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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,668 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,668
Reviews: 1,005
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 17.04%
Wants: 131
Gots: 228 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg visit their website
Austria

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: 1,668 | Reviews: 1,005 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

07/10/05- Purchased at my local Bevmo for a $2.99 a piece closeout sale.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, dated year 2003. Poured into my La Chouffe tulip.

Appearance- Orangish color pour with a quickly evaporating foamy head. Leaves very minimal lace if any at all.

Smell- Not as much alcohol fumes as I have read in every review. Enough to notice though. Very sweet malt fumes as well.

Taste- Noticeable alcoholic base with a huge and I mean huge sweet malt taste. Lots of brown sugar flavor as well as some dried oranges soaked in alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Lower than normal carbonation with a sweet and thick syrupy coating.

Drinkability- One will be plenty...trust me! But that one will be oh so good.

***Version 2001

Alcohol still carries this beer with a brandy like flavor. Malt is super sweet and caramely, almost to the sickening point, bu doesn't cross the line. Still excellent flavor, but carries a high dose with more than one.

GClarkage, Jul 10, 2005
Photo of Halcyondays
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle, 2006 edition,

A: Pours a reddish, amber, brown, with a small tan to white head, the high viscosity of the brew gives it a spiritous quality in the look, not unlike a brandy.

S: Very malty, but at 14%, the alcohol comes into play here and gives a big solvent character to the smell, very appealing though, it is not overdone, very smooth.

T: Taste is exceptional, malt complexities abound, caramel and dark fruits mix with the spiritous alcohol, to create a jovial riot of flavour on your taste buds. It's hard to explain, it is very unique to this beer. The huge amount of malt creates a multitude of sweet raisin taste that I throughly enjoyed. It's hard to create a high alcohol brew without the ethanol being overbearing, but this one has it just about picture perfect, a little bit ethanol and phenol, as to be expected, but there was no burn and it perfectly complemented the other flavours in the beer.

M: Thick and viscous, but a didn't find it cloying, very smooth, similar to a brandy definitely, really no alcohol burn.

D: It's a high alcohol brew and quite expensive, so I can't see having more than one of these at a time, it is a sipper definitely, I find that it is a great occassional treat, one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Halcyondays, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Gavage, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2007: poured (twice) into my La Chouffe stemmed tulip (25 cl glass). Had this beer for over three years, for some reason decided this was the night to broach it (4 Nov 2011).

The beer was a lovely autumnal red colour, but what happened to the head, was there one before I turned away and started writing this review?

The smell was simular to a good Greek sweet red wine, meaning rich and alcohol drenched. Almost Port like in the sweetness of the esters: you could get drunk just by smelling this beer.

The taste follows the aromas, very sweet and alcoholic in nature, lovely for me: as I prefer the sweeter, stronger brews (in small amounts). One small bottle is enough for me though. This beer is far to easy on the palate for those with a sweet tooth, hop fans will struggle to enjoy its pleasures, tough.

Can't believe it has an alcoholic content of only 14% ABV, seems stronger to me: but I'm not used to such strong brews, I live in Shropshire!

BlackHaddock, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +0.3%

wrightst, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.3%

imperialking, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev +0.3%

orangesol, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2000. Brown 11.2 oz bottle into a matching Samichlaus snifter. The brew pours a dark mahogany color with a thin cap that is yellowish-tan. The cap dissolves fairly quickly leaving some fine bubbles and faint carbonation that rises to the surface. When held to the light, the brew shows a brilliant ruby clarity through the body. A swirl really doesn't release many bubbles but it does show some legs of alcohol that slowly fade down the sides of the glass.

The nose of this brew is all burnt sugars. It is a mixture of cocoa, licorice, raisins and plums with a bit of darkness like molasses. The alcohol is present which provides almost a mild vinous touch across the back. For being 12+ years old, I was really expecting some oxidation to be present here and surprisingly there is none to be found in the aromatics.

