Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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1,712 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,712
Reviews: 1,014
rAvg: 4
pDev: 17%
Wants: 130
Gots: 241 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg visit their website

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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Photo of cjgator3
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased an 11.2oz bottle from Big C's Liquor store for $4.19. What caught my eye is the proclaimed "World's most extraordinary beer" on the front of the bottle. Pours a clear copper color with not much carbonation or head. Smell is sweet fruit and alcohol. Taste is very sweet and fruity and a bit syrupy. Overall, this is a wonderful brew. This beer dangerously hides the 14% alcohol that is present.

Photo of santoslhalper
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a deep ruby red with no head at all.

Smell: The smell was a mixture of alcohol and malts with little complexity.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavor consisted of a well balanced mixture of sweet, sticky caramel malts and a huge alcohol presence. The complexity was small, and the flavors were very upfront and in your face. The mouthfeel was full and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: Had a bottle at the new South Side Saloon in Johnstown. Not a bad beer, but considereing the high alcohol content, there was much more they could've done with this beer.

Photo of redneckchugger
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a faux pint glass at my local beer bar/poolhall. dark brown, small head, but more that i expected for a 14% abv.
smells of sugar, vanilla and alcohol. lots of alcohol.
tastes of, vanilla, rum, brown sugar, dark cherry flavor there somewhere, bread, yeast.
motuhfeel is a bit creamy, very boozy, strong alcohol burn.
a great beer, but one or two will do it.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Caramel brown with hints of orange. Slightly smaller than average, foamy and bubbly off-white head with little retention and no lacing left (but that's to be expected with the ABV).

S - Dark caramel malt with a strong alcohol aroma. Rum soaked dark fruit, raisin and cherry, along with a touch of orange citrus. Touches of chocolate and licorice come out with the malt. Very warming and alcohol driven aroma.

T - A lot of sweet caramel malt along with a good amount of fruit (dark cherry, raisin, and some date). Also a fair amount of orange citrus comes out slightly after those flavors. Alcohol is fairly present at the start and gets stronger mid sip. It provides a bit more of a warming sensation than a strong alcohol taste most of the time, but some sips have a strong alcohol taste. A lot of rum and brandy like flavors. It finishes with a warming sweetness that lingers for a while. In the background there is a fair amount of spice (very peppery flavor) and some dark malt flavors (chocolate and licorice).

M - Full body with moderate carbonation. Sweet sticky flavors but it definitely has a smoothness to it that helps it go down easy.

D - I went back and forth how to rate the drinkability. Obviously one will do you for the night, both due to the ABV and the flavors. It is very boozy and sweet so that makes it a definite sipper that took me awhile to finish a bottle. However, the warming sweetness makes for a nice beer if you want a sipper for after dinner/night capper. I was a bit generous with the rating and it could go down a bit, it really depends on if you want to drink something like this.

Notes: Vintage 2009. Very big boozy and sweet beer. I found the alcohol to be too strong a lot of the time. Similar to a digestif/liqueur type of drink. Sip it slow and enjoy. Definitely worth picking up a bottle to give it a try. I would like to try one after it has been in a cellar for a couple of years to see how the alcohol and flavors have melded/smoothed out. Not my favorite beer, but it definitely fills a niche.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mug. Bottled in 2008.

3.5 A: Clear deep amber color. Two fingers of fizzy head falls at breakneck speed and leaves no lacing. Given the ABV, it'll give it some leeway.

3.5 S: Vinous and mead-like with some cognac as well. Strangly, this smell a lot like my first all-grain brew, an attempt at DFH's Midas Touch. Deep crystal malts. Plum, cherry, and grape fruitiness. Okay, but not really my thing.

4.0 T: I like the taste a lot more than the nose. This is a borderline 4.5. Anyway, the vinous aspect of this is much less apparent in the taste. It is still there, but not as intense. Still, I can taste mead and cognac again. The crystal malts are very pronounced. This is sweet, but not overly cloying. Plum, grape, and cherry fruitiness again. A peppery spiciness as well. Though the alcohol flavor isn't very pronounced, there is a fairly powerful warming near the finish.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good, though perhaps a bit high for the style, carbonation which I like. Somewhat watery as opposed to creamy. Still, not bad around.

4.5 D: This is a sipper, but it isn't a bad one. Though the appearance and nose aren't that impressive, the taste is solid. I imagine this would be even better with some more age on it.

Photo of rugger
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow finally the great Samichlaus has come to pay me a visit. I was eager to give this one a shot. Pours a nice copper with a light head that dissapears quickly and then this beer just sits there cleara and calm as it can be. The smell is enough to get a beer lover excited, that barleywine big beer big malt smell with raisins, figs cloves and all sorts of good things. Then the first taste knocks you for a loop as it is big and sweet. The taste is of big malt with a molassas and toffee fig flavor. You can really taste the alcohol in this big boy. The mouthfeel has to be one of the biggest I have had in a while. Drinkability is questionable, I could Drink another but I don't think I am ready to call it a day yet.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2006.

