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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,025 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,025
Reviews: 552
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 70
Gots: 118 | FT: 2
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 (11) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Corsendonk Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,025 | Reviews: 552 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DmanGTR
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite possibly one of the best Christmas beers around. A deep mahogany with prominent beige head. Lots going on here: dark Belgian candi sugar, dark ripe fruits, hints of dates, brown sugar, and well balanced holiday spices. Very mild cocoa in the finish. Flavors are quite well pronounced, yet delicate and complements one another. Rich mouthfeel with ample carbonation. A beautifully crafted beer perfect for a cold winter night.

Photo of elinash
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an elegant red with a nice head and lacing. The aroma has a metallic hint, with hints of orange zest and spice. Mouthfeel was smooth, but the finish is a little weak, with hints of spice lingering. Nicely complex taste, sweet, toasted malt- caramel. Overall it's a mild but complex beer. Quite drinkable.

Photo of cokes
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

BB: 16 09 2004
Gorgous looking deep amber with a plump dollop of a beige head. Good retention, medium lacing.
Nose is a mixed-bag of candied belgian sweetness and musty cork notes. Rubber materializes as well. Decent, but wierd.
Taste is more subtle than expected, but lovely all the same. Begins with a caramelized peach-like essense. Fades to a oversweet butterscotch, then into a chocolate pudding. More fruits here as the plums enter with force. Becomes a little bready late, in a cinnamon-roll sort of way. Hops add little besides a dry finish.
Medium bodied. Not a whole lot of carbonation. Smooth, if perhaps on the thin side for a holiday brew.
Nevertheless, for 8+% brew, this is staggeringly drinkable....literally.

Photo of neenerzig
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on tap recently at La Cav Du Vin. This beer is a fairly clear, dark brown color. The tan head is about 1/2 inch or so when drawn. Settles to a nice, sort of bubbly surface layer with good lace. Aromas of orange and apple (or maybe plum) are present along with some spice and cinnamon. Tastewise the beer is malty upfront with the aforementioned sweet fruit and spices present and is rounded out by some fairly subtle but definite hop flavors. Has a crisp, smooth, and frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Drinks very easily in the way well crafted beer should! An excellent beer! I hope to have this on-tap again soon!

Eric

Photo of Weissenheimer
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color of this beer is an impressively deep, dark cherry. I picture Satan sitting on his throne drinking something like this; it's evocative of blood. It has a pretty, small, foamy whipped-cream head and oily-looking lacing that reminds me of wine legs. The smell is soft, round, and pleasant, with anise and other spices that one would expect from a Christmas ale.

The taste is nice and round, with a spiciness and butteriness that reminds me of Affligem Noel. I'm noticing just a bit of tannins, but not enough to make a significant impression. It's not as big, round, smooth, and slick as the Affligem, but then again what is? So far this is my second favorite Christmas ale.

Photo of thecarster1
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a snifter, one and a half fingers worth of tan dense creamy head that doesn't want to budge - eventually it fades to a quarter to half inch and stays there, dark matte mahogany color, very attractive brew.

s- lots to smell here, belgian yeast off the bat, carmelized figs, toasted bread, candied dark fruits, clove.

t- lots of dark fruits, belgian yeasts, rich malt, clove, alcohol is hidden so well here - as it warms it becomes more apparent, fig, dark cherry, alot of candied sweetness. this is one complex beer that i've had a couple times before and am really taking the time now to pick apart and review - i'm getting so much more than i had the first couple times.

m- medium bodied with some creaminess.

d- this is one drinkable belgian, i'm not sure how many i'd have just because of availability and price so one for a special night is good for me. this is a christmas ale that i'll be picking up yearly for sure.

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best By: 18/09/08

Been holding on to this one for about a year.

Poured into a Delirium tulip a nice dark mahongy color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger foamy tan head, lots and lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, yeasty, nice touch of figs, raisins, and plums, also some caramel notes. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, nice dark fruits/caramel. The alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is my first Corsendonk and it's very tasty, I do have another brew by them, I'm sure it will be awesome as well. Recommended.

Photo of ejquin
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

App: Very deep red/brown, almost black with a thick white head. Good lacing.

Smell: Yeasty and phenolic, but not overly so. Not as citrusy as I expected with some underlying spice.

Taste: This bottle is about a year old now, and I think age mellowed it a bit. Not quite as bold as I expected but still nice. Very well balanced. Deep and spicy with just a tiny perception of the alcohol. Warming.

