1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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

1,586 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,586
Reviews: 997
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 17.04%
Wants: 119
Gots: 205 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg visit their website

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: 1,586 | Reviews: 997 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of frankd97


3.35/5  rDev -16%

Due to the alcohol content, I found the sweetness in this beer to be overpowering. The color and feel of this beer were outstanding. I would say the 12oz bottle should be shared between 2-3 people. I tried to enjoy this as a pint and was overwhelmed.

12-25-2009 00:47:38 | More by frankd97
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured in a goblet, the beer was a chesnut color with virtually no head. The aroma was fruity caramel and whiskey. The taste was of caramel and some kind of dark fruit. The whiskey taste was there, but muted. I thought this was a fairly mellow beer, not hot. The alcohol is there, though, so be careful with this one.

12-24-2009 13:37:33 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of wchesak

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

Limited Edition 2009 bomber poured into .4L Brussels Balloon Goblet from Great Divide

A - dark ruby amber color, off white bit of head that leaves quickly and leaves a thin line on top of the beer but no lacing

S - malty caramel tinged with cherry notes

T - sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, rum soaked cherries, alcohol comes at very end and is not very hot

M - syrupy and full bodied, not that much carbonation but fitting for what the beer is

D - liked the bomber because its hard to split the regular size bottles, each year this beer continues to be one of my favorite winter warmers

12-24-2009 02:58:37 | More by wchesak
Photo of Pleepleus

New York

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

Bottled in 2005
Poured from bottle to goblet a clear chestnut color with a minimal head that dissipates immediately with no sheen or signs of lacing. Smelled like sweet mahogany, whiskey and honey. Made me think of the Mead my Viking ancestors drank. Heavy alcohol on the tongue. Had a sweet malty boozy flavor with honey and smoky molasses. If you enjoy a strong sipper this is a gem, but definately not a session beer. The 14% seems more like 25%. I am getting a buzz from remembering it and simply typing my notes.

12-23-2009 17:42:22 | More by Pleepleus
Photo of katan


4.15/5  rDev +4%

11.2oz into a tulip, 2008 vintage

A - Pours a very rich dark brown to amber color. Head formation is light, about 1mm, light white in color. Breaks down to a film slowly. Very carbonated in appearance, bubbling like crazy.

S - Incredibly malty, sweet. Caramel, toffee, some chocolate even comes through - almost a hint of cherry at times. Mega malt monster.

T - Starts off with the very strong malty note, caramel, and some crystal malt notes. Mid-stream gets even sweeter, with a note of raisin and chocolate. Finishes with a sweet clinging note that finally lets some of the massive alcohol through.

M - Extremely thick, full of sugars. Clings to the tongue like molasses. The strong appearance of carbonation is not very well detected in the mouthfeel.

D - Uhm, is drinkability even applicable here? This is a super winter warmer, which does its job with incredible precision. ABV is so well hidden that two of these will could be drank too quickly and put you into a new mindset.

Merry Christmas BA - enjoy this winter winner.

12-23-2009 05:40:34 | More by katan
Photo of n0rc41


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured this beer in a goblet. smell was very sweet! as the taste was sweet. stronger alcohol taste at the end.(14%abv) It shows a dark brown in the glass, the head was gone almost immediately with minimal lacing. The taste was good, sweet, alcohol, strong. like the review belowe me "full bodied, low carbonation, syrupy with a heavy sweet character" brown sugar taste almost. overall very good beer. the drink ability I would score more but being so strong and powerful taste its more of a slow sipping beer. overall good.

12-13-2009 09:09:19 | More by n0rc41
Photo of porterwoobie

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

11.2oz bottle, poured into a tulip style glass.

A: light orangish amber color, very clear, absolutely no head or lacing.

S: fruity and sweet with some alcohol aroma. there is no doubt this is a high ABV beer by the aroma.

T: full flavored. has a fruity taste of darker fruits (plum and grapes) with a honey like sweetness. there is a significant alcohol warmth that comes from drinking (more like sipping) this brew.

MF: full bodied, low carbonation, syrupy with a heavy sweet character.

Drinkability: a real sipper. really sweet, so has a good place as an after meal dessert.

12-12-2009 23:19:10 | More by porterwoobie
Photo of zoso493

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%

This claims to be the most extraordinary beverage in the world, which is pretty ballsy. Let's see if it is... Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a really nice ruby-brown with a slight one-finger that's all bubbles. Not much in the way of lacing either. Pretty straightforward presentation.

