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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

884 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 884
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 56
Gots: 55 | 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
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Ratings: 884 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dtivp
dtivp

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

Poured a medium dark brown with a large two finger brownish white head that slowly dissipated into nice collar with moderate lacing.

Aroma of yeast, sweet fruits and a hint of spice.

Taste followed the nose with a sugary sweet fruits, butterscotch, yeast and a touch of spice.

Mouthfeel was medium body with lots of carbonation, very smooth and syrupy. Nice warming, however, the alcohol is well masked.

This is a very nice Belgian Ale, look forward to enjoying again.

03-21-2011 02:15:37 | More by dtivp
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

From the massive display of head to the inviting brown darkness, this ale warms you just by looking at it. Coriander, cake batter and a peppery herbal spice from the alcohol and yeast infiltrate the nostrils. Smoothness borders on silky, and crispness pops off the full body. Fruitcake of the homemade variety, chocolate-covered oranges, bitterness from the coriander and hops, and hints of carob powder and charcoal make for a very complex brew. Top shelf all the way, a bottle of this is a real treat for the taste buds. By far one of the best winter seasonals on the market.

03-04-2011 23:19:46 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Buggies
Buggies

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -12.7%

I'm thinking I have an old bottle or something. Or possibly bot stored right. Or maybe this bad boy just needs to warm up a little. I don't know. I don't get the same big aromas or flavors that most reviewers get.

Pours a dark brown with nice thick head. The aroma is real muted. Smells of yeast and fruit, and a faint hint of spice.

The taste is about the same as the nose. Tastes as Belgium should. Yeast and fruit. A very slight spicy note. Slight caramel notes as well. Slightly sweet finish.

To be honest, this reminds me more of a plain jane dubbel or something. Though it is quite nice and tastes OK, I don't think it is worth the high scores like it has gotten.

But then again, maybe it's just the bottle I got?

02-13-2011 22:14:39 | More by Buggies
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Poured from a 25 cl bottle, into my Corsendonk Christmas tulip.

A: Medium-dark brown. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles pretty slowly leaving a blanket of foam on the surface, and some nice beer-ring residue. A decent amount of spotty lacing remains as you drink this one down.

S: Malt grains, almonds, butterscotch, and a little spice.

T: Rich syrupy malt, a little peat, a little almond, a hint of something sweet (maybe some butterscotch), and a little coriander.

M: Hearty. Thick and syrupy feel. Sweet and malty in the front, pungent finish. But not overly dry, and the strong alcohol is nicely disguised.

D: This is a nice brew to savor. Nice flavor and body.

Atmosphere is nice. Appearance is a great brown tone, with a solid foamy head, and some really nice lacing. Nose has a nice grain and nut profile with some hints of sweet and spice. A thick syrupy body, and a really nice combo grain, sweet, and spice combination. Nothing really stands out. Well balanced. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

02-05-2011 07:24:55 | More by bmwats
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

Best by 26 August 2012, picked up for 75cents a couple of weeks back. From notes.

Clear mahogany with a dense, khaki-colored head with excellent retention, this beer looks very good. There is no lacing, but patches of foam do stick to the side of my glass. The nose is great. Yeasty, this has a spicy, mildly fruity kick with raisins, prunes, molasses, brown sugar and a little bit of stale cinnamon. Sweetness is reserved, I also get a mild tobacco-like aroma. The yeast character is strong, lending a fairly hefty spice presence to the nose.
The palate opens spicy and fruity with a bit of burnt sugar and cola. Again, the prunes and molasses come through, but this isn't a sweet beer. Quite the opposite, this finishes quite dry. The mid-palate really carries the fruit, and coupled with the strong yeast character, it brings to mind an almost tropical fruit-like intensity. As it warms, the malt complexity does grow, getting a mild dark caramel character to go with the prunes and burnt sugar.Dry with an earthy, leathery malt character, the alcohol is very well hidden here. Spicy and yeasty on the finish, this beer is medium-light on the palate with a high level of carbonation, much higher than I care for, REALLY foaming up in my mouth. This does get distracting fairly quickly, and this is this beers only significant flaw. Solid stuff, I would not hesitate to drink this again.

