1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Christmas AleChristmas Ale

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

1,389 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1389
Reviews: 574
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.22%


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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,389 | Reviews: 574 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of reebtaerG
reebtaerG

Maryland

4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 750 ml bottle into St. Bernardus glass

A-Poured a misty brown-amber body, with a slightly off white one finger head.

S-Complex fruity and malty aroma, apricots/peaches, apples, slightly dusty, slightly sweet, overall lovely.

T-Taste is sweet, malty, light plum, full taste supported by a light tartness - and supported well! Some banana, nutmeg and spice.

M-Full bodied, soft, nice smooth mouthfeel and good carbonation.

O-Overall a great Christmas Ale, my new favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2014 13:21:56 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A murky mahogany color with an island of wispy off-white fizz on top and decent traces of lace. The aroma offers delicate malt and hints of apple and maybe even a touch of clove. Weaker than I expected but it comes through if you give it a chance. The flavor commands an unusual fruit melange that includes cotton candy mango and grapefruit. Quite odd. At once interestingly nice but then a bit off-putting. Caramel malt is definitely there but the odd fermenting fruit flavors take over and it's attention getting. There's some cinnamon and grassy grain apple to top off this interesting brew. Alcohol is not overly notable but it's a little warming. The body is easily medium with a good fizzy carbonation that gives it a slightly lighter feel for the style. Worth a try but not a real wow for me.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2014 04:15:11 | More by Durge
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap and served in a chalice, the beer is a dark, ruby coloring that is hazy, with a clingy, coating, off-white head. Nose of date, cherry, fig, roasted notes, booze, and sour tannins. Flavors are tart and crisp forward, with cherry tones forming a foundation beneath old-world fruit richness of date and fig. Very layered, very rich, and very balanced. Rich cherry and fig aftertaste, with earthy and woody notes. The finish is lingering sweet, with a perfect balance. Great beer!

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2014 03:29:46 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi

California

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gonna give this one 4's across the board. It's aite, but it takes backseat to the big dog. It reminds Raul of this one time when he dated a twin; I'd look at the doppelgänger, and always wondered...but there has to be a reason why I chose twin #1 over #2.

So, like said ex's sister that I never got a piece of; St. Berny Christmas was a bit less flavorful, slightly less robust, but I'm sure like a romp with sister #2, it was still a good time.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2013 02:22:07 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of RandomExile
RandomExile

Maryland

4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: mid-brown, prominent rising bubbles, partly translucent; light brown persistent smooth silky head; bands of intricate, frosted lacing I've never seen before.
S: fresh and malty, faint banana, enticing
T: banana, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, a hint of bubblegum, a yeasty floor that holds it together, an after-finish of apple peel
M: crisp, on the dry side, fresh but present
O: Served in a snifter, the appearance is a magical wintry snowglobe with reverse snow (streaming up, of course) which could only be improved by a deep, less muddy color. The nose is fresh and inviting, but I wish it were deeper and richer. A subtle and complex quad which somehow betrays no sign of it's 10% abv. Remarkable.

12oz / Snifter / Victoria Gastro Pub, Columbia, MD

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2013 00:10:40 | More by RandomExile
Photo of taylor714914
taylor714914

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

As a huge fan of the ABT12, I was excited to see this on tap at Always Ron’s in Hagerstown.  A murky brown, the smell is of figs, dates, toffee, and all around fruitcake flavors.  First sip evokes memories of dried fruits and various forms of sugar…brown sugar, honey, turbunado sugar, on and on.  It seems that the sweetness can morph into whatever style of sugar my brain wants.  The dried fruits complement this well.  A rich, thick brew, the mouthfeel is heavy and rich, and a 7 ounce pour was perfect.  A great strong ale for the Christmas time.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2013 19:33:54 | More by taylor714914
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gorgeous hue with a festive brightness and a color resembling the dried candied fruits that come so clear in the taste. This dark cherry or mahogany was topped by a dense froth.

The sweet smell of dates, prunes, raisins and plums hit the nose with a malty back drop that fruit cake. This is called a Christmas Ale for a reason.

The flavor is dried candied fruits with lots of prunes, dates, raisin and plum. Much like the nose there's a malty cake taste that melds well an brings it all together.

The flavors are certainly in line with a Quad but it has a fruit cake like thickness that makes this an excellent winter holiday beer. Sweet and savory notes of dried candied fruits couple with malt to give this an excellent smoothness.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2013 17:30:35 | More by KYGunner
Photo of tubeyes
tubeyes

Texas

4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A dark dark brown, min head, nice lace.
S lots of strong fruity, dates, whipped cream.
T alcohol upfront, lots of great fruitiness, more of the nose greatness, plums, dark fruit.
M great carbonation and elegant velvety mouthfeel, lots of great fruity aftertaste.
O very enjoyable, had on tap at OSDH Denton on world beard day. Loved it, very warming, although we were sitting in a humid Texas evening, it was still very nice and comforting

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2013 01:25:56 | More by tubeyes
Photo of Smurf2055
Smurf2055

Washington

2.78/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into tulip at Uber in Seattle.

Appears dark hazel with very little head. Nice lacing.

