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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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1,783 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,783
Reviews: 1,040
rAvg: 4
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 142
Gots: 285 | 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: 1,783 | Reviews: 1,040
Photo of cypressbob
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2005 bottled - Poured into a small Cantillon tall snifter

Served at room temperature

330ml bottle, brown with a shiney silvery neck label on it, the main label states the name, facts and figures and the bottling date which in this case is 2005. 14% abv

Pours with a small off white almost yellowy head which soon disappears. Rich coppery body with little ruby and maroon hints floating around the edges, no head once its settled down except for a tiny patch about half a centimetre sitting in the middle of the glass. Thick syrupy body just clings to the side of the glass as you swirl it.

Smell, rich dry spicy malt (very similar in character to alot of lagers), slight hint of corn and a tiny bit of dms. Smooth alcoholic toffee and caramel, along with a little bit of sweet dried fruits like sultanas and raisins. Spicy and aggressive estery alcoholic vapours, a strong enough whiff makes you feel slightly light headed with its potency. Some slight butteriness coming through near the end, syrupy clovey warmth too

Taste, slight carbonation initally on the palette followed by a tonnes of very sweet sticky syrupy, alcoholic, caramelly malt, burnt sugars, raisins, figs, fresh plums. Thick and fairly syrupy body, touch of maderia and a helping of nutty marzipan. Some slight buttery character once again, along with a high degree of sugariness on the finish. Lasting strong alcoholic warmth, warming vinous like quality, some slight bitterness on the finish, whether its some hop character of a huge whack of alcoholic maltiness burning the taste buds. Some slight vanilla pod and light milk chocolate character in the main body of this beer, sits and moulds itself around the rest of the strong alcohol fruits and sweet caramel.

The second time I've sampled this beer, originally it was a 2003 and I wasn't all that impressed. The beer seemed to be too sweet, too one dimensional in terms of flavour, and a little overwhelming as far as the alcohol character is concerned. It might be my palette developing or the year itself but I have come round to this beer. I still think that the sweetness is a little bit excessive and it could have perhaps benefited from some form of balancing but I suppose at the end of the day this is a malt monster, and a malty beer, especially a lager, brewed to 14% is going to be pretty heavy on the sweetness. I definatly enjoyed this beer alot more this time, serving it at room temperature seems to bring out alot more depth in the flavour but it does push the alcohol to the forefront to some degree. Anyways, one of those beers everyone should try at least once, I have a 2005 cellaring at the minute and hope that maybe over time it will improve and develop further.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.83/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap at Maduro, $3 for a nearly full Bell's Tullip. Pretty nasty stuff on tap.

Smells like sugar, booze, cheries, licorice, cat piss, and toffee. Tastes a bit like a strong mead loaded with candy sugar. Syrupy body, very sweet, seriously, disgustingly sweet. The ABV may be partially covered but the sugar sure as hell isn’t. Lots of cherry taste but most other flavors are hard to distinguish because my tongue is burning from the sweetness. It makes me sick to my stomach and hurts my throat. My body rejects this as foul. I take no pleasure in this mess, although it has a really, really pretty chestnut body with reddish hues though no head what-so-ever. I think this might be a lot better after a decade in a cellar.

Photo of dedrinker
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chewy toffee and port notes in the flavor (I aged mine for five years), creamy body with a mild sherry-like finish. The aroma was a musty and faint duplicate of the flavor and finish. This is a very fine after dinner beer/ cigar/ pipe/ by the fire. I had mine after dinner by the fire with some creme brulee. Wonderful.

Photo of ericj551
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2005 Samichlaus pours a clear amber, with no head, just a delicate white lacing around the top. Smell is sweet malt, with rich and fruity raisin and toffee aroma. Taste is a huge malty sweetness with incredible complexity. Much more RIch and syrupy, without being overly thick. Alcohol is apparent, definitely a burn towards the end, but at 14% I would say well hidden. Hops are hiding as well, as expected. Carbonation is slightly more than I expected after the lack of head in the pour, just enough I think. I wish I had the cash to drink this one more often

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2005. Pours a clear, deep copper color with not much of a head at all and virtually no retention.

