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Gordon Xmas - John Martin's (John Martin SA)

Not Rated.
Gordon XmasGordon Xmas

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

47 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.01%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
John Martin's (John Martin SA) visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bark on 12-07-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by beerenjoyer1:
Photo of beerenjoyer1


4/5  rDev +7.2%

Gordon's Xmas is a overall good dark strong beer. The appearance is dark, of course, with a small tan foam on top. The smell is a malty smell with a hint of caramel. The taste is good with full flavor on each taste and a nice freshness throughout. The mouthfeel is full if I can say that because it is good, and the drinkability is remarkable so that I want to savor it alittle longer. i think this beer should be drank after the temperature achieves a range of 50-60F because the full floaovr really comes out.

12-09-2010 21:30:11 | More by beerenjoyer1
More User Reviews:
Photo of Satyr179


4/5  rDev +7.2%

02-03-2013 17:10:21 | More by Satyr179
Photo of Keegan


4/5  rDev +7.2%

12-19-2012 07:32:59 | More by Keegan
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

11-01-2013 20:42:37 | More by Sammy
Photo of frontalot


3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

06-16-2014 12:53:24 | More by frontalot
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Bottle: Poured a deep clear brown color ale with a huge foamy head with a light brown head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some dry fruits notes. Taste is also dominated by some sweet malt with noticeable trace of candi sugar and some dry fruits notes such as figs and plums. Body is slightly thin for the style with great carbonation and some light alcoholic phenols. Not the best Christmas Belgian style ale I have tasted but pretty good nonetheless.

05-16-2008 12:44:50 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Pelicanrocks

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

01-08-2013 19:05:24 | More by Pelicanrocks
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

11-26-2013 01:46:48 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of Paddez


3.85/5  rDev +3.2%

Pours a dark brown brew with a small head that dissapears rather quickly, leaving behind a messy layer of foam.
Aroma: spicy with fruityoghurt and hints of alchohol, hops and port. No hints of coffee or caramel in this one.
The taste is spicy with wine-like flavours going around.
Ends with a dry, lemony, yoghurty finish. Not bad.

The mouthfeel is good, the beer is creamy and goes down smoothly. The alcohol warms the throat somewhat.

A nice winter brew, but not one of my favourites. It's pretty different from most other beers I've had in the style so far though, so it's without a doubt worth a try if you're in for something else than your average Belgian dark winter seasonal ale

12-29-2004 21:59:00 | More by Paddez
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.88/5  rDev +4%

Had this on-tap in 2011, still a good Xmas special!

Poured from a 33cl brown bottle with a huge life left (20th Sept 2008) I may kep one for a while, as I got a four-pack. Anyway, it was poured into the correct Gordons Thistle Glass, one of two I bought some years ago.

It looked a picture, the dark body in the base of the glass and the slightly off-white head filling the neck of the glass.

The aroma is one of dark complexed secrets, mostly winter spices, such as cinnamon and cloves, sat on burnt brown breaded toast.

The taste explodes in your mouth, a sweet caramel effect, almost burnt, but not really burnt, lighty toasted is a better way of saying it.

The taste does linger, getting more malty and drier as the throat adjusts.

I very easy to drink 8.8% Christmas beer, highly recommended by me.

12-14-2006 23:11:17 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of ThaCreep


2.93/5  rDev -21.4%

Alcohol and malt nose. As always in this range of beer would be tempted to say. It feels as fruits (plums, cassis) macerated and a hint of liqueur fruits. Alcoholic mouth with hints bitter and spicy with a little bit of dried fruit. Finish hot with alcohol. The latter is still too present in the mouth and spoils the flavor.

05-28-2011 20:48:08 | More by ThaCreep
Photo of stjarnflikka


3.65/5  rDev -2.1%

Pours an all clear red and brown beer with a fingerthick foam and a strong carbonation. Head disspiates quite quickly and leaves some lacing behind.

Smell is at first alcohol and yeast. There are a lot of fruits in there such as dried figs, raisins and also some citrus. Theres also a small spicy and wine-like smell.

Taste is also alcohol at first together with sweet dried fruits and wine. There is a sweet and bready undertone together with a sour finish.
The beer tastes less alcohol after standing in room temperature for half an hour or so, still sour though.

