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

1,446 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,446
Reviews: 578
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 106
Gots: 151 | FT: 7
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,446 | Reviews: 578 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dcmchew
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%

0.75 bottle, using my tiny new Westy XII glass.
Dark brown with some copperish hues, one finger head, medium retention, very sticky lacing afterwards.
Fruity smell, with red grapes, prunes, banana, also caramel, dark christmasy spices.
Sweet caramel takes center stage, with musty grapes and plums, cherries, some citrus here and there, heavily spiced. Yeasts were really busy, giving off clove, ginger, low cinnamon, anise and faint vanilla. Malts aren't robust, bit bready, like a nice foundation for the complex spices. Warm alcohol, nicely hidden.
Smooth mouthfeel, a little bit syrupy, perfect actually. There's also quite a lot of fizz at first, that enhances its drinkability. Sweet, but does not cling in the aftertaste.
Quite a dangerous beer, very tasty and balanced, one might finish the 0.75 l bottle without even noticing. Christmas ale indeed.

dcmchew, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of TheBeerTrekker
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%

Pours a deep brown color with a small tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell of banana, Belgian yeast, plums, raisins, spices.

Taste of slightly roasted malts, caramel, dark fruits.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall a great winter brew, well balanced, crisp and enjoyable after every sip.

TheBeerTrekker, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of Ville
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%

So tasty. Enjoyed this on a snowy ski night. Spicy to taste, I really enjoyed this, I wasn't disappointed at all. Best of all, it only cost me $2 at a food mart that sells singles. Best deal ever. I also grabbed a palate wrecker, and a 400 pound monkey.
The Belgians know how to brew. If you can get your hands on this, I recommend it

Ville, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of plinythederek
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

plinythederek, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of Valentno7
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Valentno7, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of letshaveanother
4/5  rDev -5.4%

letshaveanother, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of gschirmacher
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

gschirmacher, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of Buck_Jones
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Buck_Jones, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of ChuckS
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

ChuckS, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of Aisha
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Aisha, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of djcira
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

djcira, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of PaulAndrew
5/5  rDev +18.2%

PaulAndrew, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of dbarny76
5/5  rDev +18.2%

dbarny76, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of OscarO67
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

OscarO67, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of threedaggers
4/5  rDev -5.4%

threedaggers, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of NonicPanic
4/5  rDev -5.4%

NonicPanic, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of Scamboogery
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Scamboogery, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of Mugenlude
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Mugenlude, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of VeganUndead
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

VeganUndead, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of bigtunk
5/5  rDev +18.2%

bigtunk, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of anbok
5/5  rDev +18.2%

anbok, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of jaymo18
4/5  rDev -5.4%

jaymo18, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of Fcip78
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Fcip78, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of Boto
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

750ml bottle: This one pours a very cloudy mahogany brown color. There was almost no head on it, and left no lacing. Nice nose! Christmas spices, caramel malt, faint dark fruits, some breadiness and Belgian yeast notes. The taste is very good. Rich malts, not too much sweetness, dark fruits, yeasty and bready, Christmas spices. Definitely a keeper! Has this on tap at Monks also and was equally good as the bottled version!

Boto, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of falloutsnow
3.61/5  rDev -14.7%

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: "08-08-17" stamped on cage
Glass: Tulip

St. Bernardus' Christmas Ale is a caramel, phenol, and ethanol-forward strong Belgian ale that is marginally satisfying for these flavors (though I'd go with any doppelbock instead). At times, I think I'm drinking caramel-colored and flavored fizzy, but less sweet, soda pop. Feeling generous, I say this is good, but not at all amazing, and at $12 for 750ml, I'll let it pass in the coming years (give me a Het Anker Blauw instead).

Pours a large (>3cm) head of medium-sized, beige-colored bubbles, yielding a somewhat frothy appearance. Retention is excellent, the foam lasting several minutes in a slow decline to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass and a modest film lingering atop the body of the beer. Lacing is excellent, with meringue-thick and complex patterns clinging to all sides of the glass. Body is a very dark brown color, with light bringing out slightly lighter brown-orange hues around the periphery. Highly numerous and vigorous carbonation visible along the sides of the glass, but not through, the body being opaque.

Aroma is sweet, of very dark to burnt caramel, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, anise, and slight ethanol. Despite the apparent complexity, the aroma is only moderately strong, robust, or expressive and does not make me get particularly excited about the beer.

Flavor of caramel-anise-ethanol as major notes with cloves and nutmeg, subtle dried dates and brown figs, and light banana ester as more minor characters. Front of palate is of dark caramel-like sweetness, ethanol, anise, light banana ester and dried dates. Mid-palate of dark and burnt caramel-like sweetness, anise, cloves, nutmeg, and slight ethanol. Back of palate of dark caramel, anise, ethanol, cloves and nutmeg (sharp phenols), much lesser light banana and dried dates. Aftertaste of ethanol, caramel-like sweetness, clove-like phenols, and cough syrup.

Beer is medium-light in body, with carbonation of high intensity, resulting in a somewhat fizzy, calming to foamy and smooth mouthfeel. The mouthfeel fits the expected idea for a Belgian trappist, though I think it's a bit overly aggressive and rough for such a huge beer. Ethanol present as slight heat in nostrils and mild burn on the back of the throat. Closes dry, with moderate stickiness lingering on the palate.

falloutsnow, Feb 22, 2014
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,446 ratings.