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Pater Lieven (Kerst Pater Special) Christmas - Brouwerij Van den Bossche

Not Rated.
Pater Lieven (Kerst Pater Special) ChristmasPater Lieven (Kerst Pater Special) Christmas

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

78 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 14.59%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van den Bossche visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: zerk on 01-01-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mdagnew:
Photo of mdagnew
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle bought from BelgianShop.com... aged for about 18 months...

Poured a deep dark burgundy red colour. Creamy head poured quite loose and foamy then faded to just a thin ring around the edge... no carbonation at all... no real lacing...

Aroma - Strong rich dark fruity sweetness (black cherries and black currents mixed together, some red grapes... reminded me a bit of undiluted black current cordial), some light Flemish sour ale notes, the faintest hint of tobacco just noticeable, soot / charcoal traces, lots of liquorice mixed with some chocolate, some balsamic vinegar... probably the most original smelling beer i've had in a long time...

Taste – Lots of rich dark fruits (black currents and red grapes) mixed with liquorice and chocolate... reminded me of a Black Forest Gateau. Kirsch alcohol notes, black treacle sweetness, some burnt nuttiness, faint smokiness, Christmas pudding, brandy / cognac notes, definite sour ale traces...

Feel - Very sharp initially then smooths out nicely... medium / full bodied.. very drinkable for 9%

Overall - A superb and very original Christmas brew... definitely recommended. Also goes very well with white chocolate..

mdagnew, Jan 03, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
2.68/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Very dark brown and cloudy in the body with a nice, Belgian foaming head that puddled in the center on the surface of the ale.

Smell – Nice, dark malts with lots of sugars but a strange, funky sour note ruins the nose.

Taste – The malt base is sweet and inviting, but there’s a sour note that overshadowed the effort.

Mouthfeel – This one is in between medium and full with a decent, lively carbonated feel.

Drinkability – The off-style tartness spoiled this one for my tastes.

RoyalT, Dec 28, 2003
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 750ml bottle with a best by 121009 date on the label. When I uncaged it, the cork came flying out by itself. It was a dark red-brown with a thick off white head. It had a fruity (raisins, cherries) aroma, as well as some cinnamon. I thought the taste was mostly fruity, somewhat sweet. A little too thin and carbonated.

lordofthewiens, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of Todd
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from the 2002 Kerstbierfestival, Essen, Belgium.

Dark brown with red tints and an off-white foam head with okay lacing. Light candy, coriander and orange peel aromas in the nose. Sharp, quick and crisp carbonation and upfront shot of bitterness. Sweet oranges, ripe autumn fruits, hop leaves and yeast. Notes of herbal and coriander. Dry and coarse in the finish.

Interesting, even a bit complex, but pretty average.

Todd, Oct 12, 2003
Photo of deebo
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Delirium Cafe in Brussels.

A-Clear, dark brown with red tints. Weak tan head that quickly dies without lacing.

S-A hint of funky yeast, otherwise fairly clean aroma.

T-Yeasty, malty sweet. A touch of funkiness...has the guezue here funked this beer up or is it supposed to have that hint of sourness?

M-Medium bodied and carbonated.

D-Probably too good. As the beer warms you get a bit of an alcohol burn, but wouldn't guess the strength of this one.

O-Still looking for a bad Belgian beer, not my favorite but still better than average.

deebo, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of rastaman
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yeast, brown sugar, candy. salt, caramel+ toffee, some late spicyness. Decent body and flavour, nice soft texture. Some rubber, with definite acidity, didn't excite me too much, but there is something at least vaguley interesting about it, just didn't like the sugary sweetness.

rastaman, Sep 25, 2003
Photo of MaevaS
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

MaevaS, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of Metalmonk
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak glass, received a huge creamy head that retained for a good 10 minutes, but that almost totally disappeared. As expected, color is opaque darkness, with copious slow bubbles throughout the beer. Thick lace builds up as the glass empties.

Smells volley between heavier aromas of roasted malts and alcohol-soaked raisins to lighter aromas like peppery spices and berries.

