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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

888 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 888
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 56
Gots: 58 | 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)
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: 888 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into heavy chalice glass. Pours a transparent dark red with a real nice off-white head with very good retention. Excellent lacing. Very malty, spicey, and fruity aroma. Real nice malt flavor up front. Kind of a creamy, caramel, and fruit combination. Finishes rather spicey with a little clove that continues to linger in aftertaste. Hops are only very subtle. A touch of metal keeps this from being an even better beer. One of the better Christmas brews I've had.

CuriousMonk, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of nhindian
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Fantome tulip.

A - A careful pour yields a dark brown beer with ruby-tinged highlights. Opaque but thankfully pretty clear from sediment. I can actually see quite a bit of carbonation on the sides of the glass and lots of bubbles stick to the sides. A 3-fingered head floats on top, lasting almost the entire beer, gradually shrinking. Lacing is pretty consistent and abundant.

S - I'm actually not sure what makes this a 'Christmas' version of Corsendonk, as I'm not getting much spices from the nose, and I'm not sure if there should be. There is a bit of spiciness I'd attribute to the yeast, but it could be some light spices added. Anyway, besides that, I get grapes, raisins, tobacco, a hint of leather, some banana. Some darker fruits and sugar. Typically Belgian.

T - The first thing I can pinpoint in the taste is a rum quality, like some rum covered cherries. This is only in flavor, however, as the alcohol is incredibly well-hidden. It's then sugary and sweet, fruity and leathery, and the malts add to a biscuity dryness. Finish is long, sweet, with a tinge of alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with medium carbonation. A bit of a spicy finish lends to it being a bit dry, but the sweetness lingers as well.

D - Drinkability is high. An incredibly easy drinking beer that has great flavor to it. Would've liked the aroma to be a bit more ... bold, and maybe something to distinguish itself as necessarily 'Christmas', but I really enjoyed this one.

nhindian, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Crescent & Vine in Astoria. It reminded me of the St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, though this was a touch more drinkable. My only complaint was that the spice dominated the aroma. The flavor was more balanced with dark fruits, caramel, coriander and citrus notes.

tempest, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of BobZ
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 Oz. bottle. Poured into my Duvel Tulip.

Appearance: Rich dark brown, virtually no head at all, but decent lacing throughout the beer.

Smell: Belgian yeast and spice dominate the nose, hints at a deep complexity.

Taste: Sweet maltiness with very pleasant spicing. Dark fruit lies beneath and a gentle hoppy bitterness is also present. A great example of a Belgian Christmas beer.

Mouthfeel: Aggressively carbonated but still pleasant on the palate.

Drinkability: Good beer but not one I could drink many of in a session.

BobZ, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey's yearly Belgian Christmas on 12/15.

*2009 Vintage*

A - Mahogany pour with a nice light head but fades to leave super lacing and deanse clouds.

S - Earthy light funk. Very light on fruit notes as well as some good belgian spices.

T - Dense, deep fruits along with light sugars and sweet malts. This while not sticky, is almost lip smacking good. The spice note really falls in line with the whole Christmas brew.

M - Medium carbonation tickles the tongue. Incredibly nice and light on the mouth.

D - Great mouthfeel and taste and that clumpy head all work together for a very enjoyable strong dark ale.

rudzud, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of kstokem
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had Corsendonk Christmas Ale on draught at Mahar's Pub in Castleton-on-Hudson just before Christmas. It was offered at $5 for 10 oz. or $10/20oz. I started with a 10 oz. but had to follow it with a second 10 oz. It was one of those "oh I have the perfect beer for me" evenings.

Unfortunately, this beer is seasonal. I went back after Christmas and it was gone. Mahar said he was trying to obtain another keg. It was being searched for among the diminishing stock of Corsendonk Christmas Ale in the Albany/Capital Region, NY.

I hope to check in with Mahar tomorrow to see if he was successful in getting more.

If you come across Corsendonk Christmas Ale
on draught, don't drink it, save it for me.

I have had Corsendonk Christmas Ale in bottles a few times before and it is great that way too, but to my mind, no beer is better in the bottle than it is when you can get it draught style. I did however, recently purchase 2 750ml bottles so I could enjoy the Ale sometime later this year.

I recommend the Mahar's Pub in Castleton on Hudson, NY. It is a small neighborhood off-shoot of the long term, well established Mahar's Pub neighborhood pub on Madison Ave. in Albany, NY. Both Mahar's are serious places to drink a huge international variety of great beers.

kstokem, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of Meerkey
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Bubbly, dark caramel/toffee, umber color -muddy around the edges

S: Dark fruits -cherry

T: More dark fruits, spices, candy, sweet aftertaste that's also gets a little sour. Yummy.

