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Winter Koninck | Brouwerij De Koninck NV

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Winter KoninckWinter Koninck

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Koninck NV

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-09-2003

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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 86
Photo of nighthawk
1.9/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

330mL bottle, best before date stamped on back, poured into De Koninck chalice.

Pours a deep red-brown amber colour with two fingers of dense white head produced. Head sinks to a thin ring, leaves a fair bit of lacing on the glass.

Nose is medicinal, funky sweet fruit. Weird.

Taste is all cherry cough syrup. Medicinal through and through. I can't detect anything but thick medicine-like cloying sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, medium-low carbonation. Clean finish, which is a relief.

This beer is pretty horrible. It doesn't stay with you, which is its one redeeming feature, but it's not pleasant on the palate. I guess I didn't choke it down, but wasn't nice. I will be avoiding this one in the future.

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Photo of Absumaster
2.26/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I had high hopes of this beer, because I really like De Koninck, but it was not what I expected.

Appearance was OK, a red, brown beer with a thin head.

Smell is lots of caramel, which appears to be artificial, it also gives the impression of nuts and has some medicinal notes. The beer is also very malty and full.

Taste is again lots of the artificial caramel and sweet molasses in combination with a toothaching sweetness. Other than that nothing that sticks out. Undrinkable and poured into the sewer.
This is a new edition of the Winter Koninck, which has a different recipe from the previous version I reviewed.

Appearance is a dark copper beer with an initial thin head that disappears in time. It leaves absolutely no head. Little visible carbonation.

Smell is malty with a strong caramel maltiness. A light roast. A pleasant yeast profile remiscent of apricots and raspberries. And some chocolate.

Taste is strong malty with a nice caramel maltiness that is a little roasted. The malt is the key player in this beer. Hops are almost absent. The beer has a great drinkability and although this beer has 6,5% it does not show. Indeed a winter version of the regular Koninck

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Photo of Onslow
2.4/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

best before 06 09 08 ... looks like diet coke ... pours with a low head ..."ya, whatever mother fucker" ... slightly fizzy on the tongue ... dusty, old golden syrup, calorie free chocolate flavours ... disappointing to say the least... not worth the anticipation or money, so many better belgians out there...

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Photo of corby112
2.4/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at the Belgian Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark ruby red color with small foamy pinkish, off-white head. Sour aroma of fsweet frui, cough syrup and alcohol. Dissapoining cough syrup taste mixed with sweet cherry flavor and strong alcohol presence. Gross!

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Photo of beergeek279
2.63/5  rDev -24.6%
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.

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Photo of elricorico
2.66/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer is almost cherry red with a creamy tan head, that leaves plenty of sticky lacing on the glass.

The smell hits me as belgian yeast with sour cherry. I really don't find a whole lot there, even though I'm drinking it from a tulip glass.

The taste does nothing for me. I get a metallic flavour that dominates the mouth. A bit tart, a bit dry, but nothing that I'm looking for here. Some medicinal flavour in there as well. None if it is pleasing my palate.

The beer is medium bodied with light carbonation. Not a bad mouthfeel, but leaves a touch of film feeling on the tongue and lips.

It's not that this beer is difficult to drink, but I don't find any reasons to want to drink it. Pretty dissappointing bottle.

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Photo of hobbes2112
2.79/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.81/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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Photo of CRJMellor
2.85/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear dark, red and brown a solid ecru head that leaves some scattered lacing.
Aroma of caramle malt, musty hay like notes along with some bread tones and some brown sugar or molasses.
Flavors of earthen malt, almost a dirt and saw dust type taste with some funky, musty yeast hints. Very sweet, just about cloying malty hit. Little bit of coriander as it warms. Way off-balance.
Mouthfeel is sort of light and dusty without any kind of balance or transitions.
Drinkability is very average. just not very appealing at the end of the day. Too much funky sweetness with nothing to balance it out. Saw dust kind of bittering is bland and adds no redeeming quality to the brew.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.88/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

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Photo of redsonja
2.9/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A; red brown nice head

S; roasted malts a hint of spices

T; caramel, spices, some bitterness

M; nothing stays that long in your mouth

O; disiponting beer from the koninck little taste, its to sweet and the spices dont come out in the beer. the longer it stays in your glass more tastes a gone.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.01/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A dark brownish ruby color with a big brownish head that diminishes quickly. Very pretty body.

Smells of ripe fruit (apples?) and malt.

Ripe fruity sweetness up front with some malts in the middle finishes with a slightly metallic taste that has a slight alcohol taste to it, which is surprising for the ABV.

