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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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very good

1,604 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,604
Reviews: 999
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 17.29%
Wants: 121
Gots: 207 | FT: 11
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: 1,604 | Reviews: 999 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Proteus93
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 bottling, poured Jan. 18, '08. Likely could have stood to be aged a while longer, but perhaps another time!

A: A deep amber / red hues, head formed very quickly almost like a sizzling soda. Retention was very low... fell back in moments, leaving absolutely nothing on the top.

S: Alcohol on the front of this one, some malts. A bit of a spiced rum aroma going on - the aroma brings some pretty big expectations of the taste.

T: Quite an interesting one, not quite like many of the other dopplebocks I've had previously. Brown sugars, almost more of a caramelized dark fruit - it blends together the flavours quite nicely in that sense. A little bit of a spicy finish, with the alcohol noticable but very well hidden considering... comes out most on the finish. The expectations mentioned from the aroma have been met.

M: Wonderful to swish through the mouth to take in the flavours... the ABV adds just that slightest warming sensation and makes for a nice experience.

D: Almost too easy to drink, though the flavours open up a bit more as it breathes, like a nice wine... so it's worth taking this one slowly for full appreciation.

Proteus93, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of speakorspasm
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a few of these this year, for taez55 below nad my girlfriend and I. I remember tasting this beer before I had any appreciation for truly good beer and hating it - what a waste! This is a unique and interesting brew that is a great companion for a winter night. As taez55 said, this is a sippin brew, maybe even a sharing one. At 14% ABV, this beer makes no attempt to disguise itself. It's all about the warming, complex alcohol flavors.

Pours a coppery mahogany, with a head that retreats quickly back into this viscous brew. Under all that alcohol there's a maze of complex, earthy flavors that are nearly impossible to explain a day later! Should've kept notes...

Just try it, it's worth it!

speakorspasm, Jan 18, 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 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 burnstar
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 bottle into a snifter. Pours clear reddish copper with a small head that recedes quickly. Sweet aroma with notes of vanilla and cherry. A strong grape juice aroma as well. Taste is very sweet. Some caramel and, again, grape. There is some noticable alcohol in the finish but not much considering the 14%. Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy. The sweetness detracts a bit from the drinkability. I do like it but I was expecting more given the hype surrounding this beer.

burnstar, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of klewis
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Bottle

A: Pours a beautiful, deep amber hue with a small bubbly head. A thick frothy ring is sustained around the surface of the beer.

S: Very sweet smelling with toffee, molasses, and a touch of burnt chocolate.

T: Quite sweet with a full flavored taste of caramel and vanilla. Smooth and complex. Just a hint of alcohol bite when chilled - more pronounced as it warms.

M: Full-bodied, smooth, and really sticky. Medium-light carbonation. A very significant warming effect from the alcohol - this one will keep you toasty.

D: An excellent beer. Reminds me of a J.W. Lee's barleywine or Thomas Hardy.

klewis, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of YonderWanderer
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper/brown amber with no head, lacing, or active carbonation to speak of.

S: Lots of fruit in this one, with lots of malty sweetness mixed in as well.

T: This is a sweet tasting beer, almost to the point of being overly cloying. It's a little intense in that regard, but the flavors are blended nicely, with a lot of fruit and grain blending together. No real hops notes to speak of.

M: Thick, smooth, and almost creamy. Practically no carbonation to speak of.

D: This is a tasty and powerful doppelbock, and while it's not one I'd drink everyday it's definitely worth having from time to time.

YonderWanderer, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of veruus
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful brown amber color. If you're a bit rough with your pour you'll summon a bit of foam, otherwise it's kind of a dead fish - no head and no lacing. Alcohol kills bubbles. What were you expecting? Giving it a 5 because this is an amazing beer and its "appearance" shouldn't detract from its score.

It smells like alcohol, honey, flowers, vanilla, "spices". Meady. Crisp. I like it.

Honey, malt, hops (ever so light) alcohol (light burn), salty, extremely mild citrus notes (tangerine/clementine). It tastes absolutely delicious - like wine would if it were brewed from malt and hops. :) Mild aftertaste.

