Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

very good
2,051 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: 2,051 |  Reviews: 1,100
Photo of Dubber55
1.56/5  rDev -60.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Bottled in 2009

Pours an amber/honey color with some red highlights. 1/2 finger of white bubbles that quickly dissipate to form a collar around the edges of the glass.

When I first smell this beer, it kind of reminds me of an old ale/english barleywine like Thomas Hardy's. I intially smell tons of rum soaked raisins. What follows is the smell of savory spices along the lines of clove, nutmeg. I think I also smell some gingerbread. There is also plenty of ethanol coming off this one.

The first few sips of this beer made me wince. Now I am getting used to it. This beer is very sweet, syrupy, and, alcoholic. The taste pretty much follows the nose- tons of rum soaked raisins, lots of savory spices like clove, nutmeg, gingerbread, allspice, and maybe some cinnamon. I think I taste some nail polish remover. The finish is sweet and consists of fusel alcohol.

Viscous liquid with low carbonation. Pretty syrupy. The consistency is medium to thick.

The drinkability of this beer is not good. It tastes nothing like a doppelbock. It syrupy sweet with low carbonation which makes this a real sipper. It's is also not very complex. All you need is 2 ounces to know what this beer is all about. The alcohol is really hot which doesn't help either. I know this beer is probably too fresh but, if that's the case then don't put it on the shelf. Maybe if you put this in the cellar for 3 to 5 years, it might be somewhat drinkable. On the label it says, "The World's Most Extraordinary Beverage". I think not.

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Photo of PanicUnited
2.87/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ok this beer caught my eye while perusing my local bottle shop, and its slogan "the best beverage in the world".

The taste was just awful. I would say its closest to a barley wine gone bad, but without that tiny hint of spice that comes at the end of a traditional Barley Wine. Honestly, its just not very good.

I couldn't give it away after several people tried it, and ended up tossing it out.

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Photo of zoso1967
2.66/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a rich slightly ruby brown color that would look great as stain on hardwood floors. No head at all, just a few bubbles that line the edge of the glass. The aroma is fruity and malty sweet. Caramel, brown sugar, molasses and cherry. Also, a slight spiciness. The flavor is amazingly sweet. Sweet malt is the main flavor, but it also has caramel, molasses, cherry and plum. Unlike other beers of this strength, this does not seem to have anything to cover up the unadulterated sweetness that comes with a beer of this ABV. Speaking of which, the only thing that really helps cut all that sweetness is the considerable alcoholic warmth. The mouthfeel , surprisingly, is what I would classify as the heavier side of medium, far from syrupy and full. It also has a fairly pleasant finish and drinks much more like a spirit than a high octane beer. That being said it is not very drinkable. Definitely a sipper, but not one I would like to savor. This beer is loved by many I know, and far be it from me to stop their enjoyment. For me though, this is very overrated and hardly drinkable.

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

Bottled in 2008.
Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear, deep amber/ruby color with about a half finger of beige head that fades very quickly. Not much lacing to speak of either.

S: Smells kinda like a cherry schnapps. Plenty of alcohol on the nose, but also plenty of caramel, nuts, fruit, and flowers. Mild touch of spicy hops to round out the bouquet.

T: Bit of alcohol and cherries up front, followed by a great malt character that induces sensations of caramel, hazelnuts, toffee, and a hint of spice.

M: Definite alcohol heat. Plus it's very noticeable on the palate immediately. Other than that, quite smooth, and it leaves just right balance between dryness and slickness.

D: The noticeable alcohol makes this one a sipper. A few more years in the bottle would probably help. Still, pretty good overall. I can easily finish the one I've opened.

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

2005 Vintage, review from notes in December 09

Deep amber with a short lived pearl white head. Perfectly clear. Huge dose of caramel malts. Sweet, spicy, alcoholic, rum and raisins. Hint of cocoa? Yes, I dig this very much so. A chewy and rich body that clings to the glass and the palate. Warm finish.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Samichlaus Bier, a 14% behemoth.

Appearance: Served in a brandy snifter at celler temperature. Pours a rich dark copper in color. No head.

Smell: Strong malty aroma. Sweet malt and some maple.

Taste: Rich and malty, sparse hop bitterness around the edges. Warming bourbon notes. Vanilla and chocolate. Increasingly boozy as it warms, but not overwhelmingly so. Finishes malty.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, chewey. Warming finish. Carbonated decently.

Drinkability: A nice sipper, and seemingly, a worthy adversary.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a clear reddish brown with a very quickly disappearing head.

