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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

972 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 972
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 69
Gots: 97 | 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)
View: Beers (11) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 972 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this review buried in a pile from Christmas time ... about time to enter it!

Poured an amber brown, with a short cream colored head.

Smell was of rich, dark, ripe fruits - most especially - marachino (sp?) cherries.

Taste of dark chocolate, cherries, and maybe a hint of nutmeg.

Mouthfeel was crisp and dry.

So very drinkable - extremely enjoyable!

Photo of malty
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8.2 oz. bottle best before 8/22/07.

Pours a brown russet color with a slight chill haze. A frothy billowing 2" light beige head sit solidly atop this wonderful smelling liquid... Nice globs and rings of lacework.

Smells like rum soaked figs and prunes. Faint cinnamon and anise scents hide behind vanilla and nutty nougat.

Hearty and fresh flavors of dark fruits and dark roasted and slightly gritty malts. The flavors are a bit rustic but all are clean and beautifully balanced; Zesty cinnamon, warming dark rum, almonds and cherries along with other faint and well-placed spices.

Mouthfeel is gorgeous; on the medium side of full bodied with fine and playful carbonation. Long flavorful and warming finish.

Drinkability is also great. I could picture myself drinking a few wide-mouth goblets of this, but I only bought this single bottle.

A fantastic a well-crafted Christmas Ale for sure. Masterfully crafted and balanced with the right amount of heft to fill and warm the belly with enough grace to be set alongside the finest holiday dinners. I'm content drinking mine right here at the computer in the same room with my son kicking his Nerf soccer ball against the wall over and over and over again, (and I'm not annoyed in the least). A wonderful Christmas offering.

Photo of HombreWing
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle...no best by date stamped ? hmmm glass- oversized Duvel

Eyes: Pours bright ...mahogany/brown head dosn't amount to much

Nose: Cola syrup, clove ...subtle cinnamon and grated orange

Tongue: Spice...spice/clove flavored soda ..subtle orange ...full flavored

Texture: Delicious full bodied ..carbo fills mouth too

Overall experience: A Christmas beer to pick up annually !

Photo of HogHill
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the contents of this 33cl bottle into a La Chouffe tulip glass. Huge pillowy off-white head, with a deep brown body that has good clarity.

Aroma is malt and dark fruits, some molasses and cherry cordial in the nose too. Evident that it's a Belgian dark with one whiff, rich.

Tastes similar to the nose, the malt hits first and then the molasses and rum-raisin kick in. Very little hop bitterness here. Little alcholol warming on the finish. Nice, this one is a sipper. Feels medium bodied, a bit velvety in the mouth, and has an average amount of carbonation.

Overall, a nice Christmas offering from Corsendonk, very affordable too, good bang for your buck.

Photo of Risser09
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ouncer poured into a wine glass - Cellar temp - Best by 9.18.08

Appearance: After popping the cap and sit the beer down to type, foam slowly rises up and out of the bottle so I lick it. Time to pour. This beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. It rises about an inch and a half with varying bubble sizes. No lace is left after the had receeds.

Smell: Orange peel, clove, Belgian yeast and cinnamon. Estery smells of plum an figs along with other dark fruits. Malt profile. slight hoppiness.

Taste: Hey look, this one's 1% higher in abv than the normal ale. Significant malt profile, accompanied by orange peel and spices. Belgian yeast contributes great character to this beer. Malt lingers in the finish with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and malty at first, which then is overtaken by the pinchy spice of the Belgian yeast. Belly and face warming. a definite example of a Christmas Ale.

Drinkabilty: This really is what a Christmas Ale should be. Spicy and orangey, with an alcohol kick. This one might actually do better with a few years on it, to turn it into a syrupy sipper. So far, the best Christmas ale I've had this season, and I've had quite a few.

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Duvel tulip...

A: pours a hazy dark brown with a thick tan head. leaves globs of lacing here and there as it slowly settles

S: aromas of dark fruits(raisins, plums), orange peel, brown sugar, clove, cinnamon, and black pepper

T: semi-sweet with flavors of brown sugar and raisin bread. the spice really dominates the pallate here with loads of the aforementioned spices. boozy raisins and spice finish it off.

M: medium full body with a lush carbonation and an off-dry, warming finish.