The flavor delivers what I would expect from its smells, but there's even more going on. The mouth is immediately awakened by a slighty tart and sweet cherry essence. It's followed by and meshed within a bready roundness, a nearly ginger-like zing, milk chocolate smoothness, and a porter-like finish.

Interestingly thin in the mouth, but it works. These flavors are too top-notch for anything else to distract from them. The alcohol is well-hidden, providing only the most minor warming sensation.

This one delivers flavor variety and complexity in abudance. Why brew this one only for the winter holidays? This needs a year-round release! I'd drink it even on the hottest summer day.

Metalmonk, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of mattfancett
3/5  rDev -18.9%

mattfancett, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasty little Belgian from the Belgian Shop. Dark brown with a white head, spicey aroma. Not too bold spicey in taste for this substyle, some ginger, drinkable mostly helped by the sugar , middling mouthfeel. Dry bitter aftertaste. Nothing exceptionable.

Sammy, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Ciocanelu, May 23, 2013
Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy dark red-brown with a light tan head.
Fruity up front, reminds me me of Unibroue's Maudite, with strawberries and plum. There's a mild caramel background malt and a hint of cinnamon. The aroma is tea-like, green tea specifically, with more bready caramel. The aftertaste is a touch astringent, like there's too much spice (though it doesn't taste like that). This might benefit from aging and while it isn't an amazing Belgian, it's fairly nice and tasty.

tempest, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBD of: L613 121006....WTFO?? So either 2012, 2010 or 2013, cork came off with a resounding pop!

Pours a ruby tinged chestnut with 1+ finger of sand colored head. The way the head is singing would make Fred Eckart (sic) very happy! Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Woody notes, raisins, herbal hops & apricots

T: Dryness, oaky & caramel notes, plus raisins up front. Apricots, plums, nice chocolate & leafy hops as this warms. Finishes dry with much dark fruits, apples & cinnamon; plus some leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with lively carbonation, some stickyness once warm

Drinks pretty easy, this will probably hold up a few more years given the lively carbonation, but pretty tasty right now; loads of complex flavor already at the party!

russpowell, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of Bierschenker
4.65/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours out lovely into my chalice. It has a great appearance. A dark chocolate brown colour with a dense creamy tan head.
The smell is very strong: malt, alcohol, raisins, coffee beans, chocolate bitter.
Tastes very soft and gentle. Silky dark flavour. At first some slight carbonation on the tip of your tongue, followed by a sweet and bitter alcohol and malt taste. Goes into chocolate and raisins. And ends with a coffee taste, pure chocolate bitterness, roasted coffee beans, some sweetness and alcohol. Still very gentle, Never does one layer overpower another.

Great, no, super beer! One of my new favourites. You will pardon my slight over enthusiasm as this is my favourite beer type. But most other reviewers seem to agree.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

Bierschenker, Mar 21, 2006
Photo of hotstuff
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

When this beer was poured, it poured with an invigorating tan head with fine sized bubbles. This beer had a sweet aroma to it and a hint of oranges. There was good lacing observed with this beer. The taste was smooth and somewhat fizzy. All in all, not too bad of a drink.

hotstuff, Jul 10, 2003
Photo of fattyre
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear very dark slightly reddish brown color with a large rocky/creamy tan head. The mouthfeel is firm and pleasant almost winelike. The smell is slightly spicey with a earthy sweet maltiness and mild pepper. The taste is slightly malty with a mingling of candy sugar and slight nuttiness followed by a mild warming alcohol. This is a pleasant winter beer that is warming with no detectable spices. It also hides its alcohol very well.

fattyre, May 01, 2003
Photo of MJR
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours an incredibly dark brown that is completely opaque. Even with my gentle pour, it's light tan head starts out huge, slowly shrinking to a thick cap.

Smell: Vague aroma of dark fruits and spices.

Taste: Candy sweet flavor with lots of dark fruits and spices. Plum, fig, and raison... There's an interesting flavor that's a bit hard to describe...it's a fake sweetness with a bit of an organic quality to it. A hint of a burnt flavor in the finish. The alcohol is present from start to finish, but doesn't overwhelm the other flavors. This brew isn't balanced very well, as everything seems slighty out of whack. Is that dirt I taste?!?

