Bink Winterkoninkske | Brouwerij Kerkom

BA SCORE
87
very good
189 Ratings
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
Ratings:
189
Reviews:
132
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
11.54%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 |  Reviews: 132
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.

 2,285 characters

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

Deep red, purple, predominently brown color with almost not head. Large, soda-like bubbles. Looks alomst like cola, but the color is denser.

Juniper berries and prunes all over the nose. More so prunes to my nose. The candy sugar comes through also.

Mouthfeel has a silky body to it. It's sweet enoughy that you don't want it to linger too long, but it's still nice to have this winter ale in your mouth.

Taste is of a nice, rich, sweet Belgian brown ale with juniper berries a hint of holidy spices on the tongue. Lingering sweet prune taste (in a good way). I really like it, particularly with friends around the holidays.

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Photo of Wildman
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark red amber color and formed a small light tan bubbly head that left trace lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. The aroma is of malt, chocolate and carmel with a hint of cherry. The flavor is of malt, chocolate and a hint of cherry. The body seems fairly light for the style and a slightly sweet finish.

 356 characters

Photo of Douglas88
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from College Liquors in Grand Junction, CO. Pours a bright ruby color with a medium light brown head. The aroma is very nice; tons of ripe berries, some toasted malts, and sweet candies. The flavor was great; just loads of berries, some alcohol, yeast and light toasted malts. A bit of chocolates and Belgian candies. Very interesting and very enjoyable. Plus I loved the label.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle via DBL- thanks John! Pours a dark ruby with off white head, nice lacing. Nose- huge waft of candi sugar and figs, raisins and plums. Taste- very rich sweet caramel malts and molasses but also a mineral like dryness. The juniper is tough to pick up but is somewhat noticeable on the finish as the beer thins out. An excellent winter warmer.

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Photo of tedsox31
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a goblet. The color is a dark brown with a large head that dissipates quickly. Some lacing on the side.

The smell to me is of mint, a variety of malts, and sugar. It is a pleasant smell that reminds me of sitting by a fireplace with a mug of something hot in my hand.

The taste is strongly of malt and belgian candi sugar. There is also a minty backtaste from the juniper. No hops in the taste.

The mouthfeel is creamy and carbonated, not much of an aftertaste.

Overall this beer was not anything special for me. I enjoyed the mouthfeel quite a bit, but the taste and smell weren't enough that I would go back for another.

 652 characters

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 rtepiak
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

cola amber like color with small redish ton head. woody malt nose, cherry and juniper berry esters. herbal. light foam volume. not creamy. warm. hoppier on palate with light berry essence. not as sweet as expected. nice and woody fruit with light molasses malt and wood bitter hops. not strong but present. dry. flemish sour style yet without the aspects of sour. more smoky. could be a bit fuller though. mouthfeel is a bit lacking. great otherwise.

 450 characters

Photo of philipquarles
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with a negligible head. Very little lacing. This all could be because the beer is a year old.

Smells of malt, yeast, fruit esters (dates, bananas), chocolate, and spices.

Taste is similar, lots of malt (reminds a bit of Chimay Bleu), backed up by banana, spices, and a bit of chocolate. Alcohol is only evident in the warm feeling. Very complex.

Very good, drinkable beer that is great after a meal

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Photo of MTNboy
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- This beer is dark brown amber. There was a lot of sediment floating in the one that I sampled. Both the head and the lace were wonderful but both disappeared quickly.

Smell- Slightly metallic it also smeller of candy sugar.

Taste- The taste is of roasted toffee sweetness or I would even go as far to say burnt toffee like taste but the flavor for the most part was metallic.

Mouthfeel - Chunky and full.

Drinkability- I am not over keen on this beer at all.

 477 characters

Photo of MrMonkey
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany with bright red highlights, with a two-finger tan head that fades slowly to a thin cap. Not much lacing.

Smells like sweet dried fruit, some Belgian yeast, just a hint of alcohol, some dark, earthy malts and some floral hops somewhere in the background.

Taste is sweet red wine fruits up front, followed by a caramel sweetness and some toffee-like bready malts, which lead into some tart fruits and a fairly dry finish.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel with a well carbonated, soda-like feel.

Very drinkable, as the alcohol is pretty well hidden, although I'd probably just want to enjoy one of these after a meal.

 631 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent find from the equally excellent Sun Singer, Winterkoninkske pours three slightly tan fingers of head on a mahogany body--very impressive. The smell is a bit subtle. However, one can distinctly discern fruit including dried fruit, and spice. The taste brings the dried fruit to the fore, emitting a raisin flavor with bready yeast. With the texture and some roasted malt, it honestly reminds me of buttered raisin toast. Very original in its flavor.

Another well carbonated, smooth BSDA, Winterkoninkske is just outstanding, a delightful winter BSDA to beat back the chill of a windy and cold winter's night. Be sure to get this if you have the chance.

 670 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a Shelton Bros. Belgian winter ale pack from BevMo in Redlands, Ca., purchased in December 2007, and tasted in late Janualry 2008. The label does not mention "Bink", but otherwise it's the same label with an oriole-like bird on a hop-laden branch overlooking a snow-covered village (is that anachronistic?) with lots of Flemish info below.

Pours a deep dark clear brown with the lightest of red highlights, a nice head with a hard pour that quickly dies to nothing.

