Tsjeeses Belgian X-Mas Ale
De Struise Brouwers

Tsjeeses Belgian X-Mas AleTsjeeses Belgian X-Mas Ale
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Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #30
ABV:
10%
Score:
89
Ranked #7,366
Avg:
4.01 | pDev: 10.72%
Reviews:
251
Ratings:
480
From:
De Struise Brouwers
 
Belgium
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  30
Gots
  91
SCORE
89
Very Good
Tsjeeses Belgian X-Mas AleTsjeeses Belgian X-Mas Ale
Notes: Tsjeeses is a jolly, blond winter ale with a fluffy white cap. Its aroma is elegant with hints of fruit, spices, refreshing herbs, and noble hops. The taste is robust, very complex, and quite dry for its style. This warming ale is our gift to you for the holidays. Enjoy!

Brewed and bottled on the Deca Brewery in Woesten-Vleteren.

EBC:14, IBU:32, OG:1093, FG:1018, ABV:10%
Hops: Marynka, Brewers Gold
Reviews: 251 | Ratings: 480 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of VoxRationis
VoxRationis from New York

3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a Captain Lawrence muffin top, custom taster pint glass; this is the 2013 Vintage (lot 5183647514|bottled 07/2014). Again, trying to get everything in for those of those of you with decoder rings and crystal balls.
A: Pours a murky brown color with a less than one finger, wheat colored head, actually fairly decent retention, and modest rings of lacing.
S: Aromas of caramel more molasses, cocoa, pumpernickel bread, white pepper, honey, and apricot.
T: Sweet. Flavors very much derived from the nose. Certainly some orange zest, more than a touch of cinnamon, and maybe some sarsaparilla. Bitterness solid but definitely in the background this year.
M: Full bodied with solid carbonation up front, moderating with time, impressive for something in the bottle so long. Chewy, really.
O: This still tastes a lot like an English Old Ale to me, but more consistent with the Christmas spices I expect.

Previously, decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a Tree House snifter glass; this is the 2012 Vintage (lot 120713042012|bottle lot 16|G|HH). Bottle also says T&J No. 11. Trying to get everything in for those of those of you with decoder rings and crystal balls.
A: Pours a murky brown color with a less than one finger, wheat colored head, rim retention, and minimal lacing.
S: Aromas of caramel more molasses, pumpernickel bread, white pepper, honey, and apricot.
T: Sweet. Flavors very much derived from the nose. Certainly some Graham cracker and maybe a touch of cinnamon. Strong, really too strong bitterness leaves a pepper/cumin flavor lingering on the palate (especially initially).
M: Full bodied with solid carbonation up front, moderating with time, impressive for something in the bottle so long. Chewy, really.
O: This tastes a lot like an English Old Ale to me. Maybe I am just being provincially American, but got only a jot of Christmas spice throughout. That said, really didn't know what to expect and it was enjoyable enough within those style boundaries. Perhaps my palate just isn't sophisticated enough. This is a bit old: I have the 2013 Vintage and let's see how that goes.

Dec 14, 2019
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orcrist_cleaver from New York

4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bourbon barrel aged variant (2013 vintage).

Rusted coppery brown. Pure white head...large soapy bubbles cling to edges.
Montmorency cherries, Belgian candi nose, tart and semi-sweet. Chocolate malt balls, ginger and clove spice.
Chinese five spice, dried sugar plums, orange peel, crusty brown bread, cardamom tea, and raisin. Bourbon aging imparts a woody and sweet toffee treacle. Not overly boozy, but it has some legs.

Dec 11, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Unknown vintage, possibly a few years; drank 4/19/14 @ the Yarchives.

Orange rust murkiness; lots of off-white flotsam.

Minimal off-white head; almost no lace.

Apple cider nose.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Watery apple cider flavor; drinkable but not very good.

A far cry from Tsjeeses Reserva's majestic greatness. Oxidized, perhaps?!

