Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

very good
2,041 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,041 |  Reviews: 1,094
Photo of Macca
3.43/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a clear ruby colour into a Samichlaus tulip glass. Obvious carbonation. Solid 2 centimetres of head and fantastic retention.

Obvious alcohol on the nose. Stewed fruits. Dark rum. Molasses/brown sugar.

Very rich mouthfeel. Warming alcohol. Lots of sweetness.

Look, I understand and appreciate the rareness of this beer but, I really feel the alcohol level is just too over the top. Perhaps as the years go on it might mellow. Glad I got to try it though.

 463 characters

Photo of froghop
3.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is a clear amber with little to no head, and good lacing.

smell is strong, alcohol, some spice, caramel, touch of fruit, malt, and grain.

taste is warm, thick, grain, spice, sweet, syrup, dark fruit, some caramel, and lots of malt.
overall this is very strong and gets better as it warms up.

 298 characters

Photo of bryanbrick
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2001 bottling, give to me as a gift by my friend Vierra.

This is awesome. Simply one of the best Dopplebock style beers out there. Always so complex and dense. This is like having The Odyssey or the Bible condensed and shot into your brain in 5 seconds and having complete retention. Does that make sense?

No head and little lacing at this point but who cares. There is plenty else going on.

Nose of freshly baked pumpernickel, carob and gingerbread spice. Really on the sweet register at this point.

The palate is dense and chewy with little to no carbonation. Mocha, sweet chocolate ganache and something like sasparilla on the palate not to mention lots of refined candy sugar. This is like a flourless chocolate cake with espresso cream. Long and lasting, this is something that you will taste for hours after it has long been out of your glass.

Texturally this is coating and still very much alive with nice lift from flavor rather than carbonation.

A note about drinkability: This will put you on your ass. There was a night that I drank 4 of these with some other booze. Let's just say interesting things happened. Be careful here. This is kind of a "one beer night" kind of beer.

Thanks Vierra!

 1,211 characters

Photo of Philly82785
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark copper with a small white head. The nose is nice, sweet malts, alcohol, toffee, caramel, a tiny hint of Noble hops, and a ton sweetness. Comes across the palate with a lot of sweetness. Actually its a bit boozy up front, then you get hit with this ridiculous amount of malty sweetness. That does a fantastic job hiding the high abv; its very thick and full feeling. I would highly recommend trying this one at least once.

 439 characters

Photo of dukedevil0
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had out of a 750mL bottle at Beer School at Whole Foods in Lakeview in Chicago, IL on 12/16/08.

A: Pours like apple juice or whiskey. almost zero head.

S: smells of apples with alcohol, caramel and molasses

T: similar to the smell in flavor, sweetness...with a warming sensation

M: thin going in, but the flavor and alcohol makes it feel fuller, very low carbonation..seriously like apple jioce or whiskey being poured

D: surprisingly drinkable with such a high alcohol content...the sweetness counteracts it...strong alcohol would make it dangerous to drink too much.

 573 characters

Photo of linnet
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber colour, small head, creates a lid, no lacing. Smell is vinous, yeasty, malty with no apparent hops. Taste is very very sweet, honey, fruity, jam. Obviously alcohol is very noticeable but it is much less so than I expected from a beer whit such a high ABV. bubbles are medium and the liquid is very smooth. This beer is dangerously easy to drink almost makes you think that it needs to have a warning label..

 413 characters

Photo of SargeC
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep, clear amber beer with a thin, tan head. Minimal movement.

Smell: Caramel, toffee and a high octane alcohol aroma that is very eye opening.

Taste: Syrupy sweet and very complex. Cherry flavors mingle with hints of bubblegum and a touch of mint. Quite spicy beneath the sweetness. Warming alcohol flavors in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Very sharp and warm.

Drinkablity: A classic. Boozy, but brilliant. Worth the trip.

 449 characters

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

Well there was no Celebrator at the store and I needed a Doppelbock so I finally caved and spent the $20 or so for a four pack of this.

Poured from an 11.2 oz. 2006 bottle into a pilsener glass.

Appears a clear orange copper color with a half inch off-white head that sinks to a spotty film after a couple minutes. As expected it leaves no lacing behind.

The aroma is exploding with caramel malts and toffee, raisins, figs, plums, brown sugar, and a faint chocolate. A light tinge of alcohol as well in the back. Hard to imagine a Doppelbock smelling better than this.

The taste is every bit as good as the aroma. Lots of sweetness up front that is somewhat sugary but definitely has a caramel malt component to it. The perfect amount of malty goodness. Midway through there is a ton of raisin and fig flavors like the aroma suggested. The finish has some lingering sweetness and a lot of alcohol like a port wine. If it weren't for the strong alcohol I would give this a perfect score for taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but nearer to full with a clean feel and a fairly creamy carbonation that seems to suit it well.
Not exactly drinkable, but for what it is I think it's just fine.

