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Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,416 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,416
Reviews: 576
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 96
Gots: 142 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

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
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Ratings: 1,416 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of theminutemen


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

05-20-2012 02:55:20 | More by theminutemen
Photo of Pecan


4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-20-2012 08:03:06 | More by Pecan
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown, opaque in the goblet, with a more than adequate beige head that sticks around for ages. Lacing forms designs all around the glass.

Sweet and malty aroma. Dark fruits, raisins, and a sweet root beer impression. A touch of musty yeast notable on every other whiff.

Taste can be described in one word as decadent. Sweet and complex through the front half of the mouth. Dryer and just a bit vinuous through the finish. Spices are there but subtley blended throughout. Fantastic.

Full bodied with lowish carbonation. Creamy and chewy even. Just a nice feel for a sipper.

It really doesn't get much better than this. I'd been looking forward to the bottle for a long time, and it does not dissapoint.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 04:21:35 | More by elricorico
Photo of NateMac13


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-24-2012 18:08:08 | More by NateMac13
Photo of MisterClean


4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at kerstbier tasting at the Shack.

A - Pours a light brown color, with a 2-3 fingered head, which quickly settles to 1 finger and refuses to disappear. Nice lacing in glass.

S - Orange, cumin, cardamom, ginger, and spicy hops.

T - Pretty much the same.

M - Slightly thin, with some alcohol presence, but still good.

D - Real good, despite thinness, but the nose and taste this a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2008 06:53:19 | More by MisterClean
Photo of BedetheVenerable


4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml brown cork and cage, cool Christmas-themed Bernardus label. Stamped on the top of the cage is 5-27-15 (Guessing that's the best-by date, but I picked this up last year). Poured into two Chimay glasses and split with my wife.

Appearance: Warm mahogany brew with beautiful garnet highlights. Lots of carbonation and a big light tan cap fades to a creamy half finger after a few minutes and leaves some gorgeous sheets of lace.

Smell: Lots of bready yeast, red wine fruitiness, and some Belgian (yeast) spice. Perhaps a hint of candy sugar. Really nice.

Taste: Lots of dark and red fruit (cherries, sweet red wine) with notes of cellar, earth, and a hint of candy sweetness. Green apples on the finish. Mild (balanced, and nowhere NEAR hot) alcohol, ends dry, with a very light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Awesome; creamy, fluffy, tingly...perfect for the style.

Overall: Even more than the sum of its parts; this usually goes for between 11-13 for a 750 and is relatively widely available. At that price, I think this is (still) after several years is probably my favorite BDSA/Quad out there and, honestly, is close enough to give Westvleteren 12 a run for its money.

A = 93

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 02:01:29 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of johntfox


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

05-21-2013 01:00:33 | More by johntfox
Photo of jayhunter357


4/5  rDev -5.4%

05-24-2013 23:07:54 | More by jayhunter357
Photo of yamar68


4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Swampy tobacco brown body with a massive beige head that paints lace all across the sides of the glass, retaining rather well.

Oh that smells beautiful - cinnamon toast, fresh bread, caramel malts and plenty of that signature St. Bernardus burnt brown sugar. The only descriptors I can come up with seem to suggest something entirely sweet but it really isn't... at least not any sweeter than most of the classic Belgian darks. This really does smell fantastic. What a pleasant change of pace compared to most American Christmas beers.

On the palate it doesn't provide quite the same degree of depth. Raisin, figs and dates... mellow cinnamon/brown sugar, there's almost like a honeysuckle type finish that cleans up the tongue. It's a bit more tame than the nose would suggest. Smooth, though, and exceedingly drinkable.

Merry fucking Christmas!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 01:46:57 | More by yamar68
Photo of JimGlonke


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

04-30-2012 03:11:10 | More by JimGlonke
Photo of alamode


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

07-29-2013 01:13:10 | More by alamode
Photo of HamGlade10


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

02-27-2012 15:39:35 | More by HamGlade10
Photo of Ralphs66

New York

5/5  rDev +18.2%

12-15-2011 01:49:09 | More by Ralphs66
Photo of hero27


3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked/caged 750ml bottle with the monk looking quite festive sporting a santa hat.

