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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
90
outstanding

1,662 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,662
Reviews: 1,005
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 17.04%
Wants: 129
Gots: 225 | 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
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Ratings: 1,662 | Reviews: 1,005 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 vintage - bottle: Poured a clear light brown colored beer with a medium head with almost no retention. Aroma is reminiscent of plums with a touch of alcohol. Taste is quite sweet with again the plum taste being quite evident. Alcohol is quite subtle but still noticeable, which is quite good for a 14% beer. Overall, this is very enjoyable and can see some similarities with a good barley wine.

Phyl21ca, Aug 09, 2004
Photo of Sammy
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Way high alcohol and it smelled it. 2003 edition and in an ideal world it would have waited closer to its 2008 expiry date. Like a 100 proof. This is the Austria brewed under license and no longer the original and not all that complex. Orange-amber-yellow appearance with some lace. Some syrupy fruit mid-sip.

Sammy, Jul 28, 2004
Photo of 99bottles
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2000.

Appearance: Quite a deep brown with hints of mahogany. Whatever fizzy head arose soon faded to... absolutely nothing. Too much alcohol to have any retention.

Smell: Strong malt.

Taste: Very strong alcohol taste is reminiscent of brandy. Subtle fruit esters of plum and cherry arise. A sweet vanilla flavor is compounded with a taste of oak, both of which fade into the decadently sweet malt. A complex and heavy beer, closer to an aged whiskey.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and rich, this coats the mouth and has a cloying property.

Drinkability: Whoa. It's nice, but I can't imagine ever drinking more than one of these. It might even be better to split one with someone else, as an entire bottle gets to be a bit much.

99bottles, Jul 21, 2004
Photo of danadeny
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 2003.

Poured a brownish red color with no head. It smells doughy and a little fruit sweetness. The taste of sweet sweet alcohol is strong. There is a hint of some spice and some burtness, but mainly flavors of sugar and maple syrup. This proved to be a little more than a sipping beer, something I would have 1 or 2 of a night. The mouthfeel is slick and oily. overall not too bad, but nothing too special.

danadeny, Jul 21, 2004
Photo of SheepNutz
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2000:
12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep deep ruby red with one finger of head that quickly dies to a small collar. There is no lacing left over. The smell is potent! Rich and malty, with lots of plums and grapes topped on caramel malts. A fairly strong dose of alcohol sure wakes your ass up too. Its almost got the smell of a strong scotch ale or wee heavy. The taste is also way over on the malty side. Those dark fruits really shining through again, just not as much as in the smell. A bit too much alcohol on the finish. By how it's pasked, you'd think this was plum schnapps. The mouthfeel is very thick and strong, heavy on the tongue. The drinkability suffers some due to the strong strong alcohol content and taste. It'll sure put your ass to sleep!

SheepNutz, Jul 08, 2004
Photo of chriscolby
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle: "Bottled in 2003 . . . 14% ABV"

The beer pours a deep copper color and is crystal clear. There's not much of a head to Samichlaus, but that is expected from a beer of this gravity. Lots of alcohol, esters and fusels in the nose, again as expected, but not so much that they totally overshadow the malt.

The flavor is moderately malty, noticably sweet and very alcoholic. The beer's body is lighter and drier than you might expect from such a huge beer. It's not dry by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not as thick and sickly sweet as some big beers tend to be. Lightly carbonated.

It's "drinkability" is good, assuming you are sipping it. Samichlaus bears little resemblence to what most people think of as beer. It's more alcoholic by far than most beers and is even more boozy than many big, red wines. (In fact, you catch quite a bit of the raison/plum notes you might find in a fruity wine in this beer.) A great beer to sip and slowly savor on a cold winter's night (which I should have saved it for rather than drinking it now in July).

chriscolby, Jul 07, 2004
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one poured a nice brown, with hints of deep red, and with no head to speak of. I've notived a lot of the very high alcohol beers tend not to develop much of a head. Reduction of surface tension as the percent alcohol goes up? Probably, although I would have thought the higher concentration of other dissolved components would offset that. Oh well.

The smell... hard to describe. A little sweet, but mainly a rich malt aroma that set me back a bit. The alcohol aroma was secondary and did not detract from the experience.

The taste is similarly hard to describe. The rich malt was very prominent, as was the sweetness in the background, and there was a hint of saltiness and an aftertaste of strong alcohol, almost like whiskey.

A beer that must be experienced. I am glad that it was not allowed to die off... if you find it, try it. You'll be glad you did. I saved mine to celebrate the 2004 NCAA Women's Basketball game, and it was a perfect match. Not a beer to drink every night, but great for special occasions.

connecticutpoet, Jun 24, 2004
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer poured a dark brown / dark copper with tones of black and dark ruby with minimal head, that barely laced glass.

