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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

1,050 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,050
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 71
Gots: 122 | FT: 2
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 (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,050 | Reviews: 559
Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330 mL bottle.

A: The ale is a dark ruddy brown color, opaque through and through. At the narrower spots of my mug, brighter dark colors emerge. A huge head, 3+ fingers, threatened to overflow and make a mess. Splotchy lace followed.

S: The nose is thick with a sweet yeast strain followed by dark fruits, candi sugar and spices. Green apples and plums mix nicely with the candi sugars.

T: Dark and delicious. The ale isn't shy about its depth. Candi sugars, darkly sweet, lead off with fruits following in short order. Moderate spices add to the warmth of the ale, cinnamon and clove primarily. The carbonation that was so huge in the pour has disappeared, leaving the full flavors to linger on the palate.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, Belgium at its best. The candi sugars are sweet and never drop off.

D: The ale is big, not one that I'd want to drink from a 750 mL bottle. The fullness of the flavors is excellent, rich and satisfying.

Photo of mrcraft
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dbrauneis
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, almost opaque dark reddish brown in color with a moderate amount of active visible carbonation rising quickly along the edges of the glass and moderate amounts of garnet red highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark fruits, spices, and that distinctive Belgian yeast.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly sweet dark malts with moderate amounts of dark fruit sweetness. There is a moderate flavor of distinctive Belgian yeast and a moderate to strong flavor of spices (what I think of as holiday or mulling type spices). Minimal amounts of bitterness with no lingering in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Extremely easy to drink with very well hidden alcohol. Very enjoyable and a great example of a holiday Belgian ale.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a chalice. Cork shot out of the bottle like a rocket.

A: Pours a red-brown color that appears a brilliant ruby red color when held up to the light. Good clarity. A very healthy and creamy-looking khaki colored head displays excellent retention. Thin sheets of lacing remain.

S: Lightly burnt crust and cocoa. Molasses and dark rum. Moist fruit cake. Booze soaked fruits. Prunes, raisins, black cherries, and raisins. Subtle whiffs of ginger, clove, and pepper.

T: Brown bread and rich nutty and cocoa-esque flavors at the outset. Brown sugar. Fairly dry. Clove and nutmeg sort of spice tastes cut in. Hollow hop bitterness. Orange peel. Rummy alcohols. Fruitiness is more subdued than the nose indicated. Dry dates and figs. Tame bready and musty yeast. Dry finish of brown bread, cocoa, and some lingering spice notes.

M: Rich and decadently creamy and airy in the mouth. Sits very lightly despite its size. Gentle carbonation constantly scrubs. Warming alcohols.

O: Very lightly spiced, if it is at all. Tough to tell if the spicy flavors are the real deal or if they are just products of fermentation. Either way, they contribute favorably to a very complex and drinkable brew. Flavors are strong and even rummy at times, but the texture is so airy and silky that it goes down all too easily. A great pairing with almost any holiday dessert you can throw at it.

Photo of bigdeuce
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a damn good beer. All kinds of fruit going on in here, plums, figs, oranges, bananas, nice oft sweet taste. Nice head with good lacing also. Should be brewed year round, as I didn't see the coralation with winter, not all that spicey. But nonetheless, a great beer that should be drank anytime it is found.

Photo of elgiacomo
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, best before September 7, 2011. Pretty sure this is a Christmas 2009 bottle, maybe 2008.

Served almost room temp into a Duvel tulip. Pours brown with strong red highlights in the glass and produces a large fluffy and foamy light beige head that holds a nice foamy cap and leaves rings and spots of lacing.

Aroma is that wonderful dark Belgian malty and yeasty smell, candi sugar, cherries, some other dark fruits, and spice.

Flavor is cherries, fruits, sweet malts, candi or brown sugar, bread, toast, yeast, delicious. Alcohol well hidden for the style but makes a little bit of an appearance in the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full, some carbonation bite, real easy drinking.

