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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.
very good

1,634 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,634
Reviews: 1,000
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 17.29%
Wants: 127
Gots: 214 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,634 | Reviews: 1,000 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rajendra82
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was bottled in 2006, making this only a month old, which is most certainly the youngest Samichlaus I have ever run across. The new bottle had a small picture of an old man who I presume to be St. Nicholas himself. Poured into a stem glass, the beer looked orange amber, and crystal clear, and formed a small but durable head, thanks to the active carbonation. Smelled riotously spicy and spirituous, and gave a good indication of the sweetness to follow. Tasted sweet as ever, but there was balance in here in the form of alcohol heat and dryness, and a peppery spiciness. Pretty much puts an end to any night once opened. I have a few older vintages aging, but when I start a vertical comparison, I’ll probably have to open both bottles early in the evening and have to sip on them for a long time. Better make sure the wife is not around, and the checkbook is locked up in a safe that night.

rajendra82, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of kwakwhore
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

December 2006
Amber reddish color with a white head which disappeared in a few minutes. Odors are redolent of sweet ripe fruits. Sweet malt accents predominate with a subtle hop background. 14% alcohol is not evident in the flavor, an achievement in itself. A great beer, one I was lucky to find. The perfect winter nightcap and dessert beer, definitely a sipping beer. drinkability is limited by the abv, but I'll go out of my way to find this beer whenever I get the chance.

kwakwhore, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of Bierguy5
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2005. 14% ABV. Brewed once a year, on 12/6, then aged for 10 months before bottling. Poured into a snifter with a rush of carbonation. Orange/copper in color, with a white fizzy head that disappeared immediately. Not suprising for a beast of a beer. Big alcohol in the nose, along with sugar coated dark ripe fruit. Very warming and almost overly sweet. Thick, almost syrupy, with little carbonation left. Loads of fruit flavors, creamy. The flavor that stuck out would be described as syrup covered oranges. A huge beer, certainly a sipper. Some yeasty flavors come out as it warms. A world classic, sure, but a bit too sweet for me.

Bierguy5, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of janubio
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

How can one rate a beer when you find different things on it everytime you taste it, even in bottles of the same vintage? Samichlaus was absolutely amazing and wonderful back when it was bottled by Hürlimann and it's amazing and wonderful now. It was amazing when it came in 25 cl bottles and now in 33 cl. It's one of my two favorites beers.
Opaque red colour, very very nice when you see against the light. It pours an amazing almost not existing head, you blink and the head is not there anymore. From the very first moment you opne the bottle, a cascade of aromas come to your nose, and, as in the palate it developes and changes as the time passes and the temperature increases: brandy or generous sherry, port, cask aged wine, caramel, figs, dates, vanilla, chocolate, liquor, spices, berries... you name it. Very strong, in aroma and in flavours. Mouth of syrup, sweet, but strong, extraordinary complex, chocolate, brandy, spices... everything I noticed in the aroma is there too. And that final warmness when it gets down your throat...that post-taste that lingers like when you drink a good brandy... Well, I think I'm out of words, I don't know what can I say next week, when I rate Stille Nacht, my other favorite.
Just drink it slowly to appreciate all the subtles in it.

janubio, Dec 28, 2006
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 lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery to medium golden brown in color. No head but a decent carbonation level. Sweet, caramel aroma. Buttery and toffeeish. Somewhat winey. Huge, huge sweet malty flavor. Like sucking on a soft caramel. Some bitterness in the finish but I chalk that up to the alcohol more then anything else. Slighly oakey and somewhat wiskey like in the flavor.Very full body. Has a slight buzzing effect on the tongue. Dangerously drinkable and quite enjoyable. Between the syrupy sweetness and the high abv I dont know how many you would want in a sitting but a damn fine and unigue beer.

lackenhauser, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of aforbes10
2.75/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2005 bottling. pours extrememly clear and clean, brown. not dark or cloudy in the least. very strange-looking. Nose is just a ton of alcohol with maybe some grape and other vague fruit odors. Taste is also ton of alcohol which totally dominate the flavor. I really didn't find it all that complex...some fruitiness as in the nose, but not much. Very thick and syrupy, kind of like drinking whisky mixed with beer. a sipper if i had to drink it again.

aforbes10, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of shivtim
2.63/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had a 2005 bottle.
Looks *very* odd when it pours. Superclear, like carbonated apple juice. Lots of large bubbles. Interesting.
Nose is alcohol, some sweetness, more alcohol, and some grains.
Taste is syrupy sweet alcohol. Like corn syrup and ethanol, and not much else.
Mouthfeel is pretty good, drinkability is hurt by the ABV.

shivtim, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Aged approximately 10 years and 3 months since bottling, 11 years and 1 month since brewing.

