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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: 1,071
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 74
Gots: 134 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Corsendonk Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 560 | Hads: 1,071
Photo of BigMarty1980
4.84/5  rDev +17.5%

A- A deep ruby brown color

S- Strong scents of figs & cherries. Also yeast

T- Just as it smells. Figs & Cherries. Faint trail of citrus

M-Full bodied but not too much

O- My friend has raved about this beer for years. I went to a Whole Foods that offers alcohol and I saw this on the shelf. I grabbed the 2nd to last one and I am shocked I haven't made it a point to try this sooner. This beer is amazing & upon first taste it catapulted all the way to the top of my favorites list. If you find it...TRY IT (509 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Brown bodied coming off with a hazy body, you also can't forget the heavy bubbles on the body which made the head rise pretty high with a vigorous pour (maybe two finger's length) dropping quickly after one sip.

Smell: easily the weakest characteristic of this beer, with light dark grape scent and maybe a really light honey tone go with is what keeps it rated this high, the scent itself is lighter than air. Comes and goes too quickly.

Taste: Strong dark fruit feels that feel a bit bitter with a yeast undertones. It's feels sweet, sour and did I mention just slightly bitter?

Mouth: Heavy carbonation, sticky.

Overall: Picked this up randomly just because I knew I never had it before and personally I think I made the right choice. Six hundredth review and I'm still craving more...Salud! (840 characters)

Photo of spense727
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Great head and lacing
Smell - Belgian, bananas, brown sugar, a bit metallic
Taste - Very tasty with a bit of spicyness, a bitmetallic in aftertaste
Mouthfeel - Very carbonated, light
Overall - Tasty, fits style very well. Very drinkable. (250 characters)

Photo of RandomExile
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: light-reddish brown, upward streaming lines of carbonation; scant light brown head; light but pervasive bands of pointillist lacing
S: malty, musky, caramel
T: apple-citrus, musky caramel
M: savory, medium-bodied
O: Pretty decent, melds together well but falls a bit short of special. The savory/musky elements might appeal to some, but I'm still looking for something with a fuller body and dry.

20oz. / Snifter / Victoria Gastro Pub, Columbia, MD (453 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into a goblet.

Pours a very dark, opaque brown with a one finger dark tan head. Some rocky head retention along with splotchy lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is rich with burnt sugar and caramel along with some toffee. Mild yeasty notes are present along with some dark fruit.

The flavor continues the burnt sugar notes along with molasses and more toffee/caramel. The dark fruit notes come through a little stronger than in the aroma and compliment the burnt sugar quite nicely. There is a definite rum/cognac dark fruit/licorice character that really makes this feel like a wintertime brew.

Overall, a very nice beer. I feel the burn sugar helps lend a bit of character to this making it more appropriate for the winter months. The Belgian yeast notes are a bit more restrained than in some other Belgian ales alowing the malt to shine through. Quite nice. (883 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep brown with a light off white or tan head. Lots of clingy lace and good foamy retention.

Raisin, alcohol, nuts, cocoa powder in the nose. General maltiness and maybe even something like warm cake. Nice.

Malt, fig, bitter cocoa, dark bread, bread crust bitterness. Some spice, a little yeast, some burnt sugars, all enveloped in some bitterness and a little alcohol.

Medium full in body, with nice carbonation.

Vey nice version of the style. Highly drinkable. (472 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The had a very nice darkness, almost a prunish coloring and it allowed a deep thick cloud of a head.

The aroma had a lot of chocolate, caramel and malt but turned to a molasses sweetness. I captured a bit of fig, date and raisin.

The flavor had a molasses and sorghum character that seemed to stave off the chocolate I got in the scent. There was then the dried fruit s like prune, date, raisin and figs but the raisin seemed a little more prevalent.

The feel is very full, with a touch of sparkling carbonation that hits the throat lightly. (544 characters)

Photo of Ri0
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured 750ml bottle into Duvel Tulip. Bought in 2012 and aged for a year.

A - Very dark brown with a 4 finger mountain dirty white foamy head. A cap remains for the session and loads of lacing cling to the glass.

