Straffe Hendrik Xmas Blend
Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan

Straffe Hendrik Xmas BlendStraffe Hendrik Xmas Blend
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From:
Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan
 
Belgium
Style:
Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #14
ABV:
11%
Score:
94
Ranked #2,014
Avg:
4.32 | pDev: 5.79%
Reviews:
26
Ratings:
21
Status:
Active
Rated:
Sep 01, 2022
Added:
Nov 24, 2018
Wants:
  3
Gots:
  4
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Straffe Hendrik Xmas BlendStraffe Hendrik Xmas Blend
Notes: Oak-aged quadrupel blend

The de Halve Maan brewery is located in the heart of Bruges and is widely known for its highly acclaimed Straffe Hendrik quadrupel. A very limited selection of the quadrupel production is barrel aged each year in the medieval cellars of the brewery. For this special Xmas Blend, the barrel selection is determined by De Halve Maan's brew masters, combining Bordeaux, Calvados and Rum barrel aged quadrupel with young quadrupel. This special blend is then refermented in the bottle, allowing for even more complexity, fine effervescence, and an extended shelf life - this special beer will age nicely for up to 5 years.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Rated: 4.5 by archero from Texas

Sep 01, 2022
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Reviewed by puck1225 from Texas

4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Had this beer poured from a bottle into a hotel room glass tumbler.

Reddish mahogany color with excellent creamy beige head and great curtain lacing. Smell and taste of cherries and dark fruit. Raisins, figs, some rum and a hint of cinnamon and chocolate. Maybe even a bit of cola. Pleasant, warm, and flavorful.
Aug 12, 2022
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Reviewed by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2021 Vintage - Best By Date: 09-21-24

A - Deep raison colored pour with nice clarity and dense light caramel heading floating on top without dissipating.

S - Prunes, figs, dark fruit, sweet toasted caramel malt, and a slight trace of Rum.

T - Nice complexity with layers of flavor: dark fruit, figs, raisons, bready toasted caramel, some yeast, a little bit of cherry, light spice, and mild bitterness.

M - Full body with a slight bit of thinness around the edges and surprisingly, no warming on the way down the pie hole.

O - Nice complexity with a well hidden ABV.
Jul 06, 2022
 
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Jun 09, 2022
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Reviewed by LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
L - Deep brown with a large tan head that dissipates somewhat slowly leaving behind a ton of lacing and a thin cap
S - Bready yeast and malt, dark fruit esters, oak, red wine, caramel
T - Bready yeast and malt up front and throughout but gives way to a ton of dark fruit esters and red wine, oak, dark rum, caramel, slight hints of spices, slight nuttiness
F - Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
O - A very solid Belgian quad
Apr 16, 2022
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Reviewed by dd53grif from Michigan

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A Rare Beer Club offering. Pours a dark amber commodity a foamy tan head that lasts quite a while. Aroma of dark fruits. Taste is sweet caramel and fruit. Slightly tangy with an alcohol warmth at the finish.
Apr 09, 2022
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Reviewed by RumDude from Connecticut

4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Vintage 2018 poured Feb. 2022

Nose: Complex malts and red wine

Appearance: Clear copper – pours small off-white head

Taste: Slightly sweet with malt complexity and wine essence. Very smooth/balanced with medium mouth feel. No alcohol taste or warmth. This aged brew is the beer version of a fine wine.
Feb 23, 2022
 
Rated: 4.25 by HopBelT from Belgium

Feb 20, 2022
 
Rated: 3.54 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Feb 18, 2022
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Reviewed by hman43 from North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Look: It pours copper with a bit of haze. The head is tan with low head retention.

Smell: The nose is sweet with caramel plums and dried cherries. It also has low spiciness.

Taste: It has strong caramel and cherry flavors up front. There are also some plums and low spiciness. There are some low vinous qualities.

Feel: It has a medium full body with smooth alcohol warming.

