Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

560 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 560
Hads: 1,070
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 73
Gots: 130 | FT: 0
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 (15) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 560 | Hads: 1,070
Photo of Tilley4
1.82/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up last week and thought I would give it a go. Corked bottle.

This looks really good. It's a dark reddish brown type color with a nice fluffy head.

This smells kinda musty here. A bit like rotten fruit. Very much like wine.

This belongs in the wine section of the store. It tastes just like wine to me. A wine with a malty character to it. Big disappointment here. After reading some of the reviews, I was expecting to really enjoy this but I just didn't.

Maybe I got a bad bottle or something, I don't know. I just didn't care for this. (554 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
1.98/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A - A deep Mahongany, almost black, brew with a two finger finger light brown head that has decent retention. As it dissipates, it leaves attractive, delicate rings of lacing behind.

S - Bananas, cloves, raisins, dates and caramel malt. Pleasant, but nothing fantastic.

T - Metals (tin and copper) that linger into the aftertaste. A strong raisin presence over a fainter coffee malt character with a strange chemical twinge throughout. The aftertaste is metallic and chemically bitter. Awful!

M - Simply horrendous! Extremely parching with a medium body. The chemical flavor is dessicating. After each sip I want to chug a glass of water. As a side, it is hard to separate the chemical taste from the mouthfeel.

D - Awful! Awful! Awful! I never want this again. Each sip implanted a strong suggestion to send this brew to the drain. It was not too long before I gave in to this urge. It was terrible to do, but I couldn't drink another sip of this. (960 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
2.31/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750 mL bottle. Best before end: 8/28/2017.

Pours dark ruby/brown in color with a one-finger beige head. Minimal lacing on the glass. No aroma whatsoever. Some light spice is present but this was not what I was expecting. The flavor was a disappointment as well. Lightly sweet and spicy. Mouthfeel was thin and over-carbonated.

I'm assuming I got a bad bottle. Based on the positive reviews by others, I'm pretty certain that was the case. It was drinkable, so it didn't go to waste, but clearly off.

I was excited to share this bottle with my family on Christmas but it turned out to be a total dud. Unfortunately, I have to review it as is. I don't know if I would drop $10 on a bottle again to retry it but I'm hoping I somehow have another opportunity to do so. (781 characters)

Photo of ccrida
2.43/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on draft in a regular Corsendonk cervoise, it was a dark amber in a color with very little head or carbonation, but left behind a nice khaki lace. The aroma was mainly sweet malt and yeast, but fairly mild. The taste was immediately dominated by anise, which gave way to a nice malt backbone and a bit of fig or prune, then a slightly boozy finish. I had trouble getting by the anise, which I'll admit is far from my favorite spice, and not normally so overbearing as to turn me off from the rest of the brew. The mouthfeel was a bit thin for the style, and since I didn't care for the spice used, I didn't find this one to be that drinkable. I should also note that the 8.5% ABV was no less evident then some of the +10% Noels that are much more balanced. I seem to recall liking the Corsendonk Noel last year, so I'm not sure if the recipe has changed, the keg I drank from needed aged, or my palate is finer tuned, but this year it's my least favorite of any holiday beer so far. (989 characters)

Photo of NODAK
2.44/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Aroma is fairly sweet...some definite notes of brown sugar, and perhaps some dark fruit in there as well. Nice and smooth.

Pours a very dark brown with a somewhat thin, loose head.

Carbonation is pretty prickly on this one. Body on the beer is surprisingly not that sweet at all. There is some molasses and dark fruit, but it's pretty light and is covered up somewhat by the carbonation as well. There's a sour note near the finish...and a pretty heavy bitterness there as well for this style. Definitely dry. One person called it "chemically bitter". Not bad of a description...it's not very pleasant. Also a bit of a metallic taste as well. Comes across as far less sweet and thick than most beers of this style, and more hoppy.

