1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

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

1,420 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,420
Reviews: 576
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 99
Gots: 142 | FT: 4
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,420 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4/5  rDev -5.4%

11-22-2011 22:05:34 | More by brandoman63
Photo of Mar02x
Mar02x

Netherlands

3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A dark brown beer with a fluffy head. There are some carbonation bubbles visible that a racing to the top.

S - Fruity and fresh nose, spices, caramel and vanilla scents.

T - Caramel, candy sugar, nutty flavors, spices, vanilla , oranges - very complex but not so nice.

M - A lot of carbonation that quickly disappears.

O - A good Christmas ale but not so special. It is over the top. A not so good attempt to make something good even better.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 20:36:46 | More by Mar02x
Photo of WillyMac
WillyMac

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +18.2%

11-21-2011 15:35:07 | More by WillyMac
Photo of DoctorB2B
DoctorB2B

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +18.2%

11-20-2011 18:24:58 | More by DoctorB2B
Photo of seand
seand

California

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

A: Pours a translucent dark reddish brown, with a huge amount of tan head. The cork was pushing itself out once I got it started, and came out with a pop, but no overflowing. Most of the head disappears pretty quickly, but some clumps retain and leave pretty good sheets of lacing.

S: Rich and deep, with a somewhat subtle rendition of the normal belgian spices. There's also a touch of something almost smoky. Very nicely put together.

T: Complex with very deep flavors, but also manages to feel simple subdued. The finish is there, but the aftertaste doesn't last too long, except for a touch of a smoky scotch note, which is the only indication of the booze content I notice.

M: Medium body, actually surprisingly light towards the finish. Medium but prickly carbonation.

Overall this is quite nice, but you do have to pay attention to it; it's complex, but not a flavor bomb. I can't quite place why, but it does feel like a christmas beer to me, despite not really having any christmas-y spices as far as I can tell.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 07:16:23 | More by seand
Photo of mikereaser
mikereaser

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -5.4%

11-19-2011 06:50:27 | More by mikereaser
Photo of bigdaddypolite
bigdaddypolite

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +18.2%

11-19-2011 02:47:51 | More by bigdaddypolite
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served with a smallish, cream colored head and lots of lace. Color is a cloudy brown amber. Aroma is super malty, vineous, yeast, caramel, toffee, fruit. Flavor's very similar to nose with toffee, caramel, malt, yeast, carbonic tang all in the fore! Body and carbonation are faultless. Finish is malt, carmel, toffee and a touch of fruit while of average length. Luscious beer!

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2011 05:44:51 | More by drpimento
Photo of wvsabbath
wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Caged and corked 22oz bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/brown, huge monster 5+ inch foamy, creamy head, tons of lacing.

Smell - Bready, yeasty aroma, spices, dark fruits, some sugars, Some floral fruits also. Totally what you want from a belgian strong ale.

Taste - A spiced up fruitier version of 12 basically is how i would describe this. Lots of fruits, espically cherry, and added spices start this beer off. The grassy/floral hops add some dry bitterness. Yeast also adds a grassy, easrthy feel along with some dry bready quality. The alcohol is present in each drink, warms slighty and actually works well with the sweetness.

MOuthfeel - Its a big beer, and lots of flavor. Medium thickness, coats tounge with spices, fruits, malts, yeast and a little booze. Pallete gets remaining fruits and yeast, and alcohol. Aftertaste is a little dry and yeasty.

Overall - Fantastic, love this! A boat load of flavor, easy to drink, but this 22oz is plenty. A great once a year beer that i seek out annually and use to start my holidays with. Christmas has started offically for me. Great beer, espically for St. Bernardus 10 and 12 fans.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 00:56:15 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

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

2011 Version
Poured into a Chimay goblet from a 750ml bottle.

A - A nice strong pop is heard after the cork is pulled. Pours a nice slight caramel color with some brown notes and a huge 2 inch slightly off white head. The head is dense and creamy almost like a cappuccino.