The taste is earthy and sticky with a flavoring of molasses. The alcohol is not hidden at all, the 14% abv comes out in full force with a minor touch of dark fruity alcohol like prunes/dates. I pick up on a slight touch of herbal hops that boasts a mild level of bitterness which some sips does a nice job contrasting the residual sweetness but other sips it is almost completely absent. Some sips bring out a bit of cocoa/unsweetened bitter chocolate character that eludes to the most minor note of cardboard-like oxidation however I might be stretching here to find this considering the brew is 12 years old and I was expecting this to be more prominent than it is.

This is a full bodied brew that is thick and chewy. The alcohol is right out in the open here with a solid warming factor and mild fruity flavoring. The layers of burnt sugars are the main component of this brew. I have no doubt this brew can be aged for quite a bit more time. It is significantly different than I remember having this fresh on draft in its own unique way. If you haven't had this brew yet, what are you waiting for?

stakem, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Flying Pig...
Appears a dark brown with mahogany and red hues when held to the light. A small, light tan head of foam dies out into a mild cap and collar.
Smell is extremely malty with rich molasses, cherries, cocoa, cream, toffee, caramel, and tobacco.
Taste is a smooth but warming version of the mentioned aromas. I used to really love this beer aged in the bottle. I'm unsure of the vintage date on the keg but I'm assuming it's fairly new.
Mouthfeel is smooth, warming, sitcky sweet of syrup, along with over ripe fruit and cocoa infused caramel bouncing along the palate with a gentle alcahol burn.

weeare138, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of dbrauneis
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber in color approaching copper with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall creamy beige head that reduces to a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant lacing is observed.

S: The aroma of this beer is very sweet and with lots of dark fruit present - definitely some plum/fig presence. This beer has a smell that is reminiscent of a port wine with the cloying sweetness.

T: THe taste is very similar to the smell and is dominated by the cloying/syrupy sweetness. There is a light underlying presence of malts with the flavors of the dark fruits really dominating - mostly a plum/fig presence. There is some alcohol present in the flavor and very little bitterness or hops.

M: Full bodied with light amounts of carbonation. Syrupy and thick/sticky. Some gentle alcohol warming with this beer.

O: This is not a real easy drinking beer and is much more of a sipping beer, similar to a cordial or dessert wine. The beer is very sweet in smell and taste, cloyingly so, which definitely does not make it a sessionable beer. Enjoyable but a slight bit too much alcohol warmth to be easy to enjoy.

dbrauneis, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Billolick, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.78/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased from Slowbeer. I decided to crack this one open of all the beer in my fridge because I wanted to test out the equation that allows you to determine ABV from Brix and FG. It told me this beer was 12.5% alcohol. Interesting.

Pours a flat toasted amber colour, quite deep and tending to brown. Remarkably clear body, with a very fine ring of insubstantial film forming the head. Definitely weight to the body, giving it a hefty fluidity. Minimal carbonation. It looks very heavy, I'll give it that.

Nose is sweet but brusque with alcohol, lending it an almost phenolic intensity. Sharpness on the back, that smells like a cross between hops and kerosene. Booze has been taken to too high a level, and there isn't enough else to compensate.

Taste is a little better, as there's a big sweetness that sticks throughout, lending an intense toffee character to the slight boozy solvent-like astringency. Still that brandy burn on the back really doesn't allow you to forget how strong it is. Feel is surprisingly liquid and light. And, let's face it, flat.

Nope, this doesn't do it for me. In some senses I respect it for what it is. This was, at one point, the strongest beer in the world, but I've had beers that exceed it in both alcohol and balance. This feels like an outlier, an anomaly, and a beer brewed for the wrong reasons.

lacqueredmouse, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a perfectly clear dark amber. The aromas are of heavy sweet malt and honey. A note of cinammon at the end. The taste is of sweet alcohol up front followed by an explosion of spices underpinned by a rich warmth of alcohol and a touch of soy. The mouthfeel is like the nectar of the gods- very sweet but pure and light, not sticky at all. Very good drinkability, but the sweet intensity and alcohol merit stopping at one. Really a delicious beer that really hasn't lost much by its transfer across the alps.

