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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

916 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 916
Reviews: 537
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 66
Gots: 73 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website

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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 916 | Reviews: 537 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gehrig
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I stopped by the sterling Sun Singer this afternoon, and found this gem lingering from early winter. A great find, and I'm fortunate to have had it. I admit that I'm a sucker for a good presentation and I like to think myself sufficiently scrutinizing to separate a beer's book from its cover, so to speak. This has both a great appearance and taste. The presentation is glorious--three off-white fingers of foam on a reddish-mahogany body, with thick lacing on the Ommegang glass. Five stars.

The nose is impressive--lots of fruit and spice, especially ginger, cinnamon, and anise. The taste is enough to make one rave--fruit, and dried fruit at that, with raisin combining with more pleasant citrus; spice; all smoothly delivered. Well carbonated and smooth, this is a great BSDA and Christmas Ale, really outstanding.

Gehrig, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of Viggo
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas tasting with biegaman, grub and ThatWineGuy, biegaman busted this one out.

Pours a clear ruby red, some brown hints, very thick off white head forms, leaves tons of lace sheets, settles to a thick layer, very pretty. Smell is apples, spices, caramel, yeast, bread, nice malt layers, spices are done right, nice fruitiness. Taste is yeasty, some spices, bread, caramel, apples, banana, wheat, citrus, oak, lots of fruit, neat! Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, easy to drink, nice flavours, great Christmas beer. Thanks Jan!

Viggo, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk's Abbey Pale Ale and Abbey Brown Ale are certainly two of some of the most flavorful, enjoyable Beglain beers... looked high and low to find the brewery's Christmas Ale, and finally struck gold at Oak Tree in South Plainfield where I copped a 750 ML bottle in a gift-pack which housed the bottle in a tin can stuffed with straw... Bought caged and corked, with the cork displaying an individual number of 6880... Teriffic dark, pruned-color hue with immense frothy head... smell is dominated by figs and malts, with a wonderful honey aroma... taste is complete with prunes, caramel, dark, brown sugars, thick and heavy malts, cream, candies, and figs... incredibly thick, rich, and intricate flavor dominated by a wonderful combination of sweet, candy flavors that dominate the pallate and overwhelm the taste buds with dark-fruit and toasty brown sugar flavors... excellent stuff, with an incredible thick, creamy mouthfeel... this one really takes over, and was worth the search... great drinkability, this one leaves you wanting more, and the ABV is barely noticeable behind a complex combination of amazing flavors... Another winner from Corsendonk... Definitely recommended...

dsa7783, Feb 05, 2008
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!


neenerzig, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of joe1510
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl Bottle

Best Before 9/18/08

I was lucky enough to get this bottle as part of my Secret Santa package from Tayner, thanks a bunch Dana. As I pour a big dense head rises without any pressure. All in one creamy and rocky, sitting atop a ruby body with tiny carbonation bubbles exploding to the surface. The head leaves excellent lacing on its way down.

The aroma kicks off with a big spoonful of coriander and candied orange peel. Dark fruits abound in the background including cinnamon coated stewed plums with a bit of a spiced-cake batter. Goes together nicely and certainly brings the smells of Christmas into the room.

The flavor doesn't quite live up to the expectations set forth by the aroma. The flavor, while still good, seems to be a little muddied compared to the smell. The coriander and candied orange are still involved over the top of spiced Christmas-styled cake maltiness. There's a mineralish quality running through the flavor.

I have to say the body on this beer is actually on the light side. Unfortunately, the body could stand a bit more oomph. The aggressive carbonation is what keeps this beer light and airy.

The airiness of this beer actually improves the drinkability. The body keeps on moving which leaves me wanting another sip. The spicing keeps me from indulging too much throughout the night though.

This is a quality Christmas beer no matter which way you slice things. The aroma is outstanding and immediately pulls you into all the flavors of the holiday season. Thanks again Dana!

joe1510, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I poured this into a goblet styled glass from a 750ml bottle which produced a notable and foamy head. The nose was rich with malt and a spice that I would later realize as anise. Upon tasting there is an immediate malt presence that fades relatively quickly to allow for quick light hoppy finish with the linger taste of black licorice. There was pretty good warming on the way down but it wasn't at all unpleasant.

I'm not a huge anise/black licorice type of person so this one isn't going to be a personal favorite. That aside, everything else comes together to make a very enjoyable brew. Great for Christmas and that's probably often enough for me.

SIRIUS2, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of jsgpu90
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I really enjoyed this one. The beer poured with a slight white head that remained throughout. There was a very slight alcohol taste but it was masked by hints of citrus. There was a perfect amount of carboniation that allowed for the complex flavors to come through. I will certainly buy another one if I can find it again.

jsgpu90, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a corked and caged 750ml bottle. Dispensed into a Piraat tulip glass. The beer emerges a clear, dark ruby color and topped by an enourmous, rocky, thick head of about three fingers. Was only able to fit maybe three ounces of beer in the glass before the foam and fizz took over. Tons of lacing.

Aromas are pretty much yeasty with some clove action going on. Not much else in my opinon. Perhaps some slight banana and maybe some pear aromas as well.

