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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

859 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 859
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%


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)
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Ratings: 859 | Reviews: 530 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Thick, hazy brown in color with a nice, tan head that left some cool pittings on top of the liquid.

Smell – The sharp yeast leads the way for this BSDA heavy-hitter. The malty yeast is huge and introduces a complex mix of dark fruits such as cherries, figs, and especially dates.

Taste – Man, oh, man, this is a hearty brew. The sugars come out big time at the taste, sweetening up the already fruity compliment to this monster malt base. This is Belgian yeast at its finest.

Mouthfeel – Full with a nice, mildly fluffy mouthfeel. Incredible.

Drinkability – This is EXACTLY my idea of a Belgian winter ale. I’ll call it a night and dream of these flavors.

Comments – Similar to the Unibroue Maldite, if you like that (and if you don’t then go away).

Update – I bought a bottle of this in 2008 and cellared it for three years. – opened in May 2011 and it still could stand another three years put away. It’s sugared up a little bit more but nothing like I thought. Fortunately this is a great ale all the way around. And again the real highlight for me is the incredible mouthfeel. The head also come up much nicer than I remember so I upped that score 0.50.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2004 04:31:34 | More by RoyalT
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There aren't a lot of things about Winter that I look forward to, but the annual arrival of this beer is certainly one of them. Had this on tap at Mahaffey's the other night.

The beer pours a reddish amber color, with minimal head retention, but excellent, lingering lacing. One gets an initial blast of sweet malt on the nose, but it's intermixed with lots of wonderful spices, including allspice and nutmeg. The flavor profile on the palate is straight from beer heaven. The beer is moderately sweet, but that sweetness is braced with flavors of cola, cherry, rootbeer and even more spice, including nutmeg and ginger. The beer is medium bodied with an abv. that is pretty well disguised. The beer is not at all heavy or tiring to drink, and is really what I've come to think of as the quintessential Belgian X-mas beer.

Excellent and highly recommended.... especially if you can get it on draft.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2007 20:14:23 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of crossovert
crossovert

Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. Came with a glass which I will use for this review.

Pours a deep dark brown with hints of ruby when held to light. The head fits perfectly in the Corsendonk branded glass and it is off white, semi quickly dissipating, with some spotty lacing.

Smell is typical belgian dark, but with an elevated level of fruitiness. In addition to the normal dark dried fruits, I sense some banana, citrus, and grapes. There is also a hint of spice.

The taste follows suit, but with a nice hit of spices. The sweetness is very balanced and the fruit flavors are vibrant and up front. There are also hints of caramel and a small amount of alcoholic bite. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with a perfect amount of carbonation, though the bottle is far too small at 8.5 oz.

This is a fantastic brew, for lovers of Belgian Stong Dark ales. This one is highly drinkable, downing a whole gift pack of these would be feasible, though you'd be feeling it.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 04:08:42 | More by crossovert
Photo of Hopdaemon39
Hopdaemon39

New York

4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into the Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass- pours an opaque nutty brown color. This beer is very active and has a two finger head with good retention and some lacing; the foam is a light tan color and creamy. It smells of yeast, malted barely and a hint of molasses and alcohol. This is a very sweet beer- it tastes much like it smells. The most wonderful part of this brew in my opinion is the full carbonation that supports the alcohol sweetness. It's very refreshing. Definitely a beer worth buying and something I would get again.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 04:48:12 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

8.5 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.
8.5% ABV, Best before end 07/09/11 printed on back label

A - Poured with care to leave the bottle's undoubtedly thick sediment behind, this beer produces a creamy light tan head that froths up to a sizable stature. Chunky lace delicately blankets the glass like powdery snow on an evergreen. The dark cherry wood beer is still hazy despite the pour but by the beer's lighter toasted oak base carbonation can be seen rushing from a nucleation point, feeding the tall head.

S - Exotic and voluptuous Corsendonk Christmas Ale gushes with dark fruits and sweetness. Caramelized dark candi sugar is reminiscent of warm brown sugar and molasses with a touch of smoke while the earthy yeast nose presents fig, candied date, and a touch of prune juice. Malty and smooth, the nose of this beer is warm and inviting!

T - Not unlike the aroma, Corsendonk Christmas Ale has a powerful fruit aspect that ties the fig, date, and prune into more sweetness than the nose lets on. Brown sugar, dark candi sugar, caramel and toffee overlap a touch faint touch of smoked malt that lingers with the earthy and dry toasted malts before a faint touch of alcohol spice trails off.

