Witches' Brew | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

very good
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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

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Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 228
Photo of scruffwhor
2.62/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a light hazed, golden cantaloupe and hay color. Thick head, but dissipates in only a few seconds. No foam or film o' foam and only a single column of bubbles rising to the top. The aroma is of sweet spring fruits, then freshly toasted malts, a little sweet bread, and some odd metallic scents. The taste starts fruity and malty sweet. Then the alcohol quickly takes a turn to the metallic and bloody. From the middle to the back of my palate, all I get is metal and blood. Then it softens up a little to a more cand sugar sweet white bread. Still not what I was expecting. This Witches' Brew certainly didn't put a spell on me.

 633 characters

Photo of crossovert
2.74/5  rDev -29%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml corked and caged bottle.

IT pours awful for a Tripel, the head is reminiscent of an adjunct lager's and it is super carbonated looking.

It smells of citrus, pears, an raisins. It has a subtle tanginess to it and some metallic notes.

The flavor is tangy with some lemon tartness, honey, caramel, apple cidre, and pear/apple skins.

It feels a bit boozy and metallic.

Stay away from this tripel.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.78/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

10/18/08- Purchased at the Garlic Shoppe in Gilroy, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. Did not look for freshness info. Poured into a champagne style glass.

Appearance- Oily looking golden pour. Champagne-looking bubbles, fairly effervescent. Smaller 1/4 inch head and watery light lace spotting.

Smell- Smells very grainy with alcohol, confectioniers sugar and a bit of corriander.

Taste- Is there a category for a Belgian style Malt Liquor? That's what this reminds me of. Very grainy and malty in flavor with a strong alcohol taste, not really strong in feeling, just flavor. A good amount of powdered sugar with not much in the spice area. Reminds me of Westmalle Tripel, but with a malt liquor kick.

Mouthfeel- Higher sharp carbonation level, alcohol aftertaste and fuller mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Did I get an off bottle? Seems everyone else likes this. I didn't care for it at all. I almost dumped it...but being on vacation, it was the only beer I had.

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Photo of mithrascruor
2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a rather hazy golden-copper color, maybe a bit of orange hints. Light off-white head turns into a film.

Smell: A bit of yeast and fruit, but really light.

Taste: Flavor is malted grains, a bit of yeast and apple, and some spicy hops at the finish. Something about the grains (including in the aftertaste) makes me think of corn, and that's not too cool.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied, very light carbonation, but pretty smooth.

Drinkability: Totally drinkable (seems less than 9.3% ABV), but doesn't inspire me to have another.

Totally mediocre Tripel. Something about the taste makes me wonder if it isn't brewed in Central America. I'd go for something different any other day...

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Photo of farrago
2.88/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very aggressive foaming in the glass upon the pour, could go head-to-head with Scrubbing Bubbles, light cream in color with micro bubbles and milder lacing. Very hazy golden color with orange streaks to darken it, bubble beads easily visible within. Banana, sour mandarin orange, green apple, pear, clove and violets produce a serene, balanced nose, that said, light enough that some alcoholic fumes rise up. Light-bodied, here the froth actually makes it feel lighter and more whipped up than broader. Sour edge to the mandarin orange, white grapefruit citrus, makes the apple, pineapple, pear fruit more tart as well. And lessens the banana aspect. The clove, coriander comes through well. Both the texture and flavors are grainy, slight roughness all about. The foam outlasts the flavor depth through the finish. Requires stronger focus.

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Photo of impending
2.91/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml into a tulip. Pours a nearly transparent clean copper penny, dense cream colored head subsides slowly, very nice lacing.

Aroma lacks, simply ok, sweetness & phenols. Doesn't inspire leisure sniffing, generic.

Taste mirrors the nose, sweetness & phenolic notes. Zero bitter zero dry, just a phenolic kick trying to substitute. Hint of zinc in the aftertaste. Medium bodied creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy gold with a huge white head. Thick lacing. Apples, honey, musty yeast, bananas, and soap in the nose. Super-sweet to the point it became too much. Honey, saaz, grain, sugar, banana, fruit, and more sugary sweetness. Good in moderation. Find a couple people to drink the 750 ml bottle with.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 750ml bottle into goblet. Large white head atop hazy apple juice body. Aroma is moderately sweet, orange, bubblegum, yeast, clove, some turpentine. Taste is moderately sweet, alcohol, yeast, some orange, alcohol astringency. Medium body, some effervescence. Reminds me of a Belgium Tripel, definitely not belong to the autumn category.

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Photo of TerryW
3.09/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks great, after that it's rather run-of-the-mill.

Monster big fluffy head that lives forever. Big and chunky pretty much all the way down. Clear golden orange colour.

Nose is fairly sweet and fruity. Has a touch of the Belgian about it. Also sweet and malty to taste. Noticeable alcohol and yeast, a touch of spice.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottled poured into a tulip

A:Poured a hazy amberish color, almost resembling apple juice. Came with about two fingers worth of creamy white head and pretty good lacing all the way down to the last sip.

