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X-Mas Zinnebir - Brasserie de la Senne

Not Rated.
X-Mas ZinnebirX-Mas Zinnebir

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

125 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 14.32%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Risser09 on 12-10-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by melitameister:
Photo of melitameister
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Rich brandy color with some cloud from the bottom dwelling yeast which I pour cause I like it in my drink.
S - complex and balanced with some spice (clove, alspice), malt, candy sugar, hint of fruit (cherry, pineapple) and hello from the happy little yeasties.
T - Burnt maple sugar, lemon, vanilla, brandy, leaving with a fine hops bitter nicely balanced with the malt, fruit and spice. Long with lots going on.
M - Creamy and rich
D - With a name like X-Mas Zinnebir, who would think this was not all that dark, not cloyingly sweet, just a fine tasty concoction. Hope I can find more.

melitameister, Apr 29, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

alienlifeforcecube, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of Kraken
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes,
Enjoyed with family on Christmas day. Poured from a capped 750ml bottle into Fin Du Monde Tulip glass. Light and careful pour conjures one finger of sticky white head. Head recedes quickly but leaves behind a copious lace. Color is a slightly cloudy brown.

Nose- Cider-esque elements. Perhaps some mild finishing hops, notes of caramel. Nothing overly complex.

Palate- Very light and pleasant. Mild caramel, and some faint nuttiness. Finishes nicely, plenty of bittering hops, mildly astringent. Woody elements. Long dry finish. Slightly tart. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel- Dry and slightly tart.

Drinkability- fair.

I was very excited to try this on Christmas day. However this was not up to expectations. I found it to be fairly thin and simple, the label may in fact be the best part.

Kraken, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of OStrungT
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a murky brownish color with a decent looking light tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving sparce lace.

This beer has a raisin like aroma. It smells spicy, with some ginger, nutmeg, and coriander. It also smells of spicy hops. Some yeasty aroma is also present.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Fruity, with some raisins, and some figs. It has a spicy flavor. Earthy yeast flavor was also present.

This beer is highly carbonated, leaving a raisin like aftertaste. It ia a little thin.

The beer may make a decent session beer due to the lower alcohol content, but the flavor may, in my humble opinion, would get old fast.

Overall: This beer was ok, but I didnt enjoy it as much as I thought. I wouldnt rush to Belgium to get it again.

OStrungT, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of glid02
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy dark amber color with a two-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted malts with hints of light molasses and loads of spices that are almost tea-like. As the beer warms the aroma sweetens a bit and hints of plums waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although not as smooth. Lightly toasted caramel malt flavors with mild amounts of toffee kick things off. Overripe dark fruit flavors join in midway through the sip along with hints of nutmeg. The fruit flavors carry through to a slightly muddled ending.

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

Drinkability is OK. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall it's been a few months since Christmas and while I'd hoped this one hadn't turned over too much I have to think that it has. Still not a bad beer but not worth seeking out.

glid02, May 07, 2010
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a stemmed strange)
A- During the pour a loud fizzy head soon disappears leaving the dense but clear dark ice tea colored body on its own. There are tiny strands of carbonation trailing to the surface.
S- The yeasty aroma has some prune hints and a softer clove spice note in the finish.
T- This beer has a soft clean flavor with some dried fruit notes with a mineral water taste that turns medicinal when it warms. There is bitter bite at the finish that is not distinctly hops.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat.
D- This beer is a bit thin with the spice and fruit characteristics being pretty light with not much malt underneath.

rhoadsrage, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of mattfancett
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

mattfancett, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color with ruby tints and a large off white head that lingers pretty well and leaves good lacing.

Nose is full of belgian yeast, and some typical BSDAish caramely, candyish malt profile, yet not quad buttery or anything.

Hmm. A very interesting and traditional beer. After seeing this, and now tasting it, I do have to say i don't see how this got classified as belgian pale ale and not belgian dark ale. A nice spicy malt profile is evident, with notes of anise and licorice. There is slight hop bitterness, but really nothing to speak of. A great noel style beer, and one you can actually drink alot of.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be, nice carbonation and moderate viscosity. Pretty slick on the palate but there is a touch of dryness on the finish.

