Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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BA SCORE
89
very good

1,041 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,041
Hads: 1,843
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 16.16%
Wants: 159
Gots: 312 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg visit their website
Austria

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,041 | Hads: 1,843
Photo of CVC
4.59/5  rDev +15.9%
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. (442 characters)

Photo of stjarnflikka
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
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 :) (932 characters)

Photo of Illini5596
4.88/5  rDev +23.2%
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. (786 characters)

Photo of MediocreatBest
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
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. (665 characters)

Photo of cro250klr
3.29/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If your a dopplebock fanatic, I'd say try it. If for nothing else, just bragging rights. Then, form your own oppion. I love the dopples and the barleywines. I love the high ABV's. I could sustain myself on Salvator. DF Immort is wonderful when the first snow arrives. And those boring cold February days in the northeastern U.S. are so much more plesant with an Old School Barleywine at your side.
The hype was too much for me. The fact that this is a seasonal brew and that's it's made in Austria did me in. From the land of BMW's and Merdedes? For sure this must be the Holy Grail of dopples. I ran off and bought a case, ( The Pa. LCB should be abolished for such archaic rules), and was nearly $90 lighter on the ride home. None the less, I had my Sami.
The ride home was over and this was the moment of truth. The pour was magnificent. Liquid copper. The swirl revealed that this truly has a high alchol content. The chill was in the air and the testing conditions were perfect. "Merry Christmas to me", I said as I lifted the glass for the first sniff and taste. Is that...Brandy? Cognac? Cherries?...Vicks Formula 44D! The sniff didn't lie, because the aftertaste was just that...44D. However, if sugar had a smell to it, that's all that would be in the aroma. Man, is this stuff lip smacking sweet. Too sweet, I'm afraid to say. While I can tolerate the alcohol, the syrupy taste takes over right from the get go. The other flavors try to meld but that overbearing sweetness is too much for them and they are lost. Then, the Vicks aftertaste ruins what would otherwise be a superb winter warmer. Oh, your belly still gets warm. And, after two 11.2's you're like toast. But, in the course of the day I couldn't get more that three down. All the flavors of a good barleywine or dopple are there, and they are complex, but they don't seem to be in the right proportions. I've gotten sick from sweet wines and sweet mixers in my day so I didn't want to take this any farther.
Over the course of the holidays, I managed to down eight bottles. The rest will be cellared utill the snow is flying again next winter. I've read that this gets better with age, and I've got faith in the Europeon brewers. We'll just have to see. Maybe the sugar will die off a bit. In retrospect I'm not sorry I bought this. But to this BA, an Old School for a belly warmer, or a Salvator when you'd like three or four, would be a much better choice. (2,438 characters)

Photo of Quaffer
2.4/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

11.2 oz. bottle. Bottled on December 6, 2003. Picked this one up in Kansas City. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: Poured a crystal clear amber. A really nice, deep color. The cream colored head rose up to only about a finger with a lot of effort. It was fizzy and dissipated quickly. There was no lacing.

Smell: A heavy, thick malt sweetness dominated the aroma. Right after the pour was the unmistakeable aroma of cough syrup, but that died away quickly. What remained was the aforementioned sweetness, light roasted malt, tart black cherries, and a general sweet candy smell. Almost cotton candy like at times. There were also hints of spicy alcohol combined with a light smokiness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Very syrupy feeling. Really coated the inside of the mouth. Medium bodied and dead feeling in the mouth.

Taste: Holy crap! Sweet beyond all that is holy. There was some tart cherry in the middle and some alcohol on the finish, but other than that, just head shaking sweetness. After the sugar shock wore off, I did notice some spirit-like alcohol flavors as well as some charred wood, but these were mild compared to the mind-numbing sweetness.

Glad I tried it, but it shall never pass my lips again. Didn't even want to finish this. (1,272 characters)

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a goblet style glass. Has a nice brown/orange/bronze color with a low rise of head.

Smell has lots of prunes and heavy alcohol.

The raisin/prune taste really tries to battle inside this beer, but is eventually overcome by the intense alcohol of this beer. While the body is very rich, the taste seems to disagree with itself.

The overall experience of this beer was disappointing. While a 14%ABV can be fun, this beer doesn't do enough to hide the 'malt liquor' element and make it a pleasant drinking experience. (535 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.82/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Christmas Day 2006 - I have here a bottle from 1996 from the Hürlimann Brewery.... Ten years old.... hmmmm.... Can't really review it, and it's not from Eggenberg, but I wanted the notes here for posterity...

