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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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1,755 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,755
Reviews: 1,028
rAvg: 4
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 138
Gots: 258 | FT: 12
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: 1,755 | Reviews: 1,028 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottling sampled in December 2006

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a bubbly head that fails to retain (as one would expect from 14% abv); after the head disappears, it looks like cognac

Smell: Nostril opening aroma of fusel alcohol laced with honey, rum-soaked raisins, orange pith and chocolate covered cherries

Taste: Swirling in the mouth, the honey, chocolate cherry and rum raisin flavors come to the fore; after the swallow, the alcohol blends in with the sweetness

Mouthfeel: Sticky and smooth; the thick body trickles down the gullet with a burst of warmth

Drinkability: I never tasted the original so I cannot compare but this elixir is mighty impressive; kind of a dopplebock cum barleywine, it is well worth seeking out but you have to know what you are getting into - if you don't like after dinner liqueur such as Cointreau or Drambuie, you are not going to like this

Photo of beeroclock
2.84/5  rDev -29%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I didn't realize that this was a malt beverage of 14% ABV. This was brought out w/ the bottle and a mug. I poured it into the mug and it had absolutely no head at all. Quite a bit of carbonation, a brown color w/ bubbles. Smell is of sugar cane and mollasses. The taste is simply ok, but the alcohol bite is extreme. You can taste every bit of the alcohol in this one. It goes down warm like a bourbon and has a similar taste w/ more of a sweetness to it. It is cold outside, so it warms you quick. Hard to drink many of these though.

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

2005 version. Pours very still, with no head but a slight stream of bubbles floating upward, and a body the color of hot diluted molasses. Big aroma that screams sweetness -- hot alcohol, candied fruits, raw sugar. Big sweetness up front (sugared oranges), caramel, berry fruits, and a touch of malt bitterness rounded out by hot alcohol. Creamy mouthfeel with almost no carbonation and quite a bit of alcohol. That present alcohol is the one part to take away from the drinkability of this beer; for a brew of 14%, this is suprisingly smooth and drinkable. Overall, this brew is pretty great -- huge alcohol, huge tastes, definitely something to be savored and paired with food. It's only real flaw is the present alcohol, which can be overlooked.

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.07/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Packaged in 11.2 oz greenish amber bottle. Bottled in 2005, meaning it was brewed on Dec 6, 2004, two years ago today. Purchased at Whole Foods in Arlington, VA in spring of '06 and refrigerated since then. Bills itself as "perhaps the rarest in the world" on the label. The rarest beer you can buy at the supermarket, anyway. :-P

Served cold, just above refrigerator temp, below 40F, in a wine glass.
Aroma at the bottleneck is subtle, warm, pilsnerlike.
Pour is delightful, only slight carbonation that forms light beige 1/4" head which quickly subsides into nothing.
Appearance seems copper at first, but colors resolve themselves beautifully: medium dark rose and ruby and amber. Absolutely crystal clear, and very complex. The nicest looking beer I've seen.
Rich malty nose, no trace of hop aroma, whiff of alcohol.
Taste is an orchestra of complexity, with sweetness, fruitiness and oak, and rich. Alcohol warmth is welcome, not harsh or burning at all.
Mouthfeel is full and warm, and thick. Coats the tongue and treats the back of the throat with alcohol and bitterness. Not chewy, as often with barleywine ales of similar abv. More akin to SA Utopias than to Lagunitas Gnarlywine or DFH 90, but nowhere as sweet or syrupy as U.
As it warms, unfortunately, fusel alcohols start to dominate the aroma. Smells slightly reminicent of white gas.
Drinkability is one a year! It's a huge beer, cleaner than a barleywine, but also suffering from yeast defects and under-hoppiness. I wouldn't call it a sipping beer, goes down best when it fills your mouth soaking every sense of your palate. I want to get another of the same or older vintage and age it longer. This is one which can only get better with time.

Photo of bark
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2004.

Colour is clear deep amber; the finger thick beige foam disappears rather quickly into a thin ring. No lacing.

The strong smell is loaded with dried fruits, bitter almonds, marzipan, sweet cherries and some alcohol.

The taste is very sweet with lots of dried fruits (apricots, oranges, bitter oranges, and kiwi) but also somewhat roasted notes of sweet malt. The sweetness descends leaving a warming flavour of alcohol, oak-matured strong white wine and a hint of mild whiskey. The aftertaste got some alcohol, but it is dominated by a creamy fruity pleasant sweetness.

The mouthfeel is, to say the least, full. The liquid is rich and thick, it is almost overwhelming. The small strong bubbles give a refreshing contrast.

A very well crafted strong lager. Not very gulpable though.

