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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

1,637 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,637
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: 1,637 | Reviews: 1,000 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vipsanius
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a fairly transparent amber. Poured straight, and fairly vigoursly, into a chalice, which produced very little head and absolutely no lacing...although, it did tend to stick to the glass a bit like you'd expect in a high abv beer.

The smell had a strong malt profile, very sweet dark sugary like smell, banana bread, raisins, plums...fairly similar to many dark belgian ales, which is pretty surprising in a lager.

The taste was fairly malty, had a very pleasant alcohol presence, caramel, dark cherries, plums...is this aged the 10 months in oak barrels? ...because it sure tastes like it.

It lets you know it's a 14% beer...definitely not one of those beers that's going to blind side you. Syrupy and slightly warm going down...not a whole lot of carbonation, which you'd expect.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed. It's unlike any lager I've ever had before. The bottle says malt liquor and honestly it kind of reminds me of a bourbon or scotch...and I'd much prefer this over any of those. It's up in the air whether I'd order anymore of these online or not but it's definitely a beer I would buy again given a better opportunity to do so.

Vipsanius, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of ashleyshalyn
3.03/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served out of a 330 ml glass bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep rusted honey/maple color with slight visible carbonation. Quickly vanishing head.

S: Sweet smell of grain and brandy... the 14% alcohol is evident.

M: Syrupy and smooth. Very creamy. The finish is very long due to this consistency.

T: Reminds me of toffee in the beginning and fades to a maple like taste with a bit of spice from the hops leading in a peppery finish that lingers and lingers.

Way way way too sweat for my taste, but I rather enjoyed drinking it simply for what it is. Brewed only one day a year, December 6, with a secondary fermentation of 10 months+, this beer is something that should be respected and appreciated for what it is.

ashleyshalyn, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, rich golden red into my tulip - don't expect to get any head out of this one, the alcohol content is too prohibitive for that. i forced a small tan head which dissappeared in the time it took me to walk to my chair and sit down. The color of the beer is rich, like mahogany, with amber highlights as the light strikes its corners.

Smells very bready, like rye bread or oatmeal, followed up with swirling antifreeze fumes of alcohol.

The taste, on the other hand, is not bready at all, but takes a sweet and fruity turn instead; My first impression was that this tastes like the juice canned peaches come packed in, only fermented and aged for 10 months before bottling. That's a bit unfair; This is definitely a syrupy, syrupy beer, but there's actually more to it than that sickly-sweet-syrup peaches flavor. It's got some subdued spicy flavors that round it out, and the alcohol content packs a big tart punch on the back of the tongue. The alcohol reminds me very strongly of peach schnapps, or Southern Comfort. The first few sips are kind of frightening, because it takes a little while for your tongue to get used to the combination of syrupy sweetness followed by harsh alcohol - but once your taste buds settle down, the flavor actually becomes rather enjoyable. I understand the reason this particular beer has rated so high for some, and so extremely poorly for others. Individual people are going to like this or absolutely hate it.

Zero carbonation, but this beer is rich and packed with alcohol, and the mouthfeel is zippy enough because of it (mm, tingly.) I'd venture to call it chewy, actually, and upon swallowing only a very small bit of lingering slick sweetness hangs around, which helps.

Overall, I'm definitely glad I tried this; I had heard that it is extremely rare, but I stumbled across around 20 bottles on the lower shelf of BevMo in San Diego, hiding behind a few stacked cases of Wersteiner. If you think your palate is capable, give this a try.

Tupperwolf, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of EvilKeith
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Samichlaus- 2004 11.2 ounce brown bottle.

This one pours a clear, burnt orange to amber color with a tall tan head that rapidly disappears.
While the head was still releasing the aroma my first thought was bourbon. I figured I was in trouble.

As the beer warms the scent becomes sweeter, almost toffee-like with darker toasted notes and the unrelenting presence of alcohol.
The taste is suprisingly similar to the smell. Sweet and sugary toffee fruit flavors with alcohol, that warms as it goes down.

I found this to have a medium to medium-heavy body. The amount of carbonation seems perfect for the flavor and mouthfeel.

This is a brew that I thoroughly enjoyed but, with a 14% ABV I figured caution would be in order. Would be really great as a nightcap.

EvilKeith, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of whynot44
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut brown with a hint of off-white head that vanishes with hardly a trace.

The aroma is sweet malt, caramel, apple or plum, rum and a hint of alcohol.

The taste follows suit, big malt sweetness up front, caramel apples, more rum. There is only the merest hint of hops bite at the finish to soften all that sweetness but the alcohol warmth kicks in and you don't really care.

