X-Mas Zinnebir
Brasserie de la Senne

X-Mas ZinnebirX-Mas Zinnebir
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Pale Ale - Belgian
Ranked #88
Ranked #27,747
3.8 | pDev: 13.16%
Brasserie de la Senne
Very Good
X-Mas ZinnebirX-Mas Zinnebir
Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 144 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle served in a Belgian snifter.
This is 7.8% ABV and clearly not a pale ale. It is a Belgian dubbel style ale, and a good one. The very dark brown colored body is essentially opaque in the glass and topped with a short weak head.
Vertu inviting aroma with an intoxicating mix of dark grains and dark dried fruits, plus a subtle, faint spiciness. The flavor follows but the quality is a step down from the fine aroma.
Overly thin mouthfeel, particularly with the light carbonation level.

Jan 31, 2020
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josanguapo from Spain

3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From cervezas especiales. In Teku glass. Mounting kids presents the night of the Magic Kings. 2014 edition. Small sourness that slightly ruins what could be a superb brew. In any case, its still enjoyable

Jan 06, 2016
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PlutonowyManiek from Belgium

3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Head thick and creamy beige in color, medium and fine bubble, persistent. On the surface beer in the middle of the glass creates a nice foamy mound.
The aroma of clove, there are floral notes, plums, smoked negligible (?).
The taste is not as interesting as the smell. She has been dominated bitterness, strong, surging characteristic of grapefruit. Somewhere in the background hidden behind the bitterness sadly loom plums and cloves along with other spices. Alcohol skillfully hidden. In conclusion, it seems that the X-Mas Zinnebier is only bitterness, this beer all attributes that were in the bouquet, were not so much hidden as it killed a pity. It's definitely not enough.

Mar 18, 2015
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cbutova from Massachusetts

3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at the Foundry, Northampton, MA.

A- Somewhat hazy chestnut brown with a preposterous light tan head to four fingers in a tulip. Great retention and massive piles of lace after each sip.

S- Toasty brown grains and spicy Belgian yeast. Lacking strength overall as I stress to find anything beyond the general theme.

T- Packs more punch at this juncture. Spicy yeast is the vehicle while raisin, dried fig, cherry, toasted nuts, grapes and deep amber candi sugar ride along. Tobacco and a roast hint of cocoa powder really round it out and add depth. Moderately sweet.

MF- Falls on the taste buds with a body towards the lighter side. Carbonation sort of low to medium and the texture is fizzy foamy. Light dark bitters.

Darker than most of the XMAS brews I have had in the past but certainly a welcome thing here. Drinks like a Belgian Brown rather than the Belgian Pale style it is listed as.

Dec 23, 2014
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

X-Mas Zinnebir has a medium, fizzy, cream-colored head, and a cloudy, brown appearance, with lots of bubbles, tan chunks, and lacing left behind. The aroma is of subdued spice, with a preponderance of brown bread and stereotypical strong ale smell. Taste is the same, with overriding brown bread and a strong bitterness, which grows across the sip. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy, and X-Mas Zinnebir finishes semi-dry, rich, hearty, and good. Overall, I liked its focus on beer flavor, instead of spices. I recommend it.


Dec 15, 2013
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sfprint from Germany

3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

20 12 version, listed as a brown ale. 7.8 abv

A: darkish brown with a rootbeer like head. micro carbonation rising in little columns on the edges
S: dark and slightly sour.
T: indeed, belgian brown style, smooth, toasty dark malt with very mild dirty hops. coffee like
M: very mild carbonation.
O: mild coffee, easy going

Nov 02, 2013
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Absumaster from Netherlands

3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A burgundy red beer with a small head that only leaves some head at the side of the glass.

The smell is a combination of yeast derived smells of spicy, coriander, and malt smells like liquorice and cherries. The beer has a candisugar and dark crystal malty smell too.

The taste is nicely balanced between the yeast character and the malt. The yeast character is typical Belgian, notes of spices like coriander and cloves, without being added. The malts add a nice dark candisugar taste and there is a chocolaty and light dark bread crust taste to the beer. The mouthfeel of the beer is sweet and sticky. This beer is just a decent quad, and although I love it, it is not extraordinairy.

