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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

562 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 562
Hads: 1,083
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 14.77%
Wants: 76
Gots: 139 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website

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: 562 | Hads: 1,083
Photo of gfreed
3.36/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.38/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

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Photo of Mjoepp
3.43/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

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Photo of crnipeter
3.44/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.46/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

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Photo of RandomExile
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
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

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Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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Photo of aracauna
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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Photo of Jon
3.51/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby color with a frothy white head. Excellent lace appears down the chalice. Fruity, malty nose with hints of spice, notably coriander and curacao, and a definite yeast presence. Sweet, fruity, lightly toasted character ties in with the spiced notes, though a bit lacking overall. Vinous character seems most dominant with emphasis on raisin, prunes and residual sugar from the the malt. Mouthfeel lacks a bit, too, seeming a bit thin and watery, especially on the finish. Drinks fairly well, though the mouthfeel is not overly appealing. Even so, the beer masks its abv well, making this a decent wintertime sipping beer. I think this beer would be much better at about six months in the bottle with the yeast poured in the glass.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.51/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25cl Brown bottle, best before 21 Sept 2011, drank and reviewed 12 Dec 2010. Poured into a thistle shapped glass (Gordon Finest Gold).

The beer has a dark ruby red appearance, a good foaming head of tan coloured bubbles sat on top, looked good. Lacing clung onto the glass well.

The smell was fairly weak, burnt/roasted malts and some hints of smokey peat bogs!

The taste was all malts, chocolate malts mostly, the flavours all revolved around that really.

Well carbonated, almost fizzy to be honest, but not quite. The alcohol is hidden nicely and the beer is very easy to drink. I like Corsendonk beers, whoever brews them!

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Photo of UnionMade
3.52/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a deep ruddy brown, leaning towards garnet, served in the appropriate christmas ale snifter/goblet. A thick layer of mist tops the beer, holding steadily throughout. Nice lacing, speckling the glass with numerous blobs.
The aroma is immediately hugely estery. A thinner-like feel shoots straight into your sinuses, creating a mild burning sensation. Loads of fig, date, and green raisin. A rich caramel and chocolate maltiness lies beneath, coupled with loads of saccharine candi sugar, and some apparent alcohol. Slightly medicinal phenols, with very slight herbal hops. Somewhat vinous, reminiscent of port.
The flavor starts with heaps of heavy malt, conveying sweet toffee and chocolate. Tons of candi sugar all the way through, journeying into the highly estery fruit. Flavors of plum, fig, green raisin and date, with the fig dominating. A bit of spicy, bready yeast shows up towards the end, with an underlying spiciness of a different nature. Some tangy sourness, with just a touch of herbal hopping. The finish is somewhat cloying, with an odd cacaphony of alcohol, hops, yeast, spice and a candi sugar saccharine sweetness. A lingering saccharine taste, with caramel malt present in the aftertaste. Full bodied, plenty of unfermented sugars, with a fairly mild tingle of carbonation. Smooth drinking, with good complexity.
Probably the most interesting of the Corsendonk beers that I've tried. It's a bit overwhelming in the finish, becoming increasingly difficult to drink the more it warms. The saccharine bite, along with a light alcohol presence, becomes a bit too much for my tastes. Drinkable, but certainly a slow sipper. I prefer something not quite so sweet and sugary. Very good, just not quite to my tastes.

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Photo of scooter231
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not my favorite Christmas brew. It's pretty enough- ruby red with a pleasant looking white head. Goes down from there. Smell is so raisiny and sweet- like candied raisins, really. Taste is... the same. But more so. SO sweet, SO raisiny- it's overpowering. I feel cavitites growing. Mouthfeel is on the watery/thin side, not digging it. Overall... meh... not bad... great for a sweet tooth craving, otherwise, pass.

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Photo of linnet
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big beige head, brown/reddish colour. Aroma is yeasty, malty, caramel, straw, hops. Although not very strong flavour is warming with noticable ABV, sugar, malt, dark fruit and some bitterness at the end. This beer reminds me of Chimay bleue, spices. Mouthfeel is lively with small bubbles. This beer was a nice aquaintance.

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Photo of granger10
3.57/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the final Corsendonk that I have had. I must say it was a bit of a disappointment when comparing it to the other two Corsendonks. It poured an oakish color with a small, airy head and was very transparent. The smell was nice, brown sugar, yeasty, hoppy. But the taste was lacking the complexity I was expecting. Too thin in body and too strong in alcohol flavor. The spices were weak. The main malt flavor was toffee and hops were apparent throughout. The yeast and balance of this beer saved it and made it drinkable but I was a little disappointed.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Deep brown with a crimson tint under a finger of velvety head. Kind of has a warm glow from within, amber. Attractive beer.

