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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.
very good

1,634 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,634
Reviews: 1,000
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 17.29%
Wants: 127
Gots: 214 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,634 | Reviews: 1,000 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chadlebald
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage. Simply can't wait to let it age.

Poured half of the bottle into a snifter. It's a honey-amber color with no head retention nor lacing (to be expected methinks). Clear and syrupy consistency.

Smell is extremely sweet: maple/honey and perhaps some licorice, as well as some fruits like plum. Actually reminds me of Sam Adams Triple Bock (a sensory experience as it's been about 10 years since I had one of those!).

Immediate taste is sweet as well (like caramel-covered raisins if there were such a thing...hmm, note to self: patent caramel-covered raisins), before moving on to some spiciness (a bit peppery) and then on to the high alcohol, which kicks in and warms the mouth and insides. Finishes pretty dry then.

Gonna have to save the other half til tomorrow (hopefully the vacuum-stopper thingy will work) because this is a dessert type brew in my mind, thus I can't drink a whole one! Great brew; will get some more to let age.

chadlebald, Jun 28, 2007
Photo of oldaleboy
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bought this one at Four Winds International Market in Pensacola. I was headed for the register with a cart full of Belgiums when the man working the beer sections handed me a Samichlaus. Well, I've never heard of the beer but I figured what the hell. The bottle says "bottled in 2006" so for a beer of this stature still quite young. The beer entered the glass without much carbination with a small tan head forming atop the mahogany brew. Smell, prunes and port wine. Taste, defiantly dried fruit and alcohol and as it warms the alcohol warming becomes more pronounced. As far as mouthfeel goes it was a little on the syrupy side but, it seemed to balance out well because of the high ABV. Not an everyday beer for me but one well worth trying. I'd love to try one of these with a few years on it.

oldaleboy, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of taez555
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gotta thank my co-worker and fellow BA Joe(aka speakorspasm) for going out of his way to hook me up with this.

Label shows "bottled in 2005"

This beer poured an extremely bright, clear, reddish brown body with a small white head that mostly just circled the outside of the glass. At 14% though, I'm surprised it even has any head.

Nose is a strong sugary ripe fruit, almost kids grape or apple juice, smell. Tons of earthy malt, and that classic german dry stone and earth note. It's interesting because it has this "lager" smell, that most big beers like barley wines don't. Interesting.

Taste is full bodied and extremely syrupy. Strong alcohol gives this an almost immediate warmth and even after a few sips you can start to feel it. There's a medicinal like, herbal/anise, kind of numbing flavor that due to the high ABV almost give it a mild nyquil type medicine flavor. Lots of ripe fruits. Touches of rum, sherry, port, mild butter, toffee, honey, vanilla that's gone bad, earth, granite, stone and some wood. There's this strong numbing bitterness throughout and even some earthy hops. Ends with a lingering herbal numbing bitterness and loads of syrup.

Reminds me alot of some English Barley wines like Thomas Hardy's, or even big Belgian's like Stille Nacht. Very cool beer. A sipper for sure. I might need to pick a couple up to age for a couple years and bring out during special occasions. I like it.

taez555, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of bret27
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by nice old homebrew guy in the LA area @ woodshop. ('96, so 14 years old)

Limited notes. Smells of figs, prunes, chocolate earthy. Appearance is dark brown. Taste is superb. Same as smells but with sweet molasses and just great balance. The oxidation/port effects of aging just work wonders on this beer. A little booziness in the finish, and med. mouthfeel.

bret27, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of baos
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 fluid ounces into bottle.

A: Three finger tan head over dark reddish amber body. Nice to look at. Head disappears and virtually no lacing.

S: Wow reminds me of Raison D'etre from Dogfish head. Dark dried fruits and brandy. Pepper notes as well

T: Dark and deep fruitiness with big booziness. Kind of a spicy-peppery vodka finish.

M: Medium to heavy in body with thick syrupy feel.

D: This is no wee brew lads. A sixer of these will knock ye on ye backs. But you can sip on one for over an hour and it just grows in flavor. So I'd say slow drinkable but very drinkable nonetheless.

baos, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of armock
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a mahogany color with an off white head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Lots of sweet malt with some fruit scents very mild alcohol

T - Follows the nose very sweet upfront with some fruit flavors coming out light alcohol in the finish

M - This beer has a fuller body with medium carbonation to it

D - For a beer at 14% abv this stuff is way to drinkable the taste is damn good this is a beer that every ba should try sometime

armock, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of woemad
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle of the 2009 vintage purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $6.49. I also have a bottle of the 2004 quietly aging in my “cellar.”

