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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

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Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,025 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,025
Reviews: 552
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 70
Gots: 118 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 11-22-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (11) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,025 | Reviews: 552 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice egg plant color with a rather weak tan head. The head dies to a collar and leaves some spotty lace.

S: Nice blast of malt and yeast. This is a Belgian Xmas ale no doubt. Tons of dark fruit adn hints of spice especially nutmeg.

T: Taste matches the aroma to a T with the addition of caramelized brown sugar.

M: Full bodied and syrupy.

D: Drinkable, but a 750ml is a bit much for one.

Photo of gpogo
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear dark amber with beautiful ruby tint. Large tan coloured head.

A- Sweet malty aroma with typical belgian yeast smell. Dark fruity aroma.

T- Initial malty sweetness. Fruity almost tastes like coca cola? Dark fruits perhaps plums and cherries. Oddly I get a grapefruit aftertaste which is quite enjoyable.

M- Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D- Very drinkable. I especially enjoyed the taste, very interesting and like no other belgian I have had.

Photo of scottg
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

8.5 oz bottle poured into Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass that came with the beer. It is a tall snifter glass. The freshness date is 12/09/09.

Pours a medium amber maple syrup color with a one finger, tan, creamy head. Good head retention with medium lacing. Sweet aromas of dark fruit, malt, with spices-> cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, ginger, all together it smells like gingerbread. The spices dominate the up front flavor leading to a sweet maltiness and a dry, hoppy, yeasty finish where the alcohol can be tasted. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated leaving a dry mouthfeel.
Most of the Christmas or holiday ales I've had in the past, including ones I've enjoyed, don't leave me wanting another due to the spices. This isn't the case with this beer because the spices are very well controlled and balanced. I would recommend this beer to anyone who hasn't enjoyed this type of beer in the past.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a nice huge foamy head with good retention and some nice lacing. Aroma of bubblegum and sweet malt is really enjoyable and somewhat reminiscent of great Belgian dark ale. Taste is a mix between some bubblegum notes with a nice fruity ester and some sweet Belgian-type malt. Body might be slightly thin for the style with some great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I was expecting something good but definitely this one exceeded my expectation.

Photo of scootny
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8.5 oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. A tightly carbonated head of about a finger. Spots of lace on my glass as it fades. A slightly hazy chestnut colored beverage sits with a light covering of bubbles in my drinking vessel. Mild carbonation. Stately.

Smell is of sweet burgundy, candy sugar, malt, and spice. A trace of floral hops cuts in and out. Yeasty esters mix with fusel alcohol to suggest well brandied fruitcake.

Taste is of malt, roasted sugar, and light caramel with an alcoholic edge. Toffee shows up and a blend of dark fruits and spice carry the taste to its finish. Light and clean hops cut off the sugar and alcohol train quickly. A lingering dryness with biscuits and graham crackers come after the hops and set up the next sip. Fruitcake suggested in the nose becomes real in the mouth. Superb.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy, a gentle chewyness. Carbonation is a creamyesque spritzy. A little more than you might expect from observing the glass but perfect for the brew.

Drinkability for a strong winter is surprising. Goes down easy for a liquid fruitcake. Must be the perfect hop balance and carbonation. May be the great holiday standard.

Photo of EStreet20
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much swelled cork, caged well atop a 750 ml bottle. Best before date of 07/09/08 so I'm pouring it within the window. I honestly forgot about this brew that I bought in the winter. Poured into a Chimay chalice.

According to the cork it's Batch No. 145985

A - Veeeery nice dark look. Not huge on head formation but the little head that forms stays. The beer is a beautiful red color.

S - Whole lot of fruit. Some alcohol, and a touch of yeast. Cherry like aroma on the nose.

T - A big fruity taste initially. Tiny hint of Belgian yeast but mostly big fruity flavors. Cherry flavor is most prevalant for me. Nice taste.