Pours a clear, deep mahogany. Scant light penetrates, with little, if any, carbo within. Hard pour produces nary a hint of head; just a touch of tan bubbles around the edge. No lacing left anywhere. Aroma is a whopper! Smells of sweetness and malt, with figs and dates soaked in alcohol, sherry-like. Wow! Mouthfeel is superb! Nearly full-bodied and silky smooth on the palate. Lovely! Flavor is akin to the aroma in that it is replete with malty sweetness, and then some more malt for good measure! This is a fruit-cake made only with dark fruits, like figs, currants, prunes, etc... and then soaked juicily in alcohol. What a warmer! Oh, to be in that aforementioned Alpine Stube, safe from the chill on a White Christmas, warming with a couple of these, as well as with Alewife!
Then again, at home on an unseasonably mild, snowless Christmas day, with Alewife, Scheister and the Princess is more than satisfactory!! ;-)

If I could, I'd rate this 4.0/5.0/5.0/4.5/5.0 - 4.75.

Frohe Weihnachten und Prosit!!

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Christmas Day - 2004...
This is a sample bottled in 2002. Has a deep, clear mahogany/garnet hue, with just a smidge of head around the rim of the glass, with minimal lacing. The nose is quite robust, with rich sherry notes and malty sweetness, not to mention a whiff of "heat" from the alcohol. Almost seems like it has spicy qualities (cinammon? huh??), too. It is exceedingly smooth, and the body is above medium, though it escapes the realm of being full-bodied by a bit. Unbelievably ripe with maltiness and sweet notes. Like the aroma, heavy with sherry-like hints and warmth. Has just a suggestion of hops, and just a small one at that. A superb sipping bier, with the ability to get the cheeks rosy in a hurry. Verry tasty!! I can easily picture myself with a snifter of this, sitting in a little snow-bound Stube in the Alps, watching the snow fall outside while warming my innards. Well, I guess sitting in the living room, by the tree, with the kids and their new gifts is equally satisfying!

Zum Wohl, and Frohe Weihnachten!!

I have also today had a 2003 version. As far as appearance, mouthfeel and drinakability, all are pretty much the same. Aroma is still strongly sweet, though more malty than sherry-like. I find similar characteristics in the flavor; more aspects accentuating the malty side of things, with a touch less of the sherry qualities from '02. I'd rate it the same as the 2002 sample I tried earlier today. A lovely sipper, a wonderful warmer of a bier!
Prosit!!

overall: 4.8
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

*** *** *** *** *** ****

Original review from 09JAN02 of the 2001 edition. Lovely dark copper ruby color; nose hits you with alcohol and maltiness! Oh so full and smooth on the tongue! The dark fruit/alcohol combo taste is lovely! (5.0/4.5/5.0/5.0/4.0=4.80)

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Photo of Shaw
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed a glass of Samichlaus (I'm guessing the 2003 vintage) at my local pub, the Cock & Bull. They had a special tapping of the keg party at midnight on Christmas Eve 2004.

I had a bottle of this beer a couple years ago and remember it being too extreme for my tastes. The glass I had tonight was a lot better. And while the recipe may be different, I think my palate is what actually has changed.

It's a glowing-brown (!) in color with a foamy white head that doesn't last. It smells of carmel, sugar and grape. The taste is quite sweet -- even syrupy -- with a very present alcohol flavor.

The body is slick, like other high-alcohol beers.

I cut the drinkability score a notch because this beer is so strong and sweet. Believe me, it's good. You just don't want a lot of it.

If you like barleywines and dopplebocks, try Samichlaus. And get it on-tap if you can! (883 characters)

Photo of 3Vandoo
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2002 vintage

A rich and thick amber color, with a small shy white head, that resided to the glass walls. An intense smell of caramel and sugar. Taste is caramelic, very sweet, the alcohol presence is very present. Some aromas of sweetness and sugar, it hits you right away, the presence is there. I agree with the other reviews saying it a one sipping beer, many aromas are present, reminds me of some alcohol like whiskey or brandy. (436 characters)

Photo of watermelonman
4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured to a nice and bright amber color with a minimal head. It's not leaving any lace at all.