Smell: Really intense smell. A lot of sweet malts, with caramel and maybe molasses being some prevalent ones. Also some yeast present. A hint of funk, as well. Pretty powerful scent.

Taste: Wow, this is a pretty tasty brew. Drinks a lot like a quad or a Belgian strong dark ale. Lots of sweet molasses and caramel up front with some hints of brown sugar. Some dark fruits are even presence. Of course, there is also the pleasant warmth of alcohol but it's really not as aggressive as you'd expect in a 14% ABV beer.

Mouthfeel: Nice and medium-to-full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Surprisingly crisp for the ABV.

Drinkabililty: Honestly, it was hard not to give this higher than a 3.5 in drinkability, but the alcohol is strongly present in the smell and taste. Still, very smooth for what it is, but definitely a sipper.

Overall, this is a very rich and complex brew, as you would expect from a good doppelbock. This is probably one of the better tasting brews I've had in awhile and I would say that this brew is close to falling under the category of exceptional. Definitely a nice wintertime beer, as well. It's not the most extraordinary liquid that I've ever imbibed, but this is one is definitely worth picking up.

12-12-2009 21:17:57 | More by zoso493


3.83/5  rDev -4%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a flute glass. A very simple label, well designed and suggestive of the omninous brew before you. The label has "malt liquor" written on it; I assume that's for legal purposes...

A: This might be the most interesting liquid I've ever seen. Medium dark brown with prominent tints of red & orange. 100% absolutely, positively, CLEAR. Thin medium brown colored head that quickly disappeared and was never to be seen again.

S: Light caramel malts and, for me at least, undetectable hops or yeast. Heavy fusel alcohol on the nose.

T: Plenty of favors going on here. Raisin, plum, prune, cherry, vinous (like a port wine), cognac, light licorice, syrup & a bit medicinal. Truly incredible and undeniably interesting. I won't pretend it's not a bit overwhleming. It is...and it lost a half point for that.

M: Quite unexpected. The full body was much bigger than what was expected. I also didn't expect such a presence of carbonation. The texture was slick and cloying but that is no surprise.

D: Anyone who says the Samichlaus is drinkable is either immortal or is a liar. It is a tasty treat of which one is plenty.

12-11-2009 15:31:19 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of DawnL

New York

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

The appearance of the beer was rather average. It was a reddish amber color with lacing that dissipated pretty quickly. It had a nice amount of carbonation. It was pretty to look at.

The aroma was intense. It had a port-like character with a slight brandy warmth on the nose.

The flavor definitely rememinded me of port and old wines in general. It was high in alcohol and had that burn to it. It was also complex, rich, with herbal notes and macerated fruit tones. There was a little honey on the palate and mulled spices - it was just really beautifully made.

The mouthfeel was good - still very lively. Actually it had more carbonation than I thought it would.

The drinkability faultered here. I split a 11oz bottle. I think i would have had a hard time drinking all 11oz by myself.

This is not a beer that pairs easily with food. I might recommend some cheese or nuts - but definitely not a food-friendly option.

12-07-2009 20:59:35 | More by DawnL
Photo of BoitSansSoif


4.43/5  rDev +11%

A-11.2 oz bottle, date on rear label is June 2014. Dark but clear copper w/thin but creamy off-white head...the cap lingers forever though.

S-Sherry, chocolate, dark and red fruits, fig, apple, prune, candy sugar, wood, sweet malt.

T/M-Sweet malt w/thick red apple, fig, vanilla, chocolate, and a slightly dry finish w/apparent alcohol. Sweet at first but short of cloying, and well-balanced at the end. Carbonation is light, body is velvety. Flavors midway complement sweetness nicely. Aftertaste is warm and boozy w/hints of fruit.

D-A delicious beer. I will save the rest for after dinner. This is a real sipper that will kick your ass and deprive you of its qualities if you rush it.

12-04-2009 18:16:55 | More by BoitSansSoif
Photo of gford217


4.47/5  rDev +12%

11.2oz bottle, 1996 vintage by Hurlimann, courtesy of hoppymeal, poured into a snifter. I know this review may not belong here, but since I can't post it with the correct beer, I'm posting it here.

Pours a super murky dark brown with tea-colored hints around the edges when held up to light. There is a quick fizzy head that goes away immediately after the pour and leaves no lacing, just some boozy legs along the sides.

The aroma is super sweet with tons of complexity in the form of caramel malts, toffee and rum-soaked dark fruits. Lots of brown sugar and maybe even some chocolate thrown in.