Nov 10, 2019
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 11.2 oz bottle in a snifter. This 2011 vintage pours a
lightly cloudy orange tinged tea color with a light head of quickly
dissipating foam that leaves behind a faint ring and scant dusty
layer. Nose of Belgian candy, subtle fruit, subtle dark breaded
notes, and faint Belgian spice of coriander. Flavors lightly exceed
the nose with brown sugars and candy sugars dashed with dark
cranberry bread. Tea and orange zest also show with warmth
amongst a light coriander note. Mouth feel is low carbonation,
medium light body, and a lightly sweet finish.

Overall, a nice brew, but would be better fresher.

Cheers

Nov 09, 2019
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

was lucky enough to have my neighbor share a bottle of the 2012 vintage this weekend, as we drank through way too many christmas beers in one sitting. this one has ages super well, and i actually liked it better than the bourbon barrel aged version from 2013, which he also graciously shared in the same absurd session. this one is a little cloudier, a less pronounced red looking color, more of a copper, with some haze and a short off white head that settles fast. it smells amazingly mature, i get a light tannic and oak thing, although im not sure this sees any way. i get some lightly faded hops which add perhaps a little oxidation here, plenty of raisin but its not fruity or sweet, and a belgian yeast thats stood the test of time, peppery and slightly vinous, malt base like a barleywine rather than anything belgian, at least at this stage. all of this is true in the flavor too, lightly nutty, decadent without being sugary, brandy notes, dried plum, star anise, black tea, faint orange peel, black pepper, candied pear, and a liquid breadiness bringing it all together. not particularly boozy, in great shape for its age, and a really nice christmas beer without forcing the holiday vibe at all, which i greatly appreciate in this day and age. always a treat to drink beer from de struise, they all seem to age so well. this rules, id love to try it fresh sometime too!

Dec 04, 2018
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joaopmgoncalves from Portugal

3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a Mikkeller tasting glass.

A: Body is very orange and and crystalline, head is minimal but looks like a BSPA with some more darker and orange-y tones.
S: The aroma is very strong of belgian candi, caramel and molasses.
T: Taste is mostly of belgian candi, to an extend that's even too intense.
M: Body is medium. Alcohol is unnoticed. Bitterness is low. Sweetness is medium high.
O: Not the most interesting beer to have in Christmas due to its intensity on belgian candi and caramel, but it's still drinkable.

Oct 18, 2018
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MelonLord from Indiana

3.37/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

2008 vintage (!) that i got for $2.50(!) on discount

It looks like belgian beer but up against a light it almost looks like wine or really dark mead, thin ring of very small bubbles with a little carbonation in a 10oz snifter filled halfway.

smell is sweet belgian beer smell. It almost smells like wood, earthy mosses next to a honeydew plant with a very sweet floral note. Then over that it smells like old beer. maybe some medicinal smells going on? the spices have taken on a different character probably.

Sweet taste. Reminds me of a barley wine or old ale but not a super sweet one. Belgian beer taste which is very much like the smell. Maybe a little bit of bitterness?

Mouthfeel is great, full bodied. When i smelled this beer I could tell it would have a nice body to it. probably the best part.

Cool beer experience. Won't try again.

Jan 18, 2018
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wotta great Christmas in 2017! I have been working on the slow production of a Christmas (crock) pot roast for my third straight year & drinking some Christmas/holiday beers while doing so.

From the bottle: "Belgian X-Mas Ale".

Once more, I prised off the cap only to begin a gentle pour into the awaiting glass. Once completed, I gave it a vigorous in-glass swirl that briefly raised a finger of soapy, foamy, light-tan head that quickly dissipated into wisps. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a bready, slightly honey-sweet quality along with a light stone fruitiness. Hmm. I might have said "fruitcake", but that would have been imprecise. Still, it should give you a sense of what this one was about. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was an interesting mélange, ranging from freshly-baked bread to a light nuttiness to dark, dried stone fruit to light caramel. It all added up to a Belgian-style holiday treat, but it might not be everyone's cuppa tea. I especially liked that it finished very dry in spite of all of the raucous, riotous flavors involved. YMMV.