Aroma seemed a bit weak. Slightly malty, and a small fruit aroma. Very subtle.

Taste was a bit bitter with a small alcohol burn. Somewhat complex, but nothing really stood out.

Palate was a bit grainy with little carbonation.

Not sure what was going on with this, but I wasn’t all that impressed...

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2013 21:21:59 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at MacGregor's Grill and Taproom in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a dark brown, almost black. Belgian style huge head, 2.5 inches or so.

Smells like fruitcake, cherry, plums, raisins, and Belgian yeast.

Tastes similar- fruitcake, cherry, plums, raisins, and Belgian yeast- with strong dark fruits and fruitcake flavors- bready malts plus cherries, plums, and raisins give the fruitcake impression. Some cinnamon as well. Very sweet, not really cloying though, fortunately.

Thick, creamy body and mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

A great Christmas beer. Not quite as good as Abt 12, but still one of St. Bernardus' better offerings.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2013 00:34:14 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of Scooter51
Scooter51


5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was recently in my favorite establishment in Rochester, NY which happens to have over 130 taps. To say they have a great selection would be an understatement.

I came upon St. Bernardus Christmas Ale quite by accident. I had requested a second of my usual amber beer from a well known German brewery that is quite good in its' own right, and for whatever reason the bartender provided me St. Bernardus Christmas Ale.

While it was a bit of a change from my usual beer of choice, I must admit that I was quite surprised by it's appearance, smell, taste mouthfeel and overall quality as my ranking of 5 indicates.

It was as if I walked into my favorite establishment and was swept off my feet by the most beautiful, intelligent, personable woman I had ever met. It was one heck of an experience.

It is important that I mention that this particular ale has an ABV of 10, so I would caution anyone to be very judicious when imbibing this great brew to either be home or have a designated driver. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2013 21:49:19 | More by Scooter51
Photo of jroberts8811
jroberts8811

Missouri

4.89/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On Tap at Bier Station in Kansas City, MO. Poured into Tulip

A- deep amber, with iltte carbonation. Opaque with 1 finger head. head dissipates quickly and leaves great lacing.

S-spicy! coriander, clove, cinnamon,honey, malt, sweet belgian funkiness, bready, yeasty. yum.

T-wow. sweet, bready, malt bomb. spices galore, completely enhance what would otherwise be their abt 12. nothing i would change or add. perfectly balanced. ABV is completely hidden.

M-full, low carbonation. Clings to the tongue. wonderful.

O- Bernardus is in my top 5 favorites and this beer does not disappoint. Softer/flatter on tap versus bottle but I'm glad I had the chance to get it on tap. kegs are without conditioning so the experiences are different.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2013 00:34:17 | More by jroberts8811
Photo of MDDMD
MDDMD

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown color with hints of ruby and a nice light tan head with good lacing

S-malt, cinnamon, cloves, raisins and plums, brown sugar

T-malt, dark fruit, brown sugar,cinnamon, cloves, hints of licorice

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth, alcohol very well integrated

O-a delicious Christmas beer to savor during the cold months

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2013 02:27:13 | More by MDDMD
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Lovely dark brew in the tulip glass. Distinctive for the great sensual body and the big, sudsy mouthfeel.

Licorice and cherries come to mind immediately. It’s not overly sweet, though it’s hugely rich. Plenty of malt with shades of dark roasted barley and a deep, intriguing complexity. This one is on my list to try again, but I’m glad I was able to have the tap version.

Certainly one of the best Belgian beers I’ve had. On tap at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach. Transcribed from 12/12/12 tasting notes.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2013 04:51:29 | More by mactrail
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First had: ???
This review is for a recent tasting, on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

I hadn't had this in a while, so I figured I'd give it another spin. Slightly hazed, ruddy brown pour, with a small cap of off-white head that retained well and left a bit of lacing on the snifter. Nice aroma, toasted bread, light spice, yeast, peach and pear. Taste reflected the nose, caramel malts, yeast, brown sugar, allspice, candied fruits. It's an easy drinker, medium-bodied, crisp, flavorful, some boozy heat, but as it is a 10% quad, you have to expect that a little.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2013 03:48:41 | More by Rifugium
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on-tap in a tulip at Special Brews in Lynnwood.

Appearance: cloudy, chocolatey brown with a thick finger of creamy tan foam and a nice lace. The lace stays on the glass forever. Beautiful!

Smell: sweet malt with a great dark-fruit aroma. Rich and enticing.

Taste: rich, lustrous malt with a great chocolate, raisin and dark fruit flavor: plum, cherry, dates. A little bit of alcohol warmth throughout. Absolutely delicious!

Mouthfeel: rich body with a good level of carbonation and a wonderful silky smoothness. Awesome!

Overall: delicious, lovely, drinkable treat. I can't believe I've never had it until now.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2013 22:28:11 | More by flagmantho
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Muddy dark brown with a thin lip of beige foam. Looks soupy in body.

Spicy phenols, clove, pretzel bread, fig, licorice, apple wine, Belgian sugar, alcohol, and a savory aroma that's almost briny. Excellent complexity.