Aroma is of alcohol, brown sugar, rum, raisins, and some nutmeg.

Taste is pretty complex. There is definitely a noticeable alcohol presence from the beginning. Taste is of sweet malt, toffee, caramel, raisins, sherry, and spice.

Mouthfeel is smooth, syrupy, and creamy. Pretty nice mouthfeel.

Alll of the alcohol and sweetness really bring down the drinkablility. Overall its a decent Doppelbock.

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

This lager is one of a specialty for those that don’t know. Those folks that do know this beer can appreciate every excellent review that this lager earns. I’ve had this served from the bottle and from tap. I will say that when I saw the waitress bring this to my table after an excellent dinner, it was the perfect dessert. I’ve shared one prior with friends at the local BOP and reveled in its flavor. So when I saw this large wine goblet filled to the rim practically, my eyes almost fell on the table, because I already knew the treat I was getting.
A: The bottle alone is great to have. I have one displayed on our baker’s rack in the kitchen to show folks what some beers are capable of. I had this served in a large red wine style (Bordeaux) glass. Deep red in color with ¼ inch foam that dissipates over the minute, just look at the glass, it has legs.

S: The nose hints a mild toffee that is rich. Sweet malts roll in the aroma with the surge of ETOH bursting once in a while. Later as I’m drinking half glass, I inhale as well to take in the notes of ETOH and caramel that melds with the fizz to my palate.

T: At first sip the ETOH comes is what comes to the throat just after the ever-inviting black licorice. This becomes a constant treat at every sip. I take a “swig” to get a different volume and more flavors to bombard my palate and WOW, I get the stronger more intense licorice and ETOH flavors. This is where I taste the caramel and fizz mix to a wonderful combination.

M: This is a medium to heavy bodied lager that demands sipping and a slow appreciation for, the alcohol will smite you if you don’t.

D: This is highly drinkable for folks that like something a bit different and extra special. A strong powerful brew that will have you talking about it whenever you hear the name. This is one of my favorites and its great to share with family and friends at the table for more intimate times.

Elbows Up,

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a clear copper color without much head to speak of. The smell is malty and sweet….also a bit fruity and spicy….quite noticeable. The taste is malty and spicy and the alcohol is pronounced. The flavors are strong and not unpleasant, but perhaps a little overbearing. The mouthfeel is very full and just shy of chewy. The alcohol also is noticeable in the mouthfeel, leaving it a bit dry. Because of the strong flavors and alcohol content, this beer isn’t as drinkable as I would prefer.

On a side note, this is an interesting beer which I would suggest at least giving a try sometime – if only for curiosity’s sake.

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

I was very fortunate to have this beer on tap at Summits in Sandy Springs before it closed. This is a monster of a double bock at 14 % ABV. I drank this from a small "sampler" style glass. The color is a deep ruby-red / brown with virtually no head. However, there was a small bit of lacing. The aroma is deep and malty and you can smell the ephemeral alcohol quality to this beer. The mouthfeel is medium heavy, flat (low carbonation), and a bit slick. It has a good taste malty and sweet, maybe a bit of raisin and chocolate. However it is a bit too sweet. Strange at 14 % you would expect most of the sugar to be gone, that is unless it's non-fermentable. I like it but I don't think I could go beyond more that one in a sitting.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2005 edition.

It pours a deep copper color with a quickly dissapearing head and zero lace. The aroma is very malty and boozey, with strong fig and stewed fruit elements. The taste is more balanced with less booze flavor. The malt profile is immense and complex. I taste shortbread soaked in rum, raisins, figs, vanilla and sherbert. Hops are herbal and very light. The finish is slightly vinous and soothing with alcohol. the mouthfeel is syrupy and lightly carbonated.

