Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
2,114 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: 2,114 |  Reviews: 1,121
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
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 +12.9%
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 +6.2%
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%
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 -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 +5.2%
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 -34.6%
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 -8%
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 -5%
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 -20.1%
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 -17.2%
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 +3.7%
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%
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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Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an Ayinger Celebrator doppelbock glass.

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

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ok. but i'm only putting this here because they won't let me review it as from the brewery in switzerland. 1996 bottle generously offered for sharing at woodshop. pours thick and chunky, dark red, an appearance only fans of bret easton ellis could get off on. this is what i want. caramel and malty sweetness, oxidative stress pushing rich flavors, raisins. sticks in the mouth, yeast flakes between my teeth. i will never floss them out. the last thing i really needed was a reason to hold onto bottles for 15 years before opening them, but this...this is a gateway to the dark side.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light copper with no head. Looks like syrup and moves about like ink. Looks more like a spirit or liquor than a beer, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Smells much more like a beer, and I like it. Sweet malts, syrup, molasses. Definite alcohol presence.
Taste is moderately sweet, with a decent malt backbone. Sugar, molasses, hint of cinnamon, and alcohol.
Flat, slightly sticky, and heavy. Nice warmth from the alcohol as it goes down. I great, cold winter night beer.
As drinkable as a beer that is meant to be sipped should be. I've got a 750 ML bottle of this one, and after having this 12 oz. serving, I know I'll have to share it.

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Photo of Sallerj
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is dark red-brown, with no real head. It smells like dark fruit, brown sugar, and alcohol. It is strong and sweet, with flavors of burnt sugar, toast, raisins, iron, and alcohol. The aftertaste is boozy, sweet, herbal, and slightly bitter. For such a strong beer, it's drinkable.

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Photo of bret27
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by nice old homebrew guy in the LA area @ woodshop. ('96, so 14 years old)

Limited notes. Smells of figs, prunes, chocolate earthy. Appearance is dark brown. Taste is superb. Same as smells but with sweet molasses and just great balance. The oxidation/port effects of aging just work wonders on this beer. A little booziness in the finish, and med. mouthfeel.

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Photo of DosBeerigos
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

C. Clear
H. Dark red almost carmel in color
N. Sweet Fruit and Alcohol....NICE!!!!

I have wanted to try this beer for a long time. Found a bottle and had to pick it up. This beer is AMAZING. I typically don't like malty beer and this is beer is 100% of that that. But at perfect temperature the malt settles the STRONG alcohol taste. Has subtle fruit flavors that linger on the palette. This beer would cellar amazingly. I think i may have to go back and attempt to find another bottle to hold for a bit of time. At 14% ABV this would cellar for a good few years. Great Beer!

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Photo of Mavajo
2.4/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Aye-yi-yi - people drink this? Good God.

Pours a bronze/orange color with no head. Taste is disgustingly sweet. Sweet, malt, syrup, molasses. The most cloying beer I've ever had - I could literally feel my gut rotting as I drank it. Hot alcohol. Almost made me imagine candied battery acid - sweet and burning.

I took a few sips, and then I took a few more because I didn't want to waste it - but I eventually capitulated and poured it down the drain. I had to have a plumber come out the next day to repair the pipes that this beer ate through on its way out.

I may buy it again simply with the intent of aging it for 5+ years, but this thing is way too cloying and hot to drink fresh.

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Photo of markbatonrouge
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: no head, little visible carbonation, but a sparkling, clear amber color that makes it just beautiful, like a spectacular piece of amber rock.

s: complex nose that has carmel, grape, and brandy in it -- very surprising and interesting.

t: a wave of sugar hit me first, then a carmel complexity with multiple notes, then the alcohol, which is big. It's really an amazing taste, big, explosive, multiple layers and phases, very different from other doppelbocks.

m: a bit thin, alcoholy.

drinkability: mixed. it's so surprising that it's a wonderful beer to try and to experience. but the sugars and alcohol are so dominant that it would be hard to drink more than one. it's a bit like an overly sweet brandy, and probably should be enjoyed in a similar way.

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Photo of JohnL9013
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours an amber color with almost no carbonation and almost no head at all. Ridiculous, this stuff looks like wine.

S: Alcohol, malt.

T: Taste is surprisingly sweet and varies as time goes on and the beer warms up. Very, very malty, almost to a fault, but stops short of being the usual disgustingly sweet double bock. There are complexities here and there but mostly, it's just a malt bomb, but a very nice one, at that. I bet cellaring would make this fantastic.

M: I'm sorry, but there's just simply too much alcohol in here for this to be pleasant. I can't afford to taste this too long before choking it down.

D: This is so strong that I seriously doubt you will be having more than one. I didn't enjoy the last few sips of this beer simply because it's so strong and it wears you down after a while.

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Photo of animal69
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 2008 vintage, pours a clear med. brownish amber color w/ a thin off-white head which dissipates quickly leaving a decent coat of lace in my ommegang goblet

S- smell is mostly fruity alcohol when cool, as it warms bready and deeper roasted grains, plum/prune, and even some floral hops creep out, other fruit like cherry and some wood and vanilla also noted

T- taste also improves w/ temp, initially super sweet caramely malt and brandied cherry-ish alcohol prevail but soon give way to a dried fruit like figs or plum and that woody vanilla flavor, anise and hot alcohol finish this one off

M- a thick, syrupy mouthfeel for body, not really unexpected for the gravity, still a good amount of co2 at a little over a year

D- my first Sami from eggenberg, also my youngest, still quite hot at a year, but surprisingly quite complex and drinkable for summin' 14% ABV, overall a great nostalgic beer for me, can't wait to put some age on these

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Photo of markaberrant
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage

A - deep, glowing amber, very attractive colour, very clear, head forms, and quickly fizzes away

S - brandied apricots, thick malt, not a lot of booze, clean

T - smoooth, rich malt, really extravagant, candied fruit and spice, malt is the focus, but the sweetness is very well restrained by attenuation and alcohol, aftertaste is dry biscuit and bready

M - med body, has some weight, but is not weighed down, med carbonation is a little prickly which ever so slightly increases the alcohol presence, but also helps liven it up and keeps things moving, alcohol is incredibly smooth and mellow, though it's presence is still quite obvious

D - hell ya, this is what big strong malty beers are all about

Just an incredible treat to savour and enjoy. I must say this old standby is far more preferred to more acclaimed Thomas Hardy, as well as the extra strong lagers that are on the lighter side. This is a damn near perfect execution, which is no small feat considering the size of this beast. Yum!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into Unibroue glass feb11 2010

A clear ruby brown with little head or lace but decent carbonation

S dark fruits/cherry with some booze and caramel

T candied fruits with burnt sugar/toffee and a little booze. rather complex can't wait to see how one ages... so here I am drinking it today

M a little syrupy with more carbonation then what was visible

D not sure if its a good or bad thing that this one's ringing in at 14%. it's well concealed and this could just smash you if your not careful, so be careful

I have a magic closet with no doubt, this is the fourth good beer I've managed to hide from myself only to find at a later date. this is a decent beer and its unique so you should give it a go if you get the chance

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 2,114 ratings