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Bink Winterkoninkske | Brouwerij Kerkom

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BA SCORE
87
very good
132 Reviews
THE BROS
70
okay
Read the review
Bink WinterkoninkskeBink Winterkoninkske
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Kerkom
Belgium
brouwerijkerkom.be

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stcules on 12-28-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
132
Ratings:
189
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
13.85%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 189
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, with malts and spices. Suitable carbonation, good drinking. Mollasses and malting to tone down the juniper. Chocolate malt. odd taste notes, and mid-sip astringency. slightly bitter aftertaste. Good though not great Belgian from the Belgian Shop.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Congregation Ale House in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and some slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a very sweet flavor and a nice toasty malt presence. There is a slight alcohol kick with each sip and a medium amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp yet sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice robust flavor that definitely fits in as a Winter beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

cool Belgian holiday dark here. inky dark brown in color without much head. hardly any light penetrating. the nose is dark fruit, plums and dates and all, dried and sweet, rich brown sugar dark malt and spicy Belgian yeast. the beer is thicker, and its got enough body to hold all these flavors, which alternate and interweave in quite a flattering way. earthy and a touch of smoke as it finishes instead of a residual sugar bomb. a tough brew to drink a lot of, but nice and complex, and different from so many holiday brews. outstanding stuff overall, and it ages well. not quite as epic as their grand cru version, but a lovely winter seasonal.

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Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar and very dark brown when held up and inspected closely. It poured with a thin beige head that died down, leaving a collar of bubbles on the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark fruits are present in the nose—plums seem to stand out in particular—along with hints of candi sugar.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of plums, clumpy yeast, and malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has bold flavors of dark fruits and last clumps. The taste also doesn't seem to be that alcoholic.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apparently the Kerkom brewery knows me all too well. They know that as the Christmas time draws near that my endulgence in all things succulent, sweet, and decedent increases. And they're taking full advantage.

Dark ruby-brown colors are surprisingly light in haze and shows off a a dainty glow of black cherry from underneath. It's dark color hides the rise of bubbles that work to construct a creamy and stubborn head that laces with clinging lace.

Malt and fruit converge in the aroma with impressionable memories of plumb, raisin, cherry, and a candied sweet scent that smell like candy stores. Confectioner's sugar notes align with a winy and earthy scent that promises as much acidity as it does bitterness.

Malty sweet with the supple taste of candied fruit, the beer prefers the taste of hard candy, plumb, raspberry, red grape, and cider that begins to give rise to the more earthen taste of prune, apple, orange, and raisin; all before fading into a semi-dry malt taste and light peppery spice.

Medium-full, the beer leads with a creamy-sweet candied texture. But a turn to mid palate of acidic bite and sprite effervescence provide lift, the finish is warm, spicy, and earthen.

Kerkom's winter warmer certainly captures the taste of the more candied taste of Belgian dark strong ales and less of the "darker" tastes- just in time for my sweet tooth to wake from its hibernation and demand attention.

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Photo of brentk56
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a molasses color with a large-bubbled though small head that fades without leaving much of a remembrance

Smell: Dried dark fruit and spice cake, with fig, date and licorice as well as brown sugar and cinnamon; the juniper berries add a gin-like character, as well

Taste: Both the spice cake and dark fruits found in the aroma permeate the front end with the middle adding a touch of brandy and tea character; after the swallow, there is a yeasty and leathery dryness that develops, with the juniper berries arriving in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Overall: I have cellared this bottle for a while and that may have affected the mouthfeel; still, the flavors come together powerfully and present a complex profile - a bit of Christmas in June, to jump the gun

 810 characters

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried fruits - raisin, plum and currants. Nice malty nose, too.

T - It tasted of plum and raisin. Good sweet maltiness with a nice spicy bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This a really good Belgian Dark Ale. Another good winter brew from the Shelton Bros.

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Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of light brown head on top of an opaque, dark brown body. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves decent lace.

S - A smoky aroma of dark malt with some chocolate and burnt caramel notes. Spicy notes of cinnamon and nutmeg with fruity yeast that adds a bit of plum and red apple. There are also some deep sugary notes of toffee, molasses, and a hint of rum.

