St. Bernardus Christmas Ale | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,189 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:
2,189
Reviews:
707
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
9.31%
 
 
Wants:
187
Gots:
446
For Trade:
6
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,189 |  Reviews: 707
Photo of drgarage
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of TrilliumFan
5/5  rDev +19.3%

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

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Pours dark caramel brown with a thick, eggshell colored head that dissipates slowly. Plenty of lacing is left on the side of the glass during consumption. There are aromas of banana, spices such as cinnamon and clove, malt, fig, and some caramel sweetness. The malt backbone is bready and mildly sweet with banana, cinnamon, clove, and fig. The 10% alcohol is well hidden in this beer. Saying the taste follows the nose is true, but it also understates the execution of the well-balanced and complex flavors in this beer. One flavor does not dominate the other. The beer is medium to full bodied with strong carbonation. This makes the beer smooth and dangerously drinkable. If you are looking for a great Belgian strong dark ale, this is a great place to begin.

 795 characters

Photo of rob_o_rob
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Jcarter1221
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Rhubbs
5/5  rDev +19.3%

love this beer! even at the price of $22 a bottle (canadian) its worth every penny.
everything you love about the ABT12 with a little more spice. dare to say my #2 beer

 169 characters

Photo of JustEarl
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of dbarny76
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of BrewerDawg
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Chucker
5/5  rDev +19.3%

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

Photo of PaulAndrew
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Nickytsv
5/5  rDev +19.3%

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

Photo of teak
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of MrDell
4.99/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

18.12.2015

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
Quadrupel - 10% - 750ml bottle - Bottled 28.07.15 (Almost 5 months old)

St. Bernardus’ website:
St.Bernardus Christmas Ale is a dark seasonal brewed in the classic 'Quadrupel' style of Belgium's best Abbey Ales. (10,0 % ABV) Similar to all the beers from our brewery, it greets the drinker with the signature aroma of the St.Bernardus house yeast strain (in use since 1946!) Rivalling the complexity of the St.Bernardus Abt 12, St.Bernardus Christmas Ale offers a spicy, mint-like flavor profile exuding the tastes of warming alcohol, fermented molasses, apricots, licorice and marzipan that are highligted by the perfect balance of brewing sugars.

Appearance: As soon as I poured this beer I noticed how similar to its brother Abt. is in both looks and aroma so this review maybe more of a comparison. Very deep brown with a big, noisy cappuccino coloured head. If memory serves me correctly, ever so slightly darker than the Abt.

Aroma: Straight away that lovely trademark yeast, that originates from St. Sixtus (Westvleteren), hits you followed by loads of dark fruits and alcohol. Smell very similar to Abt. but with a bit more punch, especially where the fruitiness is concerned.

Taste: St. Bernardus Abt. 12 on steroids! Absolutely fantastic. So complex with such a long finish. Flavours include fig, liquorice, dates, dark cherries, brandy, raisins, red wine, dark toffee, banana, burnt caramel... it's like a British Christmas pudding in a glass!

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, oily and then ever so slightly drying finish.

Overall: So, the big one – is it better than Abt. 12? Very difficult to say, having had Abt. So many times and this just the once but at this stage I actually think it is… just! Either way, they are VERY similar, both are favourites and both are world class beers. The Christmas Ale is just that tiny bit tastier, perhaps due to the spices.
11 / 10.

 1,930 characters

Photo of Auraan
4.98/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured a beautiful deep, dark color with two fingers of rich off white head. Gorgeous. Scents of dark fruit, banana, alcohol and Belgian yeast. The flavor is excellent, dark fruit, raisins, chocolate, Belgian sugar, slight hints of alcohol and peppery notes are present. Light carbonation and a sticky, let drinkable body lead to an excellent mouthfeel. A fantastic Belgian. By far one of my absolute favorites.

 411 characters

Photo of shacawgo24
4.98/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A-Dark raisin brown body. Off-white four finger head, (yes four) that has a slight hue of pink to it. The head is incredibly soapy and foamy. Your cup will runneth and floweth over. Head is also flaked with crystals that glitter throughout like fresh fallen snowflakes. Patchy, clumpy, sticky lace decorates glass.

