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 siradmiralnelson
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into Tulip.

A. Poured 1 finger head. Moderate lacing. Ok retention. color is a amber brown.

S. Smell is pretty intense. Has a sour cherry smell. Brown sugar and maple. Raisins, plums. A little vinegar and some oak. Does have a alcohol smell as well. Very interesting malty smell.

T. Caramel, vanilla, toffee, oak, sour cherry. Very complex flavor. All kinds of malt flavors going on with this beer. Oak flavors come out all the way back on the tongue. Sweet but not overly so. 14% abv is hidden on the flavor pretty well.

M. Medium full bodied. Lingering sweetness. Medium/low carbonation.

D. Suprisingly drinkable for 14%. Very complex and interesting beer. Drinks like a barleywine/doppelbock/strong ale mix. With the complexity and alcohol this beer has it kind of pushes the boundaries of what beer can be. Very close to being a liquor.

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Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.69/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a case of this for cellaring the other day but I had to drink a couple right away naturally. This particular batch was bottled in 2009.

appearance; a rough pour produces a decent off-white head. Dissipates rather quickly but a nice film remains through most of the drink. Only the slightest, if any lacing is left behind. The main body is a washed out garnet color.

smell; extreemely malty and rich. Hints of black licorice, caramelized sugar, marzipan, and pralines. Fruits such as raisins, plums, and dates also come to mind. All of this is wrapped up in an alcoholic shell.

taste; this is quite unique, like the child of a Doppelbock and a Quadrupal. Malty sweetness from start to finish, like rum soaked cherries and slightly fermented mission figs. Very sugary in a maple syrup way, almost cloying but then the alcohol kick slams the palate with a bitter burn and breathes life back to the flavor. About as extreem as a Doppelbock can be, candied walnut and honey hang in the aftertaste.

mouthfeel; a rich and robust, heavy bodied brew. Very chewy and sticky, almost syrupy as it goes down, yet also creamy. Extreemely warm and alcoholic.

drinkability; 14% abv. but easy to drink. If it wasn't for the high price I could drink a lot of this. Provides a very light and relaxing buzz of the highest quality, forget to respect this brew and one will be on thier ass in no time though.

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

2008 vintage.

Pours clear brown to amber. No head at all.

Aroma is of brown sugar, red wine, slight vinegar, and oak.

Flavor is vanilla, honey, caramel, candi sugar, red wine, and oak. It is nicely sweet, not overly so. It is nicely hot from the alcohol, which balances out the sweetness.

There is almost no carbonation, with a mid-level mouthfeel.

Overall an excellent beer, very unique and pleasurable.

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Photo of xodin
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very little head with minimal retention and deep, clear oak color. Strong aromas of spice, clove, and licorice. Some burnt malts and a strong peppery alcohol flavor, very warming. Carbonated and somewhat dry in the swallow, with a malty, yet bitter aftertaste.

A bit too strong on the spice, especially to be considered a traditional doppelbock; however, after becoming accustomed to the flavors, more and more caramel begins to peek through, and it becomes very enjoyable--a trickster of a brew. A little too outrageous and unique for a top-notch pick, but it certainly has its good qualities, and a hell of a bite and ABV to boot.

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Photo of n2185
1.82/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle from 2009, so about 1-2 years on this beer.

A: Pours a nice, clear dark copper color with about a finger of beige head, which quickly recedes into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Some dark fruit aromas but mostly it's lots of soy. Lots and lots of soy sauce.

T: Some dark fruits like prunes and dates in there, though they're hidden by the huge malt presence. Lots and lots of malt--enough to be syrupy, sticky sweet.

M: Thick body with little carbonation and super super sweet. Very sticky feel.

D: With as sweet as this beer is, it's not very drinkable. Overall, I could barely finish this beer and almost felt sick to my stomach from how sweet it was. The malt overpowers any subtleties that might otherwise be found.

