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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,475 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1475
Reviews: 980
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 17.34%

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)
View: Beers (18) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1,475 | Reviews: 980 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyable to try this classic on tap at Ludwig's Garden in Philly. Pours dark honey almond, and cloudy with a minor light tan head and fine but minimal lacing. Nose of some smoke and also a wiff of cognac/brandy. Strong, tasty and vinious brew. notes of molasas, roasted woody malts, peat, brandy, cloves and cinnamon. World class nightcapper/sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2006 23:06:19 | More by Billolick
Photo of masikon


4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brouwer's cafe in Seattle. Main differences I noted between the draft version and the bottle I reviewed earlier is that the mouthfeel is improved out of the tap...some of the overly syrupy texture gives way to a tiny bit of carbonation that makes this a bit more drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2006 00:59:19 | More by masikon
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a root beer brown with cherry highlights with whips of white head.

The smell is dominated by dark fruits with bits of malty banana and a smooth nip of alcohol.

The flavor begins with cane sugar and green grape sweetness, then creamy dark fruits, followed by sour and bitter coffee and dark chocolate, concluding with a splash of warming alcohol that makes my tongue tingle. This is sticky sweet, but not offensively so as the finish does release a bit of the sweetness.

The mouth feel is huge in body with a nice light carbonation.

While drinking this, my friend and I coined the phrase “self regulating sipper.” There is just no way that this beer can be taken quickly. This is an awesome beer, but I don’t think I could ever have more than one.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2006 14:37:31 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap last evening over at Mahars, from what I w as told it was 2004 vintage. Brew was poured to a brown color with a lot of red like highlights. Brew had no head what so ever. The aroma is more or less of alcohol with dark fruits. Not a bad smelling brew. The taste reminds me a bit of cold medicine with its alcohol taste dominating and the fruit flavors complementing it. I am not really able to pick much more up from the taste as this brew acts like syrup and really coats the mouth and the above stated flavors seem to stay with me even after I have finished the brew! Not a bad brew, not my favorite but would get it again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2005 17:52:32 | More by Stimack
Photo of francisweizen


4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one quite a few times, but I have never reviewed it, well I have notes here from a tap version of this a 1996 keg, that I had a glass from at Ludwigs in Philly a few months ago. Anyways, this is a dark cola brown brew with a fizzy khaki head. It is reminiscent of an eisbock in looks, but the aroma is much more deep, imho. Very complex with a huge maltiness as well as maple flavors, and maybe a hint of coffee, and dessert as well. Dark fruits and nuts also slip into the olfactory senses. Taste is doughy and malty with not much of an alcoholic feel except for a slight "port-like" tinge of booze at the finish. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous and the drinkability is good, but not excellent unless you are freakin' insane. a lovely tipple, aged keg seems similar to aged bottles, but super fresh this one is not too good. Give it at least 1 year...if not more.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2005 16:27:13 | More by francisweizen
Photo of freed


4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2005 16:12:39 | More by freed
Photo of UncleJimbo


4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2005 05:59:46 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of Shaw


3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed a glass of Samichlaus (I'm guessing the 2003 vintage) at my local pub, the Cock & Bull. They had a special tapping of the keg party at midnight on Christmas Eve 2004.

I had a bottle of this beer a couple years ago and remember it being too extreme for my tastes. The glass I had tonight was a lot better. And while the recipe may be different, I think my palate is what actually has changed.

It's a glowing-brown (!) in color with a foamy white head that doesn't last. It smells of carmel, sugar and grape. The taste is quite sweet -- even syrupy -- with a very present alcohol flavor.

The body is slick, like other high-alcohol beers.

I cut the drinkability score a notch because this beer is so strong and sweet. Believe me, it's good. You just don't want a lot of it.

If you like barleywines and dopplebocks, try Samichlaus. And get it on-tap if you can!

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2004 07:40:42 | More by Shaw
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Capital Ale House for their weekly "Steal the Glass" night. $8.50 for a 10oz glass. I'm assuming this was the 2003 edition that was kegged this year.