M: Heavy flavor on the tongue -clean finish. Tingly.

D: Flavorful and interesting, very pleasant.

Meerkey, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, from the start I knew this was going to be a special beer. Almost a medicinal aroma.

But once I tasted it, I realized what the smell and taste were. They were barleywine tastes. That boozy somewhat dark-fruitish tastes. And yes, I guess somewhat medicinal.

For me, this was very much like drinking a barleywine. A very incredibly smooth one. This one had a good bit of age. The beer is from 2008, so I'm wondering how age affected this beer.

GeoffFromSJ, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of nickthetick
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: poured into a corsedonk brewery glass and held up to the light a dark ruby red. A dirty white to light tan head that's nice and thick and very frothy. The head hangs around and leaves some lacing.

S: very spicy and a darker roasted malt sweetness. Biscuity and a little smooth hop notes.

T: sweet malt and common christmas spices, slightly roasted and big cinnamon flavor. The sweetness comes out as dried figs and plums. There isn't a whole lot of hop presence but what is there is earthy.

MF: smooth and complex, medium body. Rich and only a little effervescent.

D: a great Christmas beer at an awesome price especially when a glass is thrown in. A quick christmas buy again.

nickthetick, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this from a bottle and on-tap quite many times. Greatest experience with this was buying the grand 3L bottle (in Dec '08), sitting on it until July, and priming myself for mayhem - sharing it with a buddy - while watching "Unforgiven" for the first time. Priceless.

This is a dark, richly malty, lovely, quintessentially holiday-time ale that I could actually, jubilantly drink whenever. Always pours with an excitedly effervescent head - not real compact, almost champagne-like, a coffee-sand color, decent leavings. The color appears reddish-brown at one angle, brownish-red at another - rosewood, overall (refer. my link).

Dense, caramelly-biscuity aroma by and large - plenty dark, lightly chocolate/toffee malt, and lingerings of dark, drupey fruity ester. The taste is surely up there with the best of Belgian Xmas-time beer. Dark fruity, smooth malts loom large - the fruitiness taking on some wonderful mostly fig and prune characteristics - but fall a good bit short of being sweet...

Really what you're getting here is an ale boasting those dark fruits via yeast, and rich, cakey malts - moderately thick in flavor yet somewhat light on the palate - and a nice, clean finish - MOR dryness. Spices/spicing, if added (which I don't believe they are), are/is virtually non-existent - something I greatly appreciate about the Belgian holiday offerings.

This is just so good. Come, you must try it!

Bouleboubier, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of LordHammer
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.

LordHammer, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of TheDTrain
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

D Trains dreaming of Corsendonk Christmas...just like the ale i poured into my Corsendonk Christmas glass!

With an aroma and a taste that follows of holiday spices, fruits like apple, grape, and plum, packed with an alcohol punch, this is Christmas morning for your mouth.

Thanks for the birthday gift BeerFM Andy! www.beerfm.com

TheDTrain, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 12/24/2010:

#11 - 12 beers of Christmas. 750 mL bottle at 42 degrees into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: This pours a nearly opaque very dark brown color with two-fingers of off-white head that turns a bit rocky and laces very well.

S: Sweet dark fruits (plums and dates come to mind), molasses, and light yeasty spice. It is mostly one-dimensional.

T: Plums and sweet red grapes mixed with what tastes like artificial grape flavoring (like a grape juice cocktail), spicy earthiness, candi sugar, and finishing bitterness not unlike that of grape peel.

M: It has a medium-thick body with a perfect level of carbonation and a mildly sticky feel.

D: This is definitely delicious and a pleasure to drink but it is not as complex as it seemed in years past.

bucklemyshoe, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of russwbeck
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the goblet that came in the gift pack.

A: Nice large, foamy off white head with nice retention and lacing. Pours brown with hints of red.

S: Smell is of a caramel maltiness, with a nice addition of spice.

T: Taste is of dark fruits with a malty backbone. A bit of caramel and roastiness. Just a hint of warming alcohol finishes it off.

MF: Medium bodied, not much carbonation noted.

D: This is very refreshing. Finally a Christmas drink I can enjoy! Glad the gift pack came with 6.

russwbeck, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad I got to try this one. This is my first beer from Corsendonk. Hopefully it will not be my last.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a large, rocky tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, Belgian yeast, candy sugar and a little bit of anise. Still, it doesn't have near as much of the anise/licorice flavor that some other Belgian Christmas beers have, such as Gouden Carolus Noel.

The flavor is great. I get a lot of dark fruit notes, as well as some caramel and other dark - but not roasted - malts. The beer is fairly sweet and has a nice candy sugar taste. There is a slight bit of anise in the flavor and the alcohol is very well hidden.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice Belgian Christmas beer.

