Samichlaus Classic Bier
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
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Bock - Doppelbock
Ranked #10
Ranked #3,635
4.1 | pDev: 15.85%
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
Notes: The once strongest beer in the world is back! Brewed only once a year on December 6. Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This beer is perhaps the rarest in the world. Samichlaus may be aged for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particulary with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself. Brewed under the exclusive licence of Feldschlösschen-Hürlimann-Holding, Switzerland.
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Reviews: 1,163 | Ratings: 2,204 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark, somewhat opaque brown with amber highlights in the light. Half a finger of fizzy tan head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Sweet, doughy malt, caramel, fortified wine (port or sherry).

Taste: Surprisingly similar to port. Malty and sweet, but with a distinct grape wine undertone. Mild bitterness on the bottom, with a light fusel alcohol aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Fairly average in feel, with very mild carbonation.

Overall: A strange and exciting brew. One that's not for everyone.

Yesterday at 08:01 AM
Photo of HipCzech
HipCzech from Texas

3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: 11.2 oz bottle (2020 release) poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Deep, chestnut brown with a fleeting cap of off white bubbles.

Smell: Malty, sugary nose with aromas of caramel, molasses, brown sugar and dark fruit.

Taste: Malty and sweet, plenty of molasses, caramel, brown sugar, cocoa and some alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium to fuller body with soft carbonation and slightly oily feel.

Overall: Very much a dessert beer for sipping. Layers of sweet, malty notes and boozy warmth, though lacking some of the depth and balance of similarly big beers. Likely to benefit from years of aging.

May 01, 2021
Photo of zac16125
zac16125 from South Carolina

4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a very nice caramel color with some amber hues. Decently sized tan head that dissipates very quickly leaving no lacing. Aroma is malt forward and quite sweet with huge caramel, molasses and some candied sugar. There are some floral noble hops-esque notes to balance. Taste is remarkably sweet, like almost stunningly so. I said the aroma was sweet but that’s nothing compared to the taste. It has an almost candy like sugary sweetness, as well as big caramel and molasses notes, yet remains shockingly uncloying with a moderate degree of bitterness and some fusel ethanol bite (in a good way as it balances the sweet bomb). Some lingering subtle dark cocoa notes on the finish, with very subtle earthy almost woody notes. Others have commented on its English Barleywine similarities, and there are perhaps some but not many in my opinion. There’s almost no dark fruit notes here, it’s also much cleaner (which is a poor descriptor I know, but it’s what comes to mind when I drink it). This is wonderfully complex. The mouthfeel is a bit lacking, it’s certainly low on carbonation but not too detrimentally so as in some ways this almost drinks like a lower ABV spirit. This would serve as a terrific after dinner drink, a fine alternative to a port wine for example. ABV is noticeable but necessarily so, as mentioned above. It’s remarkably drinkable. Overall, this is just stellar. How I have never had this beer before is baffling to me. I am picking up several of these both for current drinking and to cellar. Honestly kind of blown away by this.


Apr 13, 2021
Photo of piffy
piffy from Austria

1/5  rDev -75.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

my 2018 bottle left a very clear message...which reminds me.. meine mutter told me if I didn't have anything nice to say, then don't. I'll leave it at that. I would just tell you to read all the other low, but honest reviews. My background...I used to do worldwide bier tasting as a buyer for a group. i have had the opportunity to taste hundreds of biers from numerous countries. i narrowed my list down to approximately 140 for our purchasing. Our sales demonstrated that our customers enjoyed our selection.
The bier: initial taste was overly (shockingly sugary) sweet with a hint of chocolate.
The bier: look and smell were ordinary, although the higher alcohol level was translated into the nose.
The bier: feel/taste was a somewhat watery syrup(y) experience.
Three sweet biers from my past (to name a few) that did sweet right (imho) were/are: Mackeson Stout, Gosser Dark and MacAndrew's Scotch Ale. Their sweetness seemed to be an inherent, integrated part of creating each one -not as though a sugary mixture after thought had been added somewhere at the end of the manufacturing process. The question is: Did I have a poorly treated bottle or was the (innocent) bottle treated poorly? I'll go with the latter.

