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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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1,708 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,708
Reviews: 1,011
rAvg: 4
pDev: 17%
Wants: 129
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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Ratings: 1,708 | Reviews: 1,011 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of charlesw
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ha ha ha ha ha! How am I to rate -this- one? Yesterday's brew was Smooth Hoperator. That's also a doppelbock only it's at half the ABV and twice the IBUs. Crazy...

This is rich, thick, smooth and sweet. And that about sums it up! Oh, ok, it's crazy. It has so many different sweet malty flavors going on that it's simply amazing. Raisins, caramel, wine, ah, hmm, as it warms there is some bitterness to it - nothing sharp, a very smooth and rounded bitterness.

I think it's a bit unbalanced - too sweet with nothing to counter that - as it stands. Maybe I should try to get a bottle fresh from the brewery to see if there's more hop flavor or something in there. Anyway, pretty good. I'll probably seek it out again, too.

Photo of rdrummer
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A hard to find beer that is a really heavy Austrian entry to the best beers in the world. Although, the brewer bills it as the strongest beer in the world, it has been passed by a number of efforts by the Sam Adams brewery in the US with very mixed results. This beer is the real thing. It pours a dark brown, with amber highlights with a very small pale brown head that is very short-lasting. The aroma is fruity and malty with the odor of figs or dates being most pronounced. Those fruit flavors (maybe raisins, too) come through in the taste along with a deep malty flavor.

This is not a beer to serve to guys swilling beer at a party. They're not going to like it on a number of levels, although they will like the alcohol hit that comes after sipping for a while.

This feels very thick in the mouth with a heavy alcohol kick on the backside. The only drawback for me is a sweetness that overwhelms by the time you get to the bottom of the bottle. This is a sipping beer not one that reaches the drinkability in me.

Photo of JoeBloe
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i only know of this beer(bier) from seeing it mentioned on this site, pertaining to it's rarity - hence my surprise when i found some bottles @the katonah beverage barn - picked up a 2007 and a 2006 ($5each) - just finished the 2007 -
poured hard into a spherical tumbler to bring up a slight head -
good color here and the syrupy mouthfeel is validated by the quickly dissipated head and lack of lacing - the alcohol's warming effects were evident from my mouth to my tummy - sweet and warm and pretty easy to quaff down considering the high abv -
one of these will do ya right -this is a tasty drink - i guess i'll post a separate review or edit this one when i try the 2006 bottle some other time - now what can i follow this with?

*edit* - so i had the 2006 bottle last nite (2/25) can't say if it tasted any different from the 2007's i've had, so there.

Photo of stjarnflikka
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 vintage.

Pours a red and brown beer thats totally clear with nice big bubbles. Last out of the bottle comes a foam that melts like butter in a frying pan.

Smell is immense. There is alcoholic character that reminds of rum, raisins, some spices and "glögg"(a swedish wine with spices). Smell is very fruity and sweet with big flowery traces, pepper and alcohol.

Taste is also immense, and wonderful. Cherries, raisins and spices make the first impression. Beer has a surypy sweet tone and generally just a damn complex taste. Its filles with fruits, dark sugar, syrup, alcohol and spices. Alcohol breaks through and warms the body and i really enjoy each sip.

Hurlimann made this brew in 250 ml bottles and i can really see why :) taste is great and powerful, a very, very good brew to just sit and sip at for an hour or so. I have some 2002 bottles left ill store and some from 2003 that ill bring out next year :)

Photo of cbutova
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.

A- Transparent dark brown, a mysterious color. A head builds for a second or two and then falls to a nice ring and random cloud. Appropriate for an aged, high ABV beer.

S- Stale caramel malt reminiscent of an old ale. It also reminds me of the 2001 Aventinus I had, an olive like aroma as well. Dark cherry is pretty strong as well. You can certainly sense the age and strength on it. Fairly sweet, molasses aspect.

T- Slightly roast old caramel melt in the beginning. Dark, cough syrup like cherry hits the palate in the finish. I also sense some spice hints, some vanilla, rum. Somewhat oxidized.

MF- Light feeling body for the huge flavor. Carbonation is fine and smooth, moderate level. Warm but not hot by any means. Nice and creamy. Works well.

DB- Reminds me of JW Lees vintages but at the same time has a unique flavor. I guess the old German flavors lend a rum, almost olive like aspect, even oily. Very interesting, wouldn't mind letting a four pack age for... ever?

Photo of rarbring
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A brown amber beer with red hints, very small head and nearly no lace. An oily surface is seen at swirl.

A very distinct almost pungent smell, stable, earth, dried fruits like dates, the alcohol is nearly overpowering.