This is a decent doppelbock. Very rich, sweet and intense. It tastes less boozey than malt liquors half its gravity.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2004. Served in a pilsner glass, the Samichlaus pours a clear amber/copper color with a small white head. It smells sweet, like caramel malt, some dark fruit and alcohol. It tastes like raisins, figs, toffee, caramel, and you can taste the alcohol in the beer, but it's not overwhelming. This is a very malty beer, I can't taste any hops at all. Mouthfeel is medium, and it's smooth and a bit oily. Drinkability is good, but it doesn't take too long for the alcohol to catch up to you with this beer. I wouldn't drink anymore than one of these a night, but I would definitely buy the beer again.

Photo of cbl2
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2/3/2007 $17.99 4 pack 14.00% Brewed 12/6/05, bottled 2006.


Pours a crystal clear amber with a faint fizzy head. Pretty, but not outstanding.


Maple syrup, overripe grapes and a touch of sherry vie for dominance here alongside a healthy dose of alcohol.


Syrupy sweet, my tongue is enveloped in a viscous blanket of carmelized sugar. A faint nuttiness is apparent upon aerating, as is a hot burn from the 14% ABV. This is a one trick pony right now, and too hot with alcohol to boot. I'm going to let this one settle for a while, and revisit later, hopefully with a more favorable review.

Photo of velo343
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into mug.

Appearance - Very deep ruby. Head, while fairly large and creamy at first, disappears almost instantly.

Smell - The 14% alcohol sure comes through in the smell here. And lots of sweetness, reminiscent of fruits and fresh baked, sweet bread.

Taste - Very strong caramel flavor that matches the alcohol. Again a fruity, sugary flavor, not unlike apple cider. Not too much in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel - Thick, syrupy, and sweet. The sweetness really hangs out and fills the mouth.

Drinkability - I really enjoyed this beer, but would have a hard time drinking it too often. It's quite extreme as far as doppelbocks go. The malty, sweet flavors are very strong, as is the alcohol.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle labelled as 2005 edition. The beer was dark burnt copper color with almost no head. The aroma was stong and hinted at an ass-kicking from alcohol. The taste confirmed it, this beer tore my head off and crapped down my throat. It was way strong with alcohol, but extremely sweet at the same time. The mixture of sweet and burn made me pucker with each sip. A very strange and interesting dopplebock, but not easy-drinking enough to recommend.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.02/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a very stiff drink for a doppelbock! This is definitely a significant departure from other beers of the same style, but I thought the alcohol flavor was a bit overpowering, and I wouldn't recommend it. My friend, whose favorite style is barley wine, really liked it, so I would say that it is a matter of personal preference.

Served in a tulip glass on-tap at Roman's in Milwaukee. Appearance is a cocoa brown with a minimal amount of head. Aroma is maltiness with a ton of alcohol esters. Flavor was more of the same...this beer is very malty but also (at 14% ABV) has a ton of alcohol punch. It tasted to me as if someone distilled a Spaten Optimator. Mouthfeel is astringent and this beer made me want to pucker. Not a bad beer, but I couldn't get over how out-in-the-open its alcohol character is.

Photo of BlindPig
3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Thin light tan head on a clear deep orange body with amber hues.
S- Strong alcohol with a big helping of caramel malts. Light dark fruits. Barley can smell the hops but the is a hint.
T- Huge alcohol flavor on tongue and big warming in the back of throat. Really big caramel malts with almost a roasted/coffee aftertaste. Still very strong in the caramel flavor in the aftertaste. Hops don't come out much at all. It almost has a malt bitterness. It is just way to over powering in the malts.
M- Medium to full body with low carbonation.
D- The malts in this are way to over powering. It isn't to tasty or easy to drink. Not impressed with this at all.