Smell: Strong tones of dark fruit, figs, grapes, plums etc, with a final strong note of alcohol which smacks the pallate even further. This beer smells big with overall good fruit tones.

Taste: This beer upfront is very sweet. The tones of the dark fruit are extremely present and blow up in the mouth. Towards the end , this beer heats up and warms one's mouth with strong alcohol notes as it finishes, Overall this beer is well balanced with a strong alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Along with this beer's bigness, it is also thick and oily in the mouth.. Quite a complex texture to this beer which matches it's strong attributes of alcohol and fruit. The finishing heat to this beer adds a nice finish..

Drinkability: For such a big beer this goes down pretty easily. You can def tell its a strong beer, but the fruit tones and heat from the alcohol help to hide any harshness.

bigbeerdrinka, Jun 18, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer arrived at the table with cascading small bubbles erupting into a smooth and frothy yet compact head which lasted till the last swallow. The color was a deep ruby amber brown that contributed to the light tan head. One beautiful glass!

The aroma was dark fruits, raisins, plums, etc. The sweet malty aromas of caramel and chocolate brought the senses alive.

The flavor was again dark fruits in a complex mix with sweet maltiness. Also present were chocolate and coffee flavors that made the beer even more complex.

The finish was just slightly off dry and pleasant with chocolate, coffee, caramel and the dark fruits leaving the palate feeling alive in the aftertaste. The body was medium full.

A very complex beer that has never dissappointed. Selected as a beer for after a nice German dinner this was the perfect place to enjoy this beer.

Glass at The Bier Garden in Portsmouth, VA. This is only the second time I have ever seen Samichlaus on tap. Till we meet again!

GCBrewingCo, Jun 09, 2004
Photo of HappyHourHero
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2003
Malty caramel alcohol aroma. Small off-white head fades to a thin film. Deep golden colored beer with a ruby hue. Slick, sweet caramel, a bit of vanilla, with a warming alcoholic finish. A big, sweet, smooth beer reminds me of Winter Solistice's big brother.

HappyHourHero, Jun 02, 2004
Photo of Skidz
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a light brown and sits bright amber in the glass with a small off-white head. A very classy looking brew.

Smells of diacetyl, dark fruity esters, grapes and pears. A nice fruity blend, like taking a whiff of a fruit concentrate. Alcohol is noticeable, as it should be.

Taste is initially sweet, and I mean really sweet. Caramel and dark fruits domintate this syrupy brew (it's just THICK), and the alcohol bounces all over your mouth. Definately a strong brew, but gets some good flavor in where it can.

Syrupy and thick in the mouth, but very smooth and gentle. Little in terms of carbonation which lets all that sweetness come out strong. I'd like to have one of these each year, and definately try to age a few as well. Takes some time to fully enjoy, but it does grow on you.

Skidz, May 27, 2004
Photo of donnebaby
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in 2002.

A very clear orange-brown in the glass, with only a ring of light tan foam after seconds. The smell is intoxicating apples, like apples that are going to knock me over the head. Some essence of flowers as well, roses.

I don't really know what to do about this taste. It's heavy, spicy alcohol all the way. I think beer when I look at it--but I taste rum and coke left to sit for awhile so all the carbonation has gone away. Great hop addition at the end helps to BEGIN to balance the alcohol, but I don't think it gets the job done. Dark chocolate bitterness. I would've liked a little more carbonation to help this behemoth down my throat. Overripe, sickly-sweet fruits dominate the palate, raisins above all, and oranges and apples. Caramel sweetness continues past the hop and alcohol aftertastes..

Warms the stomach--but I wouldn't have another.

donnebaby, May 12, 2004
Photo of TagoMago
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz. (2002 edition) bottle which states "the world's most extraordinary beer" - poured into snifter.

Appearance: Pours with absolutely no head (due to its extremely high alcohol content). The beer is dark brown/copper in color and is rather thick and syrupy looking, slightly clinging to the glass with each sip

Aroma: The alcohol hits you with a punch. There is a very sweet, raison-like aroma to this beer.

Taste: The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. The flavor is dominated by a sweet, spicy, somewhat fruity raison/plum-like taste, and a strong warming character is detected due to the alcohol.

Overall: This is a beer like no other. At 14% ABV, use extreme caution and care - this beer will kick the shit out of you if not respected. Drinking any more than two of these in a sitting is almost suicidal. This is a beer that is to be sipped and appreciated, much like a fine whiskey.

TagoMago, May 08, 2004
Photo of tfinn
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

bottled 2002. consumed 2004.

quick-dissipating head; deep reddish amber (light auburn). I suppose strong aged beers like this are expected to be fairly flat, but a little more head would be nice.

smells malty. and even more malty. with caramel malt all the way down on top of that. with a hint of alcohol, which grows in intensity as the glass warms.

