Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

very good
1,092 Reviews
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,092 | Ratings: 2,032
Photo of J_Chavez15
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out a darker red not amber but red. Thin white head. Smells of fruits some chocolate and maybe some kind of coffee. This one is a creeper so taking it slow is a must. With that being said this beer is a once or twice a yqear thing. One of the best. Beers i ever tried.

 274 characters

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

Oh My God!
Where do I begin..
I have been truly blessed. This is absolutley the finest brew I have ever tasted. This is a 2007 vintage. Pours a wonderful dark caramel color with an off white head that doesnt linger long.
The aroma that I got was honey and lavender with a touch of cotton candy, very sweet.
The mouthfeel is indescribable, big malty chewy goodness.I found this one at Summits Tavern in Snellville,Ga. Scores a perfect 5x5!!

 439 characters

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

Beautiful brown amber color. If you're a bit rough with your pour you'll summon a bit of foam, otherwise it's kind of a dead fish - no head and no lacing. Alcohol kills bubbles. What were you expecting? Giving it a 5 because this is an amazing beer and its "appearance" shouldn't detract from its score.

It smells like alcohol, honey, flowers, vanilla, "spices". Meady. Crisp. I like it.

Honey, malt, hops (ever so light) alcohol (light burn), salty, extremely mild citrus notes (tangerine/clementine). It tastes absolutely delicious - like wine would if it were brewed from malt and hops. :) Mild aftertaste.

Just right for the kind of brew. Thick, lightly coating. Not quite as thick as a Belhaven Wee Heavy.

Well, how "drinkable" do you want a beer to be? You can drink the hell out of Bud Ice, after all. There's very little that keeps this beer from being and enjoyable drink. Its sweetness can be a bit cloying if it's your first beer of the night, but it's a sipping beer. You'll want to enjoy this over the course of an hour or so. It's savory and sweet. This would be great to pair with a very rich and hearty dinner and to finish up after the food is all gone.

I couldn't imagine giving less than a 5 in all categories. I'm very particular about my brews but I can't find fault with this one except that's it's particularly sweet. However, I'm a fan of sweet and malty brews so it doesn't bother me. It's just a notable feature.

 1,494 characters

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

2003 Vintage here.

Pours a clear flat dark gold or brown color.

Smells like Olives and a bit of malt. Sweet and fruity like the really good olive oil they have in Italy! The stuff we get in the USA isn't even close. Smells like heaven!

Sweet malty almost syrupy! This is PURE CONCENTRATED DOPPELBOCK! More flavors than I can name. Vanilla, fruit, caramel, dates, and even some hops! This is possibly the ultimate Doppelbock.

Mouthfeel is super rich.

I could drink much more of this!

Only 5 X 5 beer I have ever tasted!

 536 characters

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

Cold bottled, syrup consistency, similar to blackberry juice, tick but not creamy. Malt, dried fruit, caramel, oak tree and some smoke in smell and taste. Honey and rum at the end. Dark and heavy, ideal for dark chocolate, and beer chocolate cake. Not too sweet, nor too dry. Cigars, apples, rye, and more to be found.

 318 characters

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

Ahhh... Dopplebock!

Always born on St. Nicholas Day.

Exhaling sweet malt and rum soaked fruits from a 0.1 liter wine glass.

14% hiding in perfect flavors - Chocolate Whisky Caromel Toffe Honey Fruit

Its sweet aroma and alcohol fumes reach into my nose and water my eyes

Epitome of Mouth Feel I swallow this slick Samichlaus 2003 - Carpe Diem

 357 characters

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

On tap at Armsby Abbey this Christmastime 2010. Just ~90 minutes before Phish takes the stage for their holiday, pre-MSG New Years show.

Poured jnto its own brande glass, nice thick head that lasts a while and dissipates, after which you'd think it to be a cognac; shimmering copper color, entirely translucent, viscosity clinging it to the glass.

Nose alone is worth the price. Warm alcohol, caramel, pear, holiday spice.

First taste impression on the tongue is "sweet". Not "sweet!", but "sugary". But immediately afterward the complexities arrive. So many it's hard to know where to begin. So hard that I won't, and I'll simply say that this beer is top 10 in the world. Give yourself a Christmas present and try it.

 722 characters

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.

