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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.
very good

1,633 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,633
Reviews: 1,000
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 17.29%
Wants: 127
Gots: 213 | FT: 12
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
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Ratings: 1,633 | Reviews: 1,000 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CJfromPhilly
2.58/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from the 12 oz. bottle a cola-ish brown with a very slight head that disappears into nothing in no time. Almost zero carbonation...the bubbles are few & far between. Aroma is sweet and syrupy. 1st sip is pancake syrup sweet with a noticeable undertone of alcohol that burns slightly on the way down. Mouthfeel is very light, almost watery & flat from the lack of carbonation. Overall, I have to rate this a disappointment. Cloyingly, sticky sweet with almost no hops or malt, and alcohol harshness. Hopefully, this will improve with age.

CJfromPhilly, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of jhp40219
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2007. Somehow my local beer outlet had this last bottle, which had probably been sitting there a year or better. I have had this before several years ago but could not remember my thoughts about it. But at 14% alcohol, it was worth a try again.

A - Thin bubbles from the pour that do not lace or stick to the glass. To be expected from a high alcohol beer such as this though. Nice deep amber color.

S - Like caramel, roasted malts and alcohol.

T - See above. You can feel the alcohol burn as it goes down.

M - Kind of thin, low carbonation.

D - Definitely not a frat boy chugging kind of beer, that's for sure! Makes a great winter warmer, seasonal beer. However I bought this in April and it is 65 degrees outside. So this wasn't the opportune time to be drinking this particular beer. Cellar this one and drink on the coldest winter day.

jhp40219, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of beermanbrian
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember being told about this beer about 20 years ago and being told it was the strongest beer in the world. Well at 14% it's no where close anymore but it still has enough umph to make you stand up and notice. Glad I finally got around to giving this one a try.

Bottled in 2008

Cascade of carb bubbles with a hard pour but no head or lace to speak of. Kind of expected with the high ABV. Nice clear bronze color.

Smell of alcohol dominates. Nice whisky burn to it. Candied sugar comes through in the taste once you get past the burn. Finishes sugary sweet and somehow smooth after the upfront burn. I'm going to savor this one as it warms. The taste become fuller, with some tobacco notes coming out.

Somehow managaes to be a little thin in the body. Overall an above average beer that I'm glad I tried.

beermanbrian, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of garchooga
3.18/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When I saw the 14.0% abv, I was wondering what I might be getting myself in to. Here goes...

The color was a really nice, consistent amber. Just the slightest bit of creamy colored head.

The smell was strong. You could really smell all that alcohol. Reminded me of smelling dessert wine.

I made the mistake of taking too big of a swig on the initial drink, which pretty much rocked my world. The taste was incredibly strong. To me this one tasted more like wine than beer. Very strong taste of apples or apple cider, incredibly sweet with strong tastes of alcohol.

Three quarters of the way through, I could sure feel that 14.0% abv. This is definitely a sipping beer that was better once it warmed up to room temperature.

garchooga, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of ryanonline
3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

very clear amber with a thin off white creamy head. ok lacing.

smells like malt and maybe a little bit of citrussy hops. and a pretty strong booze scent too.

taste is the same.

mouthfeel is prickly and thin. coats the mouth a little bit too much.

This beer is not very drinkable even though it has a sort of thin body. just too rich and spritzy.

I tried this beer before and i believe it was cold, it does much better warm, but it still isnt very good. better than average but not amazing.

ryanonline, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of femALEist
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is brewed once a year on December 6th for St. Nicholas Day and at a whopping 14%, it is said that it is the strongest lager beer in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. This beer smells like caramelized malts, honey, eggnog, dates, and a high alcohol nose. It tastes sweet more toffee than honey, with a hint of hops, raisins, plums and a hint of molasses. It definitely goes down dangerously smooth for 14%! Now, I have had this beer before, I even served it at my own Holiday Tastings because I like it so much. But to have it served out of a 3L? That's pretty amazing. Not to mention how much smoother it smelled and tasted.

femALEist, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 3/17/10 I've been sitting on this '06 for a while... I've had Samichlaus numerous times over the years, but haven't had one since I joined BA more than 4 years ago. Here we go... poured into my Delirium goblet... thin tan head... very clear amber brew.