Smell is a alcoholy sweet syrupy with ripe fruit and rich bread.

Taste is alcoholy, but not hot at first. A very smooth appley/bready with a hot finish.

Very nice, creamy, thick mouthfeel.

Drinkability is what it is due to high abv.

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

2009 vintage.

Nose is dark and malty with luscious ripe fruit, soft floral tones, bits of candy, and notes of alcohol. Smells quite good.

Pours a brilliant ruby brown, good clarity, mild head. Looks good.

Rich candy, dark malt, and alcohol up front. Thick with crystal/caramel malt. Dark, ripe fruit. Border-line harsh alcohol. Quite sweet, must have had a hell of an OG. Notable melanoidins. Dark, rich, and tasty.

A 25.4 floz bottle is a force to reckon with - a worthy foe, to say the least. Samichlaus is not quite as tasty, exciting, or interesting as I expected from its reputation, but it is a hell of a beer that is very enjoyable. I'm glad I bought an extra bottle. :-) Tastes good. Feels good. Very good drinkability.

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

11.2 oz. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Expected little head due to the ABV, so did a "hard pour" this created about 1/4" head which quickly dissipated to a ring. The ring with some decent lace lasted about 10 minutes as the beer warmed, and then it was gone the balance resembled a cognac. Nice reddish orange in color.

Smell: Big malt, a little sweet, a lot of booze.

Taste: Follows the nose. A nice spiciness to the malt almost like an Oktoberfest beer. The alcohol comes up "fast and furious". The alcoholic warmth lingers on the palate. Not very deep or complex.

Mouth feel: Retains a nice level of carbonation despite its "still" appearance. Warmth of the alcohol is everywhere.

Drinkability: This is a slow sipper; I chose this as a beer for a one beer night. It would be hard to have two.

This is a good beer, not great, but good, not much depth or complexity to the flavor; however, rich maltiness is ever-present.

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

New to this style of beer so here goes. 2007 Vintage, "The Strongest Lager Beer In The World", well then good thing I don't have to operate any machinery after this one.

With a decent pour a small white foamy head appears on an eye catching amber, almost ruby brew. The head dissipates to a white ring of tiny bubbles.

A large whiff brings ripe fruit, sweetness and cantaloupe. Hmmmm very interesting and inviting. I served this one out of the fridge, I wonder what this brew would be like when served a little warmer.

The taste holds true to the smell, ripe fruit a high level of sweetness and a distinct taste of cantaloupe. There is a very slight bitter finish, which kinds of rounds out the experience. The alcohol for me is very well hidden, it's a slow warming in the gut but this one is definitely going to the head.

Mouth feel is kind of syrupy, with the sweetness and fruity flavours it works.

This is a great brew, I look forward to more dopplebocks. This is a serious style, almost a bit much on the alcohol. This would be a great beer to pair with a desert, after a really good meal. I think I will put a handfull of these into my cellar for a few years.

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

Wow, this beer is unique. It says malt liquor right on the bottle, but this really is a unique malt. Also the lightest bottle I've ever held. Not sure why.

A: Almost no head at all. It looks almost completely flat but it bubbles a little at first.

S: Sweet cola, though lighter on the malt than I'd expect. A lot of raisin and a hint of caramel.

T: Whoa, what a sweet beer. But I like it. It's strong as hell, but it goes down really really smooth. Has a significant coca cola taste and a good dose of deep raisin. Not the breadyness I'd usually associate with a doppel.

M: Finishes dryer than you'd expect. Pretty thin though the bubbles are refreshing (and a little surprising considering how flat it looks). It's a strong beer but it doesn't taste that hot.

O: This is truly a unique beer. The closest beer I've tasted to coca cola. Very sweet, a dessert beer. But remarkably drinkable for something so potent. This thing will age like a champ.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006.
Pours a dense amber color, with almost no head. Strong aromas of maple syrup, orange peel, brandy, baked apples and figs.
The mouthfeel is soft and smooth, but ultimately thinning and mouth coating, as is to be expected with a beer this high in alcohol. Dominant flavors are orange peel, mature brandy, figs, plums, and pecans. I hadn't come back to this one for awhile, because it is so easy to get, but it really is a fantastic beer.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber approaching copper with very little head (high alc, etc blah blah blah). Crystal clear.
Aroma is richly malty (as expected). Lots of golden syrup, melanoidin bready notes, aged sherry, oxidised notes. Very little alcohol noticeable really! Some caramel and sultanas though. Mmmm.
Flavours are incredibly sweet, more of the same. Quite reminiscent of a sweet sherry. Lots of caramelised and melanoidin malt, toffee, some alcohol (but well integrated).
Very low carbonation, rich velvety body. Fitting. Alcohol heat is noticeable when breathing out. Mmmm dragons...

