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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

888 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 888
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 56
Gots: 58 | 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: 888 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida
2.42/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on draft in a regular Corsendonk cervoise, it was a dark amber in a color with very little head or carbonation, but left behind a nice khaki lace. The aroma was mainly sweet malt and yeast, but fairly mild. The taste was immediately dominated by anise, which gave way to a nice malt backbone and a bit of fig or prune, then a slightly boozy finish. I had trouble getting by the anise, which I'll admit is far from my favorite spice, and not normally so overbearing as to turn me off from the rest of the brew. The mouthfeel was a bit thin for the style, and since I didn't care for the spice used, I didn't find this one to be that drinkable. I should also note that the 8.5% ABV was no less evident then some of the +10% Noels that are much more balanced. I seem to recall liking the Corsendonk Noel last year, so I'm not sure if the recipe has changed, the keg I drank from needed aged, or my palate is finer tuned, but this year it's my least favorite of any holiday beer so far.

ccrida, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of cyberbmcd
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

cyberbmcd, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of shuriyukum
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up @ the Brew Crew in Albany, NY. Came in a 4 pack.

A - The beer pours a nice dark caramel with a red hue. It has a foamy head (of which you'd expect from a belgian).

S - Mild, caramel, malty smell with a touch of yeast undertone.

T - Fruity, spicy, sweet.

M - the slight spice taste has a finish that ends mildly. The sweetness is not heavy in your mouth.

D - Sweet, smooth, and easy going down. Has notes of caramel, toasted malt.

Overall, highly recommended!

shuriyukum, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a split mix case with mugghugger I ended up with 5 of these and boy are they tasty.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful mahogany caramel brown. Translucent. When back lit it showcases a red hue and loads of carbonation. The lacing slides don the walls of my snifter back in to the body but looks nice on every swirl.

Smell: Dark caramel malts, dark fruits - figs- hints of chocolate and nuts with spices of the season and hints of wood loaded in the nose as well. The aroma also allows a bit of booze to come through.

Taste: It has a unique flavor. Somewhat of a farmhouse Saison yeast character laying underneath the syrupy sweet, but inviting, caramel malt, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and more sweet brown sugar flavors. The hops and spices interplay very well malty sweet yet lively feel to this winter ale.

Mouthfeel: It has a thick full chewy yet smooth feel across the palate. Very nice.

Drinkability: This is a big beer for two back to back but I did it. That said it is no sessioner. This one is for sipping at the end of a cold night. It’ll will warm you up wonderfully.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of EPICAC
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had a bottle at Kulminator in Antwerp.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy amber-brown with a fluffy brown head that slowly fades, leaving heavy lace.

Smell: Sweet cherry aroma, caramel and a light vinuous character.

Taste: Upfront there are toasty malts, with a mild roasted character. Light tartness that's reminiscent of cherries emerges in the center. The finish has some peppery spice and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Well-balanced, no character dominates over the others.

EPICAC, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of elinash
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an elegant red with a nice head and lacing. The aroma has a metallic hint, with hints of orange zest and spice. Mouthfeel was smooth, but the finish is a little weak, with hints of spice lingering. Nicely complex taste, sweet, toasted malt- caramel. Overall it's a mild but complex beer. Quite drinkable.

elinash, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of psinderson
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark, almost ruby red. Decent off-white head.

Smell: Very minimal aroma, but mostly malt, caramel.

Taste: Complex taste, mostly fruit. I sense some molasses and cherries with a mild hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Much thinner than expected.

Drinkability: Decently drinkable, but taste complexity may turn off some.

psinderson, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a damn good beer. All kinds of fruit going on in here, plums, figs, oranges, bananas, nice oft sweet taste. Nice head with good lacing also. Should be brewed year round, as I didn't see the coralation with winter, not all that spicey. But nonetheless, a great beer that should be drank anytime it is found.

bigdeuce, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 'best before 16/09/07' poured into a 0.5L Duvel Tulip.

A: Very Dark, slight garnet hues when held up to the light. Thick off white head, great lacing down the glass. Bubbles sit on the bottom of the glass.

