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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,724 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,724
Reviews: 1,017
rAvg: 4
pDev: 17%
Wants: 130
Gots: 245 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg visit their website
Austria

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
The once strongest beer in the world is back! Brewed only once a year on December 6. Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This beer is perhaps the rarest in the world. Samichlaus may be aged for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particulary with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself. Brewed under the exclusive licence of Feldschlösschen-Hürlimann-Holding, Switzerland.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 02-25-2001)
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,724 | Reviews: 1,017 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Murrhey:
Photo of Murrhey
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 11.2 oz standard pressure-cap bottle with some foil at the top. Poured in a pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live. The high ABV has me slightly worried to be honest.

A- Poured much thinner than I expected. Very thin, almost clear head that evaporates in seconds. With a very high ABV, that makes sense. Walnut colored body with high clarity and low carbonation. Deceptively quiet looking.

S- Nuttiness, cola, brandy, warm caramel malts and really subdued aroma overall. Well balanced.

T- Brandy, cola, nuttiness, toffee, brown sugar, candi sugar (maybe). Definite booziness. This is a doozy of a flavor. Complex yet not overpowering. Wonderful.

M- Thin body, sticky finish and dry. More like drinking a cognac than a beer.

O- Taste is phenomenal, everything else is above average. Nice brew.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2000 bottling. Head retention is close to nil, this is expected for a lot of the higher alcoholic brews … especially if they are aged. It is syrupy enough for the liquid to stick to the glass when swirling in the snifter. Clear burgundy red colour.

Alcoholic aroma with dark sugar tones that lead it to a rum like smell. Spicy solvent alcohol is big but in a clean way, ripe fruit is scattered all over the place.

Syrupy, smooth, creamy and slick on the tongue. Carbonation has dropped and is in a moderate state struggling to come through the very full body. The creaminess slabs down layers of malt sweetness and ripe fruit flavour of rum soak raisins on top of a big caramel foundation. The alcohol flares upfront with a solvent like character then comes slowly in growing warmth in the end which is emulates a sherry-like flavour as well. Pretty damn clean and finishes semi-dry.

A sure bet for a nightcap for me though I’d love to not only pair this up with some braised lamb chops that are cooked with this beer by incorporate it into a dessert also. A godly brew that many may not understand but the appreciation is there tenfold.

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is dark amber in color and has just a few bubbles floating on the surface. Only a low amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There's a strong aroma of boozy malts in the nose along with some notes of dark fruits.
T: There is a moderate amount of sweetness in the taste, which shares a lot of similarities with the smell. The taste is somewhat complex, and has some notes of caramel, dark fruits and toffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth, and somewhat syrupy on the palate, along with some warmth from the alcohol.
D: This is a beer that definitely needs to be sipped, but it's perfect for keeping warm on a winter evening and goes down rather easily.

Photo of gopens44
4.86/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Upon pour, this seemed thick. just the way it arrogantly wandered out of the bottle into my snifter. Even the nearly non-existent head rose up with an air of nonchalance. Putting my nose to it, I realized why. This thing was no joke, and it knew it. It had been around, doing it's thing far longer than I had and it knew it. I paused for a moment, approached it again and took in a long pull of the liquid. Sweet, hot, dry, bold, dark fruit, candy, figs, brandy, punch in the tongue and finally just about as well balanced as you could possibly imagine despite the bickering factions that existed on my tongue. It's as if every bold, dominant taste known to beer (other than hop bitterness) came together to sing "We are the world" or some peaceful shit like that... Or maybe if Sting, Bono and Frank Sinatra sang together with Neil Peart drumming, Santana on guitar and Steve Harris on bass. You'd think all that talent would be wasted, watered down, contrived or just an ego driven fail, but no - it comes together in masterful fashion with a dry finish that begs of you to stand up and praise with "Bravo!" after every drink. My only bitch about this beer is that it's ABV is too high to drink continuously for several, several hours....

If you enjoy a Quad but haven't ever tried this - do not wait any longer. Get this NOW!

Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage thanks to bmanning. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours a faint caramel color with a few bubbles here and there, but not too much of anything going on. Pretty color, though, I suppose. A few legs on one side of the glass. The nose is pretty strong with a really nice amount of super-sweet malt, caramel, and dark fruits. The taste is more toward the sweet end of the spectrum and adds in a bit of light alcohol, though not too much. Feel is nice with the sweetness and alcohol combining well. Not cloying. Really tasty and a nice sipper. Glad my first taste of this brew was a vintage version and not something fresh, which I've heard can be quite hot.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A must try on tap, but a must-not drive home afterwards. Served in a brandy sniffer at my local pizza pub. The beer came out with a mild, fine carbonation and a light trace of foam atop. A very pale golden / copper color and crystal clear. The viscocity evident with a magnifying effect through the glass and shows heavy legging. Aromas of heavy, syrupy malts, ripe fruits (figs, dates, and pears) with a light nuttiness and strong maple syrup. Lightly buttery, oily and very sweet. The feel is very warm, nearly hot alcohols and a light tingle to the whole mouth. Numbing upon impact. Good beer, and a nice variety from the bottle.

Photo of Focusf111
1.01/5  rDev -74.8%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I love high ABV beers, I have an open mind, and I love everything about the brewing craft. But this...thing....candy-coated cigarette ash that has been doused in bottom shelf bourbon. Holy hell I havent had a beer this bad in a long time. Gives me the haunted shivers I got when I tried a sip of bud light chelada. Whoever you are that brewed this batch (or beer in general) there is a special spot in hell for you. Right next to the chelada guy.

Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 batch.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown. Mid-sized and soda-like light brown head. Head fizzes out almost instantly. No lacing, no head retention.

S: Sharp and sweet maltiness. Very sugary. Candied fruits for sure. Lots of raisin but a little cherry and maybe even grape?

T: More of the same very malty from start to finish. Up front there is a little bit of herbal quality mixed with some heavy dark bread. A good amount of cocoa too. Pure sugar in the middle with dark fruits, again with raisins but some light stone fruit (cherries?). Lightly earthy and herbal, just a hint. Sugary through the finish and lingering forever, like I just ate a tablespoon of table sugar. A little sharp alcohol in the aftertaste too.

M: Heavy, super sweet and syrupy. Low carbonation.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I figured it would be exceptionally harsh but it is not. It is however, super sweet. I can hear my teeth rotting. Heavy and thick with sharp alcohol leads to not-so-great drinkability; this is certainly a sipper. A good sipper though. Not too harsh, not too over the top. 11.2 ounces is just right, anymore would be hard to handle.

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottling sampled in December 2006

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a bubbly head that fails to retain (as one would expect from 14% abv); after the head disappears, it looks like cognac

Smell: Nostril opening aroma of fusel alcohol laced with honey, rum-soaked raisins, orange pith and chocolate covered cherries

Taste: Swirling in the mouth, the honey, chocolate cherry and rum raisin flavors come to the fore; after the swallow, the alcohol blends in with the sweetness

Mouthfeel: Sticky and smooth; the thick body trickles down the gullet with a burst of warmth

Drinkability: I never tasted the original so I cannot compare but this elixir is mighty impressive; kind of a dopplebock cum barleywine, it is well worth seeking out but you have to know what you are getting into - if you don't like after dinner liqueur such as Cointreau or Drambuie, you are not going to like this

Photo of oberon
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliant deep copper with a thin head that is gone quite quickly this badboy seems to be more carbonated than expected,whoo the alcohol is very prevelant in the aroma almost whisky-ish along with some raisin and dried fruit.With this being a 2003 bottle this needed more time to mellow I think before opening,big and chewey with huge alcohol tones.Pretty darn sweet but it doesnt coat the mouth,has a nice mouthfeel not to thick but it may be hard just to finish this one I have.Like I said this beer could stand to age another year but no doubt this is a badass mofo beer, will get again and hold for awhile.

Photo of Popsinc
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 2002 bottle. Dark amber/ruby red pour. Very small head that fades fast. No head whatsoever after a minute or two.

Smell: Heavy chocolate and dark malts. Sweet molasses. Just a hint of raisins and dates.

Taste: Malty sweetness is big up front. Light chocolate notes with a more sweet/molasses kick to follow. Alcohol kick is obvious and sweet. Dark fruity qualities such as raisin & plum throughout. Medicinal. Sweet, spicey towards the end with a syrupy port-like finish. Very complex.

Mouthfeel: Very full and bold. An almost rough, bubbly texture that dries out towards the end. Not thick but definitely syrupy.

Drinkability: This a slow sipping beer for sure. A few years of aging to soften the rough & complex edges would make this beer a pure treat.

Photo of RoyalT
4.8/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Brown in color with a tight, white head that stayed for a while.

