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Witches' Brew | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Witches' BrewWitches' Brew
Very Good
229 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 229 |  Reviews: 121
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Dark golden color with some transparency and a huge head that falls apart somewhat quick

S- Fruity and spicy with a solid alcohol note that reminds me of wine

T- Solid grain flavor comes across tasting like a biscuit. Hops, fruity esters and warm alcohol spice up the biscuit flavor

M- Very fine carbonation and a relatively light body make for a perfect mouthfeel.

O- Solid Tripel but I don't see myself getting this again. Definitely worth a try though.

 462 characters

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.15/5  rDev +7%
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

Photo of ummswimmin
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Then I realized I should have used a Belgian glass. I own one... it was on the shelf... it was next to the pint glass.

Poured properly, but I got a very large head. Over four fingers. Looks pretty thin as a head, which is appropriate to the beer.

The color is a pretty shade of golden yellow. And now I see some pretty dots of lacing where parts of the head are sticking

Smells like a normal belgian tripel. I smell a lot of hoppiness coming through. This is pretty refreshing.

The flavor is a very strong impact of hops, and I don't think they are really well balanced. There is a decent amount of bitterness; maybe too much.
I like this beer, and I may buy it again. The mouthfeel is clean, and the flavors really stay after each swallow.

Give it a try. They did a good job with this Tripel.

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Photo of daveytheformer
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of Radome
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
3.12/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

 961 characters

Photo of crossovert
2.74/5  rDev -29.4%
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 emmasdad
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

 372 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

 347 characters

Photo of Snamnoum
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - hazy honey color. Gentle pour produced two fingers of off-white head. Good retention

Smell - smells of yeast, cloves, and coriander. Phenols and medicinal spiciness are accented by floral hops.

Taste - very sweet malt, overly sweet for my taste. Fresh doughy yeast, some bitter hops, and bubble gum.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, fairly light for the style, low carbonation, slick feel.

Drinkability - drinkable for the for a high abv beer but a little too sweet and somewhat boring. Not the best tripel I've tried but somewhat interesting. A little over priced IMO.

 580 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

750mL corked & caged bottle - $9.99 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a relatively clear, pale golden body with a tall, billowing, meringue-like, white head.

Smell: Pils malts, a distant toastiness, and notes of pears soaking in sugar water, honeysuckle, Granny Smith apples with a touch of floral apple blossoms and a very teensy hint of spice, all cut with some stinging wafts of alcohol.

Taste: Pilsner malts, light toasted grain accents and a sweetness akin to rock candy. A few drops of simple mead, a splash of Tott's champagne. Fruit tastes of pears and sourish green apples, though, as it warms, a hint of orange marmalade comes out. Noted yeastiness. Modestly bitter. Slight flourish of acidity. Dusting of spices and some warming alcohol tones approaching the finale, but it still finishes a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Lively mouthfeel with an effervescent degree of carbonation.

Drinkability: A near-ten-buck threesome between a Belgian blonde, a malt liquor, and a low-grade champagne. Eh, it's alright, though I find the sweetness a bit tiring in the long-run.

 1,125 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Poured into a chalice a very nice hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, with a nice creamy/foamy one-finger white head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with a nice yeast note, some coriander, slight peppery note, slight hoppyness. The taste is malty, sweet, yeasty, with a nice touch of spices. Medium body. Drinkable, this one really surprised me, a nice tasty brew.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, orange color with a two-finger, khaki, soapy head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of clove, spices, yeast and light caramel malt.

T - It had a very nice spicy and yeasty character with a good dose of clove. It had a nice caramel malt backbone.

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

D - This is a very good tripel. Pretty easy drinking despite its high ABV.

 456 characters

Photo of Mightyscoop
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cork & caged bottle pured from 750ml champagne bottle

A- Golden body, and a pure white, frothy, 2" rocky head. Bubbles cling to the glass slightly. Initially pured more clearly than I have grown used to from this style, hazed nicely.

S- Malty with some nice floral notes. Fades to traditional style with citrus and apple scents.

T- Sweet. Slightly sour. Honey with some spiciness. Soft green apples and familiar Belgian yeastiness. Hop bitterness is present, though subtly.

M- A bit too carbonated for the style in my opinon. Otherwise a good medium mouthful that stays with me well after the sip.

D- Drinkable. I split a bottle with the S.O., but could see myself drinking the entire 750.

Overall - a good tripel. There are better out there that I feel better fit the bill (and cheaper.) Would drink again.

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Photo of Brent
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

 328 characters

Photo of thekoz
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottled.

