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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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,416 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChrisL24481
ChrisL24481

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

11-15-2013 21:58:18 | More by ChrisL24481
Photo of dkw0063
dkw0063

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

02-03-2014 17:23:34 | More by dkw0063
Photo of Kromes
Kromes

Georgia

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2010 23:48:53 | More by Kromes
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor

California

3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 23:18:33 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 22:54:02 | More by GPHarris
Photo of Nolen12
Nolen12

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

06-11-2013 03:31:25 | More by Nolen12
Photo of kingmaker
kingmaker

Louisiana

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

01-26-2013 00:32:33 | More by kingmaker
Photo of scotv
scotv

New York

4/5  rDev -5.4%

05-01-2013 19:57:05 | More by scotv
Photo of DaftPatrick
DaftPatrick

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -5.4%

05-11-2014 06:11:37 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of RochefortChris
RochefortChris

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +18.2%

05-04-2013 03:20:59 | More by RochefortChris
Photo of Braz
Braz

Washington

4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 20:29:41 | More by Braz
Photo of Eighty
Eighty

Washington

4/5  rDev -5.4%

01-09-2014 01:44:05 | More by Eighty
Photo of KJ2013
KJ2013

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

10-04-2013 01:38:43 | More by KJ2013
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a 750 of this to drink after Christmas with friends. It's been a while since I've had one. Love the bottle art. No idea how old this isn't.

A. Sint Bernardus Christmas produces a huge, 3 inch tall dense, moussy tan head almost immediately upon pouring. The beer is cola colored and dark. The head is impressive, but a bit much, and needs to fall before any 'headway' can be made on the brew.

S. Belgian all the way. Big dark malt sweetness, plus the candi sugar that takes it up a few rungs. Phenloic-spice, pepper, heavy on the Belgian yeast now, then pear, candi sugar, light banana, black bread, sweet, smooth, dark fruits... covers a highly diverse amount of smells and does them very well. The nose here is both complete and inviting, and while you can pick booze up, it is very restrained for 10%.

T. Classic Belgian Strong Dark, but with more spice that you might be used to. Sweet and estery-sour, raisin and dark prune / plum, then at turns rummy, spicy,sweet, cola-like. The Belgian character here is wonderful, lending a sprightly complexity that is (to me) better than the normal Abt 12, which itself is no weakling. This tastes aged, meaning all the flavors have blended and rounded out, and the booze is nowhere to be found until you get that welcome warming feeling. Soft, yet boldly flavored, and delightful.

M / O. Full bodied beer for sure, but smooth and sweet, the malt finish fading out slowly, lingering. What a tasty brew this was! If this is fresh, then it is a tremendous recipe. I really do think this is the second best beer I've had from this brewery, after the 60th Anniversary. Saint Bernardus Christmas is a true Belgian classic, and one that will be finding its way into my glass a good deal more often. Highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 03:44:14 | More by kkipple
Photo of BeerImmediately
BeerImmediately

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Pig in Malvern on Friday, to help celebrate the 75th anniversary to the end of Prohibition!

Dark copper-brown color with minimal head.

Smelled of deep, ripe fruits (raisins in particular), with complex spices including nutmeg and cinnamon, and definite bready / yeasty quality.

Tasty, indeed. Everything from the nose transferred over, with a little touch of hop bite and maybe some clove.

Pleasant carbonation, and really nice drinkability - had no idea this was 10% ABV.

A MUST-HAVE for the holidays!!

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2008 20:52:00 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of theminutemen
theminutemen

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

05-20-2012 02:55:20 | More by theminutemen
Photo of Pecan
Pecan

California

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-20-2012 08:03:06 | More by Pecan
Photo of elricorico
elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown, opaque in the goblet, with a more than adequate beige head that sticks around for ages. Lacing forms designs all around the glass.

Sweet and malty aroma. Dark fruits, raisins, and a sweet root beer impression. A touch of musty yeast notable on every other whiff.

Taste can be described in one word as decadent. Sweet and complex through the front half of the mouth. Dryer and just a bit vinuous through the finish. Spices are there but subtley blended throughout. Fantastic.

Full bodied with lowish carbonation. Creamy and chewy even. Just a nice feel for a sipper.

It really doesn't get much better than this. I'd been looking forward to the bottle for a long time, and it does not dissapoint.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 04:21:35 | More by elricorico
Photo of NateMac13
NateMac13

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-24-2012 18:08:08 | More by NateMac13
Photo of MisterClean
MisterClean

California

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at kerstbier tasting at the Shack.

A - Pours a light brown color, with a 2-3 fingered head, which quickly settles to 1 finger and refuses to disappear. Nice lacing in glass.

S - Orange, cumin, cardamom, ginger, and spicy hops.

T - Pretty much the same.

M - Slightly thin, with some alcohol presence, but still good.

D - Real good, despite thinness, but the nose and taste this a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2008 06:53:19 | More by MisterClean
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml brown cork and cage, cool Christmas-themed Bernardus label. Stamped on the top of the cage is 5-27-15 (Guessing that's the best-by date, but I picked this up last year). Poured into two Chimay glasses and split with my wife.

Appearance: Warm mahogany brew with beautiful garnet highlights. Lots of carbonation and a big light tan cap fades to a creamy half finger after a few minutes and leaves some gorgeous sheets of lace.

Smell: Lots of bready yeast, red wine fruitiness, and some Belgian (yeast) spice. Perhaps a hint of candy sugar. Really nice.

Taste: Lots of dark and red fruit (cherries, sweet red wine) with notes of cellar, earth, and a hint of candy sweetness. Green apples on the finish. Mild (balanced, and nowhere NEAR hot) alcohol, ends dry, with a very light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Awesome; creamy, fluffy, tingly...perfect for the style.

Overall: Even more than the sum of its parts; this usually goes for between 11-13 for a 750 and is relatively widely available. At that price, I think this is (still) after several years is probably my favorite BDSA/Quad out there and, honestly, is close enough to give Westvleteren 12 a run for its money.

A = 93

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 02:01:29 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of johntfox
johntfox

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

05-21-2013 01:00:33 | More by johntfox
Photo of jayhunter357
jayhunter357

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -5.4%

05-24-2013 23:07:54 | More by jayhunter357
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Swampy tobacco brown body with a massive beige head that paints lace all across the sides of the glass, retaining rather well.

Oh that smells beautiful - cinnamon toast, fresh bread, caramel malts and plenty of that signature St. Bernardus burnt brown sugar. The only descriptors I can come up with seem to suggest something entirely sweet but it really isn't... at least not any sweeter than most of the classic Belgian darks. This really does smell fantastic. What a pleasant change of pace compared to most American Christmas beers.

On the palate it doesn't provide quite the same degree of depth. Raisin, figs and dates... mellow cinnamon/brown sugar, there's almost like a honeysuckle type finish that cleans up the tongue. It's a bit more tame than the nose would suggest. Smooth, though, and exceedingly drinkable.

Merry fucking Christmas!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 01:46:57 | More by yamar68
Photo of JimGlonke
JimGlonke

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

04-30-2012 03:11:10 | More by JimGlonke
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,416 ratings.