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Samichlaus Bier Helles | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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BA SCORE
85
very good
231 Reviews
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Samichlaus Bier HellesSamichlaus Bier Helles
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Austria
schloss-eggenberg.at

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mikesgroove on 11-25-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
231
Ratings:
403
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
20.48%
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
64
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 231 | Ratings: 403
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Even a rough pour will bring up only a diminutive head on Samiclaus Helles. That's understandable in that it's 14% alcohol, but surely the extra body should make up for it. Not the case. It's amber body appears deeper, almost copperish, in the glass, but when held to the light it reveals sparkling golden highlights. A fair amount of very tiny bubbles climb steadily upward, indicating that there's a fair amount of carbonation to it; and what delicate cottony head was initially formed benefits from it. Alas, it fades quickly, and beyond that only tiny spots of lacing are left about the glass.

The aroma is clean and malty. It's mainly grainy, but there's also a hint of fruitiness in its sweetness.

In the mouth it's full bodied, but not over-done, and silky smooth - far from syrupy... of course, the alcohol is helping to cut the sugars as well. The delicate carbonation is just enough to lend a gentle caress to the palate.

The flavor is, not surprisingly, very rich. Also, probably not surprisingly, it's not really that complex. This is the blonde version, so of course it's going to be more straightforward in character. It offers a healthy dose of grainy malt, a flicker of hot alcohol (but not too much), and a moderately fruity sweetness in the finish. There are some hops present as well, but they can't compete with the (almost candyish) sweetish malt up-front, and tend to make themselves known only across the middle and into the finish. They're herbal, and mildly spicy (or is that the alcohol that's spicy?).

Overall, it's remarkably well done. The alcohol is kept in check, and it's balanced. The flavor is rich and satiating, but not cloying. (This is truly "liquid bread"). The appearance is great, but the head could be much better; and the aroma is right on. Worth trying! I could even see using this as a cordial at a Christmas dinner. Very nice.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus Helles pours up compact with a moderate, but short lived whitish head that rings the bright, deep sunglow body. The sweetish aroma has a wonderful honey (basswood, orange blossom, tupelo) character to it with some toasted bread (Italian ciabatta, crustinis, Melba toast) maltiness and fruity (clementines, orange marmalade) qualities. There's just a hint of spiciness from the Noble finishing hops that's underlying the maltiness along with some notable alcohol. Otherwise clean, low fruitiness, no diacetyl or DMS. The flavor is dominated by a rich toasted, sweet melanoidin maltiness that's remarkably well balanced by a pleasant spicy hop bitterness. This medium-full bodied lager finishes remarkably smooth with lots of alcoholic warmth & complexity. This is a finely crafted pale doppelbock from one of the world's great lager breweries. Truly wonderful! Enjoy this one cautiously by itself after dinner or paired with a piece of classic cheesecake or a thick slice of Camembert de Normandie. ...I'm glad to see the blond version back into production. Das starkste Bier der Welt...I'll BE BACK!

PROST! Beertracker

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into Unibroue tulip. 2007 vintage.

A Beautiful light amber honey color. Lively carbonation, two finger off-white head subsides slowly. Barely any lace.

S: Mellow yeasty bread notes, sweet, dark fruits.

T: Oh, wow. Is this beer, or port? Fantastic sweetness balanced by fruits (raisins, prunes, a little banana and currants) and some accompanying spice-- cinnamon and clove. Delicious, light caramel. Alcohol present but not objectionable.

M: Just enough carbonation to remind you this is truly beer, medium body, smooth, slightly oily.

D: A slow sipper for sure, no hurry to go through this, will last a while.

An old friend raves and raves about this, so I had to try it. Good recommendation, for my tastebuds. Intense, but refined. If you want to know what beer tastes like 5,000 feet above barleywine, this is it.

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Bright white head that disapears immediatley. The color is that of a sprakling aple cider. So a nice amber color. Very inviting.
S: I am picking up just a hint of burnt nuts. Just a touch of peach
T: A delcious creamy vanillasweetness is the biggest thing immediately. The nuttiness from the smell sitcks around on the back.
M: Big warm creaminess for a big full roundness for a very pleasant mouthfeel
D:Great considering it was 14% alcohol. It did not taste hot at all. Definitely something that can get me in trouble.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

10/23/08- Purchased at Ledger's in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle, bottled in 2007. Poured into my Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance- Lighter copper in color. Pours with a 3/4 inch light foamy head on a hard pour, which soon fades to a very slight rim. Leaves light spotty lace.

