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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

560 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 560
Hads: 1,071
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 74
Gots: 134 | FT: 0
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 (15) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Corsendonk Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 560 | Hads: 1,071
Photo of ROMER79
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
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! (500 characters)

Photo of Beervis
4.45/5  rDev +8%
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. (441 characters)

Photo of Bobikel
2.84/5  rDev -31.1%
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. (630 characters)

Photo of headbucket
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (1,485 characters)

Photo of veggiemafia
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (537 characters)

Photo of jscottku21
4.12/5  rDev 0%
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! (256 characters)

Photo of OldYoda
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a a Euro bottle (8.5 oz) into a the small souvenir snifter that came with the 6 pack. Pours a dark plum chocolate color with a one finger foamy head and minimal lacing.

Smell is complex and enticing - fruit and chocolate and anise. Malt and alcohol are strongly present but extremely well balanced.

Taste is outstanding - fruit and anise with a sweet malt backbone and a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy - extremely inviting and pleasant.

Drinkability is the only question mark with this brew as it is a sipper and at this ABV one or two is more than enough.

A great beer. (601 characters)

Photo of Weissenheimer
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (684 characters)

Photo of twbrewer
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep red color with a huge off-white or tan colored foam that slowly falls to a thick sticky layer.

S-The smell of spices and caramel malt hits me first then a faint fruit and a very Belgian yeast smell comes thru.

T-Very close to the smell but in addition there is a orange peel and coriander and then a slight earthy/spicey hop taste.

M-Medium body with great carbonation.Sweet but also slighty dry on the palate.

D-This is a great Christmas/Winter Warmer.It is a smooth sweet beer that is very drinkable and the 8.50% is very well hidden.I might keep remaing bottles until next winter! (602 characters)

Photo of halo21
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: We poured this amber and brown colored beer hard into a Duvel snifter glass, with plenty of room for the tan chunky head to expand upwards. It was dark and rich looking, with fine carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Rich, with candied fruits; big raisin and a bit of apple, all with a kick of spice.

Taste: Sweet with fruit flavors, malts and yeast, with a drying spice finish; coriander and a bit of pepper in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, with warming heat and nicely viscous; finely carbonated that is almost a festive component.

Drinkability/Palitability: Medium to high - very smooth and warming, but at 8.50% ABV, this is not a Summer session beer, but a few would go down easy on a cold Winter night.

Notes: This is an A+ beer, not only in the style of beer, but across all brews. The best part about winter is the big heavy beers that are released and enjoyed. This bottle was popped open not only on a bitter cold day, but also a long workday full of manual labor and cleaning. Perfect end to the day. (1,039 characters)

Photo of TheEremite
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought an 8 pack after christmas 2005. It was on sale and I thoguht I'd give it a shot. I shared 5 of them then and I wasn't impressed. I threw the other 3 in the cellar for the next few years and thought I'd pop one open last night. It's a totally different beer. I wish I had saved the other 5.

Appearance: Deep brunette/brown with copper highlights. Creamy, long lasting head about 1/2 cm.

Aroma: Bright and crisp belgian esters, prune, cherry, pear

Taste: Complex chocolate (but not roasty) toffee, caramel with cherry, and some notes of dried fruit. There was some oxidation, but it only added to the complexity.

Mouthfeel: Bright carbonation, but not harsh. Finishes dry and does not linger.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable, especially for an 8.5% alcohol beer. I've got two more that have been sitting since xmas '05. I'm not sure how much longer I can wait to drink these. (890 characters)

Photo of tjkurz
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of the best beers I have ever had. Pours (into snifter) dark with decent head smells like christmas, tastes like christmas - some spice nutmeg clove - some fruit - subtle brandy - all delicious. Creamy and carbed nicely - warm - very drinkable for its abv. (268 characters)

Photo of dpend
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a goblet of this compliments of Blackburn Point Liquors.

This beer poured a murky ruby orange with a good off-white head. Head fell consistently down to a thin film. Aroma was of lovely spices, malts and liquor. A very sweet smelling beer. Many layers to the taste of this beer with fruits,spices and nutty malts and a great warming effect compliments it well. A spiced candy is my best explanation for this taste.The sweetness became a bit overpowering on the aftertaste and I could probably handle only one. A must for the holidays though. (552 characters)

Photo of BeerLover729
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque dark brown beer with a big frothy that subsides but remains throught the drink. The smell is lightly molassesy and not much else. The taste is a progression of malty, kind of creamy, and tart. Some "Xmas spice" is detectable (cloves, cinnamon, etc.), mostly cloves, but subdued compared to the malty, creamy, brown sugar dryness. This beer has a creamy, smooth, but sharply carbonated medium body. Its drinkable but the maltyness has some cloyingness to it. It stll tasted really good to me though. Good beer. (516 characters)

Photo of BigMarty1980
4.84/5  rDev +17.5%

A- A deep ruby brown color

S- Strong scents of figs & cherries. Also yeast

T- Just as it smells. Figs & Cherries. Faint trail of citrus

M-Full bodied but not too much

O- My friend has raved about this beer for years. I went to a Whole Foods that offers alcohol and I saw this on the shelf. I grabbed the 2nd to last one and I am shocked I haven't made it a point to try this sooner. This beer is amazing & upon first taste it catapulted all the way to the top of my favorites list. If you find it...TRY IT (509 characters)

Photo of DeepSix
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. A deep red amber/brown color. 2 fingers worth of a tan head. A lot of lacing along the glass.