Good mouthfeel, nothing fabulous. Medium bodied, well carbonated.

I opened a 750ml bottle and don't really want to finish more than then first glass.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.05/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured from a 750 ml. bomber into a Chimay chalice. Head retention is poor and no lacing. Reddish brown in color.

S. Very faint, some malts, some sweetness.

T. Lacking in the taste category, it almost tastes like nothing. I thought it was a bit too cold so I let it warm up a bit, and that did very little. A bit of apple and a solid whiff of alcohal as it warms. Not impressed.

M. Medium bodied and a bit chewey.

D. Very drinkable, just not memorable.

Overall: Dissapointed to say the least. I thought a Christmas Ale by a belgian style brewery would be a sure fire hit. Indeed I was wrong. Good thing I split this with a friend.

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Photo of oberon
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.13/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750ml corked and caged bottle. drank from my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours a copper/amber colored body with a moderately sized fluffy white head. the head lasts a little bit before becoming a skin on the top of my glass. random spots of lacing are left wherever it has been.

S- sweet fruity malts. cherries and raisins mostly. not much on the spices which i thought were a staple for a winter beer.

T- just as subdued as the smell. overly sweet cherries, raisins, and pears. cant really find any of the spices in here. not what i was expecting at all.

M- light bodied with a high level of carbonation. a little thin.

D- nothing offensive here, but nothing great either. pretty bland and weak. i doubt ill ever give this one another chance.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first review! Well, I looked on my beer rack and tried to pick out the beer with the worst looking label design just to get it out of the way to replace it with a better one. What I found was a perfect middle of the road beer. Poured it into a large chalice and let it rest for about 10 minutes before drinking. Huge head that took a while to disipate, with a bit of lace. Smelled pretty decent. Major carbonation after the first sip and throughout. The three most prevalant tastes to me were; hazelnut, corriander and some kind of fruit. Maybe something like and apricot or plum. I pretty much got what I expected. Not a great beer, not a bad beer. It was on sale apparently as I noticed the $3.99 tag on the cork, so I would say it was worth a try for that. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again, but it wasn't bad for the price. Overall a pretty average beer.

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Photo of rastaman
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I expected a lot more from this beer, coming from the belgian world. It's much lighter looking and tasting than you would expect for this style. It gives you the belgian yeast flavors, but not much malt to back it up. I suppose the relatively low abv is the problem as a Belgian Dark should have more complexity, not bad just a slight bit better than an average american brewer would make this. Pass. Although I'm really intrigued by lower alcohol beers, this one is a disappointment.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.26/5  rDev -6.6%
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)

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml capped and corked bottle.

Appearance- Pours a good two finger head that lasts for about two minutes. But thene recedes to only a simple ring o' foam. Colro is a cognac amber with no lacing.

Smell- A little tart, woody aromas with some definite yeast aromas.

Taste- A little oak starts out with some German-esque malts, lightly toasted. Light hopping bitterness with a light molasses sweetness.

Mouthfeel- A tit tart but not bad. Almost sessionable if the tartness was a little less. But pretty smooth going down with a little grittiness.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy amber with a thin, fizzy white mousse. The head retention (or lack thereof) leaves a bit to be desired, but the unfiltered appearance is nice.

S: Very sweet and gentle on the nose with caramel, toffee, vanilla, and plums coming through loud and clear. I was hoping to pick up some hop aromas, but alas, I did not.

T: Notes of caramel, toffee, cream, vanilla, plums, earthy hops, and subtle spice are present on the palate. The finish is sweet with notes of caramel, cream, and vanilla being most noticeable.

M: Medium bodied and firm, but a bit syrupy. The carbonation is a bit excessive, but it is still rather drinkable.

O: This is a solid Belgian dark ale that could be more than it is. If it were better balanced, this beer would be a winner.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.39/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/10/2010 (Draft at Gingerman, Houston, TX):

Pours a clear light red, brown color body. Crreamy white head, diminishing. Spicy sweet malty aroma. Holiday spice aroma. Spicy sweet taste, sweet spices, maybe. Nutmeg or somethning, holiday spices. Nice taste, nutty. Very holiday like. Somewhat creamy body. Letting it warm up a bit.

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Photo of EPseja
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at in de wilderman while in Amsterdam.
-Dark amber color, lazy lacing that doesn't last.
-Sweet nose (affected by newly arrived smokers)
-Very smooth taste. starts with candy sugar, then evolves to hop bitterness, and finishes with an other wave of sweetness.
-Very smooth, very drinkable.

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Winter Koninck from Brouwerij De Koninck NV
3.49 out of 5 based on 86 ratings.
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