Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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1,079 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: 1,079 | Ratings: 1,990
Photo of frasergrove
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed a 10 year old Jeroboam of this for our buddy's bachelor party nightcap (with a large group of friends). Poured a medium hazel amber with no head. Rich nutty aroma with surprisingly little toffee oxidation. Super super smooth and full taste, very drinkable for the level of abv. A delicious treat

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in 2014 so it was brewed on 25th december 2013
Oh boy that's heavy both in mouthfeel and alcohol

L - clear amber no head

S - Caramel, dates, light herbal hops, a bit boozy

T - Follow the smell, but a lot more on the date, sweet sweet sweet. Good aftertaste that lingers. Spicy alcohol

F - smooth and thick

O - a good beer, boozy but not that much for the high ABV, a real sipper

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Photo of josanguapo
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From elcervecero. In Teku glass. Playing South Park Stick of Truth. The alcohol is noticeable in the taste but not in negative way but in a warming one. Has every good thing of a doppelbock

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Photo of Czequershuus
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a very gorgeous pale reddish brown, with a modest head. The clarity of the beer is worth mentioning, as it really does make for a gorgeous looking specimen. The nose is resplendent with caramel, toffee, fudge, and banana. There are side notes of coffee and fig as well. There is only a tiny touch of booze on the nose, impressive for the ABV. The flavor is exceedingly rich with banana bread, caramel roll, raisin, sweet rich milk chocolate - it is a delicious combo of fulsome sweet bread flavors and restrained fruit - reminds me of pomegranate molasses as well. The mouthfeel is full and rich, lightened somewhat by ever present carbonation. Overall this is a treat of a beer - decadently rich and certainly sweet, but never cloying. I can see why this is regarded as such a classic.

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Photo of Dzu
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Brown, transparent with a no foam head.
S: Malty, wines and sweet.
T: Caramel, licorice.
F: High ABV well hidden in start but a little boozy in finish. Nice aftertaste.
O: Too sweet for me and not so impressive. May be need to age it more.

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Photo of Beginner2
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
Listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", my review and possible re-rating comes after I Have this again.

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Photo of mncoinman
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Good medium munich malt aroma on opening. Pours a reddish - medium brown in color. Fairly subtle head. Good carbonation upon imbibing. More so than an average doppelbock. I suspect the carbonation does a good job of masking the high level of alcohol in this brew (and it works). Taste runs a little bit on the sweet side for a doppel. Leaves a noticeably warm feeling in the tummy. This beer is better than any eisbock I've does a good job of mellowing out the alcohol into a rather tasty brew. I doubt I would have more than one at a sitting, but this is a really solid choice for warming up the soul on a cold day (too bad I am in Florida right now).

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Photo of Mongrel
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage.

Pours a beautiful deep amber with hints of purple and a surprisingly fluffy, creamy white head.

The nose is bursting with sweet, bright fruity notes. Macerated berries, caramel, vanilla and faint booze. Smells like a fine liqueur.

Taste is sweet, as expected, but also incredibly deep and nuanced. I don't know where to begin - it's like blueberry cobbler with creamy vanilla ice cream. Grapes, golden raisins, prunes, clove and pie spice.

Mouthfeel is round and creamy but surprisingly light on the palate.

Overall, an incredibly well honed lager that doesn't begin to hint at the HUGE abv. Drinks more like a 8-9% weizenbock with about double the flavor. In a word - awesome. In another word - dangerous.

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Photo of davidperez
4.69/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I know this is a beer highly recommended for extended cellaring, and I am cellaring two; yet I am having right now this bottle with only one year of age to check it out somewhat young and compare afterwards.

Served in a snifter, it pours a dark copper, clear, with some red glare, which is enchanting. The head is short and has low retention.

The bouquet is powerful. Very assertive and complex. Caramel, molasses, cherry, wood, liquor as in rum, slightly biscuity.

Ok, I guess this beer could use some more years, it does feel flat. Samichlaus gives you one thrust of sweetness, which I felt less complex than the aroma, and then it fades somewhat slowly. It seems as if all the aromas blended in the flavor to form one particular sweetness reminiscent of syrup and booze, it is harder to discern the flavors. Rum, molasses and caramel.
Surprisingly for the ABV and the initial sweetness onslaught, this beer's aftertaste is mild and not very long. The mouthfeel is that of a spirit.