I couldn't drink much of this, but then, you don't have to! A really nice warmer for a cold winner day. (a beer for snow shovelers?) Actually this would be great after dinner either with desert or just to sip.

whynot44, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of arguemaniac
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark but crystal-clear amber color with some copperish hues. The brief head is followed by a very slight lace, and even that doesn’t last too long. The sweet aroma features strong notes of fruit (raisins) and spicy alcohol. The powerful taste of this brew includes somewhat sugary raisins, light rum and sweet caramel. Of course, there is a fairly sharp alcohol bite, but because of the strong maltiness, it’s more subdued than one might suspect given the 14% ABV on the label. The syrupy mouthfeel is just about as full-bodied as it gets with some pretty mild carbonation.

Definitely a classic though not a typical dopplebock, more like an example of just how strong that style can get. Nevertheless, a real treat and, while far from a session beer, something every serious craft beer lover should try. Highly recommended.

arguemaniac, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of sublimesipping
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So I walk into the corner bar-Ludwigs in Philly in this case, to get the score of the Steelers game and low and behold they have this beer on tap! Pretty cool I say as this one has alluded my taste buds. Served in a goblet. Very little foam on the pour(I am later informed that I got nearly the last draw...) smells intensely of sweet- Raisenettes- yes raisenettes to the max- Drinks like a cordial. A very brandied, honeyed, almost overpowering sweetness. Not what I expected.. this would be an excellent nightcapper and not a one-of afternoon draw, which is what I found myself doing today. Carmally notes and little hop prescence that I can detect.
A complex beer that falls just a bit short for my taste, but still an excellent and special product. Could not imagine myself having more than one in a sitting. Glad to have tried it and a nice way to cap the holiday season. Cheers!

sublimesipping, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyable to try this classic on tap at Ludwig's Garden in Philly. Pours dark honey almond, and cloudy with a minor light tan head and fine but minimal lacing. Nose of some smoke and also a wiff of cognac/brandy. Strong, tasty and vinious brew. notes of molasas, roasted woody malts, peat, brandy, cloves and cinnamon. World class nightcapper/sipper.

Billolick, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of masikon
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brouwer's cafe in Seattle. Main differences I noted between the draft version and the bottle I reviewed earlier is that the mouthfeel is improved out of the tap...some of the overly syrupy texture gives way to a tiny bit of carbonation that makes this a bit more drinkable.

masikon, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of Byeast
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My bottle of Samichlaus Bier was from 2004. It poured a copper color with a half inch , quickly disipating head. The aroma is definitely unique . Smells of sweet sherry and candy ,fruits, also alcohol. Very different. Very sweet , syrupy ,fruity, malty taste as well as strong alcohol burn in the throat and nostrils. Mouthfeel is of light syrup. This is one rare tasting brew. Totally unique.
Just stood up after drinking this one... Woah , you can feel the 14% ABV and im pretty sure i felt the alcohol move around in my stomach. lol.

Byeast, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a root beer brown with cherry highlights with whips of white head.

The smell is dominated by dark fruits with bits of malty banana and a smooth nip of alcohol.

The flavor begins with cane sugar and green grape sweetness, then creamy dark fruits, followed by sour and bitter coffee and dark chocolate, concluding with a splash of warming alcohol that makes my tongue tingle. This is sticky sweet, but not offensively so as the finish does release a bit of the sweetness.

The mouth feel is huge in body with a nice light carbonation.

While drinking this, my friend and I coined the phrase “self regulating sipper.” There is just no way that this beer can be taken quickly. This is an awesome beer, but I don’t think I could ever have more than one.

DarkerTheBetter, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of delicious
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in 2004.

Poured straight down into the snifter, and still no head can be roused. The body is brandy colored with a warm camp fire glow.
The nose is warm and sweet.
Very warm in the mouth, and an exhale through the nose ignites a certain effervescence in the nostrils. Behind the hot alcohol and sweet, thick malt, lies a slightly citrus orange.
There's a bit of a nip from the alcohol, but it's welcome at the very end of the day. As the bottle claims, it is quite an extraordinary beer.

delicious, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of Derek
2.8/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottled in 2004.

By definition, the dopplebock only goes to 9%, and this is nothing like other Dopplebocks. Closer to an Eisbock... but obviously brewed differently. More of a high-end malt liqour! Also, it's Austrian... the Germans haven't occupied them for quite some time.

I think this should definitely be a "Euro Strong Lager".
Difficult to compare within style.

A: Copper in colour, very clear. Poors with a little head, but it quickly dissipates, without leaving any lace.

S: Malty, sherry-like, sweet candy. Unlike anything else.

T: Alcohol is quite assertive. Some sweet, caramel-like flavour. It's like candy (like artificial, strawberry cotton-candy), with LOTS of alcohol. Truly unique, but it'd be a little more pleasurable if it was a little less harsh.

