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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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Ratings: 1,783 | Reviews: 1,040
Photo of yelterdow
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a stash of 2002 bottlings from Oaktree Buyrite in South Plainfield, NJ. (aka Beer Heaven, USA).

Served at cellar temperature in a doppelbock glass, like the traditional Celebrator kind.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear deep auburn reddish amber, with an active inch-thick head that collapses into a thin rim. Slightly darker than your average doppelbock, it's a pretty color if nothing else. Microscopic bubbles launch from the bottom of my glass, in a calculated formation.

Smell- Notes of old leather and dark fruit soaked in rum, this aroma leads on that there are big flavors coming. A rich, deep malt backbone reinforces the nose and remarkably plays down the tremendous ABV. Interestingly, on the final pour (which I gave a good, generously rough edge), definite notes of passion fruit came forth.

Taste- Whoa... really, wow... the flavors here are bombastic, and damn strong. A prickly alcohol sensation greets the tongue's tip immediately, like baby piranhas, leading right into an aggressive display of vanilla and booze. The malts firmly anchor the beer's spicy character, and it finishes for days. A snifter would have probably been a better choice for glassware. This is enormous.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- This is an enigma in the mouthfeel department... first, it's wildly aggressive and searing in the mouth, then moments later it caresses and showcases the incredibly amped-up malts and uber spices. It's a rough-and-tumble event without a doubt, and my belly is fighting to withstand the punches this one delivers.

I would suggest this beer to be enjoyed with a cigar, for the flavors it would impart to the tobacco would be heavenly. Savor it, and share it with someone who values complexity and depth in a good drink.

Photo of Poppypitbull
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very surprised when I opened this to see that it wasn't as dark as I anticipated it to be. The story of my 10 year chase for this beer is one of legends that I won't bother retyping here but the summary is simple: Since 1995 I've been looking for this beer and I was graced with a bottle of it on 3/24/06(I've since gotten a 4-pack that is in my fridge for a special celebration).
I opened it and loved the smell. Before I began drinking it I lusted on the scent of it for a bit. My first sip I was stunned that it wasn't as strong going down as I was warned (of course this changes upon completion of the whole bottle). A little bit of an aftertaste that hung around in my mouth for a bit. Multiple sips later and the legend of 14% begins to take it's toll. By the time I completed the bottle I felt like I downed 4 or 5 beers in a row without stopping and I took 45 minutes to finish this bottle.
Do what you have to do to find this and try it on your own. Explanations from me or anyone else are simply pointless. Get it, sit down, put on your favorite tunes and enjoy!!

Photo of cjgator3
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased an 11.2oz bottle from Big C's Liquor store for $4.19. What caught my eye is the proclaimed "World's most extraordinary beer" on the front of the bottle. Pours a clear copper color with not much carbonation or head. Smell is sweet fruit and alcohol. Taste is very sweet and fruity and a bit syrupy. Overall, this is a wonderful brew. This beer dangerously hides the 14% alcohol that is present.

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

Found this in a beer store whiile on a trip to NJ. This bottle was bottled on December 6, 2005. I'm drinking it in the hotel room, so all I have available is a lowball hotel room glass.

Pours a medium gold-amber with a half inch head that quickly dissipated, leaving a ring of foam around the edges of the glass.

As soon as I popped the top I smelled a sweet maltiness coming from the bottle. As I poured it in the glass, the sweet, syrupy aroma became stronger and wafted in the air towards me.

This has a strong, alcoholicy, syrupy taste. It is incredibly malty and sweet. The high ABV is readily apparent in the way that it warms the mouth. Just one or two swallows and my mouth is hot from the alcohol. It has a good doppelbock taste, but man is this ever strong!!

My mouth is very warm from this beer. It is syrupy and very sweet. Only a mild carbonation and just a slight tingle. It is very creamy.