The taste is excellent as well and mirrors the aroma with the caramel malt and molasses really dominating from start to finish. The dark fruits come out in the form of raisins and plums.

The mouthfeel is full-bodied and thick on the palate with minimal carbonation. It's definitely a dessert sipper that verges on a cordial-like feel.

This is a fantastic beer and one that has aged unbelievably well. There are only the faintest hints of oxidation and they have actually added to the complexity. Though the alcohol is evident, it's very drinkable for a 14%ABV beer. Wonderful stuff.

12-02-2009 03:54:36 | More by gford217
Photo of mmmbeer


4.47/5  rDev +12%

33 cL, olive-green bottle, 2006 vintage (brewed 12/6/05); sampled December '08. The beer pours a chill-hazed, beautiful deep amber color, with slowly rising carbonation and a short-lived, fizzy head. Smells of caramel, fruits, rum bread, maraschino cherry and just a breath of alcohol. The flavor is very densely packed with fruits and heavy caramelization, chocolate-covered cherries, rum bread, floral/perfumy alcohol, hints of spices (cinnamon?), a touch of roast malt, perhaps some floral hops and a mild bitterness that slowly increases. There is also a boatload of residual sweetness, but it somehow manages to steer clear of becoming cloying - well done. The body is thick, smooth and a little dry, with an aftertaste that lingers forever. Pretty low on the drinkability meter, but the sippability score would be quite high. At first I thought this was too sweet, but it really needs the sweetness to balance the strong malt flavors and high alcohol. This is a big, meaty, delicious and layered lager that makes for the perfect nightcap and it helps to ward off the chill of New England winter nights.

11-30-2009 21:40:40 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of Reagan1984


4.55/5  rDev +14%

Bottled in 2007 (from what I've heard, aging is the way to go on this one)

I have saved this beer for almost a year to enjoy today on Thanksgiving. My family is visiting including my father. This beer is brewed once a year on my father's birthday. (12/6) So I broke it out for the holiday and in honor of Dad. True to form, he took one sip and ran.... On the other hand, my sister loves it. (continues to sip at a glass now)

Pours with almost no head. Bright clear brownish amber color. Really a beautiful color.

Smells like a sherry. Slight sweetness and a bit of alcohol.

This beer is fantastic. Obviously sweet, but so much depth to the flavor. Deep malt flavors, fruity sweetness. Cherry, plum, nuts, ripe peach. Some warming from the alcohol. Surprising, bitterness towards the end. Just enough to cut the sweetness.

Very thick and syrup like. Very smooth and velvety.

I have to say that I love this. It is a sipper, but very drinkable. The alcohol is there, but the cellaring has clearly smoothed off the rough edges here. *I've now read some of the other reviews and find none of the HOT notes (let alone gasoline) that are made in other reviews. I credit the year in the cellar.

The goal is to pick up a 4 pack of this and let it sit for a couple off years.

Happy Birthday Dad!

11-26-2009 19:55:17 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of juhl31


3.7/5  rDev -7.3%

-very clear and barely any carb or head

-smells like intense malt liquor and apple juice

-at first its like you have gasoline in your mouth and someone throws a match in there. then a bunch of sweetness, then a nice malty finish

-real rough at first and then settles down

-hard to drink, but good flavor

11-25-2009 20:03:40 | More by juhl31
Photo of alpinebryant


4.63/5  rDev +16%

Poured a light head as I poured gently into a large brandy snifter. Clear copperish hue with tiny bubbles forming at the top.

Smelled strongly of plums, cherry, medium roasted malt, barley, nuts , oak and a strong booze odor. I will be putting the rest in the cellar to age for a few years even though this was delicious even fresh. At 14%, the flavors of this doppelbock definitely can afford to mature a bit. I was surprisingly reminded of the Old Stock Ale flavor from North Coast when I first sipped it.

Mouthfeel was natural maple syrup consistency, almost light, but so sweet you could tell that it was not a light drinker.
Drinkability I am sure can be improved upon with time, but this is a sipper, not meant to be put into a funnel or played with in a game of beer pong.
Great stuff, had been staring at this in the store for a while now and glad I finally grabbed a 4 pack.

11-25-2009 02:43:06 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of bob3701

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

My bottle was a 2007 vintage.
Drank it in a large tulip-type glass. No head very little carbonation. Great rich red carmel color. Aroma very strong and nutty (walnuts?)
Beer clinged to the glass. Was closer to drinking a liquor than a beer. The taste was great and unique, hard for me to put into words but there was a nuttiness to it. You can tell by the taste that it is high in alcohol but not overpowering.
I enjoy the ledgend or history of this beer and wished I had had a nice fire to sit in front of as I sipped this beer.

