Santa's Little Helper 2011 | Mikkeller ApS

BA SCORE
87
very good
96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Santa's Little Helper 2011Santa's Little Helper 2011
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark
mikkeller.dk

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A 9.1 % variant was sold in Sweden.

Added by brotherloco on 11-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
96
Reviews:
36
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
13.55%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
12
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 96 |  Reviews: 36
Photo of CummingsK21
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of drtth
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a dark brown almost black color that looks very stout like. The ½” light tan head receded fairly soon leaving a ring around the glass, and a thin island of foam on the liquid. Sipping left a few sparse patches of lacing from the ring but there was not much lacing at all for most of the beer.

Smell: The aroma has a strong component of chocolate. There also seem to be some dark fruits and coffee here. Is this a BSDA or a stout?

Taste: As expected from the nose there seems to be some nice dark fruits here mingled with the chocolate. A coffee note balances off against the chocolate and the fruits.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the full-bodied side of medium with a moderated amount of carbonation to keep things active. The finish is on the long side of medium and slides out to dryness from a sweet balance between the chocolate and the fruits to a somewhat lackluster finish.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I quite enjoyed sipping my wayt through this one and would gladly have it again. Its an interesting beer in that it seems to be a nice blending of styles with some characteristics of a BSDA and some of a stout. You could have told me either style and I’d have believed it from the appearance, aroma, and flavor. My overall impression is that once again Mikkeller has sought and found a nice niche in the space between stouts and BSDAs.

 1,484 characters

Photo of miked234
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of jak
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of dahlen22
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black and velvety with a decent brown head (almost like a Guinness Extra Stout from Ireland)

Aroma: Malt, dried figs, caramel, and other dark fruits.

Taste: The taste is what I expected once I got a whiff of the aroma. Malty, nutty, with figs, raisins, plums, coffee, and other candied fruits.

Overall: The price (12.99) is steep, but that being said, this beer is exceptionally smooth for almost 11% and is tasty for the cold long nights of winter up here in the Northeast. This is not a session beer, but one or perhaps two by the fireplace is worth trying. Cheers!!

 583 characters

Photo of JayS2629
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with low carbonation, a one finger head that fades fast and little lacing.

The aroma is full of dark fruit, and belgian yeast fruity esters. Coffee and cocoa with spice, vanilla, and burnt edges.

The flavor has fig, raisin, plum, and vanilla with coffee and cocoa in the background. Slight tart edge through a spiced sweet toffee rounds things out.

Medium body, low carbonation, smooth

Overall, a nice Christmasy beer...sipper...a one and done.

 487 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Before tasting, this beer seemed quite stout-like to the senses. Dark, opaque brown-black in color, no head whatsoever. Aroma of coffee, predominantly, with tones of dark malts and dark, dried fruits. Coffee and dark roasted malts in the taste--again somewhat reminiscent of a stout, but the mouthfeel tells you otherwise--and additionally notes of yeast and fruity esters, that should leave no doubt that this is a Belgian strong ale. Hints of soy sauce as it approached room temperature. Medium mouthfeel, moderate booziness as expected, and a bit bland in the finish. Good overall.

 622 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours very dark brown with a tall tan kind of airy head. Slow dissipation leaves some lacings.

S: Spices and yeast, a bit sour though. Candy-like suger. Dark dried fruits and syrupy sweetness. Rather highly roasted, almost a bit burnt. Vanilla.

T: Boozy and yeasty. Spices and lots of dark roasted malts. Sweet. Dark dried fruits. Vanilla and some faint smoke. Coffee.

M: Aftertaste lingers with mostly sweet notes. Body is full and carbonation very low. Very boozy.

O: The hard thing, when it comes to strong Belgian Ales is obviously hiding the alcohol - here the Danes fails. The smell is a mix between Strong Belgian Dark Ale and Porter... Not that balanced.

 669 characters

Photo of dansmcd
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Extreme dark brown, almost black body. Two fingers of dense tan head and huge helpings of sticky lacing everywhere.

S - Spice, yeast, caramel, chocolate, coffee and dried apple.

