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Santa's Little Helper 2009 - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Santa's Little Helper 2009Santa's Little Helper 2009

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

60 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.08%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jamie2dope on 11-21-2009)
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Patrick999:
Photo of Patrick999


3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

It's a chilly day in South Florida - rare. Seemed like a good day to pop the cork on this beast from Mikkeller.

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Short, but very persistent layer of foam with small bubbles. Very dark brown - this one puts the "dark" in Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Aroma is nice and heavy on the cocoa, some marshmellow, and overripe banana. I could call this the Banana Split Beer, as it smells a lot like a banana split to me. Some nutmeg and clove, but the banana and cocoa seem to be the main players. It smells very decadent and rich.

Taste does not seem to follow aroma, though. I note plenty of piney American hops, a good deal of nutmeg, and a little alcohol heat, which isn't too surprising. The cocoa comes in on the back end, which I enjoy immensely. My criticism here is with the extent of hops and nutmeg. It definitely tastes like a Christmas beer, I would just like to taste less nutmeg and hops, and more cocoa. There is some alcohol heat, but I don't find that to be a negative here - there's enough flavor that the alcohol is merely part of the flavor profile. It isn't overbearing. It's the spice and hops that I think are a little overbearing. Still, a very flavorful beer.

This has the right level of carbonation for this style. It does have an excellent feel on the palate - very soft carbonation, well-done in the Belgian style.

Well, I seem to be very enthusiastic about this beer in each category but actual taste. The taste of nutmeg almost always knocks a beer down a few notches in my book. When you combine Christmas spicing with more-than-expected piney hops, for me, it becomes a little difficult. However, I'd have to think this has huge upside as far as aging. The hops will subside, and the nutmeg taste may diminish a bit as well. The overall effect right *now* is that it's somewhat too bitter, I think, because of the spicing and hops. When things calm down a bit, this could be truly exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 21:29:59 | More by Patrick999
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4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

01-27-2013 14:46:38 | More by GRUUMSH
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New York

3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

01-11-2013 05:12:27 | More by mjtiernan
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3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured fom a 750 ml bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours brown with a half finger light tan head. Big trails and blotches speckle the glass.

S- honey, dark fruits, brown sugar, Belgian yeast.

T- sweet amber malts, honey, dark fruits (raisin, black cherry, prunes), some faint spices, and Belgian yeast.

M- medium body and carbonation. Drinks 3-4% lower than the abv.

O- this beer was better than I expected, especially with 3 years on it. Fairly sweet and spices are faint, and no cocoa that I noticed, but a very tasty beer none the less.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 05:13:38 | More by kawilliams81
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4/5  rDev +0.8%

12-04-2012 05:57:16 | More by MatthewWilde
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4/5  rDev +0.8%

10-29-2012 01:45:14 | More by t0rin0
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4/5  rDev +0.8%

04-20-2012 02:01:32 | More by brez8791
Photo of schlimenhaumer

New York

3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic pint glass at altitude in Denver. Drinking this in a vertical tasting with Santa’s Little Helper 2011 after a great experience with the 2010 version. Probably not aged in ideal conditions, as I picked this up at a local bottle shop without air conditioning or central heating.

A: Pours a hazy brown caramel color with a substantial off-white head and heavy lacing.

S: Cocoa, nutmeg and Belgian yeast notes that bring out coriander. Appealing and fits the bill for Christmastime.

T: Chocolate up front followed by peppery winter spices and a malty finish. There’s plenty of yeasty complexity here, but I felt that the balance tended too much toward the malty end of the spectrum.

M: Full-bodied and wet without much carbonation at all. Not exceptional, but I expect this may have been a result of the circumstances of its aging.

D: The alcohol is concealed very well in this one, perhaps partly as a result of the aging. It’s smooth and enjoyable, and while it’s not quite as good as the 2010 vintage in my opinion, I would be happy to drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 17:16:42 | More by schlimenhaumer
Photo of blakelive784


3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle serve in a nonic pint glass, reviewed from notes:

A - Pours a murky, dark brown color with one finger of fairly creamy head. Retention is average, but understandable considering the ABV.

