightly spiced middle. There is a vinous character noticeable between the middle and the end as well as a yeasty finish. Quite nicely balanced; there is no one overwhelming taste. Maltiness and yeastiness improve and the metallic taste dimishes as the beer warms.

M - Initially a bit watery, but slightly active once in the mouth for a moment. Not particularly smooth, but nothing detrimental. Gets much better - creamier and smoother - as it warms up past cellar temperature.

D - This is a decent, well rounded belgian dark ale that unfortunately doesn't deliver the goods to garner greater scores.

Jun 23, 2005
Winter Koninck from Brouwerij De Koninck NV
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 86 ratings