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St. Bernardus Christmas Ale | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Christmas AleSt. Bernardus Christmas Ale
BA SCORE
4.23/5
Exceptional
2,220 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:
#903
Reviews:
717
Ratings:
2,220
pDev:
8.98%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
192
Gots:
459
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,220 |  Reviews: 717
Photo of campfirebrew
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Blazer22
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jvillefan
4/5  rDev -5.4%

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

I gave bottles of this to some of my co-workers for a Christmas gift, but of course had to save one back for myself. Large bottle, cork gave a nice pop with no excess foam over.
Pours slightly murky, dark brown with a huge beige head. Foam settles to a small cap, enough carbonation to maintain the head and leave a good looking lattice of lacing.
Smell is of toasted, brown sugar, and some dark fruits.
Taste is very much the same, with raisins, plums, brown sugar. Finish has some spice, nutmeg and ginger. Aftertaste has a bit of Belgian yeast bite.
Thick and rich mouth feel and body, layers of flavor coat your tongue without being overly sweet or sticky.
An nice sipping beer, shared with friends and family. Warms the insides and takes away the chill.

 764 characters

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

Photo of ngeunit1
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark ruby-black with a big finger of frothy dark khaki head. Fades slowly.

S - Sweet dark caramel malts, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, coriander, pepper, other spices, candi sugar, booze.

T - Sweet dark caramel malts, raisin and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, coriander, pepper, other spices, candi sugars, some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a warming, sweet, and lightly spicy finish.

D - Great balanced Quad. Good mix of yeast and malt flavors.

 501 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pour results in a superbly fluffy head (two fingers), which crackles and deflates very slowly, leaving super-sticky styrofoamish lace on the glace. Color is a deep chocolate-brown in color, nearly opaque; difficult to see the bubbles feeding that mammoth head.

As a Christmas ale, it's appropriately fruity and spicy in the nose, recalling tart/young gooseberry and cranberry; light sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. Earth/mineral, shaved chocolate and a fairly assertive alcohol creep into the aroma.

Flavor stays on the fruity/spicy tip of the aroma , but on the tongue the fruits turn darker and the spices less sweet. Some white pepper and clove bite along with a fig/grape hint. Has a woody herbal/spiced tea vibe...and then with warming, it transforms. What I get after about 30 minutes is cinnamon roll--equal parts gooey, yeasty dough, caramel-ish qualities and cinnamon spice. Ghostly specters of root beer or Dr. Pepper work their way into the finish, and that is not a criticism, and hopefully not a cheapening of this beer's quality--just an approximation of another flavor characteristic of this complex beer.

Mouthfeel is wonderful, having a vibrant carbonation, a nice balancing velvet smoothness, and an overall airiness. A little bit of stick throughout the mouth.

No surprise that those behind St. Bernardus, monks or otherwise, would turn out an excellent Christmas ale. Their regular line (which is anything but regular) consists of some of the greatest beers in the world, and this one is no exception.

 1,530 characters

Photo of rydev24
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Tiernan
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

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

Photo of Keith_R
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Poured from a bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a dark muddy brown, almost like black tea. Huge off-white head of pure cream. Lace stuck to everything!

S: Big spicey aroma. Clove/caramom, cola, juniper, pine, figs, chocolate, cherry, apples, and candied fruit.

T: Huge spicey, malty goodness. Rum soaked raisins, plums, figs, candi sugar, bread pudding, dark chocolate covered cherries, tangy apples, and a certain resinous minty flavor (juniper berry? piney hops?)

M: Like velvet...soaked in cream.

D: Alcohol barely makes its' presence felt in either aroma or taste, but boy does it ever warm the cheeks! This is friggin' Christmas in a bottle!

 702 characters

Photo of archero
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of micromaniac129
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a russett brown color with blood orange highlights. The deep beige head explodes during the pour and ends quite tall. Not that dense of a head it fades rather quickly with some spotty lacing.

The nose had a sour and vinagary smell, at first then notes of fruitcakes and yeast come into play.
My first sip and I thought how thin it was. I was expecting a thick and velvetty quad.
Plenty of dark fruits and malty grains plus a hint of citrus and all of a sudden it's like a fruitcake. My first couple of sips I had a good alcohol burn but smoothes out as I go.
The mouthfeel, I don't know, the high carbonation makes the feel of the beer explode on the palate.
A very good beer with a great depth of flavor.

 721 characters

Photo of Abe_Froman
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Can_if_you_can
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Danielr26
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Jcarriglio
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of steverx8
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Iamjeff6
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ThickNStout
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle from Minks (Marietta, GA). 10.99. Served in an oversized snifter.

Pours deep but opaque mahogany with a finger and a half off white head that fades quickly.

Smells of dark fruit, sugar, yeast and toffee.

Taste of is a rich and complex mixture of plums, cherries, toffee, molasses, yeasty funk, brown sugar, spice and a little booze.

Creamy medium full body with a crisp carbonated effervescence. Long sweet finish.

A well made strong dark ale for any season. Another great brew from good ol' St Bernardus.

 528 characters

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

Photo of Floydster
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased from Walnut Liquorette back in January for eleven dollars, split with my friend tonight, poured into my Chimay goblet

A-Dark brown with some auburn highlights, 1 1/4 inch foamy light tan head that stuck around for a real long time, incredible retention and sticky lacing

S-Belgian yeast that is typical in these brews, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, bready malt aromas, wide variety of spices that were not too strong but certainly there, and red apples

T-Started out tasting exactly like the ABT 12 in my opinion, the whole difference was that it was a little breadier instead of being more sugary, the aftertaste had the same sweetness, this one also felt a little thicker and filling in a way, started to taste an array of spices after about fifteen minutes and then could tell this was a Christmas beer, not much fruit in the taste, malt and brown sugar were dominant throughout, nice twist on a classic beer

M-Sweet, spicy, and chewy mouthfeel, medium bodied, lots of carbonation, hence the bottle gushing when I popped the cork, long lasting taste

D-Probably could not have drank this bottle by myself, ten percent alcohol would catch up to me very quickly, smooth though, a little heavy on the stomach because of the sweetness

Similar to St. Bernardus in many ways, this one will probably age beautifully, would drink again, hopefully it is released again next holiday season, recommended

 1,442 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 2,220 ratings
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