Kapittel Prior
Leroy Breweries

Kapittel PriorKapittel Prior
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #325
Ranked #32,566
3.76 | pDev: 11.97%
Leroy Breweries
Very Good
Kapittel PriorKapittel Prior
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Reviews: 110 | Ratings: 182 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of The_Bujon
The_Bujon from Ireland

3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy copper/amber body, awesome foamy Ng head, dissipation moderate. Lacing excellent.

Aroma is full of fruit, plums and figs backed with malt. Very nice.

Taste is a touch disappointing with a sour vinegary upfront hit. The aftertaste is lovely following suit with the aroma, just can not get past that first sip.

Feel is reasonable, fairly smooth, a touch tart, but eases away quickly. Much aligned to the taste.

Overall, almost a world class beer, shame on that vinegary up front punch. Still that said 4/5 all day long.

Jun 28, 2020
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L- Pretty deep chestnut, slightly hazy, pours with 1Cm fine-bubble off-white head (holds well). ps. still 1Cm 10 minutes later; most unusual.
S- Caramel notes.
T- Boof, that's more like it! The Smell^ was so light I was curious. But now there's no doubt. Good deep malts, balancing hops plus a small liquor-ish brush on the palate from the 9% ABV.
F- Firmly in winter warmer territory. Going down a treat.
O- Very nice, zero out of place here though curiously subtle Smell for a beer as punchy as this one. No wonder the monks pictured on the lable looked so happy, I would too if I'd a large supply of barrels of this in my workplace - hehe... Very nice and I'd happily buy this again.

Bought from BelgiumInABox (Antwerp/BE) for home delivery to me in London/UK. 330ml bottle. BB: 24/04/2021.

Apr 29, 2020
Photo of FLima
FLima from Brazil

3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown caramel color with a huge thick beige head with great retention and leaving laces.
Aroma with notes of prunes, caramel, herbs, apple puree, roses and raisins.
Flavor with notes of caramel, prunes, raisins, cocoa, oak, molasses, cinnamon, earth, dried fruits and noble hops. Dry aftertaste with a mild to medium bitterness.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 9% abv almost disappeared completely.
Decent Belgian Dark Strong Ale. It is more lay back with less depth than the stronger versions of the style. I was expecting a bit more. Have it warmer.

Jul 15, 2018
Photo of browner
browner from Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a week in Watou area discovered Kappittel Prior on tap in Milwaukee, WI. As close to the profile of Trappiste Rochefort 8 I have found, not quite to the Westvleteren 12 level but an excellent beer. Spot on with the Belgian Dark Ale category with a candy and malt forward.Really nice complexity

Mar 21, 2018
Photo of DJ-Hophead
DJ-Hophead from England

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, Belgium Beer Factory - Pours dark brown with yeast sediment, large, foamy, creamy head. Strong carbonation. Good lacing. Smell - malts, raisins. Taste - sweet, malt, dark fruits. Nice strong sweet very drinkable strong ale. Lovely.

Jul 19, 2015
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter from Oregon

3.11/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a half finger of head on a brown body.
The aroma is a musty barn smell and powdered cocoa mix.
The taste is grainy sweet with a mild bitterness.
The texture is crisp.
It alright, the alcohol content hides pretty well.

Jun 02, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

2.89/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a murky dark crimson-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of honey, molasses, caramel, dark fruit, and cardboard aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet honey, molasses, and cardboard flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a below average beer with a lot of very noticeable oxidized aromas and flavors that make this one difficult to drink much of.

Serving type: bottle.

Jan 15, 2015
Photo of bushbeer75
bushbeer75 from Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +3.7%

11.2 oz brown bottle

Kapittel Prior Ale filled my tulip glass with a dark brown hue producing a 1 1/2-finger fine bubbly tan head leaving thick rings of lacing behind. The nose was dominated by dark fruits of plums, roasted malts and the sweetness of caramel and toffee. The taste a little bittersweet, matched the nose with the flavor of raisins noted. Make sure you do not drink this ale too cold - as the flavor comes out as it warms. The mouth feel was high- medium bodied with a decent level of fine carbonation and smoothness.

