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X-Mas Zinnebir - Brasserie de la Senne

Not Rated.
X-Mas ZinnebirX-Mas Zinnebir

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very good

136 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Risser09 on 12-10-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 94
Photo of SLeffler27
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This seasonal is dark bronze with a chestnut glow when put to the light. There is a one inch, dense almond head slowly dropping rings of lace as it settles to a thick blanket for the duration. There is some sediment covering the bottom of a Dogfish Head snifter. This one appears too dark for the Belgian Pale Ale style.

Has a spicy nose with nutmeg, ginger, and some alcohol fumes. With some warmth, peach and prunes can be found.

Prominent malts are well balanced with hops. This is closer to a brown ale with wheat bread flavors and a building bitter toasted finish.

Fizzy carbonation and a dry, full body with light astringent alcohol.

While enjoyable, this one falls short of the Christmas specialty style. One will enjoy it with a simple meal.

Photo of coachdonovan
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taken in the lovely old bar 'Morte Subite' Brussels during Dec 2011. This is a great beer to 'people watch' with on a cold Belgian afternoon.

Looked good in its glass, a hazy dull brown body with a full biege head above.

The nose was a good mix of maltiness, fruit cake and spices, a Christmas feel to it I suppose.

The taste was simular to the smell, but with a yeast flavour coming through the malts, some hop bitterness towards the end of the sip as well.

Pleasant more than wonderful, thought it a bit lively, so slightly over carbonated for my taste perhaps.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian pale, I think not. No matter, so it's dark. I'll drink it.

Dark cherry, mahogany, brown pour. A bit hazy. Nice whipped head, a bit dirty white. Great lacing. Quite nice to look it.

Dark fruit aroma with some coffee and chocolate. For the most part the fruit is foremost. A bit of cocoa here and there and the coffee is green. Some booze, too

A sort of a tartness on the fruit in the flavors. Some red plum up front. A hint of herbal spices comes next. The coffee is soft and green, like beans still on the tree. But it's the fruit that comes through in the end. Sharp with some tannin on the end. Some strawberry very faint.

Drinks fairly well, a bit boozy, but nice

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Correcting the mistake pour from the other day... This beer poured a caramel brown color, hazy, with a small cap of tannish head that receded quite a bit but left some soapy lacing on the glass. I wouldn't consider this a BPA at all...maybe a BDA if anything. Aroma of cocoa and caramel apples. Nice taste, smooth thanks mainly I think to a lower alcohol content; baker's chocolate, apple skin, caramel, dark dried fruits (just a bit, really), light spices, and some bready yeast coming through. Medium mouthfeel, pretty smooth and drinkable, decent overall.

Photo of MsRif
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA. Poured a hazy dark brown color with an off-white head that receded quickly, leaving spotty lacing. Had an aroma of spices, yeast, dark fruits and sweet malts. Tasted of yeast, cinnamon, plums, cherries and sweet malts. Very, very "Belgian."

Medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. I really enjoyed this brew. I prefer it slightly to the regular Zinnebir. I will absolutely get it again if Teresa's still has it on tap during my next visit!

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up at State Line in Elkton, MD. Served in a De La Senne tulip.

Pours a moderate caramel color with a light tan head and some good lacing. The nose carries some nice yeast tones with a bit of spice and fruit and some additional light spice in the background. The flavor falls along the same lines and is fairly well-integrated with everything going on, including the malt. Medium body with good carbonation and a slight chewiness. Good brew.

Photo of ROGUE16
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of GRG1313
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

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.

Photo of augustgarage
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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.

Photo of Shakujin
3.92/5  rDev +4%
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.

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.

Photo of glid02
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of melitameister
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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.

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.

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.

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X-Mas Zinnebir from Brasserie de la Senne
85 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.