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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

859 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 859
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%


Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 11-22-2001)
View: Beers (9) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 859 | Reviews: 530 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.05/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2011 04:16:47 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.03/5  rDev -27.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2011 03:47:28 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of BeerCon5
BeerCon5

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with about two fingers of off-white fluffy head that mostly remains throughout the beer.

The scent is full of fruit, citrus, and spices.

The taste is of dark fruit, some citrus, some brown sugar, cinnamon, there is hardly any alcohol presence.

Full body, a little creamy feel, moderate carbonation.

This was a very good beer, very nice flavor. I may add this to my list of must have holiday beers.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2011 15:48:21 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the gingerman nyc. Poured into corsendonk tulip.
Deep hazy brown with thick head. Malty belgian aroma.
Slightly sweet fruity taste with malts and spices. Its pretty darn tastey and a great christmas brew...although it does leave me hangin a bit. Its missing that little something...

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2011 05:13:14 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of RedBeerchetta
RedBeerchetta

Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at American Craft.

Not muc of a head, and I like head on Christmas beers.

Scent is great. Cinnamon, some citrus, biscuits. Nice, just lacking a little "breadiness" for my palate.

Taste is a bit thin, but still enjoyable. Caramel, sweet, holiday spices. Yum, but Christmas beers are my favorite and this isn't my favorite of those.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2011 00:22:06 | More by RedBeerchetta
Photo of musicforairports
musicforairports

New York

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Ruck in Troy from a 2010 keg the bar aged for a year. Served in a mini-snifter.

Dark brown in color, clear ruby hues in light. Small head and no lacing.

Smells of plums, raisins and green apples.

Flavor is fruity and smooth, a bit subdued. I'm guessing its mellowed out with the age. Plum and apple notes and a lot of raisin in the flavor. A bit nutty. Faint notes of coriander-like spice, but this is definitely not a winter warmer.

Medium mouthfeel, decently carbonated. Smooth but full, with the right carbonation at the right time--I like the mouthfeel a lot, but I'm always at a loss to describe this category.

Overall this is good for the style and a good beer. I'm curious to try one that hasn't been aged. I think I'm going to pick up a 2011 bottle and compare, and add it to this review.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2011 04:42:08 | More by musicforairports
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey's yearly Belgian Christmas on 12/15.

*2009 Vintage*

A - Mahogany pour with a nice light head but fades to leave super lacing and deanse clouds.

S - Earthy light funk. Very light on fruit notes as well as some good belgian spices.

T - Dense, deep fruits along with light sugars and sweet malts. This while not sticky, is almost lip smacking good. The spice note really falls in line with the whole Christmas brew.

M - Medium carbonation tickles the tongue. Incredibly nice and light on the mouth.

D - Great mouthfeel and taste and that clumpy head all work together for a very enjoyable strong dark ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2011 21:04:31 | More by rudzud
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sierra Grille, glad to be able to try it this winter, I always dug the label.

Poured very dark brown with a big foamy 2-finger tan head. Retains well not shrinking much, leaves some lacing.

Nice dark fruit, caramel and Belgian spices in the nose.

Lots of dark fruits noticeable in the taste, lots of plums and figs definitely. Has a nice spice profile to match, which does give it a nice holiday feel. Nice Belgian yeast taste too, and notes of caramel and chocolate as it warms.

Light body, maybe a bit thin but for 8.5% it wasn't bad. Not much alcohol taste in this one.

A really nice balanced holiday Belgian...I definitely would like to get a bottle or 2 of this.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2010 01:38:41 | More by Chico1985
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey Belgian Christmas night. 2009 vintage, and it ended up being one of the better beers of the night.

It comes with a dark roasty mahogany brown hazy color with a decent head.

Nose of light spices, very light, with some cinnamon, nutty malts, raisins, dark aged Belgian malts, and a little booze.

Taste is malty, lots of Belgian dark malts, caramel, a little brown sugar, light spices, Belgian fruity yeast with some raisin and fig, little sweetness and creamy hearty taste. A very light booze.

