Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
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Ratings: 1,578 | Reviews: 994 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Weizenmensch:
3.7/5 rDev -7.3%
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.
02-06-2010 10:31:30 | More by Weizenmensch
More User Reviews:
3.55/5 rDev -11%
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.
11-09-2004 01:29:47 | More by oberon
4.05/5 rDev +1.5%
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.
06-13-2003 12:24:41 | More by Popsinc
4.8/5 rDev +20.3%
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).
11-14-2003 05:18:23 | More by RoyalT
1.75/5 rDev -56.1%
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 isnt. 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.
02-15-2007 21:38:31 | More by DaPeculierDane
3.48/5 rDev -12.8%
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.
03-25-2013 11:56:59 | More by tectactoe
4.73/5 rDev +18.5%
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.
10-28-2012 22:08:14 | More by MadScientist
4.4/5 rDev +10.3%
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.
11-18-2003 11:26:28 | More by Dmann
4.72/5 rDev +18.3%
Presentation: Tall brown 11.2 oz bottle, silver labeling, Schloβ Eggenberg appears in glass markings at shoulder-line. Bottled in 2004 and The Worlds 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 dont 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: Its tough to describe thisthere is of course an intense warming feeling in the belly, but this follows flavors that run from raisiny-malt syrup to stingy (thats sting-ee, not stingy like Ebenezer Scrooge) Belgian yeast. Bubble gum flavor detected. This feels much more like a Barley Wine than any doppelbock Ive had, thats 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 dont know how else to say it other than that Smoother than the strongest Barley-Wine Ive had (which would be Sierra Nevadas 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 reviewwith 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).
03-16-2005 09:35:34 | More by AdvocateFan
4.1/5 rDev +2.8%
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.
01-17-2011 02:39:19 | More by blitz134
3.98/5 rDev -0.3%
Poured in a goblet, the beer was a chesnut color with virtually no head. The aroma was fruity caramel and whiskey. The taste was of caramel and some kind of dark fruit. The whiskey taste was there, but muted. I thought this was a fairly mellow beer, not hot. The alcohol is there, though, so be careful with this one.
12-24-2009 13:37:33 | More by lordofthewiens
4.8/5 rDev +20.3%
Presentation: 11.2 fl oz olive green custom bottle. Bottled in 2000. "Das Stärkste Bier Der Welt" -- the strongest beer in the world.
Appearance: Rich, deep, clear copper. Pours with a creamy off-white head, dissipates to a creamy, patchy lace.
Smell: Sweet, syrupy, malty nose, with fruit esters (plum, raisin) and a fumey alcohol.
Taste: Extremely full-bodied, thick, rich and chewy. Mouthfeel is creamy, as well as smooth -- like a fine whiskey. Caramel/toffee, plum, raisin, grape, honey, sweet chocolate and light biscuit flavours come to the front. Overall malt profile is very sweet and fruity. Alcohol notes are huge and spicy, and its powers of warming the body, soul and mind can be felt after the first sip. There's little detectable hop bitterness, however there is a wonderfully floral hop flavour that melds with the malt sweetness to create a sweet tea-like flavour that rides the entire experience. Finishes with alcohol fumes and a light grain flavour with chocolate liquor notes.
Notes: Samichlaus is back! This brew is made only once a year on December 6 (Saint Nicholas's Day), and it's aged 10 months before bottling. It was first brewed in 1979, then stopped after its 1996 batch. It holds a Guinness Book World Record for being the strongest bottom-fermented beer (14% abv), and is also one of the most rarest specialty beers in the world. It's actually classified as being a "Malt Liquer" in the states for legal reasons -- it's just a really strong lager.
As I dip my finger into my pint glass, dab my forehead with some of the sweet nectar, I pay homage to the beergods for making this amazingly top-notch brew. Buy it while you can, and make sure to buy some spares to age and taste over the years to come.
Presentation: 330ml custom dark olive green bottle. Expiration of 10/2006.
Appearance: Pours an amber to brown coloured beer. Highly carbonated. Big off-white bubbly head that snaps down in seconds to absolute stillness -- no head retention, flat.
Smell: Mega fruity pungent esters with sulfur coming in behind. Malty, with faint molasses and raisin.
Taste: Malty beyond belief. Thick, syrupy, full-bodied, juicy and extremely complex with many layers of distinct flavours, each of which make themselves known ... Flavours such as slick butter, chocolate, caramel, fruity plum, lots of vanilla, honey, esters, coffee and grape. Sweetness, in its sum, is sugary. No real hop overpowering bitterness, but there's hidden traces of hops in a herbal-tea-like flavour and as the hops melds with the alcohol punch there's a level of perceived bitternes ... especially as the beer warms to room temp. Huge doses of alcohol come in waves, bringing with them a spicy alcohol bite and a warming sensation. Finish is a welcomed chaos of all of the above mentioned.
Notes: Still one of the rarest beers in the world, brewed only once a year on December 6th, subsequently fermented and matured for about 10 months before bottling in October. Samichlaus is a vintage beer and the strongest bottom-fermented lager in the world and may be aged in the bottle for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particularly with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself. Samichlaus is filled in personalized 330 ml. bottles, exported to exclusive distribution partners worldwide mainly through pre-orders prior to bottling in October each year. Samichlaus contains only natural ingredients and is being brewed according the purity law of 1516. The 2001 vintage was bottled on October 10 and 11 together with 250 kegs a 30 litres destinated for USA and Finland. The total quantity of bottles equals slightly more then 6000 cases (24 bottles) for world-wide sales till autumn 2002.
02-25-2001 17:44:52 | More by Todd
3.15/5 rDev -21.1%
11.2 oz bottle,bottled in 2004. Pours a hazy amber cola with a smallish off-white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar.
The aroma is sweet figgy malts, cola and molasses. Some wheaty malts, alcohol and spices come out as it warms.
The flavor is sweet sugary malts, dark fruit, nuts, cardboard, and chocolate with a burnt alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation.
Overall, an interesting beer. The alcohol is apparent but surprisingly not overwhelming for me. It is a bit too cloyingly sweet for me. Would make for a good after dinner sipper. Thanks Solan!
08-27-2010 23:05:05 | More by Beaver13
3.75/5 rDev -6%
Had on tap at Novare as part of my Uprising.
The beer is served in a an Allagash tulip. The beer is a deep amber with a tan head that resides to the edge of the glass.
The nose is all malt, caremel, toasted and hints of fig fruitiness.
The taste is big and bold, malty and the classic german dopple bock, almost cola flavor. The alcohol is quite noticible.
Overall a good beer, definitly not for everyday.
02-07-2014 01:29:39 | More by bishopdc0
4.22/5 rDev +5.8%
six ounce tasting for myself and a friend from a bottle recently puirchased at BevMo.
A --- deep amber color with very little foam
S --- malts, raisins and alcohol
T --- the alcohol at first is overbearing, but then I pick up elements of fig and plum. Very nice balance between malts and hops.
M --- Medium-to-full body with perfect carbination.
O --- I really enjoyed it. It has a whiskey likeness to it which I really enjoyed --- not over the top but enough to remind me this is a STRONG beer.
11-27-2011 16:10:11 | More by mikechance
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,578 ratings.