Santa's Little Helper 2007 | Mikkeller ApS

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46 Reviews
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Santa's Little Helper 2007Santa's Little Helper 2007
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark | website

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
46
Ratings:
56
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
9.78%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 56
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 rhinos00
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to pull this beer out of the cellar and give it a go. Poured out of a 750 mL corked bottle into a snifter.

A- Dark brown with hints of amber when light was reflected onto it. Half inch head formed that dissipated quickly forming a thin band as the beer was consumed.

S- Complex! The first sniff reveals a sweet/sour smell...almost like a nice aged wine. The follow up reveal a much different aroma...cinnamon and spices along with caramel malts infiltrate the nose.

T- Sweetness, again like a fine wine, but then subdued by spices and other malts. Aging worked wonderfully on this one.

M- Medium body with some carbonation...even after a year in the cellar.

D- Highly drinkable. The 11% abv was very well hidden. A very nice beer to just kick back and enjoy life on a cold, rainy fall night.

Overall, brought back memories of opening vintage wine with my roommate back in college. I am extremely glad I aged this bottle for a year. I will wait another year and see how the other bottle stands up to this one.

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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 ArrogantB
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I was a little cautious about buying this as it is at least seven or eight months old at this point. Dark brown, almost black with a tan coffee head. It smells delicious and perfect for Christmas. Spicy, maybe nutmeg, chocolate, and bubblegum(?). Very spicy taste, sweetened black licorice at the end not bad. This has a nice mouthfeel. The alcohol is not noticeable in the taste. This was pretty good and would be a lot better at Christmas time when its a little colder. This one is a sipper for me.

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Photo of Crosling
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Intricate malt and yeast complexity, with flavors of hazelnut, espresso roast, apple and plum. Very dark brown color with a small head. Nose of rum soaked dark fruit. It's a very alive, very well balanced and authentic beer with great aging potential. It's a very nice ale.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt 9.4 fl oz. corked & caged bottle served in my DFH snifter. Bottle opened with a suppressed pop. Poured a deep opaque brown with rubye red highlights. One inch mocha-colored head with tiny ringlets. Fairly consistent skim and ringlets present during the tasting, with sheets of sticky foam that adhered to the bulb of the glass throughout. Heavy nose of dark fruit off of this one detectable from a distance. Upon closer examination, also detected a wine-like quality in the nose suggesting a somewhat tangy body. Flavors revealed a pleasant coffee-character up front, followed by dark fruit (cherries) and a tangy finish with a touch of alcohol. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with just enough effervescence to add some additional character to the body. Some alcohol, but predominantly detectable as a slight warming at the back of the throat. This is an excellent offering that is meant to be sipped; subtle character changes as the elixir warms. Very reminiscent of De Dolle's Extra Export Stout, but flavors are much bolder. Unfortunate that this was only brewed once.

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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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Photo of jjayjaye
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BIG THANKS to drunkmonk for hooking me up with this one!!!

This one is best with a very light chill. Pours clear but impenetrably dark brown color with a big foamy dark tan head that resists fading, leaving a good amount of Belgian lacing n it's wake. The smell is really unique and this one is already scoring points for imagination. My first perception is a NECCO wafer chocolate, only really silky rather than chalky. There is tons of stuff going on with this one! Dark chocolate, liquorice, cinnamon and molasses. The flavor is a mirror image of the nose and THAT'S A GOOD THING!! The dark fruit aspect is in there, but it's playing second fiddle until it's close to room temperature. The 11% ABV is really well hidden for about the first 15 ounces...after that you can expect the hammer to hit. This one is way too easy to drink. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied without being syrupy. There is no doubt that HUGE ingredients are consumed in the process of cranking this one out. The last mouthful is a roasty chocolate, anise molasses dream world. Highly recommended!!!! Thanks again Joel!!

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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 SPLITGRIN
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 talkingpoints
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Obviously, I love this style of beer, I haven't had this beer in a four month gap, boy did I miss it. This beer is a year round Christmas present with screaming malt, chocolate, nutmeg and coffee all coming at you in a thickness and dark murky way that just screams thank you. I loved looking at this beer and regretted drinking my last one, will have to go scrounge a few others. Will drink forever.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle from the 2007 release. Leaves a crazy and foamy three-plus finger espresso-foam colored head that has merely good retention ( especially considering the depth of the head - but then maybe I poured too vigorously ), and it leaves thin webs of very good lacing. Body is black. This is a very handsome ale.

Smell - the nose is filled with the aromas of dark fruit such as plums, prunes ( yes, dried plums, I know ), dates, and raisins, with some coffee, and a hint of chocolate, as well as some roasted malt. There is a very slight hint of horseblanket. Well hidden alcohol.