Still carbonated (phew!), this well-aged sample poured a rich brown color, almost like watery milk chocolate. A small brown head forms and then quickly dissipates. Aroma is very, very rich - full of caramel, figs, rum, raisin, and more. Sip is smooth and warm, like a fine brandy. Rich, supple, creamy, and slick, with big caramelized flavors of fig and rum. Warm and sumptuous, with just enough hops left to tickle the tongue. Very good - I'm impressed by how well this has stood up over time.

RockyTopHeel, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2000 Vintage on tap at the Stuffed Sandwich.

A: Almost no carbonation but one would expect that from this old of a beer. But what is here is a very dark beige. Head isn't as dark as an imperial stout but its close and only a thin ring remains. Body is a murky as hell. A dark toffee color borderline unfiltered apple cider. This beer is raw.

S: Pungent caramel, figs, prunes, sweet bread dough, brown sugar and toasted almonds.

T: Immediate instant maple oatmeal hits the tongue. Alcohol then shoots to the nasal cavity in a blinding flash with escalating hard cider, burnt toffee and fortified wine flavors. This quickly transforms into a beverage with port qualities. Sticky cooked raisins saturate the tongue. Molasses can be recognized along side of the raisin flavors...a flavor in young versions of this beer thats too hot and aggresive. Plumy maple flavors then coast to the end of the road. Finishes with brown sugar all over the lis and tongue. Superb.

M: Full and sticky, but I wouldn't expect anything less.

D: This beer aged is a different beast than a young subject. With some age, this beer is a force to be reckoned with. Simply delicious.

Westsidethreat, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.43/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Booziest beer I've ever had by a very large margin. Like a Doppelbock with a couple of shots of Kentucky aged bourbon in it.

Very average appearance: small head that disappears quickly over a red-amber clear body.

Smell is figs, raisins, dates, prunes soaked in bourbon. A bit of chocolate covered cherry. Very sweet.

Taste is more of the same. Boozie, hot, sweet, dark fruits and chocolate cherries.

Mouthfeel is round and full, thick and sticky.

Too much alcohol to be very drinkable.

My first bottle, and I may edit this review. As a first impression, it's pretty unique and odd, definitely a sipper.

ColoradoBobs, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.68/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 Vintage reviewed Dec 2006
Oh wow has this beer mellowed in but a short 6 months time
It is like it is a totally different brew.
Same color (light amber gold..crystal clear in the glass)....
Same sweet half finger head that melts away to a very faint tiny ring of lace.
Aroma is sweet malts, brown sugar, tiny bit of dark fruit...very tiny. I could lose myself simply inhaling this beer.
Ahhh...sweet...very sweet amber malt...brown sugar....raisinsm, prunes...and surprisingly, not a hint of the very strong alcohol we know exists in this brew.
It appears that a year and a half or two year is the optimum for trying this brew. This is heavy alcohol heaven with absolutely no hint of the alcohol you are ingesting.
I want to propagate my cellar with lots and lots of this brew.

IntriqKen, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottling sampled in December 2006

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a bubbly head that fails to retain (as one would expect from 14% abv); after the head disappears, it looks like cognac

Smell: Nostril opening aroma of fusel alcohol laced with honey, rum-soaked raisins, orange pith and chocolate covered cherries

Taste: Swirling in the mouth, the honey, chocolate cherry and rum raisin flavors come to the fore; after the swallow, the alcohol blends in with the sweetness

Mouthfeel: Sticky and smooth; the thick body trickles down the gullet with a burst of warmth

