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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

883 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 883
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 54
Gots: 54 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website

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: 883 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CHADMC3


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

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

· Appearance: Deep brown like rich mahogany with hints of cherry or ruby, light tan head with a lingering lacing. Lively carbonation.
· Aroma: Dark fruit, cherry or raisin. Sweet toffee or caramel with noticeable alcohol.
· Taste: Sweet dark fruit flavors and spices dance on the palate in a pleasing medley with hints of toffee.
· Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, abundance of flavors that linger and a bit of a bite.
· Drinkability: Perfect beer for a 750ml. A bomber of one of these is excellent after a delightful meal. One of the best I’ve had recently.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 02:52:47 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of Morey


4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle and into a glass with medium poor that produced a 3 finger head which settled to about 1/4 of an inch after a few minutes. Smells of fruits and spice and everything nice. This is a great tasting beer, which in my opinion is very similar in taste to Troegs Mad Elf (or probably the other way around). Being that it is a little lower in alcohol content (8.5% compared to 11%), I find it to have slightly better drinkability.

Morey's Bottom Line: I'm guessing that this beer was an inspiration for the Troegs brothers when creating The Mad Elf....that's how similar the taste is (see for yourself).

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 23:42:57 | More by Morey
Photo of bashiba


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

Poured a deep ruby/brown with a thick creamy dark brown head. Very good retention with light lacing.

Smell had a big candied fruit odor with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Flavor is light and slightly sweet with some nice brown sugar, molasses, nutmeg, anise, ginger, and cloves all making appearances. At first glance it seems light and simple, but the complexities grow as I drink it. Some nice bit of yeast along with a light bit of earthy hops make it very balanced.

Mouthfeel is creamy with tons of tingly carbonation on the tongue and a touch of warming.

I love how complex, yet easy drinking this beer is, very solid Christmas ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 22:57:39 | More by bashiba
Photo of ggroller


4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 17:51:02 | More by ggroller
Photo of paleoplant

New York

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

A: Dark amber with moderate foam. Served in a red wine glass due to a lack of glassware at Xmas party.

S: Spicy

T: Sweet flavors with some fruit; spice in the finish.

M: strong carbonation.

D: It was a good beer for celebrating a cold Buffalo night

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 23:29:02 | More by paleoplant
Photo of russpowell


3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BBD of 12/09/09 I think, kind of blurred print

Pours an effervescent ruby red/chestnut with 3+ finger of tan colored head into my La Chouffe snifter.

S: Medicinal & phenolic notes

T: A bit of caramel, fruittyness ( dates, raisins & orange rinds) with a bit of licorice up front. A bit of booze burn as this warms; ginger, honey & cinnamon also there along with some dates. Above average head retention & lacing. Finishes dry with a bit of licorice, black currant, & tangerine, plus just a bit of herbal hops

MF: Slick, medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks fairly easy for the abv, a bit too complex for me to stay on all night. Interesting, but not really in my wheel house, I like'em maltier. Did get better as it warmed. Completely different than any other Christmas beer I've had this year, or any other year. One to age & then I bet it really shines

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2007 01:39:06 | More by russpowell
Photo of Biscuit033


3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark ruby with 1/2 inch head that mellows to a constant ring and great lacing throughout. Served in a Chimay goblet.

S: Yeasty and spicy(mulling spices mainly.)

T: Same as the nose with sweet candi flavors and some red fruits, alcohol and a long ginger bread finish.

M: Bubbly and slightly oily with a long spicy finish.

D: I thought that the spices worked well with the flavors of the beer but were still to strong for even another. Something that I would get once a week, perhaps, while available.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2007 00:05:18 | More by Biscuit033
Photo of NCSUdo


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A: A deep clear ruby hued body under a big off white head. Good retention and some lace.

S: Smells of sweet maltiness and sweet dark fruits dominate, spice character evident a long with some nice hints of chocolate that give it a sort of chocolate chip cookie character.

T: Sweet with a small roasted and slightly bitter finish, some hints of fruit here and there with even some citrus quality. Slightly medicinal in between, but nothing that hurts the brew. Could use some more of the chocolate that was hinted in the nose.

M/D: Medium to medium-full body, pretty high on the carbonation, but it balances well. This one is incredible drinkable. I popped open my first bottle of the year with a friend a couple days before Christmas, and have since made it my Christmas beer of choice, drinking it on the eve and the day of, and now the day after. This is the best Christmas ale I have had this year.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2007 01:42:41 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of OWSLEY069


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

Pours a clean deep amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet cinnamon and hints of corriander. In the taste, dry cinnamon and hints of other Christmassy spices that blend together. A small spicey bite in the mouthfeel, and a dry cinnamon in the aftertaste. Hides the alcohol and mellow enough for newbies, but alway a very tasty beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2007 20:55:14 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of MMAJYK


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

A- Milk chocloate brown color. It is totally non transparent. The head is 1 finger of soft foam after a conservative pour. The cork was in this bottle SO tight. I almost didn't get it out.