For style, it isn't one of my favorites. I look to these beers to be more flavorful....this one doesn't excite me. In fact, it's rather hard to drink. (885 characters)

Photo of yelterdow
2.81/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by 12/09/09... thanks Adam for the gift. I'll be serving this in an Ommegang tasting tulip at cellar temperature with a hunk of Chimay cheese... always a perfect companion with a Belgian Dark ale.

Appearance- With a color equivalent to a rich, fine cognac, the beer pours beautifully... clear with a billowing, foamy head that fills as much of this glass as the beer itself. After many minutes, the clingy lacing drops off and settles to an uneven translucent map.

Smell- Aromas of spiced holiday cookies, bready and full with suggestions of rum and nutmeg. Perfumy and flowery. Not very complex but pleasant and nostalgic.

Taste- While the malts get things started right, the instant after the swallow things go downhill quickly. Seems that the heavy use of spices completely dominate and overwhelm the palate, leaving no space for anything else to happen.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A bit explosive in the initial burst, it eases up shortly thereafter but doesn't ever flatter the beer. With the yeast addition, the sharp aftertaste quiets and the texture eases. This tasting went a full two hours, but unfortunately it will forgotten beneath many more memorable Belgian ales. (1,185 characters)

Photo of Bobikel
2.84/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a caged and corked 750ml bollte.

Appearance - Pours a deep clear red. A small 1/2 inch head appears and stays for quite some time. Lacing is very good.

Smell - Rigid deep maltiness, and some hops. A little soapy? Maybe infected?

Taste - Yeasty, warm, and a little cloying. Plum, and corriander.

Mouthfeel - Highly effervescent, dancing on the toung with a pleasant pointyness. A little thick.

Drinkability - Not really a sesionable drinker, nor is it a quiet-night sipper.

Overall - Fun to try, but a little dissapointing. Reminds me a little of Lefthand's "Goosinator", but with a little more depth. (630 characters)

Photo of Aiptasia
2.85/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampling this from a 12 oz. bottle tonight. It's an average looking Belgian specialty ale. Nothing remarkable. Fast fizzy head that fades with a little lacing. It smells like watery cinnamon raisin bagels. Taste is wet with a definite Belgian cheesy funk from the yeast, reminiscent of swiss cheese. Some fruity plum backnote tang on the back of the tongue and not much else. It's wetter tasting than a lot of Belgians and it's not overly sweet. Overall, it's ok. I don't find it quite as good as a lot of other Belgians. (521 characters)

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
2.88/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Beautiful deep chestnut amber color with a sticky cream head that left lacing all over the chalice. Intensly sticky and clinging to anything it touched. I am not getting a lot of aroma off this. A small amount of phenolic fruitiness. The taste is crisp and spicy with heavy pepper kicks left on the tongue. The mouthfeel is very dry and a little cloying. This is a decent dark beligan, but not a memorable one. (410 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
2.9/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Red maroon body, fluffy off-white head, a slow fader. Good sticky lace.

Smell: Sweet, fruit and herbal, carmel.

Taste: Thin and buttery, this beer should be good through mid-2007, but this is rather unimpressive. The flavors are bland for the style, and the only good part is a slight vinous character. I was expecting mroe from this one.

Drinkability: Bad bottle? I doubt it, it's most likely been refrigerated since being put on the shelf. I will pass on this, hopefully othr bottles are better. (518 characters)

Photo of BlindPig
2.94/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Big darker tan head on a clear deep amber body (can't really see through it til you hold it up to the light).
S- Spices come through first. A big malt aroma too. Also something weird comes through too. Like toothpaste or light pine cones?
T- Big malt body with a dose of spices. Some light european hops also come out. A weird lighter taste comes through (which seems very out of place) but I can't pinpoint what it is.
M- Medium body with low to medium carbonation.
D- It's a kind of weird beer. I think their other two are a lot better. Can't see me drinking the whole bottle of this. Just some weird aromas and flavors come out of this. (647 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.95/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my St.B chalice.
Pours a dark ruby brown with only a slight head. Can catch a glimpse of light around the edging of the beer.
Smell is yeasty, with some candy sugar. There is a earthy fruit and a slight alcohol smell coming through as well.
Taste is dark ripened fruit and yeast. There is more alcohol coming through in the taste than was found in the smell.
The mouthfeel is very carbonated with a slight burn to it.
A decent holiday offering but not my favorite. (493 characters)

