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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

562 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 562
Hads: 1,086
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 14.77%
Wants: 77
Gots: 145 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 11-22-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (15) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Corsendonk Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 562 | Hads: 1,086
Photo of Gehrig
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I stopped by the sterling Sun Singer this afternoon, and found this gem lingering from early winter. A great find, and I'm fortunate to have had it. I admit that I'm a sucker for a good presentation and I like to think myself sufficiently scrutinizing to separate a beer's book from its cover, so to speak. This has both a great appearance and taste. The presentation is glorious--three off-white fingers of foam on a reddish-mahogany body, with thick lacing on the Ommegang glass. Five stars.

The nose is impressive--lots of fruit and spice, especially ginger, cinnamon, and anise. The taste is enough to make one rave--fruit, and dried fruit at that, with raisin combining with more pleasant citrus; spice; all smoothly delivered. Well carbonated and smooth, this is a great BSDA and Christmas Ale, really outstanding.

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Photo of TheLiterati
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a $20 gift pack (as a gift to myself!) at my local Whole Foods Market. Came complete with eight bottles of ale and a gratis gift glass to enjoy them in. Also available in a brown bomber, which is good to know since I'll definitely enjoy more of this seasonal for as long as it’s available.

Pours a nice deep brown, with a deep and creamy caramel colored head. Scents of plums, raisins, dates, cloves tease the olfactory. The taste is much the same: deep and complex, mildly fruity and even woodsy, with a smooth mouthfeel and pleasant carbonation.

Quite the quaffable ale.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on tap and from the large bottle and found no difference in quality.
Appearance is pretty dark brown.
Pours with a huge frothy head, which settles down to almost nothing.
Smells great..malty and slightly fruit.
Taste is fantastic!...very complex, fruit, malt, anise, caramel, just enough sugar. I found this to be a very well balanced ale. Mouthfeel was medium to light..but really just right , I thought. The large bottle took my girlfriend and I about 90 minutes to drink...we just savored it like a cognac....and as it warmed, more complexity developed. Nice semi sweet -semi dry finish.

I went to the liquor store a few days later and bought the last 5 bottles they had. We really loved this ale !

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Photo of gbontrag
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown ale with a reddish glow. Thick toasted head clings together then collapses in the middle talking to me in bubble-speak: Snap, crackle... "drink me. Your wife is out of town, the kids are asleep early -- indulge."
How does something so brown, that's sat in the bottle for so long, smell so fresh? It smells like a tropical greenhouse with exotic blooms drooping overhead dripping nectar and beckoning me with irresistible pheremone kisses.
Delicious. Spicy. Leaves the palate surprisingly clean. Crisp. There's good astringency, a little numbing. There's a dusting of barley flour that coats the palate with a sour twang. Tastes like spicy fruits: Fuji apples, bosc pear, asian pear, little red plums, and the list goes on.... Blood oranges, kumquats. Cookie dough: Butterscotch chip, snickerdoodle and gingersnap crackle...
I feel like a committed adultery.

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Photo of avalon07
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bomber to a tulip glass. Had a dark brown color with ruby red tints. Cloudy consistency. There was a big, off-white, creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A fruity, malty, spicy smell. Very aromatic.

T: Tasted of malt, citrus fruits, esters and spices. Remarkably well-balanced with clean lines. Alcohol is barely noticable. An excellent flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation with a very dry finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

D: A drinkable beer if there ever was one. AN extremely well-constructed Belgian Strong Dark Ale that's one of the best I've had in the style.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

Appearance is deep brown with dark red hues, with a lovely off white head and some lacing. Smells of fruits, spices, and caramel. Tastes of cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, other spices, sugar, and some smokiness. Very smooth and creamy, yet also a bit chewy. An excellent Christmas brew, looking forward to having another one next year.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.79/5  rDev +16%

Had a 2013 release on 11/3/14. Very tasty dart fruits and fig. Full bodied and warms the belly very nice. One of the best and most satisfying Belgian Strong Dark Ales I've had to date. Will be buying the 2014 release soon.

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage

Pours a reddish beer thats all clear and has a strong carbonation. There is a nice, cramy foam on top.

Smell is great! Citric traces blend together with fruits, malt and yeasty traces. After a while there is a surypy like sweetness and some alcohol to it together with a wine like sourness.

Taste is fruity, rich and this is very much a perfect taste. Fruits blend together with a very sweet taste. There is a bready thickness to it and a nice bitterness. There are traces of citrus and some spices in the aftertaste together with a soothing bitterness.

