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Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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BA SCORE
89
very good
1,081 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:
1,081
Ratings:
2,000
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
22.31%
 
 
Wants:
181
Gots:
389
For Trade:
20
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,081 | Ratings: 2,000
Reviews by ZAP:
Photo of ZAP
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Re-rate 1/8/03 2001 Vintage...

Notes are pretty much the same....dark fruits...alcohol semi-evident...I probably should have cellared this but couldn't wait


Had one of these over the Holidays at my brothers and took some notes..

For what it is supposed to be it is outstanding..a powerhouse of flavor...kind of a souped up doppelbock..defintely a sipping beer...tasted heavy molassis, maple, brown sugar...grapes...fruity....very sweet...alcohol taste evident...This is definitely a one-beer sipping beer....quite a treat courtesy of my brother..

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Focusf111
1.02/5  rDev -74.4%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I love high ABV beers, I have an open mind, and I love everything about the brewing craft. But this...thing....candy-coated cigarette ash that has been doused in bottom shelf bourbon. Holy hell I havent had a beer this bad in a long time. Gives me the haunted shivers I got when I tried a sip of bud light chelada. Whoever you are that brewed this batch (or beer in general) there is a special spot in hell for you. Right next to the chelada guy.

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Photo of gopens44
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Upon pour, this seemed thick. just the way it arrogantly wandered out of the bottle into my snifter. Even the nearly non-existent head rose up with an air of nonchalance. Putting my nose to it, I realized why. This thing was no joke, and it knew it. It had been around, doing it's thing far longer than I had and it knew it. I paused for a moment, approached it again and took in a long pull of the liquid. Sweet, hot, dry, bold, dark fruit, candy, figs, brandy, punch in the tongue and finally just about as well balanced as you could possibly imagine despite the bickering factions that existed on my tongue. It's as if every bold, dominant taste known to beer (other than hop bitterness) came together to sing "We are the world" or some peaceful shit like that... Or maybe if Sting, Bono and Frank Sinatra sang together with Neil Peart drumming, Santana on guitar and Steve Harris on bass. You'd think all that talent would be wasted, watered down, contrived or just an ego driven fail, but no - it comes together in masterful fashion with a dry finish that begs of you to stand up and praise with "Bravo!" after every drink. My only bitch about this beer is that it's ABV is too high to drink continuously for several, several hours....

If you enjoy a Quad but haven't ever tried this - do not wait any longer. Get this NOW!

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottling sampled in December 2006

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a bubbly head that fails to retain (as one would expect from 14% abv); after the head disappears, it looks like cognac

Smell: Nostril opening aroma of fusel alcohol laced with honey, rum-soaked raisins, orange pith and chocolate covered cherries

Taste: Swirling in the mouth, the honey, chocolate cherry and rum raisin flavors come to the fore; after the swallow, the alcohol blends in with the sweetness

Mouthfeel: Sticky and smooth; the thick body trickles down the gullet with a burst of warmth

Drinkability: I never tasted the original so I cannot compare but this elixir is mighty impressive; kind of a dopplebock cum barleywine, it is well worth seeking out but you have to know what you are getting into - if you don't like after dinner liqueur such as Cointreau or Drambuie, you are not going to like this

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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 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.

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Photo of Todd
4.76/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2000:
Presentation: 11.2 fl oz olive green custom bottle. Bottled in 2000. "Das Stärkste Bier Der Welt" -- the strongest beer in the world.

Appearance: Rich, deep, clear copper. Pours with a creamy off-white head, dissipates to a creamy, patchy lace.

Smell: Sweet, syrupy, malty nose, with fruit esters (plum, raisin) and a fumey alcohol.

