Santa's Little Helper 2010 | Mikkeller ApS

50 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Santa's Little Helper 2010Santa's Little Helper 2010

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Spiced with bitter and sweet orange peels and nutmeg.

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

A 9.1 % variant was sold in Sweden.

Added by bark on 11-16-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 82
Photo of mverity
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opaque chocolatey brown in color with a good amount of tan head. Fair to good lacing and nice collar throughout. Aroma is a cornacopia of spices, some deep caramel, and faintly buttery. Very thick body and medium carbonation. Taste is rich caramel and all that spice! Taste is good, but the aroma hits me better. Well balanced, but kind of two dimensional.

 356 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Brewed and bottled at De Proef. Stamped 7481108. "Belgian Ale Brewed with Spices, Aged in Rum Barrels."

A: A finger of brownish head that would look more at home on a stout. The beer is dark, murky brown and immune to light.

S: Sharp fruit is a little off -- it's sour or fermented, an impression heightened by the general booziness of the beer. It smells of old wine and dead yeast, but is somehow still pleasant. Fingernail polish finish hurts the rating.

T/M: Interesting. Green apple, Christmas-y spice, noticeable alcohol, and a surprisingly pleasant, sweet finish that could well be rum. Still, I think this might be a little past its prime, as the mouthfeel is thin and uncompelling. It definitely improves as it warms, becoming more fruity and less obviously strong (although astringent polish is still detectable...)

O: I enjoyed it, but it was overpriced ($15) and probably over-old. I would not recommend it, but I still love Mikkeller and think this is a pretty nice Christmas ale.

 1,054 characters

Photo of Hex92
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

just opened my 2010 Santas Little Helper today....Dec 2012. as usual i didn't rate my first one of these, that i drank 2 years ago, but this is very nice after aging for a couple of years.

A-nice big head, very dark, nice lacing
s- maybe a hint of bourbon? I dunno, my snifffer isn't working great tonight.
t-chocolate, booze, and strong dark ale goodness
m- its odd that a beer that has so much head seems kinda flat when you drink. it coats the mouth preety good, i wish it was a bit more syrupy.
o- tasty. I would like to try other vintages of this beer.

 558 characters

Photo of JayQue
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one for quite a while. Poured from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle into my Chimay goblet. Small delicately bubbly head that fades quickly. A light covering of the top of the glass stays for a long time. Murky dark brown color.

Smell is fairly subdued malts,dark fruit and a little nutmeg and Christmas spices. Glad Mikkeller resisted the urge to make this a Christmas potpouree.

Taste is good. Rich malty dark fruit backbone with a hint of Christmas spices.

Mouthfeel is great. Rich, smooth, a hint of alcohol and a little sweet.

A good sipping beer. I highly reccommed it.

 592 characters

Photo of brystmar
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to opening this bad boy. Thanks to whartontallboy for the extra!

Brown body with red hues produces tons of head. Excellent lace; gorgeous! Spicy aroma with tons of malt. A little roasty with booze notes too.

Sweet malts and spices. Not overly spicy which is nice. Aged boozy character adds an extra dimension of tastiness. Really good.

Super creamy body was unexpected, yet very much appreciated. This is drinking quite well right now, wish I had another bottle.

 484 characters

Photo of lownote
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with just the right amount of head with a dark but not pitch black. The taste is strong by not alcoholic with hints of a citrusy sour. The mouthfeel is carbonated but not too lively. There is not a strong smell either way. A delicious beer even when not in season.

 270 characters

Photo of JRed
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black in body with cinnamon head that stays. Aroma of dark fruit, cinnamon, cocoa. Tastes of light plums and other dark fruit, cinnamon, some tang, spice. Medium bodied with light carbonation. A slight cloying mouthfeel and an undetectable ABV. Smooth and beautiful.

