Santa's Little Helper 2008 | Mikkeller ApS

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Santa's Little Helper 2008Santa's Little Helper 2008
Very Good
55 Ratings
Santa's Little Helper 2008Santa's Little Helper 2008

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pale, special-B and chocolate), flaked wheat, dark candy syrup, dark cassonade, hops (northern brewer, hallertauer, styrian goldings and simcoe), spices (sweet orange peel, coriander seeds, cinnamon and cocoa) and yeast.

Added by cjgator3 on 11-20-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 48
Reviews by thequeen711:
Photo of thequeen711
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This ale has a lightly spiced with flavours of orange peel, coriander,cinnamon,and hints of cocoa. Very sweet aroma, again, a sweet taste, almost a watered down version of a Russian Imperial Stout. Aftertaste of orange peel and hops. Just a different beer, this is, and, I can't detect that it is 11% ABV. As you can tell by this review, I'm just as confused as you, I don't dig orange peel with my beer, so I'll have to let others decide. May need to retaste this one.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Volo's. Chocolate black with a little white head. Complex, the taste is mostly Belgian chocolate, with alcohol in the finish. Understated hops, sugar, hint or orange. A tad of cherry mid-sip, and other spice: cinammon. Above average mouthfeel. Good drinkability,

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Photo of cjgator3
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 edition

"Belgian Ale brewed with spices and cocoa powder"

The description sounds very interesting, can't wait to pop the cork on this baby!

A- Corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a dark brownish black color with a light tan colored head that leaves a good amount of lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is fantastic! The nose features dark roasted malts, a good amount of cocoa, spices and alcohol soaked fruits.

T- The taste features much of the same dark roastiness that is evident in the aroma along with cocoa and a long warming finish from the alcohol. The flavors are really nice, but this one is a little hot.

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

D- This is definitely a sipper. I feel that this offering is a little too hot for my tastes while fresh. I would lay down a 2008 for about a year and enjoy it for the Christmas of 2009 or 2010.

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Photo of claaark13
3/5  rDev -23.1%

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

A: Poured a deep, roasted chocolate brown with reddish tints. A mushroomy 2 finger medium khaki colored head sits atop that was moderately lasting, lively and pitted leaving a splotchy spider web lacing behind.

S: The yeasty aroma of banana bread and dry cocoa powder fulfills the nose upon first uncorking. Some fresh dough, roasted barley, and coffee also offer supporting scents. Theres a touch of sweetened rum alcohol that also lies subtly in the background along with some ripe dark fruit.

T: The initial sip was yeasty with some fresh dough and banana bread which was quickly succeeded by a beautiful roasted barley and coffee flavor. The transition was near seemless and beautifully laced together. The beer then proceeded to a dark roasted nature, with some wet coffee grinds providing a earthy bitterness round things out for the finish. A strong detection of alcohol and peppery nature is detected as well providing a short little jab right before gently fading with a lingering lacing of burnt grains and coffee beans.

M: full bodied with a slight rough texture from the co2. Feels dark and brooding in the mouth with a nice earthy dark bitterness.

D: This is one drink that certainly stands out demanding attention, dark, brooding with a really nice yeasty touch that finishes with a lingering fade of roasted malt. Drinks incredibly well for 11% abv.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention but minimal lacing. Aroma of chocolate malt mix with some cookie dough notes. Taste is also somewhat dominated by chocolate malt with notes of cookie dough and light dry fruits. Body is fuller then average with some filtration and good carbonation with no appearance of alcohol which is appreciated considering the brewer has sometime issues with masking alcohol taste.

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Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked/caged into 25oz wine glass.

Pitch black with a thick and dense two finger tan head that settles to a thin cap. A one finger wall of lacing is left in its place.

A light mix of cocoa and dark fruit. The spices are hidden in the aroma.

A little bit of bitter roasty malts along with a little bit of phenolic and earthy yeast flavors. The spices are pretty tame, barely even noticeable. The cocoa is in there, but not as noticeable as I would have liked. The alcohol comes out a little more as the beer warms. Full bodied.

