Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

very good
2,037 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: 2,037 |  Reviews: 1,094
Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
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...

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Photo of vfgccp
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

- Special thanks to Mark for sharing an incredible, perfectly cellared, 1996 bottle of this -

A - Deep brown, black tea.

S - Toasted marshmallow, brown sugar, deep roasted almonds, light booze, chocolate chip cookies.

T - Melted milk chocolate. Very light carbonation. Boozy tingle. Soft caramel, walnut, toasted brioche, buckwheat honey. Touch of light coffee and cream.

M - Mild residual alcoholic warmth. Smooth with a medium-full body.

D - Delicious, but the booze and the sweetness take a toll on your palate. Sip and enjoy.

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Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

remember when Samichlaus was the strongest beer available. I was an early US Navy retiree & a transfer sophomore at Pitt, living at the Centre Plaza Apartments, further from campus than I liked, but close to the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium in (ahem) Shadyside, really, Slibberty. Friday nights, I would take a seat at the left end of the bar, just inside the door, now reconfigured, and be joined by two other regulars. We would routinely split the bigger, more expensive bottles just so that we could say that we tried that beer. Samiclhlaus night saw me nearly freeze to death on the way home! Let us see if I fare any better today.

From the bottle: "The World's Most Extraordinary Beverage"; "Bottled in 2014"; "Brewed only once a year on December 6, Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This specialty 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."

I Pop!ped the cap & gently decanted just enough to be able to see what was going on. A vigorous in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, soapy, tawny head that could not wait to fall away to wisps. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity & deep amber highlights. Nose was actually rather sherry-like with notes of leather, caramel, roasted chestnuts & a fusel alcohol burn that ran up into my sinus cavity & hid! Ahhhh! It burns! Mouthfeel was medium, less big than the earlier, more recent Helles, suggesting that it will thin out over time. I let it simply play over my tongue, warming as it did so. This was clearly a big, malt-driven beer with all of the sweetness that I was getting. Beyond the caramelized sugar, I also tasted leather, coconut, dried dark fruits, such as prunes & raisins as well as cherries and an amorphous nuttiness that would come and go. Phew! This will take the chill off. It really had a breadiness that made me think of B&M Brown Bread, especially the one with raisins. Have you ever had bread from a CAN? It's REALLY good, and with a schmear of cream cheese, it is even better. I like to keep a CAN on-hand just to freak out guests since most people are unfamiliar with it. This beer was that bread, liquefied. Once again, it hearkens back to my ancestral monks, brewing this beer to hold them over from pre-sunrise to post-sunset during their Lenten fast. Clearly, I am not bound by their sanctity & vows, but I can understand how this would work. Heck, I had to take a lay-down following Samichlaus Helles earlier! Perhaps I should work on an illuminated text ... In the interim, finish was hot, dry & a clear indication that patience is key with this beer. I have no doubt that years of aging will do wonders to smooth out this bad boy. See you then!

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an Ayinger Celebrator doppelbock glass.

Pours a clear bright amber-brown with very little foamy head. There is a moderate amount of sudsy, transitory lacing. The nose is unsurprisingly heavy on the dark malts, with bits of figs, brown sugar, molasses, and plums. A slight hint of booziness is also present. The taste emphasizes the brown sugar and molasses, with the figs and malts pushed back a bit, and toffee and maple syrup beginning to come through. Again, a hint of alcoholic burn is present, but not as powerful as one would expect from such a high ABV. The body is pretty hefty, with light carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Still, though, it covers the tongue very thickly, but not obtrusively, leaving a very satisfied drinker behind. Despite the ABV, this brew's drinkability stands very high, albeit more appropriate for sipping than everyday drinking.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage

A: This legendary beer is a light copper color and appears slightly hazy. The head stands in at about a quarter inch tall and leaves a few traces of lacing in its wake.

S: Malt, alcohol, dark fruit, raisins, candy. Samichlaus smells strong!

T: A tasty brew, even if it's not my favorite style or type of beer, per se. It's incredibly sweet with a very prominent alcohol presence. The beer doesn't lack flavor, though. It's very forward, with cotton candy and raisins soaked in alcohol, along with a nice malty flavor.