Well this one was definitely worth it and even better than I was hoping it would be. If you see this stuff I would highly recommend picking it up if you are into Doppelbocks.

 1,369 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark orange color with minimal head and good lacing.

Scent of sweet malts, dark fruits, bubble gum, and alcohol. The scent is quite strong, and very sweet, but not overly sweet.

Taste of sweet malts, grain, and alcohol. Finishes with grain, a hint of ash, and more alcohol. A little too sweet, could be balanced a little better.

Mouthfeel is full and heavy.

2006 bottle sampled, it seems to have held up pretty well; this beer is worth a try.

 461 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

NOTE: Had this at a one-time only keg tapping party at The Bier Garden in Portsmouth, VA. The keg that was tapped was from 2005, so this review is of Samichlaus at three years aged.

Served to me in a brandy snifter with two-finger head that died quickly but left minor lace ring around glass. An intensely, almost overpowering sweet malt/sugary smell along with dark fruits.
Full-bodied and thick, almost milkshake thick; a definite sipper. Smooth, somewhat creamy, and bubblegum sweet while warming w/ a minor alcohol burn to coat a beer that is silky smooth. Caramel, honey, gum, dark fruits, raisin, grape or black cherry, seemed to be all tucked into this beer. Hops are very minor and completely overshadowed by the malts but are there. I couldn't session this as the ABV and the fullness of the beer hit me with one 8 oz. glass. Other than that "complaint", this had to be one of, if not the, greatest beer I've had. Guess I'll wait another three years for it again.

 973 characters

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

Bottled in 2004.

Ruby hues - semi-transparent. Minimal head with no lacing. Smell is sweet and malty. Nose is brown sugar. Smell really reminds me of a barleywine. Taste is quite sweet up front and rather cloying through the finish. As it warms some bitterness comes through to balance the end. The alcohol is very well hidden. Beer becomes way more drinkable as it is allowed to open up a bit. What really started out as being quite sweet, ends up being pretty complex with tastes of fig, some pear, brown sugar. Overall, definitely enjoyable and one that I should have tried much sooner.

 590 characters

Photo of gdfan47
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

wow I dont know where to start with this one, very complex

A- dark brown but you can see through it
S- whiskey, cinnamon, chocolate, clove, sugar
T- all over the place, it was sweet but their was a tad of a must, cinnamon and you could taste a general alcohol smell
M- very smooth , very sweet, but almost a sensory overload
D- a little rough, the flavors are all over the place and the high abv would catch up with you if you had more than one...

 448 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.64/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Since I am not able to review this under it's proper listing I am forced to list it here. This is Samichlaus Brown from the Hurlimann Brewery of
Switzerland vintage 1993. Shared with SierraGS on Samichlaus Day 12/06/2008. Fifteen year old beer...hell yeah!

A-Deep, lustrous, ruby brown with the thinnest wisp of a light tan ring. No lace left but "legs" instead; akin to wine.

S-Ultra strong, sweet molasses candy. A bit of alcohol heat sneaks in with notes of raisin, prunes, dark skinned grapes and licorice.

T-Rich caramel malts swirl with robust dark fruit notes of raisins, prunes and plums. Bit of warming alcohol heat creeps in upon finishing.

M-Medium bodied, rich and silky smooth with an initial touch of tingle. It would be hard to get a smoother brew. A mysterious, tannic acid like, twang in the finish.

D-Regardless of the 14% ABV this is one of the smoothest, most luscious, easy drinking, sipping beers I have ever had. I am sure that the 15 years of aging have done this brew nothing but good. A treat for the mind, body and spirit....Happy Samichlaus Day!

 1,079 characters

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

Bottled in 2007. This beer has been on my mind for a long time now. The first time a heard of it I had just turned 21 and just started getting into this whole beer thing, I was 6 months away from reviewing my first beer and was working my way towards a free tshirt by drinking the 12 beers of Christmas a lot of bars tend to do. This was the last one I had to drink before my free shirt, I was going to try it earlier until the bartender informed me that it was 14%. I was going to try it the day after new years, but the bar was closed and they took the promotion away. Alas, I was never able to try the beer. For months and years afterwards I would see bottles of this for sale but was scared off by both its price tag (even though I've spent more on a single beer) and the ABV (even though I've had bigger beers) But finally at 3.50 a pop at Sam's in Dowers Grove I finally caved and bought me a bottle. Let's see how this beast lives up to whatever expectations I have...

Just finished this beer about an hour later. Damn, this beer is a monster, I thought I was doing okay halfway into this thing, but it really has knocked me on my ass, even though I am already sitting down. A definite sipper to be sure, especially as the sweetness starts to get a bit stronger.

