Straffe Hendrik Xmas Blend
Brouwerij De Halve Maan

Straffe Hendrik Xmas BlendStraffe Hendrik Xmas Blend
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From:
Brouwerij De Halve Maan
 
Belgium
Style:
Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #10
ABV:
11%
Score:
95
Ranked #1,655
Avg:
4.32 | pDev: 6.02%
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
73
Status:
Active
Rated:
Jan 23, 2024
Added:
Nov 24, 2018
Wants:
  3
Gots:
  5
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: 4.54 by vickersspitfire from Texas

Jan 23, 2024
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Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
2022 vintage; drank 12/26/23 @ Pokemon Communion.

Opaque dark brown appearance.

An even pour yielded a big tan head; thick, frothy lacing remained.

Allspice, orange peel, cream & candle wax notes in the nose.

Creamy, medium thick mouthfeel.

Allspice, cream & faint plum flavors up front; a bit of cinnamon sharpness on the finish.

Nice mouthfeel; overall pleasant.
Jan 02, 2024
 
Rated: 3.96 by Ox8840bo from Illinois

Dec 28, 2023
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Reviewed by HattedClassic from Virginia

4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
The beer pours a nice and voluminous khaki brown head that does not dissipate. The beer itself is a clear slightly reddish brown that looks really nice.

The smell is pretty good. It has an assortment of Belgian spices and dark fruits like raisins and dates. There is also a light wood note around everything.

The taste is very good. It strongly resembles the smell with the same kinds of notes. It has a mix of Belgian spices and dark fruit notes like raisin, plum, and dates with a wooden finish to it. There is also an orange note in the finish as well.

The feel is good. It has medium body with tingling carbonation with a dry finish to it.

Overall, a decent Christmas Belgian ale worth trying.
Dec 26, 2023
 
Rated: 4.4 by steverx8 from England

Dec 25, 2023
 
Rated: 4.33 by shelby415 from Oregon

Dec 25, 2023
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Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
330 ml bottle, dated 2021. poured cellar temperature

pours a very dark brown, with cream colored head of dense fine bubbles. great head retention.
the aroma and taste is rich malt is balanced by oak and dark fruit flavors, but fairly dry finish. super smooth mouthfeel
Dec 18, 2023
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Reviewed by Taybeh from Minnesota

4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
From a 330 ml bottle into a Yeti snifter. Pours a very cloudy murky muddy brown with a thin level of white fizzy head that subsides into little pools here and there, with a thin ring around the edges...no lacing. Let this one warm up to close to room temperature, after I was underwhelmed by the nose and the first few sips; warming did a lot of good and brought out more subtleties. Nose: figs, brown sugar/caramel, apples and some kind of faint and warm baking spice...maybe nutmeg or cardamom. Taste: dark fruity esters! Nose carries through here, but there's also some plum, the caramel/brown sugar is more pronounced, also some diacetyl. Mouthful is medium (which is ridiculous, considering the abv), fairly creamy, with just a hint of zippy, hoppy, spicy zest that is a little dry on the edges and at the finish. This is a very good beer for a dreary December day; interesting blend, with some good depth and absolutely no heat.
Dec 16, 2023
 
Rated: 4.15 by cozmo from New York

Dec 10, 2023
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Rated by emerge077 from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Draft had a fair amount of diacetyl-related butterscotch.
Dec 09, 2023
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Reviewed by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
330ml bottle into a Chimay glass. 2021 release, best by 9/21/24.

Nice looking beer. Deep amber body with a surprisingly persistent off white head. Streaks of lacing. Aroma is a sweet, boozy, spicy blend, enticing. On tasting, slightly sweet, a lot of dark stone fruit. Spice note subdued. Finish seems more plum than anything else.

The magic of this beer is in the brewer being able to blend different ages of a quadruple, aging them in multiple barrels, and producing a beer so balanced, smooth and clean, and where the abv impression is nowhere near the 11.0 listed. Genius.
Nov 19, 2023
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Reviewed by ChainGangGuy from Georgia

4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
750ml bottle - $15.00 at Woodstock Beer Market in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours an amber-brown body, a bit murky with a cap of light beige foam.

Smell: Aromatic vibrancy of a spiced, fruity holidaytime Christmas loaf. Toast, treacle. Lightly yeasty. Modest wooden presence.

