1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,772 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,772
Reviews: 1,034
rAvg: 4
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 137
Gots: 278 | 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.
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samichlaus Classic Bier Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,772 | Reviews: 1,034 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of kwakwhore
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Bierguy5
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of janubio
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a perfectly clear dark amber. The aromas are of heavy sweet malt and honey. A note of cinammon at the end. The taste is of sweet alcohol up front followed by an explosion of spices underpinned by a rich warmth of alcohol and a touch of soy. The mouthfeel is like the nectar of the gods- very sweet but pure and light, not sticky at all. Very good drinkability, but the sweet intensity and alcohol merit stopping at one. Really a delicious beer that really hasn't lost much by its transfer across the alps.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of aforbes10
2.76/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

Photo of shivtim
2.63/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

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

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2000 Vintage on tap at the Stuffed Sandwich.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.44/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel is round and full, thick and sticky.

Too much alcohol to be very drinkable.

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

Photo of IntriqKen
4.69/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,772 ratings.