A sweet heaven of dried fruites, raisins, figs, dates and apricots. Malty caramel and bread notes are there as well, with almonds and sherry tones. And of course the alcohol content is very much present. A short bitterness is noted but the overall impression is a sherry sweetness.

Very little carbonation, but a very nice sauternes feeling.

This is a clear sit-and-enjoy-before-the-fire-beer, and let it last for a long time.

Photo of Tone
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong malt, earthy malts, slight fruit aroma, and some yeast cleanliness. At this point if fits the Doppelbock style, quite nicely. Very bitter, and high alcohol is noticeable in the mouth feel. Smooth and crisp along with a slightly high carbonation level. Tastes of strong malt upfront with a general sweetness closely following. A slight hop flavor is present in the aftertaste along with a little fruitiness. The alcohol packs quite a punch, but the overall flavor is amazing. The sweetness, maltiness, and slight fruitiness is absolutely amazing! This beer is definitely worth a try.

Photo of superspak
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass; bottled in 2006. Pours fairly clear red orange color with a small foamy off white head that reduces to nothing pretty quickly. Expected for a beer of this magnitude. A decent amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of huge caramel, molasses, toffee, biscuit, raisin, plum, vanilla, toasted grain, light herbal, wood, and a touch of alcohol. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, biscuit, raisin, molasses, plum, vanilla, wood, and slight herbal. Slight herbal spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla, raisin, biscuit, and herbal on the finish for a while. Great balance of flavors with nice complexity; and no cloying sweetness at all. Light carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and thick mouthfeel that is fantastic. Alcohol is extremely well hidden at 14%, with almost no warming at all. Extremely smooth to sip on. Overall this is a delicious doppelbock at its current age. Big flavor and balance; and very smooth to sip on, with the alcohol level extremely well hidden.

Photo of fatmcb1
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured into a wine glass

Amber pour with a finger of off white head that quickly disappears.

Smell is of dark fruit, sugar, caramel, and alcohol.

Taste follows the noise. This is a malt bomb. Tons of caramel and sugar are all over. Dark fruit is also dominant - raisins, cherry, grape, and figs. Alcohol provides some warming, but this doesn't seem as strong as 14%.

Carbonation has held up well. Very thick, chewy, and rich.

I will definitely seek out this beer in the future, and hope to enjoy it at various ages. It is one of the most drinkable beers I have tried at this level of ABV. Great doppelbock!

Photo of Stockfan42
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red body that gives off a deep amber red color in the light. Little to no head, fizzles away quickly.

Very sweet smelling. A bit boozy and spicy as well. Also, some dark fruits, maybe some raisins or figs.

Taste is very sweet. Sweet malts and caramel. More dark fruits like plums, raisins and figs. This beer also has a bit of heat on it and leaves a nice bitter bite in the finish.

I would say this beer is just a bit over medium bodied. Its doesnt feel to heavy but keep in mind it is 14%. A bit chewy but not to thick. Goes down pretty smooth but a bit boozy as well. Leaves a very nice sweet and bitter aftertaste.

Overall this beer is probably the best I've had for its style. Highly recommend.

Photo of beergod1
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, dark copper/red, almost brown, very small head and no lacing. Sharp alcohol smell accompanies sweet syrupy malts over a dark fruit base. Alcohol is a little less dominant in the taste, which features the sweet dark fruits and Caramel malt and toffee. Texture is amazing - creamy smooth, even with all that alcohol, thick, rich and chewy. Sweet finish without being cloying, and oh yeah, the slight alcohol burn. This was a 2009, I will let my other one sit at least a year.

Photo of alostplot
4.28/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Kendo
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The 2001 Vintage, on tap at the Lionheart in Albany. Consumed on May 2, 2007.

A: Poured into a plain glass, probably about 10 oz or so. Inside the bar, where it's dark, at first it looks a lot like dark apple cider. Brought outside where it was a bit brighter, it was clear brown with orange-ruby tints when held up and backlit a bit. No head whatsoever, and only a small stream of bubbles slowly rises for a short duration.

S: Sweet and hot are the general first impressions. Dark dried fruit -- figs, prunes, berries -- licorice, rum-soaked raisins and plenty of sugary malt sweetness -- bubble gum, maybe? -- underneath as well.

T: A lot like the nose: sweet berries, brown sugar, dark fruit, molasses and rum. Even though the dominant flavors are sweet, it doesn't get cloying or seem overwhelmingly one-dimensional. Perhaps that is due to the balance of all those flavors or because it finishes surprisingly dry. There's not really a sense of hoppy bitterness at all, however, in spite of that dry finish. Spicy alcohol is noted, but given the ABV it's not all that strong in the taste. It is hot on the way down and just seconds after lodging itself in the belly you feel the heat.