S- The aromas of sweet dark fruits are present. Raisins, prunes, dates and figs. Also I can catch a subtle scent of banana in the nose.

T- The tastes follow very closely to the nose. Chocolate and dark fruits (raisins, figs, and purnes) are the first tastes. Also the roasted malts are very nicely thrown in. It is sweet like brown sugar on the end, but the finish is somewhat bitter.

M- Mouthfeel is high carbonation with a mild sting on the tongue.

D- Decent drinking beer. Low enough ABV for another bottle, but high enough to give you the feel you are looking for.

Overall- This is a nice Christmas offering. It is smooth and sweet, but just enough bitterness and bite to keep you interested and not overwhelm you with richness.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 14:51:41 | More by MMAJYK
Photo of HombreWing


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
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 !

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 04:03:22 | More by HombreWing
Photo of buzzworthy

New York

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

Corsendonk Christmas Ale 2007 vintage. It's very fizzy out of the bottle - I had to re-pour the first glass because of all the foam. It's one of the more enjoyable and distinctive seasonal I have tried. The Ale is a dark rose color with a vigorous head. There is a resemblance to rose champagne due to the carbonation and fruity tastes of grapes and plums. Cinnamon and other spices and gentle hops compliment the fruit. Very enjoyable during a dinner with friends - think I will return and buy more.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 21:27:13 | More by buzzworthy
Photo of Risser09


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

12 ouncer poured into a wine glass - Cellar temp - Best by 9.18.08

Appearance: After popping the cap and sit the beer down to type, foam slowly rises up and out of the bottle so I lick it. Time to pour. This beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. It rises about an inch and a half with varying bubble sizes. No lace is left after the had receeds.

Smell: Orange peel, clove, Belgian yeast and cinnamon. Estery smells of plum an figs along with other dark fruits. Malt profile. slight hoppiness.

Taste: Hey look, this one's 1% higher in abv than the normal ale. Significant malt profile, accompanied by orange peel and spices. Belgian yeast contributes great character to this beer. Malt lingers in the finish with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and malty at first, which then is overtaken by the pinchy spice of the Belgian yeast. Belly and face warming. a definite example of a Christmas Ale.

Drinkabilty: This really is what a Christmas Ale should be. Spicy and orangey, with an alcohol kick. This one might actually do better with a few years on it, to turn it into a syrupy sipper. So far, the best Christmas ale I've had this season, and I've had quite a few.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 01:51:23 | More by Risser09
Photo of Georgiabeer


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

Pours a very clear medium brown with an offwhite head that starts fairly healthy and fades to a thin cap. No real lacing. Smells strongly of orange and orange zest along with some spice and sweet malt. Taste is similar. Lots of orange peel up front as well as a touch of grapefruit juice, some sweet spices and clove and licorice on the finish, Delicious.
Crisp rather than creamy mouthfeel. This is one delicious Christmas beer. The spicing and heavy orange is different and very appropriate for the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2007 18:27:28 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of jwc215


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

750 ml bottle, best before end of 07/09/08:

Pours brown with a thin tan head that soon settles to a thin cover, then a patch.

The smell is brandyish with prunish fruitiness and light herbal spicing. Some caramel and graininess mixes in in the back. Very aromatic and inviting.

The taste is of berry-like and darkish fruitiness with light herbal spicing. The background has caramel and graininess with some dark sugar candy. The sweetness is balanced by a lightly spiced yeast and some earthiness. Some warming alcohol in the finish. Stays pretty even throughout, with just a touch more maltiness as it completely warms.

Medium-bodied with soft carbonation.

As this is the third offering from this brewery, my opinion is that they don't "push the envelop", but make solid brews. This is a slower sipper than the other two - but was meant to be.
This has a complex aroma and is a tasty one to sip on in the wintery Christmas season!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2007 14:08:23 | More by jwc215
Photo of Vancer


4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ho ho ho, 2 days till Xmas - close enough! Finally a Corsendonk brew for my Corsey Tulip.

Easy pour, massive rocky head billows up - islands of lace. Great aroma of winter spices with the classic Belgium yeast. Zesty tasting brew with the spices and malt balanced well with the hops. A surprisingly dry brew, finishing crisply with the spices.

Quite a winter warmer. Tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 19:38:41 | More by Vancer
Photo of albern


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

This is a wonderful dark Belgian ale. The beer pours a pretty thick, frothy, light brown head that retains for awhile, and just cuts an enticing image. The smell is plums, maybe a tinge of apricot, some yeast, and some sweet malts. This Christmas ale is quite full bodied, quite dark, bottle fermented, plenty of yeasty carbonation, with lots of warming alcohol notes. This is a delightful beer for a cold winters day. I'm looking out my window at more than 2 feet of accumulated snow in my New England backyard a few days before Christmas, and this beer fits the cliche in all the right ways. The taste is Belgian in that you'll get plenty of syrupy, candied sugar fermentation, sweet malts, yeasty carbonation and fizz, deep and rich fruitiness along the plum, apricot, prune family. The mouthfeel is thick, sweet, syrupy, warming, and wonderful. The aftertaste is fairly modest for a beer with 8.5% ABV. You won't get that throaty burn, but you will come back for more. L'Chaim.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 22:12:02 | More by albern
Photo of BeerLover729

New York

3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 05:41:01 | More by BeerLover729
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

2.73/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by 12/09/09... thanks Adam for the gift. I'll be serving this in an Ommegang tasting tulip at cellar temperature with a hunk of Chimay cheese... always a perfect companion with a Belgian Dark ale.

