Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

560 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 560
Hads: 1,069
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 73
Gots: 130 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website
Belgium

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 (15) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 560 | Hads: 1,069
Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium brown hue with a moderate haze and two fingers of frothy tan foam. Head has good retention and an attractive, chunky lace is left on the glass. I like it.

Smell: quite sweet with a nice maltiness and a bit of chocolate character. There's also a dusty element I quite like. It's not bursting with fruitiness, yet it is still very good in its own subdued way. Quite good indeed.

Taste: sweet but not overwhelmingly so, with a nice malty character and some subtle flavor of dark fruit -- raisins and dates. This is a very low-key beer, but I like it anyway.

Mouthfeel: medium body but with a huge carbonation and giant, if somewhat evanescent, creaminess. Love it.

Overall: a fantastic beer. It drinks damn easy for 8.5%. I usually like a little more complexity, but this beer's subtlety is its personality. Great. (888 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, almost opaque dark reddish brown in color with a moderate amount of active visible carbonation rising quickly along the edges of the glass and moderate amounts of garnet red highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark fruits, spices, and that distinctive Belgian yeast.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly sweet dark malts with moderate amounts of dark fruit sweetness. There is a moderate flavor of distinctive Belgian yeast and a moderate to strong flavor of spices (what I think of as holiday or mulling type spices). Minimal amounts of bitterness with no lingering in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Extremely easy to drink with very well hidden alcohol. Very enjoyable and a great example of a holiday Belgian ale. (1,045 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Christmas gift poured into an oversized chalice glass. Pours a slightly hazy brown amber color with nice thick off white head and okay lacing on the glass. Smells of carmelized brown sugar with dark fruit such as raisins, plum, fig, and dark poppy seeds. Has a spicy phenolic aroma with hints of black pepper. Tastes of the same carmelized brown sugar as in the nose. Seems to have a relatively significant upfront bitterness that lingers and really stings the tongue. Sweet tasting upfront with full bodied feel. Alcohol well in check. Overall, a very nice Belgian beer. Paired well with some turkey pot pie. Would be great as a winter warmer, for the holidays, or a nice celebratory beer with the corked & caged presentation. (732 characters)

Photo of CanadaBoy
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've been putting off being "one of those guys" as I sometimes think of it, but here is my first BA review:

250ml bottle, poured into a red wine glass because it was what I had available. Found it at my local bottle shop for $0.99 ("while supplies last", it said), so I bought 4 on a chance. I'd never heard of it, let alone tried it, but I love dark Belgians so I thought I'd give it a go. The expiration date is October 2015, so I couldn't believe I'd found a strong leaning beer of this style at the price.

Took a sip, thought "wow, what a find", and looked it up on here to see if people agreed with me. Looks like I may need to go buy out the rest of their stock before someone else catches on!

Pours nice and dark (brown when held up to a light), with a smooth, lacy (whiter than expected) head. More sediment than seems reasonable...I'll need to be careful with the rest of the bottles. Not as much of a smell off the top as I was hoping for, but it hits your tongue nicely and goes down smoothly with not much of a hint as to its ABV. Malty with a bit of fruity (mostly raisins) sweetness, just the way I like it. Aftertaste is a bit weak (I love a beer that lets its flavour linger), but this is a great beer while you're drinking it. (1,246 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Corsendonk tulip.

Deep mahogany red body, with a real dark mocha to tan three finger head. Some clarity with real nice slow rising carbonation coming up in this glass. Big ring and island clumpy lacing in the middle, with fine bubbles in its makeup, and also some rings an sheets of lacing down the sides. Very impressive, how a proper glass makes a beer look like a winner.

Solid nose, if not sensing obvious. Mild sense of candied sugars, but some real nice phenolic spice clove action with mild caramel. Hints slightly fruity plum a bit with a very sharp aroma but not overpowering or over the top. Quite nice.