M: No carbonation at all. Chewy in the middle and definitely full-bodied, but it finishes surprisingly dry and light, almost like some of the better Belgians.

D: Good, but . . . at this ABV, you've got to go slow. It's heavy enough and the alcohol is sufficiently noticeable that you'll know to take your time.

Notes: What a find. Heard late last week that they had this at the Lionheart and I knew I had to get there before it kicked. A nice treat, and at 5.5 - 6.5 years old the alcohol seems to have mellowed a bit. I'm guessing this would be substantially hotter if it were younger. . . .

Photo of freed
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this *on tap* at concordia ale house. Yeah - on tap. I had to check the beer list, then check to make sure it was the draft list, then check the spelling again. I sheepishly asked the waitress - "can I get it in a whole pint?" yes.

So the large tulip came with a thick amber liquid - red more opaque than most lagers. Just a faint head that really didn't last long at all.

The aroma had a bit of a sting to it, but it was also full of dried fruit and malt. Sweet, hot, and fruity.

The taste was initially confusing. Warmth from the alcohol, abundant (but far from overt) sweetness like raisins, robust maltiness, and a nutty crystal malt flavor.

As this beer warmed, it became more interesting and more potent. Despite it's gravity, it was very drinkable and enjoyable. On tap.

Photo of tavernjef
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2001 - Color is a dark coppery ruby red, somewhat clear but with a resonant glow, thin beige head puffs away like smoke but keeps a tight collar the whole glass and slow dripping lace in rings from off the collared edge. Aroma is nice and malty, a bit restrained, but befittingly sweet with dark fruityness that has a good load of raisin and plum and touches of molasses and dark cherry. Taste is big time malts, wow, pretty big malts here;darkly sweet, lightly dry, solid amounts of raisin and tinges of warming alcohol blend right in and quickly. Its pretty boozy right from the get go on this stuff, whew...not as complex as some but does have some subtlities once the alcoholic warmth lays off with vanilla and more dark fruits. Its got a very easy slippery start that keeps sliding towards a fuller feel, silky and creamy with some agreeable warmth of good Ol' alcohol. A pretty sneaky brew, nearly port-like with its big and darkly sweet malts with a smoothness thats quite comforting. The alcoholic warmth makes it presense felt. A very good warm sipper. Did I say its warm? Cuz it is...warm...and yummy.

Photo of BeardedSquash
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber in color, with a 1/4-inch head that flattens and disappears quickly.

S: Sugar and alcohol up front. Smells almost spiritish. Green grapes and roses unfold as the liquid comes to room temperature.

T: Deep, heavy malts enveloped in creamy caramel and dark fruits. Woody backdrop comes around with some time, followed by a vanilla sweetness. I'm assuming since it is labelled a "Malt Liquor", there are no hops. Instead, the sweetness is balanced out by the pervasive alcohol, which is makes itself known in the form of a spiced heat, much like a warm glass of brandy. This is a classy beer.

M: Full bodied and sticky with medium carbonation. The heat cuts into the mouthfeel more than you would expect from any other Dopple, which are usually fairly blunt.

D: Warming. Like a glass of fine plumb brandy, this would make a perfect fireside beer on a cold night. I would go higher on the drinkability scale if it didn't put me on my ass so quickly.

Photo of Admiraldinty
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1999 Bottle

In the words of Johnny Carson, "This is some wild and wacky shtuff." Pours a murky, muddy brown with reddish highlights and with very little head.

Aroma is strongly alcoholic, almost like rum. Fruity (plums, raisins), and syrupy malt (in the best doppelbock tradition).

Very smooth mouthfeel and creamy mouthfeel. Very thick and syrupy. Big on alcohol with dark fruits, and some chocolate. Not really any hops to speak of. Extremely warming.

This is something else, but being something else it should be savored, and enjoyed slowly on special occassions.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Flute
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Beautiful clear amber liquid sits underneath a light one-finger head of foam that dissipates quickly to leave a slight ring of tiny bubbles around the edge of the glass. Minimal lacing.

Honeyed pears with just a touch of dark sweetness. Molasses? Apples and light brandy notes. A hint of alcohol.

Sweet caramel malts and dark melting sugars. Pears, apples and peaches. Slight spiciness. Light roasted nuttiness. Warming effect not unlike rum or brandy.

Feels slightly thick. Like a watered down syrup. This is totally a good thing.

Easily drinkable, even though the 14% abv will surely kick your ass in a hurry.
It's so worth trying to track this one down.

Photo of searsclone
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay glass in Janury 2011, bottled in 2008.

The color is similar to maple syrup. Zero head.

Smells like alcohol, caramel and raisins.

