Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
Liked This Beer
4.02 w/ 2,056 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: 2,056 |  Reviews: 1,101
Photo of Trappissed
2.51/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2008 Vintage

Ehhh, what to say about this one? I've been curious for a while, but have come to find it should have stayed as curiousness. It actually smells like boozy Austrian Malt Liquor, as the label suggests. Not a very appealing scent. I think it could be used as paint thinner.

Taste isn't much better. Tastes like grapes doused in some sort of solvent. Lots of sugar and caramel. If I didn't know any better, I would say this is 18%. What are the redeeming qualities of this beer for people who are rating this A's and B's? I can't figure it out. After a few sips, its just kind of intimidating looking at the syrupy sludge sitting in my glass.

Even the bubbles seem scared, trapped against the glass. It might be better to take shots of. I'm sure I could offer this as shots to friends and they wouldn't even know better. This is not a Doppelbock. I don't care what anyone says. Try at your own discretion.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is definitely one of the best beers of the world...

Its not extremely dark, very aromatic, with fruits and a bit of citrus. Very thin head, lacings not bad though.

The taste of this will surprise you. It is so high in ABV, but ive had a plethora of beers with lower ABVs but higher alcohol tate. It's there, but for how much it has, it mine as well be non-existant.

Another great thing about this beer is that (at least where I buy it), it is not expensive. Theres a lot of brews out there that dont validate experience for the price, but this slaughters them all.

This is just a fantastic beer. I don't recommend more than 2; itll put you on your ass. Even though, it's hard to say no...

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Photo of EternityofNight
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had previously believed that the taste of christmas was found in bottle of eggnog. I was right of course, but if the taste of christmas was to be found in a bottle of beer, it would have to be a bottle of SAMICHLAUS! I have drunk several of these on several occasions, and each time it has been a fantastic beer-trip. (Tip -When first opened, sniff the escaping fumes that are released, and you will be pleasantly surprised.) This truly is the Rolls Royce of beer. Once poured, it has an understated elegance with no head to speak of, but yet you have the feeling that something extraordinarily fine is in your hands! At the first sip, and maybe even the fifth, you will have started to appreciate the Samiclaus. This brew gets better as your glass gets emptier, as the deep flavors reveal themselves like the details in a fine rug. This brew, once consumed, will give you a buzz that is distinctly a "Samichlaus" buzz. Indeed, it could lead to a "Samichlaus day." Merry Christmas!

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Photo of SamN
4.97/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 12 oz'er from Wilbur's. Poured into a wide mouth glass on a ridiculously blustery September afternoon.

Pours a deep mahogany red with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly into just a thin film of white over the beer. Visible carbonation, deep deep color, near perfection.

Smells of apples and pears, alcohol, perfume, sweet fruits, light malt background, syrup, thick intoxicating scent. Amazing smell, it makes my mouth water.

The first sip is like an ocean, roaring and broiling mass of flavors and texture. This tastes like it looks; like sipping a bottomless pit. Nutty sweetness, butter and caramel, thick alcohol burn, but balanced by the maltyness. A range of flavors from fruits and sugars to oak, brandy, smoke and that classic doppelbock malt. This is a fantastic example of how beer can be startlingly complex, yet subtle and soothing. Perfect taste.

Feel is like flossing with liquid silk, simply flows over your tongue and down your throat like drawn butter.

Brewed at Christmas and for good reason; this is a contemplative sipper that deserves time to warm up and express it's full flavors. I wish I had a endless glass of this stuff, I could sip it by a fire all day and night. This beer makes me happy to be alive.

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Photo of BierFan
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a wide-mouthed tulip. Bottled in 2007.

Appearance: Thin light tan head fades a little too quick but thats to be expected with a high level of alcohol. The body is dark with ruby and amber hues.

Smell: Huge sweet aroma of rum and raisins. Still has a clean lager quality about it.

Taste: The flavors are somewhat simple but it's very rich and wonderful. I was surprised how much it tastes like a normal doppelbock given the ramped up ABV. A real sipper of a beer, for sure.

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Photo of philipquarles
1.96/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle from 2008, tasted 9/09. Pours very dark coper with a light tan head that disappears quickly without leaving any lacing behind. Strong sugary sweet malt aromas with a lot of fruitiness. Heady alcohol smell with some caramel. Taste is cloyingly sweet. Big malt with some pear-like esters. Strong, heavily warming alcohol. Syrupy body. No real complexity to this one, just sugar and alcohol. Not great to drink, or even sip.

