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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: 55
Gots: 55 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 885 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RockyTopHeel
RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This arrived in its own style glass; Big deep brown with a tan head. Carbonation was fantastic, a little more bubbly than would let a head stay around. A quick swirl brought it back.

This had a nice malty backbone, a beautiful richness and a smooth dry finish. Not much fruit or sices, but there was a nice earthiness, and tremendous drinkability. Alcohol masked fantasically.

What this lacks in overall depth of taste or complexity, it makes up in drinkability. Like a supercharged Corsendonk abbey ale.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2005 19:07:55 | More by andjusticeforale
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330 mL bottle.

A: The ale is a dark ruddy brown color, opaque through and through. At the narrower spots of my mug, brighter dark colors emerge. A huge head, 3+ fingers, threatened to overflow and make a mess. Splotchy lace followed.

S: The nose is thick with a sweet yeast strain followed by dark fruits, candi sugar and spices. Green apples and plums mix nicely with the candi sugars.

T: Dark and delicious. The ale isn't shy about its depth. Candi sugars, darkly sweet, lead off with fruits following in short order. Moderate spices add to the warmth of the ale, cinnamon and clove primarily. The carbonation that was so huge in the pour has disappeared, leaving the full flavors to linger on the palate.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, Belgium at its best. The candi sugars are sweet and never drop off.

D: The ale is big, not one that I'd want to drink from a 750 mL bottle. The fullness of the flavors is excellent, rich and satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 02:53:39 | More by akorsak
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Served ontap into a Corsendonk Christmas snifter. Dark brown abbey ale with a light tan head.

S. Whiffs of dark fruits and candi sugar, some distant booze.

T. Dark plums, very ripe apples, sweet malts. Adequetly hopped to balance. Baked apple pie, brown sugar. As it warms more of the fruityness comes out.

M. Medium bodied and slightly chewey.

D. This is probably my favorite Christmas beer. I think last years was better, but that was after some aging. Nice stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2008 08:39:18 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of veggiemafia
veggiemafia

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

California

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Chimay goblet. Best before 7 November 2011.

A: Very little head. Murky mud brown. Some tiny, pretty bubbles swirling on the surface. Unaffected by light.

S: Rich, dark fruits. Cherry cough syrup. Otherwise flat and nondescript.

T: Very, very nice. The expected dark fruity flavours with spices, but with an even stronger sweet candy sugar flavour. Some lighter fruits in the middle -- apple and peach(?). The aftertaste is molasses sweet. At *times* the aftertaste can become less than great and rather bitter, with root tastes (sassafras?).

M: Lovely!! Crisp, titillating, tingly, light. Lots of fun and profoundly pleasant, every sip.

D: Heftier than its 8.5% would suggest...a definite sipper. Lovely on a winter's eve. Probably my favourite Christmas ale yet.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 07:02:41 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of bigdeuce
bigdeuce

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2006 03:35:40 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, best before September 7, 2011. Pretty sure this is a Christmas 2009 bottle, maybe 2008.

Served almost room temp into a Duvel tulip. Pours brown with strong red highlights in the glass and produces a large fluffy and foamy light beige head that holds a nice foamy cap and leaves rings and spots of lacing.

Aroma is that wonderful dark Belgian malty and yeasty smell, candi sugar, cherries, some other dark fruits, and spice.

Flavor is cherries, fruits, sweet malts, candi or brown sugar, bread, toast, yeast, delicious. Alcohol well hidden for the style but makes a little bit of an appearance in the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full, some carbonation bite, real easy drinking.

Damn this is some good stuff, always passed by the $18 4-packs and was glad to see this on the singles shelf. Worth every penny, a fantastic Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 04:13:58 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of jscottku21
jscottku21

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, this ale was quite good. Spices including cinnamon and cloves were very distinct yet not overwhelming. Extremely drinkable, although the 8.5% will surely catch up with you, I would absolutely revisit this excellent offering from Corsendonk. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2006 14:41:58 | More by jscottku21
Photo of gpcollen1
gpcollen1

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a voluptuous ruby brown into it's glassware. The head quickly fades to a skim as the bubble periodically burp from teh bottom of the glass.

Aromas are sweet and lightly spicy with hints of anise and pears. To my lips it bubble gently and slide on down. Hints of raw sugar caramels with some spice that I cannot place. A bit of a twang on the finish - hoppy yet not.

Quite a delicious Christmas brew indeed. Alcohol is well hidden and each sip leaves me craving more and more.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2007 23:24:32 | More by gpcollen1
Photo of jjayjaye
jjayjaye

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2008 00:22:32 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours burgundy brown with a rocky white head.