Dec 25, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a sniffer. The appearance is a hazy semi-dark brown color with a nice somewhat fluffy white foamy head that ends up lightly concaving in its lacing against the glass. There’s some nice adequate foamy lacing trying to stick but sliding for the most part. The smell has a nice chocolate malt up front that once it warms there’s a nice light spice gently coming through - mainly some ginger and allspice, but I do get some light clove. The taste was sweet and spicy and the chocolate really takes over for the most part and actually tastes more like cocoa nibs than just plain chocolate. There’s a quick dry spicy and slightly cocoa finish. On the palate, this one sits right on the medium bodied. It wants to show some sort of sessionable aspect but shows a nice sipping quality about it. Overall, this one is a very nice Belgian Strong Ale worthy to have around the holidays.

Jun 16, 2017
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HopsAreDaMan from Missouri

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

UPDATE 12/22/2017): Had this in a side-by-side with the 2013 Tsjeeses Reserva (Porto Barrel Aged); This beer was still really good. I don't remember any metallic tang in the flavor that I got when having had it previously.

Total Wine; sale $2. 11.2 oz. Dated 2015.

One of the better Belgium's. The only thing I slightly didn't like was the finish: it had a subtle metallic tang in the finish. It may be because of it's age, like an old ale, such that it will hopefully disappear in another year. I have another one I am cellaring.

Feb 05, 2017
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Dzu from Russian Federation

4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 0.33l bottle into goblet.
L:Dark copper/amber color with a weak foam head.
S: Deep sweet smell. Citrus. Complex.
T: Apricot, sweets,caramel, lacrice.
F: Great balanced with nice afterateste. Low carbonation.
O: Surprised with this one! Worth a try.

Dec 24, 2016
Photo of Marius
Marius from Netherlands

3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared thanks to kermis. 2012 vintage. Gusher. Hazy orange pour with a thin white head. Funky brett, caramel, honey, paracetamol. Medium body, low carbonation and a bitter-sweet finish.

Nov 20, 2016
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Dentist666 from Russian Federation

3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hazy red/amber beer with thin beige head, low retention.
Smell - rich, dark fruits, candy sugar, spices.
Taste follows the smell.
Full body, low carbonation.
Smells much better than tastes.

Oct 26, 2016
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Bierliebhaber3 from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This Belgian strong pale ale pours an opaque brownish orange color with a big foamy white head. The smell is fairly mild, but is of caramel malts, spices, and a little nuttiness. The flavor is of caramel malts, burnt sugar, some spices, dates, and some nutty earthiness. The finish imparts a taste of alcohol and a little hop bitterness and is also semi-dry. The alcohol is 10% and you can tell it’s there. I wouldn’t call it totally overwhelming, but it is a little intense and takes away from the polish a little bit. The body is on the high end of medium, which I am pleased to see in an ale this light. I like the high alcohol content and the fairly high body, but the nutty earthiness throws me off a little bit. This flavor might be a result of this beer being a little over-aged, but the people I was drinking it with actually liked it. It’s still a decent ale and I give it props for being ambitious, but with that weird nuttiness I can’t rate it too high.

Jun 08, 2016
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josanguapo from Spain

4.74/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From elcervecero. Amazing aroma, great taste. Raisins, caramel, pleasant alcohol touch. Only downside is its ugly aspect. Avg 4.5. 2012 Edition.

28 Jan 2018. In Teku glass. Watching Vikings 5x03. From Zombier. 2015 Edition. Abv very well hidden. Best implementation of a molasses, brown sugar and caramel profile ive ever taken. Not cloying at all, really balanced

May 07, 2016
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Probably only the second time I've Had this Holiday offering and it is far more memorable the second time.
(Guys, this will happen to you as you age.)

First off, an amber with a good head is almost always a welcome sight in winter.
Second, the aromatics are subtle mostly malt, but enough seasonal spices and dark fruit; neither is too much and one probably one helps the other be better than they are separately. All this subtlety gets reflected in the taste... so much so that I'd rather the bottle did not end.
I dock this ale for its mouthfeel. While full and dry, the carbonation prickles my tongue too much... but that is just me; and if your tongue likes being pricked... that's your choice.
Overall, I've had the five most popular beers from Struisse and I still can't get my head around them.
Enigmatic, probably a great brewer.
I will look for Tsjeeses and Struise.