Wonderful flavor. Fruity, bubble gum, rich and malty with a nice hoppy bite. Yeast flavor is there as well but brings a nice addition to the party. Extremely balanced; tastes great.

Thick and creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is wonderful. This was a pleasant surprise for me. Didnt know what to expect but I am glad I picked this up. Didnt really taste any holiday flavors, but this was certainly a well made beer. Drinkability is about as high as it gets for an 8.5%abv beer.

SaCkErZ9, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of CHADMC3
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

· Appearance: Deep brown like rich mahogany with hints of cherry or ruby, light tan head with a lingering lacing. Lively carbonation.
· Aroma: Dark fruit, cherry or raisin. Sweet toffee or caramel with noticeable alcohol.
· Taste: Sweet dark fruit flavors and spices dance on the palate in a pleasing medley with hints of toffee.
· Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, abundance of flavors that linger and a bit of a bite.
· Drinkability: Perfect beer for a 750ml. A bomber of one of these is excellent after a delightful meal. One of the best I’ve had recently.

CHADMC3, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of Morey
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle and into a glass with medium poor that produced a 3 finger head which settled to about 1/4 of an inch after a few minutes. Smells of fruits and spice and everything nice. This is a great tasting beer, which in my opinion is very similar in taste to Troegs Mad Elf (or probably the other way around). Being that it is a little lower in alcohol content (8.5% compared to 11%), I find it to have slightly better drinkability.

Morey's Bottom Line: I'm guessing that this beer was an inspiration for the Troegs brothers when creating The Mad Elf....that's how similar the taste is (see for yourself).

Morey, Jan 11, 2008
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.

bashiba, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of ggroller
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally opened the bottle I received from my Wife for Christmas 2006.

Nice fluffy, resilient head that sticks around.

Deep ruby in color, very clear.

Lots of grape in nose. Changes to mellow tones of toffee and caramel as the beer warms.

Toffee, caramel, grape juice on the tongue at first. Finishes with a creamy caramel latte.

Plenty of body and highly drinkable. I wish I had another bottle for tonight.

ggroller, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of paleoplant
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber with moderate foam. Served in a red wine glass due to a lack of glassware at Xmas party.

S: Spicy

T: Sweet flavors with some fruit; spice in the finish.

M: strong carbonation.

D: It was a good beer for celebrating a cold Buffalo night

paleoplant, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BBD of 12/09/09 I think, kind of blurred print

Pours an effervescent ruby red/chestnut with 3+ finger of tan colored head into my La Chouffe snifter.

S: Medicinal & phenolic notes

T: A bit of caramel, fruittyness ( dates, raisins & orange rinds) with a bit of licorice up front. A bit of booze burn as this warms; ginger, honey & cinnamon also there along with some dates. Above average head retention & lacing. Finishes dry with a bit of licorice, black currant, & tangerine, plus just a bit of herbal hops

MF: Slick, medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks fairly easy for the abv, a bit too complex for me to stay on all night. Interesting, but not really in my wheel house, I like'em maltier. Did get better as it warmed. Completely different than any other Christmas beer I've had this year, or any other year. One to age & then I bet it really shines

russpowell, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of Biscuit033
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark ruby with 1/2 inch head that mellows to a constant ring and great lacing throughout. Served in a Chimay goblet.

S: Yeasty and spicy(mulling spices mainly.)

T: Same as the nose with sweet candi flavors and some red fruits, alcohol and a long ginger bread finish.

M: Bubbly and slightly oily with a long spicy finish.

D: I thought that the spices worked well with the flavors of the beer but were still to strong for even another. Something that I would get once a week, perhaps, while available.

Biscuit033, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of NCSUdo
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A: A deep clear ruby hued body under a big off white head. Good retention and some lace.

S: Smells of sweet maltiness and sweet dark fruits dominate, spice character evident a long with some nice hints of chocolate that give it a sort of chocolate chip cookie character.

T: Sweet with a small roasted and slightly bitter finish, some hints of fruit here and there with even some citrus quality. Slightly medicinal in between, but nothing that hurts the brew. Could use some more of the chocolate that was hinted in the nose.

M/D: Medium to medium-full body, pretty high on the carbonation, but it balances well. This one is incredible drinkable. I popped open my first bottle of the year with a friend a couple days before Christmas, and have since made it my Christmas beer of choice, drinking it on the eve and the day of, and now the day after. This is the best Christmas ale I have had this year.

NCSUdo, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean deep amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet cinnamon and hints of corriander. In the taste, dry cinnamon and hints of other Christmassy spices that blend together. A small spicey bite in the mouthfeel, and a dry cinnamon in the aftertaste. Hides the alcohol and mellow enough for newbies, but alway a very tasty beer.

OWSLEY069, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of MMAJYK
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Milk chocloate brown color. It is totally non transparent. The head is 1 finger of soft foam after a conservative pour. The cork was in this bottle SO tight. I almost didn't get it out.

S- The aromas of sweet dark fruits are present. Raisins, prunes, dates and figs. Also I can catch a subtle scent of banana in the nose.

