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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

884 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 884
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 56
Gots: 55 | 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
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Ratings: 884 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jjayjaye
jjayjaye

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

03-05-2008 00:22:32 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

09-11-2004 20:16:31 | More by mattcrill
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

12-25-2008 02:16:50 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

11-28-2012 13:44:42 | More by thecheapies
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

12-26-2008 23:27:33 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

01-22-2013 12:53:50 | More by peensteen
Photo of counselor
counselor

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

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!

12-24-2003 14:26:26 | More by counselor
Photo of tillmac62
tillmac62

South Carolina

4.09/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

11-18-2013 21:00:27 | More by tillmac62
Photo of DamDweller
DamDweller

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

09-23-2010 00:12:23 | More by DamDweller
Photo of LordHammer
LordHammer

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

01-08-2011 00:53:50 | More by LordHammer
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

In years past, I have only found this beauty in 750 ml bottles- this year my local favorite store also had it in 4-packs of 33 cl bottles, and it was cheaper (per oz) than buying the big bottle- double score for a higher ABV brew! Poured in a proper Corsendonk tulip glass.

This pours a very nice brown with garnet touches and a nice moderately sized off-white head. Aroma is what you would expect from a Christmas ale- lots of gentle spices on top of a bready malty brew. The flavor includes nuts and winter spices (nutmeg and clove, among others I can't identify) that are all are there in a gentle way- not in your face with a 2x4. Alcohol presence is a little stronger than I like, but not overpowering like in some brews.

Overall, I am not a big fan of Christmas ales- usually a little too "wintery" for sunny southern California, I guess. Also, some are pretty out there in terms of spicing. This brew has those elements, but more subtly than others I've had. This is a nice presentation from a brewery I like all their products. Corsendonk was really my first experience with Belgian beer a couple years ago, and therefore, it's a favorite in my household!

12-15-2004 18:15:04 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

A: The beer is clear and very dark amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a two finger high beige head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles consistently covering the surface.
S: The nose has aromas of dark fruits, spices and yeast.
T: Flavors of spices stand out in the overall taste, which also has notes of dark fruits and yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is extremely easy to drink - any traces of alcohol arde barely perceptible and the beer goes down very smoothly.

12-21-2010 02:37:53 | More by metter98
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

Thanks to a split mix case with mugghugger I ended up with 5 of these and boy are they tasty.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful mahogany caramel brown. Translucent. When back lit it showcases a red hue and loads of carbonation. The lacing slides don the walls of my snifter back in to the body but looks nice on every swirl.

Smell: Dark caramel malts, dark fruits - figs- hints of chocolate and nuts with spices of the season and hints of wood loaded in the nose as well. The aroma also allows a bit of booze to come through.

Taste: It has a unique flavor. Somewhat of a farmhouse Saison yeast character laying underneath the syrupy sweet, but inviting, caramel malt, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and more sweet brown sugar flavors. The hops and spices interplay very well malty sweet yet lively feel to this winter ale.

Mouthfeel: It has a thick full chewy yet smooth feel across the palate. Very nice.

Drinkability: This is a big beer for two back to back but I did it. That said it is no sessioner. This one is for sipping at the end of a cold night. It’ll will warm you up wonderfully.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

12-11-2006 07:26:39 | More by Phatz
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

Time to sample some of my Christmas booty. My girlfriend almost destroyed my stocking by ramming a four pack of these Corsendonk Christmas Ales down with all the other junk that was in there. It was a thoughtful gift though.
This beer pours flawlessly into a goblet, displaying dark walnut color and obaque body with a huge tuft of foam at the crest. Giant hunks of lacing plaster the unfilled portion of the glass. The nose is spicy and deliciously sweet with some malt in the backround. Surprisingly, there was no alcohol evident.
The taste was disappointing at first, as I was expecting an overwhelming blast of sweet malt but instead recieved mellow character and a creamy finish that is stightly astringent. Hop balance is a plus here and improves as the beer warms a little. Mouthfeel is smooth but a little thin.
Overall, another strong Christmas present from Meaghan and quality stuff from a big name Belgian brewer.

