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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,637 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,637
Reviews: 1,000
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 17.29%
Wants: 126
Gots: 217 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg visit their website
Austria

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
The once strongest beer in the world is back! Brewed only once a year on December 6. Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This beer is perhaps the rarest in the world. Samichlaus may be aged for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particulary with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself. Brewed under the exclusive licence of Feldschlösschen-Hürlimann-Holding, Switzerland.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 02-25-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samichlaus Classic Bier Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,637 | Reviews: 1,000 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour was a nice brown to amber with a decent head, especially given the alcohol level, which then laced the glass.

Malt -- sweet, a bit syrupy, and fruity (prune, dark cherry, raisin)

A complex mix of flavors with the sweet malt and fruitiness providing an inviting balance. More raisin in the flavor than I noticed in the aroma.

A full mouthfeel, yet my sample lacked good carbonation.

Overall a powerful must-try beer.

ncbrewerbun, May 16, 2005
Photo of asabreed
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4-pack purchased for around $15. Vintage 2004. Figured I had to try it, and since the temptation of laying at least a couple down was in front of me, a purchase was surely in order.

Appearance: Just to say right out, hardly any head and any lacing. But considering this is 14%, the head and lacing wasn't the biggest thing on my mind, as I was looking for color, bubbles, and body. A ton of bubbles float from the bottom to the surface, and it's a pleasure to look at. Yellow / orange color, almost looking like champagne rather than a Doppelbock I suppose.

Smell: Alcohol up front, and damn is it strong, but also warming in an oddly palpable and welcoming way, almost like inhaling a high quality and strong liquer. What comes after the initial alcohol burst, though, is a strong brown sugar and raisins amalgam. You have to get in there and go at it for a while. Swirl it and dive in and keep doing it, as new aromas seem to open up. Caramel and slight toffee. Definitely sugars, almost candi sugar-like. Malts also, of course. It takes getting past the alcohol to do so, but it's rewarding.

Taste: Holy Christ. At first I was ready to cringe; the initial alchol blast, even for a big beer lover like me, was levelling, but that was for a millisecond. Therefore, it's almost like it never happened. The alcohol is dominant with the ABV%, yes, but goddamn this sucker is balanced. It's got a lot of malt and sugar at the forefront, though, so beware if you're a hophead. I guess I'd liken it to a strong barley wine at first -- DFH Olde School? -- but then the flavors, especially the malts and sugars, start to congeal into something fabulous. Toffee, caramel, raisins, brown sugar, with hardly any bitterness at all (only a faint and far lingering to subtly balance out the malts and sweetness). That is NOT to say it isn't balanced, though, because this goes down extraordinarily smooth, which was extremely impressive. Top notch.

Mouthfeel: It sticks to your teeth a bit because of the sugars, yes. And there's a slight burst of carbonation near the end of the swallow. But somehow it remains damn smooth the whole time, and it's baffling me how it's done. And I'd say the sugars and sweetness never really become cloying either. Fine indeed.

Drinkability: Thank god I bought a 4-pack. This guy's young, and at 14% it can be put in the cellar for a while. I was told, however, "You can definitely drink it now," by some folks who know their stuff. And they didn't lie. I can't wait to try these as the years progress. This is amazing stuff, and you should at least try a bottle for sure. But beware; if you're not a big beer lover and you can't tolerate high ABV beers, you may want to stay away. Otherwise, this is an experiment in greatness, and I'm glad I have a few left to carry me through future winters and celebratory nights.

asabreed, May 12, 2005
Photo of LuckySevens82
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. bottle

Pours a crystal clear amber color with a nice off-whitish head. Retention and lacing are lousy.
Smell is syrupy sweet malt, caramel, fruits (dates, rasins). Sort of musty actually.
Taste is dark chocolate, caramel, some fruits (see above), syrupy sweet, WAY too sweet actually. Sweetness is followed by alcohol heat and a slight bit of spicy hops
Mouthfeel is kind of slick, and not very enjoyable.
Overall, I was expecting something a whole lot better from this beer. Perhaps if this had more than 2 years aging it would be better, but for me, this just isn't working. While not terrible, it's just not as good as I would have hoped it would be.

