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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

860 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 860
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: 860 | Reviews: 530 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.
Pours a beautiful mahogany color; clear with a large, durable and thick tan head that leaves lots of lacing. Perfect appearance.
Nutty and spicy, with a rather high level of carbonation that makes for a lively feel. Lightly tart, with a strong dark fruitiness, especially in the aftertaste. Flavor much better than aroma, although both evolve and improve with warming.

O: Everything comes together nicely in this beer, despite my lack of love for the yeasty aroma. Excellent and highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2013 22:39:38 | More by chinchill
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

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

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark, hazy reddish amber with a massive light tan head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma of dried and fresh dark fruit, bready malt and an almost minerally spicing. Flavor follows, dominated by dark dried fruit, brown sugar, coriander and oxidation flavors. Finishes semi-dry with dark fruit, spicing and faint hops. Medium bodied. The bottle has a "best before" date of 2015, but serious online research does not reveal how that translates to bottling date. There is noticeable, but pleasant oxidation flavor here, so I'm curious how old the bottle is. A pleasant, but somewhat understated Belgian strong dark ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 04:48:10 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Jon's Bar and Grille - served in tulip

Deep plum, near-purple pour with a thin beige head resting on top. Fades out completely, leaving little lacing or film behind.

Rich and sweet in the nose with candied dark fruits and brown sugar. Dates, raisins and figs, soft alcohol warmth and Belgian yeast.

Malty layers of tasty sweet dark fruit, containing a mix and mash of raisins, dates and figs. Burnt sugar and Belgian yeast resting on top of a thick backbone with toasted warmth. Rich and robust, finishing a bit hot and sweet.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and a bit heavy on the tongue. This fits in well with other Belgian Christmas beers I've sampled, and while still sweet, this isn't as cloying as some others (i.e., St. Feuillien).

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2013 13:25:02 | More by xnicknj
Photo of Braz
Braz

Washington

4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Dark bread. yeast, grape

Appearance: Huge active white head leaving nice amount of lacing. Very dark amber.

Taste: White grape character. Soft citrus notes. Malty with a lingering sweetness. Very rich with subtle toastiness.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated and velvety.

Overall: Very good but maybe a little sweet. I wish the offerings from this brewery were easier to find around here as I'd love to try them all.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 02:30:45 | More by Braz
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

3.76/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Bottled 2012, lot 8116
Glass: Tulip

Corsendonk's Christmas Ale is a fairly standard BSDA that has plenty of caramel malt and plum/prune character for interest, though I did not notice the spicing that others mention in their reviews, and this would have added some welcome additional complexity to the overall beer. This was a fine example of the style, above (the 3.0) average, but still not one I found overly exciting for my palate (I find myself preferring Trois Pistoles or N'Ice Chouffe to this).

Pours an expansively voluminous head, many centimeters in height, even with a fairly slow pour. Bubbles in this huge mass are initially small, but as time elapses and the head is exposed to oxygen, the bubbles on top become increasingy large and collapse upon themselves. The head very slowly descends to a thin cap of foam atop the body, leaving copious and thick lacing across the entire glass. This ranges from thick, ropy strands to intricate lacelike patterns. The body is a very dark amber color, light bringing out brown-amber hues and showing that the beer is transparent.

Aroma is mild overall, primarily grape-like or vinous with slight plum and cola-like attributes, along with hints of caramel and toasted or darkly kilned malt.

Front of palate picks up fruity grape esters along with some prune/plum and richly malty sweetness. Mid-palate experiences flavors of plum/prune, grape, toasted malt, caramel and slight toasted nut flavor, a surprise hint of potting soil. Back finds some toasted malt, plum/prune, grape, caramel, and mild graininess. Aftertaste of plum/prune, grape, mildly kilned malt with a slight caramel and nut flavor (probaby from Special B malt usage).

Beer is medium-bodied, with high levels of fairly aggressive carbonation, giving this an at-first fizzy mouthfeel that quickly foams up on the palate to become fairly smooth and easy-flowing. Closes quite dry, with moderate stickiness remaining across the palate.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 05:55:17 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of pkalix
pkalix

California

4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

super dark brandy color with incredibly tight bubbly head and light, loose lacing.
smells like dark fruit, fig and raisin.
sweet and malt-y with dark fruit, same fig and raisin with other flavors and aromas.
was expecting a heavier brew but this is pleasantly in between a heavy and light, and slightly sweet with very little bitterness. although it's a warmer january evening here in SoCal, i can still appreciate the intent of the dark beer. i like the other corsendonks and this is my first time with their christmas ale. beautiful appearance- awesome head and great color below. great taste and a higher abv. absolutely serves the purpose!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 02:07:48 | More by pkalix
Photo of magine
magine

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

Pours a hazed dark amber with lots of ruby red tint. Huge big fluffy bubbles make up a light brownish/tan head. Lots of bubbles cascading up to make up the head. Has almost a red tint to the head, great lace and thick chunky island remain. Great looks.

