Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

very good
2,053 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

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Ratings: 2,053 |  Reviews: 1,101
Photo of Sammy
2.94/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Way high alcohol and it smelled it. 2003 edition and in an ideal world it would have waited closer to its 2008 expiry date. Like a 100 proof. This is the Austria brewed under license and no longer the original and not all that complex. Orange-amber-yellow appearance with some lace. Some syrupy fruit mid-sip.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half finger head on a amber with golden hues clear body. No real lacing. Very spivey with nutmeg and gingerbread notes. Flavor is very sweet and syrupy with a cherry and strawberry note. Medium body and light carbonation. The reviews for this one are off the charts but for me it was too thick and syrupy and sweet. I appreciate the bock contents though.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pour for the 4th Annual LA Beer Week Beer Festival at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and lots of sweet caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild spice-like bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but quite strong.

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Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first time I had this beer I was just starting to dabble in strong beers. At the time this power house was the strongest I had ever tried. This beer poured out as a deep copper color brownish red. The head was non existent. The carbonation was good though. The smell was sweet and boozie, the taste was also semi sweet and rather bitey. Lots of dark berries and malt creating a very complex brew. Overall this beer is pretty damn tasty and rather good for the winter season.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Not sure how to feel about this beer. I've had it 3 times now and each time it was a totally different experience. Once it was awsome (directly from the distributor at a beer tasting), once it was pretty good (from the stuffed sandwich), and once it was completely disgusting (from bevmo).

The beer pours a dark red color that looks more black when not in the light. There isn't much head but the little that does show up is fairly white in color. It dissipates quickly. The beer is fairly flat.

The smell that comes out of solution is either young and possibly light struck or it is aged and sweet. When its had time to age properly it smells very rich and sweet. Partly like a doppelbock and partly like a red ale.

The taste when aged is intensely sweet, more than an english barleywine. You really have to enjoy the sugary goodness of tons of malt and alcohol. No hops to be found anywhere in this beer. There is some alcohol in the aftertaste.

Pretty light body and even though it might taste good you won't be able to drink much at a time. Wether its the sweetness or the kick, it'll get to you.

 1,106 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
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 BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A must try on tap, but a must-not drive home afterwards. Served in a brandy sniffer at my local pizza pub. The beer came out with a mild, fine carbonation and a light trace of foam atop. A very pale golden / copper color and crystal clear. The viscocity evident with a magnifying effect through the glass and shows heavy legging. Aromas of heavy, syrupy malts, ripe fruits (figs, dates, and pears) with a light nuttiness and strong maple syrup. Lightly buttery, oily and very sweet. The feel is very warm, nearly hot alcohols and a light tingle to the whole mouth. Numbing upon impact. Good beer, and a nice variety from the bottle.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, 2007, uh, 'vintage'? The label design - silver and sepia tones - looks quite cold and, well, Teutonic, and the proclamation of "The Strongest Lager Beer in the World", front and center, seems a bit overwrought and unnecessary, if you are able to just read the rest of the text right in front of you.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium orange brick amber colour, with a thin cap of bubbly beige head, which strangely takes a while to disappear, leaving no lacing whatsoever.

It smells of rather sweet fruity malt - raisins and prunes, mostly - warm toffee, mild earthy, leafy hops, and a subdued, but bristling alcohol heat. The taste is big and warm, the caramel/toffee sweetness meshing well enough with the phenolic palate hostage-taker that such a big ABV can be, with an aged dark fruity, earthy, woody maple sap, and resinous character pushing through the mire, providing barleywine/red vinous parallels in spades.

The carbonation is quite subtle, and hardly noticeable at times, the body a big and beefy, stick to your ribs kind of medium-full weight, with a smoothness that is actually patently remarkable - there is no obvious alcohol edge. Hellyeah. It finishes warm and sweet, the malt and black fruitiness lingering all the way down the rabbit hole.

A lovely sipper, methinks it would soar with a nice cigar. As for the Santa Claus theme, as well-structured and tasty a strong beer this is, I don't know that ol' Saint Nick would do well to have one of these with the requisite cookies (leaving the milk for the kiddees in the morning), and not be cited for an SUI (Sleighing Under the Influence) - ideally save it for the easy chair and roaring fire. I don't know what my problem is here, then, it being mid-summer and whatnot.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Served from a bottle into an An Brainblasta goblet in the Porterhouse Dublin. Reviewed from notes. Cost me 7.20 quid for feck's sake.

A: 2.5 finger head of fair thickness, lacking cream. Non-transparent hazy light brown colour. Nice bubble show.

Sm: Pineapple! Fermented brown sugar pineapple, a scent very similar to tepache. Alcohol.

T: Delayed pineapple and yeast body. Either unrefined or brown sugar fermentables come through. Complex, yet subtle hoppy notes. Strong taste. Built uniquely. Warms the chest. Evocative of tepache.

Mf: Nice dryness on the climax, though too coarse, holding the alcohol on the tongue, an unpleasant effect.

