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Samichlaus Bier Helles - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Bier HellesSamichlaus Bier Helles

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

359 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 359
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 15.47%
Wants: 19
Gots: 49 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg visit their website

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikesgroove on 11-25-2007

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 359 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 batch, brewed on December 6, 2007, of course. Sadly, the enjoyment of this one was six days past its one-year vintage -- it would have been much more exciting to have enjoyed it on 6. Dezember 2008. The excitement was still present, nevertheless.

Pours a clear, deep golden hue with just a tinge of amber. A slight head of creamy white foam rises slowly and falls quickly, all but disappearing and dropping no trace of itself on the walls of the tulip glass.

Smells big, rich and malty, with a powerfully sweet malt aroma mixed with a bit of boozy alcohol.

Extremely full-bodied, thick and viscous in mouthfeel. A huge malt bomb on the palate. Mega malt sweetness melds with a warming alcohol presence and a bit of fruitiness, going down with a pleasant warm feeling and a lingering sweetness that is, at the same time, dry, and calls for yet another swallow.

Deceptively drinkable is an understatement. Despite the maltiness, which is often borderline cloying, and the heavy alcohol presence, this brew just keeps screaming for another sip, and by the end of the glass the 14% ABV has been forgotten, though it quickly emerges in the lightheaded feeling the beer imparts.

Deliciously delicate and hard-hitting. A must-have for any fan of big, malty brews, and for fans of Doppel- and Eisbocks alike. Doppelbock is really a misnomer, as the Triple Bock designation given in Don Russell's book "Christmas Beer" is much more appropriate for a Bockbier this huge.

Photo of czfreeman
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Pop-top 1pt 9.4oz bottle. I recived this as a birthday present earlier this month,as the brewing date corresponds with my birthday.
Pours out a cherry-brown tone,leaving little to no head.
Aromas are cherry cordial sweetness,congac-bite,a rich vanilla custard sweetness.Think Arm cheesecake. Malty earthy tones make up the crust of this delicious treat.
Taste is rendolent of the aroma. Spicy,sweet, cherrys up front,finishes with a cherry malt bite. German Gluhwein is immediatley called to mind, spicy and biting.The fullness of the creaminess of the taste is silky as eggnog, this really hits all points of a holiday drink.Long and lingering,this would be perfect sitting next to the tree at Chrismastime.
The mouthfeel is very full, the bite of the gingery spiciness combined with the sweet fullness of the creamy cherry-spice flavor make this a fantastic holiday treat. I hope to enjoy each year. Cheers St. Nick!

Photo of John_M
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Max's the other day.

The beer pours a bright gold color with minimal head retention and lacing. Don't get a lot on tbe nose either, though there is a hint of sweet malt and spice. On the palate this beer is VERY sweet, but with some interesting cherry, honey and vanilla. Coupled with the high alcohol, the sweetness makes this beer a bit cloying and heavy. Drinkability is where this beer really suffers, though I was able to finish the glass given enough time.

An interesting beer, though I'm not sure I'd want to order it again. The combination of sweetness and high alcohol is just too much, and make this a difficult beer to drink.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage, bottle from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter on the 1st anniversary of its brewing (December 6th, 2008).

Appearance: Pours a bright orange amber with thousands of time, fine, slow-moving bubbles that creep upwards towards a fast-fading one-finger head, the result of a fairly aggressive pour. It does, as I mentioned, fade fairly fast, which is likely forgivable, given the alcohol level. It leaves a thin ring of bubbly white lacing, sustained likely not even due to the surface tension that normally keeps part of the head sticking around, but instead due to the plethora of bubbles. Doesn't look much like a doppelbock, but I'm going to go fast and loose as far as rating this one to style goes ...

Aroma: Not too terribly much goin' on here - agitation reveals a lot of lighter fruity esters, most of which meld to evoke a very "apple juice"-y aroma. The alcohol is surprisingly imperceptible in the nose, at least for a while, but - looking back in retrospect after taking a sip or two - I wish you could detect a lot of good fruity notes that you get in the mouth, but it's fairly one-dimensional, if pleasant.

Taste: Hot damn. 1 part tropical fruit cocktail, 2 parts light rum, mix well, serve chilled. Lots of apples (not tart, sweet), buttery pears, pineapple, peaches, and tons of pale, honey sweetness. The alcohol is indeed warming and spicy, but it's at no point disagreeable - the overwhelming sweetness of this one does an admirable job of countering it, making it an enjoyable if intense experience.

