1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

127 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 14.06%
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ROGUE16
5/5  rDev +32.6%

ROGUE16, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev +6.1%

corby112, Nov 21, 2011
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 Gehrig
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, white foamy head tops a muddy brown body; tons of lacing and sturdy duration leave my highly impressed with the appearance. Good, malty nose, a bit smoky, a little spicy (ginger, cinnamon) peeks through, somewhat fruity (berry, cherry)--overall quite nice.

X-Mas tastes good, no question. It's rather fruity and rich with roasted malt (caramel, a bit of dark chocolate), but it doesn't quite fit a style. It seems a bit more than a BPA, but it isn't as spicy and robust as a Winter beer. In good part, its straightforward characteristics make it a bit more difficult to discern just where this fits. What would make this easier to determine its fit--and which would surely improve its already nice flavor--are some more strongly defining characteristics: letting the fruit take charge, for example, as so many good Belgian beers do. That would really take this places.

My mouthfeel score might be a bit generous, for it starts out rather effervescent but flattens out a bit at the end. The good, smooth malt content and texture atones for much, and enhances an already accessible, tasty beverage.

X-Mas is surely a good beer and, for $3.49 a pop, it's worth a nod and try. It isn't an overly complex, overwhelmingly tasty Belgian, it's hard to peg quite where this fits stylistically, and I am not sure just how much this stands out among a bevy of good seasonal beers one can procure at this time of year. But X-Mas is good stuff, and I approve of it.

Gehrig, Jan 14, 2011
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 Slatetank
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at the Lancaster county brewers Christmas Party 2010 -not sure who shared it, but I had it in a cervoise slightly cooler than cellar temp.

A hazy caramel color w/ an abundance of floatees - thin beige light cap w/ tiny bead. The smell is of spicy yeast and slight toasted grain w/ hints of wood and caramel w/ a mild aroma of raisin. The feel is great with dry woody, spicy texture. Moderately carbonated w/ subtle phenolic elements and lots of earthy dry and spiced accents w/ subtle astringency and toasty textures w/ light alcohol.

The flavors are good w/ strong yeast presence w/ lots of Belgian character which includes phenolic mild medicinal tinge w/ a medium level of spiciness which complements the slight stone fruit and mild toasted flavors well. The malt has an earthy flavor and the gentle woodiness expresses well with the other elements of the yeast. I was enjoying this at the end of the party with several other BA's and this impressed me that it was able to stand out amongst many other quality Belgian and English strong ales in appearance. I would definitely try this one again.

Slatetank, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured slightly cloudy dark brown in color with a two finger high beige head that quickly faded into a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Yeast particles are visible floating in suspension near the bottom of the glass.
S: There are aromas of spicy hops and notes of dark fruits in the nose.
T: The taste is rather complex and has flavors of spices (pepper stands out in particular) and yeast; there are also some hints of dark fruits and sweetness. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and somewhat dry on the palate with a medium amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink because any traces of alcohol are well masked. The amount of dryness and bitterness decrease in strength as the beer warms up, making it more balanced.

metter98, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Served at Novare Res as part of their bottle room clearance sale. It's a brown and ruby colored beer that looks dark and opaque. A small tan head sits atop the liquid. Many interesting scents in the aroma, such as plum, chocolate, rum raisin and an overarching mild sweetness. The flavor is malty. I can taste cherry juice and a little bit of alcohol. The finish seems to be slightly acidic. It isn't spiced, nor is it overly warming; I don't feel as though this beer needs to be a winter seasonal. It has a body that straddles the line between medium and light. As a swish it around my mouth, it foams up greatly. There is a small slick coat left behind. It's a pretty drinkable beer with nothing offensive about it, but after awhile I'd need to order something hoppier. Still, worth trying a bottle if you get a chance.

ToasterChef, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Shakujin
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle at Delirium Cafe Reserve in Akasaka, Tokyo

Appearance: Black with some light brown highlights.

Aroma: Strong semi sweet chocolate and coffee.

Taste: A lot more flavor than I was expecting from this guy. Taste is less on the sweet side and more on the coffee chocolate side. Those flavors come in first followed by some citrus(?) hop flavors and a substantial bitterness in the back. Hit me as a cross between dry stout and an American pale ale, something like that.

Mouthfeel: Light-Medium.

Drinkablitiy/Overall: Much different from what I was expecting from the Xmas label. Could see myself having a few, especially with the flavor packed into the small package. Could do some interesting desert pairings, or perhaps some well grilled veggies, match the burt flavors with the grilling and the hops with the tanginess of the veggies.

