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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)
View: Beers (9) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 859 | Reviews: 530 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of HopDerek
HopDerek

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

Appearance is deep brown with dark red hues, with a lovely off white head and some lacing. Smells of fruits, spices, and caramel. Tastes of cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, other spices, sugar, and some smokiness. Very smooth and creamy, yet also a bit chewy. An excellent Christmas brew, looking forward to having another one next year.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2006 16:36:45 | More by HopDerek
Photo of jscottku21
jscottku21

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2006 14:41:58 | More by jscottku21
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

2.42/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on draft in a regular Corsendonk cervoise, it was a dark amber in a color with very little head or carbonation, but left behind a nice khaki lace. The aroma was mainly sweet malt and yeast, but fairly mild. The taste was immediately dominated by anise, which gave way to a nice malt backbone and a bit of fig or prune, then a slightly boozy finish. I had trouble getting by the anise, which I'll admit is far from my favorite spice, and not normally so overbearing as to turn me off from the rest of the brew. The mouthfeel was a bit thin for the style, and since I didn't care for the spice used, I didn't find this one to be that drinkable. I should also note that the 8.5% ABV was no less evident then some of the +10% Noels that are much more balanced. I seem to recall liking the Corsendonk Noel last year, so I'm not sure if the recipe has changed, the keg I drank from needed aged, or my palate is finer tuned, but this year it's my least favorite of any holiday beer so far.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2006 05:27:12 | More by ccrida
Photo of psinderson
psinderson

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark, almost ruby red. Decent off-white head.

Smell: Very minimal aroma, but mostly malt, caramel.

Taste: Complex taste, mostly fruit. I sense some molasses and cherries with a mild hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Much thinner than expected.

Drinkability: Decently drinkable, but taste complexity may turn off some.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2006 02:30:24 | More by psinderson
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2006 20:15:59 | More by Foxman
Photo of TheEclecticGent
TheEclecticGent

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Belgian Strong Dark Ale pours a really dark amber color with a light head of carbonation. The smell to me was a light, sharp, and fruity. The taste was a sharp fermented beginning with hints of gingerbread and fruitcake (a good fruitcake)..yea I said good and fruitcake in one sentence! For a dark Belgian ale it has a light mouth feel.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2005 07:30:54 | More by TheEclecticGent
Photo of ggaughan
ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this the day after Christmas at Cooper's in Scranton. What a treat and you even get to keep the Christmas glass that they served it in.

The beer is a nice thick dark brown color with a nice lacey white head. The smell is of holiday spices (nutmeg, brown sugar) and nutty. The roasted nutty flavor of this beer is really enjoyable and easy to drink. The mouthful that you get and the aftertaste are definitely a pleasure. I would have had a few more if I didn't have a few other Christmas beers on the list to try.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2005 23:11:17 | More by ggaughan
Photo of andjusticeforale
andjusticeforale

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This arrived in its own style glass; Big deep brown with a tan head. Carbonation was fantastic, a little more bubbly than would let a head stay around. A quick swirl brought it back.

This had a nice malty backbone, a beautiful richness and a smooth dry finish. Not much fruit or sices, but there was a nice earthiness, and tremendous drinkability. Alcohol masked fantasically.

What this lacks in overall depth of taste or complexity, it makes up in drinkability. Like a supercharged Corsendonk abbey ale.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2005 19:07:55 | More by andjusticeforale
Photo of sinistrsam
sinistrsam

Maryland

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a dark brown beer with a small tan/white head. Moderate lacing and little retention. The aroma was malty and fruity with hints of raisin and alcohol. The taste was quite spicy, almost like gingerbread. Anise and very little hoppiness. Good warming feeling as the alcohol was apparent but not the best seasonal I've had recently. Not bad, but not excellent.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2005 20:29:20 | More by sinistrsam
Photo of Gattopardo
Gattopardo

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 4, Very dark with just a bit of reddish coloring at the bottom where the light shows (in a tulip glass). Good weighty head.

Smell: 4, Spicy and fruity aroma.

