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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

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Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,050 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,050
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 72
Gots: 122 | FT: 2
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,050 | Reviews: 559
Photo of sully22
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of sacfly
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL, Best before end 07/09/08 0 09:00 I like dates, but the date and hour it will decline?
Pours an impressive clear ruby/brown color with a thick tan/brown head. Aroma is Belgian musty yeast, as expected, not much else. Thick, creamy malt backbone. Hints of chocolate, nutmeg, yeast, bread, lightly fermenting fruit (pears). Yummy. Yeasty, dry aftertaste. Flavors linger. Usually the flavor follows the aroma, but not this one. Much more complex than the aroma indicates. I’m loving this beer, even though it’s about 85F here in May, a far cry from Christmas.

Photo of freed
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

slipped this in with my micro-seasonals. Poured much darker and gave off a very different aroma than the others. Mahogany hue with a sligth brown fizz for head. Aroma is somewhat alcoholic and somewhat malty. Slight fruity yeast smells, but overly alcoholic.

Taste is warm, rich, and pleasing. Sweet malt, thick body, and finishing tartness from the yeast. Alcohol isn't as apparent in the taste. Makes for an easy drink, and can be drawn out over long periods of time. This 12 bottle took me 75 minutes.

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a clear red ale with almost no head. It looked a little weak.

The aroma, however, was very nice. There was a core of medium malts, with some hints of spiciness and a rich hoppiness at the end.

The taste was so complex... so hard to describe. Rich malts, a slight mustiness, a little earthy, spicy, peppery, and rather well carbonated. And it all blended so well... excellent.

Mouthfeel was nice... not incredibly bold, but somewhat restrained. And I would definitely have more of these. I am not a huge fan of the style, as I prefer hoppier beers, but this one was a wonderful example.

Photo of cdwil
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sjccmd
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber or a light maple syrup with a decent sized very light tan head. Slightly murky towards the bottom of the bottle.

Smells delicious. Rum cake comes first to mind. Candied fruits, brown sugar, a spiciness that comes from either spice or a very nice subtle heat from the alcohol. Ginger and dates.

The taste is slightly more subtle. Initial fruity flavors finish dry and spicy. The spiciness/heat is very unique. It has a sharp cinnamon character and provides a nice amount of warmness...pretty perfect for a Christmas ale. This flavor is a little dominating, leaving the dark fruit flavors behind, but it's not offensive.

Medium amount of carbonation (but kind high for the style). It doesn't have quite as much body as I'd like. As the carbonation dies down, it kind of leaves the beer without much body.

This is a very enjoyable beer to drink, but sharing between a couple of friends was nice. I could drink the 750ml bottle by myself, but it might've been a bit of a chore.

Photo of mzwolinski
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in color with a thin, spotty tan head. The aroma is slightly grapey at first, but darkens to a plummy fruitiness with hints of toasted malt. First flavor to hit the mouth is a candi sugar sweetness, followed by a vinous middle, and a toasty, pepper/corriander spicy finish. Light chocolate notes in the aftertaste. Fairly light bodied but hardly wimpy in terms of flavor. This is a well-balanced and nicely complex brew. Merry Christmas to me!

Photo of CanadaBoy
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've been putting off being "one of those guys" as I sometimes think of it, but here is my first BA review:

250ml bottle, poured into a red wine glass because it was what I had available. Found it at my local bottle shop for $0.99 ("while supplies last", it said), so I bought 4 on a chance. I'd never heard of it, let alone tried it, but I love dark Belgians so I thought I'd give it a go. The expiration date is October 2015, so I couldn't believe I'd found a strong leaning beer of this style at the price.

Took a sip, thought "wow, what a find", and looked it up on here to see if people agreed with me. Looks like I may need to go buy out the rest of their stock before someone else catches on!

Pours nice and dark (brown when held up to a light), with a smooth, lacy (whiter than expected) head. More sediment than seems reasonable...I'll need to be careful with the rest of the bottles. Not as much of a smell off the top as I was hoping for, but it hits your tongue nicely and goes down smoothly with not much of a hint as to its ABV. Malty with a bit of fruity (mostly raisins) sweetness, just the way I like it. Aftertaste is a bit weak (I love a beer that lets its flavour linger), but this is a great beer while you're drinking it.