Jan 30, 2021
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim from New York

4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. capped bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. 2015 vintage.

Nose is caramel, brown sugar, molasses, raisin, and a boozy, rich, nuttiness. Akin to a barrel aged English Barleywine. Beer opens raisin, caramel, and brown sugar. I get molasses and toffee in the middle with a really sugary booziness. Oak and more layers of brown sugar, molasses and tobacco in the finish. This is unsurprsingly amazing. Body is medium with moderate to low carbonation. Oily on the palate but not super thick. Really drinkable for the ABVs. Boozy going down with a filmy, long, lingering aftertaste.

To say that this has aged gracefully is an understatement. These bottles after 5+ years are liquid gold.

Jan 20, 2021
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper-colored brew, very little head, fairly full-bodied, almost syrupy. Flavors are molasses, dark fruits, sweet with a bite like cognac. A sipping beer, ideal for a cold winter night, nurse it through a movie, or a crackling fire. Nice complexity, with a brilliantly disguised 14% ABV.

Jan 19, 2021
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.1oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 vintage.

A: Dark mahogany brown color with a fine bubble head that never reaches more than half a finger and disappears pretty quickly.

S: Brown bread and brown molasses. Nutty. Amaretto. Mild raisin and fruit skin whiffs. Pleasant sherry-like oxidation.

T: Amaretto right up front. Toast, burnt bread crust, brown bread, treacle and molasses. Very sweet. Booze-soaked raisins. Sherry oxidation fits rather well and helps balance the sweetness. Alcohol is firmly present but not hot. Heavily toasted grain toward the back end. Sweet finish of treacle, raisin, and hints of toast and cocoa.

M: Very weighty. Sticky, coating, syrupy texture. Carbonation just barely present and pricking at the tongue. Big sense of warming booze, though it is not hot.

O: Drinks more like a liqueur than a beer. Huge and brawny, and very sweet. It’s definitely a slow sipper. It ages beautifully too, and this is a beer that I actually prefer with extended time on it. Oxidation yields more of a pleasant sherry flavor that adds complexity. Seven years on this one and it could have gone much longer.

Dec 25, 2020
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

3.22/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

L- Pours clear, a bright chestnut brown with a very fleeting 1mm foam cap, unsurprising given the ABV%.
S- Reminds me more of a barley-wine style of beer, it is literally wine-like.
T- Wine and sugary notes. The ABV% is very well hidden on the palate, though it leaves a mild zing on my lips.
F- Verging on syrupy, through it has a piquant side that reminds me of sour plum. The latter might be an ABV%+hops combo. Overall it's thick, rich/sweet and heavy feeling.
O- I don't like it. It's one of the sweetest beers I've ever had, if not the sweetest one (of 1499 to date). It tastes far more like a dessert-wine than a beer. I understand why high ABV% challenges CO2 retention, and here after a moment there is no head and after that apparently little or no CO2 on the palate.
What a disappointment. It seems far more like a novelty than a serious Doppelbock, or a beer with thought-through balance. I absolutely would not wish to drink this again. 'The once strongest beer in the world' in the headers above just about sums it up.
330ml bottle BB: 09/2025 £5.49 from Wholefoods, London W8

Dec 07, 2020
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a mug. Had a dark, mahogany brown color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Not a whole lot of lacing, though.

S: A very good aroma of malt, toffee, dark fruit, and some citrus fruit.

T: Tasted of a good amount of toffee (sweet, but not cloyingly so), some dark fruit (raisins, in particular), a slight burnt quality, a whole lot of malt (a very strong backbone of that), some booze, and a tinge of citrus fruit (orange, especially). This is a well-constructed, rather forceful flavor. Quite well-balanced.

F: A decent amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A solidly done beer. Definitely worth a try.

Nov 22, 2020
Photo of Ballabas
Ballabas from Israel

4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting.

