Santa's Little Helper 2011 - Mikkeller ApS

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

36 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 36
Hads: 96
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 6.92%
Wants: 7
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 36 | Hads: 96
Photo of joecast
2.97/5  rDev -23.8%
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. (554 characters)

Photo of blakelive784
3.08/5  rDev -21%
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. (750 characters)

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours very dark brown with a tall tan kind of airy head. Slow dissipation leaves some lacings.

S: Spices and yeast, a bit sour though. Candy-like suger. Dark dried fruits and syrupy sweetness. Rather highly roasted, almost a bit burnt. Vanilla.

T: Boozy and yeasty. Spices and lots of dark roasted malts. Sweet. Dark dried fruits. Vanilla and some faint smoke. Coffee.

M: Aftertaste lingers with mostly sweet notes. Body is full and carbonation very low. Very boozy.

O: The hard thing, when it comes to strong Belgian Ales is obviously hiding the alcohol - here the Danes fails. The smell is a mix between Strong Belgian Dark Ale and Porter... Not that balanced. (669 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap over a cork served into a Fort Collins Brewing glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a four finger head of lovely cream lacing, lightly dark tan influences on the colour, great thickness, and amazing retention. Colour is a dark brown-amber.

Sm: A very yeasty aroma with some spice and candied sugar. a mild strength aroma.

T: Heavy spice, with some caramel. Far more simple, with reduced yeast. Much more muted. No alcohol comes through. It's not complex nor is it particularly well built. Uninspired and a bit boring. It's balanced, but there's not much there.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours merely generally.

Dr: Quite drinkable, but inferior to the other Santa's little helpers I've had. (801 characters)

Photo of ikantspel
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 into a duvel tulip

pours a black coffee color with a super sized head that has a crimson hue to it. head seems to be going nowhere fast.

coffee and cocoa in the nose. slight bit of alcohol in the nose. smells more like a stout than a BSDA

taste is of dark fruits, coffee, and spices. a little more alcohol in the taste than im used too; but thats not to say that this beer is exceptionally smooth.

the mouthfeel is heavy and smooth at the same time

kinda perplexed about this one. would like to see how the flavors pan out after aging. (545 characters)

Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic pint glass at altitude in Denver. Thanks once again to kojevergas for this one, my third vintage of Mikkeller’s Santa’s Little Helper.

A: Pours a dark amber color with a huge tan head of nice retention. Great lacing.

S: Caramel malts are the strongest presence here, with some chocolate and Christmas spices.

T: Chocolate up front with some yeasty spice character to follow. Caramel malts support these flavors and give it nice balance, but it’s not particularly complex, especially compared to the 2009 and 2010 vintages of this brew.

M: Full-bodied with a smooth, wet mouthfeel. Appropriate for the style, but not particularly interesting.

D: Good and quite drinkable; the ABV is concealed quite well. However, this pales in comparison to the 2009 and 2010 vintages. I would have a hard time buying this again given the price point, and I think I’ll wait on the verdict on the 2012 vintage before buying (although at this point it might be hard to let go of this tradition…). (1,012 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours dark brown with purple hue,has a cloudy appearance... Similar to dark chocolate milk. No head retention.

S: nose features rich roasted Malta along with candied red grapes. A little bit of fig in there as well.

T: taste starts out with milk chocolate followed by grapey sweetness, bitter roast towards the end with some heat to finish. Interesting pairing of roasted flavors and Belgian character

Mf: medium body, high carbonation

O: flavors compete a little bit and the cloudy appearance is not very appetizing, definitely unique... That doesn't always translate to delicious though. (596 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Jason for bringing this one to my Christmas party

Look: Pours a dark brown with a 1 inch tan head and great retention

Smell: Notes of cinnamon clove brown sugar and Belgian yeast

Taste: Very similar to the nose but a bit too sweet for my taste

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carboantion

Overall: The only real problem I had with this beer is that I just found it way too sweet and hard to drink. If that is your thing then this beer is for you (467 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
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 ADZA
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I dont know if i cracked this too early but im gonna have to buy another one anyways so here goes.

A-Pours a dark black hue which leaves a creamy smoggy two finger head that stays and leaves heaps of lacing everywhere.

S-Candy sugar,candied plums,wildberries and caramel.

T-Xmas pudding,boozy alcohol and i mean boozy,sour cherries,burnt toffee,caramel and finished with a stout like finish sweet and bitter.

M-Full bodied and creamy with a touch of sour bitterness on end.

O-I like this drop and after the first goblet the booziness goes away funnily enough but yeah its definately a drop that crosses styles and is very tasty especially on Xmas day with all the toppings cheers. (685 characters)

Photo of Heatwave33
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
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 Vonerichs
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
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 MsRif
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at TJ's in Paoli, PA. Poured a dark, opaque black color with a thin chocolate head that receded slowly, leaving lacing along the glass. Had an aroma of spices, sweet malts and yeast. Taste is certainly booze-forward, with spices, yeast and sweet malts. Pretty limited in terms of complexity, but well-balanced.

