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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

1,828 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,828
Reviews: 636
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 140
Gots: 290 | 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: 1,828 | Reviews: 636 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bump8628
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Everything requisite for a strong Belgian Christmas ale is present. Toffee, cinnamon, treacle, and clove. Good balance with a firm bitterness. Sweetness and alcohol creep up after the first glass. Earthiness emerges after it warms up in the glass. Nice beer, but it's more expensive than Abt 12 sitting right next to it on the shelf, and we all know that one is world class.

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At last I’ve had an on-tap Christmas Ale that I could review (the other times I’ve drank it I didn’t really have reviewing opportunities). This time however was different: the lovely Red Rose bar in Brugge being the venue. 33cl for Euro 4.00, worth every cent.

Poured into a St Bernardus goblet it looked the business in every way: Jet black with a deep beige crown of tight bubbles sat on top. The head stayed and gave waves of lacing as I wolfed the brew down.

The smell was of dark, rich, candied fruits with a good measure of caramel and malts thrown in.

The taste always blows me away, creamy, rich and hearty in every way, yet it’s so mellow the 10%ABV does not show at all; this is a dangerous brew and so, so easy on the palate it just slides down the throat at an alarming rate. A brew to savour, but very difficult not to quaff at pace and order another, and another, and another. Whatever spices they use just enhance the flavours from the mash tun and helps to turn the brew from excellent to superb.

A true classic and a beer I’ll never tire of drinking (if I’ve got the next day off).

Photo of JustEarl
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of Ralphs66
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opening this thing is a danger to ones face as the cork skyrocketed off as soon as I untwisted the cap. Took a minutes to locate the cork. Keep away when opening for safety's sake.

Poured the 750 bottle into a chalice producing a huge bubbly/sudsy off white/tan head with a brown body and red highlights. Head sticks around forever!

Stereotypical strong dark smells of dark fruits. I can pick up on some of the “holiday spices” going on but I mostly get cinnamon and nutmeg. If theres anything else I don’t know.

The spices and dark fruit are what hit first but theres a nice caramel thing going on and the hop finish is wonderful. Love this thing. I almost want to give it a 5.

Lovely smooth medium body. Not a bunch of carb that I was expecting since it blew the cork off. That’s prob where some of it went. Leaves a little tongue tingle.

Photo of MA08
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of EkimGram
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 75cL bottle poured into Duvel tulip. The moment I undid the metal twine, the cork popped itself out of the bottle and put a little dent in my ceiling. Colour is a very rich brown, almost black. Head is two fingers in height, thick and puffy.

Smell: Aromas are of spices lick cinnamon and nutmeg, dark fruits, and roasted malts.

Taste: The dark fruits are first and foremost in the flavour with plum, raisins, and figs or dates. A little bitter as well as spicy. A hint of malts and booze finish things up. Dark, rich, and complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a surprising amount of carbonation. Silky and sticky.

Overall: Truly fantastic. I couldn't expect much more from St. Bernardus. Tastes a little like ABT 12 with spices. A good sipper for a cold winter night.

Photo of allouez86
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of DeutschesBier
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Jdub983
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of txbrewer
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brown (slight red with the light showing through it) with a healthy head that holds for a few minutes and then fades to plenty of stuck lacing in the glass.

S - a little yeasty, a little toffee/chocolate bittersweet, just a touch of alcohol. When I first popped the bottle (champagne corked 750 mil) it had a bit more of the sweetness to it, once poured though, it diminished.

T - mild hops with the toffee/chocolate bittersweet coming through but not overpowering.

M - easy going, all the smells and flavors blend well enough to keep this going down quite easy.

OK, ever made that root beer float and had the head that just took a few to go away...that is how this poured. I am currently at the end of the bottle and there is still some lacing sticking around the pint glass. For me, this has just enough of the hops and toffee/chocolate to keep me coming back for another (and I am wanting a second bottle at the moment). I will be back for another of these and will be looking for other St Bernardus bottles in the local markets.

Photo of uziangis
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of nathanjohnson
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of hyoung41
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of kaelingirl
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Casey10
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great brew have had a couple of times saved this one from 2 years ago just ot see how it ages.

Not as carbinated as freash but nicely mellowed dark, small wispy head.

Abv is well hidden, be carefull.

Can definately make out the belgain candy sugar the nice warm bready taste.

Definately worth having with a bit of age on it.

A must try and a great winter warmer.

Photo of DAllspaw
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle conditioned poured into tulip..

I have never seen a beer produce so much carbonation out of the bottle. A gentle pour produced 3.5 head of cloud like mocha foam which dispersed with webbing down the glass. Unreal.

Smell is initially raisins and some baking spice and figs. Definitely a hint of sweetness.

Taste is exceptional. Nice toffee like taste at first, then cherries and spiced cake. Ends a little hot, would be interesting to see how it ages.

Can't imagine a better winter warmer.

Photo of JCFinn
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of elNopalero
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a tan-brown color. It has a spicy aroma—I pick up a lot of the so-called holiday spice mix blended/balanced with an estery Belgian-style aroma. Upon tasting I find cinnamon and cloves dominate, along with an underlying Belgian quad taste. Warms nicely with little hint of its strength. Tasty.

Photo of drummermattie02
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of AdamBear
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark chestnut. reddish tint, with a thick dark cream colored head. looks purdy.

S-strong scent of dark belgian spices and sugars. a hint of salted caramel and sweetness.

T-comes in with a really decent taste dark belgian grains and spices...with a nice emphasis on the spice and a certain belgian rawness. its a flavor that really sticks tongue. a good amount of peppercorn here. matching after-taste. high quality in and out. this beer hugs the mouth.

M-really heavy on the carbonation with a fairly dry finish

O-i'm actually surprised at how drinkable this beer is. it goes down very easily for the high ABV. as i drink it more, the flavors in the after-taste seem to come out more. its not my favorite christmas brew, but it isn't bad. i'll get this again some time, but next i'd like to share the 750mL possibly. this is great beer though...a must try.

Photo of ROGUE16
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of bluntedboywonder
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,828 ratings.