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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

894 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 894
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 58
Gots: 61 | 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: 894 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AgentMunky
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.7%
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 -1.9%
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 -1.9%
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
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

Dukeofearl, Dec 15, 2004
Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

metter98, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of Phatz
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

Phatz, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of daliandragon
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

daliandragon, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of Suds
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Suds, Jan 19, 2007
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

ColForbinBC, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of headbucket
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

headbucket, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of mrfrancis
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

mrfrancis, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of gdfan47
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

gdfan47, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of tigg924
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

tigg924, Aug 01, 2013
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 894 ratings.