Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
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Ratings: 1,424 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
4.23/5 rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750 ml bottle into signature chalice; best before 7/24/2017. Pours lightly hazy very dark red color with a 1 finger foamy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, light banana, brown sugar, molasses, toast, clove, pepper, brown bread, coriander, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters with balanced malt sweetness; and good strength. Taste of raisin, plum, fig, pear, light banana, clove, pepper, toast, brown sugar, coriander, brown bread, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, banana, toast, brown sugar, clove, pepper, brown bread, coriander, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors with dark malt sweetness; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian strong dark ale! Great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters with malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for 10%. A highly enjoyable offering.
Serving type: bottle
07-17-2013 04:31:51 | More by superspak
4.08/5 rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a St. Bernardus branded goblet.
The bottle creates a loud pop when I pull the cork, but it is no gusher. A burgundy brown colored beer is full and rich to the eye, with a full eggshell white head that is initially huge before settling down a little bit.
The aroma is full of plums, dates, and a bit of raisins. Holiday spices light up the nose as well. All of these aromas exist in front of a full caramel malt.
My first sip is quite sweet. Brown sugar, plums, dates, figs, and raisins are the most noticeable at first. The holiday spices from the nose come through as well; nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon all work well with the fruit notes. A bit of bread crusts and sweet caramel provide the malt presence. There is a bit of booze and light dry bitterness toward the end of the sip.
From the pop of the cork, it was obvious that this is a well-carbonated brew. It is a overly creamy carbonation with a little bit of a bubbly nature as well, as I am used to in the abbey ales. The flavor starts sweet and sticky and finishes with a light residue on the lips.
Overall I thought this was quite complex and enjoyable. Pretty much what I would expect out of St. Bernardus.
Serving type: bottle
06-27-2013 00:51:02 | More by KickInTheChalice
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,424 ratings.