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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
95
world-class

1,529 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,529
Reviews: 589
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 121
Gots: 194 | 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: 1,529 | Reviews: 589 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of froghop
3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

vintage 2007.

pours a dark brown with a large tan bubbly head.

smell is of caramel, spice, malt, and raisins.

taste is very carbonated, somewhat watery, dark fruits, spice, some caramel, end is tangy on the tongue.

overall a good beer but slightly overrated, too much carbonation and needs to be a little thicker for my liking.

froghop, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of jkball01
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

jkball01, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of DustinSWB
5/5  rDev +18.2%

DustinSWB, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev -5.4%

aquazr1, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of Nolen12
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Nolen12, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of eric5bellies
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Leffe Chalice.

A - A very nice head complemeted by a rich mahogany colour. The head is virtually the same for the entire beer.

S - Small amount of yeast and spice.

T - There is some spice and definitley some aniseed here. Lots of dark fruits that is followed by a boozey finish.

M - Medium to full body with medium carbonation and very very smooth.

D - Yet another top brew by St Bernardus, would go down well with christmas pudding.

eric5bellies, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of millelacsmark
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

millelacsmark, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

75cL bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester, Maine. Pours a hazy but still translucent dark copper with a half inch of light tan head. Smells intensely fruity and spicy, with banana, nut, and chocolate notes. Tastes fruity, chocolatey, and spicy, with an underlying toastiness. Banana, nut, cherry, dates, and cloves all play nearly equal roles. On the heavier side of medium-bodied with ample carbonation. More of a sipper, though one sip most definitely invites another and this beer was gone long before I wanted it to be. Wow. Quite possibly the best beer this brewery makes, a phenomenal Christmas beer, and one of the most flavorful and complex beers I've had all year. Amazing!

MrHurmateeowish, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 1/4/2009 (bottle dated 19/08/12):

Pours a huge, active, frothy tannish colored head, with big bubbles. Body is a dark brown color, can't see through at all. Very floral, sweet smelling nose. Dark fruit like plum or grape. Some spiciness too, and a little bit of alcohol. Not an overpowering aroma. sweet spicy, effervescent aftertaste, not too drying, thirst-quenching. A fruity taste, somewhat dark, but some light fruit present too, like pear and banana. Nice winter spices. Carbonated palate, somewhat creamy. Not too bad, tasty for a spiced brew. Even tastier as it warms.

jujubeast6000, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of crbnfbr
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

crbnfbr, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of bruachan
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

deep mahogany with sudsy head that, predictably, didn't really last

strong dark fruit with some vinous and even genuinely winey elements. slight airy hops, cinnamon

warming and spicy. mouthfeel is good and provides a decent palette on which to base the tasty brew. plenty of dark continental malts. with time the breadier variety of malt experiences begin, taking the place of the fruitier kind bit by bit. cola. despite the heat to be expected of a 10% beverage, this one doesn't really have it; though warming, very drinkable

that being said, it's not all that impressive, to be honest

bruachan, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of russwbeck
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rustico for their Festivus Event.

A: Muddy brown pour with hints of orange. A finger or so of off-white head 4

S: Tons of Belgian yeast and candied sugar, mixed with Christmas ale spices 4

T: I'm impressed by how much this tastes like a Belgian instead of a Christmas ale. Very tasty with the spices stepped up a notch. Sweet and appropriately seasonal. 4

MF: Light to medium body with good carb. 4

O: I liked this, but it didn't overwhelm me. 4

russwbeck, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a St. Bernardus branded goblet.

The bottle creates a loud pop when I pull the cork, but it is no gusher. A burgundy brown colored beer is full and rich to the eye, with a full eggshell white head that is initially huge before settling down a little bit.

The aroma is full of plums, dates, and a bit of raisins. Holiday spices light up the nose as well. All of these aromas exist in front of a full caramel malt.

My first sip is quite sweet. Brown sugar, plums, dates, figs, and raisins are the most noticeable at first. The holiday spices from the nose come through as well; nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon all work well with the fruit notes. A bit of bread crusts and sweet caramel provide the malt presence. There is a bit of booze and light dry bitterness toward the end of the sip.

From the pop of the cork, it was obvious that this is a well-carbonated brew. It is a overly creamy carbonation with a little bit of a bubbly nature as well, as I am used to in the abbey ales. The flavor starts sweet and sticky and finishes with a light residue on the lips.

Overall I thought this was quite complex and enjoyable. Pretty much what I would expect out of St. Bernardus.

KickInTheChalice, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of jmccraney
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

jmccraney, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: deep copper-red color, incredible rich pillowy tan head that kept it all the way, clear
S: milder nose, rich roasted powdered malt and marmalade with earthy leather
T: full taste, no readily noticeable EtOH, just a bit in finish, incredibly smooth and rich with deep chocolate and roasted malt flavors
M: rounded with incredible depth and balance, tastes like it's been aging for years

wisrarebeer, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of InfernoBoss
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

InfernoBoss, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of Gehrig
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at the classic Crane Alley in Urbana, IL after finishing the Christmas shopping this afternoon.

One and one-half fingers of caramel-colored froth top a cloudy ruby-amber body; ample lacing on the St. Bernardus glass (yes, they have a few at Crane Alley), good duration, and lovely color give this a terrific appearance. Wonderful, fruity smells, vinous with some orange peel, some spice (cinnamon and ginger), and a bit of chocolate. Very sweet nose, very good.

Magnificent, smooth taste, heavy on the sweet fruit--maraschino cherries, grape, orange--but, from cranberry and dried fruit such as date and raisin emerging in the second half, with a distinctly sour finish that adroitly balances Christmas Ale and forestalls any cloying. Some semi-sweet chocolate peeks through the dense layers of fruit. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, making this all too easy on the palate. So impressive is how well the high ABV (10.0%) is masked. It was only in the second glass, which I immediately ordered after dousing the first, that I felt it and, by then, it was remarkably easy to accept.

Outstanding BSDA and winter beer, St. Bernardus Christmas Ale filled me with Christmas cheer all day long. What a tremendous find, and kudos to Crane Alley for finding a place for it in their typically stellar lineup of wares.

First rate.

Gehrig, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: 1/2" tan head over brown liquid.

S: Pears, green apples, green grapes, cherries, strawberries, grass and flowers.

T: Strawberries, pears, cherries, figs, dark grapes, biscuity malt, and grass.

M: Medium viscosity and and high level of foamy and soft carbonation.

O: One of the best Christmas Beers I have ever had. Somewhat dry and not too sweet, the flavours of the yeast are fantastic.

DaftCaskBC, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of KeyWestGator
4/5  rDev -5.4%

KeyWestGator, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of stumac
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this brew pours up a red tinted brown color with a nice frothy off white head. great lacing. the nose is red apple, faint candy sugar, sweet malts, caramel, pear. the taste is very sweet, dark cherries, yeast, chewy malts. medium bodied and medium carbo. I like Belgium Holiday Ales because they generally don't have a set taste and they are all different. A solid beer.

stumac, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of bluntedboywonder
5/5  rDev +18.2%

bluntedboywonder, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

rowingbrewer, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of HollyHops
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

HollyHops, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of dansmcd
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

dansmcd, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of GeorgeCarroll
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

GeorgeCarroll, Aug 27, 2014
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
95 out of 100 based on 1,529 ratings.