Honey, caramel, vanilla, spices, hops and smoke. Alohol warms the throat and stomach.

Very little carbonation, mouthfeel is thin and sticky.

Drinkability is high under the right circumstances, I would like to try this with food since I think that would make it even better.

Photo of danielharper
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2005.

Appearance: Pours dark orange-red, slight tinges of straight orange at the bottom, with an initially-thick head that things quickly, expected for-style. Transparent, with some bubbles clinging to the sides and bottom of the glass. Very nice presentation.

Smell: Rich, strongly alcoholic. Very malty, nutty. Hints of maple, perhaps? Very strong, very nuanced, deep aroma.

Taste: This one starts with a strong sweet flavor, which is then balanced by the strongly astringent alcohol. This is much stronger than a normal dopplebock, and at times it's a bit too strong, but overall this is a very nice flavor. As the beer warms the nuttiness and, yes, that maple-like taste, come to predominate. Some beer geeks will find either the sweetness or the alcohol too much, but I think it meshes together well, and overall I find it enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Thick, luscious, very strongly alcoholic. It burns the tongue and the palate at times, but an experience this nice justifies that intensity.

Drinkability: I wouldn't drink this every night, but it's amazingly smooth for a beer of its strength, more like a good Old Ale than a dopplebock, and I recommend it highly.

Photo of Midfielder
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2001 is absolutely in fantastic nick! It has a very concentrated brandyish aroma. Some moderately burnt molasses. It tastes like a rich tawny port. Rich creamy texture. Yes, it is a sweet beer with vanilla flavors from oak but astonishingly it is not cloying at all. A classic!

Photo of Meerkey
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amazed by its clarity. It's beautiful. A few bubbles. Rich mahogany and burgundy. Especially lovely when held up to the light.

S: A little spicy. Sugar, malt, and fruits.

T: Damn. Molasses, extremely sweet. A little spicy. Candy. A little fruity, but the sweetness almost takes over everything. And actually, a little like freshly plucked honeysuckle.

M: Some carbonation. Can taste the alcohol a bit. Syrupy, but smooth and clean.

D: Very drinkable. Don't even notice the alcohol.

Photo of aaronh
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 bottling - Pours a deep copper color with minimal head. Aroma is very much like a young port wine, with strong fruity notes. The taste is powerfully sweet. Nice smoky malt notes with a slight oak character, dark fruits like plums and raisins, a very strong alcohol note. A slight hint of chocolate sneaks through as well. Much like a light port, but with some bourbon qualities as well. The alcohol warms your throat as you swallow, and I can already picture having some of this during the cold winter months. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, and lingers on the tongue a good while. The aftertaste is definitely dominated by alcohol fumes wrapped around some sweet fruits. Very little bitterness in this beer. This is definitely young and powerful right now, and I'd love to have the resources (and the patience) to put a lot of this away for future enjoyment. We'll see how things go. I have one more bottle that I will revisit this winter at the earliest. Right now, this is very enjoyable. If it mellows a bit, it could be outstanding.

Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear but almost ruby-like dark copper. The beige head quickly reduces to bubbles around the rim. Looking into the glass it looks like whisky, has that sort of density where it fades colour the closer to the glass it gets.

S: Toffee apples, concentrated caramel.

T: Very sweet but certainly not the sweetest thing out there. Does not taste like 14% at all – cannot taste any alcohol. Not complex, just syrupy and warming. Not getting any fruit. Leaves that sweet lacquer flavour on the breath after swallowing. Definitely some resemblance to cough syrup, which is no bad thing. More akin to an English barley wine than anything German I've had.

M: Smooth and gloopy. Nice and effervescent when swallowing. Lovely and sticky.

O: Not complex at all but still delicious. Elementary, you might say. Cough medicine-like syrup with shit loads of alcohol, what's not to like!

Photo of chugalug06
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25


Small snappy one-finger comes out of an aggressive pour. Brew has great clarity. Dark brown with light purple color. No lacing, to be expected @ 14%

Angel tears. Tons of grapey caramel drizzled with milk chocolate. Sweet. Dare I say the pinnacle for a Doppelbock ?

Way sweet, yet not a sugar bomb. Well placed wet, sugar. Flavor profile is nuts. Lots of sweet raisin, red apple, pear, tangerine rind, banana...clove. Well spiced, but not even close to over-the-top. kinda peppery. Funky-ass, rubber, bitter, wetness comes though on the backend... Not sure how I feel about the mouthfeel, it could be improved. Carbonation is much heavier than appearance.

Appropriate beer for the Sugar Bowl, go Mizzou! Back-end feel is a bit too weird for me to give monumental rating. It's good and recommended, just with a grain of salt.

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,708 ratings.