Christmas Ale | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
676 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
676
Ratings:
2,071
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
16.23%
 
 
Wants:
178
Gots:
410
For Trade:
6
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Belgium | website

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by seaoflament on 10-23-2007

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Reviews: 676 | Ratings: 2,071
Photo of kitch
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 30th July 2018, poured into a Chimay goblet glass.

Appearance: It poured a dark brown colour with a two finger creamy puffy beige head that dissipated slowly to a nice half finger puffy cap that gives nice curtain like lacing.

Aroma: Nice dark fruit cherry, plum, prunes and raisin with hints of apple, banana and spice pepper.

Taste: Much like the aromas, there’s candied sugar, apricot, cherry, fig, plum and hints of banana. Caramel and toffee comes out as it warms. The alcohol is there but does not affect the taste and is slightly stronger when warm.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium bodied with mid to high carbonation.

Overall: Not quite Abt 12 but it is still a great beer from this Trappist brewery that I would buy again next year.

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Photo of Marius
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle. Dark ruby pour, with a tall tan-coloured head. Smells of dried fruit (figs, prunes, raisins), toasted dark sugar, chocolate, spices. The taste is very rich and complex, with strong notes of cherries and cherry liquor, followed by caramelized apples, faint cinnamon, red wine and rye bread. An excellent winter warmer, warm, sweet and spicy aftertaste, medium to full bodied and lively mouthfeel due to the high carbonation.

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Photo of NilocRellim
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear mahogany colour. Fruity nose with a Belgian yeasty banana aroma, slightly spicy and alcoholic. Sweet and malty but blended, with sticky tree fruits; slightly alcoholic in flavour despite the 10%.

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Photo of 57md
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy copper color with edges that are both copper and honey toned. There was practically no head. The nose has notes of both raisins and bananas. The body was a bit thinner than I expected but the flavor profile is highlighted by the essence of dried fruits and seasonal spices.

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Photo of janubio
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown colour, creamy, off white head that fades to a ring and lace. SMell of dark fruits, candied fruits, spices(cinnamon, cloves, cardamom).Medium body, grat carbonation, sweet palate. Taste of "polvorones", candied fruits, anise, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg... Very complex. And great.

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Photo of MrDell
4.99/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

18.12.2015

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
Quadrupel - 10% - 750ml bottle - Bottled 28.07.14 (Almost 17 months old)

As soon as I poured this beer I noticed how similar to its brother Abt. is in both looks and aroma so this review maybe more of a comparison.

Appearance: Very deep brown with a big, noisy cappuccino coloured head. If memory serves me correctly, ever so slightly darker than the Abt.

Aroma: Straight away that lovely trademark yeast, that originates from St. Sixtus (Westvleteren), hits you followed by loads of dark fruits and alcohol. Smell very similar to Abt. but with a bit more punch, especially where the fruitiness is concerned.

Taste: St. Bernardus Abt. 12 on steroids! Absolutely fantastic. So complex with such a long finish. Flavours include fig, liquorice, dates, dark cherries, brandy, raisins, red wine... it's like a British Christmas pudding in a glass!

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, oily and then ever so slightly drying finish.

Overall: So, the big one – is it better than Abt. 12? Very difficult to say, having had Abt. So many times and this just the once, but at this stage I actually think it is... just! Either way, they are VERY similar, both are favourites and both are a world class beers. The Christmas Ale is just that tiny bit tastier. 11 / 10.

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Photo of TDotScott
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a bolleke goblet.

L- medium dark brown with an off-white head that shrinks down to a half inch. This half inch just doesn't quit.

S- Spicy phenols, like pepper and cinnamon. Big dark fruits and brown sugar, very raisiny.

T- sour cherry. Definitely acidic, with rummy candi sugar. Spicy phenols are here, with alcohol evident.

F- alcohol heat, with intense carbonation. The body seems lessened because of it

O- Not quite as good as the Abt 12, but a great glass

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As close as you can get to christmas pudding in liquid form. An already stunning quad with christmas spices added, this is the best christmas beer ive tried. Smell is delicious, caramel and spices with a strong hint of banana custard, taste is the same,strong banana custard finish again.smooth as anything.....just a great seasonal beer.