Poured a dark, clear amber color with a thin, beige head. Wasn’t surprised at the lack of head, considering the high alcohol content.

Huge, malty boozey scent, yet not to the point where it seems unbalanced. It just smells “BIG.”

Huge, complex, malty flavor. Sweet at the front, with hints of raspberries (but not cloying at all), but almost immediately backed up by a dark fruit flavor. There’s nary a sign of hops. Hovering in the background in a sinister manner is the massive alcohol content.

The body is fairly full, but not to a disturbing degree. After all, you know already you are drinking a big beer, so it comes as no surprise. Coating, sticky mouthfeel.

A very big beer, this is best enjoyed as a dessert or a nightcap. I’m very glad to have had it, and have no wish to chase it with another.

woemad, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest 2005.

This doppelbock poured a clear, orange-amber color with tan foam that settled. The smell was lightly sweet with a complex, malty aroma and a hint of banana. Alcohol was also evident in the aroma. The taste was very rich and malty with the flavor of alcohol and fusel alcohols noticeable. Overall the flavor was complex. The mouthfeel was warming and smooth with medium-full body and low carbonation. The sweet maltiness lingered on the palate pleasantly. This was a very nice beer and was quite drinkable for its strength.

UncleJimbo, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of thebarracuda
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours a viscious copper/reddish-brown with no head and tiny bubbles Its even got great legs!. the flavor. the aroma is really earthy, the flavor is sweet and rasin like. very complex and deep with a sweet aftertaste that never sours. I can barely taste the alcohol, but its noticeable only when you breathe in. certainly a sipping beer, and one should set you up nicely.

thebarracuda, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of snilsen13
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 bottle, 2006 drinking. Poured into a goblet. OOOH AH! This is an outstanding drink . Don't let the size and tag fool you, it's worth the money of a conventional 6 pack, that is, if youlike the following:

Looks dark, nutbrown, teh reputation gets in my head and I'm sucked into saying this is good enough of a look to merit a smelling... rich, thick malty smell with a hint of spice. Taste like a super strong Belgian (mimics smell, huge warming feeling, lacks bitterness), only the mouthfeel is more like port. Fairly drinkable, between a port-like beer (Sam Adams Utopia) and a strong Belgian, you'll finish the bottle, no sweat.

snilsen13, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured in to a Samichlaus snifter. Rich, warming amber color with a nice white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a halo around the inside of the glass.

S- smells of spices, figs, and a slight hint of bananas. Strong smell from the alcohol reminds me of smelling the airlock from my first homebrew.

T- this beautiful crafted bock tastes like warm honey with a strong alcohol taste. Slight hints of spices and pears.

M- very warming and slightly thick, but subtle as well. Light carbonation. Very similar to a mead.

D- this is a beer to savor and age(as long as you can wait). It is still amazing from its original '06 release. I would drink this before anything else in a night of tasting.

paulthebeerguru, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of TheDoctor
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage: 2012

Pours a crystal clear red-purple-tinged amber with a thin, beige head that fizzles out leaving virtually nothing. Non-existent retention; similar lacing situation.

Rich roasted nuts, rum, cloves, and berries.

Oakey, earthy heaven. Said "Woah" out loud. Similar to the smell. More boozy, though. Roast nuts and raisins; wood, spices, and wine.

Medium body, sticky and warming. Low carbonation (just enough to notice). Warming, clingy finish and aftertaste (very subdued, though).

Really interesting beer. It was simultaneously exactly what I expected and not at all what I expected. It is boozy and kind of resembles a wine more than a beer, but it is also very much a rich, strong bock-seeming brew. Perfect for winter.
What really stuck out to me is the taste and smell. All of the rest of it (when held up against other beers-- which, to be sure, may not be the way to go about a beer like this one) is kind of so-so.
The flavors from being aged (ten months prior to bottling, according to the label) really come through in a way that is both abrupt, obvious, and also delicate.
Would have again, but is a little bit "too much" to become a staple or anything.