S:Lots of light fruits coming off the beer: Pear and apple are the most prominent. Has a spice kick to it as well along with a very developed sweetness. Belgian yeast a big factor as well as some pilsner malt.

T:From the get go it was pretty sweet on the palate. Light fruits again are dominating the beer paired with some spices. Has caramel and honey qualities to it as well.

M:Very well carbonated medium bodied beer. Alcohol has a presences but not problematic.

D:Well being my first Tripel i have ever had, i really don't have anything to compare it with so i am going to set it at average. For the beer in and of its self, i find average drinkability to be right were it sits as well. Really really sweet beer that could become a problem.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 1 pint 9.4 oz. corked bottle into the Duvel Tulip.

A - Nice deep golden color with a monstrous head that stayed about 1/2 inch the whole time in the glass. Nice lacing.

S - Subtle sweet smell with just a sniff of something spicy.

T - A good creamy flavor with just a taste of back of the throat alcohol. Not overwhelming.

M - Medium body with a clean finish.

D - Its a decent tripel for sure. I wouldnt have more then one on any given night.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large 750ml bottle into a wine glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Two finger cloudy white head that recedes rather quickly to a 1.5 inch head with peaks and nice lacing. Relatively large bubbles, and torrents of carbonation. Cloudy straw color with nice density. Appealing.

S- Bubblegum and banana, cream, yeast and light fruits. Alcohol is present on the very edge of the aroma but is not heavy.

T- The alcohol comes into much heavier play here. The light fruits and bitter backbone of yeast are here in full force as well. Pineapple? Sweet but finishes bitter.

M- Medium viscosity, wet and full at first, dry finish. Semi-vinous feel.

O- I had higher hopes, although admittedly I am not a huge fan of Tripels.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Lukas Liquors because it was on sale for $3.99. No other reason. Poured a light to medium golden color with a huge, creamy three finger white head (which quickly settles into a few random spots on the surface). Aromas of juicy pear, green apple skins and a little yeast. Light bodied and creamy, a little tartness, green apples, pear, warming finish.

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Photo of zachary80
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cork and caged, no visible date information

Thick white head, golden orange hue, thick lacing

Aroma is very citrusy, tart, peppery on the finish. Smells like a cross between a berliner weiss and a tripel.

Flavor is somewhat bland and doesn't match the aroma at all. Yeasty but not very complex; somewhat sweet, somewhat peppery.

Mouthfeel is good, nothing notable.

Overall Witches Brew is above average but not special

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Photo of billybrew21
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this lying around since around Halloween, but decided to pop the cork and give it a try tonight.

750 ml bottle with no freshness date poured into a Duvel tulip.

This one pours a slightly hazy orange-honey color with a massive almost off-white head comprised of soap like bubbles, some of which shine incandescent in the light. The head is not as thick or condensed as I expected, and dissipates rather quickly compared to other tripels I've had. Leaves nice lacing though and remains around a half centimeter throughout the duration of drinking. Funky Belgian yeast dominates the smell, accompanied by an herbal characteristic (coriander, clove?). I also get some banana type fruit scent, as well as alcohol esters. Not getting much hop scent, which is strange considering how it's advertised as being on the hoppy end for tripels. The taste starts very sweet with some fruit and spice. I get that funky yeast right around the middle, but it doesn't linger as the alcohol comes through a bit strongly on the finish. Some green apple rind flavor at the end as well. There's a malt backbone definitely present, but not very noticeable. The tartness of the beer tingles the tongue at first and the moderate carbonation creates a pleasant mouthfeel. Light bodied and dry, even with the ABV, this is a significantly drinkable beer. Decent qualities for the style, I neither love nor hate the taste -- just not sure how I feel about it. I'm glad I found this and was able to try it. I might come back to it this fall.

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Photo of Brent
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer generally gets good reviews, but perhaps at the time of sampling it was lined up against too many other top-notch examples of the style. A bit over-carbonated, fruity with some spice - almost witbier-ish at times. Sweetness seemed out of balance to the sweet side. Not bad, but the overall effect was not well blended.

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Photo of weazal
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

S: Nicely potent with a little more mellow pear flavor, some cider, with a trailing sharp ginger-y yeast spiciness. Kind of more spicy then anything.

T: First notes are a full mouthed bubbly carbonation with some dry hops kicking in to contrast it pretty quickly and lingering through the finish. There's quite a bit of (yeasty?) spiciness like in the aroma. Ooof! It takes forever to leave your mouth. There's a mellow melon sweetness throughout.

Flavor is there but mouthfeel is what really shines.

 502 characters

Photo of BierFan
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

Appearance: Decent head and okay lacing. Clear light amber/golden body.

Smell: A lot of alcohol in the nose. Pretty malty.

Taste: Alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering. Seems like a pretty standard tripel beyond that. but I will say that the hops in the finish are pretty yummy. Grassy and herbal.

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Photo of CBlack85
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

Pours a cloudy deep orange color with few yellow/orange highlights. About three fingers worth of a bready thick head, with a fair amount of lacing.

