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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

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

860 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 860
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%


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)
View: Beers (9) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 860 | Reviews: 530 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice beer indeed-Corsendonk Brown was one of the first Belgians I ever had.Pours a gorgeous deep ruby brown with a nice tan head atop.Aroma of spices-earthy and woody.Nice spicy taste-malty as well-theres a slight tartness in the finish.Good full moutfeel to it-I find the tartness a tad puckering but not in a bad way.The alchohol is well hidden I could see it sneaking up on you.A very decent example of a Belgian Dark-the neck label say "Belgian Quality" and I gotta go along with that.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2003 02:37:33 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Time and time again this beer continues to wow, me I am for certain that this beer is one of the most palatable and drinkable of all the Christmas ales, it's amazing stuff. Appearance: Mahogany amber brown in color with a lucious cocoa colored tan head, lacing is fine Belgian style lacing all the way. Aroma: Ginger, spruce tips possibly of hop origin scent, peppery zest blended with more Christmas spice accented by juicy fruit undertones, wow. Taste: Apples, raisins, and some slightly alcohol infused flavor but all in all the spices used ginger, nutmeg mild but kicks through with pure balance bringing some beer nirvana my way. Mouthfeel: Creamy textured with a medium body overall high carbonation but doesn't come off spritzy still very smooth and silky going down. Drinkability: God don't get me started I could indulge in two 750ml bottles of this fine ale effortlessly just a great Belgian Xmas ale to be shared and enjoyed with friends.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2003 12:54:37 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Jon
Jon

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby color with a frothy white head. Excellent lace appears down the chalice. Fruity, malty nose with hints of spice, notably coriander and curacao, and a definite yeast presence. Sweet, fruity, lightly toasted character ties in with the spiced notes, though a bit lacking overall. Vinous character seems most dominant with emphasis on raisin, prunes and residual sugar from the the malt. Mouthfeel lacks a bit, too, seeming a bit thin and watery, especially on the finish. Drinks fairly well, though the mouthfeel is not overly appealing. Even so, the beer masks its abv well, making this a decent wintertime sipping beer. I think this beer would be much better at about six months in the bottle with the yeast poured in the glass.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2003 04:33:26 | More by Jon
Photo of freed
freed

Oregon

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

slipped this in with my micro-seasonals. Poured much darker and gave off a very different aroma than the others. Mahogany hue with a sligth brown fizz for head. Aroma is somewhat alcoholic and somewhat malty. Slight fruity yeast smells, but overly alcoholic.

Taste is warm, rich, and pleasing. Sweet malt, thick body, and finishing tartness from the yeast. Alcohol isn't as apparent in the taste. Makes for an easy drink, and can be drawn out over long periods of time. This 12 bottle took me 75 minutes.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2003 01:09:28 | More by freed
Photo of beergeek279
beergeek279

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 750 mL bottle, in Corsendonk glasses. The color was a dark amber, with a good head. The smell was a strong spiced malt. The taste was very apple/raisins sweet, and very well spiced. Mouthfeel was smooth. Drinkability-wise, could definitely have a few more of these.

Mmm...another good holiday beer! A nice treat from a wonderful brewery that I already enjoy, and another beer I had the pleasure to split with my friend WVbeergeek.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2003 23:56:44 | More by beergeek279
Photo of crookedhalo
crookedhalo

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely treat. Had this one out of a 3 liter with an expiration date dated March 2003 (2000 vintage). Poured a hazy plum color with tinges of red if held to the light. Nice tan head that lasted and left a good lace. So yeasty in the 3 liter that it was almost opaque. Smelled of orange peel, corainder, cardimum, and dark berries (blackberry). Touch of dulled pine somewhere in the mix. Tasted malty, slightly spicy and sweet. 3 liters tend to be a bit yeasty, and this one was no exception. There was a faint tartness in the finish. Highly effervescent in wickedly drinkable for a Christmas seasonal. Thanx to a co-worker for sharing.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2003 07:18:29 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dull, cloudy brown body with a decent super-light tan foamy head. The aroma and flavor are brown sugar and very fruity, but the flavor is overall pretty mellow. The flavors are a little dull and this kidn of slides into the middle of the pack of my Belgian strong ale experience.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2003 05:07:05 | More by aracauna
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at "Christmas in July" at The Blind Tiger. Presumably 2002 vintage.