12-26-2005 22:29:13 | More by daliandragon
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

This is a big, dark-brown beer with an light-tan head. The liquid is shadowy, with faint reddish-hues when held to the light. The aroma is predominately geared toward sweet malt, assisted with a lot of competing sensations: yeast, cherries, cinnamon, bubble-gum esters, nutmeg, and a handful of other spices. The taste is sweet and characteristically Belgian. Full malt flavor with some alcohol and an abundance of fruit flavors. There’s very slight warming, and it hides its alcohol surprisingly well. Fairly high carbonation and quite full bodied. This is a complex and enjoyable winter ale. I’d seek it out again.

01-19-2007 10:56:21 | More by Suds
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

11.5oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Globe

A beautiful mahogany color with a huge, light tan head. Little lines and dots of lace coat the sides of the glass. A stream of bubbles push north from the nucleation site. The aroma is oddly complex. Fruity esters, tart Belgian yeast, cinnamon, ginger, raisins, plums, and clove. I almost get a little bit of port wine. A sturdy malt base with earthy, dry hops allow all the flavors to dart and dance around. Most similarly resembles raisin bread and ginger cookies. A complex, beer for sure. Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel. Easily drinkable.

12-23-2009 19:27:35 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of headbucket
headbucket

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

A: A nice deep brown color. Nice, big head with a semi-aggresive pour. Lots of lacing left on the glass as the beer recedes. This beer has some of the nicest lacing and foam left on the side of a glass that I have ever seen on a beer. After my second pour(rather aggressive) from a 750ml bottle, there was a solid, thick, and wide layer of foam/lacing left all the way around the glass.

S: the weakest part of the beer for me. It isn't bad, just very tame. grains and yeast, a bit sweet.

T: Nice dark malts, a bit of brown sugar sweetness, belgian yeast flavors, and chocolate(chocolate malt?) over a bit of fruit-citrus but not a bright hoppy citrus, it is like a light orange flavor. the dark malt/chocolate and orange/citrus flavor linger.

M: silky smooth, nice and thick without being syrupy. it is very smooth and silky, goes down very nice.

O: A great beer, probably my favorite christmas beer. This beer and Troeg's Mad Elf are my favorite Xmas beer because they aren't heavily spiced with cinnamon and similar spices/flavors that a lot of american christmas beers have. The alcohol doesn't detract at all. It is slightly evident but doesn't detract at all. I like this beer a bit more as it had warmed up, and as I get closer to the bottom of the bottle. It is malty without being overly sweet and has a great hint of fruit(orange) in it. Will pick up a few more bottles for sure before they disappear from the store I got this bottle from. This is a christmas 2010 bottle.

03-23-2011 02:24:41 | More by headbucket
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis

Kentucky

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

Note: I'm reviewing this beer after cellaring the bottle for close to a year.

A: Pours a dark, hazy amber with a thick beige head that laces deep into the glass. Very nice.

S: Gentle aromas of spices, cream, chocolate, and funky Belgian yeast are present on the nose. I've had this beer fresh, and after nearly a year in the bottle, the smell is much less lively and spicy. It's still pretty nice though.

T: Opens sweet and malty with notes of heavy cream, coriander, milk chocolate, caramel, red apples, spiced pears, gingerbread, and perhaps some faint suggestions of cinnamon and clove, though I doubt this ale contains either spice. The finish is long and smooth with notes of chocolate, cream, and orchard fruits underscored by mellow alcohol.

M: Relatively full-bodied, thick, and sensuous. It feels great and is very smooth.

O: I still enjoy this beer just as much as I did the first time I tried it. This is a near prefect strong dark ale.