The first thing to hit your nose is a yeasty sweetness, and alcohol. They seem to have made no effort at all to hide the big 9.3% ABV. Aside from that there is a fair amount of fruit aromas.

First impression is that it is very malty, unfortunately there is not much balance here. A little sweeter than I ususally like in a triple, but the overall package is actually pretty good. The deeper into the bottle I get the better I seem to like it, I don't know if it is the fact that the beer is warming or if I am just adjusting to the flavor.

Slightly sticky and well carbinated, even/medium body.

The trick to this beer is to serve it closer to room temperature.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice beer, but somewhat standard. Goilden orange with a big white head. Malty scent, with spicy hops, candi sugar and fruits.

Nice malty tasty. Spicy, with hints of sugar and fruit. As it warms, banana and apple are quite noticeable in the flavour.

Good carbonation. Fizzy, but not overdone. Light alcohol profile. Not spectacular, but definitely a nice beer. Worth drinking again, but not the best.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours an orangey kind of gold. A fluffy white cap sits above, fed well by the voracious bead from below; it's holding steady. Plenty of ribboned lacing as the beer is consumed, like little echo waves...waves...waves... :-D

Aroma - grainy, almost corny nose, some light yeastiness/fruitiness, but not a whole lot. I can't tell if I'm being affected by some light congestion or if this nose is just very faint. With some warming, I get a better shot at it. Not sure what the smell is, but it reminds me of the Imperial Dortmunder.

Taste - starts off with dry, slightly bitter graininess. Again, the suggestion of corn has me thinking malt liquor, yikes. There is more complexity to this, though. The hops are hitting early but it's kind of a rye feel too. The hops swell on the swallow along with some abv warming in the throat. Not much development beyond that at the colder temps. The alcohol warmth lingers as does the bitterness. As the beer warms, some intersting clove notes come out that really inspire this thing above the realm of the 40's. Dang, wish I'd let thing warm up a little more, I'd have gotten to that sooner, which I rather enjoy. But such is the nature of the witches' brew. *Which* reminds me of a great golfing joke about a witch in the woods, but there is no witch-in-the-woods-golf-joke-advocate.com, so you'll have to beermail me if you want that. Huh, 9.3% eh? You'd have never guessed...

Mouthfeel - much carbonation, leading to the full crispness. Easy-going body isn't heavy at all, just very even.

Drinkability - I gotta say, I had flashbacks of malt liquors throughout the tasting. Technically, I guess this is a malt liquor of sorts, so the bad connotation isn't fair, as the OE800 crowd could get five or six of theirs for one of these. I'd prefer one of these myself but it wasn't anything beyond just a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours out with a thick white bubbly head that cover the entire top of the ale and slowly vanished. It has some medium lacing to it and has a mild sweet and fruity aroma mixed in with some wheat smells. This is a dirty blonde ale, there is some haziness to it and plenty of carbonation as well. It has a smooth sweet taste all around, some mild tartness on the cheeks and is slightly dry in its aftertaste along with a hint of alcohol. This is a medium bodied ale leaning toward the lighter side of thing. It's very tasty overall and I look forward to drinking this ale soon.

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Photo of champ103
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cloudy golden/orange color. A large white head rises to over two fingers. The rocky foam has excellent retention, and rings of sticky lace are left on the glass.
S: Spicy aromas, yeast, and banana like esters. Simple, but enjoyable.
T: Follows the nose. A big spicy aroma up front with some yeast. Banana esters are dominate as well. Simple, and the flavor does not linger at all.
M/D: A medium body that is really effervescent. To much carbonation, and not nearly dry enough for me. Not hard to drink. I am having no problems finishing the 750ml bottle.

Not bad at all. I little simple and one dimensional, but still very enjoyable. A nice beer to share during a hot summer night.

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Photo of mwilbur
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a nice faintly cloudy orange with mild carbonation producing a pleasant 1 inch bubbly white head. Decent retention. Fair lacing.
S: Nice belgian spice and yeast. Soft citrus hop bite on the nose.
T: A bit muddled. Hops are a bit bitter and clash instead of complement the sweeter sugary notes. This improves slightly with warming, but is still disappointing for style.
M: Medium body; barely lingers on the palate; an off-putting sour-bitter aftertaste.
D: Was not bewitched by this one. Sure it's drinkable and ABV is fairly well hidden, but there are several other tripels out there I'd rather have in front of me.

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Photo of Vixie
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a bit brighter orange than I expect from this style, but doesn't mean it's not a nice looking beer. Forms a huge off white head, and plenty of bubbling.

Fairly intense aroma. Very fruity, mainly citrus. I can also smell the yeast and malt, and a bit of pine, and floral notes.

Comes across as very spicy. There is fruit there, then a dose of peppery spice hits. Not detecting a whole lot else here.

A bit on the thin side for the style.

Overall just an ok beer. Lacks the complexity I expect from this style. It does go down nice and easy, but I feel there should be more depth of flavor. Worth a try, but there are better tripels out there.

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Witches' Brew from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.86 out of 5 based on 228 ratings.
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