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Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

633 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 633
Hads: 1,892
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 16.23%
Wants: 172
Gots: 342 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: seaoflament on 10-23-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 633 | Hads: 1,892
Photo of DenisKolkin
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle enjoyed with brother-in-law on Christmas Day. Liked it so much split a bottle with my Mom on boxing day. It's truly a great season to know people who enjoy craft beer as much as you do.

Appearance - Dark brown with two fingers of head when poured into a wine glass. Greta retention and a thin layer of sticky lacing smothered the glass.

Smell - Dark inviting and complex, trace of banana, Christmas baking, candied sugar some dark fruits, plum and cherry. Huge butterscotch aroma upon repeated whiffs.

Taste - Boom! Same as the aroma, like exactly the same. Butterscotch, fruit cake, cherry and plum. Modest alcohol burn. Almost one of those beers where when you take a sip you know but don't really know what you're going to get. Maybe it will taste like cherries and plums? Maybe butterscotch? Amazing.

Mouthfeel - Velvety with perfect carbonation for the body. Simply fantastic.

Overall - What a treat. Great Christmas beer, but I can obviously see this bee delicious at any time, especially in winter. Similar to ABT12, there are resemblances, but this is it's own beer through in through with the butterscotch being the star.

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Photo of dnarx
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Was a nice dark orangy-brown with a tan head that left lacing up the side.

S: Smelled of dark fruits and spice

T: Slightly sweet but not overwhelmingly so, nice dark fruit flavors mingling with the spice, like a great bread pudding without the bread.

Mouthfeel was smooth with a good body.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer, I only had one because of the alcohol content and the sweetness, although subtle a little more than I prefer.

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Photo of curasowa
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy, dark red color with two fingers of light tan head that fades very slowly with a thick curtain of lace.

Aroma: Lots of ripe fruit, mostly cherry and raisin over toasted malt. Faint hints of yeast and lemon mix in here and there.

Taste: Full bodied and creamy up front with lots of malt sweetness, along with some sticky, candy-syrup sweetness. A surprising amount of carbonation lightens things up in the middle, where some of the fruit notes show up along with some molasses and that wonderful Belgian yeastiness. A little bit of boozyness on the way out, but otherwise a lingering, slightly bready finish.

The Rest: Fantastic. A terrific Quad with big, bold flavors yet with layers of subtlety.

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Photo of impending
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a tulip. Pours a deep garnet, back lite it would make a nice ornament. Dense towering head, nice lacing.

Merry Christmas to my nose, a wonderful Noël scent rich with spices atop a classic strong dark.

The taste is wonderful, try it. This is the Noël of the season plus wonderful in July.
simply superb

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Belgian Strong Dark Ales are very well suited for the holiday season even without the spicy additions common to Christmas deserts. The sweeter, succulent, and savory yeasty spice and fruity esters make for a complex staple layered on the supple malt base... absolutely sublime.

St. Bernardus' Christmas Ale pours with a rusty copper appearance with dark orange highlights and hints of garnet here and there. Mild haze and yeast caused a diffused glow to permiate the glass. A froathy mix of tightly and loosely knit head character shows great staying power and intricate patterns of lace upon the glass. A very solid Belgian look, albeit a touch light in color compared to others of the style.

Yeasy, spicy, fruity, and sweetly settled on the nose. Fruitcake-like aromas give a glimpse into the cherries, apples, figs, grapes, dates, plumbs, and sweetbread notes that set the malty and estery start to the session. Rummy alchols tickle the nose and give a sweet and vinous note to the aroma.

Delicious sweet malts give the impressions of confectioner's sugar, supple malty sweetness, and savory desert breads and coffee cake. Fruity with grapes and raisons, plumbs, and prunes, stone fruits, dehydrated dark fruits, apples and cherries all play into the estery mix as provided by yeast. Yeasty spices also attribute notes of corriander, black peppercorn, cinnamon, and a pleasant citrusy note that might be curaco additions or hop derived. Rum-like and red wine alcohols seem to be the catalyst that brings all the flavors together to give the rounded impression of rum-soaked fruitcake.

Up front sweetness gives the early impression of cloying or heavy sweetness. But the beer seems to evaporate off of the palate, much in the same was as does cotton candy- leaving a powdery dry alcohol warmth and only a memory of sweetness. The beer weighs effortless on the late palate and stomach for a remarkably drinkable session for such strength in both taste and alcohol. Assisted by strong effervescent, the beer lifts off of the tongue with ease.