Overall, the flavor are abundant, but the caramel and cherry flavors are bold.
Feb 11, 2022
 
Rated: 4.17 by smithj4 from New York

Jan 26, 2022
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Reviewed by mwilbur from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2021 vintage. Aged in burgundy, port, and “other” barrels. Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dark clear ruby red hue with 2-3 inch bubbly tan head with excellent retention.
S: Bright dark cherries, soft oak, dark dried fruit, red wine, and some toasted almonds. Very aromatic and fresh!
T: Fresh dark cherries and some red berries, oak, red wine, bready yeast, dark dried fruit, and a hint of caramel and almonds.
M: Medium body with lively effervescent feel. Fresh fruit sweetness. Undercurrent of malt sweetness. Dry oak tannins. Lingers nicely on the palate.
D: Such a nice holiday brew! The barrel aging is excellent, giving an already excellent base beer layers of surprisingly fresh fruit notes.
Jan 21, 2022
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Reviewed by JayQue from Virginia

4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
This is an excellent Quad. Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet. Dense dark brown color with a small bubbly off white head. The head fades fairly fast (the .abv no doubt), but the thin covering on the top of the glass lasts a long time, fading first to a partial cover. There is some thin bands of lacing on the glass too. Very impressive. Aroma and taste are wonderful. Belgian yeast, a bit of candi sugar, malt and especially fruit - dark fruit like cherries and plums and some of the "apples and pears" flavors found in so many strong Belgian beers. The flavors of the rum and the actual barrel are there too. Mouthfeel is rich, alcohol level is warming, with no harsh "burn". Definitely a sipping beer but, considering this is a 2021 vintage, there islittle or no harshness of any kind. I may have to find one or two more to age a bit. This is a "must have" beer!!!!
Jan 10, 2022
 
Rated: 4.28 by Gagnonsux from Texas

Jan 07, 2022
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Reviewed by ScruffySouthpaw from New York

3.96/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Served in a snifter glass from the bottle.

Appearance: Dark umber color with medium to full bubbles creating a tan head which rose half a fingers length off the body.

Taste: Roasted caramel with another round of roasted malt. Cinnamon and orange skin with a dash of nutmeg.

Mouth: Super sticky body with a burnt coffee like finish that gives it a super bitter yet yeasty finish.

Overall: Good brew, if you're not used to it you have to keep an open mind. Love at the very yeast. Salud!
Dec 30, 2021
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Reviewed by FBarber from Illinois

4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a crystal clear dark ruby tinged brown color. Huge billowing tan head forms on the beer, lingers, then slowly recedes leaving just a thin layer of foam along the top of the beer. Aroma has notes of dark fruits, dark bready malts, some light yeast notes, hints of grain, fruit cake, Bordeaux wine, figs, light cherries and some oak and rum notes. Its a very complex aroma with a lot going on - I feel like every time I go back to it I am getting something else.

Taste follows the nose with notes of dark fruits, grains, fruit cake, sweet, tart cherries, red wine, along with rum, tart apple notes and a distinct spicy hop character on the back end. Again, its complex with a lot going on. There is a pleasant level of heat and spiciness with this one that really warms you up as you sip it. Feel is thinner, but with the abv and heat it is best enjoyed as a sipper. Prickly carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

Overall a lovely quad from De Halve Maan. This is one of those beers that you really have to spend some time with the get your arms around everything that is going on with it. it was a pleasure to sip this one throughout the afternoon.
Dec 26, 2021
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Reviewed by MacMalt from New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Served in a chalice on Christmas Day. It pours a cloudy, dark burgundy with a thin, ecru-colored head and lacing. It has a lovely nose featuring toffee, candied dark fruits, and deep red wine. The first taste I notice is a heavy, burnt oak, along with cigar, leather, and earthy notes. But as it warms the fruit really comes to the fore: plum fig, and sour apple, along with burnt toffee and Cabernet grape. It's well-layered and nuanced. The finish includes quite a dose of spicy bitterness. The mouth feel is moderately thick and creamy with pleasant carbonation, and the 11% ABV is noticeable and warming. This is a Quad to be sipped and savored. Overall, it's a delicious Christmas treat that will become a part of my annual celebration.
Dec 25, 2021
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Reviewed by imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
pours a red-tinged-cola brown with a billowing toasted cream rocky froth foam head that has moderately high retention and leaves slathers of thick sticky webs of lacing behind as it settles to a thick but incomplete patchy cap with thin defined halo

aroma is robust and toffee layered malt with slight black licorice and Bordeaux wine funk

taste follows that intensely with holiday spice that isn't quite as obvious on the nose; sour and funky and yeasty and belgian as frick, yep. "frick" as in bubblegum and rock candy and complicated spice. rum cake galore, really. malt and yeast forward.

mouthfeel is moderate carbonation and medium-light bodied; runs thin with prickles smoothed out eventually before finishing licorice earthy bitter and astringent. oof...