Mouthfeel: It's incredibly thick, but the aforementioned carbonation goes a long way towards lightening things up a little. Still, it's fairly syrupy, and with plenty of prickly alcohol head (surprise!), but not as bad as it likely could or should be.

Drinkability: Well, what do you expect with a 14.0% abv beer? I enjoyed this one very slowly, perhaps over an hour and a half, so I don't feel too terribly buzzed, but you really gotta be careful with this one - I can't classify a beer I had to take an hour and a half to savor as "drinkable." Nonetheless, it's a fairly tasty and definitely interesting concoction, and though it's not something I'm gonna buy a four-pack of so I can whip one out after mowing the lawn, it's still something you should try at least once.

Photo of Strix
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden, minimal head, some lacing.

Smells of malt, oak, booze, and fruits - apples?

Very fruity in the taste, apple, pineapple, peach, that turns to oak, also a spicy finish in there. Big dose of malt in there, also very sweet - tastes a bit like pure sugar cubes. Alcohol is in there, but certainly well hidden considering. A very interesting sipper.

Mouthfeel slick.

Definitely worth a try here. Reminds me a bit of an Old Ale and other high abv styles, which I haven't been a big fan of, yet this is certainly well crafted and impressed me. Really nice if you're in the mood for it.

Photo of corby112
2.46/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a pinkish blush color with miniscule white head that dissapears very quickly. Sweet aroma of alcohol, cherry and candi sugar. Very sweet tasting with cherry, grape, sugar cane notes and a very strong alcohol presence. This beer is not very flavorful and the strong alochol warmth makes it not very quaffable.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml swing top bottle.

Pours a clear caramel with no head or bubbling Makes me think cognac, not a dopplebock. Very cool looking. Caramel drizzled strawberries, pears, and peaches with a spanking of alcohol that makes presence known, but is well intergrated. Carameled and sugared peaches starts the flavor off right. Lots of other soft yet sugary sweet fruits dance around the palate with a turbocharge of alcohol. Lots of sweetness with this palate, very syrupy.The alcohol helps cu the iscociy a little. Any bitterness you notice is not from hops, but the 14% abv. Great sipping beer. One of the best sipping lagers I've ever had.

Photo of Pencible
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear light copper with a bit of white head. It smelled like an old ale, with heavy honey wheat and and molasses and alcohol, with some apricot hops. It tasted much bigger than the Dunkel or Urbock, like very sweet honey and caramel and cane sugar, with a bit of barley, pineapple, new oak and alcohol. It was slightly thick with no carbonation, and had a sweet aftertaste with a bit of alcohol warming. Overall this was borderline too sweet but was otherwise very tasty. It was clean and had a nice body. The big flavor and noticeable alcohol makes this a definite sipping beer. This was very much like an old ale, which is one of my favorite styles. But I wonder if age would make this one too sweet?

Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a brilliantly clear slightly darkened orange in color with no head whatsoever due to the massive alcohol content. Sweet.

Smell - The first sense I get is of quality triple sec with a surprising absence of booze. I also am finding a rich but broken down malt base and some sound wood notes without that annoying vanilla fragrance. Nice again.

Taste - The booze comes through a little bit more at the taste as does the orange. The malt from the nose actually steps back a bit making this a big fruity booze-fest. The wood again is quite prominent and dominant.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied with no alcohol sting whatsoever, which is absolutely amazing. There is a fascinating malty bitterness at the very back of the tongue and of course no carbonation at all.

Drinkability - I enjoy the high-octane stuff as anyone who knows me can attest. This is probably the highest quality booze bier that I've ever had. It is incredibly smooth with no sense of alcohol. You wouldn't even know of its high ABV except halfway through the glass you start falling down a lot. Extremely well done - a class act for sure.

Update - I had a chance to review this again in 2010. This is really an incredible beer and worth of the highest regards. It is a masterful effort and incorporates well the record-setting high ABV in a tasty, flavorful beverage.

The flavor is doppelbockesque with a thick, rich, malt base that has a high-octane orange charge in it. What the brewer has mastered though is the blending of the big alcohol and the sweetish malts. It's like a liquid malt love of some kind. Either way it is an amazing production and as a helles DB in a class all by its lonesome self. This is actually one of my favorite beers of all time.

Photo of klewis
2.45/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a light golden with a small, bubbly head. Little sustain or lacing.

S: Caramel and soft tropical fruit aromas with a strong fusel smell.

T: Pineapple with a toffee-like backbone. The flavors are nicely balanced, but the alcohol in this one is overwhelming.

M: Full-bodied with plenty of carbonation. Dry.

