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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

916 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 916
Reviews: 537
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 66
Gots: 73 | 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: 916 | Reviews: 537 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Viking
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish amber body with a thin lacy head. Pretty good head retention, especially since it was rather weak to begin with. Sweet malty aroma, lightly spicy. Smooth dark fuity flavor with a strong caramel malt base. Light taste of cinnamon and maybe nutmeg add just enough character to this brew. Spices are somewhat lighter in Corsendonk's offering than in many others, but it works well.

Viking, Jan 06, 2003
Photo of czfreeman
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured out a very lovely dark-ruby-brown color. Very foamy head, long rentention. smells of christmas! malts,fruits, plums,pineapple aromas on the end. Tastes as good as it smells, rich fruit flavors coming through. The mouthfeel is very satisfying,coats the mouth with a nice long finish. Highly enjoyable brew that I will look foward to every season.

czfreeman, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of drpimento
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely, heavenly beer! A masterpiece. Pours with a nice fine head that lasts for a while but eventually mostly dissapears. Plenty of lace. Nice dark brown with strong red highlights. Spicey fruity malty nose. Good carbonation. Warming. Excellent mouth witth an extended finish.

drpimento, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of scruffwhor
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- a very clear brown with lots of rubyhighlights throughout. OK bubbling, good head and sparse lacing throughand through. ooks more like an English Brown ale than a Belgian.

Smell- Made me think of fruit cake with a shotof brandy to warm the chest and stomach.

Taste- Starts with wet, figgy malts that subside to darker, carmalized fruits with a touch ofsome roast. Brown sugar apple plumspice to finish.

Mouthfeel-You don't se that much carbonation, bout you can feel it. Balanced and easy to drink, especially for 8.5% abv.

scruffwhor, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of letsgopens
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on-tap at Vintage, this Belgian pours a deep mahogany copper with a frothy beige head that holds well even when poured thin and leaves some nice lace around the glass.

Very fruity and malty. Molasses and black cherry, apple cider, spice, fig/prune/dark fruit. Some Belgian yeastiness but mostly sweet and malty.

Again sweet and very fruity. Lots of honey and a bit of a darker sweetness as well; possibly molasses or a hint of dark maple syrup. Dark fruit is again predominant with cherry and citrus. Not overly spicy but still very festive. Nicely done.

Matted but smooth mouthfeel with low to medium carbonation. Very mellow and silky. This beer would certainly lend itself well to a slice of pumpkin pie or any other sweet, custard-like dessert. Certainly a great selection this holiday season.

letsgopens, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of BobZ
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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 QXSTER1
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another reason to celebrate Christmas! This ale pours a clear, deep ruby with a wispy white head. Smells of spices and a wiff of alcohol. Taste is a complex blend of earthy Belgian yeast, dark ripe fruits, subdued toffee, baking spices and subtle background hops. It all comes together in a dangerously drinkable brew. Sweetness is there but not cloying, just enough to accentuate the malt flavors.
I have found Belgian ales to be a bit cleaner on tap than refermented in the bottle and it definitely adds to the drinkability of this brew.

QXSTER1, Nov 27, 2002
Photo of descartes
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: Dark brown top which progresses to a redish bottom. A good half inch head.
Smell: Malty, mild spice aroma with raisan smell.
Taste: Again a slight spicey taste, you can feel the alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with some good carbination.

Overall: A very good winter brew, happy I bought an eight pack.

descartes, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of CHickman
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark chestnut brown with a 2 inch foamy/cloudy tan head that lasted a few minutes; good lacing that sticks to the glass.

Smells of sweet malt, yeast, light caramel, fruits like dates or cherry, grains, spices and light hops. Very nice nose and a fine start.

Tastes of sweet malt, sour apple, citrus (lemon or orange peel, or both), fig or dates, cherry, caramel, yeast, brown sugar, toasted grains, sherry or a sweet alcohol like rum, and a tart and almost sour finish where the fruit leaves a pucker and the sweet malt trails in an almost bitter way. The alcohol was present, but the fruits and spices muted it and helped it go down with ease. A very well balanced beer for all it's flavor complexities.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with very light to no carbonation, a medium body with a little chewy feel to it, yet it's easy to drink.

Very nice enjoyable winter ale that was sweet, fruity and delicious. As it warms up it gets sweeter and more complex, but was not too sweet. A great Christmas Ale that was a very good beer to sip and savor.

CHickman, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of shuriyukum
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up @ the Brew Crew in Albany, NY. Came in a 4 pack.

A - The beer pours a nice dark caramel with a red hue. It has a foamy head (of which you'd expect from a belgian).

S - Mild, caramel, malty smell with a touch of yeast undertone.

T - Fruity, spicy, sweet.

M - the slight spice taste has a finish that ends mildly. The sweetness is not heavy in your mouth.

D - Sweet, smooth, and easy going down. Has notes of caramel, toasted malt.

