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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

916 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 916
Reviews: 537
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 66
Gots: 71 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Corsendonk Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 916 | Reviews: 537 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a chalice. Cork shot out of the bottle like a rocket.

A: Pours a red-brown color that appears a brilliant ruby red color when held up to the light. Good clarity. A very healthy and creamy-looking khaki colored head displays excellent retention. Thin sheets of lacing remain.

S: Lightly burnt crust and cocoa. Molasses and dark rum. Moist fruit cake. Booze soaked fruits. Prunes, raisins, black cherries, and raisins. Subtle whiffs of ginger, clove, and pepper.

T: Brown bread and rich nutty and cocoa-esque flavors at the outset. Brown sugar. Fairly dry. Clove and nutmeg sort of spice tastes cut in. Hollow hop bitterness. Orange peel. Rummy alcohols. Fruitiness is more subdued than the nose indicated. Dry dates and figs. Tame bready and musty yeast. Dry finish of brown bread, cocoa, and some lingering spice notes.

M: Rich and decadently creamy and airy in the mouth. Sits very lightly despite its size. Gentle carbonation constantly scrubs. Warming alcohols.

O: Very lightly spiced, if it is at all. Tough to tell if the spicy flavors are the real deal or if they are just products of fermentation. Either way, they contribute favorably to a very complex and drinkable brew. Flavors are strong and even rummy at times, but the texture is so airy and silky that it goes down all too easily. A great pairing with almost any holiday dessert you can throw at it.

ryan1788a5, May 15, 2014
Photo of brewskifan55
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

A: Dark brown with a huge three (or more) finger tan head that lingered. Very thick lacing. This one makes its presence known.

S: Belgian yeast, dark fruits (featuring dates, plums and raisins). Caramel, brown sugar, cloves.

T: Follows nose with a big gingerbread presence. Cherries, too. Tastes pop up as it warms. I recommend serving it warm instead of right out of the fridge.

M: Medium to heavy with uber frothy carbonation.

O: A fine Winter Warmer. Sip slowly and enjoy the season with friends.

brewskifan55, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of mverity
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
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 Billolick
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
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 Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad I got to try this one. This is my first beer from Corsendonk. Hopefully it will not be my last.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a large, rocky tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, Belgian yeast, candy sugar and a little bit of anise. Still, it doesn't have near as much of the anise/licorice flavor that some other Belgian Christmas beers have, such as Gouden Carolus Noel.

The flavor is great. I get a lot of dark fruit notes, as well as some caramel and other dark - but not roasted - malts. The beer is fairly sweet and has a nice candy sugar taste. There is a slight bit of anise in the flavor and the alcohol is very well hidden.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice Belgian Christmas beer.

Mora2000, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate in color with, frankly, a stark white head.

This one's been in the cellar for a while (Dec 2003), so I don't know exactly what to expect.

Ripe aroma of raisins and sugar plums--sweet and sticky. Thick and syrupy on the tongue, with molasses, raisins, and fruitcake.

A dessert in a bottle.

RockyTopHeel, Jul 09, 2005
Photo of andjusticeforale
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This arrived in its own style glass; Big deep brown with a tan head. Carbonation was fantastic, a little more bubbly than would let a head stay around. A quick swirl brought it back.

This had a nice malty backbone, a beautiful richness and a smooth dry finish. Not much fruit or sices, but there was a nice earthiness, and tremendous drinkability. Alcohol masked fantasically.

What this lacks in overall depth of taste or complexity, it makes up in drinkability. Like a supercharged Corsendonk abbey ale.

andjusticeforale, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330 mL bottle.

A: The ale is a dark ruddy brown color, opaque through and through. At the narrower spots of my mug, brighter dark colors emerge. A huge head, 3+ fingers, threatened to overflow and make a mess. Splotchy lace followed.

S: The nose is thick with a sweet yeast strain followed by dark fruits, candi sugar and spices. Green apples and plums mix nicely with the candi sugars.

T: Dark and delicious. The ale isn't shy about its depth. Candi sugars, darkly sweet, lead off with fruits following in short order. Moderate spices add to the warmth of the ale, cinnamon and clove primarily. The carbonation that was so huge in the pour has disappeared, leaving the full flavors to linger on the palate.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, Belgium at its best. The candi sugars are sweet and never drop off.

D: The ale is big, not one that I'd want to drink from a 750 mL bottle. The fullness of the flavors is excellent, rich and satisfying.

akorsak, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Served ontap into a Corsendonk Christmas snifter. Dark brown abbey ale with a light tan head.

