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Santa's Little Helper 2011 - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Santa's Little Helper 2011Santa's Little Helper 2011

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

36 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 36
Hads: 96
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 7
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brotherloco on 11-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A 9.1 % variant was sold in Sweden.
View: Beers (274) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 36 | Hads: 96
Reviews by dahlen22:
Photo of dahlen22
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black and velvety with a decent brown head (almost like a Guinness Extra Stout from Ireland)

Aroma: Malt, dried figs, caramel, and other dark fruits.

Taste: The taste is what I expected once I got a whiff of the aroma. Malty, nutty, with figs, raisins, plums, coffee, and other candied fruits.

Overall: The price (12.99) is steep, but that being said, this beer is exceptionally smooth for almost 11% and is tasty for the cold long nights of winter up here in the Northeast. This is not a session beer, but one or perhaps two by the fireplace is worth trying. Cheers!!

 583 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of ianjsullivan
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ST: 750ml poured into a chalice. The bottle lists the ABV and vintage.

A: Espresso bean black with a huge half-a-finger brown fluffy head (like coke foam). It has nice retention and thick streaks of lacing.

S: Roasted malt, coffee, dark fruit, Belgian sugar, citrus hops.

T: Coffee bean, roasted malt, chocolate (bitter and sweet), spice and hops on the finish with bitter chocolate.

M: Heavy and smooth.

O: It is hard to believe this beer is almost 11 percent; the alcohol is blended so well. Strong winter flavors join slight fruity notes to create a big beer that certainly would be of help to Santa during his cold yearly visit.

 639 characters

Photo of mattdbh
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Heatwave33
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a DFH Snifter.

Color: Black with a light brown head.

Smell: Roasted and caramel malts, chocolate, bread

Taste: Same as the aroma except with some nice cinnamon and nutmeg spices.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation, slightly coarse with a mid dryness on the palate.

Overall: This brew has a great balance. Drinkability is pretty decent considering the ABV. I didn't detect any hops in it. Still good. Cheers.

 436 characters

Photo of Corkpuller
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black, but slightly transparent. Huge mocha head. Never dies away, just settles to a thick layer of foam.

Smell - Dark chocolate malts. Sweet dark fruits. Coffee.

Taste - Very chocolatey with a nice dark fruit presence. Figs and dates and the like. They get stronger into the finish.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, medium body. Well carbonated.

Overall - Reminds me of Black Albert, but more chocolately. This was $3.99 because it was a seasonal "past season." Can't beat it.

 540 characters

Photo of Ralphs66
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of KMcG
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Vonerichs
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Oswego Taphouse.

Poured into a snifter and was extremely dark. I couldn't tell f it was brown or black because of the lighting. Huge chocolate mousse colored head with loads of cascading lace.

Not only does it look like a stout, it smells like a stout. Chocolate and roasted malt. It's not very deep in aromas.

...and tastes like a stout. Chocolate, roast, a little raisin, earthy hops, and yeast.

Smooth mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Slightly warming.

It's a decent beer, although it screams stout to me, not Belgian Dark Ale.

 553 characters

Photo of Ruds
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served on tap into a half pint 'tulip' style glass at the Craft Beer Co, Clerkenwell

dark brown to black colour

smells fruity, dried fruits, raisens, orange peel, cranberry

mouthfeel, creamy with a dry-ish finish, great taste and feel in the mouth and on the palate

tastes of mildly spiced fruits, berries, toffee, caramel a hint of nutmeg perhaps overall a rich complex beer that did not dissapoint!

 404 characters

Photo of MrJolly
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draft pour into a 13oz chalice for $7.75. The menu indicated 10.5%. Sampled on 12/9/11.

A: Served with a minimal head that fades quickly leaving behind a small, crescent ring shaped collar. Very little activity on the surface. The body is black with dark amber brown edges when backlit. Lacing is just above non-existent.

S: Deep fudge, chocolate, light shoe leather and (seemingly) some type of wood treatment. I may be way off here since no other reviewer mentions bourbon or barrel, but I certainly picked up on something that made it worth mentioning. Maybe the combination of big booze and a highly phenolic yeast strain tricked me. All of the aromas are big and I find a great balance between them.

T: Taste is a hybrid of BSDA and stout, and firmly leaning toward the latter with the presence of roasted malt. Some raisiny dark fruits lay low in the flavor profile adding to the complexity. Excellent flavor, and one of my favorite beers by Mikkell.

M: Medium full and semi thick. This beer is probably over carbonated, but at least this helps to keep the finish nice and clean.

O: The aroma and flavor *definitely* came as a surprise. But a very GOOD surprise. I'd gladly order again and would be very interested in trying this beer from the bottle. My experience seems quite a bit different than the majority of the reviews...