02-04-2011 02:31:00 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of RDHerm
RDHerm

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

01-29-2011 04:07:35 | More by RDHerm
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured from 750ml bottle into heavy chalice glass. Pours a transparent dark red with a real nice off-white head with very good retention. Excellent lacing. Very malty, spicey, and fruity aroma. Real nice malt flavor up front. Kind of a creamy, caramel, and fruit combination. Finishes rather spicey with a little clove that continues to linger in aftertaste. Hops are only very subtle. A touch of metal keeps this from being an even better beer. One of the better Christmas brews I've had.

01-27-2011 21:08:03 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

11.2oz bottle poured into a Fantome tulip.

A - A careful pour yields a dark brown beer with ruby-tinged highlights. Opaque but thankfully pretty clear from sediment. I can actually see quite a bit of carbonation on the sides of the glass and lots of bubbles stick to the sides. A 3-fingered head floats on top, lasting almost the entire beer, gradually shrinking. Lacing is pretty consistent and abundant.

S - I'm actually not sure what makes this a 'Christmas' version of Corsendonk, as I'm not getting much spices from the nose, and I'm not sure if there should be. There is a bit of spiciness I'd attribute to the yeast, but it could be some light spices added. Anyway, besides that, I get grapes, raisins, tobacco, a hint of leather, some banana. Some darker fruits and sugar. Typically Belgian.

T - The first thing I can pinpoint in the taste is a rum quality, like some rum covered cherries. This is only in flavor, however, as the alcohol is incredibly well-hidden. It's then sugary and sweet, fruity and leathery, and the malts add to a biscuity dryness. Finish is long, sweet, with a tinge of alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with medium carbonation. A bit of a spicy finish lends to it being a bit dry, but the sweetness lingers as well.

D - Drinkability is high. An incredibly easy drinking beer that has great flavor to it. Would've liked the aroma to be a bit more ... bold, and maybe something to distinguish itself as necessarily 'Christmas', but I really enjoyed this one.

01-24-2011 05:39:25 | More by nhindian
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

Had this on tap at Crescent & Vine in Astoria. It reminded me of the St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, though this was a touch more drinkable. My only complaint was that the spice dominated the aroma. The flavor was more balanced with dark fruits, caramel, coriander and citrus notes.

01-22-2011 17:42:13 | More by tempest
Photo of BobZ
BobZ

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +1%

11.2 Oz. bottle. Poured into my Duvel Tulip.

Appearance: Rich dark brown, virtually no head at all, but decent lacing throughout the beer.

Smell: Belgian yeast and spice dominate the nose, hints at a deep complexity.

Taste: Sweet maltiness with very pleasant spicing. Dark fruit lies beneath and a gentle hoppy bitterness is also present. A great example of a Belgian Christmas beer.

Mouthfeel: Aggressively carbonated but still pleasant on the palate.

Drinkability: Good beer but not one I could drink many of in a session.

01-22-2011 17:09:03 | More by BobZ
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

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

New York

5/5  rDev +20.2%

Had Corsendonk Christmas Ale on draught at Mahar's Pub in Castleton-on-Hudson just before Christmas. It was offered at $5 for 10 oz. or $10/20oz. I started with a 10 oz. but had to follow it with a second 10 oz. It was one of those "oh I have the perfect beer for me" evenings.

Unfortunately, this beer is seasonal. I went back after Christmas and it was gone. Mahar said he was trying to obtain another keg. It was being searched for among the diminishing stock of Corsendonk Christmas Ale in the Albany/Capital Region, NY.

I hope to check in with Mahar tomorrow to see if he was successful in getting more.

If you come across Corsendonk Christmas Ale
on draught, don't drink it, save it for me.

I have had Corsendonk Christmas Ale in bottles a few times before and it is great that way too, but to my mind, no beer is better in the bottle than it is when you can get it draught style. I did however, recently purchase 2 750ml bottles so I could enjoy the Ale sometime later this year.

I recommend the Mahar's Pub in Castleton on Hudson, NY. It is a small neighborhood off-shoot of the long term, well established Mahar's Pub neighborhood pub on Madison Ave. in Albany, NY. Both Mahar's are serious places to drink a huge international variety of great beers.

