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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

885 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 885
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 56
Gots: 57 | 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: 885 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gattopardo
Gattopardo

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Appearance: 4, Very dark with just a bit of reddish coloring at the bottom where the light shows (in a tulip glass). Good weighty head.

Smell: 4, Spicy and fruity aroma.

Taste: 4.5, The flavor of dark chocolate is very present, but any bitterness is balanced by hints of sweet berries. Hops and malts work together to leave a nice finish.

Mouthfeel: 4, Big body and very chewy.

Drinkability: 4.5, For such a heavy and strong beer, it is eminently smooth and drinkable, and the delicate blend of chocolate, spice, and fruit is very compelling. A wonderful and reasonably priced seasonal brew that I would welcome drinking again.

12-05-2005 02:21:31 | More by Gattopardo
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%

Appearance: Pours a dark russet brown color with a fluffy tan head that dissipates to some islands but leaves plenty of lace around the glass

Smell: Dark fruits, brown sugar, a variety of holiday spices (cloves and anise) as well some orange peel

Taste: Starts out with some fragrant dark fruit and brown sugar tones with nice complexity from the spices; mid-palate the flavor dries out dramatically, and provides a nice oaky finish with some fruit still hanging around

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lot of fizzy carbonation

Drinkability: This is one lovely Holiday ale

12-03-2005 23:01:29 | More by brentk56
Photo of veggiemafia
veggiemafia

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

On tap at Fathead's, served in a goblet.

Red inkiness with nice ring of off white lace.

Smells like Christmas spices with some Belgian yeast, some anise, and ever-present alcohol in the back.

Taste is similar with some added fruitiness. Very sweet with a lot of different things going on here. A little phenolic which isn't exactly the most pleasant thing here, I don't think.

Slick mouthfeel, refreshing and substantial, but I was definitely ready to move on to something else after this one. Just not a session beer for me.

12-03-2005 05:52:23 | More by veggiemafia
Photo of ypsifly
ypsifly

Michigan

4.8/5  rDev +15.4%

750 that is corked and banded that came in a metal tube that had some straw in it to cushion the bottle. Best before 9-25-05...but I'm feelin' lucky tonight. lol Served in a chalice.

Had to manage a slow careful pour as this one foamed up upon hitting the glass. Deep brown with reddish edges under a tall head of light cream. Good retention, but with spotty rings of lace.

Nice balance of cookie dough, mild holiday spices, chalk, clove, bannana, a little licorice, and some malty sweetness. Damn!

Big, full velvet mouth. The spices are a bit more pronounced, especially the licorice(anise) and a pinch of coriander. Lots of dark ripe fruits such as plums and some citrus. A nice touch of bitter hops and lots of "classic Belgian" yeast flavors that have a bit of bubblegum and clove. The alcohol only registers as a warming sensation in a slightly bitter finish. Double Damn!

I would compare this with Gouden Carolous Cuve Van Der Kaiser(sp?) in terms of taste, mouth and overall satisfaction. Well worth the $11.99. I will buy more.

11-29-2005 05:04:05 | More by ypsifly
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

4.53/5  rDev +8.9%

Deep brown rich looking body with a formidable head and decent lacing although its fairly slick. Bakery type bread smells with some dark fruits, cinnamon.

This is one rich brew, big body and silky smooth. Huge malts mixed with the dark fruity type aroma, spiced up cinnamon. Alcohol is evident and adds to the enjoyment as it is mellowed by the malt madness.

Incredibly smooth for such a strong beer, I absolutely loved the mouthfeel as it was incredibly smooth for such a rich and high alcohol brew.

11-27-2005 00:52:08 | More by DogFood11
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -13.9%

Impressive head. Pours a full brown that allows light to penetrate (clear) barely.

Deep sweet dark malty aromas.

Sweet flavor from the malt. No real noticeable balance with hop. Slight metalic taste. Full bodied with an appropriate amount of carbonation.

Perhaps too much of a good thing. This is a lot like eating a dessert that's too rich and too large a portion to enjoy. I can take this in small batches.