S - Very malty with sweet dark bread scents, yeast is also present. Some sweet molasses and gain. Spiced figs, and even some musty grape.

T - Sweet malts of dark bread, toast, molasses, cocoa, dark fruits, and spiced figs. Pretty complex and not overly sweet or spiced. I'm enjoying this more than expected.

M - Medium body with that is nice and smooth, even velvety. Plenty of carbonation!

O - I had no idea if would enjoy this beer, so I let it sit and age for a year to let my palate develop. I'm glad I did because it is quite good. (759 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (457 characters)

Photo of KajII
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

[Suggested Glassware: Trappist Glass]

The pour was a dark murky chestnut brown with a small (less than 1 finger) light brown creamy head that was mostly diminishing, reducing to a thin puddled film with a small collar and had good runny lacing.

The aroma was of a toasted bread malt and a musty earthy Belgian yeast with notes of caramel, citrus (lemon and orange), dark fruit (raisons and prunes), brown sugar and a slight medicinal odor.

The taste was moderately sweet and very malty with a touch of brown sugar and caramel from the get go, and then it became a tad yeasty and decently fruity with a light citrus spicy finish that had a hint of alcohol right at the end. The flavor lasted an average duration after the swallow, with a smooth malty fruitiness left behind to lie on the taste buds for just a bit longer.

Mouthfeel was almost medium in body with a creamy texture and a carbonation that was quite lively.

Overall this was a fantastic brew that was smooth, creamy and rather tasty, making it exceptionally easy to drink. In fact I need to watch how much I drink of it, due to the high ABV which is almost hidden entirely...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews (1,185 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at New World Tavern--served into a tulip glass

Appearance: chestnut brown in color, 1/2 inch head, clear, medium carbonation

Smell: holiday spice and pumpernickle bread

Taste:holiday spice, pumpernickle bread, big molasses, cinnamon, raisin, and slight cherry

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet with slight bitterness

Overall: A really good holiday ale that I was pleased to find on tap in July. Love the complexity and the molasses taste. I will now make this a part of my routine holiday beer pick up list. (540 characters)

Photo of RickS95
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with quite a bit of red. While it's dark, it's a bit clear. The head is impressive. Several fingers thick, really nice retention, sloppy lace left behind. It's a dark off-white foamy looking display of bubbles.

Classic Belgian smell, though I question the Christmas aspect of the beer. Lots of dark ripe fruits. Slight caramel malt note. The slightest bit of alcohol.

A bit of a let down. The fruity flavors never really came through. There was some spice and maltiness, but everything in the nose never made it to the tongue. It's certainly not bad, just a bit of a downer after how good it looked.

It's an easy sipper. The taste is easy on the palate and the high alcohol doesn't overwhelm. The flavor is mostly neutral. The fruity sweetness never presents itself, though it's slightly tart in the finish. No real hoppy bitterness and only faint heat from the alcohol. Carbonated, dry finish. At the high end of medium body.

Better than any American rendition of the style, but a step below some of the other Belgians. A good beer overall that I'm glad I tried. Will be proud to have the bottle in my collection. (1,136 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

33cl bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark amber color with two fingers of off white head. Great lacing and retention.

S: Prunes are the strongest aroma present, moderately strong for the style. Nutmeg, orange peel, peppercorn, and a bit of licorice are also present.

T: Much milder than the aroma. Dark fruits are still there, but the beer is pretty dry. Peppercorn and citrus are there to balance.

M: A bit thin with strong carbonation.