Brew smells of dark fruits and yeasts. Pretty good nose.

Brew is spiced up front; lots of dark fruits balanced perfectly by a creamy head and feel. Warming alcohol and spice lingers. Very complex and very good.

A complex tasty, drinkable brew here. I have owned the glass for years and now I finally get to try the brew. It did not dissapoint; one of the best dark Belgian ales I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 01:58:13 | More by magine
Photo of JerzDevl2000
JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 08:46:29 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

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

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured a deep brown ruby red with a two finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, spice, funky fruit, fruit, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, spice, fruit, alcohol, banana, funky fruit, and earth. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. There was quite a bit going on in this one that I usually enjoy about the style. However, there was also something that was rather odd and out of place on this one with the funky fruit aspect. What in the Hell was this??? Not that it tasted or smelled bad, but it was definitely strange to pick up on for sure. As far as the style goes this was a pretty good representation of what one would expect from it. Worth your time trying if you have not done so before or are curious to see if you can pick up on that funky fruit aspect I got.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2013 21:51:27 | More by thagr81us
Photo of ujsplace
ujsplace

Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clicked the review button and was taken to the login screen. Lost my entire review, so this is going to be short and sweet.

A great looking brew with lots of complex flavors; predominantly dark fruits and Christmas-type spicing.

Will absolutely seek this out again next year.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 01:22:41 | More by ujsplace
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brownish-ruby red colour, more than a finger of tan/off white head, good amount of lace as well. Smell is of spice and dark fruits, yeast and some spice, orange peel, touch of alcohol, cinnamon, raisin and plums and a bit of brown sugars. Taste is of dark fruit, yeasty with spices, orange peel, corriander, only mildly sweet with some sugars and a fruity aftertaste. Medium carbonation, medium- full bodied. Quite delicious, above average and something I had no problem finishing a 750ml of.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 12:53:50 | More by peensteen
Photo of VALIS666
VALIS666

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a huge head into a Duvel tulip glass. Very pleasant deep brown color held to the light. However, both the scent and the taste are far lighter than I expected. The most dominant smell I got was a watery, rusty scent, not particularly good. The taste is clean and smooth and strongly carbonated with a bit of spice and sweetness. A decent beer but far less robust than I expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 23:05:42 | More by VALIS666
Photo of Radome
Radome

Texas

4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from a 750 ml bottle bought in Madrid.

A - Beer is medium to dark brown and slightly cloudy. Some light comes through the glass when held up to a lamp. Head is just off-white, thick and fluffy and maintains that way throughout.

S - Aroma is mostly about the malt, like toasted grain and molasses. There is also a green grass note, lemon zest and maybe a hint of a spice, but I can't identify which spice. Finally, there is a hint of alcohol and an old wood smell that makes me think this may have been aged on wood. There might even be a tiny bit of smokiness.

T - The taste is also lighter than expected. Sweet, grainy malt with some light molasses and dark fruits. This is followed by a light herb/spice note and finally a sweet, very slightly boozy finish. The tastes are very complex but somehow give an overall clean, open impression, not heavy and smothering.

M - Medium body; fairly sweet and mouth-coating finish. Low to medium hops bitterness. A low level of alcohol burn. Noticeable carbonation fizz, but not distracting.

O - Although I can detect a bit of spice (possibly from yeast), this is not an overly-spiced Christmas ale that tries too hard. A supremely well-balanced beer. It is complex yet drinkable, dark and sweet yet not smothering. My hat's off to the brewers.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 22:33:55 | More by Radome
Photo of JeffH
JeffH

Washington

4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep brown with a light, quickly dispersing head
S- dried fruits, brown sugar
T- Crisp start with waves of dried, sweet fruit. Nice malt finish with a small amount of yeastiness
M- Lighter than expected with a high carbonation
O- Very good beer, looking forward to another soon

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 01:22:48 | More by JeffH
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 00:31:14 | More by jrenihan
Photo of mscudder
mscudder

Georgia

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

Served in a chalice.

A - Dark ruby-brown hue with a one-finger khaki head. Fair retention and above average lacing.

S - Warm sweet dark fruits: raisin, orange and figs. Brown sugar and molasses contribute to the heavy sweetness.

T - Big complex sugar coating my palette. Lots of spices alongside what stands out as dark cherries among other fruits. Belgian yeast opens the beer up and concludes with a subtle warmth.

M - Soft medium body with moderate carbonation. Slight chewiness. Nice byproduct of all the sweetness.

