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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,026 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,026
Reviews: 552
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 70
Gots: 118 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website
Belgium

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 (11) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,026 | Reviews: 552 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of radioscooter
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Why I love Christmas part 324: "Amazing beers from breweries I don't usually care much about or for."

Corsendonk is a classic Belgian brewery that I just don't usually love the beer from. I mean, what's the point of brewing in Belgium if you're not making Quads right? (joke)

Anyway, I'm not a Blonde or really much of a trippel fan but I thought - hey it's Christmas, let's try all the Christmas Ales.

I am glad this one made it onto my list. It was recommended by the bartender lady at the Sharp Edge when I stopped by today to apparently get raped on bottles of Samichlaus. But that's a whole 'nother rant. Welcome to PA. Bend over.

Phenomenal pour and foamy, thick creamy caramel head with beautiful drapey lacing. Like a picture of how beer should look.

Aroma is medium fruity and of course, spicy.

Taste is old world malty, fruity spicy goodness with a hint of pepper. The impulse to chew it slowly is very strong. Getting the blend of creamy foam with the underlying beer right is easy and makes it so much more enjoyable.

A touch too carbonated for me, but that's probably what is making this great foam. And it seems a little heady for only an 8.5, but these are hairs we're splitting now.

"You lad, what day is it today?" "Today sir? Why it's Christmas Day!"

Would that all Christmas ales were this splendid.

Photo of dank203
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

great Belgian dark. pours into tulip a brown to black color, lot of tan head. aromas are a bit musty and moldy with some dried fruit presence. flavors balance between sweetness of dried fruits like figs, dates, rasin, and spice notes, nut meg, brown sugar, cinnamon. medium/ full thickness

Photo of NClifestyle
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

little late for xmas, but i don't think that's a problem.
pours up extremely dark ruby color with a huge head of large bubbles, creamy top. oddly, the bubbles seem to get smaller as the head settles. lots of lace in strange patterns.
smells like a strong belgian beer, but not overpowering. sweet, yeast.
taste was quite nice. malty dark fruit, raisin and cherry, yeast and wheat. hops show up as the beer warms, but they are still pretty sweet, citrus like, with a bit of peppery spice.
mouthfeel is thick and creamy. the beer widens in the mouth, bubbles everywhere. smooth, smooth, smooth.
drinkabiliby is decent, above average, but i couldn't sip this all night. would love to have it again, much better than many belgian beers that are too tart, but it's very strong.

cheers...

Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ho ho ho, 2 days till Xmas - close enough! Finally a Corsendonk brew for my Corsey Tulip.

Easy pour, massive rocky head billows up - islands of lace. Great aroma of winter spices with the classic Belgium yeast. Zesty tasting brew with the spices and malt balanced well with the hops. A surprisingly dry brew, finishing crisply with the spices.

Quite a winter warmer. Tasty.

Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey's yearly Belgian Christmas on 12/15.

*2009 Vintage*

A - Mahogany pour with a nice light head but fades to leave super lacing and deanse clouds.

S - Earthy light funk. Very light on fruit notes as well as some good belgian spices.

T - Dense, deep fruits along with light sugars and sweet malts. This while not sticky, is almost lip smacking good. The spice note really falls in line with the whole Christmas brew.

M - Medium carbonation tickles the tongue. Incredibly nice and light on the mouth.

D - Great mouthfeel and taste and that clumpy head all work together for a very enjoyable strong dark ale.

Photo of barczar
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%

Esters of pear and green apple contrast dark Belgian candi sugar in the aroma. Flavor is similar, with pronounced esters dominating and finishing fairly sweet and toasted.

Photo of PorterLambic
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours coppery red with a head that last forever. Tan head, creamy with great lacing.
Smell is sweet, malt, pepper with a hint of hops.
Taste is sweet, malt, dark fruit with a hint of hop in the afteretaste only.
Full bodied, mellow, smooth, very little effervescence, lightly warming. Very good indeed.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz into tiny saison glass. best before 24/09/14.

A- Nice clarity, brown in the glass but almost red in the light. Big billowy tan head that stays and stays. Nice top ring as the head settles.

S- Lots of dark bread. Ripe red apples and lots of undefined christmas spice.

t- The brown malty bread comes on strong, sweet and a bit spicy in the finish. Dark fruit is there but is pretty mellow.

M- A little warm going down, but it is enjoyable.

O- I liked it- an enjoyable and unique beer. I might have to tuck a few of these away for some emergency holiday cheer.

Photo of Popsinc
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas day, 2003. That's when i cracked open my first bottle of this Christmas Ale. Very dark amber in colour. I disolved the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle before emptying into my glass. If the rich appearance wasn't enough, the wonderful spiced nose and hints of dark chocolate certainly made me warm without even taking a sip. Very smooth and rich i found. Hints of plum and unsweetened dark chocolate. Although this beer was 8.5% alc, i found that there wasn't a noticeable alcohol finish, which was nice. Good beer. Nice winter warmer.

Photo of chinchill
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.
Pours a beautiful mahogany color; clear with a large, durable and thick tan head that leaves lots of lacing. Perfect appearance.

Nutty and spicy, with a rather high level of carbonation that makes for a lively feel. Lightly tart, with a strong dark fruitiness, especially in the aftertaste. Flavor much better than aroma, although both evolve and improve with warming.

O: Everything comes together nicely in this beer, despite my lack of love for the yeasty aroma. Excellent and highly recommended.