Apr 29, 2013
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superspak from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly cloudy reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, apple, pear, citrus peel, clove, pepper, coriander, floral, grass, caramel, honey, toast, candi sugar, bread, and earthy yeast spiciness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast esters. Taste of pear, raisin, apple, orange peel, clove, pepper, coriander, candi sugar, caramel, honey, toast, molasses, floral, grass, and earthy yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, clove, pepper, cinnamon, candi sugar, honey, toast, floral, molasses, and earthy yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of malt and fruity/peppery esters; with a very nice balance of peppery spice and malt sweetness; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a lightly slick and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian pale ale style. Very nice balance and complexity of malt with fruity/spicy ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Apr 03, 2013
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hustlesworth from Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- pale ale? Hell no, this is a Belgian dark ale. Dark purpleish brown, opaque and topped by a nice frothy beige head. When the foam settles, the swirls of sticky lace take the form of sliced lotus root. Odd.

S- simply put, fruity and spicy. Phenolic notes of pepper and anise along with dark berries, concord grape, black currant, and citrus peel. Side notes of banana and honeydew melon overlay stone, leather, and tobacco. Roasted and coffee notes appear as it warms a bit.

T- taste is darker and more savory that the aroma and those subtle hints of citrus peel now translate into substantial hoppiness. Macerated fruit skins, raisin and prune, stone and damp wood, and even though it's only 6.5% an unwelcome alcohol bitterness that stands apart from the bright lemony grassy hops. Flavor becomes porter-ish and a way, with hints of weak coffee. Lost bits of blueberry and currant fall off near the end and I wish they would have stayed. Finishes dry and yeasty with a black peppercorn spice kick.

MF- body is on the lighter side of medium but still has a hearty grain feeling. Dry on the cheeks and fiercely carbonated, the stinging bubbles add to its thirst quenching abilities.

D- once again this IS NOT a pale ale, and the look, aroma, and taste bear no resemblance to one. It's not bad either considering it being a very hoppy dark Belgian and the wolf label art is quirky and interesting. Dry and refreshing.

Feb 20, 2013
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this didn't amaze me, and it didn't seem that christmasy. the pour is dark brown with quite a bit of floating yeast sediment. the head is gorgeous three inches tall and just off white, thick, with good retention in my tulip. the nose is somewhere between a Belgian dub and an American brown ale, its malty with some cocoa and roast, but also sort of sweet, and a little tannic like its been finished in red wine barrels. the flavor is the same, becoming almost tartly acidic as it finishes. some residual sugar and fruit notes. nice frothy mouthfeel at first, but the carbonation dies down quickly and it gets pucker from the acid and too sugary at the end. hard to explain really. also my bottle is listed at 7.8% abv I think, and I agree with that more than I do at 6.5%. good buzz on this one. overall an okay xmas beer that leaves out the spice, but its far from polished. overpriced at 5 bucks a bottle.

Feb 13, 2013
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beerdrifter from Germany

3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at a great little beer store in Arlon, Miorge Mihoublon. Murky amber-brown pour with two finger off-white head with decent retention and great lacing. The nose is fruity and spicy with hints of nutmeg, clove, dark fruit, caramel, and just a touch of banana. The taste is complex and spicy with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, brown sugar, plums, black cherries, raisins, and just a bit of ginger. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly fizzy with an odd sour-bitter finish. This is what I like a Christmas beer to be. Spicy and complex. A solid interpretation of the style.

Dec 10, 2012
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brystmar from Texas

2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice looking pour with good head. Body looks a bit thin. Nose has biscuits, booze, dark fruit, and malt. Kinda strange but not bad.

Taste is just weird: musty and boozy, hints of smoke (wtf?) amidst the fruit further confuse my taste buds. No spices whatsoever. Finish reminds me of an ashtray. Weird & unfocused.

This beer is about what I'd expect from a novice homebrewer trying out a style he doesn't understand at all. Avoid.

May 25, 2012
Photo of RickS95
RickS95 from Indiana

3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A sharp looking beer, but nothing pale about it. Dark mahogany brown, very rich looking. Thick pour. Head is off-tan, a finger thick and gives a creamy finish when it dissipates.

Very malty nose. Bready. Caramel.

Malty taste as well. Biscuity, it follows the nose. Earthy hops, finally something resembling a pale ale. Maybe the slightest bit of coffee in the swallow. As it warms, the breadiness really shines.

Mouthfeel is reasonably complex with several layers. For just a second early on, it's almost sweet, but then an earthiness takes over from the malts and carries into the slightly bitter finish. All the while, it's creamy and full bodied.

It's a good enough Belgian pale ale, but it has nothing to do with Christmas or winter or a seasonal. Still, it's a bit different than most other BPAs and that's not a bad thing.

Mar 10, 2012
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DevilsCups from New York

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into Duvel Tulip.

A - Hazelnut brown, slightly cloudy pour with a beautiful pillowy bone colored head. Lacing is superb.