overall:
it's complicated and maybe a tad bit harsh with smooth twist and turns that make for a barely balanced affair that is great as a one-off but terrible in a row or as a sessioner. do it as a single if you want a winter warmer/holiday ale with strong belgian spikes, but do not plan on camping out here for the night...
Dec 09, 2021
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Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
11.2oz bottle. Label has best by date of '21-09-2024'.
Brown colored body. Quick pour resulted in foam overflow, leaving a light tan head and webs of lacing.
Aroma has rum and Bordeaux notes, along with dark fruit, caramel, and spices.
Taste has quite a mix of rich red wine, rum, oak barrel, sweeter dark fruit, caramel, and baking spices. Reminds me of a rich dark, holiday themed bread, drenched in rum and caramelized red wine. Rich and oaky aftertaste.
Rich and thicker than medium mouth feel. A little dry from the higher ABV%. Very good carbonation.
The true experience comes from allowing the beer to warm, either in the mouth or longer in the glass. The warmer temperature works better with the rum, wine and oak notes. The higher ABV% does not burn, but definitely produces some warm in the system.
Dec 02, 2021
 
Rated: 4.09 by kjkinsey from Texas

Nov 19, 2021
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Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Dark opaque brown body with a big and sudsy tan head. Spotted lacing forms as we venture down the glass. Aromas of dark fruit, candi sugar, with dark oak, booze, and spices supporting. Taste has some cola notes to it with the candi sugar and dark fruit interaction, oak and booze are a finishing good night kiss that is artfully rewarding, spices have vanished. Feel is massive on the palate though not super thick or heavy, yeast is felt more than smelled and tasted, somewhat chewy. The wife liked it
Aug 19, 2021
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Reviewed by jkblr from Indiana

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2018 edition 750mL corked bottle with an advertised shelf life of 5 years poured into a snifter at 55 degrees F, 11% ABV per label. The beer pours medium brown in color with mocha colored head and ruby highlights. The head recedes to a pencil thin ring and island of tiny bubbles. The aroma is mild with dark fruits, brown sugar, malt sweetness, light rum and brandy. The taste is semisweet malt with complex and sporadic notes of rum, brandy, mild oak, tobacco, leather, cherry, plum, fig & candied apple. Minimal bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation and mostly dry finish. The 11% ABV is well hidden with only mild warming of the tongue and belly over time. Overall, excellent.
Dec 20, 2020
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Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I am a fan of De Halve Maan and I have just learned why again. 2018 Xmas is an exquisite blend of barrel-aged richness and a young well-made quad.

I have nothing bad to say about 2018's Looks... but then, I poured it into my elegant Westmalle tulip-bowl; so the vessel is great. Smells are a full-on medley of rich, dried fruit. Tastes are equally convincing because the sweet keeps trying to win; but, the hops ultimately manage to contain the onslaught stimulated by brewers sugar and yeast working these malts to their max. In my mouth, this Blend -- almost without a palatable mention of alcohol -- can sit for a long, long time... but I will save some for tomorrow night.

My fandom of De Halve Maan is pretty well-developed. They are near the top of my BBBL (Belgian Brewers Bucket List) for a host of culinary reasons. They also are in an exquisite provincial city. Brugges is the Venice of the Lowlands. I will get there for a third time to visit De Halve Maan for a first time. But in the meantime, I'd really appreciate a 2020 blend to travel Stateside.
Dec 08, 2020
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Reviewed by avalon07 from South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
L: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark, almost mahogany brown color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Below average lacing.

S: A pretty good aroma of booze, apples, caramel, malt, Belgian yeast, and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of a bit of malt (not a big factor), lots of apples (a formidable presence), some whiskey (and its accompanying barrel), a bit of Belgian yeast (a solid backbone), some dark fruit (plums especially), and a little caramel (sweet). This is a focused, subtle, and likable flavor. The barrel aging gives it a unique quality.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a sharp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, a solidly done quad. Worth a try.
Dec 07, 2020
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Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours a small fizzy off-white head with lower retention, a bit of lacing, long legs, very dark mahogany brown color

nose is nice, lots of dark malts and fruits, sweet molasses and candy malt, candi sugar, toffee and a it nutty, nice smooth potpourri alcohol phenol notes, lots of fruit, fig, date, plum, black cherry, dark caramelized honey, some holiday spice notes as well, molasses candied dried dates, a hint of buttery toasted oak

