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Corsendonk Christmas Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

862 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 862
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website

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)
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Ratings: 862 | Reviews: 530 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dahlen22

New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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 ; )


Serving type: growler

08-09-2012 21:13:17 | More by dahlen22
Photo of dpend


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

Enjoyed a goblet of this compliments of Blackburn Point Liquors.

This beer poured a murky ruby orange with a good off-white head. Head fell consistently down to a thin film. Aroma was of lovely spices, malts and liquor. A very sweet smelling beer. Many layers to the taste of this beer with fruits,spices and nutty malts and a great warming effect compliments it well. A spiced candy is my best explanation for this taste.The sweetness became a bit overpowering on the aftertaste and I could probably handle only one. A must for the holidays though.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2003 02:03:54 | More by dpend
Photo of BeerLover729

New York

3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque dark brown beer with a big frothy that subsides but remains throught the drink. The smell is lightly molassesy and not much else. The taste is a progression of malty, kind of creamy, and tart. Some "Xmas spice" is detectable (cloves, cinnamon, etc.), mostly cloves, but subdued compared to the malty, creamy, brown sugar dryness. This beer has a creamy, smooth, but sharply carbonated medium body. Its drinkable but the maltyness has some cloyingness to it. It stll tasted really good to me though. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 05:41:01 | More by BeerLover729
Photo of DeepSix


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. A deep red amber/brown color. 2 fingers worth of a tan head. A lot of lacing along the glass.

A sweet smell almost of molasses, dark fruits, malt, and spices here.

A chorus of complex favor here, with an assortment of sweet fruits noted, with some toasted malt here, a hint of maybe some brown sugar its quite sweet overall. There is a very slight bit of hops here, but its very subdued. A medium body here, with a tiny bit of carbonation. The alcohol is barely noted even at this high ABV.

This quite a great seasonal offering, I'll differently look for this on tap at places. I could probably drink this all day, would have to watch out for its high ABV like noted previously.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 00:53:18 | More by DeepSix
Photo of krunchie


3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A lot of CO2. Tan, sparkling thick head. Kind of airy, but resides slowly. As for the body: clear reddish brown/dark copper amberish color.

S: Belgian yeast esters, tart crystal malt and fruitcake. Cheeries and almonds. Hints of spices, cardamom, ginger and clove. I pick up a very slight hoppiness in the spicy nose, sort of like Saaz hops.

T: Cinnamony dark candi sugar. Alcoholic warmth and belgian abbey yeast character. Kinda sweet and syrupy, almost resiny. I don't get any hop flavor or bitterness. Smooth, but a bit too unbalanced - way too sweet and syrupy for my taste. Hints of dark crystal and chocolate malts, finishes semi-dry.

M/D: Medium body, a bit over-carbonated for the style (not extremely though) but very smooth on the palate and easily drinkable for being such a high gravity beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2009 20:05:17 | More by krunchie
Photo of linnet


3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big beige head, brown/reddish colour. Aroma is yeasty, malty, caramel, straw, hops. Although not very strong flavour is warming with noticable ABV, sugar, malt, dark fruit and some bitterness at the end. This beer reminds me of Chimay bleue, spices. Mouthfeel is lively with small bubbles. This beer was a nice aquaintance.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2008 14:04:41 | More by linnet
Photo of headbucket


4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice deep brown color. Nice, big head with a semi-aggresive pour. Lots of lacing left on the glass as the beer recedes. This beer has some of the nicest lacing and foam left on the side of a glass that I have ever seen on a beer. After my second pour(rather aggressive) from a 750ml bottle, there was a solid, thick, and wide layer of foam/lacing left all the way around the glass.

S: the weakest part of the beer for me. It isn't bad, just very tame. grains and yeast, a bit sweet.

T: Nice dark malts, a bit of brown sugar sweetness, belgian yeast flavors, and chocolate(chocolate malt?) over a bit of fruit-citrus but not a bright hoppy citrus, it is like a light orange flavor. the dark malt/chocolate and orange/citrus flavor linger.

M: silky smooth, nice and thick without being syrupy. it is very smooth and silky, goes down very nice.

O: A great beer, probably my favorite christmas beer. This beer and Troeg's Mad Elf are my favorite Xmas beer because they aren't heavily spiced with cinnamon and similar spices/flavors that a lot of american christmas beers have. The alcohol doesn't detract at all. It is slightly evident but doesn't detract at all. I like this beer a bit more as it had warmed up, and as I get closer to the bottom of the bottle. It is malty without being overly sweet and has a great hint of fruit(orange) in it. Will pick up a few more bottles for sure before they disappear from the store I got this bottle from. This is a christmas 2010 bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 02:24:41 | More by headbucket
Photo of Mjoepp


3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown, with light brown head.

S: Fruits, especially figs, spices and caramel notes.

T: Sweet, some alcohol, figs, raisins. Aftertaste is a round taste of alcohol and some bitterness from hops.