M: Thin to medium bodied with a large and in charge alcohol presence.

D: Best in small quantities. Half a bottle is more than enough. Two or three ounces would have been sufficient.

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Photo of Gkruszewski
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
2.5/5  rDev -37.3%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2010
Pours a deep clear medium copper color with faint hints of orange at the edges. A seemingly endless stream of carb bubbles rise to the surface creating an off white head that persists forever. The smell is quite sweet with wafting aromas of prunes, plums, burnt sugar, caramel, and sweet candy sugar. There's a hint of alcohol in there as well but at 14% I imagined there would be and it seems well integrated. The taste is quite sweet and syrupy. Candied and burnt sugars are up first followed by light bits of dark fruits then a bit of wet cardboard and a long lingering warming alcohol in the finish. Thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet sticky syrupy mouthfeel. I enjoyed this one, but it is a big beer and definitely a sipper. Not something I would drink often, but nice to try.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The World's Most Extraordinary Beer Well, let's see if this beer lives up to it. It pours a very deep ruby amber brown hue, with little or practically no head ( probably due to the 14% by volume). Aroma contains hints of caramel, or toffee along with some mild fruit aroma possibly figs. Taste is very astringent with alcohol, and it tends to mellow with flavors of a fruity sweetness from the malt. The body of this beer sits at the consistency of a light syrup. I believe it helps carry the flavor and aroma very well. Definitely a complex selection, and for my first beer from Austria I am very impressed. Overall, this is no session beer, however I find it pretty drinkable and enjoyable. Not a beer I would push upon everyone, but this is a beer that does deserve to be sampled very rich in taste and brings much warmth to the body. This one was bottled in 2001.

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Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2000. Brown 11.2 oz bottle into a matching Samichlaus snifter. The brew pours a dark mahogany color with a thin cap that is yellowish-tan. The cap dissolves fairly quickly leaving some fine bubbles and faint carbonation that rises to the surface. When held to the light, the brew shows a brilliant ruby clarity through the body. A swirl really doesn't release many bubbles but it does show some legs of alcohol that slowly fade down the sides of the glass.

The nose of this brew is all burnt sugars. It is a mixture of cocoa, licorice, raisins and plums with a bit of darkness like molasses. The alcohol is present which provides almost a mild vinous touch across the back. For being 12+ years old, I was really expecting some oxidation to be present here and surprisingly there is none to be found in the aromatics.

The taste is earthy and sticky with a flavoring of molasses. The alcohol is not hidden at all, the 14% abv comes out in full force with a minor touch of dark fruity alcohol like prunes/dates. I pick up on a slight touch of herbal hops that boasts a mild level of bitterness which some sips does a nice job contrasting the residual sweetness but other sips it is almost completely absent. Some sips bring out a bit of cocoa/unsweetened bitter chocolate character that eludes to the most minor note of cardboard-like oxidation however I might be stretching here to find this considering the brew is 12 years old and I was expecting this to be more prominent than it is.

This is a full bodied brew that is thick and chewy. The alcohol is right out in the open here with a solid warming factor and mild fruity flavoring. The layers of burnt sugars are the main component of this brew. I have no doubt this brew can be aged for quite a bit more time. It is significantly different than I remember having this fresh on draft in its own unique way. If you haven't had this brew yet, what are you waiting for?

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Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.82/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


A - Dark brown/amber almost chocolate syrup. Viscous and deep with almost no light passing through. No head at all. A rich molasses body, coating the glass like cough syrup.

S - Very sweet nose with aromas of dark and brown sugar, creme brulee, caramel, burnt toffee, brown raisins, dried figs and a spiced sweet alochol arising from the beer. Smells sweet, malty and luscious.

T - This beer is pretty much perfect. Love nectar. A giant meld of flavors on the palate. A deep, rich, syrupy-malty body with tastes of molasses, dark toffee, dried dark fruits, brown sugar, varied fruit sugars, dark syrup and a sweet and dark alcohol. You can tell this is a strong beer but the alcohol is sweet, soft and aged to perfection. Flavors of a digestivo or winter warmer evident here. (i.e. sherry or brandy)

M - One of the slickest, smoothest, softest beers I have ever consumed. Full bodied but in no way overpowering, this brew easily glides from your lips to your stomach, massaging you all the way. The faintest carbonation sits in the background. The finish is slightly dry and so sweet and refined.