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Photo of beerdrifter
2.28/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Picked this up at Ammersino Feine Getränke in Vienna, Austria. Crystal clear ruby-amber pour with really quickly fading thin head and minimal lacing. The nose is all malt with hints of orange, dark fruits, rasins and alcohol. The taste is just one huge, syrupy, sickly sweet malt bomb. Very complex with tons of dark fruits, maple syrup, orange jello, caramel, toffee, candy, molasses, cherries and brown sugar. The alcohol is overwhelming. Thick, syrupy, oily, and extremely rich mouthfeel combined with the over the top sweetness makes this nearly undrinkable for me. I'm shocked at the reviews. I know this is considered a world class beer, but I don't get it.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into a heavy chalice glass. Pours deep gold with hints of amber - and thin off-white head. The aroma has quite a bit of alcohol - but also a strong presence of malts, molasses, and vanilla with hints of banana and somewhat reminiscent of a manzanilla sherry. The flavor is warm on the tongue from alcohol (burns like a strong wine or a weak spirit) - but not in a bad way (if you like whiskey, you certainly won't mind it). The flavor has lots of fruit for a lager - pear, figs, caramel candied apples - and some sweet malt along with hints of marsala wine and calvados (apple brandy). The alcohol also warms the back of the throat as it goes down (again, not unlike a spirit). The finish is sweet and has a lingering fruit and alcohol after-taste - the alcohol sticks to the back of the tongue. Despite the clear evidence of its strength in both aroma and flavor, this beer is wicked good and complex. One of my top winter brews.

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Photo of lstokes
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 2007 bottle with an excellent friend. This pours a dark chestnut with an inky quality and smells very warm--honey, alcohol, orange peel.

We both loved the taste, which is really more like a wonderfully sweet and complex liquor. There's a lot of dark fruit, something sour like cranberries, some oak and smokey character, a lot of dark sweet malts, and a lot of alcohol character, making for something like a brandy barleywine. The mouthfeel is impressively light for the complexity and this becomes a hell of a sipper--the glass disappeared much quicker than we were expecting!

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Photo of tmcelvain
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a beautiful beer, but lacks a good head, I assume due to the high ABV. It pours a clear, rusty red. Smells of big, sweet malts.

WooooOooooh, this is a sweet beer. More pucker factor than most any beer I have had in a loong time. Tastes of alcohol heat and sweet, candied malts. Thank goodness for the barrel aging, to give this a little earthy balance. Coats the cheeks with what I would call a medium alcohol residue. No drinkability. This is a dessert beer to be sipped to enjoy.

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Photo of rudzud
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey's yearly Belgian Christmas on 12/15.

*2008 Vintage*

A - Nice light mahogany pour with a one finger head that left thick lacing along the sides of the glass.

S - Some nice light chocolate and light funk mix nicely together. The 14% is not too strong on the nose.

T - Too sweet, far too sweet. The sweet malts overpower the typical dopplebock notes for me leaving something very sticky along the tongue.

M - Medium carbonation. Not heavy at all with a very light syrupy feel.

D - ABV aside, this is a very drinkable but heavy beer. The sticky sweet flavour really ruins it for me though.

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Photo of Gorgoroth
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by BA mermatinger. Thanks buddy! from tasting notes taken 01/08/11 (I think!)

Presentation: Great-looking brown 12oz bottle with black (or very dark brown) label and silver foil accents. Love the silver-foil neck sleeve; gives it a very sophisticated look for a standard single. 2008 bottle vintage.

Appearance: Pours into a 12oz snifter a crystal clear ruby red, looking similar to cranberry juice or pure, high-end maple syrup. There is essentially no visible carbonation or head, though swirling elicits a thin ring of creamy off-white foam around the extreme circumference of the glass.

Smell: The smell is boozey, but not overly so; reminds me of Vermouth or Port. Slightly bourbony with dried cherries, cranberries, and raspberry jam evident. There are also hints of cloves or mulling spices. As it warms, aroma of raw grains or hay evolve.

Taste: Incredible. Sweet up front: maple syrup, dried dark fruit, honey. A slight hop bitterness glides across mid-palate, while a bready, whole-grain fullness takes over as it moves toward the throat. The massive amount of alcohol is hidden extremely well by the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth with a very mild carbonation burn. Sweet and slightly cloying with a bready chewiness on the back of the palate. A bitter dryness lingers at the very back of the palate while a mellow alcohol warmth fills the mouth and throat. Dries out the front half of the tongue and palate.