Overall, highly recommended!

shuriyukum, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey Belgian Christmas night. 2009 vintage, and it ended up being one of the better beers of the night.

It comes with a dark roasty mahogany brown hazy color with a decent head.

Nose of light spices, very light, with some cinnamon, nutty malts, raisins, dark aged Belgian malts, and a little booze.

Taste is malty, lots of Belgian dark malts, caramel, a little brown sugar, light spices, Belgian fruity yeast with some raisin and fig, little sweetness and creamy hearty taste. A very light booze.

Mouth is medium to a little heavier bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is decent, sweetness is balanced well, not much for a boozy taste, and smooth drinking for the most part.

jlindros, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of lackenhauser
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice beer indeed-Corsendonk Brown was one of the first Belgians I ever had.Pours a gorgeous deep ruby brown with a nice tan head atop.Aroma of spices-earthy and woody.Nice spicy taste-malty as well-theres a slight tartness in the finish.Good full moutfeel to it-I find the tartness a tad puckering but not in a bad way.The alchohol is well hidden I could see it sneaking up on you.A very decent example of a Belgian Dark-the neck label say "Belgian Quality" and I gotta go along with that.

lackenhauser, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of tgbljb
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a deep copper color with dark reddish highlights, very attractive head. Smell is of dark fruit (plums, figs) with a light spicy note. Taste is enormous with malt with dark fruits coming through. Finished fruity on tbh palate. A little bit of Christmas in August.

tgbljb, Aug 11, 2005
Photo of Foxman
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It came to me a rich amber brown, flashing ruby in lighter areas. A finger of creamy tan head settled slowly to soft froth islets. Dense lacing clouded the inside of the glass.

The aroma was justn a bit strained, but did eventually give up a thick malty sweetness, rife with caramel, and earthy with figs, prunes, raisins, dates, and a touch of cherry...oh, and a healthy kick of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the flavor filled out well more than the aroma, with a tasted grain sweetness leading the way, and boasting of caramel, and a raft of dried earth fruits as promised in the aroma. A slight tanginess, yeasty in nature, carried through in the middle, and is soon bested by a credible wash of alcohol. Some residual malt sweetness revisits, and then a gentle spiciness won out, prodding the finish to a mellow, warm, softly bittered legacy that leaves a crispness behind. The flavor is a complex but well blended affair that is very easy to take.

Between medium and full bodied, the grain presence is densely sweet enough to coat, but the spicy crispness keeps it from cloying.

As Christmas goes, there's no shortage of fine seasonal beers, and I will add this one to my list of preferred potables. It's righ, warm, and savory, and the end result is something to be enjoyed when the weather is nipping at your...well, something. The ABV will keep you toasty, and it is easily and wisely heeded, but it does go down in a fine way. So even though it's July, I'm anticipating the fresh release of this Noel nicety.

Foxman, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of IronCitySteve
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Fatheads.

A: A copperish brown color. Gave a nice 1 finger foam head that quickly disappeared. Minimal to no lacing.

S: The smell intensified as it warmed a bit. Lots of spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, dark fruit.

T: Really put together well. All the flavors marry well and is a great Christmas Belgian Ale. Lots of dark fruit, caramel and spice flavoring.

M: Gave a sweet dry finish. Made you crave more.

D: A higher ABV makes this more of a really slow sipping beer. A must drink for the holidays!

IronCitySteve, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of francisweizen
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was a murky brown colour with a lovely tan head of foam. The aromas were sweet, bready, malty and a bit spicy. The taste was spicy and fruity, with just a hint of booze. The mouthfeel was thick, but stil a bit watery for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and the drinkability was absolutely great!

francisweizen, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of macster
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pous a quite translucent deep mahogany/burgundy-red color. Produces a sturdy, thick beige colored head with excellent durability throughout the glass. No lacing noted.

Pleasant, but somewhat muted aromas of brandy-soaked dark fruits, sherry, ripe black cherries, dark caramel malt and brown sugar. Some faint notes of yeast, ripe banana and spices linger in the background.

Mouthfeel is well balanced with a nice full, thick chewiness along with a palate tingling spritzy carbonation.

Initial taste is that of sweet crystal malts, dark brown sugar and melted caramel candies. Flavor then seems to transcend quickly to a complex blend of ripe brandied dark fruits, licorice, cinnamon, nutmeg and dark pumpernickel bread. A dash of hoppy or herbal bitterness appears late to tame any overt sweetness. Alcohol is more apparent as glass warms, but not coarse or obtrusive in any way.

Well balanced and classy all around

macster, Mar 19, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazel chestnut color with depth. Khaki head is creamy and frothy. So far so good.

S: Cherry slushy, oak, burnt caramel, toast and maple.