Overall, I like this beer. I wish I had someone to share the bottle with, though, because it will be difficult to finish it all by myself due to the high ABV. Definitely a sipping beer. Worth trying and recommended.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2004

A - Pours a dark ruby brown with a thin off white head that disappears immediately. Looks just like a lighter whiskey/bourbon in the glass even with some legs that cling to the glass.

S - Sweet, dark fruits, candy sugar, figs, complex.

T - Intense sweetness, dark fruit and brown sugar, caramel, alcohol is clearly present. This one has a little bite.

M - Thick and syrupy. Coats and sticks to the mouth. Very little carbonation.

D - This beer is the closest thing I have experienced to sipping bourbon with a splash of water. It has the same consistency with a slight alcohol bite. A nice beer but at 14% it is definitely a sipper.

Photo of dreadnatty08
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear, light caramel color with thin dissapating head. Gorgeous. Aromas are very sherry like, lots of alcohol, caramel maltiness, dried fruits, a little smoky. This brew goes down incredibly sweet, starting out with the heavy alcoholic dose, syrupy, medium carbonation, raisiny almost toostie roll chocolate? My half bottle will be enjoyed, but is plenty! Bottled in 2004, perhaps too new?

Photo of mentor
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Big Ten Liquor Mart In Ann Arbor a couple years back and aged in my cellar since that time. Pours a soda pop one-finger head that is gone in moments. Crystal clear dark copper liquid. Smelled very fruity estery during the pour. To the nose it smells likely sherry. Cherry, alcohol, soured fruity esters (mostly raisin, but some tamarind), and way beneath, a hint of german malts. Tastes brandy, cherry sour, clean alcohol sting leading to an aftertaste that's caramel, wet & sweet & rich malt with a warming alcohol. Whoa, I would never have anticipated the delicious aftertaste after the (rather unpleasant) first impression. Yeah, definitely some german bock character, but it comes across as soured because of the potency of the alcohol. Thick body that passes over the tongue. Essentially no carbonation (but a nice alcohol sting hangs around when I would normally expect tiny carb bubbles to form on my tongue in the aftertaste).

Photo of ddarity
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the Dark Lager, bottled in 2002.

This has to be one of my favorite all time beers. Hard to come by, at least here in Oklahoma.

The color and clarity of this unique brew is pretty much flawless, in my humble opinion. A deep dark garnet color. Not much carbonation with this one.

The aroma has a hint of alchol and malty sweet barley. Any hop aroma is pretty much muted by the malt.

Wow! The taste.. Malt... beloved Malt...reminds me a little bit of the old "SlowPoke" candy bars. Very malty sweet, but with ample supply of alchol and bitterness to properly balance this beer.

If any weaknesses are present, the mouthfeel may be a little thin. I don't really mind it.

I find this one a very drinkable beer.... maybe a little too drinkable, considering the high alcohol content.

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

Pours a clear tan color, with minimal head.

Smells very sweet, with a bold maltiness that's the most striking characteristic.

Taste is SUPER sweet, almost like a port wine or a Harvey's Bristol Cream, only more "beerish." Definite bock qualities, i.e. toasted bread, and a crapload of sugar.

Not bad, certainly a beer to sip on a special occasion. Drinkability is decent, I feel, considering one and you're done, but overall a very unique beer, and not too bad either.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2005.

Pours a soapy head, with moderate carbonation and beautiful coppery amber color. Head dies down quickly to a thin skim on the surface.

Malty smells bring a peppery spiciness and rich fruitiness to the nose...followed by a medicinal aroma. For a 14% beer the alcohol is incorporated well.

Nearly gave 5 to the Taste, but there's an odd drying at the end of the swallow that feels a little weird, like a really strong mouthwash. But up front the flavors are immense, intense and delicious. Reminds of liqueur-filled chocolate-covered cherries, then alcohol-soaked plums, also some brandy-like warmth and a good thickness that takes this out of the realm of the everyday malt liquor.

Liquid candy with the gentlemanly sipping quality of a well-aged whisky. Let's be honest, it's not a daily beer, but for special occasions, especially in the winter months, choosing this one would exhibit exceptional taste. Gives a hellish buzz too.

