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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

36 Reviews
THE BROS
-
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 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 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 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 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 Huhzubendah
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff.

The beer is near black with a thick beige head. Lasting retention and decent lacing. The aroma brings classic Danish roast scents, rich roasted malt, dark chocolate, yeast. Smells similar to a Danish stout. The flavor is rich and smooth. Drinks more like a European stout than a BSDA. Relatively light in body for the style, but by no means thin. Alcohol hidden very well. A solid beer. I would definitely have this again. (457 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.31/5  rDev +10.5%
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 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 Immortale25
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
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 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 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 ngeunit1
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black with a finger of frothy khaki head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Dark caramel malts, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, other spices, chocolate, and a bit of booze.

T - Sweety dark caramel malts, raisin and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, other spices, chocolate, a hint of roasted coffee, and a bit of booze.

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, spicy, and warming finish.

D - Nice spiced BSDA. Good overall balance. (522 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 brotherloco
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml foiled and capped bottle. 2011 vintage. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very deep brown, almost opaque black. Big two and a half fingers of dark tan pillowy foam. Slowly settles to a generous thick ring with medium amounts of lacing.

Aroma of sweet and roasty chocolate malt and fruity esters. Pineapple seems to dominate. Dry christmas spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice are quite prominent. There is also a noticeable hop presence, much like you get in a Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale. Also, a touch of alcohol.

Flavor is a lot drier and less sweet than I was expecting from the nose. Roasty malts and hoppy bitterness starts sharp and spicy and then quickly gives way to a softer soda water middle and finish. Fruit notes are there, orange being more prevalent than the pineapple in the nose. Still, they sit somewhat quietly in the background. Aftertaste lingers a bit and is mildly bitter. Overall the flavor is good, but emptier than I'd like. I should note though, that it improves as the beer warms.

Body is on the lighter side of medium with medium-high, soft and natural carbonation. The big 10.9% ABV is very well buried, which is quite impressive given the mild flavor, so this is quite drinkable.

Apart from the fruity esters from the yeast, this beer is very subtle about it's Belgian nature. There's a lot of American influence here too. (1,375 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 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 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 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 drtth
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a dark brown almost black color that looks very stout like. The ½” light tan head receded fairly soon leaving a ring around the glass, and a thin island of foam on the liquid. Sipping left a few sparse patches of lacing from the ring but there was not much lacing at all for most of the beer.

Smell: The aroma has a strong component of chocolate. There also seem to be some dark fruits and coffee here. Is this a BSDA or a stout?

Taste: As expected from the nose there seems to be some nice dark fruits here mingled with the chocolate. A coffee note balances off against the chocolate and the fruits.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the full-bodied side of medium with a moderated amount of carbonation to keep things active. The finish is on the long side of medium and slides out to dryness from a sweet balance between the chocolate and the fruits to a somewhat lackluster finish.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I quite enjoyed sipping my wayt through this one and would gladly have it again. Its an interesting beer in that it seems to be a nice blending of styles with some characteristics of a BSDA and some of a stout. You could have told me either style and I’d have believed it from the appearance, aroma, and flavor. My overall impression is that once again Mikkeller has sought and found a nice niche in the space between stouts and BSDAs. (1,484 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 FeDUBBELFIST
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
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 russwbeck
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rustico for their Festivus event.

A: Dark pour, viscous, with a very small light brown head. Lacing doesn't last that long 4

S: Roasted chocolate smell with a nice underlying dark fruitiness. Sweet overall 4

T: The roastiness from the smell is huge on the backend. Really surprises me thinking this would be traditional Belgian. The dark fruits and booze cone up front, chocolate plays throughout 4.5

MF: Heavy body with good carbonation. Extremely dry finish 4

O: This was good, but the taste wore on me. Nothing spectacular here, but worth a try. 4 (565 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 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 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)

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)

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