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Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,446 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,446
Reviews: 578
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 106
Gots: 152 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: seaoflament on 10-23-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,446 | Reviews: 578 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by NCbeerpirate:
Photo of NCbeerpirate
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

NCbeerpirate, Dec 22, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of don1481
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 4 pack of 11.2oz bottles on clearance at Woodman's. Let's see how this stacks up to Abt 12.

11.2 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very very dark reddish brown. Big, frothy head that takes quite some time to die down, leaving a sticky lacing along the side of the glass.

Smell: From the moment I poured this, I got hit by the same sort of sweetness that Abt 12 has in it. The brown sugar, dates, raisin notes come shining on through. I don't smell any real booziness to it. Maybe a trace of banana here, with some nutmeg and holiday type spices.

Taste: That's... different. This hits you in a different way than Abt 12. More of the holiday spices, but the date/raisin notes still are definitely here. A complex taste to it, pretty crisp, but not boozy at all.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly and crisp. Lingers a bit longer in the aftertaste, in a warming manner from the alcohol. Not a burning sensation, thankfully. Definitely a lighter body to it.

Overall: Dangerously sessionable for a 10% ABV. Very enjoyable. I'd love to age a couple of these in the basement.

don1481, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This ale is a dark, dingy brown in color with a modest but stubborn head.

Smell – There's a lot of yeast in this nose and it has a hint of sourness to it. The malts are a light, doughy brown. The spicing is very winterish, full of dark accents. It is very balanced and somehow manages to pull off a light balance.

Taste – The yeast comes through strongly at the taste, and the malt is again like the nose; very light and doughy. I'm getting a bit of baker's chocolate as well. The spices pulled back some from the nose but are still present and well-balanced.

Mouthfeel – This is not quite full-bodied but it is big. The carbonation is strong and fluffy, tickling the inside cheeks like a good BSDA should.

Drinkability – This is a terrific addition to the St Bernie inventory. It's a wonderful wintertime specialty ale.

RoyalT, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

aszatk01, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of tectactoe
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown, ruby red color; murky and opaque with a thick, fluffy, creamy, and long-lasting beige head. Sweet and malty aromas jump from the glass immediately upon pouring; wine-like in aroma, with grapes and phenolic smells meshing together. Apple skins, berries, prunes, and a subtle hint of clove from the signature Belgian yeast. In the taste, there are many more spices coming out than were in the aroma. Nutmeg, anise, ginger, tiny bits of cinnamon, maybe even a touch of white pepper. Some light cocoa notes all around, bready and thick in flavor, clove and some spicy bitterness hits fast on the tail end. Earthy, dirty, and again full of boozy fruits - plums, figs, apples, soaked in booze. Bread and a touch of rye in the aftertaste. Thick body, heavy, lots of fine carbonation.

A solid Christmastime BSDA that acts as a wonderful winter warmer. One of the things I like about most BSDA's are their complex flavor profiles, and this one is no different. Lots of things going on, but they work together well.

tectactoe, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of brownbeer
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is a 2007 vintage, as the cork has a best before date of 2012. I assume it's a five year date. Although, that contradicts the suggestion on the bottle to age it up to 15 years. I digress.

Dark brown with a nice, light brown head, retention, the whole nine. Looks great.

The first thing I notice in the aroma is licorice. Then fig, Christmas plum pudding. Too many great notes for me to understand. Christmas in a bottle.

Spicy yeast flavors, a hint of apple fruitiness, fruitcake, nutmeg, caramel, raisin. Full, creamy body with a nice, warming finish. Could possibly benefit from a softer carbonation.

I'm not sure if the two years of age helped this out, but this beer is in that small group that defines Belgian greatness. Classy stuff.

brownbeer, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of npala86
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

npala86, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of Tiernan
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Tiernan, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

tbryan5, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of SanFranJake
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

SanFranJake, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

SkiBum22, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

Sizable head drops down to a latte-like foam; this ale is nearly black in color as well. Candied fruit, plum pudding, hint of broth, burnt sugar and mulling spices scream X-mas to the nose. Carbonation smoothes the palate, silky with a delicate but thick medium body. Malt character is on the dry side for the most part; a smattering of caramel is in the middle. A bit hoppy with a side of phenols, all of which go herbal. Alcohol is pretty tame for 10 percent--it warms but does not rake the taste buds too much. Fruity, spicy and yeasty with hints of dark sugar and some earthy yeast in the drying finish. Super complex, yet still a sipper. This ale is waiting to be thrown at a rich holiday meal.

BeerAdvocate, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of txbrewer
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brown (slight red with the light showing through it) with a healthy head that holds for a few minutes and then fades to plenty of stuck lacing in the glass.

S - a little yeasty, a little toffee/chocolate bittersweet, just a touch of alcohol. When I first popped the bottle (champagne corked 750 mil) it had a bit more of the sweetness to it, once poured though, it diminished.

T - mild hops with the toffee/chocolate bittersweet coming through but not overpowering.

M - easy going, all the smells and flavors blend well enough to keep this going down quite easy.

OK, ever made that root beer float and had the head that just took a few to go away...that is how this poured. I am currently at the end of the bottle and there is still some lacing sticking around the pint glass. For me, this has just enough of the hops and toffee/chocolate to keep me coming back for another (and I am wanting a second bottle at the moment). I will be back for another of these and will be looking for other St Bernardus bottles in the local markets.

txbrewer, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of drewkennedy
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

drewkennedy, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of supa0525
4/5  rDev -5.4%

supa0525, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of FadetoBock
4/5  rDev -5.4%

FadetoBock, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle poured into a goblet. Medium brown color with red highlights. A very thick tan head, almost the appearance of whipped cream. Nice aroma of dark fruit and some sugar. Similar taste, but there was also a pronounced spiciness that lingered really well. A great after dinner sipping beer.

lordofthewiens, Dec 05, 2007
Photo of jlmiller326
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

jlmiller326, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev -5.4%

DaftPatrick, May 11, 2014
Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown/red with a tan head.
S - Plums, raisins, dried apricots, alcohol, cherries.
T - Alcohol, cherries, dried fruits, and toffee. There is also a slight dark chocolate at the end of the sip that lingers.
M - Medium body with mild carbonation.
O - Refreshing and drinkable considering the abv. Nice alcohol warmth with a good flavor and aroma

3HovsepiansBrews, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

warnerry, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

SunDevilBeer, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of TimoP
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

TimoP, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of Fcip78
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Fcip78, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of Doomcifer
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Doomcifer, Aug 01, 2014
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Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,446 ratings.