I wouldn't have this beer this young again. However, I'm eager to see how Samichlaus tastes with 3 or 5 years on it.

Just had an older bottle after a good amount of months of keeping up the tastings. Palates develop with time, and so does a good beer like this one.
World class beer for sure.
Wood, nuts, coffee, plums and honey add to an already complex lager, whose finish is definitely long.
An aggressive flavor with depth and elegance.

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Photo of FLima
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This has been maturing for a few years (bottled in 2011); last I had it was much younger. I expect this to be better.
Copper very reddish color with a thin head that short lived.
Nice and potent Doppelbock aroma with notes of prunes, brandy, lots of cinnamon, red fruits, caramel and toasted malts, some dark chocolate, wood and bread crust.
Sweet flavor with notes of pudding with lots of caramel, slightly burnt chocolate, red and dark fruits, licorice, apple puree, mild herbal hops, cloves, brown sugar and/or molasses, cinnamon, rum and coconut. Dry aftertaste with a lingering sweet malty and a pleasant alcoholic feeling.
Liquorish body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 14% feels much lower and gives a subtle warming sensation.
Definitely a sipper and a complex Doppelbock. Sweet, but not really cloying given good attenuation. I recommend to age this.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into lager glass.
Pours clearest dark copper beer with 2-finger beige head, moderate retention.
Smell - sweet malty, caramel, cake, dried fruits, honey, dates.
Taste - sweet, rum, dark fruits, caramel again.
Full syrupy body, soft carbonation, slick.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown and amber color. Minimal head soon dissipates and leaves a really thin lacing that soon dies out.
The aroma is sweet; initially there is a chocolate and toffee like malt sweetness. One also feels the rum like alcohol in the nose. As the drink progresses, there is a grainy and toasted bread like smell.
The taste is sweet. Normally I do not like beers that are overly sweet, however, this one somehow gets away with it. Sweet malts and dark fruits predominate. The alcohol warming is subtle but really hits you hard. It reminds me of a combination of sherry, rum and port wine. In the finish, there is booze and a hint of hops buttering.
This is certainly a full bodied sipper due to the high ABV, however, the feel is slightly less than full and scarily drinkable. Do not drink this and drive!
As I said, normally I do not like sweet and boozy brews, however, this one felt different. I would love to have this again on a cold and snowy winter night in front of a fireplace.

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Photo of sherillc
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous red/amber colour. Aromas of fruitcake, cherries, raisins, honey, very sweet on the nose. A sweet beer - a dessert unto itself. Flavour reminds me of treacle (molasses) candy a bit. Stewed prunes, honey. Delicious in small quantities.

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Photo of KennethBlomqvist
2.89/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

My GF was hunting for something nice in Systembolaget and found this on the limited edition shelf. She bought 4 bottles and hid it. On New Years Eve she brought it up and told me she got something rare and we shared one. Was a bit overwhelmed by its taste and the musty aroma of bit everything. This is a beer that I wont taste again this year and after spoken to a guy about it he almost got tears in his eye and asked If I got more. Told him that I got 3 bottles left and he told me to wait a least couple of years before I open another one. Apparently its gets better after some years. Maybe this review will change then.

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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 floridadrift
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 Vintage

L: Like blood, amber hues
S: Sugar whifs, chocolate malt, wood
T: Super sweet but drinkable, compared to it fresh. Some heat, which is hidden well.
F: Oily
O: I drink one of these every once in a while with some age on it. Can be a real tooth acher.

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Photo of Chris_r2112
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oh boy, 14%. This one should be fun.

Appearance: a nice amber/brownish colour. Almost no head or retention. No lacing on the glass whatsoever.

Smell: Wow, this beer smells sweet! Its like getting smacked in the face with apples and cherries. It is also apparent that Samichlaus is aged, as it smells slightly of wood and whiskey.

Taste: This beer surprisingly hides its 14% ABV very well. Like the aroma, this is exceptionally sweet. I'm getting strong apples, cherries, light brown sugar. There is some licorice in there as well. Call me crazy, but I am also detecting light hints of rye whiskey. Beer gets slightly boozier as it warms.

Feel: Light-Medium body. VERY little carbonation, which is to be expected considering this beers ABV. The factor that bumped the feel of this beer from a 3.25 to a 3.5 was the lovely warming sensation caused by the alcohol content.

