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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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1,788 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,788
Reviews: 1,043
rAvg: 4
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 147
Gots: 291 | 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: 1,788 | Reviews: 1,043
Photo of rodrot
3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 bottling. Poured a light brown, amber color with a small wispy head that never quite disappears. Aroma is very malty with strong alcoholic, winey notes in the nose. I can tell from the smell alone that this is going to be quite an experience. Taste is quite malty, very sweet with almost a brandy-like warming alcoholic note in each taste. The finish is also quite alcoholic. This is a very full bodied, rich beer. Certainly not one for the less adventurous beer drinker. The alcohol is not hidden at all, so it pays to sip on this one slowly. I remember this beer being much darker when it was brewed by Hurlimann, but it still has that huge malty backbone. I'll probably age the other 2 bottles from the fourpack several years to see how it matures.

Photo of Vancer
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Whoo, a glass of sherry beer. Nice. Poured a dark, murky amber brown. No head of course, this is pure booze! The yeasties on the bottom jumped into the fray with a little swirling.

Looks and smells like dark apple cider, sweet and inviting. Lordy, what a taste – sweet caramel apple with just a hint of orange cough syrup. Great sippin’ brew, thick and chewy. Even some hints of candy cane and Belgium yeast.

Full and able-bodied, pour one into a cognac snifter and have a go at it. A world class brew that aged well.

This 2000 version was graciously provided by beerbeing.

Photo of toothharp
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I like this beer. I bought it at Lone Hill Liquor and poured into a tulip glass. The appearance is clear and copper.The head immediately dissipates into nothing but trails of bubbles flow throughout. The aroma is alcoholey and sweet. I think I get some raisin, brandy, spice. It's like a December beer should be, though it's May for me. Anyway, the taste is sweet and you get some alcohol. Not a lot of bitterness at all even in the finish. Light on the tongue. You get a boozeyness in the taste like a scotch or some kind of whiskey. I'd say what stands out most is a fruitiness like raisin, fig, maybe some pair. Anyway, need to stop typing. The 14% ABV will cause me to start rambling...

ooh, PS. there may be a slight woody finish. Like on the breath a little.

Photo of vtfan77
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2005

A- Nice crystal clear copper hue. A touch of carbonation is evident at the pouring, but fizzes out before it's able to form a head. The beer is almost still in the glass, but with a few tiny streams of bubbles going upwards.

S- Very malty with lots of sweet bread aromas and alcohol. The alcohol isn't as strong as I was expecting. In fact, the smell really isn't very strong overall.

T- Much more intense in the flavor department. It's very sweet with strong malt flavors. Hints of caramel and maple syrup are evident. Alcohol is definitely evident as well, although it's not overwhelming as may be expected. The beer is a little hot going down, though. Extremely tasty.

M- Not overly thick, but very smooth and creamy. Carbonation is surprisingly evident and contributes a nice, slightly fizzy mouthfeel.

D- I suppose it's decent for a 14% alcohol beer, but certainly one and done. I definitely wouldn't have more than one in a sitting.

Very good, overall. I'm definitely glad to have tried it. It's certainly not something I'd have often, but nice for every once and a while. I let mine warm to near room temperature, and that suited it well. Recommended.

Photo of Kendo
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The 2001 Vintage, on tap at the Lionheart in Albany. Consumed on May 2, 2007.

A: Poured into a plain glass, probably about 10 oz or so. Inside the bar, where it's dark, at first it looks a lot like dark apple cider. Brought outside where it was a bit brighter, it was clear brown with orange-ruby tints when held up and backlit a bit. No head whatsoever, and only a small stream of bubbles slowly rises for a short duration.

S: Sweet and hot are the general first impressions. Dark dried fruit -- figs, prunes, berries -- licorice, rum-soaked raisins and plenty of sugary malt sweetness -- bubble gum, maybe? -- underneath as well.