 1,340 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris at Boo's for landing this one.
Appearance: near black with red highlights. Impressive billowy head.
Smell: Very nice but a bit diluted for a high % Belgian with spice. Chocolate malt up front with a hint of spice.
Taste: Very nice and drinkable but a bit of a letdown if you're expecting big and bold.
Overall: tasty, mellow for a beast. High quaffability.

 372 characters

Photo of Harkrank
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Immortale25
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dogfish Head signature snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a seriously black color with a full two-finger tan crown which retains for a good long while before sliding down to a 1/2 inch head that has great lacing following it. I can also see little specks of sediment in the body.

S- Smells of potent alcohol combined with a musty malt aroma. As the nose gives way, it leaves an aftersmell of red delicious apple. Some earthy hops are also detected.

T- Initial flavor of well-balanced malt/hop duality that doesn't lead to the boozy quality until afterward. In a word: smooth. Very smooth. There's also some spice trying to fight its way to the front of the line but it's weighed down too heavily by the key ingredients. There's just a dash of astringency that's only really detected when I swish.

M- Heavy, but not too much so. A bit dry and tingly from the high alcohol and medium-high carbonation.

O- Probably my favorite "Christmas" beer to date just due to the sheer extremity.

 1,004 characters

Photo of st9647v3
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color. It poured with a finger high tan colored head that died down but left some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of chocolate malt.
T: The taste has flavors of dark fruits along with notes of chocolate.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very well balanced and makes for an interesting sipper.

 530 characters

Photo of bismarksays
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of JoeBloe
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of DustinSmall
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got on tap at the roast house in frederick md 12oz pour into a snifter

A- dark dark brown almost black, minimal to no head as soon as its there its gone, small bubbles around the edges of the glass, and when swirled it leaves a brown film on the glass, good looking beer

S- Malty, slight rasin smell, sweet tobacco, leather, also getting hints of cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg, it really smells awesome

T- Sweet malty flavor, dark fruit, slight dark chocolate, yeasty pretty complex changes alot as it goes over the tongue, outstanding beer

M- medium to thick mouthfeel, coats the mouth very silky, slight carbonation

O- great beer, looks good, smells good, taste great i will deff be oging back for more of this

 719 characters

Photo of Arborescence
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black. Pours a very thick head that develops quickly, pour gently!

Aroma: Dark chocolate, alcohol, burnt coffee, malt.

Taste: Strong malt attack with coffee and chocolate flavours, develops into an aftertaste typical for barley wines; warms you up on the way down. Not your typical Christmas Ale flavours, although they do claim to have added some spices to it. Plenty of sweetness too from the added sugar and syrup.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and soupy, yet smooth.

Overall: Interesting! Mikkeller, which is a very productive and experimental brewery, has gone to Belgium to brew this year’s Santa’s Little Helper (not that I’ve tried the previous ones) and they have produced a fine Belgian Strong Ale. This one has elements similar to Rochefort 8 or 10, which are among my favourite Strong Belgian Trappists — Mikkeller’s version is much sweeter though. The sweetness is a bit much after a few sips, but I guess it’s ok given that it’s a Christmas Ale. The high ABV helps to balance the sweetness a bit, and makes this a beer to be enjoyed slowly. Certainly worth looking for.

 1,108 characters

Photo of blakelive784
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

A - Pours a somewhat transparent dark brown color with a decently thick, tan head of 3 fingers. Retention is good, especially considering the ABV.

S - Modest hops aromas, caramel, bland yeast, and milk chocolate. It's bold, but a bit boring.

T - The yeast is prominent on the tongue, but a bit bland. Toasted malt and light spice. I wish the spice were a bigger character. The ABV comes through a bit on the finish. The flavors of this one seem a bit restrained, unfortunately.

M - Medium to full bodied, smooth and wet, with an alcoholic burn on the finish.

D - Not a bad beer by any means, but not what the brewer is capable. I'm a bit disappointed by this offering.

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Photo of cscrowley37
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of joecast
2.97/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of mulder1010.

Pours nearly black. Thin tanned head. Unassuming for such a big beer.
Opens up as it warms. Some spice, coffee. Little dark fruit or yeast character.

Big beer but manages to hide much of its flavour. Full malt, some coffee and spice. Little dark fruit or yeast. Hard to get into the beer as it sort of leads you on. Differentath. Initial impression is of a big stout. As it warms more interesting aspects appear but still a bit unassuming for the style.

Uninteresting overall. Average for the style and average overall.

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Santa's Little Helper 2011 from Mikkeller ApS
87 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.