Santa's Little Helper 2007 - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Santa's Little Helper 2007Santa's Little Helper 2007

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 3
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 02-03-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed at Gourmetbryggeriet, Roskilde, Denmark.

Ingredients:Water, malt (lager, special B and caraaroma), wheat flakes, dark candy syrup, dark muscovado sugar, hops (Northern Brewer, Styrian Golding and Hallertauer) and Belgian ale yeast.
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 46
Photo of talkingpoints
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Obviously, I love this style of beer, I haven't had this beer in a four month gap, boy did I miss it. This beer is a year round Christmas present with screaming malt, chocolate, nutmeg and coffee all coming at you in a thickness and dark murky way that just screams thank you. I loved looking at this beer and regretted drinking my last one, will have to go scrounge a few others. Will drink forever.

Photo of StephenRich
4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Santa's little helper is probably and elf, or small little reindeer - it is probably not an 11% Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with spices. Although, no one could deny that that certainly would help Santa during his long night delivering gifts all across the globe. Everyone needs a good beer. Even Santa. Mikkeller had the same thought, so he created Santa's Little Helper, a 750ml corked bottle that contains a uniquely spiced dark Belgian style ale that is perfect for the winter, the holidays, and your cellar.

I came across this bottle in 2008 when in a beer store in the States. I was fishing though '08 vintages of various winter ales when I noticed a dusty bottle hiding in the back. Unlike most other consumables, this dust excited me, and rightfully so. I found this already 1 year old bottle and held onto it for dear life. Right away I knew I would cellar this beer and save it for just the right and most opportune moment. Finally, 2 years after its purchase, and 3 years after its bottling date I decided that the time was right to enjoy this magical holiday beer with some of my best friends. Wow.

It is hard if not improssible to know exactly what will happen to a beer over a period of three years. Because Santa's Little Helper is 11% abv, I knew that it would at leaste not go bad, and would hopefully mature nicely. I also have experience ageing Belgian Dark Strong Ales, and have seen wonderful results in the past where once ripe and rich beers turn into mellow and refined works of art. Under the right cellaring conditions (no light, cool temperature, bottle standing upright) I was confident that I would be rewarded with a special beer.

I opened Santa's Little Helper at cellar temperature and poured it into a borolo glass, as is deserving of such a beer. The pour was luxuriously smooth and gentle. The dark liquid fell softly into the glass building only the slightest film of foam, which eventually did crest just above the surface of the beer, but not even entirely. To one side of the glass a mocha brown foam was creamy and dense, pressing bubbles up against the side. At the other side it looked like the ice on a lake slowly melting, revealing the fresh water underneath - a black water. The beer was just that, black, very dark, and very opaque. No light was peering though this beer, only the slightest edge of amber brown make the edges light up. It showed no traces of real carbonation, and very quickly the head faded to absolutely nothing.

I leaned in and reached deeply for a good sniff of this beer, trying to capture everything that three years of age has done for it. The nose is so much more refined and mellowed than I had expected, and so much more than I bet it was when fresh. Smooth and rummy roasted malts show up with soft and warm aromas of cocoa and mulled spices. It is a figgy and holiday spice that brings orange peel, coriander and a lightly sweet cinnamon and maybe ginger hint. This though is fleeting as the now dry malted sensations make their way into your nose with considerable ease. There are aromas of earth and grapes, reminiscent of a delicate Cabernet, then smooth hints of cocoa, caramel and roast.

Drinking this marvel was astonishing. The first thing that I noticed is the almost milk like smoothness of its texture. The carbonation is almost completely fleeting, and the body is melty and smooth like no beer I have ever tasted before. It is lush and wide, and then shows you a flavor spectrum that we are not accustomed to enjoying in beer.

The wine like dryness of the beer is very apparent to me right away, and brings with it distinct grape flavors that merry with cocoa, vanilla and spice. A dark cherry sweetness is blended well with a lightly acidic sensation, then rounds out to citrus, earth and roast. Now as my palate is more familiar with the beer I am absorbing malts at every angle. Roast is less aparent here than it was on the nose, and is warmed by an almost whisky like sweetness. Flavors of caramel and cocoa are prominent, but balanced by earth and again, the smooth dry Cabernet sensations that are making this beer remarkably unique.