Leaves a nice warmth after every sip, a very nice brew, certainly a garanteed bottle on next years christmas table.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 that is corked and banded that came in a metal tube that had some straw in it to cushion the bottle. Best before 9-25-05...but I'm feelin' lucky tonight. lol Served in a chalice.

Had to manage a slow careful pour as this one foamed up upon hitting the glass. Deep brown with reddish edges under a tall head of light cream. Good retention, but with spotty rings of lace.

Nice balance of cookie dough, mild holiday spices, chalk, clove, bannana, a little licorice, and some malty sweetness. Damn!

Big, full velvet mouth. The spices are a bit more pronounced, especially the licorice(anise) and a pinch of coriander. Lots of dark ripe fruits such as plums and some citrus. A nice touch of bitter hops and lots of "classic Belgian" yeast flavors that have a bit of bubblegum and clove. The alcohol only registers as a warming sensation in a slightly bitter finish. Double Damn!

I would compare this with Gouden Carolous Cuve Van Der Kaiser(sp?) in terms of taste, mouth and overall satisfaction. Well worth the $11.99. I will buy more.

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Photo of JamesS
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a wonderfully dark brown, near-black with fantastic head and awesome lacing. Great thick malt scents, with a wonderful bit of fruit (cherry) and spice (nutmeg) in the nose. A great strong dark ale with Christmas flavors, it had wonderful fruitiness with some cherry and orange flavors, nice spices with a low hit of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a great bit of hoppy spiciness as well; all flavors were well balanced. Slightly rough with some of the spiciness on the way down, along with just a bit of alcohol heat, but a fantastic beer nonetheless!

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Photo of benmiliron
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received an 8-pk. with glass from my sister as a Christmas gift. Thanks sis!

A smoky brown tan color, good foamy head that fades quickly. Some lacing. Smells of sugar, malt, spice and all things nice. Not much hop aroma, but the bitter is there in the taste. Taste is superb. Belgian fruits, spices, yeast and malts, a bit of smoke, and candied plums. Mouthfeel is sticky with good carbonation to support. Maybe a hair too fizzy.

This is one of the best Christmas ales out there.

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Photo of chadmoe1
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Notes from 12/12/11

A -- Deep golden brown with 1" light tan head; lots of lacing

S -- Belgian fruity yeast, raisin and pear notes

T -- Toast malty goodness, fruity yeast, raisin/currant, long aftertaste

M -- Strong carb, medium body

O -- Belgian beer + Christmas! Distinct Belgian flavors (fruity yeast, smooth toasty/lightly roasted malt, warm alcohol) with spices that balance. I could drink this over and over again!

Bottle, poured in snifter glass

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Photo of oracle
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

10 oz draft pour served in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale goblet.

Beer arrived very dark and opaque in the glass, although I've never seen a beer this dark have such a white head on it. Very unusual. Head was about 1/2 inch of bubbly and sticky foam that left fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell was quite intriguing. Lightly spicy and very fruity. It held a the faintest hint of yeast as well.

Taste was like no other beer I've tried before. I've always been a huge hop head up until now, largely drinking IPAs and Double IPAs. This beer really opened up my eyes to the possibilities that a very malty beer can be very good too. Taste was simply incredible. Sweet, like nectar, without being too sugary or syrup like. Very fruity, with orange notes and a strong carmel presence as well as many others flavors. This beer was actually so complex, I couldn't sort out all the flavors I was tasting in there.

Mouthfeel was just perfect. Light and airy. Any heavier and this wold be hard to drink. Minimal carbonation to get in the way of the flavors, but not flat.

Absolutely outstanding and highly recommended

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Photo of DeadGuyRyan
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A hazy beer with a ruddy brown mahogany color to it. Great tan head that hangs around as well as the lace.

Smell: Very inviting smell with floral notes along with malt and fruits as well along with chocolate hints as well. Reminds me of the holidays.

Taste: This beer is incredible rich with out being overbearing. Subtle nuances of spices and great malt flavor I get a great sense of figs and dark raisins as well. Smells of a pudding as well.

Aftertaste: This beer went down really smooth was creamy on the palate with a flavor that lingered around for a while. I would suggest drinking this beer slowly the warmer it gets the more the taste really present themselves.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage, 12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, opaque brown color with two and a half fingers of white head that dissolved into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic! Tons of spices such as clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and tons of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and figs.

