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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 Pencible
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a clear dark ruby with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like very faint and dry earthy spices and nitrogen. Not much malt or yeast or hops.
T: It tasted like brown sugar and earthy dry spices and wild yeast, with a bit of esters and powdered sugar. It had a dry and bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with a bit of smooth carbonation. Very hearty.
D: This was kid of bland, but it still tasted good enough. Body was excellent, and the alcohol was well hidden, so it was very easy to drink. Not sure if age would help, but it was enjoyable fresh. Good holiday Belgian if you're looking for something simple, instead of the other holiday Belgians that are so deeply rich and complex.

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Photo of far333
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark copper to brown color with a low beige head that leaves sticky, chunky lace around the inside of the glass. Aroma is sugary and fruity. Flavor is sweet and yeasty, with noticeable notes of cinnamon and nutmeg and sweet fig. A smooth mouthfeel leads to a sweet and yeasty finish, with honey and pear and yeast lingering in the aftertaste.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A belgian dark ale indeed. Pours dark brownish red with a short lasting head. Smells very grassy and a little yeasty. Tastes like a basic belgian dark with a little more hops and a lot more alcoholic flavor. There's a bitter aspect to it that's very hard to describe, and I give up easy. Aftertaste is very slight.

I tried this for the first time about a year ago and must have gotten it mixed up with another beer because this time it wasn't at all what I expected. It's a good seasonal but doesn't tickle my fancy the way so many other winters have. Oh well.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.69/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours burgundy/brown with a light tan fizzy head.

S: Strong sugary malt, molasses, apple peel.

T: Huge malt and sugar character on the first taste, almost gingerbread like. Very sweet. Bit of dark fruit in there as well, raisin bread.

M: Overly carbonated at first, but it dies down. Medium bodied, smooth, cloying at times.

D: A good beer, just the residual sugars get to be too much, I'd rather have a 330 mL bottle next time. That said, I finished the 750 relatively quickly and enjoyed it.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a light brown cola like color with a red tint and a bubbly yellow tan head.

Smells of dry bitter yeast, sweet honey, caramel and ginger.

Tasted of sour wheat, subtle chocolates, hazelnut, anis and grapefruit rind with a dry sour finish. There are some good flavors present, but they don’t seem very well blended and the predominant dryness tends to detract from some of the subtleties.

The mouth feel was thin with intense small bubbles.

This was a very disappointing discovery after having this on tap.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

dark brown with autumnal plum highlights. leaves a pillowy cap of dreamy, cloud-like head on top. lacing is sheeting. thick as balls and no joke.

aroma is grandiose... christmas spice and fresh fruitcake. candied fruits, cherries, oranges and plums. almond hints. freshly ground cloves and nutmeg.

tastes evenly strong with less character than the smell would imply. black pepper and wood begin and coffee cake muffin fills out the body. big age and bitter spice qualities hide the once-lively sweet fruits. mild musty apricot tang makes up for it a bit.

a sipper for sure. over carbonated. reminiscent of big xmas belgians like stille nacht but without the malty backbone or estery goodness. grassy. decent but does not live up to the hype. go for a scaldis or stille for excellence in this genre.

will try a 750 this xmas and rereview.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Mours a ruby brown, sticky sticky lacing, and good head and retention. Aroma is raisiny, and slightly phenolic. Taste is refreshing, slight flavor of wood and a light mouth puckering, phenols are present and funky. Mouthfeel is okay, slightly dry though. Drinkablilty is ok, nothing great.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear copper brilliant color with a minimal head. Aroma was a malty cerealness (that I didn't care for) combined with clove and ethyl hexanoate (liquorice) notes. Aroma struck me as being very floral. Flavor was yeasty and champagne-like with lots of clove flavor, but definitely less complicated than the aroma. Mouthfeel was smooth and good.

I'd recommend this.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours burgundy with a massive beautiful off-white creamy head that stays for a really long time before it dissipates leaving lots of lacings.

S: Belgian, yeasty, light perfumed, lots of spices. Sweet malts.

T: Sweet light roasted malt, lots of dark dried fruits. Very belgian. Not as well balanced as I hoped for.

M: The aftertaste is rather long and holds mostly sweetness. The body is full and the carbonation is medium. A warm alcoholic feeling.

D: Not the best Belgian strong dark ale, and not very "christmasy". I'll buy a Trappist one next time.