Smell- Kinda has a good smell and an odd smell at the same time. Not really outgoing with sugary caramel notes and a wet dog fur nose.

Taste- Very rich and caramely. No real hops involved, but lots and lots of smooth roasted caramel malts. Maybe a slash of orange liquor like flavor as well. Drambuie?

Mouthfeel- Very smooth with a medium to slight lower carbonation level. Warming with a full mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Alcohol is nicely hidden in this one. Really hard to keep from chugging this rather than sipping. Super easy to drink. Will have again in the future. $4.99 price tag.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 1 pt. 9 fl oz. bottle into a Libbey style pilsner glass. Vintage 2012 marked on the bottle.

Light bodied amber, hints of copper and orange with a bit of chestnut brown, quite light in appearance than most doppels. Great and nice even streams of carbonation rising in the middle and on the edges. Head is very fleeting, tan in color, but with hardly and retention. Dissolves normally but leaves a finer lighter and whiter colored collar while sitting.

Real exquisite nose. Was concerned about heat and booze but it's anything but. Large toffee and gooey caramel thickness aromas, spicy clove and nutmeg with hints of light butterscotch to go with it. Smells like a sundae real inviting, and just a bit warm but not overly so.

Palate is really not what I expected. Huge amounts of sweetness, I am talking very sweet but at least tolerable. Fruity action of plum, raisin, even some cherry mixing with light toffee. Surprisingly not thick in the palate or syrupy as the nose might want to indicate. Finishes incredibly clean and soft malt caramel, almost like a nice glaze. So well hidden abv and not the slightest bit boozy.

This is a surprisingly well created brew that is just so well in control and complex. Not everyones cup a tea but this is extremely impressive beer.

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Photo of dstc
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful, deep copper color. Off-white head falls to nothing. Thinnest if lace.

Aroma is all malt and very sweet. Alcohol comes through as well.

Taste mimics the aroma with heavy malts and big sweetness. No real hops to be found. Boozy and sweet in the finish.

Medium to full bodied mouthfeel with low carbonation and a warming alcohol bite.

Wow, great malt bomb. This stuff is very nice. Try it.

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Photo of CraigTravor
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was poured from a bottle into a tulip glass

A: Beautiful copper color. Very minimal head.

S: The smell of this beer is spectacular. I feel like it helps prepare me for the ensuing flavour

T: As it first hits your taste buds you feel the sweetness. It has a smooth candied flavour. There is a slight presence of alcohol

M: The mouthfeel brings the higher alcohol characteristic. It has a mellowing burn similar to that of a whiskey

O: This is a great beer. I don't think I could have more than one in a sitting, but one is just fine.

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Photo of Flashsp2
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samichlaus Helles Malt Liquor (doppelbock)

2007 vintage, poured into a slender tulip in April 2009

Pours a nice medium red with golden highlights. Short lived white head with no lacing to speak of, typical of high octane beers.

A nice toasty malt flavor with some prune like notes, and a good bit of booze as the beer warms. A cough syrup/medical aroma from the big alcoholic phenols.

Flavor is big toasty malts, some sweetness, a warming/prickly hit from the 14% ABV, some dark fruit/prune. Some oak and sherry qualities from the aging as well, all around quite complex for a lager. No hop flavor or bitterness, which makes sense for the aging and style. Some medical quality from the phenols, giving off a bit of cough syrup on the palette as well as the nose.

Mouthfeel is quite syrupy and the carbonation is very low.Feels very hefty and chewy in the mouth. Alcohol provides a bit of warmth.

This beer isn't super easy drinking, but the overall complexity of the experience makes up for it. This is a great beer, and a super treat for anybody who can get their hands on one (or a few if you want to lay them down for a while).

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2-oz bottle poured into a white wine glass.

A = Beautiful clear amber, very little carbonation. Coats glass when swirled. Looks like a white port inthe glass.

S = White pepper, wet grains, yeast, sunflower pollen. Very complex yet understated smell. The alcohol definitely make an appearance, too.