Color is very much like bourbon or whiskey. Copper-hued with a minute splash of head that was gone in an instant. Aromas are hot and heavy with alcohol sweetness. Notes of rum-soaked dark fruit at the edges. Same goes for the flavor. A huge splash of sugary sweetness up front that is quickly ravaged by the scorching alcohol fire that threatens to burn your tongue. Residual sweetness lingers after the ABV dies down. Not nearly as full-bodied as I'd expected and it really struck me as almost unbalanced. Tough to work my way to the bottom of this glass. Maybe I'm missing something with this beer, but it just didn't do anything for me. The waiter said this was the sweetest beer he'd ever tasted. For me, it's close. It's right behind the initial release of DFH 120 minute IPA at the AOBF last year. I have a bottle from 2002 that I won't be touching for years...

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2004 21:07:44 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer arrived at the table with cascading small bubbles erupting into a smooth and frothy yet compact head which lasted till the last swallow. The color was a deep ruby amber brown that contributed to the light tan head. One beautiful glass!

The aroma was dark fruits, raisins, plums, etc. The sweet malty aromas of caramel and chocolate brought the senses alive.

The flavor was again dark fruits in a complex mix with sweet maltiness. Also present were chocolate and coffee flavors that made the beer even more complex.

The finish was just slightly off dry and pleasant with chocolate, coffee, caramel and the dark fruits leaving the palate feeling alive in the aftertaste. The body was medium full.

A very complex beer that has never dissappointed. Selected as a beer for after a nice German dinner this was the perfect place to enjoy this beer.

Glass at The Bier Garden in Portsmouth, VA. This is only the second time I have ever seen Samichlaus on tap. Till we meet again!

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2004 12:28:50 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of GnomeKing


3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer packs a wallop. The taste is extremely rich and potent. I had a 7oz glass on tap, and that was enough. I enjoyed it, but there's only so much you can take. The heavy malt and alcohol taste makes this a sipping beer. There aren't many other flavors, or perhaps the alcohol buries them. This only comes around once a year for a few weeks, and it would make a nice brew to have on a cold winter evening. It would be a substitute for a brandy (if I drank brandy). Overall, though, it's too tough to get down for regular drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2004 21:52:03 | More by GnomeKing
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Luckily got to have a glass of this on tap. It arrived in a long glass sporting a nice bronze color with no head (barely a faint tiny one hugging the side of the glass). The aroma was all sweet malt and alcohol. The flavor is complex. Malt is all over this making this very sweet with plenty of caramel and fruity tones.

The mouthfeel is syrupy, as the malt thickly coats your tongue even after swallowing. Very thick bodied. I battled with giving this a 3 on the drinkability scale, but the complex flavors gave it another 1/2 point. Very unique and worth trying at least one in your lifetime.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2004 19:23:46 | More by Gavage
Photo of Gusler


4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2001: Draught @ Papago
“Whoa Nellie what a beer”! A transparent deep garnet color on the pour, minimal head, minimal lace, maximal nose, the fusel alcohol just slaps your senses to the upright and locked position, ripe pineapple, bananas, bubble gum, sweet malt, its all there for the sniffing, start is sweet and nicely malted, the top is moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish is all about alcohol, which at 14% makes it strong, a couple of years in the barrel, gives it a deep dark robustness that’s certainly not meant for the weak of heart or those not into dark brooding beers, should just stay away, carbonation quite mild, very dry, vinous aftertaste, that lingers on for quite sometime as does the significant “tummy warming”, excellent is all I can say.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2004 23:33:42 | More by Gusler
Photo of crookedhalo


4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep chestnut-brown color with a thin tan head. Smells sugary and brandy sweet with the faintest bit of oaky notes and a whole lotta alcohol as everyone knows. Sipping this beer makes one's lips stick together after sipping. Carbonated cough syrup is an adequate description. Beautiful, though. Poured in an authentic 25 cl Samichlaus snifter. Takes an hour + to drink. We won't touch on the drinkability. Mouthfeel is again, syrupy, yet complex. I prefer it on-draught because the oakiness just doesn't seem present on the bottled version.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2003 06:11:36 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of frank4sail

