Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
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Ratings: 1,425 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by SkeeterHawk:
4.08/5 rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
This beer has been sitting in the fridge at my other house that has been vacant for a year, but I believe that it was close to Christmas that I bought this beer and stuck it there and forgot about it. We are getting it cleaned up, so I pulled this beer out to review. I'm sure that the age hasn't hurt it at all, so let's give it a shot.
Appearance: Typical for St Bernardus, the beer is very well carbonated and I have a 3 finger head that is growing a little bit since the pour. After about 5 minutes the head was fading back into the beer and leaving huge amounts of lace on the glass. The beer is really dark, so I can't comment on the clarity.
Aroma: Through the foam I could get a little bit of sweetness from caramel, some dark fruit like plums, and a little bit of spice that I assume is from the alcohol. As the head fades, you can pick up the sweetness clearer and the yeast is contributing some subtle bread-dough notes.
Taste: The flavor is bold, and a little stronger than I expected from the aroma. There are lots of dark fruit in the aroma with a defined spice from the alcohol. The initial fruitiness seems to fade quickly, but I think that my palate got used to it quickly and I am sure that the ABV helps that. The body is medium with high carbonation, so that it comes across your palate lively and quickly so that you can't swirl too much for fear of it exploding in your mouth. The caramel malts is very well done in this beer, and gives you some sweetness in the beginning that sticks around and actually challenges the alcohol for the finish. There are some hops in the finish, but it is all about the malt and alcohol. As the beer warms up some, there is more spice coming out that I believe may be actual additions, and I am thinking at least some coriander.
Opinion: As is usual with St Bernardus products, I have been really happy with this beer. It is great tasting and has lots of character and is dangerously easy to drink. That said, I think that I like their Abt12 better, just because. This one comes across a bit fruity in the beginning where I don't remember that with the Abt12. I am splitting hairs here. If you haven't tried this beer...try it. I would recommend anything with St Bernardus written on the bottle, and this beer is no exception. I'm glad that I finally tried it.
Serving type: bottle
08-03-2011 01:43:16 | More by SkeeterHawk
More User Reviews:
4.23/5 rDev 0%
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.
Serving type: bottle
06-27-2014 20:32:25 | More by chinchill
3.81/5 rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
even In the summer this beer is good.
slightly cloying but the spice kind of balances it well.
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.
M-heavy carbonation , sweet , heavy
O-I like this beer on a chilly evening when I only want one beer .
Serving type: bottle
06-15-2014 00:27:04 | More by steelersfan6669
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,425 ratings.