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 fatmcb1
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured into a wine glass

Amber pour with a finger of off white head that quickly disappears.

Smell is of dark fruit, sugar, caramel, and alcohol.

Taste follows the noise. This is a malt bomb. Tons of caramel and sugar are all over. Dark fruit is also dominant - raisins, cherry, grape, and figs. Alcohol provides some warming, but this doesn't seem as strong as 14%.

Carbonation has held up well. Very thick, chewy, and rich.

I will definitely seek out this beer in the future, and hope to enjoy it at various ages. It is one of the most drinkable beers I have tried at this level of ABV. Great doppelbock!

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Photo of ThaCreep
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

However, deep copper color with golden highlights. No foam. Malt aroma, ripening brown and alcohol, but are not ubiquitous. It feels as melted caramel and strawberries that come in addition, enhance the fruity beer which released already flavors of plums and dried figs.

The entry on the palate is much easier than you might imagine for a beer of this ABV - alcohol, although this remains firmly under control and there is no intrusive, unlike Bush Amber beer such as Dubuisson - but the aftertaste leaves the brew express its power and warms the palate, leaving the flavor of good old Scotch whiskey.

Beer remarkable for its ABV surprisingly digestible and tastes amazing.

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Photo of camil1mj
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage poured at cellar temp into my Founders snifter.

A: This looks like ice tea. Even the head does. I did not expect it to look like this.

S: Sweet, sweet booze.

T: Tastes like a very sweet and liquory barleywine. I like it.

M: Thin with a good amount of carbonation.

O: Great sipper for a cold night. Will be buying some more of this.

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Photo of Derranged
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Samichlaus Bier tulip of sorts. Label reads: "Bottled in 2009".

A- Dark amber brown with very thin white head.

S- A bit sour and boozy. Burns the nostrils a little. Very sweet; brown sugar and molasses.

T- Very sweet, caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, almost like a boozy cola. A tad sour, super malty with alcohol burn.

M- Thick flat and syrupy. Leaves a slight burn in the throat and numbs the lips.

O- This was an interesting beer but not great. Next time I'll try a fresher one.

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

Uh, sugar beer? Wow. My bottle was bottled in 2007, bought (obviously) in 2011 - it was the only one on the shelf, and it had never been there before, so I had to try it.
Hard to review because it is quite unlike any other beer I've ever had.
Purchased a new bottle (2010 bottling) for comparison.

A: Looked like the color of any other dark ale - made me think of some barleywines and grand crus I've had. But no head whatsoever. No lacing. Orange-brown. The head around the inside edge of the glass (all that there was of a head) was a thin white stripe. Motes of lace slid back down into the drink immediately.

S: coffee, toffee, maple, sugar. Reminds me of pastries and bourbon.

T: sweet. I have had sweet beer before - bourbon county stout, imperial whites and imperial stouts, some others - but all those had a syrupy, thick, rich, almost nutritious feel - this was like, brown sugar water. I didn't taste the alcohol at all, but based on the number of typos I've been correcting as I've typed, uh, the alcohol is obviously there. (Starting to think I should leave the typos in to show you). Noticed that more flavors and aromas were present in the 2010 bottle than the 2007 bottle. Both equally sweet, neither harsh, obviously, but the 2010 bottle had a teensy bit of bit/astringency, whereas I don't recall any from the 2007 bottle.

M: Thin. Watery. Light. No carbonation to speak of. An unusual brew. I could totally see drinking this at Christmas in Austria around a fire with pastries and treats. I mean, it is like drinking (I have no other frame of reference) maple sugar water - not like anything else I've tried.

O: In retrospect as I compare the two bottles, and in light of the many good beers I've had between the two, I would say this beer is worth trying, but a little too watery/sweet for my tastes. I like the idea of this beer more than the drinking of it.

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

pours a nice clear brown-amber color, almost no head that fades really quick.

smell slightly sour - has malt, grapes/wine aromas.

taste is very sweet, strong, and alcoholic at first. gets more drinkable about half way through.

overall pretty enjoyable. flavors are a little overpowering at times but definitely can appreciate it.

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Photo of MeatHunter
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was turned onto this brew by one of the managers at our liquor store a few days ago. Said it was the most unique, rarest brew on earth lol. Open one last night. Like most reviews I've read on this, I would say that letting it age further would be in order. That said, this one was bottled in 2010. A bit sweet for my liking but grew on me the more I sipped. Alcohol bite on the backside was there but not bad. I can see this being a very good brew for one of them cold Minnesota nights. Going to take the 3 other bottles I have and store them for a couple years to age and mellow.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml poured into a snifter. The label reads "Bottled in 2009". Still may a bit young for this one...

