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Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Not Rated.
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,048 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,048
Hads: 1,880
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 22.36%
Wants: 167
Gots: 335 | FT: 18
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.
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samichlaus Classic Bier Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,048 | Hads: 1,880
Photo of crookedhalo
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep chestnut-brown color with a thin tan head. Smells sugary and brandy sweet with the faintest bit of oaky notes and a whole lotta alcohol as everyone knows. Sipping this beer makes one's lips stick together after sipping. Carbonated cough syrup is an adequate description. Beautiful, though. Poured in an authentic 25 cl Samichlaus snifter. Takes an hour + to drink. We won't touch on the drinkability. Mouthfeel is again, syrupy, yet complex. I prefer it on-draught because the oakiness just doesn't seem present on the bottled version.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle.

Pours a deep copper color. Not much head and very little lacing. Smells like a Christmas ale. Syrup, Caramel and corn candy are present on the nose.

Thick sugar, sweet molasess and syrup dominate this beer. Hops are forgotten. Flavors are heavy malt. Alcohol is huge. Too much alcohol on the palate.

Alcohol sets up this beer. Heavy burning. Very unflavorful. This beer has no back bone. No willing to compromise. Mouthfeel is unsettling and it is just overall a bit harsh and ragged.

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Photo of daledeee
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pretty bold statement on the bottle"The World's Most Extraordinary Beer" I must say this is a fine beer. I wasn't sure what the 14% alcohol would do to it but the taste shines through over the alcohol.

Pours a little head if you try that goes away soon. Then there is no lace. Smell is great. Fruity apples raisins and some malt. Taste does not disappoint. A blend of fruit, malt, maple syrup.

I wish I would be patient enough. Aging this one would only make it better. Don't pass it up if you see it. Not always around.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle served at cellar temp in a Trois Pistoles goblet. 2002 vintage.

Appearance: Gorgeously clear copper color topped by a short-lived frothy yellowish head. No lacing whatsover, but that's to be expected.

Smell: Rum soaked raisins and cherries. Maple, caramel, and honey notes. Whole lotta sweet smells goin' on here.

Taste: Über-sweet caramel malt flavor asserts itself, but gives some time to let honey, prunes, raisins, cherries, and medicinal flavors have a moment to shine. Mild alcohol tastes.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy with adequate masking of the alcohol.

Drinkability: *insert standard disclaimer about not having more than one in a sitting* That said, I'll definitely pick this one up when it comes out this year. Cain't wait for a vertical tasting that's coming up in the DC area.

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Photo of Dmann
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I could not help myself when I saw this beer at the store the other day. Just reading the info on the back plus all the good things I heard about it justified paying $4.50 for a bottle! It pourd a dark brown color with just a very small off white head. The smell of plums and raisons jumped out at me as well as a hint of alchohol. The taste was heavenly with a great malt profile, toasty nut flavor, raisons and a excelent warming effect from the alchohol. This was a great beer and I will be going back to pick up more to consume and age.

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Photo of SetarconeX
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one is all around astounding. A nice deep brown color, while still retaining plenty of transparency. Not every dark beer has to be absolutely pitch black. It's smells toasty and with plenty of carmel, which is also about how it tastes. Very sweet, very heavy, and with a hint of fruit in it.

If there's any complaints against this one, it would have to be that there is definately a heavy alcohol aftertaste, but there's enough other flavors in here that it just blends in, one flavor with all the rest. A wonderful brew.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.77/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Brown in color with a tight, white head that stayed for a while.

Smell - Heavily-toasted malt aroma with an alcohol warning and some significant fruitiness. The fruit is big, complex cherry with a little bubblegum.

Taste - Lovely, cherry-infused doppelbock malt flavors spiked with Canadian whiskey (though it's a German-style ale from Austria). I can't say enough about this malt/cherry combination. All the flavors of this ale create a virtual symphony in the mouth.

Mouthfeel - Full with a solid alcohol sting and light carbonation.

Drinkability - I thought this was a lively rendition of the style and well worth a second visit. I will most definitely buy again.

Update - I had and re-reviewed this again in 2004. It is a heavy-hitter for sure and very viscous in the mouth. A tasty treat and well worth the substantial price tag.

Update - I was able to try a 2004 again, this time aged for 2 years in the tempered cellar of one Ms. skyhand.

The color was a brilliant orange now with a magically disappearing head. The malts turned into a fine orange liqueur and the booze kept right on stinging. It was quite the treat and has motivated me to start cellaring some of this myself.

