X-Mas Zinnebir | Brasserie de la Senne

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X-Mas ZinnebirX-Mas Zinnebir
Very Good
143 Ratings
X-Mas ZinnebirX-Mas Zinnebir

Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne

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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 143 |  Reviews: 94
4.75/5  rDev +26%

Photo of brystmar
2.78/5  rDev -26.3%
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.

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Photo of Talisker
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of polishkaz
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of RickS95
3.58/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of DevilsCups
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of bdbd
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of Ralphs66
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of SLeffler27
3.62/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of coachdonovan
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.62/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

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

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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.

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Photo of MsRif
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
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!

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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.

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Photo of ROGUE16
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

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.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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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.

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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.

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

Reviewed from my notes. Served at Novare Res as part of their bottle room clearance sale. It's a brown and ruby colored beer that looks dark and opaque. A small tan head sits atop the liquid. Many interesting scents in the aroma, such as plum, chocolate, rum raisin and an overarching mild sweetness. The flavor is malty. I can taste cherry juice and a little bit of alcohol. The finish seems to be slightly acidic. It isn't spiced, nor is it overly warming; I don't feel as though this beer needs to be a winter seasonal. It has a body that straddles the line between medium and light. As a swish it around my mouth, it foams up greatly. There is a small slick coat left behind. It's a pretty drinkable beer with nothing offensive about it, but after awhile I'd need to order something hoppier. Still, worth trying a bottle if you get a chance.

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X-Mas Zinnebir from Brasserie de la Senne
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 143 ratings