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

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Reviews: 1,092 | Ratings: 2,032
Photo of surfmeister
1/5  rDev -74.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

C'mon guys, be real...
This beer is not good, in fact I do not believe that anyone truly enjoys this beer, but many feel that they are supposed to.
Looks like a glass of bourbon with about the same amount of head, smell and taste profile are completely dominated by alcohol, slides around the mouth like a swig of 10/50 W motor oil, two gulps later this was down the drain, thank god they only bottle it occassionally, why waste your time with this stuff when you can have a nice single malt scotch?

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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 MarkBlackout
1.15/5  rDev -71.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Nevermind what anyone tells you (or perhaps see for yourself if you feel like punishing yourself), Samichlaus is horrible.

This stuff is like nailpolish. I finished my half of the 12oz bottle, but I later regretted the decision as I horked out this "beer."

Just awful. Way too sweet and doesn't win me over the way plenty of other extreme, high-ABV brews have. Avoid.

edit, two years later: I haven't tried this again, nor do I want to. I wanted to add that before, and since trying Samichlaus, I have had many big beers of similar/greater strength. I love massive beers, but I can still remember what Samichlaus tasted like and it was damned terrible!

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Photo of Jdiddy
1.18/5  rDev -70.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I am sure I may stand alone on this one but I absolutely hated this beer! It smelled very rank and tasted even worse. The alcohol level is too high for this beer. It burned as it went down. Very unpleasant. I let my roommate try it and she had the same impression. I hear great reviews but do not understand why. The appearance was the only thing that gave it any points in my book.

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Photo of epistax
1.23/5  rDev -69.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Every taste and smell that this beverage is supposed to have is completely masked by an extreme sweetness (incomplete fermentation?) and a strong alcohol flavor. I've enjoyed beverages with similar and higher ABV ratings, and this was awful. There are very popular beers known to be bad, and this trumps them all. I would not recommend this beverage to anyone but a masochist. .

This is my first review of a beer on BA. You can try this beer, but I advise you only try a single bottle and have other beers as backups. You aren't proving anything by drinking this thing.

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Photo of Sigmund
1.3/5  rDev -67.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

(Bottled 2003). Deep golden colour, moderate head. Aroma of sugary alcohol and hay. Grossly over-hyped and over-rated beer, mostly by people obviously fascinated by the high ABV. Sorry, I have difficulties respecting the ratings of people who actually LIKE this crap. Flavour is cloyingly & revoltingly sweet, alcohol, molasses, syrup, syrup and more syrup. And alcohol. Did I mention syrup? And alcohol? This is gross. This is REALLY gross. Half of it went down the drain. And I paid nearly US$10 (in Norway) for this bottle! (Sob!) Cellaring it for 30 years might have helped A LITTLE, but why cellar crap? A real drainpour, if I ever saw one. Thank God I drank it in November - "Samichlaus" would have ruined my Christmas completely.

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Photo of krustster
1.44/5  rDev -63.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

2013 vintage. First time trying this. I'm aware that it's supposed to improve with age, but it's supposedly already aged for almost a year so I figured I may as well blast one now and see what's up.

Appearance: Fizzy head that completely disappeared within 5 seconds, leaving a clear reddish-brown liquid. Appears to be 95% un-carbonated. I guess it looks okay, but the weird mystery head has me a bit worried. It looks like a port wine now.

Smell: Oh god, I'm in trouble. Sickeningly sweet, I'm not getting much besides sugar, weird rotten corn/grain, and a disgusting metallic aroma that reminds me very strongly of cheap high gravity lager "Camo Extra Black" ($1.50 for 24oz, 12% abv). I had a friend sniff it and he agreed that it was nearly identical to that one.

Taste: I thought I could handle sweet. Founders Sweet Repute straddled the line but didn't cross it. Samichlaus steps over the line, takes a crap on it, and then throws the poo in your face. Maybe I got a bad one, maybe it gets way better with age, or maybe the price and reputation have just convinced people that it's not as gross as it really is, who knows. But this tastes like a very slightly refined version of the aforementioned Camo Black Extra, dripping with horrible rotten corn, sugar, cheap alcohol, mushy brown apples, massive boozy heat, and a horribly offensive metallic finish. I said it multiple times already, but this tastes so much like drinking Camo straight from the can that it isn't funny. Actually it is pretty funny, as long as I can harness the power of the 14% ABV to forget how much money I spent on this mess. The same friend (who has wildly differing beer opinions from mine) agreed that the taste is nearly identical. I give this one an extra .25 of a point just because there are some things that are undeniably worse (albeit for 1/10 the price) and you gotta reserve the lowest mark for something truly special. Still... Samichlaus is without a doubt the worst-tasting "good" beer I've yet come across, and by an enormous margin.