Overall, an enjoyable above average Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Dec 12, 2014
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate from New York

3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Candy apple-amber with lots of floaties and loose tan foam that's gone pretty quick.
Bread, rum, prune, wood and cherries on the nose - sweet.
Fruitcake, glace cherries, some cinnamon, plum and herbal end.
Birch beer finish and tingly linger.
Fizzy, hot, thin, slight cling.

Candy sweet fruit notes without the body or darker malts to hold them. I don't get the bitterness that others mention, so this is way out of balance for me. Aggressively carbonated, too, making the whole thing like at best a mediocre dubbel more than a BSDA and at worst an alcoholic soda pop.

There are far better beers than this.

Apr 06, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle. Those are some happy-looking monks there on the label.

This beer pours a surprisingly clear red-brick amber colour, with a teeming climbing tower of fizzy, frothy, and loosely creamy beige head, which leaves a few wayward instances of wavecrest lace around the glass as it ever so slowly dissolves.

It smells of brittle caramel and toffee candy, earthy yeast, dried Christmas cake fruit, a sharp dry walnut nuttiness, and weedy, slightly perfumed hops. The taste is bready caramel malt, edgy dry yeast, musty dark fruit - raisins, prunes, and dried cantaloupe - almond and pecan nuttiness, the usual suspects of holiday cookie spice, and more earthy, wet leafy hops.

The carbonation is more than a tad frothy on the high, low, and everywhere in between palate, the body a sturdy medium weight, and adequately smooth, a faint hint of creaminess worming its way into my consciousness. It finishes off-dry, the weirdly subdued caramel and toffee sweetness almost consumed by a cellar dustiness, and some lingering earthy, musty hops.

I like me my BSDAs, and despite the frivolity surrounding this one, it's not quite up to the world beaters of the style. That shouldn't be a knock here, as it's a relative thing, and well, at this time of year, there's tons of good stuff from its Belgian brothers (laic and otherwise) available in Christmas and standard formats kickin' around. Still, try it if you can.

Dec 14, 2013
Photo of biegaman
biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Kapittel Prior has a deep tone but still plenty of colour; almost as orange as amber-brown, highlights aren't many to come by but they do exist and they do reveal some clarity. It is topped with the perfect mold for Belgian head; it is the Michelangelo's David of beer foam.

I think when Christmas cake was invented they got the idea from Kapittel Prior (or any number of other spicy, dark Belgian ales). With the spotlight on the yeast, there's lots of fruit cake and plum pudding flavours as well as sweet baking as well as more savory spices.

The beer (indeed the style) can be distinguished by a marzipan and dried fruit profile that encompasses notes of prune, raisin, candied cherry as well as cinnamon, anise and nutmeg. You might also taste black licorice and caramel squares. Whatever you taste, it's nice.

The mouthfeel has a surprising degree of creaminess amongst all this spicy and savory yeastiness. There's also loads of brown sugar-like sweetness and a toasty breadiness that resembles near-burnt whole grain crusts and/or heavily toasted nuts (almonds especially). I would have guessed the alcohol at little more than half what it actually is.

Kapittel Prior is a classic Belgian strong dark ale with the mellow and manifold embarrassment of riches that characterizes the style. Beers like this are so tremendously detailed they are worthy of the same attention sommeliers pay to wine, but, unlike the latter, they are low-key and accessible enough for anyone to enjoy readily and at a more reasonable price.

Aug 06, 2013
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From the 11.23 oz. bottle marked best before June 2013. Sampled just in time on June 26, 2013.

The color is very nice with ruby red hues sparkling lively within the mahogany brown appearance. Decent head that settles down after a few minutes.