This beer certainly reminds me of samichlaus bier. Not even close in complexity and taste though. Finishes far too sour for me, that really does a lot to that this beer doesn't taste that good. Worth a try anyhow.

01-15-2005 16:54:11 | More by stjarnflikka
Photo of Absumaster


2.85/5  rDev -23.6%

A brown, amber beer with a fine-bubbled head.

Smell is very caramel malty with a spicy and herbal smell. The roastiness and dark malts give the beer a coffee and smokiness, together with a slight metallic smell. The alcohol smells kind of boozy.

Taste of raisins and big caramel malt, it also has some soy sauce. The spices in here give the beer a strange taste, which I find hard to get used to and can't recall, is it the spices, smoke or tartness? The alcohol is warming and higher alcohols make the beer 'burn' it's way down. Herbs give some flowery, rose bud notes, something I smelled before in a Scotch ale. Mouthfeel is sweet and sticky. For sure this is a very complex beer, too complex for me and with smells and tastes I can't place in a beer.

04-09-2007 11:26:02 | More by Absumaster
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.43/5  rDev +18.8%

330ml bottle bought online from Belgianshop.com.. aged for about 2 years...

Poured a deep mahogany red / brown colour with some coppery hints. Light mocha head poured fairly thick and foamy with a pocked marked topping and thick edging then faded to thin covering... good lines of lacing...

Aroma - Deep rich spicy dark fruits (raisins, prunes, some strawberries), toasted bready malts, toasted fruit cake, brown lemonade hints, brown sugar sweetness, light medicinal / herbal notes, some leatheriness, slight sour vinegar notes, no real hops..

Taste - Pretty strong toasted bready malts, deep treacle sweetness, toasted nuttiness, spicy dark fruits (raisins, figs and dates), malt loaf / fruit cake, the faintest of smokiness, light peppery notes, some woodiness...

Feel - Quite smooth and creamy with a little sharpness underneath... medium bodied... very quaffable for an 8.8% brew...

Overall - An excellent Christmas beer although more like a doppelbock than a Belgian strong dark - a real malt bomb... definitely recommended...

12-29-2008 11:27:33 | More by mdagnew
Photo of spacemanvt


4/5  rDev +7.2%

12-12-2011 17:00:56 | More by spacemanvt
Photo of weissbierdrinker


4.38/5  rDev +17.4%

Pours a deep ruby red almost red wine color, with a tan head that leaves spotted patches of lacing around the glass.

Smell is of raisins, caramel, maybe some vanilla.

Taste is dry and spicy up front with some dark chocolate notes, tobacco, plums, dried fruit, and a coffee finish that is dry and peppery.

Great Christmas beer.

11-21-2009 20:34:22 | More by weissbierdrinker
Photo of kojevergas


3.35/5  rDev -10.2%

2008 Gordon Christmas served on-draught into a Gordon Xmas goblet at Kulminator in Antwerp. 8.8% confirmed. Cost was 3.50 euro. Reviewed from notes taken in early July 2011.

A: Pours a two finger tinted white head of wonderful fluffy froth, great cream, brilliant thickness, and excellent retention for the ABV. Body colour is a dark red-ruby.

Sm: Dark fruit, floral hops, caramelized malt, and light cream. A delightful mild strength aroma.

T: Too much cream and vanilla. Tame restrained dark fruit. Generic floral hops. Rather muted and bland overall. I wish the flavours weren't so restrained. Complex enough, and balanced well, but built problematically.

Mf: Too wet. Very smooth, which suits the muted flavour profile.

Dr: High ABV is well hidden; it's very drinkable. Of pretty good quality. I like it, but the muted feel bothers me.


03-04-2013 22:00:19 | More by kojevergas
Photo of CH3CH2OH

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -2.7%

Thanks for the trade that provided this, Bierschenker.

Pours a medium brown (much lighter than other dark strongs), clear, with a high, tan head. Strong malt, some alcohol, no hop to speak of in the nose. Very nice sweet malt, with hints of brown sugar and caramel and just enough hop bitterness to keep it from being overly cloying. Medium mouthfeel with medium-high carbonation that prickles the tounge.