Shakujin, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of rtepiak
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pour takes me more as a brune if anything. solid amber with an off white head. the bartender a fan of the brewery said was it was just malt and hops make all those aromas. great nose. coriander, orangepeel, beligan sugar equally blended with malt. palate is peppery to my surprise. with a nice malt character. nice caramel, nougat quality. very broad and easy to drink. with a nice board palate but a light fluffy body. great beer.

rtepiak, Jun 12, 2010
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 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
Photo of ThaCreep
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Brownish color, like dark caramel. Aromas of red and black fruits and caramel quickly transplanted by the power of spices and spice that occupy central places in this beer. The yeast is also present in the nose but also spicy. The body is just as much and it tastes a little taste of hops. Unfortunately, the spicy side, which is far from being transcendent, is rapidly taking over the rest goes up and spread in the aftertaste and leave a bad trace.

ThaCreep, Apr 17, 2010
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 abrand
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11 ounce bottle poured into the Leffe oversized winer. Very artsy, contemporary artwork on the label.

The X-Mas Zinnebir pours a cola brown with a off - white 2 finger head that fizzles down and leaves some pretty lacing on the sides. Aromas is sweet and musky. Some subtle notes of caremel and chocolate. Quaff is apples, malts, with a dry champagne finish. Most definitely a very unique tasting Belgian ale. Mouthfeel is dry and bubbly. Drinkability is mediocre with most of this coming from the uniqueness of the pour and quaff. I can't describe a similar tasting beer that I have tried and at 4 bucks a bottle little too steep to make it very drinkable.

abrand, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of albern
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not sold on this beer. It has too many off spicy flavors, and not enough sweet Belgian malts and yeastiness to warrant a strong rating. The beer looks decent with an dark amber, slightly mahogany color. The head has a bit of lace and some retention to it. There is some sediment in the beer but it is mostly clear. The nose on the beer is caramel malts, some phenols, spicy yeast, a touch of ABV.

The taste is better once things settle. The beer has a spicy grass flavor, some spicy yeastiness, lots of slightly boozy caramel malts, some sweeter malts hidden behind some booze soaked florals. The beer is a tad rough around the edges with a touch of chocolate and a touch of sourishness here and there. This is an okay beer, nothing to rave about, and certainly not festive enough to make it a standout holiday beer.

albern, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of bmwats
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 33 cl bottle into my Duvel sn-ulip.

A: Medium-dark, but "thinning" body. Slight foamy, off-white, head. Settles, but still leaves some pocky bubbly carbonation on the surface. Some spiderweb lacing stays behind as you drink.

S: Roasted malt, coffee, and a little clove and oregano. A little woody. Kinda has a sweet iced-tea tone.

T: Really pale, bitter, pungent malt. A little peaty. A little Italian spice flavor.

M: Light and full-flavored. Really bitter aftertaste remains, and dry finish.

D: Because of the bitterness, hard to do anything but sip this one.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Really strong appearance, and a full complex nose. Flavor is less complex than the nose gives off, but is really "formidable". This beer makes sure you're paying attention. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

bmwats, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of BTPete
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle to tulip. Bottle received in Mahar's Advent beers.

A: Dark brown with big 1 inch head. Surprised this is considered a belgian pale all around.

S: Sweet and malty. I'm getting a little odd soapiness which might be the yeast.

T: Sweet up front with some hop bitterness at the end. Balanced. Tasted better than smelled in my opinion.

M: Medium bodied, active, course in my mouth.

D: Although not in love, I like this beer and could have another.

BTPete, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of kaseydad
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Snifter pour and am met with a dirty brown ale and a two-finger beige head with nice staying power.

Fruity aroma with whiffs of toffee and slight coffee characters.

I am still looking for the fruity flavor! Malty, yeasty, smoky and bitter are what I am finding. Interesting beer as you look for sweet and get almost none of it. There is a bitterness kick on the buds after each sip. I just picked up an almost tobacco taste in there as well.

Dry mouthfeel.

Not real high on the drinkability as putting the snifter to rest was difficult due to the complexity of the beer.

Definitely a different take on the Belgian Pale Ale. Worth a try if you can find it.

kaseydad, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a somewhat hazy cola brown with a VERY thick, it not overly persistent, light tan head. Aroma is sharp, malty, yeasty and just a little fruity. Flavor is quite strong, being yeasty and malty with an undertone of spice and more than a hint of fruit, mostly apple and pear. Texture is fizzy, tingly and rough, leaving a fruity and slightly bitter aftertaste.

Cyberkedi, Dec 11, 2009
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 popery
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, simple Belgian-style ale. The beer pours a dusky copper with a big, frothy head. There's a lot of fruit, caramel, raisins, dough and floral hops in the aroma. The flavor is lightly sweet with a bit of hop bite in the finish, but it's mostly an exercise in Belgian yeast and malt. It's a good but somewhat simple Belgian. The mouthfeel could be fuller. That said, it's not bad for the abv. The beer generally packs more than most of comparable size, and that's always a good thing.

popery, Dec 01, 2009
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 tmoneyba
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Belmont Party.

Poured hazy brown color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate yeast, spice and malty aroma. Medium body with a dry texture and soft carbonation. Medium roasted sweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Good complex brew.

tmoneyba, Apr 28, 2009
X-Mas Zinnebir from Brasserie de la Senne
85 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.