S: Not strong; slight alcohol, maybe a little yeastiness and dark fruit.

T: Dark fruit and spices. Normal Belgian yeast flavors, but toned down a little. made up for by the extra bit of spice flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation, maybe too much. Nice and full though

D: Pretty easy to drink, but high alcohol content.

I feel like I haven't given this beer enough credit, maybe because I can't taste everything going on there. Marked as a beer to revisit in the future.

51mmz0rz, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very inviting stained mahogany color, with a head of yellow cream. Clear but dark. Smells of wintery spices, sweet vanilla, and sugared plums. On the palate, brisk carbonation, followed by sugared date sweetness perfectly balanced by hops and spices. The fruit character is big and juicy, but plays well with the other elements. Mouthfeel is thick but not sludgy, with great winter consistency -- meaning it sticks to the ribs but isn't a chore to get down. Light carbonation helps out here, too, as it takes some of the load off tongue when the malt bill hits. Overall, this is a wonderful beer, far superior to the other standard Corsendonk offerings in my opinion. Perfect for winter time, but an excellent Belgian any time of the year.

geexploitation, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of rarevos
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay goblet.

A: Deep, brownish-ruby with fluffy, off-white head. Head has terrific longevity, and there are sticky trails on the side of the glass as it recedes.

S: Unmistakably Belgian, with a peppery, clovey, dried fruit aroma. Really faint, though.

T/M: Dried, dark fruit up front (figs, dates, plums, raisins) with some spiciness. Spices don't taste obviously Christmas-y to me (pepper, clove, mint), but there is a hint of cinnamon in there. I'm not picking up anise the way others have. There is a bit of nutmeg in the finish, but the cinnamon and nutmeg are VERY subdued, in no way like a winter warmer. And the finish is mostly malty and sweet, with a little bit of an alcohol presence that comes across as slightly aluminum-like.

D: Nice cold evening beer. Not really something so unique that I'd go out of my way to get it again, but I'm glad I tried it, and it didn't disappoint.

rarevos, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of Iguana
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up last week in Eugene, OR at the Beir Stein. Best buy date says 06/19/06, oh well hehe. Poured a brilliant ruby red with a 1cm head that never went away into my Chimay chalice. Smell is of candied dark fruits, plums, faint hints of dark cherries, and some smell I cant identify. Taste is good, took awhile for me to pin it down, but I am getting a huge bubblegum taste in this. Kinda odd I think, never had a beer have this taste in it, not offensive, just interesting. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and its the bubblegum flavor that does this, as soon as that flavor hits my sensors the beer gets all light and fluffylike in taste. I tend to prefer a thicker belgian beer so this was kinda a putoff for me. Drinkability is good, its a solid belgian dark ale, dunno as I would get more when I can get beers I know I like for the style easier and cheaper. But its always fun to try new things.

Iguana, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured very very dark, like a black hole topped with a delicious looking brown head. Lots of pretty lacing on the way down. My god the nose is SO complex. At first I got applesauce, then dried plums, followed by some burnt brown sugar and cinnamon and other spices. This is easily the most interesting beer I've ever smelled. Taste is largely the same .... the only problem is that it smells far better than it tastes. It's almost as if the smells are jockeying for position trying to dominate one another and never melding. I find it distracting. Could some age cure this? Mouth is medium.
I like this and plan to buy it again ... but only to see if the taste has melded a bit.

TheBungyo, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. A dark mahogany color with red highlights. Appeared to be clear. Light tan, large head. Smell was fantastic, raisins, port mine, molasses, caramel, dark chocolate, and some earthy/barnyard Belgian yeast. Taste was where it fell down a bit. Strong metallic notes, improving to raisins, dark fruits and chocolate. Some phenolic notes through middle. It all worked pretty well together. No hops to speak of. Medium bodied, low carbonation, drying with some alcohol warming. Overall, this beer has a lot going for it, but...many people have commented on metal in Belgians, but this is the most noticeable it has ever been for me. ABV well hidden, which made this relatively easy to drink. A pretty good beer, but not that exciting to me.