S - Clean is the best way I can describe it. Actually smells like a bunch of American pale ales I've had. Pale malts, slight hop notes. Tiny bit of grassy aroma.

T - Slightly tart bite with a very interesting bunch of flavors. First you get the pale malt and the outside hop-bite. Then comes something I can't quite pin. It's a perfumy grass note that isn't at all unpleasant, and actually rather unique. Brown sugar makes it's way in midway through. A bit of a witbier-influenced finish and a touch of clove.

M - Slightly fizzy and good mouthfeel. Not thin or thick, toes the line in the middle. Not a palette scrubber but enjoyable.

O - Pretty good for a style I rarely venture into. Maybe I'll seek out some more. From what I remember of my Ommegang-heavy days, this is a nice BPA and would recommend if you see it.

Mar 09, 2012
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SLeffler27 from New York

3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This seasonal is dark bronze with a chestnut glow when put to the light. There is a one inch, dense almond head slowly dropping rings of lace as it settles to a thick blanket for the duration. There is some sediment covering the bottom of a Dogfish Head snifter. This one appears too dark for the Belgian Pale Ale style.

Has a spicy nose with nutmeg, ginger, and some alcohol fumes. With some warmth, peach and prunes can be found.

Prominent malts are well balanced with hops. This is closer to a brown ale with wheat bread flavors and a building bitter toasted finish.

Fizzy carbonation and a dry, full body with light astringent alcohol.

While enjoyable, this one falls short of the Christmas specialty style. One will enjoy it with a simple meal.

Mar 03, 2012
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BlackHaddock from England

3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taken in the lovely old bar 'Morte Subite' Brussels during Dec 2011. This is a great beer to 'people watch' with on a cold Belgian afternoon.

Looked good in its glass, a hazy dull brown body with a full biege head above.

The nose was a good mix of maltiness, fruit cake and spices, a Christmas feel to it I suppose.

The taste was simular to the smell, but with a yeast flavour coming through the malts, some hop bitterness towards the end of the sip as well.

Pleasant more than wonderful, thought it a bit lively, so slightly over carbonated for my taste perhaps.

Jan 17, 2012
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Hopdaemon39 from New York

4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Publick House in Brookline in a goblet.

A: Certainly not a pale ale but it must be mismarked on BA cause it wasn't advertised to me as such. Pours a dark brown but not impenetrable by light. One finger tan foam with medium retention and foamy lacing.

S: Certainly not an overpowering smell- smells faintly of yeast and dark malt.

T: Full dark malty flavor with chocolate notes and a bit of yeast. A very rounded finish but has a nice lasting flavor.

M: Interesting mouthfeel- almost like an Irish stout in that it's slightly carbonated and very slick with no hop bitterness.

Certainly an interesting brew- not one I've seen before- good to try but I won't actively seek it out again.

Jan 17, 2012
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Mebuzzard from Colorado

3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian pale, I think not. No matter, so it's dark. I'll drink it.

Dark cherry, mahogany, brown pour. A bit hazy. Nice whipped head, a bit dirty white. Great lacing. Quite nice to look it.

Dark fruit aroma with some coffee and chocolate. For the most part the fruit is foremost. A bit of cocoa here and there and the coffee is green. Some booze, too

A sort of a tartness on the fruit in the flavors. Some red plum up front. A hint of herbal spices comes next. The coffee is soft and green, like beans still on the tree. But it's the fruit that comes through in the end. Sharp with some tannin on the end. Some strawberry very faint.

Drinks fairly well, a bit boozy, but nice

Jan 05, 2012
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Rifugium from North Dakota

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Correcting the mistake pour from the other day... This beer poured a caramel brown color, hazy, with a small cap of tannish head that receded quite a bit but left some soapy lacing on the glass. I wouldn't consider this a BPA at all...maybe a BDA if anything. Aroma of cocoa and caramel apples. Nice taste, smooth thanks mainly I think to a lower alcohol content; baker's chocolate, apple skin, caramel, dark dried fruits (just a bit, really), light spices, and some bready yeast coming through. Medium mouthfeel, pretty smooth and drinkable, decent overall.

Dec 19, 2011
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MsRif from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA. Poured a hazy dark brown color with an off-white head that receded quickly, leaving spotty lacing. Had an aroma of spices, yeast, dark fruits and sweet malts. Tasted of yeast, cinnamon, plums, cherries and sweet malts. Very, very "Belgian."

Medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. I really enjoyed this brew. I prefer it slightly to the regular Zinnebir. I will absolutely get it again if Teresa's still has it on tap during my next visit!

