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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,599 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,599
Reviews: 999
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 17.29%
Wants: 120
Gots: 207 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg visit their website
Austria

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: 1,599 | Reviews: 999 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hobbes2112
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

Bottle from 2001

Found this 2001 up in Premier Gourmet in Buffalo NY

Pours dark brown with large white head. Retention is pretty short though ~15 second half-life.

Aroma is intense dark fruits, fig especially. Malt and other fruits are slightly secondary to the major fig element.

Taste is malt, fruit and simple sugars. That malt though...wow! Tons of alcohol also, especially at is warms up.

This beer was somewhat hard to drink, a little too sweet for frequent consumption.

hobbes2112, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of karst
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Ahhh... Dopplebock!

Always born on St. Nicholas Day.

Exhaling sweet malt and rum soaked fruits from a 0.1 liter wine glass.

14% hiding in perfect flavors - Chocolate Whisky Caromel Toffe Honey Fruit

Its sweet aroma and alcohol fumes reach into my nose and water my eyes

Epitome of Mouth Feel I swallow this slick Samichlaus 2003 - Carpe Diem

karst, Feb 20, 2005
Photo of Truh
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%

Thought that the ghosts of Christmas' past visited me with this one on 2/8/2005. 11.2 fl. oz. bottle, "bottled in 2004," poured in a shaker glass.

Huge froth of big bubble madness settles to a loose layer of smaller stuff. Copper hue, almost edging towards claret, with good clarity and slow action. Candy corn sweetness on nose with a deep malt backing; it almost seems like there is a hint of earthiness at its core. Ouch, the almost malted ball sweetness (not chocolate) bangs right beneath the eyes and is followed closely by a stinging alcohol torch that rips down the middle of the tongue and throat; almost a banana taste with a crème brulee flamed outer layer. Not sure what all the hype is surrounding this one, though perhaps this was a standard bearer of big beers before the extreme movement took off in the U.S.

Truh, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

Sampled on tap at the Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest 2005.

This doppelbock poured a clear, orange-amber color with tan foam that settled. The smell was lightly sweet with a complex, malty aroma and a hint of banana. Alcohol was also evident in the aroma. The taste was very rich and malty with the flavor of alcohol and fusel alcohols noticeable. Overall the flavor was complex. The mouthfeel was warming and smooth with medium-full body and low carbonation. The sweet maltiness lingered on the palate pleasantly. This was a very nice beer and was quite drinkable for its strength.

UncleJimbo, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%

This was bottled in 2000
(Poured in a standard American pint glass.)

Appearance 1/4 inch off-white head that dissipates pretty quickly. The beer is a deep mahogany and is a clear but to dense to see through. No legs when slightly swirled in the glass.

Smell light caramely/chocolate malt scent. Very clean smell with no hops or diacetyl smell.

Taste Starts off malty but quickly moves to a chocolaty flavor then a slight prune/alcohol taste comes out. Only after the alcohol taste subsides did I get a faint hint of hops.

Mouthfeel very tiny bubbles with a very hot moutheel that stays in your mouth for an extra second.

Drinkability This as a very nice warming beer for the winter but its not what I would expect from a doppelbock. It is a wonderful bier that has done very well with age. There is no one flavor that overpowers any other flavors, it just adds layer on layer of flavors.

rhoadsrage, Feb 09, 2005
Photo of Pegasus
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

2002 Vintage

Appearance: Crystal-clear amber color, displays a small off-white head, slight lacing, and little carbonation.

Aroma: Quite pungent and sweet, intense alcohol aroma, with a very sweet malt aroma beneath.

Taste: Begins with a sweet, honey-like syrupy note, beneath which is a very strong and warming alcohol note. Finishes with a slight, quite mild hop bitterness. Overall, somewhat like a brandy in character.

Mouth feel: Smooth and very rich, actually syrupy, no carbonation could be felt.

Drinkability/notes: Absolutely excellent, a superb apertif or after dinner drink. Do not miss the opportunity to sample this spectacular beer.

Pegasus, Feb 08, 2005
Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.47/5  rDev +12%

Wicked.

Appearance: A very deep amber with small white head.

