Hertog Jan Karakter
Arcense Stoombierbouwerij (Hertog Jan Brouwerij)

Hertog Jan KarakterHertog Jan Karakter
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #370
Ranked #43,962
3.53 | pDev: 12.46%
Arcense Stoombierbouwerij (Hertog Jan Brouwerij)
Hertog Jan KarakterHertog Jan Karakter
View: Beers
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 47 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

2.52/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Aroma is stong, like rubbing alcohol. Caramal toffe flavors present but hidden behind the alcohol. Alcohol burn is at the forefront, even though it is not that strong. Was hoping for something a little better....

Jan 08, 2016
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IPA35 from Netherlands

3.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A red amber beer, white head that quickly vaporises. Filtered.

Smells quite nice sweet malts mainly, caramel.

Taste follows the nose. This is a rather sweet beer (sugar is used as well as wheatstarch) with a sugary, caramel taste. Spices and a little bit of fruitiness. Not much bitterness but prehaps a hint of leafiness.

Goes down smooth, medium bodies and the medium carbonation is very good for this beer.

Good beer.

Jan 24, 2014
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MTNboy from Germany

3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It is a dark amber beer with a red hue. There was a little less than average head to this beer and about average lace. The aroma is simple and complex at the time. By that I mean there are a lot of different tones but nothing overpowering. You really have to get a good sniff. It is fruity and sweet. The flavor has a little more to it. Very dry and fruity like with not much hop influence. It is the malt and yeast that drive this beers flavor. Medium mouthfeel with mild carbonation. It is not bad as dinner beer when you are not sure what to pair the meal with.

Aug 09, 2013
Photo of Arno

4.09/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I can imagine this isn't a well received beer looking at the ratings.
It's a bit of an in between-er. Too easy and simple to call it a special beer while all the flavors are suggesting it. It's not like a regular pilsener.

But if you just want a simple special beer, this is just lovely. Not too many layers or complexity. Just some brown sugar / caramel mixed with spices like clove. Fresh, not too thick and easy with a nice linger.

It actually reminds me of a more mellow version of "Gouden Carolus" beer.

Jan 26, 2013
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TheBrewo from New York

3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We pour a darkened amber brew with a one finger tall tan head. This shows nice retention, leaving a wild patterned lacing around the glass and thick aggregates of bubbles. There is a moderate haze, but no sediment. Carbonation appears medium. The aroma is strong with bubblegum esters and white sugar. There is also strong Belgian yeastiness, metallic and toasty malts, and an almond nuttiness. There is a nice cooling sensation to the nose, which reminds us very much of a sweet and sticky pastry. Our first impression is that this is a tasty beer, and quite the salty and sweet malt bomb. As we sip, grainy sourness hits first, with wheat, roast, and caramel. Cereal grain and apricot sweetness enter for the balance. Peppery booze is also apparent from the start. The middle peaks with metallic yeasty bite, white wine grape, and further souring from a muskiness. The finish is with more of that sour, salty bite, along with pumpkin seed, buttery malts, and flashes of metals. The aftertaste is more of the end, with metals, mineral, sours, and adjuncts. The body is medium, and carbonation is medium. There is chalky astringent dryness to the coat, but nice slurp, pop, and syrupy stickiness otherwise. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks rather well.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the nice look to it, along with the robust, sweet aromatics. The nose was very inviting, and showed a nice complexity to the malts. This beer seemed to drink like a cheaper, sweeter Chimay Grande Réserve (blue). Additionally, there is a nice lightness of spice to it, but a robust malt bill, making it also seem a bit like a darker tripel. In the end, however, the flavoring couldn’t escape this vibe of being overly “cheap”, and remained a bit too sour at times.

Aug 06, 2012
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Douberd from Netherlands

3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 300 ml bottle into a Chimay chalice. Colour is light amber, kind of ruby once it's hold against the light. Head of one finger in height, brownish in color that doesn't last long. Aroma is fruity and to be more specific, that of dark fruits, like plums and dates.The taste is sort of metallic, but other than that sweet, with the dark fruits element much more obvious. Some caramel too, but mostly on the aftertaste. The alcohol very nicely conceiled.Medium thickness on the body, light carbonation. A little dry on the palate.Another very good beer from Hertog Jan.

Feb 03, 2012
Photo of Brabander
Brabander from Netherlands

3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer in a basket for my birthday. After three months in the fridge it was time to get it out. Best before date is jan 2012.

This is one of the better Dutch beers to start with. Poured in my Struise glass the beer looks very nice. Dark like tea and a big head with light carbonation.

Malty smell and a soft taste with some caramel on the background.

Aug 04, 2011
Photo of joannavandenhaag
joannavandenhaag from Netherlands

2.9/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: ruddy hazelnut and reasonably clear with a fine head which collapses immediately. Pleasant carbonation.

Smell: Understated blackberry and currant top notes with an aggressively sweet core on malted milk.

Taste and mouthfeel: A clean and balanced nicely bitter malt with less sweetness and hoppiness in the core than I expected. However, the aftertaste reminds me a bit of cough syrup, and I sense the alcohol strongly on the second sip. The mouthfeel is smooth and flat, lighter than anticipated.

Drinkability: On the whole, it's a bit strange for me, but pleasant.