Drinkability: I never tasted the original so I cannot compare but this elixir is mighty impressive; kind of a dopplebock cum barleywine, it is well worth seeking out but you have to know what you are getting into - if you don't like after dinner liqueur such as Cointreau or Drambuie, you are not going to like this

brentk56, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of beeroclock
2.85/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I didn't realize that this was a malt beverage of 14% ABV. This was brought out w/ the bottle and a mug. I poured it into the mug and it had absolutely no head at all. Quite a bit of carbonation, a brown color w/ bubbles. Smell is of sugar cane and mollasses. The taste is simply ok, but the alcohol bite is extreme. You can taste every bit of the alcohol in this one. It goes down warm like a bourbon and has a similar taste w/ more of a sweetness to it. It is cold outside, so it warms you quick. Hard to drink many of these though.

beeroclock, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 version. Pours very still, with no head but a slight stream of bubbles floating upward, and a body the color of hot diluted molasses. Big aroma that screams sweetness -- hot alcohol, candied fruits, raw sugar. Big sweetness up front (sugared oranges), caramel, berry fruits, and a touch of malt bitterness rounded out by hot alcohol. Creamy mouthfeel with almost no carbonation and quite a bit of alcohol. That present alcohol is the one part to take away from the drinkability of this beer; for a brew of 14%, this is suprisingly smooth and drinkable. Overall, this brew is pretty great -- huge alcohol, huge tastes, definitely something to be savored and paired with food. It's only real flaw is the present alcohol, which can be overlooked.

geexploitation, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Packaged in 11.2 oz greenish amber bottle. Bottled in 2005, meaning it was brewed on Dec 6, 2004, two years ago today. Purchased at Whole Foods in Arlington, VA in spring of '06 and refrigerated since then. Bills itself as "perhaps the rarest in the world" on the label. The rarest beer you can buy at the supermarket, anyway. :-P

Served cold, just above refrigerator temp, below 40F, in a wine glass.
Aroma at the bottleneck is subtle, warm, pilsnerlike.
Pour is delightful, only slight carbonation that forms light beige 1/4" head which quickly subsides into nothing.
Appearance seems copper at first, but colors resolve themselves beautifully: medium dark rose and ruby and amber. Absolutely crystal clear, and very complex. The nicest looking beer I've seen.
Rich malty nose, no trace of hop aroma, whiff of alcohol.
Taste is an orchestra of complexity, with sweetness, fruitiness and oak, and rich. Alcohol warmth is welcome, not harsh or burning at all.
Mouthfeel is full and warm, and thick. Coats the tongue and treats the back of the throat with alcohol and bitterness. Not chewy, as often with barleywine ales of similar abv. More akin to SA Utopias than to Lagunitas Gnarlywine or DFH 90, but nowhere as sweet or syrupy as U.
As it warms, unfortunately, fusel alcohols start to dominate the aroma. Smells slightly reminicent of white gas.
Drinkability is one a year! It's a huge beer, cleaner than a barleywine, but also suffering from yeast defects and under-hoppiness. I wouldn't call it a sipping beer, goes down best when it fills your mouth soaking every sense of your palate. I want to get another of the same or older vintage and age it longer. This is one which can only get better with time.

BattleRoadBrewer, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of bark
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2004.

Colour is clear deep amber; the finger thick beige foam disappears rather quickly into a thin ring. No lacing.

The strong smell is loaded with dried fruits, bitter almonds, marzipan, sweet cherries and some alcohol.

The taste is very sweet with lots of dried fruits (apricots, oranges, bitter oranges, and kiwi) but also somewhat roasted notes of sweet malt. The sweetness descends leaving a warming flavour of alcohol, oak-matured strong white wine and a hint of mild whiskey. The aftertaste got some alcohol, but it is dominated by a creamy fruity pleasant sweetness.

The mouthfeel is, to say the least, full. The liquid is rich and thick, it is almost overwhelming. The small strong bubbles give a refreshing contrast.

A very well crafted strong lager. Not very gulpable though.

bark, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of mmcave
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Sam's a week ago and thought it might be fun to try after thanks giving dinner with a buddy. Poured into a flute, none aggressive head. The color was a wonderful purple, brown, rust color. Nose was strong barely presence, with definite yet pleasing alcohol scents, sort of earthy or barn yard like even. Having little experience with doppelbock the closest thing I could think of was barley wine, which to me has a similar smell. I found it a little hard to drink at first, but as it warmed up, both the scent and taste became much more accessible. This is defiantly worth a try, not something I'd drink often though. I bought two so one is going in my cellar till next year. See you then Samichlaus.

mmcave, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of joedon
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'd been saving this bottle for nearly a year to insure it was adequately aged and to drink it on a cold winter night as befits the style.