 802 characters

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

How can one rate a beer when you find different things on it everytime you taste it, even in bottles of the same vintage? Samichlaus was absolutely amazing and wonderful back when it was bottled by Hürlimann and it's amazing and wonderful now. It was amazing when it came in 25 cl bottles and now in 33 cl. It's one of my two favorites beers.
Opaque red colour, very very nice when you see against the light. It pours an amazing almost not existing head, you blink and the head is not there anymore. From the very first moment you opne the bottle, a cascade of aromas come to your nose, and, as in the palate it developes and changes as the time passes and the temperature increases: brandy or generous sherry, port, cask aged wine, caramel, figs, dates, vanilla, chocolate, liquor, spices, berries... you name it. Very strong, in aroma and in flavours. Mouth of syrup, sweet, but strong, extraordinary complex, chocolate, brandy, spices... everything I noticed in the aroma is there too. And that final warmness when it gets down your throat...that post-taste that lingers like when you drink a good brandy... Well, I think I'm out of words, I don't know what can I say next week, when I rate Stille Nacht, my other favorite.
Just drink it slowly to appreciate all the subtles in it.

 1,288 characters

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

This is the first beer I rate all 5s. I tried a 2010 version (5 years cellared) it was awesome. Poured deep brown with red highlights, hazy. Smell is complex, rich, malty, great. Taste is complex but mellow, very well balanced. Body is very creamy, low carbonation. One of the best beers I´ve had.

 298 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

 189 characters

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

Bottled in 2010.

Poured into a glass mug. Pours clear caramel brown with no head and plenty of rising tiny bubbles. The beer smells very sweet almost like honey. Like the Samichlaus Helles, it almost reminds me of the scent of mead. I pick up the chocolate notes that I would expect from a darker doppelbock. The alcohol is also detectable in the nose. The taste is very sweet, almost like a sweet mead. The slight chocolate notes from the malt I detected in the nose are also there. The alcohol heat is much better concealed than in was in the Samichlaus Helles. The body is medium to full with moderate carbonation. The finish is very smooth. For a sipper, this is very easy to sip. This is a most excellent beer. It's a world class doppelbock.

 747 characters

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

This is my all time, absolute favorite beer. Thank God the state liquor store has it each year, and thank God the Mormons don't drink. One of the positives (little known) about life in Utah!

 192 characters

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

Smells delicious, tastes delicious, one of the best beer I have ever had. Sweet/malt aroma. Flavor is malt dominate with fruit and sweet barley some earthy hops in the background. 14% abv is not apparent at all.

 211 characters

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

This was simply an amazing beer. It taste of toffee but not too strong. You can hardly taste the alcohol in it. It's thick and rich. This is one you would drink after a meal. I would recommend this as a dessert drink. Goes with chocolate very well. Indeed one of the best beers I've tasted. It deserves a higher rating than its been given.

 339 characters

Photo of hdofu
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 vintage
The appearance is the weakest aspect of this beer. While pleasant in color, it has very little head. The smell is remarkably mild. The taste is sweet like that of molasses with a kick of alcohol comparable to that of a liqueur. The beer is very full bodied and has enough of a kick to induce mild intoxication if the bottle is ingested too quickly. This is without a doubt intended as a desert beer.

 412 characters

Photo of SamN
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 12 oz'er from Wilbur's. Poured into a wide mouth glass on a ridiculously blustery September afternoon.

Pours a deep mahogany red with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly into just a thin film of white over the beer. Visible carbonation, deep deep color, near perfection.

Smells of apples and pears, alcohol, perfume, sweet fruits, light malt background, syrup, thick intoxicating scent. Amazing smell, it makes my mouth water.

The first sip is like an ocean, roaring and broiling mass of flavors and texture. This tastes like it looks; like sipping a bottomless pit. Nutty sweetness, butter and caramel, thick alcohol burn, but balanced by the maltyness. A range of flavors from fruits and sugars to oak, brandy, smoke and that classic doppelbock malt. This is a fantastic example of how beer can be startlingly complex, yet subtle and soothing. Perfect taste.

Feel is like flossing with liquid silk, simply flows over your tongue and down your throat like drawn butter.

Brewed at Christmas and for good reason; this is a contemplative sipper that deserves time to warm up and express it's full flavors. I wish I had a endless glass of this stuff, I could sip it by a fire all day and night. This beer makes me happy to be alive.