Smell: Maple, prunes, spicy. And oh, yeah, alchohol. Big time caramel. I also get a cognac vibe.

Taste: Sweet, caramel maltiness. I mean big time caramel. Hops are nice and cleansing to the back and sides of the mouth, especially at warmer temperatures. I wonder if caramel comes from diacetyls or crystal (caramel) malt.

Mouthfeel: Slick and chewy. Buttery.
Drinkability: Hell, yes!

I've had quite a few big beers, and I'm reluctant to admit I had a hard time getting a grip on Samichlaus. It will take repeated samplings on a regular basis, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Shultzerdugen, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of bruachan
3.2/5  rDev -19.8%

from mclean totalwine

sits in the glass a very nice deep amber. a finger of white head accumulates after the pour but vanishes in no time. i assume this is because of the alcohol. the brew is nevertheless reasonably carbonated

sweet smell. too much for me. it wasn't a bad nose: complex, malty. i don't drink lagers as much, so the smells were slightly alien
too sweet. bready malitness with a hint of apricot or something. more than noticeable alcohol and solid bitterness

not a huge fan. it was too much of mostly everything. i could see that this might benefit from aging, so perhaps i will do an experiement

bruachan, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of CVC
4.63/5  rDev +16%

2004 bottling.

Came in a 12 oz. bottle; served in a pint glass.

Pours a copper/red color with no head. A heavy alcoholic nose of plums and raisins. Lots of carbonation at first, but finishes with a syrupy taste of mixed fruits and alcohol. Has a thick, syrupy, smooth mouthfeel.

This is a hefty beer. It warms you up like liquor. Must be drank slowly to be appreciated. Has a great taste a creamy mouthfeel to it. Highly recommended.

CVC, Jan 26, 2005
Photo of stjarnflikka
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%

2002 vintage.

Pours a red and brown beer thats totally clear with nice big bubbles. Last out of the bottle comes a foam that melts like butter in a frying pan.

Smell is immense. There is alcoholic character that reminds of rum, raisins, some spices and "glögg"(a swedish wine with spices). Smell is very fruity and sweet with big flowery traces, pepper and alcohol.

Taste is also immense, and wonderful. Cherries, raisins and spices make the first impression. Beer has a surypy sweet tone and generally just a damn complex taste. Its filles with fruits, dark sugar, syrup, alcohol and spices. Alcohol breaks through and warms the body and i really enjoy each sip.

Hurlimann made this brew in 250 ml bottles and i can really see why :) taste is great and powerful, a very, very good brew to just sit and sip at for an hour or so. I have some 2002 bottles left ill store and some from 2003 that ill bring out next year :)

stjarnflikka, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of Illini5596
4.9/5  rDev +22.8%

Samichlaus is an Emporer amoung beers. Rare and hard to come by, it is important to pick some up if you see it. As the self proclaimed "Rarest beer in the world", one expects an expert presentation and it does not dissapoint. The color is rich and smell is exceptional. The taste is likewise impressive being an interesting blend of malt, sweetness, creamy full bodied goodness, and a hard kick from the high alcoholic content which brings it all into line. It is a real pleasure to drink, well worth the wait, effort, and money that goes into purchasing it. Above all, this beer begs to be shared. The experience of sharing a few bottles of such a rare and wonderful beer is half the pleasure of drinking it. Enjoy and make the most of it, treasure every sip and memorize every flavor.

Illini5596, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of MediocreatBest
3.55/5  rDev -11%

orangish red, with ruby hues gimmering in and out. white head, typical nothing great nothing bad. smells of toffee, peanut butter, cherries, adn typical double bock smell. taste is also that typical double bock taste of toffee, but with a hint of cherries, and plum, and alcohol. alcohol taste seems somewhat unbalanced but nothing horrible. i can see why some people rate this real bad, that typical ock tatse is to the extreme with a slight cardboard taste, but i like it, the fruit notes really bring it together. a little thin in the mouth. but the odd taste does take away from the drinkability. soemthig i am glad i tryed but don't know if i will drink again.