<Ralph Wiggum Voice> It tastes like burning! </Ralph Wiggum Voice>

M: Moderate body, light carbonation, dry finish.

D: Approachable, but its strength is inhibitive.

Derek, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of BamaScholar
2.3/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

this beer is the 6 december 2004 bottling.

i'm not sure i see how this beer is true to the style if general ABV is 6.5 to 9.0...it was a gorgeous pour but smell and taste are sickengly sweet, alcoholic burn, and candy fumes. one taste is one-dimensionally interesting...not balanced or full-bodied, you just want to swallow it as quickly as possible.

it was worth trying this bad boy to get an idea for it but i like a beer to exhibit some complexity or interesting notes...the world's strangest beer is tough to get down...maybe longer aging makes for a more well-rounded experience? not recommended...

BamaScholar, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of shbobdb
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Wow, this beer pours a thick amber and, suprisingly, with a pretty thick head! The tiny bubbles swirl in the bottom of my glass, desperately trying to navigate through the thick malt.
I can relate. Wow, where to begin describing the smell and taste of this beer . . . It is similar to Korbinian in many ways, except for that the strong alcohol punch at the end. . . but, there is so much more. Like the bubbles, my nose and tongue twist about this beer, swishing it in my mouth in a vain attempt to understand it. Perhaps since it is merely the 2004 brew it is too young to be classified, the flavours have not matured enough to really come into their own so, instead, they gang up together and pummel your tastebuds.
Good stuff. Wow.
Not a simple beer by any means, but this guy still gets my thumbs up. Wow.
Toffee and coffee? Yeah, they're there. Figs? I can't even describe it, words don't do it justice . . .

shbobdb, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of JanM
2.3/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The world's strongets lager? Well you have to taste it. Iit poured with very little foam and a red amber color. The smell was of fruits and candy. It tasted very sweet and fruity, almost like some kind of thin syrup. An alcohol burn in the throat. This beer needs the right man/woman to be appreciated. I'm sorry but I couldn't finish it. If they changed the name into something like Rambo 10 000 it would be a big seller in India!

JanM, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
2.75/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

poured a mudium reddish color with sparse head. Smell is very strong on malt with dark fruit(figs, prunes) also evident. Almost a whiskey-like smell. Taste is very strong on malt, with the alcohol showing its massive presence. Strong alcohol bite. Finish is also very strong on alcohol. Not my type of beer.

tgbljb, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of redteg02
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: a medium brown with red tints. poured with very little head but then a small ring formed from the constant flow of carbonation to the top

Smell: you can smell the alcohol in this one. also has a very sweet smell to it

Taste: Now that is a strong beer. alcohol with some fruity sweetness to it. definitely a sipping beer.

over all i would say it was nice to try but i will not be getting another one of these in the future.

redteg02, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of badbeer
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark red to amber color, head is present though disappears almost instantly but leaving a solid lacing which remains present throughout.
Smell: Sweet, caramel, hints of plum and cherry
Taste: Taste of fruits and there is definately a heavy malt presence noticeable.
Mouthfeel: Heavy, smooth, warms the throat, like a tasty syrup almost.
Drinkability: I would love to say I could drink more of this as it is very good, however, at 14% I should probably not.

badbeer, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

04 vrelease, bottled in 03. Thanks Gabe.

This beauty pours a bright coppery orange with a small but dense beige head that retains too well for a 14% beer. It radiates warmpth just sitting there!

Aroma is huge, reaching my nostrils the moment it's poured. A cornucopia of fruit, sweet sherry, delicate spices, candy-like malts, and a touch of flowery hops. The high alcohol content makes itself known with a slight burn.

Flavor is just amazing. I've never tasted a beer like this before. It's sweet, with golden harvest fruits, berries, honey, a sweet nutty note, and booze-soaked cake. It almost reminds me of a good Sherry or Amontillado. Perfect as a dessert sipper. Alcohol surprisingly well concealed, until it reaches my belly, which warms considerably.

Body is big, slick, and almost syruppy. Coats your palate with each sip. Very good and worthy of praise, but be careful. One bottle is enough to split 3 ways.

AlexJ, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured initially a clear orangish red color with a small 1/4" head after a pretty aggressive pour. The head was gone within the minute to leave a small cap on the beer maintained by some bubbles rising slowly through the liquid.

Aroma: Super rich malt and spices along with some darker fruits like plums in particular. There is some citrus fruit in here also, I believe that it is grapefruit. There may actually be a hint of Saaz lurking in here also.