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Photo of tjd112
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this at a Whole Foods in Middletown, NJ. This beer pours a mahogany brown with a somewhat small heart. The taste and smell is very boozy, with a mixture of plums, sugar, vanilla, too many flavour notes to count. Mouthfeel is nice, medium, and creamy, and this is a real sipper. A quality entry from Austria.

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Photo of Asgeirr
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Samichlaus Bier pours a mahogany with hints of ruby and a buff crown of a somewhat decent stature but of all the shorter longevity, descending upon convulsive bubbles of carbonation, small in size.

Smell: Burnt sugar, plums anc cherry in rum, some rye bread. So mostly malts. In the hop section there may be a trace of sourness intermixes with the aforementioned rye bread-characteristics but that's about it for hops. Additionally, soy -- and to a lesser extent -- black pepper may be may be traced lurking in the background.

Taste: Sweet 'n' neat. A sense of syrup and honey, often in the same manner as it presents itself in mead. Continually, raisins, cane-sugar, plums and to an extent vanilla spring to mind, as the somewhat rum-like body of the taste unfolds itself. Alcohol is present but not to the degree one would expect, not disrupting nor is it in any way dominating. The rye bread is once more a good point of reference since it yet on another occasion comes in as a closer and delivers a slightly, slightly bitter ending to a richly malty experience.

Mouthfeel: Really full, almost oily (but not in a greasy kind of way) in its thickness. Carbonation is mild and it's pleasingly smooth to the palate.

Drinkability: Continuity is key in this beer, somewhat demanding but all the more rewarding. You won't have more than half a dozen on one night, but who needs it, so damn satisfying and holistic its sensory compartments that it is you'll be floored before by its fervour before you know it!

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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 FreshHawk
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Caramel brown with hints of orange. Slightly smaller than average, foamy and bubbly off-white head with little retention and no lacing left (but that's to be expected with the ABV).

S - Dark caramel malt with a strong alcohol aroma. Rum soaked dark fruit, raisin and cherry, along with a touch of orange citrus. Touches of chocolate and licorice come out with the malt. Very warming and alcohol driven aroma.

T - A lot of sweet caramel malt along with a good amount of fruit (dark cherry, raisin, and some date). Also a fair amount of orange citrus comes out slightly after those flavors. Alcohol is fairly present at the start and gets stronger mid sip. It provides a bit more of a warming sensation than a strong alcohol taste most of the time, but some sips have a strong alcohol taste. A lot of rum and brandy like flavors. It finishes with a warming sweetness that lingers for a while. In the background there is a fair amount of spice (very peppery flavor) and some dark malt flavors (chocolate and licorice).

M - Full body with moderate carbonation. Sweet sticky flavors but it definitely has a smoothness to it that helps it go down easy.

D - I went back and forth how to rate the drinkability. Obviously one will do you for the night, both due to the ABV and the flavors. It is very boozy and sweet so that makes it a definite sipper that took me awhile to finish a bottle. However, the warming sweetness makes for a nice beer if you want a sipper for after dinner/night capper. I was a bit generous with the rating and it could go down a bit, it really depends on if you want to drink something like this.

Notes: Vintage 2009. Very big boozy and sweet beer. I found the alcohol to be too strong a lot of the time. Similar to a digestif/liqueur type of drink. Sip it slow and enjoy. Definitely worth picking up a bottle to give it a try. I would like to try one after it has been in a cellar for a couple of years to see how the alcohol and flavors have melded/smoothed out. Not my favorite beer, but it definitely fills a niche.

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

Bottled in 2006

A: Pours dark brown, no head. Looks a bit syrupy and coffee-like.

S: Smells a bit sweet, hints of caramel and bit of apple(cider). Slight alcohol aroma sting coming through, but not overpowering.

T: Tastes quite a bit like it smells. Has a slight cider quality to it, with an interesting apple/alcohol pairing. Caramel on the finish with a slight maltiness.

M: Minimal carbonation, medium-bodied, with slight syrupy quality in the mouth

D: Great beer, but one bottle will be enough for a long sitting

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Photo of CJfromPhilly
2.63/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from the 12 oz. bottle a cola-ish brown with a very slight head that disappears into nothing in no time. Almost zero carbonation...the bubbles are few & far between. Aroma is sweet and syrupy. 1st sip is pancake syrup sweet with a noticeable undertone of alcohol that burns slightly on the way down. Mouthfeel is very light, almost watery & flat from the lack of carbonation. Overall, I have to rate this a disappointment. Cloyingly, sticky sweet with almost no hops or malt, and alcohol harshness. Hopefully, this will improve with age.

