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

This poured to a dark brown with a good head that lasted well. The lace looks good too.

The smell, taste, and mouthfeel are all very good. A dark mix of esters and malts dominate the overall flavor, with fruits coming through strong in the taste. The mouthfeel took me by surprise. It's very pleasing without being too sharp or too heavy at all. Drinkability is also very good, being both easy to drink and enticing. (419 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For some reason, I selected this one instead of the Val Dieu or Gouden Carolus winter seasonals for my 700th review. Very pleased that I chose this one. Brought it upstairs from the cellar to see that it is corked, but not caged. A metal wire twist holds a black tab across the cork. After a couple minutes of effort, the cork disembarked with a "pop", using the thumb twiddling technique. Some gray smoke wafted out of the open bottle.
Appearance: Poured into a Konings Hoeven chalice the body is a clear, dark mahogany. The head is of a silky appearance, medium beige in color. Looks like mousse. Sheet lacing is as exceptional as for any Belgian ale I've ever seen.
Aroma: Rather complex, and extremely interesting. Banana peel leads off, followed by fig newtons, a mild hint of anise, and a plethora of fruity esters that range from tropical apricot to orange. A whiff of ethanol is barely noticed in the mix.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, like velvet. Effervescent carbonation is like a Pez candy exploding in your mouth.
Taste: I love the complexity of fruitiness going on. Dark fruits, fresh plums, rum fruitcake, spice array of anise, coriander, and ginger. A pleasant note of cherry cough syrup jumps into the middle, and adds a meek note of medicinal alcohol. Swirling in the yeast, for the final pour, adds some earthy character that reminds me of a freshly plowed vegetable garden. Finish is balanced between the tropical fruit sweetness and a mild hop and yeast twang. Wow! This is incredibly tasty.
Drinkability: Price and availability are the only impediments to drinkability. I can only dream about how good this one will be after some time in the cellar. Highly recommended. (1,699 characters)

Photo of SaunaKing
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with a cork in it. I dont ever remember having to uncork a beer before. Poured a rusty, copper-brown with hints of ruby. Fizzy head at first but blows up into a nice thich frothy one that leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma is mild and floral with a tiny hint of caramel or toffee. Very nice tasting with a sweet maltiness and mild hop taste. Well balanced and does a nice job of hiding the high abv.
Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. A rare treat to get a big beer that is so smooth and drinkable. (506 characters)

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

Opened a 750 mL bottle on Christmas Eve of '04. Pours a dark shadowy garnet with a khaki head. Thick lacing down the side of the goblet. Aroma consists of spice, malt, licorice and cherry. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with plenty of carbonation. Rich malt is apparent followed by a noticeable anise or licorice spice. Turns a little minerally toward the back. Flavors of cloves and dark fruit emerge as the beer warms to room temperature. Alcohol is not noticeable in the flavor, but hits you after the first glass. The masked 8.5% abv can sneak up on you rather quickly. This was quite a treat on Christmas Eve. (608 characters)

Photo of Stubbie1
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown hue and frothy white head (well maybe a bit off white) tops this beer. Spice is strong on the nose with dark fruit like plumbs and figs. A smooth and silky mouthfeel is present. The taste is malt and spice and a hint of alcohol wash across the pallet. This is a wonderful and easy drinking brew. After 2 or more the spice gets to be a bit much (well for me) Because of this beer, Xmas should come twice a year. (423 characters)

Photo of Beervis
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another beer I've been wanting to try for quite some time, and it was everything that I had hoped.

Pours a dark brown with a very thick head. Smell is of caramel, spices, and flowery hops.

Body is medium-full with flavors of spice, bright hops, and slightly candy-sweet. I was quite surprised by the hoppiness. Very easy to drink and with the higher alcohol, it really warms.

A great winter-warmer...definitely one of my favorites. (441 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A winter warmer brown and spicey Belgium brew. Thanks Doug Shoemaker for an extra from your Esprit order. Easy drink, hard to believe its 8.5%. Foamy initial pour. Lots of malt and some sugar. yeastiness is there. Nicely hopped. Light medium mouthfeel. (252 characters)

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

Teeny bottle, pours darkest of ambers, soft tan head, leaving some lacing. Pungent nose of bready rum raisin dough. this beer benefits from being served at a nice warmer temperature. Cold it had a prickly mouthfeel and some off putting flavors, as it warms it becomes much softer, and the tastes and flavors become rich. Lots of rum, raisin, cookies, mint, smoke, and alcohol flowing across the tongue. Very flavorful and pleasant stuff. (437 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in color with a thin, spotty tan head. The aroma is slightly grapey at first, but darkens to a plummy fruitiness with hints of toasted malt. First flavor to hit the mouth is a candi sugar sweetness, followed by a vinous middle, and a toasty, pepper/corriander spicy finish. Light chocolate notes in the aftertaste. Fairly light bodied but hardly wimpy in terms of flavor. This is a well-balanced and nicely complex brew. Merry Christmas to me! (454 characters)

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a clear red ale with almost no head. It looked a little weak.

