Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
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Ratings: 1,434 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
3.7/5 rDev -12.5%
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.
01-29-2014 04:15:11 | More by Durge
4.06/5 rDev -4%
Many thanks to Minks Beverages on Delk Rd. in ATL for saving me a few bottles of this.
Poured into my old reliable La Trappe goblet, "Le Belgianator."
Appearance 4.0: Poured out a murky, chocolatey brown. Completely opaque, but as the glass lowered, it became translucent. Go figure. Nice 1/2" head slowly faded away to nice foam on top. Decent lacing.
Smell 3.75: Bouquet is very subdued on this brew. The nose became more pronounced as the beer warmed, but still quite subdued. What I do smell is nice: smoked grains, big malt... . Shame there isn't more of it.
Taste 4.25: Front is sweet and spicy, with hints of anise and a slight sourness. Middle is lovely: top of the palate and a perfect blend of sweet and slightly sour with a hint of smokiness and some nice dried dark fruits. Finish is actually somewhat dry...to begin with. Then you are hit with a subdued and wonderfully balanced taste of cloves, cardamon and a very tasty Belgian yeast. Finish is short except in the very top of the palate where you can still detect a certain lovely maltiness for minutes after each lovely gulp.
Mouthfeel 4.0: Mouthfeel definitely enhances the taste of this delicious seasonal.
Overall 4.0: Just an outstanding seasonal brew. Balanced, smooth and dangerously sessionable at its entirely undetectable 9.0%+ ABV, this is a present I want under my tree every year. I know that some purists out there may complain about "Specialty Market" this and that, but if every specialty beer could turn out like this one...wow. All I have to say is, "Vive le marché spécial!!!" Also...why is this not classified as a "Belgian Strong Dark"? Seriously, get it right, folks.
01-21-2014 06:16:36 | More by BeerDocT
4.33/5 rDev +2.4%
A: Dark opaque brown with a tan head.
S: Banana, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg in the nose.
T: Nutmeg and banana come through strong, cinnamon is there as well, especially present in the finish.
M: Full bodied and smooth.
O: Probably the second best beer they make. It's a great beer to have on Christmas.
01-17-2014 18:04:59 | More by BierJager89
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,434 ratings.