Drinkability & Final Thoughts: This beer is very complex (it took me minutes of slowly smelling, sipping, and thinking before I began writing descriptors for the review) but it is also very drinkable. The complexity of the aroma and flavors hide the high-ABV, almost too well! I split this bottle with a friend but could have easily drunk a whole one alone -- and most certainly been drunk soon thereafter! A classy, seasonal beer which fits the cold winter months and holiday spirit perfectly; I will definitely be visiting this beer again next Christmastime. I know there are 2007 vintages available in my area, so I'd love to try one of those to see how it developed.

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Photo of exodus1369
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very different kind of beer, It is very sweet, but very robust at the same time. A sweet honey taste very smooth slightly creamy, its does very well in masking the fact that it's 14%. The color is a Dark Amber very nice to sit back and enjoy.

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Photo of blitz134
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage. This beer has been a lot of places with me.

Touch of haze shows as the light passes through the mahogany colored body. No head, just a smattering of bubbles on top and a ring around the glass.

Notes of candied fruit (cherries, raisins), maple syrup, touch of sherry and port wine, a little fresh apple too. Really no hint of the alcohol level.

Wow, the taste is so much more potent than the aroma hinted at. Lots of the candied fruits again, sugary sweet with maple syrup, dark caramel. Hints of chocolate covered cherries in the finish.

This is a sipper. Low carbonation and almost syrupy thick but extremely smooth. Any alcohol has gone away with time. The sweetness is a bit intrusive for me, this is almost like liquid candy. Ultimately an every once in a while beer. It's just so sweet and heavy that 12oz is probably about all one could handle.

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Photo of bierschmecktgut
1.66/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I bought this for the holidays and planned to share with my father.

We poured it into a regular pint glass, dark red-brown color. The head was just a thin line.

It smelled immediately of malt and spice but with burnt sugar /molasses like.

Taste was too sweet, definitely brown sugar/molasses. Alcohol was abundant at the back of the tongue and you immediately smell it at the back of your throat.

Almost no carbanation and pretty smooth

a drink for those who dig sweet malt lagers/liquor! not for me.

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Photo of jale
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 2007 bottle. Pours a light copper brown with little head.

S: Sweet malt, maple and some alcohol

T: Initial carmamel malt followed by some alcohol burn. A little maple and some burnt sugar. As this warms, the low carbonation and high alcohol gives this more of a brandy-like flavor.

M: Very light carbonation with sticky mouthfeel. A little cloying at times

D: This is a great beer for sipping, just sitting around relaxing'

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, cordial glass, 2007 vintage.

Say bye bye to the head quickly and don't blink, cause you might miss it. The tan fizzy affair fades fast, leaving you with an auburn liquid sparsely populated with bubbles that are visibly making their way through a viscous liquid.

Minimal alcohol all things considered, sherry or port, cherry, caramel, and raisins are what I smell. This is my first Samichlaus, and the time seems to have done well by it. There is almost a nuttiness, an almond or amaretto, or the sense that this would pair very well with them.

Boldly sweet of brown sugar, almond, cherry blossom, bitter alcohol, warming alcohol, and raisins are some of the flavors in this gracefully aging beer. It is both brandy and port-like and not at all boozy. It only does not earn a 5 because I'm sure one or two or many more years would improve this even more. I hope the 2009 I have is as good. More harsh alcohol starts to come out as it warms, but it simply changes rather than becoming unpalatable.

The carbonation can actually be felt in a little fuzzy fizzing. The body is thick, viscous.

Amazingly good drinkability for such a big beer. Splitting a 12oz bottle three ways helps. I'm a bit blown away by the smoothness of this after four years, the lack of booze, and depth of flavor.

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Photo of Briken
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Red Amber and thin tan head with poor retention and no lacing. Malty spicy/sweet aroma with alcohol, dates and raisin aromas. Taste mirrors the aroma with the addition of almonds, figs and plums. Huge alcohol warming finish (of course). Fuzzy coating mouthfeel with thin syrupy linger.