11-26-2005 01:27:37 | More by smcolw
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund

Norway

3.68/5  rDev -11.5%

750 ml corked "champagne" style bottle, packed in metal gift box. Now available in Norway (Vinmonopolet). Very dark reddish brown colour, slightly hazy. Moderate tan head. Very nice aroma of Christmas spices, oak, raisins, old sherry, toffee and treacle. Flavour is very malty sweet, plenty of caramel and some spices, hints of smoke, tart/bitter finish. Fizzy mouthfeel - due to the aggressive carbonation and tart finish this beer was not a "silky smooth" experience for me. I actually preferred du Bocq’s Regal Christmas to this one (haven’t tried them side by side, though). R.C. is also somewhat less expensive.

11-18-2005 19:40:13 | More by Sigmund
Photo of kaimcm
kaimcm

California

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

750 corked and caged-best before sometime 07

A: Strong brown with a copper hue. Im my poorly lit room almost opaque. Very pourous off white head. I remember some science show about worm holes in between atoms that might takes us to other dimensions or something. Well, I have found them, in this head. Its like you could count each bubble that made up the whole. Splochy lacing. Maybe it was Star Trek, though Ive never actually watched Star Trek.

S: Slightly sweet, yeasty aromas. A hint of apples and a mix of winter spice. Dont think this beer is spiced but Im getting misc. christmas spice in the nose. Even some smushy, over ripe bananna.

T: Malt and slightly sweet up front. Sugar disipates quite quickly but no hop profile follows. A little syrupy molasses but light, not heavy. Hints of coffee and a mild tartness on the finish which evolves after the swallow. Starts sweet, goes dry.

M: Really nice, chewy, full bodied, smooth, great finish.

D: Could drink this all year, too bad its just winter.

11-11-2005 04:35:39 | More by kaimcm
Photo of ejquin
ejquin

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

App: Very deep red/brown, almost black with a thick white head. Good lacing.

Smell: Yeasty and phenolic, but not overly so. Not as citrusy as I expected with some underlying spice.

Taste: This bottle is about a year old now, and I think age mellowed it a bit. Not quite as bold as I expected but still nice. Very well balanced. Deep and spicy with just a tiny perception of the alcohol. Warming.

Mouth: Thick and smooth with great carbonation.

Drink: Excellent

Overall: A top notch belgian, The age most likely turned everything down a notch, but the flovors are very well in balance.

09-30-2005 23:52:41 | More by ejquin
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -12.7%

12oz bottle

dark brown with autumnal plum highlights. leaves a pillowy cap of dreamy, cloud-like head on top. lacing is sheeting. thick as balls and no joke.

aroma is grandiose... christmas spice and fresh fruitcake. candied fruits, cherries, oranges and plums. almond hints. freshly ground cloves and nutmeg.

tastes evenly strong with less character than the smell would imply. black pepper and wood begin and coffee cake muffin fills out the body. big age and bitter spice qualities hide the once-lively sweet fruits. mild musty apricot tang makes up for it a bit.

a sipper for sure. over carbonated. reminiscent of big xmas belgians like stille nacht but without the malty backbone or estery goodness. grassy. decent but does not live up to the hype. go for a scaldis or stille for excellence in this genre.

will try a 750 this xmas and rereview.

09-28-2005 21:27:16 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of tgbljb
tgbljb

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

poured a deep copper color with dark reddish highlights, very attractive head. Smell is of dark fruit (plums, figs) with a light spicy note. Taste is enormous with malt with dark fruits coming through. Finished fruity on tbh palate. A little bit of Christmas in August.

08-11-2005 00:21:30 | More by tgbljb
Photo of kegerator
kegerator

Maryland

3/5  rDev -27.9%

not impressed with this one
pours golden with a fizzy 1 inch head that leaves as soon as it develops. smell is pepper like spice, lemon peel and some sweetness is lingering
taste was huge peppery spice, not liking that, with warmth from the alcohol its very carbonated and fizzy almost soda like.

07-14-2005 12:58:13 | More by kegerator
Photo of RockyTopHeel
RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Dark chocolate in color with, frankly, a stark white head.

This one's been in the cellar for a while (Dec 2003), so I don't know exactly what to expect.

