Santa's Little Helper 2007 | Mikkeller ApS

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Santa's Little Helper 2007Santa's Little Helper 2007
56 Ratings
Santa's Little Helper 2007Santa's Little Helper 2007

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at Gourmetbryggeriet, Roskilde, Denmark.

Ingredients:Water, malt (lager, special B and caraaroma), wheat flakes, dark candy syrup, dark muscovado sugar, hops (Northern Brewer, Styrian Golding and Hallertauer) and Belgian ale yeast.

Added by Gueuzedude on 02-03-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 56 |  Reviews: 46
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate chestnut with black cherry trim. Despite a woefully pathetic 'pop' on cork removal, the pour has produced four full fingers of coffee milkshake colored foam that looks almost as creamy. Thick sheets of cheese grater-like lace put the finishing touches on this attractive holiday brew.

The aroma is an outstanding mixture of chocolate stout and BSDA. Mostly the latter. Since no chocolate was added, the brewers must have used a boatload of chocolate malt (along with pale and special B). The clove-like character of the yeast is appreciated, while the orange peel and coriander seeds are not.

Mikkeller have themselves another winner with Santa's Little Helper 2007. This is one bold, flavorful beer that doesn't drink anywhere near its ABV. The challenge will be to drink it slowly enough so that the final few paragraphs of this review make sense.

With several more ounces under my belt, I'm not sure that it's a world-beater, but it's still quite good and is worth the $13.99 that I paid last winter. Again, think BSDA with more much chocolatiness than that style usually delivers. It's an interesting combination to be sure.

The coriander works well in combination with the peppery spiciness of the Belgian yeast. However, the orange peel adds a citric tartness that comes close to being over the top. Sweet BSDAs are fine, as are spicy ones, but sour doesn't work nearly as well. That said, the flavor and drinkability scores could just as easily be one notch higher.

That 11.0% has to be a misprint. Absolutely no alcohol is appreciated and there isn't even much esophageal and belly warming. Great job, guys. The mouthfeel, although fine and dandy, falls a bit short in the volume department. More bubbles is probably the only fix that's needed.

Santa will get more than a little help from this 2007 holiday ale. Actually, after killing the 750 ml bottle, he'll *need* some help driving his sleigh. If you're lucky enough to find it on the shelves, this is a worthwhile purchase. And to all a good night.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of glid02
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Paul - thanks!

Pours a dark purplish-black color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet dark malts and dark fruits with large amounts of port undertones backing everything up. Faint hints of alcohol waft out every now and then.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by sugar-coated raisin and plum flavors. The flavor profile takes on a vinous quality midway through the sip as sweet and boozy port flavors work their way into things. The port and dark fruit flavors carry through to a moderately sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was very impressed with how this beer has aged. Although I never tried it fresh I'd have to believe a large portion of the port influence came with age and it served the beer well. Worth a shot if you have some laying around.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with a dfark beige head. Aroma of chocolate, molasses and toffee. Taste is similar with additional notes of vanilla and nuts. Medium bitterness of the finish. Full mouth feel. Tastes more like a stout than a Belgian Strong. Don't really care that it's a style buster. It's damn tasty.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hey! A Mikkeller beer that actually goes "pop" when the cork comes out! Brilliant!!!

Pours a deep dark ruby, almost impenetrable black, just some slight ruby highlights. A big solid light tan ice cream head retains "ok" but leaves very good lacing.

Nose is quite complex with some tartness, dark fruit, spices, and sugar. Dark cherries and licorice come through, along with some anise.

Taste is quite unique. Some great belgian spice in here. Similar to the spicing in Het Ankers Noel, but different at the same time. Some anise, licorice, dark black cherries, candy sugar and rum soaked fruits. There is an ever so slight tartness here. A bit of vanilla. The finish rides a malty sweetness and leaves lingering sugar on the lips and spices on the palate. Slightly dry finish, and there is slight tartness.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be. Maybe a touch thin, but still seems very hearty and thick to get down. Wierd.

Drinkability is very good for the abv, but you will not be having more than one of these tonight, and even that is quite a stretch. Tough to get through, but a pleasure to drink, and hides the abv relatively well.