Taste: Extremely full-bodied, thick, rich and chewy. Mouthfeel is creamy, as well as smooth -- like a fine whiskey. Caramel/toffee, plum, raisin, grape, honey, sweet chocolate and light biscuit flavours come to the front. Overall malt profile is very sweet and fruity. Alcohol notes are huge and spicy, and its powers of warming the body, soul and mind can be felt after the first sip. There's little detectable hop bitterness, however there is a wonderfully floral hop flavour that melds with the malt sweetness to create a sweet tea-like flavour that rides the entire experience. Finishes with alcohol fumes and a light grain flavour with chocolate liquor notes.

Notes: Samichlaus is back! This brew is made only once a year on December 6 (Saint Nicholas's Day), and it's aged 10 months before bottling. It was first brewed in 1979, then stopped after its 1996 batch. It holds a Guinness Book World Record for being the strongest bottom-fermented beer (14% abv), and is also one of the most rarest specialty beers in the world. It's actually classified as being a "Malt Liquer" in the states for legal reasons -- it's just a really strong lager.

As I dip my finger into my pint glass, dab my forehead with some of the sweet nectar, I pay homage to the beergods for making this amazingly top-notch brew. Buy it while you can, and make sure to buy some spares to age and taste over the years to come.

---
Vintage 2001:

Presentation: 330ml custom dark olive green bottle. Expiration of 10/2006.

Appearance: Pours an amber to brown coloured beer. Highly carbonated. Big off-white bubbly head that snaps down in seconds to absolute stillness -- no head retention, flat.

Smell: Mega fruity pungent esters with sulfur coming in behind. Malty, with faint molasses and raisin.

Taste: Malty beyond belief. Thick, syrupy, full-bodied, juicy and extremely complex with many layers of distinct flavours, each of which make themselves known ... Flavours such as slick butter, chocolate, caramel, fruity plum, lots of vanilla, honey, esters, coffee and grape. Sweetness, in its sum, is sugary. No real hop overpowering bitterness, but there's hidden traces of hops in a herbal-tea-like flavour and as the hops melds with the alcohol punch there's a level of perceived bitternes ... especially as the beer warms to room temp. Huge doses of alcohol come in waves, bringing with them a spicy alcohol bite and a warming sensation. Finish is a welcomed chaos of all of the above mentioned.

Notes: Still one of the rarest beers in the world, brewed only once a year on December 6th, subsequently fermented and matured for about 10 months before bottling in October. Samichlaus is a vintage beer and the strongest bottom-fermented lager in the world and may be aged in the bottle for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particularly with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself. Samichlaus is filled in personalized 330 ml. bottles, exported to exclusive distribution partners worldwide mainly through pre-orders prior to bottling in October each year. Samichlaus contains only natural ingredients and is being brewed according the purity law of 1516. The 2001 vintage was bottled on October 10 and 11 together with 250 kegs a 30 litres destinated for USA and Finland. The total quantity of bottles equals slightly more then 6000 cases (24 bottles) for world-wide sales till autumn 2002.

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Photo of Jason
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2000 bottling. Head retention is close to nil, this is expected for a lot of the higher alcoholic brews … especially if they are aged. It is syrupy enough for the liquid to stick to the glass when swirling in the snifter. Clear burgundy red colour.

Alcoholic aroma with dark sugar tones that lead it to a rum like smell. Spicy solvent alcohol is big but in a clean way, ripe fruit is scattered all over the place.

Syrupy, smooth, creamy and slick on the tongue. Carbonation has dropped and is in a moderate state struggling to come through the very full body. The creaminess slabs down layers of malt sweetness and ripe fruit flavour of rum soak raisins on top of a big caramel foundation. The alcohol flares upfront with a solvent like character then comes slowly in growing warmth in the end which is emulates a sherry-like flavour as well. Pretty damn clean and finishes semi-dry.

A sure bet for a nightcap for me though I’d love to not only pair this up with some braised lamb chops that are cooked with this beer by incorporate it into a dessert also. A godly brew that many may not understand but the appreciation is there tenfold.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a recent quest / "todo" list item, so most pleased to have found and tasted, particularly in May of the year. The world's most extraordinary beer as claimed by Eggenberg??? Perhaps, but would qualify "extra ordinary" as meaning unlike anything you've likely ever tasted that's classified as beer.

