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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,048 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,048
Hads: 1,881
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 22.36%
Wants: 167
Gots: 335 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg visit their website

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 02-25-2001

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samichlaus Classic Bier Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,048 | Hads: 1,881
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of Todd
4.76/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2000:
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.

Vintage 2001:

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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Focusf111
1.02/5  rDev -74.4%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
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

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Photo of Marraybay
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a recent quest / "todo" list item, so most pleased to have found and tasted, particularly in May of the year. The world's most extraordinary beer as claimed by Eggenberg??? Perhaps, but would qualify "extra ordinary" as meaning unlike anything you've likely ever tasted that's classified as beer.

The preliminaries:

-Look: Somewhere between an amber and mahogany color; fairly clear, with some bubbles visible. No head or lacing.
-Smell: Sweet Dried fruits; (figs, prunes, raisins, cherries), alcohol
-Feel:: Syrup, warmth, some light carbonation, smooth, thick
-Taste: Wine! As in porto; Intense dark/dried fruity sweetness. Hides the 14% ABV well.

Was really shocked by this one; Doppelbock?? By definition and chemistry perhaps, but in terms of taste?? Absolutely port wine for me! (Beyond S-W-E-E-T!)

Would I go here again? Yes, but will probably relegate to its intended time of year-- Christmas--and will treat / pair as wine or the like, but not doppelbock.

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Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of gopens44
4.85/5  rDev +21.9%
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!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a bizarre beer. At first, I thought I was going to hate it but now, I'm not really sure what to think. Pours a tantilizing deep reddish brown, very transparent, little to no head and only minimal effervescing. Smell is mostly dark fruit, apple, raisin, plum, merlot. Taste is very heavy rasin, caramel, merichino cherries, fig, molasses. Very, very sweet. Feel is syrupy, heavy with zero carbonation. Coats every part of your insides. Little bit of a boozey burn going down feels nice.

Well, overall for me, I am glad I tried this. It is a unique experience, but the ridiculous sweetness will probably keep me from coming back frequently. Certainly something I want to explore again!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of Dope
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.06/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.77/5  rDev +19.8%
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).

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.83/5  rDev -54%
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.

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Photo of beerhunter13
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of tectactoe
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Photo of Zakk
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of tbryan5
4.99/5  rDev +25.4%

Photo of SkiBum22
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of -DF-
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dmann
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of AdvocateFan
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
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).

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,048 ratings.