The aroma, however, was very nice. There was a core of medium malts, with some hints of spiciness and a rich hoppiness at the end.

The taste was so complex... so hard to describe. Rich malts, a slight mustiness, a little earthy, spicy, peppery, and rather well carbonated. And it all blended so well... excellent.

Mouthfeel was nice... not incredibly bold, but somewhat restrained. And I would definitely have more of these. I am not a huge fan of the style, as I prefer hoppier beers, but this one was a wonderful example. (603 characters)

Photo of stjarnflikka
4.79/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage

Pours a reddish beer thats all clear and has a strong carbonation. There is a nice, cramy foam on top.

Smell is great! Citric traces blend together with fruits, malt and yeasty traces. After a while there is a surypy like sweetness and some alcohol to it together with a wine like sourness.

Taste is fruity, rich and this is very much a perfect taste. Fruits blend together with a very sweet taste. There is a bready thickness to it and a nice bitterness. There are traces of citrus and some spices in the aftertaste together with a soothing bitterness.

Leaves a nice warmth after every sip, a very nice brew, certainly a garanteed bottle on next years christmas table. (694 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

01/08/05- Purchased at Mollie Stones in Burlingame, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle with no date. Poured into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- Lovely thick white head, dark brown semi cloudy pour and wonderful lacing.

Smell- Much dark fruits (plums, raisins, dates), and plenty of spices including cinnimon and ginger root.

Taste- Fairly metallic and a tad stale tasting. Plenty of raisin and date flavors. Good amount of cinnimon and a bit of dark chocolate.
Liquorice is present also. Very flavorful, but a bit cardboard stale tasting.

Mouthfeel- Fairly full and chewy consistency. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability- THis one would be a pretty darn good one except for the metallic and stale issue. It wasn't super stale, but enough to throw off the taste buds and knock it down a notch. (800 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a wonderful midnight amber. A nice off-white head sits like royalty amass the dark elixir. Pungent spice smells permeate one's nose and invite to take a taste of what must be heavan in a glass.

Rich fruitcake flavors along with dark caramel malts predominate the upfront sweet notes. Strangly crisp at a point, and a thick, luxurious finish. Sweet and full-bodied. Carbonation is supportive, but not intrusive. Winter spices manage to sing like a Christmas choir. A naunce of alcohol laps against one's palate. Banana-yeast backround plunges the depths of this ale into the rare, charted territories with high levels of complexity, strangeness and assertiveness...all at once. Beautiful.

I'm drinking this to start off my night. If my night is half as good as this, I'm in for a real treat. (802 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Monk’s. Very dark reddish-brown in color, with a little somewhat tan head. The head dies off rather quickly. The aroma is a hint os spices with a rich sweetness. Big, malty sweet flavor with a fair amount of spices, but not overdone. Some hints of fruits in the aftertaste. Just had the bottled version last night. Equally good! (350 characters)

Photo of AaronRed
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find this at my local beer shop. Having never tried it before, the anticipation was almost better then the beer itself. Although the beer is wonderful; deep brown hue, with just enough spices in the armoa. A malty brew with a nice balance of citrus and winter spices. Not an overwhelming spicy beer, but one will so much flavor, that as it warms it becomes even better. Such a rich beer is prefect for this time of year. (439 characters)

Photo of talkingpoints
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The one beer that I just absolutely love!!! A great brewery that produces the Monk Brown Abbey Ale has stepped it up a notch with this seasonal offering. This dark beer is not renowned for its hops(which are on the light side) but for its maltiness. It is a thick and rich beer with flavors and spices pouring out. You don't really have to think hard about this one but rather just sit back and sip that 750Ml of magic malt. this should be the favorite seasonal offering of any Guiness drinker. Once again. Wow (510 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had this off tap earlier last week. We'll see how this compares. The beer pours a nice deep ruby color with a 3 finger head that finally falls to coat the beer. There is more spiceyness than I recall from the tap version. The orange peel is still there, but more subdued. The flavor is nice. Some banana sweetness with nice spiceyness overlayed ontop of this. I like it. The feel is thick and creamy. Drinkability is fairly good on this as well. Just a well assembled beer all around. (489 characters)

Photo of oracle
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

10 oz draft pour served in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale goblet.

