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Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

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

1,416 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(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
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
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Ratings: 1,416 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jcone17
jcone17

Georgia

5/5  rDev +18.2%

12-29-2011 19:31:30 | More by jcone17
Photo of jbear68
jbear68

Florida

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-29-2011 19:23:37 | More by jbear68
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

12-29-2011 18:15:49 | More by djrn2
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

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

750 mL corked and caged bottle, with 10.02.16 printed on cage, I assume a best by date, probably 5 years out.

appears a murky dark brown, with thick foamy head that settles into a 1/4" covering of fine tiny bubbles. great lacing.

sweet and spicy herbal aroma. fruity, plum-like notes. taste is not as sweet, but rich and malty. the winter spices are fairly muted. medium body, extremely smooth carbonation. goes down easy.

Definitely one of the finer Christmas beer offerings.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 17:01:45 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of LornaLee
LornaLee

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-29-2011 05:07:32 | More by LornaLee
Photo of dbellizzi
dbellizzi

California

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-29-2011 04:14:29 | More by dbellizzi
Photo of jimmy82063
jimmy82063

Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle Best Before 8/24/14....Poured into a SB Chalice...

Have had this in the cellar dating to 2009....need to restock.

A) Nice frothy head that quickly fades,minimal lacing, lite brown colour.

S) Lighly spicey, banana, clove, all spice.

T) This has been in the cellar and has been properly aged for 2 years. I can still get some spiciness that distinguishes this from the 12. Wished I had more of this vintage.

M) Lightly carbonated.

O) Great beer...not much more to say...

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 00:32:14 | More by jimmy82063
Photo of cdwil
cdwil

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-28-2011 17:29:38 | More by cdwil
Photo of seanyfo
seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle BBE 17 Sept 2015

Poured 3 times into Westmalle chalice

A- dark garnet bottle with little light perception. Clarity hard to measure. 2 finger head is thick and creamy. Retention is good and lacing is excellent

S- up front almonds and a hint of marzipan. A hint of barnyard Brett like quality comes through amongst a dark fruit plum note

T- almond sweet nut quality up front with hint of dark fruit. This balances with a medicinal/hint of Brett like bitterness in the full finish. Extremely smooth with no alcohol heat

M- medium to high carbination, medium body but due to
carbonation , overall it's quite light on the tongue. Fantastic considering abv, would expect it to be stickier. Very smooth indeed!

D- if I didn't know what I was drinking I wouldn't have said this had anything to do with Christmas. No real Christmas spice note for me but that's no bad thing. Would have liked to taste more malt depth/complexity but overall tasty and deceptively smooth. No alcohol heat at all. Dangerous stuff and potentially one to age!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 22:58:12 | More by seanyfo
Photo of voodoo
voodoo

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-27-2011 18:16:16 | More by voodoo
Photo of kmwilson76
kmwilson76

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-27-2011 15:13:35 | More by kmwilson76
Photo of arkansastroy
arkansastroy

Arkansas

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-27-2011 15:01:01 | More by arkansastroy
Photo of Converge
Converge

Alberta (Canada)

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

750ml bottle poured into a 22oz goblet. This review was originally planned for yesterday, but long story short, it just didn't fit in. So, here we go! Bought the bottle in mid-August, so it's had a bit of time to mature.

A - Nice thick and creamy head. Deep garnet hue, with moderate sediment haze going on. Unrelenting head retention that leaves behind thick webs of sticky lacing.

S - Figs, plums, candi sugar, Belgian spices and yeast. Traces of dark chocolate, dates, and dried bananas.

T - Dark fruits, candi sugar, and Belgian yeast. Figs, dates, Belgian spices, and caramel malt. Finishes with some dark chocolate and green apple sourness. Little bits of brown sugar and dried cherries appear as well, but remain fairly muted. Light hop presence in the finish, but not nearly as much as other reviews hinted at. Alcohol presence is minimal.

M - Creamy smooth carbonation with a medium-to-big bodied feel. Fits well with the flavor profile.

D - My first BSDA, and a solid one at that. Doesn't exactly show off a whole lot of seasonal flavors, but I enjoyed it a lot overall. Sort of reminded of the Abt 12, but I liked this one a bit more. Nice and easy to drink, but the 10% ABV is disguised way too well; this one will certainly sneak up on you!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 06:21:18 | More by Converge
Photo of JayS2629
JayS2629

Alabama

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Honest opinion. I enjoy the original Abt 12 imensely and think whatever spices are added to this one are a detraction. I still enjoy this one emensely as well and appreciate the spirit it was intended for. It is a great holiday, seasonal treat and deeply complex and sophisticated. Monk magic!

It pours a murky brown that is almost black. Cola like with a huge rocky off-white head three fingers thick and with steady staying power. Frothy rings of thick lace linger.

The aroma is spicy and full of belgian yeast esters. Dark fruit and spices. Over ripe plum, dates, and fig with cherry notes and caramel undertones. Thick toffee melts into musky, funky yeast phenols.

The taste gets really spicy. Holiday spices shine against yeasty spice notes. Nutmeg and cinnamon tones surf on the wave of funky belgian yeast tones of dark fruit,candy sugar, and dark rum notes. Musky notes and metallic, medicinal tones intrude slightly. Some may enjoy these licorice like flavors.