LuckySevens82, May 02, 2005
Photo of Gagnonsux
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage. The color is a nice dark amber. Head is short and light brown. The aroma is very eisbock-like and is of rich, dark malts. Smells are of a dark fruit mix with a moderate alcohol aroma. The taste is rich and complex. Dark fruit tastes are all-over here and range from sweet to somewhat dry. An alcohol taste is noted and contributes to complexity. Drinkability is hampered by the 14% ABV and overall richness of Samichlaus. This is a very interesting brew, tastes more like an eisbock than a dopple and has an insane amount of malt flavor.

Gagnonsux, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of Padron4KM
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2004 edition, sampled April ’05.
Pours out clear amber with a short lived tan head.
Aroma is rich and fruity, port like, with apricots and prune, a little toffee in there too.
Flavor is sweet and port like also, plum, prune, apricot. alcohol very noticable, especialy as it warms up. can't drink more than one of these in a sitting.
It will be interesting to see how this one ages.

Padron4KM, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of ken3c
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours quickly with a sodapop-like head that dwindles fast. Lots of bubbles and very clear, also like soda-pop. Light amber in color.

Aroma is grape juice with alcohol. There is also a biscuitty malt smell.

Taste is also like grape juice with a firm malt backbone and a hoppy finish. The aftertaste is a little like honey and musk melon. This is complex and very tasty.

Feels a littly syrupy but not quite cloying. I also feel the alcohol burn, oh yes I do.

Will I have another tonight...no. Will I have another again...definately!

ken3c, Apr 21, 2005
Photo of Barraclou
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Vintage 2003, bottled in 10oz units.

Appearance: A wonderful dark amber / ruby red / brown (like a old port wine). No head, but some carbonation bubbles in the body.

Smell: This beer smells a mix of alcohol, nuts, grapes and malt.

Taste: The taste is exceptionnal. It is a vintage product and it is easy to see it. The taste is very complex with lots of sweetness and too much alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: It is not that bad at all, but it is not like drinking a more conventionnal beer. Good carbonation too, but strong alcohol presence too.

Drinkability: This beer is closer to scotchs, port wines and liquors rather than other beers. It was good to review it, but I won't drink it on a regular basis. I will rather drink a beer more usual to the standards.

Barraclou, Apr 10, 2005
Photo of surfmeister
1/5  rDev -74.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

C'mon guys, be real...
This beer is not good, in fact I do not believe that anyone truly enjoys this beer, but many feel that they are supposed to.
Looks like a glass of bourbon with about the same amount of head, smell and taste profile are completely dominated by alcohol, slides around the mouth like a swig of 10/50 W motor oil, two gulps later this was down the drain, thank god they only bottle it occassionally, why waste your time with this stuff when you can have a nice single malt scotch?

surfmeister, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of Frozensoul327
2.42/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A unique brew, and definitly not for me. Poured out with no head and very low carbonation. Colour of a darker scotch, amber red. Heavy odors of fruit and earth. Overly sticky sweet flavor, with notes of alcohol (14% ABV). This may be the most extraordinary beer in the world, but not the best in my mind. Label states it gets better with age. Hopefully it does. Mine was from Dec 2004 and consumed in March of 2005. I'm thinking it's probably not aged enough. Will re-review again with a longer aged sample.

Frozensoul327, Mar 27, 2005
Photo of santoslhalper
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a deep ruby red with no head at all.

Smell: The smell was a mixture of alcohol and malts with little complexity.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavor consisted of a well balanced mixture of sweet, sticky caramel malts and a huge alcohol presence. The complexity was small, and the flavors were very upfront and in your face. The mouthfeel was full and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: Had a bottle at the new South Side Saloon in Johnstown. Not a bad beer, but considereing the high alcohol content, there was much more they could've done with this beer.

santoslhalper, Mar 25, 2005
Photo of droomyster
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Smells like liquid carmel, spicy apple cider, the dead of winter or the height of the holidays. Small head the color of sunbleached sand, disappears the second after you see it. Lazy light carbonation. Sweet taste of maple syrup, asian flavors like teriyaki and soy sauce. Half way through the alcohol really creeps up on you and reminds you that beer deserves your respect. It is a slow sipper. If you take it too fast it becomes cloying. Just half is sufficient; next time I will split it with a friend.