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Photo of Buck89
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Dark walnut color with a thick tan head that lingered nicely. The nose was full of spices, clove, plum, dark bread, fruitcake, and yeast. The taste was quite similar, with fig and raisins dominating with the malt, and only a hint of spiciness. The floral and estery notes seemed a bit toned down, and the finish was warm and a bit sweet, but not cloying. Brightly carbonated and full-bodied.

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Photo of rarigney
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable beer. Very dark mahogany appearance, a little sweet perhaps, but very drinkable. Bought a 4 pack at Total Wine, may get another before they're gone for the season.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany color with a soda like off-white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of a mix of dark fruits and some spice.

Tastes of spiced fruit layered with some buttery bread notes. Fruit notes lead off with apple, raisin, and fig. Some caramel and burnt sugar notes come next with a moderate amount of sweetness. Spice adds next with clove, nutmeg, and star anise. As it warms, banana comes through more. Some earthy and herbal hops add a bit before the finish. Finishes with a lingering spiced fruit note.

Mouthfeel is full with a slightly effervescent amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a tasty quad and is well worth a visit.

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Photo of jspaner
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a Christmas beer should, dark and rich in color. The smell has the typical Belgian beer aroma, sweet, yeasty, and in this case, a bit of dark fruitiness. The taste is sweet, with a little cherry and some spices, and a bit medicinal, but very nice. The feel is moderate with low carbonation. The 10% abv is not overpowering to the feel or taste. Another great beer from a great brewery!

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is the first review I've done in quite some time, so why not start with a classic. I've had a lot of Belgian Christmas beers over the years, and this is one of the best. I was lucky to be able to try it on tap, thanks to the guys at #3 Craft Brews here in Cape Coral. The beer is sweeter and less carbonated than the regular 12 (which is one of my absolute favorite beers). A nice seasonal treat, but it would be too sweet for me on a regular basis (in fact, I'm going to have a chocolate chip cookie with it in a little while!).

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Photo of josanguapo
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From cervezasespeciales. In Teku glass. Watching Son of Anarchy 2x03. Superb in all aspects. The perfect christmas beer. Amazing nose, tasty, warming, great body.

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Photo of mabermud
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Dark chocolate hued with mahogany. The head was off-white, tinged yellow, and dirty. Quick dispersion. Maybe one or two bubbles left on the surface at a minute. I know, these beers normally look this way, but the look deserves the score.
Smell: Rich Belgian aroma, yeasty, dark beer smell. Sweet, yeasty, medicinal aromas. This has the smell of something I used to drink when I was sick in elementary school.
Taste: Yeasty, cherry cough drops.
Feel: Medium throughout. The carbonation has no essence, it just disappears. POOF.

Overall - It has been a decade or so since I last had this. It tastes about the same. It's special, but then again, maybe it isn't. Not my style of beer. It's good, but it isn't if this is not your style of beer. I personally, have some appreciation for this beer.

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Photo of PatrickCT
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce bottle poured into a Spencer glass.

a: A vibrant chestnut body with a rusty orange ring when held to the light, 2 finger pillowy off white head with large, lively bubbles.

s: Fruitcake and Stollen. Soft bready malts, candi sugar, apricots and plums.

t: Dry malts, figgy, candi sugar and caramel. Ricola like medicinal herbs mingle with the alcohol and a slight spiciness finishes.

mf: Creamy, drinkable, medium carbonation. The alcohol bite is very well hidden.

o: This is THE Belgian Christmas Ale. Complex yet drinkable, it brings to mind an Old World Christmas through its aroma and taste. Just the right amount of alcohol bite gets through to remind you are drinking a 10% beer.

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Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened a bottle from Xmas 2014. Poured into a goblet.
A - Pours a dark brown with a large head that leaves a thick cap and a lot of lacing.
S - Aroma is Belgian yeast, banana and bready,
T - Flavor is a bit sweet, malty and dark fruit.
M - Carbonation is high. Medium mouth feel.
O - This is a tasty Quad.