Smell: cloves and spice abound! Smells like a festive candle that's burning. Definitely reminds me of colder months with a fire going and some Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby singing some Christmas tunes by the tree.

Taste: almost tea-like with smatterings of spice and cinnamon. A sweet malty finish rounds out this unique brew.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied to thin but very complex and enjoyable.

Drinkability and overall: Great! Spices dominate and it is a pleasant drink. I'm always worried about drinking Belgian beers because I don't think my palate is worthy enough to pick up all the nuances of a finely crafted Belgian beer. I think this is the case for this beer. In other words, it's better than I can describe. Definitely worth your time to try and I will re-visit this one in December.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2004 20:16:31 | More by mattcrill
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium brown and translucent with white head. Nose is reminiscent of holiday spices, including some brown sugar and cinammon, maybe ginger. Also bready yeasty Belgian notes are there. Palate is on the medium to light side in flavors, with a significant mineral component and light brown bread with spices. Easy drinking, and rather refreshing as well. One of the lighter Christmas ales on the shelf to be savored at the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 02:16:50 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured carefully from a 250ml bottle into the a Corsendonk Christmas glass.

Looks dark red-mahogany with over an inch of lacy suds despite a very delicate pour. Looks like the holidays to me. After all, I stare at one of these every Christmas season.

Festive combination of soft and cedary spices, alcohol, and dark fruits. Nutty yeast spills into the fruits and comes out with aromas of Belgian chocolate. Nice.

Cedary spice, coriander, bakers chocolate, dried fig, roast chestnut, brandy, and spicy finish. Subtle clove and cooked apple. This beer screams Belgian Christmas to me in a classic way.

Medium to above-medium body with a spicy prickle from the carbonation. Pronounced alcohol that warms me well.

Classic Belgian ale. Enjoyable fresh and with age. Excellent late-night beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 13:44:42 | More by thecheapies
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, deep reddish-brown body with a well-sized, foamy, light khaki-colored head. Nice creamy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Malty, sweetish aroma smelling of molasses, brown sugar, and simple syrup -- all sorts of sweet treats. There's a strong, downright perfumy orange note in the nose, like sniffing a full shot of triple sec. Touches of spicy and light floral hints.

Taste: Sweet, dark maltiness with tastes of dark caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Slight nuttiness, maybe even some slight breadiness. As was the case with the aroma, there's that very distinct orange fruitiness. Pleasant spiciness with an extra added dash of coriander. Very, very faint floral hint. Never more than a minor bitterness present. Pinch of cocoa powder arrives late in the flavor. Finishes fruity with a lingering maltiness and hint of earthy spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A tasty wintertime offering from Corsendonk and one I'd be happy (yes, happy) to return to next year.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2008 23:27:33 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brownish-ruby red colour, more than a finger of tan/off white head, good amount of lace as well. Smell is of spice and dark fruits, yeast and some spice, orange peel, touch of alcohol, cinnamon, raisin and plums and a bit of brown sugars. Taste is of dark fruit, yeasty with spices, orange peel, corriander, only mildly sweet with some sugars and a fruity aftertaste. Medium carbonation, medium- full bodied. Quite delicious, above average and something I had no problem finishing a 750ml of.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 12:53:50 | More by peensteen
Photo of counselor
counselor

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 corked and caged bottle opened wit a stiff wisp of carbonation. The beer poured a dark cocoa espresso color with a tall foamy head that reduced rather quickly leaving nice lacing on the glass. The smell was spicey, buttery, with layers of yeasty bannana aromas and freshly split oak logs. The taste was well balanced with traditional belgian ale flavors from the yeast bits in the glass. Each sip brought out the changes in this beer as it warmed from the early crisp dry notes of spice and tobacco to the later fruity plum, bannana and fig flavors. Each mouthful was enjoyable from the early cold & well carbonated one to the final warm & flatter one. A fine exmple of a beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2003 14:26:26 | More by counselor
Photo of tillmac62
tillmac62

South Carolina

4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a slight ruby cast. Nice long lasting head that laces well. Malt and yeast nose with a touch of spice against a dark fruit background. Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation. More flavorful than a typical trappist ale. Well balanced with the 8.1% alcohol perfectly hidden by the malt bill. Nice dark fruit flavor of raisins and figs with a touch of spice. Clean finish with residual notes of malt, fruit and alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 21:00:27 | More by tillmac62
Photo of DamDweller
DamDweller

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas, 2009

Nice drinking beer that would go well with all food types, ranging from steak to a nice white fish.