Overall, a beer worthy not only as a christmas ale but would be great as a christmas gift. This is a brew to share with someone you love during the holidays.

Photo of adamette
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at McNaulty's Bier Markt in Cleveland a few hours ago. Review from notes. Poured into a clear, clean snifter.

A Brown translucent body with a minimal head which dissipates within about 30 seconds. There was no signficant head after that point.

S Smell of some alcohol but nothing extreme, sweet malt but no "Christmas Spices" necessarily.

T Tastes of sweet malt with alcohol kick. A nice, strong Brown Ale with maybe some spices in the background but really nothing exceptional. I have not had their Brown Ale yet but I am thinking that those two beers have got to taste a lot alike. It will be interesting to compare the two when the time comes.

M Moderate with high ABV and some carbonation.

D Really good for this high of an ABV.

Notes: It was a real treat to find it on tap but really, for the most part it tasted like a really good Brown Ale (nothing much screamed "Christmas" to me).

Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this up at ShopRite Liquors yesterday, still surprised that there were 4 packs of this on the shelf a month after Christmas. The 330 cl bottles were a good size to have a night like this, given the cold weather and the level of alcohol in this. Even though this was meant as a Holiday beer, I loved this as a Winter Seasonal and a change from the darker and sometimes heavier brews that fill the stores this time of the year and the fullness of the taste was only the icing on the cake!

The pour to this was nice, with a rich brown hue and dark, garnet edges. Lots of spice and dark malt to the nose, with some plum and apricot tossed in for good measure. This was repeated in the taste along with some brown sugary sweetness and valencia to balance out the heavier notes. The spice in here was not like cinnamon but was more of the holiday variety. Just enough carbonation here to be present without overpowering everything and the lacing wasn't present since the body of this beer wasn't terribly thick. Only when I finished off the contents of the bottle could I feel the alcohol coming on slowly.

Most beers of this style tend to be a bit overpowering to me, but not this one. Not too sweet, strong, or complex, this held its own on a cold night like this and had just enough to it that I didn't chug it down either. Recommended for those looking for a good Winter Beer that doesn't present itself as such!

Photo of Gmann
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber brown color with a dense khaki color head that dissipated into a nice cap. The smell is of dark cherries and prunes, Belgian yeast, and some festive spices. The taste is of a subtle cherry or raspberry syrup, funky Belgian yeast, cinnamon and/or nutmeg spice and a nice bready malt to offset the sweetness. A very fine crafted brew. The feel is well bodied and fizzy, though not as carbonated as the other Corsendonk brews. Perhaps the finest of the Corsendonk brews. Nicely balanced with well hidden alcohol. Nice and complex. I notched the drinkability down a level due to the alcohol.

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brick red color with a thick head. The lacing is about average. This is a pretty beer in general. The smell is fantastic. A blend of spices (nutmeg) and various fruits (almost like a fruit salad). The taste is malty with a sweet/spice finish. The mouthfeel is delicate and carbonated. This is a wonderful seasonal beer which I’d look forward to drinking during the holiday season!

Photo of marc77
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear deep garnet in hue, topped by a beige, creamy, thick head that settles painfully slowly. Citrus rind, hints of spicy ginger, and slightly tart pear like fruity esters upfront in aroma are layered on top of a raisiny Special B malt undertone with notes of sweet milk chocolate. Light must and clove are present as well. Dark, date - like fruity sweetness hits the palate at first, then is ceded by a combination of curacao and hop bitterness. Spices are dominated by citrus, but a pleasant heat is provided by the mellow, seemingly freshly grated ginger root. Mild chocolate malt surfaces as the palate adjusts to the spices, adding to the overall complexity. Sweetness is derived from both dark caramel malt, slightly cidery dark candi sugar and residual unfermented sugar due to the low hop bitterness. Pleasantly sweet and spicy overall. A bit light in body and a touch too thin in mouthfeel to support the malt profile. Finishes with dryish notes of burnt toast and ginger. Corsendonk Xmas Ale is a delicious brew that exhibits a nice balance of caramel sweetness and spices. With a fuller body, this would be outstanding. Corsendonk Xmas ale is very tasty nonetheless, highly drinkable and a bit dangerous. Reminsecent of Anchor Our Special Ale kicked up a notch and fermented with a Belgian yeast.