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

While smelling this beer I pick up fruity notes of banana and dark fruits. The carbonation looks quite high with lots of little tiny bubbles. Dark bronze in color. Much more dark fruit comes through in the taste with a bit of chocolate in there. A slight alcohol taste but hidden pretty well for 10% abv. It is very carbonated and has a prickly mouthfeel with a medium heavy body. The carbonation from this beer leaves you quite full. I don't pick out a lot of spices in the beer like I was expecting. I would drink again but would probably not look specifically for it in the store.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
3.62/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had out of the bottle pouted into a Belgian style tulip glass. A number of sour notes to the smell and taste that seemed off. Not sure if I had a bad batch but almost felt like a lambic style any other st. Bernadus beers

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Photo of pat61
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured brilliant chestnut crowned by a persistent, light tan stiff 2” meringue-like foam collar that leaves gothic window lace.
S: Dark dried fruit and fruit cake.
T: Layers of flavor composed of rich malt, dark dried fruit, fig, spice, hints of anise, and fruit cake. There is some lingering carmel with a hint of chocolate especially in the finish and the aftertaste. Moderate bitterness.
F: Medium body, very creamy with above average carbonation.
O: Another classic from a fine brewery.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark, mahogany color, with a finger and a half of white-colored head that slowly dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very nice and very aromatic, with tons of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked pastry, as well as lots of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes, figs, apricots, and cherries. I also get toffee and brown sugar, a touch of dark chocolate, a touch of licorice, and lots of funky Belgian yeast, which imparts aromas of saddle leather, wet blanket and roasted chestnuts. Smells inviting and delicious!

Taste: Absolutely delicious! Fantastically, so! There is lots of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by lots of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes, figs, apricots, and cherries. There is also quite a bit of toffee and brown sugar-like sweetness, as well as a touch of dark chocolate, a touch of licorice, and lots of nutty, spicy, funky Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and nicely effervescent as there is quite a lot of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 10%, there is just a hint of a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate, otherwise, the alcohol is very well masked.

Overall: This is another absolutely fantastic beer from St. Bernardus! Each one that I’ve had has been absolutely stellar! I highly recommend each of the beers from this fantastic Belgian brewery!

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Photo of stevoj
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Schwing! Sitting around on Christmas Eve and sipping this beauty. Nice sour smell of dried fruit and molasses, dark, dark brown with oily skin of a head.Flavor repats the fruit theme with a little sweetness, alcohol isn’t noticed until its on its way down your throat. Really, really good!

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark brown, raisin color with a very thick, creamy, toffee colored head that doesn't go away - very thick, frothy lacing.

S - Belgian spice, banana, bready, yeasty, some chocolate aroma.

T - Raisins, figs, prunes, chocolate, bananas, clove, roasted sweet caramel/toffee malt, some alcohol presence, lingering mild chocolate bitterness.

M - Big full body, viscous, slippery, light carbonation turns to a creamy finish.

O - Outstanding beer.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle from Systembolaget, Sweden in december 2014. Pours hazy, brown-reddish with a three finger high beige foam that leaves lacing on the glass.

Nose: Belgian yeast, spice, fried fruit, plum, banana and fresch apples.
Taste: Syrup, dried fruit, dark malt, chocolate, spice, raisin, coffee and bread - Really good!

Medium, complex body with a great carbonation and a very good job on hiding the alcohol.
Tasty with a sweetnes that ends with a lillte bitternes - Great!

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Weak head. On the surface danced just fine bubbles.
Bouquet is clear cloves, orange, spices evocative of winter.
Taste is very dry, plums and all the characteristics of aroma reminiscent of mulled wine, is also bulky and heavy, and of course alcohol, which is incredibly warming up.
Alcohol (10%) in beer is well hidden. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale enchants bitterness which is dry, seasoned.
This beer is a "fat", rich, yet easy to drink, saturation of more than average.
Highly recommend for winter evenings by the fireplace with a good book.

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Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 676 ratings.