I took a chance on this despite the impression that this was probably just hooch. I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful sweetness (of which I'm a sucker for). It's really not terribly complex despite my description as I see it all those flavors are interrelated. The mouthfeel and coating as well as the big warming is a bit distracting. However, it is surprisingly an easy beer to drink and if I am to drink malt liquor, this would be it.

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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 donkeyrunner
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Aged since '08. Tawny amber to cherry wood brown in color with a thin white head. Foam dies quickly after 14% and 2 years.

Smells like Pizza Hut in Weymouth MA and cherry wood varnish. I don't know why it smells like Pizza Hut in Weymouth, or what would bring back that childhood memory but there it is.

Taste is dark, succulent caramel, raisins, figs, MacIntosh apple and cherry cough medicine. Mouthfeel is so close to syrupy but stays plush and voluptuous.

My doppelbock bar has just been raised.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.66/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: appears a deep clear red with absolutely no head and no lacing. Didn't really expect this with a 14% beer.

S: sugary sweet up front, dark fruits, molasses,, maple, all malt and all sweet.

T: again, sweet and sugary from beginning to finish. Notes of fruit and molasses, zero bitterness or hop character.

MF: syrupy, low carbonation, thick body

D: this is not something I could see myself drinking again. I had enough trouble just sharing one bottle of it. It is far too sweet. I've had beers of this abv that are much better balanced. This could use some refinement.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to womencantsail for sharing this one at the Bruery RS Post-Post-Party. 1996 Vintage!!! Served from bottle into a Bruery sampler imperial pint. Poured dark brown with a very very minimal off-white head that subside to no head at all upon sitting for a bit. There was no lacing evident throughout on this one. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, and slight alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, sweet alcohol, and peanuts. It had a light feel on the palate with very low carbonation. Overall this one was decent but not great. This brew was pretty old to say the least. However, it seems like it has held up decently after all this time. Definitely grateful that I got to try this one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage thanks to bmanning. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours a faint caramel color with a few bubbles here and there, but not too much of anything going on. Pretty color, though, I suppose. A few legs on one side of the glass. The nose is pretty strong with a really nice amount of super-sweet malt, caramel, and dark fruits. The taste is more toward the sweet end of the spectrum and adds in a bit of light alcohol, though not too much. Feel is nice with the sweetness and alcohol combining well. Not cloying. Really tasty and a nice sipper. Glad my first taste of this brew was a vintage version and not something fresh, which I've heard can be quite hot.

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

Had this on tap at Burp Castle in New York City. This was banned in Ontario because the picture looks too like much Santa Claus, so we wouldn't want kids to want to buy this expensive beer, even they aren't allowed in the government liquor store in the first place. Ridiculous! Anyway, so the government made me want to try this. Pours a dark copper-brown colour with thin white head. Even though the head is thin, head remained for the whole time, leaving traces of lacing on the glass. It smells pretty much like a spicy barleywine, winter spices with a big caramel malt. Flavour is quite strong on alcohol, though the caramel sweetness is left as an aftertaste. Fairly big carbonation. I didn't realize this was 14% abv when I wrote the review in my phone, but it makes sense given how boozy it was.

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Photo of movingtrain
3.22/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 ounce bottle sampled from a 12 ounce snifter. Bottled in 2007.

Pours a clear amber/brown color with little to no head.

Cinnamon, chocolate, caramelized sugar, and crisp alcohol all in the nose. There is a huge cherry aroma, almost like cherry cough syrup...very medicinal.

The flavor is rich. There are hints of vanilla and wet wood, almost similar to a scotch ale. A cherry cough syrup flavor overwhelms the palate the beer over to a super sweetness and spicy alcohol.

This beer is good for the first few is very sweet, making it not incredibly drinkable. It was an interesting beer to try, and one that will warm you up due to the high ABV. But the cherry sweetness is overwhelming, making the beer hard to enjoy.

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Photo of searsclone
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay glass in Janury 2011, bottled in 2008.

The color is similar to maple syrup. Zero head.

Smells like alcohol, caramel and raisins.

Honey, caramel, vanilla, spices, hops and smoke. Alohol warms the throat and stomach.

Very little carbonation, mouthfeel is thin and sticky.

Drinkability is high under the right circumstances, I would like to try this with food since I think that would make it even better.

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