T - Yeast, burnt toast, plums, figs, raisins, orange peel, and some alcohol heat.

M - Medium bodied, feels right, dry finish.

O - Really nice, complex, flavourful, wintery ale.

 362 characters

Photo of WarnerJC8
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Elfastball7
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color. It poured with a finger high tan colored head that died down but left some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of chocolate malt.
T: The taste has flavors of dark fruits along with notes of chocolate.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very well balanced and makes for an interesting sipper.

 530 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jeff1973
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of stbo101
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris at Boo's for landing this one.
Appearance: near black with red highlights. Impressive billowy head.
Smell: Very nice but a bit diluted for a high % Belgian with spice. Chocolate malt up front with a hint of spice.
Taste: Very nice and drinkable but a bit of a letdown if you're expecting big and bold.
Overall: tasty, mellow for a beast. High quaffability.

 372 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I dont know if i cracked this too early but im gonna have to buy another one anyways so here goes.

A-Pours a dark black hue which leaves a creamy smoggy two finger head that stays and leaves heaps of lacing everywhere.

S-Candy sugar,candied plums,wildberries and caramel.

T-Xmas pudding,boozy alcohol and i mean boozy,sour cherries,burnt toffee,caramel and finished with a stout like finish sweet and bitter.

M-Full bodied and creamy with a touch of sour bitterness on end.

O-I like this drop and after the first goblet the booziness goes away funnily enough but yeah its definately a drop that crosses styles and is very tasty especially on Xmas day with all the toppings cheers.

 685 characters

Photo of jayhawk73
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, dark brown (almost black) with a perfect two finger chocolate head. Massive amounts of lacing on my snifter glass. The head sticks around for the entire session- amazing. The nose is chocolate, coffee, some dark fruit, and spices. I'd like the nose to be a little stronger, but it's still very good. Taste is heavy on the coffee (a little too much so), some chocolate, hops, malt, dark fruit, and a hint of grapefruit. It's very good, although different than what I expected. Feel is medium, with a dry finish. Slight alcohol burn on the aftertaste, but it's not overpowering. The malt really has a silky coating effect on your throat as well- excellent. Overall, this is a very good beer... VERY close to great, but just not quite there. Still, this is definitely worth picking up if you're a fan of the style. Cheers.

 833 characters

Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of rarbring
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is dark foggy brown, has a very high tan head that settles slowly leaving loads of lacing and good curtains.

Smell of spices, chocolate and coffee, dark dried fruits and grape-fruit peel.

Starts sweet with dark syrup, burnt crust, figs and raisins, citric zest and seeds.

Medium carbonation, smooth and sticky, big body anda good smooth dryness.

In all a potent and good winter ale.

 395 characters

Photo of brotherloco
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml foiled and capped bottle. 2011 vintage. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very deep brown, almost opaque black. Big two and a half fingers of dark tan pillowy foam. Slowly settles to a generous thick ring with medium amounts of lacing.

Aroma of sweet and roasty chocolate malt and fruity esters. Pineapple seems to dominate. Dry christmas spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice are quite prominent. There is also a noticeable hop presence, much like you get in a Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale. Also, a touch of alcohol.

Flavor is a lot drier and less sweet than I was expecting from the nose. Roasty malts and hoppy bitterness starts sharp and spicy and then quickly gives way to a softer soda water middle and finish. Fruit notes are there, orange being more prevalent than the pineapple in the nose. Still, they sit somewhat quietly in the background. Aftertaste lingers a bit and is mildly bitter. Overall the flavor is good, but emptier than I'd like. I should note though, that it improves as the beer warms.

Body is on the lighter side of medium with medium-high, soft and natural carbonation. The big 10.9% ABV is very well buried, which is quite impressive given the mild flavor, so this is quite drinkable.

Apart from the fruity esters from the yeast, this beer is very subtle about it's Belgian nature. There's a lot of American influence here too.

 1,375 characters

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Santa's Little Helper 2011 from Mikkeller ApS
3.91 out of 5 based on 96 ratings.
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