Witches' Brew | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

very good
120 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Witches' BrewWitches' Brew

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Beerbuddha on 10-17-2007

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 228
Photo of theopholis
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the brown 750ml.corked bottle, into a standard tulip.

Appearance- Stunningly clear, sparkling apple juice color that continually effervesces for quite a long time. The effervescence is very aggressive. Despite a fairly careful pour (so as to not disturb the yeast cake) the head is a huge, 3-finger, white, pillowy affair. Lots of staying power, and it leaves behind a very sticky lacing. Very inviting looking.

Smell- Very clean, sweet and fruity. Difficult to identify individual fruits. Maybe some nice, crisp apples, banana. Everything else is to subtle for me to identify. again....very inviting. Can't wait to taste it.

Taste- Starts off with a very pleasant malt sweetness, with a tartness lingering in the background. Hints of mild citrusy hops, hints of a spiciness that I often find overpowering in Beligian triples. This one is just right. Has a semi-dry champagne like finish.

Mouthfeel- Body is fairly light, with a lively carbonation that really causes it to dance over your tongue. Clings to the mouth very nicely to, giving you a warm, flavorful after-taste.

Drinkability- I'll get some for my friends.

 1,137 characters

Photo of scottoale
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"It will put a spell on you", or so the label says with a TM (trade mark). I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing?!

Anyhow, good things to say about this ale and nothing bad...and that's good...

Poured from the brown 750ml.cork finished bottle, into a standard Duvel tulip is a radiating apricot gold with a solid two-finger off-white head with stamina. The pillowy thick foam sticks like cotton candy to the inside of the glass...web like and intricate.

The smell is sweet and fruity...over-ripend mango, apricot, green grape, faint banana with a mildly citrus hop and light yeast spice. Lots of nice aroma with each sniff and more so as it warms, yet the alcohol is well masked for an ale of this strength.

And the taste...that's where this brew really shines. All the flavors from the fore mentioned with complexity increasing with each sip. A wonderful tasting ale from the pleasant sweet start that is perfectly balanced by the mild citrusy hops, then winding down to a dry champagne like finish. Very lively carbonation at the start that gives it the dry crispness and no sign of alcohol until the very end when the brew eventually flatens out and warms to near room temp.

A great brew with a solid body for a light Triple and a lot going on...need I say, never a dull moment and superb drinkability.

I must say, this is a skillfully brewed ale that deserves recognition...great stuff!

 1,405 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Man the Steenberge's rip out a ton of brews. Is this one that will be distinct by taste rather then marketing? Dark gold with a fluffy white head leaving lots of foamy lace.

Smell is very herbal, dried skunky styrians, this is really heavily hopped, in a good, very Belgian way.

Taste is really quite good, this is a big, modern blonde, yet really well balanced, banana esters and a slate edge. I'm impressed! This is trending towards BIPA style, I dig, very continental, modern, Hotel Costes. Sans soucie...

Mouthfeel is very dry, crisp, palate-cleansing, light bodied and smooth.

Drinkability is high. This is really drinkable, dangerously, with lots of classic Belgian blonde flavors exaggerated without overbearing. Another very well executed blonde by Van Steenberge, makes me miss my Sharp Edge days.

 814 characters

Photo of BellsFan
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured it from a 750 mL wine bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass. EXTREME HEAD! It took a few pours to top up the glass. You know the drill: pour, foam, wait, repeat. But the wait was worth it!

A: nearly off white leaning to all white head, with a ton of foam
S: Smelled of sweet-bread with honey
T: reminds me of mead but better; its sweet with an alcohol finish
M: thin and crisp
O: I'd buy it again

 404 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Travis Air Force Base.

Poured into goblet

Appearance- orangish color, nice 1 inch head, nice lacing

Smell- citrus, spice, yeast

Taste- excellent flavor, nice bitterness, fruity notes

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- Excellent, I love this. Wonderful flavor and aroma

 299 characters

Photo of Spineypanda
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Witches Brew is a great brew! :)

The beer is light golden in color, and has a decent head that goes away quickly.

It has smells of alcohol, fruits and Belgian yeasts. The taste is wonderful! Has hints of Banana and the enjoyable taste of a Belgian Tripel. The alcohol lingers afterward and gives a nice finish.

If this was year round I would buy it any chance I could get it.

 378 characters

Photo of irishking1977
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy golden hue with a massive, white rocky head. Reminds me of Duvel. Which is quite a compliment.

S: Sweet, malty, baked bread, Belgian yeast. Very nice.

T: Citrusy, with a malt backbone. Hints of apple, pineapple and caramel. Very tasty.

M: Carbonation is pretty good, but could be a bit better. Spicy finish is a pleasant surprise with each sip.