T: Begins sweet and fruity with some serious figs, over ripe dark cherries, blueberry and raspberry. I think the next flavor I identify could be described as brown sugar bubble gum, quite nice. You can find anise, nutmeg and perhaps some coriander as well. Perhaps some lemon on the tip of the tongue too. Most of the malty backbone seems to actually be accounted for by the sugar added. Finishes with hints of apricot, peach yogurt and brown sugar.

M: Medium body, full mouthfeel with just a bit of fluffiness.

D: This beer reminds me a lot of the Delerium Noel but sort of like the less alcohol cousin. Good drinkability and not too sweet.

Westsidethreat, Dec 18, 2006
Photo of everetends
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My last beer at Heroes Grille in Jacksonville, Al. I was kind of shocked to see it on the bottle list and I figured what the hell. The 330cl bottle ran me $7. Served up in a Chimay Goblet.

A: Poured out of the bottle comes a reddish brown body that is actually pretty clear. Has a decent amount of carbonation activity going around in here. The head is a wonderful, fluffy, one finger cloud of lightly tanned head. The head just coats the glass and throws lace all over it. The head has some pretty good lasting power, falling slowly to a quarter finger and lasting throughout. Good looking brew.

S: Fruity and sweet. Lots of fruits in this mix. Prune, fig, cherry, raisin, and orange peel. Little bit of spicy with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. More orange flavor coming through, more as a liquor. Brown sugar and molasses sweeten things up. Very nice.

T: The fruits dominate the flavor with most of it being prune and orange. There are still notes of plum, cherry and fig. Cinnamon is very light, and the spiciness is mostly clove and some nutmeg. Brown sugar once again makes its presence know. Alcohol is once again in an orange liquor flavor. Little bit of bready malt and a touch of chocolate round things off. Tasty stuff.

M: This a medium bodied brew and that comes off a bit weird considering how big the flavors and aromas are. It just takes you back a bit. Carbonation was medium and could have been a little less present, but it didn't hurt the beer for me. Alcohol was light but warming. The beer stayed sweet on the palate but wasn't cloying. Aftertaste was orange liquor and brown sugar.

D: This was a sipper because it does come across as a big beer from the bold flavors and aroma. This just resonates Christmas in flavor and aroma to almost perfection. The only negative I can give it is that the feel was a bit light. Otherwise, this is a wonderfully enjoyable beer. Glad I finally got a chance to drink it and the suprise in finding it made it that much better. I will absolutely be looking for this next Christmas to enjoy and cellar.

everetends, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of ElGuapo
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours to a dark amber with a foamy off-white head that takes a little bit to die, and leaves all kinds of lace on the glass. There are a lot of spices in the aroma, just like you would expect out of a Winter Celebration ale or Celebration ale. You can pick up some nutmeg and a little caramel.

The flavor is loaded with spices and yeast. It has a warming effect from the alcohol, but the flavor of alcohol is well hidden for 8.5%. this is definitely a great brew for the winter season. A whole lot of spices and a high alc. level to keep you warm on those cold days.

ElGuapo, Jan 23, 2003
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 2/19/08.. Bottle. Pours a dark ruby/brown with a small light colored head. Aroma of Belgian yeasts and fruits. Tastes of apples, pears, bubblegum, spices. Strong spices in the finish. A very good, very drinkable beer. I could drink this all day...
8/4/9/4/16 (4.1/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of soulfly1492
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Lots of dark fruits. Caramel, molasses, good amount of alcohol. Some bitter pine and floral English hops. Good dose of darker Munich malt. some mild roasty black malt perhaps.

Appearance: Deep, near opaque purple, like a beat juice! Very large light brown head. Great retention and tons of lacing.

Taste: Dates and plums. Roasty malts. Very mild piney and floral hops. Pilsner and Munich malt bitterness. Good bit of residual sugars. Moderate alcohol flavor comes out as it warms up. Mild wortiness.

Mouthfeel: Moderate to high carbonation. Stinging bubbles. Medium body. Mildly warming, but fitting as this gets the Christmas Ale label.

Overall: Good Belgian Strong Dark Ale. A bit of wortiness from dark malts and a nice dose of a warming sensation.

Consumed on 4/21/2012. Bottle dated 9/13/2014.

soulfly1492, May 07, 2012
Photo of chinchill
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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 much better than aroma, although both evolve and improve with warming.

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

chinchill, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

From the massive display of head to the inviting brown darkness, this ale warms you just by looking at it. Coriander, cake batter and a peppery herbal spice from the alcohol and yeast infiltrate the nostrils. Smoothness borders on silky, and crispness pops off the full body. Fruitcake of the homemade variety, chocolate-covered oranges, bitterness from the coriander and hops, and hints of carob powder and charcoal make for a very complex brew. Top shelf all the way, a bottle of this is a real treat for the taste buds. By far one of the best winter seasonals on the market.

BeerAdvocate, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of Lazaro
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Lazaro, Feb 16, 2014
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 916 ratings.