Photo of Asgeirr
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Corsendonk Christmas Ale pours a dark vermilion colour along with a thick crown of great posture and light brown-to-soy-like tone. The descent of the glorious crown is a slow process to behold eventually leaving a half-full apparel of lacing.

Smell: A distinct form of acridity, a mild butter 'n' floral sweetness, some soy, and a small amount of lactose.

Taste: Mild sweetness in the tone of dark fruits followed by a equally mild bitterness interspersed with caramel-to-butterscotch flavours. Occasionally the bitterness peaks and makes itself more noticed in some of the intervals, but on an finishing note, it's overall pretty timid.

Mouthfeel: Dry, delightfully round with a alert carbonation while some alcohol reveal itself in that of a warming manner.

Drinkability: Smooth and very pleasant to the palate. Mild, but not weak, more so "moderately distinct", that is to say: balanced. More please!

Photo of Long813
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown body with three fingers of mocha head. Retention is great and lacing is good.

S: Very sweet aromas of cinnamon, brown sugar, some gingerbread. Small scent of spice and some dark fruits.

T: Following the aroma, the taste is full of bread and sweet sugars. Not a lot of spices or fruits comes through.

M: Medium bodied with medium-low carbonation. Pleasing malty aftertaste and not to much alcohol come through.

D: Good beer and I'm glad I had the chance to try it. It's not to sweet, but I'd of liked to taste some more spice.

Photo of MerkinMan
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Trappeze in Athens, Georgia.

A: Beautifully clear brown / ruby color. Nice head in a stemmed glass with flared top.

S: Christmas spices are certainly present, but not at all overwhelming. Yeasty character is also notable by smell.

T: A very nice Christmas beer that does not go overboard, nor lose its original identity behind the christmas spices. Cinnamon seems to be the most prevalent. Dark fruit notes from the yeast compliment the other spices very well.

MF: Light bodied and sparkly. Very nice.

D: One of the most drinkable christmas beers I have had this year. Recommended (especially on-tap).

Photo of nhindian
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Fantome tulip.

A - A careful pour yields a dark brown beer with ruby-tinged highlights. Opaque but thankfully pretty clear from sediment. I can actually see quite a bit of carbonation on the sides of the glass and lots of bubbles stick to the sides. A 3-fingered head floats on top, lasting almost the entire beer, gradually shrinking. Lacing is pretty consistent and abundant.

S - I'm actually not sure what makes this a 'Christmas' version of Corsendonk, as I'm not getting much spices from the nose, and I'm not sure if there should be. There is a bit of spiciness I'd attribute to the yeast, but it could be some light spices added. Anyway, besides that, I get grapes, raisins, tobacco, a hint of leather, some banana. Some darker fruits and sugar. Typically Belgian.

T - The first thing I can pinpoint in the taste is a rum quality, like some rum covered cherries. This is only in flavor, however, as the alcohol is incredibly well-hidden. It's then sugary and sweet, fruity and leathery, and the malts add to a biscuity dryness. Finish is long, sweet, with a tinge of alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with medium carbonation. A bit of a spicy finish lends to it being a bit dry, but the sweetness lingers as well.

D - Drinkability is high. An incredibly easy drinking beer that has great flavor to it. Would've liked the aroma to be a bit more ... bold, and maybe something to distinguish itself as necessarily 'Christmas', but I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of jrenihan
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB 22/09/14

Beer is a very deep reddish brown. A monster-sized beige head on top. Head fades moderately, good lace.

Sweet, bready malts are strong in the nose. Fruits accompany this: orange, raisin. A bit of spicing. Yeast. A bit reminiscent of fruitcake.

Taste is good. Fairly dry for the style, with dark fruits (raisin, fig, plum), bready malt and spices all present. A hint of chocolate. Finish contains the spices the most, almost herbal. Spices are present but fairly subdued, complementing the beer rather than serving as the main attraction, which is nice.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation, bready.

Overall, very good. A nice rendition of a Christmas ale, with the spicing at a very nice level.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely treat. Had this one out of a 3 liter with an expiration date dated March 2003 (2000 vintage). Poured a hazy plum color with tinges of red if held to the light. Nice tan head that lasted and left a good lace. So yeasty in the 3 liter that it was almost opaque. Smelled of orange peel, corainder, cardimum, and dark berries (blackberry). Touch of dulled pine somewhere in the mix. Tasted malty, slightly spicy and sweet. 3 liters tend to be a bit yeasty, and this one was no exception. There was a faint tartness in the finish. Highly effervescent in wickedly drinkable for a Christmas seasonal. Thanx to a co-worker for sharing.