Just right for the kind of brew. Thick, lightly coating. Not quite as thick as a Belhaven Wee Heavy.

Well, how "drinkable" do you want a beer to be? You can drink the hell out of Bud Ice, after all. There's very little that keeps this beer from being and enjoyable drink. Its sweetness can be a bit cloying if it's your first beer of the night, but it's a sipping beer. You'll want to enjoy this over the course of an hour or so. It's savory and sweet. This would be great to pair with a very rich and hearty dinner and to finish up after the food is all gone.

I couldn't imagine giving less than a 5 in all categories. I'm very particular about my brews but I can't find fault with this one except that's it's particularly sweet. However, I'm a fan of sweet and malty brews so it doesn't bother me. It's just a notable feature.

veruus, Jan 01, 2008
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 rudylaw
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Chef Paul's

Billed as the world's strongest lager at 14%, I just had to try it with really no previous knowledge as to what I was getting myself into. It was served in its own snifter, a nice touch I always appreciate.

Appearance-wise, it looked bronze... quite beautiful actually. Can't comment on the head as it was long gone by the time it was served to my table. I can tell you that the smell was sweet, sweet caramel. A perfect Xmas-time delicacy. I almost wanted to find a mold so I could solidify it and wrap it in plastic!

And, it tasted like it smelled -- sugary sweet -- maybe with a hint of maple syrup? Definitely a sipper, this took me a good 90 minutes to complete. Why? Mostly because I wanted to milk the experience.

Overall, this was a must-try, but once a year is enough for me. I'll be happy to sample next year's batch during Xmas '08!

rudylaw, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of allboutbierge
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle enjoyed while watching the snow fall outside my window in Graz, Austria.

This may seem to be a bit of a surprise for BA's back in the States, but this beer is harder to find in Austria than it is in America...or so has been my experience. For Austrian BA's, try InterSpar or if you town has one, its speciality wine store. Ive had success in both, but sporadically at that.

Color is transparent and almost honey colored. Head is nearly non existent, as is lace, but strong lagers are not supposed to have much head, right? Aroma is a bouquet of vanilla, honey, vodka soaked cherries, jack daniel's aromas as well. All scents except the 'jack daniel's' are very profound. Flavor is malts, malts, and more malts. The tastes parallel the scents but the 'vodka soaked cherry likeness' shines but not overpoweringly so. A warming effect follows. Its extremely flavorful but also surprisingly smooth. Mouthfeel, lacking noticeable carbonation, is much like a cognac and perhaps thats fitting. Its suits me. In fact, it suits me so much I think I may have another. Yea, I have things to do later, but I can always take a nap :)

I have to brag about what I paid for this...6 bottles for under 12 euro....only a little over twice the price for a six pack of everything else.

allboutbierge, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of hwwty4
2.95/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2006 vintage poured into a Chimay Chalice. Poured a crisp amber red with a huge carbonation that produced a big tan head that dissipated extremely quickly. Aroma is huge on the alcohol with raisins, vanilla and caramel. Taste is extremely sweet, almost cloying. It’s almost hard to drink because it’s so sweet. Besides that there is brown sugar, sweet caramel and a huge 14% alcohol kick. Mouthfeel is lingering but full. This is the first time I've had this beer and probably will be the last.

hwwty4, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of uncggop06
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottling. Bought a 4-pack for comparisons to later vintages.

A - Nice and bright, bronze? This is an amazing color, similar to a good whiskey or scotch. No head, but it's 14% abv, nothing crazy.

S - Very sweet, sugar syrupy and some caramel. I could smell this every day and be satisfied!

M - Very heavy and lingering, in that sense of "I don't want this to go away" type. This is an incredibly exquisite beer!! It is syrupy, but not to far as to be undrinkable. I can't imagine a doppel bock better!