This is the strongest beer I've ever tried, and it is definitely interesting. This beer carries itself very well compared to other boozy brews, with complex hints of apples and cherries. I could see myself picking this one up again when its brewed next year.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this out of a bottle from a buddy (he shared)

Smells of molasses and black Licorice, figs or cherries

Taste is of anise, sweet licorice, malts...the alcohol is barely detectable

Feel is medium bodied and creamy.

Overall this beer tasted great

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Photo of CoreyC
4.86/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2013 11.2 oz bottle
A Light head, very unique cooper/amber color. Looks like Vin Santo.
S Brandied cherries. Light but nice.
T Smooth and sweet. Spiked fruit - delicous. Tastes like a very finely aged beer (was already over two years old when I bought it) in terms of the sweet sherry like flavors.
M Nice, light and clean for the sweerness.
O Excellent. If you like malt/fruit/sweet beers, it doesn't get better.

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Photo of rarigney
4.71/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottling of a 25.4 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass. Initial impression, very sweet, very boozy. Tastes of dark fruity sweetness. My first sample of Samichlaus Classic, but I'm glad I stashed one for next Christmas.

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Photo of EMV
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. 2014 edition served in January 2016.

L: Pours a clear deep reddish amber color. Thin off-white head with nice lacing.

S: Malts and honey. Boozy and sweet.

T/F: This drinks like a warm caressing slap in the face if that makes any sense. Dark sugars and sticky malts up front. Rum and honey.. raisins and caramel. Boozy for sure... then warm and fuzzy at the finish. Low carbonation as you'd expect from a brew this powerful.

O: All I can say is 'wow' and unlike just about anything else you're likely to come across. A slow sipper... best at cellar temperature, and just so much going on to enjoy with this one. This is a case that I won't be working through any time soon... and very glad to have it for some vertical tastings in years to come. Snag it if you can find it.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2007 vintage, poured into a snifter. The beer is a muddled, brown coloring, with a low profile, creamy colored head. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and apple. Amazingly layered and balanced. The flavors are apple and old world fruit forward, with highlights of sugar, brown sugar, molasses, and earthy notes. Very layered and dynamic. The body is smooth and surprisingly light, with a layered aftertaste of old world fruit, rich and sweet notes, and booze. The finish is rich, smooth, and layered. Solid beer, and really holds up well to aging.

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Photo of rbelcher1959
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer to me is almost like a honey mead. My wife and I agree that there is a slight mead taste to this beer.Reddish brown color with almost no head. The alcohol level is high with this one 14%. We like it as an after dinner sipper

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

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at room temperature.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep hickory brown, shot through with cherrywood red highlights. Forms nearly no head, with what does form consisting of vaguely beige bubbles which swiftly dissipate to a thick ring. No real lacing to speak of.

Smell: The aroma actually hit me at arm's length within a second of my cracking the cap! Sweetness dominates the nose, all caramel and fruits like cherries and plums. Hints of rum waft by as one enjoys the aroma, and there's an underlying base that's similar to a sticky bun or schnecken. I could smell this beer all day.

Taste: First and foremost, this is a hypersweet doppelbock, hitting the tongue like a barrage of boozy sugar. Rum and cognac are the first impression I get from the flavor profile, which are swiftly joined by notes of cherry and plum. Beneath, there's a sort of base layer of a sticky bun glazed with caramel. Something of a medicinal tone is present throughout the entire tasting process, with a sort of coppery tinge to all the other flavors present. There's also more than a little alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Light of body, yet sticky, with light carbonation and the aforementioned alcohol heat.

Overall: Quite a good doppelbock, although almost more of a treat to inhale than imbibe. For the price point, there are plenty of other doppelbocks I enjoy more, particularly given the ABV overtone that creeps in. Although, for a 14% beer, those overtones are fairly well in check.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a classic indeed! I am somewhat surprised this isn't rated higher than it is especially given the inherent generosity of BA reviewers. At 14% ABV this is right on the edge of my tolerance for big beers so I can definitely taste some alcohol heat but it is tempered and balanced. Surprisingly drinkable for the ABV. I love the smell and taste of molasses, dark fruits soaked in booze. Very malty, sweet and caramel-like.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,990 ratings.
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