X-Mas Zinnebir | Brasserie de la Senne

X-Mas ZinnebirX-Mas Zinnebir
BA SCORE
3.77/5
142 Ratings
X-Mas ZinnebirX-Mas Zinnebir
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne
Belgium
brasseriedelasenne.be

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Risser09 on 12-10-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#19,823
Reviews:
94
Ratings:
142
pDev:
13.53%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
5
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 |  Reviews: 94
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A superior Belgian pale. Pours a big white head, and leaves lots of good lace. A wonderful peachy spicey aroma. Taste of a bit of corriander, cinammon, ginger, vanilla, honey. Smooth drinking, above average carbonation. On the sweet side, but not sweet.Medium mouthfeel.

 270 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.39/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of GRG1313
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

 431 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 908 characters

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured slightly cloudy dark brown in color with a two finger high beige head that quickly faded into a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Yeast particles are visible floating in suspension near the bottom of the glass.
S: There are aromas of spicy hops and notes of dark fruits in the nose.
T: The taste is rather complex and has flavors of spices (pepper stands out in particular) and yeast; there are also some hints of dark fruits and sweetness. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and somewhat dry on the palate with a medium amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink because any traces of alcohol are well masked. The amount of dryness and bitterness decrease in strength as the beer warms up, making it more balanced.

 832 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clever label, nice looking bottle.

Pours a deep reddish brown. Two fingers of foam rise and fall in the Moinette chalice. Skim of foam uncannily resembles the continent Antarctica...hmm.

Smell is light, fruity, and pleasant. Predominant notes of green apple and pear.
A dark, bready malt hides in the background.

Taste is alot like the aroma, sliced green apple, pear, malty with an interesting Belgian yeast character. It's fairly simple, but pretty tasty, similar to a Dubbel. Alcohol is present more as it warms, but it's well integrated.

Mouthfeel is medium, tiny bubbles of carbonation make it smooth one, with a fairly dry finish. A fairly easy sipper, but maybe one to try once a year, due to the pricetag.

Label notes: The name Zinnebir is a play on the term "zinneke" - Brussels slang for "little bastards", referring to those young men living in the poor quarters of Brussels (where the Zinne river once flowed) who have one Flemish-speaking & one French-speaking parent. The brewer Bernard Leboucq identifies strongly with the "little bastards": he is French-speaking Bruxellois, now brewing in rough Flemish farm country.

 1,154 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 1,360 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -5%
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.

 455 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

 600 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large doughy head with a slow rocky withdrawal; leaving lace on the glass as it recedes. Dark amber color (almost like watered down maple syrup) with the slightest of haze.

Wonderful and interesting aromas of Caribbean spices (mainly all spice). Some alcohol in the nose. A little bit of pine hop, too.

Complex: Starts off dry, soon a sense of pepper comes into play, followed by a mildly bitter hop bite. The swallow is mostly hop and the aftertaste features some of the alcohol warmth. Good body and moderate carbonation.

I am surprised by the other reviews on this beer; I found this to be complex, full-bodied and delicious--in short, a beer worth seeking out.

 667 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Note sure how the hell this is a Belgian PA????

Pours an effervescent chestnut with 3+ fingers of rocky tan head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Chocolate powder& appleskins

T: Tartness & cocoa, appleskins, & brown sugar up front, along with some leafy hops. Dates, appleskins & green apples as this warms, plus a touch of cinnamon. Finishes dry, tart,& with more appleskins

MF: Starts off with fairly vigirous carbonation & the medium body eventually catches up

Drinks easy for a BELGIAN DARK, good offering!

 525 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost opaque roasted walnut brown (that becomes much murkier later) with dusky cherry highlights when backlit. Why am I not surprised that the huge, wheat toast brown cap looks fantastic? I swear I can identify Belgian beer on the pour simply by looking at the head. It's whipped creamy, is persistent and looks like it'll leave more than a little lace for my viewing pleasure. This is what a Belgian dark ale should look like.

I'll have to wait for the head to deflate and for the beer to warm a little before making up my mind about the nose. At this point, it smells like a spicy porter or stout. Chocolate and coffee are more prominent than is typical for the style. A pleasing spiciness appears as the beer gains a few degrees.