Mouth feel: Not AS bad as the taste and smell, but still extremely offensive. It's too thin but too thick at the same time. The carbonation is extremely light, but also too sharp on the entry. After the initial sip it goes flat in your mouth and takes on a cough syrup-like consistency. It really feels like a disturbingly thick version of a cheap, cheap, awful 40oz of bad malt liquor that has been sitting around open for too long. I can't finish this.

Overall: This resembles more than anything a cheap, awful port wine with a hint of carbonation thrown into it to make you feel like you're drinking a beer. I like ports, but this is an abomination. Even at $1 a bottle, this would still be a drain pour. I have a really hard time believing that anyone could enjoy it. I do think that a couple years of age would reduce the disgusting metallic notes and maybe open up the port-like flavors, but you'd still be polishing a turd. I have no intention of finding out for myself. Stay far away unless you have a taste for rotten fruit and high-gravity lagers and someone else is paying. Utter crap. And again, I honestly cannot imagine somebody legitimately enjoying this. Maybe if you force your way through half the bottle you'll be drunk enough that it will start to taste good. I lasted four or five sips before I had to toss it to avoid throwing up.

Edit: I browsed the other low scores and found that someone described it as being "like nail polish" and I think that was the missing element in my review. Huge acetone taste on this one. That's acceptable for some kinds of rum, but in a beer of this nature it's downright vomit-inducing.

Further edit: some say this has to be aged for at least 2 years and then its true power is revealed. To that I say, why release it if it's undrinkable as-is? They already aged it for 10 months before bottling or whatever, if it needs two more years to not be horrible, why not hang on to it for that long and then send it to stores?

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Photo of Dubber55
1.56/5  rDev -60.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Bottled in 2009

Pours an amber/honey color with some red highlights. 1/2 finger of white bubbles that quickly dissipate to form a collar around the edges of the glass.

When I first smell this beer, it kind of reminds me of an old ale/english barleywine like Thomas Hardy's. I intially smell tons of rum soaked raisins. What follows is the smell of savory spices along the lines of clove, nutmeg. I think I also smell some gingerbread. There is also plenty of ethanol coming off this one.

The first few sips of this beer made me wince. Now I am getting used to it. This beer is very sweet, syrupy, and, alcoholic. The taste pretty much follows the nose- tons of rum soaked raisins, lots of savory spices like clove, nutmeg, gingerbread, allspice, and maybe some cinnamon. I think I taste some nail polish remover. The finish is sweet and consists of fusel alcohol.

Viscous liquid with low carbonation. Pretty syrupy. The consistency is medium to thick.

The drinkability of this beer is not good. It tastes nothing like a doppelbock. It syrupy sweet with low carbonation which makes this a real sipper. It's is also not very complex. All you need is 2 ounces to know what this beer is all about. The alcohol is really hot which doesn't help either. I know this beer is probably too fresh but, if that's the case then don't put it on the shelf. Maybe if you put this in the cellar for 3 to 5 years, it might be somewhat drinkable. On the label it says, "The World's Most Extraordinary Beverage". I think not.

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Photo of Beersignal
1.63/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2002 vintage.

Poured a lovely limpid copper/caramel colour primed with ripe peach flesh highlights. Hardly any of the off white foam managed to stay behind longer than the blink of an eye and left no lace.

Up front, you are stricken by firm malt aromas and candy sugars followed by spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and slight cloves. The finish is alcoholic, reninescent of fruit brandy.

The body is dense and alcoholic, and the taste is sweet, syrupy, cloying and generally unpleasant. Flavours of malt and faint pepper have difficulty cutting through the sugar. A long and heavy alcohol sweetness lingers.

This beer in no way resembles the one brewed formerly by Hurlimanns which posessed much more depth and balance and was a pleasure to sip as a nightcap. I RARELY dump beer down the drain but I certainly wasn't going to get sick drinking this one.

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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 bierschmecktgut
1.66/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I bought this for the holidays and planned to share with my father.