The aroma tends to be more subtle than what I expect from this style. It has Belgian yeast, Belgian sugar, moderate sweet malts, black licorice, and dark fruits like plum or red grape.

Medium body with a bit more acidity than I prefer.

The taste comes barreling back after a rather straight forward aroma with full malty sweetness and a lingering moderate bitterness - almost sour in its bitterness - at the finale. As it warms the taste improves.

Jun 26, 2013
Photo of newton99
newton99 from Belgium

3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

These guys know how to party.
Seriously though: I wonder how many of the so called 'abbey' breweries marketing their ales, are actually marketing the monks instead, without any connection with them

Clear brown ale with a decent head, good lacing.
Smell is clearly roasted malts, cream and coffee. Taste is the same, with some dark fruits.
Overall the beer is pretty sweet from candy caramel and syrup, I would say.
The alcohol is masked very well, but this beer is defenately too sweet. The result makes for a very ordinary experience, if you ask me.

Apr 04, 2013
Photo of Patou
Patou from France

3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.
Aroma: notes of caramel and raisins. Not that agreable
Taste: notes similar to the aroma. Rather strong in alcohol, vinous one. Rather agreable
Palate: Medium body, average/lively carbonation, rather bitter and abrupt finish
Overall: not my prefered beer but rather good and agreeable in overall

Mar 15, 2013
Photo of Flounder57
Flounder57 from Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger beige head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark brown haze with no clarity, but visions of carbonation can be seen coming up the sides of the glass. Crazy lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel malts, dark fruits, bready notes, some alcohol, and a little bit of chocolate too.

Taste: All of the above plus some spiciness too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, medium carbonation, a little watery feeling, and boozy.

Overall: A very tasty BSDA. 9% is hidden very well and warmed the body up on this cold December night. This is the last of the 4 bottles I got from the BBF '11. Good stuff.

Dec 19, 2012
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into chalice, best by 2/2013. Pours hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice thin cap that lingers. Some light spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of raisin, prune, caramel, molasses, earth, biscuit, light chocolate, herbal, and light yeast spiciness. Some pretty nice aromas with decent complexity; a bit of a metallic note noticed. Taste of raisin, prune, molasses, caramel, biscuit, earth, toast, herbal, light chocolate, nuttiness, pepper, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, molasses, toast, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Pretty good flavor balance and complexity; some slight off notes noticed. A lot more malt flavor over spiciness; slight cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a pretty good Belgian dark ale. Not nearly as complex or balanced as I was looking for; with some slight off flavors. Pretty enjoyable though.

Jun 20, 2012
Photo of Filosoof
Filosoof from Netherlands

4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely, drinkable beer, a bit less complex than others, but a nice composition though.

L: great lasting top, dark brown;
S: candy sugar, bread, raisins, some fruit, refreshing;
T: a bit straightforward brown beer, bready, great alcohol in disguise (you wouldn't say this is a 9.0 one.
M: very good, but a little thinner than the biggest names, nice dryness at the end;
O: a quite straightforward, but certainly advisable beer.

May 03, 2012
Photo of bylerteck
bylerteck from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the bargain bin at Local Provisions. Best Before C 3 11.

A - Very dark brown with red edges. One finger of solid creamy light brown head. Good carbonation coming up, wicked rings of nice
lace and a film of retention.

S - Dark fruit, lot's of raisin, yeast, some gentle heat. Really rich.

T - Lot's of dark fruit, rum, raisin, a little yeast.

M - Decent carbonation, full body, fruity and dry finish.

O/D - Pretty good Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Lacks complexity that the big boys have, but delivers solidly. Really rich and flavourful while being easy to drink and allowed me to put it back faster than probably needed.

Apr 12, 2012
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a one-finger, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left thick rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of plum, currants and other dried, dark fruits.

T - Sweet bready malt backbone with good fried fruit flavors of plum, raisin and currants. Some mild spiciness.

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

O - This is a very nice Belgian ale. Another good one with the Kapittel label.