M - Corsendonk Christmas Ale starts with a nice smooth feel but succumbs to a blast of heavy carbonation, which I find actually detracts from the flavor of the beer, scrubbing the tongue profusely (though, on the other hand, makes it a prime candidate to pair with dinner). Soothing feeling, this medium-full bodied beer has a delicate warming alcohol finish.

O - Best By date? HA! This precious beer has been sitting in the basement for over 3 years and doesn't show any signs of degradation; instead, expanding on it's fantastic Belgian yeast characteristics wonderfully. Dark fruit and sweet nuances play off the dry, toasted malt for a nearly perfect dark ale that soothes with every sip, warming gently from within. Make this a Christmas staple. I think I'll have to get a large bottle for my celebration!

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2012 01:02:46 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This bottle appears to be the 2002 edition.

This beer is a deep clear ruby color. Just a swirl of a head. Color of brown. Recesses to an edging and a few peninsulas jutting out from the glass side. Lacing is intricate. Wood, cinamon and subtle pine notes make a presence on the nose. Body is about light-medium. Hard to believe this brew is 8.5 a/v. Not a trace of alcohol lingers on my tongue. Cinamon, ginger and nutmeg, oh my. Not sure if I've got all the spices correct, but there is definitely some nicely integrated spicing. Not as over the top as the Anchor "Our Special Ale," which is good in it's own right. Some slight bitterness is noted from the hopping. Maltiness is so subtle and nice. Delicate pine and spruce notes blend in nicely as well. Incredibly drinkable and tasty brew. Beautiful.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2002 20:20:11 | More by Bighuge
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A color that straddles eggplant and plum, underneath a lovely tan head. Intense aromatics: raisins, plums, port, cinnamon, ginger cloves. A generous buzz on the tongue fueled by a great array of hops,and held up by solid malt base. Overall, one gets a feel of holiday breads, cakes ginger cookies. Very tasty, warming, delicious.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2003 12:57:56 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

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!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 04:39:05 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Time and time again this beer continues to wow, me I am for certain that this beer is one of the most palatable and drinkable of all the Christmas ales, it's amazing stuff. Appearance: Mahogany amber brown in color with a lucious cocoa colored tan head, lacing is fine Belgian style lacing all the way. Aroma: Ginger, spruce tips possibly of hop origin scent, peppery zest blended with more Christmas spice accented by juicy fruit undertones, wow. Taste: Apples, raisins, and some slightly alcohol infused flavor but all in all the spices used ginger, nutmeg mild but kicks through with pure balance bringing some beer nirvana my way. Mouthfeel: Creamy textured with a medium body overall high carbonation but doesn't come off spritzy still very smooth and silky going down. Drinkability: God don't get me started I could indulge in two 750ml bottles of this fine ale effortlessly just a great Belgian Xmas ale to be shared and enjoyed with friends.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2003 12:54:37 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of ggroller
ggroller

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally opened the bottle I received from my Wife for Christmas 2006.

Nice fluffy, resilient head that sticks around.

Deep ruby in color, very clear.

Lots of grape in nose. Changes to mellow tones of toffee and caramel as the beer warms.

Toffee, caramel, grape juice on the tongue at first. Finishes with a creamy caramel latte.

Plenty of body and highly drinkable. I wish I had another bottle for tonight.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 17:51:02 | More by ggroller
Photo of ryandurka
ryandurka

New York

4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

very perfect dark beer. kinda sweet but not too much. very nice. i would recommend this beer. its a real pleasure. bought locally so its not too hard to track down and find. perhaps the seasonal side to this beer may make it hard to find later in the year.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 12:16:29 | More by ryandurka
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2011 03:32:54 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown euro shaped bottle with a "best before end" date clearly printed.

Appearance: Very hazy with a dark brown hue ... a healthy head crowns the top of the glass.

Smell: Hints of candied citrus fruit, chocolate cake and light x-mas spices ... anise more predominant.

Taste: Very rich, medium to full in body and a very nice textured silky mouthfeel. Flavours go all over with a biggish malty palate. Citrus, fruity esters and spicy alcohol / spicy ( mostly anise ) take up the front while hints of grain, a sweetness from the alcohol and malt with hints of chocolate in the finish. A light tartness slowly fades with a light nutty taste and a ghost like smoke also.

Notes: Similar flavours to an English Plum Pudding. Warms the soul during these long cold winter days. Very flavourful and lacks no complexity ... lively yet a brew to savour. Goes down in the books as one of the greatest winter brews ever ... fantastic!

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2002 10:29:45 | More by Jason
Photo of dahlen22
dahlen22

New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep amber with a copious amount of head.

Aroma: Fruitcake and corriander.