T = Smooth lagered taste, but lots of force. The alcohol hits as soon as the liquid hits mid-palate. The taste is mostly simply that of malted grains, but there are spicy peppery hints and a certain amount of unused yeast still in the mix (surprising given how high the yeast already pushed the ABV). Helles is good but a little uneven, not as good as the standard Samichlaus in my opinion. May mellow with age though.

M = Thick bodied, low but noticable carbonation, good mouth coating.

D = Depends what you want. This is clearly a good beer, but it is very strong. I think it needs some time to age before drinking, right now (1 year old) it is too sharp, but next year I wll happily try this again (and put next year batch down to rest).

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Photo of Drinkerofales
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage, aged 5 years by my good friends at Hollingshead.

Pours copper orange with a tiny dirty tan head which dissipates in less than one minute. No lacing, but not surprising considering the huge abv.

Smell is sweet booze, toffee, roasted malts and more cloyingly sweet plum skin. What a daunting, yet enticing aroma.

Taste is awesome, nicely sweet candied malt. There is some booze, but it's not overpowering. Deep and malty, huge and balanced.

Feel is thick and syrupy. There is almost no carbonation, but that's alright. The beer warms my stomach like a fine spirit, but doesn't burn as much on my tongue.

What a strange and awesome brew. I am glad I picked up this nicely aged beer. Everything about this is scary, but once I filled my mouth with this concoction, I was very pleased. While alcohol is present in every aspect, it's balanced, and only by it's aging.

This beer is the true Arrogant Bastard. Huge and takes the other beers to school, and makes them their bitch. Be afraid, if you can't handle this, it's alright, you aren't ready, or perhaps, you didn't age it long enough.

DOA

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.26/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in 2007. Opened 12/27/2014 Poured into a Bristol 20th anniversary snifter.

Pours with a fire-tinged sunburst orange body. Light hiss when popping the cap. Small ring of white tiny-bubble head around the edge of the glass.

Smells like toffee baking, butter and brown sugar glaze. A little swirl brings up golden raisins, and notes of stewed fig jam. Glazed cooked carrots come to mind.

The flavor is quite impressive. This is the cleanest 8 year old beer I have ever tasted. Notes of honey, dark candi sugar, molasses, and rum-mascerated fruit cake. Very little cardboard or other off flavors. A slight clinging bitterness that isn't a positive aspect. Overall, surprisingly simple.

No alcohol burn whatsoever, with an amazingly sweet and heavy body after 8 years on a store shelf.

Overall: Very tasty and interesting beer. I am still amazed at the clean and simple taste of this rather old lager. Well worth a try for me.

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Photo of CWiggins
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The events as they unfolded:
1. Read about Samichlaus beer in BeerAdvocate.
2. Saw it in North Carolina less than two weeks later, first at Brawley's (Charlotte) and then Sam's Quik Stop (Durham). Picked up a four pack immediately! (I still have one bottle of that pack.)
3. Walked into Sam's just two evenings ago and encountered two--not just one, but two--different case stacks of Samichlaus beer, one of a new variety. Both species retail at $16.99 a four-pack, and I couldn't resist picking up a single bottle of the Helles Lager to try. There's not too much of a hurry to pick up the Doppelbock; Sam's still has some left over from last season!

I agree with the previous reviewer that perhaps this is the wrong style category for this beer. Almost none of the traditional Doppelbock characteristics are present here, with the sole exception of ABV strength. Helles Bock may be a better choice, but Samichlaus Helles Lager certainly reminds me of the many Imperial Pilseners I've enjoyed recently. Hmmm.

It pours a dark yellow into my pint glass; the near-white head is not substantial and isn't sustained for very long. The liquid is nearly transparent, and bubbles continue to rise from the depths of the glass to the surface. It's quite a beauty to hold up to the light and watch for a bit.

There's so much going on in the smell: there are elements of heavy yeasts and malts combined with floral esters, all backed up with the scent of warm alcohol. One barely needs to proceed further.

The body is nearly chewy, and the feel of alcohol on the tongue is noticably strong. Lighter flavors of grain and hops are married to the heavier floral and sweet flavors. It's refreshing, and yet, as the same time, a serious undertaking. I wanted to guzzle it like some thirst-quenching soda or fruit-flavored water, but the heaviness keeps it more at bay. One is all I can handle!