D: I generally prefer that the beers that I drink do not burn my sinuses. With that being said I'll pass on this next time, or at cellar for many years before attempting to drink it again.

Photo of BarryNL
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2007 bottling of this very interesting lager. Apparently this is a lighter (by colour and maybe flavour rather than strength) version of the original Samichlaus. I haven't been able to find too much information about this beer, but I'm assuming it's brewed from 100% malt rather than using sugar.

A: Despite being a Helles this is a fairly deep amber colour - again, supporting the idea that it's an all grain, no sugar beer. There is little in the way of a head and it is clearly filtered. This is a little surprising as the label suggests ageing the beer but I'm not sure it will age particularly well once filtered.

S: Big malt and alcohol - no surprises there - fortunately, the alcohol doesn't dominate too strongly and there are hints of dried fruits and tar.

T: Again, big malt and strong alcohol. The alcohol does not dominate, although it's a close run thing. It almost reminds me of an aged tawny port. In fact, this is so strong that it's almost closer to a dessert or fortified wine than a lager. There is, however, a slightly strange, harsh tang which is a little off-putting.

M: Again, if you treat this as a lager it might be considered cloying - it you think of it as a dessert wine it kind of works. Carbonation is lowish but sufficient.

D: Too strong to really drink a lot of. I've still scored it highly because I don't feel a lager of this strength needs to be drinkable by the pint. If sipped as an after dinner drink, which is perhaps its best niche, it is perfectly drinkable.

Apparently, this is a lighter version of this beer for the American market - time will tell if this works, though I can't imagine that anyone but beer enthusiasts buys this lager and they are not going to be put off by a heavier beer. Personally, I don't think this matches the original beer and I think I'll stick to that but I'm interested to see how their experiment works out.

Photo of GClarkage
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

10/23/08- Purchased at Ledger's in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle, bottled in 2007. Poured into my Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance- Lighter copper in color. Pours with a 3/4 inch light foamy head on a hard pour, which soon fades to a very slight rim. Leaves light spotty lace.

Smell- Kinda has a good smell and an odd smell at the same time. Not really outgoing with sugary caramel notes and a wet dog fur nose.

Taste- Very rich and caramely. No real hops involved, but lots and lots of smooth roasted caramel malts. Maybe a slash of orange liquor like flavor as well. Drambuie?

Mouthfeel- Very smooth with a medium to slight lower carbonation level. Warming with a full mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Alcohol is nicely hidden in this one. Really hard to keep from chugging this rather than sipping. Super easy to drink. Will have again in the future. $4.99 price tag.

Photo of Viggo
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo, good nightcap!

Pours a clear amber/golden, decently sized white head for the ABV forms, quickly settles to a thin ring, no lacing, some legs on the glass, looks nice. Smell is very sweet and boozy, candi sugar, corny syrup, caramel, alcohol, lots of sweet tropical fruits, a bit buttery, bready, but very sweet, melons, not too bad. Taste is similar, very sweet, sugary, candy, melons, tropical mango and grilled pineapple, alcohol is actually pretty well restrained, bit of malt comes through in the middle, some butterscotch, bit of bready, spicy alcohol finish, lots of fruit. Mouthfeel is thick, very full bodied, almost syrupy, low carbonation, big alcohol heat but not as bad as I would have thought, in line with the regular Samichlaus which amazed me too with how easy it is to drink. The helles is a bit hotter like malt liquor, kind of tastes like a more refined version of Max Ice, but isn't too bad for the ABV.

Photo of leif86
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, orange colored brew with a thin off-white head that gives way to lacing.

S: I got a strong sweet fruit, mostly grape-like, aroma from this beer. No estery aroma that I could pick up on, though I expected one.

T: No alcohol found here either. Though sweet and fruity like the aroma I tasted more apple like character than grape here.

M: Very smooth, much like juice. Not much carbonation found here.

D: This is 14%? Man, perfect for dessert. Forget port, pick some of this up instead. Again, this is 14%? I knew it going in and I know it now, but geez, it doesn't taste like it.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. bottle, 2007 version,

A: Pours a burnt orange, with a small white head, pretty colour.

S: Strong smell, which I expect with the high alcohol content and volatiles - ripe fruit, orange, melon, brown sugar and ethanol in spades.

T: Get a lot of orange and some tropical fruits. Very sweet, mixed with a bit of ethanol, but it melds well with the other flavours, definitely in balance with the residual sugar. Tasty stuff.

M: Silky smooth, you can definitely feel the ethanol as it goes down, high viscosity, high final gravity.

D: The lighter cousin of Samichlaus, definitely a good beer, even if I prefer the darker version. In my opinion, definitely recommended.