Spice flows through a mulled and appetizing manner, and brings with it the most subdued aroma of hops - which after three years are more of an after though that anything else. The finish is sweet and clean with a dry end and a satisfying touch. This is like no beer I have every had, and really beckons to be poured along side, or before a well aged wine. It has greater depth, balance and complexity that most wines, and I will argue forever that it will pair better with roasted meats and cheese that any wine ever could.

If you see Santa's Little Helper on the shelves, buy what you can and age them as you would a fine wine or port. Then enjoy them alone or with a meal surrounded by friends and family. This is a one of a kind beer.

Pics at: http://definitionale.com/2010/12/01/tasting-the-mikkeller-santas-little-helper-2007/

Photo of blackie
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

moved from the retired listing

a: Into my Piraat snifter, gives a pretty nice mocha head with good retention and lacing. The beer is an attractive deep brown in color, nearly black.

s: Outstanding aroma that almost resists description and certainly defies stylization. Awesome juniper berries, cola syrup, delicate sweet smoke, milky roasted cocoa, rich sugar plums, vinous blackberry and currant, dried cherries...all integrated into a wonderfully rich and smooth black malt body. Light aromas of Belgian yeast and a touch of mild hop spice. Gentle, sweet ethanol fumes. Very unique.

m: delicate low-medium carbonation with a clean, full body that just glides down the the throat and finishes perfectly...I'm very much on the line about giving the mouthfeel a perfect score

t: Flavor backbone of black malts, with a smooth roast character becoming more astringent/bitter after the swallow when the sweetness fades. Adding complexity are notes of smoky chocolate, spicy evergreen shrub fruits, dark tree fruits (dried cherries) and much more. Aged, papery hop flavors Great finish, with more roasted malt character coming through and notes of complex chocolate lingering long.

d: drinks like a 5% beer...any parameter I didn't give a 5 is damn close

2007 vintage, synthetic-corked 750 (dated 23/09/11) picked up at Grapes & Hops in Fayetteville a couple weeks ago

Photo of jjayjaye
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BIG THANKS to drunkmonk for hooking me up with this one!!!

This one is best with a very light chill. Pours clear but impenetrably dark brown color with a big foamy dark tan head that resists fading, leaving a good amount of Belgian lacing n it's wake. The smell is really unique and this one is already scoring points for imagination. My first perception is a NECCO wafer chocolate, only really silky rather than chalky. There is tons of stuff going on with this one! Dark chocolate, liquorice, cinnamon and molasses. The flavor is a mirror image of the nose and THAT'S A GOOD THING!! The dark fruit aspect is in there, but it's playing second fiddle until it's close to room temperature. The 11% ABV is really well hidden for about the first 15 ounces...after that you can expect the hammer to hit. This one is way too easy to drink. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied without being syrupy. There is no doubt that HUGE ingredients are consumed in the process of cranking this one out. The last mouthful is a roasty chocolate, anise molasses dream world. Highly recommended!!!! Thanks again Joel!!

Photo of Bitterbill
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought this from South Bay D&Ls. Thanks Joey!

This pours from red foiled, caged and corked 750ml bottle(2007) a pitch black..ok, there's just the slightest hint of some reddish highlights, with a 2 finger head of tan foam that shrank quickly to a solid and stubborn 1" head with some nice lacing.

The smell is all malty and fruity with notes of caramel, dark fruit, some spice, and a touch of alcohol.

The taste is very sweet. Good caramel malt along with some very nice fruity flavours of raisin, plum, cherry(?) or is it strawberry or maybe both? Anywho, it's a very fruity beer and I'm liking it.

A few more sips in and the spice starts to be more assertive with flavours of nutmeg, cinnamon, and something else that's on the sweet side. I can also taste some anise but it's done lightly and, imo, nicely. Very very tasty; much more so than I would have guessed from the smell. And what of the 11%abv? Yet *another* brew that does one hell of a job of hiding its strength. Well done!