The smell is a small step away from perfection, being extremely strong yet very appealing. The flavors are huge consist of sweet malts, alcohol, and almost a hint of assorted fruits. There's no shortage of body, either. (322 characters)

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Capital Ale House for their weekly "Steal the Glass" night. $8.50 for a 10oz glass. I'm assuming this was the 2003 edition that was kegged this year.

Color is very much like bourbon or whiskey. Copper-hued with a minute splash of head that was gone in an instant. Aromas are hot and heavy with alcohol sweetness. Notes of rum-soaked dark fruit at the edges. Same goes for the flavor. A huge splash of sugary sweetness up front that is quickly ravaged by the scorching alcohol fire that threatens to burn your tongue. Residual sweetness lingers after the ABV dies down. Not nearly as full-bodied as I'd expected and it really struck me as almost unbalanced. Tough to work my way to the bottom of this glass. Maybe I'm missing something with this beer, but it just didn't do anything for me. The waiter said this was the sweetest beer he'd ever tasted. For me, it's close. It's right behind the initial release of DFH 120 minute IPA at the AOBF last year. I have a bottle from 2002 that I won't be touching for years... (1,034 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium tan color, off white bubbly head which fades into nothingness almost instantly. Smell is over the top with alcohol and raisins. Taste is reminiscent of wine. Somewhat of a biscuit sweetness, bordering, if not slightly crossing, into cloying. Full slick mouthfeel with a lot of alcohol burn on the way down. A Quadruplebock, if I had to coin a style. Worth $5 a bottle? This time, but probably never again. (412 characters)

Photo of bnuttz
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2003 edition

pours a spectacular amber, with a small head of bubbles that disappear quickly. The smell of this beer is crazy I smell sweetness and a hint of alcohol, but mostly just sweetness. The taste is all caramel and alcohol. The sweetness hides the alcohol fairly well in this instance, I am suprised. This beer is reminiscent of the DFH extreme beers for me, as I have tried them first, this does a better job of hiding the alcohol. A class A brew, just one that could not be drank in quantity (503 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliant deep copper with a thin head that is gone quite quickly this badboy seems to be more carbonated than expected,whoo the alcohol is very prevelant in the aroma almost whisky-ish along with some raisin and dried fruit.With this being a 2003 bottle this needed more time to mellow I think before opening,big and chewey with huge alcohol tones.Pretty darn sweet but it doesnt coat the mouth,has a nice mouthfeel not to thick but it may be hard just to finish this one I have.Like I said this beer could stand to age another year but no doubt this is a badass mofo beer, will get again and hold for awhile. (618 characters)

Photo of Sigmund
1.3/5  rDev -67.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

(Bottled 2003). Deep golden colour, moderate head. Aroma of sugary alcohol and hay. Grossly over-hyped and over-rated beer, mostly by people obviously fascinated by the high ABV. Sorry, I have difficulties respecting the ratings of people who actually LIKE this crap. Flavour is cloyingly & revoltingly sweet, alcohol, molasses, syrup, syrup and more syrup. And alcohol. Did I mention syrup? And alcohol? This is gross. This is REALLY gross. Half of it went down the drain. And I paid nearly US$10 (in Norway) for this bottle! (Sob!) Cellaring it for 30 years might have helped A LITTLE, but why cellar crap? A real drainpour, if I ever saw one. Thank God I drank it in November - "Samichlaus" would have ruined my Christmas completely. (736 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brownish-copper witha thin, light tan lead. No lace to speak of. Smell is oaky and malty. Hints of oregano and crushed tomato. Lightly smoky and rich fruity malt.

Tastes of sour fruit, black currant, cherries and crushed sweet apples. Nutty maltiness. Light alcohol but incredibly smooth for 14%! Roasted maple syrup and pine sap are evident as it warms. Huge in the mouth. Really sticky. Sips like a fine port. Not that drinkable but nice for what it is. An incredible beer. Will get more to age although it's pretty good straight from the store. A must try if you want to know what beer is capable of being. (625 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.64/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an amber color with a spotty white lace head that quickly dissapates to nothing. The aroma is awesome. It has a very warm, malty scent that boasts of many crystal malts and lots of alcohol; very complex. The taste is exceptional. It has an incredibly smooth malty flavor for the abv. . It goes down easy and finishes warm and sweet; very tastey. This is a sipping beer, but it has a large, complex taste. The mouthfeel is awesome. For a high gravity beer it has an adequate amount of carbonation and a rich, full body. This is a great beer. It has exceptional flavor and mouthfeel; a kick ass brew. (613 characters)