Palate really delivers. Classic Belgian character with a nice fruity angle. Dark bread and raisin match together with a big champagne dry carbonation. Real nice warmth and heat to this as it comes off like a Christmas quad practically, thick malted, rich brandy like warmth. Very playful carbonation that gives to a champagne like body, but has the malt thickness take over with brown sugar, cherry like fruit and spices.

Real nice Belgian dark that comes off more like a Christmas quad. Excellent Belgian brew. (1,170 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage, 12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, opaque brown color with two and a half fingers of white head that dissolved into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic! Tons of spices such as clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and tons of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and figs.

Taste: Wow! Malty up front, with notes of freshly baked dark bread, followed by tons of that stone fruit of raisins, plumbs and dates. There are notes of clove and cinnamon, and slight hints of star anise or licorice, and toffee-like sweetness. Not much in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, with some pretty good carbonation to wake up the taste buds. With an ABV of 8.5%, the alcohol presence is certainly there, in fact it packs more of a punch than an 8.5% should.

Overall: Great Beer! One of my favorite Belgian Christmas beers in fact! I love the fruitiness that this beer has which is balanced perfectly with its maltiness. Absolutely delicious!! (1,053 characters)

Photo of uvachief
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured aggressively from a 12oz bottle that was about 40 degrees. Huge amounts of creamy head. Full 4 fingers or more that lingered significantly. Had to wait several minutes for head to break and recede. Beautiful deep ruby brown color. I small malts like a loaf of fresh bread but not overpowering. Not much else maybe caramel. True Belgian Strong Ale. Light bodied in the mouth. Taste spices like cloves, nutmeg, caramel and hops. Citrus buried in there as well. Goes down smooth with no burn. Hides the high abv well. Winter Warmer on steroids. Nicely drinkable. Good change of pace beer from the fruit/vegetable beers and lighter than a heavy Russian Imperial Stout. I like it but wasn't blown away. $4.99 for a 12oz bottle. (746 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
2.31/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750 mL bottle. Best before end: 8/28/2017.

Pours dark ruby/brown in color with a one-finger beige head. Minimal lacing on the glass. No aroma whatsoever. Some light spice is present but this was not what I was expecting. The flavor was a disappointment as well. Lightly sweet and spicy. Mouthfeel was thin and over-carbonated.

I'm assuming I got a bad bottle. Based on the positive reviews by others, I'm pretty certain that was the case. It was drinkable, so it didn't go to waste, but clearly off.

I was excited to share this bottle with my family on Christmas but it turned out to be a total dud. Unfortunately, I have to review it as is. I don't know if I would drop $10 on a bottle again to retry it but I'm hoping I somehow have another opportunity to do so. (781 characters)

Photo of PacNWDad
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

L: Pretty caramel-amber color. Reasonable amount cream colored head on pour, then lots of lace on the sides. A bit cloudy.

S: Caramel, yeast, roasted malt, earth and coriander.

T: Sweet lead with some hops bitterness and a bit of sour bringing up the rear.

F: Very smooth, moderately carbonated, extremely drinkable, surprisingly little alcohol notes given the strength.

O: A very enjoyable winter beer. (457 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy and dark brownish ruby with a moderate amount of rising bubbles. Big two finger light tan head which settles into a thin creamy layer. Leaves some good lacing.

Smell: A yeasty, spicy, and fruity Belgian aroma with hints of winter spice and dark fruit. Belgian yeast with hints of funk, pepper, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom. Toasted malt with bready hints of biscuit, straw, toast, and cracker. Big mix of fruit esters with hints of banana, apple, pear, lemon, grape, raisin, cherry, plum, fig, and prune. Also some sweet hints of candied Belgian sugar and subtle hops. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a yeasty, spicy, and fruity classic Belgian taste with good notes of fruit and spices. Belgian yeast with spice notes of pepper, funk, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom. Toasted malt with notes of biscuit, grains, straw, toast, and cracker. Good mix of fruit with notes of banana, pear, green apple, lemon, grapes, cherry, raisin, fig, plum, and prune. Sweet taste of Belgian candied sugar. Background notes of floral hops. A very nice Belgian taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Creamy, crisp, and fairly chewy. Alcohol heat is pretty light.