T: A lot like the nose: sweet berries, brown sugar, dark fruit, molasses and rum. Even though the dominant flavors are sweet, it doesn't get cloying or seem overwhelmingly one-dimensional. Perhaps that is due to the balance of all those flavors or because it finishes surprisingly dry. There's not really a sense of hoppy bitterness at all, however, in spite of that dry finish. Spicy alcohol is noted, but given the ABV it's not all that strong in the taste. It is hot on the way down and just seconds after lodging itself in the belly you feel the heat.

M: No carbonation at all. Chewy in the middle and definitely full-bodied, but it finishes surprisingly dry and light, almost like some of the better Belgians.

D: Good, but . . . at this ABV, you've got to go slow. It's heavy enough and the alcohol is sufficiently noticeable that you'll know to take your time.

Notes: What a find. Heard late last week that they had this at the Lionheart and I knew I had to get there before it kicked. A nice treat, and at 5.5 - 6.5 years old the alcohol seems to have mellowed a bit. I'm guessing this would be substantially hotter if it were younger. . . .

Photo of SaltyLime
2.58/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Nice dark amber center, no head at all.

Smell - Sweet, smelled like a sugar/syrup mix.

Taste - Strong. Almost liquor-like. Warming with every sip. Made me think this was like a beer version of Jägermeister.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy after the punch.

Drinkability - Had to sip this one in "shots". More challenging than pleasurable.

Chill it and pur it in shot glasses for a group. I'll pass on this one next time I see it.

Photo of atsprings
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a crisp deep amber with minimal head that diminished to nothing and left no lacing. The aroma was relatively weak with some fruitiness but not much. The beer was very rich and malty, somewhat complex, but the syrupiness somewhat gets in the way. The beer is heavy on the tongue as is expected. The alcohol is not quite as harsh as I anticipated, but it's still there. This is one to sip, certainly one I would not have that often.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.77/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer via trade - thanks Malto! I originally noted it was a retired brew but then reread my label today and it's the 96 version from this brewery. Below is my post in the cellaring forum:

1996 vintage

Not quite black but very thick in the pour. A touch of tan head around the edges of my chimay glass that quickly faded. No lacing to speak of. the aroma was intoxicatingly rich sweet malt blended with a dark ripe fruit / prune effect. Taste is similar to the smell except with a wonderful warming effect to the beer. BA says 14% but it is so nicely blended that it did not come across as hot or boozy to me. Thick, rich and definitely a sipper. This brew was a treat to drink and I found myself at the end of the glass before I expected.

While thicker than some vintage barleywines / old ales I've had from the same year, this was an awesome drink. If you can get it or have it in your cellar I would consider you lucky!

Photo of wcudwight
2.93/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Enola for sharing.
I was planning on putting this up for awhile, but decided to pull it out to celebrate Easter. In hindsite I should have waited.
Syrupy, mahogany, chesnut colored. No head or lacing. Carbonation is slightly above nil.
Some sweetness, but mostly alcohol in the aroma.
Same for the taste. If you can get through the alcohol burn and flavor, you find some whisky flavors. Maybe a hint of dark fruit. Raisins. It's also pretty sweet. All this is well hidden by the alcohol though.
Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Alcohol gives a mild burn to the throat and you can feel it in your belly.
I bet this would be a heck of a beer a few years down the road. I may try it again but never this green.

Photo of mithrascruor
1.71/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a mug. Bottled in 2006.

Appearance: Pours a clear, but fairly dark, copper-brown color. Basically no head.

Smell: Alcohol -- like a whisky or strong sherry. And a bit of sweet malts.

Taste: Again, it's like a whisky masquerading as a beer. A somewhat oaky alcohol flavor that is quite (too) strong. Has an underlying malt sweetness with brown sugar, as well as the taste of figs and raisins or something like that.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with virtually no carbonation. Slight burning sensation too.

Drinkability: Alcohol is waaaay too strong in the taste. Unbearable.