01-18-2011 20:49:00 | More by kstokem
Photo of Meerkey
Meerkey

Virginia

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

A: Bubbly, dark caramel/toffee, umber color -muddy around the edges

S: Dark fruits -cherry

T: More dark fruits, spices, candy, sweet aftertaste that's also gets a little sour. Yummy.

M: Heavy flavor on the tongue -clean finish. Tingly.

D: Flavorful and interesting, very pleasant.

01-18-2011 19:53:21 | More by Meerkey
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

Well, from the start I knew this was going to be a special beer. Almost a medicinal aroma.

But once I tasted it, I realized what the smell and taste were. They were barleywine tastes. That boozy somewhat dark-fruitish tastes. And yes, I guess somewhat medicinal.

For me, this was very much like drinking a barleywine. A very incredibly smooth one. This one had a good bit of age. The beer is from 2008, so I'm wondering how age affected this beer.

01-18-2011 03:32:54 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of nickthetick
nickthetick

Maryland

4.47/5  rDev +7.5%

A: poured into a corsedonk brewery glass and held up to the light a dark ruby red. A dirty white to light tan head that's nice and thick and very frothy. The head hangs around and leaves some lacing.

S: very spicy and a darker roasted malt sweetness. Biscuity and a little smooth hop notes.

T: sweet malt and common christmas spices, slightly roasted and big cinnamon flavor. The sweetness comes out as dried figs and plums. There isn't a whole lot of hop presence but what is there is earthy.

MF: smooth and complex, medium body. Rich and only a little effervescent.

D: a great Christmas beer at an awesome price especially when a glass is thrown in. A quick christmas buy again.

01-18-2011 01:48:27 | More by nickthetick
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +10.1%

Enjoyed this from a bottle and on-tap quite many times. Greatest experience with this was buying the grand 3L bottle (in Dec '08), sitting on it until July, and priming myself for mayhem - sharing it with a buddy - while watching "Unforgiven" for the first time. Priceless.

This is a dark, richly malty, lovely, quintessentially holiday-time ale that I could actually, jubilantly drink whenever. Always pours with an excitedly effervescent head - not real compact, almost champagne-like, a coffee-sand color, decent leavings. The color appears reddish-brown at one angle, brownish-red at another - rosewood, overall (refer. my link).

Dense, caramelly-biscuity aroma by and large - plenty dark, lightly chocolate/toffee malt, and lingerings of dark, drupey fruity ester. The taste is surely up there with the best of Belgian Xmas-time beer. Dark fruity, smooth malts loom large - the fruitiness taking on some wonderful mostly fig and prune characteristics - but fall a good bit short of being sweet...

Really what you're getting here is an ale boasting those dark fruits via yeast, and rich, cakey malts - moderately thick in flavor yet somewhat light on the palate - and a nice, clean finish - MOR dryness. Spices/spicing, if added (which I don't believe they are), are/is virtually non-existent - something I greatly appreciate about the Belgian holiday offerings.

This is just so good. Come, you must try it!

01-13-2011 04:39:05 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of LordHammer
LordHammer

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

Christmas gift from my brother in law. Excellent gift.

A: Brilliant mahogany with a tan head. Looks inviting.

S: On initial pour, got a big banana whiff, but once it's in the glass it is much more restrained. Some fruit, smells sweet, bit of banana and some cherries, seems like.

T: Nicely malty, with definite sweet and alcohol notes. A vague spiciness, probably from the yeast, but much less of the fruit than in the nose. Definitely nice, gets better as it warms.

M: Highly carbed, and relatively thin due to the alcohol content. A nice balance to the big flavors.

D: This is delicious, but definitely a one and done sort of situation.

01-08-2011 00:53:50 | More by LordHammer
Photo of TheDTrain
TheDTrain

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

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

01-08-2011 00:19:40 | More by TheDTrain
Photo of bucklemyshoe
bucklemyshoe

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

Notes from 12/24/2010:

#11 - 12 beers of Christmas. 750 mL bottle at 42 degrees into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: This pours a nearly opaque very dark brown color with two-fingers of off-white head that turns a bit rocky and laces very well.

S: Sweet dark fruits (plums and dates come to mind), molasses, and light yeasty spice. It is mostly one-dimensional.

T: Plums and sweet red grapes mixed with what tastes like artificial grape flavoring (like a grape juice cocktail), spicy earthiness, candi sugar, and finishing bitterness not unlike that of grape peel.