14%. it doesn't taste like it. but it does feel like it after a few sips. flavor-wise it's a solid (muted) doppel that stops short of being cloying; well, perhaps not. the malt isn't overpowering and seems kept in check with... alcohol perhaps? beneath the surface malt layer there are subtle earthy flavors: raisins, plums, candied fruits; like a liquified trappist fruitcake. there appear to be hops around the edges, hidden in the taste shadows, but I could just be imagining things.

mouthfeel is very full but is amazingly non-sticky and not as heavy as I expected. as it warms up I can feel the alcohol numbing my tongue. and warming alcohol... warming ME. and my BRANE.

wow. too much of a good thing is still too much and while I admire this beer's strength, tonight I'm wishing it came in 8oz bottles. definitely a sipping beer, and to be honest, after a few sips, the novelty has worn thin...

tfinn, Apr 30, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
3.35/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle from a beer exchange with a friend at the holidays. Label notes bottled in 2002.

Poured into a Rapscallion snifter, a minimal 1/8" inch formed, which quickly receded to a slight layer of foam over the syrupy dark copper brew. Upon swirling, reasonable lacing occurs on the sides of the glass. The aroma is overwhelming alcohol, with a sort of sickly sweet lean to it, as you would expect from a 14% product. Taste is all about malts and the resultant alcohol, which warms the tongue and even burns a bit on the way down the hatch. Just seems too strong for the Dopplebock category, in my mind, leaning more towards the Sam Adams Triple Bock arena. As warming occurs the brew becomes even sweeter, almost too a fault. This brew certainly has its place, just not in my drinking itinerary very often, I'm afraid...

ppoitras, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of NJpadreFan
1.8/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Samichlaus Bier
bottled in 2003

Appearance- reddish orange with no head. Slight carbonation.
Smell- fruit and alcohol!! I detect grapes, prunes, and nose burning alcohol fumes!!
Taste- bleech! Robitussin mixed with prune juice mixed with rubbing alcohol! Very sweet and very disgusting!

Overall- what a disgusting tasting beer! No pleasure in this other than pouring it down the sink!
This beer is all hype. 1 of the most overrated!!

NJpadreFan, Apr 14, 2004
Photo of Beersignal
1.53/5  rDev -61.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2002 vintage.

Poured a lovely limpid copper/caramel colour primed with ripe peach flesh highlights. Hardly any of the off white foam managed to stay behind longer than the blink of an eye and left no lace.

Up front, you are stricken by firm malt aromas and candy sugars followed by spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and slight cloves. The finish is alcoholic, reninescent of fruit brandy.

The body is dense and alcoholic, and the taste is sweet, syrupy, cloying and generally unpleasant. Flavours of malt and faint pepper have difficulty cutting through the sugar. A long and heavy alcohol sweetness lingers.

This beer in no way resembles the one brewed formerly by Hurlimanns which posessed much more depth and balance and was a pleasure to sip as a nightcap. I RARELY dump beer down the drain but I certainly wasn't going to get sick drinking this one.

Beersignal, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2002
Pours a copper color with lots of effervescence and an off white head. The head diminished quickly and left a fine sticky lace. The aroma is malty and astringent with some fruity ester background. The flavor is sweet with an astringent middle and a slight peppery bite at the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy, medium bodied, smooth and slightly effervescent.

Because of this beer's high abv, it is important to taste it at a cellar temperature.

SeanChouffe, Apr 03, 2004
Photo of Hefe
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2003. Tasted on 3/31/04. 12oz. brown bottle.

Appearance: Dark amber with a reddish tone, no head to speak of. Bubbles swim up from the dark mysterious depths. :-)

Smell: Sweet alcohol, toasty/toffeeish malt, and indeterminate fruity overtones.

Taste: Big malt, with notes of grape, orange, caramel, and a yeasty alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, but enough balance to keep it from overwhelming the palate.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipping beer.

Hefe, Apr 01, 2004
Photo of Foxman
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2002, it pours a deep, rich amber, clear and crisp. A rapid single finger of whitish head dwindles to frothy traces just as rapidly as it appeared. Slick lacing just cant seem to cling to the glass and slides back to whence it came.

The aroma swings in with a dense cloud of toasted malt, sweet and carrying a resolute port character. The malt component is reminiscent of a freshly popped bottle of Goya malt drink, but considerably more refined. A peripheral black cherry note finishes out along with a mild yeast tang. It's notable that the sweetness capably disguises the alcohol that you know is there.

