Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,077 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,077
Ratings:
1,966
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
16.54%
 
 
Wants:
175
Gots:
381
For Trade:
22
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Austria | website

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

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.

Added by UncleJimbo on 02-25-2001

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,077 | Ratings: 1,966
Photo of Tim2000
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

330 mL brown bottle, 2004 edition.

Crystal clear dark amber brew with a tiny head that dies down to nothing in under a minute. A few stray bubbles rise through the viscous liquid.

Sweet, fruity, alcoholic aroma. Cognac, raisins and caramel all come to mind.

Thick and syrupy sweet. Intense caramel maltiness blends with hints of dates, sweet black cherries and raisins. Alcohol is very present, reminiscent of rum or cognac, although not harsh at all. Bitterness is subdued and hop character is indistinct. Pleasant lengthy sweet finish with some metallic notes and an alcoholic bite. Carbonation is very low but pricks the tongue a bit and adds life to this very heavy beer.

Excellent brew with a lot happening on the palate, but it has to lose points for drinkability, one bottle bringing me to my saturation point.

 829 characters

Photo of MarkBlackout
1.15/5  rDev -71.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Nevermind what anyone tells you (or perhaps see for yourself if you feel like punishing yourself), Samichlaus is horrible.

This stuff is like nailpolish. I finished my half of the 12oz bottle, but I later regretted the decision as I horked out this "beer."

Just awful. Way too sweet and doesn't win me over the way plenty of other extreme, high-ABV brews have. Avoid.

edit, two years later: I haven't tried this again, nor do I want to. I wanted to add that before, and since trying Samichlaus, I have had many big beers of similar/greater strength. I love massive beers, but I can still remember what Samichlaus tasted like and it was damned terrible!

 662 characters

Photo of goschool
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2004.

Pours a syrupy deep mohogany with a nice head that quicky perishes. The nose is mostly whisk(e)y, with hints of caramel and cherry. Again whisk(e)y dominates the taste, but vanilla, caramel and malts make their presence known. It's hard to miss the 14% abv in this one, so I don't see myself having more than one in a sitting, but it's a nice way to end the evening.

 384 characters

Photo of amherstdrew
2.93/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

bottle poured into pint glass.

pours a medium amber with a tiny, almost non-existent head and visible carbonation.

nose: sweet, candied figs, plums, sucrose.

taste: this beer just doesn't do it for me. i want it to. i beg it to. but the alcohol is too high and too obvious. maybe in a few beers this one would be different, but for now i'll take my thomas hooker liberators any time i feel like a doppelbock. the sugar is too evident, the alcohol is too present and the finish isn't very enjoyable.

mouthfeel: not terrible. it feels like a doppelbock which is big and robust. it's the finish that is worst.

drinkibility: something's got to be tampered with, and i don't think time is the only trick.

 714 characters

Photo of ypsifly
2.85/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Vintage 2004 11.2oz poured into a flute.

Bright amber with a small white head that falls to a thin ring in a few minutes.

Alcohol dominates the nose. There's something sweet underneath, but by this point my nostrils burn. Alcohol and candy. Unpleasant but above average because its different.

There's a quick note of malt when tasted, but it turns sweet, almost cloying, then its all alcohol. Boozy.

Light mouthfeel that is subdued by the burn. Not drinkable this fresh, but I'd like to try one with five years on it.

 529 characters

Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour was a nice brown to amber with a decent head, especially given the alcohol level, which then laced the glass.

Malt -- sweet, a bit syrupy, and fruity (prune, dark cherry, raisin)

A complex mix of flavors with the sweet malt and fruitiness providing an inviting balance. More raisin in the flavor than I noticed in the aroma.

A full mouthfeel, yet my sample lacked good carbonation.

Overall a powerful must-try beer.

 433 characters

Photo of asabreed
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4-pack purchased for around $15. Vintage 2004. Figured I had to try it, and since the temptation of laying at least a couple down was in front of me, a purchase was surely in order.

Appearance: Just to say right out, hardly any head and any lacing. But considering this is 14%, the head and lacing wasn't the biggest thing on my mind, as I was looking for color, bubbles, and body. A ton of bubbles float from the bottom to the surface, and it's a pleasure to look at. Yellow / orange color, almost looking like champagne rather than a Doppelbock I suppose.

Smell: Alcohol up front, and damn is it strong, but also warming in an oddly palpable and welcoming way, almost like inhaling a high quality and strong liquer. What comes after the initial alcohol burst, though, is a strong brown sugar and raisins amalgam. You have to get in there and go at it for a while. Swirl it and dive in and keep doing it, as new aromas seem to open up. Caramel and slight toffee. Definitely sugars, almost candi sugar-like. Malts also, of course. It takes getting past the alcohol to do so, but it's rewarding.