Poured into a goblet. Nice amber color with an extremely short-lived tan head. No lacing, and plenty of visible carbonation.

Aroma of alcohol-laced toffee. Caramel coffee creamer, butterscotch, and heath bar crunch. Lots going on in this aroma. It is initially warm, but the alcohol mixes well with the resident complexity. Tastes of toffee and caramel, Irish whiskey, really balanced well with some nice sweet maltiness. There is so much going on here there's not much chance of picking up hops, but there is a bit of spice that may be attributable. Finishes mildly bitter and warm, and also leaves a thick feeling on the tongue.

Big bodied and warm. Great feel, but I wouldn't consider drinking another anytime soon. Great sipper for a not-as-warm-as-they-said-it-was-going-to-be late spring day.

Photo of projectflam86
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml poured into a snifter. The label reads "Bottled in 2009". Still may a bit young for this one...

A- Pours a slightly murky mahogany color with a thin white head that fades quickly. Some wispy lacing left behind.

S- Candy sugar sweet aroma with notes of red wine and dark fruits.

T- Sweet malt flavor initially with plenty of alcohol in the finish. Lots of brown sugar, dark malt, raisins, and caramel syrup. Little to no hop presence. I could definitely see this being called a dessert beer.

M- Medium/full bodied with a sticky feel on the palate.

O- It would take a sweet tooth to get one of these down. Thankfully, I'm up to the task. A very interesting brew.

Photo of craftaholic
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of NewGeneric
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2008.
Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear, deep amber/ruby color with about a half finger of beige head that fades very quickly. Not much lacing to speak of either.

S: Smells kinda like a cherry schnapps. Plenty of alcohol on the nose, but also plenty of caramel, nuts, fruit, and flowers. Mild touch of spicy hops to round out the bouquet.

T: Bit of alcohol and cherries up front, followed by a great malt character that induces sensations of caramel, hazelnuts, toffee, and a hint of spice.

M: Definite alcohol heat. Plus it's very noticeable on the palate immediately. Other than that, quite smooth, and it leaves just right balance between dryness and slickness.

D: The noticeable alcohol makes this one a sipper. A few more years in the bottle would probably help. Still, pretty good overall. I can easily finish the one I've opened.

Photo of bark
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2004.

Colour is clear deep amber; the finger thick beige foam disappears rather quickly into a thin ring. No lacing.

The strong smell is loaded with dried fruits, bitter almonds, marzipan, sweet cherries and some alcohol.

The taste is very sweet with lots of dried fruits (apricots, oranges, bitter oranges, and kiwi) but also somewhat roasted notes of sweet malt. The sweetness descends leaving a warming flavour of alcohol, oak-matured strong white wine and a hint of mild whiskey. The aftertaste got some alcohol, but it is dominated by a creamy fruity pleasant sweetness.

The mouthfeel is, to say the least, full. The liquid is rich and thick, it is almost overwhelming. The small strong bubbles give a refreshing contrast.

A very well crafted strong lager. Not very gulpable though.

Photo of EvilKeith
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Samichlaus- 2004 11.2 ounce brown bottle.

This one pours a clear, burnt orange to amber color with a tall tan head that rapidly disappears.
While the head was still releasing the aroma my first thought was bourbon. I figured I was in trouble.

As the beer warms the scent becomes sweeter, almost toffee-like with darker toasted notes and the unrelenting presence of alcohol.
The taste is suprisingly similar to the smell. Sweet and sugary toffee fruit flavors with alcohol, that warms as it goes down.

I found this to have a medium to medium-heavy body. The amount of carbonation seems perfect for the flavor and mouthfeel.

This is a brew that I thoroughly enjoyed but, with a 14% ABV I figured caution would be in order. Would be really great as a nightcap.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a cherry/mahogany color with a bubble white head that dissipates almost immediately. It is clearer almost translucent, which surprised me as I expected it to be darker. It is a beautiful beer.

S-Very sweet, boozy, dark fruits are very present.

T-Extremely sweet and fruity. Dark fruits and some apple and cherry notes come into play. It tastes almost like candy it is so sweet. There is some alcohol presence, but not much considering its abv.

M- Syrupy and thick.

D-This is a sipper all the way. Its sweetness and high alcohol content assure it is not something to session, but more of a night cap as some have remarked or for a time when you just want to slowly sip something complex.

Overall, I don't have much experience with this style, but this is nothing like other examples of the style I have had. To me this drank more like an English Barleywine. Still its very interesting and a good beer.