Nose is malty yet surprisingly muted... some brown sugar essence and golden raisins come to mind... still pretty boozy, but lesser than I remember the fresh bottles I've had.

Apple cider... with some plummy sweetness.. hints of cherries combine with a rich maltiness.. there is lite yet present booze burn.. hints of cigar wrapper... lite caramel.... pleasant ... drinkable and but more "sippable" ... a brew to be enjoyed over a couple hours while contemplating today and thinking and planning for tomorrow...

The body is thick with a lite carbonation.. the finish is long and lingering...

Overall... I need to start buying these more often so I can leave them in the cellar for years.... This is at least 3 years old, and I think it will hold for another decade easily... no oxidation or hints of age... decadent, yet still too boozy and needs a bit more time to meld well.


JohnGalt1, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an Ayinger Celebrator doppelbock glass.

Pours a clear bright amber-brown with very little foamy head. There is a moderate amount of sudsy, transitory lacing. The nose is unsurprisingly heavy on the dark malts, with bits of figs, brown sugar, molasses, and plums. A slight hint of booziness is also present. The taste emphasizes the brown sugar and molasses, with the figs and malts pushed back a bit, and toffee and maple syrup beginning to come through. Again, a hint of alcoholic burn is present, but not as powerful as one would expect from such a high ABV. The body is pretty hefty, with light carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Still, though, it covers the tongue very thickly, but not obtrusively, leaving a very satisfied drinker behind. Despite the ABV, this brew's drinkability stands very high, albeit more appropriate for sipping than everyday drinking.

TMoney2591, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ok. but i'm only putting this here because they won't let me review it as from the brewery in switzerland. 1996 bottle generously offered for sharing at woodshop. pours thick and chunky, dark red, an appearance only fans of bret easton ellis could get off on. this is what i want. caramel and malty sweetness, oxidative stress pushing rich flavors, raisins. sticks in the mouth, yeast flakes between my teeth. i will never floss them out. the last thing i really needed was a reason to hold onto bottles for 15 years before opening them, but this...this is a gateway to the dark side.

olympuszymurgus, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of Parrotbeak
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light copper with no head. Looks like syrup and moves about like ink. Looks more like a spirit or liquor than a beer, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Smells much more like a beer, and I like it. Sweet malts, syrup, molasses. Definite alcohol presence.
Taste is moderately sweet, with a decent malt backbone. Sugar, molasses, hint of cinnamon, and alcohol.
Flat, slightly sticky, and heavy. Nice warmth from the alcohol as it goes down. I great, cold winter night beer.
As drinkable as a beer that is meant to be sipped should be. I've got a 750 ML bottle of this one, and after having this 12 oz. serving, I know I'll have to share it.

Parrotbeak, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of Sallerj
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is dark red-brown, with no real head. It smells like dark fruit, brown sugar, and alcohol. It is strong and sweet, with flavors of burnt sugar, toast, raisins, iron, and alcohol. The aftertaste is boozy, sweet, herbal, and slightly bitter. For such a strong beer, it's drinkable.

Sallerj, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of bret27
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by nice old homebrew guy in the LA area @ woodshop. ('96, so 14 years old)

Limited notes. Smells of figs, prunes, chocolate earthy. Appearance is dark brown. Taste is superb. Same as smells but with sweet molasses and just great balance. The oxidation/port effects of aging just work wonders on this beer. A little booziness in the finish, and med. mouthfeel.

bret27, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of DosBeerigos
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

C. Clear
H. Dark red almost carmel in color
N. Sweet Fruit and Alcohol....NICE!!!!

I have wanted to try this beer for a long time. Found a bottle and had to pick it up. This beer is AMAZING. I typically don't like malty beer and this is beer is 100% of that that. But at perfect temperature the malt settles the STRONG alcohol taste. Has subtle fruit flavors that linger on the palette. This beer would cellar amazingly. I think i may have to go back and attempt to find another bottle to hold for a bit of time. At 14% ABV this would cellar for a good few years. Great Beer!