Overall, this is a tasty winter brew. Lots of complexity and alot of interesting winter spice. A rich beer to be enjoyed in the dark of winter in front of a roaring fire with good munchies and good friends. A very intense beer, not to be scoffed at. Good work by mikkeller here.

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Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jason's bottle, aged what 3 years or so? Not lost in storage, this is the beer. Black, with little head. An anoying sourness with chocolate and roasted barley, licorice, well malted. Aroma is big chocolate. Average mouthfeel overall. Still, a sipper.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Corked and caged 750 with red aluminum foil wrap around the neck of the bottle. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is dark alcohol soaked fruits with sugar and spices. the aroma is somewhat boozy but it smells delicious.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet with dark fruits and spices with a warming finish from the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- The alcohol is definitely there, but it is pretty well hidden considering the high ABV and adds complexity to the brew almost like a fine liquor.

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Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut/ebony with 3+ fingers of brown head. A motor oil like appearance swirls in the glass. Sticky lacing covers about 5% of my vandal tulip

S: Baker's chocolate, plums, raisins, & booze once warm

T: Chocolate, iron, raisins, dryness & some cakeyness up front. Slight boozey warmth, oaky dryness with some vanilla & licorice as this warms. Finishes with rich chocolate, dark fruit, dryness & whisper of herbal hops, a bit of booze. Almost gave this a 5, too dry for me

MF: Chewy/sticky with low carbonation

The 11% ABV is well hidden. This is a pretty nice Belgian Dark worth cellaring

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Photo of trafordboy
4.46/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a motor oil brownish black with a light brown head of frothy, creamy foam. Good head retention and a fair amount of laced sticking.

The first smells I noticed in the aroma was an appetite inducing chocolate malt, a mix of dark chocolate and mocha, followed by the dark candy syrup, a desert lover's dream. The orange peel and coriander seeds add a soft orange citric dimension to the smell. At the edges is a light spiciness and traces of woody herbal hops. The alcohol is barely noticeable, just a warm dark candy scent. As it warms, a little smoky nuttiness emerges. I found the nose to be quite attractive.

The moderate body has a fluffy creaminess to it, smoothly lush feel in the palate. Definitely sweet desert tasting, dark chocolate cake with caramelized dark sugar icing. Right behind the chocolate malt and candy syrup comes a mild malt nuttiness, a nice topping to the desert flavors. The orange peel and coriander seeds, along with the ale yeast, help add a sharp fruitiness to the taste. The hops are properly restrained, herbal spicy and adding a little woody stem taste to the softly dry finish. The alcohol provides a steady mellow spiced warmth through out the duration of the taste, the 11% ABV is well disguised, making this a sipper that you need to be cautious with.

Maybe because it is Christmas and I am in a really good mood, but I really enjoyed this Christmas ale from Mikkeller, for me, the definition of a festive winter warmer.

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Photo of Beertracker
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Mikkeller's Santa's Little Helper (2007) pours up with abundant carbonation that creates a lively brownish head that sits unwieldy atop the nearly opaque dark mahogany-black body. The moderately roasty aroma has some nice chocolate (cocoa nibs) & coffee (mocha) notes which are heavily influenced by the spices which show hints of cardamom, star anise, and licorice root. The spicy phenols & alcohol combined with the roasted barley to create almost a burnt rubbery character that I find very distracting. The moderately roasted flavor starts off with some caramel & toffee sweetness intermingled with a toasted nuttiness reminiscent of black walnuts that gives way to some chocolate roastiness. The maltiness is balanced by a low bitterness and underlying spiciness. In addition to the fruitiness (black currant, bilberry, caramelized raisins), there's some acidity (balsamic vinegar), earthiness, and leathery/vanilla oakiness that further add to the overall complexity. The odd finish is a mixed bag of cloying sweetness, licorice, and higher fusel alcohols. This medium-full bodied Belgian specialty ale is very creamy and plenty strong with loads of complexity, but it lacks finesse. A bit of cellar aging might help meld all of those big flavors for a better drinkability? Overall... I find this Danish specialty a bit curious, but if you enjoy strange brews made by elves in Flanders then this is the beer for you. Here's to Santa's Little Helper.

