Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,834 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,834
Reviews: 1,056
rAvg: 4
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 156
Gots: 315 | FT: 18
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,834 | Reviews: 1,056
Photo of kbub6f
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Bottled in 2002".

Man, that's a noisy head. Small and tan. Settles fast like Coke. Tiny lethargic bubbles stumble through the clear, darkred/garnet liquid. Sweet nose! Molasses, caramel, alcohol, some bread. It's almost a little cloying. Holy crap, that's a sweet front. Lots of alcohol. Sweet, dark caramel middle: syrup, grapes. Nice alcohol warming finish. Dry.

Wow.

Just a little sweet for my tastes, but this is a pretty amazing beer. Tames some with temperature.

Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2001: Draught @ Papago
“Whoa Nellie what a beer”! A transparent deep garnet color on the pour, minimal head, minimal lace, maximal nose, the fusel alcohol just slaps your senses to the upright and locked position, ripe pineapple, bananas, bubble gum, sweet malt, its all there for the sniffing, start is sweet and nicely malted, the top is moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish is all about alcohol, which at 14% makes it strong, a couple of years in the barrel, gives it a deep dark robustness that’s certainly not meant for the weak of heart or those not into dark brooding beers, should just stay away, carbonation quite mild, very dry, vinous aftertaste, that lingers on for quite sometime as does the significant “tummy warming”, excellent is all I can say.

Photo of tavernjef
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2001 - Color is a dark coppery ruby red, somewhat clear but with a resonant glow, thin beige head puffs away like smoke but keeps a tight collar the whole glass and slow dripping lace in rings from off the collared edge. Aroma is nice and malty, a bit restrained, but befittingly sweet with dark fruityness that has a good load of raisin and plum and touches of molasses and dark cherry. Taste is big time malts, wow, pretty big malts here;darkly sweet, lightly dry, solid amounts of raisin and tinges of warming alcohol blend right in and quickly. Its pretty boozy right from the get go on this stuff, whew...not as complex as some but does have some subtlities once the alcoholic warmth lays off with vanilla and more dark fruits. Its got a very easy slippery start that keeps sliding towards a fuller feel, silky and creamy with some agreeable warmth of good Ol' alcohol. A pretty sneaky brew, nearly port-like with its big and darkly sweet malts with a smoothness thats quite comforting. The alcoholic warmth makes it presense felt. A very good warm sipper. Did I say its warm? Cuz it is...warm...and yummy.

Photo of Crosling
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Just poured this into my Thomas Hardy's Goblet. I have to say I am a little intimidated with this beer being 14% and all. I have had bigger beers but I am not really sure what style this beer is and am not sure what to expect. It's listed as a Doppelbock but certainly doesn't look like one. Hmmmm...well see.

Pours with a copperish body with dark purple and burgundy highlight. Fast pour yielded nothing but bubbles and a small ring around the glass. No lacing either but a nice color on this one. Looks odd but really interesting.

Smells deep and exotic. Alcohol is really hidden in the aroma. Smells very sweet with cherries and figs hidden in the aroma.

This will have you naked and running down the street in a hurry! This is a huge beer! But, it goes down so smooth and tastes so refined. Tastes sweet like a fine port. An after dinner sipper for sure. Very malty woven with some deep fruit flavors, toffee, vanilla and alcohol.

For being 14% the alcohol is apparent but hidden very well. Nice warming mouthfeel and it feels heavy in the mouth. Now I am wondering what this is doing to my stomach.

Damn this is potent stuff...wow...

I might suggest splitting this with someone.

Photo of genaro
4.57/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was bottled in 2002. It has a cloudy, dark amber color with a short-lived head. There is a complex aroma consisting of caramel, spices, fruit essences and alcohol. It has a stong alcohol taste meshed with sweetness, caramel, and fruit (figs and others). It has a sweet, oily slightly dry finish. This is a smooth beer with some bite to it in more ways than one. Be wary of its high alcohol content, it does more than warm your stomach.

Photo of DagFishHead
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear copper/bronze-amber pour. Thin but frothy amber-tan head fades quickly to a thin rim. Minimal lace.
Smell: Fusel alcohol whack in the beak, loads of very sweet caramel/toffee and hints of toasted malt. Ripe fruits (cherries, raisins), hints of banana, butterscotch, vanilla. Like a creamier sweeter version of barleywine.
Taste: Candy sweet malt, hints of cherry and butterscotch to start, full slickness at the top, dries somewhat with a lingering alcohol burn that mellows to warmth and a semi-dry toffee/sherry aftertaste.
Very big in all dimensions but balanced and soothing.
Mouthfeel: Chewy, creamy, silky-smooth, medium-full body. Light/fine carbonation. Stunning alcohol warmth.
Drinkability: Doppelbock on steroids. Too strong for a session, but this is one hell of a beer to be re-sampled again and again.

Photo of waughbrew
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very clear copper-gold with a nice white head, not too much retention. Aroma is largely alcohol, but with accompanying raisins and caramels. Taste is amazingly clean and smooth, a nice range of malt and alcohol flavors. Rummy, munich malty, dark fruits. Body is pretty thin, but slick. Amazingly drinkable for the level of alcohol. A wonderful, potent brew that is perfect to sip on a cold night.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2003, Sampled March 2004
Pours a clear red-copper color. The head is a tan color, but it quickly dissipates. There is a heady malty aroma that is interspersed by notes of alcohol, and a hint of cherry as well. The beer is sweet, and seems to have some nice spicy hop notes still perceptible in this young example. Notes of spice cake, alcohol, and sweet malt are interspersed. This beer again surprised me in its relatively light body. The flavors are still quite fresh in this young example, there are no notes of oxidation, and the fresh hop character is quite outstanding.

Vintage 2001, Sampled 18th of December 2003

Pours a deep reddish copper color, it is very clear as well. A thin tan head forms when the beer is roused in my glass

Thick beastly malt aromas emanate from my glass. Alcoholic notes underlie the malt in the aroma.

The taste is actually surprisingly light for a beer of this size. The taste is sweet and ends with a bit of spice (notes of allspice perhaps). There seems to be a hint of acidity here as I take my first sip. Very drinkable actually. It lacks the complexity of the aged Hurlimann Samichlaus that I had recently, but it is eminently more quaffable. Fairly clean lager profile, but the strain of fermenting this beer has allowed for a positive yeast flavor contribution. The beer is slightly hot in the finish from the alcohol. Deep fruit flavors are here; notes of raisins that have been soaked in rum, brandy-ish with subtle notes of vanilla. The spiciness of this beer seems to be perhaps a hop contribution, it is lightly bitter in the finish as well, but it is fairly subtle in this massive malty brew.

I was just imagining how incredible this would be if it was lightly aged in oak, wow that would be good. While not as complex as the Hurlimann version, it is much more drinkable, softer and I enjoy this just a bit more. I don't know that it is better though.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Rumrunner
3.32/5  rDev -17%
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.

Photo of daledeee
4.31/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of Dmann
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of SetarconeX
4.6/5  rDev +15%
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.

Photo of RoyalT
4.77/5  rDev +19.3%
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).

Photo of Midfielder
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
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!

Photo of cncbofh
4.78/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

Photo of HardTarget
4.87/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

Photo of byrd
3.6/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of Jables
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
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

Photo of Naerhu
2.94/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

Photo of beerguy101
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
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

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
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!

Photo of euskera
4.6/5  rDev +15%
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..

Photo of beerinator
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
90 out of 100 based on 1,834 ratings.