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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

1,427 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,427
Reviews: 576
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 101
Gots: 144 | FT: 5
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)
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Ratings: 1,427 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Patrick999:
Photo of Patrick999
Patrick999

Florida

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a full bottle to myself this Christmas Eve...even though I pulled out all the stops with a St. Bernardus, I couldn't sway anyone from wine. Oh well....a bottle of this all to myself, things could be worse. Served it pretty warm, maybe slightly above cellar temp - wanted to let the full flavor of this baby pull through.

Appearance - While I may not have tasted the thousands of beers many of you have, I've still tasted and reviewed some excellent beers, and I swear I've never seen anything like this. The head was copious, and retention was unparalleled. Lacing? Forget that, more like DRAPES. No lacing, but drapes. I've not seen that before....the head clung to the glass as if glued there. I'd give this a 10 if I could.

Smell - pretty standard for a BSDA. Nothing really distinguished this as a "Christmas Ale" - sniffed blindly, I'd have a hard time distinguishing this from a regular St. Bernardus or a Chimay Blue. Raisins, prunes, currants, alcohol. Don't get me wrong, it smells great - I know I'm drinking a hell of a beer.

Taste, feel, drinkability - Congruent with its aroma, I couldn't really pick out anything "Christmas-y" about this beer. It tasted like a quad. A very good quad. Sweet, but I tasted a fairly muscular hop trying to push its way through the sweet dark fruits and vinous character. Alcohol is assertive, but you won't really view it as a detriment. 10%, yes, but it's manageable....just have it with some hearty food and it'll be great. Smooth and goes down easy - especially with a bold meal. I would expect nothing less from St. Bernardus, and this did not disappoint. Actually a bit more dry in the finish than I expected, suggesting a smoky Merlot.

Did I finish the whole 750 alone? You damn well better believe I did.

12/25 edit - This left me with probably my biggest hangover of the year. I don't know what the deal is....it's not as if I've never had a 750 of strong beer to myself. Be careful with this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 02:57:47 | More by Patrick999
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look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Large 75cl bottle (2012?) served in a large Piraat tulip.

A: Dark but clear red-brown body. Large, durable, off-white foamy head,with exceptional lacing. Patchy sticky lace decorates the glass well after tipping.

Aroma: Dark fruits and dark bread crust. Faint spices. yeast and an unfortunate touch of must comes with the yeastiness.

Flavor: Sweet, but not overly so, with hints of toffee and brown sugar. Hints of spices including nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. A suggestion of rum. Dark fruit in abundance. No mustiness, thankfully. Complex and layered. Faint, ripe banana. Loads of depth here, and other flavor components come and go, adding to the enjoyment of this great ale.

Feel: medium body. Medium-heavy but soft carbonation makes for a light and lively feel.. Smooth, sticky and gently warming.

O: More like an ABT 12 than St. Bernardus Prior 8. Better than the Prior 8 and, if not for the aroma, it would be better than the ABT 12 too. Despite the Xmas theme, quite enjoyable in the summer. Highly recommended.

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A-brown with a lot of carb and foam

S-spices , molasses, sugar , yeast and a bread or dough quality

T-almonds ,oak or wood, vanilla , cloves , cinnamon , dried cherries.

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Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,427 ratings.