O: The smell is quite nice - a nice array of dark fruits paired with great Belgian yeast esters. The smell doesn't quite have the punch or complexity that the aroma has. Overall good, but not great. (647 characters)

Photo of hreb
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recently re-discovered this one at Brookline's Publick House, on draught. I subsequently picked up this 250mL mini-bottle, which I'm trying just chilled, served in a Chimay chalice. Best before end 20/08/15. Beer pours a rich brown color with an epic head of a lighter brown. Beer appears to be loaded with bubbles. Aroma is pretty subtle, but yeasty, slightly funky, and spicy. Spice ("natural" spice, that is) comes through much more in the flavor, along with a really rich body, and a mouthfeel that is definitely not too heavy for this heady brew. This Belgian is unbelievably easy drinking due to its fantastic balance and complex flavors. You'll get drunk (or broke) long before getting bored of these. (710 characters)

Photo of ItsTheLimit
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas Ale is a really lovely, deep mahogany-to-plum color with a really thick tan head. Leaves waves of lacing all the way down the glass. Lots of carbonation apparent, as well.

Smells of Belgian yeast, some dark fruit funk, alcohol and bread. Very inviting.

Tastes of dried fruit, yeasty bread, a little alcohol, but still extremely balanced. Really exceptionally complex, yet drinkable beer.

Great mouthfeel. Very smooth, almost velvety on the tongue.

Overall, this is an excellent beer. I look forward to drinking another and will definitely be trying this in years to come. (600 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.
Pours a beautiful mahogany color; clear with a large, durable and thick tan head that leaves lots of lacing. Perfect appearance.

Nutty and spicy, with a rather high level of carbonation that makes for a lively feel. Lightly tart, with a strong dark fruitiness, especially in the aftertaste. Flavor better than aroma, although both evolve and improve with warming. A revisit finds a surprising amount of licorice (tihnk black jellybeans) in this bottle.

O: Everything comes together nicely in this beer, despite my lack of love for the yeasty aroma. Excellent and highly recommended. (630 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark, hazy reddish amber with a massive light tan head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma of dried and fresh dark fruit, bready malt and an almost minerally spicing. Flavor follows, dominated by dark dried fruit, brown sugar, coriander and oxidation flavors. Finishes semi-dry with dark fruit, spicing and faint hops. Medium bodied. The bottle has a "best before" date of 2015, but serious online research does not reveal how that translates to bottling date. There is noticeable, but pleasant oxidation flavor here, so I'm curious how old the bottle is. A pleasant, but somewhat understated Belgian strong dark ale. (667 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Jon's Bar and Grille - served in tulip

Deep plum, near-purple pour with a thin beige head resting on top. Fades out completely, leaving little lacing or film behind.

Rich and sweet in the nose with candied dark fruits and brown sugar. Dates, raisins and figs, soft alcohol warmth and Belgian yeast.

Malty layers of tasty sweet dark fruit, containing a mix and mash of raisins, dates and figs. Burnt sugar and Belgian yeast resting on top of a thick backbone with toasted warmth. Rich and robust, finishing a bit hot and sweet.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and a bit heavy on the tongue. This fits in well with other Belgian Christmas beers I've sampled, and while still sweet, this isn't as cloying as some others (i.e., St. Feuillien). (771 characters)

Photo of Braz
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Dark bread. yeast, grape

Appearance: Huge active white head leaving nice amount of lacing. Very dark amber.

Taste: White grape character. Soft citrus notes. Malty with a lingering sweetness. Very rich with subtle toastiness.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated and velvety.

Overall: Very good but maybe a little sweet. I wish the offerings from this brewery were easier to find around here as I'd love to try them all. (423 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Bottled 2012, lot 8116
Glass: Tulip

Corsendonk's Christmas Ale is a fairly standard BSDA that has plenty of caramel malt and plum/prune character for interest, though I did not notice the spicing that others mention in their reviews, and this would have added some welcome additional complexity to the overall beer. This was a fine example of the style, above (the 3.0) average, but still not one I found overly exciting for my palate (I find myself preferring Trois Pistoles or N'Ice Chouffe to this).

Pours an expansively voluminous head, many centimeters in height, even with a fairly slow pour. Bubbles in this huge mass are initially small, but as time elapses and the head is exposed to oxygen, the bubbles on top become increasingy large and collapse upon themselves. The head very slowly descends to a thin cap of foam atop the body, leaving copious and thick lacing across the entire glass. This ranges from thick, ropy strands to intricate lacelike patterns. The body is a very dark amber color, light bringing out brown-amber hues and showing that the beer is transparent.

