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Winter Koninck | Brouwerij De Koninck NV

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Winter KoninckWinter Koninck
86 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 86 |  Reviews: 64
Photo of mdagnew
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from Gap Wines, Belfast..

Poured a dark coppery brown colour. Creamy tan head poured pretty sparse and fizzy into a de koninck glass then faded almost instantly to nothing. Quite a lots of big carbonation bubbles shoot to the surface... no lacing...

Aroma - Light caramel maltiness, spicy fruits (figs, raisins, bitter oranges), nice nuttiness, some nutmeg notes, light medicinal / herbal hints, grassy, faint peppery hops...

Taste – Spicy tart fruits (figs, raisins, apples), light nutty sweetness, herbal / anise notes, toasty malts, caramel / toffee, peppery hops, strong breadiness...

Feel - Quite sharp... light / medium body.. pretty drinkable although maybe a little harsh to drink to much...

Overall - A decent brew... nothing groundbreaking but worth a try...

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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 Pegasus
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the Ginger Man in Dallas.

A beautiful clear, copper color. Medium sized, light tan head.

Smell was hard to pick up as bar was rather smoky. I seemed to get citrus and spice, and the classic Belgian scent.

Pretty sweet at first, fruity. This lingered into the aftertaste. Spices were prevalent, I believe I got cinnamon and clove. Belgian yeast character. A bit of citrus/hops finished it off with a dash of pepper.

Medium in body, with fairly high carbonation. A bit more drying than I care for.

OK, a bit sweet for my taste. Very firmly within Winter Warmer style parameters. Hops seemed a bit "bigger" than you would expect from a Belgian, but that was fine by me.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.56/5  rDev +2%
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.

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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 UncleJimbo
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

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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 Cwrw
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This came in the De Koninck gift-pack along with the chalice glass. A white label showing a pond with people skating on it(this could be a typical winter-time Canadian scene!). 330ml bottle. 6.5%. The beer is a very attractive hazy light-red/dark brown, tangerine. Head was minimal, and became a little patchy. Passable lacing. Aroma is of wood chips and some sweet fruit juice. Dusty hopping, and grape-juice malting. A grainy aroma, and extremely uncomplex and simple. A little disappointing actually. The smell could pass for a sweetened Euro-lager. Nothing off about the nose, but there are so many better Belgian darks out there. The taste up front is nice enough: sweet and malty, with a little white sugar in the middle. Some light wood tastes, some metallic bitterness, and a very strong dryness in the finish, dryer than many Belgian darks. A little red-wine flavour and some mollasses or candy come out as the ale warms. Good, just not outstanding in its class. Higher carbonation, with a bite to it. Full-bodied, but for some reason the extreme dryness in the finish renders this a little less drinkable than some of its sweeter counterparts.

As an aside, it paired well with aged cheddar and French brie.

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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 IronDjinn
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 10/12/04, so I'm over a year late. The color is a hazy, dark cherry red with a large, light brown head. Thick chunks of sediment float around in the beer. Aroma has a vague spice smell atop of dark malts and alcohol. Taste has a dark earthy malt flavor joined by a sweet, sugary Belgian flavor. The taste also has a bit of dark fruit and cola flavors. A touch of alcohol is in the mix throughout. Towards the finish a ribbon of spice pops in. Good stuff here, I wish everything this far past it's "best by" date were this good. Overall malt flavor could have been stronger, but this was enjoyably subtle.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at a few degrees over fridge temperature from a 750ml corked & caged bottle. Glassware: Duvel tulip. Source: Michael Jackson. Freshness date reads 11 05.

Appearance- Rich, deep honey amber with a fantastic off-white soapy head, a full inch-and-a-half thick. Sporadic lacing that remains behind the foamy topper.

Smell- Mild phenols and some alcohol, with crystal malt notes accompanied by spices. The Belgian yeast strain with its bready, sour nose becomes apparent after the beer sits for several minutes.

Taste- Mild nutty, bready, caramel malty flavors nicely balanced by a delicate hoppy middle and finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A bit thin, low carbonation which doesn't add much excitement to the experience. At 6.5%, it's not quite the session brew although it goes down super-easy for a Belgian Strong Dark.

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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 dauss
3.81/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of rkhaze
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish amber with a big beige head. Noticeable suspended yeast. The head got ultra creamy upon disappating.
Malt, plums and brown sugar aromas. A bit of spice and a whisper of a bubblegum smell.
Earthy sweet malt taste that segued into a fruitiness that reminded me of an artificial grape flavor (Jolly Rancher)? Finishes fruity and lightly bitter with a lemony yeast taste.
Light bodied with a thin, yet full mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation.
For the style, this seemed lighter and less complex than most.

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Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of silenius
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Other reviews gave me the impression this beer was only mediocre, but I did like it.

Best by date of Dec. 10, 2004.

It pours a clear copper color with a big long lasting head.

Smell is light fruitcake with light spices. Sweeter malt overtones predominate with just a hint of spice in there.

Taste is little weak, but still nice. I did not get the impression this beer was too sweet. It is nicely sweet with some spice to partially balance it. Hop flavor in there as well.

Mouthfeel was nicely carbonated without being prickly. Nice scrubbing bubbles.

I had no problem finishing this and would consider getting another. Not a winter warmer by any means, but a nice spiced slightly sweeter beer.

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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 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 twilight
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark but clear ruby color with slightly lacy head. The nose is fruity, quite sweet with what appears to be an overload of spices. The body is light and sweet, spiced beyond belief, but not so much that it overcomes the beer. I mean, this a good Belgian strong, the kind with arms that don't crush you in their embrace. I understand why this is a winter seasonal. The spicing is like apple pie without the apples. Sugarplum fairies? perhaps. I like the way it coats the tongue with flavorful spices. Kind of reminds me of a tripel in that way....

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Photo of beerguy101
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
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

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Photo of TPoling
4.42/5  rDev +26.6%
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.

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Photo of Imbiber
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Mark Bar, Brooklyn, a couple of weeks ago (notes taken).

Dark amber to brown with a minimal head. Aroma not too distinctive, mildly fruity. Flavour was malty, biscuity, a bit sweet. The biscuit notes lingered (brown malt?), and a mild hoppiness came through in the end. There were hints of spices in evidence too, which I couldn't quite put my finger on.

Not bad but not as distinctive and enjoyable as I had hoped.

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Winter Koninck from Brouwerij De Koninck NV
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 86 ratings
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