Damn this is some good stuff, always passed by the $18 4-packs and was glad to see this on the singles shelf. Worth every penny, a fantastic Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Photo of jscottku21
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, this ale was quite good. Spices including cinnamon and cloves were very distinct yet not overwhelming. Extremely drinkable, although the 8.5% will surely catch up with you, I would absolutely revisit this excellent offering from Corsendonk. Cheers!

Photo of mattcrill
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of adamette
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at McNaulty's Bier Markt in Cleveland a few hours ago. Review from notes. Poured into a clear, clean snifter.

A Brown translucent body with a minimal head which dissipates within about 30 seconds. There was no signficant head after that point.

S Smell of some alcohol but nothing extreme, sweet malt but no "Christmas Spices" necessarily.

T Tastes of sweet malt with alcohol kick. A nice, strong Brown Ale with maybe some spices in the background but really nothing exceptional. I have not had their Brown Ale yet but I am thinking that those two beers have got to taste a lot alike. It will be interesting to compare the two when the time comes.

M Moderate with high ABV and some carbonation.

D Really good for this high of an ABV.

Notes: It was a real treat to find it on tap but really, for the most part it tasted like a really good Brown Ale (nothing much screamed "Christmas" to me).

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

Appearance: Corsendonk Christmas Ale pours a dark vermilion colour along with a thick crown of great posture and light brown-to-soy-like tone. The descent of the glorious crown is a slow process to behold eventually leaving a half-full apparel of lacing.

Smell: A distinct form of acridity, a mild butter 'n' floral sweetness, some soy, and a small amount of lactose.

Taste: Mild sweetness in the tone of dark fruits followed by a equally mild bitterness interspersed with caramel-to-butterscotch flavours. Occasionally the bitterness peaks and makes itself more noticed in some of the intervals, but on an finishing note, it's overall pretty timid.

Mouthfeel: Dry, delightfully round with a alert carbonation while some alcohol reveal itself in that of a warming manner.

Drinkability: Smooth and very pleasant to the palate. Mild, but not weak, more so "moderately distinct", that is to say: balanced. More please!

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

Served on-tap at Trappeze in Athens, Georgia.

A: Beautifully clear brown / ruby color. Nice head in a stemmed glass with flared top.

S: Christmas spices are certainly present, but not at all overwhelming. Yeasty character is also notable by smell.

T: A very nice Christmas beer that does not go overboard, nor lose its original identity behind the christmas spices. Cinnamon seems to be the most prevalent. Dark fruit notes from the yeast compliment the other spices very well.

MF: Light bodied and sparkly. Very nice.

D: One of the most drinkable christmas beers I have had this year. Recommended (especially on-tap).

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

BB 22/09/14

Beer is a very deep reddish brown. A monster-sized beige head on top. Head fades moderately, good lace.

Sweet, bready malts are strong in the nose. Fruits accompany this: orange, raisin. A bit of spicing. Yeast. A bit reminiscent of fruitcake.

Taste is good. Fairly dry for the style, with dark fruits (raisin, fig, plum), bready malt and spices all present. A hint of chocolate. Finish contains the spices the most, almost herbal. Spices are present but fairly subdued, complementing the beer rather than serving as the main attraction, which is nice.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation, bready.

Overall, very good. A nice rendition of a Christmas ale, with the spicing at a very nice level.

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

12 ounce bottle. Corsendonk Christmas Ale pours out a dark amber color with a brown head. Aroma of ginger, pineapple, raisins, and plums. Caramel and bready malt flavor with lots of spice. A little chocolate. Some tropical fruit flavors come in at the middle. Delicious Belgian yeast. Alcohol is noticable, but I wouldn't have guessed 8.5%. Medium mouthfeel. Decent drinkability. A nice Christmas time beer.