Update - I had a cause to celebrate in Feb 2008 and busted open a two year old bottle and man oh man was this totally awesome. It had developed a bigger alcohol sting and was sweeter than a fresh sample, but the sweet flavors just exploded in the mouth. This has to be one of my favorite beers of all time, and although skyhand didn't provide this offering she indirectly deserves a thanks for me opening it (wink wink).

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Photo of Midfielder
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2001 is absolutely in fantastic nick! It has a very concentrated brandyish aroma. Some moderately burnt molasses. It tastes like a rich tawny port. Rich creamy texture. Yes, it is a sweet beer with vanilla flavors from oak but astonishingly it is not cloying at all. A classic!

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Photo of cncbofh
4.78/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a concoction!
Bottle dated 2002.

Easy pour with light carbonation and tiny bubbles. The color is a beautiful rust color and the smell is exceptional, composed of raisins, plums, cinnamon and brown sugar. The taste and mouthfeel are enough to lift your eyebrows and make you say "Wow!". Despite the slightly watery look, it feels like maple syrup in your mouth.

The taste is reminiscent of a tawny port, with lots of oak, fig, and spice. Incredible! I'll be keeping a few of these in my cellar... they make the perfect winter warmer before bedtime or next to the fire.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.87/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Paper crowned brown bottle noting bottled in 2002 (tasted 10/03) and explaining that the beer is aged (thus brewed on Dec. 6th, 2001).
Aroma: Dark, enchanting rum raisin MALT. Smells like malt extract. Intoxicating smell, I lingered there for a good while.
Appearance: Deep amber, quickly fading head (it is 14%). Not much to look at.
Flavor: I'm now packing my few possessions to move to Austria so I can scrub the vats and be paid in Samichlaus! Vinous well blended dark fruit malt that comes across as an iron fist in a velvet glove. The fist is the potent alcohol, but while you experience the burn, it is only has an amusing counterpoint to the raisin/plum/nutty flavors. My vocabulary isn't sufficient to the task of describing this taste to you, is there a poet in the house?
Mouthfeel: Chewy and mouth numbing.
Overall Impression: Long memories of deep, dark, merry malt. Santa drinks this beer, as do a number of Saints. If I’m really good, when I die, I get to be reincarnated as a bottle of Samichlaus that is never opened. While this beer is pure heaven, it's such a meal that I have to take a half point for drinkability, couldn't experience this joy for very long before you were over-satisfied. Buy on sight, all of it.

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Photo of byrd
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2002 – drinking in 2003. I bought 4 of these and have stashed the others away until some date a couple years down the road. I wanted to be sure and get a taste of this brew when it is relatively new.

Barely any head on this brew, and what little is there disappears within seconds. I kind of expected this from a high octane brew. The color is a clear dark reddish-copper. Despite the lack of a head, there is still some bits of carbonation rising to the surface. There’s a strong malt aroma with of vinous notes and dark fruit – plums and raisins. Some hints of alcohol were also noticeable on the nose. The flavor is very unique to say the least. There’s a smooth start with lots of sweet malts - plum and caramel sweetness abound. Almost cloying. There’s a somewhat bitter, spicy alcohol finish that keeps the back of the throat warm for a while. The alcohol definitely lets you know it’s there. This is a belly warmer that really grabs hold in the finish. The aftertaste is strong and dry and lingers for a while. The mouthfeel was slightly thick and full.

Samichlaus really seems to be a nightcap sort of a beer, but it’s still a little harsh at this young age (although I have nothing to compare to right now). I didn’t have any problem finishing this one, but it was certainly a drink for sipping, and I don’t think I could drink more then one. While this may always be the case, I can really see this beer improving over the years when everything mellows a little bit.

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Photo of Jables
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a gorgeous dark amber with a little white head. The aroma is sweet malty and then BAM, alcohol. taste is intriguing but great. It starts with apples and pears and then the alcohol takes over but the finish is back with pears. The alcohol warms nicely and makes for a fantastic fall brew. This could probably sit in the cellar for another year though to mellow out a bit. The drinkablity is hurt by the alcohol content, but it is definitely worth trying. A very tasty and interesting brew

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Photo of Naerhu
2.94/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottled in 2002.

Off white head that disappears within 12 seconds. Deep amber/crimson, is this made with real blood? Has legs showing high alcohol.