Photo of DrJay
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage.
Crystal clear with a brilliant deep copper colour. There was a bit of foam off the pour, but it was very short-lived. A few fine bubbles formed a thin ring around the glass and produced a bit of spotty lace. The nose was bready and malty, ripe fruit, and alcohol that was more mellow than expected and smelled mildly of solvent (but it works). Alcohol was more prominent in the flavour, a bit solvent-like, and increased into the warm, lingering finish. Very sweet up front with brown sugar and ripe fruit notes, kind of giving the impression of rum. I could feel the warmth all the way down to my belly, but the alcohol never quite got to the point of being "hot". Full bodied and sticky, lowish carbonation. Definitely a sipper and quite good. I'd love to try one of these that's been aging longer.

Photo of juzy
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I ordered this at Cafe Amsterdam, the day after Thanksgiving, after having fallen down in the parking lot on my way in thanks to a fresh layer of snow over a very icy parking lot. By the way, I also fell on the way out, you'd think I'd have learned.

2004 at 15%
Appearance was a strawberry-copper hue, not much head, minimal lacing.
The aroma got me at the first sniff. Alcohol up front, followed by a sweetness, like candy. A recognized the fruitness as a strawberry scent.
The taste was almost identical to the smell. Alcohol up front, cognac-like. I'm reminded of the all-day suckers that we used to get trick-or-treating as kids in Maine, imagine a sweet candy lollipop that has been formed by being put in buttered muffin tins. Yes, it's all there, the slight butter taste followed by candy sugar and a hidden bit of strawberry.
Mouthfeel is definitely thick and clinging to the tongue, coats the entire mouth. Much like a medicinal syrup.

I enjoyed it, it's unlike any other doppelbock I've had. I was lost in trying to discover more traditional malt flavors and I found no hops at all. Just the same I believe this to be a fine brew. I expected the alcohol to be un front, in your face at 15%, but it wasn't as harsh as I expected.

Photo of biegaman
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage - enjoyed Christmas Day 2010.

You'd have to agree Santa Claus looks pretty good for his old age and, likewise, you'd have to agree that this Samichlaus (2 years old) looks surprisingly fit for its age as well. Its colour, although quite deep, still maintains a brassy shine and its clarity is yet unimpeded by coagulated proteins or yeasts and its head (almost miraculously) still stands tall.

To the average drinker a 14% beer wouldn't still be considered beer and, although they'd technically be wrong, on the matter of aroma they definitely have a point. This would strike many as a liquor. And understandably so: there's a smorgasbord of esters and alcohol vapors that hover over what is a sweet (and admittedly rich) maltiness.

Keep this holiday seasonal away from your Christmas trees - it is a fire hazard! Let's face facts: any 14% beer is going to taste strong. There's no avoiding that. The question is whether that alcoholic strength contributes or distracts overall. In this case, it does a little of both but I find, in the end, it adds rich complexity and formidable character.

Not the least for its great aging potential and uniqueness, Samichlaus makes a great gift for any beer drinker. There's also enough spicy esters, macerated fruitiness, scorched toffee and a light peat-y undertone that would suggest it'd be appreciated by whiskey drinkers even more. Indeed, I'm starting to think a rock glass would have been more suitable.

It can be difficult to reflect on a beer that seems to scorch your palate with every sip. But like the cough medicine that burns your throat on the way down, there is instant gratification that comes with it: the fruity esters flourish like shrubs in a vacated garden of rich honey, festering fruits, alpine herbs and a lingering gooey butterscotch sweetness.

It's probably for the better that Samichlaus is brewed only one day a year. That, and the fact that it's brewed in a castle and virtually everything else about the beer, is entirely enchanting. It is indeed a special beer for a special time of year. And, like St. Nikolaus himself, it's sure to have you saying: "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Photo of beergeek279
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2001 vintage, served out of the 330 mL bottle. The color was a dark amber/brownish color, with no head to speak of after the initail pour. The smell was a very sweet malty smell, with alcohol definitely noticable. The taste reminded me more of a port wine than a beer......very sweet, with a bit of a malty background to it. The mouthfeel was slightly heavy, but to be expected with a beer like this. Drinkability-wise, although a few ounces of this beer was quite good, I don't think I could bring myself to have more than one at a time, since the sweetness becomes a bit cloying.

"you'd better not pout, I'm telling you why.......Samichlaus is coming to town". I had definitely been looking forward to this beer, and was willing to pay over 8 dollars to try it, when I came across a 12-pack for $12.99. It certainly was an "extraordinary" beer, and one I'd love to have another bottle of when the holiday season comes........but I'd probably never session with it!

