Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
2,075 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,075 |  Reviews: 1,106
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BGDrock
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: beautiful, rich red brown or deep amber; clear; head fizzles to nothing right away

Aroma: very sweet, dark fruit - figs, raspberry, prune, cherry; not strong; sense of alcohol

Taste & Mouthfeel: the 14% is like a slap to the face and fire to the belly! once the initial burn fades, intense fruit sweetness takes over with flavours matching the aroma, but more like dried and riper fruit - figs, prunes, cherries, like they have been stewed with wine; vanilla and something slightly earthy, like barrel aging was involved; syrupy and silky mouthfeel, medium-heavy, appropriate carbonation

Overall: flavour is fantastic and intricate, very intense and definitely more suited for dessert (and sharing), but the sweetness can be cloying

Edit: had a bottle aged for 1 year and liked it even more - had largely the same thoughts as the first review, but was getting a hint of chocolate that gave a sense of black forest cake; also found the sweetness was cut by carbonation and a slightly dry finish; amazing to have with dark chocolate

 1,046 characters

Photo of mmink27
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of bditty187
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2001.

Clear, coppery/bronze/amber hue, no head… not even a stray bubble, still looks good in a glass, no lace either. Strong nose, rich, sweet, alcoholic bouquet, caramely, fruity… needless to say, it is complex! The palate is multifaceted and powerful; it is mostly sweet, alcoholic, caramely, fruity, molasses hints too… nicely done. The finish is surprisingly dry… the alcohol lingers on the palate… and on the mind. The body is on the thin side of medium. Smooth mouthfeel. This is a sipping brew, for sure (!), yet highly drinkable… a remarkable accomplishment. Recommended.

 599 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2004. Served in a pilsner glass, the Samichlaus pours a clear amber/copper color with a small white head. It smells sweet, like caramel malt, some dark fruit and alcohol. It tastes like raisins, figs, toffee, caramel, and you can taste the alcohol in the beer, but it's not overwhelming. This is a very malty beer, I can't taste any hops at all. Mouthfeel is medium, and it's smooth and a bit oily. Drinkability is good, but it doesn't take too long for the alcohol to catch up to you with this beer. I wouldn't drink anymore than one of these a night, but I would definitely buy the beer again.

 606 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 version. Pours very still, with no head but a slight stream of bubbles floating upward, and a body the color of hot diluted molasses. Big aroma that screams sweetness -- hot alcohol, candied fruits, raw sugar. Big sweetness up front (sugared oranges), caramel, berry fruits, and a touch of malt bitterness rounded out by hot alcohol. Creamy mouthfeel with almost no carbonation and quite a bit of alcohol. That present alcohol is the one part to take away from the drinkability of this beer; for a brew of 14%, this is suprisingly smooth and drinkable. Overall, this brew is pretty great -- huge alcohol, huge tastes, definitely something to be savored and paired with food. It's only real flaw is the present alcohol, which can be overlooked.

 748 characters

Photo of Jodio
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of arguemaniac
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark but crystal-clear amber color with some copperish hues. The brief head is followed by a very slight lace, and even that doesn’t last too long. The sweet aroma features strong notes of fruit (raisins) and spicy alcohol. The powerful taste of this brew includes somewhat sugary raisins, light rum and sweet caramel. Of course, there is a fairly sharp alcohol bite, but because of the strong maltiness, it’s more subdued than one might suspect given the 14% ABV on the label. The syrupy mouthfeel is just about as full-bodied as it gets with some pretty mild carbonation.

Definitely a classic though not a typical dopplebock, more like an example of just how strong that style can get. Nevertheless, a real treat and, while far from a session beer, something every serious craft beer lover should try. Highly recommended.

 836 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 1996 (!?!) sent my way by Derek. Thank you for your never ending generosity.

A: The pour is a dark, dark brown color with some serious opaqueness and almost no head.

S: Smells quite sweet and fruity, especially of plums, prunes, and raisins. There is a lot of chocolate going on here as well as caramel and perhaps even some maple syrup.

T: A similar level of sweetness on the palate, but nowhere near as overwhelming as I would have expected. Some nice dark fruits, milk chocolate, caramel, maple syrup, and toffee all combine to make a pretty nice flavor profile.

M: The body is medium with a low to moderate level of carbonation.

D: I was very pleasantly surprised by this. I am not a very big Samichlaus fan when it's fresh, but it appears aging the beer about 15 years is a good idea...

 808 characters

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle served at cellar temp in a Trois Pistoles goblet. 2002 vintage.

Appearance: Gorgeously clear copper color topped by a short-lived frothy yellowish head. No lacing whatsover, but that's to be expected.

Smell: Rum soaked raisins and cherries. Maple, caramel, and honey notes. Whole lotta sweet smells goin' on here.

Taste: Über-sweet caramel malt flavor asserts itself, but gives some time to let honey, prunes, raisins, cherries, and medicinal flavors have a moment to shine. Mild alcohol tastes.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy with adequate masking of the alcohol.

Drinkability: *insert standard disclaimer about not having more than one in a sitting* That said, I'll definitely pick this one up when it comes out this year. Cain't wait for a vertical tasting that's coming up in the DC area.