Overall: A very good Belgian Dark Ale. Good mix of yeast and spice notes with the fruity esters. (1,377 characters)

Photo of babaracas
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear slightly red tinted brown with a thick, very dense and creamy in consistency khaki colored head; settles slowly leaving a sheet of thick lace down the glass. Smell: panettone (lightly yeasty bread, raisins, candied orange peel note), brown sugar, notes of cola and black cherry, mild earthiness. Taste: sugary plum, toasted and buttered raisin bread, fig; cola, clove, and orange notes. Dark fruit, toast, and mild earth in the finish. This is a great christmas beer. (481 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature globe glass, best before 8/20/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, orange peel, caramel, molasses, toffee, dark bread, nuttiness, light chocolate, coriander, light pepper/clove, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Incredible complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, orange peel, caramel, molasses, toffee, dark bread, nuttiness, light chocolate, coriander, light pepper/clove, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Slight earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, cherry, fig, orange peel, molasses, toffee, dark bread, nuttiness, light chocolate, light coriander/pepper/clove, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and dark/bready malt flavors; with an awesome malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Belgian strong Dark ale. All around amazing complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. An absolutely amazing offering. Love it every year. (1,699 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%

Pours two fingers of head on a dark brown body.
The aroma is roasted malt, anise, smoke and pine.
The taste starts with a mild malty sweetness, toffee, burnt wood and mild lemon bitterness. Nicely complex profile.
The texture is crisp and a bit too fizzy.
A wonderful ale. (272 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%

Esters of pear and green apple contrast dark Belgian candi sugar in the aroma. Flavor is similar, with pronounced esters dominating and finishing fairly sweet and toasted. (171 characters)

Photo of ThaneMcC
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Presentation: purchased a 6 pack as part of a seasonal promotion, complete with commemorative glass
A: dark brown, significant off white frothy head, with almost soapy appearance
s: strong citrus, chocolate, allspice, cinnamon, herbal to include cardamom and anise
t: whoo! A dark explosion of malty and citrus and non specific fruit esters, spicy and acrid alcohol taste, chocolaty malts, very mild hop without sig bitterness
m: effervescent, good full mouthfeel, almost silky with the carbonated twing and palate cleaning acidity.
o: Toasty! An excellent winter beer, malty and warming, a sipper that best enjoyed with mild cheeses on a cold day by the fire. My new go to winter beer. (690 characters)

Photo of bubseymour
4.79/5  rDev +16.3%

Had a 2013 release on 11/3/14. Very tasty dart fruits and fig. Full bodied and warms the belly very nice. One of the best and most satisfying Belgian Strong Dark Ales I've had to date. Will be buying the 2014 release soon. (227 characters)

Photo of chuckbeaster
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 750ml bottle poured into my Gulden Draak chalice. best by 20/08/14 on the bottle. so i'm drinking this just in time.

Appearance: very dark burgundy (almost the color of a pakistani spassartite garnet). two fingers of off-white head. dissipated slowly, and left a thin film on top with nice lacing.

Smell: dark fruits, sherry, belgian yeast, spices (clove, cinnamon, and maybe coriander)

Taste: dark dried fruits (prune, fig), apple/pear, roasted malts, spice (but not as much as one would expect from a xmas belgian), some candy sugar, some bready notes, and a very very slight bitter note at the end. almost no alcohol taste at all.

Mouthfeel: medium body, crisp, great carbonation, with a slightly dry finish

Overall: probably my favorite christmas belgian ale. i highly recommend this beer for both the beginner and the seasoned expert. a very complex, but balanced beer. very easy drinking, be careful! (920 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas Ale has a thin, beige head, a brown, bubbly, opaque appearance, and pretty much no lacing left behind. The aroma is of rich, sweet, spicy malt and fruit. Taste is of dark, sweet bread, rich, moist, fruit cake, dark fruit, sugars, and a fairly pronounced, balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and prickly, and Corsendonk Christmas Ale finishes semi-wet and dessert like. Very little of an alcohol pick-up, here.