, Aug 10, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Red maroon body, fluffy off-white head, a slow fader. Good sticky lace.

Smell: Sweet, fruit and herbal, carmel.

Taste: Thin and buttery, this beer should be good through mid-2007, but this is rather unimpressive. The flavors are bland for the style, and the only good part is a slight vinous character. I was expecting mroe from this one.

Drinkability: Bad bottle? I doubt it, it's most likely been refrigerated since being put on the shelf. I will pass on this, hopefully othr bottles are better.

TastyTaste, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of Foxman
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It came to me a rich amber brown, flashing ruby in lighter areas. A finger of creamy tan head settled slowly to soft froth islets. Dense lacing clouded the inside of the glass.

The aroma was justn a bit strained, but did eventually give up a thick malty sweetness, rife with caramel, and earthy with figs, prunes, raisins, dates, and a touch of cherry...oh, and a healthy kick of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the flavor filled out well more than the aroma, with a tasted grain sweetness leading the way, and boasting of caramel, and a raft of dried earth fruits as promised in the aroma. A slight tanginess, yeasty in nature, carried through in the middle, and is soon bested by a credible wash of alcohol. Some residual malt sweetness revisits, and then a gentle spiciness won out, prodding the finish to a mellow, warm, softly bittered legacy that leaves a crispness behind. The flavor is a complex but well blended affair that is very easy to take.

Between medium and full bodied, the grain presence is densely sweet enough to coat, but the spicy crispness keeps it from cloying.

As Christmas goes, there's no shortage of fine seasonal beers, and I will add this one to my list of preferred potables. It's righ, warm, and savory, and the end result is something to be enjoyed when the weather is nipping at your...well, something. The ABV will keep you toasty, and it is easily and wisely heeded, but it does go down in a fine way. So even though it's July, I'm anticipating the fresh release of this Noel nicety.

Foxman, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of haz77
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark burgundy with an inch of tan head. This falls to a thin layer after about a minute.

S - Rum, Christmas pudding, slight metallic background, cherries, figs, plums, some toffee.

T - Begins with the fruits mentioned and some tartness before a creamy Christmas spice middle takes over. Starts to dry out towards the end and the alcohol comes through with a slight metallic taste.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium body and carbonation.

D - Not bad, but there are certainly other dark Belgians I would look towards first. Decent drinkability.

haz77, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by date January 2007, Sampled July 2006
Pours with a large, initially three and a half finger thick, amber-cream colored head that leaves a rocky, lace leaving texture as it slowly falls back into the beer. The beer is a dark, brownish color with a touch of amber. It shows a brilliantly clear ruby hued beer when held up to the light. Rich, aromatic notes of concentrated malt greet my nose. Notes of raisins, dates and figs mingle with sweet notes of caramel, toffee, . both a spicy note of clove and bit rum-like hot alcohol are just slightly noticed among the other notes. Overall the aroma is quite sweet and almost even a bit sticky; very desert like in its aromatics.

A creamy mouthfeel is balanced almost immediately by a tingly carbonation. The beer is not nearly as sweet tasting as the aroma would suggest, which is good as I was not sure if I was up fro a sticky brew. Notes of concentrated malt are here though. I get notes of dark caramelized fruit, notes of burnt raisins and roasted plums. Light notes of toasted malt join a hint of roasted grain. The fruit notes are what really stand out here; this brew is rich and satiating, yet actually not heavy and even a bit light and easy to drink, though I would characterize this as being light on the palate. Some spicy cola like notes are also in this beer as well as some light notes of clove. Actually the cola like note is definitely interesting, it is mostly the caramel flavors from cola, but definitely some of the spiciness is in this beer as well. This beer is quite interesting, perhaps a touch on the simplistic side, but quite good none the less.

