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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

890 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 890
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 56
Gots: 60 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 11-22-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 890 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Gattopardo:
Photo of Gattopardo
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 4, Very dark with just a bit of reddish coloring at the bottom where the light shows (in a tulip glass). Good weighty head.

Smell: 4, Spicy and fruity aroma.

Taste: 4.5, The flavor of dark chocolate is very present, but any bitterness is balanced by hints of sweet berries. Hops and malts work together to leave a nice finish.

Mouthfeel: 4, Big body and very chewy.

Drinkability: 4.5, For such a heavy and strong beer, it is eminently smooth and drinkable, and the delicate blend of chocolate, spice, and fruit is very compelling. A wonderful and reasonably priced seasonal brew that I would welcome drinking again.

Gattopardo, Dec 05, 2005
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this last night at the Spring House Drafting Room,pours a deep amber with some orange tint do it with a great creamy head.The aroma was awesome very orangy and nutty very perfumy on the nose.Taste is nutty with a touch of smokiness with some nice rich chocolaty tones.A nice full flavored beer I wanted to drink alot more,but was a little heavy after two,but still a real nice brew.

oberon, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of Popsinc
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas day, 2003. That's when i cracked open my first bottle of this Christmas Ale. Very dark amber in colour. I disolved the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle before emptying into my glass. If the rich appearance wasn't enough, the wonderful spiced nose and hints of dark chocolate certainly made me warm without even taking a sip. Very smooth and rich i found. Hints of plum and unsweetened dark chocolate. Although this beer was 8.5% alc, i found that there wasn't a noticeable alcohol finish, which was nice. Good beer. Nice winter warmer.

Popsinc, Jan 08, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Thick, hazy brown in color with a nice, tan head that left some cool pittings on top of the liquid.

Smell – The sharp yeast leads the way for this BSDA heavy-hitter. The malty yeast is huge and introduces a complex mix of dark fruits such as cherries, figs, and especially dates.

Taste – Man, oh, man, this is a hearty brew. The sugars come out big time at the taste, sweetening up the already fruity compliment to this monster malt base. This is Belgian yeast at its finest.

Mouthfeel – Full with a nice, mildly fluffy mouthfeel. Incredible.

Drinkability – This is EXACTLY my idea of a Belgian winter ale. I’ll call it a night and dream of these flavors.

Comments – Similar to the Unibroue Maldite, if you like that (and if you don’t then go away).

Update – I bought a bottle of this in 2008 and cellared it for three years. – opened in May 2011 and it still could stand another three years put away. It’s sugared up a little bit more but nothing like I thought. Fortunately this is a great ale all the way around. And again the real highlight for me is the incredible mouthfeel. The head also come up much nicer than I remember so I upped that score 0.50.

RoyalT, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of aszatk01
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

aszatk01, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy and very dark, almost aphotic brown with a healthy head that crowns nicely.

S: Reminiscent of Ommegang with a touch of citrus and anise added.

T/MF: Very rich and cakey. Full bodied. Silky finnish. Big flavors of Christmas spice, chocolate, nuts, husks, and lip smacking smoke. Very big beer on the flavor. I can’t put words to how robust this one is.

D: Warming and pleasurable. Very drinkable on a cold day or any other time for this matter. This beer is not limited to the Christmas season by any means. Quite complex in interesting.

DaPeculierDane, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of MadScientist
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark brown beer with a deep garnet hue and good clarity. The persistent head is light tan, producing about of finger of compact foam from a slightly aggressive pour.

S: Prunes and raisins with pepper and alcohol. This beer has a moderately-strong dark, dried fruit aroma with moderate, peppery phenols. The malt aroma is in the background with a light, sweet aroma. There are no hops aromas and moderately-light flowery alcohol aroma.

T: It tastes like brown sugar and fruit without being cloyingly sweet. There is a moderately-strong fruit presence with flavors of prunes, raisins and figs. The yeast also brings a great pepper flavor, the coriander brings a bit of orange and nuttiness to the party. The hops have light earthy flavor and a moderately-light hops bitterness. the balance is slightly towards the bitter. The finish is off-dry with a fruity aftertaste and lingering spice.

M: A medium-full and creamy with a moderately-strong level of carbonation.

O: An awesome dark strong with a great balance of flavors! This category is a bit challenging for me because I have a strong preference for drier beer which may factor into my enjoyment of this beer. That being said the flavors of fruit and spice blended with alcohol and brown sugar are all so nicely balanced without getting too sweet.