Mouthfeel wise, I'd say it's medium light, the carbonation is light, and it finishes as fruity as it starts. Very drinkable and I think it's a wonderful offering for the festive season but to be honest, I could drink this *any* time of the year. ;^)

Bottom line: A truly satisfying BSDA that kept my interest from first sip to last swallow and if you like spicy and fruity examples of the style, don't pass this one up!

Photo of mikesgroove
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served at cellar temperature and poured into a fluted chalice

A - Poured an extremely dark brown, nearly black with essentially no light penetrating it what so ever. The were some light around the sides, perhaps taking on a bit of a reddish tone, but essentially this was as black as night. A large three finger high head of tan colored foam then rose up from the bottom of the glass, seemingly lasting forever, I was not sure, when it would finally relent and give back to the beer. However after a few minutes it did manage to finally settle down to about an inch and a half of chocolate colored pillow like foam across the top, that went nowhere throughout the session. There was some carbonation apparent, as I could see some bubbles clinging to the inside of the glass. Copious amounts of side glass lace were also present after the head finally receded. Leaving behind spider web like coatings of tan everywhere that it touched. I have to be honest here, this was really looked more like a big stout then a Belgian dark. It just looked incredibly think and menacing; I just had to go in for a closer look.

S - The aroma was very interesting to say the least. This was going to be a very complex session and that was becoming more and more apparent by the minute. The first smells I picked up were very sweet. Lots of sugar spices, well spices of all kinds for that matter. Hints of caramel as well as some light notes of oak and vanilla starting to break there way through. There was a tremendous amount of spice in here, hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, and lots of earthy tones were very prevalent throughout the tasting. There were even some slight touches of a grassy smell in there. Hints of dark fruits starting to come out now, most importantly, lots of raisins, prunes, and figs that were getting wrapped up. Small glancing blows of chocolate now getting coated in with dark cherries as well. This was starting to get a bit out of hand now. The more I smelled it I could almost pick up everything but the kitchen sink. This was really quite wonderful.

T - The flavor was almost too complex for words. Deep rich flavors permeated throughout this one and really kept getting better as time went on. It was such a full flavored and deep profile it is hard to even begin with it. The first thing I noticed was how sweet it was. Lots of chocolate and caramel tones coming through on this one, really pushing it through and starting off quite dark. Lots of spices in here as well, nutmeg, and cinnamon, a touch of all spice. The yeast was starting to roll on through now as well, really giving some of those dark fruit flavors their turn to try and steel the show. Hints of raisins, plums, figs, and prunes all mixing in with the spices and bringing the whole thing together just beautifully. The finish was extremely long and drawn out, not really hoppy, though there was a hint of some earthy dry hops, but more of a spicy note then anything else. Really again quite complex and just the perfect capper to the whole thing.

M - Incredibly smooth and delicious, this was one of the fullest feeling Belgians I have ever had. It was bordering on feeling like a stout at times, but it also was not terribly filling, really letting put down quite a bit of it without having too much trouble. A really wonderful situation here. I could not imagine it being any smoother. The carbonation profile as well was simply wonderful, truly just never a dull or flat moment with this one and I really felt it was just in a category all of its own.

D - This is definitely a sipper, but a dangerous one at that. There were times when I truly wanted to just take a gulp as it was so delicious and smooth and the alcohol so well hidden, but you need to stop and remember that this boy is clocking in at eleven percent and it will definitely put a hurting on you before then end of the bottle, which this one more then easily did. Still I was able to go through the bottle without too much trouble.

Overall this was utterly fantastic is the only way I can put it. I mean it was just totally different then anything I had in the past and truly just unique. I would have loved to have had a few more bottles of this as it is a great example of what can be done within a style. I would say that if you can get it, you need to try it, really just too good to pass up.

Photo of schoolboy
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a few of these about two years ago along with a bunch of other nice belgians when this nice store down the road a piece inexplicably thought these were getting too old to be on the shelves and cut the prices to 75% off. Needless to say, I bought most of what they had on sale that day.

This one does not disappoint. I think this is the second or third of the Santas Little Helpers I had (and I just verified that it was the last). The brew is typical for the style. Strong, malty, yeasty. It is everything it should be. After three years the beer still looks right and tastes more than right.

