Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
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Ratings: 1,434 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
4.98/5 rDev +17.7%
A-Dark raisin brown body. Off-white four finger head, (yes four) that has a slight hue of pink to it. The head is incredibly soapy and foamy. Your cup will runneth and floweth over. Head is also flaked with crystals that glitter throughout like fresh fallen snowflakes. Patchy, clumpy, sticky lace decorates glass.
S-Bourbon. Sour skins of grape, cherry and apple. Baking spices. Molasses. Brown sugar. Doughy. Yeasty. Inhale deeply enough your nose might sneeze from the pure abundance of spiced yeast.
T-Brown sugar. Cherry almond. Ginger bread or something wow. Nutmeg. Vanilla. Rum. Oak/woodsy. Bourbon. Cookie. Dry cinnamon & clove. Fruit flavored glazed pies like apple & cherry. Slightest of grape flavor, akin to an astringent red wine grape. The most subdued banana note, like a custard. One can go on and on deciphering flavors. The most consistent note was the hard to describe cherry-ginger-glazed pie STRONG middle-sip flavor.
M-Medium-low body. Medium-heavy carbonation. Sip starts tart, sweet and spiced. Then a punch of bitter-sweet bourbon uppercuts in the middle. Also in the middle is a sweet yeasty/doughy pie/donut note. The end of the sip is all of the aforementioned in harmony, slowly fading away into the aftertastes. The after is a gentle titillation of dry bitter holiday spices.
The yeast is the star here, swamping your palate with prickling sensations. And the hops as well bring this effect. Very sticky your lips get with time.
O-St. Bernardus does no wrong. This Christmas Ale ages perfectly, you can sip one in the summer. This quad was meant to be sipped. So complex and boozy. I do wish the body was more grand and creamy, silky. Other than that, you can't get much better in look, smell and taste. Quads are probably the best beer style on Earth. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is powerful proof for that claim.
04-16-2014 10:20:33 | More by shacawgo24
4.48/5 rDev +5.9%
0.75 bottle, using my tiny new Westy XII glass.
Dark brown with some copperish hues, one finger head, medium retention, very sticky lacing afterwards.
Fruity smell, with red grapes, prunes, banana, also caramel, dark christmasy spices.
Sweet caramel takes center stage, with musty grapes and plums, cherries, some citrus here and there, heavily spiced. Yeasts were really busy, giving off clove, ginger, low cinnamon, anise and faint vanilla. Malts aren't robust, bit bready, like a nice foundation for the complex spices. Warm alcohol, nicely hidden.
Smooth mouthfeel, a little bit syrupy, perfect actually. There's also quite a lot of fizz at first, that enhances its drinkability. Sweet, but does not cling in the aftertaste.
Quite a dangerous beer, very tasty and balanced, one might finish the 0.75 l bottle without even noticing. Christmas ale indeed.
03-21-2014 18:55:44 | More by dcmchew
4.48/5 rDev +5.9%
Pours a deep brown color with a small tan head that dissipates quickly.
Smell of banana, Belgian yeast, plums, raisins, spices.
Taste of slightly roasted malts, caramel, dark fruits.
Medium body with moderate carbonation.
Overall a great winter brew, well balanced, crisp and enjoyable after every sip.
03-20-2014 01:43:19 | More by TheBeerTrekker
4.26/5 rDev +0.7%
So tasty. Enjoyed this on a snowy ski night. Spicy to taste, I really enjoyed this, I wasn't disappointed at all. Best of all, it only cost me $2 at a food mart that sells singles. Best deal ever. I also grabbed a palate wrecker, and a 400 pound monkey.
The Belgians know how to brew. If you can get your hands on this, I recommend it
03-16-2014 02:06:12 | More by Ville
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,434 ratings.