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Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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1,081 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

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Reviews: 1,081 | Ratings: 1,998
Photo of B33R501
4.82/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2010 brewed December 6 2009. Absolutely one of the best beers I've had, one of the best in the world. The beer I discovered Christmas season 2009 when an old Yuengling lager drinker googled strongest lager in the world.

Beautiful clear amber, head disappears immediately making this sherry like. Big malt bomb classic dopplebock aromas, 1/2 thru the bottle even some mint. Wow. Tastes like fruits dipped in alcohol, apple, cherry, pears, other assorted berries and fresh ripe melon. But no alcohol is present at all. Amazing. Even a little nutty with some hops come thru for balance. So damn complex. Mouthfeel is superb. Alot less sweet than I remember, just so damn good. 3 years old but tastes like it was brewed yesterday. So fresh, I'm sure this would last another 10 years.

This beer is simply amazing.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage. Missed the December 6th brewing date by one day.
appearance: A fine clear deep copper, burgundy. Very slight head but at 14%, no worries.
smell: Oh my. This flirts with perfection. Complex and intense. Buttery and spicy. Some combination of a fine barleywine, a strong ale, and a doppel.
taste: That's the stuff. Even better than the nose. The start spreads in the mouth and reveals toffee, light spice. Admittedly I lean to the strong ones but this is way smooth for a 14%, even smooth for half that. I see some reviews that describe this gentle giant as too boozy. Not this bottle.
mouthfeel: silky with a very light carbonation profile.
drinkability: A hesitate to give a 5 but this guy is just too smooth for such a monster.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage
Reviewed: 4 Aug 10

Poured into a chalice a very nice clean/clear amberish/grape color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy/fast off-white head, with some oil slicks left behind. The nose is malty, sweet, grapey, with some slight caramel. The taste is malty, very sweet, grapey note. Medium body, ABV is hidden very well. Very drinkable, WOW! What a brew. Holds up very well. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

2006 Vintage

Been sitting on this bottle for about close to 3 years. Also my last bottle of this vintage. Have a bottle of 2008 that I've been sitting on for close to 2 years.

Poured into a chalice a very nice clean/clear amberish/grape color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy/fast off-white head, with some oil slicks left behind. The nose is malty, sweet, grapey, with some slight caramel. The taste is malty, very sweet, grapey note. Medium body, ABV is hidden very well with this vintage (for this age). Very drinkable, WOW! What a brew. Holds up very well. Got to pick-up some more of the current vintage, which I suppose is 2008, but we'll see. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

2004 Vintage

I don't know why this is considered a doppelbock, it's nothing like Celebrator or Aventius. Pours a orangy/golden color, nice carbonation, real nice head. Lacing was like a small head thorough out the whole drink. This brew is very sweet, it's nothing like a doppelbock, nothing. Medium body. Alcohol was present through out the whole session. Very drinkable, but at 14% watch out.

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Photo of fastd03
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Samichlaus classic is my second favorite beer I've had. A friend bought it so that we could sample a few of his favorite beers. I have a personal inkling for stronger beers, but there's a tendency of many to truly taste alcoholic in order to up the ABV. Samichlaus is certainly strong, but it manages to be little more alcoholic-tasting than an equivalent doppel with an ABV of just 8 or 9. Moreover, it has a delicious sweetness that was an absolute delight to my taste buds!

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Photo of rye726
4.79/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2001 bottle of this tasty brew.

Rich mahogany color with a lacking tan head.

Sweet fruits, candy malts, and sweet sugars. Dark, spicy and sherry like alcohols.

Very sweet flavor profile. This is one heck of a dopplebock that has aged very well. Possibly on the way down though. Again sherry like alcohols with rich candy malts and ripe and dried dark fruits.

Thick creamy body. A little syrupy but kept in balance by carbonation. This is very drinkable at over 6 years old.

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Photo of cncbofh
4.78/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a concoction!
Bottle dated 2002.

Easy pour with light carbonation and tiny bubbles. The color is a beautiful rust color and the smell is exceptional, composed of raisins, plums, cinnamon and brown sugar. The taste and mouthfeel are enough to lift your eyebrows and make you say "Wow!". Despite the slightly watery look, it feels like maple syrup in your mouth.

The taste is reminiscent of a tawny port, with lots of oak, fig, and spice. Incredible! I'll be keeping a few of these in my cellar... they make the perfect winter warmer before bedtime or next to the fire.