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale does all that world class Belgain Strong Ales are expected to, and with many extraordinary nuances to set it apart from the mere good ones. An absolute delight with each sip as new flavors reveal themselves with each visit to the glass. The descriptor words for this beer are seemingly endless.

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Photo of confer
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- What an amazing pour. Makes you wait for a few minutes before you can drink it though. Is a medium brown and a little cloudy, but the highlight is the huge head. (TWSS). It was like ice cream on the top of the beer, so thick and lasting so long.
S-It's got that sweet raisin/prune smell of a good quad.
T-This is nearly liquid perfection. So sweet with a small bit of heat and it seems to evaporate in your mouth.
MO- What a great beer. I'm halfway down my glass and it just keeps tasting better, the foamy head has calmed down but is still thick and creamy. Got this for Christmas from my wife and now want to go out and get some more.

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Photo of pat61
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured brilliant chestnut crowned by a persistent, light tan stiff 2” meringue-like foam collar that leaves gothic window lace.
S: Dark dried fruit and fruit cake.
T: Layers of flavor composed of rich malt, dark dried fruit, fig, spice, hints of anise, and fruit cake. There is some lingering carmel with a hint of chocolate especially in the finish and the aftertaste. Moderate bitterness.
F: Medium body, very creamy with above average carbonation.
O: Another classic from a fine brewery.

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Photo of 01001111
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, warm, caramel amber.

S: Sweet banana bread. Very malty.

T: Much like the smell; sweet, caramel bread flavors with hints of spice, nuttiness, and dark candied fruits.

M: Full bodied and smooth with a bit of zest.

O: Quite an amazing brew. If it weren't for the sweetness I could make this a regular indulgence.

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Photo of FleeVT
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into an over sized copa de vino.

A: Pours a dull, syrup mahogany with a heavy haze to it. A creamy white head that leaves beautiful lacework caps her off.

S: Sweet malts and fruits hit you first. Apply cider, raisins and currants pave the way to a backdrop dominated by yeast and a hint of alcohol. You definitely don't expect a 10 percenter based on the nose.

T: Lots of dark fruits and molasses on the palate. The alcohol cuts through that sweetness and brings with it some holiday spices, clove and vanilla. The Belgian yeasts, which in my opinion can be overdone in this style, are perfect.

M: Smooth like velvet, just as the bottle declares. There is definitely carbonation that bites into your tongue, but it works and it's smooth. Medium to heavy bodies that fades in the back as the alcohol warms the mouth.

D: All winter long. Enjoy this slowly and relish.

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Photo of asabreed
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged bottle into a Brooklyn snifter.

Appearance: Dark hazy amber brown with tons of billowing and lacing, though it settles more quickly and surprisingly than I expected for such a brew. The color's perfect for a Christmas night. Not opaque, but when light hits the dark brown and sometimes-bright amber, it's a sigh to see.

Smell: So much here. Whiffs of candied fruit, molasses, vanilla, cola, raspberry, tobacco, cherry, pepper, marmalade, tropical fruits. The list literally changes every five minutes with temperature changes. I'd love to have a bottle of this ten years from now.

Taste: A beer that makes the air through the nostrils taste better as breathing seems to naturally happen. Big candied fruits and spice, and perfect for Christmas. Licorice, molasses, caramel malts, yeast and fruit esters, tropical fruit, raspberry comes through nicely, vanilla, dates, maybe some figs. Again, age and time and a long time with this beer brings out so much. And it seriously does a lot for the air you breathe, which I love about great Belgians.

Mouthfeel: Hugely bubbly and full and effervescent and tingly and smooth and creamy. Perfection.

Drinkability: A pretty awesome beer, St. Bernardus or not. A lot to admire, which I wasn't surprised about. It's fairly expensive, but certainly worth it, especially for a beyond-great holiday brew to share with friends and family. I can't think of a better one to drink at Christmas really at this point, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to get to it.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Acme in Rochester. Unfortunately it was not poured into the proper vessel (it was poured into a strange pint type glass). The appearance rating suffered- it pours a deep mahogany with lots of head and good lacing.

Smells very sweet- ALMOST like alcohol but sweeter and with a little spice. Very pleasant.

Tastes rich and malty. It is a very sweet beer with the appropriate spices- maybe a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Also a little taste of yeast.

Mouthfeel is incredible- this is an amazingly refreshing beer for how sweet it is and how alcoholic it is. It is medium to full bodied with light to medium carbonation.

