Christmas Ale
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
From:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
 
Belgium
Style:
Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #20
ABV:
9.8%
Score:
94
Ranked #2,308
Avg:
4.23 | pDev: 8.98%
Ratings:
2,488
Status:
Active
Rated:
Apr 13, 2022
Added:
Oct 23, 2007
Wants:
  208
Gots:
  526
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
Notes: St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is a dark, seasonal beer, full of wintery character and flavours that we brew every year ready for the festive season.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Photo of jimmah120
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by jimmah120 from Minnesota

Strong dark fruits, clove and spice, lighter berries/apples/fruits, and lots of crystal malt sweetness, with a nice nip of booze to remind you it's 9%

Mar 15, 2022
Photo of harrypowers
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by harrypowers from Massachusetts

Pours a dark reddish brown with a big foamy head and a lot of lacing.

Smells of Belgian yeast with some banana ,cherries and spice.

Tastes of toasted malt, plums, cherries, caramel, cinnamon and cloves with a boozy warm finish.

Medium light body with very light carbonation. Lightly lush syrupy mouthfeel.

This is a very enjoyable, complex and strong sipper that is neither too heavy or cloy.

Feb 20, 2022
 
4.5 by Stengelfoot from California on Feb 19, 2022
Photo of vainosuomi
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by vainosuomi from Virginia

L : Very dark brown, frothy tan head.
S: Ripe dark fruit and brown sugar
T: Adds some apple and spice notes. Bready roasted malt. Full and sweet with a bit of tartness.
F: medium/heavy body, fairly carbonated, and a bit warm from the alcohol.

It's a pretty solid quad. More fruit and spice notes than the Abt 12--I think I prefer the latter but this is a good alternative when you want something a bit different.

Jan 31, 2022
Photo of naikwot
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by naikwot

Quite an apple-ly one. Very enjoyable.

Jan 23, 2022
Photo of ivanbrew
2.64/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by ivanbrew

Honestly it is a good beer but not grate also smells like nail polish

Jan 22, 2022
 
4.54 by stanale from Illinois on Jan 14, 2022
 
4.5 by elamb106 from New York on Jan 13, 2022
Photo of Cylinsier
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

750 ml bottle

Hazy reddish brown, fluffy yellowish head is thick and slow to dissipate.

Aroma of apple, caramel, candi sugar, funky earthy notes, grassy notes, wild and bretty yeast.

Flavor is apple, caramel, candi sugar, some fig and raisin, walnut, grassy undertones, champagne grape, and brett esters.

Full body, bubbly carbonation on the tongue.

A nice Christmas treat and a slow sipper, I think the Abt 12 is better but this is still really good. Great way to celebrate the season.

Jan 02, 2022
 
4.09 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania on Jan 02, 2022
Photo of jackflaps
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by jackflaps from Pennsylvania

On tap at Zeno's Pub, State College, PA.

L: Hazy brown color.
S: I get a lot of toffee, a hint of plum and other dark fruit. A little vinous.
T: A heady mix of plum, fig, raisins, prunes, with middle notes of honey fading to a classic Belgian yeast flavor in the finish.
F: For all its complexity and depth (and ABV), it drinks really easily. Smooth but with a little lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.
O: One of the top holiday beers out there, and a treat whenever I see it on tap at the local

Jan 01, 2022
 
4 by scaliasux from Wisconsin on Dec 30, 2021
 
4.17 by Hazey92 from New York on Dec 29, 2021
Photo of thehyperduck
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

750 mL cork and cage bottle purchased at the LCBO long ago; 19.07.20 (Jul 19 2020) is stamped on the cap. That's a best before date according to the label, which sounds about right because this has been in the cellar for literally years. Served at cellar temperature, listed at 10%. These notes are from last night.

Pours a dark, chestnut brown colour with brick red highlights; half a finger of smooth, off white head gathers atop and then sizzles away within a minute or two. The nose is delightfully complex, giving off impressions of sherry, raisins, plum, walnut, date, black cherry, cranberry, fruitcake, and something leathery, if not outright funky. Smells moderately boozy and quite sweet, with a teensy bit of anise spiciness.