MediocreatBest, Jan 07, 2005
Photo of cro250klr
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%

If your a dopplebock fanatic, I'd say try it. If for nothing else, just bragging rights. Then, form your own oppion. I love the dopples and the barleywines. I love the high ABV's. I could sustain myself on Salvator. DF Immort is wonderful when the first snow arrives. And those boring cold February days in the northeastern U.S. are so much more plesant with an Old School Barleywine at your side.
The hype was too much for me. The fact that this is a seasonal brew and that's it's made in Austria did me in. From the land of BMW's and Merdedes? For sure this must be the Holy Grail of dopples. I ran off and bought a case, ( The Pa. LCB should be abolished for such archaic rules), and was nearly $90 lighter on the ride home. None the less, I had my Sami.
The ride home was over and this was the moment of truth. The pour was magnificent. Liquid copper. The swirl revealed that this truly has a high alchol content. The chill was in the air and the testing conditions were perfect. "Merry Christmas to me", I said as I lifted the glass for the first sniff and taste. Is that...Brandy? Cognac? Cherries?...Vicks Formula 44D! The sniff didn't lie, because the aftertaste was just that...44D. However, if sugar had a smell to it, that's all that would be in the aroma. Man, is this stuff lip smacking sweet. Too sweet, I'm afraid to say. While I can tolerate the alcohol, the syrupy taste takes over right from the get go. The other flavors try to meld but that overbearing sweetness is too much for them and they are lost. Then, the Vicks aftertaste ruins what would otherwise be a superb winter warmer. Oh, your belly still gets warm. And, after two 11.2's you're like toast. But, in the course of the day I couldn't get more that three down. All the flavors of a good barleywine or dopple are there, and they are complex, but they don't seem to be in the right proportions. I've gotten sick from sweet wines and sweet mixers in my day so I didn't want to take this any farther.
Over the course of the holidays, I managed to down eight bottles. The rest will be cellared utill the snow is flying again next winter. I've read that this gets better with age, and I've got faith in the Europeon brewers. We'll just have to see. Maybe the sugar will die off a bit. In retrospect I'm not sorry I bought this. But to this BA, an Old School for a belly warmer, or a Salvator when you'd like three or four, would be a much better choice.

cro250klr, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of Quaffer
2.33/5  rDev -41.6%

11.2 oz. bottle. Bottled on December 6, 2003. Picked this one up in Kansas City. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: Poured a crystal clear amber. A really nice, deep color. The cream colored head rose up to only about a finger with a lot of effort. It was fizzy and dissipated quickly. There was no lacing.

Smell: A heavy, thick malt sweetness dominated the aroma. Right after the pour was the unmistakeable aroma of cough syrup, but that died away quickly. What remained was the aforementioned sweetness, light roasted malt, tart black cherries, and a general sweet candy smell. Almost cotton candy like at times. There were also hints of spicy alcohol combined with a light smokiness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Very syrupy feeling. Really coated the inside of the mouth. Medium bodied and dead feeling in the mouth.

Taste: Holy crap! Sweet beyond all that is holy. There was some tart cherry in the middle and some alcohol on the finish, but other than that, just head shaking sweetness. After the sugar shock wore off, I did notice some spirit-like alcohol flavors as well as some charred wood, but these were mild compared to the mind-numbing sweetness.

Glad I tried it, but it shall never pass my lips again. Didn't even want to finish this.

Quaffer, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Poured into a goblet style glass. Has a nice brown/orange/bronze color with a low rise of head.

Smell has lots of prunes and heavy alcohol.

The raisin/prune taste really tries to battle inside this beer, but is eventually overcome by the intense alcohol of this beer. While the body is very rich, the taste seems to disagree with itself.

The overall experience of this beer was disappointing. While a 14%ABV can be fun, this beer doesn't do enough to hide the 'malt liquor' element and make it a pleasant drinking experience.

GuinnessSmurf, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of Bierman9
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%

Christmas Day 2006 - I have here a bottle from 1996 from the Hürlimann Brewery.... Ten years old.... hmmmm.... Can't really review it, and it's not from Eggenberg, but I wanted the notes here for posterity...