Taste: The flavor hits you like a train! It just keeps coming. I initially get a whole bunch of the sweet malt that somehow leads into a very wine-line body. There is plenty of sweetness in here, but it somehow manages to finish rather dry with a pronounced alcoholic burn in the back of the throat that lasts for quite some time. The mouthfeel is saved by the fact that it is pretty well attenuated for as strong as it is.

Opinion: This is as similar to a wine as a beer. It is very assertive and aggressive on the palate. It is a whole lot different if you are talking about traditional DoppelBocks. This ain't no Celebrator, and has very few Melanoidins or other rich malt flavors. Its calling card is as much alcohol produced esters as anything. It is a world class beer, and one to be commended...for managing to get a Lager yeast that high in alcohol if nothing else.

SkeeterHawk, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of juzy
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I ordered this at Cafe Amsterdam, the day after Thanksgiving, after having fallen down in the parking lot on my way in thanks to a fresh layer of snow over a very icy parking lot. By the way, I also fell on the way out, you'd think I'd have learned.

2004 at 15%
Appearance was a strawberry-copper hue, not much head, minimal lacing.
The aroma got me at the first sniff. Alcohol up front, followed by a sweetness, like candy. A recognized the fruitness as a strawberry scent.
The taste was almost identical to the smell. Alcohol up front, cognac-like. I'm reminded of the all-day suckers that we used to get trick-or-treating as kids in Maine, imagine a sweet candy lollipop that has been formed by being put in buttered muffin tins. Yes, it's all there, the slight butter taste followed by candy sugar and a hidden bit of strawberry.
Mouthfeel is definitely thick and clinging to the tongue, coats the entire mouth. Much like a medicinal syrup.

I enjoyed it, it's unlike any other doppelbock I've had. I was lost in trying to discover more traditional malt flavors and I found no hops at all. Just the same I believe this to be a fine brew. I expected the alcohol to be un front, in your face at 15%, but it wasn't as harsh as I expected.

juzy, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of Blakaeris
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light coppery amber color. Head starts out decent but quickly disipates to a thin ring with no lacing.

Smell is of sweet dark fruit and alcohol.

Flavor is intense. Much like the smell, it is fruity with molasses and plenty of warming alcohol. I also detect brown sugar and 'spices'.

Mouthfeel is thick and surupy.

I really enjoyed this unusual beer. I will definitely drink more of this. I have heard this beer being compared to a dopplebock, but it is much more intense. I have found this brew to be dangerously easy to drink. Very nice.

Blakaeris, Nov 18, 2005
Photo of Andreji
2.33/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottled in 2004

Well I finally came around to drinking the Samichlaus I'd kept for heck, months now (I'm not too big at cellaring) on one of my need-a-beer moments. I though about saving it til christmas so to say precisely 2 years later, but now I'm glad I didn't give it any more attention otherwise I would've been more disappointed.

I poured into my Duvel tulip which is my reference glass for body and the ever important head. but this was rather flat, if only a small film covering the fluid that didn't make it the most attractive beer. but the looks of it were deep and intriguing, unlike the darkness of dark belgian beers, this had some germanic element. it looked like syrup too, jiggled around the glass in a more viscous-than-watery manner (sort of like whisky). that got my attention.

The smell wasn't fantastic or abundant. It was very very buttery as I can recall the pattern, with an excessively strong alcohol feel combined with the malty sweetness. yes, someone had spiked the syrup on my waffles, the smell was very much it.

Then came the cunning disappointment. Now I've tried a few doppelbocks but I'm not an expert. I can honestly claim to liking most of them, which are moderately sweet. but this was worse than coke. it was terribly sweet and unbalanced, the alcohol also making a brutal presence to tame the nose that was already shocked with so much sugar. That was all that could be tasted. no bitterness. The mouthfeel, quite literally that stinging feel on the pharyngeal mucus you get when you drink cheap liqueurish, isn't particularly something I'd recommend.

And of course, the drinkability of a 14% bomb that doesn't even hide the alcohol right certainly drops low on my book as well. plus, who'd be up for buying and drinking more than one of these? stock up on aunt jemina and cheap rum instead.

Andreji, Nov 12, 2005
Photo of Stimack
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap last evening over at Mahars, from what I w as told it was 2004 vintage. Brew was poured to a brown color with a lot of red like highlights. Brew had no head what so ever. The aroma is more or less of alcohol with dark fruits. Not a bad smelling brew. The taste reminds me a bit of cold medicine with its alcohol taste dominating and the fruit flavors complementing it. I am not really able to pick much more up from the taste as this brew acts like syrup and really coats the mouth and the above stated flavors seem to stay with me even after I have finished the brew! Not a bad brew, not my favorite but would get it again.

Stimack, Nov 05, 2005
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,637 ratings.