This ale poured a dark brown color with hints of red. The foam was tan and settled relatively quickly. The smell was vinous, with the smell of alcohol. The taste was slightly sweet malt but with caramel, oak, fig, and vinous grapes in the mix. The mouthfeel was smooth and light on the tongue. The body was medium and the carbonation low. This was a good, enjoyable strong ale.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2003 04:51:35 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'Tisn't really the season but this beer would hit the spot no matter what time of year. Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a medium thick creamy beige head. Very little lacing. Aroma is well-spiced. Nice rich texture, with flavors of caramel, malt, alcohol, spices (pepper) and a little fruit. The finish is warm and earthy and just a little bitter. Overall this is a well-balanced yet complex seasonal that I will look for over the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2003 05:52:16 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very good beer. It pours very dark and murky brown with a hint of red and a small head and little lacing on the glass. Much unlike the other Corsendonks that I've had in the past - better actually. The aroma was fairly spicy, but my terrible nose couldn't detect any of the scents very well (but they were there). The taste was very good. The alcohol was apparent, but barely and in a good way. There were some fruits and spices in the taste as well. I can't see gulping this beer, but as I drink it right now, the sips are heavenly. I recommend trying this beer. My rating of this beer also may be slightly skewed because I have been drinking it about an hour after having a Westvleteren abt 12 - the best beer - so my ratings may be slightly skewed.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2003 06:32:59 | More by clvand0
Photo of John
John

New York

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah, Santa remembered I was good this year! On tap at my local. What a gorgeous brew in the hefty stemmed goblet. Lovely dark chocolate color. The aromas and flavors are very cohesive and continuous. Chocolate, raisin, plum, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Semi-sweet and roasted malt teeter back and forth. Alcohol is warming and welcome lending it’s own spice. The full mouthfeel is satisfying. This delicious beer is worth the wait until Christmas time.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2003 18:56:45 | More by John
Photo of ElGuapo
ElGuapo

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours to a dark amber with a foamy off-white head that takes a little bit to die, and leaves all kinds of lace on the glass. There are a lot of spices in the aroma, just like you would expect out of a Winter Celebration ale or Celebration ale. You can pick up some nutmeg and a little caramel.

The flavor is loaded with spices and yeast. It has a warming effect from the alcohol, but the flavor of alcohol is well hidden for 8.5%. this is definitely a great brew for the winter season. A whole lot of spices and a high alc. level to keep you warm on those cold days.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2003 22:09:17 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of Amdahl
Amdahl

Iowa

3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice read color, with loads of head. The head is clumpy and creamy in color. Plum is the first smell to hit my nose. There is also hints of raisin and many others. The taste is not quite what I was hoping for. The plum is felt on the tongue as well as sweet candy, but other flavors are not there. There is almost no lace to speak of. It is moderately-bodied. For a 8.5% beer, there is almost no problems drinking a full bottle, but there is a alcohol warming. Highly drinkable. This beer should be aged for a while.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2003 18:11:33 | More by Amdahl
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A color that straddles eggplant and plum, underneath a lovely tan head. Intense aromatics: raisins, plums, port, cinnamon, ginger cloves. A generous buzz on the tongue fueled by a great array of hops,and held up by solid malt base. Overall, one gets a feel of holiday breads, cakes ginger cookies. Very tasty, warming, delicious.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2003 12:57:56 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Popsinc
Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas day, 2003. That's when i cracked open my first bottle of this Christmas Ale. Very dark amber in colour. I disolved the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle before emptying into my glass. If the rich appearance wasn't enough, the wonderful spiced nose and hints of dark chocolate certainly made me warm without even taking a sip. Very smooth and rich i found. Hints of plum and unsweetened dark chocolate. Although this beer was 8.5% alc, i found that there wasn't a noticeable alcohol finish, which was nice. Good beer. Nice winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2003 05:28:57 | More by Popsinc
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A murky mahogany color on the pour, with a bountiful head that is also frothy in its texture with the residual lace fine sheets to coat the glass. Aroma of raisins, malt and cotton candy sweet, a true pleasure to the nose. Sweetly malt at the front, top is rich and full, and the finish brandy like, pleasantly hopped, pleasing in its acidity and the aftertaste somewhat alcohol bitter with a nice sense of warmth for the tummy on these cold winter nights.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2003 16:15:22 | More by Gusler
Photo of Viking
Viking

Indiana

4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish amber body with a thin lacy head. Pretty good head retention, especially since it was rather weak to begin with. Sweet malty aroma, lightly spicy. Smooth dark fuity flavor with a strong caramel malt base. Light taste of cinnamon and maybe nutmeg add just enough character to this brew. Spices are somewhat lighter in Corsendonk's offering than in many others, but it works well.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2003 16:10:35 | More by Viking
Photo of jreitman
jreitman

California

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely wonderful brew that I am glad I got to enjoy on tap. After the Kwak keg was tapped at Monk's, Tom put this sucked on and I am glad I was there for it. The Ale has all the traits you would expect from a standard dark strong ale (belgian candy sugar, nice maltiness, etc.) and adds a subtle spiciness that works incredibly well. The christmas spices do not feel "forced" like they do in a lot of winter seasonals, but seem to form a perfect complement to the base beer style. A true masterpiece IMO.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2003 11:20:14 | More by jreitman
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