Photo of styrene
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2004.

Appearance: Medium-brown, rather transparent, no head (though there is a faint ring of lace that sticks to the top of the beer)

Smell: Smells kind of like a cognac or other sort of fruit brandy: I guess that this is a result of the 14% abv.

Taste: The beer tastes a bit like a brandy, too. The alcohol isn't oppressive, though it is rather obvious. In a word, I might describe this beer as INTENSE. In two words, I might describe it as disappointingly monochromatic.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is light to non-existent. The beer goes down smoothly, though there is a cloying, near-sickening sweetness in the finish.

Drinkability: 'Big beer' lovers will adore this beer, if not for its complexity, then for its brute strength. I find it somewhat difficult to drink, but I find that I usually react similarly when I drink other high-alcohol beers.

It's no surprise, I guess, that this beer is brewed in a "castle".

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2000 Edition

Appearance - pours a red hazy amber, very little in the way of head formation. A brief covering of bubbles forms after the pour is finished and is but a wispy ring of bubbles a minute later.

Aroma - the whiff is a heady mix of sweetness, chocolate, and alcohol, a side of soy sauce. This is a potent brew, that much is easy to report.

Taste - sweet, like brown sugar, cocoa and dark fruit make a bold statement. Seriously warm but time has mellowed this considerably, making the flavors soft and intense at the same time. A long finish, ends with a powerful hit of Kahlua-like dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel - heavy, velvety and smooth, mildly carbonated, fantastic.

Drinkability - a delicious dessert beer, aged 5 years is just about perfect I'd say.

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

The beer was served in a beer stein. This beer was the 2003 version.

Appearance: The beer has a clear coppery to cola coloration. The head was about an inch thick white in coloration.

Smell: The beer was a sea of supper strong malty fruity cherries dipped in whiskey spicy alcohol.

Taste: The beer is definately high nitro goodness. The beer is supper malty with a whiskey type alcohol spicyness. The sweetness is almost to much but the boisterous spicy alcohol and hops bring the beer in check.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is a very high nitro alcohol beer. The beer is full bodied. The beer is a sipping beer owing to high nitro alcohol and thick sweetness. This beer would be good for sharing with others.

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

Listed as a Dopplebock but the bottle says Malt Liquor. Malt liquor seems closer to reality. This isn't like any other Doppelbock I've tried.

2005 Vintage, enjoyed on 3/17/06 out of a flute (sorry, wasn't in the mood for Guiness this St. Patty's Day).

Poured a dark golden amber with a hint of ruby. A wispy head of less than a 1/4 inch was gone in seconds, followed by a few tiny bubbles, that continued to rise until the glass was empty, reminiscent of champagne.

Smell was sweet, followed by alcohol. Taste was similar but not too sweet. Alcohol was evident but not overbearing. Mouthfeel was thick but pleasurable. Overall, very drinkable but certainly a better desert beer than a session beer.

Very warming. It would be the kind of beer to sit around the fire after a day of skiing but I'll enjoy it again, just sitting around a campfire.

Photo of jongillin
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 bottle served in 2006
Serving: from bottle to whine glass. This being my attempt to really lock in the aroma.

The appearance is really smooth. It pours well but has virtually no head. The Samchilaus gives off a nice deep red/brown color and is not at all cloudy or murky.

The smell is initially a bit over powering at first with alcohol smell. This due to the high malt content. However, if you let it breath a bit you can definitely catch more of a balanced aroma. I think it best to treat this much like a red whine in that sense. There are hints of chocolate as well a sort of earthy aroma.

Taste: I had this with a piece of German chocolate cake called Doboch. It helps in a lot of ways to take off the alcoholic edge and really bring out some of the very robust flavors of the beer. It also enhances the chocolate. It is very well balanced on the whole and lends nicely to sipping. Don't chug this beer you'll miss it ( also given the price of the beer starting around $4-5 per bottle).