Taste: Holy Christ. At first I was ready to cringe; the initial alchol blast, even for a big beer lover like me, was levelling, but that was for a millisecond. Therefore, it's almost like it never happened. The alcohol is dominant with the ABV%, yes, but goddamn this sucker is balanced. It's got a lot of malt and sugar at the forefront, though, so beware if you're a hophead. I guess I'd liken it to a strong barley wine at first -- DFH Olde School? -- but then the flavors, especially the malts and sugars, start to congeal into something fabulous. Toffee, caramel, raisins, brown sugar, with hardly any bitterness at all (only a faint and far lingering to subtly balance out the malts and sweetness). That is NOT to say it isn't balanced, though, because this goes down extraordinarily smooth, which was extremely impressive. Top notch.

Mouthfeel: It sticks to your teeth a bit because of the sugars, yes. And there's a slight burst of carbonation near the end of the swallow. But somehow it remains damn smooth the whole time, and it's baffling me how it's done. And I'd say the sugars and sweetness never really become cloying either. Fine indeed.

Drinkability: Thank god I bought a 4-pack. This guy's young, and at 14% it can be put in the cellar for a while. I was told, however, "You can definitely drink it now," by some folks who know their stuff. And they didn't lie. I can't wait to try these as the years progress. This is amazing stuff, and you should at least try a bottle for sure. But beware; if you're not a big beer lover and you can't tolerate high ABV beers, you may want to stay away. Otherwise, this is an experiment in greatness, and I'm glad I have a few left to carry me through future winters and celebratory nights.

 2,858 characters

Photo of LuckySevens82
3.11/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. bottle

Pours a crystal clear amber color with a nice off-whitish head. Retention and lacing are lousy.
Smell is syrupy sweet malt, caramel, fruits (dates, rasins). Sort of musty actually.
Taste is dark chocolate, caramel, some fruits (see above), syrupy sweet, WAY too sweet actually. Sweetness is followed by alcohol heat and a slight bit of spicy hops
Mouthfeel is kind of slick, and not very enjoyable.
Overall, I was expecting something a whole lot better from this beer. Perhaps if this had more than 2 years aging it would be better, but for me, this just isn't working. While not terrible, it's just not as good as I would have hoped it would be.

 669 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage. The color is a nice dark amber. Head is short and light brown. The aroma is very eisbock-like and is of rich, dark malts. Smells are of a dark fruit mix with a moderate alcohol aroma. The taste is rich and complex. Dark fruit tastes are all-over here and range from sweet to somewhat dry. An alcohol taste is noted and contributes to complexity. Drinkability is hampered by the 14% ABV and overall richness of Samichlaus. This is a very interesting brew, tastes more like an eisbock than a dopple and has an insane amount of malt flavor.

 551 characters

Photo of Padron4KM
3.27/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2004 edition, sampled April ’05.
Pours out clear amber with a short lived tan head.
Aroma is rich and fruity, port like, with apricots and prune, a little toffee in there too.
Flavor is sweet and port like also, plum, prune, apricot. alcohol very noticable, especialy as it warms up. can't drink more than one of these in a sitting.
It will be interesting to see how this one ages.

 387 characters

Photo of ken3c
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours quickly with a sodapop-like head that dwindles fast. Lots of bubbles and very clear, also like soda-pop. Light amber in color.

Aroma is grape juice with alcohol. There is also a biscuitty malt smell.

Taste is also like grape juice with a firm malt backbone and a hoppy finish. The aftertaste is a little like honey and musk melon. This is complex and very tasty.

Feels a littly syrupy but not quite cloying. I also feel the alcohol burn, oh yes I do.

Will I have another tonight...no. Will I have another again...definately!

 542 characters

Photo of Barraclou
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Vintage 2003, bottled in 10oz units.

Appearance: A wonderful dark amber / ruby red / brown (like a old port wine). No head, but some carbonation bubbles in the body.

Smell: This beer smells a mix of alcohol, nuts, grapes and malt.

Taste: The taste is exceptionnal. It is a vintage product and it is easy to see it. The taste is very complex with lots of sweetness and too much alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: It is not that bad at all, but it is not like drinking a more conventionnal beer. Good carbonation too, but strong alcohol presence too.

Drinkability: This beer is closer to scotchs, port wines and liquors rather than other beers. It was good to review it, but I won't drink it on a regular basis. I will rather drink a beer more usual to the standards.

 788 characters

Photo of surfmeister
1/5  rDev -74.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

C'mon guys, be real...
This beer is not good, in fact I do not believe that anyone truly enjoys this beer, but many feel that they are supposed to.
Looks like a glass of bourbon with about the same amount of head, smell and taste profile are completely dominated by alcohol, slides around the mouth like a swig of 10/50 W motor oil, two gulps later this was down the drain, thank god they only bottle it occassionally, why waste your time with this stuff when you can have a nice single malt scotch?

