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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
2,224 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:
#907
Reviews:
720
Ratings:
2,224
pDev:
8.98%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
192
Gots:
461
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,224 |  Reviews: 720
Photo of wroywel
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Ohiovania
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is the epitome of a proper holiday ale: strong, sweet, spicy and it even has an appearance that, on the one hand, is as dark as those long December nights yet, simultaneously, showcases flickering ruby highlights befitting a festival of lights. Even its thin, powdery white head resembles a light dusting of fresh snow!

Love it or hate it, fruitcake is one of those classic Christmas staples. This bouquet is appropriately reminiscent of that infamous dessert, showcasing the same kind of figgy, plummy (mostly dried) fruitiness, sweet spices and sugary, toffee flavours. There's also the token hint of orange peel. It delivers exactly the profile its straightforward name would have you expect.

This review is of a 2015 bottling that's recently celebrated its first birthday. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale - just like the Abt 12 - benefits from (if not needs) a little extra time. The bubbles tone down and the flavours become richer, more integrated. Monks are known for their patience and, as tonight's sample shows, this one certainly rewards those who wait.

Each sip is a wealth of wholesome, gingerbread-like flavour. The maltiness tastes lined with brown sugar or molasses and is enlivened by a cast of baking spices that includes cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamom. There's just the right amount of dried, plummy fruit for my liking. The texture is soft and only lightly sticky, with little interference from booze or bubbles.

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale exhibits all that we love about and want during the Season: richness, heartiness, warmth, delicious sweets and holiday spices - and all in a serving size that encourages (or by design necessitates) sharing with others. If you're like me and stash away seasonal treats for Christmases to come, this jolly old fellow in the Santa hat is definitely your guy.

 1,862 characters

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

Photo of shiu-chan
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to glass, dark copper brown, thick creamy head with good lacing.
Sweet malt and brown sugar on nose.
Caramel, toasty malt, banana and fig on palate with rich carbonation.
Overall, a great brew with a touch of rum.

 220 characters

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

Photo of j0hnc2468
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LennyBound
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jds16
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Keith27614
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11.2 oz. bottle

Pours dark maroon brownish-red with a dense creamy light khaki colored foam head. Smells like black grapes, raisin, figs, plum, apricot, spice, banana, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toasted bready malts, apple, pear, with some floral earthy grassy pine. Tastes like black grapes, raisin, figs, plum, apricot, clove-like spice, banana, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toasted bready malts, apple, pear, with floral earthy grassy pine. Feels medium-full bodied, thick and creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice quad.

 554 characters

Photo of LocusSolus
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BFCarr
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Photo of cherche
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bb-magic
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of opieo
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

I would love this brew if it was were thicker and creamier. Instead its very carbonated. It immediately foams in your mouth and does not allow you to fully savor the flavors. However, the flavors are complex and tasty. Better when room temp. A great brew.

 255 characters

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

Very dark amber. Thin, dense, tan head. Very effervescent.
Rich aroma of stoned and vine fruits. The alcohol is noticeable.
The taste follows with molasses, banana and rum.
Lighter than expected.
The best xmas ale that I have tasted.

 233 characters

Photo of Warren2621
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

perhaps my favorite holiday beer of the year this year, as good as any out there thats for sure. its funny listening to a bar full of people drinking this beer, "it tastes just like banana bread" they say, but i really didnt get that from this. it does have comforting hearty seasonal bakery thing going on, but i dont get the banana in the least. instead i get a nice caramelized bready grain base, brown sugar, and spicy belgian yeast. if this is in fact a spiced ale and not just presenting that complexion from the yeast, than its a genius blend and dose, because it fits so seamlessly into the beer, soft ginger, clove, and nutmeg in here perhaps, or maybe its just a perfect yeast strain at the perfect temperature. i get subtle vanilla, tobacco, licorice, tea, raisin, dried fig, molasses, even subtle maple, its beautiful and complex, and the mouthfeel is amazing too. no trace of the alcohol, smooth and rich but also not too sweet and extremely well carbonated, this is what you want quads and holidays ales to feel like! sturdy but not too sturdy. there is not a chill in the world that this beer couldnt warm up, perfect for the season, expertly refined, fancy in the glass, and something to share without a doubt. absolutely loved it, great to have it on tap for the first time, and now the bar for holiday beers has been set impossibly high. tons going on here, lots of layers, a cohesive whole, puts me right in the christmas spirit!

 1,448 characters

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

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 2,224 ratings
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