Taste: Sweetish flavor, started at treacle and progressing to something more caramelized. Tangy, vinous fruitiness of raisins, figs and orange rind. Black pepper, cardamon and light clove. Earthy yeastiness with a hint of barrel on the periphery.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: An enjoyable albeit potent beer that drinks rather easily.
Nov 10, 2023
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Reviewed by tobelerone from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
I was ready to dismiss this beer as simply lacking in depth but then it warmed and opened up on me significantly, revealing depth and complexity not at all apparent upon initial tasting. This is a beer that demands to be consumed at cellar temperature- any colder and all that nuance is lost. It’s also fairly effervescent at first and sitting some lets the beer settle down into a smooth medium-full body with some creaminess and yet still liveliness on the tongue. Amidst a palate of judicious dark fruit sweetness we find vinous wine notes, hints of apple, walnut, brown sugar and caramel, some appealing booziness as expected from a quad, and a finish that brings tannins and slight bitterness. Would definitely drink again but begin much, much warmer than I did here - I feel like I wasted half the bottle with my haste to start drinking.
Nov 03, 2023
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Reviewed by CarolinaCardinals from North Carolina

4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Picked up a 2021 version four-pack from the Appalachian VIntner 12-7-22 for $29.99. Consumed 2nd bottle for review 10-4-23; Best before 21-09-2024.

Beer poured murky brown with a nice off white head.

Nose is wonderful as it is full of dark fruit esters.

Taste follows the nose as a large but light malt base works well with the yeast which gives forth an ester driven flavor profile that includes figs, plums, and raisons. Finishes dry and nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with each sip being wonderfully light and smooth.

Overall this is a wonderful brew. Glad the beer store recommended this!
Oct 04, 2023
 
Rated: 4.88 by igl from Russian Federation

Aug 12, 2023
 
Rated: 4 by 88caprice from Virginia

Jul 03, 2023
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Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
330 ml bottle into a goblet. 2021 edition. Best by 9/21/24, had 11/28/22.

Pours a reddish copper color, cloudy, with a one inch head of creamy foam with very good retention and a good amount of foamy lacing. Aromas of rum, malt, apple brandy, cherry, some caramel and plums, light oak. Has a bit of a spicy aroma. Flavors of rum, malt, cherry, apple brandy, caramel, red wine, light plums, a light herbal hop bitterness. Also has a bit of a spicy taste. Smooth, semi dry, a solid medium body, appropriately carbonated.

All the barrels show pretty well, the rum up front, Bordeaux more on the finish, the Calvados was pretty consistent throughout, running underneath. An array of great aromas and flavors to pick out and savor, from the barrels as well as the excellent base. Interesting and complex, really enjoyable.
Jun 30, 2023
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Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

3.75/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
2022 edition, blind-tasted.
L- Ultra-deep chestnut, pours clear with a 2Cm mid-tan pillowy foam cap. 4.25
S- A slightly piquant perhaps winey note. Maybe my nose isn't on-form. 3.5
T- Piquant is correct it seems! That was the first facet, loud and proud. It's dry, bordering almost a touch on sour, with some richness tagging along mostly in the back-ground. The dryness is that of a notably dry white wine - perhaps this is wine barrel aged? The richness hasn't as much depth or complexity as I'd anticipated, it's more of a treacle aspect, than having greater detail. It also has that estery 'Belgian yeast thing' going on, something quite prevalent in Trappist brews. It leaves a lingering zing on the tongue, far beyond what CO2 could be doing. 3.75
F- It does a fine job of masking being OTT rich as some quads etc can be. In fact it does a cracking job at masking the 11% ABV. Probably to the slightly brighter side of expectations given the bottle description. 4
O- I saw Belgian, Xmas, Quad + 11% and imagined this likely a spicy Xmas thumper; but it's not so simple. There is a clear bright woody sour/dry note right on the front+centre too. Nice and enjoyable to try but for the price perhaps not one I'd seek out again. 3.75
Bought from Bacchanalia, Mill Road, Cambridge £15/750ml caged+corked bottle. BB 18/08/2025
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Now rated/reviewed above I will look at the small print on the bottle, to see if it gives any clues:
'Bordeaux, Calvados and rum barrel aged'. Then something curious about the brewery having a 3.2Km underground beer pipeline.
Feb 10, 2023
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Reviewed by ViveLaChouffe from Georgia

4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2021 Vintage, enjoyed Jan. 2023

Balance is the theme here...

An expertly blended Belgian quadrupel, with four different barrels contributing. All of the barrel aging gives it great flavors that compete but never overpower each other or the palate. Not too boozy, smooth feel. Can be drunk now or you could save for next Christmas. If you like Belgian quad, give this one a try.
Feb 07, 2023
 
Rated: 4.65 by WynnO from Florida

Jan 27, 2023
Straffe Hendrik Xmas Blend from Brouwerij De Halve Maan
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 73 ratings