D: Catches up quick. The 9+ ABV is sneaky, since other than the spicy finish, you can forget how potent this is because it's so tasty and easy to drink. Definitely worth seeking out.

 539 characters

Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice:

A - Golden in color, slightly hazy with a decent head that dissipates quickly.

S - Nice bouquet of fruity scents and Belgian yeast strain.

T - Sweet with complex fruity tastes. Some honey and a decent alcohol kick for the finish.

M - Well carbonated, medium to light bodied.

D - Pleasant and smooth. I enjoyed this one.

 361 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Huge four finger off white head with decent retention. Leaves a decent amount of bubbly lacing around the glass.

Smell: A very yeasty and spicy Belgian aroma with gig hints of fruits and sugar. Upfront Belgian yeast with some funk and a mix of spice esters including cloves, peppers, and slight cinnamon and nutmeg. Big mix of fruit esters with hints of green apple, pear, bananas, and white grapes. Citrus hop hints of orange, pineapple, and apricot. Dark fruit hints of fig and raisin. Big sweet hints of Belgian candied sugar. Pale malt with hints of grains, straw, caramel, and cracker. Some good hints of bubblegum as well. A very good Tripel aroma.

Taste: As spellbinding as the aroma, a yeasty and funky taste with lots of fruit and spice esters. Big upfront Belgian yeast presence with a good taste of funk and spice notes of cloves, peppers, cinnamon, and a little nutmeg. Sweet taste of Belgian candied sugar. Lots of fruit esters with notes of green apples, bananas, pear, and white grapes along with citrus hop esters of orange, pineapple, and apricot. Some dark fruit notes of raisin and fig come through. Bubblegum notes also. Bready pale malt with notes of straw, grains, caramel, and cracker. A little taste of booze is noticeable. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the higher end of medium. Carbonation is fairly high. Nicely, spicy, juicy, and prickly. Some alcohol heat is there but its still nicely smooth.

Overall: A very good Belgian Tripel. Good mix of spices, fruit esters, and funk. Nicely complex.

 1,670 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a five+ finger cream head that fades very slowly, leaving a ton of lace. Nearly clear golden amber color. Serious carbonation and medium bodied. lemon yeast nose. Flavor is sweet, lemon, yeast and apple cider. Nice golden. High ABV is hidden. Brewed Mar 3, 2009. Pricey @ $11.99 for a 750ml bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.

 352 characters

Photo of Beerbuddha
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- This beer poured a clear beautiful golden straw color with a 2 inch, fluffy off white head.

Smell- A nice hint of citrus with strong smell of alcohol.

Taste- A nice sweetness upfront followed by a decent hoppy bitterness. I could taste the alcohol but it wasn't overpowering.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with medium carbonation.

Drinkability- This was a very nice beer. The alcohol was a bit strong but it wasn't overpowering. It had a nice balance of sweetness and hoppyness.

 495 characters

Photo of jayhawk73
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden color into my snifter- nice sheets of lacing on the glass. Almost has an orange tint to it, after looking at it for a bit. Great looking Belgian brew. Nose is pears, apples, yeast, malt, spice, and a tiny bit of alcohol. No complaints on the smell, other than it's not super balanced- still really nice though. Taste steps it up a notch. This is a really fine tripel, and even though I'm partial to the style- I'm surprised the scores on here aren't higher. Taste adds more fruit flavors and hops to the already complex nose. Really fantastic and unique tripel. Feel is a little above medium, w/ sweetness/hops mixing nicely. Carbonation is pretty good in the mouthfeel. Overall, I was surprised at this beer- it's a great tripel, and I'll definitely look for it again.

 784 characters

Photo of Radome
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A - Beer is slightly cloudy with a golden orange color. The head is thick and fluffy and lasts a long time.

S - The aroma is very complex with all kinds of aspects. There is sweet malt, bubblegum, honey, citrus and alcohol.

T - Delicious and surprisingly subtle. Sweet malt, honey, oranges and alcohol.

M - Light hop bitterness, spritzy carbonation.

D - Complex and yummy.

 421 characters

Photo of ryanonline
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours very clear, bright, orangey, yellow with a lot of foamy head and some serious lacing.

Smells super sweet and a wee bit spicy. A touch of cinnamon and clove offset a slight hippy bitterness.

Taste is very similar but the sweetness is much more dominant.

Mouthfeel is clean and slightly prickly while very creamy and medium bodied.

Super drinkable. Almost dangerously so.

Overall a wonderful beer that goes down smooth and gives ya quite a kick.

 459 characters

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL corked & caged bottle. ABV listed at 9.3%. I purchased this beer after it was strongly recommended at Ashe's.

Glowing orange-amber in color with a fluffy, pocked off-white head. It's not a stretch to say this is one of the most beautiful beers I've seen.