10-15-2011 17:54:10 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of gdfan47
gdfan47

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

A-pours a very nice dark brown (you can see through it), and a nice off brown head
S- cinnamon, ginger, chocolate, hops
T- spices, the nutmeg is present and really nice lots of them, really refreshing, it has a nice hop and malt finish
M- silky smooth, just the right amount of carbonation, this beer was served on the warmer side and it really worked for this style
D- very good, I would not have guessed at the slighty higher than normal abv very nice

12-22-2008 07:59:13 | More by gdfan47
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Had on tap at New World Tavern--served into a tulip glass

Appearance: chestnut brown in color, 1/2 inch head, clear, medium carbonation

Smell: holiday spice and pumpernickle bread

Taste:holiday spice, pumpernickle bread, big molasses, cinnamon, raisin, and slight cherry

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet with slight bitterness

Overall: A really good holiday ale that I was pleased to find on tap in July. Love the complexity and the molasses taste. I will now make this a part of my routine holiday beer pick up list.

08-01-2013 16:16:05 | More by tigg924
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a deep mahogany-brown body that glows when held to the light. The head is a thick cream off-white that last and last. It has a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles to keep the head going.

S- The smell of pale malt is a base for notes of dark cherries, plumes, figs and a note of aromatic spices like ginger with a faint cinnamon. There is a perfume sweetness that ties all the aromas together.

T- There is a sweet lightly toasted malt flavor that has lots of nice complexity. Notes of pears and plums compliment the malt with a spicy hint of pepper at the finish. A faint note of apple with the carbonic bite at the finish has a good balance.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a strong fizz in the texture. There is a soft alcohol warmth that enhances the spicy finish.

D- This is a very nice winter beer. The fruit and spice flavors really give more depth to the malt without overpowering the flavors of the typical Dark Ale. Winter was made for beers like these.

01-27-2006 04:02:53 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Filosoof
Filosoof

Netherlands

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Great, great look. Dark brown with a sand coloured lasting top. The smell belongs to dark, cold winter nights. In summer I advise more freshness.

S: creamy, coffee/toffee;
T: round, quite sweet but not too, caramel, it could have some more spices or hop to make it really interesting;
M: mouthfull cream and CO2; round finish.
O: nice, welldone, but not the real top in this style.

09-26-2011 16:35:39 | More by Filosoof
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a nice huge foamy head with good retention and some nice lacing. Aroma of bubblegum and sweet malt is really enjoyable and somewhat reminiscent of great Belgian dark ale. Taste is a mix between some bubblegum notes with a nice fruity ester and some sweet Belgian-type malt. Body might be slightly thin for the style with some great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I was expecting something good but definitely this one exceeded my expectation.

05-15-2008 19:00:45 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Poured into a small glass. Label says best by the end of 22/09/14 which means September 22nd, 2014 since the Europeans put their dates in a different order.

A- Pours a black color that turns a reddish hue when put up to the light with 3/4 of an inch of off-white head that relinquishes to an 1/8 inch ring around the glass's edge and has some nice, sticky lacing.

S- A very apparent pear smell ascends and is quite pleasant. Other notes of apple as well as the ever-present Belgian yeast.

T- Pears come through in the flavor just as well but give way to a pretty strong metallic taste that I don't appreciate. Plenty of banana notes from the yeast but it's buried a bit quickly by the heavy malt base. Some spice makes an appearance but isn't one of the main components of the profile. Bit of a soapy taste when I swish.

M- Soft, yet bold with medium-high carbonation.

O- You can't ask for much more in a Belgian winter ale. Not a lot of Christmas spices or herbs but still memorable and comforting

12-26-2011 03:03:47 | More by Immortale25
Photo of Bananaman
Bananaman

Sweden

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Corsendonk Christmas Ale is the first Belgian Christmas ale I've tried. (Chimay Bleue was a christmas ale from the beginning though, but I don't associate it with Christmas anyway)

Looks good, dark brown color with a "tight" beige foam. Looks really pretty with that cute 25 cl bottle too!

Smells good! Mmm, lots of belgian spices and some orange with a nice character of yeast and chocolate. Really amazing smell anyway!

Taste is good and fillng. Lots of belgian spices, chocolate (not the darkest kind) and some typical notes of yeast and hops. I think this is a great Christmas beer! A real treat, for the low price, and only around 20 SEK or 3 USD.

12-06-2008 16:28:04 | More by Bananaman
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 884 ratings.