Samichlaus Classic Bier
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
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Style:
German Doppelbock
Ranked #11
ABV:
14%
Score:
91
Ranked #3,523
Avg:
4.09 | pDev: 15.89%
Reviews:
1,149
Ratings:
2,175
From:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
 
Austria
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  198
Gots
  431
SCORE
91
Outstanding
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: 1,149 | Ratings: 2,175 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of garymuchow
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
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

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Photo of octortus
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
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

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Photo of andaub
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of Nuttin_but_the_best_Clark
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.05/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of lmaduells
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
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

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of Mark-Leggett
4.13/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Cheers!

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Photo of jrc1093
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of Lanas
4.17/5  rDev +2%
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"..

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Photo of Spikester
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of eedsp
4.9/5  rDev +19.8%
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!

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Photo of MARichards
4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired a vintage 2003 when my son was in the first grade. I promised to open it on a special occasion. Today, May 7 2019, my son graduated college with an engineering degree. We shared this 16 year old bottle out of proper tasting glasses.
He popped the cap and the beer was still sleeping. Against my judgement he poured it carefully down the side of the glass. I told him to pour it aggressively to wake it up. I was interested to see the carbonation. Not much was there but it did leave a creamy swirl on the surface.
We noticed dark specks settling in the glass. These dissolved when I swirled it. This also gave me a thin layer of crema as on an espresso. The color resembled strong tea rather than black coffee. Slight cloudiness.
The taste is just more affirmation of the aroma. No alcohol sensation as when your nose enters your glass of bourbon. Same with the taste. Some reviews complained about the alcohol presence and I suspect those beers were sampled young.
All I sensed was a great deal of sweetness. Sweet without stickiness. Would have enjoyed more carbonation and some alcohol given the 14%.
Perhaps it passed its prime after 16 years but there was absolutely nothing off putting in this beverage. Would have paired nicely with any dessert. Was fine AS a dessert.
My son gave a one word review.
"Tasty!"

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Photo of SDM1994
2.7/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Very disappointing given how hard this is to find in my area and how expensive it was. Smells great, very malty with lots of fruit and I love the darker color it has BUT the flavor is like nothing I've ever had before, and not in a good way. It tastes like someone took a good doppelbock and added Red Bull and vodka. It has an overpowering sweet prune taste with and equally overpowering vodka taste. Flavor is the most important part of the beer and this just doesnt taste good.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was inspired by the "Beers You Inexplicably Haven't Had" thread to give this a try finally. Always seen it in the store, and why not, I like doppelbocks. It was a 2014 bottle, yet the booze is still hot in the smell, with caramel malt, sweeter baking spices, and oddly enough raisin. Taste was more bready, but bread is not a defining character of the taste, no that is the caramel malt, rich toffee, golden raisin, booze, and some fruit I can't put my finger on, maybe mulberry. Very warm in feel, with creamy body that finishes decently crisp. Glad I finally gave this a try

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Photo of stunman
2.06/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I bought a four pack of this on a whim using a Christmas gift certificate. I was intrigued by the high ABV. My plan was to try one and age the other three and so I did. I managed three, maybe four sips before deciding that this was literally the WORST BEER I’VE EVER TASTED, BAR NONE. I poured the remainder down the drain. It’s incredibly, unbearably sweet. I goal is to age the others and hope that “something” changes. If it doesn’t, then perhaps I’ll find an incredibly hopped up IPA to blend it with.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is the 2017 bottling....

A- Pours a dark golden/brown color and is surprisingly clear (I was expecting a cloud of yeast tbh). There is not head upon the pour and what is there dissipates very fast, so that isn't what I expected either! There is a lot of carbonation, that rises very aggressively, however, it looks to be of fine bubbles, and while there is no lacing to speak of, there is an oil slick of a layer that coats the inside of the glass when a gentle swirl is applied. Overall Id say the look is underwhelming....

S- There are some different aromas happening here, with Cherry Nibs coming to mind immediately! Cherry liqueur, very smooth alcoholic tinges, some mild, yet rich oak or wood barrel, chocolaty hints, brown sugar/molasses sweetness, plummy banana fruit character, even some muted black licorice/sarsaparilla notes and vanilla bean pod infused cola right at the finish.....a very sort of spiced Winter style Ale.....superb on the nostrils!

T- Lovely flavors!! Cherry Kirsch....almost syrup like, lots of chocolate, both milk and dark varieties, smooth vanilla bean, hints of cinnamon spice, cooked brown sugar, caramel/toffee nut notes, sweet Caribbean dark rum and/or Cognac with maple hints, licorice/sarsaparilla root, cola nut, dried candied fruits (banana/raisin/fig), some very mild sweet alcoholic tones, even yeasty flavors throughout! The finish lingers for several minutes in sticky sweet fashion and once in the gut it is warming. Tasty!!

