St. Bernardus Christmas Ale | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,192 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:
2,192
Reviews:
708
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: 2,192 |  Reviews: 708
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL corked and caged bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter. The pour is copper-colored and dark, though not quite as dark as Abt 12, and highly effervescent. It sports 2 fingers of creamy, fine, and very well-sustained head that never completely fizzled out. The nose is not too punchy and I get notes of dark fruit, cinnamon, and allspice. The spices seem to mask the rich, bready, pastry-like aroma of the standard Abt 12.

The beer has a medium body with a firm feel, though a bit thinner than Abt 12. The high level of carbonation wakes up the palate, intensifies the spices, and cuts the sweetness. Brief, bready, biscuity malt flavors of sweet bread and cake greet you first. They are quickly overtaken by the carbonation and turn to dark fruit (raisins and dates) and nuts, and then holiday spices take over and you get ginger, allspice, and a sarsaparilla-like finish. No booziness. The finish is slightly dry and appetizing. Like Abt 12, the beer tends to get a little sweeter as it de-gasses.

Overall, a very good beer, but I definitely prefer Abt 12. I generally avoid winter warmers and holiday-spiced beers, but this one is very well done. The spices are not overwhelming or unbalancing, but to me they still detract from the sweet, rich flavor characteristic of the style. I doubt I will try this again, but it's not because I didn't like it. Anyone who enjoys holiday beers should check this one out (and definitely try De Dolle Stille Nacht while you're at it).

 1,491 characters

Photo of Dwreck
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Dimitri
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hopswagger
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of psu-murph
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of doc_logic
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Petegrieco
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Masters
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of corneliustoad
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of wcarbona
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of mousebeer
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of lambpasty
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of George2744
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jumoline
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Brushkanna
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Iamjeff6
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spoony
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle to a wine glass.

A-The beer is the color of black tea and murky. The head is short and off-white in color. No lacing is left behind, but the head has great retention like you would expect from a traditional Belgian beer.

S-The aroma is absolutely delicious, but brace yourself for the sweetness. I get brown sugar, molasses, candy sugar, and massive gingerbread type spices like clove, cinnamon, and a hint of pepper. There is also some dark, dried fruit. In fact, the aroma reminds me of fruit cake. Hops are an afterthought.

T-The taste is similar to the smell, but whereas the sweet, sugary flavors smell delicious, they become a bit TOO much on the palate. Still, the spicy, sweet, fruity mixture is what I think of when I think of Christmas flavors, so it works for me.

M-Somewhat surprisingly, I find the feel to be a bit thin and less creamy that I like for a quad/BDSA. Its not bad, but not as good as Abt 12.

O-Setting aside my quibbles with the mouthfeel, this is a great holiday offering. It doesn't rank as high as the Abt 12 because even I found it a bit too sweet and spicy, but if you want a big, dark, holiday offering, there are not many choices better than this.

 1,206 characters

Photo of kmbeer
3.74/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sephyrott
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nuttermcbutter
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of spw109
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.19 out of 5 based on 2,192 ratings.
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