Skål! Beertracker

*Taster's Note: Special thanks to beerhandy for sharing this bottle.

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Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A Christmas 2007 gift from my wife, ksak, and sons. While I picked it out, they were kind enough to wrap it.

A: The ale is a dark wonder, thick and oily, that allows absolutely nothing to get through it. A cream colored head blanketed the glass on pour and slowy receded to a thin band.

S: Spicy sweet, the ale shows off licorice, candi sugars, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, figs, chocolate syrup and citrus (fruit not hops). The complexity of the nose is a big winner.

T: The flavor brings as much to the table as the nose, to the point that the tastebuds can't keep up. Lots of citrus notes, sweet but fast to pass. Following the citrus, candi sugars overpower the tastebuds with a deafening strength. Spices include brown sugar, licorice, raisins and powdered cocoa. Surprisingly there isn't much booze floating around, for as big as the ale is.

M: The spices seem to zap the tastebuds, leaving a dead spot occasionally. The profile is big though and should provide hours of tasting time.

D: At 11%, this is a one-and-done deal. A muggy September night is a little out of place for this beer, which would do better on a chilly sub-zero night.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a small but condensed light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet dense malt with light vinous notes at the end. Taste is a complex mix between some spices and dry fruit with light dry finish including some vinous notes. Body is really full with a great creamy texture and great carbonation with no alcohol being apparent. Very well made and something I would like to try again.

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4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Body pours to a blackest brown that really only is a hint of brown. Host a biscuit brown spicey toned three finger head that shows scattered lace as it fades. Nose is all spice and zest with a little spice chocolate thrown in for good measure. Enters the mouth with creamy crisp dark fruit feel that points the mouth completely. There is a bit of a tart feel that reminds me nicely of a dark chocolate raspberry truffle. This beer is unique and really keeps you interested in each oncoming sip. The alchol is this one is super well hidden at 11%. Mouthfeel is a mix of bitter dark chocolate and tart fruit tones. A complex brew that is to be sipped all night.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served at cellar temperature and poured into a fluted chalice

A - Poured an extremely dark brown, nearly black with essentially no light penetrating it what so ever. The were some light around the sides, perhaps taking on a bit of a reddish tone, but essentially this was as black as night. A large three finger high head of tan colored foam then rose up from the bottom of the glass, seemingly lasting forever, I was not sure, when it would finally relent and give back to the beer. However after a few minutes it did manage to finally settle down to about an inch and a half of chocolate colored pillow like foam across the top, that went nowhere throughout the session. There was some carbonation apparent, as I could see some bubbles clinging to the inside of the glass. Copious amounts of side glass lace were also present after the head finally receded. Leaving behind spider web like coatings of tan everywhere that it touched. I have to be honest here, this was really looked more like a big stout then a Belgian dark. It just looked incredibly think and menacing; I just had to go in for a closer look.

S - The aroma was very interesting to say the least. This was going to be a very complex session and that was becoming more and more apparent by the minute. The first smells I picked up were very sweet. Lots of sugar spices, well spices of all kinds for that matter. Hints of caramel as well as some light notes of oak and vanilla starting to break there way through. There was a tremendous amount of spice in here, hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, and lots of earthy tones were very prevalent throughout the tasting. There were even some slight touches of a grassy smell in there. Hints of dark fruits starting to come out now, most importantly, lots of raisins, prunes, and figs that were getting wrapped up. Small glancing blows of chocolate now getting coated in with dark cherries as well. This was starting to get a bit out of hand now. The more I smelled it I could almost pick up everything but the kitchen sink. This was really quite wonderful.

T - The flavor was almost too complex for words. Deep rich flavors permeated throughout this one and really kept getting better as time went on. It was such a full flavored and deep profile it is hard to even begin with it. The first thing I noticed was how sweet it was. Lots of chocolate and caramel tones coming through on this one, really pushing it through and starting off quite dark. Lots of spices in here as well, nutmeg, and cinnamon, a touch of all spice. The yeast was starting to roll on through now as well, really giving some of those dark fruit flavors their turn to try and steel the show. Hints of raisins, plums, figs, and prunes all mixing in with the spices and bringing the whole thing together just beautifully. The finish was extremely long and drawn out, not really hoppy, though there was a hint of some earthy dry hops, but more of a spicy note then anything else. Really again quite complex and just the perfect capper to the whole thing.

