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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

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

894 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 894
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 58
Gots: 61 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Corsendonk Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 894 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of benmiliron
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received an 8-pk. with glass from my sister as a Christmas gift. Thanks sis!

A smoky brown tan color, good foamy head that fades quickly. Some lacing. Smells of sugar, malt, spice and all things nice. Not much hop aroma, but the bitter is there in the taste. Taste is superb. Belgian fruits, spices, yeast and malts, a bit of smoke, and candied plums. Mouthfeel is sticky with good carbonation to support. Maybe a hair too fizzy.

This is one of the best Christmas ales out there.

benmiliron, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of jscottku21
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, this ale was quite good. Spices including cinnamon and cloves were very distinct yet not overwhelming. Extremely drinkable, although the 8.5% will surely catch up with you, I would absolutely revisit this excellent offering from Corsendonk. Cheers!

jscottku21, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.95/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my St.B chalice.
Pours a dark ruby brown with only a slight head. Can catch a glimpse of light around the edging of the beer.
Smell is yeasty, with some candy sugar. There is a earthy fruit and a slight alcohol smell coming through as well.
Taste is dark ripened fruit and yeast. There is more alcohol coming through in the taste than was found in the smell.
The mouthfeel is very carbonated with a slight burn to it.
A decent holiday offering but not my favorite.

FtownThrowDown, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of Shaw
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful amber in color with an equally beautiful off-white head. This beer practically glows in the proper light.

It smells of dried fruit and malt with just the hint of sourness.

The taste is very good. Notes of fruit mix with mustiness and just a bit of bitterness to create a very complex flavor.

The body is nice and chewy yet smooth and creamy as well.

Overall this is an excellent beer. I'm quite fond of the style and Corsendonk keeps my faith alive.

Shaw, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of dgfair
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my Chimay goblet, best before September 18, 2008.

A - Clear brown liquid with a reddish hue as the light comes through. Nice fluffy, cream-colored head that dissipates slowly to a nice layer.
S - Sweet sugar smell, with a hint of clove and coriander. A little bit of ripe fruit, kind of a raisin smell to it. Also a touch of an underlying earthy, woody smell.
T - Wow...ripe dark fruit, figs, raisins, a little pear perhaps, all balanced by a peppery clove flavor that keeps the fruitiness in check perfectly. Also a nice full malt flavor that comes out in the swallow as the alcohol gives a nice warming flavor in the throat.
M - A little creamy, a little bubbly, very well balanced. Feels great in the mouth and on the swallow.
D - Very nice winter Belgian ale. I would certainly like to sit around and drink a couple of these on a winter evening. Overall, a drinkable, complex, delicious Belgian ale. A great offering from Corsendonk, probably my favorite of their offerings. Stock up in the winter months while you can.

dgfair, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazel chestnut color with depth. Khaki head is creamy and frothy. So far so good.

S: Cherry slushy, oak, burnt caramel, toast and maple.

T: Begins sweet and fruity with some serious figs, over ripe dark cherries, blueberry and raspberry. I think the next flavor I identify could be described as brown sugar bubble gum, quite nice. You can find anise, nutmeg and perhaps some coriander as well. Perhaps some lemon on the tip of the tongue too. Most of the malty backbone seems to actually be accounted for by the sugar added. Finishes with hints of apricot, peach yogurt and brown sugar.

M: Medium body, full mouthfeel with just a bit of fluffiness.

D: This beer reminds me a lot of the Delerium Noel but sort of like the less alcohol cousin. Good drinkability and not too sweet.

Westsidethreat, Dec 18, 2006
Photo of ccrida
2.42/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on draft in a regular Corsendonk cervoise, it was a dark amber in a color with very little head or carbonation, but left behind a nice khaki lace. The aroma was mainly sweet malt and yeast, but fairly mild. The taste was immediately dominated by anise, which gave way to a nice malt backbone and a bit of fig or prune, then a slightly boozy finish. I had trouble getting by the anise, which I'll admit is far from my favorite spice, and not normally so overbearing as to turn me off from the rest of the brew. The mouthfeel was a bit thin for the style, and since I didn't care for the spice used, I didn't find this one to be that drinkable. I should also note that the 8.5% ABV was no less evident then some of the +10% Noels that are much more balanced. I seem to recall liking the Corsendonk Noel last year, so I'm not sure if the recipe has changed, the keg I drank from needed aged, or my palate is finer tuned, but this year it's my least favorite of any holiday beer so far.

ccrida, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of cyberbmcd
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a fine beer in the Belgian Ale tradition.