 501 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
2.5/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A unique brew, and definitly not for me. Poured out with no head and very low carbonation. Colour of a darker scotch, amber red. Heavy odors of fruit and earth. Overly sticky sweet flavor, with notes of alcohol (14% ABV). This may be the most extraordinary beer in the world, but not the best in my mind. Label states it gets better with age. Hopefully it does. Mine was from Dec 2004 and consumed in March of 2005. I'm thinking it's probably not aged enough. Will re-review again with a longer aged sample.

 507 characters

Photo of santoslhalper
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a deep ruby red with no head at all.

Smell: The smell was a mixture of alcohol and malts with little complexity.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavor consisted of a well balanced mixture of sweet, sticky caramel malts and a huge alcohol presence. The complexity was small, and the flavors were very upfront and in your face. The mouthfeel was full and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: Had a bottle at the new South Side Saloon in Johnstown. Not a bad beer, but considereing the high alcohol content, there was much more they could've done with this beer.

 577 characters

Photo of droomyster
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Smells like liquid carmel, spicy apple cider, the dead of winter or the height of the holidays. Small head the color of sunbleached sand, disappears the second after you see it. Lazy light carbonation. Sweet taste of maple syrup, asian flavors like teriyaki and soy sauce. Half way through the alcohol really creeps up on you and reminds you that beer deserves your respect. It is a slow sipper. If you take it too fast it becomes cloying. Just half is sufficient; next time I will split it with a friend.

 505 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear orange-amber body with a finger of creamy, off-white head with some lacing. Nose is very sweet, sugary/syrupy, with some fruit (bananas?), and alcohol; very liquer-like. Sweet, honey-syrup malt and fruit flavors up front. Intense and pungeant, but surprisingly not cloying. Complexity added by fusel alcohol that burns controllably, warming me nicely. Faint hop bitterness detectable in finish. Smooth, medium-bodied, with low carbonation, and more drinkable than I remembered, and definitely more drinkable than it should be!

 532 characters

Photo of AdvocateFan
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Tall brown 11.2 oz bottle, silver labeling, “Schloβ Eggenberg” appears in glass markings at shoulder-line. “Bottled in 2004” and “The World’s Most Extraordinary Beer” appears on the label along with the unfortunate labeling of “Malt Liquor”. If they only knew…

Appearance: Cognac-like amber coloration. Slight orangey tone bordering on ruby-hued. Clear. Head begins just under a finger, bubbles don’t stick to each other, fades quickly to a collar. Expected for a beer of this high ABV and pre-bottle aging. Head is transient at best. Gone in under 30 seconds… light tan/beige in color.

Aroma: Sweet, ambrosial, with alcohol ripping right through. Smells a lot like the little tubes of balloon blowing junk I used to play with as a kid… where you stick a wad of it on the end of a tiny straw and blow yourself a little balloon (anyone have any idea what I'm talking about???). Smells quite powerful, and perhaps a touch like some sort of fuel, with very, very sweet notes. I detect raisin and cantaloupe, along with other melon-influences. Big time cantaloupe nose!!

Taste: It’s tough to describe this—there is of course an intense warming feeling in the belly, but this follows flavors that run from raisiny-malt syrup to stingy (that’s sting-ee, not stingy like Ebenezer Scrooge) Belgian yeast. Bubble gum flavor detected. This feels much more like a Barley Wine than any doppelbock I’ve had, that’s for sure, though it's not exactly like any BW I've had either... quite unique... If there is a beery equivalent to gamier flavors in meat, this beer presents that quality. I don’t know how else to say it other than that… Smoother than the strongest Barley-Wine I’ve had (which would be Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barley Wine-Style Ale, 2004 Vintage I believe). Similar to what I would envision an overly aggressive Madeira wine to be like.

Finish: A slow evolution of smooth malty sweetness and bitterness. Hops are present, only for bitterness, not in aroma. Alcohol is certainly present, but hits harder in the beginning and middle than in the finish. Sweet, friendly aftertaste. This beer sort of hits you over the head and then behaves like a good buddy…
It just so happens that the last beer I reviewed in my notes was a Bud Light (just for shits & giggles). What a way to follow up the Bud Light review—with a beer of such magnitude... A behemoth of a beer. From what I can tell, there is no stronger doppelbock on earth (though there are a couple others that come in at 14% ABV as well).

 2,551 characters

Photo of hobbes2112
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from 2001

Found this 2001 up in Premier Gourmet in Buffalo NY

Pours dark brown with large white head. Retention is pretty short though ~15 second half-life.

Aroma is intense dark fruits, fig especially. Malt and other fruits are slightly secondary to the major fig element.

Taste is malt, fruit and simple sugars. That malt though...wow! Tons of alcohol also, especially at is warms up.