11-23-2009 16:58:33 | More by bob3701
Photo of Docer


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

2008 bottling to try... others to age for a long time!

- Nice clear dak caramel color... quick fizzy offwhite head... bubbly like champagne.

- Huge sweet caramel malt... nice fresh hop aroma from the bottle... slight bittering hop, toffee... brown sugar from my tumbler glass...

- Ester, sweet caramel madness... fruit, fig... bittering zest of hop.... and tart too from a bit of oak it must be. Little warming in the throat.

- Tart and watering, slightly chewy....

- Overall this is a very interesting brew.... and very strong. Like a way-strong ale. Warming, and not too difficult to drink. Overall kinda cool.

11-18-2009 01:59:33 | More by Docer
Photo of natelocc787


4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

2007 Vintage.

This beer poured with a generous head despite the age on it. I read other reviews saying they got no head, maybe they used the wrong glass. I used a stella snifter. Nose was big time fruit, almonds and booze. Big ripe cherry aroma with some mild spice notes and caramel malt character. The taste is nicely complex with pale and caramel malt backing, ripe red cherries, sweet oak chips, a huge nuttiness with an almond paste and cherry macadamias. Mouthfeel was syrupy, oily yet sufficiently carbonated. Somewhat of a sipper, very nice complexity to this brew. Booze was noticeable but that is expected and welcome in a 14% Doppelbock. I would hate to see anybody slam this beer or lower it's score because of the booziness.

11-16-2009 21:37:30 | More by natelocc787
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Pilsner Glass. Bottled in 2005. 14% ABV.

Thank you to my friend Damon for this beer!

A - Sami pours a totally clear rusty amber color with a low but dense cream-colored head. Pretty good retention for the amount of alcohol present here. A nice swirl produces some heavy, wavy legs on the glass. No lacing left here.

S - Strong toasted and bread-like malts flood the air even on the crack of the cap. Lots of biscuit and sour-dough bread that's lightly toasted. A warm and slightly spicy but not solvent-like alcohol comes out too. The aroma has some old funk to it but still smells like it'll be great! Almost no hops on the nos. There is a very small hint of a light noble variety in there.

T - Wow. That is one thick, malty beer! The flavor is rich with very sweet caramel, biscuity toasted malts and a powerful alcohol flavor. Fruity esters seem to permeate from the booze which is a bit hooter than the nose lets on. No hops in the flavor at all.

M - Samichlaus goes down like Nyquil. It's thicker than most anything I've had but still, despite it's age, has a little carbonation crispness to the end. A warm boozy feeling quickly ensues from this one. A fantastic feel for a winter warming dopplebock.

D - It's not a special day, I just saw it and said, "I finally need to drink this one." Maybe its the impending Christmas season, the cool air, or the fact I started getting the Christmas lights out, but I'm glad I'm having it. A bit boozy for my tastes but one hell of a dopplebock and a great winter warming sipper. Room temperature might be good for it too. Also, for it's age, the alcohol has probably mellowed. That would make this one boozy beer when it's fresh!

11-15-2009 20:56:06 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of drtth


4.22/5  rDev +5.8%

This was the 2008 brewing served in a stemmed tulip glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The color reminds of a medium reddish brown finish on a fine piece of cherry wood furniture. The thin, light head is almost non-existent and recedes almost immediately, leaving nothing behind. Throughout the beer sipping leaves no lacing or only very occasional small speckles of lacing.

Smell: The aroma clearly contains alcohol but it is almost buried in fruity, malty component that does dominate the aroma as the beer warms. The fruity part of the nose reminds me of dark cherries and fruitcake without the rum.

Taste: The flavor is rich, sweet, full and complex with the fruity part holding its own against the alcohol until a bit of underlying hop bitterness comes slicing its way through the sweetness to prevent the beer from being too sweet. While the alcohol is clearly present here there is only a light alcohol burn and the presence of the alcohol is really as much in some of the sweetness as anything else.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth from soft and light, but persistent, carbonation that is really only a faint prickling sensation on the tongue and in the mouth. The finish is long and begins with the sweetness from the malt and alcohol but then turns into a long dry ending tapering off in bitterness.

