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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

890 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 890
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 56
Gots: 60 | 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: 890 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BierReise
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Funny how there are so many varying descriptions of color with this ale. Mine poured an almost clear reddish amber that has a beautiful hue to it when you hold it before light. Head was creamy and dense thanks to the work of Belgian yeast strains. Very nice fruit aroma with a subtle spiceiness. Lively mouthfeel and a smooth medium body. Flavor is a fruity malt with a peppery cherry taste. A nice belgian ale that I would drink regularly if available.

BierReise, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of Weissenheimer
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color of this beer is an impressively deep, dark cherry. I picture Satan sitting on his throne drinking something like this; it's evocative of blood. It has a pretty, small, foamy whipped-cream head and oily-looking lacing that reminds me of wine legs. The smell is soft, round, and pleasant, with anise and other spices that one would expect from a Christmas ale.

The taste is nice and round, with a spiciness and butteriness that reminds me of Affligem Noel. I'm noticing just a bit of tannins, but not enough to make a significant impression. It's not as big, round, smooth, and slick as the Affligem, but then again what is? So far this is my second favorite Christmas ale.

Weissenheimer, Dec 21, 2003
Photo of pezoids
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I believe this is the 2002 version. An excellent beer! Pours a murky black cherry color with a very rich and creamy head of foam. The aroma emanates sweet raisins and melon. Almost like a fruit cordial, or Pucker liqueur. The taste is alcoholic, bitter, fruity and dry and sherry-like, with hints of chocolate and cherries, even has a hint of rum. The flavors are complex and it’s easy to find a lot of good things in this beer. Flavorful with a medium malt sweetness. Highly drinkable and an excellent Holiday beer. Now, if I could only get this one on tap.

pezoids, Dec 20, 2003
Photo of far333
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark copper to brown color with a low beige head that leaves sticky, chunky lace around the inside of the glass. Aroma is sugary and fruity. Flavor is sweet and yeasty, with noticeable notes of cinnamon and nutmeg and sweet fig. A smooth mouthfeel leads to a sweet and yeasty finish, with honey and pear and yeast lingering in the aftertaste.

far333, Dec 13, 2003
Photo of CRJMellor
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle in late 2001 on a trip to France.
Pours a deep brown with lots of sediment in the bottle. Light tan/white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Aroma is citrusy(maybe lemon), some dark fruits and light anise note. Also some spice, maybe nutmeg. Also has a resiny aroma.

Taste was full-bodied though smooth, hid alcohol well. Malt predominants front flavor then some fruity flavors then finishes with a bready taste. Beer tastes much lighter than appearance but still a strong beer !
Jason mentioned Plum pudding and I have to agree. wouldn't have thought of that myself but when I read it, it definitely brought my gran's plum pudding.

CRJMellor, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of dpend
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a goblet of this compliments of Blackburn Point Liquors.

This beer poured a murky ruby orange with a good off-white head. Head fell consistently down to a thin film. Aroma was of lovely spices, malts and liquor. A very sweet smelling beer. Many layers to the taste of this beer with fruits,spices and nutty malts and a great warming effect compliments it well. A spiced candy is my best explanation for this taste.The sweetness became a bit overpowering on the aftertaste and I could probably handle only one. A must for the holidays though.

dpend, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of Crosling
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas came in a 750 mL corked bottle. Quite the beautiful site! This beer poured a deep opaque dark ruby with a fluffy white head with large bubble forming on the side. Nice Head retention throughout but towards the end of the beer the head shrunk to small islands floating on the liquid ruby. Nice lacing but poor for a Belgian.

The nose was full of dried grapes, sweet dark fruits, orange, clove and alcohol. A fantastic nose that hits you right away. Smelled totally delightful.

The flavor was very complex and this was an extreamly tasty beer however, the flavor didn't seem to overwhelm me. Flavors of dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate, sugars and sweet cherry candies spoke well.

I enjoyed this. I want another one.

Crosling, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of ADR
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque and very deep brown color, a mountain of bottle-conditioned head. Laces in simple blobs, however. Very pleasant chocolate covered strawberry aroma with a little zip of yeastiness. Highly carbonated, not usually something I like, but a nice match to the malt expression of fleshy pears and decided peach tones. Finishes with more astringency but with a pop of confectioner's sugar. In some ways, this reminds me of a Dubbel that finishes like a Duvel, a fine example of complexity and the brewing art. Very nice beer...

