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

A good amount of lkhaki colored head, and the body is brown and opaque.

Ginger, coriander, cola, and a light chocolaty aroma.

In the taste I get candied sugar, coriander, and cola like flavors with herbal spiciness.

The consistency of this brew is kind of like champagne. Very carbonated and medium to full in body. Not really warming in the end, which is a good trait.

TheSarge, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of megahurts4
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

Served at 54 degrees Fahrenheit

Appearance: Dark brown with a large head and lacing.

Smell: Spices and a slight alcohol tinge.

Taste: Sweet and refreshing. Very similar to other Belgian ales, but with a very faint dark chocolate and coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium and smooth.

Bottom line:
This is a very good beer that is well crafted. It is most definitely an after dinner beer with the sweetness to it.

megahurts4, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of DamDweller
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas, 2009

Nice drinking beer that would go well with all food types, ranging from steak to a nice white fish.

Initial pour has an appealing chestnut color with a strong head. There is a slight citrus smell along with a heavy alcohol presence. Drank this beer right out of the fridge, which was a big mistake. It completely dulled the complex flavors. After letting the beer warm up a bit there was a nice chocolate malt flavor that cleared tongue quickly followed by strong taste of prunes and young cherries. At the end, a moderate hop finish showed itself and cleaned the pallet well. Considering the alcohol percentage and the initial smell, I was surprised to not taste much alcohol at all, especially keeping the style in mind.

This was a good beer and one that I wish I had more than one bottle of. It would be drinkable any time of year with a wide variety of foods. The mouthfeel is refreshing and yet the body was strong enough to be enjoyed during the coldest part of the year.

DamDweller, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of JayQue
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on August 1 in Tidewater VA, not @ Christmas time, but it proved to be a very versatile big Belgian beer. On a cool, wet evening, this one went down real well with cheese and crackers. Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into my Chimay goblet. Looked real good. Dense dark brown color, ruby lights at the bottom and sides of the glass and a big antique white/light tan pillowy head. Great retention and lacing...a nice looking beer!!!

Smell was fairly mild dark fruit, candi sugar and sweet malts. Taste was very good. Dark fruit (cherries and raisins) andsweet malts were the primary flavors, Belgian yeast and candi sugar there too. Not much in the way of spices for a Christmas beer. Mouthfeel was fairly light for a Belgian...not a bad thing for summertime drinking. Still rich, very smooth and no unpleasant alcohol burn. All the flavors seem to blend very well.

Very drinkable for a big beer. Just as enjoyable on a cool summer night as it would be as a winter nightcap. A very tasty and accessible Belgian.

JayQue, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of halo21
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

halo21, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Prepared from my a voice memo recorded at the Beer Engine last night.

Served in a small snifter, it is a cheery ruby mahogany color with very little head. Despite the absence of any head, it gets decent lacing down the sides as it is consumed.

Smells spicy, with dark fruits - grapes, currants, figs.

This is one of the better Christmas ales I've had. Spicy, fruity, and very flavorful, it finishes with a hint of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is smooooth. Reminds me a bit of Troegg's Mad Elf in its smoothness.

Highly drinkable, my only regret is that I now have another great beer to fit in amongst the other good Christmas ales out there come December. Thank goodness for Christmas in July!

TheHoppiest, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of Asgeirr
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Corsendonk Christmas Ale pours a dark vermilion colour along with a thick crown of great posture and light brown-to-soy-like tone. The descent of the glorious crown is a slow process to behold eventually leaving a half-full apparel of lacing.

Smell: A distinct form of acridity, a mild butter 'n' floral sweetness, some soy, and a small amount of lactose.

Taste: Mild sweetness in the tone of dark fruits followed by a equally mild bitterness interspersed with caramel-to-butterscotch flavours. Occasionally the bitterness peaks and makes itself more noticed in some of the intervals, but on an finishing note, it's overall pretty timid.

Mouthfeel: Dry, delightfully round with a alert carbonation while some alcohol reveal itself in that of a warming manner.

Drinkability: Smooth and very pleasant to the palate. Mild, but not weak, more so "moderately distinct", that is to say: balanced. More please!