O - A nice Christmas showing from Corsendonk. Aside the Berdardus Christmas, this might be my new go-to.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 04:14:52 | More by mscudder
Photo of hosehead83
hosehead83

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz. bottle into a tulip glass.
Dark brown/tea color, with an inviting head of tan foam.
Aroma-Heady whiff of dark fruits and Belgian spices
Taste-Sugared plums, spicy Belgian yeast, brown sugar, caramel, faint smoke and mineral finish. Excellent character and complexity. A great winter/Christmas brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 16:15:24 | More by hosehead83
Photo of webmanspidey
webmanspidey

Michigan

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice, this is a dark brown color with around half an inch of fluffy head. The smell is very sweet with some hints of plums, brown sugar, and cherry. The taste is a smooth mix of grapes and dark fruit with interesting twists like orange peel and lemon. Alcohol is hidden very well.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 23:23:34 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown with thick khaki head on the pour.

S: Strong Belgian dark smell with yeast and dark fruits like raisin. Sweet and malty as well.

T: fruity, heavy on the Belgian yeast, but also some spice and sweetness. The spice is not bad at all.

M: fluffy and smooth with good carbonation.

O: delicious beer. Not quite up there with the best of the Belgians, but very good and a nice treat this time of year.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 03:46:43 | More by Holland
Photo of atomicbeer
atomicbeer

New Mexico

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 11/9/11. Purchased December 2011. Opened 12/28/12. Pours a cloudy brown-garnet color with a tall beige head. Mild aroma of figs, plum, and mild cinnamon. Taste follows: figs, dates, plums, and browned apple and some mild cinnamon and allspice, all stewed in a alcohol base. The 8.5% ABV is not real evident. Goes down juicy and smooth. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 05:06:14 | More by atomicbeer
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r

Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas Ale poured a dark brown color, with a nice large brown lacing head. The aroma contained lots of spices, mostly sweet spices such as cinnamon. The taste was very full bodies, nicely carbonated, had strong hints of Belgian candy spices, as well as nutmeg and cinnamon. Good full body, and enjoyable to drink. Overall its a very good beer, felt it was a little overrated, but deffently enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2012 03:32:47 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml into a couple of snifters. The brew appears a polished clear color of mahogany with a rich 2 finger topping of yellowish stained khaki head. As the cap slowly fades, it leaves a thick wall of lace sticking all over the glassware. Rising bubbles maintain a thin film across the top and a light swirl revives the cap.

The aroma has a bit of mineral and metallic elements coupled with dark burnt sugar like caramel and toffee. Some fruity hints like raisins and plums are also present mixed with a bit of herbal to medicinal quality. Across the back are some citrus zesty elements that are faintly like lemon or orange.

The taste is mutually carbonic in flavor that brings out some mineral and metallic elements. The maltiness is a bit like raisins, blended with toffee and caramel. Some herbal hops bring out a bit of medicinal aspect to this brew that lingers long inside the mouth. For being 8.5%, the alcohol is fairly well integrated.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a decent offering with a minimal zesty spiced influence that is just enough to set it off as being different from the standard belgian style strong ale. Overall not bad and it is something I would drink again if offered but not something I would have to drink to make my Christmas complete.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 00:15:58 | More by stakem
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 20/08/15 750ml bottle

Brown color with a red tint. A large head forms and slowly settles to a thick cap. Large amount of lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma consists of dark fruit, caramel, bread, and some musty grains. The aroma is the weakest part of this beer.

Nice vinous qualities in the flavor. Dark, dried fruit like dates and prunes. Some caramel and mild spice as well. Tastes festive.

The body is a little thin but has excellant carbonation. Bottle-conditioning done well.

A good holiday ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 19:24:22 | More by morimech
Photo of fx20736
fx20736

New York

4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet, served at cellar temp.

Beautiful, rich red mahogany with a thick brown sugar colored head. Decent lacing.

Aroma; rich, deep malt. Lavender, vanilla, pepper, cloves, oak, sherry.

Mouthfeel; is light and effortless.

Taste; easily the plummiest beer I have tasted. Oak, spices, vanilla on a thick bed of malt.

One of the best beers I have ever tasted. Will buy more soon.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 16:40:40 | More by fx20736
Photo of draheim
draheim

Washington

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

750mL (best before 20/08/15) into a chalice. Pours a clear mahogany w/ a thick khaki head, sticky lace.

Aroma is sweet, fruity, bready. Dark candi sugar, figs, dates, plums, grapes.

Taste follows nose. Sweet candi sugar, dark fruits, spices. So much dark fruit, has an almost grape juice quality.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, finishes dry.

Overall a solid, if somewhat one-dimensial, BSDA.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 06:20:20 | More by draheim
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 860 ratings.