Photo of kegerator
3/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

not impressed with this one
pours golden with a fizzy 1 inch head that leaves as soon as it develops. smell is pepper like spice, lemon peel and some sweetness is lingering
taste was huge peppery spice, not liking that, with warmth from the alcohol its very carbonated and fizzy almost soda like. (298 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.03/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On Tap,
Corsendonk off the spout has a amberish hue hinting towards polished brown. a trace amount of dark tan foam up top, leaving squiggles around the glass that fade. Smell is pretty spicy and caramel, sweet ridden. Get alot of toffee, with some winter spice on top of some grain and a whiff of alcohol. Not all that impressive in all honesty. Taste pretty much solidifies my fears, Corsendonk Christmas really ain't about nothing. Sure it has some winter spice with caramel malt/toffee. I even get some faint applesauce taste and plum. It just comes down to, I don't like it all that much. It does not move me. The alcohol is hidden really well though, so there is that. Body is pretty dead on arrival, just feels like some life was lost on this. Medium in build, light in carby. While this was a beer I got into good beer with, it's not one that will be sticking around for me. (882 characters)

Photo of quasimoto
3.04/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown with w/ little to no head

S - Spicy malts w/ molasses, honey, nutmeg and orange peel

T - Sweet malts and the orange peel. Everything else is hidden.

M - sharp carbination on the palette with a dry finish.

D - It's an o.k. holiday beer. Not my favorite, but is good enough to bring in the x-mas cheer. (328 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.05/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Half finger head, on a clear dark amber and red body. Not much lacing. Aroma is almost nonexistent. What is there is a mild pungent and sour grape like aroma. this is a very drinkable mild dark fruit Belgian dark strong. A very safe member if the genre. Medium in body and moderate carbonation. Overall may be my least favorite in this genre. These beers should be bold, this one is weak. (388 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.21/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Bruery tulip. Picked up at State Line.

Pours a dark brown with some slight purple coloring. One-finger head with a slight bit of ringy lacing. There is some light foam on top throughout The nose brings some light caramel, dates, and some other dark fruits There is slight bit of roast and cream. Pretty plain.

The taste is very light roast with a bit of mild dark fruits. Very light amount of black licorice. There is also some light caramel and toffee. Medium body and light carbonation. Not a stellar brew, but pretty good. (541 characters)

Photo of thierrynantes
3.23/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer bottle (25cl.), tasted in 2005.

Appearance : black color with brown reflections. Tan foamy head.
Smell : soft caramel.
Taste and mouthfeel : Somewhat bitter, well malted, spicy notes, sweet flavors come once in the mouthful.
Drinkability : an average beer in the style Belgian strong dark ale. I prefer Agus or Pater. (323 characters)

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.26/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Dark amber brown with plenty of tan fine bubbled head. Head is, in fact spectacular. The magnificent head, of course, yields plenty of lacing.

S - Nutty malt aroma with hint of cherries.

T - First taste is sweet but it becomes more acidic as you hold it in your mouth.

M - Thin soda pop feel.

D - I am not a fan of sour tasting beer. Some people like it. I think I would not drink this again, not because it is bad but because there are so many that are better. (480 characters)

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.28/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This dark brown ale poured a large and retentive head that left pleasant lace upon my glass. The spicy aroma of cinnamon, ginger, and thyme was intriguing. Unfortunately, the flavor of the beer was not especially complex, and not entirely pleasant. Maybe this was a bad bottle but sour grapes flavors overpowered the chocolate and other malt notes. As the ale warmed, sweetness became a stronger presence but it never became interesting. (437 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.29/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml into a couple of snifters. The brew appears a polished clear color of mahogany with a rich 2 finger topping of yellowish stained khaki head. As the cap slowly fades, it leaves a thick wall of lace sticking all over the glassware. Rising bubbles maintain a thin film across the top and a light swirl revives the cap.