Amazing maple and honey aroma. I foresee this to be an amazingly sweet brew.

The alcohol is a sledge hammer smashing against my palate with a pillow of sweetness. I just rather drink maple syrup.

Thick!!! This is a thick, thick beer. Excuse me for a minute. Sorry, I had to get a knife and fork to continue with this beer.

Drinkability is low. Gimme another, when I am 40.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Garnet color, small head. Aroma is molasses, malt, sweetness and alcohol. Very malty and thick, nearly syrupy. Taste is sweet and sherry like, yet there is a very definite hoppyness to this beer. Complex flavors, chocolate, raisins, cherries, woody and smoke. The 14% alcohol is not as noticeable as one would think. It is there, but its not as much of a kick in the teeth as one would think; tummy warming more that the throat burner. Think the 2000 vintage still need a lot of bottle aging, the alcohol and woodiness should improve the taste of this already tasty beer. Smooth taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and sweet with a sharp alcohol bite

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Well finally, the legendary Santa! A doppelbock with a (couple) of shots in it! I can taste the malts down in there (certainly a better tasting beer than EKU or Belzebuth). However, as expected, alcohol leads the way. Boozy, warming, and strong. Pours a deep amber, clear, very little head (which is scared away quickly). I was under the weather the last few days, and decided to try this for some medicine. It worked! It settled my stomach (and brain). I can't imagine anyone drinking two of these in the same session. I will pick up more of this to keep around for appropriate occasions, but certainly not a beer for consistent consumption. Good for what ails you, though!

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Photo of euskera
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage..

Pours out a velvety reddish brown. Head dissapears almost immediately. Not all that much appreciable carbonation. Smell is sweet, with a hint of cherry. Taste is amazing, dominated by a port wine sweetness and cherry overtones with a malty backbone that wraps it all together. Each sip was a sublime pleasure. That big malty mouthfeel with the alcohol overtone finished this delightful elixir off. Truly one of the best beers in the world, especially so for a malt lover like me. Highly recommended..

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Photo of beerinator
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light Reddish. Very clear, light maple color. Head diminshed quickly.

Aroma: Sweet-Caramel with hints of cherry. Very nice.

Taste: Warms quickly, all the way down. Heavy maltiness, thick. Mouthfeel much like a port.

Notes: Would be great with desert. Or by itself after dinner. At 14%abv it's a monster of a beer. Worth a trip. Probably as good as it gets for it's style.

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Photo of aaronh
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 bottling - Pours a deep copper color with minimal head. Aroma is very much like a young port wine, with strong fruity notes. The taste is powerfully sweet. Nice smoky malt notes with a slight oak character, dark fruits like plums and raisins, a very strong alcohol note. A slight hint of chocolate sneaks through as well. Much like a light port, but with some bourbon qualities as well. The alcohol warms your throat as you swallow, and I can already picture having some of this during the cold winter months. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, and lingers on the tongue a good while. The aftertaste is definitely dominated by alcohol fumes wrapped around some sweet fruits. Very little bitterness in this beer. This is definitely young and powerful right now, and I'd love to have the resources (and the patience) to put a lot of this away for future enjoyment. We'll see how things go. I have one more bottle that I will revisit this winter at the earliest. Right now, this is very enjoyable. If it mellows a bit, it could be outstanding.

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Photo of TheDM
3.26/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brew poured a small head of fine light brown bubbles that quickly disappeared leaving no lacing. It has a transparent dark brown body and a strong aroma of alcohol and malt. I tasted the alcohol in this beer which was very strong as well a burnt smoke flavor that was initially very strong but soon faded. This brew will get you wasted very fast. Drink with caution it is potent stuff!

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Photo of granger10
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The aroma tells me this is straight brandy. As does the first taste. Very strong alcohol flavors hit my senses. This needs to be sipped extremely slowly. I feel a warming sensation throughout my whole body only seconds after the initial taste. This bier has a syruppy texture that goes well with the spicy brandy flavor. I also detect some plums in the bier with slight hop bitterness midway through. Finishes with a somewhat spicy dryness like a brandy would. Is this a brandy, at least a Very Good brandy? I'm not sure. I do know that I can drink this if my heating ever goes out in the winter time. I think that I'm drunk after only one bottle!