Taste - much like the smell, but with the coffee and roasted malt upfront, and then with the plums, prunes, dates and raisins showing up in the middle, as well as dominating the rest of the way out. Again, well hidden alcohol. Yummy.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and slightly semi-dry ( probably from the well hidden alcohol ).

Drinkability - this is a good ale, only its high abv limits its sessionability.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought this from South Bay D&Ls. Thanks Joey!

This pours from red foiled, caged and corked 750ml bottle(2007) a pitch black..ok, there's just the slightest hint of some reddish highlights, with a 2 finger head of tan foam that shrank quickly to a solid and stubborn 1" head with some nice lacing.

The smell is all malty and fruity with notes of caramel, dark fruit, some spice, and a touch of alcohol.

The taste is very sweet. Good caramel malt along with some very nice fruity flavours of raisin, plum, cherry(?) or is it strawberry or maybe both? Anywho, it's a very fruity beer and I'm liking it.

A few more sips in and the spice starts to be more assertive with flavours of nutmeg, cinnamon, and something else that's on the sweet side. I can also taste some anise but it's done lightly and, imo, nicely. Very very tasty; much more so than I would have guessed from the smell. And what of the 11%abv? Yet *another* brew that does one hell of a job of hiding its strength. Well done!

Mouthfeel wise, I'd say it's medium light, the carbonation is light, and it finishes as fruity as it starts. Very drinkable and I think it's a wonderful offering for the festive season but to be honest, I could drink this *any* time of the year. ;^)

Bottom line: A truly satisfying BSDA that kept my interest from first sip to last swallow and if you like spicy and fruity examples of the style, don't pass this one up!

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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Chimay glass. 03/04/08. 2007 version.

Pours a dark brown color with two fingers of fluffy light brown head. Head leaves nice lacing on the glass. Smells like Belgian ale, yeasty and bread-like. Also smells of spices and sweet fruits

Taste is amazing. When this first hit my tongue, it's like there was a party and all my taste buds were invited. Sweet and spicy at first, bread flavors and lots of fruit, especially fig and raisin. As it warms some banana flavors come through as well. Finishes with bitter roasted chocolate and coffee malt. When it was cold, the alcohol taste crept in, but as it warmed, that taste vanished.

This one is full bodied with medium carbonation. My initial impressions (when it was cold) were that mouthfeel and drinkability would be rather low. It left my mouth feeling rather sticky. I let the beer warm up though and that went away. Smooth and delicious.

Make sure you let this one warm up before you drink it. It's really good, definitely one I'd drink again.

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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 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 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 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 NCSUdo
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a red foiled, corked and caged, 750 mL bottle

A: Pours a deep brown/black under a large creamy brown head. Nice lace and really nice retention.

S: Smells of spice and very sweet dark fruit, hint of orange, caramel. Slight grape-like aroma, reminiscent of champagne or a white white,

T: Very sweet with hints of spice. Some licorice, light tobacco, plum, honey (a little mead like), a little bit of bitterness, some roasted malt, maybe some chocolate, slight alcohol dryness and warming. Really a lot happening here.

M/D: Big full body, carbonation is about medium, alcohol can hardly be found aside from th warming and slight dryness. Obviously, too big a beer to quaff, but a delicious beer none the less.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, deeply browned, tan colored head. The beer appears almost black in color, but has some amber hues to it. If held up to the light one can just barely see through it as it is so dark, concentrated ruby-red notes show up where the light is able to pierce through the beer. The aroma is spicy, malty and fruity, but the spice notes definitely seem to dominate. The spiciness has a sort of woody quality to it, though I can't quite place it. Aromas of cherries, maple, woody coriander, smoked salt, wintergreen, lightly roasted coffee, ample toasted grain, a touch of buttery dark caramel. This has an interesting aroma, the spices are hard to differentiate from the dark malt and sugar notes.

Quite sweet, much more so than I was expecting. After the first sip though it becomes much less sweet. The finish is a mix of alcohol and roasted grain flavors (though only lightly roasted like chocolate malt), with a light roast acidity, woody roast malt and espresso. Has similar flavor tones to Rochefort, which is I think the earthy / woody coriander notes. Dark fruit notes of raisins, prunes, dried figs join sweet candi sugar notes and molasses. Fairly light bodied for a beer of this strength, still a sipping brew because of the alcohol, but is dangerously drinkable. This is a touch chalky towards the finish with burnt grain husk flavors. It definitely needs a bit more texture and richness. At times with the coriander spice notes this takes on flavors of dr. pepper.

An interesting brew, I can't say I am thoroughly infatuated with the sweetness; the sweetness would be less noticeable if this was richer. This is much more drinkable out of the bottle than last years version, but I have a feeling a bit more age could add some richness and even texture.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Santa's Little Helper 2007 from Mikkeller ApS
90 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.
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