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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

1,417 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,417
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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,417 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JimGlonke
JimGlonke

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

04-30-2012 03:11:10 | More by JimGlonke
Photo of alamode
alamode

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

07-29-2013 01:13:10 | More by alamode
Photo of HamGlade10
HamGlade10

Oklahoma

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

02-27-2012 15:39:35 | More by HamGlade10
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked/caged 750ml bottle with the monk looking quite festive sporting a santa hat.

Pours a murky brown that is to be expected..a generous foamy head rests on top.
An array of different spice flavors from cinnamon & cloves to nutmeg & ginger..very unique. The earthy malts & boozyness also add some Christmas-y flair to this beer, that would be a fantastic Christmas gift to any beer lover (sounds like I'm trying to sell you the stuff)

The only disappointing thing I found was that the carbonation of this beer was off the charts..the first sip I took was nearly undrinkable because as soon as I'd take a sip, I had a mouth full of foam. After shaking up the bottle a few times, it settled down and the mouthfeel was much better..I'd suggest cautiously taking out the cork and letting this one sit for a while before drinking it.

I'm going to save a bottle for next Christmas, this should hold up really well.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2007 16:44:36 | More by hero27
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

3.18/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Burp Castle, NYC. Poured into Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Murky, chocolate-brown like coffee. No head and some speckled lacing.

Smell: Weak scent of Belgian yeast and grape.

Taste: There's some notes of grape, caramel, and brown sugar, but the dominant taste is cola. There's a bright Belgian yeast flavor at the end that's reminiscent of the finish of Saint Bernardus's quad, which is this beer's high point. The alcohol is hot and dominant. There's some noticeable hops. The flavor is a bit wine-like and dark. It's sweet and tart, almost sour. The flavor was very uneven; each sip was different, and, more often than not, unpleasant. At times, dangerously close to cough syrup.

Mouthfeel: Watery and syrupy, with way over the top carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent, considering the ABV.

---

This beer tasted unfortunately close to cola. The horribly overdone carbonation doesn't help matters. Very disappointing offering from such an outstanding brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2009 07:58:53 | More by Pahn
Photo of stumac
stumac

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 06:20:46 | More by stumac
Photo of PappyVans
PappyVans

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

05-24-2014 23:20:10 | More by PappyVans
Photo of impending
impending

California

4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.
quadish
simply superb
cheers
jd

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 01:17:09 | More by impending
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim

China

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

06-29-2014 22:25:18 | More by patre_tim
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a murky chestnut tone while yielding a generous 2"+ beige/tan head. strong retention and patches of lacing evident. nose offers a strong spice presence with other notes of dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, and belgian yeast.

flavor follows the aroma with strong opening salvo of spices, followed by the malt and caramel / brown sugar elements, then the dark fruits. tasty, relatively complex. medium-plus bodied mouthfeel with some prickly carbonation.

overall, it's a bit reminiscent of (at the risk of being simplistic) a spiced version of the abt 12 - which i would prefer. a very good christmas ale, just nothing overly spectacular.

(originally reviewed: 12-07-2011)

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 22:50:12 | More by BostonHops
Photo of scootny
scootny

New York

4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark cola brown color with a sizable head of off white foam. Good lacing and retention. Aromas of fruitcake and rum. Bananas and toffee. Good Belgian yeast profile and a bit of sweet alcohol. Taste is much the same with a bit of bready malt at the core. Spiced and toasty. Raisins and figs really push forward here and the alcohol while well integrated is apparent in the finish. Finish is dry and earthy with a bit of fusel booze. Some good bittering. A warming and very complex beer here. Feel is thick and rich with a lightly prickly carbonation. Goes down nicely and the flavors develop nicely as it warms. A sipper for sure but you keep sipping often. Yum.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 02:15:41 | More by scootny
Photo of CHADMC3
CHADMC3

Connecticut

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The deep walnut brown body gives off only a slight white head with little noticeable carbonation.

Aroma is of sweet, dark fruit, molasses, and malt.

A slight spice such as nutmeg or cinnamon is faint amongst the dark fruits of raisins or fig with hints of yeast as well.

Little carbonation, medium body, dry, and an excellent array of character for the palate.

This is a fantastic beer. Tons of deep flavors, almost too easy to drink, begging you to take another sip, and the high ABV does not overwhelm amongst the various flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 06:01:30 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of Blanco
Blanco

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

01-29-2013 02:47:25 | More by Blanco
Photo of hopkrid
hopkrid

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

10-14-2013 09:02:20 | More by hopkrid
Photo of projectflam86
projectflam86

Ohio

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

750ml bottle.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a thick sudsy head that leaves nice lacing.

S- Strong Belgian yeast and spice with some alcohol present as well.

T- Clove, banana, Belgian candy sugar, and alcohol in the finish.

M- Medium bodied with crazy active carbonation.

O- Overall a very nice Belgian/Christmas ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 23:36:07 | More by projectflam86
Photo of tdmccarthy
tdmccarthy

Illinois

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-12-2013 02:55:24 | More by tdmccarthy
Photo of MattSweatshirt
MattSweatshirt

Texas

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 01:45:55 | More by MattSweatshirt
Photo of eulerthegrape
eulerthegrape

California

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

02-03-2013 21:06:44 | More by eulerthegrape
Photo of kmo1030
kmo1030

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a dark ruby brown. held up to the light, you can see there are bits and pieces dancing around, i think uncorking aggitated the sediment.
the aroma somewaht subtle, but is malty and darkly fruity. not much of the spicing that is present in the taste is in the aroma, just hints. there is a touch of lemon zest, or something like it, and also berry aromas.
the taste has got a rich malty character thats not too sweet. the same dark fruits come through, grape, berry, fig, a little plum. there is a substantial spice character, mostly cinnamon, but it contains a variety of other complexities, perhaps some clove and nutmeg. it's actually quite peppery too.
the mouthfeel is a medium bodied, with overactive, coarse, clumsy carbonation. i could go for a little more body a more manageable amount of carbonation.
the drinkability is a solid 4. the abv is very well masked, there's no trace other than the slight warming in the throat. it would be even better with body and carbonation adjusted a bit. overall, while not without it's flaws it's a very good winter beer that hits most of the right notes.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 03:13:19 | More by kmo1030
Photo of grumpygerman
grumpygerman

Alabama

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

12-25-2012 16:32:37 | More by grumpygerman
Photo of BuckTuckian
BuckTuckian

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-30-2013 13:50:09 | More by BuckTuckian
Photo of TKEbeerman
TKEbeerman

Florida

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice, this BSDA pours a medium brown with a ruby hue. The head is 1 finger thick and very bubbly.

S: The aroma is very sweet and is heavy in notes of dark fruit, raisins and figs, coupled with slight notes of the typical Belgium yeasty spice/clove.

T: The flavor is great. Everything present in the nose shines on the pallet. Dark figs and raisins. Maybe some bruised apples. Belgium spice is kept at the minimum, but adds complexity on the back of the pallet.

MF: Mouthfeel is a little light for a Belgium, but not bad.

D: Drink is good too, but not outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 00:06:30 | More by TKEbeerman
Photo of millelacsmark
millelacsmark

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

11-15-2011 18:20:31 | More by millelacsmark
Photo of BrownAleMale
BrownAleMale

Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

12-27-2013 00:32:23 | More by BrownAleMale
Photo of JamieDuncan
JamieDuncan

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

12-26-2013 04:29:48 | More by JamieDuncan
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,417 ratings.