St. Bernardus Christmas Ale | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

St. Bernardus Christmas AleSt. Bernardus Christmas Ale
BA SCORE
93.4%
Liked This Beer
4.23 w/ 2,194 ratings
St. Bernardus Christmas AleSt. Bernardus Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Belgium
sintbernardus.be

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by seaoflament on 10-23-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#880
Reviews:
709
Ratings:
2,194
Liked:
2,050
Avg:
4.23/5
pDev:
8.98%
Alströms:
4
 
 
Wants:
189
Gots:
448
Trade:
6
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,194 |  Reviews: 709
Photo of faatcase
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was yet another beer that I had sitting around for a while that I finally wanted to review on here. I thought I had this years ago with the other myriad of Christmas and holiday beers that hit the shelves in December but alas, this was my first time with this. How I missed it will always be beyond me as this beer was rich and easy to quaff, given the high amount of hidden alcohol in it!

Good pour to this as the hue was that of dark fruit with hints of light seeping in around the edges. The contrasting raspberry-beige head settled quickly and was quite loud as it did so1 Not much lacing left around the edge of my pint glass with just a few scattered spots to be seen. Dark fruit, phenols, booze, and some banana in the nose with all of them being quite muted in their intensity. Warm and spicy to the taste, the bread, hint of blood orange, and yeast kicked in there for a pleasing combination that truly made this feel like a Quad. Chewy, bready malt and dark fruit slickness gave this color and depth without ever feeling artificial or overblown. Lots of yeast in the aftertaste with a bit of residual carbonation sticking around to cleans the palate.

Sure, this was strong - it's a Quad for crying out loud! They don't get much better than this and good ones should be able to be enjoyed year-round. That was the case with this as it didn't warm me up or knock me out too much! This was a solid brew worth seeking out for any Belgian beer lover, or for someone tired of hops and burn. Can't wait to get it again at the end of the year!

 1,552 characters

Photo of yuno
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of wanderingpints
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a hazy brown color with a one finger sustaining white foamy head that concaves a bit but holds its own for a good two minutes before dissipating ever so lightly. The smell had a sweet to lightly spiced combination of cinnamon and ginger running into a sweet biscuity/bready goodness. Subtle hints of cocoa allocate nicely in and around my nose. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors to combine and flavor a sweet bready aftertaste leading into a semi - wet finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sipping quality running about. Carbonation seems to run smooth and semi-dry. Overall, as a Belgian Strong Ale, it’s awesome to me it’s still awesome. Would love to have again for Christmas!

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Photo of Chianti
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wmartin
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle obtained from Belgium in April 2017, poured into teku at fridge temp. and drank as it warmed to room temp.

Initially at fridge temp, tasting was unimpressive, but as it warmed past 55F, it began to impress as the complex fruit, malt, yeast, and hop flavors began to manifest. Excellent bitterness on the finish.

A very nice quad, though not as good as some others I've had. Perhaps the complex flavors were not quite as obvious as, say, a Westvleteren xii, but very nice nonetheless. Many Xmas ales are spiced, but I could not detect any particular spices here.

Still, more please?

 600 characters

Photo of Estria
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bshefftz
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MarcP
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It's not Christmas without a St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. I truly love this beer.

81 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bright cherry-mahogany with loose moussy beige foam. 4.25
Glace cherries, birch beer, and brandy butter. 4
Rum cake, prunes, slight cloves, dried red berries, vanilla extract, marshmallow and Canada mints. 4
Numbing Dentyne linger.
Medium, creamy, slight heat. 4.25

Puts the Christmas in Christmas - the bubblegum side of Belgian yeast rather than a bunch of pepper, and red more than dark fruit from the malts. A bit hot but the body is right there and fizz is right to keep it from cloying. A slow burn, which is on target for the season. Kaiser Blau's gum-snapping kid sister. 4.25

*from notes

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Photo of Bigbens42
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JamFuel
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish brown. with a creamy head. Like most Belgian beers, not a looker.

Deep smell, plums, raisins, brown sugar and nutmeg are the big notes.

Very complex taste, as a quad should be. Dried fruit, raisins, cocoa, molasses and figs all duke it out on the palate. Some nutmeg at the back. Taste stays in your mouth for a long time.

Medium bodied, soft and smooth.

Really nice quad. I prefer the regular Bernardus, but this is a deep and rewarding beer.

 463 characters

Photo of stephenlee
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of JarMills
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BassObbligato
4.86/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of flyingpig
3.52/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle from Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer, Glasgow (£5.00):
Interesting & drinkable but disappointing when compared to the previous St. Bernardus offerings & definitely lacking something. Opening a lot weaker than expected with a light, sweet taste, it didn't seem like a 10% beer. There was good carbonation & the darker fruits were nice but they seemed fleeting & not strong enough. It was a relatively easy beer to drink though with a subtle tang & okay balance but it was a little underwhelming & easily my least favourite St. Bernardus beer thus far.

 561 characters

Photo of electrobop
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ned57
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Silke_Neryn
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jahbless
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of token_23223
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV "St. Bernardus Christmas Ale"
750 ml brown glass bottle, corked & caged
$11.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas I gather together a few beers that complete the season for me. Amongst the Belgians, The Abbaye Cistercienne Paix-Dieu, Chimay Grande Reserve, and St. Bernardus Christmas Ale are all must haves.

It pours a fairly clear mahogany brown body before you disturb the yeast, and the head is a pillowy tan that later settles to become denser. The head retention and lacing are very good.

The nose expresses yeasty fruitiness and soft phenolics, as well as some additional soft spice and some lightly sugary malt.

Although it's labeled as a Christmas ale it's not spiced like so many American examples that generally include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and so forth; and which are generally over-done. The spicing here is more subtle. It's more minty, and cola-like, with notes of licorice and molasses which work well with the rich, sugary malts - it is a quadrupel! You might find some brown sugar, caramel, or even marzipan. But it's also fruity, displaying some dark skinned fruits as well as some underlying apricot and apple. The alcohol has a presence to it, but it doesn't step forward, even in the finish. It's superbly balanced, and finishes mainly dry with lingering spice and a drop of browned sugar.

The body is medium-full with a very fine bubbled effervescent carbonation that lends a little zest before warming to become creamy-smooth.

Overall it's a fairly malty and strong beer that doesn't really come across that way, and at 10% ABV it's dangerously drinkable.

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St. Bernardus Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 93.4% out of 100 with 2,194 ratings
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