The preliminaries:

-Look: Somewhere between an amber and mahogany color; fairly clear, with some bubbles visible. No head or lacing.
-Smell: Sweet Dried fruits; (figs, prunes, raisins, cherries), alcohol
-Feel:: Syrup, warmth, some light carbonation, smooth, thick
-Taste: Wine! As in porto; Intense dark/dried fruity sweetness. Hides the 14% ABV well.

Was really shocked by this one; Doppelbock?? By definition and chemistry perhaps, but in terms of taste?? Absolutely port wine for me! (Beyond S-W-E-E-T!)

Would I go here again? Yes, but will probably relegate to its intended time of year-- Christmas--and will treat / pair as wine or the like, but not doppelbock.

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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 jivex5k
1.65/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Well, I had this beer thinking it was going to be a treat. A nice, rich, creamy doppebock...though I suppose the 14% should have told me this one was going to be different.
Now, the appearance of this beer was the first warning sign...where I expected a dark and rich beauty with a creamy head, instead I get a glass of tepid well water that's had rust dripping into it for the better half of last century...
But I remained brave, I fought through, past the offending looks and onto the aroma...
My good, if this beer smelled any sweeter I'd swear it gave Wilfred Brimley diabetus.
Of course, the taste only confirmed this fear, it was as if I dumped 40 packets of splenda in a 40 of O.E.

I don't get it...everyone seems to love this beer. It is the worst beverage I've had the displeasure of consuming. And I drank bong water once...

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Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is dark amber in color and has just a few bubbles floating on the surface. Only a low amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There's a strong aroma of boozy malts in the nose along with some notes of dark fruits.
T: There is a moderate amount of sweetness in the taste, which shares a lot of similarities with the smell. The taste is somewhat complex, and has some notes of caramel, dark fruits and toffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth, and somewhat syrupy on the palate, along with some warmth from the alcohol.
D: This is a beer that definitely needs to be sipped, but it's perfect for keeping warm on a winter evening and goes down rather easily.

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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 Thorpe429
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage thanks to bmanning. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours a faint caramel color with a few bubbles here and there, but not too much of anything going on. Pretty color, though, I suppose. A few legs on one side of the glass. The nose is pretty strong with a really nice amount of super-sweet malt, caramel, and dark fruits. The taste is more toward the sweet end of the spectrum and adds in a bit of light alcohol, though not too much. Feel is nice with the sweetness and alcohol combining well. Not cloying. Really tasty and a nice sipper. Glad my first taste of this brew was a vintage version and not something fresh, which I've heard can be quite hot.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a bizarre beer. At first, I thought I was going to hate it but now, I'm not really sure what to think. Pours a tantilizing deep reddish brown, very transparent, little to no head and only minimal effervescing. Smell is mostly dark fruit, apple, raisin, plum, merlot. Taste is very heavy rasin, caramel, merichino cherries, fig, molasses. Very, very sweet. Feel is syrupy, heavy with zero carbonation. Coats every part of your insides. Little bit of a boozey burn going down feels nice.

Well, overall for me, I am glad I tried this. It is a unique experience, but the ridiculous sweetness will probably keep me from coming back frequently. Certainly something I want to explore again!

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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 BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A must try on tap, but a must-not drive home afterwards. Served in a brandy sniffer at my local pizza pub. The beer came out with a mild, fine carbonation and a light trace of foam atop. A very pale golden / copper color and crystal clear. The viscocity evident with a magnifying effect through the glass and shows heavy legging. Aromas of heavy, syrupy malts, ripe fruits (figs, dates, and pears) with a light nuttiness and strong maple syrup. Lightly buttery, oily and very sweet. The feel is very warm, nearly hot alcohols and a light tingle to the whole mouth. Numbing upon impact. Good beer, and a nice variety from the bottle.

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Photo of Dope
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 batch.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown. Mid-sized and soda-like light brown head. Head fizzes out almost instantly. No lacing, no head retention.