Drinkability is pretty strong. Alot of flavor for the abv and lighter mouthfeel.

Overall a very pleasant belgian noel brew. One with good traditional belgian xmas flavor, that is also somewhat sessionable. Really packs alot of flavor for a mere 6.6% without getting to heavy on the palate. I like it, and will be sure to give other beers from this brewery a shot.

AKBelgianBeast, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of cokes
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Mildly obscured ruby crowned with a blanched tan stack.
Splintery applewood and balsa nose, and uric acid,with a backing of crushed pears, grape skins, and wet hemp rope.
Maltiness ensues first, full of yellow apples and green pears and red grapes. It migrates towards hard biscuits and dry toffee, but only for a moment, as wooden hues immediately gather. Maple, oak, and driftwood, sandy and beached. Some burlap sack, bretty funk then a gentle graphite astringency, with dashes of sweet vanilla. And there is a moment or two of near lager briskness. It concludes with an ongoing chicory and crushed leaf hop bitterness and a minor rose vinic tang.
Medium bodied with a rushing carbonation upfront, that quells to a gentle sizzle with time.
Generally in the Biere de Garde style, this is positively poundable. If not for the price ($13/750mL) this is a near perfect session. As it is, one bottle is nowhere near enough. And seemingly, neither is one wallet.

Plus you gotta love the homedrawn label of two (presumably) drunken cows imbibing in front of hay pile containing a wailing and neglected and naked baby, (presumably) Jesus. That's the type of shit that gets Family Services called and Pat Robertson red in the face.
Is this the Anti-trappist, then?

cokes, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A superior Belgian pale. Pours a big white head, and leaves lots of good lace. A wonderful peachy spicey aroma. Taste of a bit of corriander, cinammon, ginger, vanilla, honey. Smooth drinking, above average carbonation. On the sweet side, but not sweet.Medium mouthfeel.

Sammy, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of augustgarage
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've got a few belate Christmas ales to consume, so let's start with a Belgian Pale Ale. I enjoy regular Zinnebir, curious how this compares. Surreal and gorgeous label art I should mention. ABV is listed as 7% with this batch. Poured from a capped 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip. Bit of a gusher...

Very nearly opaque thanks to the heavy quantity of yeast/lees. Murky pale copper body with fulvous highlights where light is allowed through. Large persistent fluffy beige head with sticky thick lace.

Potently yeasty nose full of phenolics (taking the place of Christmas spice?), rustic barley notes and a wave of noble hops. Smells much like a dark saison.

Tart palate entry gives way rapidly to a spicy yeasty bready mix of flavors which are jumbled together making picking out individual tastes difficult. Black pepper, sourdough starter, rye, toffee, faint caramel malt, faint ganache, with a nutty/tea-like finish. Each element is rather subtle, but the overall impression is robust. I think this is a bit older so probably the hops have faded compared to a fresh bottle, but I have nothing to compare to...

Effervescent, medium-bodied, lightly warming.

Delicious lightly complex blend, but a bit muddled style-wise. Nice to have a "Christmas" ale that doesn't depend so heavily on nutmeg/clove/cinnamon/etc. It seems you can't go wrong with Brasserie De La Senne.

augustgarage, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of sfprint
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

20 12 version, listed as a brown ale. 7.8 abv

A: darkish brown with a rootbeer like head. micro carbonation rising in little columns on the edges
S: dark and slightly sour.
T: indeed, belgian brown style, smooth, toasty dark malt with very mild dirty hops. coffee like
M: very mild carbonation.
O: mild coffee, easy going

sfprint, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of RickS95
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A sharp looking beer, but nothing pale about it. Dark mahogany brown, very rich looking. Thick pour. Head is off-tan, a finger thick and gives a creamy finish when it dissipates.

Very malty nose. Bready. Caramel.

Malty taste as well. Biscuity, it follows the nose. Earthy hops, finally something resembling a pale ale. Maybe the slightest bit of coffee in the swallow. As it warms, the breadiness really shines.