Looks beautiful. Like wine

Smells a little like soy sauce, root beer and leather.

Tastes like molasses , cherry, orange peel, chocolate liqueur, burnt toffee, raisins. Big, bold flavor. Alcohol is apparent, but very smooth. It's almost as sweet as soda.

Feels rich, but not too thich. Warming. Good for sipping

Overall quite an experience. This is my first doppelbock and I've never had anything like it. It's sweet for my taste, but there's a lot to enjoy.

Oct 29, 2020
Photo of misteil
misteil from Ireland

3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look: no head but that’s to be expected with the strength, beer is a clear mahogany to orange colour, just a few bubbles rising up the glass.

smell: super malty, bread, biscuit, ovaltine, malteaser, big vinous quality to it, sherry, moscatel wine, cherry, lightly sweet, smells very potent but also rather calm, inviting.

taste: great beer, mega malty, bread, biscuit, ovaltine, lightly meaty, some milk chocolate, lot of moscatel wine, sherry, cognac, orange, orange peel, cherry, quite sweet, quite bitter, lingering malt flavour on the finish, good stuff indeed.

feel: medium bodied, doesn’t have the crushing weight you’d anticipate from a 14% beer, barely any carbonation, a tonne of alcohol warming, little bit of lingering bitterness, obviously to be sipped.

overall: one of a kind, will be curious to see how the flavours develop as this warms up a little, worth seeking out anyway, very good beer.

Oct 22, 2020
Photo of ArsenicDrone
ArsenicDrone from Arizona

4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to go through some of the beers I've had sitting around, and I didn't see a year on this one, so I opened it up after dinner. Then I looked closer, and it's a 2010, 10 years old. Let's see how it's fared.

A: This is a great clear deep burgundy color, and there's no head, but I associate that with good beers. Really pretty.

S: Mostly a really smooth toffee smell. But there's something a bit off behind it, sort of a burnt tar smell. The weakest part of the beer.

T: Quite sweet. Taste matches the smell pretty well, malty toffee and that hint of a charred aspect. Chocolate as well, as it warms. Occasionally the alcohol snaps at me a bit, but for the most part it sits right below being noticeable. Lots of toffee in the aftertaste, which doesn't linger all that much.

M: Just the right thickness for me. A doppelbock is often on the thinner side, and this is just a bit thicker. If I were taking big gulps, it might be too thick, but with this sweetness and 14% ABV, my sips are on the small side.

Overall, honestly, this could be a cheaper replacement for a nice tawny port. It is pretty one-dimensional aside from that bit of an off burnt taste, but what it does, it does well.

Aug 23, 2020
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow from Minnesota

4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This is a 2014 version so 5+ years of aging on this one already. Poured into tulip as directed by BA preferred glassware.
Pours thick for a lager with almost no head, just a off-white ring that shows and pretty much goes away. Very rich with lots of fruit and a sticky sweet almost caramel or toffee quality. It's nice.
Almost like an English barelywine in it's candy sweetness. Super rich and nice lager sticky full feel. The alcohol blends nicely into the flavors. A little rose/flowery quality but soft enough. The feels sticks in the mouth. Less fruit than most for style but the candy flavors are great.
Wow, this is fun and awesome. A little oxidation on the nose, but nothing to speak of on the tongue

May 16, 2020
Photo of octortus
octortus from Canada (ON)

3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL Bottle. ABV 14%.
Appearance: Red copper, Very clear, Very little fizzy cream head, No retention, Very low carbonation.
Aroma: Malt sweetness, Syrup, Dark bread, Caramel, Dried dark fruit (raisin, plum).
Mouthfeel: Medium-Full body, Syrupy, Well hidden alcohol (though there is a noticeable warmth).
Flavour: Syrupy malt sweetness, Dark bread, Dried dark fruit (raisin, plum, fig), Slight caramel.
Overall: Very enjoyable Doppelbock. This is pretty well balanced but may have just been a bit too sweet.