T - Cola-like malt sweetness up front; bready with a bit of caramel and toffee. Some spicy yeast in the middle, clove and pepper as well as more sweet, light caramel. The malt darkens in the finish with more burnt caramel and some milk chocolate that is complimented by plum and pear yeast fruit and contrasted by a light malt bitterness and a hint of spicy european hops. Lingering flavors of burnt caramel and weak coffee as well as a hint of pipe tobacco.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - This is a very enjoyable, very drinkable beer. The aroma is quite complex with lots of dark malt and yeast character, while the flavor is just a bit weaker. It could perhaps have finished a little dryer, which might have helped to accentuate the more complex, darker qualities of the malt flavor. Overall a complex, enjoyable dark belgian that manages to derive complexity from its spice addition without smashing the drinker over the head with excessive "spiced" character, which is exactly the sort of spice balance that a winter warmer should strive for, no matter what its national origin.

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Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Engine 15 (JAX).
Very dark reddish-brown body that is topped by a weak head.

Nice aroma that says "Belgian yeast".

Flavor: too sweet up front and. less so, overall. Dark fruits, faint chocolate and spices.

The body is slick, smooth, medium-full but seems a bit under-carbonated.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, deep mahogany robe topped by a short head of light tan froth that holds fairly well and maintains a thin, creamy lid throughout the glass but leaves very little lace. The aroma is quite nice with vibrant notes of dark fruits and juicy berries that are just slightly tart. The body is medium, and its very fine and highly effervescent carbonation lends a caress to the tongue and a smooth, lightly creamy mouthfeel. The flavor offers a candyish sweetness, with notes of dark fruit backed by a subtle yeasty spiciness and a firm bitterness. The alcohol is only lightly present, and never seems to build on the palate. The finish is dryingh with a mild note of slightly tart dark fruit that lingers shortly with some leafy hop flavor and bitterness. Well balanced, never allowing the juicy sweetness to become cloying, and without its bitterness ever becoming more than sublime.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkest bronze-brown on the coaster, muted crimson with orange borders when exposed to the bright morning sunshine. The head was several fingers in height after the pour and hasn't noticeably fallen in the past several minutes. It's a wonderful shade of toasted golden beige and is an appropriate color foil for the beer beneath. A paltry amount of lace is a minor disappointment.

The nose is a good one. It's dominated by sweet, dark fruit such as dates, figs and raisins. Actually, it probably isn't dark enough to be considered overly raisiny. In addition, there's a sweet apple cider vibe goin' on. An understated Belgian yeastiness keeps the aroma well within the bounds of the style.

Winterkoninkske strikes me as a BSDA that is dark maltier and sweeter than most, even if those aspects of its personality aren't that far from the style average. Fruitiness is still the centerpiece, with raisins now on equal footing with the others. Dark caramel and earthy tobacco make contributions as well. As I continue to sip and savor, the beer seems less sweet to me. Or at least the sweetness is countered by a still active bitterness.

I like it, but I'm still waiting for that little neuron flash that says 'damn, this is great beer'. Good? Undoubtedly. Great is another matter entirely, however. The 8.3% ABV has to be a misprint. Perhaps the person who sent the information to the label maker has dyslexia and it's really 3.8%. In any case, no alcohol is noted on the palate.

The final pour brings a turbidity to the appearance, a greater intensity to the flavor profile and an ever so slight fullness to the mouthfeel. Not enough to make me want to change any of the scores, but I do like the beer at the bottom of the bottle more than I like the beer at the top of the bottle. And I liked the beer at the top of the bottle just fine.

Winterkoninkske translates as 'winter wren'. My bottle is aged (although it's still almost a year away from its 'best by' date), so perhaps it had more verve when fresh. Perhaps not. I set the bar pretty high when it comes to this style, so a 'merely good' BSDA is certainly nothing to sneeze at. I may pick up another bottle if the opportunity presents itself.

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Photo of russpowell
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby red with a pinky of tan head. Alright lacing & head retention

S: Dark fruit & leafy hops & honey

T: Dark fruit, leafy hops, & dryness up front. Figs, more dryness, plus more leafy hops as this warms. Finishes dry & figgy

Medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks alright, nothing special here, not really tasting the juniper here. The ABV is well hidden, but this is kind of so-so one or two would be my maximum before moving on. Had higher hopes for this one

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Photo of smcolw
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Good lace but it doesn't last, moderate head; cloudy and ruby brown in color.

Sugary sweet aroma with light nutty spice

Thin bodied and above average carbonation. Lots of berry sweetness, but I cannot detect the juniper flavoring. There's very little lasting aftertaste; what is there is sugary.