M - High carbonation even among all those big flavors. Very bubbly and Champagne like.

D - Very interesting and makes you want more. A good bottle to split. Could be very nice at Holiday time.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear but fairly dark brown with a sizeable creme head. The nose is a lot of spices with dough and yeast and just a good overall funk. Hoooh! Hello spices! I'm getting figs and lots of fruit. This is almost like drinking a fruit cake. Nice and spicy and fruity. Feel has a lot of carbonation, but it doesn't really interfere with anything here. Very nice to drink. A good winter treat.

Photo of ROMER79
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer for the first time this holiday season, well actually a little after. It was probably the best winter ale that I have had all season. The pour was a dark brown with a one finger tan head. Fruits, spices, candied sugars, and chocolate were all aromas that this beer gave off. It tasted of chocolate, malts, candied sugars, and it was followed with smoky after notes. It was a well balanced beer with flavors that danced on my palate. Full bodied and easy to drink. Great beer to enjoy!

Photo of jjayjaye
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark tea color with mahogany hues and a loose light tan head the fades quickly to surface. Visibly effervescent, tiny pools form to keep the surface happy. The smell is nice. Not terribly aggressive. Primarily earthy Belgian yeast over a mild and semi-sweet malt fig character. The level of carbonation gives the mouth a nice creamy texture. It complements the earthy malt flavors nicely. There is also a spicy note in the taste. Finishes on the dry side. An easy drinker, the 8.5% ABV is well integrated. Overall a lighter bodied product than I anticipated. The folks at Sam the Beer Man come'n through once again. Good call. had fun with this one. The cork restraint device on top was pretty unique too; a big band of metal across the top instead of a logo cap.

Photo of Gehrig
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I stopped by the sterling Sun Singer this afternoon, and found this gem lingering from early winter. A great find, and I'm fortunate to have had it. I admit that I'm a sucker for a good presentation and I like to think myself sufficiently scrutinizing to separate a beer's book from its cover, so to speak. This has both a great appearance and taste. The presentation is glorious--three off-white fingers of foam on a reddish-mahogany body, with thick lacing on the Ommegang glass. Five stars.

The nose is impressive--lots of fruit and spice, especially ginger, cinnamon, and anise. The taste is enough to make one rave--fruit, and dried fruit at that, with raisin combining with more pleasant citrus; spice; all smoothly delivered. Well carbonated and smooth, this is a great BSDA and Christmas Ale, really outstanding.

Photo of Viggo
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas tasting with biegaman, grub and ThatWineGuy, biegaman busted this one out.

Pours a clear ruby red, some brown hints, very thick off white head forms, leaves tons of lace sheets, settles to a thick layer, very pretty. Smell is apples, spices, caramel, yeast, bread, nice malt layers, spices are done right, nice fruitiness. Taste is yeasty, some spices, bread, caramel, apples, banana, wheat, citrus, oak, lots of fruit, neat! Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, easy to drink, nice flavours, great Christmas beer. Thanks Jan!

Photo of dsa7783
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk's Abbey Pale Ale and Abbey Brown Ale are certainly two of some of the most flavorful, enjoyable Beglain beers... looked high and low to find the brewery's Christmas Ale, and finally struck gold at Oak Tree in South Plainfield where I copped a 750 ML bottle in a gift-pack which housed the bottle in a tin can stuffed with straw... Bought caged and corked, with the cork displaying an individual number of 6880... Teriffic dark, pruned-color hue with immense frothy head... smell is dominated by figs and malts, with a wonderful honey aroma... taste is complete with prunes, caramel, dark, brown sugars, thick and heavy malts, cream, candies, and figs... incredibly thick, rich, and intricate flavor dominated by a wonderful combination of sweet, candy flavors that dominate the pallate and overwhelm the taste buds with dark-fruit and toasty brown sugar flavors... excellent stuff, with an incredible thick, creamy mouthfeel... this one really takes over, and was worth the search... great drinkability, this one leaves you wanting more, and the ABV is barely noticeable behind a complex combination of amazing flavors... Another winner from Corsendonk... Definitely recommended...