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Photo of psinderson
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark, almost ruby red. Decent off-white head.

Smell: Very minimal aroma, but mostly malt, caramel.

Taste: Complex taste, mostly fruit. I sense some molasses and cherries with a mild hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Much thinner than expected.

Drinkability: Decently drinkable, but taste complexity may turn off some.

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Photo of MattBrooks
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy brown with plenty of yeasty goodness floating about. Smelled like a super-strong ale, which is exactly what it is supposed to smell like. Didn't notice any other discerning smells to make this winter seem more special than others; although it could be considered that this isn't a seasonal (other than the label) because the expiration date on this bottle was 2 years from now. The taste was pleasureable, and although the alc content is high, it really didn't come off that way to me. All in all, a very good example of the style, certainly worth picking up a few more. Almost wish I could get it in the big-big bottle size the other Corsendonks come in.

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Photo of Longstaff
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I thought this was a decent beer that was easy to drink, but compared to other Belgian style Christmas ales, I thought this was lacking in flavor. It poured beautifully with a one inch big bubbled head. The body was dark until held up to the light then was reddish and crystal clear. The most dominate flavor was metallic, with chocolate, maltiness, and spices very subdued. Alot like their pale ale but darker with a touch of chocolate flavor. A bit thin on mouthfeel with a high carbonation level made it easy to drink. I think I would rather have Delerium Noel or N'Ice Chouffe instead.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a dark ruby red with a fomay beige head. The head clings nicely.

Smell: The smell burns the nostrils a little bit, but it's mostly of sticky sweet malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Incredibly well-balanced for sure, but the flavors that are there are nothing special. It's smooth as all hell, but the flavors don't live up to their expectations. The mouthfeel is creamy but medium bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a good beer, but doesn't live up to it's expectations. That doesn't take away from the fact that it's a solid brew, and an enjoyable one at that. It just seems to me there are much better beers of this style out there.

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Photo of Buggies
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm thinking I have an old bottle or something. Or possibly bot stored right. Or maybe this bad boy just needs to warm up a little. I don't know. I don't get the same big aromas or flavors that most reviewers get.

Pours a dark brown with nice thick head. The aroma is real muted. Smells of yeast and fruit, and a faint hint of spice.

The taste is about the same as the nose. Tastes as Belgium should. Yeast and fruit. A very slight spicy note. Slight caramel notes as well. Slightly sweet finish.

To be honest, this reminds me more of a plain jane dubbel or something. Though it is quite nice and tastes OK, I don't think it is worth the high scores like it has gotten.

But then again, maybe it's just the bottle I got?

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Photo of deapokid
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Opening with a rich amber hue, this acidy ale leaves a nice lace of foam on the glass and takes on a reddish holiday glow.

Its aromas seem more like those of a cider or champagne and first sniffs give off a bouquet of tart and bitter fruit aromas.

As for first sips, the mouth feel is overwhelmingly dry, but since I expected that (I'd been forewarned), the alcoholic finish and deep bitterness weren't too much of a shock.

One of the best aspects of this beer is the subtle cherry flavor that permeates as the ale warms. It manages to coat the back of the tongue in a sweet fruit taste that makes this initially off putting brew seem better in hindsight.

Although it may not be a repeat performer (one was enough for me), this is a nice change of pace for the holidays and I'd be willing to give it another spin next Christmas.

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Photo of hollicetales
3.61/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a deep honey brown with almost ruddy garnet coloring...great thick white head with aroma of bready fruit and spice...great full bodied mouth feel starts off with that hoppy almost woody alcohol sugary taste with slight almost weird notes of toffee and then fruity plum figish notes with a finish of spice but not overpowering....this slow drinker will warm a soul up on a cold night

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Photo of 57md
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours brown with ruby hints. There are two healthy fingers of head (boy, is this a live beer) and the retention and lacing are top notch. The nose has an unpleasant cidery element to it. Malt and berries are the upfront flavors and the finish is slightly bitter with a dose of alcohol warmth.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

I was wary at first because there was a definite spruce/pine smell. I didn't like the Anchor OSA because they went overboard in this area. The taste of the Corsendonk was pleasing, however, with a subtle malt flavor smoothing things over and the Christmas tree flavor being complimentary instead of dominant. I enjoyed this one, but I'm still trying to figure out why people want their beer to taste like a tree.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Deep brown with a crimson tint under a finger of velvety head. Kind of has a warm glow from within, amber. Attractive beer.