 266 characters

Photo of whatthehull
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A - very pretty blood red/sienna, two finger head with serious retention and sticky lacing. Pretty thick when poured

S - sweet, bready, gingerbread cookies, pecan pie, funk, sour like yeast and sweet yeast, cinnamon, some dark fruit wine notes, citrus rind, pine, fresh cut branches and some earth

T - Very sweet, slightly sour, fall/winter spices ( nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper?, orange peel), Dark dried sweet fruits, pine, booze, toasted dark malts, citrusy hop, funky Belgian yeast, ginger, wood, potpourri and lots of crazy earth

M - full bodied, medium complexity, balanced, low acidity and long finish

D - huge ale, biggest "holiday" ale I have had in a while. Still very warming and refreshing. Reminds you of cold winter nights with a roaring fire in the background

Final thought - at $14 a pop and only 11% abv, this is worth 2 bottles if you like Belgian strong/winter warmer. Drink one to gauge and age one to praise

 937 characters

Photo of superspak
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml cork and caged bottle into tulip glass. Pours extremely dark brown color with a nice 2 finger dense tan head with fantastic retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Nice thick lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of plums, dark fruit skin, molasses, roasted malt, candi sugar, citrus peel, nutmeg, light chocolate, and yeasty spices. Very nice and pleasant aromas with nice balance. More on the interesting side of things as well. Taste of big plum, dark fruit, caramel, toasted malt, chocolate, molasses, citrus, nutmeg, and light yeast spices. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of molasses, dark fruit skins, chocolate, and roasted malt. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very silky, creamy, and smooth mouthfeel that goes down way too easily for being almost 11%. Alcohol is practically invisible with only a slight warming well after the finish. Overall, this is an incredible Belgian strong dark ale. Fantastic balance and dangerously drinkable.

 1,004 characters

Photo of jamescain
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to texasclimber for sharing this one, poured into a sniffer

Appearance: Pours a deep dark red with a thin off tan head that leaves spots on the top of the beer.

Aroma: Subtle spice notes, some what faded, orange peel, clove, and cinnamon, with dark fruit notes.

Taste: Dark fruit, figs and plums, with cinnamon and a touch of caramel.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: I think it's held up pretty well, the spices have faded and I think the body is a little light.

 509 characters

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

Appearance: dark brown, highlights like a tawny port. Thick head on the pour with thick pretty lacing. A real looker this.
Smell: thick roasty and port like. Reminiscent of dfh wws.
Taste: Mostly delivers what the nose is sellin. Roasty, port like, the rum up front but balanced.
Overall: a very nice and unique beer. Thanks much to Chris at Boo's for landing this beauty.

 373 characters

Photo of flannelman808
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 @ 10.9% Abv

A: Pours with a good amount of pale tan foam which has ok retention and good lacing. Beer is a mars black color and very dense, almost no light shines through... just a hint of pale tan shows through in the corner.

S: Wow this has an amazing bouquet. Heavy on the clove and "christmas spices". Gingerbread, chocolate, and candied orange follow up.

T: Gingerbread cake full of spice and complexity. This is really an aptly named beer, and something to have next to a crackling fire. some dark fruity notes begin to develop as this warms as well as medium dark chocolate. The chocolate lends some bitterness as do bitter fruit pith and spicy flavors. Overall this one suggests Sweet flavors but offers a nice dry finish. always a good sign. This offers just a suggestion of its alcohol content but is very much enjoyed (think rum cake).

M: prickly oil slick

O: Im fully satisfied with this one and think it could easily age for 2-6 years. Spicy chocolate bitterness merges with sweet autumn spice and gingerbread in a really great winter beer.

 1,066 characters

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

2010 Vintage This beer pours a deep dark brown with a full mocha brown head that fades away rather quickly. The aroma is very interesting. It is full of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits like dates and plums, with a hint of citrusy hops. It is almost impossible to determine what this beer will taste like by the aroma, so we’d better take a sip and figure this thing out. It starts out with baker’s chocolate, with hints of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. A slight citrusy bitterness works its way in, with hints of orange. The sweetness comes back with brown sugar, candied sugar, and then a hint of coffee. I’m not entirely sure what all they put into this beer when they made it, but it all works together fantastically.