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001 draft version at Monks Cafe.
Big Alcohol nose with tons of intense sweet fruit. Slight white head. Almost light brown with a touch of red in the color. Served in a wine glass. Sweet fruit (sour peach) taste with an intense tongue numbing finish. Fuller smooth mouth with a syrup film left on the tongue. Rounded fruit taste is pounded by the big ABV finish. Not one for the timid. Any more of this beer would probly be too much. Its drinkability is hurt by the sweetness and unbridled strength. It will make you smile as a night cap! ;)

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2003 12:49:14 | More by frank4sail
Photo of jreitman


3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Wow is this one a real kick you in the ass kind of beer. Poured a dark black in color with some ruby red hues. Head was nowhere to be seen, most likely eaten by the alcohol demons. Fruit, spices, and liqurous were percieved as well as the smell of evaporating alcohol. Flavor profile was amazingly complex though balanced a lot towards the sweet side of things. Pears, liqourice, raisins, and a port-iness were perceived in the mouth. Perceived alocohol is not at all what this beer is about, but it makes it's presence known from the first sip with a nice warming feeling. This one is definitely a sipping beer. A very intriguing brew that I would recommend people try, but I don't know if I would order it again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2003 07:27:58 | More by jreitman
Photo of Pauline_K


3.2/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This doppelbock is quite strong, in both aroma and flavor. The strong ABV is quite noticeable in the finish. It is hitting my head quickly.

Appearance: This beer has a deep ruby red color when held up to the light. When not held up to the light the color is like a cherry cola. The beer poured a very small head that quickly dissipated.

Aroma: Sugary carmel and maple syrup come to mind. Candied cherries also come to mind. As some people noted, this beer smells more like a thick cocktail, than a a beer. I have to agree with this statement. Overall, it smells very sweet.

Taste: It has a heavy mouthfeel with syrup qualities. The aroma matches the taste well. Very malt heavy. Flavors of carmel, sweet vermouth, cherry, and maple syrup come to mind. The finish is sweet and the high ABV is noticeable. It has a slight bitter finish.

Overall: I respect the style of this beer and understand its significance, however, I do not need to drink it again. The thick aroma and flavor calls for a very small pour. It is an attractive beer, but not one that I would recommend for a social event, it is for a late evening of sipping, thinking, reading, and writing. The high ABV has a very calming and warming effect.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2014 01:22:35 | More by Pauline_K
Photo of More_betterness


4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear ruby body topped with a small head that recedes to nothing quickly. A swirl causes the viscous liquid to leave some legs on the glass. Resembles brandy in appearance.

S: Sweet maple syrup and brandied cherries. A little warming alcohol as it comes to room temperature. Honestly smells like a brandy manhattan.

T: Mostly follows the nose, with maple and sweet cherry leading the way. Brandy, caramel, and hints of sweet vermouth follow. Barely perceptible tingle of alcohol, that 14% is well hidden.

M: Thick and syrupy, with medium carbonation. Mouth coating viscosity.

O: First time having this beer, and definitely enjoyed it. The resemblance to a well made cocktail in both flavor and texture was uncanny. Definitely a sipper, but something I'll be reaching for again next year.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 02:53:05 | More by More_betterness
Photo of Focusf111


1.01/5  rDev -74.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 19:59:32 | More by Focusf111
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle, only a couple of months old

A- Pours clear and copper color with a very small fizzy head that disappears quickly, leaving nothing behind

S- big sweet malty aromas with notes of fresh bread, fruit cake, caramel, toffee, alcohol and dark cherries

T- very sweet caramel malt up front with a big hit of sweet brown sugar. sweet bread with some fruity notes mixed in, continuing into a sweet finish

M- thick and viscous body with low carbonation, foamy mouthfeel with a smooth finish, big alcohol warmth at the end

O- super sweet and definitely a sipper, but the sweetness does not overpower. Great sweet bread flavors that one would expect from a doppelbock. I'd love to get another bottle to see what some age does for it, but it drinks just fine fresh

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 01:04:27 | More by Treyliff
Photo of undeadozzy


4.9/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Poured a deep ruby with a cream colored head that disappears to a whisper quickly, but left lots of lacing. Looks like a wine or a brandy, and is a beautiful color.

S - Huge showing from dark fruit. The smell is nearly like a wine, and I can literally smell the alcohol. Figs, grapes, plum and hints of dark chocolate and prune.