Pours a clear, deep mahogany. Scant light penetrates, with little, if any, carbo within. Hard pour produces nary a hint of head; just a touch of tan bubbles around the edge. No lacing left anywhere. Aroma is a whopper! Smells of sweetness and malt, with figs and dates soaked in alcohol, sherry-like. Wow! Mouthfeel is superb! Nearly full-bodied and silky smooth on the palate. Lovely! Flavor is akin to the aroma in that it is replete with malty sweetness, and then some more malt for good measure! This is a fruit-cake made only with dark fruits, like figs, currants, prunes, etc... and then soaked juicily in alcohol. What a warmer! Oh, to be in that aforementioned Alpine Stube, safe from the chill on a White Christmas, warming with a couple of these, as well as with Alewife!
Then again, at home on an unseasonably mild, snowless Christmas day, with Alewife, Scheister and the Princess is more than satisfactory!! ;-)

If I could, I'd rate this 4.0/5.0/5.0/4.5/5.0 - 4.75.

Frohe Weihnachten und Prosit!!

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Christmas Day - 2004...
This is a sample bottled in 2002. Has a deep, clear mahogany/garnet hue, with just a smidge of head around the rim of the glass, with minimal lacing. The nose is quite robust, with rich sherry notes and malty sweetness, not to mention a whiff of "heat" from the alcohol. Almost seems like it has spicy qualities (cinammon? huh??), too. It is exceedingly smooth, and the body is above medium, though it escapes the realm of being full-bodied by a bit. Unbelievably ripe with maltiness and sweet notes. Like the aroma, heavy with sherry-like hints and warmth. Has just a suggestion of hops, and just a small one at that. A superb sipping bier, with the ability to get the cheeks rosy in a hurry. Verry tasty!! I can easily picture myself with a snifter of this, sitting in a little snow-bound Stube in the Alps, watching the snow fall outside while warming my innards. Well, I guess sitting in the living room, by the tree, with the kids and their new gifts is equally satisfying!

Zum Wohl, and Frohe Weihnachten!!

I have also today had a 2003 version. As far as appearance, mouthfeel and drinakability, all are pretty much the same. Aroma is still strongly sweet, though more malty than sherry-like. I find similar characteristics in the flavor; more aspects accentuating the malty side of things, with a touch less of the sherry qualities from '02. I'd rate it the same as the 2002 sample I tried earlier today. A lovely sipper, a wonderful warmer of a bier!
Prosit!!

overall: 4.8
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

*** *** *** *** *** ****

Original review from 09JAN02 of the 2001 edition. Lovely dark copper ruby color; nose hits you with alcohol and maltiness! Oh so full and smooth on the tongue! The dark fruit/alcohol combo taste is lovely! (5.0/4.5/5.0/5.0/4.0=4.80)

4

Bierman9, Dec 25, 2004
Photo of Shaw
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

I enjoyed a glass of Samichlaus (I'm guessing the 2003 vintage) at my local pub, the Cock & Bull. They had a special tapping of the keg party at midnight on Christmas Eve 2004.

I had a bottle of this beer a couple years ago and remember it being too extreme for my tastes. The glass I had tonight was a lot better. And while the recipe may be different, I think my palate is what actually has changed.

It's a glowing-brown (!) in color with a foamy white head that doesn't last. It smells of carmel, sugar and grape. The taste is quite sweet -- even syrupy -- with a very present alcohol flavor.

The body is slick, like other high-alcohol beers.

I cut the drinkability score a notch because this beer is so strong and sweet. Believe me, it's good. You just don't want a lot of it.

If you like barleywines and dopplebocks, try Samichlaus. And get it on-tap if you can!

Shaw, Dec 25, 2004
Photo of 3Vandoo
3.63/5  rDev -9%

2002 vintage

A rich and thick amber color, with a small shy white head, that resided to the glass walls. An intense smell of caramel and sugar. Taste is caramelic, very sweet, the alcohol presence is very present. Some aromas of sweetness and sugar, it hits you right away, the presence is there. I agree with the other reviews saying it a one sipping beer, many aromas are present, reminds me of some alcohol like whiskey or brandy.

3Vandoo, Dec 25, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%

This poured to a nice and bright amber color with a minimal head. It's not leaving any lace at all.