M - Incredibly smooth and delicious, this was one of the fullest feeling Belgians I have ever had. It was bordering on feeling like a stout at times, but it also was not terribly filling, really letting put down quite a bit of it without having too much trouble. A really wonderful situation here. I could not imagine it being any smoother. The carbonation profile as well was simply wonderful, truly just never a dull or flat moment with this one and I really felt it was just in a category all of its own.

D - This is definitely a sipper, but a dangerous one at that. There were times when I truly wanted to just take a gulp as it was so delicious and smooth and the alcohol so well hidden, but you need to stop and remember that this boy is clocking in at eleven percent and it will definitely put a hurting on you before then end of the bottle, which this one more then easily did. Still I was able to go through the bottle without too much trouble.

Overall this was utterly fantastic is the only way I can put it. I mean it was just totally different then anything I had in the past and truly just unique. I would have loved to have had a few more bottles of this as it is a great example of what can be done within a style. I would say that if you can get it, you need to try it, really just too good to pass up.

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Photo of rallison
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: Review from 1-14 of 2008..moved from the 2006 vintage listing to the proper 2007 vintage listing. Wonder if I would still rate it so highly...

2007 Vintage.

A: Dark black color with a light brown 2 finger head that leaves quite some lacing.

S: Dark fruits and chocolate.

T: Dark fruits with a fair bit of chocolate and dark candied fruits. Some roasted character is present in the background. Alcohol is definitely not present. Nice balance and complexity. Truly bends the style boundaries.

M: Low to medium carbonation with a fulfilling mouthfeel. Definitely not syrupy in the least!

D: Extremely good. No way this is 11%!

Highly recommended. This is a very tasty brew.

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Photo of blackie
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

moved from the retired listing

a: Into my Piraat snifter, gives a pretty nice mocha head with good retention and lacing. The beer is an attractive deep brown in color, nearly black.

s: Outstanding aroma that almost resists description and certainly defies stylization. Awesome juniper berries, cola syrup, delicate sweet smoke, milky roasted cocoa, rich sugar plums, vinous blackberry and currant, dried cherries...all integrated into a wonderfully rich and smooth black malt body. Light aromas of Belgian yeast and a touch of mild hop spice. Gentle, sweet ethanol fumes. Very unique.

m: delicate low-medium carbonation with a clean, full body that just glides down the the throat and finishes perfectly...I'm very much on the line about giving the mouthfeel a perfect score

t: Flavor backbone of black malts, with a smooth roast character becoming more astringent/bitter after the swallow when the sweetness fades. Adding complexity are notes of smoky chocolate, spicy evergreen shrub fruits, dark tree fruits (dried cherries) and much more. Aged, papery hop flavors Great finish, with more roasted malt character coming through and notes of complex chocolate lingering long.

d: drinks like a 5% beer...any parameter I didn't give a 5 is damn close

2007 vintage, synthetic-corked 750 (dated 23/09/11) picked up at Grapes & Hops in Fayetteville a couple weeks ago

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Photo of StephenRich
4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Santa's little helper is probably and elf, or small little reindeer - it is probably not an 11% Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with spices. Although, no one could deny that that certainly would help Santa during his long night delivering gifts all across the globe. Everyone needs a good beer. Even Santa. Mikkeller had the same thought, so he created Santa's Little Helper, a 750ml corked bottle that contains a uniquely spiced dark Belgian style ale that is perfect for the winter, the holidays, and your cellar.

I came across this bottle in 2008 when in a beer store in the States. I was fishing though '08 vintages of various winter ales when I noticed a dusty bottle hiding in the back. Unlike most other consumables, this dust excited me, and rightfully so. I found this already 1 year old bottle and held onto it for dear life. Right away I knew I would cellar this beer and save it for just the right and most opportune moment. Finally, 2 years after its purchase, and 3 years after its bottling date I decided that the time was right to enjoy this magical holiday beer with some of my best friends. Wow.