T - Intense flavor, huge deep dark malt hit, massive showing of dark fruit and some dark chocolate, and another huge wallop from the high ABV, which makes itself known, but not obnoxiously. My bottle had been aging for a few months, and I'd imagine the flavor was more intense initially, whereas now it has matured and brought out some beautiful spicy sweet tones. Delicious.

M - Extremely sticky, almost has a cough syrup texture to it, very thick. Heavy.

O - An expertly crafted dopplebock, and one I'd love to try fresh to compare the flavors to the aged bottle I had. Absolutely delightful!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 22:32:27 | More by undeadozzy
Photo of Givemebeer


3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: pours ruby in color no head no lacing.

S: alcohol soy sauce and caramel

T: soy sauce toffee raisins molasses. The alcohol makes it's presence known at the end but not tooo aggressively for a 14% giant.

M: pretty thick and sweet. But not overly sweet.

O: this is a classic. I'm going to buy one and age it to see how it does. This bottle I drank is fresh.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 17:58:32 | More by Givemebeer
Photo of magictacosinus


4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served at the January tasting at the Taproom. Thanks to whoever brought the bottle! Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. 2005 vintage.

While I've seen this beer at its freshest (usually dark amber brown), it's impressive what 8 years has done to it - clearer, with a pale amber color that ranges on being copper tinged. There actually was a head overall, as well as carbonation, which is nothing but good news. A bone white ring clings to the top, and while nothing really sticks to the glass, the alcohol tears are quite large on this. Reminds me a lot of the appearance of a less viscous Sherry right away.

And, wouldn't you know it, the nose reminds me of a variety of fortified wines as well - most notably Sherry and Madeira - but there's also some brandy-esque elements within the concoction. Big caramel and honey soaked raisins, candied plums, dates, and a little bit of a sweet grape aroma. Toffee, brown sugar, cinnamon, as well as some white pepper and light floral elements. Very sweet, yes, yet at the same very restrained in terms of going overboard, and the oxidized notes are perhaps the ones to credit for. Due to its age and time oxidizing, it's picked up some spicy, dried fruit, and resinous (woody) elements that really balance out the sweetness, and this, along with no burn whatsoever from the alcohol, makes this a unique experience.

The flavor reaches the same level of excitement - this is what highly age-worthy strong ales (or old ales) should strive to become. I haven't had Tom Hardy's Ale before, but I'd imagine a good vintage of this, aged for a long time, could reach the same dizzying and legendary heights of the former. Big notes of sweet, caramelized, dried raisins, dates, prunes, and grapes, alongside some lightly spicy elements from the age and refined notes of toasted toffee, cinnamon, and a little bit of vanilla. Like a good Cognac, goes down extremely silky, with minimal heat and lots of refined, resinous and dried fruity elements, alongside an aftertaste that is crisp, thick, and well poised. Really enticing, and really wonderful.

With the age at hand, this isn't difficult to drink at all. The amount served to me was perfect, but I could easily split a bottle of this. I used to hear divided things about this - that it was too sweet, too boozy, and pricey for the effort required to finish it. I say - give it some time, let it mellow out over a decade, maybe even two. You'll find yourself, in the end, with one of the most fantastic elixirs in the beer world, bar none. I wish I had more bottles of this vintage to age for the next decade, but alas, I'll have to dig deeper to find more. If you can find a bottle that's at least 8-10 years old, don't miss out the chance to try this!

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 23:15:16 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of Hoppsbabo

United Kingdom (England)

4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 09:55:30 | More by Hoppsbabo
Photo of samtrillo


3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Transparent red amber. Looks like delicious maple syrup! OOohhh...

Smell- Sweet malt, cherry. Gets your taste buds interested!

Taste- Sweet alcohol cherries. Syrupy malt with undertones of other fruits and vanilla? Lot's to unpack. If you like complex sweet alcohol flavors you'll be at home. Think of Port Wine. Yummmm.

Mouthfeel- Smooth high alcohol, if that makes sense. If you like high alcohol beers you'll like this feel. Low Carbonation.

Overall: Not my favorite, but I'd love to try this aged. Always worth a try even with a steep import price. Go get it.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 04:35:32 | More by samtrillo
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,475 ratings.