Mouth: Thick and smooth with great carbonation.

Drink: Excellent

Overall: A top notch belgian, The age most likely turned everything down a notch, but the flovors are very well in balance.

Photo of biegaman
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer's appearance is most earthy, both for of its crude brown tone as well as the ocher stained head which overlay the beer with a woody and ribbed covering, like the rough outer layer of tree bark. The first pour was significantly clearer and more luminescent than the second, although both concealed a little ruby colouring that was visible only when held directly into the light.

Dipping my nose into the glass for the first time caused my head to swing back; if I were blindfolded I would have thought I was smelling a sherry or cherry brandy. This sucker is more potent than its 8.5% would indicate. The aroma is lush with notes of spiced holiday cake and festering fruits. The brewers claim only coriander is used but I could easily entertain the notion of many other spices. It's temptingly enticing.

The aroma gives off a fair warning: if bold, distinctive, aggressively charismatic beers aren't your thing then stop here. Drink no further. Otherwise, it's a good bet you'll find this beer too much to handle. The taste unravels like an onion, one layer at a time: a holiday cake spiced with brown sugar, cinnamon, coriander and clove; hot oatmeal with clumps of raisin and figs; citrus juice and a bundle of white wine grapes; chestnuts and a shot of brandy...

Layer by layer the taste grows stronger and more distinctive. Many holiday ales smack of figgy pudding and the like, but few (if any, to this extent) contain such a flood of distinguishing flavours. The texture that accompanies them is equally diverse, ranging from brightly citric to spiritedly spiced to dry, malty and bready. In one sip you are entertained by all elements of the beer: a rich maltiness, a tangy spice, a delightfully nuanced yeast.

'Christmas Ales' can belong to any category of beer styles, but if we were to lump them all together as a group I'd say that Corsendonk's would be among the standouts. Part of this is because I find that slightly stronger, heartier, spiced ales tend to be better suited to the holidays but mostly it is because this happens to be one of the more distinctive, flavourful, finely crafted ales I've had in Christmases past, present (and very likely) future.

Photo of mckeowbc
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was apprehensive about ordering this beer because I usually don't prefer Belgian ales. I quickly learned that this is not your typical Belgian ale, whereas most Belgian ales taste syrupy sweet to me this beer is very well balanced.

The nose on this beer is big and complex. It's simultaneously fruity like a white wine, a little spicy, a little hoppy and a little malty. You do get a good sense of how strong this beer as well. The first sip does not disappoint. The flavor is complex to say the least but the most impessive thing is there is no rough edges. There's no flavor that is too strong or that becomes overwhelming as you keep drinking. The entire beer is enjoyable and leaves you pleasantly warm.

I'm sorry that I didn't find this beer until after Christmas but from now on this will be a Christmas staple in my house.

Photo of rinhaak
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Pour a very dark brown with hints of a deep ruby red. There is a thick head that lingers for the entire glass. The pour really draws you in.

The banana aromas are smelled immediately upon popping the top of the bottle. Buttery cloves, yeasts, and brown and raw sugars are also present.

The first thing I think of when I took a sip was: "spicy." Not chili-pepper spicy, but rather full of intense warming spices: allspice, cloves, cinnamon. There is a lot of molasses and cherry syrup flavors, as well as chocolate-dipped maraschino cherries. Tootsie roll flavors seem to congregate primarily at the front of the tongue, and the cinnamon and clove spiciness was mostly at the back of the tongue. The beer evolves and becomes considerably more complex as it sits in the glass; I recommend letting it sit a good 15 minutes before all the flavors come to the fore. It finishes with a full malty gingerbread flavor that warms your soul.

Overall a fantastic Christmas beer that rivals the best. Highly recommended.

Photo of drabmuh
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened by Thorpe. I had the St. B at dinner after this bottle, I liked this one as a Christmas ale slightly more. Beer is dark brown with a thin white head that leaves lacing on the glass, carbonation moderate.

Beer smells sweet and malty with a little bit of spice. Slight allspice.

This is a celebration ale so I don't mind the spice in the palate, its subtle and in the background rather than flogging you with it. This is a really nice beer. Its light in body, sweet and has some yeasty breadiness to it at the end. I would have it again.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1/2" tan head over mahogony liquid.

S: Grapes, cherries, figs and pears.

T: Lemon, grass, cherries, figs, pears, and dark grapes.

M: Medium to thin viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: The hop presence in this Christmas beer sets it apart from most others. The yeast is very tasty as well.