A- Pours a slightly murky mahogany color with a thin white head that fades quickly. Some wispy lacing left behind.

S- Candy sugar sweet aroma with notes of red wine and dark fruits.

T- Sweet malt flavor initially with plenty of alcohol in the finish. Lots of brown sugar, dark malt, raisins, and caramel syrup. Little to no hop presence. I could definitely see this being called a dessert beer.

M- Medium/full bodied with a sticky feel on the palate.

O- It would take a sweet tooth to get one of these down. Thankfully, I'm up to the task. A very interesting brew.

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Photo of Brunite
2.28/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: A dark ruby/garnett color. Head disappeared quickly as expected. Alcohol legs showing.

S: Sweet....alcohol.

T: Sweet....alcohol.

M: Sticky...alcohol burn.

O: Drain pour. One and done. Tried it and did not like. Don't understand the hype. If I want strong alcohol...I'll take a rum or tequila.

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Photo of fastd03
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Samichlaus classic is my second favorite beer I've had. A friend bought it so that we could sample a few of his favorite beers. I have a personal inkling for stronger beers, but there's a tendency of many to truly taste alcoholic in order to up the ABV. Samichlaus is certainly strong, but it manages to be little more alcoholic-tasting than an equivalent doppel with an ABV of just 8 or 9. Moreover, it has a delicious sweetness that was an absolute delight to my taste buds!

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Photo of claytong
3.43/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 bottle

appearance - a dark wood in color. head was small

smell - not much going on besides the malt. a bit of wet wood.

taste - more malt, what a surprise? nothing very nice either. bland. wheres anything bold from 14 percent?

mouthfeel - very drinkable for 14 percent. hardly noticed the alcohol, light bodied and not too cloying.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.04/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours an amber color w/ a one finger head that disappears almost instantaneously. This beer is extremely easy to see through, and doesn't really look like a 14% ABV brew.

S- Not getting a lot here- mostly just some roasted malt that's on the weak side. Definitely the weak spot of this brew. Definite disappointment.

T- Wow. I've had this brew in the past and really liked it. Not sure if they changed the recepie, but this doesn't taste as potent. Some malt, and alcohol, and almost a dishwater like taste that I don't remember before. Nothing more than average on this beer.

M- Very syrup like in feel, almost like cold medicine. Nothing more than average here.

O- Really disappointed in this beer. Had it before and it's been really good. This was very average. Can't really recommend this beer unless you just want to drink a 14% beer.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip. 2009 vintage.

(A)- Pours a deep mahogany color. Produced some tan froth.

(S)- Rum/Bourbon soaked raisin, fig, and prune aromas. Subtle bits of a toasty caramel.

(T)- Just like the smell. Booze soaked dark fruits with a warm and malty finish.

(M)- A slick, almost oily carbonation feel. Extremely sweet with a potent boozy heat.

(D)- I can definitely see how this will really shine with a large number of years worth of age under its belt. Having this fresh definitely tells me this will last for decades with no problem; I look forward to finding out.

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Photo of rwmiscik
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a clear brown color with a hint or red in there. Had a smell of booze and sweetness. It tasted very sweet and very alcoholic and i would say with a few years of age on it this beer will be phenomenal but right out of a fresh bottle it is too sweet and needs to mature.

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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 SouthFLBeerLover
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes: I was given one bottle of this beer by a friend of mine to see how I like it, since he did not care for it at all. The beer that I'm reviewing below was bottled in 2007, so it has aged 3.5 years. According to the label the beer becomes more complex as it ages.

A: Dark brown color. Produces a very tiny white head with little lacing

S: Smell is dominated by extremely sweet malt syrup smell with some roasted nuts and nutmeg overtones.

T: This is an extremely sweet, malty tasting beer that has no hops to mention present. The taste is so sweet in fact that one can only drink one of these slowly on occassion. Molasses are almost overwhelming, but one gets used to the rather unique taste of this beer, when sipping it over longer period of time. I can see this as an alternative to sweet liqueur, to be sipped during the Holidays in front of a burning fireplace (not a very common sight here in S. Florida) The alchol taste is definately there, which should be no suprise to anyone, since the ABV is 14%. I'd say that this is a dessert beer, because I can't imagine any dish that this beer would go well with.

M: Very light carbonation, small bubbles and creamy. Full-bodied.

O: Way too sweet for my taste and not aromatic enough. However, I think it has it's place in the beer universe as a winter beer (in cold climates, here in S. Florida it would be a stretch) that you enjoy slowly in front of a burning fireplace.