Smells of moderate currant, plum, with a subtle hard candy-like sweetness. Good, but not as complex as I'd expect.

Taste, again, is sweet plum & raisin, other random "dark fruit" tastes, both sweet flesh & a little tart skin with a heavy booze presence. I'm wondering if there was honey in this, based on the heavy dry character. Curls up & gets spicy in the finish -- nutmeg?

Medium-full, decent carbonation, but the booze & spices kind of weigh me down. Good & bad aspects here.

Not a bad, though I can think of plenty other winter ales I'd pick over this. Not as complex & flavorful as I'd like, & that heaviness just drags.

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Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Impressive head. Pours a full brown that allows light to penetrate (clear) barely.

Deep sweet dark malty aromas.

Sweet flavor from the malt. No real noticeable balance with hop. Slight metalic taste. Full bodied with an appropriate amount of carbonation.

Perhaps too much of a good thing. This is a lot like eating a dessert that's too rich and too large a portion to enjoy. I can take this in small batches.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into a gobblet.

Appearance: Pours a nice dark brown with copper tint. The head was fluffy solid white and towered above the beer. Thin spider web lacing remains behind on the glass.

Smell: Malty fruityness with a hint of citrus peel.

Taste: Taste as it smells.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice full bodied velvety mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This is an ok beer; however, there are better beers to choose.

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Photo of granger10
3.57/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the final Corsendonk that I have had. I must say it was a bit of a disappointment when comparing it to the other two Corsendonks. It poured an oakish color with a small, airy head and was very transparent. The smell was nice, brown sugar, yeasty, hoppy. But the taste was lacking the complexity I was expecting. Too thin in body and too strong in alcohol flavor. The spices were weak. The main malt flavor was toffee and hops were apparent throughout. The yeast and balance of this beer saved it and made it drinkable but I was a little disappointed.

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Photo of linnet
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big beige head, brown/reddish colour. Aroma is yeasty, malty, caramel, straw, hops. Although not very strong flavour is warming with noticable ABV, sugar, malt, dark fruit and some bitterness at the end. This beer reminds me of Chimay bleue, spices. Mouthfeel is lively with small bubbles. This beer was a nice aquaintance.

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Photo of scooter231
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not my favorite Christmas brew. It's pretty enough- ruby red with a pleasant looking white head. Goes down from there. Smell is so raisiny and sweet- like candied raisins, really. Taste is... the same. But more so. SO sweet, SO raisiny- it's overpowering. I feel cavitites growing. Mouthfeel is on the watery/thin side, not digging it. Overall... meh... not bad... great for a sweet tooth craving, otherwise, pass.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.52/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a deep ruddy brown, leaning towards garnet, served in the appropriate christmas ale snifter/goblet. A thick layer of mist tops the beer, holding steadily throughout. Nice lacing, speckling the glass with numerous blobs.
The aroma is immediately hugely estery. A thinner-like feel shoots straight into your sinuses, creating a mild burning sensation. Loads of fig, date, and green raisin. A rich caramel and chocolate maltiness lies beneath, coupled with loads of saccharine candi sugar, and some apparent alcohol. Slightly medicinal phenols, with very slight herbal hops. Somewhat vinous, reminiscent of port.
The flavor starts with heaps of heavy malt, conveying sweet toffee and chocolate. Tons of candi sugar all the way through, journeying into the highly estery fruit. Flavors of plum, fig, green raisin and date, with the fig dominating. A bit of spicy, bready yeast shows up towards the end, with an underlying spiciness of a different nature. Some tangy sourness, with just a touch of herbal hopping. The finish is somewhat cloying, with an odd cacaphony of alcohol, hops, yeast, spice and a candi sugar saccharine sweetness. A lingering saccharine taste, with caramel malt present in the aftertaste. Full bodied, plenty of unfermented sugars, with a fairly mild tingle of carbonation. Smooth drinking, with good complexity.
Probably the most interesting of the Corsendonk beers that I've tried. It's a bit overwhelming in the finish, becoming increasingly difficult to drink the more it warms. The saccharine bite, along with a light alcohol presence, becomes a bit too much for my tastes. Drinkable, but certainly a slow sipper. I prefer something not quite so sweet and sugary. Very good, just not quite to my tastes.

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