Smell - Heavily-toasted malt aroma with an alcohol warning and some significant fruitiness. The fruit is big, complex cherry with a little bubblegum.

Taste - Lovely, cherry-infused doppelbock malt flavors spiked with Canadian whiskey (though it's a German-style ale from Austria). I can't say enough about this malt/cherry combination. All the flavors of this ale create a virtual symphony in the mouth.

Mouthfeel - Full with a solid alcohol sting and light carbonation.

Drinkability - I thought this was a lively rendition of the style and well worth a second visit. I will most definitely buy again.

Update - I had and re-reviewed this again in 2004. It is a heavy-hitter for sure and very viscous in the mouth. A tasty treat and well worth the substantial price tag.

Update - I was able to try a 2004 again, this time aged for 2 years in the tempered cellar of one Ms. skyhand.

The color was a brilliant orange now with a magically disappearing head. The malts turned into a fine orange liqueur and the booze kept right on stinging. It was quite the treat and has motivated me to start cellaring some of this myself.

Update - I had a cause to celebrate in Feb 2008 and busted open a two year old bottle and man oh man was this totally awesome. It had developed a bigger alcohol sting and was sweeter than a fresh sample, but the sweet flavors just exploded in the mouth. This has to be one of my favorite beers of all time, and although skyhand didn't provide this offering she indirectly deserves a thanks for me opening it (wink wink).

Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.75/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap at Maduro, $3 for a nearly full Bell's Tullip. Pretty nasty stuff on tap.

Smells like sugar, booze, cheries, licorice, cat piss, and toffee. Tastes a bit like a strong mead loaded with candy sugar. Syrupy body, very sweet, seriously, disgustingly sweet. The ABV may be partially covered but the sugar sure as hell isn’t. Lots of cherry taste but most other flavors are hard to distinguish because my tongue is burning from the sweetness. It makes me sick to my stomach and hurts my throat. My body rejects this as foul. I take no pleasure in this mess, although it has a really, really pretty chestnut body with reddish hues though no head what-so-ever. I think this might be a lot better after a decade in a cellar.

Photo of beerhunter13
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of tectactoe
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Styles for pulling this out of his cellar and bringing it by - 2007 vintage. Samichlaus pours a light-ish copper color when you're looking down from the top, but appears like a much darker burnt sienna and ruby red from the side. No head, partially expected from a six year old, 14% ABV beer of this stature.

The aroma is a bit... misleading at first, to say the least. I guess I didn't really know what to expect. It's definitely very sweet, lightly vinous, and certainly a bit boozy, maybe even more than you'd think. Lightly sweet fruits mellow out the edges a bit - raisin and plums, with a solid caramel underbody.

A little bit into it, I start to get a weird, hard-to-identify spice. Almost like oregano, but I know that can't be it. It's not bad, though. It's just a head-scratcher, but it makes for interesting speculation. For such a potent brew, the aroma is quite laid back and borderline simple; it doesn't show much variance, even as it warms up. I would have liked to see a wider variety of aromas.

Samichlaus may be listed as a doppelbock, but if you bought this expecting a stronger version of Celebrator, you were sadly mistaken. The taste is much more potent than the aroma and hits with a strong pungency of flavor that's hard to pin down at first. Syrupy and thick, little hints of maple, brown sugar, and a super-sweet boozy flavor that romps the palate hard.

The dark fruits are certainly present; figs, dates, and raisins that have been soaked in rubbing alcohol and tossed with a light, sugary coating. Almost caramel-apple and cinnamon-like in the aftertaste, though the booze and sugar aspects are still quite heavy. Smooth mouth feel with almost no carbonation, medium-thick bodied and somewhat sticky.

Definitely interesting to try this 2007 vintage. Interesting take on the a doppelbock, which is seeming more and more like a last minute "catch all" category due to large variances present within the style. Heavily boozy and potent, sticky and sweet, yet despite that, Samichlaus may just be a bit boring and doesn't really exceed expectations in any category. Above average and something that obviously ages well, but nothing I would reach for regularly.

Photo of MadScientist
4.73/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2008
A: A medium copper with excellent clarity. The head is almost non-existant with just a slight ring of tiny bubbles around the edge. There is enough alcohol to form leg on the side of the glass.

S: This has a rich malty aroma with smells of raisins and a dark crusty bread. There isn't any hops aroma and a clean lager fermentation with no esters. There is a good amount of smooth alcohol in the nose but it isn't hot or solventy.