S - Traditional and delicious BSDA spice. SOme nice yeasty phenols. There is also a ton of bready malt with some slight clove and some nice cinnamon notes. The aroma is delicious and silky smooth. There is some slight caramel sweetness and mild alcoholic notes.

T & M - Wow. Soo creamy. Traditional Dark Ale spice is present. There is some slight peppercorn and of course some clove. There is also a nice bready taste that has some slight sweet hints. Cinnamon is perceived as well. There is some alcoholic notes that are present yet welcome and warming. The beer is smooth and well crafted. It is quite complex as well. There are some dark fruit undertones throughout the middle portion of the beer that can be perceived better as it warms. This is not only a delicious winter beer it is actually a delicious beer period.

O - Very good beer by St. Bernardus. Complex yet approachable and high on the ABV but not too intense. Very good beer and great for the cooler weather.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 20:25:50 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of Acoke
Acoke

Texas

4/5  rDev -5.4%

11-17-2011 18:08:49 | More by Acoke
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

5/5  rDev +18.2%

11-17-2011 02:07:53 | More by Photekut
Photo of azorie
azorie

Florida

4/5  rDev -5.4%

11-16-2011 22:02:35 | More by azorie
Photo of RichBeer
RichBeer

California

4/5  rDev -5.4%

11-16-2011 09:39:19 | More by RichBeer
Photo of ElGallo
ElGallo

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +18.2%

11-16-2011 03:55:58 | More by ElGallo
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

11-16-2011 03:43:05 | More by bpfrush
Photo of jeezie
jeezie

California

4/5  rDev -5.4%

11-16-2011 02:56:00 | More by jeezie
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been waiting to try this beer for a while but got totally shut out last year. 750ml corked and caged bottle served in my St. Bernardus chalice. Be careful opening this one - once I removed the cage the cork fired like a shotgun blast and ricocheted off the ceiling. Pours a deep plum color with a slightly hazy clarity. Head starts off as a fluffy, two inch, cream-colored cloud of foam. As the head recedes into a quarter inch cap, delicate, textured spots and strands of lacing are revealed and exhibit excellent adhesion. This beer looks exquisite in its proper glassware. Nose expresses dark fruits with a slightly vinous character, Belgian yeast and some nutty notes (perhaps hazelnut). Taste follows nose - flavor profile is pretty standard for the style in my opinion; however, there's a trace of ethanol that overshadows things a bit, making it difficult to tease out the subtleties. I also get a little wet cardboard towards the finish, but it dissipates quickly. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a slightly prickly carbonation, as well as a bit of gassiness. Overall, a very solid Belgian Strong Dark; however, perhaps a little young. I would probably sit on this vintage for a couple more years.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 01:14:55 | More by Jwale73
Photo of richbrew
richbrew

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -5.4%

11-15-2011 19:58:43 | More by richbrew
Photo of millelacsmark
millelacsmark

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

11-15-2011 18:20:31 | More by millelacsmark
Photo of ryanonline
ryanonline

Florida

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

Deep dark brown with some burgundy highlights and an enormous off white head that sits around for quite a while leaving some very thick gob like lacing.

smells very sweet with some strong hints of cherries and dark fruits with some fairly light spice notes to it. there is some cinnamon and even a touch of clove but many of the other notes are not so noticeable.

the taste is the same but with some more balanced characteristics. the cinnamon is more prevalent but not so strong that it overtakes the other flavors. a very light floral hop flavor lingers in the background.

the mouthfeel is exceptionally creamy and full bodied, the carbonation is soft and foamy. very sweet finish.

may not be super drinkable because it is pretty complex and full bodied. still very good though.

awesome beer, basically like a spiced abt 12.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 03:34:58 | More by ryanonline
Photo of Lawnboy33
Lawnboy33

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +18.2%

11-15-2011 02:50:21 | More by Lawnboy33
Photo of Burt
Burt

Rhode Island

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

11-15-2011 01:28:14 | More by Burt
Photo of Elfastball7
Elfastball7

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

11-15-2011 00:02:44 | More by Elfastball7
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -5.4%

11-14-2011 19:17:58 | More by JAHMUR
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,420 ratings.