Plum, clove, licorice, banana yeast, almond, booze, allspice, saltiness, brandy, and wintergreen. Hugely bready and malty. Combination of dark fruit sweetness, spiciness, sting of booze, and a briny saltiness makes for a fulfilling profile.

Rich full body. So creamy, it's soupy. Almost has the consistency of fatty chicken broth. Carbonation is light-medium with light prickle that tries not to augment some heady booze strength.

One of my favorite Belgian Christmas beers, if not my favorite. So rich and decadent. Unreal good.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2012 19:02:49 | More by thecheapies
Photo of stephenjmoore
stephenjmoore

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

A- Dark amber/chestnut colored body with a bubbly, frothy head.

S- Belgian spices, honey, dried fruit, raisins, hazelnut, cocoa.

T- Belgian spices come through with some honey and hazelnuts. Also get a lot of raisin and possibly some nutmeg.

M- Full bodied, high carbonation.

O- Good Belgian Christmas ale.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2012 23:16:45 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer was served a deep mahogany colored brew with a decent haze and a thick one finger head. The head faded holds on for some time, eventually fading to give a decent level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was heaviest of dark fruit aromas of plum, raisin and some fig. Mixed with these aromas is a very subtle spice (cinnamon and nutmeg) aroma as well as a yeast aroma and a little bit of banana.

Taste – The taste begins with the dark sweet fruits that were detected in the nose. The raisin and prune character of the taste are soon joined by a yeasty taste as well as a spice flavor. While the spice starts off on the weaker side it soon grows stronger with flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg becoming more potent. Flavors of a banana nature and some bready tastes then come to the tongue. These flavors all mingle together to in the end , with the advent of some alcohol taste, leave a warming fruity spiced taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is quite creamy with a carbonation level that is rather moderate. The creamy body is fantastic as it baths the tongue in the fruit, bready, and warming alcohol flavors of the brew. The carbonation seems to add just the right excitement to the mouthfeel to complement the spice tastes. Overall rather pleasant.

Overall – Quite tasty of fruit, warming and just the right amount of spice. A delicious winter warmer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2012 01:54:39 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of jtd1969
jtd1969

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - reddish brown color with lots of lacing and carbonation

S - sweet Belgian yeast, some Christmas spices, dark fruit

T - dark fruit like cherries and plums, some fig, hints of nutmeg and cinnamon

M - full bodied, medium-high carbonation, smooth

O - Really really good. I could drink this all Christmas. Alcohol is so hidden, Special beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2012 05:51:59 | More by jtd1969
Photo of KAP1356
KAP1356

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's. Served in a 13 oz. tulip...

A - Presented a dark, murky brown, reddish-amber color. A one finger cream color head had nice retention. Some light lacing.

S - Dark, rich, candy-like fruits like dates, figs, and raisins up front. Some cherries and plums also stand out. Lots of bready malts and carmel come next with some light spiciness from the yeast.

T - Follows the nose well with deep, rich fruits standing out. Dates, figs, and raisins mix well with cherries and some plums. Candy sugar and breadyt malts also come through adding nicely to the sweetness the fruits present. Some sweet toffee also comes out along with a nice hint of chocolate.

M - Medium to full bodied beer with a very smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation was adequate. Very slight hint of alcohol as the beer warms. Really nice, rich body.

O - I really enjoyed this one. I actually liked it better than Abt 12, which I was pleasantly surprised at. I definitely look forward to trying this one again next Christmas!

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2012 20:42:28 | More by KAP1356
Photo of Hopdaemon39
Hopdaemon39

New York

4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2012 01:17:29 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of david18
david18

New York

3.2/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had a twelve ounce draft of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's Upper West Side. This was an ok beer but not great. I usually don't like Winter Ales but it was really more of a typical belgian dark than what one might typically think of a winter beer as.

Appearance was typical of the style. A dark mahogany but not a lot of head. Belgian lacing was still there, however.

Aroma was a little thin. Dark fruit and esthery yeast, as expected, but a little underwhelming.

Flavor as well was not as interesting as I had hoped and the alcohol heat was a little bit much.

Overall an OK beer but not too great. Their quad is much better.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2012 20:27:18 | More by david18
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a decent foamy head of some stature, although by the time I get to my table it is much reduced. Colors of brown and red, hazy, leaning towards black on the shadowed side of the glass.

Nose is very malty, with dried fruit, molasses, allspice notes. Estery as well.

The bubblegum ester note is most prominent on the flavor, alongside the mulling spices. If this doesn't sound tasty to you, don't bother. Peppery hops. Lots of esters and phenols, but the spices are big.

Full body with a smooth carbonation. Finishes strong and sweet. Way too rich for me, but it's a fair Belgian winter ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2012 05:45:21 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap over in NY state.

Appearance is deep red-brown, some lacing going on. Its` nose has raisins, yeast, candy, brown sugar and figs. A very robust smelling beer. Taking a sip of this strong dark ale and I taste spices from the winter season such as cinnamon and clove, along with some more dark fruits. MF leans towards full, the alcohol does not really hide. Sip this one and enjoy on a cold winter day.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2012 02:28:57 | More by mltobin
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,389 ratings.