I wish I had a few more, but alas I will just have to get something else to take its place in my aging bin.

Photo of trafordboy
4.46/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a motor oil brownish black with a light brown head of frothy, creamy foam. Good head retention and a fair amount of laced sticking.

The first smells I noticed in the aroma was an appetite inducing chocolate malt, a mix of dark chocolate and mocha, followed by the dark candy syrup, a desert lover's dream. The orange peel and coriander seeds add a soft orange citric dimension to the smell. At the edges is a light spiciness and traces of woody herbal hops. The alcohol is barely noticeable, just a warm dark candy scent. As it warms, a little smoky nuttiness emerges. I found the nose to be quite attractive.

The moderate body has a fluffy creaminess to it, smoothly lush feel in the palate. Definitely sweet desert tasting, dark chocolate cake with caramelized dark sugar icing. Right behind the chocolate malt and candy syrup comes a mild malt nuttiness, a nice topping to the desert flavors. The orange peel and coriander seeds, along with the ale yeast, help add a sharp fruitiness to the taste. The hops are properly restrained, herbal spicy and adding a little woody stem taste to the softly dry finish. The alcohol provides a steady mellow spiced warmth through out the duration of the taste, the 11% ABV is well disguised, making this a sipper that you need to be cautious with.

Maybe because it is Christmas and I am in a really good mood, but I really enjoyed this Christmas ale from Mikkeller, for me, the definition of a festive winter warmer.

Photo of NCSUdo
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a red foiled, corked and caged, 750 mL bottle

A: Pours a deep brown/black under a large creamy brown head. Nice lace and really nice retention.

S: Smells of spice and very sweet dark fruit, hint of orange, caramel. Slight grape-like aroma, reminiscent of champagne or a white white,

T: Very sweet with hints of spice. Some licorice, light tobacco, plum, honey (a little mead like), a little bit of bitterness, some roasted malt, maybe some chocolate, slight alcohol dryness and warming. Really a lot happening here.

M/D: Big full body, carbonation is about medium, alcohol can hardly be found aside from th warming and slight dryness. Obviously, too big a beer to quaff, but a delicious beer none the less.

Photo of Gavage
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black in color with a short 1/2" tan head that has some large bubbles. No lacing develops.

Smell: great aroma as roasted malts, chocolate, yeast, and spices are bold but sweet overall.

Taste: definite complex beer here flavorwise. Roasted malts and some soft chocolate lay the base, then add some plums, prunes, and honey with some decent bitterness to cut the sweetness. Spicy yeast and some warming alcohol tones add another layer into the mix.

Mouthfeel: light crispness at the start, much smoother towards the finish. Very long aftertaste as the flavor components linger on the tongue for a while. Heavy bodied brew.

Drinkability: despite the high alcohol levels, this slow sipper is enjoyable from start to finish. If I had a second bottle it would have been opened. Great winter beer.

Photo of rallison
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: Review from 1-14 of 2008..moved from the 2006 vintage listing to the proper 2007 vintage listing. Wonder if I would still rate it so highly...

2007 Vintage.

A: Dark black color with a light brown 2 finger head that leaves quite some lacing.

S: Dark fruits and chocolate.

T: Dark fruits with a fair bit of chocolate and dark candied fruits. Some roasted character is present in the background. Alcohol is definitely not present. Nice balance and complexity. Truly bends the style boundaries.

M: Low to medium carbonation with a fulfilling mouthfeel. Definitely not syrupy in the least!

D: Extremely good. No way this is 11%!

Highly recommended. This is a very tasty brew.

Photo of glid02
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Paul - thanks!

Pours a dark purplish-black color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet dark malts and dark fruits with large amounts of port undertones backing everything up. Faint hints of alcohol waft out every now and then.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by sugar-coated raisin and plum flavors. The flavor profile takes on a vinous quality midway through the sip as sweet and boozy port flavors work their way into things. The port and dark fruit flavors carry through to a moderately sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was very impressed with how this beer has aged. Although I never tried it fresh I'd have to believe a large portion of the port influence came with age and it served the beer well. Worth a shot if you have some laying around.