Mouthfeel: I've seen some people say syrupy. I'm not sure I entirely agree with this. It is a bit thicker than a normal beer, but also is still carbonated and not like a liquor. Not chuncky as one might think but really rather smooth.

Always great to let this one age a bit if you can.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an 11.2oz bottle into a wine glass. Bottled in 2004.

Appearance- Pours a deep amber, reminds me of old fashioned apple juice. Only a quickly vanishing ring of foam should up. To my surprise, there was some lacing. Nit like a tripel, but it was there stollidly climbing skyward to freedom.

Smell- The alchol smell was not overpowering, just a nice mix with all the other sweet aromas. Alcohols warmth mixed with toasty malts, apricots, candied apples, carrots and brown sugar, and raisins.

Taste- Starts out as some sweet fruits covered in a brown sugar sauce. The sweet fruits is nicely met with a warming alcohol and some carbonation tickle the flavors on down.

Mouthfeel- a semi-syrupy yet over warming and sweet palate that makes a good driven balance down the throat.

Photo of Lnedrive14
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I let a lot of my non-beer snob friends try some of this and the responses were hysterical:

"Cough syrup!"

"Alcoholic apple cider!"

"Carbonated fruity weirdness."

"That is not beer."

In any case, I guess it is beer. Doesn't look, taste, smell, or act like a dopplebock, however. Pours a strong gold with powerful carbonation going nuts throughout the glass. THe beer really is a bit too sweet - it could use a stronger malt presence to balance it out. An interesting experience, but not one that I would want to have every day.

Photo of Jredner
2.46/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2002 Bottling. Strong malt notes with a big alcohol smell and a touch of sweetness. Amber colored. Headless. I even busted out some chocolate cake for this. Isn’t helping the flavor any. I had the old version in high school and while it was long ago it was an important moment in my life and I remember it being more rich and darker. Still some interesting flavors here: fruits (apple, pear), nuts and of course alcohol. Kinda a sugary liquor when you get down to it. Nowadays there are many beers with this level of alcohol that handle it a LOT better.

Photo of snilsen13
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 bottle, 2006 drinking. Poured into a goblet. OOOH AH! This is an outstanding drink . Don't let the size and tag fool you, it's worth the money of a conventional 6 pack, that is, if youlike the following:

Looks dark, nutbrown, teh reputation gets in my head and I'm sucked into saying this is good enough of a look to merit a smelling... rich, thick malty smell with a hint of spice. Taste like a super strong Belgian (mimics smell, huge warming feeling, lacks bitterness), only the mouthfeel is more like port. Fairly drinkable, between a port-like beer (Sam Adams Utopia) and a strong Belgian, you'll finish the bottle, no sweat.

Photo of acrawf6
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a nice reddish copper. Few bubbles like pouring a coke, but no head. not a single bubble on top. Color is on the lighter side for doppelbocks.

Smell. The 14% is very present; dominates the aroma. Under that is sweet and spiced cherries and apples. alcohol gives an extra spice, and also warms my nose as i sniff the glass.

Taste. more alcohol presence (i know, captain obvious here). Aged cherry in alcohol is what i first get, along with some apple skin flavors. peppery. Quite sweet. aftertaste is an alcohol warming affect with more sweetness and a straw-like malty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty full. This beer is doing a number on my tongue, like sprinkling pepper on it (or alcohol). well balanced.

Overall not for the faint of heart. This one used to scare the bajesus, but now i can handle it with quite an enjoyment. Not my favorite of the style, but still a great and appreciated beer.

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

Poured a very nice crystal mahogonay color with a creamy tan head.

Smell has a strong sweet malt smell with hints of cedar and alcohol.

Taste is a very malty, strong flavors of raisons, dates, brown sugar, and some hints of woodyness mixing in with the strong alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel is thick, oily, and very warm. Almost syrupy.

Drinkability isn't bad, but cleary affected by the huge ABV.

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

The color is a fairly transparent amber. Poured straight, and fairly vigoursly, into a chalice, which produced very little head and absolutely no lacing...although, it did tend to stick to the glass a bit like you'd expect in a high abv beer.