Aroma of black licorice. Anise. I like this already. If I thought about it, there are probably other aromas too, but to be honest, who cares? The licorice smells great!

Flavor is more of the same, but there is more going on here. Sweet, cola-like sweet, but with a Christmas cookie spice ending (yes, there are hops, but generally subdued hops). Dates and molassas. This works really well together as a dessert beer. Alcohol notes are very well hidden.

Honestly, I don't think I could drink a lot of this because of the sweetness, but I still like it.

 1,029 characters

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

From an 11.2 oz bottle this poured a nice dark brown with a fat tan head and good lacing rings. Nose of ripe fruit, chocolate, and molasses. Medium mouthfeel, and lots of flavors. You can detect the alcohol in the taste, and flavors of caramel malts dominate. Good beer.

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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 ccrida
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle poured into my Hommel snifter, the Winterkoninkske (winter king) is a dark, hazy, purple-tinged garnet with a massive khaki head that settles down pretty quickly, leaving moderate lace.

Smell is pretty strong, very medicinal dark fruit, presumably from the juniper berries cited on the label more so then the typical Belgian yeast spiciness, although I'm sure that's a factor. It was too much for me, and I was regretting the glass choice of a snifter when every sip pummeled me with juniper berry.

Taste is also obviously spiced, but more fruity then the harsh astringency that occurs when more traditional spices are overdone - and I'm not implying the juniper berries are overdone, just dominant. Actually, it's a fine line, I like their strength much better in the flavor then the nose. The finish is pretty clean for such a heavily spiced brew.

Mouthfeel is thick in a red wine tannin like way, but with a medium body.

Drinkability is pretty good in spite of the heavy spice, mainly from the clean finish and lighter body. Still, I'm not sure how much I'd enjoy a second 33cl bottle...

 1,110 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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Photo of Risser09
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz served into a pilsner - 2007 bottling - Cellar temp

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with red highlights. Light tan head that reaches 2.5" tall. Ample lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell: Belgian yeast, hops, ripe cherries, date bread. Spices of clove and allspice round out the aroma. Kinda phenolic.

Taste: Tart and hoppy. Chewy and bready. Granola, alcohol, walnut, caramel. This beer has a nice balance of malt, fruit and spice. Pretty complex.

Mouthfeel: Lingering alcohol. Not as hoppy as the label description would like to indicate. Spicy, carbonated, bready.

Drinkability. Very good. This is another good Belgian Strong Ale. Perhaps it is a little boozy and pedestrian. Another thought: what do juniper berries taste like, because I don't sense anything like them at all. Worth a try.

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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.

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

This beer pours a mohogany brown color, with a tan color head. The creamy head fades a little fast, leaving sparce lace.

This beer has a strong date like aroma. It smells spicy, with some coriander, and some allspice. A slight lemony zest, citrus aroma is also present. Earthy yeast aroma makes it way into the nose as well.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. The only differance is that the date like flavor is less pronounced that the aroma led me to believe. That is good because I dont care for a strong date like flavor in my beer.

This beer goes down smooth. It leaves a slight date like and spicy aftertaste. It is well carbonated.

This beer may make a decent session beer. It tastes good, and is not too overbearing. It is a little high in alcohol, so that may become an issue.

Overall: This beer was good. It didnt leave a lasting impression, but it was above average.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a huge Belgian fan, but the juniper berries and lavender this is brewed with intrigued me.

Poured a hell of a lot darker than most other Belgians.

Smells pretty much like other Belgians, except maybe a little sweeter.

This is actually one of the best Belgians that I have had. I don't love the beer but it is better than most.

For those that are fans of the style, this would come highly recommended.

 409 characters

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 littlebibs
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice brew, semi-sweet cola like taste with
some berries, dates. Its a complex yet simple
dark belgium ale. Some of the reviews say its
too sweet but it doesn't hit me that way. Its
a seasonal Winter ale and its got some great
tastes blending into each other. It just nice
to get to try these brews for better or for worst
these people put alot into these, try them while
they are around. good stuff, I wish I could order
this on tap at the bar.

 444 characters

Photo of albern
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad Belgian, interesting, but not one I will seek out again. The beer pours a very dark color with no real head, retention, or lacing. The smell is a bit musty, spicy, and oddly fruity, which I'm guessing is the juniper berries. The beer is very lightly carbonated and is lightly syrupy in consistency. The label is a bit misleading in that the brewery -- Kerkom -- will "single-handedly bring real hops back into Belgian brewing." I'm still looking for the hops. What I am getting are spices, maybe allspice, some plum flavors, juniper berries, sweet malts, and a flat tartness in the finish. Hops, perhaps emerge on the back end, but the flat sweetness is the signature element in this beer. Not bad, worth trying, but not one I'm going out on a limb for either. There are some warming alcohol notes in the finish and you will get a bit of a throaty burn from the 8.3% ABV.

 881 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with a tan head. In the aroma, a sweet fruitiness, junioer berries I guess, and just a hint of alcohol. In the taste, small sweet malt with a dry alcoholic fruitiness and a small tartness too. A smooth, small sour fruit mouthfeel and a sweet malt/ dry fruitiness in the aftertaste. Quite complex, and very good. Fruitiness reminds me of grapes, but juniper berries are close to that.

 408 characters

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