Photo of RomanW70
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with a dfark beige head. Aroma of chocolate, molasses and toffee. Taste is similar with additional notes of vanilla and nuts. Medium bitterness of the finish. Full mouth feel. Tastes more like a stout than a Belgian Strong. Don't really care that it's a style buster. It's damn tasty.

Photo of rfgetz
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice rich dark brown, nearly black. Active dark khaki head with minimal retention and lacing. Huge whiff of dark cocoa backed by hazlenut and cream. Hints of coffee, belgian yeasts and dark bread. Excellent taste profile... dark cocoa and hazlenut backed by a lightly sweetened cream and belgiany yeast backbone. Boreding on full bodied, velvety smooth, slightly chalky cocoa profile at times, buit does not impede. This is the beer i wish Two Turtle Doves would have turned out like.

Photo of ccrida
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Santas Little Helper 2007 is a dark, blackish brown with a dark tan head that is pretty quick to settle to a thick skim but leaves decent lace. Another De Proef bottling with the synthetic cork (which I applaud from an enviromentally friendly point of view) that limps out silently. Luckly, this beer still had some moderate carbonation, but not the large rocky head I look for in the style.
Served ~50F, my cellar sure is cold this time of year!

Smell is fruity, grape and lemons, with more Shiraz like red wine and citrus notes developing as it opens up and warms, as well as some chocolate and boozy vapors.

Taste is rather chocolaty, with fruity esters, mostly grape, some fig and raisin, as well as some orange. There's some acidity that makes this rather vinous as well, save for the chocolate of course, with just a hint alcohol on the finish. Strange bird this one, very good but not at all what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, with a lighter body, highly digestible for what is a basically a Belgian porter.

Drinkability is very good, high then the sum of it's parts. This is just a flat out tasty, very easy drinking beer. As I worked though it, I kept bumping up the scores as I realized how great it really was. The high ABV is hidden behind the robust flavors, making it dangerously quaffable for the size. To bad it was only brewed once, last year, and I'll probably never get to have it again!

Photo of rhinos00
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to pull this beer out of the cellar and give it a go. Poured out of a 750 mL corked bottle into a snifter.

A- Dark brown with hints of amber when light was reflected onto it. Half inch head formed that dissipated quickly forming a thin band as the beer was consumed.

S- Complex! The first sniff reveals a sweet/sour smell...almost like a nice aged wine. The follow up reveal a much different aroma...cinnamon and spices along with caramel malts infiltrate the nose.

T- Sweetness, again like a fine wine, but then subdued by spices and other malts. Aging worked wonderfully on this one.

M- Medium body with some carbonation...even after a year in the cellar.

D- Highly drinkable. The 11% abv was very well hidden. A very nice beer to just kick back and enjoy life on a cold, rainy fall night.

Overall, brought back memories of opening vintage wine with my roommate back in college. I am extremely glad I aged this bottle for a year. I will wait another year and see how the other bottle stands up to this one.

Photo of dnichols
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I served a 2007 vintage that I've been cellering for this holiday season. I shared the 750 ml capped and corked bottle with my sons as we initiated our celebration of the coming of winter.

A: I poured a musky dark brown body that was thick and sticky. It had a rich and robust oily caramel head that retained well before receding to a thin cover. There was a temporary thick curtain of lacing that fell back into the liquid.

S: I had a sweet, caramel and dark fruit (figs and plums) aroma that was filled with spices (brown sugar and belgium candi).

T: It was rich in flavors that were heavy on the candi and malt side with very little hop presence. The dark fruits were dominate (including raisins, figs and plums),however, the taste of brown sugar, licorice and chocolate came through. The alcohol was very well hidden.

M: It was a medium to full bodied beer with little carbonation. It had a sweet front and spicy back with a warm and wet finish. It finished clean with little aftertaste.

D: It has too high an ABV and too thick a body to be a session beer. However, it is a great winter warmer and cold holiday night sipper.