Apr 23, 2016
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spacecake9 from Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 3rd bottle I've had in the last couple days. Code on the side is Dated B 6 08, I have no idea when this beer was bottled, local beer store has it in their close out area.
A - Pours a murky brown with a small head. When you finish there will be small floaters in your glass (drink 'em).
S - Big raisin/fig aroma.
T - Flavor is raisin in the best way. Sweet juicy raisins. And it has a warming boozy kick on the finish.
M - Medium mouth feel and carbonation.
O - Love this beer. Awesome.

Jan 07, 2016
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Bruno74200 from France

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The original version of De Struise version of christmas ale. Not going on the spices they prefer to warm your heart with a strong ale. Notes of toffee and pear

Dec 16, 2015
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle from the De Struise shop online.

Tis a hazy rust coloured brew I get with my pour. 1" of long lasting foam and excellent lacing to go with that.

Pitted fruits is what I immediately pull out from the smell. Mostly plums but also semi sweet cherries with some candi sugar. Malt wise. ..caramel.

Very fruity with what I described above with the added attraction of a light tartness. I get quite a bit of the caramel near the finish but that fades and is replaced t the fruit and a distinct dryness.

Medium body with medium carbonation.

Never too sweet or too bitter or too tart, I find it remarkably balanced. A real treat to drink!

Dec 13, 2015
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Wanne from Belgium

4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Color is amber/bronze and a bit cloudy. Huge white head with an amber accent. Smells like a sour beer, only a bit sweeter. A combination of different tastes, such as caramel, candied fruit and spices, gives for an incredible beer. Delicious.

Mar 29, 2015
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dcmchew from Romania

4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark orange/amber, finger and half of nice creamy off-white head that slowly and "artistically" recedes.
Sweet juicy orchard fruit on the nose (apricot, peach, overripe apple, quince), sprinkled with candi sugar and some alcohol, caramel, some spicy yeasts and hop.
Wow, straight boozy cherry plum and persimmon, with a rich jammy stone fruit stickiness. Splash of honey, caramel later on, some orange peel. Getting close to a dark fruit character too, but mostly white raisin, light fig. Herbs, pepper, bit of clove and faint licorice. Finishes dry, a nice leafy hop edge that's quite bitter and cuts off sweetness and alcohol.
Aftertaste has bitter hop, spicy yeasts, light blond fruit, herbs and faint honeycomb. Medium body and carbonation. Tho the dry finish helps contain the booze, each new sip adds more and more, so be careful.
A really tasty strong Belgian ale, even tho i missed the targeted season by a month or so. Warms you up right away.

Feb 12, 2015
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KYGunner from Kentucky

4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012

Plenty of carbonation left it built quickly and ebbed away slowly. Lots of raisin in the nose with some dark fruit, molasses and caramel.

The flavors are light and sweet with molasses, maple, barley malt, prune, date and a finish of alcohol soaked raisin.

Very easy feel with a bit thinner feel than the Reserva but perhaps a more drinkable beer.

Feb 08, 2015
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

malt aroma with lots of fruit with a slightly boozey dark fruit flavor, mostly grape husk, fig and apple, somewhat slick mouthfeel, finishes pretty easy

Jan 16, 2015
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review from notes. Murky amber color with beige head. Aroma is malty with honey notes, makes me think of a barleywine. There are some belgian yeast qualities present in the taste but still, it resembles more a barleywine. Carbonation is indeed higher and body is not very viscous. Overall it's a nice, non-traditional belgian Christmas beer.

Dec 17, 2014
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PolarBear3 from Australia

4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a murky muddy brown colour with frothy head that retains fairly well

S - Sweet candy, toffee, musk like with a hint of dark fruit

T - Sweet malts, some spice, get some dark fruit, figs, prunes, , lots going on but fairly sweet

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation

O - Very enjoyable and highly recommend, a little too sweet but ok

Jul 12, 2014
Tsjeeses Belgian X-Mas Ale from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 480 ratings