Photo of Flounder57
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle was poured into a chalice.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger off white head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark crimson color with a little vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: Spicy yeast, clove, caramel, raisins, prunes, figs, sweetness, cherry, toffee, belgian candy, and a little orange.

Taste: This beer tastes as good as it smells. A little booze too folks.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, medium to full bodied, a little booze, medium carbonation, a little dry, a little chewy, and quite the sipper.

Overall: You can't go wrong. Corsendonk comes through as top notch once again.

Photo of kaimcm
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 corked and caged-best before sometime 07

A: Strong brown with a copper hue. Im my poorly lit room almost opaque. Very pourous off white head. I remember some science show about worm holes in between atoms that might takes us to other dimensions or something. Well, I have found them, in this head. Its like you could count each bubble that made up the whole. Splochy lacing. Maybe it was Star Trek, though Ive never actually watched Star Trek.

S: Slightly sweet, yeasty aromas. A hint of apples and a mix of winter spice. Dont think this beer is spiced but Im getting misc. christmas spice in the nose. Even some smushy, over ripe bananna.

T: Malt and slightly sweet up front. Sugar disipates quite quickly but no hop profile follows. A little syrupy molasses but light, not heavy. Hints of coffee and a mild tartness on the finish which evolves after the swallow. Starts sweet, goes dry.

M: Really nice, chewy, full bodied, smooth, great finish.

D: Could drink this all year, too bad its just winter.

Photo of BigJim5021
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky cola brown with an fluffy off-white head that persists like a bad rash. It looks extra-nice in the included Corsendonk Christmas Ale goblet.

The aroma is heavy on dark fruits, Belgian yeast and Christmas-y spices. Slightly vinous too.

Flavor matches the smell, with a nice sweet maltiness to boot.

Mouthfeel is medium with good effervescence and a dry finish.

This tasty brew goes down really easily. It's a shame that it's only around during the Christmas season.

Photo of Minotaur
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour on this beer is unique: into a Corsendonk Christmas glad from an 8 ounce bottle it produces an almost volcanic head the color of chimney smoke that erupts over the top of the glass. It hangs around while the beer warms and eventually settles into a half glass high lacing with a frosty skim atop the deep brown-black liquid.

The smell has an earthiness of robust malt, slightly coffee, slightly smokey and lightly citrus hops. It does not smell like your typical Gingerbread Christmas beer.

The taste is complex: deep, sour, also earthy and predominantly bitter. Unlike many Belgian christmas ales it is not syrupy or fruit-spice driven. It has a warming quality but not too alcoholic. There is a presence of Christmas spices but they are very subtle: hidden within drier malts and hop sharpness. With food (garlic spread cheese and wheat bread) a hint of sweetness comes out... but only a bit. Any adjunct sweetness here is secure and not overbearing. There is an amazing sense of balance in this beer.

It has a solid mouthfeel with lingering bitterness. I find it drinkable but not quite as smooth as could be. The carbonation seems lingering and for the type of beer it is I almost would like it to be a bit less so. But otherwise a very well rounded Christmas beer.

Photo of JasW
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of OGShotzy
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AnitaBrewski
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruddy brown in the glass which actually shows through as a deep, clear copper when held up to light. The head is enormous and fluffy, hanging on for the duration as a big cap and solid lacing.

Aroma is sweet with candi sugar, raisins and roasted malts. There is also a significant Christmas spice presence with the Belgian yeast adding to that character.

The taste is excellent with a mixture of caramelized sugar, dark fruits and even more spice presence than the aroma suggests - clove and cinnamon especially.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and sticks to the palate after each sip.

Sugar and spice and everything nice in this Christmas ale. It's one of the better winter brews I've had this season. Very enjoyable.

Photo of mobrado
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Split a 750 of this tonight (Christmas Eve) with my son and daughter. Pretty good stuff.

Moderate pour into goblets yields a two-finger off-white fading head over a walnut brown slightly hazy body. Pretty enough.

