Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,092 Reviews
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
BEER INFO

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

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by UncleJimbo on 02-25-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,092
Ratings:
2,032
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
16.54%
 
 
Wants:
185
Gots:
399
For Trade:
19
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Reviews: 1,092 | Ratings: 2,032
Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

remember when Samichlaus was the strongest beer available. I was an early US Navy retiree & a transfer sophomore at Pitt, living at the Centre Plaza Apartments, further from campus than I liked, but close to the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium in (ahem) Shadyside, really, Slibberty. Friday nights, I would take a seat at the left end of the bar, just inside the door, now reconfigured, and be joined by two other regulars. We would routinely split the bigger, more expensive bottles just so that we could say that we tried that beer. Samiclhlaus night saw me nearly freeze to death on the way home! Let us see if I fare any better today.

From the bottle: "The World's Most Extraordinary Beverage"; "Bottled in 2014"; "Brewed only once a year on December 6, Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This specialty 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."

I Pop!ped the cap & gently decanted just enough to be able to see what was going on. A vigorous in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, soapy, tawny head that could not wait to fall away to wisps. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity & deep amber highlights. Nose was actually rather sherry-like with notes of leather, caramel, roasted chestnuts & a fusel alcohol burn that ran up into my sinus cavity & hid! Ahhhh! It burns! Mouthfeel was medium, less big than the earlier, more recent Helles, suggesting that it will thin out over time. I let it simply play over my tongue, warming as it did so. This was clearly a big, malt-driven beer with all of the sweetness that I was getting. Beyond the caramelized sugar, I also tasted leather, coconut, dried dark fruits, such as prunes & raisins as well as cherries and an amorphous nuttiness that would come and go. Phew! This will take the chill off. It really had a breadiness that made me think of B&M Brown Bread, especially the one with raisins. Have you ever had bread from a CAN? It's REALLY good, and with a schmear of cream cheese, it is even better. I like to keep a CAN on-hand just to freak out guests since most people are unfamiliar with it. This beer was that bread, liquefied. Once again, it hearkens back to my ancestral monks, brewing this beer to hold them over from pre-sunrise to post-sunset during their Lenten fast. Clearly, I am not bound by their sanctity & vows, but I can understand how this would work. Heck, I had to take a lay-down following Samichlaus Helles earlier! Perhaps I should work on an illuminated text ... In the interim, finish was hot, dry & a clear indication that patience is key with this beer. I have no doubt that years of aging will do wonders to smooth out this bad boy. See you then!

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Decanted in a conical pint glass. Poured a medium copper color with minimal head, dissipating rapidly with minimal lacing or legs. Fragrant with roasted malt, inclusive of sweet biscuit and tea. Tastes nice balanced wth almost an apple note. Nice mouthfeel; remarkable light-bodied, given the alcohol content. Opened to celebrate completing our taxes; really a keeper.

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Photo of buggyboo
4.88/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I normally don't do reviews of beers, but today I opened a 2005 bottle of this beer, 12 years young. Notes of cocoa and diacetyl abound which is great in a bock beer with absolutely no signs of age or oxidation. My best beer cellaring experience to date. While it may not be the "worlds most extraordinary beer" it would seem to be one of them. Put one of these away for 10-15 years with no worries.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 25 oz bottle.
Where some beers are good "wine lover's" beers, this is more of a dessert/fortified wine lover's offering. It pours dark red and crystal clear, with carbonation that riding hot out the gates but quickly fizzles into nothing, and I mean nothing. Halfway through the glass, you pretty much cease to notice any bubbles, and by the bottom of the bottle, it might as well be still. This doesn't really detract from the feel, though, which is clean, not as syrupy or thick as you'd imagine from the other qualities of the wine.

And by other qualities, I do mean that this could be a port or sherry, though a hint more in the direction of a strong, dark, rich ale like a wee heavy or, well a doppelbock. That last suggestion should be obvious, but flavor-wise, the closest comparison I have is a less soy saucy Samuel Adams Triple Bock or a lighter, smoother Utopias. Tons of strong, ripe, sweet fruit flavors in here, stewed plum and blackberry being chief among them, but other qualities like carob, chocolate, honey, molasses, caramel and toffee, light notes of oak, and only the most slightly bitter finish that's less about hops than roasted malts.

