Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

560 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 560
Hads: 1,070
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 73
Gots: 130 | FT: 0
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 (15) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 560 | Hads: 1,070
Photo of MadScientist
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark brown beer with a deep garnet hue and good clarity. The persistent head is light tan, producing about of finger of compact foam from a slightly aggressive pour.

S: Prunes and raisins with pepper and alcohol. This beer has a moderately-strong dark, dried fruit aroma with moderate, peppery phenols. The malt aroma is in the background with a light, sweet aroma. There are no hops aromas and moderately-light flowery alcohol aroma.

T: It tastes like brown sugar and fruit without being cloyingly sweet. There is a moderately-strong fruit presence with flavors of prunes, raisins and figs. The yeast also brings a great pepper flavor, the coriander brings a bit of orange and nuttiness to the party. The hops have light earthy flavor and a moderately-light hops bitterness. the balance is slightly towards the bitter. The finish is off-dry with a fruity aftertaste and lingering spice.

M: A medium-full and creamy with a moderately-strong level of carbonation.

O: An awesome dark strong with a great balance of flavors! This category is a bit challenging for me because I have a strong preference for drier beer which may factor into my enjoyment of this beer. That being said the flavors of fruit and spice blended with alcohol and brown sugar are all so nicely balanced without getting too sweet. (1,310 characters)

Photo of chuckbeaster
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 750ml bottle poured into my Gulden Draak chalice. best by 20/08/14 on the bottle. so i'm drinking this just in time.

Appearance: very dark burgundy (almost the color of a pakistani spassartite garnet). two fingers of off-white head. dissipated slowly, and left a thin film on top with nice lacing.

Smell: dark fruits, sherry, belgian yeast, spices (clove, cinnamon, and maybe coriander)

Taste: dark dried fruits (prune, fig), apple/pear, roasted malts, spice (but not as much as one would expect from a xmas belgian), some candy sugar, some bready notes, and a very very slight bitter note at the end. almost no alcohol taste at all.

Mouthfeel: medium body, crisp, great carbonation, with a slightly dry finish

Overall: probably my favorite christmas belgian ale. i highly recommend this beer for both the beginner and the seasoned expert. a very complex, but balanced beer. very easy drinking, be careful! (920 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
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. (1,198 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy brownish/amber...nose is very interesting...dark fruits combine with a pudding like smell....body is a little too thin in my opinion but is very drinkable, and smooth. A lovely milk chocolate flavor emerges first and is followed by dark fruits....sweet ripe plums are definitelyevident...some subtle spicing (ginger?)makes this even more tasty...I love this beer...a great Christmas beer but also just a great beer on its own...the Alcohol is not noticable on the taste but it warms you up...a great tummy warmer and my tummy is needed a lot of warming these days.. (580 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
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! (2,033 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
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! (1,415 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (807 characters)

Photo of dahlen22
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
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!! (676 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (329 characters)

Photo of ryandurka
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (256 characters)

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (476 characters)

Photo of TheBear11D
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (417 characters)

Photo of ggroller
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (412 characters)

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
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! (953 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
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. (949 characters)

Photo of phrygian68
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
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! (311 characters)

Photo of TheEremite
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
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. (890 characters)

Photo of Hunter
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
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 (320 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (209 characters)

Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a ruby brown color with a tan brown head that leaves spotted lacing around the glass.

Smells of holiday spices, and nutmeg.

Taste chewy up front, with caramel and nutmeg maybe some ginger, honey notes, and a warming alcohol flavor that finishes it off.

Absolutely a great beer that has so much going on it's hard to describe. I'm very impressed and I'm going to look for more to stock up on. (400 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
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 (575 characters)

Photo of tjkurz
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (268 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
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. (568 characters)

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.