Photo of Nowhereman529
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance on pour from the bottle is very clear, almost too clear. It actually looks a little thin to be honest, with only a little foam around the top.

Smell is actually quite nice. A large amount of maltiness, some caramel, and a little fruit in the background.

Taste is sweet, as in a little too sweet for a dopplebock. Not generally when I think of for this style. Not a terrible surprise, but not great either. Again, there's a reasonable amount of malt with perhaps a little apple thrown in for good measure.

Mouthfeel is a little flat, I expected a little more carbonation.

Overall, I think this is an ok beer and it makes for a decent evening beer given it's sweetness and high abv. I'd recommend it for a try.

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.37/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this high gravity beer into a brandy snifter. There is almost no carbonation. A thin lacing forms and then dissapates quickly. I can definately smell the 14% ABV from a foot away. I actually drank two of these previous to this review. I think one could age this beer for a few years with no problem. I would love to try one of these 2007 releases every Christmas day for a few years and see how it changes.

The nose on this one is fruity. I think this one might actually taste sweet. I am wondering if I will even be able to taste the hops.

The first taste is like pure syrup without sugar. The liquid, if you can call it that, rolls across the tongue and doesn't want to go down without a fight. This has the bite of a dry sherry and the thickness of 5W30.

The flavor is of high alcohol and big fruit. I would love to drink another, but 1) I don't have another one and 2) I don't think I could get the cap off - this one hits kinda hard. Drink this one slowly and carefully by the fire or after a huge meal - this would be a great digestive.

Photo of dnichols
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: It poured a golden body with a small white had that sunk into the liquid. It had very modest lacing leaving only spots on the side of the glass.

S: It smell of overripe fruits (pears and peaches), sweet white cane sugar, and a lot of alcohol. It was sticky on the nose.

T: It was syrupy sweet with an oily richness that made the flavors coat the tongue and overwhelm the hops and other flavors.

M: It was thick, full bodied, had low carbonation and it was thick as cold maple syrup. It finished warm and surprisingly clean.

D: This is like drinking maple syrup directly from the bottle. Its a taste bomb but only tolerable in moderate amounts.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shimmering golden-peach color with stunning clarity. The head is particularly light and wispy, tiny bubbles and really airy, almost like dish soap. Thick head initially but it thinned to a crown in a matter of seconds. So quick it was like watching something in time-lapse. Just a little swirl and you can see this will be sludgier, chewier, and heftier than your usual beer.

Aroma is fruity, ultra-sweet and medicinal, but the alcohol rears its head too aggressively. A real nostril-flaring aftershave attack. Once it started to singe my nose-hairs, I couldn't get past it and couldn't smell much else. Maybe peach-dunked moonshine. Unappealing.

Flavor is also reminiscent of moonshine made with Indian peaches and sugar. More like schnapps or other liqueurs than beer, but that's the beauty of it. Sharp peach, sharp sugar, huge alcohol glow, chalky honey, not balanced and not subtle. Huge fruit/sugar/syrup overload. More alcohol in the finish. A slow sipper, one that benefits from hardly any chill at all.

Unsurprisingly syrupy texture with just the right amount of carbonation to keep it from choking you on thickness. A wonderful presence in the mouth, and probably the best aspect of this creation.

How is this a doppelbock? Imperial Maibock is more like it, although that's just my own silly interpretation. Whatever the case, don't pick up the red-label Helles if you're expecting the normal Samichlaus--this ain't it (and that's better). It's enjoyable to some degree and there's something to be said for being able to make an 11.2 oz. bottle last some 90 minutes or so. Proceed with caution--it's not the greatest of the big classic big beers.

Photo of mnapier
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Service Temperature, 50 degrees farenheit. Service Glassware, 12 ounce tulip.

Pours a golden almost dusk like colored complexion that stabilizes into a clear resolve. The head profile is white but strong but quickly recedes revealing a crown of lace along the perimiter of the glass.
The nose features a waft of sweet corn, golden raisins, spice, candied sugar and some alcohol.
Sipping this I get an immediate medium alcohol burn, that is followed up by the aforementioned sweet corn and sugars. Overall mouthfeel is medium almost mild.

Definitely smooth, but I wouldn't eat anything light with this, maybe some pork or poultry.


Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.68/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a golden syrup with no head or carbonation to speak of.

Smell: Licorice, honey, and alcohol.

Taste: Licorice, honey, sugar, and malt. The alcohol is masked, however the sweetness is overbearing. I split this with my fellow wiseman, which worked well since neither one of us would want to drink an entire bottle.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy. Tremendous warming effect.