Very close to a porter, or any Belgian Ale/Stout crossover. The Belgian characteristics are there, but well hidden. Recommended.

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Photo of bismarksays
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of billyshears
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: VERY dark brown appearance, coffee head.
S: Dark fruits (raisins/plums), chocolate, alcohol
T: Chocolately coffee flavors, dark fruits, dark caramel malts, (the expected) Christmas spices; alcohol is present in aftertaste, but not much of a prob for me
M: Fine moutfeel
D: Goes down easy for me, tho the alcohol aftertaste might stop some

I just had Nøgne Ø Winter Ale a few days ago. This is definitely somewhat similar, though perhaps a bit lighter and drinkability a bit higher (taking the ABV into consideration).

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Photo of wedgie9
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from bottle.

Appearance - Pours an opaque extremely dark brown with very little head.

Smell - Dark malt with a distinctive alcohol burn. The cocoa and coriander come through nicely. There are also aromas of vanilla and cinnamon that I usually associate with oak treatment.

Taste - The front of the palate is sweet. On the mid-palate, the coriander, cinnamon and vanilla come through, as do the hops. On the back of the palate the bitter orange peel, dark chocolate, coffee and hops are dominant.

Mouthfeel - On the palate, this beer is absolutely perfect. The carbonation is mild but there. The beer affects every area of the palate, not to mention, the finish lasts a very long time.

Drinkability - My only complaint about this beer is that the alcohol is a little out of balance. Other than that, it is very enjoyable. There is a high level of complexity, and the finish is very long, not to mention, there is still plenty of aging potential.

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Photo of Arenbeer
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 Cork And Caged Bottle Into A Snifter

A- Pours a really dark murky brown that appears pretty much pitch black. Absolutely no head on this sucker at all, just a few bubbles on the edge that pop pretty quickly.

S- Really nice dark malts with a sweet milk chocolate not that's very inviting. Definitely a slight bit of alcohol in there but not to bad. Not to much spice left though, just straight malts and cocoa.

T- Much like the smell, really nice darker roasted malts with a good amount of sweet milk chocolate in the finish. Definitely has a nice tart Belgian sourness to it from the yeast and a slight bit of hops and spice that comes out with it. Not as much alcohol as I would predict, barely noticeable and really smooth.

M- Full bodied with pretty much no carbonation and a nice tart sour like finish that is only a little bit dry.



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Photo of GbVDave
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged, 750ml bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Bottled 2008

A: Pours a murky dark-brown with a tiny bown head on top. Retention was average but some pretty lace was left behind.

S: Awesome aromas of dark chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, rum raisin bread pudding, sweet and spicy citrus peel, roasted malt, toffee, roasted nuts, cocoa, spices, and a dash of lemon-y hops.

T: Not as complex as the aroma. Chocolate, dark fruit, and rum soaked orange peel are the main players. Caramel, toasted malt, citrus hops, and a slightly metallic cocoa nib flavors round it out.

M: Sweet with a killer spicy dryness. Probably a combination of actual spices, roasted malt, and 11% abv!

D: Fantastic for such a big beer. The alcohol is barely apparent, more like a subtle suggestion than a whallop to the palate. We approve!

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Photo of aasher
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had to open one of these on Christmas. It poured a think black with dark brown tints. It didn't have any head at all and looks pretty thin. The smell is only two fold, it smells like a stout with chocolate. It doesn't resemble a Belgian dark whatsoever. The taste is pretty blase for the style. Again it resembles a stout, a coffee stout with chocolate. The mouthfeel is far too light for my liking. This beer is just ok. It doesn't impress me in any form.

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Photo of cbutova
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Shared by Chico1985, took a three man army to remove the synthetic cork, no pop once we finally got it.

A- Murky dark brown with no head but a strange foamy ring forming late. Some suds but no lace in sight. Chunky yeast throughout the beer.

