Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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1,713 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,713
Reviews: 1,015
rAvg: 4
pDev: 17%
Wants: 130
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: 1,713 | Reviews: 1,015 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.45/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this beer around 10 years ago and didn't like it at all. This was a random send from Sudsdog and i'm kind of interested to see how my tastes and palate have change or not towards this beer. I have a 12oz bottle served into a large Delirium snifter.Pours a medium clear amber color,looks like apple juice with reddish hues with a thin white head that falls quicker than i can type in the appearance of the beer. Just a few tiny bubbles staggering around.

A very sweet hot malty aroma,better than i remember. Strong burnt carmell,slght metallic notes with a booziness that burns the senses,dark overrippen fruit,slightly perfumy.

Very sweet syrupy taste,not as boozy as expected. Has a woody boubon age quality to the taste. Heavy very sweet candied burnt carmelled taste leaves a very sugary coating on the lips. Sweet overippen dark fruitiness throughout with a touch of honey? A definate sipper had lots of warming character,more drinkable than i would have thought from my first impression. I feel like i'm drinking a shot with every sip,yet the beer does has some smoothness to it.
Would like to try this one again after more aging this beer was bottled in 06.Better than the first time i tried it,still not a beer i would recomend. drink at you're own risk. Don't see why this beer gets all the hype?
Can't belive this beer gets a B+ rating on BA. I wasn't impressed a bit. Might as well just save your money and get a bottle of booze. I did manage to finish this one,but really would'nt want to do it again.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to biegaman for this bottle for Secret Santa 2007. Cheers, Jan!

2005 vintage. Pours with a thin head. Amberish in color. Smell is boozy and sweet. Taste is very similar & reminds me of a port or an aged Old Ale. Mouthfeel & drinkability are affected a bit by the alcohol burn even for a 2005 bottle. I have had this "fresh" & this is a beer meant for the cellar. A sipper but interesting.

Photo of nasty15108
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage***

A - Clear brownish amber color with slight orange hues. No head or lacing to speak of.

S - Dried ripe dark fruit, lots of alcohol. Slightly metallic.

T - More of the same. Bitter finish. Lots of alcoholic warmth.

MF&D - A sipper, much like a port or a good whiskey. Not for the weak, but a must try for any true beer geek.

Photo of Zraly
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 Vintage

I've been storing this charmer for a while and on a whim decided to give it a whirl.

Pours rusty amber with little head retention. A color one would attribute to autumn leaves. No head retention is appropriate, considering its age. Strong, alcohol smells predominate. Smells much stronger and rougher than the flavor profile.

Tastes much like a tawny port...mmm! Honey flavors mixed with rum and dried fruits. A touch of creaminess fills out the mouthfeel. Sweet and syrupy, but not too cloying. Slight bitterness in the finish reminiscent of chocolate, but not a chocolate flavor per se. Smooth and full-bodied. Quite special.

The bottom line: buy a few Samichlaus each year to lay down for a while. Your patience and good taste will be rewarded.

Photo of kansascity
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 2007 vintage in late 2008 from an 11.2 oz bottle at about 40 degrees into a glass mug. It is the color of a dark tea (dark amber with some red-orange hints) and forms a centimeter head when poured vigorously that will dwindle to a small froth shortly. No lacing at all after the head goes down (about 1 min.). A strong alcohol smell comes immediately when you open the bottle that quickly goes away to none. The smell of the beer in the glass is of a nice mellow apple cider throughout the entire drink, no alcohol.

It initially tastes fruity with apples and creamy caramel in the middle. It finishes with raisins and then a biter that covers the alcohol when you are sipping. It is a sipping beer. You can take some bigger pulls at first, but it is hard to finish due to the ABV.

I recommend splitting a bottle with someone and pouring it into a wine glass or snifter, as there is limited head. Feel free to drink at any temp as I didn't notice much difference between cold and warm. I would like to see what some people that are not big "beery" drinkers have to say about this b/c it reminds me so much of apple cider and drinks like a wine. I enjoyed totally from first sip to end, but I did have to slow down and can feel the ABV after one beer.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into pilsner glass, as per the recommendation on the sidebar.

