Christmas Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
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Ratings: 1,434 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
4.85/5 rDev +14.7%
750ml poured into a St. Bernardus Goblet
A- Pours a monster beige head with tight bubbles and beautiful lacing. The beer itself is deep dark brown with reddish orange hues.
S- Big dark fruits that I expected. Rum soaked raisins. Burnt caramel, maybe even some honey? Grapefruit, a little alcohol, figs, pretty good stuff. maybe some figs and cinnamon as well.
T- A full variety of crazy flavors, different with every sip. Creamy caramel mixed with dark fruits, Some cinnamon and ginger make this thing come alive. Sugary sweet fruit aftertaste with brown sugar. Started to taste the alcohol after it warmed up a bit.
M- Boatloads of carbonation, its a truly living beer. Definitely a warming in the stomach because its 10%. This thing pours with a lot of foamy head so be cautious on the pour as the head goes nowhere.
O- Awesome beer. It is in my opinion, a little better then the 12. Its just like the twelve but with a slight Christmas kick.
12-25-2011 05:23:59 | More by TwelveOunces
4.03/5 rDev -4.7%
2012. Says it can be aged up to 15 years. I can't imagine how good this would be after a few years, let alone 10 or 15.
A: Deep, dark brown with shades of ruby red. Big, fluffy, off-white to light brown head that builds and fades quickly leaving behind a fizzy, thin layer of foam on top until the first sip.
S: Mmmm...figs, raisins, dark and sweet malts, ripe plums, dark bread, sugar. Very nice. But as the beer warms, some of this disappears, surprisingly.
T: Crazy amount of carbonation (expected from the huge pop from the cork when opened). Thick, creamy, and full of flavor. Sweet, sugary, roasted malt complemented by dark, poached, sugary fruits.
M: Super carbonated and full of roasted flavor. The flavor is stronger than the body makes you believe. A tad cloying in the finish with some warmth from the alcohol.
O: It's a great beer but doesn't seem to be anything crazy or special. Spot on for the style, though. Spiced enough to make this feel like a holiday ale.
12-25-2012 02:44:56 | More by Gatch
4.43/5 rDev +4.7%
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.
12-15-2011 01:45:55 | More by MattSweatshirt
4.2/5 rDev -0.7%
11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a deep brown with not much light getting through; huge fluffy off-white head that sticks around and leaves awesome lacing and retention. The aromas are full of dark fruits and sweet malts. Lots of raisins and plums. Dark cherries too. Some dates in the mix. Candied sugar aromas are there. Of course there's some yeast. The flavors really match the nose. Tons of sweet fruits. Hints of bubblegum and banana too. More plums. Lots of sweet cherries. Finishes with some holiday spices. There's a subtle earthiness. Woodsy. The flavors are very clean. There's basically no hints of alcohol and just finishes with the slightest warmth. Mouthfeel is wonderful. It's full-bodied with very active carbonation. Very smooth, fluffy, and creamy. This makes a nice sipper with a nice complexity.
This is a great Quad. The craftsmanship is very impressive. This is pretty similar to their Abt 12, in my opinion. There's minor differences, especially the subtle spices. I think I'd give Abt 12 the edge, but I'd have to do a side by side to really tell. Either way, this is a great beer. Recommended.
12-25-2013 20:52:53 | More by BB1313
4.53/5 rDev +7.1%
750ml into a tulip. Pours a deep garnet, back lite it would make a nice ornament. Dense towering head, nice lacing.
Merry Christmas to my nose, a wonderful Noël scent rich with spices atop a classic strong dark.
The taste is wonderful, try it. This is the Noël of the season plus wonderful in July.
12-30-2010 01:17:09 | More by impending
4.05/5 rDev -4.3%
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.
01-24-2009 06:20:46 | More by stumac
3.95/5 rDev -6.6%
750ml bottle served in an oversized wine glass / snifter
A - poured about a finger of loose bubbly khaki foam which quickly fell to a ring around the glass and small floating island in the middle. the beer is a dark and cloudy amber/brown.
S - regular St. Bernardus with a touch of santa. cinnamon, very dark and ripe fruits such as raisins and plums, hints of belgian yeast and grapes, finishes with a very light kiss of alcohol.
T - strong dark belgian yeast brings in a touch of the cinnamon and spice behind it. fruits of raisins and slightly sour grapes with a touch of doughy malt carrying it all. wonderful and festive.
M - typical slightly high carbonation but the sweetness adds a bit of overwhelming chewy and stickiness. overwhelming halfway into the first glass, the low point of this one.
D - a good slightly different twist on an exceptional beer. overall pretty enjoyable.
12-26-2009 03:44:49 | More by Stigs
4.88/5 rDev +15.4%
a - poured a three-fingers thick, dense tan head into a tulip glass that settled to a thick sheet with great lacing throughout. the body was dark reddish-purple.
s - big aromas of cherry, plum and raisin.
t - same as the aroma but with some spice as well. some good malt sweetness too. very complex as all St. B beers are.
m - lively carbonation.
o - excellent as always from St. B. i'll always drink one of these during the holidays i hope.
01-15-2014 22:54:02 | More by GPHarris
3.93/5 rDev -7.1%
A: A dark, dark amber with ruby highlights and a thick off white head that sits on top of the beer. Good lacing down the glass.
S: Roasted malt, bready yeast, anise, dark fruit and spice.
T: A toasted brown sugar, molasses, and dark fruit flavor to start, the boozy flavors then kick in along with a lighter fruitiness, bitterness and belgian funk in the beer.
M: Lower carbonation and a sticky, syrupy feel and it leaves the mouth a little dry and with a peppery spice.
D: The beer has a very strong flavor. You can definitely taste and feel the alcohol. However, the beer is tasty and has quite a kick.
12-16-2010 23:48:53 | More by Kromes
4.2/5 rDev -0.7%
Pours very dark ruby with huge rocky white head that stays bubbly throughout. Lots of fruity aromas. Citrus, banana, raisin, clove are all apparent.
Strong flavor. Can taste raisin and figs. Alcohol taste is heavy as well, like brandy perhaps. Very malty, little to no hop presence.
Huge body and tons of carbonation. Very lively and strong brew with a velvet like texture. Only minor complaint would be that it's almost too bubbly and it gets in the way of the flavors.
12-13-2012 20:29:41 | More by Braz
3.73/5 rDev -11.8%
750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.
Appearance: Pours a hazy dark brown color with a nice tan head that slowly becomes a thick film and laces the glass.
Smell: Rich malty aroma of fruit (fig, pear), some sugar and spices, and a bit of orange peel.
Taste: Deep malty flavor with a bit of raisins and sugar towards the finish. Aftertaste has some bitterness. Surprisingly not much to the flavor, I felt.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good deal of tingly carbonation. Pretty smooth, but I thought that the carbonation was a bit too much.
Drinkability: Strong in the alcohol department, but it isn't really present in the taste.
Honestly this was a bit of a let-down. Maybe I'd set my hopes too high, having been waiting for a good time to enjoy this bottle that I'd had since Xmas, but that surely isn't all. I would have expected a bit more flavor and aroma; it didn't really feel like a Belgian Christmas ale, and for a beer of this style it wasn't particularly impressive.
02-06-2010 23:18:33 | More by mithrascruor
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,434 ratings.