Photo of NEhophead
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dense, pillowy foam; slightly off-white head. Condensed, spotted, and thin lacing with good strength. Muddy brown in color with hues of burgundy and mahogany.

Fresh, ripe vinous fruit aromatics: cherry, plum; fig, bourbon-tinged sour apple. Semi-sweet candied sugar; a touch of toffee. A great mix of fruit sweetness/tartness with a whaff of creamy chocolate.

Slightly tart, aged fruit: apple, plum, orange, pear; most predominantly fig. Creamy touch of powdered chocolate and coffee; moderately sweet, Belgian candied sugar. A hint of spice at mid sip leads to a creamy finish. Chocolate and plum with hints of alcohol in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; Smooth and creamy on the palate.

A very nice flavored Belgian Brown Ale. The alcohol presence is well masked with the sweet and tart fruit qualities. Worth a taste; very warming for the winter months.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear but fairly dark brown with a sizeable creme head. The nose is a lot of spices with dough and yeast and just a good overall funk. Hoooh! Hello spices! I'm getting figs and lots of fruit. This is almost like drinking a fruit cake. Nice and spicy and fruity. Feel has a lot of carbonation, but it doesn't really interfere with anything here. Very nice to drink. A good winter treat.

Photo of russwbeck
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the goblet that came in the gift pack.

A: Nice large, foamy off white head with nice retention and lacing. Pours brown with hints of red.

S: Smell is of a caramel maltiness, with a nice addition of spice.

T: Taste is of dark fruits with a malty backbone. A bit of caramel and roastiness. Just a hint of warming alcohol finishes it off.

MF: Medium bodied, not much carbonation noted.

D: This is very refreshing. Finally a Christmas drink I can enjoy! Glad the gift pack came with 6.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had this off tap earlier last week. We'll see how this compares. The beer pours a nice deep ruby color with a 3 finger head that finally falls to coat the beer. There is more spiceyness than I recall from the tap version. The orange peel is still there, but more subdued. The flavor is nice. Some banana sweetness with nice spiceyness overlayed ontop of this. I like it. The feel is thick and creamy. Drinkability is fairly good on this as well. Just a well assembled beer all around.

Photo of MatthewWilde
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2002 (aged 9 years)

A: Very brownish red (garnet-like), strong head when poured which became a nice light head during drinking, moderate internal carbonation (even after such long aging)

S: Sweet, almost floral, definite traces of alcohol, some vanilla notes, dried fruit, cherries, not incredibly fragrant, however

T: Lightly fruity, some citrus, almost a bit creamy, nice tartness and sweetness, not very bitter at all

M: Quite light in the mouth, easy to drink even at 8.5% abv, hardly any aftertaste, doesn't wear on the mouth

O: A great all-around brew, probably a bit past its peak at this point but still delicious nonetheless

Photo of Rayek
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip.

A: Deep walnut brown with some cloudiness due to a less than calm transport. Very active carbonation. A generous cream head is rocky and firm. Leaves a very generous lace behind.

S: Coriander and cloves dominate. There's a hint of alcohol behind that spice, plus some dark fruits.

T: Spices rule the day here. The spice theme from the nose follows into the flavor. Coriander, pepper and clove flavors give this beer quite the bite. The sweetness of grapes and black cherries holds things together into the dry and spicy finish. Finishes with a nice alcohol warmth.

M: Medium-heavy body feels somewhat slick on the tongue. Carbonation level is right where it should be.

D: An excellent beer that's best consumed in small doses. Definitely worth a revisit next year.

Photo of Higravity
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours Garnet red-brown with a little head that doesn't last too long and leaves a little lace. It has a smell of caramelly malt and spicey fruits along with spices. It is very up front with the alcoholic taste of fruit citrus lined with spices of other warmers. It seems a little thin but not too noticable as the complexity of the drink is what I seem focused on. It is very drinkable and at this price I will have a few more.

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 972 ratings.