Mora2000, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solidly a Belgian dark ale. A nice dark red-brown color, long lasting head.

Floral nose with hints of malt and caramel.

Flavor is much like it's nose- bitter hops but subdued melded with malt, yeast, caramel and citrus tang.

Nice mouthfeel with a long cordial finish.

Drinkability is such that this beer goes down very smoothly and rather rapidly. The only complaint I have is that the bottles were 8.5oz nip bottles. Just not enough beer in one bottle for an enjoyable session.

Nice-- I'll probably have to wait until 2011 for another try at this seasonal beer.

gueuzeonhigh, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of AgentMunky
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.

AgentMunky, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of SteveO1231
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a holiday gift pack, the 6 pack with the glass. 25cl bottle with the festive foil labels. Pours a practically opaque ruby red with some bright highlights and about three fingers of tannish foam stay on top. Aroma is full of malty sweetness, some spice, and musty yeast. Full bodied brew with a fluffy texture, lots of carbonation tingles my palate. Nice mild sweetness up front of dark fruits, a tartness of cranberry of raspberry, some breadiness, and a hint of spice. The flavor reminds me of a cranberry muffin. Not much in terms of hop flavor but there is a bitter finish, grassy and a bit herbal that balances out the sweetness. This brew is really tasty and easy to sip. I'm feeling the ABV because I'm drinking it so quickly, good thing I have five more!

Merry Christmas!

SteveO1231, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ratman for bringing this one to the Christmas party. Very impressive presentation in the 3 litre bottle; not sure we would finish it, but we did so rather quickly. Poured a clear ruby brown with a small, lasting amber head. Aroma was malty and spicey. Palate was medium bodied and dry. Flavors of sweet malt, spices and a bit of fruitiness with a dry finish.

emmasdad, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of LuthersMug
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown brew with a gorgeous full head. Creamy lacing.

S - Brown sugar, raisins, roasted nuts...very nice.

T - Roasted malts are very tasty. Sweet brown sugar and yeasty bread also noted. An excellent brew.

M - Creamy malts, warming alcohols, very smooth, nice blend of malts and hops.

D - Keep this one coming.

LuthersMug, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of claspada
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of fairly mild dark fruit, burnt caramels, candy sugar and sweet malts. Obvious Belgian yeast smells as well.

The taste is very light roast with a bit of mild dark fruits. There is also some light caramel, cocoa and toffee. Flavors of prunes, raisins and dark cherries. At the end, a moderate hop finish showed itself and cleaned the pallet well.

The mouthfeel is on the dry-side, delightfully round with a alert carbonation while some alcohol reveal itself in that of a warming manner. Smooth and very pleasant to the palate. Mild, but not weak, very simple yet balanced.

claspada, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of Long813
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown body with three fingers of mocha head. Retention is great and lacing is good.

S: Very sweet aromas of cinnamon, brown sugar, some gingerbread. Small scent of spice and some dark fruits.

T: Following the aroma, the taste is full of bread and sweet sugars. Not a lot of spices or fruits comes through.

M: Medium bodied with medium-low carbonation. Pleasing malty aftertaste and not to much alcohol come through.

D: Good beer and I'm glad I had the chance to try it. It's not to sweet, but I'd of liked to taste some more spice.

Long813, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of DeadGuyRyan
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A hazy beer with a ruddy brown mahogany color to it. Great tan head that hangs around as well as the lace.

Smell: Very inviting smell with floral notes along with malt and fruits as well along with chocolate hints as well. Reminds me of the holidays.

Taste: This beer is incredible rich with out being overbearing. Subtle nuances of spices and great malt flavor I get a great sense of figs and dark raisins as well. Smells of a pudding as well.

Aftertaste: This beer went down really smooth was creamy on the palate with a flavor that lingered around for a while. I would suggest drinking this beer slowly the warmer it gets the more the taste really present themselves.

DeadGuyRyan, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of sitarist
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, clear ruby color. There are a lot of bubbles rising up to a thick tan head. The head last for awhile before falling to an 1/8" cap that leaves rings of lacing, the lacing slowly slides back into the beer.

The aromas are sweet, fruity, and spicy. I smell hints of stewed plums, ripe red apples, grape candy, poppy roll, anise, and coriander.

The first thing I taste is spiced apples, there are hints of plum, grape candy, anise, pepper, and coriander. Its more like a punch than it is a beer.

A little to light, and a little to dry. I sure would like for the flavors to stick around a little longer.

This is a highly drinkable, and also a highly deceptive beer. The alcohol is almost undetectable. I cant believe how many times Ive passed by this one; I'm glad that I finally tried this gem.

sitarist, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of metter98
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.

metter98, Dec 21, 2010
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 888 ratings.