1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

884 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 884
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 56
Gots: 55 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Corsendonk Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 884 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Crosling


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

12-09-2003 01:46:28 | More by Crosling
Photo of ADR


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

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...

12-08-2003 17:39:20 | More by ADR
Photo of mickeymac


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

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.

12-08-2003 05:16:58 | More by mickeymac
Photo of 86MonteSS


3.68/5  rDev -11.5%

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.

12-08-2003 05:04:55 | More by 86MonteSS
Photo of lackenhauser


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

12-07-2003 02:37:33 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

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.

12-05-2003 12:54:37 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Jon


3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

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.

12-02-2003 04:33:26 | More by Jon
Photo of freed


4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

12-01-2003 01:09:28 | More by freed
Photo of beergeek279


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

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.

11-23-2003 23:56:44 | More by beergeek279
Photo of crookedhalo


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

10-27-2003 07:18:29 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of aracauna


3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

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.

10-13-2003 05:07:05 | More by aracauna
Photo of UncleJimbo


4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

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.

07-18-2003 04:51:35 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of Dogbrick


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

'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.

05-29-2003 05:52:16 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of clvand0


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

04-22-2003 06:32:59 | More by clvand0
Photo of John

New York

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%

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.

01-27-2003 18:56:45 | More by John
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

01-23-2003 22:09:17 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of Amdahl


3.98/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

01-18-2003 18:11:33 | More by Amdahl
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.58/5  rDev +10.1%

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.

01-18-2003 12:57:56 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

01-08-2003 05:28:57 | More by Popsinc
Photo of Gusler


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

A murky mahogany color on the pour, with a bountiful head that is also frothy in its texture with the residual lace fine sheets to coat the glass. Aroma of raisins, malt and cotton candy sweet, a true pleasure to the nose. Sweetly malt at the front, top is rich and full, and the finish brandy like, pleasantly hopped, pleasing in its acidity and the aftertaste somewhat alcohol bitter with a nice sense of warmth for the tummy on these cold winter nights.

01-06-2003 16:15:22 | More by Gusler
Photo of Viking


4.2/5  rDev +1%

Dark reddish amber body with a thin lacy head. Pretty good head retention, especially since it was rather weak to begin with. Sweet malty aroma, lightly spicy. Smooth dark fuity flavor with a strong caramel malt base. Light taste of cinnamon and maybe nutmeg add just enough character to this brew. Spices are somewhat lighter in Corsendonk's offering than in many others, but it works well.

01-06-2003 16:10:35 | More by Viking
Photo of jreitman


4.72/5  rDev +13.5%

An absolutely wonderful brew that I am glad I got to enjoy on tap. After the Kwak keg was tapped at Monk's, Tom put this sucked on and I am glad I was there for it. The Ale has all the traits you would expect from a standard dark strong ale (belgian candy sugar, nice maltiness, etc.) and adds a subtle spiciness that works incredibly well. The christmas spices do not feel "forced" like they do in a lot of winter seasonals, but seem to form a perfect complement to the base beer style. A true masterpiece IMO.

01-03-2003 11:20:14 | More by jreitman
Photo of cokes


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

BB: 16 09 2004
Gorgous looking deep amber with a plump dollop of a beige head. Good retention, medium lacing.
Nose is a mixed-bag of candied belgian sweetness and musty cork notes. Rubber materializes as well. Decent, but wierd.
Taste is more subtle than expected, but lovely all the same. Begins with a caramelized peach-like essense. Fades to a oversweet butterscotch, then into a chocolate pudding. More fruits here as the plums enter with force. Becomes a little bready late, in a cinnamon-roll sort of way. Hops add little besides a dry finish.
Medium bodied. Not a whole lot of carbonation. Smooth, if perhaps on the thin side for a holiday brew.
Nevertheless, for 8+% brew, this is staggeringly drinkable....literally.

12-25-2002 23:25:52 | More by cokes
Photo of DrewS


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Vintage 2001 - Best before date 10/9/02 - 750 ml. bottle

First of all I must say, I sure prefer Belgian winter seasonals over most of the domestic ones I've sampled. I guess it's because I favor the style in general. Anyway, I really enjoyed this beer. It pours out a murky brown with slight red tinge. The tan head was ample and lasted for a bit before subsiding to a nearly non-existant layer. A whole lot going on here in the nose, big bready fruitcake aromas, molassas, chocolate, and alcohol. The flavor closely echos the aromas as many beers do. Very light carbonation contributes to a slick and appealing mouthfeel. Sweet malt, dark Belgian candy sugar, and fruity esters dominate the profile with hidden flavors lurking underneath the surface. Maybe a little maple and orange plus a bit of chocolate and plum. Each sip reveals something different. Alcohol definately plays a large role and its gut warming presence is quite detectable. No hops here to be found, though I suspect they were part of the recipe but have since faded away. Great winter brew. Goodbye my friend, on to this year's iteration.

12-17-2002 15:32:14 | More by DrewS
Photo of maxpower


4/5  rDev -3.8%

750 ml bottle, pours a hazy brown color, huge frothy tan head. fruity, bready aroma smells kind of like fruit cake, matly and sweet fruity-candy like butterscotch flavors, full body, creamy thick mouthfeel, a great holiday ale.

12-15-2002 14:35:38 | More by maxpower
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 884 ratings.