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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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,050 | Reviews: 559
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.

Photo of scottg
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

8.5 oz bottle poured into Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass that came with the beer. It is a tall snifter glass. The freshness date is 12/09/09.

Pours a medium amber maple syrup color with a one finger, tan, creamy head. Good head retention with medium lacing. Sweet aromas of dark fruit, malt, with spices-> cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, ginger, all together it smells like gingerbread. The spices dominate the up front flavor leading to a sweet maltiness and a dry, hoppy, yeasty finish where the alcohol can be tasted. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated leaving a dry mouthfeel.
Most of the Christmas or holiday ales I've had in the past, including ones I've enjoyed, don't leave me wanting another due to the spices. This isn't the case with this beer because the spices are very well controlled and balanced. I would recommend this beer to anyone who hasn't enjoyed this type of beer in the past.

Photo of marc77
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear deep garnet in hue, topped by a beige, creamy, thick head that settles painfully slowly. Citrus rind, hints of spicy ginger, and slightly tart pear like fruity esters upfront in aroma are layered on top of a raisiny Special B malt undertone with notes of sweet milk chocolate. Light must and clove are present as well. Dark, date - like fruity sweetness hits the palate at first, then is ceded by a combination of curacao and hop bitterness. Spices are dominated by citrus, but a pleasant heat is provided by the mellow, seemingly freshly grated ginger root. Mild chocolate malt surfaces as the palate adjusts to the spices, adding to the overall complexity. Sweetness is derived from both dark caramel malt, slightly cidery dark candi sugar and residual unfermented sugar due to the low hop bitterness. Pleasantly sweet and spicy overall. A bit light in body and a touch too thin in mouthfeel to support the malt profile. Finishes with dryish notes of burnt toast and ginger. Corsendonk Xmas Ale is a delicious brew that exhibits a nice balance of caramel sweetness and spices. With a fuller body, this would be outstanding. Corsendonk Xmas ale is very tasty nonetheless, highly drinkable and a bit dangerous. Reminsecent of Anchor Our Special Ale kicked up a notch and fermented with a Belgian yeast.

Photo of Long813
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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

Poured into a standard pint glass at about 45 degrees.

Pours a clear mahogany with a thick a thick, off-white froth. The nose is sweet with cinnamon, brown sugar, pie crust, baked red apples, caramel, cherry pie filling, cranberries, subtle raspberries. There is a little alcohol sweetness on the finish, but a long finish a great carbonation/mouthfeel. Overall a fantastic brew that really helps put me in the mood for cold days, warm fires, Christmas lights! One of my favorite Christmas beers to date.

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

Lovely treat. Had this one out of a 3 liter with an expiration date dated March 2003 (2000 vintage). Poured a hazy plum color with tinges of red if held to the light. Nice tan head that lasted and left a good lace. So yeasty in the 3 liter that it was almost opaque. Smelled of orange peel, corainder, cardimum, and dark berries (blackberry). Touch of dulled pine somewhere in the mix. Tasted malty, slightly spicy and sweet. 3 liters tend to be a bit yeasty, and this one was no exception. There was a faint tartness in the finish. Highly effervescent in wickedly drinkable for a Christmas seasonal. Thanx to a co-worker for sharing.

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

Dense, pillowy foam; slightly off-white head. Condensed, spotted, and thin lacing with good strength. Muddy brown in color with hues of burgundy and mahogany.

Fresh, ripe vinous fruit aromatics: cherry, plum; fig, bourbon-tinged sour apple. Semi-sweet candied sugar; a touch of toffee. A great mix of fruit sweetness/tartness with a whaff of creamy chocolate.

Slightly tart, aged fruit: apple, plum, orange, pear; most predominantly fig. Creamy touch of powdered chocolate and coffee; moderately sweet, Belgian candied sugar. A hint of spice at mid sip leads to a creamy finish. Chocolate and plum with hints of alcohol in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; Smooth and creamy on the palate.