S-Bourbon. Sour skins of grape, cherry and apple. Baking spices. Molasses. Brown sugar. Doughy. Yeasty. Inhale deeply enough your nose might sneeze from the pure abundance of spiced yeast.

T-Brown sugar. Cherry almond. Ginger bread or something wow. Nutmeg. Vanilla. Rum. Oak/woodsy. Bourbon. Cookie. Dry cinnamon & clove. Fruit flavored glazed pies like apple & cherry. Slightest of grape flavor, akin to an astringent red wine grape. The most subdued banana note, like a custard. One can go on and on deciphering flavors. The most consistent note was the hard to describe cherry-ginger-glazed pie STRONG middle-sip flavor.

M-Medium-low body. Medium-heavy carbonation. Sip starts tart, sweet and spiced. Then a punch of bitter-sweet bourbon uppercuts in the middle. Also in the middle is a sweet yeasty/doughy pie/donut note. The end of the sip is all of the aforementioned in harmony, slowly fading away into the aftertastes. The after is a gentle titillation of dry bitter holiday spices.
The yeast is the star here, swamping your palate with prickling sensations. And the hops as well bring this effect. Very sticky your lips get with time.

O-St. Bernardus does no wrong. This Christmas Ale ages perfectly, you can sip one in the summer. This quad was meant to be sipped. So complex and boozy. I do wish the body was more grand and creamy, silky. Other than that, you can't get much better in look, smell and taste. Quads are probably the best beer style on Earth. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is powerful proof for that claim.

 1,850 characters

Photo of jbertsch
4.98/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured a dark, dark mahogany into a chalice. Foamy off-white head was attractive and provided great lacing that stayed throughout the session.

On the nose, the banana is right up front, along with prune, fig, raisin, and apple pie spices.

The taste is characterized of ripe banana and dark fruits - including a little clove - that create a total flavor profile that's greater than the sum of its parts. Almost tastes like an intense fruitcake with booze added. Flavor has an overall aged sense to it. Definitely abbey like.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a crisp apple-like edginess.

When enjoyed slowly, its drinkability is great. Given that the bottle says you can age this for up to 15 years, I need to buy a handful of these now to save for the next Christmases.

 768 characters

Photo of WolfHunter
4.96/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of Snodman
4.95/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of Lee_Cooper
4.95/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of Jmasley1
4.94/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great and seasonal.

19 characters

Photo of gr8ful
4.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown from 22 oz bottle. Nice creamy 1/4 inch head. Quickly dissipated. Toasty , bready aroma...smells like roasted malts but not in overpowering way. Tastes like it smells. Warm , carbonated mouthfeel. You can taste the alcohol but it is not too much in the taste. Really good ale. My only slightly complaint is that I can't figure out why this is a "Christmas" ale other than it is fairly high alcohol and tastes as if would be nice to sip by the fire (if it wasn't 77 degrees here in DFW today

 667 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark, mahogany color, with a finger and a half of white-colored head that slowly dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very nice and very aromatic, with tons of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked pastry, as well as lots of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes, figs, apricots, and cherries. I also get toffee and brown sugar, a touch of dark chocolate, a touch of licorice, and lots of funky Belgian yeast, which imparts aromas of saddle leather, wet blanket and roasted chestnuts. Smells inviting and delicious!

Taste: Absolutely delicious! Fantastically, so! There is lots of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by lots of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes, figs, apricots, and cherries. There is also quite a bit of toffee and brown sugar-like sweetness, as well as a touch of dark chocolate, a touch of licorice, and lots of nutty, spicy, funky Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and nicely effervescent as there is quite a lot of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 10%, there is just a hint of a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate, otherwise, the alcohol is very well masked.

Overall: This is another absolutely fantastic beer from St. Bernardus! Each one that I’ve had has been absolutely stellar! I highly recommend each of the beers from this fantastic Belgian brewery!

 1,507 characters

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.19 out of 5 based on 2,189 ratings.
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