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Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
584 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
584
Ratings:
1,158
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
14.77%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
172
For Trade:
2
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pezoids on 11-22-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 584 | Ratings: 1,158
Photo of 86MonteSS
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A belgian dark ale indeed. Pours dark brownish red with a short lasting head. Smells very grassy and a little yeasty. Tastes like a basic belgian dark with a little more hops and a lot more alcoholic flavor. There's a bitter aspect to it that's very hard to describe, and I give up easy. Aftertaste is very slight.

I tried this for the first time about a year ago and must have gotten it mixed up with another beer because this time it wasn't at all what I expected. It's a good seasonal but doesn't tickle my fancy the way so many other winters have. Oh well.

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Photo of MerkinMan
4.13/5  rDev 0%
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).

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Photo of Aiptasia
2.85/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampling this from a 12 oz. bottle tonight. It's an average looking Belgian specialty ale. Nothing remarkable. Fast fizzy head that fades with a little lacing. It smells like watery cinnamon raisin bagels. Taste is wet with a definite Belgian cheesy funk from the yeast, reminiscent of swiss cheese. Some fruity plum backnote tang on the back of the tongue and not much else. It's wetter tasting than a lot of Belgians and it's not overly sweet. Overall, it's ok. I don't find it quite as good as a lot of other Belgians.

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Photo of LuthersMug
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown brew with a gorgeous full head. Creamy lacing.

S - Brown sugar, raisins, roasted nuts...very nice.

T - Roasted malts are very tasty. Sweet brown sugar and yeasty bread also noted. An excellent brew.

M - Creamy malts, warming alcohols, very smooth, nice blend of malts and hops.

D - Keep this one coming.

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Photo of dgfair
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of Minotaur
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of MattBrooks
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy brown with plenty of yeasty goodness floating about. Smelled like a super-strong ale, which is exactly what it is supposed to smell like. Didn't notice any other discerning smells to make this winter seem more special than others; although it could be considered that this isn't a seasonal (other than the label) because the expiration date on this bottle was 2 years from now. The taste was pleasureable, and although the alc content is high, it really didn't come off that way to me. All in all, a very good example of the style, certainly worth picking up a few more. Almost wish I could get it in the big-big bottle size the other Corsendonks come in.

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Photo of SaunaKing
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with a cork in it. I dont ever remember having to uncork a beer before. Poured a rusty, copper-brown with hints of ruby. Fizzy head at first but blows up into a nice thich frothy one that leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma is mild and floral with a tiny hint of caramel or toffee. Very nice tasting with a sweet maltiness and mild hop taste. Well balanced and does a nice job of hiding the high abv.
Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. A rare treat to get a big beer that is so smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of atomicbeer
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 11/9/11. Purchased December 2011. Opened 12/28/12. Pours a cloudy brown-garnet color with a tall beige head. Mild aroma of figs, plum, and mild cinnamon. Taste follows: figs, dates, plums, and browned apple and some mild cinnamon and allspice, all stewed in a alcohol base. The 8.5% ABV is not real evident. Goes down juicy and smooth. Very nice.

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Photo of RDHerm
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, reddish brown with brown highlights. Has a thick, cream colored head that thins out very quickly, leaving a thin head that last for the duration and has excellent lacing.

Has a sweet aroma. Strong notes of yeast and dark fruits, with hints of caramel and spice

Has a surprisingly strong sweet malt flavor that was not present in the aroma. Also has strong notes of dark fruit, with hints of spice, yeast, and a little bit of hop bitterness. The aftertaste is a bit sour, which is strange, but not unpleasant.

Medium body, with a high carbonation level. Very smooth, but just a bit too bubbly.

Great taste, OK feel, and an alcohol content that's not too high make this a beer you could sip all night.

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Photo of Iguana
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of TheDTrain
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

D Trains dreaming of Corsendonk Christmas...just like the ale i poured into my Corsendonk Christmas glass!

With an aroma and a taste that follows of holiday spices, fruits like apple, grape, and plum, packed with an alcohol punch, this is Christmas morning for your mouth.

Thanks for the birthday gift BeerFM Andy! www.beerfm.com

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Photo of HogHill
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the contents of this 33cl bottle into a La Chouffe tulip glass. Huge pillowy off-white head, with a deep brown body that has good clarity.

Aroma is malt and dark fruits, some molasses and cherry cordial in the nose too. Evident that it's a Belgian dark with one whiff, rich.

Tastes similar to the nose, the malt hits first and then the molasses and rum-raisin kick in. Very little hop bitterness here. Little alcholol warming on the finish. Nice, this one is a sipper. Feels medium bodied, a bit velvety in the mouth, and has an average amount of carbonation.

Overall, a nice Christmas offering from Corsendonk, very affordable too, good bang for your buck.

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Photo of kingjames1
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

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Photo of randawakes
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, red molten color, 1 inch head, decent stagnant lace frothy reminance. Smells of molten sugar, dark malt flavors. Tastes very spicy, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, complex trying to mask the dark fruits. Not as good as expected (not being much of a holiday beer guy, although with respect to other holiday brews this is the best), but its definitely worthy. Must try it.

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Photo of dahlen22
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep amber with a copious amount of head.

Aroma: Fruitcake and corriander.