S- Dark brown old ale sugar with a molasses feel. Cocoa is big with nutmeg and roast notes. Some alcohol.

T- Very nice cocoa nib flavor and roast spice (nutmeg). Dark brown sugar/molasses and roast malt. Nothing for hops. Orange peel for sure. No Belgian notes really.

MF- Pure water, flat as can be and the most watery feel possible. 11% is impressive here. Some heat but too much water feel.

DB- Very, very strange beer. The mouthfeel is very distracting but the taste is pretty good. Cocoa is the best part about this.

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Photo of yossarian14
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Looks like hot fudge, opaque dark brown with a big mocha head that lasts and leaves nice lacing. Just like all the other reviews, it smells of cocoa, roasted toasted chocolate, dark fruit and I anticipate the heavy alcohol. Tastes much like the smell and is very tasty but the alcohol bite is hot and this does need a year or two to mellow the F out. I think the flavors would be better served without the heat of the 11% booze, though I didn't really struggle to finish my glass.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle sampled at Chancey Smith's in London, ON- Very dark brown, almost black. Pours a frothy mocha cap. Nice sticky lace. Nose is belgian candy sugars, dark pit fruits, perfume, spices, some alcohol and a bit of yeasty mint. Tastes quite sweet and minty. Dark fruit, cotton candy, milk chocolate, some woody earthy coffee, with a sharp, dry hop profile making it seem a bit less sweet. Creamy on the palate, perhaps a bit too heated for mass consumption, but overall quite well done. Thanks for getting in this one Milos!

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Photo of MrMonkey
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at Blanchard's Liquor in West Roxbury, MA the day after Christmas for $7.99.

Pours the darkest of browns with a thick and creamy two-finger tan head that fades slowly to a thin cap. Lots of really thick lacing left behind. This looks great!

Smell is chocolate, raisins, a hint of yeast, a bit of orange zest, and some alcohol.

Taste starts with some roasted malts and bitter chocolate before some yeast and raisins. Some spice leads into some more roasted malts before a bit of alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium, but it lacks the creaminess it really needs to tie it together.

Very enjoyable though, and very drinkable despite the ABV.

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Photo of CWiggins
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased just after Christmas 2008 at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC for $13.00.

Okay, I'm a sucker for anything that says "winter ale" on the bottle, else I wouldn't pay $13 for a single bottle (even a 750ml bottle). There's just something about that wintery spiciness that really attracts me. Oh yeah, and the "Belgian" aspect doesn't hurt either!

Pours a very dark brown with a dark tan head that lingers far past its assumed expiration. One perceives aromas of Belgian yeast, cocoa, dark malts, and cinnamon and coriander. There's a very light essence of citrus to the nose as well. The flavor is top-notch; there is a heavy cocoa character to it (more than I've noticed in any such beer), while rich breads, spicy cinnamon, nutmeg, and coriander supplement it in more-than-subtle way. Wow! so interesting you could spend an hour disecting the various tastes. What is truly magnificent is the mouthfeel: creamy and thick without becoming bothersome or overbearing, with enough rich flavor to overcome any perceived "heaviness." And still drinkable on top of all that! Really, it's difficult to imagine a more perfect beer than this for my taste, even if it lacks some of the dark fruit flavors commonly associated with Belgian dark styles. I need to seek out another bottle of this before it's gone!

By the way, it is a bit "boozy," but that's a trait I appreciate.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brown-ish to a black color with a light tan head. In the aroma, candy sugar, small roatiness, and hints of spices. In the taste, roasty, nutty, candy sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and just a hint of orange citrus, corriander even. A smooth and medium to big bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry, dark fruit aftertaste. Lacking in aroma, but a nice flavor, a nice alcohol heat, but very nice.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 ML bottle poured into a tulip. 23/10/14 best before date
Cork and Caged.

A-- Poured a very syrupy dark brown with a lot of ruby in it. In the glass it was a coke syrup color with traces of dark ruby on the bottom of the glass. Did not think there was a head until the 300 ML mark, then a light kakhi colored head erupted and became one finger, finally settling to just light brown film that left a lot of lacing. Very little visible carbonation.