I'm rather blase about this beer. This is largely unbalanced...if you like sweet beers, this might be a good choice.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep mohogany hue with a huge tan head, delicate specks of lacing form. Aroma: Contains vinous grape, spices including some mild nutmeg and cinnamon like bread tones, all around this beer is very solid. Taste: A jumpin' maltiness roars but finishes mellow with nice toasted malts and mild hops a true Xmas delight other flavors fruit some plum, spiciness not bad at all. Mouthfeel: I like the way it finishes thinner body than I was expecting but still very quaffable solid. Drinkability: I enjoyed worth every penny one of the 28 Christmas beers now available at the Sharp Edge in bottles.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark brown. No head. Very strong caramel edge. Just a great winter warmer-like edge to it. Nice and robust and smooth. Great profile. Thick caramel with some nice earthy/leafy tones. Great level of sugar. Smooth liquid feel. This is a very nice dark ale. I enjoyed drinking it.

 290 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep, dark plummy brown, fully opaque, under a fine coating of 1/4" cocoa-tan foam.
Aroma: spicy and sweet, lovely, ripe dark fruit, grape, cherry, and getting darker, raisins, molasses, maybe maple syrup, dark and delicious, heady and nearly hedonistic.
Taste: light, neat hops, full, thick malt, warm, spicy, rich, delicious. Sweetness abounds, but tastefully, and matched with caramel tones, beautiful, tingly hops on the palate, a great spicy display on the senses. Alcohol feeling starts to creep in, and it's a welcome presence.
A most toasty, tasty warm, winter brew, and I wish I'd had a few more of these to stave off this un-Godly January freeze.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12/19/07- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with no freshness dating on the bottle.
Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance- Deep brown colored pour approaching black. 1/2 inch head uopn pour leaving a bubbly and creamy froth slight rim. Leaves spotty and light trails of lace.

Smell- Very outgoing nose with tons of juniper berriers, dark fruits (plums and dates and especially black grapes), plus a caramel cola like scent.

Taste- Pretty much a clone of the nose. Less juniper berries, but a nice hefty sweetness from the grapes and plums. Malty and just the right amount of sweetness.

Mouthfeel- A tad overcarbonated, but fairly smooth considering with a coating left of spicy sugar on the tongue.

Drinkability- Great flavor and nose and overall terrific beer. Score one for Bink.

 835 characters

Photo of Tone
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color. One inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of European yeast, sweet malt, alcohol, slight syrup, hint of dark citrus, and a hint of spice. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of yeast, sweet malt, alcohol, slight syrup, hint of dark citrus, hint of spice, and a hint of roasted malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, and body.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Despite a few domestic labels insisting that spring is finally here, I'll go the Belgian way and drink a winter seasonal. On to the beer? Sure....

It's as dark in the glass as it is outside my window this evening. Very dark brown on the verge of being black, with a faint reddish hue given the correct alignment of glass and light meeting. The head forms a ½ inch head, settling to a creamy lace. I'm come to expect the aroma of plums in a dark Belgian Xmas Ale, and it shows. Along with the plums chugs along caramel, brownie batter, and echoing fruit esters from the yeast.

Somewhat fruity, somewhat sweet, and somewhat bittering. It's acceptable as it is. The taste of prune juice makes an entry. A coating of caramel adds its layer. There's dough too. There is a buzzy bitterness which interferes with the harmony of the beer, and adds a burnt note in the aftertaste. Could it be the alcohol? Mouthfeel is medium full and modestly carbonated.

Middle of the pack Belgian ale, which isn't a bad place to be in. I have taken my medicine and should sleep well tonight.

 1,074 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bink Winterkoninkske
Brouwerij Kerkom

Appearance: Hazed ruby. Off white head. Retention OK. Good amount of lacing.

Smell: Malty, fruity. Some Belgian yeast qualities (fig, raisin, dark fruit)

Taste: Nice elements of juniper berry and bitter hops. Hops come off as woody and very earthy. Quite yeasty, with soft dark fruit notes. Finishes dry, chalky and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, well carbonated, semi dry.

Overall: A Belgian ale with considerable bitterness, juniper, and strength. Good use of juniper in a beer. Dig it.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours with a frothy, initially fat-two-finger thick, lightly amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is an opaque, dark amber color that shows a clear, deep ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma is redolent of dark fruit notes that are noticeable even as I pour this brew. Rich, almost jam like fruit reminds me of concord grapes, raisins and prunes, caramelized banana. The aroma is quite malt influenced, with the fruitiness being both from the malt and fermentation. Other malt notes of toasted malt, brown sugar and lightly browned malt. Really the aroma is just dominated by the rich fruit notes; this certainly is appropriate for a Winter brew.