The aroma has a bit of mineral and metallic elements coupled with dark burnt sugar like caramel and toffee. Some fruity hints like raisins and plums are also present mixed with a bit of herbal to medicinal quality. Across the back are some citrus zesty elements that are faintly like lemon or orange.

The taste is mutually carbonic in flavor that brings out some mineral and metallic elements. The maltiness is a bit like raisins, blended with toffee and caramel. Some herbal hops bring out a bit of medicinal aspect to this brew that lingers long inside the mouth. For being 8.5%, the alcohol is fairly well integrated.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a decent offering with a minimal zesty spiced influence that is just enough to set it off as being different from the standard belgian style strong ale. Overall not bad and it is something I would drink again if offered but not something I would have to drink to make my Christmas complete. (1,318 characters)

Photo of dqrull
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber, thick foam, about a finger high. Little to no lace lingering on the inside of the glass, foams up really nice after some swirling, sexy.

Smell is appealing, dark fruits, yeast esters, somewhat malty and sweet, and there is some kind of spice in the back that I cant really place, nothing my palate is familiar with...

The taste pretty much delivers what the smell promised, but I find that the unknown spice is taking over a bit much at the end, and it spoils it a bit for me. As the spice surfaces though, there is a slight bitterness also, which saves the beer a little.

Mouthfeel is creamy and pleasant. (629 characters)

Photo of Floydster
3.31/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle at Naja's Place in Redondo Beach last night for five dollars, 2004 vintage, then a 2007 bottle after we got home to see the differences, poured into a Chimay goblet both times, split with my buddy Nathan

A-Brown, probably medium but with almost a tint of purple, 3/4 inch tan head both times around, neither lasted long, not much retention, but there was some lacing
S-Nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, prunes, raisins, dates, Belgian yeast, sweet malt, caramel, toffee, and various spices that remind you of the holidays
T-First taste is caramel, especially in the older bottle, brown sugar and somewhat chewy malts in the middle, finish is slightly dry but yeasty at the same time with plenty of dark fruit in the back, later on more sweetness comes to the surface but so does the alcohol and it is not hidden very well in either bottle, actually prefer it warm but it does have a much stronger flavor at that point
M-Full bodied even the aged one, not near enough carbonation which caused it to be rather syrupy, sweet, boozy, and fruity mouthfeel, taste lingers
D-Could not drink much of this stuff, six ounces each time was plenty and sometimes felt like too much, pretty heavy on the stomach, ABV is pretty high for what it is, not very smooth

I preferred the fresher batch to the older one but they had very little difference, just more sugary in the newer bottle, not the best Christmas ale I have had but still not bad, definitely with a Belgian twist, not a bad price for what it is, especially surprised that a four year old bottle cost so little at a bar, might drink again, recommended (1,613 characters)

Photo of guinnessman
3.32/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Excited to try this one after a recommendation from a coworker. Poured with a nice 1/2-in. head in a Konings Hoeven chalice. A very pretty ruby color, that keeps me staring. I wasn't getting many aromas, only a fruit I can't pinpoint. Tasting grapefruit and cherries, and after warming a bit I tasted banana, also, a little but of alcohol lingers but not very noticeable. A nice tingling mouthfeel I rather enjoyed. (415 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
3.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance proposes a huge off-white head over a dark brown body. Aroma is quite rich, very spicy with tons of cinnamon, cardomom, thyme, sage, ginger, nuts, caramel, tobacco, chocolate and a mild alcohol touch. Quite complex and appealing. It's another story on the palate though where we have another sad case of beer whose aroma doesn't match the aroma's promises. The flavors are just not so well blended together and the balance lacks where it's just some vaguely thrown spices to stop the sweetness. Not to help anything, it's very effervescent on the tongue, almost fizzy. Finish is malty sweet and a bit unclean. (620 characters)

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.