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Photo of jhp40219
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2007. Somehow my local beer outlet had this last bottle, which had probably been sitting there a year or better. I have had this before several years ago but could not remember my thoughts about it. But at 14% alcohol, it was worth a try again.

A - Thin bubbles from the pour that do not lace or stick to the glass. To be expected from a high alcohol beer such as this though. Nice deep amber color.

S - Like caramel, roasted malts and alcohol.

T - See above. You can feel the alcohol burn as it goes down.

M - Kind of thin, low carbonation.

D - Definitely not a frat boy chugging kind of beer, that's for sure! Makes a great winter warmer, seasonal beer. However I bought this in April and it is 65 degrees outside. So this wasn't the opportune time to be drinking this particular beer. Cellar this one and drink on the coldest winter day.

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

I remember being told about this beer about 20 years ago and being told it was the strongest beer in the world. Well at 14% it's no where close anymore but it still has enough umph to make you stand up and notice. Glad I finally got around to giving this one a try.

Bottled in 2008

Cascade of carb bubbles with a hard pour but no head or lace to speak of. Kind of expected with the high ABV. Nice clear bronze color.

Smell of alcohol dominates. Nice whisky burn to it. Candied sugar comes through in the taste once you get past the burn. Finishes sugary sweet and somehow smooth after the upfront burn. I'm going to savor this one as it warms. The taste become fuller, with some tobacco notes coming out.

Somehow managaes to be a little thin in the body. Overall an above average beer that I'm glad I tried.

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Photo of garchooga
3.21/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When I saw the 14.0% abv, I was wondering what I might be getting myself in to. Here goes...

The color was a really nice, consistent amber. Just the slightest bit of creamy colored head.

The smell was strong. You could really smell all that alcohol. Reminded me of smelling dessert wine.

I made the mistake of taking too big of a swig on the initial drink, which pretty much rocked my world. The taste was incredibly strong. To me this one tasted more like wine than beer. Very strong taste of apples or apple cider, incredibly sweet with strong tastes of alcohol.

Three quarters of the way through, I could sure feel that 14.0% abv. This is definitely a sipping beer that was better once it warmed up to room temperature.

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Photo of ryanonline
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

very clear amber with a thin off white creamy head. ok lacing.

smells like malt and maybe a little bit of citrussy hops. and a pretty strong booze scent too.

taste is the same.

mouthfeel is prickly and thin. coats the mouth a little bit too much.

This beer is not very drinkable even though it has a sort of thin body. just too rich and spritzy.

I tried this beer before and i believe it was cold, it does much better warm, but it still isnt very good. better than average but not amazing.

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Photo of femALEist
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is brewed once a year on December 6th for St. Nicholas Day and at a whopping 14%, it is said that it is the strongest lager beer in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. This beer smells like caramelized malts, honey, eggnog, dates, and a high alcohol nose. It tastes sweet more toffee than honey, with a hint of hops, raisins, plums and a hint of molasses. It definitely goes down dangerously smooth for 14%! Now, I have had this beer before, I even served it at my own Holiday Tastings because I like it so much. But to have it served out of a 3L? That's pretty amazing. Not to mention how much smoother it smelled and tasted.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 3/17/10 I've been sitting on this '06 for a while... I've had Samichlaus numerous times over the years, but haven't had one since I joined BA more than 4 years ago. Here we go... poured into my Delirium goblet... thin tan head... very clear amber brew.

Nose is malty yet surprisingly muted... some brown sugar essence and golden raisins come to mind... still pretty boozy, but lesser than I remember the fresh bottles I've had.

Apple cider... with some plummy sweetness.. hints of cherries combine with a rich maltiness.. there is lite yet present booze burn.. hints of cigar wrapper... lite caramel.... pleasant ... drinkable and but more "sippable" ... a brew to be enjoyed over a couple hours while contemplating today and thinking and planning for tomorrow...

The body is thick with a lite carbonation.. the finish is long and lingering...

Overall... I need to start buying these more often so I can leave them in the cellar for years.... This is at least 3 years old, and I think it will hold for another decade easily... no oxidation or hints of age... decadent, yet still too boozy and needs a bit more time to meld well.


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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,051 ratings.
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