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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,466 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1466
Reviews: 979
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 17.34%


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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,466 | Reviews: 979 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Weizenmensch:
Photo of Weizenmensch
Weizenmensch

Japan

3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330mL brown bottle with silver collar, best before 11.2013. Laughably labelled MALT LIQUOR 11.2 FL.OZ - evidently this bottle came to Japan via the USA.

Pours chestnut-brown with a small amount of off-white head quickly dissipating to a ring around the glass, and some sticky lacing. Some fine-bubble carbonation. Unassuming - something that has undoubtedly startled more than one Samichlaus newbie!

Volatile alcohol dominates the smell, and brings aromas of apricots, dried stone fruit, pear, the nuttiness of cashews and almonds but without their characteristic fragrance and flavour. Grapevines, fruit chews etc. That pectiny fruit stickiness and sweetness is all over the place.

In the mouth it's an intense mix of flavours - one that I unfortunately think is a little unbalanced. It's still an enjoyable beer, but it's overwhelming. It's overwhelming to try and separate them, too, but I'll try: most of all, alcohol on the palate. Along with it comes candied sugar, so sweetness and alcohol dominate (unsurprisingly)! Overripe red grapes. No idea what hops are used - there's no bitterness but there's a hop flavour, although it's odd to say a 'hop vegetable flavour' without the specific impact of the hops themselves. There's more but it's very complex and I'm not a good enough reviewer to separate them all any more! I'll work on my skills and come back to it in a few hundred beers' time.

Mouthfeel is evaporative and leaves a little skunkiness after everything's gone. Drinkability is not good, unless you're after a light refreshment to celebrate success at a vodka-drinking competition.

Overall: My opinion of this beer is that it works hard to be a rich, complex yet drinkable STRONG lager. The appellation of "strongest lager in the world" surely influences the brewing - it doesn't chance upon this title. But why be the strongest? Because you can't be the best? I think this brewery makes a fine beer, but I give it a poorer rating than it deserves mainly because it isn't merely a delicious beer, it's a STRONG beer made for those who appreciate beer but want something more potent.

Having said that, it's very complex, and I may be the ignorant critic here. I may feel it's a little unbalanced today, but come back when my beer-tasting skills are back on track and recognise a whole palate of different flavours that I had missed before. If so, I'll update my review.

I'm not ignorant, and I'm not new to this one-of-a-kind brew; I first had it eight years ago in a house near Mainz and I didn't underestimate its pedigree. But as of this review, it doesn't perform like I expected (and remembered) it to. However, I'll enjoy the rest of it with cashews and pistachios - it's well-suited to nutty flavours.

But call it what you want, it's sui generis; it's not a doppelbock.

REVIEW #2 6/Feb/2010

This is a young vintage - 2008, it's only been available for purchase where I am for a month or two. I've had it before a few times, and it tastes fresh and fruity. At this ABV it will certainly improve with age. I wish I had the foresight and discipline to buy a few cases of this, age it somewhere cool and quiet and enjoy it in a few decades.

When this young, it's pleasant, but not truly impressive. This follows a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout whose complexity I appreciated much more. Nice appearance in the glass, good head retention considering its ABV. Tons of sugary, fruity smells which continue on the tongue. Can be a bit cloying in the mouth too - I won't be drinking this bottle's twin brother just yet. Maybe not the beer I was after for a quiet Saturday afternoon, but I should be grateful that it's even available in Japan, let alone in my small, regional city.

Overall - a complex beer that is a must-try because of its fame and significance... but don't crack open the freshest batch, or you may be underwhelmed. Still interesting and complex, but not up to its potential in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 10:31:30 | More by Weizenmensch
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S: Sweet maple syrup and brandied cherries. A little warming alcohol as it comes to room temperature. Honestly smells like a brandy manhattan.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,466 ratings.