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