 1,243 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was privileged enough to have a NINE year old Sammichlaus with a fellow beer snob last night at our favorite watering hole. He has been aging several cases of beer in his beer cellar for years and wanted to share after a discussion we had where I described a time, years ago, when I had Sammi on draught. He had to share after that.

Beer was like syrup, poured into the glass, dark dark dark, thick, almost no carbonation, so no head at all. Smell knocks you over, raisins, sweetness, malt malt malt...This is definetly a beer that i can just keep smelling for several minutes, completely content without taking a sip. Eventually I did take a sip and all the wonderfulness exploded in my mouth. This beer was smooth and warming (probably the 14% alcohol). The sweetness was not overwhelming and it went down smooth. Feeling no pain after that. The beer was served in a 0.2 L Sammichlaus glass. How awesome is that?

 917 characters

Photo of Rmason104
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice clear brown.
The nose is sweet & syrupy.
Mouthfeel is smooth.
Very sweet, very tasty. The alcohol is almost undetectable, especially for the ABV.
Definitely now one of my faves in the category. I'll be coming back to this. Love the taste. Only thing preventing more than one is the high ABV.

 308 characters

Photo of Hachiman
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this in Tokyo about a month after its Dec. 2011 release. Served in a flaring tulip glass, it was dark amber in color with a bit of carbonation around the edge of the glass. No lacing, but the bit of foam persisted for the 20 minutes it took to drink it.

The smell is very sweet, phenolic and dried-fruity, raisins or prunes. Lets you know this is not your ordinary lager.

The taste is very sweet, like raisin bread. It reminded me of a 9-year old J.W. Lee Harvest ale I had last year, even though it had only been aged 10 months.

However, the mouthfeel is quite different from an aged barley wine. The body is medium in weight rather than heavy, and the greater alcohol percentage fogs the upper mouth and sinuses. That same alcohol warms the finish, and there's also a bit of hot pepper spiciness. Also, it was not the least sticky on the lips.

I was happy to be able to try this unique lager. I drank it with pizza, and it complemented that pie like a fine triple. If I see it again, I'll know what to do with it!

 1,025 characters

Photo of greatfookin
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Poured a rich mahogany brown in a Duvel glass, tan head of 1/2 in. faded till gone.

S- Aroma of malts, fruits, and a nice alcohol nose.

T- Oh, the malty, fruit, and alcohol nose are dead on for the phenomenal rush of complexity over the taste buds.

M- Thick, smooth, and warming...MMM!

D- I will be hard pressed to ever walk past this one, even in the heat of Summer.

 375 characters

Photo of PdxBeerNut
4.95/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 vintage

A) copper red hints of plum. Poured with little head but nice lacing.

S) predominately smells like raisins.
T) if madeira were a beer, this would be it. Very sweet and warming (due to the high alcohol content, 14%)

M) slightly sticky, this is a big beer.

D) @ 14% this is not a sessionable beer. Take it easy. It does however go down very easily.

Easily one of my favorite beers.

 398 characters

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.

 2,244 characters

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

This is a 1996 vintage bottle, from the old brewery. Poured in a Beer Hunter snifter.

Appearance - pours with no head to speak of, just a whisper on the top of the beer. Very dark ruby. Very little light gets through.

Aroma - Dark fruits, plums/prunes, alcohol, licorice, fine old sherry.

Taste - first taste - sweet malt, dark fruits, sherry, licorice. Oxidized, but nice. Alcohol not that hot, but present. Chocolate comes out later, lingering flavor of dark chocolate (chocolate covered cherries?).

Mouthfeel - no carbonation to speak of, full, slick, mouth-coating.

Drinkability - this is great late night beer. It has aged very well. Wonderful beer.

I have one left. I think I'll hold on to if for a few more years and try it again.

 743 characters

Photo of mwcullnane
4.92/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 on tap at Trion Tavern New Haven, IN

10 oz poured into a tulip glass

I've had this before at the Trion during the winter of 2008. I don't remember what vintage that barrel was but it wasn't nearly as awesome as this...

color of port with hint more mahogany. low carbonation and thin rocky head that disappeared at some point.

reviewing this from memory so... i believe it smelled like figs and toffee, but whatever it was exactly it was spectacular

taste of figs, port, caramel, no alcohol, absolutely delicious

mouthfeel nice and clean like a doppelbock should. resembled water goin down

eminently drinkable, but being 14% i only had one


 660 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,032 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.