MadScientist, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of kaimcm
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 corked and caged-best before sometime 07

A: Strong brown with a copper hue. Im my poorly lit room almost opaque. Very pourous off white head. I remember some science show about worm holes in between atoms that might takes us to other dimensions or something. Well, I have found them, in this head. Its like you could count each bubble that made up the whole. Splochy lacing. Maybe it was Star Trek, though Ive never actually watched Star Trek.

S: Slightly sweet, yeasty aromas. A hint of apples and a mix of winter spice. Dont think this beer is spiced but Im getting misc. christmas spice in the nose. Even some smushy, over ripe bananna.

T: Malt and slightly sweet up front. Sugar disipates quite quickly but no hop profile follows. A little syrupy molasses but light, not heavy. Hints of coffee and a mild tartness on the finish which evolves after the swallow. Starts sweet, goes dry.

M: Really nice, chewy, full bodied, smooth, great finish.

D: Could drink this all year, too bad its just winter.

kaimcm, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of dcurrin
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

dcurrin, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I poured this into a goblet styled glass from a 750ml bottle which produced a notable and foamy head. The nose was rich with malt and a spice that I would later realize as anise. Upon tasting there is an immediate malt presence that fades relatively quickly to allow for quick light hoppy finish with the linger taste of black licorice. There was pretty good warming on the way down but it wasn't at all unpleasant.

I'm not a huge anise/black licorice type of person so this one isn't going to be a personal favorite. That aside, everything else comes together to make a very enjoyable brew. Great for Christmas and that's probably often enough for me.

SIRIUS2, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

From the massive display of head to the inviting brown darkness, this ale warms you just by looking at it. Coriander, cake batter and a peppery herbal spice from the alcohol and yeast infiltrate the nostrils. Smoothness borders on silky, and crispness pops off the full body. Fruitcake of the homemade variety, chocolate-covered oranges, bitterness from the coriander and hops, and hints of carob powder and charcoal make for a very complex brew. Top shelf all the way, a bottle of this is a real treat for the taste buds. By far one of the best winter seasonals on the market.

BeerAdvocate, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very cool little 25cl bottle. Pours a deep brown with hints of red and orange along with a soft bubbly off white head on top. Sweet candi sugar malt mixes with cloves, fresh yeast, orange citrus and a hint of pepper. I like it.

First sip brings a sweet spicy candy caramel maltiness with a meld of cinammon, cloves, pepper and a light citric fruitiness. The earthy yeast works in there as well. Quite a nice beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good strong carbonation...flows over the palate nicely. I really enjoy the flavor profile here and I easily see myself drinking a 750 of this. I'll be on the look out next year. Thanks to Cornboy for the opportunity.

orbitalr0x, Apr 07, 2005
Photo of Satyr179
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Satyr179, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of BigMarty1980
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- A deep ruby brown color

S- Strong scents of figs & cherries. Also yeast

T- Just as it smells. Figs & Cherries. Faint trail of citrus

M-Full bodied but not too much

O- My friend has raved about this beer for years. I went to a Whole Foods that offers alcohol and I saw this on the shelf. I grabbed the 2nd to last one and I am shocked I haven't made it a point to try this sooner. This beer is amazing & upon first taste it catapulted all the way to the top of my favorites list. If you find it...TRY IT

BigMarty1980, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of elinash
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an elegant red with a nice head and lacing. The aroma has a metallic hint, with hints of orange zest and spice. Mouthfeel was smooth, but the finish is a little weak, with hints of spice lingering. Nicely complex taste, sweet, toasted malt- caramel. Overall it's a mild but complex beer. Quite drinkable.

elinash, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of heddar33
4/5  rDev -3.8%

heddar33, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of Lazaro
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Lazaro, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of DamDweller
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas, 2009

Nice drinking beer that would go well with all food types, ranging from steak to a nice white fish.

Initial pour has an appealing chestnut color with a strong head. There is a slight citrus smell along with a heavy alcohol presence. Drank this beer right out of the fridge, which was a big mistake. It completely dulled the complex flavors. After letting the beer warm up a bit there was a nice chocolate malt flavor that cleared tongue quickly followed by strong taste of prunes and young cherries. At the end, a moderate hop finish showed itself and cleaned the pallet well. Considering the alcohol percentage and the initial smell, I was surprised to not taste much alcohol at all, especially keeping the style in mind.

This was a good beer and one that I wish I had more than one bottle of. It would be drinkable any time of year with a wide variety of foods. The mouthfeel is refreshing and yet the body was strong enough to be enjoyed during the coldest part of the year.