 820 characters

Photo of token_23223
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oelergud
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear brownish amber, very little carbonation with a light white head, not much retention.
Very strong scent of spiced honey and concentrated molasses.
Wow, the taste knocks you on your ass. Ripe banana, strong cherries, a hint of almonds and almost as if there's a shot of good cognag in it.
Full strong body, high viscosity and somewhat chewable.
Decent drinkability.

I wish this brew had a better head and more carbonation, the sweetness in the nose and taste is great but it can become overwhelming, this is a brew perfect for sharing as a whole bottle can get too much.


 602 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into Unibroue glass feb11 2010

A clear ruby brown with little head or lace but decent carbonation

S dark fruits/cherry with some booze and caramel

T candied fruits with burnt sugar/toffee and a little booze. rather complex can't wait to see how one ages... so here I am drinking it today

M a little syrupy with more carbonation then what was visible

D not sure if its a good or bad thing that this one's ringing in at 14%. it's well concealed and this could just smash you if your not careful, so be careful

I have a magic closet with no doubt, this is the fourth good beer I've managed to hide from myself only to find at a later date. this is a decent beer and its unique so you should give it a go if you get the chance

 750 characters

Photo of Graebner
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 2005 edition. The local beer store managed to get ahold of eight bottles. Oddly enough, I bought a Samichlaus tulip while in Orlando, having never had the beer, and found the beer here at home two weeks later. So, this Samichlaus is being sampled out of a Samichlaus tulip as well. How proper.

Pours a ruby-orange with a rich orange head that rapidly disappears completely. The liquid itself is transparent and has active bubble columns. Strongly resembles a red cider. Very beautiful beer, looks rich yet refined and elegant.

Initial nose is incredible malty sugar, I mean like smack you in the face malty sugar. Not cheap, though...it smells good. Also features huge alcohol and some spiciness. Hints of apple and pear and strawberry as well.

Taste is unique and incredible. Towering malts. I mean TOWERING...this is like creamy syrup it's so sweet, and yet not cloying. Major hints of rum-raisin spice cake, strong spicy and herbal notes, and a slight medicinal quality upon swallowing. Hops fight through briefly in the finish, and manage (together with the alcohols) to keep the palate pleasantly clean, much moreso that I would have expected from the initial onslaught of malty goodness. Other notable tastes are mostly describing the malty characters, and include orange-blossom honey, plum, carrot, and other fruit. Incredibly complex malts, moreso than any other beer I've tried, up to and including Stone RIS. Not alot of hops to speak of, but they're there, and they add to the beer.

Mouthfeel is slick, because of all the alcohol. Not cloying, which is surpising given the malt assault that is Samichlaus. Interestingly, the beer momentarily leaves my mouth feeling as it does after I've sipped whiskey; that oakey, ester-y, evaporated feeling. I attribute this to the alcohol and to the long aging time before bottling. Finishes really clean, and exhibits the drying quality of a scotch, as I said.

Overall this beer is dangerously drinkable. At 14% abv, even an 11.2oz bottle could be trouble, depending on hydration level and stomach contents. The alcohol, though evident, is not overpowering, and you could get sodded real fast if you weren't paying attention. Nonetheless, this is an amazing and complex beer...a pinnacle of achievement for Eggenberg and for brewing in general. I cannot wait to try the other three bottles in the coming years, as aging will only increase the splendor of this already majestic brew.

 2,457 characters

Photo of AmericanGothic
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Unibroue tulip. Bottled in 2010.

A: Pours a dark but clear copper color. Thin layer of pale tan head with little retention and some lace.

S: No hops, all malt, sweet and vinous, dark candied fruits.

T: Sweet dark fruit and melon nectar with a bit of peppery spice in the mix. Very port-like. Surprisingly, the alcohol is well integrated. The taste borders on cloying, but I think the spice saves it.

M: A very full body, but the carbonation adds some soda-like lightness that helps to accent the spicy notes in the flavor.

O: A nice, big beer. I think this one would improve with some age-- will pick up some more to cellar for another year or two. When you're ready to try it, give yourself ample time-- one bottle can easily last a couple of hours or more.

 798 characters

Photo of femALEist
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is brewed once a year on December 6th for St. Nicholas Day and at a whopping 14%, it is said that it is the strongest lager beer in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. This beer smells like caramelized malts, honey, eggnog, dates, and a high alcohol nose. It tastes sweet more toffee than honey, with a hint of hops, raisins, plums and a hint of molasses. It definitely goes down dangerously smooth for 14%! Now, I have had this beer before, I even served it at my own Holiday Tastings because I like it so much. But to have it served out of a 3L? That's pretty amazing. Not to mention how much smoother it smelled and tasted.

 653 characters

Photo of hozersr
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IDrinkAllot
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look = Dark amber in color with a rapidly disappearing 1 cm of head.

Smell = The aroma is filled with the smell of malt and raisins with a pleasant touch of alcohol vapor and no hop's.

Taste = It has a very dark rich malt and syrup flavor with a slight warming alcohol finish. In many ways it tasted like a mellow barley wine.