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied.

easy sipper. Complex, interesting, and enjoyable. Slightly under the original Abt. 12 but still amazing.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 01:18:53 | More by JayS2629
Photo of tedho21
tedho21

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-27-2011 00:37:06 | More by tedho21
Photo of Lantern
Lantern


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-26-2011 23:10:14 | More by Lantern
Photo of Adrianized
Adrianized

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-26-2011 22:22:07 | More by Adrianized
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed Christmas eve 2011.

A: Things open up with a violent and loud uncorking. A cola-otter-brown pour yields a monstrous rocky, foamy head that was porous and moderate on the hold leaving splotchy sticky patches on the glass for lace. Near black coloring while in the chalice is actually a very dark burgundy when backlighted revealing a vigorous effervesce. Additional pours yielded a mushrooming effect on the head which showed more resilience in its stay of execution.

S: Sugary dark plums, sweet caramel syrup, with a good Belgian yeastiness can first be found on the nose with some musky damp grains. Soft traces of estery pear drop, sweet chocolate and bananas are also evident. A 10.0%abv that is very well concealed aromatic wise never giving any indication this is a hint above 5%.

T: Yeasty with chocolate, dried banana, and pear notes from the yeast. Sweet caramel some sugary dark plums, raisins and a very bready palate add some depth. The alcohol feels/tastes more at home like a 5% as with the nose, very well refrained. The yeasty nature is nicely highlighted with a light musky nature of damp pale grains. Sweet bready caramel, malty, lush flavor.

M: Edgy carbonation provides a good deal of activity on the tongue. Creamy, frothy texture, full malt body adds lushness with some raisiny alcohol hints upon the swallow.

O: Overall a great all around beer and worthy of a special occasion. Very easy drinkability despite its indicated alcohol content. Malty lush body with a good support of yeasty character makes this all you can want from a Belgian dark ale. Once again Brouweij of St. Bernardus and St. Sixtus (Westvlteren) seem to be in a league of their own when it comes per style and overall quality.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 21:55:11 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of jak
jak

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-26-2011 16:29:16 | More by jak
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-26-2011 16:11:17 | More by barnzy78
Photo of Cozzatoad
Cozzatoad

Italy

3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml cork caged bottle

A- Foam immediately pours out of the bottle, and it keeps building inside even after a few pours. Slightly murky brown, with ruby hints if seen through light. Huge head that quite quickly recedes to about one finger of slightly off-white soapiness. Loads of lacing on the glass

S- Dried and dark fruits among a strong alcohol feel, with a faint spicy note to it. A hint of lactic acidity as well

T- A suprisingly dry and not so strong malt character (with some notes of caramel) sets this beer apart from most belgian strong ales and other St. Bernardus beers as well. A slighlty musty herbal feel plays a major role in this beer, though in my opinion it is not perfectly balanced with the beer's dry malt character. Strong alcoholic feel, with both plain alcohol and spicy notes from the esters. Assertive dark fruit notes of cherry, raisin and maybe more. A faint hint of lactic sourness as the smell suggested. Extremely complex, but a bit messy

M- It's dry malt charcter has this beer feeling quite light in body if compared to most belgian strong ales and given it's ABV. Alcohol can definitely be felt, and though it brings a nice warming feel it gets a bit too much in the way in my opinion. Average and spot-on carbonation

O- As i have already mentioned this beer is very complex but quite a bit of a mess. It still is decently drinkable and warming, but it's musty, herbal character just not gets in the line with it's dry malt character. I didn't notice bad or completely off flavours nor any other major issue, so i'm reviewing it

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 13:48:13 | More by Cozzatoad
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Best by 8/3/16.

Pours a murky dark brown with a huge 3 inch foamy beige head that settles to a small cap. Base on the first pour I got mostly foam so I think there may an issue with the carbonation on this one. A latticework of thin rings lines the glass on the drink down. Smell is of bready malt, brown sugar, and some dark fruits. Taste is very much the same with a nice flavor of dark fruits (raisins, plums, etc.) on the finish. Like I suspected based on the pour, this beer has an extremely high level of carbonation with a very crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Way overcarbonated in my opinion but without any indicators of infection or the like. Overall, this is a good BSDA and a very nice beer to sip on for Christmas night but the mouthfeel brings down my enjoyment of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 06:16:55 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Listers
Listers

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-26-2011 05:27:01 | More by Listers
Photo of coz
coz

Illinois

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-26-2011 05:22:33 | More by coz
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Burgundy brown, with a fluffy tan head that forms a nice bubbly collar.

S - Sweet and tangy fruit, plums cherries, clove and cinnamon, apples.

T - Brown sugar, clove, cinnamon, dark plums, dried figs, apples, candy sugar, cherries, brown spice cake, anise, some light hop and peppery alcohol on back end. The aftertaste leaves glazed plantains on the palate.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium body, light on the tongue.

A perfect Christmas beer! Sweet and spicy upfront and dry and satisfying on the finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 04:59:42 | More by StaveHooks
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,416 ratings.