***I tried to reflect this in my rating. I've never had anything like this, but the ratings are based on my understanding of beer and how it works. Thus, the appearance is shit, to be quite honest, but since it is so high in alcohol content, that is to be expected. As for the rest, this beer has qualities that I don't particularly enjoy in other beers, but that seem to fit really well in Samichlaus Classic***

TheDoctor, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of rajendra82
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was bottled in 2006, making this only a month old, which is most certainly the youngest Samichlaus I have ever run across. The new bottle had a small picture of an old man who I presume to be St. Nicholas himself. Poured into a stem glass, the beer looked orange amber, and crystal clear, and formed a small but durable head, thanks to the active carbonation. Smelled riotously spicy and spirituous, and gave a good indication of the sweetness to follow. Tasted sweet as ever, but there was balance in here in the form of alcohol heat and dryness, and a peppery spiciness. Pretty much puts an end to any night once opened. I have a few older vintages aging, but when I start a vertical comparison, I’ll probably have to open both bottles early in the evening and have to sip on them for a long time. Better make sure the wife is not around, and the checkbook is locked up in a safe that night.

rajendra82, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of ADR
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, deep bronzy color. Small, small bubbles and head clears in 20 seconds. Mapley, minty aroma, a little like a "Manhatten". Alcoholic and strong mouthfeel, and again, a little like maple syrup. Cherry is slightly evident. Sticky stuff and thankfully for me, low cinnamon or nutmeg notes. Plenty of prune. Brandy-like in impression and body, very mouth coating front to back. I liked this quite a lot. I can't give it a high "drinkability" rating because the taste is so powerful that one is enough. There's some more at the store, so maybe I'll "lay" the next one down for a couple of years...

Many months later...2000 Vintage...I had forgotten how wonderful the deep copper color is or how interesting it is to watch the tiny bubbles slowly rise to the surface, as if through oil.

ADR, Mar 28, 2002
Photo of shbobdb
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Wow, this beer pours a thick amber and, suprisingly, with a pretty thick head! The tiny bubbles swirl in the bottom of my glass, desperately trying to navigate through the thick malt.
I can relate. Wow, where to begin describing the smell and taste of this beer . . . It is similar to Korbinian in many ways, except for that the strong alcohol punch at the end. . . but, there is so much more. Like the bubbles, my nose and tongue twist about this beer, swishing it in my mouth in a vain attempt to understand it. Perhaps since it is merely the 2004 brew it is too young to be classified, the flavours have not matured enough to really come into their own so, instead, they gang up together and pummel your tastebuds.
Good stuff. Wow.
Not a simple beer by any means, but this guy still gets my thumbs up. Wow.
Toffee and coffee? Yeah, they're there. Figs? I can't even describe it, words don't do it justice . . .

shbobdb, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of Traquairlover
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pilsner. Bottled in 2006. ( Think I might go back and buy a couple more to see how it ages.)

A = Very clear, light amber liquid, very (to no) little head, no lacing, very light carbonation.

S = Sweet scent of slightly overripened tropical fruits, malt scents (almost like malt extract before boiling a wort) push through on a long pull. Fairly complex smell grouping, very slight alcohol burn.

T = Sweet honey, bitter floral notes, some taste of various grains, long sweet finish. Given the high ABV, not much burn, a good balance of flavors (though definitely not to be gulped down session style).

M = Medium to thick body, very heavy coating of mouth, long finish as alcohol slowly burns off tongue, gums and rest of mouth. A memorable experience.

D = This was a really good brew and I look forward to trying it again -- next year. Not something I want too often, but definitely worth keeping in the repetoire.

Traquairlover, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of nflmvp
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed as a Dopplebock but the bottle says Malt Liquor. Malt liquor seems closer to reality. This isn't like any other Doppelbock I've tried.

2005 Vintage, enjoyed on 3/17/06 out of a flute (sorry, wasn't in the mood for Guiness this St. Patty's Day).

Poured a dark golden amber with a hint of ruby. A wispy head of less than a 1/4 inch was gone in seconds, followed by a few tiny bubbles, that continued to rise until the glass was empty, reminiscent of champagne.

Smell was sweet, followed by alcohol. Taste was similar but not too sweet. Alcohol was evident but not overbearing. Mouthfeel was thick but pleasurable. Overall, very drinkable but certainly a better desert beer than a session beer.

Very warming. It would be the kind of beer to sit around the fire after a day of skiing but I'll enjoy it again, just sitting around a campfire.

nflmvp, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +9%
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.