This is like a boozy fruitcake in a glass - rich, bready malt flavours and candi syrup sweetness mingling together with raisin, fig, prune, black cherry, sherry, and just a hint of banana. Somewhat vinous, with clove and anise spiciness developing towards the finish along with very faint suggestions of orange zest. A bit peppery in the aftertaste, with more raisin, cherry cola and booziness lingering into the aftertaste. Full-bodied, with reactive carbonation that prickles the palate and froths up in the mouth; feels luxurious as you roll it around the tongue. I didn't quite finish my bottle, but that was more to prevent a headache tomorrow vs. a desire to pour out the rest.

Final Grade: 4.26, an A-. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is a treat for the body and soul - and in the spirit of the season, this 750 mL serving simply must be shared with one or more of your loved ones who'll appreciate the experience. I wouldn't say it's as good as Abt 12, but in all fairness this bottle is past its best by date, yet still exceedingly tasty (and besides, Abt 12 is one of the best beers on the planet). So while I'd say this beer can technically survive up to 4+ years in the cellar, I don't plan to sit on it so long next time - seems like 1-3y might be the more optimal range.

Dec 27, 2021
 
4.25 by OtisCampbell007 from Tennessee on Dec 27, 2021
Photo of larryi86
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by larryi86 from Delaware

750 ml bottle poured into a goblet

A- A clear ruby red with two finger tan head.

S- Figs, dark fruits, some cherries, slightly earthy, touch of toffee/caramel.

T- Figs, cherries, dark fruits, earthy, some toffee/caramel, touch of yeast.

M- Smooth, medium body, high carbonation

O- A well done Quad, seems to be fruitier than Abt 12

Dec 26, 2021
Photo of MikeWard
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

12oz can into a pint glass. Canned 8/24/21, so 4 months old. Not that it matters much with this one.

Looks splendid in the glass. Deep dark reddish body with some dark amber highlights. The pale tan head retains magnificently, leaving a few trails of lacing

Boiled candy aroma, with a good amount of dark fruit, stone and dried.

On tasting, sweet, strong, warming, dark skinned fruit, and a spice bitterness. A touch drying.

Mouth closer to full than medium, finish rich, sweet and malty with that dry spice ending.

Overall, while I freely admit that quads are not really my thing, this was an enjoyable Boxing Day sipper.

Dec 26, 2021
 
4.25 by khargro2 from Tennessee on Dec 26, 2021
 
3.5 by zbooks from Texas on Dec 25, 2021
 
3.98 by emwilke from Nevada on Dec 25, 2021
 
4.25 by Shenk87 from Pennsylvania on Dec 25, 2021
 
4.25 by Noelito76 from New York on Dec 24, 2021
Photo of mikeinportc
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by mikeinportc from New York

Best By date : July 24, 2024 . Let sit out for 1/2 hr before opening.

Hazy deep brown, with some ruby coming though at the edges . A little over one finger of coarse tan head.

Smell is toffee, molasses, raisin, brown bread, and as the head disappears, a vague fruity aroma that dances between vinous and brandy-like. Swirling it gives brief flashes of clove, and....coriander?

Taste is raisin , fig, toffee, sweet brown bread, finishing with some coriander+black pepper spiciness and light bitterness.

Feel is medium, mildly slick and syrupy , with moderate , seemingly voluminous , carbonation tingle . No apparent alcohol , except an internal warming sensation, after a few minutes. Overall, a light feel for what it is.

First time having this , IIRC, and it's a pleasure. Dangerously easy-drinking.

Dec 19, 2021
Photo of SABERG
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by SABERG from Massachusetts

Poured from the 11.2 oz bottle into the big chalis.
A - Tawny/mahagony colored backdrop, hides the carbonation well. That same carbonation assembles into an everlasting tightknit tan froth.
S - Black tea, raisin, brown sugar, plum, a bit of toffee. a hint of nutmeg, Brown canned bread comes to mind.
T - Firmly in the dark fruit corner, plum, fig, up front. Honey, caramel, toffee next, with some tobacco, yellow raisin and the obviuos yeast presence.
M - Punches below its (ABV) weight, surprisingly delicate, Sweet start has a moderation mid sip. The yeast and carbonation create a frothy wave that acts to soften the alcohol exhale. Its quite a magical. Finish is a slow, and luxurious.
O - A real treat, the texture is inspired, Flavors are classic quad with the lovely spicy aspect. Reminds me of Tettnang hops, spicy and a bit peppery

Dec 19, 2021
Photo of Antg8989
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Antg8989 from New Jersey

Absolutely phenomenal beer. Spices, all sorts of fruit, slightly peppery. Everything perfect for a Christmas ale. Don't pass this one up during the holiday season.