Overall: Decent, nothing special among the christmas beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 16:57:30 | More by Mjoepp
Photo of descartes


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: Dark brown top which progresses to a redish bottom. A good half inch head.
Smell: Malty, mild spice aroma with raisan smell.
Taste: Again a slight spicey taste, you can feel the alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with some good carbination.

Overall: A very good winter brew, happy I bought an eight pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 09:10:10 | More by descartes
Photo of msquared36


3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Muddy/dirty water appearance. Only real negative with the beer. Retains foam with moderate lacing left on glass.

Weak scent. Noticeable scent is sweet and fruity.

Well balanced and refreshing. Plum and bread at first. Finishes with moderate sweetness. Just bitter enough to counter the sweetness.

Smooth and syrupy with champaign like carbonation.

Very good beer. Comforting christmas ale without overpowering spice.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 18:48:22 | More by msquared36
Photo of Lupin


4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells and pours much like ommegang abbey ale. Lots of spices obviously present here, and a deep amber hue, but not much of anything in suspension here. I'm not sure if this really dark enough to be considered a dark ale. Poured gently into the ommegang "where brewing is an art..." flute with an appropriate head that dissipated as expected. Minimal lacing

The most blatant odor and taste upon initially tasting this brew was licorice. Something else very distinctive was definitely there, but I couldn't think of what it was. It was rather difficult to think of anything else for the first few sips, though. As my palate adjusted and the beer warmed, earthier tones revealed themselves and the other spices managed to neutralize my initial impression.

As far as Christmas ales go, this is a definite winner and I will certainly return to it next year. Spicy and dry, but without the overbearing heat/warming feel of the spices of a lot of other winter brews (affligen noel, which i enjoy heartily, comes to mind). I don't think I could enjoy more than a bottle of this, but it's definitely suited to being a wonderful starter beer for a winter session.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2007 02:07:23 | More by Lupin
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 !

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 04:03:22 | More by HombreWing
Photo of brother_kenneth


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

On tap at Blue 5 in Roanoke VA. Poured into a snifter glass.

A- Dark red, hazy brown with little head.

S- Cherries, Belgian yeast and holiday spices.

T- Well spiced. Some nutmeg, coriander, clove, etc. Some alcohol is noticeable but it isn't overbearing. Some cherries and dark fruit are here as well. Nice carbonation, fairly light body.

O- Very nice Christmas beer! Excellent on tap, hoping to eventually find some bottles!

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2012 23:55:37 | More by brother_kenneth
Photo of cyberbmcd

New York

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

This is a fine beer in the Belgian Ale tradition.

It pours a dark Brown with a one finger head that dissipates a little too quickly. Fine lacing and a sweet smell accompany.

It has a smooth silky mouthfeel. Starts out sweet with a blast of nutmeg then finishes with a bitter bite. you can taste the cinnamon and nutmeg and wintery spices that it's brewed with.

The champagne style cork was a nice touch as well.

Overall, this is a fine brew to sip with your family at Christmas dinner or while typing a review for beer advocate, whatever the case may be.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2006 03:57:14 | More by cyberbmcd
Photo of LordHammer

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas gift from my brother in law. Excellent gift.

A: Brilliant mahogany with a tan head. Looks inviting.

S: On initial pour, got a big banana whiff, but once it's in the glass it is much more restrained. Some fruit, smells sweet, bit of banana and some cherries, seems like.

T: Nicely malty, with definite sweet and alcohol notes. A vague spiciness, probably from the yeast, but much less of the fruit than in the nose. Definitely nice, gets better as it warms.

M: Highly carbed, and relatively thin due to the alcohol content. A nice balance to the big flavors.

D: This is delicious, but definitely a one and done sort of situation.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 00:53:50 | More by LordHammer
Photo of RDHerm


3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, reddish brown with brown highlights. Has a thick, cream colored head that thins out very quickly, leaving a thin head that last for the duration and has excellent lacing.

Has a sweet aroma. Strong notes of yeast and dark fruits, with hints of caramel and spice

Has a surprisingly strong sweet malt flavor that was not present in the aroma. Also has strong notes of dark fruit, with hints of spice, yeast, and a little bit of hop bitterness. The aftertaste is a bit sour, which is strange, but not unpleasant.

Medium body, with a high carbonation level. Very smooth, but just a bit too bubbly.