DosBeerigos, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of Mavajo
2.3/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Aye-yi-yi - people drink this? Good God.

Pours a bronze/orange color with no head. Taste is disgustingly sweet. Sweet, malt, syrup, molasses. The most cloying beer I've ever had - I could literally feel my gut rotting as I drank it. Hot alcohol. Almost made me imagine candied battery acid - sweet and burning.

I took a few sips, and then I took a few more because I didn't want to waste it - but I eventually capitulated and poured it down the drain. I had to have a plumber come out the next day to repair the pipes that this beer ate through on its way out.

I may buy it again simply with the intent of aging it for 5+ years, but this thing is way too cloying and hot to drink fresh.

Mavajo, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of markbatonrouge
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: no head, little visible carbonation, but a sparkling, clear amber color that makes it just beautiful, like a spectacular piece of amber rock.

s: complex nose that has carmel, grape, and brandy in it -- very surprising and interesting.

t: a wave of sugar hit me first, then a carmel complexity with multiple notes, then the alcohol, which is big. It's really an amazing taste, big, explosive, multiple layers and phases, very different from other doppelbocks.

m: a bit thin, alcoholy.

drinkability: mixed. it's so surprising that it's a wonderful beer to try and to experience. but the sugars and alcohol are so dominant that it would be hard to drink more than one. it's a bit like an overly sweet brandy, and probably should be enjoyed in a similar way.

markbatonrouge, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of JohnL9013
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours an amber color with almost no carbonation and almost no head at all. Ridiculous, this stuff looks like wine.

S: Alcohol, malt.

T: Taste is surprisingly sweet and varies as time goes on and the beer warms up. Very, very malty, almost to a fault, but stops short of being the usual disgustingly sweet double bock. There are complexities here and there but mostly, it's just a malt bomb, but a very nice one, at that. I bet cellaring would make this fantastic.

M: I'm sorry, but there's just simply too much alcohol in here for this to be pleasant. I can't afford to taste this too long before choking it down.

D: This is so strong that I seriously doubt you will be having more than one. I didn't enjoy the last few sips of this beer simply because it's so strong and it wears you down after a while.

JohnL9013, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of animal69
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 2008 vintage, pours a clear med. brownish amber color w/ a thin off-white head which dissipates quickly leaving a decent coat of lace in my ommegang goblet

S- smell is mostly fruity alcohol when cool, as it warms bready and deeper roasted grains, plum/prune, and even some floral hops creep out, other fruit like cherry and some wood and vanilla also noted

T- taste also improves w/ temp, initially super sweet caramely malt and brandied cherry-ish alcohol prevail but soon give way to a dried fruit like figs or plum and that woody vanilla flavor, anise and hot alcohol finish this one off

M- a thick, syrupy mouthfeel for body, not really unexpected for the gravity, still a good amount of co2 at a little over a year

D- my first Sami from eggenberg, also my youngest, still quite hot at a year, but surprisingly quite complex and drinkable for summin' 14% ABV, overall a great nostalgic beer for me, can't wait to put some age on these

animal69, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of markaberrant
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage

A - deep, glowing amber, very attractive colour, very clear, head forms, and quickly fizzes away

S - brandied apricots, thick malt, not a lot of booze, clean

T - smoooth, rich malt, really extravagant, candied fruit and spice, malt is the focus, but the sweetness is very well restrained by attenuation and alcohol, aftertaste is dry biscuit and bready