Poured a deep copper color, crystal clear with only a thin covering of foam. The head fades rapidly which is to be expected for a beer of this alcohol content.

Really not much to smell. Good malt aroma and some alcohol but also a slight metallic smell I couldn't identify.

Big, malty flavor. Lots of sugar tastes as well. I could taste raisins, dates, plums, honey and vanilla. Very lightly hopped. Just a tiny bitterness and no hop flavor or aroma that I could detect. The beer is sweet but that seems to smooth out the alcohol. No bite or burning at all despite 14%ABV!

I like the mouthfeel, too. Very full body. You can feel the alcohol warmth but it is pleasant on the palate.

Very drinkable for such a huge beer. Recommended in small sips.

I'm planning a Samichlaus clone to be brewed in January. I hope I can come close to the original.

joedon, Nov 22, 2006
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 russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2004

Pours an effervescent copper/orange with a 1 finger deep head. No lacing or head retention, what a suprise!

S: Intense sweetness & syruppy (maple & praline)& a hint of alcohol

T: Caramel, pecan & bourbon up front with some alcohol burn present from the get go. Rich caramel & a hint of smokeyness follows. Finishes with a butterscotch/alcohol twang

MF: Super thick with a hint of carbonation. Impossible to define balance with a bier like this IMO

Drinks pretty easy considering the abv. I can discern no difference between this & the hurliman version from back in the day when this was THE strongest bier in the world. Got to try just for the sake of repsecting the extemism. The original triplebock !

russpowell, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of JWFokker
2.63/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a stein, it's a nice looking, reddish brown beer, but clear - not at all cloudy. Not much carbonation and almost no head at all. The nose is a combination of alcohol, spice, nuttiness and a touch of cereal or bread. The flavor is a bit much. Initially the nose translates directly to the palate. Overwhelming nut/bread and alcohol flavor, which is folowed up with a syrupy sweet aftertaste which is just too much and not unlike brandy. The mouthfeel is quite thick and syrupy as well. They just took this beer too far. It's not the high ABV either. It's as if they fermented maple syrup and bottled it. I'm not a big fan of doppelbocks but this is definitely my least favorite thusfar. I'll give it another shot a year from now and see if it improves, but at this point, it's not a recommended purchase.

JWFokker, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of geetlord
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poreed a beautiful clear copper color with almost no head.
The aroma was dominated by alcohol, but hints of malts and nuts were present
The flavor reminded me of dark chocolate, coffee, nuts, sweet with a very warming almost brandy like finish.
The mouthfeel was slick and syrupy, but had a nice level of carbonation that made the beer drinkable.
Overall I enjoyed this beer but its strength makes it hard for me to finish a bottel without much help.

geetlord, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a .33L bottle to a steamed glass. The Liquid is crystal clear orange, OK carbonation. The head is one finger off white, fades fast, little lace.

The smell is stunning. Big alcohol, fruit and nuts, Like a juiced up trail mix.

The taste is even better, alcohol slaps you up side the head first then fades oh so smooth, to lightly caramel coated fruit and nuts. This is what so many try and only wish they could do. This is one hell of and excellent beer.

The mouthfeel works for me, could use a little more carbonation or a smidgen of a hopy bite.. Hmm...Or NOT. Dang is this good. Lip smacking good BTW.

The drinkability of this 14% ABV Brew. Is unsurpassed. This is a master brew. Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

MuenchenerKindl, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of pootz
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Something special for # 600: 2005 vintage

A fast pour puts a brilliant orange-ruby bockbeir in my stein....smallish white cap vanishes after the pour to a white ring, weak lacing on the glass because of the alcohol content.

Aromas are primarily honey and alcohol..some almond and vanilla.

Thick malt spin. oily mouthfeel, malty boozy syrupy character

Rich thick malt and honey slaver the palate in the front, light peral hops give no real resistance to this boozy freight train...mid palate there are some prune-vanilla and maple syrup tones long wet finish where the thick malts and sweetness turn to a mead-like decernment then the alcohol spikes in and turns the whole thing medicinal at the very end.

This one has potential and I will cellar the other two I have for a couple of years before revisiting this beer....young ( a year old or less) it’s pretty 2 dimensional but still I like the flavor better than many young barley wines and imperials I’ve tried.

pootz, Oct 03, 2006
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,634 ratings.