This a definitely a beer worth drinking again and again if you can find it and want to shell out the bucks.

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Photo of bditty187
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly reddish-coppery in hue with plenty of brown in the mix as well; attractive color (it's not too murky). Massive beige head, some three fingers worth; head retention was respectable. The bubbles, while large, were slow to fade away. A small, soapy cap lasted the entire consumption. Lacing started before I took a sip, I always liked that. Subsequent lacing was spotty, overall and somewhat disappointing. Still the appearance was respectable... aw hell, this is a good looking beer.

The nose is lightly malty, bread dough mixed with raisins and spices. Notes of brown sugar, figs, cola, and some chocolate; I even get a hint of root beer which I really like. The spiciness is quite light, so much so I can't really pull it apart. I can't tell from the bottle if this beer is spiced or if it is the work of the yeast. Maybe both as it is a Christmas beer after all. While the bouquet isn't very potent I really like what it is saying. Subtly complex and very appealing... maybe better than Abt 12! Or not... it is still an appealing nose.

Big flavors on the palate, way more than the nose indicated. Ripe fruits mixed with alcohol notes, spices (nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and allspice, coriander... to name a few) laced with caramel, molasses, and cookie dough. Pears, apples, figs, raisins, dates and a hint of something tropical... maybe cherries too (I love the fruitiness of this beer). Tongue coating maltiness, lots of caramel and dough with a kiss of chocolate which translates well into the aftertaste. I am totally impressed with the palate. I really like it, there is great depth without being overwhelming. I like the range of flavors... spicy and fruity (both dark and orchard), malty with just a kiss of booziness. This beer is hitting the spot with me... perfectly. I don't know if this beer is as great as I think but so what. I love it.

Medium in body, both light on the tongue and yet filling enough. Airy but amble... none of this makes sense on paper (computer screen) but it works like this on my palate. Moderate carbonation; I think the mouthfeel works very well with this beer. Did I mention the great aftertaste?

Damn drinkable. After tasting this I am even more pissed that I was not able to get this into Nebraska this winter. Next year, for sure! This beer really hit the spot with me. Honestly, this might be my favorite St. Bernardus beer. Damn, damn tasty. Thanks Bill!

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Photo of Celt44
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Recommended by a local craft brew store owner - My sincere thanks to him.

Appearance is a light reddish hue - almost looks like brandy or cognac from a distance considering the head disperses fairly quickly.

Smell - Strong Malt and Sweetness up front. Citrus fruits, very slight alcohol. Very appealing

Taste - Malts and cranberries. Hops makes and appearance. Grapefruit bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel - Beautiful - It's a Belgian!

Overall one of, if not thee best beer I've had that has called itself a "Christmas" beer or ale. Can't wait till next year!

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Photo of Wildman23
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Deep mahogany color with ruby highlights.
Smell- Roasted malts, yeasty spice, mulling spice, milk chocolate, roasted nuts, candied figs, and a hint of grape soda...yes, like Welch's grape soda.
Taste- So smooth, a touch of roasty malts and dark candy sugar upfront before the wave of fruity esters roll onto the palate. Candied figs, plums, ripe red grapes and Red Delicious apple go along with a mellow milk chocolate undertone. All this fruity sweetness gets rolled up into a mellow spicy character, with hints of subtle white pepper, all spice and an almost hidden note of anise. So complex, so much going on, but not overdone or too much. a truly delicious Christmas beer.
Mouthfeel- Smooth and supple with a tiny prickle of effervescence and good lacing throughout.
Drinkability- Well, for an intensely sweet, 10% abv Noel beer, this one rolls down the throat and begs for more to follow... I guess that would be outstanding drinkability!
Overall, I am not a huge fan of the Christmas styles, but this one is a one of a kind, not to be missed, outstanding beer!!!

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Photo of bimish
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a goblet. Clear, medium reddish brown color. Thin head disspiates quickly, minimal lacing. Average carbonation.

S - Nice malty aroma, lots of caramel notes. Spicy and fruity aromas also apparent.

T - Beautiful, well-rounded malty flavor. Very little bitterness, but malty flavors offset nicely by complex spicy and citrus flavors.

M - Good carbonation level, nice, medium-bodied mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable for a couple of bears, but the spicy flavors would wear on your after a few.

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Photo of sennin
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wide nosed wine glass, 2012 edition.