T: Rich malt character with a moderately-high malt sweetness. The malt has moderate flavors of melanoidin and caramel with a hint of chocolate. There is no hop flavor and only a moderately-low hop bitterness; the malt sweetness is being balance by the alcohol as much as by the hop bitterness. The balance is moderately sweet with a sweet finish and an aftertaste of malt sweetness and alcohol.

M: A full bodied beer with moderately-low carbonation and a substantial alcohol warmth.

O: A smooth potent beer sure to take the chill out of a cold winters night. Another beer that would be a fine after dinner cordial but given the level of sweetness this is more for the port drinker that the scotch drinker.

Photo of Zakk
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of tbryan5
4.99/5  rDev +24.8%

Photo of SkiBum22
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Dmann
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I could not help myself when I saw this beer at the store the other day. Just reading the info on the back plus all the good things I heard about it justified paying $4.50 for a bottle! It pourd a dark brown color with just a very small off white head. The smell of plums and raisons jumped out at me as well as a hint of alchohol. The taste was heavenly with a great malt profile, toasty nut flavor, raisons and a excelent warming effect from the alchohol. This was a great beer and I will be going back to pick up more to consume and age.

Photo of AdvocateFan
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Tall brown 11.2 oz bottle, silver labeling, “Schloβ Eggenberg” appears in glass markings at shoulder-line. “Bottled in 2004” and “The World’s Most Extraordinary Beer” appears on the label along with the unfortunate labeling of “Malt Liquor”. If they only knew…

Appearance: Cognac-like amber coloration. Slight orangey tone bordering on ruby-hued. Clear. Head begins just under a finger, bubbles don’t stick to each other, fades quickly to a collar. Expected for a beer of this high ABV and pre-bottle aging. Head is transient at best. Gone in under 30 seconds… light tan/beige in color.

Aroma: Sweet, ambrosial, with alcohol ripping right through. Smells a lot like the little tubes of balloon blowing junk I used to play with as a kid… where you stick a wad of it on the end of a tiny straw and blow yourself a little balloon (anyone have any idea what I'm talking about???). Smells quite powerful, and perhaps a touch like some sort of fuel, with very, very sweet notes. I detect raisin and cantaloupe, along with other melon-influences. Big time cantaloupe nose!!

Taste: It’s tough to describe this—there is of course an intense warming feeling in the belly, but this follows flavors that run from raisiny-malt syrup to stingy (that’s sting-ee, not stingy like Ebenezer Scrooge) Belgian yeast. Bubble gum flavor detected. This feels much more like a Barley Wine than any doppelbock I’ve had, that’s for sure, though it's not exactly like any BW I've had either... quite unique... If there is a beery equivalent to gamier flavors in meat, this beer presents that quality. I don’t know how else to say it other than that… Smoother than the strongest Barley-Wine I’ve had (which would be Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barley Wine-Style Ale, 2004 Vintage I believe). Similar to what I would envision an overly aggressive Madeira wine to be like.

Finish: A slow evolution of smooth malty sweetness and bitterness. Hops are present, only for bitterness, not in aroma. Alcohol is certainly present, but hits harder in the beginning and middle than in the finish. Sweet, friendly aftertaste. This beer sort of hits you over the head and then behaves like a good buddy…
It just so happens that the last beer I reviewed in my notes was a Bud Light (just for shits & giggles). What a way to follow up the Bud Light review—with a beer of such magnitude... A behemoth of a beer. From what I can tell, there is no stronger doppelbock on earth (though there are a couple others that come in at 14% ABV as well).

Photo of dimitrov
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of blitz134
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage. This beer has been a lot of places with me.

Touch of haze shows as the light passes through the mahogany colored body. No head, just a smattering of bubbles on top and a ring around the glass.

Notes of candied fruit (cherries, raisins), maple syrup, touch of sherry and port wine, a little fresh apple too. Really no hint of the alcohol level.

Wow, the taste is so much more potent than the aroma hinted at. Lots of the candied fruits again, sugary sweet with maple syrup, dark caramel. Hints of chocolate covered cherries in the finish.

This is a sipper. Low carbonation and almost syrupy thick but extremely smooth. Any alcohol has gone away with time. The sweetness is a bit intrusive for me, this is almost like liquid candy. Ultimately an every once in a while beer. It's just so sweet and heavy that 12oz is probably about all one could handle.

Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev 0%

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,724 ratings.