Christmas Ale | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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Christmas AleChristmas Ale
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Style: Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 759 | Ratings: 2,332
Photo of beer_truth
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Candied fruit, brown sugar, very effervescent. Definitely what I think of for a darker Belgian ale. Not typically my style but got this as a gift. I can appreciate what goes into it. A touch of hops to keep the sweetness from overwhelming the beer, but just barely so. Waiting for the carbonation to subside lets the beer warm up just a bit to make it more palatable, while also accentuating the candied fruit sweetness without going over the top. Waiting for the head lets it turn into a rocky mess in the best kind of way, a fun beer to do a hard pour with.

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Photo of justme
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was one very great beer. Everything you would want in a Belgian beer. This was on great Christmas Ale. Just finished the six that was a Christmas gift from my niece. Very much appreciated. I’m

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark cola brown in appearance, almost black, with ruby red highlights. The fluffy tan head is enormous, retention is very long lasting, and sheets of lacing are left.
Smells like dark fruit and spices. Black cherry, fig, plum, and raisin with cinnamon, clove, coriander, and red wine.
It tastes very sweet and rich with dried fruits and spices. Dried cherry, prune, fig, raisin, sweet red apple, and pear with toasted malt, toffee, and cinnamon, clove, and white pepper on the finish.
Feel is highly carbonated, but seems a bit thin. Alcohol is well hidden, and is slightly sticky with residual sugars.
A good Belgian quad, but I think I prefer the original Abt. 12.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Was shocked to discover I've never rated this before. Hard to believe I've never had it before. Anyway...

Poured from a 1 pint 9.4 ounce bottle into a DFH tulip. Massive light tan foamy head over a dark slightly reddish brown body. Very spicy gingerbread batter aroma with slight hint of alcohol. Taste mirrors the smell but with a rich malty undertaste that keeps it from being disappointingly thin. Mouthfeel is superb as it's refreshingly bubbly on the front end but rich licorice and molasses tastes are retained on the palate. Just a very rewarding experience. Maybe some experimental cellaring is called for.

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Photo of dukeandduke
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12/26/18 (Chicago): $11.50 12 oz draft snifter 10% ABV pour at The Garage Bar & Sandwiches. Black pour with creamy tan head and lacing. Light fruit malt aroma. Strong fruit taste, plums, raisins, figs. Very nice, not too sweet. Creamy silky smooth mouth feel, very very easy drinking. Overall excellent Christmas Ale and Quad!

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Photo of Zorro
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown colored ale with a tall tan colored head.

Smells fruity with the scent of coriander being very strong. Smells a little sweet with a cake batter malt scent. Scent of ginger and clove. Faint scent of chocolate. Overall less fragrant than I would have expected.

Starts out Spicy with a strong cloves and ginger flavor. After taste of pound cake. Can't taste the alcohol but I sure can feel it in my stomach. Overall it is fairly dry. Slight taste of lemon.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated.

Overall it is OK, but I expected more considering this brewery's reputation for world class beers.

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Photo of LifesAnesthesia
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - Deep, opaque, somewhat murky brown with a large thick, fluffy tan head that sticks around and leaves behind a great amount of lacing. Looks exactly as a Belgian beer should and almost as good as a beer can look.
S - Tons of yeast up front, followed by spices, dark fruits, phenols, caramel - good but the smell could be a little stronger.
T - Follows the nose - tons of bready yeast up front and throughout intermixed with dark fruits - figs, raisin, cherries, pulm - sweet caramel, spices, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon.
F - full bodied with a moderate to high amount of carbonation - creamy, smooth, yet crisp.
O - A fantastic Belgian ale that was perfect for the holidays. First from this brewer and I think I'll have to seek out more

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Photo of DavidD3
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have no familiarity with Belgians, but this beer was excellent. A very, very dark brown with a nice caramel colored head and rich, malty aromas. The feel was so creamy and smooth that I couldn't put it down. I loved how you could really feel the warmth of the alcohol. A perfect winter beer with a bit of sweetness, and one that I will definitely be on the hunt for.

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Photo of REDAMI
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay goblet.

L - Creamy, light sand-colored head over deep mahogany pour.

S - Christmas pudding with custard, toffee, vanilla, raisins, figs, brown bread.

T - Gingerbread, cinnamon, clove, molasses, not overly sweet.

F - Creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

Christmas in a glass. The well balanced base of a St Bernardus quad, slightly dressed up for the holidays with visions of gingerbread cookies swimming in an Abt 12.