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

2006 vintage capped bottle poured into my standard tulip glass. Appears a dark amber-chestnut color with about two fingers of fluffy rust colored foam. Aromas and flavors consist of dark fruits such as cherries, plums, raisins, tons of sweet malt, chocolate, brown sugar nicely toasted grain. Approaching full bodied with ample carbonation. Smooth and a bit boozy. Quite drinkable if you are in the mood for a sipper.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.94/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a 1996 vintage bottle, from the old brewery. Poured in a Beer Hunter snifter.

Appearance - pours with no head to speak of, just a whisper on the top of the beer. Very dark ruby. Very little light gets through.

Aroma - Dark fruits, plums/prunes, alcohol, licorice, fine old sherry.

Taste - first taste - sweet malt, dark fruits, sherry, licorice. Oxidized, but nice. Alcohol not that hot, but present. Chocolate comes out later, lingering flavor of dark chocolate (chocolate covered cherries?).

Mouthfeel - no carbonation to speak of, full, slick, mouth-coating.

Drinkability - this is great late night beer. It has aged very well. Wonderful beer.

I have one left. I think I'll hold on to if for a few more years and try it again.

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Photo of parkeak0
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Picked up three bottles at Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington, VA: one for now, two for the celler.

This is one of the wildest beers I've had in a while. Huge sweet dried fruit and spice, firey alcohol, and a big, syrupy mouthfeel make this one helluva complex, fascinating brew. Almost too much for one sitting; in retrospect, I might have split a 33cl between two snifters and shared with a fellow BA.

If you're in the mood for a big beer among big beers, I'd recommend a Samichlaus. I've been told that this is quite the rarity, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to grab a few of these.

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Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep amber colored, clear body. Thin white head. Some lacing. A slight amount of carbonation noticeable.

S- Smells of candy. Very sweet grainy aroma.

T- Very sweet malt taste. The candy sugar comes through giving notes of plumbs. A slight alcohol taste at the very end, with a slight hint of hops. Leaves a sweet taste to the mouth.

M- Full bodied. Low carbonation, could use more. Coats the mouth.

O- Awesome bier to savor into the night. Very sweet. Hope to keep a few around for the winter holidays.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.54/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been collecting Samichlaus for years, and have consumed many bottles from 1994 through present. On the rare occasion I have had it on draft over the last few years.

This is hands-down one of my favorite beers of all-time. I had my first as a senior in college, and it struck me as the creamiest and most chocolatey delight.

Since then I have savored this beer in several vertical tastings, often comparing the older Swiss products to the newer Austrian products. All are incredible.

A- Most bottles pour with no head and a beautiful dark ruby color.

S- Chololate and dark fruit drizzled with ethanol.

T- An explosion of sweet chocolate and vanilla, accentuated by some spiced dark druit, and some slight black pepper notes from the alcohol. Long, lingering finish with all the beautiful aforementioned flavors.

M- Oily and creamy at the same time. This beer coats the mouth for extended gratification.

D- Despite the fact that this is a "big" beer, I could drink several in one sitting.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very yummy and rare doppelbock. Copper-brown with a two-finger, slightly off-white head. Scents of raisins, plums, christmas pudding, brown sugar and vanilla. A delight on the nose. Faint alcohol scent.

Vinous hints in the taste, plus all the flavours mentioned above. Very warm, possibly an alcohol warmth from the high ABV.

Low carbonation, very smooth. One of the better Doppelbocks I've had. Despite the 14% ABV, very easy to drink.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.97/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was privileged enough to have a NINE year old Sammichlaus with a fellow beer snob last night at our favorite watering hole. He has been aging several cases of beer in his beer cellar for years and wanted to share after a discussion we had where I described a time, years ago, when I had Sammi on draught. He had to share after that.

Beer was like syrup, poured into the glass, dark dark dark, thick, almost no carbonation, so no head at all. Smell knocks you over, raisins, sweetness, malt malt malt...This is definetly a beer that i can just keep smelling for several minutes, completely content without taking a sip. Eventually I did take a sip and all the wonderfulness exploded in my mouth. This beer was smooth and warming (probably the 14% alcohol). The sweetness was not overwhelming and it went down smooth. Feeling no pain after that. The beer was served in a 0.2 L Sammichlaus glass. How awesome is that?