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Photo of uncggop06
4.78/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottling. Bought a 4-pack for comparisons to later vintages.

A - Nice and bright, bronze? This is an amazing color, similar to a good whiskey or scotch. No head, but it's 14% abv, nothing crazy.

S - Very sweet, sugar syrupy and some caramel. I could smell this every day and be satisfied!

M - Very heavy and lingering, in that sense of "I don't want this to go away" type. This is an incredibly exquisite beer!! It is syrupy, but not to far as to be undrinkable. I can't imagine a doppel bock better!

T - Deep, sugary caramel. Not the fake stuff, but of homemade caramel. Very deep flavor with a doppel bock overtone, but to the extreme. Not extreme like crazy American DIPA's, but taken a couple steps further. This is the Scotch ale of doppel bocks. Austria has taken a Bavarian style and gone above perfection.

this beer amazes me every year. I forget about how amazing this beer is, but when I try it again it renews my faith in the extreme-micro beers! I regret missing the 2005 vintage, but must never forget ever again. It is expensive, but HIGHLY worth every penny!

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

I got this beer via trade - thanks Malto! I originally noted it was a retired brew but then reread my label today and it's the 96 version from this brewery. Below is my post in the cellaring forum:

1996 vintage

Not quite black but very thick in the pour. A touch of tan head around the edges of my chimay glass that quickly faded. No lacing to speak of. the aroma was intoxicatingly rich sweet malt blended with a dark ripe fruit / prune effect. Taste is similar to the smell except with a wonderful warming effect to the beer. BA says 14% but it is so nicely blended that it did not come across as hot or boozy to me. Thick, rich and definitely a sipper. This brew was a treat to drink and I found myself at the end of the glass before I expected.

While thicker than some vintage barleywines / old ales I've had from the same year, this was an awesome drink. If you can get it or have it in your cellar I would consider you lucky!

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

Whew! What can I say about a beer that makes you sweat? Yup, happened to me.. One powerful rocket-ship fuel brew here.. Of the world's super-strong lagers, Samichlaus has to be the most complex and satisfying. It had a red-chestnut color; a brandy-like aroma; a firm, oily, body; creamy and cherryish flavor; and a warming, spicy, peppery, finish. AND THIS IS THE BREW THAT MADE ME SWEAT!!!

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

2000 bottling. It's December 6th, so what better beer to drink than Samichlaus? What a marvelous beer. Deep reddish-brown in color. Initial tan head dissipates quickly. Pungent aroma of plums, figs, toffee, and brown bread. Sweet! Taste is magnificent: dark fruits (figs, raisins, dates), toffee, plums, grapes. Sweet but not cloying. Alcohol comes through like a fine whisky: spicy and smooth, but not overpowering. Wow.

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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 mtnbikerpa
4.76/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled in 2008. So according to the bottle it would have been brewed in Dec. 6, 2007. This beer ages 10 months before being bottled. Poured into a mini snifter. Dark burgandy color with little whispy head that quickly disappears. Some scents of candied malts and aged fruits. The bottle says its a malt liquor, but it smells a lot like a barleywine ale. Mouthfeel is smooth, not heavy. Mostly tastes of sweet malts. No real hop profile. Alcohol is certainly warming as I drink it down. I gonna sip on this one for a while. Outstanding overall. I am pairing this nicely with some fresh pairs and aged provolone cheese.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Reddish brown with a thin beige head.

Smell: Fruits, and alcohol.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth full bodied. Very sweet molasses and fight with faint wheat notes.

Overall: Very sweet! But very good.

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Photo of DoktorEd
4.75/5  rDev +19%

2012 bottle. Pours a nice reddish hue, a little on the dark side, very clear and with lots of carbonation. Little to no head on this one. Very VERY heavy and fragrant sweetness in the smell.

Taste is very sweet, not harsh in the slightest. Far too sweet to really call a beer. Almost tastes non-alcoholic. Carbonation, although heavy to the sight is not at all overbearing, very light in feel, drinkable.

This would be a great dessert beer, very palatable.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into snifter. Small headed fizzes away, and lace leaves a wavy palimpsest.

Smalls of fruit, dark, dried but a little moist, cherries and figs, mostly.

Taste is weighty. The strong alcohol content isn't in play too much, pushed to the back by a malty saccharine fruits and the aged wood it forms in, which is reminiscent of a Wee Heavy. As it warms up, this resemblance becames even more promounced. The dark fruits of the scent carry through the flavor.