The first sip delivers a frontal assault of smooth and sweet toasted malt. The second wave brings down a ring of cherry around a meatier center of condensed grapes, again much like port. King Alcohol flexes big muscles here, opening up wide the sinuses. The lip-smacking sweetness tones down slightly toward the end, with an almost sparkling dry berry streak vying with a mild yeast tang at the finish.

It's medium bodied, but the sticky sweetness makes it feel heavier in the mouth. It flows and coats, then ebbs, leaving syrupy sugar traces on the tongue and lips.

With the cherry and grape highlights, you don't necessarily have to love malt to like this, but if you do love malt, you're going to love this as well. The flavor is thick and sweet, but bright and never cloying. Even with that Olympian ABV tossing thunderbolts from the heavens, its rich toasty character draws you in and makes drinking it a smooth and warming pleasure. So now I know, it's more than just a cool name, it's a bold and earthy malted experience.

Foxman, Mar 19, 2004
Photo of FormatKid
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 12oz bottle from Bacchus in Chattanooga. "Bottled in 2002" is on the label. This beer comes out of the bottle a rusty brown. It's very translucent. Quick fizzy head busts up about a finger-width high and quickly disappears into nothing. I'm not exaggerating when I say nothing, not even a rim of sparse foam around the edges. Carbonation rises slowly in small bubbles but is present.

Alcohol jumps right off the scent and assaults your nose. Seems like I've smelled less alcohol in a shot of whiskey. Behind the alcohol I can detect faintly the toasty malts, and a flat woody scent.

Taste is evident of alcohol all the way through. The scent and flavor here seem to corelate nearly 100%. Front is malt, which leads into that solid, oaky, wood taste. Alcohol stomps on the back of your tongue at the end, and assaults your nose from the inside out. Warm trails almost immediately crawl down my throat and accumulate in my belly. Mouthfeel is thick, almost slipping down like syrup. A nutty roundness becomes apparent as it opens up. I'd also like to add that I'm very glad I let this thing warm up a bit before consuming.

This brew has a sophisticated taste, yet busts you in the mouth with a brandy-drenched glove. I have to reach out to find some of the other flavors here besides alcohol, but they're there, just subtle. I like this beer a lot because it challenges my tastebuds. One thing I doubt I need to say here but I'll say anyway....THIS IS DEFINATELY A SIPPER.

FormatKid, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of rdrummer
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A hard to find beer that is a really heavy Austrian entry to the best beers in the world. Although, the brewer bills it as the strongest beer in the world, it has been passed by a number of efforts by the Sam Adams brewery in the US with very mixed results. This beer is the real thing. It pours a dark brown, with amber highlights with a very small pale brown head that is very short-lasting. The aroma is fruity and malty with the odor of figs or dates being most pronounced. Those fruit flavors (maybe raisins, too) come through in the taste along with a deep malty flavor.

This is not a beer to serve to guys swilling beer at a party. They're not going to like it on a number of levels, although they will like the alcohol hit that comes after sipping for a while.

This feels very thick in the mouth with a heavy alcohol kick on the backside. The only drawback for me is a sweetness that overwhelms by the time you get to the bottom of the bottle. This is a sipping beer not one that reaches the drinkability in me.

rdrummer, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of GnomeKing
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer packs a wallop. The taste is extremely rich and potent. I had a 7oz glass on tap, and that was enough. I enjoyed it, but there's only so much you can take. The heavy malt and alcohol taste makes this a sipping beer. There aren't many other flavors, or perhaps the alcohol buries them. This only comes around once a year for a few weeks, and it would make a nice brew to have on a cold winter evening. It would be a substitute for a brandy (if I drank brandy). Overall, though, it's too tough to get down for regular drinking.

GnomeKing, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Luckily got to have a glass of this on tap. It arrived in a long glass sporting a nice bronze color with no head (barely a faint tiny one hugging the side of the glass). The aroma was all sweet malt and alcohol. The flavor is complex. Malt is all over this making this very sweet with plenty of caramel and fruity tones.

The mouthfeel is syrupy, as the malt thickly coats your tongue even after swallowing. Very thick bodied. I battled with giving this a 3 on the drinkability scale, but the complex flavors gave it another 1/2 point. Very unique and worth trying at least one in your lifetime.

Gavage, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of jtfest
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2001 bottling sampled. Almost a maple syrup color with reddish hues, it has a smallish tan head that eventually disappears virtually altogether. The aroma is of chocolate, alcohol, and cough syrup. A tingly carbonation accompanies the sticky thick mouthfeel with a candy sweetness and faint alcohol aftertaste. More of a desert treat than a session beer, it would be great sitting by a warm fire in the middle of a blizzard.

jtfest, Feb 09, 2004
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,662 ratings.