RJT (442 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a chalice. Cork shot out of the bottle like a rocket.

A: Pours a red-brown color that appears a brilliant ruby red color when held up to the light. Good clarity. A very healthy and creamy-looking khaki colored head displays excellent retention. Thin sheets of lacing remain.

S: Lightly burnt crust and cocoa. Molasses and dark rum. Moist fruit cake. Booze soaked fruits. Prunes, raisins, black cherries, and raisins. Subtle whiffs of ginger, clove, and pepper.

T: Brown bread and rich nutty and cocoa-esque flavors at the outset. Brown sugar. Fairly dry. Clove and nutmeg sort of spice tastes cut in. Hollow hop bitterness. Orange peel. Rummy alcohols. Fruitiness is more subdued than the nose indicated. Dry dates and figs. Tame bready and musty yeast. Dry finish of brown bread, cocoa, and some lingering spice notes.

M: Rich and decadently creamy and airy in the mouth. Sits very lightly despite its size. Gentle carbonation constantly scrubs. Warming alcohols.

O: Very lightly spiced, if it is at all. Tough to tell if the spicy flavors are the real deal or if they are just products of fermentation. Either way, they contribute favorably to a very complex and drinkable brew. Flavors are strong and even rummy at times, but the texture is so airy and silky that it goes down all too easily. A great pairing with almost any holiday dessert you can throw at it. (1,397 characters)

Photo of dank203
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

great Belgian dark. pours into tulip a brown to black color, lot of tan head. aromas are a bit musty and moldy with some dried fruit presence. flavors balance between sweetness of dried fruits like figs, dates, rasin, and spice notes, nut meg, brown sugar, cinnamon. medium/ full thickness (289 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite possibly one of the best Christmas beers around. A deep mahogany with prominent beige head. Lots going on here: dark Belgian candi sugar, dark ripe fruits, hints of dates, brown sugar, and well balanced holiday spices. Very mild cocoa in the finish. Flavors are quite well pronounced, yet delicate and complements one another. Rich mouthfeel with ample carbonation. A beautifully crafted beer perfect for a cold winter night. (431 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Champagne bottle poured into a Duvel glass. 2/7

Pours medium dark brown, light on the bottom, darker on the top. Thick 1/2 inch white foam, fluffy. Sweet candy cherry nose. Fruity too. Smooth belgian yeast taste that expands. Strong carbonation. Cola background. Nutty. Touch of booze mixed in. (295 characters)

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked this beer up on clearance in February, guess they were clearing it out. Wonderful looking beer, thick and rich looking with great head, exactly what I would look for in a great beer. And then the smell, just as great. Then wow, tastes just as great. Could be a little more interesting but very smooth and tasty. Tastes maybe 5.5 max and is 8.5, wow. Excellent. Overall a great beer that is a must try and one I will looking to pick up again. (448 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle was poured into a chalice.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger off white head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark crimson color with a little vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: Spicy yeast, clove, caramel, raisins, prunes, figs, sweetness, cherry, toffee, belgian candy, and a little orange.

Taste: This beer tastes as good as it smells. A little booze too folks.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, medium to full bodied, a little booze, medium carbonation, a little dry, a little chewy, and quite the sipper.

Overall: You can't go wrong. Corsendonk comes through as top notch once again. (670 characters)

Photo of msquared36
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Muddy/dirty water appearance. Only real negative with the beer. Retains foam with moderate lacing left on glass.

Weak scent. Noticeable scent is sweet and fruity.

Well balanced and refreshing. Plum and bread at first. Finishes with moderate sweetness. Just bitter enough to counter the sweetness.

Smooth and syrupy with champaign like carbonation.

Very good beer. Comforting christmas ale without overpowering spice. (420 characters)

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.