Photo of blackie
4.87/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2000...I was but a naive freshman shotgunning Busch Light when this sultry beast was bottled. A great beer for a "wintry mix" night, which in these parts translates to about 5 minutes of sleet and hours of rain.

appearance: Pours a very very light head that fizzles away in seconds. A little more retention would be nice, but you can't expect too much from a beer of this weight/age. The beer is a rich ruby-mahogany in color.

smell: Yes! Gotta love the abundance of thick, sweet malt-candy aromas here. Even with the age on this baby, a potent boozy note persists, pricking my nostrils with each big whiff. A blend of figs, dates, raisins, and pears baked in a buttery brown sugar-bourbon sauce. Maraschino cherries soaked in dark rum for a couple years. A gentle touch of milk chocolate? Absolutely. Notes of the sugar-syrup you'd pour off canned tropical fruits. Fresh, candied peaches dripping with fluids. Hard to put my finger on it, but there are some Noble hop aromas in there.

mouthfeel: The carbonation on the tongue is ultra-light. The body is awesome...exceptionally full and slick, yet it cleans up nicely after the swallow. Very smooth and velvety. It could use just a tiny bit more carbonation to counteract the thickness, but given the age I have to let that slide.

taste: Truckloads of toffeeish malts on the tongue, thick with dark, fruity sugars. Really so complex that it's hard to describe. Loads of baked, concentrated fruit liquids...dates, raisins, figs, and brown sugar soaked apples. No real hop presence, save for a lighter bitterness that lingers into the finish with a variety of sweet malty and fruity flavors. I take that back...there is a pulpy Noble flavor in there somewhere. Leaves candylike malt-reduction coating on the lips after each quaff. Amid all the other fruits, I get a note of sugary pineapple syrup in the finish. Light ethanol presence, not really noticeable until it warms the stomach.

drinkability: You've gotta be careful, and it's definately a sipper, but a near perfect representation of the style that I'd love to have in my snifter again. Should probably give a 5 here. Definately one for the cellar. A must-try. Beautiful.

many thanks to BeerBeing for shipping this treat on the final leg of my No BS BiF

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

Brewed on December 6, 2005. I bought a 4-pack tonight. Drank one this evening and will hold on to the others for an extended period of time. I can't wait to see what some aging does to this stuff...

Poured into a chalice. Virtually no head comes out of an aggresive pour, but the color is a gorgeous clear ruby red almost like cognac. Ripe grape is the first scent that hits the nose followed by alcohol sweetness maybe a little caramel or toffee. Taste is sweet - very sweet actually and big on malt. There's some dark fruit and vanilla here, too - very complex and delicious. Mouthfeel is thick/chewy - slight carbonation gives this another dimension. There's a slight alcohol burn, but I think 14% is hidden well here. However, this is a sipper - no need to gulp this down. Savor every last drop. Highest recommendation.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Bottled in 2005."
A - Amber with orange hues. No head. Clear, without any effervescence.

S - BIG ALCOHOL... wow, this one is going to leave a mark! Past that then malty fig and citrus.

T - Warm, smooth and malty with a fruity aftertaste.

M - Did i say 'warm'? A lingering warmth. The complexity of the daring alcohol and forward fruit flavor lends to a heavy mouth.

D - Very drinkable. Sign me up!

I definitely recommend this one for the winter holidays.

Photo of SilentSabre
3.54/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I don't recall the exact price, but I purchased this from Michael's Beer and Wine in Marietta, Ga a few weeks ago. Bottle says, "Bottled in 2004."
I must admit, this isn't quite what I thought it was going to be. It poured much lighter than I was expecting. The colour was nearly the same shade of copper as copper cookware, but crystal clear. I expected a bit darker for a doppelbock. White foamy cap wastes no time fading away. Beer doesn't look too bad, but I don't think it is doing a very good job at adhering to the style. I'll give appearance average at best.
Smell is very nice. This almost reminds me an English Barelywine with its immediately noticeable sweetness which almost reminds me of a breakfast cereal like Sugar Smacks or something. Definate toasted grain aroma, and unquestionable presence of alcohol.
Taste is simultaneously sweet roasted grains and fairly, but not overpowering, alcohol. I have had 10 and 11%'ers that had this sort of "feel" to them. So, at 14%, I think this drinks okay, all things considered. Mouthfeel is definately full bodied, but even at 14%, this goes down quite smoothly, and is quite drinkable.
One of these is all I could tolerate in a sitting. It's quite tasty, but it is still a very assertive beer. Not bad at all, but while I'm very glad I tried it, I won't be rushing out to buy it again anytime soon.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.4/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle from the natural foods store in Manchester (ME). Amber-red translucent body with a thin film of off-white head. Smells alcoholic, fruity, nutty, and malty. Tastes malty, fruity, spicey and alcoholic. Almost no carbonation apparent. Thick, sticky, syrupy mouthfeel. This one's definitely a sipper. Not particularly drinkable. I'm doubting if I'll be able to finish the glass in front of me. I found it pairs well with a really strong dark chocolate - that may help.