Drinkability: No question about it. This is a sipping beer to spend a long time with. Both with this ABV and complexity of the flavor, a small sip goes a long way. I can also see now why some people love this beer and some people hate it. But it is also clear that this is a beer to set aside until its 2nd or 3rd birthday before even thinking about tasting it. Also don't even look at buying this beer if you can't stand after dinner liqueurs.

11-04-2009 18:33:17 | More by drtth
Photo of BeerSingh


2.48/5  rDev -37.8%

Okay - the reason I fell in love with beer was that I read about the Samichlaus legend - that it is brewed once a year (Dec 6 - my birthday), that it is a Guinness entrant for the strongest beer in the world (that time the highest ABV known to me was 6 or 8) and the works...

Finally, my trip to the US and I finally meet Santa Claus beer. The Helles first and then this Original. The meeting left me confused and wanting for another shot

Poured into a snifter. Appearance was reddish brown and clear. Very thin head which quickly dissipated and disappointed. The smell was fragrant and very boozey. It wafted cough syrup memories.

First sip, and I was hey - this is pretty dominating and in your face. As I went further, the cognac - cough syrup flavour took over and the strong alcohol vapors simply put a halt on the enjoyment quota. I was disappointed because it did not taste like beer. Of course, I might have been suffering from palate fatigue or from over anticipation, but I became awry.

I still respect the beer and the legend. I think I definitely need to give it another shot. Maybe age the bottle and let its fiercity mellow down. I didn't like it first up but I want to have another shot at it. I am sure that my opinion will change.

11-04-2009 04:39:54 | More by BeerSingh
Photo of champ103


3.28/5  rDev -17.8%

A: Pours a clear ruby red/brown color. A two finger beige head forms in an instant, but fades to nothing just as fast. Light lace is left behind.
S: Toasted malt, brown sugar and dark fruits. Some yeast, and lots of alcohol.
T: Toasted malt. Sweet caramel and brown sugar. It becomes a little cloying as this warms up. The alcohol overpowers.
M/D: A medium body. Some higher carbonation than I would like. There is a ton of alcohol here, and it is very noticeable. It is hard to sip on.

Not bad, but the alcohol is way to much. It is worth a try, and something that I would like to cellar for a few years to see what happens.

10-31-2009 00:56:23 | More by champ103
Photo of Lldeegan


3.53/5  rDev -11.5%

Pours a deep amber, very clear, with some bubbles rising, but no formation of a head at all. The beer initially appears flat but upon closer inspection, the surface has a ring of fine bubbles with some splotches in the middle, and my trusty SA perfect pint's laser etching is releasing carbonation as I type.

This monster has licorice with a strong sense of alcohol in the nose. Has little hints of fresh bread and dark fruits, brown sugar.

This beer has quite the impact on the palate. It's sweetness from the malt comes in strong, with dark fruits, like raisins coming in followed by a licorice, then a hot alcohol finish. This is almost too hot for a beer. The finish feels like 10 minutes after a shot of Maker's.

Very clean on the palate, a bit syrupy. The mild carbonation and the malt are the only telling signs it's a beer. The heat to it suggests a cognac or bourbon...

Drinkability: One bottle, if that. I mean, it's 14%, be careful with this one. Definitely a sipper.

10-28-2009 02:45:49 | More by Lldeegan
Photo of Offa


3/5  rDev -24.8%

This strong doppelbock has a very strong character with complexity but I must say I find the aroma rather off-putting and the taste is too sweet, with some elements that simply seem odd and too strong.

Amber, it has a tiny bubbly head vanishing immediately vanishes to nothing at all, but remains a bit bubbly in an unattractive way.

The aroma, unusual and smelling fairly strongly of various unpleasant fermented grain elements, is off-putting. It has fermented doughnuts and apple fritters, turned fruit, grain, fermented toffee, unpleasant hint of meaty steak sauce, and an overall odd character.

The taste is has some similar elements but is much better, with some complexity, intriguing qualities, some good flavours, and a solid, warm, oily feel. However, it is still overly tasting of fermented fried grain products and really very, very sweet. It has old sherry, fermented grain and apple fritters, fruit, faint roasted grain element, and a hint of flowery bitterness. The alcohol is clearly evident and very srong, although it's not rough and it's a lot less alcoholic in character than a number of far weaker beers I've had. It has a full, warm, oily feel that is a little too much. It's fine to sip a little bit, but not something I'd be very interested in and the aroma is really quite odd.

10-22-2009 23:27:07 | More by Offa
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,586 ratings.