S. Whiffs of dark fruits and candi sugar, some distant booze.

T. Dark plums, very ripe apples, sweet malts. Adequetly hopped to balance. Baked apple pie, brown sugar. As it warms more of the fruityness comes out.

M. Medium bodied and slightly chewey.

D. This is probably my favorite Christmas beer. I think last years was better, but that was after some aging. Nice stuff.

Stinkypuss, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of veggiemafia
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Fathead's, served in a goblet.

Red inkiness with nice ring of off white lace.

Smells like Christmas spices with some Belgian yeast, some anise, and ever-present alcohol in the back.

Taste is similar with some added fruitiness. Very sweet with a lot of different things going on here. A little phenolic which isn't exactly the most pleasant thing here, I don't think.

Slick mouthfeel, refreshing and substantial, but I was definitely ready to move on to something else after this one. Just not a session beer for me.

veggiemafia, Dec 03, 2005
Photo of AgentMunky
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Chimay goblet. Best before 7 November 2011.

A: Very little head. Murky mud brown. Some tiny, pretty bubbles swirling on the surface. Unaffected by light.

S: Rich, dark fruits. Cherry cough syrup. Otherwise flat and nondescript.

T: Very, very nice. The expected dark fruity flavours with spices, but with an even stronger sweet candy sugar flavour. Some lighter fruits in the middle -- apple and peach(?). The aftertaste is molasses sweet. At *times* the aftertaste can become less than great and rather bitter, with root tastes (sassafras?).

M: Lovely!! Crisp, titillating, tingly, light. Lots of fun and profoundly pleasant, every sip.

D: Heftier than its 8.5% would suggest...a definite sipper. Lovely on a winter's eve. Probably my favourite Christmas ale yet.

AgentMunky, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of bigdeuce
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a damn good beer. All kinds of fruit going on in here, plums, figs, oranges, bananas, nice oft sweet taste. Nice head with good lacing also. Should be brewed year round, as I didn't see the coralation with winter, not all that spicey. But nonetheless, a great beer that should be drank anytime it is found.

bigdeuce, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of elgiacomo
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, best before September 7, 2011. Pretty sure this is a Christmas 2009 bottle, maybe 2008.

Served almost room temp into a Duvel tulip. Pours brown with strong red highlights in the glass and produces a large fluffy and foamy light beige head that holds a nice foamy cap and leaves rings and spots of lacing.

Aroma is that wonderful dark Belgian malty and yeasty smell, candi sugar, cherries, some other dark fruits, and spice.

Flavor is cherries, fruits, sweet malts, candi or brown sugar, bread, toast, yeast, delicious. Alcohol well hidden for the style but makes a little bit of an appearance in the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full, some carbonation bite, real easy drinking.

Damn this is some good stuff, always passed by the $18 4-packs and was glad to see this on the singles shelf. Worth every penny, a fantastic Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

elgiacomo, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of jscottku21
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, this ale was quite good. Spices including cinnamon and cloves were very distinct yet not overwhelming. Extremely drinkable, although the 8.5% will surely catch up with you, I would absolutely revisit this excellent offering from Corsendonk. Cheers!

jscottku21, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of gpcollen1
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a voluptuous ruby brown into it's glassware. The head quickly fades to a skim as the bubble periodically burp from teh bottom of the glass.

Aromas are sweet and lightly spicy with hints of anise and pears. To my lips it bubble gently and slide on down. Hints of raw sugar caramels with some spice that I cannot place. A bit of a twang on the finish - hoppy yet not.

Quite a delicious Christmas brew indeed. Alcohol is well hidden and each sip leaves me craving more and more.

gpcollen1, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark tea color with mahogany hues and a loose light tan head the fades quickly to surface. Visibly effervescent, tiny pools form to keep the surface happy. The smell is nice. Not terribly aggressive. Primarily earthy Belgian yeast over a mild and semi-sweet malt fig character. The level of carbonation gives the mouth a nice creamy texture. It complements the earthy malt flavors nicely. There is also a spicy note in the taste. Finishes on the dry side. An easy drinker, the 8.5% ABV is well integrated. Overall a lighter bodied product than I anticipated. The folks at Sam the Beer Man come'n through once again. Good call. had fun with this one. The cork restraint device on top was pretty unique too; a big band of metal across the top instead of a logo cap.

jjayjaye, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of mattcrill
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours burgundy brown with a rocky white head.

Smell: cloves and spice abound! Smells like a festive candle that's burning. Definitely reminds me of colder months with a fire going and some Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby singing some Christmas tunes by the tree.

Taste: almost tea-like with smatterings of spice and cinnamon. A sweet malty finish rounds out this unique brew.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied to thin but very complex and enjoyable.