Mouth is medium to a little heavier bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is decent, sweetness is balanced well, not much for a boozy taste, and smooth drinking for the most part.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2010 03:50:13 | More by jlindros
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a clear dark ruby with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like very faint and dry earthy spices and nitrogen. Not much malt or yeast or hops.
T: It tasted like brown sugar and earthy dry spices and wild yeast, with a bit of esters and powdered sugar. It had a dry and bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with a bit of smooth carbonation. Very hearty.
D: This was kid of bland, but it still tasted good enough. Body was excellent, and the alcohol was well hidden, so it was very easy to drink. Not sure if age would help, but it was enjoyable fresh. Good holiday Belgian if you're looking for something simple, instead of the other holiday Belgians that are so deeply rich and complex.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2010 17:20:22 | More by Pencible
Photo of OneDropSoup
OneDropSoup

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2010 16:50:37 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of psuKinger
psuKinger

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review written from my notes from last night at the bar. On tap at 6-and-Save, poured into a Piraat Tulip glass.

A: Ruby reddish hue and deep brown, with a thin white head that clung nicely to the glass.

S: Muted smell of roasted malts and spices. I'm also picking up a little bit of a yeasty presence.

T: Thick and spiced, I pick up cinnamon and candied sugar on a thick malt backbone with a moderate yeast presence and just a touch of alcohol. A good Belgian Christmas Ale.

M: Thick and bubbly at first, but falls apart in a light creamy matter in my mouth. Carbonation level is just perfect here. This beer really is shining from this aspect.

D: I will return to this... just not for my next pint (unless, of course, it was offered to me for free). The muted scents, the moderate yeast presence, and the slight touch of alcohol burn are the only things standing between this and a really BIG score from me. As such, it's good, but not perfect.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2010 20:22:47 | More by psuKinger
Photo of TheHoppiest
TheHoppiest

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Prepared from my a voice memo recorded at the Beer Engine last night.

Served in a small snifter, it is a cheery ruby mahogany color with very little head. Despite the absence of any head, it gets decent lacing down the sides as it is consumed.

Smells spicy, with dark fruits - grapes, currants, figs.

This is one of the better Christmas ales I've had. Spicy, fruity, and very flavorful, it finishes with a hint of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is smooooth. Reminds me a bit of Troegg's Mad Elf in its smoothness.

Highly drinkable, my only regret is that I now have another great beer to fit in amongst the other good Christmas ales out there come December. Thank goodness for Christmas in July!

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2010 22:05:44 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Arrived in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale goblet, a somewhat cloudy, dary burgundy color with a one-finger, khaki head of foam. It left behind wispy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried fruits - plum, pear and raisin with some Christmas spices, like nutmeg.

T - It hits you with bready malts and the dried fruits. Raisin comes through the storngest. Plus, there is nutmeg flavor and touches of vanilla.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a Christmas ale that does not disappoint. Fabulous on tap. It was a thrill to find it at Cafe Hollander.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2010 22:13:38 | More by zeff80
Photo of mckeowbc
mckeowbc

Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2009 01:07:39 | More by mckeowbc
Photo of david18
david18

New York

3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2009 18:50:05 | More by david18
Photo of ImusBeer
ImusBeer

Georgia

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served up in an 11oz wine glass, white wine.

It had a more brown appearance than black, with a tan head and produced some thin lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell was mostly light smoke and oak with some dark fruits. Taste of roasted malt, sweet malt/molassas, prunes with some spiceness like nutmeg.

The mouth was mostly thin for the color but did have some silkiness on the tongue. The alcohol is a bit too high for many of these but it's a really good sipping beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2009 16:20:43 | More by ImusBeer
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served lightly chilled in a Corsendonk goblet. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. (Drunk and reviewed during early January 09).

Appearance: Tan head which leaves behind little lacing. Deep dark purplish red in color.

Smell: Complex with spices and dark fruits (e.g., plums, raisins) all mingled in a wonderful aroma.

Taste: The flavor is much what you'd expect from the aroma--Christmas spices and dark fruits with traces of hop bitterness. On the whole it is very rich tasting but in no way heavy or cloying in its sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is a bit thin and lightly carbonated. The finish is medium long with hints of brandy like flavor, hops and a bit of alcohol.