Not sure if I'll get this one again, though I'm sure it'll grow on be as it warms, and I'd love to see what this one would be like after a few years of aging.

Photo of ChillMike
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with some head not too much and doesn’t leave much if any lacing, although I didn’t expect it to with the kind of abv it has. Smells of raisins, cherry, sweet malts and alcohol. Very sweet tasting beer that is high on extremely sugary malts, a little bit of hop flavor tucked away in there as well as a little bit of a currant flavor. A little oily and I’m not sure I’d be able to drink more than one. It claims to be “The world’s most extraordinary beer” I don’t think I’d go that far but it is a nice beer and works great as a nightcap, it’s got an extremely warming feeling afterwards. Something I just noticed the bottle I’m drinking is 2 years “cellared” so I’m quite impressed on how this has held up even though I don’t have a reference point for it.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.19/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Deep, clear brown brew with a red-orange tint. Head lasts for mere moments and dissipates to a flat surface. No lacing.

S - Sweet grape juice, prunes, caramel malt sugars and alcohol.

T - A bit of fruit and a lot of malt - not to mention the alcohol. The aftertaste is a light fruity bitterness with some lingering, almost medicinal, sweet fruitiness.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, frothy and a bit refreshing. The alcohol does take its toll though.

D - It is absurbly strong and not that good. I will pass in the future. Not a chore to finish though. Not really worth seeking out.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A must try on tap, but a must-not drive home afterwards. Served in a brandy sniffer at my local pizza pub. The beer came out with a mild, fine carbonation and a light trace of foam atop. A very pale golden / copper color and crystal clear. The viscocity evident with a magnifying effect through the glass and shows heavy legging. Aromas of heavy, syrupy malts, ripe fruits (figs, dates, and pears) with a light nuttiness and strong maple syrup. Lightly buttery, oily and very sweet. The feel is very warm, nearly hot alcohols and a light tingle to the whole mouth. Numbing upon impact. Good beer, and a nice variety from the bottle.

Photo of Tawnos
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found at Spike's Pub in San Luis Obipso; 2005 vintage poured into a tulip glass.

A: Reddish amber color, with golden fringing in the light. A very small head, as is to be expected from such a strong beer. Bubbles struggle through the brew to the surface. Swirling the glass leaves a nice thick coating, I'm expecting this beer to be thick and creamy.

S: Extremely sweet smelling, but not unpleasant. Caramel and candy, not a large amount of complexity, but not unpleasant. Almost no hint of the alcohol comes through in the smell, surprisingly.

T: Oh wow. The sweet smell and thick coating on the glass did not prepare me for this. Plums and raisins coated in caramel, with a pineapple (!) aftertaste. Cinnamon spice rounds this one off. Very little hop oil or bitterness, and that's good for this beer, it would be out of place.

M: Smooth, coats the tongue and makes you wonder if it's really the 14% claimed. No astringency, and I'm sure it just gets better with age. As you swallow, hints of the alcohol remind you that it is, in fact, a very strong beer.

D: So very slow. Only one in a night. Not to say I won't get it again, but two of these would be too many.

Photo of rajendra82
4.32/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,783 ratings.