Quite an interesting brew, and one I'll certain to keep around for winter and spring.

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Photo of ronniebruner
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow! What a great brew! The beer pours a beautiful orange and gold color with a perfectly clear tinge. Not alot of head or lace, just a good old fashioned, high alcohol beer here! The aroma is sweet and smells of fermented grains and sweet alcohol, with a nice bit of singe to the note. The beer has a nice taste of grains and alcohol and really warms up as it is going down. Leaves a wonderful slight burn on the tongue and is a very worthy contender in my book as one of the top 10 beers I have tried, without a doubt. A bit expensive, but worth every penny.

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Photo of czfreeman
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Pop-top 1pt 9.4oz bottle. I recived this as a birthday present earlier this month,as the brewing date corresponds with my birthday.
Pours out a cherry-brown tone,leaving little to no head.
Aromas are cherry cordial sweetness,congac-bite,a rich vanilla custard sweetness.Think Arm cheesecake. Malty earthy tones make up the crust of this delicious treat.
Taste is rendolent of the aroma. Spicy,sweet, cherrys up front,finishes with a cherry malt bite. German Gluhwein is immediatley called to mind, spicy and biting.The fullness of the creaminess of the taste is silky as eggnog, this really hits all points of a holiday drink.Long and lingering,this would be perfect sitting next to the tree at Chrismastime.
The mouthfeel is very full, the bite of the gingery spiciness combined with the sweet fullness of the creamy cherry-spice flavor make this a fantastic holiday treat. I hope to enjoy each year. Cheers St. Nick!

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours just like any other helles - pale golden color, thin white head, and you can see through it quite well.

Nose is a little tepid. Some honey & sweetbread aromas.

Palate packs a whopper malt character with honey-like sweetness, alcohol punch to your face, and a syrupy thick mouthfeel. It's not almost syrupy, it is syrupy. This could be served on buttermilk pancakes if desired.

Finish is warming with plenty of alcohol presence.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Red label Samichlaus Helles was picked up in a 12 oz., brown bottle, and poured into a goblet. The beer came out fizzy and developed almost no head, but the body was a crystal clear, pale gold. The smell was quite a fruity and alcoholic treat. Lots of pears, apples, and grapes on the nose, soaked in cognac. The taste was warm, sweet, and ... well it was hard to get past the sweet. The spices (anise and pepper), vanilla, and fruits were all drizzled in lots of powdered sugar. Some might find this level of sweetness cloying, but I found the strong countering by the drying alcohol a sufficiently palatable combination. As I got further along, some hop bitterness showed up as well. Very richly textured, and oh so warming. Some might consider this a good fireside sipper, but I'd be beware of igniting the vapors. Fits all the classic definitions of a cellarable a beer, and I sure will be stashing away some for a decade or more to get it to peak.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I didn't even know this existed, until I saw someone order it at the bar I'm marooned at while the rain pours down. So, here I go, a drinkin'...

Clear amber color, smallish white head, stick around a bit...

Aroma: clean and lightly fruity, peach and apple, apricot and herbs...

Drink it already!....Boom! Big fat malt, huge fruity flavor, little hops, nothing but enormous malt and alcohol. Slick, sweet, clean. Yum. Light bodied, lean, sweet, malty lager....way over-sized booze. Incredible, formidable, intense. Burning fruit roasts the palate, clean and mean, ...yum, and hot! yum, and fierce! yum, and POW!

Mmmm, all 14 % blonde doppelbocks should be this good!

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Photo of ao125
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me tell you a tale of four beers.

Once upon a time, there was a 4 pack of beers bottled in 2007. They had a pink label and said "Malt Liquor" on the outside. They were put aside and forgotten about.

A year later, the first beer (drank in 2008) tasted like alcoholic Kool-Aid. It was almost a drain pour - but I suffered through it because my palate was unrefined. The "Malt Liquor" label was appropriate.

The second beer (drank in 2010) was more refined. It tasted less like rubbing alcohol and more like cherries and malt. It too needed time to mature. Its two remaining brothers were put aside.