A: Pours a brown/dark auburn color. Apparent lacing throughout the drinking session, sticks quite well to the glass. Cloudy in appearance, foam is an off-white head color. Nothing all that special, but definitely nice to look at.

S: First whiffs gives way to a biscuit like smell. Figs, orange peel, and citrus smells appear after. Very pleasant smelling beer. Prepares you for what is to come quite well.

T: Gets sweeter as it warms, but not cloyingly so. It's actually a perfect balance between sweet and bitter. Very elegant. Alcohol is present but is not overpowering at all. Figs tastes are pleasant much like what you get in the nose, and give way to something of a dark chocolate bitterness with a slightly caramel like backbone. Excellent. Overall, the beer is very malty but it strikes a very good balance as a whole. This is a great tasting beer and only gets better as you drink it.

M: Creamy and slightly bubbly. Once again, there is a perfect balance between the two. It wraps around the tongue and the feeling stays a long time after you sip. It is a very pleasant mouthfeel and definitely one of the best that I have yet tasted.

This is the best Christmas Ale I have had. Everyone should try this beer, it doesn't matter if you like or dislike beer. This is one of those brews that could turn a Miller Lite drinker into a craft beer/Belgian ale lover over night. Get out grab a glass and raise it to the sky.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a mini snifter at a blind quad tasting out of a 750ml bottle, courtesy of jdhowe. 2012 vintage. Later that evening, I opened up a fresh 2013 vintage (out of a 11.2oz bottle) that was dated with a "best by" date of "24/7/18." Am I the only one that thinks it's bizarre that the larger bottles say that this variant of St. Bernardus will age up to 13 years in the bottle, but the smaller ones have expiration dates, for whatever reason?

While the newer bottle poured a near exact rendition of the regular Abt. 12 (brown, plum tinged, big frothy head), the '12 vintage was astonishingly clearer and showcased less frothiness at the top, in spite of a playful blast of carbonation at the bottom. Some cloudiness and sediment - looked exactly like the regular Abt. 12 (also '12 vintage) that was next to it during the tasting.

When I took a whiff out of the glass, however, I knew instantly that this had to be the spiced ale - it's such a distinct, unique aroma. At first, you get a cascade of delicate, dried dark fruits, ranging from raisins, dates and blackberries, but then it is overtaken by the caramel and replaced with ginger peel, allspice, cinnamon, and most notably of all, crushed red pepper. Yes, indeed, the pepper a fabulous addition to the base beer, and sets a savory standard that masks and washes away the booze and potentially additional sweetness at the finish. Very bright and unique, especially for a mass-produced Belgian spiced ale.

The flavor continues to showcase the excellent balance between the flavorful, crisp malt profile, as well as the spices at hand. Firm, yet not over the top, notes of raisins, berries, and prunes, with an impressive prickly spiciness from the pepper, as well as some cinnamon, allspice, and some faded finger peel. Contains a slight wet yeasty character and some extra sweetness from the alcohol that is canceled out nicely by the spices. With the biscuit, caramel forward profile, this feels like a much lighter beer than it really is. Carbonation is just right, and something truly unique is happening to this vintage. I'd imagine, over time, that it would develop fascinating notes of oxidation akin to Sherry, and the complexity inhibited by the spices would increase ten fold. Really incredible stuff, with all things considered.

I knew this would be the clear winner of the tasting as soon as I took a sip of it - it may not have the yeasty prowess of other quads we tasted, nor as much of a robust malt profile, but it certainly wins in its ever unique profile and versatility for the pure and simple purpose of consumption. I'd love to buy a case of this and see how it evolves over the course of 12 years, but every vintage is different, it seems. The 2012, from what I can gather, is going to be quite generous in its development. The '13 is drinking supremely well as well, and whether fresh or aged, this beer really knocks most spiced beers out of the park, and perhaps most of its other Belgian peers overall.

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Photo of SemperIPA
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Teku Beer glass from a 75cl bottle on Christmas Day 2014.

APPEARANCE – Completely opaque auburn brown in color w/ a thick tan head that dissipates into a nice foam lid.

SMELL – Spicy sweet aroma.

TASTE – Spicy maltiness with light sweetness and a nice gentle alcohol burn.

MOUTHFEEL – Medium body with big carbonation.