It is hard if not improssible to know exactly what will happen to a beer over a period of three years. Because Santa's Little Helper is 11% abv, I knew that it would at leaste not go bad, and would hopefully mature nicely. I also have experience ageing Belgian Dark Strong Ales, and have seen wonderful results in the past where once ripe and rich beers turn into mellow and refined works of art. Under the right cellaring conditions (no light, cool temperature, bottle standing upright) I was confident that I would be rewarded with a special beer.

I opened Santa's Little Helper at cellar temperature and poured it into a borolo glass, as is deserving of such a beer. The pour was luxuriously smooth and gentle. The dark liquid fell softly into the glass building only the slightest film of foam, which eventually did crest just above the surface of the beer, but not even entirely. To one side of the glass a mocha brown foam was creamy and dense, pressing bubbles up against the side. At the other side it looked like the ice on a lake slowly melting, revealing the fresh water underneath - a black water. The beer was just that, black, very dark, and very opaque. No light was peering though this beer, only the slightest edge of amber brown make the edges light up. It showed no traces of real carbonation, and very quickly the head faded to absolutely nothing.

I leaned in and reached deeply for a good sniff of this beer, trying to capture everything that three years of age has done for it. The nose is so much more refined and mellowed than I had expected, and so much more than I bet it was when fresh. Smooth and rummy roasted malts show up with soft and warm aromas of cocoa and mulled spices. It is a figgy and holiday spice that brings orange peel, coriander and a lightly sweet cinnamon and maybe ginger hint. This though is fleeting as the now dry malted sensations make their way into your nose with considerable ease. There are aromas of earth and grapes, reminiscent of a delicate Cabernet, then smooth hints of cocoa, caramel and roast.

Drinking this marvel was astonishing. The first thing that I noticed is the almost milk like smoothness of its texture. The carbonation is almost completely fleeting, and the body is melty and smooth like no beer I have ever tasted before. It is lush and wide, and then shows you a flavor spectrum that we are not accustomed to enjoying in beer.

The wine like dryness of the beer is very apparent to me right away, and brings with it distinct grape flavors that merry with cocoa, vanilla and spice. A dark cherry sweetness is blended well with a lightly acidic sensation, then rounds out to citrus, earth and roast. Now as my palate is more familiar with the beer I am absorbing malts at every angle. Roast is less aparent here than it was on the nose, and is warmed by an almost whisky like sweetness. Flavors of caramel and cocoa are prominent, but balanced by earth and again, the smooth dry Cabernet sensations that are making this beer remarkably unique.

Spice flows through a mulled and appetizing manner, and brings with it the most subdued aroma of hops - which after three years are more of an after though that anything else. The finish is sweet and clean with a dry end and a satisfying touch. This is like no beer I have every had, and really beckons to be poured along side, or before a well aged wine. It has greater depth, balance and complexity that most wines, and I will argue forever that it will pair better with roasted meats and cheese that any wine ever could.

If you see Santa's Little Helper on the shelves, buy what you can and age them as you would a fine wine or port. Then enjoy them alone or with a meal surrounded by friends and family. This is a one of a kind beer.

Pics at:

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Photo of liamt07
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Jason, 750ml into a tulip on my inaugural brewday.

Appears a few shades off black in the glass, with some brownish-burgundy bubbles yet no head - pours essentially flat, leaving no retention or lace. Legs are fairly prominent however. Nose is massively full of dark fruits, offering a different angle with every sniff - black currants and cherries, plums, grapes and a dark fruit 'skin' that was difficult to pin down. Candied sugars and some syrupy qualities are there too. Taste has more of the candy sugar and dark syrupy notes, dark caramelized fruits, light soy and an understated tartness, perhaps from the fruits themselves. A slight apple note as well. Quite sweet with a port-like character, very 'dessert-y.' Gentle spicing in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, some thinness but the alcohol is disguised (or integrated) quite well into this. Low carbonation as predicted by the head, but this does little to hinder the experience. This has aged quite nicely in my opinion (for being just over 5 years old I think at this point), still a sipper however.