Mouthfeel is reasonably complex with several layers. For just a second early on, it's almost sweet, but then an earthiness takes over from the malts and carries into the slightly bitter finish. All the while, it's creamy and full bodied.

It's a good enough Belgian pale ale, but it has nothing to do with Christmas or winter or a seasonal. Still, it's a bit different than most other BPAs and that's not a bad thing.

RickS95, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of tempest
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle for $3.75 from Abe's Cold Beer. Poured a clear, brown with a light tan head. This isn't much like most winter-styles, there's a bit of corriander flavor (maybe some nutmeg), but this is mostly a hoppy Belgian brown ale that finishes with a big bitter kick that's a mix of dry chocolate and orange peel. The main flavor tastes like caramel with toasted bread crush and a hint of sweet chocolate. Overall a mix of bitter candy malt flavors. Interesting, but not amazing. Certainly worth a try.

tempest, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Publick House in Brookline in a goblet.

A: Certainly not a pale ale but it must be mismarked on BA cause it wasn't advertised to me as such. Pours a dark brown but not impenetrable by light. One finger tan foam with medium retention and foamy lacing.

S: Certainly not an overpowering smell- smells faintly of yeast and dark malt.

T: Full dark malty flavor with chocolate notes and a bit of yeast. A very rounded finish but has a nice lasting flavor.

M: Interesting mouthfeel- almost like an Irish stout in that it's slightly carbonated and very slick with no hop bitterness.

Certainly an interesting brew- not one I've seen before- good to try but I won't actively seek it out again.

Hopdaemon39, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Ralphs66
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Ralphs66, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Note sure how the hell this is a Belgian PA????

Pours an effervescent chestnut with 3+ fingers of rocky tan head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Chocolate powder& appleskins

T: Tartness & cocoa, appleskins, & brown sugar up front, along with some leafy hops. Dates, appleskins & green apples as this warms, plus a touch of cinnamon. Finishes dry, tart,& with more appleskins

MF: Starts off with fairly vigirous carbonation & the medium body eventually catches up

Drinks easy for a BELGIAN DARK, good offering!

russpowell, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of bditty187
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cherry-mahogany in hue, it is a lovely color; beige foam, at the apex the head was three fingers tall. Head retention was respectable, the foam steadily faded to a soapy collar. The subsequent lacing was unorganized but fairly widespread. Overall, the appearance is quite pleasant.

Malty nose, not rich like a Dubbel or Quad but fairly hearty. Caramel and toffee, light on both accounts. Faint hints of apples, figs, dates, cookies, and cocoa; I also detect some lovely leather aromas. No hops. No spice. No booze. And you call this a Christmas beer? Crazy Belgians! I keep going back to the nose… I like it but I don’t love it. It is kind of straightforward and fairly simple. On the other hand, the bouquet is very articulate. Moderate-high potency… inviting.

Toasty caramel malts, cola, cocoa, maybe a smattering of toffee. Secondary flavors include apples, plums, figs, leather with a faint smattering of oak, rum, and vanilla. The palate is very straightforward but extremely tasty. Part of me wants to call it restrained; part of me wants to call it well-crafted. At first I wasn’t impressed but I got to thinking… why does every Belgian ale have to be over-the-top with alcohol, sugars, and spices? It doesn’t. Kudos to Sint-Pieters for bucking the trend. The aftertaste is big and flavorful; there is a combination of all the flavors mixed (seamlessly) into one. The flavor profile is excellent.

Medium in body, low but natural carbonation; the mouthfeel doesn’t standout but doesn’t fail the beer either.