Zinnebir Xmas is a fairly straightforward dark ale on first blush. On second and third blushes too. Don't get me wrong, I still like it, but part of what I like about Belgian beer is its complexity. It's all well and good that the brewer at Brouwerij Sint-Pieters eschews candi sugar, syrups and spices (in a 'back to basics' kind of way), but the reason those things are used is that they often result in great beer if the brewer is sufficiently talented. Hint: my mind is about to change.

Actually, this beer strikes me as cross between a porter and a Belgian dark ale. The flavors brought out by the generous roasting of barley malt (again, chocolate and coffee) make it darker than the vast majority of similarly styled ales. An underlying yeasty spiciness keeps it true to its country of origin. It opens up quite a bit with warming and I find that I'm enjoying it more with each passing ounce. I can now appreciate coffee-macerated raisins and plums.

The mouthfeel isn't as carbonated as the head (and the head regeneration on all subsequent pours) would lead one to believe. Its lightness is a boon to drinkability, but it certainly isn't as pleasing to the mouth as it should be. It also has a tendency to lose its structure on the finish.

I have no idea what makes this particular offering a Christmas beer, other than the season in which it's released. Xmas (and it non-seasonal sibling Zinnebir) are two good, honest, well-crafted Belgian ales that impress without the aid of bells and whistles. Sometimes I wish more craft brewers shared Mr. Leboucq's brewing philosophy.

 2,332 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 1,113 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

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

Pours dark brown that is clouded. Nose is perfume touched with an almost floral/tree like fragrance. Kind of like smelling an almost budding something-or-other. Flavor is nice. Evenly spiced. Nice level of sugar and yeast funky. Smooth liquid feel with a low carbonation. This is a smooth beer. Nothing wild or crazy. I might easily be convinced to go for more after a first.

 375 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.39/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This label art is about as weird as their Taras Boulba, maybe even weirder...computery, with another Picasso character, some animal woman with a bob holding a beer, lit by a star, and there's another animal in a suit opening an enormous bottle. Strange. I won't look too far for the meaning!

Dark brown/burgundy, plummy appearance, litte head atop.

Very aromatic, wafts out from the start, but let's go in...dark fruit & spices, cola & a bit of cocoa, licorice...raisins and pepper.

Taste: darker, spicier, but none too rich. Hot. Bigger spice that I expected. Light bodied, compared to the fierce flavor, and the spice sticks out way too much without some tasty malt to back it up. More I drink, the more annoying is this prickly heat. I'm not digging the Zennebir, nossir.

There's some taste, but it's overpowered by this intense spicy, cola-y...Dr. Peppery thing...not what I'm looking for !

C'est la vie!

Taste:

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Photo of GClarkage
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/30/07- Purchased at CVS Pharmacy in Billings, MT.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with no visable freshness info. Poured into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- Dark brown, maybe a bit a red in the mix. Mahogoney? Head is about 1/2 inch on the pour. A decent sized ring remains. Light patchy lace is left behind.

Smell- Not a huge nose, but what is there is nice. Light dusting of clove with some dark fruits and maybe a bit of dark chocolate.

Taste- Mixture of the nose. More spicy notes than anything. Clove and maybe even a light cinnimon taste combines with some raisins and maybe plums. Chocolate is there, but hidden behind the spicy flavor. A nice sweetness forms as the beer warms to room temp.

Mouthfeel- About perfect carbonation with a light slick sweet taste remaining on the tongue.

Drinkability- A better than expected find from Billings...in a pharmacy of all places. Has a really nice flavor and sweetness from a lower abv brew. Pretty impressed with this Belgian Dark.

 995 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
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

 680 characters

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

Picked up a bottle for $3.75 from Abe's Cold Beer. Poured a clear, brown with a light tan head. This isn't much like most winter-styles, there's a bit of corriander flavor (maybe some nutmeg), but this is mostly a hoppy Belgian brown ale that finishes with a big bitter kick that's a mix of dry chocolate and orange peel. The main flavor tastes like caramel with toasted bread crush and a hint of sweet chocolate. Overall a mix of bitter candy malt flavors. Interesting, but not amazing. Certainly worth a try.

 510 characters

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +6.1%

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X-Mas Zinnebir from Brasserie de la Senne
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 142 ratings
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