It pours a dark Brown with a one finger head that dissipates a little too quickly. Fine lacing and a sweet smell accompany.

It has a smooth silky mouthfeel. Starts out sweet with a blast of nutmeg then finishes with a bitter bite. you can taste the cinnamon and nutmeg and wintery spices that it's brewed with.

The champagne style cork was a nice touch as well.

Overall, this is a fine brew to sip with your family at Christmas dinner or while typing a review for beer advocate, whatever the case may be.

cyberbmcd, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of shuriyukum
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up @ the Brew Crew in Albany, NY. Came in a 4 pack.

A - The beer pours a nice dark caramel with a red hue. It has a foamy head (of which you'd expect from a belgian).

S - Mild, caramel, malty smell with a touch of yeast undertone.

T - Fruity, spicy, sweet.

M - the slight spice taste has a finish that ends mildly. The sweetness is not heavy in your mouth.

D - Sweet, smooth, and easy going down. Has notes of caramel, toasted malt.

Overall, highly recommended!

shuriyukum, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a split mix case with mugghugger I ended up with 5 of these and boy are they tasty.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful mahogany caramel brown. Translucent. When back lit it showcases a red hue and loads of carbonation. The lacing slides don the walls of my snifter back in to the body but looks nice on every swirl.

Smell: Dark caramel malts, dark fruits - figs- hints of chocolate and nuts with spices of the season and hints of wood loaded in the nose as well. The aroma also allows a bit of booze to come through.

Taste: It has a unique flavor. Somewhat of a farmhouse Saison yeast character laying underneath the syrupy sweet, but inviting, caramel malt, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and more sweet brown sugar flavors. The hops and spices interplay very well malty sweet yet lively feel to this winter ale.

Mouthfeel: It has a thick full chewy yet smooth feel across the palate. Very nice.

Drinkability: This is a big beer for two back to back but I did it. That said it is no sessioner. This one is for sipping at the end of a cold night. It’ll will warm you up wonderfully.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of EPICAC
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had a bottle at Kulminator in Antwerp.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy amber-brown with a fluffy brown head that slowly fades, leaving heavy lace.

Smell: Sweet cherry aroma, caramel and a light vinuous character.

Taste: Upfront there are toasty malts, with a mild roasted character. Light tartness that's reminiscent of cherries emerges in the center. The finish has some peppery spice and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Well-balanced, no character dominates over the others.

EPICAC, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of elinash
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

elinash, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of psinderson
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark, almost ruby red. Decent off-white head.

Smell: Very minimal aroma, but mostly malt, caramel.

Taste: Complex taste, mostly fruit. I sense some molasses and cherries with a mild hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Much thinner than expected.

Drinkability: Decently drinkable, but taste complexity may turn off some.

psinderson, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a damn good beer. All kinds of fruit going on in here, plums, figs, oranges, bananas, nice oft sweet taste. Nice head with good lacing also. Should be brewed year round, as I didn't see the coralation with winter, not all that spicey. But nonetheless, a great beer that should be drank anytime it is found.

bigdeuce, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 'best before 16/09/07' poured into a 0.5L Duvel Tulip.

A: Very Dark, slight garnet hues when held up to the light. Thick off white head, great lacing down the glass. Bubbles sit on the bottom of the glass.

S: Not strong; slight alcohol, maybe a little yeastiness and dark fruit.

T: Dark fruit and spices. Normal Belgian yeast flavors, but toned down a little. made up for by the extra bit of spice flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation, maybe too much. Nice and full though

D: Pretty easy to drink, but high alcohol content.

I feel like I haven't given this beer enough credit, maybe because I can't taste everything going on there. Marked as a beer to revisit in the future.