BEERchitect, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of haz77
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - 2005 bottle. Pours a fizzy reddish copper, with the foam dissipating immediately. Small bubbles of medium carbonation.

S - Cherry, rum, solvent, alcohol, dark ripe fruit, caramel/dark sugar.

T - Syrupy sweetness comes through almost immediately along with the ripe fruit (especially cherry). Spicy alcohol kicks in and keeps building all the way into the aftertaste leaving a very warming, slightly numbing, feeling. After the break of the alcohol, a second wave of caramel sweetness appears and grows into the finish, along with a herbal note.

M - Very smooth, full, coating and rich. Low carbonation.

D - Drinkability isn't great, but overall this is excellent and will be re-visited on many occasions.

haz77, Sep 02, 2006
Photo of jordoo
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poored into a snifter.

Dark burgandy/amber with brown tones and a small frothy topping. Smell is of strong candied plumbs/figs to go with a root/wood type of malt smell. ALcholol warmth also prevalent. Wow this is a suberb sipper, brillaint alcohol warmth throughout with huge malt characteristics of the most nature kind, root, wood, earthyness. This goes great with the sweet candied plumb flavor that rides along with the alcohol. Mouth is a full bodied syrup texture that combined with the strength makes it alittle less drinkable than maby it could be, but who cares it tastes GREAT.

jordoo, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +9%
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

brentk56, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of AgentMunky
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Clear mahogany, very dark. Little to no head, lacing, or bubbles. Mm, this beer is gorgeous, especially in the light.

S: Alcohol and raw molasses. Astringent. Not great.

T: Holy shit! Absolutely delicious. Sweet, spicy molasses is my first impression. The main body is a hulking, sweet, and reminiscent of spicy cake, candy, and Christmas pudding. The aftertaste is sweet, delectable, and moreish, leaving me smacking my lips. This beer is really great.

M: Sweet, smooth, sticky, spicy, and *good*.

D: Dangerously drinkable. The 14% can be felt, but not tasted. Samichlaus is *very* sweet, which may detract for some, but not me. HIGHLY recommended. My friend commented, "Wow. This tastes like it would make in-laws tolerable."

AgentMunky, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Circa 2001

Brilliantly clear, ruby-brown color. Has no head, just a ring around the glass. The aroma is bready, alcoholic, with figs and dates. The flavor is of sweet malt, fruit, figs or dates; it flows then to an alcoholic finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and sweet. It is syrupy, with a somewhat oily texture. It is very alcoholic and warming beer. A definite nightcap beer on a cold winters night. Very complex and tasty.

BeerBuilder, Mar 19, 2003
Photo of tkach
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer will pour a dark golden/amber color with a clean head that just looks delicious.

Smell I just keep saying smells like Santa! Haha it is a nice thick and sweet smelling beer. Simply very aromatic, very much like a heavy barley/hopppy beer. Delectable to say the least.

The taste was excellent. Nice thick flavor that matches the smell very well which I like. Creamy and flavorful at the same time and it just seems very high class.

This beer feels very thick with the right amount of carbonation. Just feels a bit too thick and sticky afterwards which is alright depending on what you are looking for.

I found this stuff very drinkable considering the 14% it's got on the label. Simply delicious, goes down very very smooth and an amazing flavor and feel to it!!

tkach, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of Vipsanius
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a fairly transparent amber. Poured straight, and fairly vigoursly, into a chalice, which produced very little head and absolutely no lacing...although, it did tend to stick to the glass a bit like you'd expect in a high abv beer.

The smell had a strong malt profile, very sweet dark sugary like smell, banana bread, raisins, plums...fairly similar to many dark belgian ales, which is pretty surprising in a lager.

The taste was fairly malty, had a very pleasant alcohol presence, caramel, dark cherries, plums...is this aged the 10 months in oak barrels? ...because it sure tastes like it.

It lets you know it's a 14% beer...definitely not one of those beers that's going to blind side you. Syrupy and slightly warm going down...not a whole lot of carbonation, which you'd expect.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed. It's unlike any lager I've ever had before. The bottle says malt liquor and honestly it kind of reminds me of a bourbon or scotch...and I'd much prefer this over any of those. It's up in the air whether I'd order anymore of these online or not but it's definitely a beer I would buy again given a better opportunity to do so.

Vipsanius, Feb 08, 2006
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,634 ratings.