S - Toasty caramel, spice (clove?), sweet fruit, heavy yeast, and some cream. Nice aroma all together. Medium strength.

T - Chocolate and toasted malt are more prominent on the tongue. Sweet malt and fruit are countered nicely by pepper and bitter chocolate. The ABV hardly comes through at all. It's got a full array of spices: coriander, clove, and pepper. It's awesomely complex.

M - Medium bodied, smooth, wet, and no appreciable carbonation. It works, but I think it's probably past its prime in this regard.

D - Incredibly well balanced, flavorful, complex and its ABV is hardly detectable. If I have the chance I'll have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 01:32:36 | More by blakelive784
Photo of kojevergas


3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hod and wire cap over a cork served into a nonic pint glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a two finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and great retention for the ABV. Colour is a caramel-brown.

Sm: Highly yeasty, with cream, spice, and light chocolate. Musty. Coriander is prominent. Some candied sugar. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Chocolate/cocoa as undertone, with nice cream throughout and pleasant spices atop. Complex and well-bodied. Quite nicely balanced. The yeast is less prominent, but still pleasant and well-suited to the flavours. Caramel. I like the coriander and maybe light cayenne.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some nice cream. A bit too thin.

Dr: Very drinkable. A lovely little winter ale. I'd definitely have it again. I think it might be best at two years age.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 04:20:55 | More by kojevergas
Photo of PeerlessMark

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Bar Volo for $35 a bottle New Years Day 2011.

Even an aggressive pour can't coax any carbonation out of this rarish brew. Quite a lot of delicious sediment containing most of the flavour at the bottom makes this an uneven pour, and much more enjoyable after it warms up a bit and you get about half way through the bottle. Would recommend putting this on its side and rolling it a bit before serving.

Visually it is very dark, almost a dark coal colour with only a few rays of light barely making its way through the glass. No discernible legs on the oversized wine glass I drank it from but it does leave a thin coating on the inside of the glass.

It smells a lot boozier than it tastes. Hard to describe the taste actually, as it warmed up I started getting a better appreciation for its subtle flavours. It was much smoother to drink than I expected. I got a bit of smoke and dark chocolate and the rest blended in too neatly for me to identify individual flavours.

Overall very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 23:50:01 | More by PeerlessMark
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4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured vintage 2009 750ml bottle into snifter glass. Pours murky deep brown, with a thin beige head. The nose is meat, gravy, spice, dried fruit, caramel and brown sugar. The taste is brown sugar, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, cola, chocolate, spice, light alcohol warmth, molasses and toasted brown bread. Medium to full body, fine carbonation and slightly sticky mouth-feel. Much better than the 2011 vintage IMO.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 19:09:15 | More by CuriousMonk
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4/5  rDev +0.8%

12-25-2011 22:21:44 | More by Beerontwowheels
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Rhode Island

4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009, thanks to whoever sent this. Dug out the cellar, into a Grand Targhee mug.

Pours a dark brown, tan creamy head and there's some frosty lacing. Smell is dark fruit and a bit of cocoa and cinnamon. Taste follows... Very nice and mellow. Cocoa follows and compliments the dark fruit. Really nice finish. Damn, this is a spectacular beer. I am swooning. Really could not ask for a better beer this evening. Toasty graham cracker with semisweet chocolate. Oh yeah. I might have opened this at the exact right time.. Fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 02:38:23 | More by ShogoKawada
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New Hampshire

3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Dark brown with a light tan head that quickly dissipates.

S - Heavy spice, heavy hops

T - The taste of the spice and hops are very strong. I didn't really detect any chocolate

M - Very light, moderate carbonation

O - A good beer, but not anything that I would go out of my way to have again.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 01:06:20 | More by Cstromberg57
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3/5  rDev -24.4%

12-11-2011 07:46:03 | More by DoctorB2B
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4/5  rDev +0.8%

11-22-2011 03:34:15 | More by brandoman63
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3/5  rDev -24.4%

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Santa's Little Helper 2009 from Mikkeller ApS
88 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.