Photo of neenerzig
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on tap recently at La Cav Du Vin. This beer is a fairly clear, dark brown color. The tan head is about 1/2 inch or so when drawn. Settles to a nice, sort of bubbly surface layer with good lace. Aromas of orange and apple (or maybe plum) are present along with some spice and cinnamon. Tastewise the beer is malty upfront with the aforementioned sweet fruit and spices present and is rounded out by some fairly subtle but definite hop flavors. Has a crisp, smooth, and frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Drinks very easily in the way well crafted beer should! An excellent beer! I hope to have this on-tap again soon!


Photo of joe1510
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl Bottle

Best Before 9/18/08

I was lucky enough to get this bottle as part of my Secret Santa package from Tayner, thanks a bunch Dana. As I pour a big dense head rises without any pressure. All in one creamy and rocky, sitting atop a ruby body with tiny carbonation bubbles exploding to the surface. The head leaves excellent lacing on its way down.

The aroma kicks off with a big spoonful of coriander and candied orange peel. Dark fruits abound in the background including cinnamon coated stewed plums with a bit of a spiced-cake batter. Goes together nicely and certainly brings the smells of Christmas into the room.

The flavor doesn't quite live up to the expectations set forth by the aroma. The flavor, while still good, seems to be a little muddied compared to the smell. The coriander and candied orange are still involved over the top of spiced Christmas-styled cake maltiness. There's a mineralish quality running through the flavor.

I have to say the body on this beer is actually on the light side. Unfortunately, the body could stand a bit more oomph. The aggressive carbonation is what keeps this beer light and airy.

The airiness of this beer actually improves the drinkability. The body keeps on moving which leaves me wanting another sip. The spicing keeps me from indulging too much throughout the night though.

This is a quality Christmas beer no matter which way you slice things. The aroma is outstanding and immediately pulls you into all the flavors of the holiday season. Thanks again Dana!

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I poured this into a goblet styled glass from a 750ml bottle which produced a notable and foamy head. The nose was rich with malt and a spice that I would later realize as anise. Upon tasting there is an immediate malt presence that fades relatively quickly to allow for quick light hoppy finish with the linger taste of black licorice. There was pretty good warming on the way down but it wasn't at all unpleasant.

I'm not a huge anise/black licorice type of person so this one isn't going to be a personal favorite. That aside, everything else comes together to make a very enjoyable brew. Great for Christmas and that's probably often enough for me.

Photo of jsgpu90
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I really enjoyed this one. The beer poured with a slight white head that remained throughout. There was a very slight alcohol taste but it was masked by hints of citrus. There was a perfect amount of carboniation that allowed for the complex flavors to come through. I will certainly buy another one if I can find it again.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a corked and caged 750ml bottle. Dispensed into a Piraat tulip glass. The beer emerges a clear, dark ruby color and topped by an enourmous, rocky, thick head of about three fingers. Was only able to fit maybe three ounces of beer in the glass before the foam and fizz took over. Tons of lacing.

Aromas are pretty much yeasty with some clove action going on. Not much else in my opinon. Perhaps some slight banana and maybe some pear aromas as well.

Wonderful flavor. Fruity, bubble gum, rich and malty with a nice hoppy bite. Yeast flavor is there as well but brings a nice addition to the party. Extremely balanced; tastes great.

Thick and creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is wonderful. This was a pleasant surprise for me. Didnt know what to expect but I am glad I picked this up. Didnt really taste any holiday flavors, but this was certainly a well made beer. Drinkability is about as high as it gets for an 8.5%abv beer.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of Morey
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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).

Photo of bashiba
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of ggroller
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of paleoplant
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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

Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
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

Photo of Biscuit033
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of NCSUdo
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 1,025 ratings.