Feel: A slightly labored swallow; likely from the alk content.

Nothing tastes like Samichlaus. It does not much resemble its style; Eggenberg's other great beer, their Dunkel, is more indicative of a Doppelbock. But none of that matters. This is one of the greats.

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Photo of ronniebruner
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An amazingly awesome beer! First off, when poured into a pint glass, you notice the rich, deep amber color, and the aroma of sweetened malts. The beer comes to a frothy halt at the top of the glass and settles with the perfect amount of head and lace, with not being over-carbonated. The beer's taste is sweet with ripe malts and barley with an obvious note of grains and alcohol. The mouthfeel is to die for as you swallow the beer, you still have a presence of the brew in your mouth and a note of the aroma in your nose. What an amazing beer!

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

I had a couple of bottles years back from a now defunct local gourmet grocery. Absolutely amazing! Smooth and sweet smell and taste, very fruity with too many flavors to remember, just like a good port wine or brandy. A beer liqueur you need to sip slowly with rich dark chocolates on a plate. I don't usually like sweet brews but once a year this is a treat.

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

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

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Photo of astrobrewer
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This is a big beer. I was a little put off by the 14% alchohol rating on the label, but the bartender said that it was special, and he was right. The 2001 bottle I had poured a sparklingly clear, light brown. The aroma was complex with lots of malty and fruity elements (plus more than a hint of alchohol). It wasn't as syrupy as I expected, but was heavy enough to balance the alchohol. Oh yeah, and did I mention that there's a lot of alchohol in this brew? This is a sipping beer if there ever was one. It makes a great after dinner drink. I'm heading back to the store to buy some to put away and age for a special occaision.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.74/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this 2007 vintage bottle on my shelf for almost a half a year. I wanted to drink it on an occasion and what better than the new year!

A - Never really saw the color to tell the truth. I always drank it out of the bottle (had this twice). I would say its a dark ruby color and after the first gulp it made a good amount of head inside the bottle.
S - Dark roasted fruits and chocolate. Awesome.
T - Much better than the 2005 vintage I had at a bar with a friend once. To me the 2005 tasted of malt liquor and chocolate but this 2007 vintage had heavy figs, raisins, and sweet chocolate.
M - As the beer warmed up the flavors got lighter and you could feel a slight alcohol burn but it wasn't too off putting.
D - At 6-8 dollars a bottle it's like champagne on new years but much more enjoyable.

Overall my friend and I agree that this was truly a great brew and I may track it down and buy it again if the price is reasonable (paid 6.00 for my bottle)

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Photo of weltywm
4.74/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Deep amber with about 1 finger of off-white head.

Smell: Smooth and sweet: dark fruit, hops, and a hint of hops.

Mouthfeel: Like the smell, I taste dark fruit like cherry up front, mixed with some oaky sweetness and molasses. There is a bit of hops to balance it out, along with some spice. As it warms, I get more bready notes, with some toffee and figs. Maybe a hint of vanilla and some brandy.

Mouthfeel: Very velvety, with a smooth finish and a long finish. Very good.

Overall: This is an excellent beer, incredibly balanced and tons of complexity. I'm looking forward to grabbing one to see how it ages. Definitely would recommend.

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Photo of stevoj
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Worth the wait and deserving of the hype. A nice warming sipper with obvious alcohol warmth. The color of a nice Scotch wth almost no head. Drinking this out of season, but still wonderful....

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Photo of phishgator
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unfortunately this is Vintage 2002 bottle, from the old brewery. Poured into a goblet with slight white head that dissipates quickly. The color is of light copper and there is faint appearance of syrup much like a schnapps. The nose is of warm caramel and fusel alcohols. the taste is farmiliar to in content to a "fresh" Samiclhaus with the thick sryupy body of big malt. It's just that it is completely smooth! the heat of alcohol is gone. I am glad I aged this for 10 years and now there is only one left from my 2002 six pack.

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Photo of BeerTaster
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! Wish I had this one back in december after a long day of christmas shopping but it did just fine on this snowy febuary evening. Appearence light brown in color nice head that disapeared quickly leaving just a hint of lace around the edges. Smell huge smack of malt hint of prunes. Taste cleen lager no yeasty fruitness, malt sweetness very little hop bitterness and the warming feel of alcohol in the end. Mouthfeel was thick almost chewy. Drinkability was good I could have this become a winter time favorite.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,998 ratings.
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