OVERALL – Very nice Christmas Beer! With two bottles of this tonight, at 10% ABV it most certainly is "...the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super carbonated, Belgian ale just in time for this holiday season, pours a slightly clouded mahogany brown burgundy color with a light khaki tan head forming thick and fully bubbled. Aroma is full of Christmas spices meaning hints of cinnamon, ginger, and other famous pie spices. Full on flavor of ripened fruits and sweet bursting dessert like bready pie crust. Fruit filled with spices galore this is some big festive drinking Christmas ale. Full on honey tinged ripened fruit with hints of papaya, pineapple tartness with bittering hoiday spices balancing out the pure sweetness of this big Belgian ale. Alcoholic slight medicinal burn in each sip with high carbonation this really tickles the nares but the effervescent carbonation carries things well, and it finishes with bitter dry holiday spices. Wonderful amazing freak of nature Belgian Christmas bier that we all look forward to each year.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown/ruby pour with khaki head (12oz draft into snifter); fruit, cloves, cinnamon, and banana notes; sweet malt with stone fruit with banana and clove from the yeast; medium feel and good tongue coating; overall, complex -a lot of flavor and alcohol-a good way to end the drinking day!

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Photo of brurevu
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This particular bottle has been aging in my fridge for the last year. The Christmas Ale is bottle conditioned so it poured with a generous head over its deep ruby brown body. The aroma was of fruits and malty sweetness with the taste following the same with some added complexity and a slight bitterness on the palate. The creamy mouthfeel rounded out this truly excellent Christmas Ale that is a fantastic beer for the Holidays.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a dark muddy brown, almost like black tea. Huge off-white head of pure cream. Lace stuck to everything!

S: Big spicey aroma. Clove/caramom, cola, juniper, pine, figs, chocolate, cherry, apples, and candied fruit.

T: Huge spicey, malty goodness. Rum soaked raisins, plums, figs, candi sugar, bread pudding, dark chocolate covered cherries, tangy apples, and a certain resinous minty flavor (juniper berry? piney hops?)

M: Like velvet...soaked in cream.

D: Alcohol barely makes its' presence felt in either aroma or taste, but boy does it ever warm the cheeks! This is friggin' Christmas in a bottle!

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Photo of zac16125
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle into a chalice
2012 Vintage (08-08-17)

Incredible pop when I uncork it, so heads up and be careful.

A: Pours a rich dark mahogany with faint reddish hues when held up to light. 2 fingers of dense light beige head forms and takes minutes to dissipate down. 1/2 fingers width hangs around for the entirety of the drink, and leaves a good amount of lacing clinging to the sides of the glass.

S: Aroma is big and can be appreciated even as its sitting on the table far from your nose. Spice, sweet Belgium yeast banana, a bit of dark fruit, nutmeg/cinnamon. Spice is the predominant characteristic. Smells like Christmas.

T: Follows the nose. Spice up front with some sweet banana on the finish. Clove, black pepper, sweet dark fruits, hints of orange, plum, nutmeg,
Super complex and very delicious.

M/D: Creamy and smooth but with a pronounced carbonation. Coats the palate wonderfully, and leaves you longing for the next sip. It gives a great whole body warming sensation. ABV is completely masked, and drinkability is good. Wonderful mouthfeel.

O: Those monks sure can brew beers. Excellent from top to bottom. I think I like this more than the Abt 12. Merry Christmas!

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Photo of jdhowe
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Reviewed from notes from a blind tasting

A: Pours a clear golden amber with a slight tan head of large bubbles. Nice clarity (4.5)

S: Sweet grapes, fig, dates, candied, and a hint of peppery spice. (4.5)

T/M: Light/medium mouthfeel with very high carbonation level. Sweet and fruity throughout with a very slight bitterness to balance. Grape juice and candy up front lead into fig and a candy sugar finish. (4.5/4.5)

O: Very nice. High carb actually makes this super drinkable for what it is, and the peppery spice with a year of age on it melds beautifully with the beer.

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Photo of Dmart1223
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting beer, if you can get it. It's kind of like fermented fruitcake.

Christmas Ale pours thick, with LOTS of almond-white head that sticks around and plenty of carbonation. It's dark maple brown, a little cloudy, with some hints of red.

The smell's where I got the fruitcake. Just fruit all around, the most interesting of which was either pineapple, pear or both for some reason. I also might've gotten some melon and berries.

That fruitiness also comes out in the taste, which gave me hints of the above fruits, as well as also cherries. The Belgian yeast gives it a funky taste, and the 10% ABV, rather than sticking out, warms your soul.

This is a big, bold beer with a lot going on. I'd like to store one of these for a year to see the difference.

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Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 633 ratings.