We poured it into a regular pint glass, dark red-brown color. The head was just a thin line.

It smelled immediately of malt and spice but with burnt sugar /molasses like.

Taste was too sweet, definitely brown sugar/molasses. Alcohol was abundant at the back of the tongue and you immediately smell it at the back of your throat.

Almost no carbanation and pretty smooth

a drink for those who dig sweet malt lagers/liquor! not for me.

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Photo of mithrascruor
1.71/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a mug. Bottled in 2006.

Appearance: Pours a clear, but fairly dark, copper-brown color. Basically no head.

Smell: Alcohol -- like a whisky or strong sherry. And a bit of sweet malts.

Taste: Again, it's like a whisky masquerading as a beer. A somewhat oaky alcohol flavor that is quite (too) strong. Has an underlying malt sweetness with brown sugar, as well as the taste of figs and raisins or something like that.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with virtually no carbonation. Slight burning sensation too.

Drinkability: Alcohol is waaaay too strong in the taste. Unbearable.

Novelty only. I cannot stand an alcohol taste this strong in a beer. If I want a whisky, I'll have a whisky. Sorry, kids...

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Photo of ralree
1.8/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

11.2oz bottle, Bottled 2006.

Yeck. Some people seem to like this beer, but I cannot stand it. Its color is fairly pleasing, but this thing has no head. Barely even laces. The smell is fruity and alcoholic, and the taste is like raisins that have been soaked in vodka. If you really like the flavor of alcohol, this one is good for that. I just took my third drink, and cringed like I do when I take a shot of vodka. After swallowing, I can feel the fumes in my nose for about a second. It does have a redeeming aftertaste, like dried apricots or raisins. If it wasn't so heavy on the alcohol, I'd give it a better rating.

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Photo of n2185
1.82/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle from 2009, so about 1-2 years on this beer.

A: Pours a nice, clear dark copper color with about a finger of beige head, which quickly recedes into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Some dark fruit aromas but mostly it's lots of soy. Lots and lots of soy sauce.

T: Some dark fruits like prunes and dates in there, though they're hidden by the huge malt presence. Lots and lots of malt--enough to be syrupy, sticky sweet.

M: Thick body with little carbonation and super super sweet. Very sticky feel.

D: With as sweet as this beer is, it's not very drinkable. Overall, I could barely finish this beer and almost felt sick to my stomach from how sweet it was. The malt overpowers any subtleties that might otherwise be found.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.83/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap at Maduro, $3 for a nearly full Bell's Tullip. Pretty nasty stuff on tap.

Smells like sugar, booze, cheries, licorice, cat piss, and toffee. Tastes a bit like a strong mead loaded with candy sugar. Syrupy body, very sweet, seriously, disgustingly sweet. The ABV may be partially covered but the sugar sure as hell isn’t. Lots of cherry taste but most other flavors are hard to distinguish because my tongue is burning from the sweetness. It makes me sick to my stomach and hurts my throat. My body rejects this as foul. I take no pleasure in this mess, although it has a really, really pretty chestnut body with reddish hues though no head what-so-ever. I think this might be a lot better after a decade in a cellar.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
1.85/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Samichlaus Bier
bottled in 2003

Appearance- reddish orange with no head. Slight carbonation.
Smell- fruit and alcohol!! I detect grapes, prunes, and nose burning alcohol fumes!!
Taste- bleech! Robitussin mixed with prune juice mixed with rubbing alcohol! Very sweet and very disgusting!

Overall- what a disgusting tasting beer! No pleasure in this other than pouring it down the sink!
This beer is all hype. 1 of the most overrated!!

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Photo of LaneMeyer
1.85/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had this a long time ago. I probably need to revisit this one as it has so much praise around here. But ya, I couldn't finish the bottle. Tasted like liquid smoke to me at the time.

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Photo of MtnBiker
1.87/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

smell: I don't know, it was pretty gross from the start. The smell is sweet as hell, it's all sweetness and no malt or hop aroma, smells like some sick malt that someone concocted in a malt shop.

Taste: just as bad as it smells, cloying sweetness, terrible aftertaste.

Drainpour time...

Overall: I can't describe this beer in any good way. Smells of sweetness, tastes too sweet, over cloyingly sweetness overwhelms anything that could have been.