Gueuzedude, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep chestnut with amber highlights. Pale tan head immediately fills the glass-then settles to one finger of dense soap bubbles, retains a cap very well and leaves spotty lacing. Complex phenolic nose with dark toasted malt in the background. Dark fruit aromas like dates and plums- and light fruits like peaches. The taste is sweet toasted dark malt upfront then turns tart and phenolic through the middle. The aftertaste hints at dryness, cleansing some of the mild residual fruit sweetness and faint phenolic bite. No perceivable hops here, but this balances fine without. Low carbonation and med/full body create a velvety texture, and the tart phenol/fruitness fades with the residual sugar for a satisfying but not overpowering finish. Drinks very well for the style...everything a Belgian strong dark ale should be.

PBRstreetgang, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of mrasskicktastic
1.88/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A - A deep Mahongany, almost black, brew with a two finger finger light brown head that has decent retention. As it dissipates, it leaves attractive, delicate rings of lacing behind.

S - Bananas, cloves, raisins, dates and caramel malt. Pleasant, but nothing fantastic.

T - Metals (tin and copper) that linger into the aftertaste. A strong raisin presence over a fainter coffee malt character with a strange chemical twinge throughout. The aftertaste is metallic and chemically bitter. Awful!

M - Simply horrendous! Extremely parching with a medium body. The chemical flavor is dessicating. After each sip I want to chug a glass of water. As a side, it is hard to separate the chemical taste from the mouthfeel.

D - Awful! Awful! Awful! I never want this again. Each sip implanted a strong suggestion to send this brew to the drain. It was not too long before I gave in to this urge. It was terrible to do, but I couldn't drink another sip of this.

mrasskicktastic, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of NEhophead
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dense, pillowy foam; slightly off-white head. Condensed, spotted, and thin lacing with good strength. Muddy brown in color with hues of burgundy and mahogany.

Fresh, ripe vinous fruit aromatics: cherry, plum; fig, bourbon-tinged sour apple. Semi-sweet candied sugar; a touch of toffee. A great mix of fruit sweetness/tartness with a whaff of creamy chocolate.

Slightly tart, aged fruit: apple, plum, orange, pear; most predominantly fig. Creamy touch of powdered chocolate and coffee; moderately sweet, Belgian candied sugar. A hint of spice at mid sip leads to a creamy finish. Chocolate and plum with hints of alcohol in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; Smooth and creamy on the palate.

A very nice flavored Belgian Brown Ale. The alcohol presence is well masked with the sweet and tart fruit qualities. Worth a taste; very warming for the winter months.

NEhophead, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of paterlodie
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 22-08-07. Nice apearance with beige head that lasts very well and a mahony dark brown almost black beer and clear. Nose is koreander, sweet caramellic malts, citrussy and litle sweet corn. Taste is good as it shows nice and full body, sweet but not overdone, litle spice and moderate bitterness. All together very harmonicly and balanced. Easy accesable and enjoyable christmasbrew.

paterlodie, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Dark amber brown with plenty of tan fine bubbled head. Head is, in fact spectacular. The magnificent head, of course, yields plenty of lacing.

S - Nutty malt aroma with hint of cherries.

T - First taste is sweet but it becomes more acidic as you hold it in your mouth.

M - Thin soda pop feel.

D - I am not a fan of sour tasting beer. Some people like it. I think I would not drink this again, not because it is bad but because there are so many that are better.

CDBeerDisappear, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite similar in Conrsendonk's Brown Ale, which is esquisit, but with a better musky aroma and flavor. Also has added spices that blend with the light tartness. The color is a solid brown with a ruby tint and floating spices and yeast; otherwise fairly clear with a stubborn foamstand. Smells malty, tart, spicy, woodsy, and lightly sour--typical of Belgians. Atypical in the use of nutmeg, allspice, cinnemon, and lightly pepperred. Viscous, round body with light wine, cider fruitiness and acidic. Finishes sweet, tart, and spicy with a light dryness. Delicate and bold--a joy to drink.

BEERchitect, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of deejaydan
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Mours a ruby brown, sticky sticky lacing, and good head and retention. Aroma is raisiny, and slightly phenolic. Taste is refreshing, slight flavor of wood and a light mouth puckering, phenols are present and funky. Mouthfeel is okay, slightly dry though. Drinkablilty is ok, nothing great.

deejaydan, Feb 01, 2006
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 888 ratings.