Ripe aroma of raisins and sugar plums--sweet and sticky. Thick and syrupy on the tongue, with molasses, raisins, and fruitcake.

A dessert in a bottle.

07-09-2005 02:16:24 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

12oz bottle from somewhere local.

Poured into a Rapscallion snifter, formed an inch tall foamy tan head. Beer was translucent, but not clear, and of a bright reddish brown hue. Heavy foam lacing prevalent. Aroma is Belgian spicing and malts, with a bit of room left for some fruitiness. Taste is initially sweet malt, quickly enhanced by the spicing, then closing with a dry, slightly warming finish. Mouthfeel is quite creamy, and this brew is quite drinkable for its potency. Happy holidays would brought on by a few of these.

06-02-2005 23:40:11 | More by ppoitras
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
ALESwhatCURESya

Wisconsin

2.88/5  rDev -30.8%

Beautiful deep chestnut amber color with a sticky cream head that left lacing all over the chalice. Intensly sticky and clinging to anything it touched. I am not getting a lot of aroma off this. A small amount of phenolic fruitiness. The taste is crisp and spicy with heavy pepper kicks left on the tongue. The mouthfeel is very dry and a little cloying. This is a decent dark beligan, but not a memorable one.

05-24-2005 22:57:39 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of MrSeth
MrSeth

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a reddish-brown color with a 2 1/2" tan head. The suds last in a minimal layer on the surface for the duration of the drink.

Spiced bread and green leafy vegetables are mingled in with a yeasty nose. Good thick bodied mouthfeel.. The taste is a nice big malty caramel, spice, anise and red apples.. it bitters quickly at the end.. the finish is on abrupt side. this ale would be perfectly matched with winter holiday meals.

04-23-2005 20:45:26 | More by MrSeth
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

Very cool little 25cl bottle. Pours a deep brown with hints of red and orange along with a soft bubbly off white head on top. Sweet candi sugar malt mixes with cloves, fresh yeast, orange citrus and a hint of pepper. I like it.

First sip brings a sweet spicy candy caramel maltiness with a meld of cinammon, cloves, pepper and a light citric fruitiness. The earthy yeast works in there as well. Quite a nice beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good strong carbonation...flows over the palate nicely. I really enjoy the flavor profile here and I easily see myself drinking a 750 of this. I'll be on the look out next year. Thanks to Cornboy for the opportunity.

04-07-2005 01:49:31 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of gbontrag
gbontrag

Colorado

4.8/5  rDev +15.4%

Brown ale with a reddish glow. Thick toasted head clings together then collapses in the middle talking to me in bubble-speak: Snap, crackle... "drink me. Your wife is out of town, the kids are asleep early -- indulge."
How does something so brown, that's sat in the bottle for so long, smell so fresh? It smells like a tropical greenhouse with exotic blooms drooping overhead dripping nectar and beckoning me with irresistible pheremone kisses.
Delicious. Spicy. Leaves the palate surprisingly clean. Crisp. There's good astringency, a little numbing. There's a dusting of barley flour that coats the palate with a sour twang. Tastes like spicy fruits: Fuji apples, bosc pear, asian pear, little red plums, and the list goes on.... Blood oranges, kumquats. Cookie dough: Butterscotch chip, snickerdoodle and gingersnap crackle...
I feel like a committed adultery.

04-05-2005 19:03:52 | More by gbontrag
Photo of santoslhalper
santoslhalper

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -12.7%

Appearence: Pours a dark ruby red with a fomay beige head. The head clings nicely.

Smell: The smell burns the nostrils a little bit, but it's mostly of sticky sweet malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Incredibly well-balanced for sure, but the flavors that are there are nothing special. It's smooth as all hell, but the flavors don't live up to their expectations. The mouthfeel is creamy but medium bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a good beer, but doesn't live up to it's expectations. That doesn't take away from the fact that it's a solid brew, and an enjoyable one at that. It just seems to me there are much better beers of this style out there.

