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Santa's Little Helper 2010 | Mikkeller ApS

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Santa's Little Helper 2010Santa's Little Helper 2010
81 Ratings
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.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 50
Reviews by rarbring:
Photo of rarbring
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is dark brown with hints of orange, the tan head is huge, lasting and leaves lots of lacing

The smell is brown sugar, dark burnt bread, raisins, sherry, roasted coffee and cinnamon.

The taste starts intensely sweet, caramel, dark syrup and brown sugar, clove and bitter oranges, alcohol in the strong wine area, Madeira and Port. Some dark chocolate.

Medium carbonation, tiny soft bubbles, a bit oily, a complex and big body, a dry finish.

Very good, one possible downside is the sweetness.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Brent
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Our Special Ale on steroids - that pretty much sums up this interesting winter offering. Dark, spruce rosin notes, roasted malt and holiday spices - allspice, gingerbread cookie, fruit cake. You name it, they tossed it in. Big abv works well with the swirling melange of flavors. If you hate OSA, you will despise this. But, if you love OSA . . .

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Photo of Hex92
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of bark
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Broke this open on Christmas morning as the kids were having a Santa overload.

At once intense and chocolaty. Pours a deep brownish black with a large off white head that falls to thick. luxurious lacing. The aroma isn't as strong as the flavor - malty and phenolic. But the flavor is sharp and spicy, with clove and allspice, rich chocolaty malt, and a huge boozy finish that gives away the high ABV. This is like a big cup of spiced cocoa. Very tasty and Christmasy

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

Not exactly the typical Belgian Strong Dark Ale, this beer borrows attributes of Winter Warmer spiciness, Porter-ish darkness and toast, and assertive hop notes.

Santa's Little Helper pours a dark brown with very little haze. Off white head character starts and remains foathy, sturdy, and formitable. Moderate lacing lef on the glass, the beer even looks like a Porter.

Toast and charred fruits fill the nose while a zesty and fresh ginger-like spice that reminds me of sorghum laced ginger snaps. Weave in a piney-earthy note with mild cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, the beer has a seductive and appetizing scent.

Toast and maple syrup starts the flavor profile by balancing the sweetness and toasted grains/bread. While the beer warms, the more subtle ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors rise and adds complex flavors that compliment the maltiness well. Just before the finish, a minty-sprucy hop counterpart is met with estery and vinous grapes, cherries, wild berries, and plumbs. Very nice balance and enough layers of taste without becomming complicated.

Full and creamy at first, but as the carbonation subsides, the vinous tartness and mild fruity acidity balances the weight while cutting through the malty feel. But going into the finish, the mild woodsy, toasty, sprucy bitterness and spicy bite ushers in a dry and clean feel that saves the mouthfeel.

A delicious toasty beer without becomming roasty, this Belgian Strong Dark Ales has a Noire character and fruitcake spice and ester profile that makes this Winter Warmer easy to drink, pint after pint.

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Photo of antzman
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of JayQue
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of david18
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm a huge fan of the Mikkeller single hop ipa's and was very excited to see this on tap at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Not bad for the style, which is not one of my favorites.

Dark amber brown, maybe with a redish hue and a light brown head. Aroma is a combination of dark fruit, malt, hops. Flavor has a nice balance of fruit, malt, hops and alcohol. A little strong on the alcohol. If you like this style of beer, you'll love this. I look forward to trying additional beers from this brewery.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Amazingly strong, thick tan head, with tons of lacing, over a deep brown body.

Aromas of roasted malts, healthy dose of spices, sweet table syrup, a chemical quality like shoe rubber, and licorice in the back.

Very smooth on the palate - good 'Belgian' quality in the carbonation. Tons of anise/licorice in the flavor, with cocoa nibs, tobacco leaves, and a touch of red bell pepper in the finish. Creamy smooth througout.

Touch too strong of a bitterness in the flavor for me, which brought down my drinkability a notch, but overall, this is a superb offering from Mikkeller.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks just like the previous vintages I have had, dark brown, light foam head. I recently read a description of this beer as OSA on steroids and that sounds appropriate. This seems to have a similar gumminess to it, black licorice ,brown sugar, tastes good and really fits the season. The label is great too.

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Photo of Pencible
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of t0rin0
2.25/5  rDev -44.9%

Photo of illidurit
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at the December Santa Cruz tasting. Pours medium brown with a cocoa-colored head. Cocoa and dark ripe fruits rule the aroma and flavor, with some sharp alcohol character as well. Plenty of spice, especially coriander and anise. Kinda like a boozy liquid fruitcake or something. Not bad, just an unfocused amalgam of wintry flavors.

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Photo of colts9016
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of champ103
3.61/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger tan head rises with really good retention. Rings of sticky lace are left behind.
S: Toasted malt, to nearly roasted malt. Some big Belgian yeast aromas as well. Some bread crust.
T: Some roasted malt and chocolate. Big bready flavors as well. Reminds me more of a stout than anything. Enjoyable though.
M/D: A full body that is low on the carbonation. Creamy and smooth. Not hard to drink. Something I can sip on with ease, but there is a big alcohol punch.

Mostly simple toasted/roasted malt flavors. Though still enjoyable. I wish some more spices and other flavors would come out. Overall, worth a try.

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Photo of pisano
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Trueant1
4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark, almost black with an off white pancake batter head!
Smells very mellow. Hearty black bread with molassis.
The taste is off the charts! 100 points! Need I say more? Sweet molassis, malty, smokey, vanilla, peppermints, cinnamon, and many many more flavors! Mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is wet and a bit sticky. Drinkability is ...hmmm... I want another and another sip! Awsome brew , almost perfection in the taste, mouthfeel and balance.
I am running to the store tomorrow to buy more to age!

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey Belgian Christmas night.

It's very dark brown, with hints of light, hazy, and light head.

Nose of light spices, cinnamon, nuts, some dark Belgian malts, a bit of sweet syrupy aromas.

Taste has some light spices, malty and pretty boozy, Belgian dark malts, a little candi sugar and chewy malts, a bit of nougat, some fruit, raisin, light roast, a little creamy, and some smoke. Also quite a bit of licorice and a bit of aniset, and cocoa powder.

Mouth is medium to slightly heavier body, with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is so-so, with a bit of warming and slightly tingly booze, some spices, and the licorice anise is a little too much for me at least.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brown color with a tan head. The aroma is roasted malt with some nice chocolate notes. I don't get much Belgian character in the aroma. The beer smells more like a porter than a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

The flavor is heavy on the chocolate with some spices mixed in. The spices are definitely there, but they are hard to identify. I also get some smoke and tobacco notes in the flavor.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Santa's Little Helper 2010 from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 81 ratings