T - Deep, sugary caramel. Not the fake stuff, but of homemade caramel. Very deep flavor with a doppel bock overtone, but to the extreme. Not extreme like crazy American DIPA's, but taken a couple steps further. This is the Scotch ale of doppel bocks. Austria has taken a Bavarian style and gone above perfection.

this beer amazes me every year. I forget about how amazing this beer is, but when I try it again it renews my faith in the extreme-micro beers! I regret missing the 2005 vintage, but must never forget ever again. It is expensive, but HIGHLY worth every penny!

uncggop06, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of Bookseeb
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2006 it's almost a translucent reddish brown with a crisp head that dissapates quickly. Smell of sweet ripe dark fruit, dark honey and a good scent of alchohol. Taste is rather deep and rich of dark fruits, brown sugar and achohol. mouthfeel is full with good carbonation that gives it a good spike going down. I love these kind of beers in the winter that gives an aroma and flavor that warm you inside and out, the color in this one is especially inviting.

Bookseeb, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of czfreeman
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 bottling. very special bier, as it is brewed on my birthday. The color is ruby, low carbonation. no head to speak of. Smells like fruit,plums, raisins, fruitcake! Taste-honey,carmels,sugary, figs
mmmm,Thick mouthfeel, overwhemling on the palate
I drank this from a wine glass, very good, very nice to sip. it is a little too sweet
Drinkability-i wouldnt want to drink more than one, not only because of the abv, but because one is tasty enough for satisfaction like eating a fine chocolate-1 is enough.

czfreeman, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of peabody
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a very clear light brown with very little suds.
Smell is grapeskin Brandy. Very strong alcohol and the rest of the aroma is hard to distinguish because of the subtle smells.
Taste is strong alcohol with charred sugars, not really burnt but badly charred. A toasty caramel if you will.
Very clean and crisp mouthfeel and it makes you want another sip almost immediatly.
While you wouldn 't want to drink too much of this stuff, it is still something to sip on in the cool mid-winter's eve by the warmth of the hearth.

peabody, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of jimbomill
4.9/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This stuff is cartoonishly good.
An opaque bronze pour preceded one of the smoothest first sips in the recorded history of man … at least this man. There's a rich honey-like taste but without the sugary-ness; this is simply majestic. Did I mention how smooth this 14% ABV trojan-horse of a knockout drink is?

It is considered a Malt Liquor, I consider it my choice to be with me while marooned on a island.
December 2007 Update:
Here is additional info from a sampling of '06, '05, '04, '03. '01 and year bottled 2000 vintages:
The 2006 was excellent. We started with it, and had poured the 2005 and 2004 to compare. As the most recent year's glass would empty, it would be replaced with the next oldest year until we got to 2000. Not having the 2002 edition is a whole I lament.

The pour of the 2006 was a rich, deep reddish copper that allowed the backlighting to shine through. Taste was malty and near sweet. It was all good. However like the youngest in a full-house, some things get better with age.

The '05 was richer and seemed to have a tad more depth to it. If anything, the flavor profile was even better than the '06.
The '04 did not have the sweetness of the '05, but had a cleaner finish. This one seemed to have a broader flavor profile, indicating that 3 years from the date of bottling may be near optimum!

The '03, which we liked the best last year when we did this style of tasting, seemed no better than the '04, perhaps this bottle lost something. The pour was definitely darker.
The '01 was similar to the '03. No light could be seen through the muddy-red beverage. The taste was again, a 'tweener compared to its other samichlaus siblings.
The 2000 all of a sudden brought back a sweetness, a murky muddy color it too had, like the 2001. This 2000 became my favorite.
The '04, at 3 years old now, seems to be excellent and some may like it better as it had a cleaner color to it.
There was plenty of malty goodness in each year. Aging it at least a year does improve it.

jimbomill, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of far333
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage on tap at Eli Cannon's, Middletown, CT. Served one year to the day after having been brewed.

Dark copper colored with orange highlights, glistening in the low light, low carbonation.

Low aroma of sweet ripe fruits and brown sugar.

Flavor is initially sweet, nearly cloying, mostly reminiscent of honey, fruity, hints of caramel and butterscotch and marshmallow. This does not feel or taste like 14% ABV...scary. Very rich flavor, it has substance to it.

Thin mouthfeel, low carbonation, a bit slick and syrupy. Slightly above average drinkability, but this is a sipper no doubt, due to the heavy flavors, sweetness and strength.

far333, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of DavidEddie
3.2/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Chef Paul’s Bavarian Lodge in Lisle.