Mouthfeel: A bit on the dry side with a fairly thin mouthfeel. Too thin...this brew needs more 'ass.' The heavy carbonation doesn't help either.

Drinkability: Average...it's drinkable, but there are many better winter holiday brews out there. This one just doesn't seem to be put together right...

A 'thank you' goes out to StevieW for including this one in our trade.

MJR, Apr 24, 2003
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 4/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark red amber with very little head. Dark fruit and sweet malt aroma. Very sweet toffee and fruits, intense at first, but fading quickly. Doesn't leave much of an impression. Pleasant, but understated and not memorable.

LiquidAmber, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of Brent
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The last of the winter seasonals to emerge from the beer fridge. Pours a dark cola brown/black with a modest head that quickly faded to lace around the edges. Moderately sweet yeasty aroma hinting of tropical fruit. A little thin on the tongue for a dark Belgian, but not disconcertingly so. Yeast flavors dominated, washing out the malt. Resin fruit flavors of fig and date, a bit too sweet at the finish. Not a bad beer, but stands in the shadow of most bigger seasonal offerings. Thanks to BelgianBum for the sample.

Brent, Feb 28, 2003
Photo of StevieW
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small bottle. Blue label. Burgundy or shiny brown color depending on the light. Beige dense super rocky head. Laced the glass all the way. I didn't have any problem with the smell like the ba's before me. Some subtle christmas smells of roasted plums, figs, and candied fruit. Kinda reminded me of an Imperial Stout for a minute or two, really it did. Taste was smooth and subtle spicy combination of the roasted fruit and sweet chocolate malt. Nice chocolate taste, creamy and smooth, more than bitter. Pockets full of cinnamon every so often. Medium to light bodied, but very flavorful. There may be a problem with consistency with this stuff, I really enjoyed this beer, while others did not. Then again, I seem to like them all.

StevieW, Jan 31, 2003
Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a caliginous brown color with a gigantesque creamy tan head; the lace formed after desiccation is a silky sheet to cover the glass. Big malt nose, light hints of over ripe fruit, sweet and quite clean and fresh to the senses. Start is quite sweet, lot of malt with the top middling in mouth feel. Finish is pleasantly acidic and the hops sparse with a lingering dry aftertaste. A touch to thin in body for me, not much hops and lacking in bite

Gusler, Jan 01, 2003
Photo of BlackHaddock
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl Brown bottle poured into a Gordon's Thistle shaped glass.

Deep, dark ruby/heavy brown body, good foaming biege head on top, looked every inche a Christmas cracker.

Liquorice and spices with a bit of toasted malt in the nose.

Liquorice dominates the taste as well as the aroma, the spices and malts coming very distant also rans. The 9% is very evident and adds some umph to the proceedings. This is a rich, creamy brew that is far too easy to drink, a lovely Christmas beer in all aspects.

Had this on-tap at t'Brugs Beertje in Dec 2011, just as lovely!

BlackHaddock, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of mendvicdog
4.75/5  rDev +28.4%

mendvicdog, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of aracauna
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark, slightly cloudy brown body, but not a lot of head. The flavor is a bit on the tart side. The aroma has a bit of sweet malt supported by a plethora of fruits, the most discernable one being cherries. The alcohol is hidden extremely well making this a more drinkable beer than it has a right to be.

aracauna, Jul 13, 2004
Photo of RBorsato
4.93/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm suprised by the other low marks on this one !! I was very impressed by it's complexity compared to Trois Pistoles...

Almost black with ruby red hues to the light. A nice pillowy brown head with big tan "chum" floaters... and nice carbonation. Dark fruit, dark malt, spicy (coriander maybe?), and complex aroma and taste ! Powerful rich flavor !! Medium-full bodied, rich and smooth...

Seek this one out at all costs.

KerstPater = Father Christmas (Flemish)

Per Label: "Anno 1897"

Best Before: 06/01/05
Tasted: 05/06/04

(11.2 oz.)

RBorsato, May 07, 2004
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Pater Lieven (Kerst Pater Special) Christmas from Brouwerij Van den Bossche
84 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.