Taste: Ok...have had this beer so many times that I have lost count. However, this review is different b/c I put a bottle from last Christmas (2011) in the cellar and just popped the cork. This is truly amazing after 9 months in the cellar. Cherries, corriander, dark fruits, fruit cake with an almost sherry-port like finish. Smooth and creamy and oh so easy to drink.

Overall: This beer is tops in the Christmas beer market...that being said, put in the cellar for 9 months (or more), this beer is an A+. Good thing I have a few more in the cellar from last Christmas ; )

Cheers!!

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Photo of ggroller
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of kaimcm
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of Beervis
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another beer I've been wanting to try for quite some time, and it was everything that I had hoped.

Pours a dark brown with a very thick head. Smell is of caramel, spices, and flowery hops.

Body is medium-full with flavors of spice, bright hops, and slightly candy-sweet. I was quite surprised by the hoppiness. Very easy to drink and with the higher alcohol, it really warms.

A great winter-warmer...definitely one of my favorites.

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Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Heard this was a tasty winter warmer. Picked up a 12oz'er at Capones to give it a whirl. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, deep ruby red/brown color with a big tan head. This one left a lot of spotty lacing down the glass.

Smell: Big malty profile with some holiday spiciness to it. Ginger, nutmeg, dark fruits and a warm alcohol aroma.

Taste: Not much of a christmas spice beer, mostly dark fruits with some spicy hints in the finish. Sweet at times as it warms up. Moderate malt backbone. Some warming from the alcohol. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, almost creamy. Finishes dry as I said earlier, very mild bitterness as well. Sweet, with some alcohol warming that gets a little overbearing the warmer it gets, at least for my tastes. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Just one for me. Medium-Full bodied beer, not as heavy as its color would indicate. Just too much alcohol presence.

Not a big fan of the style, though this might change my mind. Not a bad beer, just not my thing.

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage

Pours a reddish beer thats all clear and has a strong carbonation. There is a nice, cramy foam on top.

Smell is great! Citric traces blend together with fruits, malt and yeasty traces. After a while there is a surypy like sweetness and some alcohol to it together with a wine like sourness.

Taste is fruity, rich and this is very much a perfect taste. Fruits blend together with a very sweet taste. There is a bready thickness to it and a nice bitterness. There are traces of citrus and some spices in the aftertaste together with a soothing bitterness.

Leaves a nice warmth after every sip, a very nice brew, certainly a garanteed bottle on next years christmas table.

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Photo of ROMER79
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer for the first time this holiday season, well actually a little after. It was probably the best winter ale that I have had all season. The pour was a dark brown with a one finger tan head. Fruits, spices, candied sugars, and chocolate were all aromas that this beer gave off. It tasted of chocolate, malts, candied sugars, and it was followed with smoky after notes. It was a well balanced beer with flavors that danced on my palate. Full bodied and easy to drink. Great beer to enjoy!

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Photo of Bobikel
2.84/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a caged and corked 750ml bollte.

Appearance - Pours a deep clear red. A small 1/2 inch head appears and stays for quite some time. Lacing is very good.

Smell - Rigid deep maltiness, and some hops. A little soapy? Maybe infected?

Taste - Yeasty, warm, and a little cloying. Plum, and corriander.

Mouthfeel - Highly effervescent, dancing on the toung with a pleasant pointyness. A little thick.

Drinkability - Not really a sesionable drinker, nor is it a quiet-night sipper.

Overall - Fun to try, but a little dissapointing. Reminds me a little of Lefthand's "Goosinator", but with a little more depth.

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Photo of headbucket
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice deep brown color. Nice, big head with a semi-aggresive pour. Lots of lacing left on the glass as the beer recedes. This beer has some of the nicest lacing and foam left on the side of a glass that I have ever seen on a beer. After my second pour(rather aggressive) from a 750ml bottle, there was a solid, thick, and wide layer of foam/lacing left all the way around the glass.

S: the weakest part of the beer for me. It isn't bad, just very tame. grains and yeast, a bit sweet.

T: Nice dark malts, a bit of brown sugar sweetness, belgian yeast flavors, and chocolate(chocolate malt?) over a bit of fruit-citrus but not a bright hoppy citrus, it is like a light orange flavor. the dark malt/chocolate and orange/citrus flavor linger.

M: silky smooth, nice and thick without being syrupy. it is very smooth and silky, goes down very nice.

O: A great beer, probably my favorite christmas beer. This beer and Troeg's Mad Elf are my favorite Xmas beer because they aren't heavily spiced with cinnamon and similar spices/flavors that a lot of american christmas beers have. The alcohol doesn't detract at all. It is slightly evident but doesn't detract at all. I like this beer a bit more as it had warmed up, and as I get closer to the bottom of the bottle. It is malty without being overly sweet and has a great hint of fruit(orange) in it. Will pick up a few more bottles for sure before they disappear from the store I got this bottle from. This is a christmas 2010 bottle.

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Photo of veggiemafia
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Fathead's, served in a goblet.

Red inkiness with nice ring of off white lace.

Smells like Christmas spices with some Belgian yeast, some anise, and ever-present alcohol in the back.

Taste is similar with some added fruitiness. Very sweet with a lot of different things going on here. A little phenolic which isn't exactly the most pleasant thing here, I don't think.

Slick mouthfeel, refreshing and substantial, but I was definitely ready to move on to something else after this one. Just not a session beer for me.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 584 ratings.