Novelty only. I cannot stand an alcohol taste this strong in a beer. If I want a whisky, I'll have a whisky. Sorry, kids...

Photo of kelticblood
2.38/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Ok.. Here we go. I've had this sitting in my fridge forever. It is from the 2001 vintage. Already six years old. When I poured it there was absolutely no head or any carbonation to speak of. The color is a very thick looking dark brownish-red. It looked like a glass of flat Coke.First sip just about took my breath away and made me pass out. I had the sour face when you suck on a lemon. OMG is this strong and overly sweet. The aroma is good and very profound with strong notes of figs, raisins, and heavy malts. The taste is horrible. It is so sweet I cannot even see myself finishing it. Flat mouthfeel with no carbonation. Overpowering ABV added to an sweet syrupy makes for a bad combination. It is like drinking cough syrup. I respect the ABV and it's 2001 vintage, but this is just not drinkable at all. I did notice some bitterness with each gagging sip I took. I can't believe I let this take up space in my fridge for 6 years.

Photo of kimcgolf
2.94/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I can sum this beer up in one word...SWEET. Unfortunately, that’s not "sweet" as a good thing, but "sweet" as in sugary, syrupy, sweet. The malty sweetness overwhelmed everything else in the aroma, and the 14% alcohol weighed in to make the taste and palate resemble drinking a carbonated syrup. To complete the disappointment, both the head and lacing were minimal as well.

All and all, a pretty crappy beer that I will pass on next time.

Photo of EPICAC
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've had a bottle of Samichlaus from the 2005 bottling sitting in my fridge for a few months. I haven't tried it yet because of a combination of its strength and my lack of free time, but last night I got a text message about it from David who was in Portland for a business trip. I let this warm and served it in my New Belgium glass.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear copper with a fizzy, beige head that fades to a persistent ring.

Smell: The aroma is deep, rich and malty. There are notes of caramel and fruit, especially raisins. There's also a strong alcoholic aroma that really becomes dominant upon swirling.

Taste: Sweet maltiness upfront, with caramel, raisins and vanilla. Strong alcohol brings a peppery spice to the finish, which lasts long into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy and full-bodied, smooth with just enough carbonation. Spicy warming alcohol remains through the finish and leaves a tingly sensation in the mouth and a nice warmth throughout.

Drinkability: The alcohol is definitely strong, but I find myself wishing that I had another bottle. Something to sip and savor, but surprisingly drinkable.

Overall: This was a great beer to finish the day with. It's been colder than normal, and it actually snowed today.

Photo of bort11
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2005 vintage, 11.2 oz bottle poured into a pilsener glass. A short white head that drops to a thin ring and then nothing. To be expected with such a high ABV beer. Color is a clear caramel brown. Slightest hint of carbonation bubbles.
Smell is a bold maltiness. Lots of dried fruit, a bit of molasses and brown sugar. Taste is sweet, but not overly sweet with some spiced apple flavors. Finishes with an interesting mint flavor that I would not expect.
A very warm full bodied mouthfeel. Definitely a slow sipper. The label gives information about aging. I'll have to try it out.

Photo of BlastTyrant
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 bottle. Chestnut brown with a small creamy white head. Aroma of ripe apples, brown sugar, plums, and vanilla. Flavor is bursting with sweet dark fruits, chocolate, toffee, and I detected a hint of tobacco as well. Alcohol is tremendously well masked, it’s detectable, but mellows a lot as the brew warms. Earthy, almost scotch-like finish. A beautiful beer.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review #300. I figured I'd make it a good one!

"Bottled in 2006” At 14% this should be interesting. Huge malt presence right off the bat, aided by a very active head, which settled quickly and evenly. Sweet berries and banana. Taste lends itself to a strong malt backbone, with syrupy finish. The ABV doesn't hurt its drinkabilty as much as this though. This is defiantly a "sipper" not a bad choice for the evening’s beverage.

