overall
93
91
style
Brewed by Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Emelgem, Belgium

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1363   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6/5   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A strong Belgian brown ale.
After extensive tasting, trying to fulfil increasingly strict requirements, the brewmaster obtains a creamy, dark Belgian brown ale: Kasteelbier. The quality of the past is still unmatched and the beloved taste is very much of the present. Kasteelbier is a dark, artisanal beer, soft and mild, full and creamy. It can age for many, many years, as indicated on the bottle. 11% abv, serve at 12°C (54°F) (Translation by Martinus)

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4.3
jkaiser (279) - Orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 15, 2008
This is a top 5 beer. The total bomb!! Richest beer since I can remember. Black color, not much head, good lacing. The flavor of powerful malts and lite hops makes this one Xtremely drinkable and rich. Touchdown!!!

1.9
zvikar (6172) - Ramat Gan, ISRAEL - SEP 12, 2008
Start with no head at all, aroma is promising - ripe fruit and chocolate, flavor - BAAAAAAA.....pure sweetener no other flavor could be sensed beyond it, hope it is this bottle only, disaster, goes down the drain.

3.8
Todeon (325) - SWEDEN - SEP 10, 2008
33cl Bottle. Aroma is caramell and some malt. Taste is really sweet and syrupy with lots of dark fruit,burnt sugar and caramel in the mix.

3.9
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - SEP 6, 2008
Belgian Brown ales are definitely a different brew then American or English brown ales. I love Belgian brown ales when I am in the mood for a succulently rich, complex brew. Kasteel Donker is no exception, and it didn’t take me long to realize that this particular brown ale is best enjoyed only slightly chilled.
My Kasteel Donker came in a corked 750ml bottle, as if there were any other way to enjoy a Belgian beer. Maybe, but I prefer them this way. She poured a thick dark brown into my glass. Tinges of amber glint along the sides of my glass while a small head lingers on top then fades into a soft ring. I swirl her liquid depths before taking a good whiff of her nose. Sweet malty nuts along with caramel and crisp fall apples almost like cider tease me with taste sensations to come. As I go to take my first quaff, brussels lace line my glass and sticks like spider webs. Since Kasteel had only just come out of the fridge, my first couple quaffs were mouth-coating thick and viscous. Not overly sweet, but definitely a sweeter brown ale presence then some others. Candy apples and spiced cider along with sweet roasted nuts are the first flavors I taste. As full-bodied as Kasteel is the finish is pleasantly semi-dry with a tinge of bitterness in the aftertaste. As Kasteel warmed I was amazed at how much she opened up. She becomes less sweet and nuttier with a well balanced palate of molasses, caramel and spiced apples. A very enjoyable finish.
Kasteel Donker is an excellent Belgian brown ale. With its rich and complex palate I enjoyed her more than I do many of the lighter varieties of brown ales. Next time I enjoy my Kasteel Donker I will definitely remember to only give her a minor chill because her colors truly shine when drunk that way.

2.5
Caleb1035 (63) - , North Carolina, USA - SEP 4, 2008
Dark with thin head that dissipates quickly. Smell is ok, but tastes overly sweet. Overall, a disappointment.

2.7
Ingevara (910) - SWEDEN - AUG 26, 2008
The head disappears quickly. The aroma is malty and sweet with more than a hint of alcohol. Taste is thick, syrupy but malty and of dark bread. The flavor is syrupy.

3.6
JK54B (1602) - Helsinki, FINLAND - AUG 17, 2008
A 0.33L bottle from Alko shop. A fast disappearing pale brown head. Red brownish colour. Some syrup and maltiness in the taste. Also some oak in the taste(?). Hoppiness in the end.

3.9
stankenk (130) - Maplewood, Minnesota, USA - AUG 17, 2008
Pours dark mohagony with a small head. The nose is chocolate and caramel. Comes across the palate as strong caramel, chocolate and even some plum.

4
bobaidan (530) - Southington, Connecticut, USA - AUG 16, 2008
Pours dark mohagony with a small head. Aroma is dark fruit and a bit of alcohol. Mouth feel is thick and smooth with little carbonation present. Flavor is much the same with a nice sweetness and a touch of sour fruit for good measure. Alcohol is well hidden.

4
GarrettB (1599) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 14, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 13, 2012 Another Belgian offering, looking hale and flavorful even before I pop it open. Inside the bottle it is inscrutable, but outside in a glass this is an intense Belgian treat. The half centimeter light brown head gives way to a liver red body, which looks like pure cherry juice as it is poured into the glass. The aroma slithers its way into the nose, effecting it like an intoxicating candy. A general blanket of creamy sweetness envelopes your skull, and then pronounces its details: azuki beans and dark chocolate. It’s like a Japanese red velvet cake. The flavor is similarly sweet with redolent cherries, and includes the aroma’s distinguishing azuki bean thickness. Oh, and a generous dose of booze (but not too much.) I find it just right. Its intensely sweet, but stops short of popping your eyes out of their sockets with its dark cherry and azuki bean sugar prods. Really, it’s a diabetic romance. And to top it off, a sip of the Kasteelbier Donker leaves behind a truly beautiful thin clay-like film all over the glass. Maybe it’s dried sugar, but otherwise it looks like a nice beer glaze. In a way, I can see how the powerful flavors could be misconstrued as a botched effort that made a cough medicine beer, but for me, it leans over that fine line into brazen deliciousness. August 26th, 2011 tasting notes update. Deep dark color with just a hint of red shine around the bottom edge of the glass. Aroma has a unique dryness to it, with a nice creamy bite, like a sharp white cheddar, and a vinegar tang. White wine aroma too? Taste is totally different. Powerful and sweet with lots of brown sugar, almost like a glaze, with a long sweet aftertaste like candied sweet potato or an ultra-ripe black cherry. Profound!


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