Photo of Conrad
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The label says it's only bottled on 6 December. I had one from the 2004 batch, and this one from 2005. Advertises as "the strongest lager beer in the world", and at 14% ABV, it could very well be.
Short and to the point:
A: Rich copper colour. No head
S: Big on the smell. It hits you as soon as it touches the glass. Strong sweet fruit flavours, cane sugar, candy, hops, alcohol.
T: Extremely malty sweet. Complex flavours come through as the beer warms in the glass.
M: Syrupy, low carbonation. A little too thick for a lager.
D: No. This is not a beer for casually chugging, or as a session beer. Use it as a dessert beer or with hardy robust dishes, or as a digestif. This was an interesting beer experience, but now I can say been there, done that, and won't do it again

Photo of everetends
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at Brick Store Pub in Atlanta, GA. .2 liter pour served up in a Samichlaus tulip.

A: Poured a really good looking dark brown that had some really nice red highlights to it, much like a dark cherry wood finish. This had a good finger of thick off white head. The head created some really nice lacing that notched the glass nicely. Good looking brew.

S: Smell was a bit weak actually. I kept waiting for something to come out but all I really got was some roasted malt and cloves. There is also a touch of caramel. The smell is pleasant but there is not as much complexity as I would expect.

T: Taste is much nicer than the nose. First off you get a ton of cognac flavors coming out loud and clear. The cognac is oaky and buttery. Very nice. There are also some nice fruits coming out: plum, raisin, and fig. The malts are roasted with flavors of caramel and sugar. Some nice honey flavors as well. The back end is mostly high octane alcohol, but enjoyable high octane alcohol.

M: Full bodied beer that is very nice. This is a pretty creamy brew. Carbonation is low. ABV is high and you can feel it. It hits you on the palate, in the throat and in the stomach. Aftertaste is of alcohol. If the alcohol wasn't so overbearing, it would get higher marks from me.

D: This is a heavy beer that is absolutely a sipper. The ABV burn is quite high and does hurt at times. The beer is tasty and interesting, but I don't see myself having a larger pour or more than one in a sitting. Overall pretty good, but absolutely meant as a night cap or an after dinner drink. Not a pounder by any means.

Photo of aerozeppl
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 11.2 oz bottle into my Ommegang goblet.

A: Reddish amber

S:Yeast malt brandy cognac fruit sweetness.

T: Very malty up front

M: Little syrupy almost like medicine.The body is light on this one considering the style.

D: For what was for a while the world's strongest beer this was fairly drinkable. Probably took me an hour and a half to drink the bottle but in no way was it a chore.

Photo of KYGunner
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The label reads "MALT LIQUOR" for a reason as this is a straight malt bomb. It starts with strong chocolate malt but settles into a dark fruit, fig, prune and raisin. It finishes with a strong alcohol brashness in flavor and feel. Overall it's pretty good and fairly varied but 14 pct ABV is forever evident.

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.

Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head doesn't stick around very long before receding into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells of very sweet grapes with some raisins and figs. The alcohol is noticeable near the end.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Big sweet fruits up front, raisins, figs, and grapes, with a hint of molasses midway through the sip. Ending is sweet, and it sticks around for a bit. Alcohol is noticeable, but not as much as it should be with this high of an ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a syrupy thickness with good carbonation.

Drinkability is very good for a beer with an ABV this high. I had one a little too fast, but I don't think I could drink another, partly because of the ABV but also because of the sweetness.

Overall this was sweeter than I remembered from last year. As far as I know this was this year's batch, so that may have had something to do with it. Worth a shot.

Photo of GilGarp
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up on a recomendation from Men's Journal since they seem to know their stuff when it comes to beer. It's supposedly a great way to get through the holidays with family. Must be the nice aroma...

Pours from a 330ml brown bottle into my curvy Sam Adams glass. I'm surprised that there is not a spec of yeast or sediment even at the bottom. Not as dark as I expected either. It has the appearance of an American red ale but it's almost completely lacking in head. Even with a smooth fast pour down the center of the glass, barely half an inch develops and it's gone in a flash.

Aroma is immediately evident as I pop the cap but in the glass it's mysteriously missing. Slightly sweet and fruity but nothing outstanding.

The taste is where this beer really packs a punch. Very sweet and strong, port-like flavors of cherries and oak, also apples and pears. Of course the alcohol is also a big part of this beer and it's 14% strength just can't be hidden.

Mouthfeel is smooth, almost syrupy but not too heavy. The burn is considerable. It could use a bit more carbonation to prevent it from feeling like wine or liquor.

Drinkability is ok but it really makes for a good nightcap as I'm finding out. After just a few sips, the warming comes over me and I'm ready for bed.

Photo of beerhan
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle and split. Very thick reddish brown with little head. Smells a bit like cherry with alcohol notes. The scent itself is intoxicating. Tastes is very woody and boozy with this slight tartness in the background. It is a bit hard to get down at first but as this beer warms up, you warm up and end up enjoying this a lot but it is still a tough beast to break.

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,712 ratings.