Aroma is inviting, with hops, apricot, green apple, coriander, and a touch of alcohol. The first sip is delectable -- nice and crisp up front, with fruity, slightly spiced sweetness to follow. This is very, very nice. I get why this was so highly recommended -- I'll have to have it again.

 554 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A real nice peach orange color, cloudy a bit with a real nice off white banana like yellow colored head. Makes a nice somewhat creamy/soapy presentation, but also gives real nice carbonation rising too.

Wonderful nose on this tripel. Clove spice and sweet nutmeg, light taffy sugars, a real nice brown toasty dry spice and sweetness. Just classic tripel smelling really digging this.

Taste has a real great feel first and foremost. Creamy and just a hint of wet but gives big depth to the palate. Rich malt and slight booze, but a real mix of clove and hop bitter. Big warming in the pit of the stomach finish with no burn. Mild sugar sticky sweetness combining with a creamy milk also. Crisply carbonated just a hair to make it playful, with honey coating lips on each sip.

A delicious tripel, going to be buying more of this in the future for sure.

 897 characters

Photo of hustlesworth
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

after reading of reputed booziness, i opted out of pouring this *FIIIFFFF* into a tulip and went with the chimay goblet instead. $95 a case here in ohio. i'm selling for $13/bottle so it better be good if i'm gonna move it.


A- dense puffy white head becomes creamy as it hastily settles. glass etchings hold it strong at about 1/4in. alluring hazy golden orange-apricot colored body. sticky waves and rings of lace are spot on although i would have expected a little more becky from a bottle conditioned belgian. yes i said becky. dome piece, fool. head clinic.

S- deep, complex, and delightful. the other half of this bottle will definitely go in a tulip to further appreciate the aromatics. sweet tart fruity and creamy custardy dessert like. creamy fruits, peach, pear, melon, strawberry, soft citrus, pound cake, vanilla, reisling, waffles, yellow cupcakes, mango, pineapple, light grainy aroma, with an underlying sugar cookie toastiness and notes of cedar, light colored leather, and most forwardly, golden brown toasted marshmallow. *nice*

T- a flash of mineral water at the beginning sets the pace for the flavor profile here-- subtle yet direct flavors darting in and out in seemingly processional order. there's really no "hmm i can't quite put my finger on it"s within this hag's cauldron. hard minerally flavors are hopefully from the water and not something else, as they are something i enjoy in beers of this nature. no sulfur compounds, just calcium and magnesium mineral water freakin taste until the palate becomes accustomed to it. ok enough of that. following that is a dash of custard and vanilla sweetness followed by a double dash of green apple, pear, white grape, bitter orange, and the general taste of green colored orchard fruits. then a dash of pound cake, sugar cookie, toasted marshmallow. then some sugary candi stuff which is not so good until it is balanced out by what seems to be a combination of saaz hop, peppercorn, and pineapple-floral alcohol bitterness. sweetness resurges in the finish with only mild alcohol to keep it in check. i would have appreciated more tart yeasty flavors but this stuff is pretty damn good.

MF- carbonation is perfect but the body could be a little more rounded to suit my preferences. when i think good tripel, i think trappist. as i'm sure many of us do. and although no amount of witchcraft can even attempt to golf with their holy pious ways, i have had non-trappist tripels which (witch) have wowed me on body. this isn't one of them. thus i have concluded that black magic and the dark arts do nothing to contribute to a firm beautiful mouthfeel. although this one isn't terrible, it is not da bomb. it is sugary then dry then oddly sugary again then finally lush and downy then flame torched by alcohol heat then barren. harsh words for such a decent score, but when it comes to belgians nothing less than perfection can stand. damn i'm boisterous tonight.

D- you know, this bottle i have here isn't as boozy as it's been reputed to be. not even close, not even as it warms. i will tell you one thing however-- i ate a full spaghetti meatball garlic bread and cake dinner about 4 hours ago and somehow 10oz of this potion has put a solid buzz on me. i mean like a little wavy in my chair. like i'm moving back and forth on the keyboard like when we all would jerk the nintendo controller to the side back in the day hoping that it would either make mario jump farther, or save him from imminent doom after a failed maneuver. like my girlfriend when she's texting (sorry baby)...(i know you won't read this anyway). that being said, dude i can't quit sippin. now that i near the end of the glass, i see hwere this boozt reputation comes form. it's like takin a shot of vodka almost but dflerghtgt. just kidding. awesome beer.

 3,823 characters

Photo of daveytheformer
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My friend Eben shared this with me.

Pours a cloudy golden color with a nice thick foamy head that sticks to the side of the glass as it goes down.

Smells fruity, spicy, sweet and like cloves and yeast. Very Belgian.

