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Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,845 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,845
Reviews: 640
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 145
Gots: 299 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: seaoflament on 10-23-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,845 | Reviews: 640
Photo of Retta123
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled Bottle – served in tulip glass. Drank alone while husband hunting.

Appearance: Cloudy, medium red-brown with basically no head and no lacing, some bubble

Smell: Sweet, clean, crisp. Made my nose twitch.

Taste: Apple, honey, banana, cherries, but somehow not overly sweet. Did not taste or identify any spices, no oats, maybe some wheat. Not hoppy. Got a warmer feel as I drank it. Leaves honey flavor on my lips!

Mouth feel: Carbonated but smooth. Not creamy.

Overall: It was much sweeter and lighter than I expected for a Christmas Ale, but I liked it. I don’t know if it is the taste, mouth feel or just the glass, but it reminds me of a good wine. It taste lighter than an 10% ABV, but I got a nice little buzz from one bottle.

Photo of Gatordaddy
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of drewkennedy
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of grandimperialc
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of NSK79
4/5  rDev -5.4%

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

Photo of BJMVH9
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Served in an Elysian tulip.

A: Poured out a prune, dark brown/purple color, with about a finger or so mocha head that stuck around for a bit.

S: Belgian yeast strain for sure, along with some grape-flavored popcicle. Brown ale-like for sure, along with a healthy dose of prunes and raisons.

T: Nice bitterness here, along with lots of dark fruit, and candy coated booze. Impeccably balanced and then some.

M: The carbonation was fairly high compared to most American versions of this style, but I thought it cut through the potential sugariness quite well. The lacing was moderately splotchy.

O: This brewery produces some awesome beer for sure, and this is one of the many examples!

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

A: Deep brown color with reddish tints. The head is about 1 1/2 fingers, light tan, and has a seemingly infinite retention.

S: Candied fruits, Belgian yeast, alcohol, and sugary malt. Lots of smells going on here, and they all complement one another.

T: Burnt sugar, earthy yeast, a touch of banana, a little bit of a nutmeg hint as well. Herbal hops balance out the end, along with phenols. The alcohol is definitely present, but in a way that plays nicely with the rest of the flavors, bringing a nice, warming sensation to the beer.

M: Creamy, heavy body with a LOT of carbonation.

O: Not a whole lot about this beer says, specifically "Christmas" but there's a lot that says winter. The spices are warm, the alcohol is warm, the beer is thick and sweet and delicious. Honestly, no single part of this beer stands out to me, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Photo of Riverared
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Amp
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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

Enjoyed this 750ml bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark amber hue with a huge, off-white, fizzy, 5-finger head that spills over the top of my glass. Head last forever, leaving a nice trail down the side of the glass and ends in a large solid fizzy lace.

S: Aromas of dark fruits, chocolate, and spicy malt.

T: Similar to the smell dark fruits and hints if chocolate. Solid malty background with a smooth middle and finishes slightly sweet.

M: Very strong and boozy. Heavy body and heavy carbonation.

O: Excellent strong Belgian Christmas ale. Great flavors, aroma, and mouth feel.

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

750ml bottle, split

appearance: served in the seldom-used de koninck chalice, garnet-mahogany body, big creamy beige lace. nice

smell: dark belgian sugar, dark fruit, holiday spice

taste: big dark fruit, clove, banana, dark fruit soaked in booze, some holiday spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cherry, brown sugar, crystallized dates. Another nice classic from St. Bernies.

mouthfeel: rich and full, boozy finish

overall: nice

Photo of JSkone09
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of mcanderson0
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Fluffy, voluminous creamy tan head. I had to cut the pour short for fear of overflow.

A—Cloudy, deep mahogany with the afforementioned head…which does not soon dissipate. Sticks to the glass like
Whipped egg whites.
S—Thankfully, the “christmas” spicing is absent. Plums and apricots. Also a whiff of muenster cheese as odd as that sounds.
Beyond that it has the typical banana and bubble gum.
T—Dark fruits dominate the taste. As with many Belgian’s, the taste follows the scent quite closely. It’s sweet, but the alcohol lends enough warmth to make this feel really balanced.
M—Pretty carbonated, but it has enough weight to keep it from “biting”
D—It’s good…it’s real good. The first few drinks, the warmth of the alcohol was noticeable, but that quickly faded. I think it’s less boozy than the abt 12. Very good.

Photo of SweJon
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of shelby415
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of chubby2u
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of LtColFrankSlade
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

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

Typical St Bernardus with some seasonal spices

Photo of grittybrews
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet.

A -Beautiful brown-black color. Amazing head, 3 fingers or more.

S - Lovely complext flavors. Raisiny, hints of fig.

T - Just an awesome beer. Perfectly balanced. Hardly taste any alcohol while it's going down. Candy for adults. Wanted to give this a 5, but you gotta leave room for better.

M - Lucious, medium to full bodied.

O - What a nearly perfect beer for those who love strong Abbey ales. And I do. Could drink this from the Macy's parade to first day of spring.

Photo of twizzbeatz
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

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Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,845 ratings.