Smell is all spice: coriander, clove, allspice, a hint of cinnamon, some pepper, all over a solid hazelnut-cracker-malt foundation. Smells good!

Taste is spot-on with the smell, but there's a note of orange peal in there. Mmmm.

Mouthfeel is just a bit thinner than I would like, but appropriate for the style.

Drinkability is excellent. The 8.5% is completely hidden on the palate.

Really good beer, and very Christmas-y. I'll get more.

Photo of iwhoopedbatman
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Valentno7
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of asabreed
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Merry Christmas everyone.

Corked and caged bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Dark and deep amber with tons of carbonation surging around the glass, off-white head, and semi-decent lacing curled around the glass.

Smell: A nice amalgam of cookies, fruit, spiciness, and yeast. A lot of subtle complexity keeps coming out as it warms.

Taste: A good amount of darker fruit with berries, cherries, and apples coming in, along with some spiciness, some pepper, maybe some cinnamon and coriander, some cookies and sweet raw dough, and lots of subtle and balanced and intriguing spice notes. Finishes semi-sweet with lingering fruit and spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full to heavier-bodied with a good creaminess and burst of carbonation at the end.

Drinkability: Not sure what separates this from other BSD styles, but I do get a bit more spice I suppose. Still, a delicious sipper, and one I feel lucky to have on this Christmas day.

Photo of mscudder
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chalice.

A - Dark ruby-brown hue with a one-finger khaki head. Fair retention and above average lacing.

S - Warm sweet dark fruits: raisin, orange and figs. Brown sugar and molasses contribute to the heavy sweetness.

T - Big complex sugar coating my palette. Lots of spices alongside what stands out as dark cherries among other fruits. Belgian yeast opens the beer up and concludes with a subtle warmth.

M - Soft medium body with moderate carbonation. Slight chewiness. Nice byproduct of all the sweetness.

O - A nice Christmas showing from Corsendonk. Aside the Berdardus Christmas, this might be my new go-to.

Photo of Thur123
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark red color with lots of carbonation and two fingers of tan head that fade slowly. This beer looks really good. The smell is robust and malty, reminds me a little of a winter warmer. There is a slight roasted apple smell with a subtle but complex mix of spices.

Glug glug glug

A very complex malt mixture with a slight sting at the end of spices. The overall flavor reminds me of the Allagash Double I had months ago. There is certainly a chocolate and caramel flavor without any of the weight I imagine comes with these flavors. Very light and drinkable for the ABV and I wish this was cheaper and offered in six packs.

Photo of drumstik
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one came in a tin with a nice cartoonish christmas design. Sets the mood for the drink inside.

Pours a dark nutty brown with a nice thick off white head that grows slowly towards the top of my glass.

Smells of spices, bread, and fig with a very pleasant malty sweetness.

Taste is on par with the smell. Very dark mellow fig and malty sweetness. A perfect hint of christmas spices and that great belgian yeast sweetness. Yum!

Mouth feel is smooth with a bit of carbonation and slides down easy.

A fantastic christmas brew that is very enjoyable on a cold winter night. Heading out tomorrow to pick up some more!

Photo of Lupin
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells and pours much like ommegang abbey ale. Lots of spices obviously present here, and a deep amber hue, but not much of anything in suspension here. I'm not sure if this really dark enough to be considered a dark ale. Poured gently into the ommegang "where brewing is an art..." flute with an appropriate head that dissipated as expected. Minimal lacing

The most blatant odor and taste upon initially tasting this brew was licorice. Something else very distinctive was definitely there, but I couldn't think of what it was. It was rather difficult to think of anything else for the first few sips, though. As my palate adjusted and the beer warmed, earthier tones revealed themselves and the other spices managed to neutralize my initial impression.

As far as Christmas ales go, this is a definite winner and I will certainly return to it next year. Spicy and dry, but without the overbearing heat/warming feel of the spices of a lot of other winter brews (affligen noel, which i enjoy heartily, comes to mind). I don't think I could enjoy more than a bottle of this, but it's definitely suited to being a wonderful starter beer for a winter session.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 1,050 ratings.