The smell is a small step away from perfection, being extremely strong yet very appealing. The flavors are huge consist of sweet malts, alcohol, and almost a hint of assorted fruits. There's no shortage of body, either.

watermelonman, Dec 22, 2004
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

On-tap at the Capital Ale House for their weekly "Steal the Glass" night. $8.50 for a 10oz glass. I'm assuming this was the 2003 edition that was kegged this year.

Color is very much like bourbon or whiskey. Copper-hued with a minute splash of head that was gone in an instant. Aromas are hot and heavy with alcohol sweetness. Notes of rum-soaked dark fruit at the edges. Same goes for the flavor. A huge splash of sugary sweetness up front that is quickly ravaged by the scorching alcohol fire that threatens to burn your tongue. Residual sweetness lingers after the ABV dies down. Not nearly as full-bodied as I'd expected and it really struck me as almost unbalanced. Tough to work my way to the bottom of this glass. Maybe I'm missing something with this beer, but it just didn't do anything for me. The waiter said this was the sweetest beer he'd ever tasted. For me, it's close. It's right behind the initial release of DFH 120 minute IPA at the AOBF last year. I have a bottle from 2002 that I won't be touching for years...

OldFrothingSlosh, Dec 22, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

Medium tan color, off white bubbly head which fades into nothingness almost instantly. Smell is over the top with alcohol and raisins. Taste is reminiscent of wine. Somewhat of a biscuit sweetness, bordering, if not slightly crossing, into cloying. Full slick mouthfeel with a lot of alcohol burn on the way down. A Quadruplebock, if I had to coin a style. Worth $5 a bottle? This time, but probably never again.

TastyTaste, Dec 22, 2004
Photo of bnuttz
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%

2003 edition

pours a spectacular amber, with a small head of bubbles that disappear quickly. The smell of this beer is crazy I smell sweetness and a hint of alcohol, but mostly just sweetness. The taste is all caramel and alcohol. The sweetness hides the alcohol fairly well in this instance, I am suprised. This beer is reminiscent of the DFH extreme beers for me, as I have tried them first, this does a better job of hiding the alcohol. A class A brew, just one that could not be drank in quantity

bnuttz, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of oberon
3.55/5  rDev -11%

Pours a brilliant deep copper with a thin head that is gone quite quickly this badboy seems to be more carbonated than expected,whoo the alcohol is very prevelant in the aroma almost whisky-ish along with some raisin and dried fruit.With this being a 2003 bottle this needed more time to mellow I think before opening,big and chewey with huge alcohol tones.Pretty darn sweet but it doesnt coat the mouth,has a nice mouthfeel not to thick but it may be hard just to finish this one I have.Like I said this beer could stand to age another year but no doubt this is a badass mofo beer, will get again and hold for awhile.

oberon, Nov 09, 2004
Photo of Sigmund
1.25/5  rDev -68.7%

(Bottled 2003). Deep golden colour, moderate head. Aroma of sugary alcohol and hay. Grossly over-hyped and over-rated beer, mostly by people obviously fascinated by the high ABV. Sorry, I have difficulties respecting the ratings of people who actually LIKE this crap. Flavour is cloyingly & revoltingly sweet, alcohol, molasses, syrup, syrup and more syrup. And alcohol. Did I mention syrup? And alcohol? This is gross. This is REALLY gross. Half of it went down the drain. And I paid nearly US$10 (in Norway) for this bottle! (Sob!) Cellaring it for 30 years might have helped A LITTLE, but why cellar crap? A real drainpour, if I ever saw one. Thank God I drank it in November - "Samichlaus" would have ruined my Christmas completely.

Sigmund, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours a clear brownish-copper witha thin, light tan lead. No lace to speak of. Smell is oaky and malty. Hints of oregano and crushed tomato. Lightly smoky and rich fruity malt.

Tastes of sour fruit, black currant, cherries and crushed sweet apples. Nutty maltiness. Light alcohol but incredibly smooth for 14%! Roasted maple syrup and pine sap are evident as it warms. Huge in the mouth. Really sticky. Sips like a fine port. Not that drinkable but nice for what it is. An incredible beer. Will get more to age although it's pretty good straight from the store. A must try if you want to know what beer is capable of being.

ViveLaChouffe, Oct 31, 2004
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,599 ratings.