Photo of dcmchew
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ski271
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a very large, light tan, frothy, slowly diminishing head. It has a pleasant, lightly sweet smell of perfumey wheat and Belgian yeast. Orange, clove, cherry and licorice. The taste is of big, sweet, complex malts with a moderate amount of citrus. The finish is long and warming, with all sorts of flavors still bouncing all over the place. Clove, nuts, prunes, bread… even gingerbread cookie! The mouthfeel is nice but a little on the thin side for a BSDA. This is a very complex beer that changed so many times just over the 45 minutes it took me to sip this bottle down. It’s a very intriguing beer that I can’t wait to have again. A must try.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a translucent mahogany with a thick, fine-bubbled head. The rich, malty aroma has an undertone of cloves and caramel. Flavor is malty and spicy with a caramel undertone and hints of Coca-Cola and fruit. Texture is smooth, and finish is slightly sweet and pleasing.

Photo of jwhancher
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Christmas gift poured into an oversized chalice glass. Pours a slightly hazy brown amber color with nice thick off white head and okay lacing on the glass. Smells of carmelized brown sugar with dark fruit such as raisins, plum, fig, and dark poppy seeds. Has a spicy phenolic aroma with hints of black pepper. Tastes of the same carmelized brown sugar as in the nose. Seems to have a relatively significant upfront bitterness that lingers and really stings the tongue. Sweet tasting upfront with full bodied feel. Alcohol well in check. Overall, a very nice Belgian beer. Paired well with some turkey pot pie. Would be great as a winter warmer, for the holidays, or a nice celebratory beer with the corked & caged presentation.

Photo of NickThePyro
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ujsplace
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clicked the review button and was taken to the login screen. Lost my entire review, so this is going to be short and sweet.

A great looking brew with lots of complex flavors; predominantly dark fruits and Christmas-type spicing.

Will absolutely seek this out again next year.

Photo of GreenMind
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of vaughtex
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of kingjames1
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany, with a fluffy tan head that evenly dissipates to thin lacing. I smell hints of chocolate, cinnamon & cloves, vanilla, raisins, and belgian yeasts. Taste is dark breads, caramels, christmas spices,and a tinge of hops bitterness, leaving a satisfying dryness. A very palatable mouthfeel, and very drinkable. This is perhaps the best representation of a beligan christmas i've had. Delicioius!

Photo of bashiba
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep ruby/brown with a thick creamy dark brown head. Very good retention with light lacing.

Smell had a big candied fruit odor with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Flavor is light and slightly sweet with some nice brown sugar, molasses, nutmeg, anise, ginger, and cloves all making appearances. At first glance it seems light and simple, but the complexities grow as I drink it. Some nice bit of yeast along with a light bit of earthy hops make it very balanced.

Mouthfeel is creamy with tons of tingly carbonation on the tongue and a touch of warming.

I love how complex, yet easy drinking this beer is, very solid Christmas ale.

Photo of Proteus93
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Josh from Beer Run... I quite enjoyed the tasting I had of this one, so this is appreciated.

A: Rusty, hazy red... quite the highlights around the sides of the glass. Stark white, foamy head. Recedes fairly slowly, leaving little patches of lace.

S: That nice, warm 'festive scent' that I pick up from a lot of these. Some nice dark fruits... plum, raisin, and some ripe fruits... apple and a touch of banana. A little breadiness... darker than anything. Very nice.

T: A spiciness of alcohol, caramel and dark fruitiness notes that add a nice element to it. Nice, sweet finish.

M + D: A little shimmer of carbonation that holds on through the mouth... it complements the medium body nicely, and the warm alcohol gives a nice smooth finish. Good stuff, and one of my favourite Christmas offerings to date.

Photo of Rudgers73
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a short goblet. There is not much head except for a ring. Very active carbonation though the middle of the glass. The brew is a dark brown with reddish edges. The smell is awesome. Slightly bready with notes of dark fruit, sticky sweet brown sugar, nuts, and raisins. The taste is full, rich, and round. It starts out with a sweet caramel taste then it opens up into a floral, nutty flavor. The raisin and fruit tastes bloom throughout leaving a complex mix of flavor with every sip. As it warms the flavors become much more flowing and rich. The mouthfeel is great, no alcohol bit at all, just incredibly smooth and chewy. I never knew how great this stuff was, I bought the bottle I have now on sale from Christmas. Maybe I should buy a 3 liter next year and share it.

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 1,025 ratings.