Sweet and somewhat thick as it hits my tongue. A light spiciness as well as some peppery carbonation provide a small respite from the dominant fruit notes. This finishes with a distinct flavor of caramelized bananas and a bit of dark grain astringency / bitterness. This beer is actually pretty well carbonated, it foams quite a bit as it hits the tongue, but the body is substantial enough that I did not recognize how carbonated it was at first. In the very long finish this has a note that reminds me of woody coriander and perhaps a touch of menthol. That sort of spice note (especially the menthol) seems to pick up a bit as the beer warms, so I can only guess that this is from the Juniper berries.

Not a bad beer, certainly appropriate for a Winter beer as it is quite rich and sweet. I could wish for a bit more complexity, but wasn't really expecting it to begin with.

 1,539 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A muddy, mucky looking beer that sits a really deep, dark russet brown colour. Lighter tones of cinnamon are accented on some angles, managing to actually brighten up the otherwise miry complexion. The 'Winter King' wears a modest sized crown, one barely thick enough to even make a noticeable outline.

The aroma is so sugary sweet I'm starting to worry about tooth cavities just from smelling it. The combination of dark fruits - raisins, figs, plums - smells as though it was smothered with sugar and scorched under a high flame until the point of caramelization. The sweetness brings to mind a mulled mead, although I think a spiced apple cider is a bit closer to the mark.

The flavour blends the taste of caramel apple with a high proof spirit. Which spirit? I can't say exactly, it does after all taste most like a beer. Still, there are some characteristics shared with (very cheap and watered down) dark rum, brandy and cognac. That taste is blended with notes of dark toffee, caramel as well as raisin, plum and especially figs and pear.

Whatever has been done or whichever ingredients have been used, it's made for an interesting combination of textures. As noted, the beer is less than discretely sweet; the sugary sensation is felt all the way through to the gums. A sticky, syrupy, very sappy texture acts in conjunction with it. Just a pinch of yeast spice works itself into the mix as well.

The importers' web site says the beer "is brewed with juniper berries and a touch of lavender, but neither overwhelms the flavor... in fact, you may not even know they're there". Well, no I didn't. And yes, I would have liked to of. The flavour doesn't need them to be enjoyable, but that said, it could have used them for that little something extra. I'm not sure how lavender and juniper would fit into this style, but I'm still left curious to find out!

I've seen various sources list this beer as various things: brown ale, Belgian strong dark ale, and even quadruple. Whatever the case it's either average (or below average) relative to what else is out there. It's also a little underwhelming as being something you'd reach for in the midst of a cold winter. Don't get me wrong, I like Winterkoninkske, I'm just saying it's not deserving of the 'Winter King' title.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle purchased at the Boise Coop for around $5. Enjoyed from a red wine glass. Listening to Renaissance Worldwide Singapore; Dave Seamen mix.

Nice beige head on the pour but quickly goes away. Dark brown ... just lighter than a standard porter... Dark cherry highlites when held up to a light.

Smell is caramel sugar ... figs ... and raisins. Alcohol clears the nose with a finish of piney hops.

Good mouthfeel ... thick and slick at the same time... yummy ... caramel sweetness is prevelant. Good balance sort of a black tea bitterness .... odd but nonoffensive pink bubble gum in there somewhere. Big boned; a definate sipper.

This is a very good but not great BSDA ... Descent complexity, I would buy it again, but this time I would let a bottle or 2 cellar until next holiday season.

 800 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle, the penultimate beer in the Christmas in Belgium 5-pack, with a bunch of Flemish or Dutch words I can't understand written on it,

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown, actually the colour is really nice on this beer, very woody, whiskey colour, anyway, with a fair white head, which leaves a nice rim of lacing around the glass.

S: At first opening the bottle, I smelled an interesting nutty, almost crunchy smell of pistachio nuts, which then melded into date sugar, molasses, and a bit of fiery alcohol, very complex.

T: Very sweet, but with an overall full and very satisfying taste. Molasses cookies and rum-soaked fruitcake hit first, with some fig and raisin, ending with a nice maple and walnut or pecan hit.

M: Smooth, light for the 8.30%, bubbly, a bit warming at the end, slightly phenolic at the end.

D: A very nice beer from Kerkom, definitely the winner of the pack so far, this stuff would go great with Christmas desserts or any dish that is spice oriented this way. Definitely one of the best and most satisfying BSDA's I've had in a long time, a very good dark ale.

 1,098 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with little head or lacing. Aromas of sweet malt and bitter spices There aren't a lot of specific spice notes, merely a blend that gives you a short, sharp jolt. Tastes sweet with malt and with lingering notes of juniper and spice- light cinnamon and allspice? Creamy mouthfeel and quite drinkable. Nice, but nothing super special.

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Bink Winterkoninkske from Brouwerij Kerkom
3.9 out of 5 based on 189 ratings.
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