Served in a 12 oz Samichlaus snifter. Golden brown in appearance with a fluffy white head. Smells of sweet maraschino cherries, big malts, and a bit of chocolate. Tastes of cherries, sugar, carmel, light vanilla, and some dark fruits. Also some whisky/bourbon type alcohol showed up in the finish. Mouth feel is slightly thick and syrupy. Good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is decent considering the high ABV. A bit too sweet for me, but still a nice enjoyable treat on a cold day. Worth a try!

DavidEddie, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of MillRat
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow. 2007 vintage served on draft into a Samichlaus snifter. A thin ring of a head around the side of the glass over a rich cherry wood color. The first sniff is all about the alcohol, like a mild ABV liquor. Once you work through the alcohol note, there's malt, plums, raisins, a little apricot, too. Hops? Fuggedaboutit. You won't miss them. Flavor is more rich fruit notes with a strong malt backbone and a cleansing alcohol vapor to which you slowly grow accustomed as you glass diminishes. The carbonation and alcohol vapor are all that stand in the way of this being too thick and chewy, and they do so very well. This is a perfect apres feast drink, right up there with port or a sweeter liqueur. No need for dessert, this will complete a meal quite well on its own. A great example of a master brewer's art, an extreme beer that requires far more talent and patience than simply shoveling hops into a fermenter.

MillRat, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of CHADMC3
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samichlaus Bier

· Appearance: Very little head, pouring a nice amber brown to with hints of orange. Very lively carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass.
· Aroma: Very sweet aroma, likely dark fruits such as raisins or figs. Also some darker wood notes and various spices.
· Taste: Amazing sweet flavor of spices, chocolate, and maybe even cranberries. Clear alcohol presence, almost like a sweet brandy.
· Mouthfeel: Very lively and sweet on the palate. Clear alcohol that is hidden nicely by the various flavors.
· Drinkability: Oh, this one is dangerous. Absolutely delicious on a cold night, warms the body, and a great bier to sit on for 45 minutes or so. Improves as it warms, and new flavors emerge. Excellent beer.

CHADMC3, Dec 01, 2007
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 morebeergood
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a bottle of Samichlaus with some friends this past Saturday night at Deep Ellum. Poured it into a Belgian style goblet, and the first thing one notices is the lack of head or carbonation. The color was an intense copper. This doppelbock looks more like brandy than beer. The smell was overpowering of pure alcohol fumes. But the taste was not as harsh as I expected. It was smooth enough to enjoy if you like beers with gusto, but this one is definitely a sipper. This would be a fine after dinner drink anytime. A good beer to share too, as a whole bottle may be a bit much for some.

morebeergood, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of rodenbach99
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bouteille brune de 330ml. embouteillé en 2006
couleur cognac, ambré foncé sans mousse ou presque, odeur de malt, de caramel et de sucre brun, goût brulant pour la langue, caramel, sucré à souhait, très longue en bouche. elle est chaude et réconfortante, une vrai bière pour les hiver quebecois. un peu moins sucré serait l'idéal.

rodenbach99, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of Floydster
2.8/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottled purchased from Beverage Warehouse for five dollars, split with two different friends last night and only had about four ounces

Poured into my small Ballast Point glass with an pinkish amber color with barely any head, this left no lacing at all

Smell was boozy, brandy, cognac, and bourbon we are all in there along with tons of malt and sugar

Taste was too much, so sweet with no real hops, tasted more like syrup and hard alcohol than beer, this needs a lot more age in the cellar, does not taste like a dopplebock to me, almost an extremely fresh barleywine, needs some bitterness which means it needs more hops, honestly a struggle to get this one down it was so strong, this was a pretty disappointing bottle of beer

Barely any carbonation, thick almost like molasses, sweet and aggressive mouthfeel

At fourteen percent, it is already hard enough to drink, but add the strong taste and it makes it even worse, heavy stuff that could only have a few sips of when it is fresh

I do not agree that this is the finest beer in the world like it says on the back of the bottle, but I will see how it evolves in a few years and maybe add another review then

Floydster, Nov 17, 2007
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,604 ratings.