Described as a "Strong Brown Ale" on the bottle, it is definitely a different animal than a typical Belgian Dark Strong (or Strong Dark on BA). This is not a Rochefort 8, it is much simpler without the fruity esters and malty depths. Comparing it to a strong scotch ale, it is very good.

01-16-2007 01:19:57 | More by CH3CH2OH
Photo of seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.75/5  rDev +27.3%

33cl bottle poured into a delirium tremens chalice

BB 20/10/08

A- 2 finger tan head sits atop an extremely dark ruby body. Clarity is excellent with excellent lacing and moderate retention considering the ABV

S- Toffee caramel rich maltiness, some dark rich fruit cake.

T- Sweet munich malt richness dominates, a hint of alcohol is underneath, almost like a sweet sherry in a rich fruit cake.

M- Full bodied,slightly creamy, luxuriously smooth, medium carbonation. Maybe lacks carbonation for the style, but i previous this is such a rich beer.

D- A very rich smooth luxurious beer.
A beautiful fireside sipper. Dangerously addictive!

*Note* Not had this fresh but i would say a 3 year old bottle of this would beat a fresh Delirium Nocturnum in the taste/richness department. Would be interested to see what 3 years would do to a Nocturnum.

07-02-2010 22:25:51 | More by seanyfo
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.7/5  rDev -0.8%

Drunk from my Traquair tankard on Christmas in Scotland, this has a pleasant smoky spicy smell in the bottle . Forms a light foamy off white big bubbly head which really thins over the course of the drink but does leave some relatively complex lacing around the medium transparent red brown body. Deep sugar y bitter tang. Fairly chewy on the palate with a degree of perfectly restarined light Christmas spice. A buttery caramel quality makes a very late but very welcome addition as the end and the various fields together build a beer which is actually greater than the sum of it parts.

12-28-2011 21:22:53 | More by Zimbo
Photo of janubio


4/5  rDev +7.2%

75 cl. bottle. Pours a black reddish colour with a big creamy slightly brown head.
Smell of cinnamon, some toasted notes, fruits and brandy and a bit of chocolate.
Mouths is of liquor soaked cherries, cinnamon, caramel, liquorice with a touch of some hot spicy. Cake too. Thick mouthfeel, and, atfter all the sweetness, some warm bitter afterstate. A nice one, not the most complex.

03-09-2007 21:17:25 | More by janubio
Photo of educorgan


4/5  rDev +7.2%

12-27-2011 02:15:44 | More by educorgan
Photo of bark


3.78/5  rDev +1.3%

The colour is clear, dark wine red with a tint of brown. The large foam is light and beige.

The smell is dry and quite heavy. There are notes of aromatic hops, iodine, dried fruits and raisins, dark bread and brandy. In other words: Quite complex.

The carbonation is a bit sharp, but it weakens fast.

The taste is loaded with alcohol and a dry burned bitterness. I noticed flavours of some strong wine, some white bread, marzipan, and dried dates. The body passes surprisingly fast. The aftertaste is sourish with a potent bitterness and a light touch of matured cheese.

An good Christmas session ale, but there might be a little too much alcohol for my taste.

12-07-2004 22:29:47 | More by bark
Photo of WilstonOreo


4/5  rDev +7.2%

12-26-2012 15:27:28 | More by WilstonOreo
Photo of jeranbrews


3.88/5  rDev +4%

A - low frothy whispy head.  Islands of lacing deep ruby brown body.  clairity is high.

S - wheat bread. Very wheaty whole wheat bread. Wheat plus wheat plus more wheat.

T - Taste has a few surprising flavors. Contrast the nose nicely.  A kind of subtle, complex, sweetness.  Not like sugar or malt or fruits much more dense and sneaky.  Middle flavors are deep spicy and ester-like. Aftertaste is mildly hoppy/oaky

M - a nice smooth syrupy sipping texture. Initially watery after warming the beer thickened up and got a little thicker.

D - smooth yummy sipping beer. However I can't find anything about this beer that makes it a seasonal beer or Xmas worthy

01-09-2011 04:51:51 | More by jeranbrews
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Gordon Xmas from John Martin's (John Martin SA)
84 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.