03-24-2005 03:12:41 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of guinnessman
guinnessman

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -18.3%

Excited to try this one after a recommendation from a coworker. Poured with a nice 1/2-in. head in a Konings Hoeven chalice. A very pretty ruby color, that keeps me staring. I wasn't getting many aromas, only a fruit I can't pinpoint. Tasting grapefruit and cherries, and after warming a bit I tasted banana, also, a little but of alcohol lingers but not very noticeable. A nice tingling mouthfeel I rather enjoyed.

03-14-2005 03:58:28 | More by guinnessman
Photo of watermelonman
watermelonman

California

4.47/5  rDev +7.5%

This poured to a dark brown with a good head that lasted well. The lace looks good too.

The smell, taste, and mouthfeel are all very good. A dark mix of esters and malts dominate the overall flavor, with fruits coming through strong in the taste. The mouthfeel took me by surprise. It's very pleasing without being too sharp or too heavy at all. Drinkability is also very good, being both easy to drink and enticing.

03-10-2005 22:52:07 | More by watermelonman
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

For some reason, I selected this one instead of the Val Dieu or Gouden Carolus winter seasonals for my 700th review. Very pleased that I chose this one. Brought it upstairs from the cellar to see that it is corked, but not caged. A metal wire twist holds a black tab across the cork. After a couple minutes of effort, the cork disembarked with a "pop", using the thumb twiddling technique. Some gray smoke wafted out of the open bottle.
Appearance: Poured into a Konings Hoeven chalice the body is a clear, dark mahogany. The head is of a silky appearance, medium beige in color. Looks like mousse. Sheet lacing is as exceptional as for any Belgian ale I've ever seen.
Aroma: Rather complex, and extremely interesting. Banana peel leads off, followed by fig newtons, a mild hint of anise, and a plethora of fruity esters that range from tropical apricot to orange. A whiff of ethanol is barely noticed in the mix.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, like velvet. Effervescent carbonation is like a Pez candy exploding in your mouth.
Taste: I love the complexity of fruitiness going on. Dark fruits, fresh plums, rum fruitcake, spice array of anise, coriander, and ginger. A pleasant note of cherry cough syrup jumps into the middle, and adds a meek note of medicinal alcohol. Swirling in the yeast, for the final pour, adds some earthy character that reminds me of a freshly plowed vegetable garden. Finish is balanced between the tropical fruit sweetness and a mild hop and yeast twang. Wow! This is incredibly tasty.
Drinkability: Price and availability are the only impediments to drinkability. I can only dream about how good this one will be after some time in the cellar. Highly recommended.

02-12-2005 01:43:15 | More by merlin48
Photo of SaunaKing
SaunaKing

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

750ml bottle with a cork in it. I dont ever remember having to uncork a beer before. Poured a rusty, copper-brown with hints of ruby. Fizzy head at first but blows up into a nice thich frothy one that leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma is mild and floral with a tiny hint of caramel or toffee. Very nice tasting with a sweet maltiness and mild hop taste. Well balanced and does a nice job of hiding the high abv.
Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. A rare treat to get a big beer that is so smooth and drinkable.

02-06-2005 03:10:23 | More by SaunaKing
Photo of Winter
Winter

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Opened a 750 mL bottle on Christmas Eve of '04. Pours a dark shadowy garnet with a khaki head. Thick lacing down the side of the goblet. Aroma consists of spice, malt, licorice and cherry. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with plenty of carbonation. Rich malt is apparent followed by a noticeable anise or licorice spice. Turns a little minerally toward the back. Flavors of cloves and dark fruit emerge as the beer warms to room temperature. Alcohol is not noticeable in the flavor, but hits you after the first glass. The masked 8.5% abv can sneak up on you rather quickly. This was quite a treat on Christmas Eve.

01-25-2005 02:31:44 | More by Winter
Photo of Stubbie1
Stubbie1

Connecticut

4.45/5  rDev +7%

A dark brown hue and frothy white head (well maybe a bit off white) tops this beer. Spice is strong on the nose with dark fruit like plumbs and figs. A smooth and silky mouthfeel is present. The taste is malt and spice and a hint of alcohol wash across the pallet. This is a wonderful and easy drinking brew. After 2 or more the spice gets to be a bit much (well for me) Because of this beer, Xmas should come twice a year.

01-25-2005 01:28:36 | More by Stubbie1
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 885 ratings.