Beer arrived very dark and opaque in the glass, although I've never seen a beer this dark have such a white head on it. Very unusual. Head was about 1/2 inch of bubbly and sticky foam that left fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell was quite intriguing. Lightly spicy and very fruity. It held a the faintest hint of yeast as well.

Taste was like no other beer I've tried before. I've always been a huge hop head up until now, largely drinking IPAs and Double IPAs. This beer really opened up my eyes to the possibilities that a very malty beer can be very good too. Taste was simply incredible. Sweet, like nectar, without being too sugary or syrup like. Very fruity, with orange notes and a strong carmel presence as well as many others flavors. This beer was actually so complex, I couldn't sort out all the flavors I was tasting in there.

Mouthfeel was just perfect. Light and airy. Any heavier and this wold be hard to drink. Minimal carbonation to get in the way of the flavors, but not flat.

Absolutely outstanding and highly recommended (1,124 characters)

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

To start I must say that I have never had a cork come off that hard before. 750ml corked and caged. Best before appears to be some time in 2006.

Pours out a dark brown color with a good size tan head. The smell is spicy and sweet. Raisins and chocolate come through for me. First sip, Wow. What a complex beer. Sweet in the beginning, spicy and crisp in the end. More raisins, nuts, earthy notes and molasses (sp?) come through. The taste is a bit dry in the end but leaves a wonderful warming. So complex and balanced at the same time which is amazing for a younger "big" beer.

Overall, delicious. I have one more bottle in the basement that is from last year. I think I will purchase a couple more to cellar as well. (725 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.08/5  rDev -1%
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! (1,169 characters)

Photo of Higravity
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours Garnet red-brown with a little head that doesn't last too long and leaves a little lace. It has a smell of caramelly malt and spicey fruits along with spices. It is very up front with the alcoholic taste of fruit citrus lined with spices of other warmers. It seems a little thin but not too noticable as the complexity of the drink is what I seem focused on. It is very drinkable and at this price I will have a few more. (436 characters)

Photo of BeerManDan
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, the color was a dark brown with a reddish hue. There was very little foam but, nice lace. The smell was the weakest link to this fine dunkel. I could pick up the malts and a hint of spice and citrus. The flavor was of a mild sour spritzy orange taste, with a hint of roasted malts and spice. A well balanced dunkel, maybe just a bit to sour in the after taste. But, still well crafted! (398 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red/amber with a big creamy beige head. Disappated to a collar quicker than I thought and had noticeable carbonation.
Nice spicy aroma. Clove, nutmeg, sweet malt, brown sugar and over-ripe bananas. On the verge of having a bubblegum aroma.
Bready malt and fruitcake tastes. Brown sugar, holiday spices and lots of ripe fruit of all colors. A little cloying but finishes with a slight earthy/woody flavor and a mellow bitterness. Great balance of assorted tastes. Excellent!
Light bodied with a full, round mouthfeel and lots of carbonation.
Rich, flavorful, spicy and filling. (594 characters)

Photo of TheLiterati
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a $20 gift pack (as a gift to myself!) at my local Whole Foods Market. Came complete with eight bottles of ale and a gratis gift glass to enjoy them in. Also available in a brown bomber, which is good to know since I'll definitely enjoy more of this seasonal for as long as it’s available.

Pours a nice deep brown, with a deep and creamy caramel colored head. Scents of plums, raisins, dates, cloves tease the olfactory. The taste is much the same: deep and complex, mildly fruity and even woodsy, with a smooth mouthfeel and pleasant carbonation.

Quite the quaffable ale. (590 characters)

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

Was able to try this brew on tap the tonight at Mahar’s. The brew poured to a very clear deep red/brown color with a nice off white head that broke down slowly and left great lacing. The aroma’s are fantastic with citrus fruit, malt, spices and candy. This is a great brew with the citrus, malt and slight chocolate tastes coming together and being enhanced by the spiced flavors. Also a slight alcohol flavor can be caught at the end of a pull. Over all this is a fantastic brew, glad I was able to give it a try and now a staple for the Christmas season. (558 characters)

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