This beer was somewhat hard to drink, a little too sweet for frequent consumption.

 491 characters

Photo of karst
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahhh... Dopplebock!

Always born on St. Nicholas Day.

Exhaling sweet malt and rum soaked fruits from a 0.1 liter wine glass.

14% hiding in perfect flavors - Chocolate Whisky Caromel Toffe Honey Fruit

Its sweet aroma and alcohol fumes reach into my nose and water my eyes

Epitome of Mouth Feel I swallow this slick Samichlaus 2003 - Carpe Diem

 357 characters

Photo of Truh
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thought that the ghosts of Christmas' past visited me with this one on 2/8/2005. 11.2 fl. oz. bottle, "bottled in 2004," poured in a shaker glass.

Huge froth of big bubble madness settles to a loose layer of smaller stuff. Copper hue, almost edging towards claret, with good clarity and slow action. Candy corn sweetness on nose with a deep malt backing; it almost seems like there is a hint of earthiness at its core. Ouch, the almost malted ball sweetness (not chocolate) bangs right beneath the eyes and is followed closely by a stinging alcohol torch that rips down the middle of the tongue and throat; almost a banana taste with a crème brulee flamed outer layer. Not sure what all the hype is surrounding this one, though perhaps this was a standard bearer of big beers before the extreme movement took off in the U.S.

 828 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest 2005.

This doppelbock poured a clear, orange-amber color with tan foam that settled. The smell was lightly sweet with a complex, malty aroma and a hint of banana. Alcohol was also evident in the aroma. The taste was very rich and malty with the flavor of alcohol and fusel alcohols noticeable. Overall the flavor was complex. The mouthfeel was warming and smooth with medium-full body and low carbonation. The sweet maltiness lingered on the palate pleasantly. This was a very nice beer and was quite drinkable for its strength.

 580 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was bottled in 2000
(Poured in a standard American pint glass.)

Appearance 1/4 inch off-white head that dissipates pretty quickly. The beer is a deep mahogany and is a clear but to dense to see through. No legs when slightly swirled in the glass.

Smell light caramely/chocolate malt scent. Very clean smell with no hops or diacetyl smell.

Taste Starts off malty but quickly moves to a chocolaty flavor then a slight prune/alcohol taste comes out. Only after the alcohol taste subsides did I get a faint hint of hops.

Mouthfeel very tiny bubbles with a very hot moutheel that stays in your mouth for an extra second.

Drinkability This as a very nice warming beer for the winter but its not what I would expect from a doppelbock. It is a wonderful bier that has done very well with age. There is no one flavor that overpowers any other flavors, it just adds layer on layer of flavors.

 897 characters

Photo of Pegasus
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage

Appearance: Crystal-clear amber color, displays a small off-white head, slight lacing, and little carbonation.

Aroma: Quite pungent and sweet, intense alcohol aroma, with a very sweet malt aroma beneath.

Taste: Begins with a sweet, honey-like syrupy note, beneath which is a very strong and warming alcohol note. Finishes with a slight, quite mild hop bitterness. Overall, somewhat like a brandy in character.

Mouth feel: Smooth and very rich, actually syrupy, no carbonation could be felt.

Drinkability/notes: Absolutely excellent, a superb apertif or after dinner drink. Do not miss the opportunity to sample this spectacular beer.

2010 Vintage, reviewed 2015-12-15

Appearance: Brillaint clear amber color, with a prominent white head, which soon fades to a dusting of foam, thin fine-beaded lacing, and slight, slow-rising carbonation.

Aroma: Very sweet aroma, lots of caramel and vinous, sweet alcohol, mulling spices, with some candied orange, with seems more than appropriate for Christmas.

Taste: The taste opens with sweet caramel, followed by a wave of sweet, vinous alcohol. As the taste progresses, dark fruits and raisins dominate the taste. Finishes with a long, sweet and warming alcohol note, with little or no hops present.

Mouth feel: Very smooth and full, with only slight carbonation, just a hint of zest.

Drinkability/notes: Absolutely wonderful, a perfect compliment to dessert.

 1,425 characters

Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wicked.

Appearance: A very deep amber with small white head.

Smell: Maple, prunes, spicy. And oh, yeah, alchohol. Big time caramel. I also get a cognac vibe.

Taste: Sweet, caramel maltiness. I mean big time caramel. Hops are nice and cleansing to the back and sides of the mouth, especially at warmer temperatures. I wonder if caramel comes from diacetyls or crystal (caramel) malt.

Mouthfeel: Slick and chewy. Buttery.
Drinkability: Hell, yes!

I've had quite a few big beers, and I'm reluctant to admit I had a hard time getting a grip on Samichlaus. It will take repeated samplings on a regular basis, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

 664 characters

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,077 ratings.