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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

582 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 582
Hads: 1,150
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 14.77%
Wants: 85
Gots: 170 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk
Belgium | website

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: 582 | Hads: 1,150
Photo of mzwolinski
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.79/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of Zraly
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of Boto
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
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!

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Photo of AaronRed
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of talkingpoints
5/5  rDev +21.1%
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

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of oracle
4.75/5  rDev +15%
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

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

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Photo of Higravity
4.13/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
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!

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Photo of rkhaze
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of TheLiterati
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

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Photo of Stimack
4.42/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of bark
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is dark brown-red, the beige foam is finger thick and quite light. The liquid is clear.

The smell is very fruity with flavours of brown sugar, aroma hops and candy sugar. There is also a hint of acid candy.

The carbonation is nice - rather soft with small bubbles. Creamy!

The taste is soft yet complex: Lots of sweet notes of brown and candy sugar, dried fruits (apricots?), berries, some hints of yeast and a somewhat sour touch. The aftertaste is filled of pleasant sweet malt and a slowly growing bitterness to accomplish the sweetness. The high alcoholic level surprised me, as the smell and taste didn’t reveal it at all.

This must be an extraordinary after dinner-beer!

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Photo of rajendra82
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a 12 oz. brown bottle with a freshness date (of a year an half after this Christmas I might add) printed on the festive looking label, the packaging oozes the spirit of the season.

The beer poured dark amber red, with a foamy tall head that left a lot of lace. There was good bit of cloudy evidence as a result of the bottle conditioning with yeast. The aroma was very sweet like a bowl of sweet cherries drizzled with honey. The taste was boldly malty with dark skinned fruits, brown sugar, honey, cloves, and cinnamon.

Very soft and creamy mouthfeel, with just a hint of herbal hop bitterness that lingered, this was a smooth, and rich tasting beer that is worth savoring each year. Outstanding beer, and very drinkable, even at 8.5% ABV.

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Photo of WesWes
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a very sweet and slightly tart malt scent. It is quite complex; full of fruitiness and a molasses aroma. The taste is great as well. It has a very smooth malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes fruity and warm. This is an exceptional brew. It has great mouthfeel. It is a full bodied with adequate carbonation. This is a kick ass beer. It is full of flavor and aroma; a good drinker. This is one of the best Belgian beers I've ever sampled.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottle. Served from a 750 ml corked bottle. The cork was held on by a small strap that ran across the top of the cork. It's a very interesting looking manner of securing a cork. Lot no. 131484 stamped on to the sides of the cork.

The beer poured a reddish tan with an off white, and large-bubbled head. The aroma is sweet with notes of grape and maple. The flavor has notes of white grape, caramel, nutmeg, clove, anise, bitter root, and a light heather aftertaste. There is an undue harshness to the flavor and it could certainly use some age. It is also very carbonated, almost too much.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a bottle of the 2003 vintage and today is Oct 4,2004. Dark brown in color with hints of amber when the light hits it just right. Has a small beige head. The aroma hints at herbs and spices but is has predominate dried fruit plummy presence. There is a distinct chocolate taste at first. Followed by a plummy fruitiness and a smooth herb and spice finish. As it warms there is an addition of chocolate to the aroma.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.28/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This dark brown ale poured a large and retentive head that left pleasant lace upon my glass. The spicy aroma of cinnamon, ginger, and thyme was intriguing. Unfortunately, the flavor of the beer was not especially complex, and not entirely pleasant. Maybe this was a bad bottle but sour grapes flavors overpowered the chocolate and other malt notes. As the ale warmed, sweetness became a stronger presence but it never became interesting.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.35/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance proposes a huge off-white head over a dark brown body. Aroma is quite rich, very spicy with tons of cinnamon, cardomom, thyme, sage, ginger, nuts, caramel, tobacco, chocolate and a mild alcohol touch. Quite complex and appealing. It's another story on the palate though where we have another sad case of beer whose aroma doesn't match the aroma's promises. The flavors are just not so well blended together and the balance lacks where it's just some vaguely thrown spices to stop the sweetness. Not to help anything, it's very effervescent on the tongue, almost fizzy. Finish is malty sweet and a bit unclean.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 582 ratings.