Photo of mmcave
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Sam's a week ago and thought it might be fun to try after thanks giving dinner with a buddy. Poured into a flute, none aggressive head. The color was a wonderful purple, brown, rust color. Nose was strong barely presence, with definite yet pleasing alcohol scents, sort of earthy or barn yard like even. Having little experience with doppelbock the closest thing I could think of was barley wine, which to me has a similar smell. I found it a little hard to drink at first, but as it warmed up, both the scent and taste became much more accessible. This is defiantly worth a try, not something I'd drink often though. I bought two so one is going in my cellar till next year. See you then Samichlaus.

Photo of joedon
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'd been saving this bottle for nearly a year to insure it was adequately aged and to drink it on a cold winter night as befits the style.

Poured a deep copper color, crystal clear with only a thin covering of foam. The head fades rapidly which is to be expected for a beer of this alcohol content.

Really not much to smell. Good malt aroma and some alcohol but also a slight metallic smell I couldn't identify.

Big, malty flavor. Lots of sugar tastes as well. I could taste raisins, dates, plums, honey and vanilla. Very lightly hopped. Just a tiny bitterness and no hop flavor or aroma that I could detect. The beer is sweet but that seems to smooth out the alcohol. No bite or burning at all despite 14%ABV!

I like the mouthfeel, too. Very full body. You can feel the alcohol warmth but it is pleasant on the palate.

Very drinkable for such a huge beer. Recommended in small sips.

I'm planning a Samichlaus clone to be brewed in January. I hope I can come close to the original.

Photo of akorsak
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a 2005 vintage, similar to one reviewed by me here in December 2005. Almost one year later, I thought I'd give it another shot.

A: The ale is a deep auburn to brown color. There was a thick foamy white head on pour that dissipated quickly.

S: The bock has a very malty aroma. Unlike a barleywine where the malt is sweet, the malts here are a thicker, grainier cereal aroma.

T: The flavor has evolved a bit. It has taken on a medicinal quality, almost pepperminty. The malts, which really dominated the original review, have mellowed out significantly. There is a bit of hop bitterness that has started to emerge, but not to a great extent.

M: The spiciness that has replaced the maltiness is interesting, adding a very different element to this beer.

D: At 14%, this is no pounder. One as a nightcap is more than enough.

Photo of russpowell
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2004

Pours an effervescent copper/orange with a 1 finger deep head. No lacing or head retention, what a suprise!

S: Intense sweetness & syruppy (maple & praline)& a hint of alcohol

T: Caramel, pecan & bourbon up front with some alcohol burn present from the get go. Rich caramel & a hint of smokeyness follows. Finishes with a butterscotch/alcohol twang

MF: Super thick with a hint of carbonation. Impossible to define balance with a bier like this IMO

Drinks pretty easy considering the abv. I can discern no difference between this & the hurliman version from back in the day when this was THE strongest bier in the world. Got to try just for the sake of repsecting the extemism. The original triplebock !

Photo of JWFokker
2.65/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a stein, it's a nice looking, reddish brown beer, but clear - not at all cloudy. Not much carbonation and almost no head at all. The nose is a combination of alcohol, spice, nuttiness and a touch of cereal or bread. The flavor is a bit much. Initially the nose translates directly to the palate. Overwhelming nut/bread and alcohol flavor, which is folowed up with a syrupy sweet aftertaste which is just too much and not unlike brandy. The mouthfeel is quite thick and syrupy as well. They just took this beer too far. It's not the high ABV either. It's as if they fermented maple syrup and bottled it. I'm not a big fan of doppelbocks but this is definitely my least favorite thusfar. I'll give it another shot a year from now and see if it improves, but at this point, it's not a recommended purchase.

Photo of geetlord
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poreed a beautiful clear copper color with almost no head.
The aroma was dominated by alcohol, but hints of malts and nuts were present
The flavor reminded me of dark chocolate, coffee, nuts, sweet with a very warming almost brandy like finish.
The mouthfeel was slick and syrupy, but had a nice level of carbonation that made the beer drinkable.
Overall I enjoyed this beer but its strength makes it hard for me to finish a bottel without much help.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a .33L bottle to a steamed glass. The Liquid is crystal clear orange, OK carbonation. The head is one finger off white, fades fast, little lace.

The smell is stunning. Big alcohol, fruit and nuts, Like a juiced up trail mix.

The taste is even better, alcohol slaps you up side the head first then fades oh so smooth, to lightly caramel coated fruit and nuts. This is what so many try and only wish they could do. This is one hell of and excellent beer.

The mouthfeel works for me, could use a little more carbonation or a smidgen of a hopy bite.. Hmm...Or NOT. Dang is this good. Lip smacking good BTW.