Heavy side of medium in terms of body, with low carbonation. Smooth, but not too sessionable simply due to booze taste. (442 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with low carbonation, a one finger head that fades fast and little lacing.

The aroma is full of dark fruit, and belgian yeast fruity esters. Coffee and cocoa with spice, vanilla, and burnt edges.

The flavor has fig, raisin, plum, and vanilla with coffee and cocoa in the background. Slight tart edge through a spiced sweet toffee rounds things out.

Medium body, low carbonation, smooth

Overall, a nice Christmasy beer...sipper...a one and done. (487 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Before tasting, this beer seemed quite stout-like to the senses. Dark, opaque brown-black in color, no head whatsoever. Aroma of coffee, predominantly, with tones of dark malts and dark, dried fruits. Coffee and dark roasted malts in the taste--again somewhat reminiscent of a stout, but the mouthfeel tells you otherwise--and additionally notes of yeast and fruity esters, that should leave no doubt that this is a Belgian strong ale. Hints of soy sauce as it approached room temperature. Medium mouthfeel, moderate booziness as expected, and a bit bland in the finish. Good overall. (622 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml served in a St. Bernardus chalice.

A - Pitch black body with a creamy mocha head that retains well. Sticky speckled lacing left behind.

S - Strong and rich dairy chocolate, roasted barley, sweet vanilla coffee, chocolate fruit cake, cherries. Good stuff here.

T - Chocolate hits first, creamy and sweet with some bitter roast behind it, hints of oxidation, some muted cherries, and raisins, also getting some charred wood in the middle. The finish showcases powdery dry yeast with some bitter roast at the very end.

M - Full body but light and very creamy as well, moderate carbonation, no alcohol heat at all.

Haven't had this fresh but at 1 year this tastes great. Not your typical BSDA but very smooth, creamy bold flavors that have seemed to blend well. Drinks more like a stout.
The way that this beer hides the ABV is very impressive. It's almost non-existent. Well done. (889 characters)

Photo of codsmith
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black with a finger high light tan caramel head that dies down and leaves a small covering just over the top.

S: A dark, strong, and rich malty sweetness with mild esters and a very apparent alcohol aroma. Not really picking up a lot of spice on the aroma.

T: Similar to the aroma and packs a heavy alcohol taste. The spice really comes in to play here and provides a little bit of a spice kick.

M: High carbonation with a little acidic bite and has a fairly creamy finish.

O: A dark and complex Belgian that has a heavy alcohol taste. (553 characters)

Photo of ianjsullivan
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 metter98
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 DustinSmall
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 zeff80
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a two-finger head of light brown foam. It left thin rings of lace and a good deal of sediment in the glass.

S - It smelled of plum, raisin and some spices.

T - It tasted malty and sweet with a touch of booziness. Good dried fruit flavors with notes of raisin and plum.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really good beer. Nice to find it on sale after the holiday season. (482 characters)

Photo of rarbring
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is dark foggy brown, has a very high tan head that settles slowly leaving loads of lacing and good curtains.

Smell of spices, chocolate and coffee, dark dried fruits and grape-fruit peel.

Starts sweet with dark syrup, burnt crust, figs and raisins, citric zest and seeds.

Medium carbonation, smooth and sticky, big body anda good smooth dryness.

In all a potent and good winter ale. (395 characters)

Photo of dansmcd
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Extreme dark brown, almost black body. Two fingers of dense tan head and huge helpings of sticky lacing everywhere.

S - Spice, yeast, caramel, chocolate, coffee and dried apple.

T - Yeast, burnt toast, plums, figs, raisins, orange peel, and some alcohol heat.

M - Medium bodied, feels right, dry finish.

O - Really nice, complex, flavourful, wintery ale. (362 characters)

Photo of Ruds
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
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 jayhawk73
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, dark brown (almost black) with a perfect two finger chocolate head. Massive amounts of lacing on my snifter glass. The head sticks around for the entire session- amazing. The nose is chocolate, coffee, some dark fruit, and spices. I'd like the nose to be a little stronger, but it's still very good. Taste is heavy on the coffee (a little too much so), some chocolate, hops, malt, dark fruit, and a hint of grapefruit. It's very good, although different than what I expected. Feel is medium, with a dry finish. Slight alcohol burn on the aftertaste, but it's not overpowering. The malt really has a silky coating effect on your throat as well- excellent. Overall, this is a very good beer... VERY close to great, but just not quite there. Still, this is definitely worth picking up if you're a fan of the style. Cheers. (833 characters)

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