T- The tastes follow very closely to the nose. Chocolate and dark fruits (raisins, figs, and purnes) are the first tastes. Also the roasted malts are very nicely thrown in. It is sweet like brown sugar on the end, but the finish is somewhat bitter.

M- Mouthfeel is high carbonation with a mild sting on the tongue.

D- Decent drinking beer. Low enough ABV for another bottle, but high enough to give you the feel you are looking for.

Overall- This is a nice Christmas offering. It is smooth and sweet, but just enough bitterness and bite to keep you interested and not overwhelm you with richness.

MMAJYK, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of HombreWing
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle...no best by date stamped ? hmmm glass- oversized Duvel

Eyes: Pours bright ...mahogany/brown head dosn't amount to much

Nose: Cola syrup, clove ...subtle cinnamon and grated orange

Tongue: Spice...spice/clove flavored soda ..subtle orange ...full flavored

Texture: Delicious full bodied ..carbo fills mouth too

Overall experience: A Christmas beer to pick up annually !

HombreWing, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of buzzworthy
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas Ale 2007 vintage. It's very fizzy out of the bottle - I had to re-pour the first glass because of all the foam. It's one of the more enjoyable and distinctive seasonal I have tried. The Ale is a dark rose color with a vigorous head. There is a resemblance to rose champagne due to the carbonation and fruity tastes of grapes and plums. Cinnamon and other spices and gentle hops compliment the fruit. Very enjoyable during a dinner with friends - think I will return and buy more.

buzzworthy, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of Risser09
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ouncer poured into a wine glass - Cellar temp - Best by 9.18.08

Appearance: After popping the cap and sit the beer down to type, foam slowly rises up and out of the bottle so I lick it. Time to pour. This beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. It rises about an inch and a half with varying bubble sizes. No lace is left after the had receeds.

Smell: Orange peel, clove, Belgian yeast and cinnamon. Estery smells of plum an figs along with other dark fruits. Malt profile. slight hoppiness.

Taste: Hey look, this one's 1% higher in abv than the normal ale. Significant malt profile, accompanied by orange peel and spices. Belgian yeast contributes great character to this beer. Malt lingers in the finish with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and malty at first, which then is overtaken by the pinchy spice of the Belgian yeast. Belly and face warming. a definite example of a Christmas Ale.

Drinkabilty: This really is what a Christmas Ale should be. Spicy and orangey, with an alcohol kick. This one might actually do better with a few years on it, to turn it into a syrupy sipper. So far, the best Christmas ale I've had this season, and I've had quite a few.

Risser09, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear medium brown with an offwhite head that starts fairly healthy and fades to a thin cap. No real lacing. Smells strongly of orange and orange zest along with some spice and sweet malt. Taste is similar. Lots of orange peel up front as well as a touch of grapefruit juice, some sweet spices and clove and licorice on the finish, Delicious.
Crisp rather than creamy mouthfeel. This is one delicious Christmas beer. The spicing and heavy orange is different and very appropriate for the holidays.

Georgiabeer, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, best before end of 07/09/08:

Pours brown with a thin tan head that soon settles to a thin cover, then a patch.

The smell is brandyish with prunish fruitiness and light herbal spicing. Some caramel and graininess mixes in in the back. Very aromatic and inviting.

The taste is of berry-like and darkish fruitiness with light herbal spicing. The background has caramel and graininess with some dark sugar candy. The sweetness is balanced by a lightly spiced yeast and some earthiness. Some warming alcohol in the finish. Stays pretty even throughout, with just a touch more maltiness as it completely warms.

Medium-bodied with soft carbonation.

As this is the third offering from this brewery, my opinion is that they don't "push the envelop", but make solid brews. This is a slower sipper than the other two - but was meant to be.
This has a complex aroma and is a tasty one to sip on in the wintery Christmas season!

jwc215, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ho ho ho, 2 days till Xmas - close enough! Finally a Corsendonk brew for my Corsey Tulip.

Easy pour, massive rocky head billows up - islands of lace. Great aroma of winter spices with the classic Belgium yeast. Zesty tasting brew with the spices and malt balanced well with the hops. A surprisingly dry brew, finishing crisply with the spices.

Quite a winter warmer. Tasty.

Vancer, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of albern
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful dark Belgian ale. The beer pours a pretty thick, frothy, light brown head that retains for awhile, and just cuts an enticing image. The smell is plums, maybe a tinge of apricot, some yeast, and some sweet malts. This Christmas ale is quite full bodied, quite dark, bottle fermented, plenty of yeasty carbonation, with lots of warming alcohol notes. This is a delightful beer for a cold winters day. I'm looking out my window at more than 2 feet of accumulated snow in my New England backyard a few days before Christmas, and this beer fits the cliche in all the right ways. The taste is Belgian in that you'll get plenty of syrupy, candied sugar fermentation, sweet malts, yeasty carbonation and fizz, deep and rich fruitiness along the plum, apricot, prune family. The mouthfeel is thick, sweet, syrupy, warming, and wonderful. The aftertaste is fairly modest for a beer with 8.5% ABV. You won't get that throaty burn, but you will come back for more. L'Chaim.

albern, Dec 21, 2007
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 916 ratings.