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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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1,771 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,771
Reviews: 1,034
rAvg: 4
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 136
Gots: 277 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg visit their website

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 02-25-2001

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,771 | Reviews: 1,034 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GilGarp
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up on a recomendation from Men's Journal since they seem to know their stuff when it comes to beer. It's supposedly a great way to get through the holidays with family. Must be the nice aroma...

Pours from a 330ml brown bottle into my curvy Sam Adams glass. I'm surprised that there is not a spec of yeast or sediment even at the bottom. Not as dark as I expected either. It has the appearance of an American red ale but it's almost completely lacking in head. Even with a smooth fast pour down the center of the glass, barely half an inch develops and it's gone in a flash.

Aroma is immediately evident as I pop the cap but in the glass it's mysteriously missing. Slightly sweet and fruity but nothing outstanding.

The taste is where this beer really packs a punch. Very sweet and strong, port-like flavors of cherries and oak, also apples and pears. Of course the alcohol is also a big part of this beer and it's 14% strength just can't be hidden.

Mouthfeel is smooth, almost syrupy but not too heavy. The burn is considerable. It could use a bit more carbonation to prevent it from feeling like wine or liquor.

Drinkability is ok but it really makes for a good nightcap as I'm finding out. After just a few sips, the warming comes over me and I'm ready for bed.

Photo of kbnooshay
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear dark amber color with a small light head. Sounded very carbonated. The head dissapeared quickly. Aroma has hints of grape, alcohol pear, apple, brown sugar, raisins and dark fruits.
Taste is super sweet and malty! Reminds me of fall and like a whiskey spiked cider. There is a nice bitterness and LOTS of warmth from the alcohol. Feel is sticky smooooth and syrupy. Well this is pretty cool and drinkable. More than one and your hammered.

Photo of junkman203
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First of all, wow. This is a strong beer. I did not notice the alcohol content before I drank of it. Again, wow.

Appearence is a brownish maroon, very nice looking. it has a thin head that goes away quickly, leaving a thin ring. Smell, taste and mouth feel are all dominated by the high alcohol content. Not in a bad way, though. Smell and taste are also very sweet and malty.

As far as drinkability, I think this is a good beer for after dinner, sipping and relaxing before bed. It is definately not a chugging beer.

After looking at other reviews and more closely at my bottle, I should mention I have a "bottled in 2006" bottle.

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a thin white head that fades fast. The aroma is very sweet and rich with some nice caramel notes and a distinct alcohol note.
The flavor begins with a smooth malty sweetness that carries over but it isn't cloying and finishes clean with a burn from the alcohol.
Mouthfeel is thin and it is perfect for the style.
Overall this is an excellent brew that is a bit sweet for my tastes but it is nice to drink in the colder months as a nice winter warmer.

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

A: Beautiful deep copper colour with reddish highlights. A white head forms on the pour, but collapses fairly quickly.

S: Rich, sherry like doppelbock aroma. Sweet malt and alcohol also come through.

T: Very sweet dessert wine flavour, but with a malty edge.Toffee, plum, port wine, caramel. Hop bitterness is low but balancing and no hop flavour.

M: Rich and fluffy. Very smooth.

D: A slow drinking beer - more of a sipping wine than a beer type experience.

This is really a different class of drink to most beers - it also deserves to be classed with fortified or dessert wines. Having said that, if you take it for what it is then it is a exceptional and well made beer. Fermenting such a monster can't be easy and the Eggenberg should be congratulated on producing such a unique beer.

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

Vertical of the 2000 and 2001 with a 2007 on the side for comparison. The 2007 seems to be completely different than the other two. The 2000 won, but not by much over the 2001.

Both had a dark amber/brown body with no head. The 00 was super smooth...pure butter. The 01 has a slight alcohol bite, but only compared to the 00. The 07 was like rubbing alcohol in comparison to both. The 00 had raisins on the nose and was slightly old aleish. The 01 had some fruit and was more port wineish. Both aged well.

Photo of Thunderball
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a flute, this beautiful amber colored liquid produced a ring of a head. The smell of sweet fruit, malt, and brown sugar. The taste of sweet malt, banana, sourdough bread, and a spice component. Mouth feel is just right for the complex working of this brew. This is a very fine offering. I would love to have a case of this to cellar!

Photo of canucklehead
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well I had great memories of a bottle of the Swiss made one that was aged about 3 years. This review is for a new bottle of the Austrian version and alas the hotness and in your face sweetness dimmed the memory a bit. This beer is meant for the cellar as it is too boozy and sweet when young. You can tell this is a well made beer and full of flavour but it needs Father time to mellow the edges. Used to be one of the world's great strong beers but I think the beer world has evolved and this is a bit of a relic.

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.43/5  rDev -39.3%
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
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
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
4.72/5  rDev +18%
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
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
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
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
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
2.82/5  rDev -29.5%
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
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
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
2.76/5  rDev -31%
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
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
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
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
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
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
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
4.4/5  rDev +10%
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.

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,771 ratings.