51mmz0rz, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very inviting stained mahogany color, with a head of yellow cream. Clear but dark. Smells of wintery spices, sweet vanilla, and sugared plums. On the palate, brisk carbonation, followed by sugared date sweetness perfectly balanced by hops and spices. The fruit character is big and juicy, but plays well with the other elements. Mouthfeel is thick but not sludgy, with great winter consistency -- meaning it sticks to the ribs but isn't a chore to get down. Light carbonation helps out here, too, as it takes some of the load off tongue when the malt bill hits. Overall, this is a wonderful beer, far superior to the other standard Corsendonk offerings in my opinion. Perfect for winter time, but an excellent Belgian any time of the year.

geexploitation, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of rarevos
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay goblet.

A: Deep, brownish-ruby with fluffy, off-white head. Head has terrific longevity, and there are sticky trails on the side of the glass as it recedes.

S: Unmistakably Belgian, with a peppery, clovey, dried fruit aroma. Really faint, though.

T/M: Dried, dark fruit up front (figs, dates, plums, raisins) with some spiciness. Spices don't taste obviously Christmas-y to me (pepper, clove, mint), but there is a hint of cinnamon in there. I'm not picking up anise the way others have. There is a bit of nutmeg in the finish, but the cinnamon and nutmeg are VERY subdued, in no way like a winter warmer. And the finish is mostly malty and sweet, with a little bit of an alcohol presence that comes across as slightly aluminum-like.

D: Nice cold evening beer. Not really something so unique that I'd go out of my way to get it again, but I'm glad I tried it, and it didn't disappoint.

rarevos, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of Iguana
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up last week in Eugene, OR at the Beir Stein. Best buy date says 06/19/06, oh well hehe. Poured a brilliant ruby red with a 1cm head that never went away into my Chimay chalice. Smell is of candied dark fruits, plums, faint hints of dark cherries, and some smell I cant identify. Taste is good, took awhile for me to pin it down, but I am getting a huge bubblegum taste in this. Kinda odd I think, never had a beer have this taste in it, not offensive, just interesting. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and its the bubblegum flavor that does this, as soon as that flavor hits my sensors the beer gets all light and fluffylike in taste. I tend to prefer a thicker belgian beer so this was kinda a putoff for me. Drinkability is good, its a solid belgian dark ale, dunno as I would get more when I can get beers I know I like for the style easier and cheaper. But its always fun to try new things.

Iguana, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured very very dark, like a black hole topped with a delicious looking brown head. Lots of pretty lacing on the way down. My god the nose is SO complex. At first I got applesauce, then dried plums, followed by some burnt brown sugar and cinnamon and other spices. This is easily the most interesting beer I've ever smelled. Taste is largely the same .... the only problem is that it smells far better than it tastes. It's almost as if the smells are jockeying for position trying to dominate one another and never melding. I find it distracting. Could some age cure this? Mouth is medium.
I like this and plan to buy it again ... but only to see if the taste has melded a bit.

TheBungyo, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. A dark mahogany color with red highlights. Appeared to be clear. Light tan, large head. Smell was fantastic, raisins, port mine, molasses, caramel, dark chocolate, and some earthy/barnyard Belgian yeast. Taste was where it fell down a bit. Strong metallic notes, improving to raisins, dark fruits and chocolate. Some phenolic notes through middle. It all worked pretty well together. No hops to speak of. Medium bodied, low carbonation, drying with some alcohol warming. Overall, this beer has a lot going for it, but...many people have commented on metal in Belgians, but this is the most noticeable it has ever been for me. ABV well hidden, which made this relatively easy to drink. A pretty good beer, but not that exciting to me.

, Aug 10, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Red maroon body, fluffy off-white head, a slow fader. Good sticky lace.

Smell: Sweet, fruit and herbal, carmel.

Taste: Thin and buttery, this beer should be good through mid-2007, but this is rather unimpressive. The flavors are bland for the style, and the only good part is a slight vinous character. I was expecting mroe from this one.

Drinkability: Bad bottle? I doubt it, it's most likely been refrigerated since being put on the shelf. I will pass on this, hopefully othr bottles are better.