S: Sharp and sweet maltiness. Very sugary. Candied fruits for sure. Lots of raisin but a little cherry and maybe even grape?

T: More of the same very malty from start to finish. Up front there is a little bit of herbal quality mixed with some heavy dark bread. A good amount of cocoa too. Pure sugar in the middle with dark fruits, again with raisins but some light stone fruit (cherries?). Lightly earthy and herbal, just a hint. Sugary through the finish and lingering forever, like I just ate a tablespoon of table sugar. A little sharp alcohol in the aftertaste too.

M: Heavy, super sweet and syrupy. Low carbonation.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I figured it would be exceptionally harsh but it is not. It is however, super sweet. I can hear my teeth rotting. Heavy and thick with sharp alcohol leads to not-so-great drinkability; this is certainly a sipper. A good sipper though. Not too harsh, not too over the top. 11.2 ounces is just right, anymore would be hard to handle.

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Photo of rbelcher1959
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer to me is almost like a honey mead. My wife and I agree that there is a slight mead taste to this beer.Reddish brown color with almost no head. The alcohol level is high with this one 14%. We like it as an after dinner sipper

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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

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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 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 oberon
3.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliant deep copper with a thin head that is gone quite quickly this badboy seems to be more carbonated than expected,whoo the alcohol is very prevelant in the aroma almost whisky-ish along with some raisin and dried fruit.With this being a 2003 bottle this needed more time to mellow I think before opening,big and chewey with huge alcohol tones.Pretty darn sweet but it doesnt coat the mouth,has a nice mouthfeel not to thick but it may be hard just to finish this one I have.Like I said this beer could stand to age another year but no doubt this is a badass mofo beer, will get again and hold for awhile.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 2002 bottle. Dark amber/ruby red pour. Very small head that fades fast. No head whatsoever after a minute or two.

Smell: Heavy chocolate and dark malts. Sweet molasses. Just a hint of raisins and dates.

Taste: Malty sweetness is big up front. Light chocolate notes with a more sweet/molasses kick to follow. Alcohol kick is obvious and sweet. Dark fruity qualities such as raisin & plum throughout. Medicinal. Sweet, spicey towards the end with a syrupy port-like finish. Very complex.

Mouthfeel: Very full and bold. An almost rough, bubbly texture that dries out towards the end. Not thick but definitely syrupy.

Drinkability: This a slow sipping beer for sure. A few years of aging to soften the rough & complex edges would make this beer a pure treat.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Brown in color with a tight, white head that stayed for a while.

Smell - Heavily-toasted malt aroma with an alcohol warning and some significant fruitiness. The fruit is big, complex cherry with a little bubblegum.

Taste - Lovely, cherry-infused doppelbock malt flavors spiked with Canadian whiskey (though it's a German-style ale from Austria). I can't say enough about this malt/cherry combination. All the flavors of this ale create a virtual symphony in the mouth.

Mouthfeel - Full with a solid alcohol sting and light carbonation.

Drinkability - I thought this was a lively rendition of the style and well worth a second visit. I will most definitely buy again.

Update - I had and re-reviewed this again in 2004. It is a heavy-hitter for sure and very viscous in the mouth. A tasty treat and well worth the substantial price tag.

Update - I was able to try a 2004 again, this time aged for 2 years in the tempered cellar of one Ms. skyhand.

The color was a brilliant orange now with a magically disappearing head. The malts turned into a fine orange liqueur and the booze kept right on stinging. It was quite the treat and has motivated me to start cellaring some of this myself.

Update - I had a cause to celebrate in Feb 2008 and busted open a two year old bottle and man oh man was this totally awesome. It had developed a bigger alcohol sting and was sweeter than a fresh sample, but the sweet flavors just exploded in the mouth. This has to be one of my favorite beers of all time, and although skyhand didn't provide this offering she indirectly deserves a thanks for me opening it (wink wink).

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,000 ratings.
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