M - med body, has some weight, but is not weighed down, med carbonation is a little prickly which ever so slightly increases the alcohol presence, but also helps liven it up and keeps things moving, alcohol is incredibly smooth and mellow, though it's presence is still quite obvious

D - hell ya, this is what big strong malty beers are all about

Just an incredible treat to savour and enjoy. I must say this old standby is far more preferred to more acclaimed Thomas Hardy, as well as the extra strong lagers that are on the lighter side. This is a damn near perfect execution, which is no small feat considering the size of this beast. Yum!

markaberrant, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into Unibroue glass feb11 2010

A clear ruby brown with little head or lace but decent carbonation

S dark fruits/cherry with some booze and caramel

T candied fruits with burnt sugar/toffee and a little booze. rather complex can't wait to see how one ages... so here I am drinking it today

M a little syrupy with more carbonation then what was visible

D not sure if its a good or bad thing that this one's ringing in at 14%. it's well concealed and this could just smash you if your not careful, so be careful

I have a magic closet with no doubt, this is the fourth good beer I've managed to hide from myself only to find at a later date. this is a decent beer and its unique so you should give it a go if you get the chance

wordemupg, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of Weizenmensch
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330mL brown bottle with silver collar, best before 11.2013. Laughably labelled MALT LIQUOR 11.2 FL.OZ - evidently this bottle came to Japan via the USA.

Pours chestnut-brown with a small amount of off-white head quickly dissipating to a ring around the glass, and some sticky lacing. Some fine-bubble carbonation. Unassuming - something that has undoubtedly startled more than one Samichlaus newbie!

Volatile alcohol dominates the smell, and brings aromas of apricots, dried stone fruit, pear, the nuttiness of cashews and almonds but without their characteristic fragrance and flavour. Grapevines, fruit chews etc. That pectiny fruit stickiness and sweetness is all over the place.

In the mouth it's an intense mix of flavours - one that I unfortunately think is a little unbalanced. It's still an enjoyable beer, but it's overwhelming. It's overwhelming to try and separate them, too, but I'll try: most of all, alcohol on the palate. Along with it comes candied sugar, so sweetness and alcohol dominate (unsurprisingly)! Overripe red grapes. No idea what hops are used - there's no bitterness but there's a hop flavour, although it's odd to say a 'hop vegetable flavour' without the specific impact of the hops themselves. There's more but it's very complex and I'm not a good enough reviewer to separate them all any more! I'll work on my skills and come back to it in a few hundred beers' time.

Mouthfeel is evaporative and leaves a little skunkiness after everything's gone. Drinkability is not good, unless you're after a light refreshment to celebrate success at a vodka-drinking competition.

Overall: My opinion of this beer is that it works hard to be a rich, complex yet drinkable STRONG lager. The appellation of "strongest lager in the world" surely influences the brewing - it doesn't chance upon this title. But why be the strongest? Because you can't be the best? I think this brewery makes a fine beer, but I give it a poorer rating than it deserves mainly because it isn't merely a delicious beer, it's a STRONG beer made for those who appreciate beer but want something more potent.

Having said that, it's very complex, and I may be the ignorant critic here. I may feel it's a little unbalanced today, but come back when my beer-tasting skills are back on track and recognise a whole palate of different flavours that I had missed before. If so, I'll update my review.

I'm not ignorant, and I'm not new to this one-of-a-kind brew; I first had it eight years ago in a house near Mainz and I didn't underestimate its pedigree. But as of this review, it doesn't perform like I expected (and remembered) it to. However, I'll enjoy the rest of it with cashews and pistachios - it's well-suited to nutty flavours.

But call it what you want, it's sui generis; it's not a doppelbock.

REVIEW #2 6/Feb/2010

This is a young vintage - 2008, it's only been available for purchase where I am for a month or two. I've had it before a few times, and it tastes fresh and fruity. At this ABV it will certainly improve with age. I wish I had the foresight and discipline to buy a few cases of this, age it somewhere cool and quiet and enjoy it in a few decades.