Initial pour has an appealing chestnut color with a strong head. There is a slight citrus smell along with a heavy alcohol presence. Drank this beer right out of the fridge, which was a big mistake. It completely dulled the complex flavors. After letting the beer warm up a bit there was a nice chocolate malt flavor that cleared tongue quickly followed by strong taste of prunes and young cherries. At the end, a moderate hop finish showed itself and cleaned the pallet well. Considering the alcohol percentage and the initial smell, I was surprised to not taste much alcohol at all, especially keeping the style in mind.

This was a good beer and one that I wish I had more than one bottle of. It would be drinkable any time of year with a wide variety of foods. The mouthfeel is refreshing and yet the body was strong enough to be enjoyed during the coldest part of the year.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2010 00:12:23 | More by DamDweller
Photo of LordHammer
LordHammer

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas gift from my brother in law. Excellent gift.

A: Brilliant mahogany with a tan head. Looks inviting.

S: On initial pour, got a big banana whiff, but once it's in the glass it is much more restrained. Some fruit, smells sweet, bit of banana and some cherries, seems like.

T: Nicely malty, with definite sweet and alcohol notes. A vague spiciness, probably from the yeast, but much less of the fruit than in the nose. Definitely nice, gets better as it warms.

M: Highly carbed, and relatively thin due to the alcohol content. A nice balance to the big flavors.

D: This is delicious, but definitely a one and done sort of situation.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 00:53:50 | More by LordHammer
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In years past, I have only found this beauty in 750 ml bottles- this year my local favorite store also had it in 4-packs of 33 cl bottles, and it was cheaper (per oz) than buying the big bottle- double score for a higher ABV brew! Poured in a proper Corsendonk tulip glass.

This pours a very nice brown with garnet touches and a nice moderately sized off-white head. Aroma is what you would expect from a Christmas ale- lots of gentle spices on top of a bready malty brew. The flavor includes nuts and winter spices (nutmeg and clove, among others I can't identify) that are all are there in a gentle way- not in your face with a 2x4. Alcohol presence is a little stronger than I like, but not overpowering like in some brews.

Overall, I am not a big fan of Christmas ales- usually a little too "wintery" for sunny southern California, I guess. Also, some are pretty out there in terms of spicing. This brew has those elements, but more subtly than others I've had. This is a nice presentation from a brewery I like all their products. Corsendonk was really my first experience with Belgian beer a couple years ago, and therefore, it's a favorite in my household!

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 18:15:04 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear and very dark amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a two finger high beige head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles consistently covering the surface.
S: The nose has aromas of dark fruits, spices and yeast.
T: Flavors of spices stand out in the overall taste, which also has notes of dark fruits and yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is extremely easy to drink - any traces of alcohol arde barely perceptible and the beer goes down very smoothly.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 02:37:53 | More by metter98
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

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!

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2006 07:26:39 | More by Phatz
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Time to sample some of my Christmas booty. My girlfriend almost destroyed my stocking by ramming a four pack of these Corsendonk Christmas Ales down with all the other junk that was in there. It was a thoughtful gift though.
This beer pours flawlessly into a goblet, displaying dark walnut color and obaque body with a huge tuft of foam at the crest. Giant hunks of lacing plaster the unfilled portion of the glass. The nose is spicy and deliciously sweet with some malt in the backround. Surprisingly, there was no alcohol evident.
The taste was disappointing at first, as I was expecting an overwhelming blast of sweet malt but instead recieved mellow character and a creamy finish that is stightly astringent. Hop balance is a plus here and improves as the beer warms a little. Mouthfeel is smooth but a little thin.
Overall, another strong Christmas present from Meaghan and quality stuff from a big name Belgian brewer.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 22:29:13 | More by daliandragon
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a big, dark-brown beer with an light-tan head. The liquid is shadowy, with faint reddish-hues when held to the light. The aroma is predominately geared toward sweet malt, assisted with a lot of competing sensations: yeast, cherries, cinnamon, bubble-gum esters, nutmeg, and a handful of other spices. The taste is sweet and characteristically Belgian. Full malt flavor with some alcohol and an abundance of fruit flavors. There’s very slight warming, and it hides its alcohol surprisingly well. Fairly high carbonation and quite full bodied. This is a complex and enjoyable winter ale. I’d seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2007 10:56:21 | More by Suds
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 885 ratings.