Appearance- With a color equivalent to a rich, fine cognac, the beer pours beautifully... clear with a billowing, foamy head that fills as much of this glass as the beer itself. After many minutes, the clingy lacing drops off and settles to an uneven translucent map.

Smell- Aromas of spiced holiday cookies, bready and full with suggestions of rum and nutmeg. Perfumy and flowery. Not very complex but pleasant and nostalgic.

Taste- While the malts get things started right, the instant after the swallow things go downhill quickly. Seems that the heavy use of spices completely dominate and overwhelm the palate, leaving no space for anything else to happen.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A bit explosive in the initial burst, it eases up shortly thereafter but doesn't ever flatter the beer. With the yeast addition, the sharp aftertaste quiets and the texture eases. This tasting went a full two hours, but unfortunately it will forgotten beneath many more memorable Belgian ales.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 04:10:22 | More by yelterdow
Photo of czfreeman


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

poured out a very lovely dark-ruby-brown color. Very foamy head, long rentention. smells of christmas! malts,fruits, plums,pineapple aromas on the end. Tastes as good as it smells, rich fruit flavors coming through. The mouthfeel is very satisfying,coats the mouth with a nice long finish. Highly enjoyable brew that I will look foward to every season.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2007 01:30:09 | More by czfreeman
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

christmas tasting hosted by biegaman on dec 15/07. he contributed this one. thanks jan!

750ml bottle, corked and caged, best before 12/09/09.

pours deep ruby red with a big fluffy off-white head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is nice. clearly belgian yeast. light alcohol. very light cardamom. bit of earthy/musty character. bready malt.

taste is nice. big fruit. low bitterness level. light belgian yeast and spice. bready malt. bit of alcohol. caramel and toffee. orange peel.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is good. well balanced. a nice christmas ale - good balance of fruit and light spice to keep it interesting, but not unpleasant or overpowering. if only they all showed this kind of balanced restraint!

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 18:12:26 | More by grub
Photo of drpimento


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

Lovely, heavenly beer! A masterpiece. Pours with a nice fine head that lasts for a while but eventually mostly dissapears. Plenty of lace. Nice dark brown with strong red highlights. Spicey fruity malty nose. Good carbonation. Warming. Excellent mouth witth an extended finish.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2007 03:58:38 | More by drpimento
Photo of kmo1030


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

dark garnett brown, with a tan head that doesn't hang around for too long.
the aroma is of faintly medicinal fruits, mainly of the of berry variety (strawberry, raspberry, courrants(?)), but also containing cherry, plum and earthy fig type aromas, and even a little bit of sweet orange. it's a little vinous as well. there are traces of chocolate and toffee beneath the fruit. a little spicy in a indefinite way. malts come out more forcefully with some warmth. the yeast obviously played a big part in this one.
the taste is very fruity too, with the same type of fruit profile as the aroma. there is a powdery cocoa flavor intertwined with toffee. you pick up some anise, a little corriander (?). some yeasty qualities towards the finish.
the body is full-ish with active, but soft carbonation.
very good drinkability due to it's great flavor and aroma, and masking of it's abv. a great strong dark that was actually quite a surprise. one of my new favorite winter seasonals.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 00:58:22 | More by kmo1030
Photo of Blakaeris


4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear orange-mahogany in color. head is a huge pillowy tan mass with decent lacing.

Aroma is candylike sweetness with strong apricot fruitiness and peppery yeasty spices.

Taste is big, sweet and fruity. Generous apple and dark fruit notes up front. Strongly spiced with nutmeg, pepper and ginger. Midway through the caramel and orange peel make an appearance. Finish is smooth a pleasant warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with plenty of carbonation.

This is a tasty treat. Complex, but very smooth and approachable.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 00:10:54 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of IPAcraig


4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Having this beer after a long day at the beach with the dogs, and brewing afterwards; a tripel braggot. Poured into my De Garre snifter just before we finish watching "The Last King of Scotland".

This beer has a gorgeous body. A deep redish ruby, with a big cream head. It was gone quickly, but it had good lacing.

This beer has a big fruit aroma (strawberries, et al), coupled with a dry, toasty smell as well.

The fruitiness is apparent in the taste first as well. This beer manages to produce a large amount of esters without being very phenolic. The alcohol is extremely well subdued. It has a bit of sweet spice in finish. I expected it to be a bit drier after the aroma.

Nice medium bodied beer with medium carbonation. It could be a bit more carbonated.

Exceptionally drinkable. Exceptionally flavorful. I will definitely have more of these before the winter is up.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 01:08:30 | More by IPAcraig
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 883 ratings.