DamDweller, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of sponberg
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown with a lacy white head. Dark malts and spice in the nose - almost Christmas cookie like.

Very tingly mouthfeel to start (settles a bit with time), with a round chocolate and date malt base. Very firm bitterness, tastes like it's mostly due to spice rather than hops. Curacao orange and spices (clove, coriander, ginger) start to round out the flavor along with a Belgian yeastiness through the sip. Finishes with a slightly bitter malt and spice flavor that's rather enjoyable. Very drinkable to start, but to me the spices would get old after a couple.

sponberg, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of generallee
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

generallee, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of mverity
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'08 and '09 bottles thanks to Masterson for bringing these. Pour a barely hazy deep brown with a faint hint of red. Nice tan collar. Almost ne head. Aroma of caramel and some faint spice. Taste is sweet caramel, tough of dirty funk and that same slight spice. '09 is slightly sweeter. Really enjoyable aftertaste. Smooth sweet and a tough of grit in the mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

mverity, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of Jason
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown euro shaped bottle with a "best before end" date clearly printed.

Appearance: Very hazy with a dark brown hue ... a healthy head crowns the top of the glass.

Smell: Hints of candied citrus fruit, chocolate cake and light x-mas spices ... anise more predominant.

Taste: Very rich, medium to full in body and a very nice textured silky mouthfeel. Flavours go all over with a biggish malty palate. Citrus, fruity esters and spicy alcohol / spicy ( mostly anise ) take up the front while hints of grain, a sweetness from the alcohol and malt with hints of chocolate in the finish. A light tartness slowly fades with a light nutty taste and a ghost like smoke also.

Notes: Similar flavours to an English Plum Pudding. Warms the soul during these long cold winter days. Very flavourful and lacks no complexity ... lively yet a brew to savour. Goes down in the books as one of the greatest winter brews ever ... fantastic!

Jason, Mar 12, 2002
Photo of merlin48
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For some reason, I selected this one instead of the Val Dieu or Gouden Carolus winter seasonals for my 700th review. Very pleased that I chose this one. Brought it upstairs from the cellar to see that it is corked, but not caged. A metal wire twist holds a black tab across the cork. After a couple minutes of effort, the cork disembarked with a "pop", using the thumb twiddling technique. Some gray smoke wafted out of the open bottle.
Appearance: Poured into a Konings Hoeven chalice the body is a clear, dark mahogany. The head is of a silky appearance, medium beige in color. Looks like mousse. Sheet lacing is as exceptional as for any Belgian ale I've ever seen.
Aroma: Rather complex, and extremely interesting. Banana peel leads off, followed by fig newtons, a mild hint of anise, and a plethora of fruity esters that range from tropical apricot to orange. A whiff of ethanol is barely noticed in the mix.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, like velvet. Effervescent carbonation is like a Pez candy exploding in your mouth.
Taste: I love the complexity of fruitiness going on. Dark fruits, fresh plums, rum fruitcake, spice array of anise, coriander, and ginger. A pleasant note of cherry cough syrup jumps into the middle, and adds a meek note of medicinal alcohol. Swirling in the yeast, for the final pour, adds some earthy character that reminds me of a freshly plowed vegetable garden. Finish is balanced between the tropical fruit sweetness and a mild hop and yeast twang. Wow! This is incredibly tasty.
Drinkability: Price and availability are the only impediments to drinkability. I can only dream about how good this one will be after some time in the cellar. Highly recommended.

merlin48, Feb 12, 2005
Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Teeny bottle, pours darkest of ambers, soft tan head, leaving some lacing. Pungent nose of bready rum raisin dough. this beer benefits from being served at a nice warmer temperature. Cold it had a prickly mouthfeel and some off putting flavors, as it warms it becomes much softer, and the tastes and flavors become rich. Lots of rum, raisin, cookies, mint, smoke, and alcohol flowing across the tongue. Very flavorful and pleasant stuff.

Billolick, Jan 16, 2005
Photo of tigg924
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at New World Tavern--served into a tulip glass

Appearance: chestnut brown in color, 1/2 inch head, clear, medium carbonation

Smell: holiday spice and pumpernickle bread

Taste:holiday spice, pumpernickle bread, big molasses, cinnamon, raisin, and slight cherry

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet with slight bitterness

Overall: A really good holiday ale that I was pleased to find on tap in July. Love the complexity and the molasses taste. I will now make this a part of my routine holiday beer pick up list.

tigg924, Aug 01, 2013
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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 890 ratings.