Defiantly worth a try.

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

I don't particularly care much for lagers but as far as a doublebock goes this one is out of the park.

Similar to all high ABV beers this one pours with almost zero head and coats the glass like a wine. Pours a rich clear mahogany color and smells of roasted nuts and caramel.

It seems like when you get to a certain level of Alcohol many of the beers taste the same. I find this beer and the XXX warlock (18ABV) from Bristol very similar.

Strong alcohol presence with even stronger spice and malt flavors with caramel and brandy undertones.

Overall this is a great beer for sitting by a fire in your reading lounge or otherwise before bed. It doesn't quite hit you like some other high ABV beers which makes this one a bit more drinkable than others; regardless, unless you have a palate for overwhelming alcohol I would say one is enough.

I can imagine this being one of the better drinks in the world if aged properly and for a long enough time.

Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is hardly like drinking a beer. The carbonation is low the alcohol is high. It is sweet and more like a gentle Brandy or Cognac than anything the average American would associate with beer. Drinking this beer just makes me want to crack out a cigar. mmm m mm m mm.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous bronze brown color with exceptional clarity (it even looks like whiskey after the fizzy ivory head settles).

Smell: Cheery vanilla oak barrel and bourbon load the nose with a hot alcoholic clean manner.

Taste: Warm sweet smooth alcoholic sugars, oak, vanilla plums, raisins and some dark berry washed over by bourbon. Yowee Zowweee! That is damn tasty. Boy, the alcoholic aftertaste sticks with you just like in my favorite bourns. This is perfect for a liquor fan but if you don't appreciate the hot feel, then make sure your bottle is at least 10 years old cuz this is some potent stuff.

Mouthfeel: Absolutely coating. It leaves you mouth knowing that it was there as if it sticks to your cheeks long after you manage to swallow. It is thick chewy and syrupy through the mouth.

Drinkability: Well, this is no doubt a sipping beer. It is about as drinkable as a Cognac with my cigar. I am going to keep sipping at it all evening but I'm definitely not pounding them back.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Flying Pig...
Appears a dark brown with mahogany and red hues when held to the light. A small, light tan head of foam dies out into a mild cap and collar.
Smell is extremely malty with rich molasses, cherries, cocoa, cream, toffee, caramel, and tobacco.
Taste is a smooth but warming version of the mentioned aromas. I used to really love this beer aged in the bottle. I'm unsure of the vintage date on the keg but I'm assuming it's fairly new.
Mouthfeel is smooth, warming, sitcky sweet of syrup, along with over ripe fruit and cocoa infused caramel bouncing along the palate with a gentle alcahol burn.

Photo of clickpush
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2006 bottling.

Pour: 33cl bottle to wide mouth wine glass. Vibrant orange/red body capped by half finger of white head that depletes almost instantly to a halo and just a smattering of lace, as if it was a race from the center of the glass to the wall. Lots of bubbles coming up throughout the beer.

Nose: Instant lemons and honey as soon as bottle is decapped. Maple syrup and something sour, like old socks. Tons of fruit, apples and dried apricots, sour cherries and grapes. All malt, basically, and some gentle prodding alcohol. Some horse blanket notes. It's as if the more I sniff, the deeper the array of characters for me to choose from... while at the same time the aroma is actually quite faint. Mouth watering nonetheless.

Mouth: Extremely sweet, caramel and maple syrup. Tingly mouthfeel all the way through, even tickling the back of my throat. Sweet but not cloying, warming but not an alcoholic mess. The after taste is more a feeling than a flavor, like putting tiger balm on my tongue, extremely unique and appealing. Fruit notes are rampant, with none of the tart characters of the aroma. Also quite chocolaty, more caramel, and alcohol comes out a bit. Drinkability is as good as could be expected for a young 14% beer.

Great beer, will be getting several to stow away. Interesting because I drank two extremely different dopple bocks earlier in the day...