Aroma is mild overall, primarily grape-like or vinous with slight plum and cola-like attributes, along with hints of caramel and toasted or darkly kilned malt.

Front of palate picks up fruity grape esters along with some prune/plum and richly malty sweetness. Mid-palate experiences flavors of plum/prune, grape, toasted malt, caramel and slight toasted nut flavor, a surprise hint of potting soil. Back finds some toasted malt, plum/prune, grape, caramel, and mild graininess. Aftertaste of plum/prune, grape, mildly kilned malt with a slight caramel and nut flavor (probaby from Special B malt usage).

Beer is medium-bodied, with high levels of fairly aggressive carbonation, giving this an at-first fizzy mouthfeel that quickly foams up on the palate to become fairly smooth and easy-flowing. Closes quite dry, with moderate stickiness remaining across the palate. (1,992 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

super dark brandy color with incredibly tight bubbly head and light, loose lacing.
smells like dark fruit, fig and raisin.
sweet and malt-y with dark fruit, same fig and raisin with other flavors and aromas.
was expecting a heavier brew but this is pleasantly in between a heavy and light, and slightly sweet with very little bitterness. although it's a warmer january evening here in SoCal, i can still appreciate the intent of the dark beer. i like the other corsendonks and this is my first time with their christmas ale. beautiful appearance- awesome head and great color below. great taste and a higher abv. absolutely serves the purpose! (643 characters)

Photo of magine
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

Pours a hazed dark amber with lots of ruby red tint. Huge big fluffy bubbles make up a light brownish/tan head. Lots of bubbles cascading up to make up the head. Has almost a red tint to the head, great lace and thick chunky island remain. Great looks.

Brew smells of dark fruits and yeasts. Pretty good nose.

Brew is spiced up front; lots of dark fruits balanced perfectly by a creamy head and feel. Warming alcohol and spice lingers. Very complex and very good.

A complex tasty, drinkable brew here. I have owned the glass for years and now I finally get to try the brew. It did not dissapoint; one of the best dark Belgian ales I have tried. (693 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this up at ShopRite Liquors yesterday, still surprised that there were 4 packs of this on the shelf a month after Christmas. The 330 cl bottles were a good size to have a night like this, given the cold weather and the level of alcohol in this. Even though this was meant as a Holiday beer, I loved this as a Winter Seasonal and a change from the darker and sometimes heavier brews that fill the stores this time of the year and the fullness of the taste was only the icing on the cake!

The pour to this was nice, with a rich brown hue and dark, garnet edges. Lots of spice and dark malt to the nose, with some plum and apricot tossed in for good measure. This was repeated in the taste along with some brown sugary sweetness and valencia to balance out the heavier notes. The spice in here was not like cinnamon but was more of the holiday variety. Just enough carbonation here to be present without overpowering everything and the lacing wasn't present since the body of this beer wasn't terribly thick. Only when I finished off the contents of the bottle could I feel the alcohol coming on slowly.

Most beers of this style tend to be a bit overpowering to me, but not this one. Not too sweet, strong, or complex, this held its own on a cold night like this and had just enough to it that I didn't chug it down either. Recommended for those looking for a good Winter Beer that doesn't present itself as such! (1,420 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured a deep brown ruby red with a two finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, spice, funky fruit, fruit, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, spice, fruit, alcohol, banana, funky fruit, and earth. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. There was quite a bit going on in this one that I usually enjoy about the style. However, there was also something that was rather odd and out of place on this one with the funky fruit aspect. What in the Hell was this??? Not that it tasted or smelled bad, but it was definitely strange to pick up on for sure. As far as the style goes this was a pretty good representation of what one would expect from it. Worth your time trying if you have not done so before or are curious to see if you can pick up on that funky fruit aspect I got. (974 characters)

Photo of ujsplace
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clicked the review button and was taken to the login screen. Lost my entire review, so this is going to be short and sweet.

A great looking brew with lots of complex flavors; predominantly dark fruits and Christmas-type spicing.

Will absolutely seek this out again next year. (277 characters)

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