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

330mL beer (bottled 2009) poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Mahogany to dark coppery orange color with bubbles moving up slowly through the clear beer. Poured a light tan head, but this dissipated quickly and left the faintest of rings at the edge. No lacing. Nice color.

Smell: Sweet, dark fruits, grape, brandy, and strong alcohol notes. Smells much like a high ABV doppelbock would be expected to.

Taste: Sweet malt and grape/plum flavors up front, then a warming alcoholic finish. No bitterness at all. Malt forward and at times more like a fine liquor rather than a beer. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: Thick, smooth and creamy. The barest of carbonation present but the absence of carbonation works really well here.

Overall / Drinkability: I was thinking of holding this until July for a goofy "Christmas in July!" theme, but for whatever reason, I wanted it tonight 6 months from Christmas, even though Dec. 6 is the real date for this beer. And in a way I wish I had held onto this beer until the Winter. It's definitely a beer for sipping and warming one's self, and slowly enjoying over the course of an evening. I suspect it's this brew that keeps St. Nick mellow over the course of his gift giving, and maybe even keeps the Krampus in line. It's a very smooth beer with a nice alcoholic kick to it, one solely for savoring and passing the night with. While I think I could handle 400mL of this beer rather than 330mL, one bottle is enough. It's too powerful to have more than one, and in a way if I had more than one, I'd think I was missing the special point of this beer. I can see from reading this I'm rambling, but this is a beer that's made me ponder it a bit, and for that, overall I'm giving it a five. It's not amazing from a smell or appearance, but it really grows on you and makes you realize this is one special brew.

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Photo of scbrew
2.96/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear Redish Brown with a light tan head. Very musty aroma that turned to sweet as the beer sat for a while. May have been an old bottle. Very sweet and alcoholic took me a while to get through it. Too sweet for my taste. At 14% alcohol...sounds like truth serum to me.

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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 Raven3464
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark red, light brown tone with little carbonation.

Smell: Smells like fresh melons and cookie dough. Oddly, the high alcohol content is not noticeable.

Taste: Sweet! This really could be labeled alcoholic candy. Seriously, this beer is like a wine cooler on steroids. It starts out with a sweet candy taste and ends with a slight burn from the high ABV. Along there way I caught a hint of dark fruits, notably raisin.

Mouth feel: It's full-bodied with an abrasive aftertaste from the high ABV. Oddly enough though, the aftertaste grows on you as the beer warms.

Overall: A very good beer. The alcohol is not as well hidden as it could be and so the aftertaste will likely turn off those who cannot handle stronger drinks. Other than that this is a good take on the style.

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Photo of KajII
3.32/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Dimpled Mug]

Poured a medium brown with a slight red hue around the edges and a small white fizzy head with no lacing to speak of. The aroma was heavy with the scent of toasted malts, a mild resin hop and a soapy yeast with notes of dried fruit (raisins and plums) and a strong does of alcohol. It tasted very sweet and a little acidic with almost a wine characteristic from the dried fruit from start to finish with a real warming sensation from the high alcohol content at the end. Mouthfeel was light to medium in body and dry in texture with a medium carbonation. Overall a very boozy brew, a little more than I would have liked.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark/burnt brown with a ruby coloring. Almost no head. Just some traces of bubbles. The nose is very strong with a big amount of caramel malty sweetness that is balanced with the alcohol well. A lot of darker fruit flavors. Some deep red grapes and candied plums. The taste is very sweet and malty but also with a big amount of alcohol on the finish. Thick boozy body so it takes a while to drink.

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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 OldIronLungs
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed in 2007. Poured into my Duvel tulip a garnet amber. Zero head, only a bubble or two willing to fight against the alcohol. A doppelbock? Definitely. A whopperbock? Looks like it.

Nose is huge - dark fruits; plums, cherries, raisins and figs, burnt caramel, sweet bread.

Wow, this is impressive. Super sweet but not overwhelming, delicate and syrupy but doesn't linger unpleasantly. Caramel, rich dark berries, honey, some earthy clove spiciness. Ever so light carbonation builds a really nice texture tumbling across the tongue. A little bit of heat at the end, but I was really taken by just how hidden it was throughout the sip. Letting it warm just brings out a lightly burnt heat and the flavors just continue to pop.

I think it lived up to its own hype. It's big and sweet but so easy to sip. It reminds me of port, it's better than dessert, it's an evening's companion and a night ender otherwise. I will endow this beer to my son upon his birth, then reclaim them from him on his 5th, 8th and 10th birthdays. Can't call it just a doppelbock in good conscience. Truly a treat.

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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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