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Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased from Table & Vine, West Springfield, MA. Corked & caged, red foil, 2007 version. First plastic cork I think I've seen used on a beer.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/2" brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head falls slowly, with ample delicate lacing. Aroma is chocolatey and fruity. Taste is rich darkness upfront, with hearty dark fruitiness in the middle, and the melded flavors linger after the swallow. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is very nice as well. Alcohol (11%abv per label) is well hidden, probably in the fruitiness. Good stuff.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of rfgetz
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice rich dark brown, nearly black. Active dark khaki head with minimal retention and lacing. Huge whiff of dark cocoa backed by hazlenut and cream. Hints of coffee, belgian yeasts and dark bread. Excellent taste profile... dark cocoa and hazlenut backed by a lightly sweetened cream and belgiany yeast backbone. Boreding on full bodied, velvety smooth, slightly chalky cocoa profile at times, buit does not impede. This is the beer i wish Two Turtle Doves would have turned out like.

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Photo of grub
3.49/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. 2007 vintage. sampled jan 11/08.

pours deep brown, nearly black and opaque. the big fluffly brown head drops slowly and leaves chunky lace behind.

aroma is good. milk chocolate. fruity. raisin and grape. bit of alcohol. light smoke. bit of almost musty character. touch of roast. paint? yeah, the others agree - latex paint.

taste is good. dark and milk chocolate. raisin and cherry. light smoke. bit of sweetness. that paint-like character is there again. light roast. bit of alcohol. bit of floral hop character.

mouthfeel is good. low very well integrated carbonation. big body.

drinkability is ok. flavour and aroma is a bit odd, but interesting. good balance though.

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Photo of TasteTester
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of womencantsail
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark brown, bordering on black with a thin layer of tan foam on top.

S: There's so much going on in the nose, it was hard to pick out everything. There's of course a lot of dark fruits (most notably, prunes) and some nice chocolate aromas as well. The beer is slightly oxidized, but not surprising at 2+ years old. There's also some alcohol and perhaps even paint (very odd).

T: The sweet dark fruits are the main component of the flavor. Prunes, raisins, and cherries are what I notice, along with a hint of chocolate. There is also a definite sugary sweetness that you aren't surprised to find in Belgians.

M: A fairly full bodied beer with a fairly low level of carbonation which works well here.

D: A touch sweet for me, but so complex that I kept coming back for more. A nice beer and one of the better offerings I've had from Mikkeller.

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Photo of Gavage
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black in color with a short 1/2" tan head that has some large bubbles. No lacing develops.

Smell: great aroma as roasted malts, chocolate, yeast, and spices are bold but sweet overall.

Taste: definite complex beer here flavorwise. Roasted malts and some soft chocolate lay the base, then add some plums, prunes, and honey with some decent bitterness to cut the sweetness. Spicy yeast and some warming alcohol tones add another layer into the mix.

Mouthfeel: light crispness at the start, much smoother towards the finish. Very long aftertaste as the flavor components linger on the tongue for a while. Heavy bodied brew.

Drinkability: despite the high alcohol levels, this slow sipper is enjoyable from start to finish. If I had a second bottle it would have been opened. Great winter beer.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours like a stout, black and bubbly. A thin cap of mocha foam builds up and drops to a partial cover and thick collar. A variety of lace formations on the glass. Great start.

Aroma - chocolate liqueur, sweet and warm; roasted grain, rum and abv vapors filling the nostrils. A little lighter on the heat and a little more on the rest would help, but this smells superb.

Taste - toasty malts sweetened with candi sugar and warmed with abv heat. It takes a few sips to get used to the hot flavors, but afterwards some coffee flavors start finding their way through, along with some anise and/or molasses. The swallow has a flash of the yeast in there, a quick stint of balancing hop bitterness (low level), and a mellower drying finish. Nice reprises of flavor at the end; the roast, the coffee, anise, all make appearances on this sip or that. The only constant is the alcohol. Maybe if I'd had a few warm-up beers I wouldn't feel it so much, but the abv is jumping outta the bottle. A solid brew.

Mouthfeel - bubbliness makes for a lighter body despite the high abv.

Drinkability - not sure how long I'd lasted had I been wrapping gifts with this one alongside. Probably would be fine, wrapping's busywork and is a great slowdown for the bigger beers. Since I only had time to enjoy one bottle tonight, I'm glad it was this one.

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Santa's Little Helper 2007 from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 56 ratings