Feel = Thick and oily with only light carbonation. Though its 2010 and the bottle is from 2005 so it might have lost some fizz (At the liquor store I had to wipe a huge coating of dust off these bottles before I could even see what kind of beer it was) .

Drink = For such an ostensibly heavy beer it has incredible drink ability. It is hardy yet some how not filling, but maybe that's because it is 14% alcohol so you don't need many before it is time to call it a night.

 803 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Just poured this into my Thomas Hardy's Goblet. I have to say I am a little intimidated with this beer being 14% and all. I have had bigger beers but I am not really sure what style this beer is and am not sure what to expect. It's listed as a Doppelbock but certainly doesn't look like one. Hmmmm...well see.

Pours with a copperish body with dark purple and burgundy highlight. Fast pour yielded nothing but bubbles and a small ring around the glass. No lacing either but a nice color on this one. Looks odd but really interesting.

Smells deep and exotic. Alcohol is really hidden in the aroma. Smells very sweet with cherries and figs hidden in the aroma.

This will have you naked and running down the street in a hurry! This is a huge beer! But, it goes down so smooth and tastes so refined. Tastes sweet like a fine port. An after dinner sipper for sure. Very malty woven with some deep fruit flavors, toffee, vanilla and alcohol.

For being 14% the alcohol is apparent but hidden very well. Nice warming mouthfeel and it feels heavy in the mouth. Now I am wondering what this is doing to my stomach.

Damn this is potent stuff...wow...

I might suggest splitting this with someone.

 1,204 characters

Photo of prwill00
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

When you get one of these let it set in the wine cellar for a couple of years. The flavors become much more complex

116 characters

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer poured a dark brown / dark copper with tones of black and dark ruby with minimal head, that barely laced glass.

Smell: Strong tones of dark fruit, figs, grapes, plums etc, with a final strong note of alcohol which smacks the pallate even further. This beer smells big with overall good fruit tones.

Taste: This beer upfront is very sweet. The tones of the dark fruit are extremely present and blow up in the mouth. Towards the end , this beer heats up and warms one's mouth with strong alcohol notes as it finishes, Overall this beer is well balanced with a strong alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Along with this beer's bigness, it is also thick and oily in the mouth.. Quite a complex texture to this beer which matches it's strong attributes of alcohol and fruit. The finishing heat to this beer adds a nice finish..

Drinkability: For such a big beer this goes down pretty easily. You can def tell its a strong beer, but the fruit tones and heat from the alcohol help to hide any harshness.

 1,022 characters

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mavbrew
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at The Lazy Boy Saloon in White Plains, NY. Excellent place to go if you're ever in the area. Bartender indicated that it was a vintage 2008.

A: Poured into a tulip. Color is an amber/dark honey with a massive tan head that slowly dissipates.

S: The smell is very sweet, but a resemblance to soy sauce was definitely apparent. Hints of brown sugar and honey.

T: The taste is much like the smell, minus the soy sauce. It is very sweet, but not too sweet. There is a honey flavor with some caramel malts and brown sugar.

M: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Very crisp and sweet feel throughout.

D: For being 14% ABV, there is hardly any trace of alcohol. This beer is smooth and sweet and delicious. Ages well and I will be in search for a bottle for myself.

 777 characters

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled dated 2008.

Pours a crystal clear ruby brown with off white lacing that just melts down the sides of the glass.

Alcohol upfront on the nose, followed by a fruity blast of figs, stewed apricots, pears, and ends malty with hints of toasted sugar.

Rich, medium bodied, and the alcohol is surprisingly well masked, only leaving behind a pleasant warmth that lingers in the throat well into the finish. Sticky bright fruits, with toffee caramel malt; approaching cloyingly sweet but thankfully the brakes were put on before the point of no return with some very faint bitterness on the back end.

Medium to low carbonation with an oily feel on the tongue. A very well crafted Doppelbock.

 693 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BOD 2013. Pours a beautiful clear medium amber with a rich dark ruby cast. Exceptional head volume, lacing and retention for 14% alcohol. Rich nose of dark fruit (plum, raisin, date), caramel, and brown sugar over a rum like alcohol base. Full bodied with a thick creamy texture that is also oily slick, simply superb. Below normal carbonation with just a touch of effervescence in the finish. The flavor profile is intense, not very balanced (sweetness predominates) and complex. It begins with an assault of dark fruit (plum and raisin mostly) against a very rich sweet caramel malt background. In the middle, the dark fruits fade rapidly while the sweetness blends with a rum like alcohol. Sweetness and rum slowly fade into the finish where a bit of hop bitterness is evident. It leaves you with a surprisingly light alcohol burn at the back of the throat over a lingering sweetness with notes of rum. At room temperature, the rum flavor becomes quite pronounced as does the burn.

This one is hard to review. The first sips are world class (4.6 on the first pass), but after 10 ounces or so over 45 minutes, the sweetness becomes a bit annoying and I have the 750 bottle! So in goes a wine cap and back in the fridge this one goes.

 1,250 characters

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 2,075 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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