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Body pours to a blackest brown that really only is a hint of brown. Host a biscuit brown spicey toned three finger head that shows scattered lace as it fades. Nose is all spice and zest with a little spice chocolate thrown in for good measure. Enters the mouth with creamy crisp dark fruit feel that points the mouth completely. There is a bit of a tart feel that reminds me nicely of a dark chocolate raspberry truffle. This beer is unique and really keeps you interested in each oncoming sip. The alchol is this one is super well hidden at 11%. Mouthfeel is a mix of bitter dark chocolate and tart fruit tones. A complex brew that is to be sipped all night.

Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut/ebony with 3+ fingers of brown head. A motor oil like appearance swirls in the glass. Sticky lacing covers about 5% of my vandal tulip

S: Baker's chocolate, plums, raisins, & booze once warm

T: Chocolate, iron, raisins, dryness & some cakeyness up front. Slight boozey warmth, oaky dryness with some vanilla & licorice as this warms. Finishes with rich chocolate, dark fruit, dryness & whisper of herbal hops, a bit of booze. Almost gave this a 5, too dry for me

MF: Chewy/sticky with low carbonation

The 11% ABV is well hidden. This is a pretty nice Belgian Dark worth cellaring

Photo of bkilpatr
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Chimay glass. 03/04/08. 2007 version.

Pours a dark brown color with two fingers of fluffy light brown head. Head leaves nice lacing on the glass. Smells like Belgian ale, yeasty and bread-like. Also smells of spices and sweet fruits

Taste is amazing. When this first hit my tongue, it's like there was a party and all my taste buds were invited. Sweet and spicy at first, bread flavors and lots of fruit, especially fig and raisin. As it warms some banana flavors come through as well. Finishes with bitter roasted chocolate and coffee malt. When it was cold, the alcohol taste crept in, but as it warmed, that taste vanished.

This one is full bodied with medium carbonation. My initial impressions (when it was cold) were that mouthfeel and drinkability would be rather low. It left my mouth feeling rather sticky. I let the beer warm up though and that went away. Smooth and delicious.

Make sure you let this one warm up before you drink it. It's really good, definitely one I'd drink again.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hey! A Mikkeller beer that actually goes "pop" when the cork comes out! Brilliant!!!

Pours a deep dark ruby, almost impenetrable black, just some slight ruby highlights. A big solid light tan ice cream head retains "ok" but leaves very good lacing.

Nose is quite complex with some tartness, dark fruit, spices, and sugar. Dark cherries and licorice come through, along with some anise.

Taste is quite unique. Some great belgian spice in here. Similar to the spicing in Het Ankers Noel, but different at the same time. Some anise, licorice, dark black cherries, candy sugar and rum soaked fruits. There is an ever so slight tartness here. A bit of vanilla. The finish rides a malty sweetness and leaves lingering sugar on the lips and spices on the palate. Slightly dry finish, and there is slight tartness.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be. Maybe a touch thin, but still seems very hearty and thick to get down. Wierd.

Drinkability is very good for the abv, but you will not be having more than one of these tonight, and even that is quite a stretch. Tough to get through, but a pleasure to drink, and hides the abv relatively well.

Overall, this is a tasty winter brew. Lots of complexity and alot of interesting winter spice. A rich beer to be enjoyed in the dark of winter in front of a roaring fire with good munchies and good friends. A very intense beer, not to be scoffed at. Good work by mikkeller here.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours like a stout, black and bubbly. A thin cap of mocha foam builds up and drops to a partial cover and thick collar. A variety of lace formations on the glass. Great start.

Aroma - chocolate liqueur, sweet and warm; roasted grain, rum and abv vapors filling the nostrils. A little lighter on the heat and a little more on the rest would help, but this smells superb.

Taste - toasty malts sweetened with candi sugar and warmed with abv heat. It takes a few sips to get used to the hot flavors, but afterwards some coffee flavors start finding their way through, along with some anise and/or molasses. The swallow has a flash of the yeast in there, a quick stint of balancing hop bitterness (low level), and a mellower drying finish. Nice reprises of flavor at the end; the roast, the coffee, anise, all make appearances on this sip or that. The only constant is the alcohol. Maybe if I'd had a few warm-up beers I wouldn't feel it so much, but the abv is jumping outta the bottle. A solid brew.