The third beer was called upon (drank in 2012) and it had come into its own. Served in a Brugse Zot glass; it boasted of intense malt, dark fruits, and a less intense (but still present) alcoholic bite. There were hints of caramel and butterscotch. A beer that changed in many ways as it warmed.

The final beer waits for good times ahead.

This is without a doubt, a beer that needs time to come into its own, and a lot of it. Is it worth the wait? Only time will tell - but so far, it has been very telling.

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Photo of kwakwhore
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a Samichlaus aficionado, I was extremely curious to try this one.
Light orange gold pour with a small white head. Beautiful clarity to the brew.
Bit of sweet malt in the aroma along with some alcohol.
Lots of sweet malt mixed with alcohol in the flavor. A bit of candied fruit with a small amount of hop bitterness in the finish.
A little bit syrupy in the mouthfeel. Alcohol warms all the way down the throat. One usually thinks of a helles as something to drink in the summer, but this is a fine winter beer.
I couldn't drink more than two of these in an evening, but for its strength it's an easy beer to drink. Urbock 23 on steroids. I hope that Eggenberg keeps making this one.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a smallish 11.2 oz bottle to a beer glass, the liquid is a nice clear gold with soso carbonation. The head is small and leaves very little lace.

The smell is alcohol socked bread.

The taste follows a very nice bready big brew. And bam lots of alcohol too. Taste complexities include, pear, peach and cherries. But it seems the huge 14% ABV will chase most.

The mouthfeel is huge full body, subdued carbonation and a bit of burn.

The drinkability... Well ha this brew is a sipper to be sure. Take it easy kids.

Prosit Und Zum Wohl, MK

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Photo of jdhilt
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thin layer, white head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Crystal clear amber color. Very light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is sugar and hints of alcohol, flavor is smooth and sweet, dark fruit, almost cloying. Similar to their classic. NOT a session beer - the 14% ABV is noticeable . . . savor this beer. $5.99 for a 330ml bottle, from Julio's Liquors Westborough, MA. Bottled in 2012.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber orange glass doesn't hold a head, barely a halo of tiny white bubbles. Good clarity and a little leg.

Aroma: Sweet malty perfume, almost sickly sweet but cut with the alcohol and a hint of earthiness, almost a cellar dust.

Taste: A malt bomb to be sure, heavy sweet profile with a lot of subtle notes. Toffee, leather, peach skin, hint of barrel soaked alcohol, each sip packs a big punch.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, heavy body evaporates a bit in a cloud of boozy alcohol but leaves a residue of stickiness that triggers a bit of chew.

Overall: A great celebration beer; big bang in each taste, great mellowed alcohol, a Sugar Daddy like candy quality that can be a bit overwhelming and demands either sharing the bottle or taking the long, slow route with a water back. I'm going to enjoy this as a Christmas present from Illudium; Cheers!

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Photo of colts9016
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour into a pilsner glass at 45 degrees.

Appearance: A deep gold color with no head. There is a lot of carbonation in the beer. The clarity of the beer is very clear.

Nose: Port like aroma. Raisin, plum, grape , and rich toasted malt with a sweet caramel molasses. A rich alcoholic on the foreground. Kinda like a grape juice on store shelves.

Taste: A spicy alcohol with a port like aroma with raisin, plum, and grapes. There is a lightly toasted malt with a sweet yeast and bread like. There is caramel and that grape juice taste.

Overall: I like this one better than its cousin. It has a spicy warming alcohol mouth feel. The finish is sweet and linger on the palate for a few moments. The is a very strong beer that will put u at one or two sheets.

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Photo of scottoale
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage, 330ml. brown bottle. Poured into a Chimay chalice a bright orange-gold with a thin 1/4" off-white head that disappears before your eyes.

It smells of sweet toasty malt, over ripened fruit and boat load of alcohol, as it should at 14% ABV.

The taste is ever so sweet of grainy malt, floral fruitiness and a big punch of alcohol that hides not. This stuff tastes strong and is strong. Good and strong.

A medium syrupy body that fluffs a bit in the mouth, tingles a bit on the tongue, then goes down with a pleasant warming sensation...good stuff!

Very sweet, very drinkable for it's potency and a kick-ass brew to boot...worth the experience for sure.

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Samichlaus Bier Helles from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.76 out of 5 based on 403 ratings.
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