When this young, it's pleasant, but not truly impressive. This follows a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout whose complexity I appreciated much more. Nice appearance in the glass, good head retention considering its ABV. Tons of sugary, fruity smells which continue on the tongue. Can be a bit cloying in the mouth too - I won't be drinking this bottle's twin brother just yet. Maybe not the beer I was after for a quiet Saturday afternoon, but I should be grateful that it's even available in Japan, let alone in my small, regional city.

Overall - a complex beer that is a must-try because of its fame and significance... but don't crack open the freshest batch, or you may be underwhelmed. Still interesting and complex, but not up to its potential in my opinion.

Weizenmensch, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 Vintage. Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a clear watery brown color. Light copper hues added in for a little more. Half finger white head comes and goes rather quickly. Light soapy lacing on sides of the glass that fall back down into the beer.

S- Big hints of darker fruits right off the bat. Sugar coated plums come to mind first. Some prune and raisin also in there for good measure. Nice light hints of vanilla and some brown sugar in there as well. Alcohol is present and actually burns the nose a little.

T- Sweet upfront on this beer. Almost too much since I didn't expect it. Brown sugar and molasses tie up the front end with some light malt undertones. The rest of the beer begins with a light vanilla taste that quickly dies into a dark fruit fest in the mouth. Plum is the biggest fruit tasted and it is almost like having a shot of plum wine in this beer.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little lacking. Very syrupy feeling in the mouth. Big sweetness with darker fruits left everywhere on the palate and in the aftertaste long after the sip is done.

D- It took a lot from me to try and choke this beer down. The sweetness got to me after about the third sip. I have 3 more sitting in the cellar that looks like they will be aging a little while longer.

alleykatking, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of seedsofchaos
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottling

A: pours thick tea brown with no head; so thick that carbonation wasn't noticeable until looking at the top of the pour. Hints of yellows and ambers. No lacing.

S: rich oak, maple, molasses, pine nut and vanilla

T: a complex treat of sweet malts, oak, molasses, vanilla, fig, nuts and smoke with little to no hop character

Mf: usually smooth thickness with a pronounced syrupy feel... although it goes down with ease..

D: high abv but a great sipper to share with your mates

seedsofchaos, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of 4000qtrap
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Source/Serving: 12oz. Bottle. No expiration date.

Smell: Sweet brown sugar, some cidery notes, lots of pumpkin pie spice, caramel, juicy prunes, and a pinch of bananas. Quite nice.

Taste: Slightly toasted caramel and a little brown sugar blended with plum wine that has a slight fruit juice character. Turns into an interesting play between earthy spices and aged, dark sourness and a little mineral though everything rides over a rich brown sugar note. For me its not anywhere near too sweet. A hint of alcohol is noticeable. Finish is sweet, juicy, nutmeg, mineral, and dries out a bit after a moment.

4000qtrap, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of Tilley4
3.03/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm rating this one quite a bit lower here but maybe this one needs more age... I had the 2008 bottling...

Pours a light brown appearance with no head at all... A thick syrupy liquid sitting there in my Chimay goblet...

Huge boozy aromas come roaring off of this one... Sweet and boozy with a hint of something dark and fruity... Mostly booze here... I'm a little concerned...

Yikes... This one is way too hot to be enjoyed right now... The doppelbock flavor is there but its overpowered by the booze and gets lost in the mix... Not much more to say here...

I'm probably going to revisit this one when its aged and hopefully mellowed out some... As it is, its just too boozy and I couldn't get past it... Usually doesnt bother me in these high ABV brews but this one was rough...

Tilley4, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear rich ruby color with a very thin head. Nose is very malty, rich and boozy. Quite sweet, but hard to get passed the booze.

Surprisingly the booze isn't too strong for being 14%. It's very sweet, but still drinkable. A Bit bitter, but not much for hops here. Interesting beer, worth giving a shot.

kingcrowing, Jan 31, 2010
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,633 ratings.