BrewViewing BARISTA CHOCOLATE QUAD BY KASTEEL is one that is overdue in a way. Even though BARISTA is a relatively new beer, our last beer we BrewViewed from Brewery Van Honsebrouck was back in November 18, 2013 for their Bacchus Oud Bruin. (Click here to visit that BrewView). We actually had the St. Louis Fond Tradition Gueuze at Thanksgiving that year, but no pictures were taken of it- dang!
We first discovered the Kasteel line of beers back in the mid-90’s and were extremely impressed by them right off the bat. We enjoyed them many times up until 2009, when we relocated to Redding, CA. Unfortunately, the availability for the Van Honsebrouck beers where we are, is limited down to two: BACCHUS and KASTEEL ROUGE… that’s it. (We also had the Rouge a few years back, but also need to do a BrewView on it, but we digress.)
ABOUT BrEWERY van honsebrouck
Amandus Van Honsebrouck, born in 1811, farmer and mayor of Werken, starts the fist brewery around 1850 in Werken. Later his son Emile takes over and moves to Ingelmunster. In 1900 the St-Josef brewery is founded. Emile’s sons, Paul and Ernest, continue and expand fimly in the thirties. At that moment, the focus still is on low fermented beers: bock, export and lager.
Luc, son of Paul, goes to brewery school and learns the trade as an apprentice in Germany and Wallonia. When Luc takes over in 1953, he changes the name into “Brewery Vanhonsebrouck” and decides to stop brewing lager beers in order to focus on an ‘old Flemish brown’, called Bacchus.
In 1957 he starts brewing lambic beers with Gueuze and Kriek under the brand name Saint Louis. During the seventies, Brewery Vanhonsebrouck becomes the second largest brewery of Gueuze, thanks to the combination of good quality and a successful marketing strategy, as there is shirt sponsoring of FC Bruges, one of the major football teams in Belgium.
In 1980, responding to the growing demand for heavy blond beers, Luc launches Brigand, named after the farmers’ uprising against French occupation in 1798.
In 1986 the family buys Ingelmunster Castle and 3 years later, the famous Kasteelbier is born. It starts with ‘Donker’, than ‘Tripel’ and later on ‘Kasteel Rouge’ and ‘Blond’ complete the range.
In 2009, the 5th generation, Xavier Van Honsebrouck, takes over. His first achievement is the ‘Cuvée du Château’ and in 2012, the highly exclusive Trignac is brewed. Kasteel Hoppy follows in 2013.
In commemoration of a 100 years World War I, ‘Passchendaele’, a top fermented blond beer, with only 5.2° alcohol is brewed under the authorities of the community of Zonnebeke. This remembrance beer, named after the big battle of Passchendaele, contributes to the events and monuments honouring that period in time.
Recently the brewery launched two new beers, Barista Chocolate Quad “by Kasteel” and FILOU, a strong blond Belgian Ale of 8.5 % .
Due to the growth over the last decade and the will to keep up with the best quality and permanent innovation, Xavier Van Honsebrouck decides to invest in the construction of a new brewery. Construction has started the end of last year and is planned to be completed by the end of 2016. This investment of more than 30 million euros will be a big challenge for the entire team in the coming years . (Source: Belgian Family Brewers)
BEER STYLE AND COMMERICAL DESCRIPTION
Style category: Belgian Quadrupel
Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad stands alone as one of the most decadent and elegant quadruples of Belgium. This 11% ABV beer pours a chestnut brown with an off-white head. A warming aroma of chocolate and coffee are countered by nuanced flavors of toffee and dried fruits. The mouthfeel is rich and silky like melted chocolate which truly rounds out the entire drinking experience. Considering the ABV and predominant flavors of chocolate and coffee this quadruple is unique, yet remarkably well balanced.
OUR BREWVIEW on Kasteel barista
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
11% ABV. Poured into a snifter and served at 54°F. The light tan colored head poured an easy 3- finger height, tightly bubbled (we did ensure that it was a “Beer Clean” glass).
SRM value is between a 24-30 (Ruby Brown to deep brown.) There was some murkiness to it, although we did not see any yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle. 7-8 minutes later, if retained a 1/4″ height head. As the head collapsed, it left behind even-sheeted lacework on the sides of the glass. The meniscus is extremely slow rising, the rim color variation is in between an SRM value of 18-20 (Deep Amber to Amber Brown.)
AROMA / BOUQUET:
The second you open the bottle up is like waking into a coffee roaster that just ground up some Guatemalan, Java, or Sumatra Arabica beans, and then cut that grind with some organic cacaõ powder! Heavy in the espresso aromas, cacaõ, deep bitter baker’s chocolate, deep caramel malt aromas, sweet toffee. There is a VERY faint herbalness / hop aroma to it, but it is very far in the background. Think of the aroma when your favorite chocolate cappuccino is freshly made.
Since the aromas whet our appetite, we could not wait to taste BARISTA for the first time! Wow, wow, wow… Heavy in the coffee and roasted malt flavors with cocoa nib and dried Empress dates also in the mix. Imagine a good French Roast coffee cut with a Godiva chocolate liqueur! As the beer warms up, the cacaõ notes lean more towards buttery milk chocolate with espresso notes behind it.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
Full-bodied, rich, oily, silky. The effervescence level is low to medium. The mouthfeel is all about rich, sumptuous oily silkiness. There are some moderate spicy phenols that tickle the mouth. The finish is akin biting into a high quality truffle – (Neuhaus, Leonidas, Callebaut, Guylian) and begs you to take that next sip. This beer is very drinkable, and hides the fact that it is a 11% ABV beer very well.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
APPETIZERS / CHEESES: Trappist , washed rind cheeses. Port salut, high quality Blue cheese, Stilton, Roquefort, Gouda, Irish cheddar cut with chocolate, Camembert, triple cream brie’s. Charcuterie platters with rich flavored meats and pâté.
ENTRÈES: Moules-frites / Mosselen-friet, (we’ll have this with practically any style of Belgian beer… c’mon!) Mongolian beef, Carbonade flamande / Stoverij, Blackened Rib eye steak with a coffee ground / black pepper crust, cooked medium rare; a nice lamb burger topped with blue cheese and a side of molasses-sweetened baked beans, any good pork or beef barbeque.
DESSERTS: Meringues topped with coffee ice cream and praline sauce, Speculoos with Biscoff cookie butter, Liège waffles with chocolate syrup, high quality vanilla ice cream, brownies, and of course, high quality chocolate truffles. Wide open.
Coffee and chocolate lovers, rejoice! My wife who is a coffee and chocolate lover simply adored this beer! She’s more of a wine drinker, but she does like some fruit beers, a few fruit Lambics, chocolatey Stouts and Quads. I knew she’d love this one!
Super rich and decadent, This is a beer for those who would want to introduce your friends to a Belgian Quadrupel for the first time, and leave them with a great initial impression! Our hats off to Brewery Van Honsebrouck for making a beer that brings out the “kid” in all of us. Make no mistake, this is a very sophisticated beer, one for gourmets, as the brewery says. World class, seek this one out for sure!
Phone: +32(0)51 33 51 60
Fax: +32(0)51 31 38 39
GORDON A. PONCE is the main driving force behind Belgian Beer Journal.com. Since 1983, Gordon recognized that beers from Belgium were special, set apart from the typical craft beer.
He views beers from Belgium (plus Belgian-style and Belgian Inspired beers from other countries) great examples of the brewer’s art. Gordon and his wife live in beautiful Northern California- a great place to enjoy Belgian beer! Ecclesiastes 8:15