BB: 16 09 2004
Gorgous looking deep amber with a plump dollop of a beige head. Good retention, medium lacing.
Nose is a mixed-bag of candied belgian sweetness and musty cork notes. Rubber materializes as well. Decent, but wierd.
Taste is more subtle than expected, but lovely all the same. Begins with a caramelized peach-like essense. Fades to a oversweet butterscotch, then into a chocolate pudding. More fruits here as the plums enter with force. Becomes a little bready late, in a cinnamon-roll sort of way. Hops add little besides a dry finish.
Medium bodied. Not a whole lot of carbonation. Smooth, if perhaps on the thin side for a holiday brew.
Nevertheless, for 8+% brew, this is staggeringly drinkable....literally.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2002 23:25:52 | More by cokes
Photo of DrewS
DrewS

Virginia

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001 - Best before date 10/9/02 - 750 ml. bottle

First of all I must say, I sure prefer Belgian winter seasonals over most of the domestic ones I've sampled. I guess it's because I favor the style in general. Anyway, I really enjoyed this beer. It pours out a murky brown with slight red tinge. The tan head was ample and lasted for a bit before subsiding to a nearly non-existant layer. A whole lot going on here in the nose, big bready fruitcake aromas, molassas, chocolate, and alcohol. The flavor closely echos the aromas as many beers do. Very light carbonation contributes to a slick and appealing mouthfeel. Sweet malt, dark Belgian candy sugar, and fruity esters dominate the profile with hidden flavors lurking underneath the surface. Maybe a little maple and orange plus a bit of chocolate and plum. Each sip reveals something different. Alcohol definately plays a large role and its gut warming presence is quite detectable. No hops here to be found, though I suspect they were part of the recipe but have since faded away. Great winter brew. Goodbye my friend, on to this year's iteration.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2002 15:32:14 | More by DrewS
Photo of maxpower
maxpower

Missouri

4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, pours a hazy brown color, huge frothy tan head. fruity, bready aroma smells kind of like fruit cake, matly and sweet fruity-candy like butterscotch flavors, full body, creamy thick mouthfeel, a great holiday ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2002 14:35:38 | More by maxpower
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy brownish/amber...nose is very interesting...dark fruits combine with a pudding like smell....body is a little too thin in my opinion but is very drinkable, and smooth. A lovely milk chocolate flavor emerges first and is followed by dark fruits....sweet ripe plums are definitelyevident...some subtle spicing (ginger?)makes this even more tasty...I love this beer...a great Christmas beer but also just a great beer on its own...the Alcohol is not noticable on the taste but it warms you up...a great tummy warmer and my tummy is needed a lot of warming these days..

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2002 22:12:17 | More by ZAP
Photo of Longstaff
Longstaff

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I thought this was a decent beer that was easy to drink, but compared to other Belgian style Christmas ales, I thought this was lacking in flavor. It poured beautifully with a one inch big bubbled head. The body was dark until held up to the light then was reddish and crystal clear. The most dominate flavor was metallic, with chocolate, maltiness, and spices very subdued. Alot like their pale ale but darker with a touch of chocolate flavor. A bit thin on mouthfeel with a high carbonation level made it easy to drink. I think I would rather have Delerium Noel or N'Ice Chouffe instead.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2002 09:12:07 | More by Longstaff
Photo of mophie
mophie

Delaware

4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another (ho hum) outstanding beer from Belgium. First off, I love the look (maybe it's the mood I'm in). It's garnet in color, topped initially by a frothy tan head. The head reduces to a millimeter layer across the top, which is continually fed by these moderately-fast moving streams of bubbles. Not quite champagne-like, but close. Smell is cooked plums, raisins, with hints of ginger, coriander, and orange. Taste is a festive combination of bread pudding and cooked plums. Spices hit in the middle, with coriander and ginger hitting first, followed by a mellow clove aspect, finishing with a touch of caramelized orange rind. Mild hop presence keeps things nicely balanced. I agree with other reviewers that the mouthfeel is a bit thin (due in part to moderately high carbonation), but I'm actually enjoying it. I will add this to my list of holiday traditions!

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2002 16:45:54 | More by mophie
Photo of sponberg
sponberg

New York

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown with a lacy white head. Dark malts and spice in the nose - almost Christmas cookie like.

Very tingly mouthfeel to start (settles a bit with time), with a round chocolate and date malt base. Very firm bitterness, tastes like it's mostly due to spice rather than hops. Curacao orange and spices (clove, coriander, ginger) start to round out the flavor along with a Belgian yeastiness through the sip. Finishes with a slightly bitter malt and spice flavor that's rather enjoyable. Very drinkable to start, but to me the spices would get old after a couple.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2002 13:16:57 | More by sponberg
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 860 ratings.