O - Easily one of my favorite beers fresh, this 2000 vintage stopped me in my tracks. This was a steal, I was able to grab 3 bottles of this for next to nothing. This brew changes from year to year and the different flavors and notes can be tracked, finding new levels of complexity. Find this beer and drink it fresh, vintage or age some yourself.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


It's not too often you get to try something as nice as this. Real full raisin flavor on there with a sweetness that lasts. Smooth feel with a low carbonation. Really a pleasure to drink. Get a bunch and lay them down. This is a prime example of how good a beer can be if you give it some time to age.

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Photo of rab53
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of smakawhat
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Pilsner style glass. Bottled in 2009?? woah I missed that part!

Very foamy off white to light caramel colored head. Some retention. A very nice colored body of perfect brown chestnut with lots of rising carbonation and sticky cola like bubbles on the glass. Head falls somewhat quickly.

Nose is a real big rush. Mild sticky toffee with a light little malt sense in the background. Kind of airy. Nice

Taste, holy carp this is sweet as all get out. Ridiculous brown sugar rush and toasted caramelized sugar on the palate. Luckily not a real big syrupy body for the mouthfeel, and not a trace of alcohol heat or booze. Taste is almost vinous and with a sense of after dinner liquer.

Overall real special drink. Unfortunatly for myself this is way too sweet for my tastes, this really could use a food pairing I think. But I sure wouldn't turn one down, got to be in the right mood for this one I think.

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Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.3%

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

Enjoyable to try this classic on tap at Ludwig's Garden in Philly. Pours dark honey almond, and cloudy with a minor light tan head and fine but minimal lacing. Nose of some smoke and also a wiff of cognac/brandy. Strong, tasty and vinious brew. notes of molasas, roasted woody malts, peat, brandy, cloves and cinnamon. World class nightcapper/sipper.

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Photo of jwc215
4.87/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2002 Vintage - bought at Oak Tree Discount in S. Plainfield - the last of it - sorry...

Heaven in a bottle. After the first few sips, I grabbed some chocolate that a friend brought back from Sweden. Wow.

Poured a very dark amber with a white head that rapidly disappeared (probably due to its high abv - still a beautiful color).
The smell was very powerful - sweet and complex, it had aromas of chocolate, toffee, and a fruity mix, with a noticeable touch of alcohol.
It tasted just as wonderful as it smelled. The chocolate, toffee, and fruitiness were wonderfully blended. It was very complex and delicious. With each sip, the complexities and characters became more pronounced. If I could give the taste higher than a five, I would!
It is certainly a sipping beer more than a session brew. It had the texture of a fine cognac. I have a 2005 vintage stored away - wonder how long I can hold off...

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Photo of Lare453
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.42/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2001 bottling, 2003 drinking. The last time I had this was the 2000 edition, with label proclaiming "Das Starkste Bier Der Welt", Guinness Book of World Records. This one says "The World's Most Extraordinary Beer". Utopia and World Wide Stout have robbed them of the former claim, and as for the latter boast...
Color is clear and dark red, with a small, dunnish, and vanishing head. Aroma is enormous: on first cracking the crown, it leaps out of the bottleneck and pervades the room. So let's get a closer sniff...
Deep, heady, woody, burnt, huge with alcohol, brimming with brandy, cognac, rum characteristics, along with cherries, licorice...but overpowering the flavor is the heat, searing and fierce. Powerful impact on the palate, the tongue feels burnt on first taste! Is this something I want in a beverage? This bier does travel smoothly down the throat, to say the least! Not nearly finished with the bottle, I can feel my senses dying off, utterly destroyed by this bier's impact!
I love a barleywine, and hold strong stouts dear to me, but in this one, there was too much sauce and no meat! I can't comment on the flavor, for all I could taste was the booze!
Perhaps it was too early to drink, and I'd have better luck with a properly vintage bottling.

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Photo of 22Blue
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,037 ratings.
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