Asgeirr, May 20, 2010
Photo of CHickman
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark chestnut brown with a 2 inch foamy/cloudy tan head that lasted a few minutes; good lacing that sticks to the glass.

Smells of sweet malt, yeast, light caramel, fruits like dates or cherry, grains, spices and light hops. Very nice nose and a fine start.

Tastes of sweet malt, sour apple, citrus (lemon or orange peel, or both), fig or dates, cherry, caramel, yeast, brown sugar, toasted grains, sherry or a sweet alcohol like rum, and a tart and almost sour finish where the fruit leaves a pucker and the sweet malt trails in an almost bitter way. The alcohol was present, but the fruits and spices muted it and helped it go down with ease. A very well balanced beer for all it's flavor complexities.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with very light to no carbonation, a medium body with a little chewy feel to it, yet it's easy to drink.

Very nice enjoyable winter ale that was sweet, fruity and delicious. As it warms up it gets sweeter and more complex, but was not too sweet. A great Christmas Ale that was a very good beer to sip and savor.

CHickman, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of everetends
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My last beer at Heroes Grille in Jacksonville, Al. I was kind of shocked to see it on the bottle list and I figured what the hell. The 330cl bottle ran me $7. Served up in a Chimay Goblet.

A: Poured out of the bottle comes a reddish brown body that is actually pretty clear. Has a decent amount of carbonation activity going around in here. The head is a wonderful, fluffy, one finger cloud of lightly tanned head. The head just coats the glass and throws lace all over it. The head has some pretty good lasting power, falling slowly to a quarter finger and lasting throughout. Good looking brew.

S: Fruity and sweet. Lots of fruits in this mix. Prune, fig, cherry, raisin, and orange peel. Little bit of spicy with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. More orange flavor coming through, more as a liquor. Brown sugar and molasses sweeten things up. Very nice.

T: The fruits dominate the flavor with most of it being prune and orange. There are still notes of plum, cherry and fig. Cinnamon is very light, and the spiciness is mostly clove and some nutmeg. Brown sugar once again makes its presence know. Alcohol is once again in an orange liquor flavor. Little bit of bready malt and a touch of chocolate round things off. Tasty stuff.

M: This a medium bodied brew and that comes off a bit weird considering how big the flavors and aromas are. It just takes you back a bit. Carbonation was medium and could have been a little less present, but it didn't hurt the beer for me. Alcohol was light but warming. The beer stayed sweet on the palate but wasn't cloying. Aftertaste was orange liquor and brown sugar.

D: This was a sipper because it does come across as a big beer from the bold flavors and aroma. This just resonates Christmas in flavor and aroma to almost perfection. The only negative I can give it is that the feel was a bit light. Otherwise, this is a wonderfully enjoyable beer. Glad I finally got a chance to drink it and the suprise in finding it made it that much better. I will absolutely be looking for this next Christmas to enjoy and cellar.

everetends, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, best before September 7, 2011. Pretty sure this is a Christmas 2009 bottle, maybe 2008.

Served almost room temp into a Duvel tulip. Pours brown with strong red highlights in the glass and produces a large fluffy and foamy light beige head that holds a nice foamy cap and leaves rings and spots of lacing.

Aroma is that wonderful dark Belgian malty and yeasty smell, candi sugar, cherries, some other dark fruits, and spice.

Flavor is cherries, fruits, sweet malts, candi or brown sugar, bread, toast, yeast, delicious. Alcohol well hidden for the style but makes a little bit of an appearance in the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full, some carbonation bite, real easy drinking.

Damn this is some good stuff, always passed by the $18 4-packs and was glad to see this on the singles shelf. Worth every penny, a fantastic Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

elgiacomo, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of brdc
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small capped bottle, approximately 6 years old.
Poured into a goblet.

The presentation is a typical, gorgeous belgian presentation; very dark brown, tan head that is dense and fluffy, very long lasting, leaving loads of lacing on the sides of the glass.
The aroma is delicate, tofee and chocolate, dark fruits.
A bit thinner than expected on the palate, it shows similar flavors than the aroma, but a bit too understated; all the flavors are nice and pleasant, but not in your face as I would prefer.
Good, but not great.

brdc, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of CHSLBrew
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale goblet.