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

2004, small bottle. Poured into a snifter.

This very oily, syrupy beer has a nice-looking dark amber color, but little to no head as expected. It is so oily, however, that it coats the side of the glass.
Smell is highly alcoholic, whisky-like, with additional heavy notes of sugar, malts and some fruits, although mild.
The mouthfeel is absolutely perfect, oily, full, syrupy, creamy, fulfilling with even a single sip...
Carbonation is close to nill, but the intense flavor, warmingly alcoholic, with hints of fruits and sweets, but mostly rum-like, finishing to a whisky-like bitterness.
This is a very impressive beer, perhaps not exactly ready to drink yet (I will age the rest of the case at least 3 more years), and certainly not your daily brew, but nonetheless a very well crafted beer that will likely age gracefuly.

Addendum 2010.

The flavor keeps improving over time, and both the smell and taste of alcohol has mellowed down quite nicely. It is a great aging beer, and it seems that around 6 years this is at its peak.

Photo of BassBone
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottling. Brand new. Wish there had been some more left to try aging.

Poured a nice dark amber with good clarity. Little head retention or lace.

Smells sweet like maple syrup and maybe a little raisin. Lots of alcohol.

The taste is also sweet, but well balanced against the alcohol. There are raisins and other fruits. The alcohol definitely makes its presence known and you know you're drinking a 14% beer.

It has a light carbonation on the tongue that seems out of place and it goes down leaving a somewhat funky finish.

All in all it's a pretty good beer. A bit overrated in my opinion, but nonetheless quite drinkable. I'd be interested to see how it mellows over a few years.

Photo of WetCoaster
2.89/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

*2005 edition

One of those beer store aisle scans, where the bottle you've looked past 100 times suddenly catches your eye. Huh. Eh, why not?

So here at last, my shot at the infamous Santy Claus.

Appearance: Hmmm. Well, I expected this to look -- and pour -- like maple syrup. In fact, it looks like a standard American amber ale; a bell-clear golden-tinged amber. The off-white head comes... and goes. Very poor retention.

Smell: Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Super saturated bock aroma, fusels, brown sugar, surprisingly sharp citrus notes. As it opens up, cherry and vanilla become more assertive.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Whoa. Sugary. Fusels out the wazoo. Burnt caramel. It's an OK d-bock, but the mouthfeel tilts the scale into negativeland. The mouthfeel is, in a word, awful. Flabby, sticky and damn near dead flat. Yuk.

Drinkability: Not for me. I appreciate the fact that the good brewers found a way to coax this brew to 14 percent, but I found it to be a sugary, sticky, lifeless bore, and the monster alcohol makes it a rough go. One and done.

Photo of Jermbrew
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

"Bottled in 2004" Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into an oversized snifter. Not much of a head, a ring of bubbles lines the inside of the glass. Deep orange/amber in color, and a very clear liquid.

A sweet melon aroma upon first wiff. Smells of maple-like candy linger. I enjoy the perfumey smell quite a bit.

Tastes like a sweet cherry liquor. A little bready...like a fruit cake soaked in cognac. Maltiness blends nicely with flowery taste. Finnishes on the warm side but not overly so for a 14% abv.

Samichlause is a syrupy elixir that is smooth and easy on the toungue. High in alcohol, but surprisingly drinkable compared to other somewhat similar styles.

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

A- Pours a clear, light amber with only a wisp of beige head.

S- Smells like a mead, or a fruity eisbock. Tons of alcohol in the nose, with a sweet, syrupy character. Molasses, pepper, spice, fruit, honey, and almost a metallic character.

T- Delicious. sweet honey flavor that belies itself as a doppelbock... I would swear it's an eisbock. Strong peppery acohol balances the sweetness. No hop character.

M- Silky smooth and velvety. Goes down smooth and warm.

D- As with all very strong beers... it's wonderful, but not a session beer.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,788 ratings.