Drinkable? Yes. However, if I paid full price ($13) I might be a tad disappointed. I bet many BAs would not like this beer. They would call it tame; you need English sensibilities to really enjoy this beer. I like it. I purchased my 750ml in Omaha for, get this, $2.99. You can’t beat a beer on close out and then (I assume) miss-priced on top of that.

bditty187, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of benmiliron
2.03/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This came in a 5-pack xmas sampler from my sister in law. Coppery deep brown. Smell is cinnamon (?) & some belgian yeasties. Taste is astringent and sharp. Dusty. Mouthfeel is watery but peppery alcohol and a lot of fizz. Not enjoyable at all. Throw it all together and you've got a pretty shitty brew here. I've never had much luck with the xmas packs from overseas. This could be skunked out.

benmiliron, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark carmel brown with a nice firm, but quickly fading, head.

Nose is salty carmel and toffee; hints of hazelnuts and sugared coffee. Undertones of plum.

Mouthfeel is medium/thin and without a lot of appeal.

Flavors are just plain weird. Burnt coffee and green peppers; big celery mid palate and green herbs. Finish is bitter medium strong coffee. All in all a burnt grain character. End finish is bitter burnt coffee.

GRG1313, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of philipquarles
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a de la Senne tulip, X-Mas Zinnebir is much darker than its year-round cousin--a very hazy dark amber with a tall off-white head. Nice retention and lacing; settles to a solid half-finger of foam.

The smell is close to normal Zinnebir, with a lot of citrus esters up front, along with some slightly bready/lightly roasted malt. Hints at gum almost.

The taste is quite different from what I was expecting. Roasted malt comes through first, followed by bitter hops. Some slight chocolate notes and light fruit esters. Really nuanced.

Mouthfeel is quite decent, though slightly overcarbonated for my tastes.

A great beer, as always, from de la Senne.

philipquarles, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured an ice-tea color with a huge rocky light tan head.

S: light and yeasty with some spiciness and fruitiness.

T: The flavor was spicy (cloves, cinnamon) with some sugary sweetness. There as a big fruitiness (melons, honeydew, apples) along with some cola nuttiness and a spicy tang finish. The palate had a nice soft roastedness and spicy sweet caramel/brown sugar flavor while the yeast provide a nice soft sourness.

M: The mouthful was light with some light charred woodiness and spicy cloves coming though upon warming.

D: A light bodied and fruity xmas beer with a juice like texture and decent drinkability per style.

beerthulhu, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of akorsak
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL corked and capped bottle.

A: The ale is a dark brown color, close to a dark chocolate. When held to light, brilliant ruby red hints emerge. The head is big, clocking in around 3 fingers.

S: The ale has a deep aroma, full of thyme and a distinctive yeast.

T: The ale has all the trappings of a Christmas beer. It is dark and full of spices. There is some chocolate, sour green apples, a hint of thyme. The lower alcohol fits in well here, giving the spices the main stage.

M: The apple and chocolate mixture is nice, giving a full sweet taste. The mouthfeel brings a depth of spices that just seems to work as a Christmas beer.

D: Very drinkable. The low abv and multitude of spices and flavors is very enjoyable. A good drink.

akorsak, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of ManforallSaisons
4/5  rDev +6.1%

ManforallSaisons, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clever label, nice looking bottle.

Pours a deep reddish brown. Two fingers of foam rise and fall in the Moinette chalice. Skim of foam uncannily resembles the continent Antarctica...hmm.

Smell is light, fruity, and pleasant. Predominant notes of green apple and pear.
A dark, bready malt hides in the background.

Taste is alot like the aroma, sliced green apple, pear, malty with an interesting Belgian yeast character. It's fairly simple, but pretty tasty, similar to a Dubbel. Alcohol is present more as it warms, but it's well integrated.

Mouthfeel is medium, tiny bubbles of carbonation make it smooth one, with a fairly dry finish. A fairly easy sipper, but maybe one to try once a year, due to the pricetag.

Label notes: The name Zinnebir is a play on the term "zinneke" - Brussels slang for "little bastards", referring to those young men living in the poor quarters of Brussels (where the Zinne river once flowed) who have one Flemish-speaking & one French-speaking parent. The brewer Bernard Leboucq identifies strongly with the "little bastards": he is French-speaking Bruxellois, now brewing in rough Flemish farm country.

emerge077, Jan 11, 2007
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X-Mas Zinnebir from Brasserie de la Senne
85 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.