droomyster, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of alexgash
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear orange-amber body with a finger of creamy, off-white head with some lacing. Nose is very sweet, sugary/syrupy, with some fruit (bananas?), and alcohol; very liquer-like. Sweet, honey-syrup malt and fruit flavors up front. Intense and pungeant, but surprisingly not cloying. Complexity added by fusel alcohol that burns controllably, warming me nicely. Faint hop bitterness detectable in finish. Smooth, medium-bodied, with low carbonation, and more drinkable than I remembered, and definitely more drinkable than it should be!

alexgash, Mar 17, 2005
Photo of AdvocateFan
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Tall brown 11.2 oz bottle, silver labeling, “Schloβ Eggenberg” appears in glass markings at shoulder-line. “Bottled in 2004” and “The World’s Most Extraordinary Beer” appears on the label along with the unfortunate labeling of “Malt Liquor”. If they only knew…

Appearance: Cognac-like amber coloration. Slight orangey tone bordering on ruby-hued. Clear. Head begins just under a finger, bubbles don’t stick to each other, fades quickly to a collar. Expected for a beer of this high ABV and pre-bottle aging. Head is transient at best. Gone in under 30 seconds… light tan/beige in color.

Aroma: Sweet, ambrosial, with alcohol ripping right through. Smells a lot like the little tubes of balloon blowing junk I used to play with as a kid… where you stick a wad of it on the end of a tiny straw and blow yourself a little balloon (anyone have any idea what I'm talking about???). Smells quite powerful, and perhaps a touch like some sort of fuel, with very, very sweet notes. I detect raisin and cantaloupe, along with other melon-influences. Big time cantaloupe nose!!

Taste: It’s tough to describe this—there is of course an intense warming feeling in the belly, but this follows flavors that run from raisiny-malt syrup to stingy (that’s sting-ee, not stingy like Ebenezer Scrooge) Belgian yeast. Bubble gum flavor detected. This feels much more like a Barley Wine than any doppelbock I’ve had, that’s for sure, though it's not exactly like any BW I've had either... quite unique... If there is a beery equivalent to gamier flavors in meat, this beer presents that quality. I don’t know how else to say it other than that… Smoother than the strongest Barley-Wine I’ve had (which would be Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barley Wine-Style Ale, 2004 Vintage I believe). Similar to what I would envision an overly aggressive Madeira wine to be like.

Finish: A slow evolution of smooth malty sweetness and bitterness. Hops are present, only for bitterness, not in aroma. Alcohol is certainly present, but hits harder in the beginning and middle than in the finish. Sweet, friendly aftertaste. This beer sort of hits you over the head and then behaves like a good buddy…
It just so happens that the last beer I reviewed in my notes was a Bud Light (just for shits & giggles). What a way to follow up the Bud Light review—with a beer of such magnitude... A behemoth of a beer. From what I can tell, there is no stronger doppelbock on earth (though there are a couple others that come in at 14% ABV as well).

AdvocateFan, Mar 16, 2005
Photo of hobbes2112
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from 2001

Found this 2001 up in Premier Gourmet in Buffalo NY

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

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

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

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

hobbes2112, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of karst
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahhh... Dopplebock!

Always born on St. Nicholas Day.

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

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

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

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

karst, Feb 20, 2005
Photo of Truh
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

Truh, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

UncleJimbo, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

rhoadsrage, Feb 09, 2005
Photo of Pegasus
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage

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

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

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

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

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

Pegasus, Feb 08, 2005
Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wicked.

Appearance: A very deep amber with small white head.

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

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

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

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

Shultzerdugen, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of bruachan
3.2/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

from mclean totalwine

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

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

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

bruachan, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of CVC
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2004 bottling.

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

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

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

CVC, Jan 26, 2005
Photo of stjarnflikka
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 vintage.

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

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

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

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

stjarnflikka, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of Illini5596
4.9/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Illini5596, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of MediocreatBest
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

MediocreatBest, Jan 07, 2005
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,637 ratings.