A-Big, characteristic Belgian ale head, tan in color and fluffy in density, sustaining well. Hay, dark copper-brown brew.

S-Yeast and clove, along with a dense cluster of other spiciness. Sweet malt melds nicely with the spicy characters.

T-Toffee candy sweetness, slight yeasty bread, with toasty, warm spices. Along with the spice, fruit character shines through, on the lines of apple, pear, peach and nutty berry.

M-Moderate body with a fine-bubbled, medium-high carbonation.

D-A very appropriate Christmas and winter holiday beer. It certainly hits the spot with a pleasant complexity.

CHSLBrew, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruddy brown in the glass which actually shows through as a deep, clear copper when held up to light. The head is enormous and fluffy, hanging on for the duration as a big cap and solid lacing.

Aroma is sweet with candi sugar, raisins and roasted malts. There is also a significant Christmas spice presence with the Belgian yeast adding to that character.

The taste is excellent with a mixture of caramelized sugar, dark fruits and even more spice presence than the aroma suggests - clove and cinnamon especially.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and sticks to the palate after each sip.

Sugar and spice and everything nice in this Christmas ale. It's one of the better winter brews I've had this season. Very enjoyable.

gford217, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of fastsrt
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 11.2 ounce bottle in chalice.
A: deep brown, nice head.
S: dark dried fruit, yeasts.
T: great, raisin, yeasts juicy malts with a sweet inviting finish, this beer is perfectly balanced,
M: this is a bit thin when compared other beers in this style category. no booze what so ever. well crafted.
D: winter warmer, such rich flavors, but i dont know about the best christmas ale i want some spice in my christmas ales. goes down like water. at 8.5% wow. I bought 2 bottles one i will bust out next christmas. but this one is is a base line I hope this one ages well.

fastsrt, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330 mL bottle.

A: The ale is a dark ruddy brown color, opaque through and through. At the narrower spots of my mug, brighter dark colors emerge. A huge head, 3+ fingers, threatened to overflow and make a mess. Splotchy lace followed.

S: The nose is thick with a sweet yeast strain followed by dark fruits, candi sugar and spices. Green apples and plums mix nicely with the candi sugars.

T: Dark and delicious. The ale isn't shy about its depth. Candi sugars, darkly sweet, lead off with fruits following in short order. Moderate spices add to the warmth of the ale, cinnamon and clove primarily. The carbonation that was so huge in the pour has disappeared, leaving the full flavors to linger on the palate.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, Belgium at its best. The candi sugars are sweet and never drop off.

D: The ale is big, not one that I'd want to drink from a 750 mL bottle. The fullness of the flavors is excellent, rich and satisfying.

akorsak, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of Vengeance526
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark red amber color with a rich off-white head that has great retention and leaves a lot of sticky lacing.

A lot of yeast and candied sugar in the initial aroma, followed closely by dried fruits and Christmas spices in the back.

The taste really comes through as you slowly let it warm. Some prunes and figs start things off. Next comes a slight sweetness of brown sugar. Towards the end, some sour cherry notes show up and give way to notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, all leading to a sweet, bready and yeasty finish.

Medium to full bodied with a rich creamy mouthfeel. Overall a great Christmas beer that can be enjoyed anytime of year. The alcohol is hardly noticeable at all. One of my favorites every year.

Vengeance526, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of tjkurz
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

tjkurz, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of Haybeerman
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Reddich brown colr. Poured a 3 finger off-white head that slowly condenced to a big dollup. Lacing wahed down the glass in sheets.

S: Dark juicy fruits and spices. White pepper in the end.

T: Figs, raisins, plums and lots of other dark fruits. Sweet candi sugar and lingering spices combine with yeast notes.

M: Medium-to-heavy body. Medium carbonation. Thick and creamy. Alcohol

D: Flavorful and balanced. Really nice beer.

Haybeerman, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of BigJim5021
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky cola brown with an fluffy off-white head that persists like a bad rash. It looks extra-nice in the included Corsendonk Christmas Ale goblet.

