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Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
BA SCORE
4.02/5
Exceptional
2,076 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#3,296
Reviews:
1,106
Ratings:
2,076
pDev:
16.17%
Bros Score:
4.5
 
 
Wants:
190
Gots:
410
Trade:
19
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Ratings: 2,076 |  Reviews: 1,106
Reviews by beeroclock:
Photo of beeroclock
2.84/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I didn't realize that this was a malt beverage of 14% ABV. This was brought out w/ the bottle and a mug. I poured it into the mug and it had absolutely no head at all. Quite a bit of carbonation, a brown color w/ bubbles. Smell is of sugar cane and mollasses. The taste is simply ok, but the alcohol bite is extreme. You can taste every bit of the alcohol in this one. It goes down warm like a bourbon and has a similar taste w/ more of a sweetness to it. It is cold outside, so it warms you quick. Hard to drink many of these though.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Focusf111
1.02/5  rDev -74.6%
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 brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
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 gopens44
4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
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 davidperez
4.69/5  rDev +16.7%
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 Mongrel
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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 frasergrove
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
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 Czequershuus
5/5  rDev +24.4%
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 Bruno74200
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
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 +24.4%
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 BIGPOPPAS
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
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 FLima
3.9/5  rDev -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 Todd
4.76/5  rDev +18.4%
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 +5.5%
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 VoxRationis
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
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 Lone_Freighter
4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a pilsener glass. The appearance was a soft ruddy brown color with a light transparency about it. Carbonation could be seen rising at a nice pace bouncing off of some floaties. A one finger white foamy head started and dissipated fairly quickly. The smell had a bready aroma full of robust sweetened raisins and plums. Brown sugar lightly grazes the sides of the aroma. The taste was mainly sweet through all of the previously mentioned flavors. Light nuttiness rounds out the flavor nicely. Sticky sweet dark fruity and bready aftertaste leads into a sticky finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium in body with a slight sessionability about it. Carbonation feels nice and low with a sticky bready clinginess sliding over my tongue. Overall, what’s not to love in this doppelbock? An absolutely awesome favorite around the Winter holidays.

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Photo of scootny
4.94/5  rDev +22.9%
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 Marraybay
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
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 buggyboo
4.88/5  rDev +21.4%
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 jivex5k
1.65/5  rDev -59%
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%
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 monkist
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yes! This is it! The classic, legendary Samichlaus! It is almost like a barley wine but not quite. It is something more than that, or definitely it is something different.
It is boozy. It is malty. It is sweet. And what a complexity of sweetness! Experience grapes, raisin, toffee, coffee, caramel and whatever else you like, coming up as you drink, but altogether quite fruity sweetness, as if you were chewing on fresh sherry pipe tobacco.
You feel the 14% and you don't. You get overwhelmed by it as you drink, but not only by the alcohol content. The taste is that intensive. Quite similar to Fuller's Golden Pride but 100x that intensive. And strong.
Might not be the most unique of beers but it is a Joker. One that you can pull and can be sure to win, it's a bullseye, a bingo, one that can't fail. But don't drink it as a beer, drink and appreciate it for what it is.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
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 woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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 jmasher85
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
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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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 2,076 ratings
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