M: It has a medium-thick body with a perfect level of carbonation and a mildly sticky feel.

D: This is definitely delicious and a pleasure to drink but it is not as complex as it seemed in years past.

01-06-2011 16:28:21 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

Poured into the goblet that came in the gift pack.

A: Nice large, foamy off white head with nice retention and lacing. Pours brown with hints of red.

S: Smell is of a caramel maltiness, with a nice addition of spice.

T: Taste is of dark fruits with a malty backbone. A bit of caramel and roastiness. Just a hint of warming alcohol finishes it off.

MF: Medium bodied, not much carbonation noted.

D: This is very refreshing. Finally a Christmas drink I can enjoy! Glad the gift pack came with 6.

01-06-2011 02:45:15 | More by russwbeck
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Glad I got to try this one. This is my first beer from Corsendonk. Hopefully it will not be my last.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a large, rocky tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, Belgian yeast, candy sugar and a little bit of anise. Still, it doesn't have near as much of the anise/licorice flavor that some other Belgian Christmas beers have, such as Gouden Carolus Noel.

The flavor is great. I get a lot of dark fruit notes, as well as some caramel and other dark - but not roasted - malts. The beer is fairly sweet and has a nice candy sugar taste. There is a slight bit of anise in the flavor and the alcohol is very well hidden.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice Belgian Christmas beer.

01-03-2011 04:03:46 | More by Mora2000
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
gueuzeonhigh

Maine

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

Solidly a Belgian dark ale. A nice dark red-brown color, long lasting head.

Floral nose with hints of malt and caramel.

Flavor is much like it's nose- bitter hops but subdued melded with malt, yeast, caramel and citrus tang.

Nice mouthfeel with a long cordial finish.

Drinkability is such that this beer goes down very smoothly and rather rapidly. The only complaint I have is that the bottles were 8.5oz nip bottles. Just not enough beer in one bottle for an enjoyable session.

Nice-- I'll probably have to wait until 2011 for another try at this seasonal beer.

12-31-2010 03:09:00 | More by gueuzeonhigh
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Chimay goblet. Best before 7 November 2011.

A: Very little head. Murky mud brown. Some tiny, pretty bubbles swirling on the surface. Unaffected by light.

S: Rich, dark fruits. Cherry cough syrup. Otherwise flat and nondescript.

T: Very, very nice. The expected dark fruity flavours with spices, but with an even stronger sweet candy sugar flavour. Some lighter fruits in the middle -- apple and peach(?). The aftertaste is molasses sweet. At *times* the aftertaste can become less than great and rather bitter, with root tastes (sassafras?).

M: Lovely!! Crisp, titillating, tingly, light. Lots of fun and profoundly pleasant, every sip.

D: Heftier than its 8.5% would suggest...a definite sipper. Lovely on a winter's eve. Probably my favourite Christmas ale yet.

12-29-2010 07:02:41 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of SteveO1231
SteveO1231

Connecticut

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

Picked up a holiday gift pack, the 6 pack with the glass. 25cl bottle with the festive foil labels. Pours a practically opaque ruby red with some bright highlights and about three fingers of tannish foam stay on top. Aroma is full of malty sweetness, some spice, and musty yeast. Full bodied brew with a fluffy texture, lots of carbonation tingles my palate. Nice mild sweetness up front of dark fruits, a tartness of cranberry of raspberry, some breadiness, and a hint of spice. The flavor reminds me of a cranberry muffin. Not much in terms of hop flavor but there is a bitter finish, grassy and a bit herbal that balances out the sweetness. This brew is really tasty and easy to sip. I'm feeling the ABV because I'm drinking it so quickly, good thing I have five more!

Merry Christmas!

12-29-2010 01:42:35 | More by SteveO1231
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

3.78/5  rDev -9.1%

Thanks to Ratman for bringing this one to the Christmas party. Very impressive presentation in the 3 litre bottle; not sure we would finish it, but we did so rather quickly. Poured a clear ruby brown with a small, lasting amber head. Aroma was malty and spicey. Palate was medium bodied and dry. Flavors of sweet malt, spices and a bit of fruitiness with a dry finish.

12-28-2010 04:45:54 | More by emmasdad
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 884 ratings.