 728 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage... Didn't feel like adding a new beer. Pours an extremely dark brown color with a large, mocha-colored head that disappears rather quickly. Scent is very chocolatey. Lovely milk chocolate with a hint of gingerbread and spices. A little nuttiness with some dark malts and dark fruit aromas. Just a bit of coffee too. Very complex-smelling beer. Taste is initially sweet dark fruits, followed immediately by coffee. Then a bit of winter spices with some bitter chocolate. A bit of alcohol as well. Finishes with more coffee. Mouthfeel is rich and full-bodied. Creamy. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, I'm not a huge fan of Christmas beers...but this is definitely one of the better ones. Kinda like a hybrid between a heavy imperial stout and a Belgian strong dark ale. Very nice beer.

 801 characters

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

Poured into snifter glass.

A - Poured very dark brown, almost black non-transparent color with big head that slowly dissipated leaving significant amount of lacing around the glass.

S - Dark sweet malts, dark fruits, nuttiness, earthly spices and hint of hops.

T - Very sweet with malts and brown sugar. Also detected presence of figs, almonds and slight spiciness as well.

M - Medium bodied with slightly above average carbonation.

O - Good ale but would have been a lot better if abv would have been hidden better. Nonetheless, I was not disappointed and would recommend this ale.

 587 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque black mahogany, with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like dry roasted barley and sage, with a little plumb and wild yeast and bubblegum.
T: It tasted like bubblegum and sage, with lots of candi sugar and a bit of roasted barley, dark fruit, sour yeast, and grassy hops. It had a clean sweet and sour aftertaste.
M: It was oily and fairly thick, with some smooth natural carbonation. Very nice body.
D: This was a very strange beer, and I wasn't really a fan of the scent or taste. Bubblegum has no place in beer, especially when mixed with sage! My buddy thought it tasted like straight prune juice, so even while we had different tastes, neither was really favorable. At least the alcohol was well hidden and it had nice body. But this beer is not recommended.

 793 characters

Photo of colts9016
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A very nice two finger head that has good retention. The head is a creamy tan with shades of brown and it is foamy. The color of the beer is dark brown opaque color. There are some yeast floaties in the beer. There is carbonation visible on the side of the glass. The head is leaving a nice intricate lacing detail on the snifter.

Nose: A very rich roasted dark malt, coffee, chocolate, and a good toasty note. There are other aromas citrus, spice, dark fruit, grapefruit, floral, oak, and phenols. The alcohol is strong but not powerful.

Taste: This beer has a rich deep roasted malt flavor. The flavor that I picked up on is chocolate, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange, coffee, toast, oak, floral esters, and grapefruit. Ther are notes of phenols and alcohol.The finish has a sublte sweetness follow by cherries.

The mouth feel of the beer is thick, coating, carbonated and slightly astringent.

Overall: The body of the beer is full and the finish is full. The finish lingers for a bit on the palate giving this beer a really pleasing drink. The beer has balance flavor and the alcohol is not overbearing. I realy enjoy drinking.

 1,182 characters

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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle, plugged with a really long cork, into a goblet. Pours a dark brown with a foamy tan head and excellent retention. Although the beer is listed above as being 9.4% abv, the bottle itself states it is 10.9% abv.

Smells spicy, with tangy orange, clove, dark fruit, mollasses, and mild alcohol. Reminds me a it of wassil.

Sweet, like candied sugar, and slightly tart. Orange rind, clove, nutmeg, and brown sugar present up front, with a mild hop bitter catching at the end. A bit of yeastiness, woodiness, and herbal spice reside mid-mouth. A definite sipper, as this is quite complex and can be overwhelming if drank too quick.

Full-bodied, this is quite earthy feeling, with a dryness that presents only a while into the beer.

For as strong as this beer is, it is not boozy. It is, however, intense in flavor, and is one to be enjoyed throughout the evening.

 889 characters

Photo of blammasterj
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a small tan head that sits on the beer like a thick slick. Smells of puffed wheat, cinnamon, Ginger, clove, some faint chocolate. The taste is kind of weird. That puffed wheat, the same spices, cocoa powder, some spicy yeast, a little bitterness on the finish and a pleasant roastiness. The mouthfeel is wonderful; fluffy, velvety, carbonated, and very full. This has to be one of the strangest, yet most exciting winter beers that I've had. It gets sweeter and more caramelly as it warms along with a nice yeasty spice and alcohol prickle.