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Photo of DerBayer
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark ruby almost chestnut very beautiful

S - Cherry, malted grains, dark fruits and cherry again

T - It has a slightly sweet taste to it of dark fruits, caramel and gebrannte mandeln

M - High carbonation but not fizzy and nice on the tongue

D - Very very high seeing that this is 14% you can barely even taste the alcohol - this is te lagered non-wheat version of Eisbock just almost better

I can seem myself drinking this for Nikolaustag with some delicious Fruechtebrot

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Photo of beveritt
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes.

Presentation: Poured from an 11.2 oz brown bottle into a 6 oz sampling glass. Bottle is from 2007 and has a mainly black label with silver and red accents.

Appearance: Pours with minimal head; maybe 1/2 finger of nearly white foam. this settles to a ring around the lass with some lacing. The beer itself is mahogany and perfectly clear. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Sweet smell of raisins and cherries.

Taste: Orange citrus flavors upfront with a honey sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is excellent.

Drinkability: Amazingly drinkable; especially for a huge beer. I am interested to see how this develops as I put a few in the cellar.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, 2007, uh, 'vintage'? The label design - silver and sepia tones - looks quite cold and, well, Teutonic, and the proclamation of "The Strongest Lager Beer in the World", front and center, seems a bit overwrought and unnecessary, if you are able to just read the rest of the text right in front of you.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium orange brick amber colour, with a thin cap of bubbly beige head, which strangely takes a while to disappear, leaving no lacing whatsoever.

It smells of rather sweet fruity malt - raisins and prunes, mostly - warm toffee, mild earthy, leafy hops, and a subdued, but bristling alcohol heat. The taste is big and warm, the caramel/toffee sweetness meshing well enough with the phenolic palate hostage-taker that such a big ABV can be, with an aged dark fruity, earthy, woody maple sap, and resinous character pushing through the mire, providing barleywine/red vinous parallels in spades.

The carbonation is quite subtle, and hardly noticeable at times, the body a big and beefy, stick to your ribs kind of medium-full weight, with a smoothness that is actually patently remarkable - there is no obvious alcohol edge. Hellyeah. It finishes warm and sweet, the malt and black fruitiness lingering all the way down the rabbit hole.

A lovely sipper, methinks it would soar with a nice cigar. As for the Santa Claus theme, as well-structured and tasty a strong beer this is, I don't know that ol' Saint Nick would do well to have one of these with the requisite cookies (leaving the milk for the kiddees in the morning), and not be cited for an SUI (Sleighing Under the Influence) - ideally save it for the easy chair and roaring fire. I don't know what my problem is here, then, it being mid-summer and whatnot.

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Photo of schoolcb
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, bottled in 2006. Poured a small tan head that did not last except for lace round the ring of the glass. Deep amber in color. Awesome complex malty aroma, with dark fruit notes of raisen, prune. Slight hint of alcohol (bottle says 14% by volume). Full bodied. Carbonation a little light to be expected given alcohol content. Flavor is dominated by sweet complet maltiness. Dark fruit (again the raisen and prune) and fruity esters. Clearly balanced on the malt side of the flavor scale, although it has enough hop bitterness to keep it from being sickly sweet. Alcohol prominent too, but it isn't hot, nor does it detract from the wonderful malty flavor. This is a substantial beer that has been well crafted.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here's another beer I've been dying to try!

Samichlaus Classic 2008

At first pour, this brew didn't produce much head, and light lacing lasts a good while. The body is dark copper in color and is well filtered, to produce great clarity.

Aroma wise, Samichlaus is a bit on the fruity side. I detect overripe apples, but with hints of vanilla.

The taste is kind of what I was expecting. It's a little boozy and tastes like biting into an overly ripe pear or apple.

The feel is a little syrupy and a blatant warming follows through in the end.

Overall I like this beer, and I wish I tried this in the winter time, vice late spring.

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Photo of iNHaze
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Max's In Baltimore. Was served in a wine glass.

Poured a dark copper with ruby highlights and a medium head, which dissolved slowly to about 1/8" which remained constant. Nice lacing.

Smells very much like a barleywine, probably partially to do with the high ABV, but there are also definite notes of cinnamon and honey.