Taste: 4.5, The flavor of dark chocolate is very present, but any bitterness is balanced by hints of sweet berries. Hops and malts work together to leave a nice finish.

Mouthfeel: 4, Big body and very chewy.

Drinkability: 4.5, For such a heavy and strong beer, it is eminently smooth and drinkable, and the delicate blend of chocolate, spice, and fruit is very compelling. A wonderful and reasonably priced seasonal brew that I would welcome drinking again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2005 02:21:31 | More by Gattopardo
Photo of veggiemafia
veggiemafia

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2005 05:52:23 | More by veggiemafia
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
Photo of oracle
oracle

Indiana

4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

10 oz draft pour served in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale goblet.

Beer arrived very dark and opaque in the glass, although I've never seen a beer this dark have such a white head on it. Very unusual. Head was about 1/2 inch of bubbly and sticky foam that left fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell was quite intriguing. Lightly spicy and very fruity. It held a the faintest hint of yeast as well.

Taste was like no other beer I've tried before. I've always been a huge hop head up until now, largely drinking IPAs and Double IPAs. This beer really opened up my eyes to the possibilities that a very malty beer can be very good too. Taste was simply incredible. Sweet, like nectar, without being too sugary or syrup like. Very fruity, with orange notes and a strong carmel presence as well as many others flavors. This beer was actually so complex, I couldn't sort out all the flavors I was tasting in there.

Mouthfeel was just perfect. Light and airy. Any heavier and this wold be hard to drink. Minimal carbonation to get in the way of the flavors, but not flat.

Absolutely outstanding and highly recommended

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2004 14:24:48 | More by oracle
Photo of Stimack
Stimack

New York

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was able to try this brew on tap the tonight at Mahar’s. The brew poured to a very clear deep red/brown color with a nice off white head that broke down slowly and left great lacing. The aroma’s are fantastic with citrus fruit, malt, spices and candy. This is a great brew with the citrus, malt and slight chocolate tastes coming together and being enhanced by the spiced flavors. Also a slight alcohol flavor can be caught at the end of a pull. Over all this is a fantastic brew, glad I was able to give it a try and now a staple for the Christmas season.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2004 01:59:39 | More by Stimack
Photo of hollicetales
hollicetales

New York

3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a deep honey brown with almost ruddy garnet coloring...great thick white head with aroma of bready fruit and spice...great full bodied mouth feel starts off with that hoppy almost woody alcohol sugary taste with slight almost weird notes of toffee and then fruity plum figish notes with a finish of spice but not overpowering....this slow drinker will warm a soul up on a cold night

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2004 14:51:35 | More by hollicetales
Photo of UnionMade
UnionMade

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a deep ruddy brown, leaning towards garnet, served in the appropriate christmas ale snifter/goblet. A thick layer of mist tops the beer, holding steadily throughout. Nice lacing, speckling the glass with numerous blobs.
The aroma is immediately hugely estery. A thinner-like feel shoots straight into your sinuses, creating a mild burning sensation. Loads of fig, date, and green raisin. A rich caramel and chocolate maltiness lies beneath, coupled with loads of saccharine candi sugar, and some apparent alcohol. Slightly medicinal phenols, with very slight herbal hops. Somewhat vinous, reminiscent of port.
The flavor starts with heaps of heavy malt, conveying sweet toffee and chocolate. Tons of candi sugar all the way through, journeying into the highly estery fruit. Flavors of plum, fig, green raisin and date, with the fig dominating. A bit of spicy, bready yeast shows up towards the end, with an underlying spiciness of a different nature. Some tangy sourness, with just a touch of herbal hopping. The finish is somewhat cloying, with an odd cacaphony of alcohol, hops, yeast, spice and a candi sugar saccharine sweetness. A lingering saccharine taste, with caramel malt present in the aftertaste. Full bodied, plenty of unfermented sugars, with a fairly mild tingle of carbonation. Smooth drinking, with good complexity.
Probably the most interesting of the Corsendonk beers that I've tried. It's a bit overwhelming in the finish, becoming increasingly difficult to drink the more it warms. The saccharine bite, along with a light alcohol presence, becomes a bit too much for my tastes. Drinkable, but certainly a slow sipper. I prefer something not quite so sweet and sugary. Very good, just not quite to my tastes.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2004 12:32:05 | More by UnionMade
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this last night at the Spring House Drafting Room,pours a deep amber with some orange tint do it with a great creamy head.The aroma was awesome very orangy and nutty very perfumy on the nose.Taste is nutty with a touch of smokiness with some nice rich chocolaty tones.A nice full flavored beer I wanted to drink alot more,but was a little heavy after two,but still a real nice brew.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2004 20:27:58 | More by oberon
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark copper to brown color with a low beige head that leaves sticky, chunky lace around the inside of the glass. Aroma is sugary and fruity. Flavor is sweet and yeasty, with noticeable notes of cinnamon and nutmeg and sweet fig. A smooth mouthfeel leads to a sweet and yeasty finish, with honey and pear and yeast lingering in the aftertaste.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2003 03:12:13 | More by far333
Photo of Jon
Jon