Really, this stuff is sweet, unique, and special. It's not a beer I'd want every day necessarily, though writing this review the morning after putting away an entire 25oz bottle myself, I still find myself wanting more. Hell, even the glass still smells great. I could happily buy a case of large bottles, drink half, seal it, let it oxidize, and drink a nicely decanted 2nd half the next day. Again, know what you're getting into – sweet, strong, shockingly smooth, but still a sipper – but this beer is like that person you thought was kinda cute, had a nice conversation with, and then the next day you realize you have a huge crush on.

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Photo of Brewxer
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Rich, fruity and smooth taste, no alcohol detectable whatsoever, delicious. Smelled similar and nice, but not overly strong. I do prefer a beer with a bit of a head in terms of looks and mouthfeel was a bit lacking.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle from Beers Of Europe (2014 vintage):
Quite a strong beer with a full body & a very sweet mouthfeel, it opened up as a fairly balanced offering but gradually things got sweeter & it eventually began to overpower towards the end, almost seeming sickening but not quite. Some nice malts featured alongside some decent caramel flavours with plenty ripe fruits as well which is what I expected but it was just a touch too strong at times. The beer had good carbonation levels though & by the end it was also quite boozy with a pretty warming feel & solid kick to it. Overall it was a very nice beer but due to the strength it's probably more likely to be a one-off for me rather than something I'd go back to often, if at all.

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Photo of bobv
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2015
Revisited 6 weeks after my first rating.
Vigorous pour yields a 1/4 inch head that disappears within a minute or two. Reddish, mahogany, amber body; sexy! Nose of caramel, candy sugar, cherries, chocolate, brandied cherries, and dark rum. Taste is elegantly complex while encompassing all of the aforementioned attributes that were previously alluded to regarding the aroma. Ha! Feel for a 14% abv beer is fine as can be. Overall, I think everyone should seek this out, cellar a few, drink, and savor.
And do not drink too cold!!!

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Photo of 71ADub
3.06/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2012 vintage, from a keg at Bier Garden Portsmouth, VA. 5 oz. goblet.

A- light amber, delicate light tan head.

S- Hot. Wine, butter, fruitcake, hot from alcohol.

T - Fruitcake, scotch. The aftertaste is like cough syrup- how dissapointing.

M-low carbonation.medium body.

O- This had to be the worst vintage Sami I have ever had. Don't know what happened with the aging, but a true dissappointment this year. My buddies that also went with me in December to the kegtapping said the same thing.

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Photo of hman43
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours amber with slight ruby highlights.

Smell: The aroma is dominated by the malt. It has aromas of Maillard, toast, with slight dark fruit and slight chocolate.

Taste: It has a sweet Maillard and toast flavoring to start off with. The are flavor of plums and a slight hint of chocolate.

Feel: It has a full body. There is alcohol warming as well.

Overall, this is a malty sweet lager that features Maillard and toasty flavors with other flavors in support.

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Photo of scootny
4.94/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I remember this brew from about 30 years ago as I started my journey into serious craft beer. At the time it was purchased for the ABV. I was drinking a lot of Belgians at the time and had not really developed a taste for bocks or dopplebocks with the exception of Aventinus. Always been in love with that beer. Anyway I bought it and I was in over my head by a mile. Drank it too cold, too fast, too ignorantly. And I knew about how to drink real beer. I just hadn't developed a palate for bocks, an appreciation for the art of big malt, especially one as thick and sweet as this.

Now I'm completely blown away by this brew. A 2014 bottling. Brilliantly clear with little head and no retention or lacing. Who cares about carbonation! It just looks like a glass of class. Swirl it and just a wisp of bubbles trace themselves across the top and disappear like a puff of smoke.

Nose starts to clue you in. Think sherry or port and you are in the ballpark. Think Bourbon and or single malt and you have arrived. Huge alcohol fumes with lots of cherries and plums. Notes of vanilla. A big peppery bite. A malty undercurrent. Hops are floral and light.

Taste is benchmark for big beers. This hits like a hybrid of sherry and bourbon. Sweet and juicy like the wine. Warming and complex like Kentucky's finest. Following the nose, it presents so many exquisitely balanced flavors. All the aforementioned. The front is sweet with toffee, butter and faint biscuits. Followed strongly by a parade of cherries and and plums. Finish has a very mild alcohol bite with floral hops. Coffee and cocoa flow as the finish fades leaving brown sugar and fusel alcohol. For all its strength it is surprisingly easy to drink and the booze is quite well integrated.

Feel is syrupy with a gentle and perfect carbonation. As the bottle says, it's warming and creamy. This will rival any distilled sippin' favorite you have. It's so satisfying and delicious, and you can sip just a little bit more of it for a longer time before you have to call it quits and still have your wits.