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Photo of beergeek279
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2001 vintage, served out of the 330 mL bottle. The color was a dark amber/brownish color, with no head to speak of after the initail pour. The smell was a very sweet malty smell, with alcohol definitely noticable. The taste reminded me more of a port wine than a beer......very sweet, with a bit of a malty background to it. The mouthfeel was slightly heavy, but to be expected with a beer like this. Drinkability-wise, although a few ounces of this beer was quite good, I don't think I could bring myself to have more than one at a time, since the sweetness becomes a bit cloying.

"you'd better not pout, I'm telling you why.......Samichlaus is coming to town". I had definitely been looking forward to this beer, and was willing to pay over 8 dollars to try it, when I came across a 12-pack for $12.99. It certainly was an "extraordinary" beer, and one I'd love to have another bottle of when the holiday season comes........but I'd probably never session with it!

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2001. Poured clear dark reddish brown with a reddish tan head that fizzled very quickly. The smell is very strong, of caramel, malt and alcohol. The mouthfeel is heavy, sweet and smooth. The taste is very pronounced: malt, caramel and alcohol. It is rather like a port. The finish and aftertaste are pure malt and alcohol. I could detect no hops buried under the big flavors. This is an important beer, but I really wouldn't want to call it drinkable (certainly not quaffable). I wanted to give "drinkability" a 3.0, but there is nothing average about this beer!

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Photo of Popsinc
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 2002 bottle. Dark amber/ruby red pour. Very small head that fades fast. No head whatsoever after a minute or two.

Smell: Heavy chocolate and dark malts. Sweet molasses. Just a hint of raisins and dates.

Taste: Malty sweetness is big up front. Light chocolate notes with a more sweet/molasses kick to follow. Alcohol kick is obvious and sweet. Dark fruity qualities such as raisin & plum throughout. Medicinal. Sweet, spicey towards the end with a syrupy port-like finish. Very complex.

Mouthfeel: Very full and bold. An almost rough, bubbly texture that dries out towards the end. Not thick but definitely syrupy.

Drinkability: This a slow sipping beer for sure. A few years of aging to soften the rough & complex edges would make this beer a pure treat.

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Photo of Wildman
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 Edition: This beer poured a dark amber color and formed a small bubbly white head that left trace lace as it subsided. An aroma of malt, caramel and alcohol. A flavor of malt, caramel, alcohol and touch of raisins and other dark fruits. This beer has a strong powerful finish and is definately meant as a sipping after dinner type of beer. Too bad I still can't get it in my state even with the new laws.

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Photo of TXHops
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I saw the bottle in Boston, I honestly couldn’t remember if I’d had Samichlaus before. I could remember Eku 28 and Kulmbacher Eisbock, but I wasn’t positive if I’d ever had this one, or if I’d just read about hundreds of times. Oh well, now I’ll know. The beer enters the glass the color of caremlized sugar and with about the same amount of head. A little sliver of foam lingered where beer met glass, but that was it (whaddya ‘spect from a 14% lager??). I wasn’t surprised by the lack of head, but I was surprised by the clarity—this beer was brilliantly transparent! Do they filter, or does 10 months lagering clear up any suspended yeast??? The nose was more subdued than I expected. I mean, it smelled like a super-strong lager, but only one with an ABV of about 8, not 14 ; ) Lots of toffee-ish port-like/single malt-like alcohol warmth. The body felt WAY thicker than the beer tasted. The flavor was as malty as malty gets, even surpassing 24% World Wide Stout, if my memory serves. The viscosity blew away any of Sam Calagione’s crazy offerings too—it felt like NyQuil in my mouth, which was totally coated. The alcoholic heat combined with the slight carbonation to chase away the sugary slickness that tried to cling to my tongue (nice effect). Then I was free to taste everything this beer has to offer in the tail—brown sugar, scotch, caramelized beef, port, pure two row malt, and butterscotch schnapps, to name the first wave only. Oddly, this beer isn’t cloying. How that’s possible, I can’t imagine as hops impart no discernable flavor on my palate (thought they must be there in a bittering role only). That’s really the beauty of this beer—so much strength and so much finesse all in a 12 ounce bottle! The alcohol is more evident in effect than it is in flavor—a real accomplishment with a beer of this gravity and an IBU count under 30 (if I were to venture a guess).

Well, it’s all it’s cracked up to be. Liquor lovers, line up!! I typically abhor liquor (too alcoholic), but this is an astounding brewing accomplishment, though not a beer I’d buy more often than annually: it’s an experience, not an addiction…

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,048 ratings.