Drinkability and overall: Great! Spices dominate and it is a pleasant drink. I'm always worried about drinking Belgian beers because I don't think my palate is worthy enough to pick up all the nuances of a finely crafted Belgian beer. I think this is the case for this beer. In other words, it's better than I can describe. Definitely worth your time to try and I will re-visit this one in December.

mattcrill, Sep 11, 2004
Photo of yemenmocha
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium brown and translucent with white head. Nose is reminiscent of holiday spices, including some brown sugar and cinammon, maybe ginger. Also bready yeasty Belgian notes are there. Palate is on the medium to light side in flavors, with a significant mineral component and light brown bread with spices. Easy drinking, and rather refreshing as well. One of the lighter Christmas ales on the shelf to be savored at the holidays.

yemenmocha, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of thecheapies
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured carefully from a 250ml bottle into the a Corsendonk Christmas glass.

Looks dark red-mahogany with over an inch of lacy suds despite a very delicate pour. Looks like the holidays to me. After all, I stare at one of these every Christmas season.

Festive combination of soft and cedary spices, alcohol, and dark fruits. Nutty yeast spills into the fruits and comes out with aromas of Belgian chocolate. Nice.

Cedary spice, coriander, bakers chocolate, dried fig, roast chestnut, brandy, and spicy finish. Subtle clove and cooked apple. This beer screams Belgian Christmas to me in a classic way.

Medium to above-medium body with a spicy prickle from the carbonation. Pronounced alcohol that warms me well.

Classic Belgian ale. Enjoyable fresh and with age. Excellent late-night beer.

thecheapies, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, deep reddish-brown body with a well-sized, foamy, light khaki-colored head. Nice creamy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Malty, sweetish aroma smelling of molasses, brown sugar, and simple syrup -- all sorts of sweet treats. There's a strong, downright perfumy orange note in the nose, like sniffing a full shot of triple sec. Touches of spicy and light floral hints.

Taste: Sweet, dark maltiness with tastes of dark caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Slight nuttiness, maybe even some slight breadiness. As was the case with the aroma, there's that very distinct orange fruitiness. Pleasant spiciness with an extra added dash of coriander. Very, very faint floral hint. Never more than a minor bitterness present. Pinch of cocoa powder arrives late in the flavor. Finishes fruity with a lingering maltiness and hint of earthy spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A tasty wintertime offering from Corsendonk and one I'd be happy (yes, happy) to return to next year.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of peensteen
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brownish-ruby red colour, more than a finger of tan/off white head, good amount of lace as well. Smell is of spice and dark fruits, yeast and some spice, orange peel, touch of alcohol, cinnamon, raisin and plums and a bit of brown sugars. Taste is of dark fruit, yeasty with spices, orange peel, corriander, only mildly sweet with some sugars and a fruity aftertaste. Medium carbonation, medium- full bodied. Quite delicious, above average and something I had no problem finishing a 750ml of.

peensteen, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of counselor
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 corked and caged bottle opened wit a stiff wisp of carbonation. The beer poured a dark cocoa espresso color with a tall foamy head that reduced rather quickly leaving nice lacing on the glass. The smell was spicey, buttery, with layers of yeasty bannana aromas and freshly split oak logs. The taste was well balanced with traditional belgian ale flavors from the yeast bits in the glass. Each sip brought out the changes in this beer as it warmed from the early crisp dry notes of spice and tobacco to the later fruity plum, bannana and fig flavors. Each mouthful was enjoyable from the early cold & well carbonated one to the final warm & flatter one. A fine exmple of a beer!

counselor, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of tillmac62
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a slight ruby cast. Nice long lasting head that laces well. Malt and yeast nose with a touch of spice against a dark fruit background. Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation. More flavorful than a typical trappist ale. Well balanced with the 8.1% alcohol perfectly hidden by the malt bill. Nice dark fruit flavor of raisins and figs with a touch of spice. Clean finish with residual notes of malt, fruit and alcohol.

tillmac62, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of DamDweller
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
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 LordHammer
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas gift from my brother in law. Excellent gift.

A: Brilliant mahogany with a tan head. Looks inviting.

S: On initial pour, got a big banana whiff, but once it's in the glass it is much more restrained. Some fruit, smells sweet, bit of banana and some cherries, seems like.

T: Nicely malty, with definite sweet and alcohol notes. A vague spiciness, probably from the yeast, but much less of the fruit than in the nose. Definitely nice, gets better as it warms.

M: Highly carbed, and relatively thin due to the alcohol content. A nice balance to the big flavors.

D: This is delicious, but definitely a one and done sort of situation.

LordHammer, Jan 08, 2011
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 916 ratings.