Drinkability: This has an easy drinkability if you sip slowly. But don't let the ABV sneak up on you while enjoying the feelings of warmth and good flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2009 22:11:27 | More by drtth
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap (12/24/04). I've also had this from a bottle on multiple occasions.

Poured a medium to darker brown color with an averaged sized, off white head. Aromas of spices, fruity, and malty. Tastes of the same spices, fruty, brown sugar, and malty. I wrote down that I enjoyed this X-Mas brew.

Notes from: 7/12/04

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2009 14:18:53 | More by hopdog
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

Dark body with a crown of off-white head that has pretty good retention and leaves some great sticky lacing behind.

Definitely candied fruit in the nose here, cherries and plums. Some spices come through also, followed by a biscuity malt aroma.

The dominant and most noticeable flavor here is definitely candied fruits. Sweet, strong notes of cherry especially, but also of plum. Some spices are noticeable but not terribly strong. The most noticeable spice is anise, giving just a slight black licorice flavor. Next there is a good backbone of biscuity malt. With all the sweetness here it almost reminds me more of cake than biscuit though.

Mouthfeel is fairly full bodied with a good does of carbonation. Slight prickly from all the sweet flavors.

Not bad drinkability, I certainly enjoyed my pour of the this.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2008 16:35:05 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, deep reddish-brown body with a well-sized, foamy, light khaki-colored head. Nice creamy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Malty, sweetish aroma smelling of molasses, brown sugar, and simple syrup -- all sorts of sweet treats. There's a strong, downright perfumy orange note in the nose, like sniffing a full shot of triple sec. Touches of spicy and light floral hints.

Taste: Sweet, dark maltiness with tastes of dark caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Slight nuttiness, maybe even some slight breadiness. As was the case with the aroma, there's that very distinct orange fruitiness. Pleasant spiciness with an extra added dash of coriander. Very, very faint floral hint. Never more than a minor bitterness present. Pinch of cocoa powder arrives late in the flavor. Finishes fruity with a lingering maltiness and hint of earthy spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A tasty wintertime offering from Corsendonk and one I'd be happy (yes, happy) to return to next year.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2008 23:27:33 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Chinon01
Chinon01

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The taste of this beer is of orange, orange peel and orange Tang with yeast sizzle and noticeable hops in the finish. It also leaves a touch of cocoa around the outer back of the tongue and has a very clean finish. The mouthfeel was average and the drinkability was good.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2008 04:06:53 | More by Chinon01
Photo of MerkinMan
MerkinMan

Georgia

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Trappeze in Athens, Georgia.

A: Beautifully clear brown / ruby color. Nice head in a stemmed glass with flared top.

S: Christmas spices are certainly present, but not at all overwhelming. Yeasty character is also notable by smell.

T: A very nice Christmas beer that does not go overboard, nor lose its original identity behind the christmas spices. Cinnamon seems to be the most prevalent. Dark fruit notes from the yeast compliment the other spices very well.

MF: Light bodied and sparkly. Very nice.

D: One of the most drinkable christmas beers I have had this year. Recommended (especially on-tap).

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2008 15:30:58 | More by MerkinMan
Photo of gdfan47
gdfan47

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a very nice dark brown (you can see through it), and a nice off brown head
S- cinnamon, ginger, chocolate, hops
T- spices, the nutmeg is present and really nice lots of them, really refreshing, it has a nice hop and malt finish
M- silky smooth, just the right amount of carbonation, this beer was served on the warmer side and it really worked for this style
D- very good, I would not have guessed at the slighty higher than normal abv very nice

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2008 07:59:13 | More by gdfan47
Photo of pershan
pershan

Maryland

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a clear, deep amber with very little head into a chalice. Didn't really detect anything in the aroma. The flavor was of sweet candy sugar and bubble gum in the foreground, with a nice hop bite and slight yeast sourness in the finish. Nice carbonation too. Seemed to be very well balanced, with no individual component dominating, which you would expect from a true Belgian strong. Much better than the Legacy Euphoria I had a few days ago.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2008 13:48:23 | More by pershan
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 859 ratings.