M/O- Medium-full in terms of body, and the carbonation is actually quite nice, with plenty of tiny bursts of fizz allowing plenty of flavor to emerge on the palate! The alcohol, while very present, is very smooth and blended into the liquid superbly. Drinkability is good, but not something to have more than a couple of these in a sitting otherwise it would be bedtime fast! I think this is a little underrated here on the site, and if the appearance was better this would be near the top of the overall rankings! Rudolph has a red nose for a reason!

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Photo of ChrisMon02
2.1/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bottle aged for 2 years prior to drinking.

Brown/Amber color with no head as expected.

Oh no, smells of rich, sweet, brown sugar.

Wow-by far the sweetest beer I have ever had. Straight up sugar overload with a thick, cloying mouthfeel. I just couldn't power through more than half of the bottle.

Not my thing. Pass.

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Photo of lastmango
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a clear ruby amber brown with a one finger white head that dissipated immediately to nothing. Beautiful color. Nose was weak sweet malt. Taste is a malt bomb with maple and caramel. The sweetest beer that I have had. At 14% abv, the booze could not be hidden. Moderate heavy body and light carbonation. This beer is more of a dessert beer. It pairs very well with German chocolate.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The scant head disappeared almost immediately. This beer has a gorgeous deep, deep amber color with a ruby tinge. The taste is almost overwhelming in its sweetness -- not bad or a turn-off, though. It pairs well with rich foods; I had it with chocolate.

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Photo of vinicole
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle. Clear chestnut. No head.
Rich aroma of dry and autumn fruits. Barley sugar.
Tastes as it smells. Very sweet and somewhat boozy.
Full in body. Viscous in the extreme. Cloying.
OTT and something much appreciated on Christmas Day.

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Photo of LarryV
1.3/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I couldn't drink this beer, cloyingly sweet, brown sugar way too pronounced. Really just a major malt bomb, I couldn't find anything that would have made me want to drink more of this. I made it about half way through the bottle and that was it.

If you like the style I'm sure it's a fine beer, just not my thing.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

beautifully unique beer here, really one of a kind stuff to be honest, ages amazingly well, i had a 2010 vintage to start a christmas beer share last night, nearly eight years old, and its drinking insane right now, nowhere near the end of its useful life, i wish i had more this old to keep sitting on! one of the older beers i have had in awhile really. near still from the bottle, crystal clear, thick and slick looking, brassy bronze colored. smells incredible, like a cognac or something, the age is evident in slight oxidation and maturity, i smell some old lager yeast i think, the booze obviously, and some really interesting malt depth driven by a rich toffee and mineral character. infinitely complex as i drink it, copper and metal in a good way, soil and earth, nuts and seeds and bread, warming and a little fusel, but not over the top, brown sugar and maple but honestly not as sweet as i thought it would be, complex enough to be weirdly quaffable, it doesnt drink nearly as strong as it actually is, but this started the slippery slope of getting very drunk on holiday beers. i feel like this was meant for this moment, christmas season kickoff, dusty bottle, an unassuming standout from a killer session. figs and toffee notes, brandy and brown butter even, really decadent and special. i wont soon forget this one, and i will have my eyes open for more of it, especially the older vintages! really exquisite beer! happy holidays!

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Samichlaus Classic is stunningly beautiful. The colors of autumn blend seemlessly in the glass with picture perfect clarity. Garnet, auburn, and light brown highlights shimmer without competition for attention as the lightly tanned bubby foam above flees entirely from the scene.

Golden and red raisins jump from the glass. Plum and cranberry juices along with light caramel promise for a potentially sweet experience. Lying deep below, a simple and pleasant white bread adds comfort.

The flavor couldn't mirror the aroma any more perfectly. Cranberry juice without the tartness takes front and center before allowing the raisin blend to shine. Black mission fig and burnt sugar on white bread linger on and on before a mild pepper spice finished it all off.

Dense, syrupy, and oily, this beer is no joke. The almost lack of carbonation makes this so incredibly rich, but still manages to be smooth. Sweetness is showcased here, bitterness be damned. The warmth of alcohol creeps in with a burn throughout the chest.

This is a delectable beer, demanding to be sipped and savored. A doppelbock on steroids without the rage. The sophistication of a debittered barleywine, if there were such a thing. Not an everyday beer that's for sure, but it's delicious, no question there.

Prost!

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 2175 ratings