St. Bernardus Christmas Ale | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,193 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
Ratings:
2,193
Reviews:
709
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
9.31%
 
 
Wants:
188
Gots:
446
For Trade:
6
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,193 |  Reviews: 709
Photo of Bigbens42
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JamFuel
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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 +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mattycasey
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JarMills
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BassObbligato
4.86/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of flyingpig
3.52/5  rDev -16%
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 +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ned57
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Silke_Neryn
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jahbless
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 1,665 characters

Photo of Spikester
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with two fingers of light tan head that lasts about ten minute. Sheets of fine bubble lace.
Smell is sweet pleasant plum fruit with some fruitcake type scents.
Taste is rich roasted malts with molasses plums toffee some nut like flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium with big carbonation. Finish slightly dry and bitter sweet.
Warmth from the alcohol but very little in the taste. Overall a really fine special occasion beer.

 427 characters

Photo of moundbz
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Peaches13
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jacobus79
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Mattymystique
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of abrown13470
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is my first BA post now that I'm starting to learn how to dissect beer so bear with me. Consumed in a snifter glass.

Appearance - very dark brown/red with 2 fingers of light brown red.
Nose - dark fruit, somewhat phenolic, caramel (?) with slight booziness
Taste - spicy, caramel
Mouthfeel - medium high carbonation. Full bodied. Slightly dry finish
Overall - great beer. I'd be curious to try a cellared bottle.

 420 characters

Photo of Commandophile
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of aaronyoung01
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of steverx8
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of madelf66
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Brewxer
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So good that I'd also drink this on New Years Day, at Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, every long weekend in the summer, sick days from work, etc. Amazing.

 156 characters

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.19 out of 5 based on 2,193 ratings.
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