Dec 17, 2021
 
2.5 by doctorgary from New York on Dec 16, 2021
Photo of LukeGude
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by LukeGude from Iowa

Bottle from John’s. Lol didn’t realize it was a quad. Tremendous head when poured into Trappist tulip. Firm but definitely tasty. Winter beer.

Dec 15, 2021
 
3.4 by Resistance88 from California on Dec 15, 2021
Photo of SaisonSamurai
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by SaisonSamurai

L: Murky brown. White head.

S: Fruit for days. Some malt, but largely dark fruit.

T: Wow. Sweet, fruity. So bright for such a dark beer. It has a spicy, fruity sweet profile that I quite enjoy.

F: Very nice carbonation.

Overall: Brilliant Quad. So tasty.

Dec 14, 2021
 
4.18 by travelguy from Ohio on Dec 13, 2021
 
3.56 by 322wingedfoot from Pennsylvania on Dec 13, 2021
Photo of DefenCorps
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by DefenCorps from Oregon

From a can.

A clear deep dark brown with a dense, creamy head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is lovely, with a rich, creamy dark fruit character, a blend of figs, dark raisins, moderately spicy yeast character and some dark caramel and honey. The palate opens with a reserved blend of dark fruit flavors, toasted dark wheat bread and dark caramel. Delicately spicy with ginger and a little nutmeg, but from yeast rather than adjuncts. Definitely sweeter that the regular Abt 12, the mild earth and leather help keep things in check. Lovely, creamy mouthfeel and long lasting finish.

Dec 12, 2021
Photo of evanwoertz
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by evanwoertz from California

very nice spicy finish. dark and deep color, sharp on the nose with a big bouquet, light feel, lightly sticky feel, almost no head whatsoever and excellent craft. even though the smell and taste are not super prominent the quality is there and the experience is fantastic.

Dec 12, 2021
 
4.13 by jaxon53 from Connecticut on Dec 11, 2021
Photo of HipCzech
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by HipCzech from Texas

Serving: 11.2 fl oz bottle (best before "11 06 25") poured into a Spiegelau beer tulip.

Appearance: Cola brown body with a billowing head of light brown bubbles and foam.

Smell: Dark fruit and spiced cookies evoke the holidays; hints of yeast and alcohol.

Taste: Nicely balanced body of rich dark fruit sweetness with hints of tart red fruit. Holiday spices, Belgian yeast, brown sugar and alcoholic hints wrap up a nicely seasonal Quad.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth feel and moderate carbonation.

Overall: A classic winter warmer, with festive play on a Quad (and label).

Dec 11, 2021
Photo of eatsluggs
4.94/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by eatsluggs from Oregon

Beautiful!

Dec 08, 2021
Photo of jonphisher
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by jonphisher from New Jersey

Dark cloudy brown color with a creamy light brown head. The beer appears brown and that’s it but when held to light there is a slight red tint to it.

Aroma is pleasant and almost perfume like in its intoxication, I just want to keep smelling it. Cherry aromas up front, brown sugar, indistinct yet clearly spice aroma.

Taste is the same cherry fruit, it reminds me spiced cookie, like gingersnaps almost but without the bite. It almost has a root beer like finish flavor to it, not the sugary stuff, real root beer.

A nice body to this beer, it drinks very full and has a great warming sensation to it without being hot or boozy. The carbonation is unique in that it is well carbonated but the bubbles that form in the tongue are almost creamy in texture.

Dec 06, 2021
 
4.25 by cryptichead from Illinois on Dec 05, 2021
Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 2488 ratings