A - Very clear, nice light brown/copper colored. A very small, tan head tries to form but dissolves almost immediately into nothing. No points off for that, it's 14%!

S - Beautiful aroma of brown sugar is most obvious. Dark fruits abound as well; figs, prunes, currants, overripe apples and pears, cidery almost. I even detect a slight spiciness, maybe some smoke or wood hiding?

T - Amazing. The caramel and brown sugar make for an impressive entrance before the complexity really kicks in revealing a ton of overripe, dark fruit character including figs, raisins, and currants. Insanely sweet. Sweetness mellows just a tad to allow the spiciness from the nose to come through, though I'm not sure what I'm tasting. An herbal and slightly earthy flavor ride over a noticable but well-restrained alcohol prescence. Finish is sweet with a slight astringency and bitterness from the alcohol. Very warming.

M - At first I thought it was a little thin, but soon realized that the medium body helps this very sweet brew not to become to syrupy and cloying. Carbonation is next to nothing, ideal for a beer this big.

D - For "the world's strongest bottom fermented beverage," this is damn drinkable. Although it is sweet, the alcohol really helps to balance everything out. Highly recommended.

I should note that when I first began drinking this out of the fridge, I thought the flavor was a little one-dimensional (SWEET) and there was a nasty metallic twang, not dissimilar to a lot of lagers. As it has warmed up, the metallic edge is gone and the fruit flavors really shine; this review reflects what I thought of the beer just slightly under room temperature.

Photo of DWA
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of an 11.2 oz bottle. Head came and went quickly. I tasted sweet malt, molasses, tobacco, raisins, caramel...the alcohol was evident at the front, but smacked me in the back. I let it warm and the alcohol became more evident as the flavors became pronounced. A good combination me thinks.
This is a beer that I had to come around to; but, I am sold on it and will purchase whenever I see it (living in MS I don't see it that often) and the wallet will allow.

Photo of mtstatebeer
2.78/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. bottle, 2006. Pours an orange-amber color with an immediately dissipating head. Aroma is fairly complex, sweet malts, caramel, candi, and alcohol. Flavor is a kick in the ass. Very, very sweet malts, toffee, brown sugar, and ALCOHOL. Thick and creamy mouthfeel, but just WAY too much sweetness.

Photo of joezak5
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; beautiful caramel-like hue with muted carbonation, negligible tan head that dissipates quickly to a ring, little lacing.

Smell: Syrupy sweet caramel malt with a apple cider alcohol background.

Mouthfeel: Medium malty body with high carbonation, the alcohol on the swish just womps you.

Taste: Very caramelly and cidery, bitter alcohol bite, syrupy malt goodness, slightly harsh finish, definitely could use some cellaring.

Drinkability: With this review I become an Initiate and it's been a great, educational ride. I look forward to much more beer enjoyment... this one needs mellowing... look for the aged versions or tuck some away for a few years, but an interesting experience.

Photo of wingedeel
2.8/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2005 bottle

I can only hope this one will improve with some more ( a lot? ) aging.

While Samichlaus does have some subtle, complex flavors, the beer is not balanced at all in my opinion. The subtle flavors are all but overpowered by a strong alcohol aftertaste, and a sickly sweetness.

The fact that almost every review states that you would not want to drink more than one in a sitting really ought to tell you something. I like strong beers, and have tried this several times, both in a bottle, and on tap. I must say this is one beer I just don't understand the love for.

I will say, I would like to try one with 10+ years on it to see if time balances things out.

Edit 2011- Had a 2007 vintage an tap at The Trion in New Haven, IN, and it had mellowed some.Still not very balanced ,but I upped my score a bit.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark sunset red/orange color with a thin, dirty beige head.

S: The nose yielded some spiciness of green apples and alcohol.

T: thick and malty, very sweet, with caramel, raisins and toffee. Some bread notes, molasses and sweet alcohol fusels were detected.

M: light-medium, with a light carbonation and a good warming sensation.

D: Drinkable for 14.0 abv and very smooth going down, but your gonna feel it later. Very warming caramelized sweetness. Definitely a one and done beer that will warm the soul for the winter months.