 564 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

really a very interesting beer here. was not sure what to make going in but was very shocked by what i got in the end. picked up on sale for 7.99??ok. poure into a snifter and consumed on 01.15.2010.

really a great pour as a jet black body puts down two fingers worth of head that are really going nowhere. really very, very well done i have to say. aroma is cinnamon, nutmeg, lots of hops which i was not expecting, ground spices, roasted nuts and a hint of peat. very deep and complex and very much welcomed around here. flavor is more of the same with a light punch of hops pushing through before being taken over by a bum rush of holiday spices. lots of nutmeg and cinnamon, again a touch of light peat, brown sugar and a nice mix of dark fruit yeast that seem to seal the deal for me in the end. finish is very clean and the alcohol is hidden so well it was rediculous.
overall one of the most solid beers i have had in a really long time and was very much enjoyed as night cap.

 985 characters

Photo of nugget
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brown with deep red hues, opaque, moderate head retention with good lacing.

S - nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins

T - moderately-bodied beer that is accentuated by a variety of holiday spices: cinnamon, nutmeg. low-medium alcoholic warmth at the end reminding you that it is 10.9 % ABV.

M - highly carbonated

D - good winter warmer after dinner drink. enjoy in a tulip and share with good friends.

 402 characters

Photo of Mjoepp
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown liquid, almost black. Creamy light brown head.

S: Cloves, sweet fruits and some hops. Notes of alcohol

T: Sweet and a bunch of Christmas spices I recognize but cannot put a name on. The alcohol is noticeable with it's warming feeling. Aftertaste is quite short with it's roasted sweet and sour feeling.

Overall: One of the top Christmas ales this year!

 370 characters

Photo of bark
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The rich smell is roasted, sweet and a bit spicy. Some bread, some wort and Belgian yeast flavours. There are some alcoholic notes as well as hints of plastic and caramel.

The colour is very dark brown; almost black (60 EBC). The two finger head is compact and brown. It leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

The taste is smooth and elegant. Some warming alcohol already in the start. Roasted malt with quite a lot of sweet bread-like flavours and hints of Belgian estery yeast. There are spices, but they are very discreet and silky. The roasted notes make me think of imperial stouts with their sour malty flavours. The aftertaste is surprisingly mild, but it is very mellow and elegant with roasted malt, very gentle bitter flavours, orange cookies and a hint of liquorice.

The carbonation is mild, the small bubbles gentle. The liquid is very smooth.

A delicate and well crafted Belgian brew with some interesting stout influences.

 941 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottle into glass in high altitude Denver, CO.

A: Non-transparent dark colour. Creamy, tan head. Four finger excellent retention.

Sm: Musty, pleasant scent of barley. Very hoppy.

T: Creamy open to a well built, complex body. Caramel. This beer has a dry body which is difficult to find and even harder to pull off correctly. Has some spice, but it isn't overdone. A sappy finish.

Mf: Perfect dryness. Nice coarseness in the body bleeds through the finish perfectly.

Dr: Very good but very pricey. I plan on making a pilgrimage to Mikkeller because I love their beers. Hides its ABV extremely well. Serve colder than usual for an extra treat.

 650 characters

Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into regular dinner glass at high altitude (around 6,000 feet).

A - Dark cream-colored four-finger head at first, which went down to a two-finger head afterwards. The beer itself is a nice dark reddish color.

T - The spices in this beer really remind me of winter and Christmastime. Eggnog was one of the first things that came to mind when I tasted this. There was a bit of a nutty taste on the finish.

M - Coarse and dry body which stays through to the finish.

D - Serve it cold, it hides the 10%+ alcohol content very well. Great once a year for the winter, I'd definitely buy the 2011 version.

 615 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Santa's Little Helper 2010 from Mikkeller ApS
4.09 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.