Taste is candy sweet with a bread like yeast quality. Kind of a metallic bitterness as well.

Mouthfeel is a light medium, well carbonated and sticky sweet.

Overall a pretty good beer and better than I remembered it being.

 442 characters

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into chalice, 26HH bottle code(?). Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a good 2 finger foamy white head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass, with a small amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of apple, pear, apple skin, caramel, grape, candi sugar, raisin, clove, herbal, earth, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of apple, pear, raisin, grape, clove, candi sugar, caramel, herbal, earth, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, candi sugar, clove, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Awesome balance of malty flavors with great complexity; no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Very smooth to sip on. Overall this is a highly excellent tripel! Great flavor balance and complexity; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

 1,078 characters

Photo of Onibubba
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden pour into a Duvel with ample and billowy white head. Head stays with the drink and leaves a good bit of lacing. Sweet triple aroma with no real surprises. Taste is on the sweet side, to be expected, but never cloying. Mouthfeel is the real strong point and it really ties everything together. High and nearly effervescent on the tongue. Alchohol makes its presence know but is nothing intruding or offensive, making this one dangerously drinkable triple. A very nice surprise. Glad I picked up a second bottle of this. Will purchase again.

 552 characters

Photo of Patrick999
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big blast of the cork, it came out with a lot of force. The pour was a slightly hazed orange-amber, with a tad less foam than I expected.

Van Steenberge beers always seem to have a bit of moldy bread-type mustiness in the aroma, and this wasn't an exception. Not that that's bad. It's a distinctive yeast. Otherwise, plenty of sweet pear, I thought.

It did not taste nearly as much of pear as it smelled, but some pear and orange, little white pepper, medium sweetness, and an interesting, almost creamy caramelized sweetbread dessert taste, like a dulce de leche or something. I think the sweetness is a little on the high side for a tripel, I normally like them skewing more to the dry side. However, it's just too tasty - tasting this good, I can't warrant docking it too many points, if at all.

Like most authentic Belgian takes on the style, the feel is deceptively innocuous and light, hiding its strength well.

It's a solid drinker for those who like this style, and a very flavorful beer in general. It might take some time to polish off a 750 by yourself, but that's not a bad thing.

 1,100 characters

Photo of aristeros
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Took the basket off the cork and left it for a moment and it opened itself! Thankfully, I scarcely lost any beer to the incident. x I was excited to see this offering from the same place that makes Gulden Draak.

Poured into a tulip. Pours a reddish gold--sunset, nearly an amber--with a massive, foamy head that's lasted a good minute or more, lacing the glass. Looks great, but I'm not one hundred percent sure it looks like a tripel.

The nose is full of sweet malts over alcohol, with subtle banana, coriander, black pepper, and cloves dancing just under the surface.

Syrupy, malty sweetness up front yields to warming alcohol and spices. Moderate carbonation and body, with good alcohol masking--it doesn't feel heavy or boozy at all. Simple, decent, and deceptive in its concealment of its alcohol.

 805 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Comes out of the bottle a beautiful clear golden amber with a fairly thick, palest amber head that leaves some generous lacing. Strong aroma is malty and fruity, the latter being equal parts pear and banana, with just a hint of butterscotch. Flavor has malty, sweet fruity - again, pear plus banana - yeasty and butterscotch notes, just a hint of hops and no bitterness. Smooth texture is a bit syrupy, fairly fizzy, leaving a nice fruity and yeasty finish. Put a spell on you indeed! Drat, I should have drunk this on Halloween.

 529 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml brown caged and corked bottle. Pours out a bright hazed marmalade hue, thick creamy white head with great retention. Thick sheets of lacing.

Citrus and soft yeasty notes on the nose, light wheat grains.

The flavour manages to be effervescent while still containing a low warm rumbling of alcohol, light on its feet yet firmly planted. Sweet grains and honey up front, mild spice from the middle to the finish, honey sweetness throughout. Greater than the sum of its parts, as I can't do it justice.

Warm, smooth, creamy full mouthfeel that is poetic in its own right.

A tripel? Okay, not very long in the flavour dep't but it works for me, everything is amplified although not overly complex, in general it all seems simple yet endowed where it counts. I can't do it justice, so hopefully the numbers will speak better for me.

 844 characters

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged

A - very heady/foamy hazy gold.
S - certainly coriander with some hops.
T - starts spicy/sweet and finishes bitter with a little more sweet in the middle.
M - foamy from the higher carbonation but finishes clean.
D - despite the foamy feel I find it very drinkable and the high alcohol is barely noticed, yet....

Maybe a little hoppy for a Belgian but I like it.

 396 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Witches' Brew from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.86 out of 5 based on 228 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.