Photo of jwinship83
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- see through amber with lots of carbonation and not much head to speak of

S- very malty. lots of sweet fruits and a little bit of bready smell

T- kind of medicinal and very sweet and syrupy. reminds me very much of a barleywine. especially with the warming of the insides due to alcohol. the alcohol taste itself isnt very pronounced at all. much less than i was expecting from a 14% monster.

M- heavy and syrupy with a nice touch from the carbonation.

D- at 14% this is almost too drinkable. i was expecting something alot rougher because of some of the reviews here, and i liked this one alot. probably cant have more than one in a sitting but ill have this one again and i cant wait to see how time effects this!

Photo of BeerSox
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml bottle into Scandanavian Mug

Clear brown hue with a slight red tin. A light tan fizzy head quickly settles to almost nothing.

A little bit of caramel mixed with hard candy in the aroma. The alcohol is well perceived.

Thick caramel and a little bit of grassy hops make up the flavor. The alcohol comes through at the end. Full bodied with light carbonation. The finish is a mix of hops and alcohol.

Not sure how they get the beer up to 14%ABV but it has a similar taste and feel to an Eisbock. A decent beer but I would rather have a more typical Doppelbock.

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 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 hoegaardenhero
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2007-

a: red/brown with a ring of white head around the top of the glass

s: light alcohol; light apple brandy malts; toffee and caramel; cinnamon and spice

t: sweet molasses; alcohol; brandy and rum; apple malts; toffee; warm syrup

m: cloying but smooth with very delicate carb

d: a very interesting beer that i know will get better with age in my cellar

Photo of sevopie
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Caramel/Amber with very little head. Little to no lacing, and a small amount of carbonation activity.

Smell - Sweet and spicy. I smell some figs, caramel, a few spices I cannot place.

Taste - Everything I smelled comes to the fore with a strong, but not overbearing alcohol taste. Also a bit of a Malty maple flavor.

Mouthfeel - Thick and syrupy with light to medium carbonation. Definitely pleasant.

Drinkability - I think this may be my ultimate winter treat now. Very warming while remaining surprisingly easy to drink with all of the alcohol present.

Note : Bottle says this one was bottled in 06.

Photo of jordoo
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poored into a snifter.

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

Photo of IronDjinn
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A deep nutty copper in colour, finger width tight white head that slowly lingers.

The alcohol content is masked well in the aroma. Sweet, rich bready malt, along with a toss up between black cherries and black grapes, thin treacle, and mild warm spicy phenols.

Alcohol is immediately warming in the flavour. Rich poundcake-like malt, dried dark fruits like raisins and dates, rummy brown sugar, even vinuous hints of brandy in the finish. Serious boozy raisin notes in the aftertaste.

Full yet smooth mouthfeel, no bite from carbonation or alcohol to be present, quite remarkable all things considered.

Incredibly palateble for a beer, let alone a lager, of this abv%, but bigger isn't necessarily better in this case. It's impressive by its own merits, no doubt about that, but turns cloyingly sweet and intense by the time the glass is nearly empty, the charm tends to fade. Once a year, that sounds about right...

Photo of AltBock
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle that a simple chocolate brown label with a small picture of Santa Claus at the top. Surrounding Santa is the bottled year of 2006. The back label has a brief paragraph about the beer. It says that it's brewed once a year on December 6th and it's aged 10 months before it's bottled. All the other stuff on the label is the usual US mandatory information. The cap of this beer is covered with bright silver paper.

Appearance: Since this is a big 14% beer, it seemed fitting to pour it into a small Great Lakes Christams Ale Snifter. What came out the small bottle was a golden amber colored beer with a faint head of white bubbles. The lack of the head of foam was probably due to the high ABV%. What head of foam was there quickly faded away into only a handful of white bubbly rings along the edge.

Smell: The aroma was slightly sweet and on the boozy side with black cherries, sweet caramel, sweet roasted malts, roasted pine needles, black berries, a hint of bitter roasted hops, and plenty of alcohol. Not so much alcohol where it burned my nose, but enough to a point where you could tell it meant business.