Taste: Wow! Malty up front, with notes of freshly baked dark bread, followed by tons of that stone fruit of raisins, plumbs and dates. There are notes of clove and cinnamon, and slight hints of star anise or licorice, and toffee-like sweetness. Not much in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, with some pretty good carbonation to wake up the taste buds. With an ABV of 8.5%, the alcohol presence is certainly there, in fact it packs more of a punch than an 8.5% should.

Overall: Great Beer! One of my favorite Belgian Christmas beers in fact! I love the fruitiness that this beer has which is balanced perfectly with its maltiness. Absolutely delicious!!

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Photo of merlin48
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Pours dark brown, slight amber glow as the light hits it hard, medium khaki head that slowly dies down.

S - Molasses, muted dark fruits, roasted malts. Everything works in concert here.

T - Malty, spices, raisins, brown sugar, candies, alcohol in the finish.

M - Crisp, medium bodied.

D - Exceedingly drinkable. Delicious.

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Photo of mophie
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another (ho hum) outstanding beer from Belgium. First off, I love the look (maybe it's the mood I'm in). It's garnet in color, topped initially by a frothy tan head. The head reduces to a millimeter layer across the top, which is continually fed by these moderately-fast moving streams of bubbles. Not quite champagne-like, but close. Smell is cooked plums, raisins, with hints of ginger, coriander, and orange. Taste is a festive combination of bread pudding and cooked plums. Spices hit in the middle, with coriander and ginger hitting first, followed by a mellow clove aspect, finishing with a touch of caramelized orange rind. Mild hop presence keeps things nicely balanced. I agree with other reviewers that the mouthfeel is a bit thin (due in part to moderately high carbonation), but I'm actually enjoying it. I will add this to my list of holiday traditions!

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Photo of pkalix
4.71/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

super dark brandy color with incredibly tight bubbly head and light, loose lacing.
smells like dark fruit, fig and raisin.
sweet and malt-y with dark fruit, same fig and raisin with other flavors and aromas.
was expecting a heavier brew but this is pleasantly in between a heavy and light, and slightly sweet with very little bitterness. although it's a warmer january evening here in SoCal, i can still appreciate the intent of the dark beer. i like the other corsendonks and this is my first time with their christmas ale. beautiful appearance- awesome head and great color below. great taste and a higher abv. absolutely serves the purpose!

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of fx20736
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet, served at cellar temp.

Beautiful, rich red mahogany with a thick brown sugar colored head. Decent lacing.

Aroma; rich, deep malt. Lavender, vanilla, pepper, cloves, oak, sherry.

Mouthfeel; is light and effortless.

Taste; easily the plummiest beer I have tasted. Oak, spices, vanilla on a thick bed of malt.

One of the best beers I have ever tasted. Will buy more soon.

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Photo of jreitman
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely wonderful brew that I am glad I got to enjoy on tap. After the Kwak keg was tapped at Monk's, Tom put this sucked on and I am glad I was there for it. The Ale has all the traits you would expect from a standard dark strong ale (belgian candy sugar, nice maltiness, etc.) and adds a subtle spiciness that works incredibly well. The christmas spices do not feel "forced" like they do in a lot of winter seasonals, but seem to form a perfect complement to the base beer style. A true masterpiece IMO.

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Photo of John
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah, Santa remembered I was good this year! On tap at my local. What a gorgeous brew in the hefty stemmed goblet. Lovely dark chocolate color. The aromas and flavors are very cohesive and continuous. Chocolate, raisin, plum, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Semi-sweet and roasted malt teeter back and forth. Alcohol is warming and welcome lending it’s own spice. The full mouthfeel is satisfying. This delicious beer is worth the wait until Christmas time.

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Photo of ROMER79
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer for the first time this holiday season, well actually a little after. It was probably the best winter ale that I have had all season. The pour was a dark brown with a one finger tan head. Fruits, spices, candied sugars, and chocolate were all aromas that this beer gave off. It tasted of chocolate, malts, candied sugars, and it was followed with smoky after notes. It was a well balanced beer with flavors that danced on my palate. Full bodied and easy to drink. Great beer to enjoy!

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Photo of WesWes
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a very sweet and slightly tart malt scent. It is quite complex; full of fruitiness and a molasses aroma. The taste is great as well. It has a very smooth malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes fruity and warm. This is an exceptional brew. It has great mouthfeel. It is a full bodied with adequate carbonation. This is a kick ass beer. It is full of flavor and aroma; a good drinker. This is one of the best Belgian beers I've ever sampled.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 562 ratings.