Drinkability: Would take either one of us a long while to finish an entire bottle. We split it which worked out ok, but neither one of us wanted another. Sweetness is sickening at times, and alcohol is extremely high. This was more of a novelty than anything.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2007 Bottle Date; Sampled August 2008
A vigorous pour yields a fat, one-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is quite clear with an amber hue, but shows a brilliantly clear, rich gold color when held up to the light. Quite sweet and concentrated smelling with complex, rich, though obviously pale, malt aromas that just seeps from the pores of this beer. Concentrated golden raisin notes (without being fruity though), some notes that are similar to an ice-wine, almost a toffee not but cleaner somehow, something that is a touch metallic or perhaps calcium like and some rich, slightly grassy, toasty, pale grain notes. At this point the aroma is a touch simplistic, though certainly not bad; like the regular version this really seems to need a couple years to come in to its own.

Thick and somewhat creamy feeling up front, a persistent carbonation that, while light, adds a touch of fizziness to the middle of each sip is also noticeable. That distinct, concentrated golden raisin, without being fruity note is also here in the flavor and plays a significant role. Quite sweet tasting, it could actually use some richness, though this last will likely come with a couple years of age. A touch of herbal hoppiness in the finish is noticeable, though it is quite muted compared to the malt and there is only a perceived, light hop bitterness in this finish. Some hot alcohol notes provide a bit of spiciness and a touch of warming; this last lingers as the beer slides down my throat and even warms its way down through to my belly. While rich and certainly a sipping brew this is actually not as cloying as I thought it would be.

Like the regular Samichlaus, this is definitely a bit green / hot when young. This should age quite well, and really won't be drinkable for at least two or three years if not five.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Photo of philipquarles
2.3/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear orange-gold with essentially no head (even with an aggressive pour) and no bubbling.

Smells overwhelmingly like candied sugar, along with a bit of malt, fruit esters (apples, grapes and pears maybe?) and of course, alcohol.

Taste is egregiously sweet. Akin to spiked apple juice with some Sweet 'n' Low thrown in for good measure. A bit of malt flavor is certainly present, but the sweet, sugary fruit taste and the alcohol all but mask it. Mouthfeel is like syrup.

Overall, nearly undrinkable.

Photo of sevopie
2.78/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Reddish-golden color with a quickly dissipating white head.

Smell - This smells heavily of bitter maltiness, like a pilsner. Has a hint of sweet/spice note on it.

Taste - Tastes like a watered down version of the regular Samichlaus with the bitter slightly more prevalent. Heavy on the alcohol tone with a sugary sweet maltiness and a heavy bitter with a slight spice tone.

Mouthfeel - Fairly light with a lot of carbonation, unfortunately the carbonation enhances the alcohol tone.

Drinkability - I am wondering how easily I am going to finish this one. Not nearly as easy to drink as the regular Samichlaus, and the bitterness doesn't really sit very well. I'm glad I found it to try it, but I will stick to the regular one.

Photo of becktone
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From Notes 8-4-08

Eye: Golden in color and lively with carbonation. The beer is perfectly clear. The poor head retention takes away from this one though. Considering that this is 14% abv perhaps that is tolerable. The head forms nicely but collapses to a blanket over the beer. Poor lacing as well.

Nose: Sweet malt and alcohol fill the room. Fruity tones as well. Definitely a huge malt influence here. Nice sweet pale malt aroma, warmth from alcohol as well. Some spice hides in there coming from either alcohol or hops. Yeasty aroma, much like that of bread. Nice overall aroma, not quite what you'd expect from a doppelbock though. Strong and mellow at the same time.

Tongue: Wow! Huge sweet malt presence and big alcohol presence. I've had other beers this strong or stronger that have hidden the alcohol better. Not really any hops in here, I think that alcohol does all the balancing that is to be found here. This beer almost has a mead like quality to it...the sweetness and presence of alcohol are much like that of mead. Woodiness...oak...perhaps the aging the bottle speaks of is done in oaken casks. A coarse spiciness mingles with the sweetness to give the beer an overall prickly flavor. Not your typical doppelbock.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Definitely dry finish on the palate. Lighter on the palate than one expects for a doppelbock, carbonation, the color and the clarity of this brew lead to this impression. Medium bodied. This is one that I'm glad I've had the opportunity to try, but I doubt that I'll reach for it again anytime soon. There are much better out there....just nothing all that great about this brew, nothing to pull one back to it time and time again.

Samichlaus Bier Helles from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
85 out of 100 based on 359 ratings.