Poured a slightly hazy, golden color.

Head on the first pour dissipated fairly quickly, subsequent pours were better.

Slightly over carbonated for my tastes, as the beer sat and some of this was reduced and more well balanced with the spicy flavors of the beer. Had a yeasty aroma to it, perhaps a bit of diacetyl as well.

Flavor developed as the beer warmed. When it was initially poured I got a strong alcohol sensation, but as it warmed this was reduced. Similarly initially (fridge cold) it was very spicy and lacked other flavors, as time passed it was more well balanced. Still a little too spicy for my tastes. I get some fruity esters as well that I cannot complete identify.

Overall a nice beer, lots of flavors especially as it warmed and open up the flavors. Probably wouldn't choose it again, but certainly wouldn't turn it down.

 868 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 10/31/2010 (Starting a tradition):

750 ml bottle at 42* into a chalice.

A: This pours a lovely golden color with a finger and a half of fluffy, off-white head that remains in large clumps on the edges of the glass.

S: We have spicy yeast, different citrus fruits, banana, barnyard funk, and some breadiness.

T: The taste is dominated by the earthy spicyness but it also features citrus notes, sweet berries, and a bit of breadiness.

M: It is medium-bodied with very heavy carbonation.

D: This is a nice tripel. It's a bit too spicy and shows a little alcohol at the end but it's still a nice brew.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours perfectly for a soft pillowy white head, which is about three fingers thick in a 25cl tulip. The body is mildly hazy and gold in color.

In the taste and aroma, there are characteristics of toffee, orange peel and coriander.

Overall a refreshing strong beer with lots of complexity. Crisp and chewy in the beginning but dives into warmness in the end.

 358 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not quite the witching hour yet, but what the everloving hell, it sure seems appropriate...

This beer pours a hazy pale golden hue, with tons of billowy, foamy, and eventually chunky white head, which leaves some nice thin lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of fruity grain, pepper, herbal alcohol, and a bit of yeast. The taste is sweet candied malt, citrus, pineapple, raisin, with a bit of warming alcohol, and earthy, herbal hops. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body full, sweet, and creamy in that fruity manner. It finishes sweet and sugary, the malt still holding strong, the proclaimed 'hoppyness' not really doing all that much to counter.

On the whole, a very sweet tripel, but with well-integrated booze, which sounds very witchy, or like the work of Beelzebub himself...

 800 characters

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose is indeed tripely. It smells of soft malt and a crisp fermentation with a slight sour twang.
Smells good.

Pours softly hazy honey with larger head. Looks good.

Lots of soft maltiness. Very dry well attenuated body/finish - good champagne like effervescence. Soft sour/tartness. Good bit of bitterness. Tastes pretty good. Feels good. Good drinkability.

Fairly run of the mill Tripel - but not bad.

 405 characters

Photo of bmwats
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pored from 750 ml bottle into a chalice.

A: Cloudy dark golden hue. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, off-white head. Settles fairly slowly, and unevenly leaving a blanket of foam on the surface. A little beer ring lacing remains as you drink it down.

S: Nutty, woody, peaty nose. A little pungent with a hint of butterscotch.

T: Really woody malt flavor. A little unsweetened chocolate, and hints of sweetness.

M: Full, robust body with a bit of a pungent aftertaste. Very clean and full.

D: Great drinking, sipping brew.

Atmosphere is really good here. Really great appearance. Nice color, great head, and good lacing. Nose has some really fine components with a great woody malty tone. Flavor is very clean and tasty, with a full robust body. Nice complexity. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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Photo of John_M
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle, the beer pours a darkish gold color, with a considerable, pillowy, fluffy white head. Head retention is pretty good as well, and there is considerable sticky lacing all around. The nose is pretty much your standard Belgian tripel, strong golden ale, with considerable honey, light coconut, canned peach and apricot. The beer smells as if it will be fairly sweet, strong, and spicey. Flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, with the moderate sweetness nicely countered by some noticeable hoppy bitterness. The sweet tropical fruit wins out in the end, but there's enough hoppy bitterness to keep the beer from becoming heavy or cloying, and the bitterness dries out the sweetness pretty well on the finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long finish, and drinkability is good. While I'm aware this beer has some serious alcohol, it's not overwhelming and doesn't tire out the palate (too much).

While nothing out of this world, this is certainly another very solid beer from this talented Belgian brewery. Quite tasty...

 1,063 characters

Photo of irishking1977
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
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 aristeros
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
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 BierFan
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

 360 characters

Witches' Brew from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 229 ratings
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