The aroma is heavy on dark fruits, Belgian yeast and Christmas-y spices. Slightly vinous too.

Flavor matches the smell, with a nice sweet maltiness to boot.

Mouthfeel is medium with good effervescence and a dry finish.

This tasty brew goes down really easily. It's a shame that it's only around during the Christmas season.

BigJim5021, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Arrived in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale goblet, a somewhat cloudy, dary burgundy color with a one-finger, khaki head of foam. It left behind wispy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried fruits - plum, pear and raisin with some Christmas spices, like nutmeg.

T - It hits you with bready malts and the dried fruits. Raisin comes through the storngest. Plus, there is nutmeg flavor and touches of vanilla.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a Christmas ale that does not disappoint. Fabulous on tap. It was a thrill to find it at Cafe Hollander.

zeff80, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

A - Cola brown, big off white head the is slow to leave. This lace beginning to gather on the sides.

S - Tropical fruit, juicy fruit smell, a bit of leather or tobacco on the end.

T - Beautiful, lush fruity mouth. Some cotton candy, and nice complex malt/yeast mix.

M - Creamy, medium to heavy body, nice balance.

D - A very nice offering from Corsendork.

srandycarter, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of samie85
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 12/31.

A-Pours a cola black with a thick, three finger, light brown head. I know Belgians have a reputation for great head but this is ridiculous (all puns aside).

S-I get spicy belgian yeast off the bat with dark fruit, and bit of chocolate malt.

T-Spicy yeast is at the forefront with dark fruit, chocolate malt, a bit of spice(cinnamon), and a hint of a bourbon-like quality.

M-Light bodied and effervescent, although creamy.

D-This goes down surprisingly easy and the carbonation is a big factor. This is a pretty complex beer but a personal yearly treat.

samie85, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of thecarster1
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a snifter, one and a half fingers worth of tan dense creamy head that doesn't want to budge - eventually it fades to a quarter to half inch and stays there, dark matte mahogany color, very attractive brew.

s- lots to smell here, belgian yeast off the bat, carmelized figs, toasted bread, candied dark fruits, clove.

t- lots of dark fruits, belgian yeasts, rich malt, clove, alcohol is hidden so well here - as it warms it becomes more apparent, fig, dark cherry, alot of candied sweetness. this is one complex beer that i've had a couple times before and am really taking the time now to pick apart and review - i'm getting so much more than i had the first couple times.

m- medium bodied with some creaminess.

d- this is one drinkable belgian, i'm not sure how many i'd have just because of availability and price so one for a special night is good for me. this is a christmas ale that i'll be picking up yearly for sure.

thecarster1, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of Rayek
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip.

A: Deep walnut brown with some cloudiness due to a less than calm transport. Very active carbonation. A generous cream head is rocky and firm. Leaves a very generous lace behind.

S: Coriander and cloves dominate. There's a hint of alcohol behind that spice, plus some dark fruits.

T: Spices rule the day here. The spice theme from the nose follows into the flavor. Coriander, pepper and clove flavors give this beer quite the bite. The sweetness of grapes and black cherries holds things together into the dry and spicy finish. Finishes with a nice alcohol warmth.

M: Medium-heavy body feels somewhat slick on the tongue. Carbonation level is right where it should be.

D: An excellent beer that's best consumed in small doses. Definitely worth a revisit next year.

Rayek, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of mckeowbc
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was apprehensive about ordering this beer because I usually don't prefer Belgian ales. I quickly learned that this is not your typical Belgian ale, whereas most Belgian ales taste syrupy sweet to me this beer is very well balanced.

The nose on this beer is big and complex. It's simultaneously fruity like a white wine, a little spicy, a little hoppy and a little malty. You do get a good sense of how strong this beer as well. The first sip does not disappoint. The flavor is complex to say the least but the most impessive thing is there is no rough edges. There's no flavor that is too strong or that becomes overwhelming as you keep drinking. The entire beer is enjoyable and leaves you pleasantly warm.

I'm sorry that I didn't find this beer until after Christmas but from now on this will be a Christmas staple in my house.

mckeowbc, Dec 31, 2009
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 894 ratings.