ADR, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of mickeymac
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 version: lot no. 131484. Poured from a caged and corked 750 ml bottle, it pours a deep garnet with a foamy off-white head that leaves little bubbles on top of the beer after it fades a bit. Spicy smells are backed by subtle ripe fruit sweetness. Even a slight trace of mint is noticeable. The taste is equally complex and enoyable. The hops are just enough to give it a kick as the beer hits the back of the tongue. The creamy, effervescent body just enhances the experience. Wow, this and Affligem Noel in the same week. I'm in Belgian Christmas heavan.

mickeymac, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of 86MonteSS
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A belgian dark ale indeed. Pours dark brownish red with a short lasting head. Smells very grassy and a little yeasty. Tastes like a basic belgian dark with a little more hops and a lot more alcoholic flavor. There's a bitter aspect to it that's very hard to describe, and I give up easy. Aftertaste is very slight.

I tried this for the first time about a year ago and must have gotten it mixed up with another beer because this time it wasn't at all what I expected. It's a good seasonal but doesn't tickle my fancy the way so many other winters have. Oh well.

86MonteSS, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of lackenhauser
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice beer indeed-Corsendonk Brown was one of the first Belgians I ever had.Pours a gorgeous deep ruby brown with a nice tan head atop.Aroma of spices-earthy and woody.Nice spicy taste-malty as well-theres a slight tartness in the finish.Good full moutfeel to it-I find the tartness a tad puckering but not in a bad way.The alchohol is well hidden I could see it sneaking up on you.A very decent example of a Belgian Dark-the neck label say "Belgian Quality" and I gotta go along with that.

lackenhauser, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Time and time again this beer continues to wow, me I am for certain that this beer is one of the most palatable and drinkable of all the Christmas ales, it's amazing stuff. Appearance: Mahogany amber brown in color with a lucious cocoa colored tan head, lacing is fine Belgian style lacing all the way. Aroma: Ginger, spruce tips possibly of hop origin scent, peppery zest blended with more Christmas spice accented by juicy fruit undertones, wow. Taste: Apples, raisins, and some slightly alcohol infused flavor but all in all the spices used ginger, nutmeg mild but kicks through with pure balance bringing some beer nirvana my way. Mouthfeel: Creamy textured with a medium body overall high carbonation but doesn't come off spritzy still very smooth and silky going down. Drinkability: God don't get me started I could indulge in two 750ml bottles of this fine ale effortlessly just a great Belgian Xmas ale to be shared and enjoyed with friends.

WVbeergeek, Dec 05, 2003
Photo of Jon
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby color with a frothy white head. Excellent lace appears down the chalice. Fruity, malty nose with hints of spice, notably coriander and curacao, and a definite yeast presence. Sweet, fruity, lightly toasted character ties in with the spiced notes, though a bit lacking overall. Vinous character seems most dominant with emphasis on raisin, prunes and residual sugar from the the malt. Mouthfeel lacks a bit, too, seeming a bit thin and watery, especially on the finish. Drinks fairly well, though the mouthfeel is not overly appealing. Even so, the beer masks its abv well, making this a decent wintertime sipping beer. I think this beer would be much better at about six months in the bottle with the yeast poured in the glass.

Jon, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of freed
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

slipped this in with my micro-seasonals. Poured much darker and gave off a very different aroma than the others. Mahogany hue with a sligth brown fizz for head. Aroma is somewhat alcoholic and somewhat malty. Slight fruity yeast smells, but overly alcoholic.

Taste is warm, rich, and pleasing. Sweet malt, thick body, and finishing tartness from the yeast. Alcohol isn't as apparent in the taste. Makes for an easy drink, and can be drawn out over long periods of time. This 12 bottle took me 75 minutes.

freed, Dec 01, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 750 mL bottle, in Corsendonk glasses. The color was a dark amber, with a good head. The smell was a strong spiced malt. The taste was very apple/raisins sweet, and very well spiced. Mouthfeel was smooth. Drinkability-wise, could definitely have a few more of these.

Mmm...another good holiday beer! A nice treat from a wonderful brewery that I already enjoy, and another beer I had the pleasure to split with my friend WVbeergeek.

beergeek279, Nov 23, 2003
Photo of crookedhalo
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely treat. Had this one out of a 3 liter with an expiration date dated March 2003 (2000 vintage). Poured a hazy plum color with tinges of red if held to the light. Nice tan head that lasted and left a good lace. So yeasty in the 3 liter that it was almost opaque. Smelled of orange peel, corainder, cardimum, and dark berries (blackberry). Touch of dulled pine somewhere in the mix. Tasted malty, slightly spicy and sweet. 3 liters tend to be a bit yeasty, and this one was no exception. There was a faint tartness in the finish. Highly effervescent in wickedly drinkable for a Christmas seasonal. Thanx to a co-worker for sharing.

crookedhalo, Oct 27, 2003
Photo of aracauna
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dull, cloudy brown body with a decent super-light tan foamy head. The aroma and flavor are brown sugar and very fruity, but the flavor is overall pretty mellow. The flavors are a little dull and this kidn of slides into the middle of the pack of my Belgian strong ale experience.

aracauna, Oct 13, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at "Christmas in July" at The Blind Tiger. Presumably 2002 vintage.