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Photo of philipquarles
1.96/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle from 2008, tasted 9/09. Pours very dark coper with a light tan head that disappears quickly without leaving any lacing behind. Strong sugary sweet malt aromas with a lot of fruitiness. Heady alcohol smell with some caramel. Taste is cloyingly sweet. Big malt with some pear-like esters. Strong, heavily warming alcohol. Syrupy body. No real complexity to this one, just sugar and alcohol. Not great to drink, or even sip.

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Photo of MONKandTUCK
1.97/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

First of all, I'm glad for the opportunity to have tried this beer and for places like Smokin' Joe's on Pittsburgh's Southside which features great craft beers, especially trying to obtain rarities like this.

A- poured into snifter. It was dark, but it appeared to have an auburn color.

A- Fusel. Some anise. Some brandy. Not beer.

T- Syrup meets White Lightening. This stuff reminds me of the B-Movie Horror, the Blob. It wrought a path of destruction even though it moved slower than sin. Somehow, this stuff makes it from the glass, over my palate into my gut. Very warming. Lots of malty syrup.

M- Like 3 beers packed into one.

O- Not sure if this is exceptional brewing craftsmanship or a science experiment. The heat is over-bearing and there's no discernible flavor except some off-qualities.

Sooo many beers have been brewed with pains to showcase particular features, or master balance, or blend subtleties. Then this one comes along, strong as jet fuel and sells just because it was once the world's strongest beer and is released once a year. Not impressed. Try harder to make a good beer, and worry less about wagging your junk around.

Legend goes, when St. Nicholas decked Arius, he was drunk on this stuff. Thereafter, this stuff was given to the bad girls and boys before the discovery of coal.

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Photo of allengarvin
2.03/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Finally available in Texas, probably the last place to get this beer I first read about in MJ 20 years ago. 2009 edition. Very hard to open top... took several tries with a bottle opener. It's a dark mahogany color, clear, with a small head on top. Very malty aroma, but also quite alcoholic in the nose. Oh my, an initial sweetness gives way quickly to a very hot alcoholic character... there's little else here... almost undrinkable. Reinforces my opinion that there are very few beers over 12% that are palatable. Bleagh.

This should have come in an 8-oz bottle, not a 750ml. I can't imagine anyone being able to finish this. It's like very very bad cough syrup.

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Photo of bobsy
2.06/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a very deep red, with a small white head that quickly diminishes to leave a minimal film. A touch of lace. While not exactly what I would expect from a dopplebock, the appearance seems in line with a higher alcohol brew, and recalls a barleywine. Sweet, malty nose, with a touch of alcohol at the end screams simplicity, and in this case its very sweet simplicity.

The taste is really not that good at all. If I wanted to drink something this sweet I would have bought a bottle of corn syrup for a lot less money. There is no other way to describe this other than sugar syrup, with evident alcohol at the end. Just far too much brown sugar, and far to little doppelbock breadiness. The body struggles to drag itself out of the stickiness, and combined with the sugars, this sits far too heavy.

Sure, aging may work wonders for it, but what's the problem with making a beer that tastes great now?

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Photo of founddrama
2.11/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Fruity and winey. There's a bit of a cough syrup thing happening here? Sadly I'm not so sure I'm into this one. Maybe I'm not being fair? I don't have a lot of experience with doppelbocks. But I know what I like and I feel like this was wasted on me.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.19/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Deep, clear brown brew with a red-orange tint. Head lasts for mere moments and dissipates to a flat surface. No lacing.

S - Sweet grape juice, prunes, caramel malt sugars and alcohol.

T - A bit of fruit and a lot of malt - not to mention the alcohol. The aftertaste is a light fruity bitterness with some lingering, almost medicinal, sweet fruitiness.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, frothy and a bit refreshing. The alcohol does take its toll though.

D - It is absurbly strong and not that good. I will pass in the future. Not a chore to finish though. Not really worth seeking out.

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Photo of TerryW
2.23/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is an extreme brew that is simply not to my taste.

Pours clear amber brown under a short-lived head that quickly gives way to a thin ring, no lace.

Nose is sweet, dark fruit. And lots of alcohol.

Crazy sweet to drink, to the point of being distracting. Raisins. Heavy mouthfeel. Boozy.

Similar to a barleywine. It is simply not for me. Too one dimensional in character - straight syrup and alcohol.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,032 ratings.
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