Great taste, OK feel, and an alcohol content that's not too high make this a beer you could sip all night.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 04:07:35 | More by RDHerm
Photo of Amdahl


3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice read color, with loads of head. The head is clumpy and creamy in color. Plum is the first smell to hit my nose. There is also hints of raisin and many others. The taste is not quite what I was hoping for. The plum is felt on the tongue as well as sweet candy, but other flavors are not there. There is almost no lace to speak of. It is moderately-bodied. For a 8.5% beer, there is almost no problems drinking a full bottle, but there is a alcohol warming. Highly drinkable. This beer should be aged for a while.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2003 18:11:33 | More by Amdahl
Photo of DrewS


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

Vintage 2001 - Best before date 10/9/02 - 750 ml. bottle

First of all I must say, I sure prefer Belgian winter seasonals over most of the domestic ones I've sampled. I guess it's because I favor the style in general. Anyway, I really enjoyed this beer. It pours out a murky brown with slight red tinge. The tan head was ample and lasted for a bit before subsiding to a nearly non-existant layer. A whole lot going on here in the nose, big bready fruitcake aromas, molassas, chocolate, and alcohol. The flavor closely echos the aromas as many beers do. Very light carbonation contributes to a slick and appealing mouthfeel. Sweet malt, dark Belgian candy sugar, and fruity esters dominate the profile with hidden flavors lurking underneath the surface. Maybe a little maple and orange plus a bit of chocolate and plum. Each sip reveals something different. Alcohol definately plays a large role and its gut warming presence is quite detectable. No hops here to be found, though I suspect they were part of the recipe but have since faded away. Great winter brew. Goodbye my friend, on to this year's iteration.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2002 15:32:14 | More by DrewS
Photo of windigo32


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

I was at the Lehigh Valley Mall at a little German place called Dunderbach's. It's a carryout/eat in place, but they have a bar with a huge German and Belgian selection. They had this one on tap.

A: Served in the proper Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass which looks like a brandy snifter, it is a true sight to behold. The beer is a nice deep brown with a head that is retained well.

S: There is a definate licorice smell to this beer. It is a bit more than subtle, but you can't really say it smells like licorice because it's not like sticking your nose to a Twizzler.

T: I tasted this beer not knowing where it was from, and immediately asked the person behind the bar to check the keg and see who the brewer was for me. I knew it was Belgian. The taste is very similar to Delerium Tremens from Huyghe brewery but with a licorice and kind of nutmeg taste to it. It is very good.

M: The mouthfeel is what you'd expect it to be from looking at it in the glass. Heavy and smooth.

D: Although it is a very good beer, It was my third different beer for the night as I was tasting things to buy for a German themed Christmas dinner. Were I not feeling the effects of some higher ABV beers and feeling full from dinner, I would have ordered more of this beer.

If you can find this on tap, order it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2007 04:28:09 | More by windigo32
Photo of guinnessman


3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Excited to try this one after a recommendation from a coworker. Poured with a nice 1/2-in. head in a Konings Hoeven chalice. A very pretty ruby color, that keeps me staring. I wasn't getting many aromas, only a fruit I can't pinpoint. Tasting grapefruit and cherries, and after warming a bit I tasted banana, also, a little but of alcohol lingers but not very noticeable. A nice tingling mouthfeel I rather enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2005 03:58:28 | More by guinnessman
Photo of 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 mckeowbc


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was apprehensive about ordering this beer because I usually don't prefer Belgian ales. I quickly learned that this is not your typical Belgian ale, whereas most Belgian ales taste syrupy sweet to me this beer is very well balanced.

The nose on this beer is big and complex. It's simultaneously fruity like a white wine, a little spicy, a little hoppy and a little malty. You do get a good sense of how strong this beer as well. The first sip does not disappoint. The flavor is complex to say the least but the most impessive thing is there is no rough edges. There's no flavor that is too strong or that becomes overwhelming as you keep drinking. The entire beer is enjoyable and leaves you pleasantly warm.

I'm sorry that I didn't find this beer until after Christmas but from now on this will be a Christmas staple in my house.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2009 01:07:39 | More by mckeowbc
Photo of paleoplant

New York

4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber with moderate foam. Served in a red wine glass due to a lack of glassware at Xmas party.

S: Spicy

T: Sweet flavors with some fruit; spice in the finish.

M: strong carbonation.

D: It was a good beer for celebrating a cold Buffalo night

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 23:29:02 | More by paleoplant
Photo of elinash

New York

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an elegant red with a nice head and lacing. The aroma has a metallic hint, with hints of orange zest and spice. Mouthfeel was smooth, but the finish is a little weak, with hints of spice lingering. Nicely complex taste, sweet, toasted malt- caramel. Overall it's a mild but complex beer. Quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2006 02:42:17 | More by elinash
Photo of buzzworthy

New York

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

Corsendonk Christmas Ale 2007 vintage. It's very fizzy out of the bottle - I had to re-pour the first glass because of all the foam. It's one of the more enjoyable and distinctive seasonal I have tried. The Ale is a dark rose color with a vigorous head. There is a resemblance to rose champagne due to the carbonation and fruity tastes of grapes and plums. Cinnamon and other spices and gentle hops compliment the fruit. Very enjoyable during a dinner with friends - think I will return and buy more.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 21:27:13 | More by buzzworthy
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
93 out of 100 based on 862 ratings.