Taste: Ok...have had this beer so many times that I have lost count. However, this review is different b/c I put a bottle from last Christmas (2011) in the cellar and just popped the cork. This is truly amazing after 9 months in the cellar. Cherries, corriander, dark fruits, fruit cake with an almost sherry-port like finish. Smooth and creamy and oh so easy to drink.

Overall: This beer is tops in the Christmas beer market...that being said, put in the cellar for 9 months (or more), this beer is an A+. Good thing I have a few more in the cellar from last Christmas ; )

Cheers!!

Serving type: growler

08-09-2012 21:13:17 | More by dahlen22
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a winter treat. Lemony, citric aroma welcomes you to the first sip, and the citrus follows through in the flavor very nicely. Interesting chocolate malt flavor that had a distinct tea-like character.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2001 10:38:37 | More by Brent
Photo of TheEremite
TheEremite

California

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought an 8 pack after christmas 2005. It was on sale and I thoguht I'd give it a shot. I shared 5 of them then and I wasn't impressed. I threw the other 3 in the cellar for the next few years and thought I'd pop one open last night. It's a totally different beer. I wish I had saved the other 5.

Appearance: Deep brunette/brown with copper highlights. Creamy, long lasting head about 1/2 cm.

Aroma: Bright and crisp belgian esters, prune, cherry, pear

Taste: Complex chocolate (but not roasty) toffee, caramel with cherry, and some notes of dried fruit. There was some oxidation, but it only added to the complexity.

Mouthfeel: Bright carbonation, but not harsh. Finishes dry and does not linger.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable, especially for an 8.5% alcohol beer. I've got two more that have been sitting since xmas '05. I'm not sure how much longer I can wait to drink these.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2007 18:12:12 | More by TheEremite
Photo of phrygian68
phrygian68

Ohio

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Next to the Rochefort Trappist 8 and 10 this is the best belgian dark ale that i have had! pours a dark mahogany with a nice tan 2 finger head! smell is of dark bread,apricots,raisens and figs,taste is the same with low carbonation and a smooth malty finish,wow what a great beer! cant wait till next christmas!

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 03:50:48 | More by phrygian68
Photo of TheFightfan1
TheFightfan1

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear brown color with lot's pop to it. A nice light brown heading that settles to an off white-cream type color. I couldn't quite put my finger on the smell until I read up on it and it did smell of molasses. I taste alot of different fruit's maybe some bannana some Christmas spices. Hardly any lacing. Carbonation is very heavy but very enjoyable. I would drink this again but it is ridiculously priced at $18.00 for 4 beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 23:17:49 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of TheBear11D
TheBear11D

Michigan

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours deep dark brown, nearly black. A medium head that is off-white to creamy tan in color.

S: Scents of raisens with cinnamon topped by a background of pine and woods.

T: Brief spicy bitterness up front quickly followed by malty smoothness of fruity flavors.

M: Medium body with an abundance of carbonation that compliments the taste.

D: Smooth and bubbly. Great flavor and mouthfeel make this easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2008 00:28:22 | More by TheBear11D
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark russet brown color with a fluffy tan head that dissipates to some islands but leaves plenty of lace around the glass

Smell: Dark fruits, brown sugar, a variety of holiday spices (cloves and anise) as well some orange peel

Taste: Starts out with some fragrant dark fruit and brown sugar tones with nice complexity from the spices; mid-palate the flavor dries out dramatically, and provides a nice oaky finish with some fruit still hanging around

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lot of fizzy carbonation

Drinkability: This is one lovely Holiday ale

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2005 23:01:29 | More by brentk56
Photo of Hunter
Hunter

Arizona

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance: deep, rich brownish ruby color, pillowy dense head

smell: lovely hints of spice accompanies the malt, sugars and grassy undertones

taste: splendid! earthy, woody, spicy. some heat from the alcohol as well.

mouthfeel: cloying aftertaste that isn't unpleasant

drinkability: this is a lovely winter warmer

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 20:33:37 | More by Hunter
Photo of tjkurz
tjkurz

Wisconsin

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of the best beers I have ever had. Pours (into snifter) dark with decent head smells like christmas, tastes like christmas - some spice nutmeg clove - some fruit - subtle brandy - all delicious. Creamy and carbed nicely - warm - very drinkable for its abv.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 18:18:23 | More by tjkurz
Photo of BigMarty1980
BigMarty1980

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 01:35:25 | More by BigMarty1980
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.7/5  rDev +13%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2004 00:32:15 | More by WesWes
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

4.7/5  rDev +13%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2005 20:14:24 | More by Boto
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 859 ratings.