The smell had a strong malt profile, very sweet dark sugary like smell, banana bread, raisins, plums...fairly similar to many dark belgian ales, which is pretty surprising in a lager.

The taste was fairly malty, had a very pleasant alcohol presence, caramel, dark cherries, plums...is this aged the 10 months in oak barrels? ...because it sure tastes like it.

It lets you know it's a 14% beer...definitely not one of those beers that's going to blind side you. Syrupy and slightly warm going down...not a whole lot of carbonation, which you'd expect.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed. It's unlike any lager I've ever had before. The bottle says malt liquor and honestly it kind of reminds me of a bourbon or scotch...and I'd much prefer this over any of those. It's up in the air whether I'd order anymore of these online or not but it's definitely a beer I would buy again given a better opportunity to do so.

Photo of ashleyshalyn
3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served out of a 330 ml glass bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep rusted honey/maple color with slight visible carbonation. Quickly vanishing head.

S: Sweet smell of grain and brandy... the 14% alcohol is evident.

M: Syrupy and smooth. Very creamy. The finish is very long due to this consistency.

T: Reminds me of toffee in the beginning and fades to a maple like taste with a bit of spice from the hops leading in a peppery finish that lingers and lingers.

Way way way too sweat for my taste, but I rather enjoyed drinking it simply for what it is. Brewed only one day a year, December 6, with a secondary fermentation of 10 months+, this beer is something that should be respected and appreciated for what it is.

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

Pours a deep, rich golden red into my tulip - don't expect to get any head out of this one, the alcohol content is too prohibitive for that. i forced a small tan head which dissappeared in the time it took me to walk to my chair and sit down. The color of the beer is rich, like mahogany, with amber highlights as the light strikes its corners.

Smells very bready, like rye bread or oatmeal, followed up with swirling antifreeze fumes of alcohol.

The taste, on the other hand, is not bready at all, but takes a sweet and fruity turn instead; My first impression was that this tastes like the juice canned peaches come packed in, only fermented and aged for 10 months before bottling. That's a bit unfair; This is definitely a syrupy, syrupy beer, but there's actually more to it than that sickly-sweet-syrup peaches flavor. It's got some subdued spicy flavors that round it out, and the alcohol content packs a big tart punch on the back of the tongue. The alcohol reminds me very strongly of peach schnapps, or Southern Comfort. The first few sips are kind of frightening, because it takes a little while for your tongue to get used to the combination of syrupy sweetness followed by harsh alcohol - but once your taste buds settle down, the flavor actually becomes rather enjoyable. I understand the reason this particular beer has rated so high for some, and so extremely poorly for others. Individual people are going to like this or absolutely hate it.

Zero carbonation, but this beer is rich and packed with alcohol, and the mouthfeel is zippy enough because of it (mm, tingly.) I'd venture to call it chewy, actually, and upon swallowing only a very small bit of lingering slick sweetness hangs around, which helps.

Overall, I'm definitely glad I tried this; I had heard that it is extremely rare, but I stumbled across around 20 bottles on the lower shelf of BevMo in San Diego, hiding behind a few stacked cases of Wersteiner. If you think your palate is capable, give this a try.

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

Samichlaus- 2004 11.2 ounce brown bottle.

This one pours a clear, burnt orange to amber color with a tall tan head that rapidly disappears.
While the head was still releasing the aroma my first thought was bourbon. I figured I was in trouble.

As the beer warms the scent becomes sweeter, almost toffee-like with darker toasted notes and the unrelenting presence of alcohol.
The taste is suprisingly similar to the smell. Sweet and sugary toffee fruit flavors with alcohol, that warms as it goes down.

I found this to have a medium to medium-heavy body. The amount of carbonation seems perfect for the flavor and mouthfeel.

This is a brew that I thoroughly enjoyed but, with a 14% ABV I figured caution would be in order. Would be really great as a nightcap.

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