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby color with a frothy white head. Excellent lace appears down the chalice. Fruity, malty nose with hints of spice, notably coriander and curacao, and a definite yeast presence. Sweet, fruity, lightly toasted character ties in with the spiced notes, though a bit lacking overall. Vinous character seems most dominant with emphasis on raisin, prunes and residual sugar from the the malt. Mouthfeel lacks a bit, too, seeming a bit thin and watery, especially on the finish. Drinks fairly well, though the mouthfeel is not overly appealing. Even so, the beer masks its abv well, making this a decent wintertime sipping beer. I think this beer would be much better at about six months in the bottle with the yeast poured in the glass.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2003 04:33:26 | More by Jon
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at "Christmas in July" at The Blind Tiger. Presumably 2002 vintage.

This ale poured a dark brown color with hints of red. The foam was tan and settled relatively quickly. The smell was vinous, with the smell of alcohol. The taste was slightly sweet malt but with caramel, oak, fig, and vinous grapes in the mix. The mouthfeel was smooth and light on the tongue. The body was medium and the carbonation low. This was a good, enjoyable strong ale.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2003 04:51:35 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of John
John

New York

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah, Santa remembered I was good this year! On tap at my local. What a gorgeous brew in the hefty stemmed goblet. Lovely dark chocolate color. The aromas and flavors are very cohesive and continuous. Chocolate, raisin, plum, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Semi-sweet and roasted malt teeter back and forth. Alcohol is warming and welcome lending it’s own spice. The full mouthfeel is satisfying. This delicious beer is worth the wait until Christmas time.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2003 18:56:45 | More by John
Photo of Viking
Viking

Indiana

4.2/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2003 16:10:35 | More by Viking
Photo of jreitman
jreitman

California

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely wonderful brew that I am glad I got to enjoy on tap. After the Kwak keg was tapped at Monk's, Tom put this sucked on and I am glad I was there for it. The Ale has all the traits you would expect from a standard dark strong ale (belgian candy sugar, nice maltiness, etc.) and adds a subtle spiciness that works incredibly well. The christmas spices do not feel "forced" like they do in a lot of winter seasonals, but seem to form a perfect complement to the base beer style. A true masterpiece IMO.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2003 11:20:14 | More by jreitman
Photo of sponberg
sponberg

New York

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown with a lacy white head. Dark malts and spice in the nose - almost Christmas cookie like.

Very tingly mouthfeel to start (settles a bit with time), with a round chocolate and date malt base. Very firm bitterness, tastes like it's mostly due to spice rather than hops. Curacao orange and spices (clove, coriander, ginger) start to round out the flavor along with a Belgian yeastiness through the sip. Finishes with a slightly bitter malt and spice flavor that's rather enjoyable. Very drinkable to start, but to me the spices would get old after a couple.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2002 13:16:57 | More by sponberg
Photo of QXSTER1
QXSTER1

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2002 12:04:53 | More by QXSTER1
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 859 ratings.