Mar 17, 2012
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KickbacksSteve from Florida

4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into wine chalice. On draft at Hommelhoff. Suddsy thick head high retention. Dark ruby color. Aroma sweet malt belgian yeast, candi sugar, dark pitted fruits. Taste sweet malts. Raisins. Dates. Figs. Most people would say it's too sweet but I love it.  

Feb 29, 2012
Photo of u2carew
u2carew from Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml Bottle
A) Pours with a two finger tan head then settles to a nice tight and creamy lacing on top. Hazy amber-ruby body. Sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Dried plums, raisins. Hints of toffee and caramel.
T) Earthy sweetness. Rich malt flavors mixed with alcohol. Molasses and brown sugar. Hints of citrus sour and subtle yeast.
M) Fizz. Crisp. Medium body. Alcohol effervescence.
O) A decent brew. I'd consider another one.

Dec 18, 2011
Photo of crnipeter
crnipeter from Slovenia

4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Lot D, Best Before October 2011 so this is an aged bottle and hopefully organoleptics would reflect that.
Pours deep amber, somewhat hazed body with attractive ruby hue, topped by mid-sized tan head that gradually recedes and gets quickly revived with each swirl.
One of the most appealing scents I've ever came across: rich malt with heavy caramel sweetness and pronounced chocolate qualities, strong esters of fully ripen figs and dried cherries; aromas are perfectly mellowed and reminiscent of good port-wine.
Flavor is malty-sweet with light bitterness underneath, dark fruits, quite prominent peppery phenols and smooth alcohol warmth. Finish is surprisingly dry with lightly bitter aftertaste with woodsy notes.
Rather airy initially butt seems to be quickly loosing carbonation trapped within medium body and gets rather flat.

Overall, a good BSDA with remarkable ripen fig & dried cherries aroma. (330 ml, into tulip)

Dec 04, 2011
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ckollias from Maryland

3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 11.2oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Dark hazy-brown ale with a thin ½-finger off-white head that very quickly dissipates leaving virtually no head..

S: Strong caramel and boozy aroma. Hints of esters and phenols.

T: This is a very heavy caramel and malty brew. Hints of dark fruits and spices. Heavy on the alcohol also.

M: Very strong and boozy. Heavy body and minimal carbonation

O: Decent Belgium strong dark ale. Not the best I’ve had, but worthy of a taste.

Oct 17, 2011
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho from Washington

4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, tawny-brown hue with plenty of haze and a fine one finger cap of frothy tan foam. Nice looking.

Smell: deep, rich aroma. Milk chocolate, brown sugar, raisins and dates are the primary characteristics, and it's got an overall "smooth" quality. Quite sweet, but very, very nice.

Taste: much like the aroma, with chocolate, dried fruits and a bit of a molassesey sweetness. Alcohol is mostly well-masked. Complexity seems lower than the aroma here, though, and the outcome is sort of flat. Not bad, though.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent level of well-integrated carbonation, but something about the texture is so amazingly silky smooth. This is maybe one step below perfect.

Overall: this is a really enjoyable beer. It's not quite as huge-flavored as some other BSDAs, but I like it quite a lot indeed.

Sep 26, 2011
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rhoadsrage from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)
best before A1011
A- This beer pours a walnut brown body that is dense and a bit hazy but glows a red hint at the base of the glass. There is a tan head that has a slight yellowish hue to it.

S- The dry pot caramel dark sugar has some woody brown malt notes to it and a slightly fruity ester aswell. There is a dark toffee note with some monastery yeast in the finish with an earthy quality.

T- The nutty pot caramel flavor has a soft sweetness to it and a dark caramel flavor also. There is a soft green note and a soft bitter note in the dry finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a tight scrubbing fizz and no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This is a tasty beer that is simple but full of flavor and layers come through as the beer opens.

Jun 24, 2011
Kapittel Prior from Leroy Breweries
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 182 ratings