S-- Very spicy and sweet. Nutmeg, Coriander, Cinnamon, Orange peel, coffee, and some sweet chocolate. Almost Christmas in a nutshell. No noticeable alcohol smell with this.

T-- Spicy, sweet and syrupy. All the above mentioned flavors in the smell are in the taste but almost ramped up. Almost reminds me of the Chouffe N'Ice with the taste. There is a slight bit of an alcohol burn with this.

M-- Has a slight Pine or candy cane hop feel at the end. It helps cut through the sweetness and leave a fresh feel that pine or peppermint would with a candy cane. A bit syrupy though. Low carbonation and medium feel.

D-- I love winter seasonal beers, so this should be up my alley. it is good because it carries the smells and feel of winter but it is a little too sweet. Even though the pine hop feel really works well with it. Get a little bit of the 11% ABV but not a whole lot. Pretty well hidden, except in a few spots. Something about this I like though and would very much buy and drink again. I would think of cellaring this longer and see if the sweetness does drop off more. Could easily become a Christmas staple for me.

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Photo of TheDoorman
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown hue with a light brown head. Complex aroma of roasted malt, dark chocolate and alcohol. Taste follows the nose with some coffee flavors appearing alongside some plum and prune. Medium-to-full bodied with a dry, sticky finish. Alcohol warmth is pleasantly present. Very nice.

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Photo of Douglas88
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle drank at the Bayou in Salt Lake City, Utah. Pours out a dark and murky color with a large brown head. The aroma was very nice; loads of dark fruits, some yeast, lots of spices, not an aggressive nose, bit nice. The taste was initially a bit hot, but not anywhere near 11%. Some spices, sweet cookies, light vinous BSA flavors, and a bit of toasted malts. Very unusual, and just as they say, a spiced Belgian Ale. Nice.

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Photo of fastpass17
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

25 oz Bottle

A: Roasted Coffee color, thin yet retaining head, good carbonation.

S: Light brown sugar, chocolate truffles, slightly fruity.

T: Caramel malt, homemade chocolate cookie, round, light alcohol warmness at the end.

M: Full rich, slightly viscous, coats the mouth wonderfully.

D: Enjoy half a bottle with a friend over a rich meal.
Very enjoyable for the style.

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Photo of bort11
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml? corked bottle. To start off with, nylon corks just piss me off. They are a pain in the ass to remove. Anyways. Poured into a Smokestack goblet. Solid tan head stands a fingers width and has a solid retention. A thin can of lacing sits on the surface and reactivates with a quick swirl. Color is a dark purple-ish brown. Flaecks of fine cocoa powder sediment sifts to the bottom.

Smell as a sweet cocoa aroma mixed with hints of coffee and berries. The cocoa really pops with the taste, hint of alcohol and spices. A bit of pepper in the finish.

Mouthfeel is powdery and dry. Has a solid mocha after-taste. The 11% wears a little bit towards the end of the bottle, but still a very enjoyable endeavor.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found a couple of this vintage on clearance for $5 a few months ago. Damn rubber cork was nearly impossible to extract, when we finally got it out it barely popped.

Pours about black, small fizzy beige head quickly turns to a ring. Thick floaties very obvious. Age is probably to blame but this wasn't very appealing looking.

Cocoa, caramel, and orange/coriander in the scent. Pleasant but faint.

Huge milk chocolate/cocoa that lingers for a long time. The orange peel and coriander is definitely there but faint. Much of the spice and hops listed in the ingredients have seemingly disappeared.

EXTREMELY light for 11%, this thing literally drinks like watery chocolate milk. Booze is barely there, pretty low carbonation.

The chocolate taste is great in this beer, but I gotta ask, where's the Belgian in this? A 11% BSDA that drinks like a 5% porter. Not sure if aging is complimentary to this beer.

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Santa's Little Helper 2008 from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 55 ratings