Came across very slightly hoppy/citrusy with a full, sweet malty body with notes of cinnamon and spices and a hint of chocolate, with a sweet, honey aftertaste. Can't taste the alcohol but can certainly feel it.

Mouthfeel was fizzy but not sharp, and on the lighter side

This beer is absolutely wonderful. Drinkability gets a little bit knocked off due to the high ABV, but, of course, this is a beer meant to be enjoyed during the holidays. And when better than to let loose and celebrate a bit with a 14%? Haha. If you get the chance, I say don't let this one pass you by.

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Photo of Monsteruss
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers other than the typical german beer. The foam when poured was bubbly, wheat in color and dissapated quickly, which wasn't anticipated, thought it would be a thick foam. Color was dark amber/mahogany with orange highlights and some apple red, even a sangria tones. Smell had a deep, full-bodied, nutty/barley wine aroma. Taste was deep, rich, fruity, wood highlights, carmel tones. Mouthfeel - deep, full-bodied and smooth. Drinkability - rich and complex. The type that needs to be savored sip by sip.

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Photo of PatronWizard
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

How lucky is I? A buddy told me he had a 2004 Samichlaus sitting in his room because he thought it may be too old to drink. Quick look up on Beer Advocate tells me this 14% ball buster should've survived the trip from '04 just fine. Being the good friend that I am, I said "Gimme that shit pussy. I'll try it out." He did and I did.

Pours a deep copper burgundy. The head was a little noisy as it popped and fizzed out of existence. Now headless, it looks like a glass of maple syrup.

So of course I smell maple syrup.

Taste is 2 parts maple syrup and 2.5 parts booze. Wow. I kinda like it. Yet I wonder if it may be a little passed its prime. Not for the faint of heart. Good thing I can hang.

Overall: strong stuff, I would drink again

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Photo of illidurit
3.46/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at 515 in Santa Cruz. Poured into a snifter. Deep amber with a fluffy and sticky beige head. Aromas of caramel, eggnog, raisins, other dried fruits, and alcohol. The taste is very sweet and borders on cloying unless you really take your time. Big honey and raisin notes with a very syrupy texture. Alcohol is obviously present but not distractingly harsh. Too thick and sweet for me.

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Photo of AleWerks
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a real treat. Vintage 2007;

A - Dark amber color with no head.

S - Figs, raisins, caramel, roasted malts

T - Big plum, fig, malt flavor!

M - Huge mouthfeel! Cloyingly sweet.

D - This one is a sipper.

This beer obviously gets better with age and after only two years this particular vintage is already brilliant!

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Photo of cnally
4.54/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

just picked this up randomly and was pleased to see its story. this vintage is from 2004.

pours a finger-and-a-half head, off white in color that has trouble sticking to the glass. reddish brown tint and see-through.

toasted malt, caramel scents, very sweet smelling. alcohol very prevelent in there as well. slightly fruity like a brandy.

ho man. the caramel is massive up there. that is the first flavor, but not to be undone by the slightly spicy oaky flavor...there is an aspect that has a bourbon flavor, like it is barrel aged and firey.

burns your lips with the alcohol content. I love it. it is crisp, clean and direct, slightly dry and really has some carbonation impact.

I think this is fantastic and dangerous. tasty, high alcohol, this is a sipper if I have ever had one. very well done. the aging must have mellowed the feel and flavor, but in a tasteful way.

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Photo of fingerlaker
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2007 bottling. Experienced in April 2009.

So intense. So interesting. So expensive!

Opening it up I'm hit with a smell of wine that has gone sour. Disconserting but not enough to totally put me off.

These smells magnified when I poured it into a large cognac snifter. That sour wine smell was the most powerful note in the mix, followed by the fusel alcohol and a bit of cinnimon with a wee touch of... mango(?) in the back. There was no head whatsoever, something to be expected.

The taste was extraordinary for this, "The World's most extraordinary beer." A very sweet but not cloying malt in the front gave way to a very vinelike wine character in the back. Bitterness was minimal, but perfect for this brew. Something my friend Tyson and I sipped rather slowly in our snifters.

At $22 a four pack(!) it's something I won't have anytime soon again, but golly, it was interesting. Tyson liked it so much he gave me the money to buy another just for him!

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 78.5% out of 100 with 2,056 ratings
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