Dr: 7.20 is far too much for this high ABV beer. It's a sipper, and doesn't conceal its ABV well, though it's not meant to. I'd have it again in Austria if the price were right and I wanted a sipper.


02.06.15: Rereviewed.

BOTTLE: 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass. Great label art. Branded silver pry-off cap. Served cold into a pilsner glass at low altitude in Austin, TX and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

14% ABV. Reviewed live. Imported by Wetten Importers, Inc.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5-2.0 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Decent thickness/fullness/creaminess. Retention is well above average - ~3 minutes. No lacing.

BODY: Clear translucent copper-amber of average vibrance. Clean; no yeast or sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated. Not unique or special, but generally appealing.

AROMA: Biscuit malt, faint spice, graham cracker, graininess, sugarcane, heavy syrupy malt, some faint buttery notes. Vague indistinct fruit. A kiss of maple and/or birch syrup. It's a beast in terms of its malt weight, but it's not unappealing - just a lot to handle.

Aromatic intensity is moderate.

Suggests a syrupy sweet beer that needs some serious mellowing. Alcohol is definitely present, but it's not fusel or extraordinarily boozy.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Graham cracker, heavy syrupy malts, a light touch of caramel, sugarcane, indistinct vague fruit, light buttery notes, some faint maple and birch syrup...this is heavy and syrupy, with huge weight and heft on the palate. Butterscotch. It's not as honeyed as it tastes, but boy is there sweetness. Its boozy smoothness is fair for what it is, but why is it so damned thick? More complexity and nuance is needed to justify the viscosity of this brew. It's overcarbonated to boot.

Can I reiterate that this is fucking syrupy?

It's fairly shallow, and lacks enough duration and intensity of flavour. By no means a subtle brew; make no mistake, this is quite overt.

Not oily, gushed, scratchy, rough, or astringent. But it does have ample booziness.

Overall its fundamental lack of balance and relative simplicity really hold it back. I can think of many doppelbocks I prefer to this one. The fruitiness is interesting, but I can't put my finger on what exactly it is...sugarplum? Grape? What is that? It's so faint...

OVERALL: Not a chuggable brew by any stretch. I respect its place in history, and would like to one day try an original Hürlimann bottle, but the Eggenberg iteration is wanting. A boozy syrupy brew I could only justify trying again if it was bolstered by serious cellar aging. Maybe this would mellow out with age, but as is I'm struggling to enjoy it even as I give it little sips.

Probably best as an after-dinner digestif; a small shotglass size amount would be ideal.


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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eggshell foam builds up and crackles audibly, lasts for a second, then dissipates to a thin ring. The body is very high clarity, and shines a bright orange-red.

Sweet apple in the aroma with brandy vapors coming off of it. A touch of fruit cocktail behind that, leading into apple liqueur flavors. The alcohol is strong in the flavor, and warms like whiskey after the swallow. Sweet is the key word, some light caramel and apple notes, smothered under the warming alcoholic blanket. This would definitely cellar well, and would be recommended for a year or more.

It paired well with pecan pie, and i'm sure any sweet dessert would offset the alcohol a bit, making it more palatable.

2007 vintage, $6 from Vrai Amour wine shop in Chicago.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
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 dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled an '04 next to an '06.

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a small, thin, short-lived head. It left little to no lace.

S - It smelled boozy, very boozy! The 2006 version was a little more calm. There were tons of caramel malt aromas.

T - Wow, this had some powerful alcohol heat. Tons of sweet caramel taste with hints of raisin. The 2006 version was far smoother and more balanced than the 2004 edition.

M - A soft, smooth beer with a very warm alcohol heat. It was medium-bodied.

D - The '06 brew is much better tasting and much easier to drink. The older version was too over the top, but '06 was a great, smooth, powerful beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 vintage - bottle: Poured a clear light brown colored beer with a medium head with almost no retention. Aroma is reminiscent of plums with a touch of alcohol. Taste is quite sweet with again the plum taste being quite evident. Alcohol is quite subtle but still noticeable, which is quite good for a 14% beer. Overall, this is very enjoyable and can see some similarities with a good barley wine.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass; bottled in 2006. Pours fairly clear red orange color with a small foamy off white head that reduces to nothing pretty quickly. Expected for a beer of this magnitude. A decent amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of huge caramel, molasses, toffee, biscuit, raisin, plum, vanilla, toasted grain, light herbal, wood, and a touch of alcohol. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, biscuit, raisin, molasses, plum, vanilla, wood, and slight herbal. Slight herbal spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla, raisin, biscuit, and herbal on the finish for a while. Great balance of flavors with nice complexity; and no cloying sweetness at all. Light carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and thick mouthfeel that is fantastic. Alcohol is extremely well hidden at 14%, with almost no warming at all. Extremely smooth to sip on. Overall this is a delicious doppelbock at its current age. Big flavor and balance; and very smooth to sip on, with the alcohol level extremely well hidden.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,053 ratings.
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