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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: 1,071
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 73
Gots: 133 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Corsendonk Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 560 | Hads: 1,071
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)

Photo of gfreed
3.36/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Relative to other beer from Corsendonk, this is rather uninteresting: it has a flat flavor that wants to be like the palen but doesn't quite have the muscle or the yeast. Relative to other christmas-themed beer in general, however, this is spectacular because it isn't larded with spices and herbs. It's mildly fizzy and has a decent, if understated maltiness that could use a bit of a boost in the flavor and the density. I would like to have had a bit more warmth and zing; nonetheless it's worth a single bottle. I wouldn't invest in a four-pack. (549 characters)

Photo of caddybuyer
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 release poured fresh.

A-Dark brown pour with garnet highlights when held to light. Thick rocky tan head. Nice looking brew.

S-Belgian yeast, dark fruits and a hint of spice. Very underwhelming overall, I expected this to be a pungent treat for the nose.

D-Nose carries over to the palate and I have to admit that this one was a huge letdown. Yeasty and malty without much body and alcohol present, even my wife who does not drink beer felt this had little to offer in complex taste. Maybe some age? Too bad.

M-Way overcarbonated and much thinner than I would have expected.

D-Based on the reviews I was reading I feel like I was drinking a totally different brew. Not a huge fan of the regular Corsendonk either, so maybe this brewery is just not my thing. (767 characters)

Photo of Mjoepp
3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown, with light brown head.

S: Fruits, especially figs, spices and caramel notes.

T: Sweet, some alcohol, figs, raisins. Aftertaste is a round taste of alcohol and some bitterness from hops.

Overall: Decent, nothing special among the christmas beers. (263 characters)

Photo of crnipeter
3.44/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml into small Chimay chalice. I forgot to look at the production/BBE date but the bottle was quite recent one.
The bubbly head atop of dark brown garnet fluid quickly dissipates forming soapy sheet that disintegrates further into floating patches of agglomerated bubbles. The nose reveals citrus alike aroma that probably originates from copious use of coriander. Thin and crispy with well hidden alcohol the beer is bitter-sweet like a nutmeg and gives an impression of being heavily spiced with coriander and perhaps a warming sensation yielding black pepper. Flavor profile ends with lightly bitter hoppy finish with some dryness. This brew is overly spiced: the qualities of underlaying beer are entirely masked by generous additions of condiments. Spices should enhance the beer not subdue it.Thus I cannot say much about BSDA that served as a platform for this xmas ale - my guess is that brewers used a bit fortified Corsendonk Pater and enriched it with tons of additaments. Not impressed - Corsendonk xmas is like a woman who exaggerates with makeup - instead of stressing out her beauty she looks like a painted clown. (1,131 characters)

Photo of BrownAleMale
3.46/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ervs Mug served in a Great Lakes sniffter

Appearance- Mahogony to dark brown with an amber hue. Head is very minimal and stays very minimal all the way through. Very light lacing.

Smell- Very light clove scent. Not getting a ton of specific spices, just a definite spice smell though.

Taste- Pretty much follows the nose. Spice is there but very very light. Im thinking that the flavors and smells are diminished because it was on tap.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a nice crisp semi carbonated finish.

Overall- I like my winter spiced ales to have a little more pronouced flavors and smells. I do believe the fact that it was on tap may have its part in that. (673 characters)

Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Heard this was a tasty winter warmer. Picked up a 12oz'er at Capones to give it a whirl. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, deep ruby red/brown color with a big tan head. This one left a lot of spotty lacing down the glass.

Smell: Big malty profile with some holiday spiciness to it. Ginger, nutmeg, dark fruits and a warm alcohol aroma.

Taste: Not much of a christmas spice beer, mostly dark fruits with some spicy hints in the finish. Sweet at times as it warms up. Moderate malt backbone. Some warming from the alcohol. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, almost creamy. Finishes dry as I said earlier, very mild bitterness as well. Sweet, with some alcohol warming that gets a little overbearing the warmer it gets, at least for my tastes. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Just one for me. Medium-Full bodied beer, not as heavy as its color would indicate. Just too much alcohol presence.

Not a big fan of the style, though this might change my mind. Not a bad beer, just not my thing. (1,009 characters)

Photo of RandomExile
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: light-reddish brown, upward streaming lines of carbonation; scant light brown head; light but pervasive bands of pointillist lacing
S: malty, musky, caramel
T: apple-citrus, musky caramel
M: savory, medium-bodied
O: Pretty decent, melds together well but falls a bit short of special. The savory/musky elements might appeal to some, but I'm still looking for something with a fuller body and dry.

20oz. / Snifter / Victoria Gastro Pub, Columbia, MD (453 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured a deep brown ruby red with a two finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, spice, funky fruit, fruit, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, spice, fruit, alcohol, banana, funky fruit, and earth. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. There was quite a bit going on in this one that I usually enjoy about the style. However, there was also something that was rather odd and out of place on this one with the funky fruit aspect. What in the Hell was this??? Not that it tasted or smelled bad, but it was definitely strange to pick up on for sure. As far as the style goes this was a pretty good representation of what one would expect from it. Worth your time trying if you have not done so before or are curious to see if you can pick up on that funky fruit aspect I got. (974 characters)

Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I typically don't like christmas ales but this one, as the style suggests, drinks more like a belgian strong than a christmas. If you like belgian strongs but not christmas ales, this one is good for you. I'm not crazy about either but still enjoyed it. Good across the board, but not great at anything. Very dark in color, good fruit aroma and flavor. Especially good on draft on a cold afternoon. (398 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dull, cloudy brown body with a decent super-light tan foamy head. The aroma and flavor are brown sugar and very fruity, but the flavor is overall pretty mellow. The flavors are a little dull and this kidn of slides into the middle of the pack of my Belgian strong ale experience. (285 characters)

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