Review: 145

Mar 01, 2020
Photo of andaub

4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is incredible, I had a 2yr old bottle and the smell is absolutely mesmerizing. Caramel scotch smooth, the look and feel is impeccable. The taste is absolutely great to the pallet and dangerous for 14% alcohol, you can't tell, that's how good the blend is. This is probably the best doppel Bock on the market with Celebrator, when aged a couple/few years. Also, probably one of the hardest beers to get as it only releases on 1 day of the year, 6 Dec.

Mar 01, 2020
Photo of Nuttin_but_the_best_Clark
Nuttin_but_the_best_Clark from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all, the marketing alone on this deserves a rating that kicks it down a few notches. For them to say that this is 'perhaps the rarest beer in the world' is quite a stretch. I found it at several stores in January and the liquor store owner snickered when I asked if it usually sells out immediately.

The beer itself is more of a barleywine style than a beer ... the label says Malt Beverage and it drinks like one. Syrupy sweet, sticky sugar mouthfeel and the distinct taste of sour carmel and raisins. It leaves you with a sour malty/starchy taste in your mouth. I wasn't impressed and glad I did not buy a 4-pack.

The bottle is so damn cheesy looking ... it looks like a repurposed Bud bottle with a cheap metallic label slapped on (complete with crease and air bubbles). It reminds me of a Lowenbreau bottle from the 1980's, only brown and gold vs. blue and gold.

Honestly, I am not a fan of barleywine so maybe I am unfairly judging this as it's not my style. A 14% ABV will warm your face a bit on a single bottle but not worth the sour sugary taste to me. Too much sticky and sweet ... not enough character. Its like a liquified crackerjack mixed with Sprite.

Jan 18, 2020
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a bottle on which the label reads bottled in 2016. Sampled Jan 17, 2020 although I bought it off the shelf with this date.

Attractive looking deep amber brown with some reddish hues and decent clarity for a darker beer.

Big boastful aroma of barley malts, sweet roasted malts, caramel, a hint of grape-like fruit and a low booze profile.

Medium or better mouthfeel.

Now I get the booze in the taste, which is otherwise sweet and aggressively malt forward. It still hints of fruit and warms at the finish. Very nice.

Jan 18, 2020
Photo of lmaduells
lmaduells from Spain

4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

When I opened the bottle I didn't know which beer I was about to try. At the first sip I saw that it was a very special product. Honestly, I really liked the beer. It is an unmatched product, very brewer, that does not leave indifferent, a strong beer. Fantastic

Jan 02, 2020
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes 1/26/14: Pours a clear deep brown producing 1.5 fingers of tight, finely bubbled, tan short-lived head that leaves only scattered motes of lace. Aroma is sweet and boozy, dark roasted malts, heavy to dried figs and prunes with hints of cherry molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, anise and a touch of herbal, earthy hoppiness. Taste is very boozy and sweet with a heavy dark malt profile, fruitcake bready, lots of dried and fresh dark fruit notes (especially figs, prunes and fresh dark very ripe plums), molasses, toffee and spice with a touch of bitter, herbal hoppiness. Bittersweet (heavier to sweet) and boozy alcohol spice finish and aftertaste. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with low carbonation, tongue coating syrupy, smooth, with alcohol warmth and a spicy finish on the sides and back of the tongue. A high octane, malt bomb, this is an unusual beer that should probably be given a style classification of its own.

Nov 14, 2019
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Mark-Leggett from Missouri

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle. Dark caramel color with a small head. Smells of malt and apple juice. Flavors include plum, raisin with sweet touches. Lots of flavors going on here, high avb is hidden rather well. Slow sipper, great on a cold night.

Oct 31, 2019
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator from Massachusetts

4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Samichlaus Classic Bier
11.2 oz. brown bottle
Bottled in 2016
Served in a New Belgium tulip glass

A good friend had bought a bottle of this and gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago. It's been tucked away in the far back of my fridge throughout the duration and this Friday afternoon felt like the right time to give it a thorough sampling. Without further ado, lets give this a go.

Pours a chestnut brown with a decent head to start, but it quickly transforms to a thin circular lace. Nice trails of sticky lacings begin to show on the side of the glassware.