Taste brings more of all the same characters, sweet candy malt, candi sugar, toffee, molasses, bit syrupy as well, light smooth perfumey alcohol, some potpourri phenol spices and holiday spices, alcohol gets a little tingly and hot, lots of dark fruits again, plum, fig, a little candied raisin, molasses candied dried dates again, a little nutty toffee, and sweet fig date juice thing, light bitterness and holiday spices, and a bit of a toasted oak character, cinnamon notes I think, mild sticky finish, lingering candi syrup, dark fruits, and spices, andmore alcohol

Mouth is fuller bod, syrupy sweet but not too much, med foamy carb

Overall pretty nice, a great holiday version of a great quad, so quite enjoyable
Dec 05, 2020
 
Rated: 4.08 by Maillard from Ohio

Aug 23, 2020
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Reviewed by rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
750 ml caged & corked bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Dark brown color that was clear when poured through light, but is opaque in the glass. Medium, off-white head with not too much retention. Left good lacing. Head is to be expected for the ABV.

S---Nose is somewhat boozy. Cherries, some raisin & fig notes. Clove & other sundry holiday spices. Sophisticated.

T---Complex & full of flavors. Sweet, candy sugar. Some oak is there. Rum is faint, but present. Not getting any of the bordeaux or calvados barrel. But there's still plenty going on. Cherry, berry, dark fruit (raisin & fig). Yeast is there, but faint. Clove is noticeable with other spices.

F---Feels full bodied. Minimal to moderate carbonation. No real alcohol is noticeable.

O---It's a shame this was a one-off because it's really damn good and it would be worth it to make it again. I'm partial to Belgian quads, so figure that in.
Feb 04, 2020
 
Rated: 4.38 by Mikemcgrath4 from North Carolina

Jan 19, 2020
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Rated by grover37 from District of Columbia

4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750 at home with Lisa
Jan 11, 2020
 
Rated: 4.91 by thefrog114 from Florida

Dec 26, 2019
 
Rated: 4.25 by corneliustoad from Florida

Dec 17, 2019
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Reviewed by erk0607 from Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured from bottle with what looks like a partially wiped off best by 2021 date, 13:14. Fridge to room temp warming up for about half an hour.
Look: Mostly opaque, dark brown with a dark tan, head, kind of soft soapy lacing
Smell: Cherry, clove, cinnamon, other "holiday spices", candi sugar, oaky
Taste: Barky/oaky and wood char, sugar, cherry, yeast notes, dark fruits, rum/molasses
Feel: A bit oily but not overly viscous, the sugar lingers a bit on the tongue. Smooth carbonation that just barely tickles teh tongue. Alcohol is not hidden, but also not out front.
Overall: Great deal for an oak aged quad. Would get again and keep on hand for the cold season (admittedly, I'm a bit of a Halve Maan/Brugse Zot fanboy)
Dec 01, 2019
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Reviewed by BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
From the bottle of indeterminate age, it pours a nice brown with a modest, soon diminishing light brown or tan head. Dark fruit and some alcohol in the nose. In the mouth, the same an enticing blend of dark fruit and malt. Nice!
Jul 22, 2019
 
Rated: 4.74 by RBorsato from Virginia

Jul 13, 2019
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Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured from fridge temp but allowed to warm over an hour. Poured into a Straffe Hendrik glass. Pours a very dark brown with surprisingly little head (even on an aggressive pour). Nose is dominated by dark fruit - red grapes is most apparent, but some cherries as well. Rum and Belgian yeast are in the mix. Taste is really good. Deep wood notes, along with lots of dark fruit. A touch of chocolate, rum, and wine. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the alcohol is not detectable. Overall, this is a fantastic BA quad.
Mar 03, 2019
 
Rated: 4.75 by bigred89 from Maryland

Jan 19, 2019
 
Rated: 4.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Jan 08, 2019
 
Rated: 4.41 by WDJersey from Colorado

Jan 01, 2019
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Reviewed by keithmurray from Connecticut

4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Appearance - crimson/brown body with very little tan head

Smell - figs, raisin, cherries, allspice, brown sugar, clove

Taste - cherry, raisin, fig, rum, brown sugar, allspice, clove, red wine, cinnamon, hint of oak

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, very low carbonation, sweetness upfront from dark fruits, cherry is long in the finish, oak on the back end

Overall - very nice Xmas quad here, the spices really come thru in a nice way. My only gripe is that this is undercarbed for the style, but otherwise, this is well done. Great value for the price. Recommended.

Price Point - $10.99/750ML bottle
Dec 27, 2018
 
Rated: 4.48 by Quafftastic from Virginia

Dec 26, 2018
Straffe Hendrik Xmas Blend from Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 47 ratings