Photo of 57andcounting
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice head that doesn’t last long. There is just the least bit of lacing on the glass. It smells like a drink made with hard liquor on the rocks. Malt and alcohol. A sweetness like burnt sugar comes through.
The taste will set you back a bit. With the high alcohol, that is to be expected. Pleasing, fruity, sweet and alcohol aftertaste, light on the tongue, goes down easy. The alcohol starts to hit right away. This is a great after dinner drink. I suggest sharing the bottle with a friend.
I am going to stock a few of these away and see what happens in a few years. (586 characters)

Photo of etaggie09
4.72/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2003 Vintage

Appearance: dark burgundy cognac-like color. quickly disappearing head. nice legs run down the glass.

Aroma: creamy, rich, vinous, and malty. A sweet, fruity wonder.

Taste: Oh this is a great dopplebock. Ayinger Celebrator was good, but this is much better. That classic creamy, malty dopplebock taste with a nice alcoholic profile. Ooooh yes. Like a good cognac.

Mouthfeel: Wonderfully creamy with near perfect carbonation. superb.

Drinkability: 14% ABV? Are you kidding me? The alcohol was more prominent in the Rochefort 8.

Notes: Man this is good. Just freakin wonderful. (606 characters)

Photo of Higravity
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I have had this beer several times and served it with desert to some of my girlfriends yuppie friends form work. I got two bottles and poured them into small dram glasses as I knew no one but me might like it.

The beer it self has a nice dark coppery color and the smell is of strong malt sweetness and other festive adjucnts: raisins/prunes, muted hops, and several types of sugars I'm sure. It is good @ about 55-60F not too cold or some of the flavors will stay hidden. The first taste is highly sweet and alcoholic but once you are expecting it the second taste is where you can keep it in your mouth finding all the different tastes of molasses and malt and the fruity tones. It has a decent after taste that is much like the beer and it goes well when eating some sweet chocolate confection. (800 characters)

Photo of beerceller99
4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl. bottled in 2003. Has a copper colored hue with a slight head. Massively sweet, caramel smell. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Has a very sweet caramel malt, grape, port wine taste followed by strong, sweet alcohol flavors to finish.

This brew tastes like a well aged Barleywine, and it's less than a year old. Pretty cool ! (336 characters)

Photo of Stingray5
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2000. inspection of the bottle reveals this is 11.2 FL OZ brewed in Austria. Tear the paper, pop the cap and pour the deep garnet, viscous liquid into the glass, slight head that fades to nothing immediately. Soda-like fizz and then no visible carbonation. initial aroma is dark fruit, prune, sherry. A wisp of smoke. Fades a bit after the initial pour. First sip reveals a hearty mouthful. Sweet caramel malt with more dark fruit notes, sweetness lingers on the tip of the tongue and alcohol afterburn coats the throat.

A sipper for sure, I think I'll wait until the dead of winter to crack open another one of these bellywarmers. (646 characters)

Photo of rugger
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow finally the great Samichlaus has come to pay me a visit. I was eager to give this one a shot. Pours a nice copper with a light head that dissapears quickly and then this beer just sits there cleara and calm as it can be. The smell is enough to get a beer lover excited, that barleywine big beer big malt smell with raisins, figs cloves and all sorts of good things. Then the first taste knocks you for a loop as it is big and sweet. The taste is of big malt with a molassas and toffee fig flavor. You can really taste the alcohol in this big boy. The mouthfeel has to be one of the biggest I have had in a while. Drinkability is questionable, I could Drink another but I don't think I am ready to call it a day yet. (719 characters)

Photo of nomad
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2002 vintage

A warm rosy red pours out with deeper glints, creating a beer of resplendent color but purely placid surface. After an initial bubbling in a snifter this lager sits as still, clear, and smooth as glass.

Whether on draught or bottle, this beer smells to me of cocoa powder amongst sweet German Cara malts. Balancing is an appropriate alcohol presence that is well integrated.

Flavor continues with light cocoa hints and a powdery dryness that keeps the sugary malt body at bay. Smooth and surprisingly slight despite its starting gravity, there's a slight creaminess in the finish. Has the definiton of a round, moderate mouthfeel only accentuated by aging.

A classic "bier" if there ever was, I've been able to sample a variety of vintage bottles, always pleasing but never one I'm dying to drink again. I love a malty, big beer, but its a bit sweet and not as complex as comparable beers. (914 characters)

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,041 ratings.