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Photo of Retroman40
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown color with a very persistent tan head. Smells of sweet, roasted malts and a hint of fruit. Taste follows on with the malty sweetness very well balanced with hops and understated fruit notes. Absolutely rich, creamy and nearly perfect mouth feel with a long finish. Not even the slightest hint of alcoholic heat in spite of the 10% ABV. A nearly perfect strong ale. This one is made for sipping slowly and savoring. I think I have found a new Christmas Eve tradition!

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Photo of JacobusFavier23
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Will elaborate later.

L- Pours a beautiful strong dark ale with a nice rocky head.
S- Smells of dark fruit, hop, brown sugar and malt. Well rounded ginger and nutmeg.
T- Wonderfully sweet, with a nice bitter undertone. The taste follows the nose as usual. Sweet dark/stone fruit, malt, and spice As the beer warms, more flavors are present.
F- Extremely smooth and creamy. Wonderful mouthfeel.
O- I will elaborate later. But this is a beautifully made Belgian Strong Dark ale. The best Christmas ale I've ever had.

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Photo of TooManyGlasses
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From Chicago in July enjoyed Christmas Day 2018. Pours nice deep reddish brown colour with tan head - dissipates to a thin rim around glass. Aroma is sweet - brown sugar, caramel malt, plums, raisins, fig and a hint of booze. Taste follows with caramel malt, ripe plum, fig, a bit of spice - Christmas pudding with brown sugar sauce. Full rich mouthfeel with alcohol warming the throat - superb Belgian quad.

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Photo of Anacross
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing belgian quadrupel. Easier to find around Christmas time, but enjoyable anytime of the year.
Another excellent beer from one of the best belgian breweries.
Poured as a beautiful dark brown liquid, with a long lasting thick foam. Smells like lemon, roasted chestnuts, molasses with a touch of toffee.
Taste is rich and complex and warms you up at the first sip. The 10% alcohol content is very well disguised but you'll soon start to feel it. Pleasant, fulfilling and unforgettable.
Bottled perfection.

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Photo of JonnoWillsteed
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First off, having read the first few text based reviews below I was well 'warned A-head', that this is one of those beers that can take an age to pour; and since it's bottle fermented it pays to be prepared. So I chose an over-size glass (a Brit pint glass), sat at my desk, elbows on it, and prep'd for a looong, slow pour. It took probably 3-4 minutes, hardly moving at all, just gradually trickling it on/off slowly down the side of the glass. Talk about heady, wow! At the end of the pour the glass was full, and had 5Cm of head at the top; no idea how long it might take to get this into a 330ml glass. Be prepared for that is my suggestion! :)
L- It's very dark, not as dark as say Guinness, it's very deep chestnut brown with a distinct red tint. I believe I managed to pour it effectively sediment free. The head by now 5 minutes later is 5mm of khaki foam.
S- British Xmas steamed fruit pudding, stuffed with extra cherries, spices, thick, rich, molasses toffee - toasted deep flavours are suggested ...
T- Well all of the Smell is there in taste, it is deliciously puddingy as above, Xmas pudding with triple the normal dose of brandy in it.
F- It is a long time since I've had a beer where I can feel the alcohol burn as swallowed beer goes down my throat. This is a classic deep winter-warmer.
O- It is rich but I think the power of the alcohol balances it, as it is in no respect unbalanced or OTT. It is a joy to drink. I'd enjoy this with a nice home made minced pie eaten together with a slice of pungent blue cheese. This beer is characterful enough that I'm confident it can hold up to being paired with strong dessert/cheese course flavours. Absolutely lovely, just a bit of a shame it's quite so $$. Bought from a pricey shop, Wholefoods London/W8, 330ml bottle £3.69. BB 12-7-21

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Photo of browner
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Merry Christmas ! Love the Christmas Quads and the pour is all Belgian with its deep brown color and tan head. And a little larger head than Abt. 12.
Smell the Christmas time spices for baking cookies. Ginger, cinnamon, perhaps clove.
Tastes of malt, sweet dark sugars and just the right balance of spices.
Like other Quads this is a complex beer with good rich mouthfeel and a delightful desert like profile. Holiday spices with a Belgian Quad done to a very high standard. Perhaps the very best Christmas Beer in the World.