This ale poured a dark brown color with hints of red. The foam was tan and settled relatively quickly. The smell was vinous, with the smell of alcohol. The taste was slightly sweet malt but with caramel, oak, fig, and vinous grapes in the mix. The mouthfeel was smooth and light on the tongue. The body was medium and the carbonation low. This was a good, enjoyable strong ale.

UncleJimbo, Jul 18, 2003
Photo of Dogbrick
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'Tisn't really the season but this beer would hit the spot no matter what time of year. Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a medium thick creamy beige head. Very little lacing. Aroma is well-spiced. Nice rich texture, with flavors of caramel, malt, alcohol, spices (pepper) and a little fruit. The finish is warm and earthy and just a little bitter. Overall this is a well-balanced yet complex seasonal that I will look for over the holidays.

Dogbrick, May 29, 2003
Photo of clvand0
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very good beer. It pours very dark and murky brown with a hint of red and a small head and little lacing on the glass. Much unlike the other Corsendonks that I've had in the past - better actually. The aroma was fairly spicy, but my terrible nose couldn't detect any of the scents very well (but they were there). The taste was very good. The alcohol was apparent, but barely and in a good way. There were some fruits and spices in the taste as well. I can't see gulping this beer, but as I drink it right now, the sips are heavenly. I recommend trying this beer. My rating of this beer also may be slightly skewed because I have been drinking it about an hour after having a Westvleteren abt 12 - the best beer - so my ratings may be slightly skewed.

clvand0, Apr 22, 2003
Photo of John
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah, Santa remembered I was good this year! On tap at my local. What a gorgeous brew in the hefty stemmed goblet. Lovely dark chocolate color. The aromas and flavors are very cohesive and continuous. Chocolate, raisin, plum, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Semi-sweet and roasted malt teeter back and forth. Alcohol is warming and welcome lending it’s own spice. The full mouthfeel is satisfying. This delicious beer is worth the wait until Christmas time.

John, Jan 27, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours to a dark amber with a foamy off-white head that takes a little bit to die, and leaves all kinds of lace on the glass. There are a lot of spices in the aroma, just like you would expect out of a Winter Celebration ale or Celebration ale. You can pick up some nutmeg and a little caramel.

The flavor is loaded with spices and yeast. It has a warming effect from the alcohol, but the flavor of alcohol is well hidden for 8.5%. this is definitely a great brew for the winter season. A whole lot of spices and a high alc. level to keep you warm on those cold days.

ElGuapo, Jan 23, 2003
Photo of Amdahl
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice read color, with loads of head. The head is clumpy and creamy in color. Plum is the first smell to hit my nose. There is also hints of raisin and many others. The taste is not quite what I was hoping for. The plum is felt on the tongue as well as sweet candy, but other flavors are not there. There is almost no lace to speak of. It is moderately-bodied. For a 8.5% beer, there is almost no problems drinking a full bottle, but there is a alcohol warming. Highly drinkable. This beer should be aged for a while.

Amdahl, Jan 18, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A color that straddles eggplant and plum, underneath a lovely tan head. Intense aromatics: raisins, plums, port, cinnamon, ginger cloves. A generous buzz on the tongue fueled by a great array of hops,and held up by solid malt base. Overall, one gets a feel of holiday breads, cakes ginger cookies. Very tasty, warming, delicious.

feloniousmonk, Jan 18, 2003
Photo of Popsinc
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas day, 2003. That's when i cracked open my first bottle of this Christmas Ale. Very dark amber in colour. I disolved the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle before emptying into my glass. If the rich appearance wasn't enough, the wonderful spiced nose and hints of dark chocolate certainly made me warm without even taking a sip. Very smooth and rich i found. Hints of plum and unsweetened dark chocolate. Although this beer was 8.5% alc, i found that there wasn't a noticeable alcohol finish, which was nice. Good beer. Nice winter warmer.

Popsinc, Jan 08, 2003
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 890 ratings.