Georgiabeer, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of superspak
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

superspak, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a cloudy, dark honey color with good carbonation with a nice tan cap

S: Sweet brown sugar, dark fruits, booze

T: Immediate sugar blast and booze. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, candy and faded dark fruits, hint at wheat and overly ripened bananas

M: Medium to big body with nice carbonation.

O: Very drinkable for a 14% ABV beer

barleywinefiend, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of wl0307
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2007, BB 02/2013, served chilled in Hapkin's tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: the colour borders mahogany and moderately infused black tea, a force-pour only results in a thin layer of creamy beige froth that settles to a rim, while the carbonation remains restrained. Looking unusual for a lager - very elegant~~
S: a super deep and dense prune-ish malty aroma dominates the nose, decorated by juicy dried berries, vinegary sour cherries and strawberries reminiscent of a Belgian red ale, with very mild caramely+herbal maltiness staying underneath. A beautiful balance b/w the sticky sweet malts and lively sour prunes+cherries is the key here, taking out the alc. edge of this 14%abv. strong lager.
T: a quiet swallow of liquidy barley syrup with a mixed taste of sweet prunes, strawberries, caramelised dried red dates and fresh sugar-cane gradually gives way to a superbly lingering dry-ish sweet, herbal+woody aftertaste that almost rings a bell of Malmsey Madeira mixed with Oloroso Sherry... The hop bitterness goes deep and renders an intensifyingly chewy, spicy-bitter, dry yet surprisingly clean palate, with just a wee bit of alc. felt deep down the throat - remarkable indeed for such a potent beer.
M&D: very smooth, almost static, on the carbonation, plus a lubricating but never cloying or sticky mouthfeel, this high-octave lager drinks more like a fruit brandy without the sharp alc. edge. Compared with my last encounter, this one is more enjoyable maybe due to the cooler serving temperature. The hidden depth is such that I haven't felt any effect until 10 minutes into sipping... A true night cap this is.

* Tasting Date: 06/09/06
Bottled in 2005, BB 07/2010. Served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
3.5 A: medium-infused black-teaish colour, coming with a fast disappearing foam, settling in no time to no head at all; surprisingly low in carbonation, almost no visible fizziness in the glass.
4 S: smells rather like an English barley wine~~ dense but not OTT aroma of malt candy, palm sugar, sugar-cane juice, cherry, rum-soaked raisins, a semi-sharp edge of caramel... overall very one-dimensional but quite pleasant and much lighter than the alc. suggests.
4 T: warming alcohol and syrupy maltiness caress the tongue and throat in one single wave... plenty of sweet cherry jam, raisins, and hints of dried dates to follow, plus a very soothing, bitter-sweet caramely malty and (supposedly) hop depth plus a slightly spicy/herbal tinge developing into a dryish-sweet, dried stone-fruity finish. Very interesting flavour, and very mellow for 14%abv. indeed.
4.5 M&4 D: the ever-so-fine fizziness makes a mellow mouthfeel due to long lagering as well as some maturation in the bottle, full-bodied yet tasting absolutely soothing; a reasonable amount of alc. lingers, and warming in the finish, like a shot of good quality cherry+plum liquor. In a sense it reminds me of several English barley wine I've tasted, and from that perspective this beer is unlike any other Doppelbock I've tried or am able to imagine.

wl0307, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

ejimhof, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage

A: This legendary beer is a light copper color and appears slightly hazy. The head stands in at about a quarter inch tall and leaves a few traces of lacing in its wake.

S: Malt, alcohol, dark fruit, raisins, candy. Samichlaus smells strong!

T: A tasty brew, even if it's not my favorite style or type of beer, per se. It's incredibly sweet with a very prominent alcohol presence. The beer doesn't lack flavor, though. It's very forward, with cotton candy and raisins soaked in alcohol, along with a nice malty flavor.

M: Thin to medium bodied with a large and in charge alcohol presence.

D: Best in small quantities. Half a bottle is more than enough. Two or three ounces would have been sufficient.

Huhzubendah, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of akorsak
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a 2005 vintage, similar to one reviewed by me here in December 2005. Almost one year later, I thought I'd give it another shot.