Dec 19, 2011
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up at State Line in Elkton, MD. Served in a De La Senne tulip.

Pours a moderate caramel color with a light tan head and some good lacing. The nose carries some nice yeast tones with a bit of spice and fruit and some additional light spice in the background. The flavor falls along the same lines and is fairly well-integrated with everything going on, including the malt. Medium body with good carbonation and a slight chewiness. Good brew.

Dec 17, 2011
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GRG1313 from California

3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark carmel brown with a nice firm, but quickly fading, head.

Nose is salty carmel and toffee; hints of hazelnuts and sugared coffee. Undertones of plum.

Mouthfeel is medium/thin and without a lot of appeal.

Flavors are just plain weird. Burnt coffee and green peppers; big celery mid palate and green herbs. Finish is bitter medium strong coffee. All in all a burnt grain character. End finish is bitter burnt coffee.

Feb 09, 2011
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Gehrig from Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, white foamy head tops a muddy brown body; tons of lacing and sturdy duration leave my highly impressed with the appearance. Good, malty nose, a bit smoky, a little spicy (ginger, cinnamon) peeks through, somewhat fruity (berry, cherry)--overall quite nice.

X-Mas tastes good, no question. It's rather fruity and rich with roasted malt (caramel, a bit of dark chocolate), but it doesn't quite fit a style. It seems a bit more than a BPA, but it isn't as spicy and robust as a Winter beer. In good part, its straightforward characteristics make it a bit more difficult to discern just where this fits. What would make this easier to determine its fit--and which would surely improve its already nice flavor--are some more strongly defining characteristics: letting the fruit take charge, for example, as so many good Belgian beers do. That would really take this places.

My mouthfeel score might be a bit generous, for it starts out rather effervescent but flattens out a bit at the end. The good, smooth malt content and texture atones for much, and enhances an already accessible, tasty beverage.

X-Mas is surely a good beer and, for $3.49 a pop, it's worth a nod and try. It isn't an overly complex, overwhelmingly tasty Belgian, it's hard to peg quite where this fits stylistically, and I am not sure just how much this stands out among a bevy of good seasonal beers one can procure at this time of year. But X-Mas is good stuff, and I approve of it.

Jan 14, 2011
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augustgarage from California

3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've got a few belate Christmas ales to consume, so let's start with a Belgian Pale Ale. I enjoy regular Zinnebir, curious how this compares. Surreal and gorgeous label art I should mention. ABV is listed as 7% with this batch. Poured from a capped 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip. Bit of a gusher...

Very nearly opaque thanks to the heavy quantity of yeast/lees. Murky pale copper body with fulvous highlights where light is allowed through. Large persistent fluffy beige head with sticky thick lace.

Potently yeasty nose full of phenolics (taking the place of Christmas spice?), rustic barley notes and a wave of noble hops. Smells much like a dark saison.

Tart palate entry gives way rapidly to a spicy yeasty bready mix of flavors which are jumbled together making picking out individual tastes difficult. Black pepper, sourdough starter, rye, toffee, faint caramel malt, faint ganache, with a nutty/tea-like finish. Each element is rather subtle, but the overall impression is robust. I think this is a bit older so probably the hops have faded compared to a fresh bottle, but I have nothing to compare to...

Effervescent, medium-bodied, lightly warming.

Delicious lightly complex blend, but a bit muddled style-wise. Nice to have a "Christmas" ale that doesn't depend so heavily on nutmeg/clove/cinnamon/etc. It seems you can't go wrong with Brasserie De La Senne.

Jan 06, 2011
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at the Lancaster county brewers Christmas Party 2010 -not sure who shared it, but I had it in a cervoise slightly cooler than cellar temp.

A hazy caramel color w/ an abundance of floatees - thin beige light cap w/ tiny bead. The smell is of spicy yeast and slight toasted grain w/ hints of wood and caramel w/ a mild aroma of raisin. The feel is great with dry woody, spicy texture. Moderately carbonated w/ subtle phenolic elements and lots of earthy dry and spiced accents w/ subtle astringency and toasty textures w/ light alcohol.

The flavors are good w/ strong yeast presence w/ lots of Belgian character which includes phenolic mild medicinal tinge w/ a medium level of spiciness which complements the slight stone fruit and mild toasted flavors well. The malt has an earthy flavor and the gentle woodiness expresses well with the other elements of the yeast. I was enjoying this at the end of the party with several other BA's and this impressed me that it was able to stand out amongst many other quality Belgian and English strong ales in appearance. I would definitely try this one again.

Jan 01, 2011
X-Mas Zinnebir from Brasserie de la Senne
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 144 ratings