This is an unbelievably great beer. I had no idea that it is as rare as it is so I am going back to stock up on the 2014/15 bottles in my nearby discount seller.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colors are expected, pours a little flat. Aroma features the classic notes - sticky toffee, caramel malt & a little phenol - without being over-the-top. The flavor does bring out a lot of that phenolic alchohol flavor, and it teeters on the edge of fusel burn, but stays just enough on it without turning into a jet fuel mess. There is still enough sweetness hiding beneath the booze - rum cake, and dark holiday fruit - to keep it from being overwhelming. It is definitely a sipper and yes, in the end, maybe a little too boozey for its own good, but there are some rewarding flavors there as well.

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Photo of BIGPOPPAS
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ohhh my I love this brew :)
Some people may find it too sweet, but to me it's practically like sipping a fine cognac.
What a wonderful smell and delightful taste that is full of fig and fruits .
I'm not even sure this is a beer, but I know that it is in my top five favorites and I could drink this most anytime of the year . I keep buying it up in hopes of aging some, but I keep going to that stash and then all is gone .
I hope my distributor can provide these year round , but I have a feeling I will kill the supply . It's a little different then their Helles variety, but very close in my opinion.
Warm or cold it is amazing, but I recommend room temperature and sip this bad boy so that it lasts .
Not cheap, but at 14% abv you only need a couple and anymore would probably be too sweet for one sitting. Cheers :)

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Photo of frasergrove
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed a 10 year old Jeroboam of this for our buddy's bachelor party nightcap (with a large group of friends). Poured a medium hazel amber with no head. Rich nutty aroma with surprisingly little toffee oxidation. Super super smooth and full taste, very drinkable for the level of abv. A delicious treat

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in 2014 so it was brewed on 25th december 2013
Oh boy that's heavy both in mouthfeel and alcohol

L - clear amber no head

S - Caramel, dates, light herbal hops, a bit boozy

T - Follow the smell, but a lot more on the date, sweet sweet sweet. Good aftertaste that lingers. Spicy alcohol

F - smooth and thick

O - a good beer, boozy but not that much for the high ABV, a real sipper

 392 characters

Photo of josanguapo
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From elcervecero. In Teku glass. Playing South Park Stick of Truth. The alcohol is noticeable in the taste but not in negative way but in a warming one. Has every good thing of a doppelbock

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Photo of Czequershuus
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a very gorgeous pale reddish brown, with a modest head. The clarity of the beer is worth mentioning, as it really does make for a gorgeous looking specimen. The nose is resplendent with caramel, toffee, fudge, and banana. There are side notes of coffee and fig as well. There is only a tiny touch of booze on the nose, impressive for the ABV. The flavor is exceedingly rich with banana bread, caramel roll, raisin, sweet rich milk chocolate - it is a delicious combo of fulsome sweet bread flavors and restrained fruit - reminds me of pomegranate molasses as well. The mouthfeel is full and rich, lightened somewhat by ever present carbonation. Overall this is a treat of a beer - decadently rich and certainly sweet, but never cloying. I can see why this is regarded as such a classic.

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Photo of Dzu
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Brown, transparent with a no foam head.
S: Malty, wines and sweet.
T: Caramel, licorice.
F: High ABV well hidden in start but a little boozy in finish. Nice aftertaste.
O: Too sweet for me and not so impressive. May be need to age it more.

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Photo of mncoinman
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Good medium munich malt aroma on opening. Pours a reddish - medium brown in color. Fairly subtle head. Good carbonation upon imbibing. More so than an average doppelbock. I suspect the carbonation does a good job of masking the high level of alcohol in this brew (and it works). Taste runs a little bit on the sweet side for a doppel. Leaves a noticeably warm feeling in the tummy. This beer is better than any eisbock I've had...it does a good job of mellowing out the alcohol into a rather tasty brew. I doubt I would have more than one at a sitting, but this is a really solid choice for warming up the soul on a cold day (too bad I am in Florida right now).

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Photo of Mongrel
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage.

Pours a beautiful deep amber with hints of purple and a surprisingly fluffy, creamy white head.

The nose is bursting with sweet, bright fruity notes. Macerated berries, caramel, vanilla and faint booze. Smells like a fine liqueur.

Taste is sweet, as expected, but also incredibly deep and nuanced. I don't know where to begin - it's like blueberry cobbler with creamy vanilla ice cream. Grapes, golden raisins, prunes, clove and pie spice.