Mar 03, 2011
Photo of sfprint
sfprint from Germany

2.9/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Very pretty in color. On the red side of orange. some carbonation.

S: Hmm, ABV is quite apparent and reminds me of some Belgian beers, slightly sweet and fruity. Black cherry. Cough syrup.

T: Whoa. Not what I was expecting at all. The flavor is there in distinct layers. The top is this airy and sour. The middle is bitter and alcohol, and the bottom is fruitier, and almost has a cream soda. Given that, the alcohol is too overt, it's the most present flavor which doesn't win me over.

M: mouth puckeringly alcoholic. Sandy.

D: Too strange and not particularly enjoyable but certainly different!

Aug 24, 2010
Photo of RuudJH
RuudJH from Netherlands

3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hertog Jan Karakter, i've had it several times, never reviewed it untill now.

Nice orange brown color, clear with ok carbonation, thin head.
Smell is fruity and malty, taste is slightly hoppy bitter with a clean dry finish.
Very nice and balanced beer, watery mouthfeel, but it's ok. Not very complex, not a wide range of flavours, but is easy drinkable.

These specialty beers from HertogJan are very popular in the Netherlands. They attract a more serious crowd of drinkers.

Feb 17, 2010
Photo of Regenpak
Regenpak from Netherlands

3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

While not a bad beer, the word that comes to mind is: bland. There just isn't a whole lot of taste. What taste there is is fine though. Slight sweetness, very drinkable. Not a lot of head, at pouring (wants to be cold, from the fridge) just one millimeter, quickly disappearing. Lovely light brown/orange color. Small snag: only 30 cl in a bottle (those dreaded eurobottles again...). One bottle: not enough, two bottles: too much. Oh well...

Sixpack bought at my local grocer (Vomar) in Amsterdam.

May 18, 2009
Photo of Onslow
Onslow from Texas

3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this just seemed middle of the road from this great dutch brewery...

Pours a ruby red....small ring of head...sweet and tangy...smells of a tame sherry wine...nice lacing...nice aftertaste...an enjoyable smooth brew...ya..

needs more dutch cowbell..

Feb 26, 2008
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock from England

3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The third and final offering of my 'Dutch Beer Afternoon' on a wet and windy Saturday in Shropshire.

Poured into my Corsendonk tulip glass.

Red/brown in colour, the head just flew before I could even see it, I like my beer to have a head.

Sweet aroma, caramel and toffee apples.

The taste is fairly sweet, like the aroma. Sourness in there somewhere too.

The sweetness hides the alcohol very well, but it does appear more in the mouth as the flavours begin to die away.

I enjoyed this beer, the best of my three from this brewery I reviewed today, even though the scores are very close. Pity about the head.

Jan 19, 2008
Photo of Vancer
Vancer from Illinois

3.87/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last review of 2006, what a great web and bunch of BAs.

This fine brew started amber in the pour and left a nice tan lace. The spicy Belgium yeast and sugar cane really come about in the aromas and quaff. A very unique fall spice kick to this lil’ brew, I’m liking it and could make this a study drinker – except for a little matter of the ocean between us. The abv is well hidden in the sweet and tasty brew. I could session brew this, but I’d end up on my arse.

And this was a very fresh brew, thanks to my great son, “studying” overseas in Amsterdam. I was sent this for the unique chance to enjoy direct from the brewer.

Dec 31, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
Absumaster from Netherlands

3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an amber-red color with an initial big head, which collapses after minutes.
Smell is good with caramel, cherries, full of red fruit and a slight roasted/ chocolaty smell. Nearly finishing the beer brings out some of the typical Hertog Jan yeast products.
Taste was good, hopbitter and maltbitter combined into a perfect marriage, a good strong malt backbone and cherries. The beer tastes fresh, slightly hoppy and clean, no funky Belgian yeast, but a clean fermented Dutch beer, with enough flavours going on.
Who dares saying that the Netherlands doesn't have their own beer culture? This is a very good example!

May 25, 2006
Photo of Redteketed
Redteketed from Netherlands

3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

BB 09-06. A nice redcopper coloured, head dissappears rather quickly.
First thing in noise is candy-sugar, but with some fruitiness, malt and a touch of raisins it is rather good.
In the taste there is also a spicy element, base is light sweet/light bitter. Mouthfeel is light/medium, bit thin according AVB. Somewhat dry, little alcohol and the carbonation is soft to lively. Some spicy, bitter aftertaste of average lenght.
Reasonable beer, but I have had better Hertog Jan beers.

Mar 12, 2006
Photo of paterlodie
paterlodie from Belgium

3.11/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before jul-05. Poors in ok but hard to get some foam on this one. Head is yellow with a brown taint and beercolor is dark copperbrown. Litle protein haze in it but for the rest clear.
Nose is malty, litle candy and very much yeastspice. Could be fresher though.
Taste is sweet malty, litle candysugar and just a litle hops. Not so fresh either and dull.
Mouthfeel is cause of the alcohol litle better buit also not as much as you expect from a 7.5% ABV top fermenting beer. Drinkable but nothing worth talking about.

Feb 14, 2005
Hertog Jan Karakter from Arcense Stoombierbouwerij (Hertog Jan Brouwerij)
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 47 ratings