A: The ale is a deep auburn to brown color. There was a thick foamy white head on pour that dissipated quickly.

S: The bock has a very malty aroma. Unlike a barleywine where the malt is sweet, the malts here are a thicker, grainier cereal aroma.

T: The flavor has evolved a bit. It has taken on a medicinal quality, almost pepperminty. The malts, which really dominated the original review, have mellowed out significantly. There is a bit of hop bitterness that has started to emerge, but not to a great extent.

M: The spiciness that has replaced the maltiness is interesting, adding a very different element to this beer.

D: At 14%, this is no pounder. One as a nightcap is more than enough.

akorsak, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of DoubleJ
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is only brewed once a year in Austria. Then it's aged for 10 months before bottling. My sample was bottled in 2006, so it's a pretty "fresh" sample. I shall see how this brew works for me. On to the beer:

The beer holds a ruby brown color with a mix of orange in my flute. A two-finger sized head is formed in my flute, but then fades away, not much of a surprise with the amount of alcohol in this. The smell of raisins, sweet dough, and fructose tease my nose. Man, this is getting me excited...
Head for the hills! This is one explosive beer. Full bodied, chewy, and a very syrupy texture. A touch of vanilla here, chocolate raisins there, and alcohol everywhere, brining with it fruity esters. The strong maltiness in the beer is felt strongest just before it goes down your throat, which preludes a warming feel to that area.

Notes: With 14% ABV (twice the amount of most dopplebocks) and a great taste, this beer deserves a category of its own (a quadrabock?). If you're into dopplebocks, eisbocks, or extreme beer, this is one to seek out. Bow down to the brewers of Eggenberg, Austria.

Got another bottle for me? Bring it on. : )

DoubleJ, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was bottled in 2000
(Poured in a standard American pint glass.)

Appearance 1/4 inch off-white head that dissipates pretty quickly. The beer is a deep mahogany and is a clear but to dense to see through. No legs when slightly swirled in the glass.

Smell light caramely/chocolate malt scent. Very clean smell with no hops or diacetyl smell.

Taste Starts off malty but quickly moves to a chocolaty flavor then a slight prune/alcohol taste comes out. Only after the alcohol taste subsides did I get a faint hint of hops.

Mouthfeel very tiny bubbles with a very hot moutheel that stays in your mouth for an extra second.

Drinkability This as a very nice warming beer for the winter but its not what I would expect from a doppelbock. It is a wonderful bier that has done very well with age. There is no one flavor that overpowers any other flavors, it just adds layer on layer of flavors.

rhoadsrage, Feb 09, 2005
Photo of Zorro
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 Vintage here.

Pours a clear flat dark gold or brown color.

Smells like Olives and a bit of malt. Sweet and fruity like the really good olive oil they have in Italy! The stuff we get in the USA isn't even close. Smells like heaven!

Sweet malty almost syrupy! This is PURE CONCENTRATED DOPPELBOCK! More flavors than I can name. Vanilla, fruit, caramel, dates, and even some hops! This is possibly the ultimate Doppelbock.

Mouthfeel is super rich.

I could drink much more of this!

Only 5 X 5 beer I have ever tasted!

Zorro, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a two-finger, bubbly white head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Crystal ruby/amber color. Light carbonation and light - medium bodied. Nose is sweet raisins and alcohol, flavor is smooth and sweet dark fruit and honey. NOT a session beer - the 14% ABV is quite noticeable . . . savor this beer. $5.10 for a 330ml bottle, from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me. Bottled in 2010 - cellars well.

jdhilt, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Samichlaus Bier, a 14% behemoth.

Appearance: Served in a brandy snifter at celler temperature. Pours a rich dark copper in color. No head.

Smell: Strong malty aroma. Sweet malt and some maple.

Taste: Rich and malty, sparse hop bitterness around the edges. Warming bourbon notes. Vanilla and chocolate. Increasingly boozy as it warms, but not overwhelmingly so. Finishes malty.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, chewey. Warming finish. Carbonated decently.

Drinkability: A nice sipper, and seemingly, a worthy adversary.

Stinkypuss, Jun 09, 2010
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,668 ratings.