Interesting nose with whiffs of a three day old slightly rotting banana, figs and molasses. The nose piques your interest to discover what exactly this beer may have in store.

The mouthfeel is syrupy sweet with hints of plum, dried apricots and raisins. Each sip is intense and rich with a burnt caramel drizzle and brown sugar sweetness. Super malty backbone with a soft and minimal carbonation.

Needless to say, the Samichlaus Classic Bier is a sipper. The 14% is very well hidden and quite deceiving. I'm impressed at how well this beer has aged and mellowed out, could easily sit around for a few more years.


Oct 18, 2019
Photo of jrc1093
jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2016 bottling

Pours a clear, deep purple grape body with a slight off-white head of quickly receding foam; a frothy cap and minimal strands of lacing hang around, but only for a short while.

Aroma powers out of the glass with notes of dates, grape jelly, prune, fig, and a burly hit of fruit brandy; touches of brown sugar and wisps of cacao round out a deft, earthy touch to the bouquet.

Taste brings out sugarplum, overripe grape, and cherry syrup in spades to dominate the profile; bakers chocolate undertones appear throughout, while brown sugar touches lightly on the finish.

Mouthfeel has a moderate-heavy syrupy body with lower carbonation; slick, boozy, and creamy over the mid-palate, remaining sticky at first, but drying steadily over time to a warming finish.

Unrepentantly sweet and boozy, this presents best as more of a beer digestif than maybe anything else, even considering its age; it feels conflicting under any other title. Tons of flavor, deep and rounded; a pure sipper straddling the line between over-the-top doppelbock and refined malt liquor.

Sep 26, 2019
Photo of Lanas
Lanas from Greece

4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Wow that was very strong experience.. This beer is really strong.. I can feel the fire in my mouth and in my stomach right now.. Remind you some "Belgian" strong quad like the "Rochefort 10". When you have the first mouthfeel the flavor and the strong alcohol numb your tongue like the "Rochefort 10"..
On the other hand the taste is very sweet and pleasant and also the aftertaste that you can notice very well the caramel..
Overall is a decent beer despite the high alcohol that is very noticeable and perhaps make you problems if you are not have full stomach.. Otherwise is like you drink one high quality "Quadrupel Belgian Beer"..

Sep 20, 2019
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Spikester from Oregon

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear dark amber with one finger of tan head that goes away rather quickly.
Smell is sweet toasted malt some brown bread.
Taste is sweet malty brown bread crust molasses raisens some plum.
Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Finish is lightly dry and sweet.
Overall a tasty beer. The alcohol is well hidden but felt.

Aug 04, 2019
Photo of eedsp
eedsp from California

4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Years ago (early 1990's) I used to shop for strange and exotic beers. I discovered that I liked strong, thick and sweet beers like EKU 28 and Spaten Optimator, and this one ( Samichlaus Classic ). Back then I paid nearly $30 USD for a six pack. That was expensive for a poor college kid.
What I liked about this beer was that it was very rich. Now that I know more about beers I would guess from "tastebud memory" that this was very rich and creamy, a hint o caramelized brown sugar and very sweet but not overpowering. Then again, I like my beers Dark, Sweet, Creamy, slightly warm and a head that sticks around from natural carbonation.
If this beer is anything like I had back in 1990, you don't want to drink it ice cold or on a hot day. This is a beer to enjoy and sip with perhaps a nice German Chocolate Cheese Cake or a piece of quality sweetened cocoa. Strawberries will probably pair as well but I never tried that.
The first sip was almost like taking a of creamy cocoa with an after taste of barrel aged bourbon -- very rich. The 2nd sip was less of a shock and by the third/fourth sip I really able to taste the hops and barley. It was absolutely delicious! But that was 27 years ago. What it is today I do not know, but I certain hope to have another someday. They don't have a rating for the price so that's my ding on the Overall Rating, but then again .... you get what you pay for -- usually!

Jul 18, 2019
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 2204 ratings