The drinkability of this 14% ABV Brew. Is unsurpassed. This is a master brew. Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

Photo of pootz
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Something special for # 600: 2005 vintage

A fast pour puts a brilliant orange-ruby bockbeir in my stein....smallish white cap vanishes after the pour to a white ring, weak lacing on the glass because of the alcohol content.

Aromas are primarily honey and alcohol..some almond and vanilla.

Thick malt spin. oily mouthfeel, malty boozy syrupy character

Rich thick malt and honey slaver the palate in the front, light peral hops give no real resistance to this boozy freight train...mid palate there are some prune-vanilla and maple syrup tones long wet finish where the thick malts and sweetness turn to a mead-like decernment then the alcohol spikes in and turns the whole thing medicinal at the very end.

This one has potential and I will cellar the other two I have for a couple of years before revisiting this beer....young ( a year old or less) it’s pretty 2 dimensional but still I like the flavor better than many young barley wines and imperials I’ve tried.

Photo of llitsua
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, poured into glass that somewhat resembles a flute, but a bit fatter (I'm not good with wine glasses- I bought this at a Publix for $3), bottled in 2004

A- A few shades darker than a rose wine- nice color, no head (not
that I was expecting one), tiny lacing left behind- almost like the
surface of some types of leather in appearance

S- Candy, soy, alcohol, a bit of sake; quite complex, and quite nice

T- Alcohol, raisins, peach, sake- the alcohol seems to overpower
everything, although not completely in a bad way

M- Mouth is numb from alcohol- heavy body

D- One and one only for me, but who would expect you to drink
more than one at a time?

While I really did enjoy this, I think it would have been better to wait awhile- a very intriguing beer.

Photo of mjc410
2.99/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a 2004 bottle that's been in my basement nearly a year...

The pour into my Hobgoblin tulip raises a short-lived, one-finger light tan head that recedes to a lasting, large-bubbled glass ring that leaves more than acceptable lacing for this ABV. The body is a deep copper color, around the shade of many of the O-Fests I've been drinking this time of year. The nose is incredibly sweet and alcoholic, with rich fruity esters as well. I also pick up a bit of brown sugar. Alcohol is definitely overpowering. Taste is wildly sweet, highly alcoholic, and a bit acidic. Mouthfeel is on the high side, with no carbonation. This will be a drain pour, after I pass it about the fraternity house. The alcohol and intense sweetness ruin the beer. I thought I liked it better a year ago.

House results: two out of two people said it was alright, but only for a few sips.

Edit: after bringing this beer around to various tasters, I decided to give it another go, and I actually find it palatable, but still nothing exciting.

Photo of haz77
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - 2005 bottle. Pours a fizzy reddish copper, with the foam dissipating immediately. Small bubbles of medium carbonation.

S - Cherry, rum, solvent, alcohol, dark ripe fruit, caramel/dark sugar.

T - Syrupy sweetness comes through almost immediately along with the ripe fruit (especially cherry). Spicy alcohol kicks in and keeps building all the way into the aftertaste leaving a very warming, slightly numbing, feeling. After the break of the alcohol, a second wave of caramel sweetness appears and grows into the finish, along with a herbal note.

M - Very smooth, full, coating and rich. Low carbonation.

D - Drinkability isn't great, but overall this is excellent and will be re-visited on many occasions.

Photo of MLegendre
2.95/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottled in 2004

A: Dark amber almost ruby colored. No head whatsoever, a tiny little bit of carbonation can be seen. No lacing. Very beautiful color.

S: Very sweet and malty. Reminds me a bit of cherrys. Can't detect any alcohol.

T: Wow, the flavors on this hit you like a ton of bricks. The flavor changes so much during one sip it's almost impossible to describe. Taste of marachino cherrys are noticable first, but last for only a few seconds as extremely sweet malts come in and surrounds the taste buds. Midtaste alcohol becomes quite noticeable as it stings the tongue and burns the throat on the way down warming the whole body as it slides down to your stomach. This could be a really good beer however I have one big complaint, The aftertaste tastes just like cough syrup. I would like this a lot more if not for that BIG flaw. It is completly ruining this for me.

M: Thick and syrupy. There is surprisingly a very noticable amount of carbonation. Sticks to your mouth as you can taste it on your tongue long after you've swallowed leaving mouth feeling a little bit numb. It is definatly a sipper as it's a little hard to swallow.

D: I can't say this is an easy thing to drink, It's worth a try if you are into big malty beers, but not something I would get again. I really can't stand how much it remind me of cough syrup. I'm starting to doubt I'm going to be able to finish it (though I really don't want to waste something so damn expensive, over five bucks for a 12oz bottle!). Maybe if I had a cough to cure.

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,755 ratings.