A sweet smell almost of molasses, dark fruits, malt, and spices here.

A chorus of complex favor here, with an assortment of sweet fruits noted, with some toasted malt here, a hint of maybe some brown sugar its quite sweet overall. There is a very slight bit of hops here, but its very subdued. A medium body here, with a tiny bit of carbonation. The alcohol is barely noted even at this high ABV.

This quite a great seasonal offering, I'll differently look for this on tap at places. I could probably drink this all day, would have to watch out for its high ABV like noted previously. (723 characters)

Photo of krunchie
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A lot of CO2. Tan, sparkling thick head. Kind of airy, but resides slowly. As for the body: clear reddish brown/dark copper amberish color.

S: Belgian yeast esters, tart crystal malt and fruitcake. Cheeries and almonds. Hints of spices, cardamom, ginger and clove. I pick up a very slight hoppiness in the spicy nose, sort of like Saaz hops.

T: Cinnamony dark candi sugar. Alcoholic warmth and belgian abbey yeast character. Kinda sweet and syrupy, almost resiny. I don't get any hop flavor or bitterness. Smooth, but a bit too unbalanced - way too sweet and syrupy for my taste. Hints of dark crystal and chocolate malts, finishes semi-dry.

M/D: Medium body, a bit over-carbonated for the style (not extremely though) but very smooth on the palate and easily drinkable for being such a high gravity beer. (811 characters)

Photo of linnet
3.56/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big beige head, brown/reddish colour. Aroma is yeasty, malty, caramel, straw, hops. Although not very strong flavour is warming with noticable ABV, sugar, malt, dark fruit and some bitterness at the end. This beer reminds me of Chimay bleue, spices. Mouthfeel is lively with small bubbles. This beer was a nice aquaintance. (323 characters)

Photo of Mjoepp
3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown, with light brown head.

S: Fruits, especially figs, spices and caramel notes.

T: Sweet, some alcohol, figs, raisins. Aftertaste is a round taste of alcohol and some bitterness from hops.

Overall: Decent, nothing special among the christmas beers. (263 characters)

Photo of descartes
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: Dark brown top which progresses to a redish bottom. A good half inch head.
Smell: Malty, mild spice aroma with raisan smell.
Taste: Again a slight spicey taste, you can feel the alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with some good carbination.

Overall: A very good winter brew, happy I bought an eight pack. (352 characters)

Photo of cyberbmcd
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
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. (569 characters)

Photo of Lupin
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells and pours much like ommegang abbey ale. Lots of spices obviously present here, and a deep amber hue, but not much of anything in suspension here. I'm not sure if this really dark enough to be considered a dark ale. Poured gently into the ommegang "where brewing is an art..." flute with an appropriate head that dissipated as expected. Minimal lacing

The most blatant odor and taste upon initially tasting this brew was licorice. Something else very distinctive was definitely there, but I couldn't think of what it was. It was rather difficult to think of anything else for the first few sips, though. As my palate adjusted and the beer warmed, earthier tones revealed themselves and the other spices managed to neutralize my initial impression.

As far as Christmas ales go, this is a definite winner and I will certainly return to it next year. Spicy and dry, but without the overbearing heat/warming feel of the spices of a lot of other winter brews (affligen noel, which i enjoy heartily, comes to mind). I don't think I could enjoy more than a bottle of this, but it's definitely suited to being a wonderful starter beer for a winter session. (1,160 characters)

Photo of HombreWing
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
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 ! (389 characters)

Photo of JeffH
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep brown with a light, quickly dispersing head
S- dried fruits, brown sugar
T- Crisp start with waves of dried, sweet fruit. Nice malt finish with a small amount of yeastiness
M- Lighter than expected with a high carbonation
O- Very good beer, looking forward to another soon (280 characters)

Photo of ItsTheLimit
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas Ale is a really lovely, deep mahogany-to-plum color with a really thick tan head. Leaves waves of lacing all the way down the glass. Lots of carbonation apparent, as well.

Smells of Belgian yeast, some dark fruit funk, alcohol and bread. Very inviting.

Tastes of dried fruit, yeasty bread, a little alcohol, but still extremely balanced. Really exceptionally complex, yet drinkable beer.

Great mouthfeel. Very smooth, almost velvety on the tongue.

Overall, this is an excellent beer. I look forward to drinking another and will definitely be trying this in years to come. (600 characters)

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.