Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

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Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

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560 Reviews

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Reviews: 560
Hads: 1,074
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 14.77%
Wants: 76
Gots: 135 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 560 | Hads: 1,074
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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Photo of Boto
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Monk’s. Very dark reddish-brown in color, with a little somewhat tan head. The head dies off rather quickly. The aroma is a hint os spices with a rich sweetness. Big, malty sweet flavor with a fair amount of spices, but not overdone. Some hints of fruits in the aftertaste. Just had the bottled version last night. Equally good!

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Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a ruby brown color with a tan brown head that leaves spotted lacing around the glass.

Smells of holiday spices, and nutmeg.

Taste chewy up front, with caramel and nutmeg maybe some ginger, honey notes, and a warming alcohol flavor that finishes it off.

Absolutely a great beer that has so much going on it's hard to describe. I'm very impressed and I'm going to look for more to stock up on.

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Photo of brentk56
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark russet brown color with a fluffy tan head that dissipates to some islands but leaves plenty of lace around the glass

Smell: Dark fruits, brown sugar, a variety of holiday spices (cloves and anise) as well some orange peel

Taste: Starts out with some fragrant dark fruit and brown sugar tones with nice complexity from the spices; mid-palate the flavor dries out dramatically, and provides a nice oaky finish with some fruit still hanging around

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lot of fizzy carbonation

Drinkability: This is one lovely Holiday ale

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Photo of tjkurz
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of the best beers I have ever had. Pours (into snifter) dark with decent head smells like christmas, tastes like christmas - some spice nutmeg clove - some fruit - subtle brandy - all delicious. Creamy and carbed nicely - warm - very drinkable for its abv.

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Photo of Brent
4.64/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a winter treat. Lemony, citric aroma welcomes you to the first sip, and the citrus follows through in the flavor very nicely. Interesting chocolate malt flavor that had a distinct tea-like character.

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Photo of Hunter
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance: deep, rich brownish ruby color, pillowy dense head

smell: lovely hints of spice accompanies the malt, sugars and grassy undertones

taste: splendid! earthy, woody, spicy. some heat from the alcohol as well.

mouthfeel: cloying aftertaste that isn't unpleasant

drinkability: this is a lovely winter warmer

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Photo of Jason
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
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!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Time and time again this beer continues to wow, me I am for certain that this beer is one of the most palatable and drinkable of all the Christmas ales, it's amazing stuff. Appearance: Mahogany amber brown in color with a lucious cocoa colored tan head, lacing is fine Belgian style lacing all the way. Aroma: Ginger, spruce tips possibly of hop origin scent, peppery zest blended with more Christmas spice accented by juicy fruit undertones, wow. Taste: Apples, raisins, and some slightly alcohol infused flavor but all in all the spices used ginger, nutmeg mild but kicks through with pure balance bringing some beer nirvana my way. Mouthfeel: Creamy textured with a medium body overall high carbonation but doesn't come off spritzy still very smooth and silky going down. Drinkability: God don't get me started I could indulge in two 750ml bottles of this fine ale effortlessly just a great Belgian Xmas ale to be shared and enjoyed with friends.

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Photo of phrygian68
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Next to the Rochefort Trappist 8 and 10 this is the best belgian dark ale that i have had! pours a dark mahogany with a nice tan 2 finger head! smell is of dark bread,apricots,raisens and figs,taste is the same with low carbonation and a smooth malty finish,wow what a great beer! cant wait till next christmas!

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Photo of TheEremite
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought an 8 pack after christmas 2005. It was on sale and I thoguht I'd give it a shot. I shared 5 of them then and I wasn't impressed. I threw the other 3 in the cellar for the next few years and thought I'd pop one open last night. It's a totally different beer. I wish I had saved the other 5.

Appearance: Deep brunette/brown with copper highlights. Creamy, long lasting head about 1/2 cm.

Aroma: Bright and crisp belgian esters, prune, cherry, pear

Taste: Complex chocolate (but not roasty) toffee, caramel with cherry, and some notes of dried fruit. There was some oxidation, but it only added to the complexity.

Mouthfeel: Bright carbonation, but not harsh. Finishes dry and does not linger.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable, especially for an 8.5% alcohol beer. I've got two more that have been sitting since xmas '05. I'm not sure how much longer I can wait to drink these.

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Photo of ryandurka
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

very perfect dark beer. kinda sweet but not too much. very nice. i would recommend this beer. its a real pleasure. bought locally so its not too hard to track down and find. perhaps the seasonal side to this beer may make it hard to find later in the year.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear brown color with lot's pop to it. A nice light brown heading that settles to an off white-cream type color. I couldn't quite put my finger on the smell until I read up on it and it did smell of molasses. I taste alot of different fruit's maybe some bannana some Christmas spices. Hardly any lacing. Carbonation is very heavy but very enjoyable. I would drink this again but it is ridiculously priced at $18.00 for 4 beers.

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Photo of TheBear11D
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours deep dark brown, nearly black. A medium head that is off-white to creamy tan in color.

S: Scents of raisens with cinnamon topped by a background of pine and woods.

T: Brief spicy bitterness up front quickly followed by malty smoothness of fruity flavors.

M: Medium body with an abundance of carbonation that compliments the taste.

D: Smooth and bubbly. Great flavor and mouthfeel make this easy to drink.

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Photo of ggroller
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally opened the bottle I received from my Wife for Christmas 2006.

Nice fluffy, resilient head that sticks around.

Deep ruby in color, very clear.

Lots of grape in nose. Changes to mellow tones of toffee and caramel as the beer warms.

Toffee, caramel, grape juice on the tongue at first. Finishes with a creamy caramel latte.

Plenty of body and highly drinkable. I wish I had another bottle for tonight.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, from the start I knew this was going to be a special beer. Almost a medicinal aroma.

But once I tasted it, I realized what the smell and taste were. They were barleywine tastes. That boozy somewhat dark-fruitish tastes. And yes, I guess somewhat medicinal.

For me, this was very much like drinking a barleywine. A very incredibly smooth one. This one had a good bit of age. The beer is from 2008, so I'm wondering how age affected this beer.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.