Pours a murky brown that is to be expected..a generous foamy head rests on top.
An array of different spice flavors from cinnamon & cloves to nutmeg & ginger..very unique. The earthy malts & boozyness also add some Christmas-y flair to this beer, that would be a fantastic Christmas gift to any beer lover (sounds like I'm trying to sell you the stuff)

The only disappointing thing I found was that the carbonation of this beer was off the charts..the first sip I took was nearly undrinkable because as soon as I'd take a sip, I had a mouth full of foam. After shaking up the bottle a few times, it settled down and the mouthfeel was much better..I'd suggest cautiously taking out the cork and letting this one sit for a while before drinking it.

I'm going to save a bottle for next Christmas, this should hold up really well.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2007 16:44:36 | More by hero27
Photo of Pahn

New York

3.18/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Burp Castle, NYC. Poured into Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Murky, chocolate-brown like coffee. No head and some speckled lacing.

Smell: Weak scent of Belgian yeast and grape.

Taste: There's some notes of grape, caramel, and brown sugar, but the dominant taste is cola. There's a bright Belgian yeast flavor at the end that's reminiscent of the finish of Saint Bernardus's quad, which is this beer's high point. The alcohol is hot and dominant. There's some noticeable hops. The flavor is a bit wine-like and dark. It's sweet and tart, almost sour. The flavor was very uneven; each sip was different, and, more often than not, unpleasant. At times, dangerously close to cough syrup.

Mouthfeel: Watery and syrupy, with way over the top carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent, considering the ABV.


This beer tasted unfortunately close to cola. The horribly overdone carbonation doesn't help matters. Very disappointing offering from such an outstanding brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2009 07:58:53 | More by Pahn
Photo of PappyVans


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

05-24-2014 23:20:10 | More by PappyVans
Photo of impending


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 01:17:09 | More by impending
Photo of BostonHops


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

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a murky chestnut tone while yielding a generous 2"+ beige/tan head. strong retention and patches of lacing evident. nose offers a strong spice presence with other notes of dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, and belgian yeast.

flavor follows the aroma with strong opening salvo of spices, followed by the malt and caramel / brown sugar elements, then the dark fruits. tasty, relatively complex. medium-plus bodied mouthfeel with some prickly carbonation.

overall, it's a bit reminiscent of (at the risk of being simplistic) a spiced version of the abt 12 - which i would prefer. a very good christmas ale, just nothing overly spectacular.

(originally reviewed: 12-07-2011)

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 22:50:12 | More by BostonHops
Photo of stumac


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this brew pours up a red tinted brown color with a nice frothy off white head. great lacing. the nose is red apple, faint candy sugar, sweet malts, caramel, pear. the taste is very sweet, dark cherries, yeast, chewy malts. medium bodied and medium carbo. I like Belgium Holiday Ales because they generally don't have a set taste and they are all different. A solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 06:20:46 | More by stumac
Photo of scootny

New York

4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark cola brown color with a sizable head of off white foam. Good lacing and retention. Aromas of fruitcake and rum. Bananas and toffee. Good Belgian yeast profile and a bit of sweet alcohol. Taste is much the same with a bit of bready malt at the core. Spiced and toasty. Raisins and figs really push forward here and the alcohol while well integrated is apparent in the finish. Finish is dry and earthy with a bit of fusel booze. Some good bittering. A warming and very complex beer here. Feel is thick and rich with a lightly prickly carbonation. Goes down nicely and the flavors develop nicely as it warms. A sipper for sure but you keep sipping often. Yum.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 02:15:41 | More by scootny
Photo of patre_tim


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

06-29-2014 22:25:18 | More by patre_tim
Photo of CHADMC3


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The deep walnut brown body gives off only a slight white head with little noticeable carbonation.

Aroma is of sweet, dark fruit, molasses, and malt.

A slight spice such as nutmeg or cinnamon is faint amongst the dark fruits of raisins or fig with hints of yeast as well.

Little carbonation, medium body, dry, and an excellent array of character for the palate.

This is a fantastic beer. Tons of deep flavors, almost too easy to drink, begging you to take another sip, and the high ABV does not overwhelm amongst the various flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 06:01:30 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of Blanco


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

01-29-2013 02:47:25 | More by Blanco
Photo of hopkrid


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

10-14-2013 09:02:20 | More by hopkrid
Photo of projectflam86


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a thick sudsy head that leaves nice lacing.

S- Strong Belgian yeast and spice with some alcohol present as well.

T- Clove, banana, Belgian candy sugar, and alcohol in the finish.

M- Medium bodied with crazy active carbonation.

O- Overall a very nice Belgian/Christmas ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 23:36:07 | More by projectflam86
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,416 ratings.