Photo of russwbeck
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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

Sample: 1 bottle 2002 (aged 9 years)

A: Very brownish red (garnet-like), strong head when poured which became a nice light head during drinking, moderate internal carbonation (even after such long aging)

S: Sweet, almost floral, definite traces of alcohol, some vanilla notes, dried fruit, cherries, not incredibly fragrant, however

T: Lightly fruity, some citrus, almost a bit creamy, nice tartness and sweetness, not very bitter at all

M: Quite light in the mouth, easy to drink even at 8.5% abv, hardly any aftertaste, doesn't wear on the mouth

O: A great all-around brew, probably a bit past its peak at this point but still delicious nonetheless

Photo of EdFed
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this up at ShopRite Liquors yesterday, still surprised that there were 4 packs of this on the shelf a month after Christmas. The 330 cl bottles were a good size to have a night like this, given the cold weather and the level of alcohol in this. Even though this was meant as a Holiday beer, I loved this as a Winter Seasonal and a change from the darker and sometimes heavier brews that fill the stores this time of the year and the fullness of the taste was only the icing on the cake!

The pour to this was nice, with a rich brown hue and dark, garnet edges. Lots of spice and dark malt to the nose, with some plum and apricot tossed in for good measure. This was repeated in the taste along with some brown sugary sweetness and valencia to balance out the heavier notes. The spice in here was not like cinnamon but was more of the holiday variety. Just enough carbonation here to be present without overpowering everything and the lacing wasn't present since the body of this beer wasn't terribly thick. Only when I finished off the contents of the bottle could I feel the alcohol coming on slowly.

Most beers of this style tend to be a bit overpowering to me, but not this one. Not too sweet, strong, or complex, this held its own on a cold night like this and had just enough to it that I didn't chug it down either. Recommended for those looking for a good Winter Beer that doesn't present itself as such!

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.

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.

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brick red color with a thick head. The lacing is about average. This is a pretty beer in general. The smell is fantastic. A blend of spices (nutmeg) and various fruits (almost like a fruit salad). The taste is malty with a sweet/spice finish. The mouthfeel is delicate and carbonated. This is a wonderful seasonal beer which I’d look forward to drinking during the holiday season!

Photo of Travlr
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown with a medium white head, decent lacing. Little aroma, but what's there is pleasant enough. Full mouth, very smooth vanilla flavor with a long-lasting cocoa finish. Some notes of roasted dark coffee. Second best of a nine beer tasting at Belga.

Photo of veggiemafia
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Fathead's, served in a goblet.

Red inkiness with nice ring of off white lace.

Smells like Christmas spices with some Belgian yeast, some anise, and ever-present alcohol in the back.

Taste is similar with some added fruitiness. Very sweet with a lot of different things going on here. A little phenolic which isn't exactly the most pleasant thing here, I don't think.

Slick mouthfeel, refreshing and substantial, but I was definitely ready to move on to something else after this one. Just not a session beer for me.

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of IntriqKen
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep, dark amber with an offwhite full finger head that takes it time melting to top-covering sticky lacing.
Aromas are caramel, both dark and light fruits, and spices like corriander, cinnamon, and clove.
Mouthfeel is initially soft on the tongue then slightly biting. Both of which could come from the tiny carbonation.
Taste is blended caramel, dark fruits, and spices. Finish is slightly bitter from the hops...sort of a citrus peel sharpness that cleanses the pallete nicely.
Aftertaste is the memory of toasted caramel and a hint of belgium yeast.
Where is the alcohol? I sense it neither in the aromas nor the taste.
This is a wonderfully complex winter brew and definitely worth seeking out.
Many thanks to numenor1 for the SS 06 package that included this.

Photo of hreb
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recently re-discovered this one at Brookline's Publick House, on draught. I subsequently picked up this 250mL mini-bottle, which I'm trying just chilled, served in a Chimay chalice. Best before end 20/08/15. Beer pours a rich brown color with an epic head of a lighter brown. Beer appears to be loaded with bubbles. Aroma is pretty subtle, but yeasty, slightly funky, and spicy. Spice ("natural" spice, that is) comes through much more in the flavor, along with a really rich body, and a mouthfeel that is definitely not too heavy for this heady brew. This Belgian is unbelievably easy drinking due to its fantastic balance and complex flavors. You'll get drunk (or broke) long before getting bored of these.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 1,050 ratings.