Mouthfeel - bubbliness makes for a lighter body despite the high abv.

Drinkability - not sure how long I'd lasted had I been wrapping gifts with this one alongside. Probably would be fine, wrapping's busywork and is a great slowdown for the bigger beers. Since I only had time to enjoy one bottle tonight, I'm glad it was this one.

Photo of Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt 9.4 fl oz. corked & caged bottle served in my DFH snifter. Bottle opened with a suppressed pop. Poured a deep opaque brown with rubye red highlights. One inch mocha-colored head with tiny ringlets. Fairly consistent skim and ringlets present during the tasting, with sheets of sticky foam that adhered to the bulb of the glass throughout. Heavy nose of dark fruit off of this one detectable from a distance. Upon closer examination, also detected a wine-like quality in the nose suggesting a somewhat tangy body. Flavors revealed a pleasant coffee-character up front, followed by dark fruit (cherries) and a tangy finish with a touch of alcohol. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with just enough effervescence to add some additional character to the body. Some alcohol, but predominantly detectable as a slight warming at the back of the throat. This is an excellent offering that is meant to be sipped; subtle character changes as the elixir warms. Very reminiscent of De Dolle's Extra Export Stout, but flavors are much bolder. Unfortunate that this was only brewed once.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate chestnut with black cherry trim. Despite a woefully pathetic 'pop' on cork removal, the pour has produced four full fingers of coffee milkshake colored foam that looks almost as creamy. Thick sheets of cheese grater-like lace put the finishing touches on this attractive holiday brew.

The aroma is an outstanding mixture of chocolate stout and BSDA. Mostly the latter. Since no chocolate was added, the brewers must have used a boatload of chocolate malt (along with pale and special B). The clove-like character of the yeast is appreciated, while the orange peel and coriander seeds are not.

Mikkeller have themselves another winner with Santa's Little Helper 2007. This is one bold, flavorful beer that doesn't drink anywhere near its ABV. The challenge will be to drink it slowly enough so that the final few paragraphs of this review make sense.

With several more ounces under my belt, I'm not sure that it's a world-beater, but it's still quite good and is worth the $13.99 that I paid last winter. Again, think BSDA with more much chocolatiness than that style usually delivers. It's an interesting combination to be sure.

The coriander works well in combination with the peppery spiciness of the Belgian yeast. However, the orange peel adds a citric tartness that comes close to being over the top. Sweet BSDAs are fine, as are spicy ones, but sour doesn't work nearly as well. That said, the flavor and drinkability scores could just as easily be one notch higher.

That 11.0% has to be a misprint. Absolutely no alcohol is appreciated and there isn't even much esophageal and belly warming. Great job, guys. The mouthfeel, although fine and dandy, falls a bit short in the volume department. More bubbles is probably the only fix that's needed.

Santa will get more than a little help from this 2007 holiday ale. Actually, after killing the 750 ml bottle, he'll *need* some help driving his sleigh. If you're lucky enough to find it on the shelves, this is a worthwhile purchase. And to all a good night.

Photo of liamt07
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Jason, 750ml into a tulip on my inaugural brewday.

Appears a few shades off black in the glass, with some brownish-burgundy bubbles yet no head - pours essentially flat, leaving no retention or lace. Legs are fairly prominent however. Nose is massively full of dark fruits, offering a different angle with every sniff - black currants and cherries, plums, grapes and a dark fruit 'skin' that was difficult to pin down. Candied sugars and some syrupy qualities are there too. Taste has more of the candy sugar and dark syrupy notes, dark caramelized fruits, light soy and an understated tartness, perhaps from the fruits themselves. A slight apple note as well. Quite sweet with a port-like character, very 'dessert-y.' Gentle spicing in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, some thinness but the alcohol is disguised (or integrated) quite well into this. Low carbonation as predicted by the head, but this does little to hinder the experience. This has aged quite nicely in my opinion (for being just over 5 years old I think at this point), still a sipper however.

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Santa's Little Helper 2007 from Mikkeller ApS
90 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.