TastyTaste, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of Foxman
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It came to me a rich amber brown, flashing ruby in lighter areas. A finger of creamy tan head settled slowly to soft froth islets. Dense lacing clouded the inside of the glass.

The aroma was justn a bit strained, but did eventually give up a thick malty sweetness, rife with caramel, and earthy with figs, prunes, raisins, dates, and a touch of cherry...oh, and a healthy kick of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the flavor filled out well more than the aroma, with a tasted grain sweetness leading the way, and boasting of caramel, and a raft of dried earth fruits as promised in the aroma. A slight tanginess, yeasty in nature, carried through in the middle, and is soon bested by a credible wash of alcohol. Some residual malt sweetness revisits, and then a gentle spiciness won out, prodding the finish to a mellow, warm, softly bittered legacy that leaves a crispness behind. The flavor is a complex but well blended affair that is very easy to take.

Between medium and full bodied, the grain presence is densely sweet enough to coat, but the spicy crispness keeps it from cloying.

As Christmas goes, there's no shortage of fine seasonal beers, and I will add this one to my list of preferred potables. It's righ, warm, and savory, and the end result is something to be enjoyed when the weather is nipping at your...well, something. The ABV will keep you toasty, and it is easily and wisely heeded, but it does go down in a fine way. So even though it's July, I'm anticipating the fresh release of this Noel nicety.

Foxman, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of haz77
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark burgundy with an inch of tan head. This falls to a thin layer after about a minute.

S - Rum, Christmas pudding, slight metallic background, cherries, figs, plums, some toffee.

T - Begins with the fruits mentioned and some tartness before a creamy Christmas spice middle takes over. Starts to dry out towards the end and the alcohol comes through with a slight metallic taste.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium body and carbonation.

D - Not bad, but there are certainly other dark Belgians I would look towards first. Decent drinkability.

haz77, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by date January 2007, Sampled July 2006
Pours with a large, initially three and a half finger thick, amber-cream colored head that leaves a rocky, lace leaving texture as it slowly falls back into the beer. The beer is a dark, brownish color with a touch of amber. It shows a brilliantly clear ruby hued beer when held up to the light. Rich, aromatic notes of concentrated malt greet my nose. Notes of raisins, dates and figs mingle with sweet notes of caramel, toffee, . both a spicy note of clove and bit rum-like hot alcohol are just slightly noticed among the other notes. Overall the aroma is quite sweet and almost even a bit sticky; very desert like in its aromatics.

A creamy mouthfeel is balanced almost immediately by a tingly carbonation. The beer is not nearly as sweet tasting as the aroma would suggest, which is good as I was not sure if I was up fro a sticky brew. Notes of concentrated malt are here though. I get notes of dark caramelized fruit, notes of burnt raisins and roasted plums. Light notes of toasted malt join a hint of roasted grain. The fruit notes are what really stand out here; this brew is rich and satiating, yet actually not heavy and even a bit light and easy to drink, though I would characterize this as being light on the palate. Some spicy cola like notes are also in this beer as well as some light notes of clove. Actually the cola like note is definitely interesting, it is mostly the caramel flavors from cola, but definitely some of the spiciness is in this beer as well. This beer is quite interesting, perhaps a touch on the simplistic side, but quite good none the less.

Gueuzedude, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep chestnut with amber highlights. Pale tan head immediately fills the glass-then settles to one finger of dense soap bubbles, retains a cap very well and leaves spotty lacing. Complex phenolic nose with dark toasted malt in the background. Dark fruit aromas like dates and plums- and light fruits like peaches. The taste is sweet toasted dark malt upfront then turns tart and phenolic through the middle. The aftertaste hints at dryness, cleansing some of the mild residual fruit sweetness and faint phenolic bite. No perceivable hops here, but this balances fine without. Low carbonation and med/full body create a velvety texture, and the tart phenol/fruitness fades with the residual sugar for a satisfying but not overpowering finish. Drinks very well for the style...everything a Belgian strong dark ale should be.

PBRstreetgang, Apr 01, 2006
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 894 ratings.