Smells of moderate currant, plum, with a subtle hard candy-like sweetness. Good, but not as complex as I'd expect.

Taste, again, is sweet plum & raisin, other random "dark fruit" tastes, both sweet flesh & a little tart skin with a heavy booze presence. I'm wondering if there was honey in this, based on the heavy dry character. Curls up & gets spicy in the finish -- nutmeg?

Medium-full, decent carbonation, but the booze & spices kind of weigh me down. Good & bad aspects here.

Not a bad, though I can think of plenty other winter ales I'd pick over this. Not as complex & flavorful as I'd like, & that heaviness just drags.

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Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Impressive head. Pours a full brown that allows light to penetrate (clear) barely.

Deep sweet dark malty aromas.

Sweet flavor from the malt. No real noticeable balance with hop. Slight metalic taste. Full bodied with an appropriate amount of carbonation.

Perhaps too much of a good thing. This is a lot like eating a dessert that's too rich and too large a portion to enjoy. I can take this in small batches.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into a gobblet.

Appearance: Pours a nice dark brown with copper tint. The head was fluffy solid white and towered above the beer. Thin spider web lacing remains behind on the glass.

Smell: Malty fruityness with a hint of citrus peel.

Taste: Taste as it smells.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice full bodied velvety mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This is an ok beer; however, there are better beers to choose.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

I was wary at first because there was a definite spruce/pine smell. I didn't like the Anchor OSA because they went overboard in this area. The taste of the Corsendonk was pleasing, however, with a subtle malt flavor smoothing things over and the Christmas tree flavor being complimentary instead of dominant. I enjoyed this one, but I'm still trying to figure out why people want their beer to taste like a tree.

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Photo of 57md
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours brown with ruby hints. There are two healthy fingers of head (boy, is this a live beer) and the retention and lacing are top notch. The nose has an unpleasant cidery element to it. Malt and berries are the upfront flavors and the finish is slightly bitter with a dose of alcohol warmth.

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Photo of hollicetales
3.61/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a deep honey brown with almost ruddy garnet coloring...great thick white head with aroma of bready fruit and spice...great full bodied mouth feel starts off with that hoppy almost woody alcohol sugary taste with slight almost weird notes of toffee and then fruity plum figish notes with a finish of spice but not overpowering....this slow drinker will warm a soul up on a cold night

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Photo of Buggies
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm thinking I have an old bottle or something. Or possibly bot stored right. Or maybe this bad boy just needs to warm up a little. I don't know. I don't get the same big aromas or flavors that most reviewers get.

Pours a dark brown with nice thick head. The aroma is real muted. Smells of yeast and fruit, and a faint hint of spice.

The taste is about the same as the nose. Tastes as Belgium should. Yeast and fruit. A very slight spicy note. Slight caramel notes as well. Slightly sweet finish.

To be honest, this reminds me more of a plain jane dubbel or something. Though it is quite nice and tastes OK, I don't think it is worth the high scores like it has gotten.

But then again, maybe it's just the bottle I got?

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Photo of deapokid
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Opening with a rich amber hue, this acidy ale leaves a nice lace of foam on the glass and takes on a reddish holiday glow.

Its aromas seem more like those of a cider or champagne and first sniffs give off a bouquet of tart and bitter fruit aromas.

As for first sips, the mouth feel is overwhelmingly dry, but since I expected that (I'd been forewarned), the alcoholic finish and deep bitterness weren't too much of a shock.

One of the best aspects of this beer is the subtle cherry flavor that permeates as the ale warms. It manages to coat the back of the tongue in a sweet fruit taste that makes this initially off putting brew seem better in hindsight.

Although it may not be a repeat performer (one was enough for me), this is a nice change of pace for the holidays and I'd be willing to give it another spin next Christmas.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a dark ruby red with a fomay beige head. The head clings nicely.

Smell: The smell burns the nostrils a little bit, but it's mostly of sticky sweet malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Incredibly well-balanced for sure, but the flavors that are there are nothing special. It's smooth as all hell, but the flavors don't live up to their expectations. The mouthfeel is creamy but medium bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a good beer, but doesn't live up to it's expectations. That doesn't take away from the fact that it's a solid brew, and an enjoyable one at that. It just seems to me there are much better beers of this style out there.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 562 ratings.