Photo of DrewS
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001 - Best before date 10/9/02 - 750 ml. bottle

First of all I must say, I sure prefer Belgian winter seasonals over most of the domestic ones I've sampled. I guess it's because I favor the style in general. Anyway, I really enjoyed this beer. It pours out a murky brown with slight red tinge. The tan head was ample and lasted for a bit before subsiding to a nearly non-existant layer. A whole lot going on here in the nose, big bready fruitcake aromas, molassas, chocolate, and alcohol. The flavor closely echos the aromas as many beers do. Very light carbonation contributes to a slick and appealing mouthfeel. Sweet malt, dark Belgian candy sugar, and fruity esters dominate the profile with hidden flavors lurking underneath the surface. Maybe a little maple and orange plus a bit of chocolate and plum. Each sip reveals something different. Alcohol definately plays a large role and its gut warming presence is quite detectable. No hops here to be found, though I suspect they were part of the recipe but have since faded away. Great winter brew. Goodbye my friend, on to this year's iteration.

Photo of JCaweinstein
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown color, crystal cleary with lots of carbonation. Two finger creamy white head with long lasting retention. It's pretty.
I smell fruit, plums, clove, and other spices. It's a very festive smell which is very fitting.
I'm getting a deep and rich fruity flavor. It tastes of raisins, sprices, and a slight hint of hops. It's a little bready too.
This is a crisp and medium bodied and coats the mouth. It's very smooth with a nice fruity finish.
This is a very nice Christmas ale. It's complex in both flavor and aroma and feels good going down. I would buy this again next season.

Photo of randawakes
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, red molten color, 1 inch head, decent stagnant lace frothy reminance. Smells of molten sugar, dark malt flavors. Tastes very spicy, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, complex trying to mask the dark fruits. Not as good as expected (not being much of a holiday beer guy, although with respect to other holiday brews this is the best), but its definitely worthy. Must try it.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep brown with a light off white or tan head. Lots of clingy lace and good foamy retention.

Raisin, alcohol, nuts, cocoa powder in the nose. General maltiness and maybe even something like warm cake. Nice.

Malt, fig, bitter cocoa, dark bread, bread crust bitterness. Some spice, a little yeast, some burnt sugars, all enveloped in some bitterness and a little alcohol.

Medium full in body, with nice carbonation.

Vey nice version of the style. Highly drinkable.

Photo of Viking
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish amber body with a thin lacy head. Pretty good head retention, especially since it was rather weak to begin with. Sweet malty aroma, lightly spicy. Smooth dark fuity flavor with a strong caramel malt base. Light taste of cinnamon and maybe nutmeg add just enough character to this brew. Spices are somewhat lighter in Corsendonk's offering than in many others, but it works well.

Photo of drpimento
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely, heavenly beer! A masterpiece. Pours with a nice fine head that lasts for a while but eventually mostly dissapears. Plenty of lace. Nice dark brown with strong red highlights. Spicey fruity malty nose. Good carbonation. Warming. Excellent mouth witth an extended finish.

Photo of malty
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
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 scruffwhor
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- a very clear brown with lots of rubyhighlights throughout. OK bubbling, good head and sparse lacing throughand through. ooks more like an English Brown ale than a Belgian.

Smell- Made me think of fruit cake with a shotof brandy to warm the chest and stomach.

Taste- Starts with wet, figgy malts that subside to darker, carmalized fruits with a touch ofsome roast. Brown sugar apple plumspice to finish.

Mouthfeel-You don't se that much carbonation, bout you can feel it. Balanced and easy to drink, especially for 8.5% abv.

Photo of Risser09
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
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 cjgator3
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a dark plum brown that produces large creamy light tan head. The aroma is light and bready with a slight amount of tartness. It is also a tad floral with some spice and citrus (mainly oranges). The taste is also bready with a good amount of malt flavor followed by a slightly spicy and tart middle that is finished by a pleasant bitterness and slight warming from the alcohol. This beer is very drinkable despite it's hight ABV. Overall, this is a very good Christmas beer from Belgium that is recommended. I will have to revisit this again next year.

Photo of buschbeer
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle
Served in a tulip glass
Batch 8116
Best before end: 20/08/15
My bottle says 8.1% abv

A - It is dark amber with ruby highlights. It is capped by several inches of beige head.

S - It has a red berry, fruity smell to it. It also has a candied, sweet aroma.

T - The taste is very pleasing. It is fruity and spicy. I taste some ripe red fruit, fig, and the spiciness from the Belgian yeast.

M - It has a medium feel to it. The carbonation makes my tongue tingle.

O - I bought this last Christmas. It tastes very nice. I enjoy the fruitiness and spiciness of this beer. I really didn't expect much, and it was a wonderful surprise. I may get this again for next Christmas.

Photo of webmanspidey
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice, this is a dark brown color with around half an inch of fluffy head. The smell is very sweet with some hints of plums, brown sugar, and cherry. The taste is a smooth mix of grapes and dark fruit with interesting twists like orange peel and lemon. Alcohol is hidden very well.

Photo of Fakexican
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of alucard
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Poured a deep, dark amber with an offwhite full finger head that takes it time melting to top-covering sticky lacing.
Aromas are caramel, both dark and light fruits, and spices like corriander, cinnamon, and clove.
Mouthfeel is initially soft on the tongue then slightly biting. Both of which could come from the tiny carbonation.
Taste is blended caramel, dark fruits, and spices. Finish is slightly bitter from the hops...sort of a citrus peel sharpness that cleanses the pallete nicely.
Aftertaste is the memory of toasted caramel and a hint of belgium yeast.
Where is the alcohol? I sense it neither in the aromas nor the taste.
This is a wonderfully complex winter brew and definitely worth seeking out.
Many thanks to numenor1 for the SS 06 package that included this.

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 1,026 ratings.