Taste: To be honest, I was expecting this beer to have an overwhelming taste of alcohol, but instead I find a sweet and lightly boozy beer. This taste featured sweet roasted malts, a hint of sweet caramel, black cherries, bitter roasted hops, a pinch of sweet yeast, a tiny splash of bitter dark chocolate, and loads of the sweet taste of alcohol. The alcohol was all through out the taste. Since the taste started, I could taste the alcohol gathering strength from all the flavors. It was at the end where the alcohol peaked and made the final taste taste like it was it burning. This burning taste only lasted for about 3 seconds and that was the end of it.

Mouthfeel: No questions asked, this was clearly a full bodied beer. This 14% ABV beer had a sweet aftertaste of sweet roasted malts, yeast, black cherries, sweet bitter hops, and of course, sweet alcohol. This aftertaste doesn't last very long. The sweetness aspect of the beer will remain, but none of the flavors.

Drinkability: It's once of those once in a while sipping beer treats. I would love to age one to see if the age would calm down the alcohol. I know it won't calm down the sweetness of the beer. If you can your hands on a bottle it's worth a try, especially if you haven't had such a high ABV% beer before. A sweet and boozy beer!

Photo of AlexF
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured ruby red in a chalice. Little to no carbonatation was present, and it all disapeared quickly, only leaving a few laces of bubbles.

Wine, sugar/caramel and alchohol smells are detectable. Something in there reminds me of succade.

This beer taste really heavy. Real sugary, and a detectable warmth caused by the high ABV. Again, succade, caramel and macerated sugars are detectable.

Overall a really enjoyable beer, but quite heavy and maybe lacking a bit of subtelty.

Photo of dewalt
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ordered a four-pack of 2006's bottling over the internet -- $34.95 with shipping, but worth it.

It pours out a rich, dark amber, with very little head, and has a strong sweet aroma. The mouth feel is slightly syrupy, and the beer has flavors of molasses, raisins, and honey. It is also noticeably strong -- that 14% alcohol isn't hiding.

This is my first time tasting of Samichlaus, and I thought it was terrific. But I shared sips with friends and got varied reactions. Some of them were instant fans. Others enjoyed it, and thought it seemed like a port or brandy, but couldn't drink more than a couple sips. And one or two just didn't like it at all, finding it too strong.

Photo of wedge
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Perfectly clear amber color with a small white head that, understandably, fades quickly to a thin ring around the edge. It does smell noticeably strong, though not as outright alcoholic as I remember it being. Aromas of apricot, wood, coconut, cherry, and licorice. Dried fruit-like esters...overall not like any Doppelbock I've smelled, but then again, this is in the ABV range of a rather strong Eisbock. The flavor starts out sweet, very sweet. Grapes, raisins, and some cherry tartness...ripe fruit and honey. Dark sugary fruits and vanilla beans. The sweetness does an excellent job covering up any boozy unpleasantness that might otherwise ruin the whole thing. There is a pronounced warming in the throat as it goes down. Creamy smooth with a slight dry touch in the finish.

Somewhat bock-y in the maltiness, but mostly sweet, ripe, and strong. I like a darker, more liquid-bread-like Doppelbock, but I can appreciate this for what it is.

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 cvstrickland
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Bottling:

11.2 ounce bottle that, quite frankly, scares the hell out of me. I've had the four-pack in the fridge for a week, and have avoided it as if it were radioactive. Tall, dark bottles, like Nazi vampires with silver trimmings, sporting a prominent "Alc. 14% by vol." Yes, I'm a little anxious about this. I've selected a Chimay chalice for the encounter.

So I open it. It pours a rich red copper that I sniff at as it rolls into the chalice... alcohol, licorice, Ouzo?!? No... there's a fruity malt, too. No head, no lace.

Flavor of sweet hard candy with pepper and apple juice, licorice with cherries, apple cider, and Absolut... fabulous and complex, chocolate with espresso and alkaline cocoa in the finish... the flavors are only limited by the drinker's imagination.

Smooth and light, but without a doubt a sipper. Kickass interesting now, and I wonder how well it'll cellar.

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,713 ratings.