Mouthfeel is round and creamy but surprisingly light on the palate.

Overall, an incredibly well honed lager that doesn't begin to hint at the HUGE abv. Drinks more like a 8-9% weizenbock with about double the flavor. In a word - awesome. In another word - dangerous.

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Photo of davidperez
4.69/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I know this is a beer highly recommended for extended cellaring, and I am cellaring two; yet I am having right now this bottle with only one year of age to check it out somewhat young and compare afterwards.

Served in a snifter, it pours a dark copper, clear, with some red glare, which is enchanting. The head is short and has low retention.

The bouquet is powerful. Very assertive and complex. Caramel, molasses, cherry, wood, liquor as in rum, slightly biscuity.

Ok, I guess this beer could use some more years, it does feel flat. Samichlaus gives you one thrust of sweetness, which I felt less complex than the aroma, and then it fades somewhat slowly. It seems as if all the aromas blended in the flavor to form one particular sweetness reminiscent of syrup and booze, it is harder to discern the flavors. Rum, molasses and caramel.
Surprisingly for the ABV and the initial sweetness onslaught, this beer's aftertaste is mild and not very long. The mouthfeel is that of a spirit.

I wouldn't have this beer this young again. However, I'm eager to see how Samichlaus tastes with 3 or 5 years on it.

EDIT:
Just had an older bottle after a good amount of months of keeping up the tastings. Palates develop with time, and so does a good beer like this one.
World class beer for sure.
Wood, nuts, coffee, plums and honey add to an already complex lager, whose finish is definitely long.
An aggressive flavor with depth and elegance.

 1,440 characters

Photo of FLima
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This has been maturing for a few years (bottled in 2011); last I had it was much younger. I expect this to be better.
Copper very reddish color with a thin head that short lived.
Nice and potent Doppelbock aroma with notes of prunes, brandy, lots of cinnamon, red fruits, caramel and toasted malts, some dark chocolate, wood and bread crust.
Sweet flavor with notes of pudding with lots of caramel, slightly burnt chocolate, red and dark fruits, licorice, apple puree, mild herbal hops, cloves, brown sugar and/or molasses, cinnamon, rum and coconut. Dry aftertaste with a lingering sweet malty and a pleasant alcoholic feeling.
Liquorish body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 14% feels much lower and gives a subtle warming sensation.
Definitely a sipper and a complex Doppelbock. Sweet, but not really cloying given good attenuation. I recommend to age this.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into lager glass.
Pours clearest dark copper beer with 2-finger beige head, moderate retention.
Smell - sweet malty, caramel, cake, dried fruits, honey, dates.
Taste - sweet, rum, dark fruits, caramel again.
Full syrupy body, soft carbonation, slick.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown and amber color. Minimal head soon dissipates and leaves a really thin lacing that soon dies out.
The aroma is sweet; initially there is a chocolate and toffee like malt sweetness. One also feels the rum like alcohol in the nose. As the drink progresses, there is a grainy and toasted bread like smell.
The taste is sweet. Normally I do not like beers that are overly sweet, however, this one somehow gets away with it. Sweet malts and dark fruits predominate. The alcohol warming is subtle but really hits you hard. It reminds me of a combination of sherry, rum and port wine. In the finish, there is booze and a hint of hops buttering.
This is certainly a full bodied sipper due to the high ABV, however, the feel is slightly less than full and scarily drinkable. Do not drink this and drive!
As I said, normally I do not like sweet and boozy brews, however, this one felt different. I would love to have this again on a cold and snowy winter night in front of a fireplace.

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Photo of sherillc
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous red/amber colour. Aromas of fruitcake, cherries, raisins, honey, very sweet on the nose. A sweet beer - a dessert unto itself. Flavour reminds me of treacle (molasses) candy a bit. Stewed prunes, honey. Delicious in small quantities.

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Photo of KennethBlomqvist
2.89/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

My GF was hunting for something nice in Systembolaget and found this on the limited edition shelf. She bought 4 bottles and hid it. On New Years Eve she brought it up and told me she got something rare and we shared one. Was a bit overwhelmed by its taste and the musty aroma of bit everything. This is a beer that I wont taste again this year and after spoken to a guy about it he almost got tears in his eye and asked If I got more. Told him that I got 3 bottles left and he told me to wait a least couple of years before I open another one. Apparently its gets better after some years. Maybe this review will change then.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,032 ratings.
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