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Photo of Livyatan1996
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

it's close enough to christmas for me. 11oz bottle, fairly fresh i assume, pours a deep dark brown, with tinges of amber red in the light. huge head that tried to escape and tons of lacing. aroma is full of brown sugar, raisin bread and spices. very warming scent. hint of booze seeps through as it warms. first sip was a blast of carbonation, like shotgunning a few bags of pop rocks. slowly going back in there's a lot of caramel/toffee and brown sugar, quite sweet but balanced by dark fruits and toast. vanilla, nutmeg and clove balance it out, but stay subtle. this thing drinks creamy and so carbonated it tingled. booze starts to show overtime. recommended when you're near a fire probably

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Photo of Djoneil
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught 8oz snifter at the Brass Tap here in Baltimore. Really nice appearance - cloudy reddish-brown w/a nice white cap. NOT much of a nose. Nice taste & feel, but at $12/pour I'll be looking for alternatives.

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Photo of spectru
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This ale has the color of a stout or porter, and it has the biggest head I've ever seen. I know how to pour a beer, but this one filled the glass when the bottle was still half full. The head is tan and fluffy. It does eventually settle down, but it persists and is very lacey. It smells good but not particularly remarkable. The flavor is rich, full-bodied, yet mellow with a hint of alcohol, but certainly not what one might expect from a 10% ABV ale. The mouthfeel is smooth and sparkly with ample carbonation. Near the end of the glass, the alcohol becomes a little more pronounced and slightly stingy.

This is my first Belgian Quadruple. Are they all this good?

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Photo of OlaB
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark brown color with a big top of nice creamy beige head that dissolves in a slow pace and leaves some sticky lacings. Rich aroma of matured fruits, dried fruits like dates and raisins, brown sugar,caramel, licorice and spices like cloves,cinnamon and vanilla. The taste starts of sweet and fruity with nice flavours of dark fruits and burned sugar with some nice notes of caramel and licorice in the back. The flavour gets after short time also some nice notes spices typical to christmas. The finish is slight bittersweet with nice malt notes in the back and the aftertaste are long and strong. The flavours are greatly balanced in this beer. Mouthfeel is creamy/oily but also soft and it gives an almost instant warming feel. Medium carbonation with a heavy body.
All in all this is an amazing quadruple. One of the best of it,s style.

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Photo of bret717
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look- dark brown with fizzy tan head that fades away to almost nothing. Spotty lacing

Aroma- Raisins, figs, burnt sugar, bubblegum

Taste- follows nose very closely, with a little booze at the end

Feel- light to medium bodied, a lot of carbonation

Overall- a very enjoyable and complex beer

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Photo of sjrider
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish brown with big tan head and lacing for days. Nose is spice ,dark fruit ,yeast and sweet malt. Taste follows the nose , body is thinner with a lot of carbonation. Really tasty quad/xmas ale.

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Photo of 88caprice
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

My first quadrupel.

Murky reddish brown. Very little light gets through. Insane pillow of foam nearly overflowed. Lots of spicy Belgian flavors and a sting on the throat. Very nice.

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Photo of andrewh995
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful deep, dark, and hazy ruby red with a nice off white head. Smells of dark fruits, spices, and malt. Tastes of plains, raisins, figs, cardamom, nutmeg, rich malt, clove, Belgian yeast, and some dry wine. Light body with high carbonation. Overall a delicious Christmas ale, one of the better out there.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours deep brown/purple color with nice frothy tan head that lasts forever great lacing all around the glass.

Aroma - Dark fruit plum, fig, brown sugar, clove, banana and spices.

Taste - Taste follows the aroma lots of dark fruit, clove banana and spices no sign of the alcohol. Lots of Belgium yeast, bready malts.

Feel - Full creamy feel very smooth.

Overall - Wonderful flavors and aromas spot on for the style very easy drinking.

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Photo of Brolo75
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a goblet

A: Pours dark brown with an off white creamy full head, lots of carbonation streaming up the glass's side, no lacing.

A: Deep aromas of dark fruits like figs, plums and dates, clove, spice, honey, caramel malts, no alcohol on the nose.

T: Taste follows the nose with lots of dark fruits, clove, hint of cinnamon, Belgian yeast, rye bready malts, finish has a mix of dark fruits and banana, alcohol is pretty well hidden.

M: Full bodied with a lot of carbonation, slightly dry finish.

O: Another excellent beer from St. Bernardus, classic quad notes, lots of depth and complexity, smooth mouthfeel and the alcohol is well hidden, looking forward to aging a bottle.

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Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 2,332 ratings