A very nice flavored Belgian Brown Ale. The alcohol presence is well masked with the sweet and tart fruit qualities. Worth a taste; very warming for the winter months.

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

Pours a clear but fairly dark brown with a sizeable creme head. The nose is a lot of spices with dough and yeast and just a good overall funk. Hoooh! Hello spices! I'm getting figs and lots of fruit. This is almost like drinking a fruit cake. Nice and spicy and fruity. Feel has a lot of carbonation, but it doesn't really interfere with anything here. Very nice to drink. A good winter treat.

Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of msubulldog25
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 33cl bottle with my wife (guldengirl) on Saturday...our second and probably final one of these beers til next winter.

A: Deep amber with warm shades of ruby hugging the edges. A small fluffy ivory-colored head that fades to a wispy film.

S: A shot of licorice straight up the nose, sugary and spicy. Generally sweet and malty - with molasses, cloves, cinnamon and yeast. Smells like Christmas, winter and all things good in the world on a frosty evening in January.

T: Big licorice/anise flavor with ripe cherries and holiday spices. While the flavors are mostly malty sweet and spicy, the finish is a little dry and peppery.

M: Medium body/mouthfeel with a moderate amount of carbonation. Spices dance aggressively across the tongue and there's a slight but pleasant alcohol warming in the finish.

D: Certainly one we'll have again. Good smells & flavors, a well-crafted ale evocative of the Christmas season and our time spent in Belgium.

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

Found this review buried in a pile from Christmas time ... about time to enter it!

Poured an amber brown, with a short cream colored head.

Smell was of rich, dark, ripe fruits - most especially - marachino (sp?) cherries.

Taste of dark chocolate, cherries, and maybe a hint of nutmeg.

Mouthfeel was crisp and dry.

So very drinkable - extremely enjoyable!

Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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

750ml bottle...no best by date stamped ? hmmm glass- oversized Duvel

Eyes: Pours bright ...mahogany/brown head dosn't amount to much

Nose: Cola syrup, clove ...subtle cinnamon and grated orange

Tongue: Spice...spice/clove flavored soda ..subtle orange ...full flavored

Texture: Delicious full bodied ..carbo fills mouth too

Overall experience: A Christmas beer to pick up annually !

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

Poured into a Tulip.

A: Deep walnut brown with some cloudiness due to a less than calm transport. Very active carbonation. A generous cream head is rocky and firm. Leaves a very generous lace behind.

S: Coriander and cloves dominate. There's a hint of alcohol behind that spice, plus some dark fruits.

T: Spices rule the day here. The spice theme from the nose follows into the flavor. Coriander, pepper and clove flavors give this beer quite the bite. The sweetness of grapes and black cherries holds things together into the dry and spicy finish. Finishes with a nice alcohol warmth.

M: Medium-heavy body feels somewhat slick on the tongue. Carbonation level is right where it should be.

D: An excellent beer that's best consumed in small doses. Definitely worth a revisit next year.

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

Poured the contents of this 33cl bottle into a La Chouffe tulip glass. Huge pillowy off-white head, with a deep brown body that has good clarity.

Aroma is malt and dark fruits, some molasses and cherry cordial in the nose too. Evident that it's a Belgian dark with one whiff, rich.

Tastes similar to the nose, the malt hits first and then the molasses and rum-raisin kick in. Very little hop bitterness here. Little alcholol warming on the finish. Nice, this one is a sipper. Feels medium bodied, a bit velvety in the mouth, and has an average amount of carbonation.

Overall, a nice Christmas offering from Corsendonk, very affordable too, good bang for your buck.

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

Poured a medium dark brown with a large two finger brownish white head that slowly dissipated into nice collar with moderate lacing.

Aroma of yeast, sweet fruits and a hint of spice.

Taste followed the nose with a sugary sweet fruits, butterscotch, yeast and a touch of spice.

Mouthfeel was medium body with lots of carbonation, very smooth and syrupy. Nice warming, however, the alcohol is well masked.

This is a very nice Belgian Ale, look forward to enjoying again.

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