The color on this is wonderful. But I think I only say this because of the ABV on this beer. Normally beers of this size tend to be imperial stouts and seeing some color is a nice change of pace. That being said, it pours a wonderfully clear bourbon amber or amaretto as an earlier review stated. The head disappears almost immediately. Now it really looks like amaretto.

Cold pressed apple cider, slightly underscored alcohol heat, but if you breathe too hard you are going to feel it like a hot breath down your throat.

Sweet and boozy, honey and ripe red apples, finish reaffirms the apple sweetness in a big way. Booze seems to overpower some of the finer points of this beer. There are some mild caramel-like malts that can be detected that sort of turn the taste into a boozy, pulverized, candy apple. I honestly think this beer is too big for its own good, the beer should be a malt bomb but it doesn't appear to be all that roasty like other dopplebocks out there. But there is something to be said about a beer, a lager nonetheless, that can remain drinkable.

Not really living up to the sizable hype I had thought out for it but I'm not really giving up on this beer, it has something to offer and under the proper cellaring conditions could probably turn into something pretty interesting.

 2,575 characters

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eggshell foam builds up and crackles audibly, lasts for a second, then dissipates to a thin ring. The body is very high clarity, and shines a bright orange-red.

Sweet apple in the aroma with brandy vapors coming off of it. A touch of fruit cocktail behind that, leading into apple liqueur flavors. The alcohol is strong in the flavor, and warms like whiskey after the swallow. Sweet is the key word, some light caramel and apple notes, smothered under the warming alcoholic blanket. This would definitely cellar well, and would be recommended for a year or more.

It paired well with pecan pie, and i'm sure any sweet dessert would offset the alcohol a bit, making it more palatable.

2007 vintage, $6 from Vrai Amour wine shop in Chicago.

 742 characters

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

Poured into a Belgian goblet at the Cock and Bull in Covington, Kentucky. Pours an amber color with no head, don't know if it's because of the beer or the glass was not beer ready. However, there was plenty of carbonation in the beer. A constant flow of bubbles was rising from the bottom of the glass. The nose was full of dark juicy fruit note that was followed by a aromas of spicy hops, then backed by spicy alcohol. The taste was delicious, all of the fruits in the nose and peppery alcohol. The mouth feel was thick and wonderful, great beer to warm yourself against Cincinnati's rainy, cold winters. This beer goes beyond the style of Doppelbock, maybe an eisbock, but the flavor reminds me of an English Barley Wine. Would pair wonderfully with Creme Brulee.

 766 characters

Photo of darklordlager
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 bottle.
Ideally I would put some age on this before consuming, but seeing as I will be traveling back to the states within the next month, now will have to do....

Pours a chestnut colour, with some red highlights.
A good 2" of foam resulted from the initial pour, which has since receded to a mere 1/2" of slightly tinted yellow head.

Smell is of some darker fruits, a bit of alcohol...smells kind are reminiscent of some wee heavies I've had...

Taste, it is really intense up front....Incredible sweetness, which follows with some sweet malts. Some cidery notes in the background as it warms.

The mouthfeel is syrupy (much thicker than anticipated) and sticks to your tongue after swallowed...

Alcohol warming in the finish is VERY evident...This could definitely use some aging...

The flavour intensity and alcohol content of this brew limit the drinkability.

 884 characters

Photo of botham
3.17/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2007 edition, opened a year later. 12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. pours a rich amber color with chestnut brown tones and three fingers of orangish tan head that remains for a few minutes and leaves no lacings.

aroma is of caramel malts and alcohol, with notes of bready malt, similar in character to a barleywine. mild dark fruits are present as well, though not very distinct. very faint notes of roasted malt and toffee are present upon a bit of warming.

taste is quite malty, with notes of bready malt and caramel malt mainly along with ancillary notes of alcohol and dark fruit. the alcohol takes on a medicinal character, like cough syrup, which does not work well with the malts.

mouthfeel is full bodied and syrupy, with a noticable bite from alcohol, and a finish reminiscent of cough syrup.

drinkability is decent. normally a high alcohol tag would mean that the brew is more complex and rich, but this one fails to be either. the alcohol works against the malts, creating an odd alcohol character and a malt profile that does not stand up to it.

 1,070 characters

Photo of Nibbley
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh My God!
Where do I begin..
I have been truly blessed. This is absolutley the finest brew I have ever tasted. This is a 2007 vintage. Pours a wonderful dark caramel color with an off white head that doesnt linger long.
The aroma that I got was honey and lavender with a touch of cotton candy, very sweet.
The mouthfeel is indescribable, big malty chewy goodness.I found this one at Summits Tavern in Snellville,Ga. Scores a perfect 5x5!!

 439 characters

Photo of Pencible
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a clear dark mahogany with no head. It smelled strong and complex, like honey wheat, nutty malt, earthy barley, a bit of creamy orange, and alcohol. It tasted like rich caramel and granulated sugar, burnt barley, and nutty malt, with creamy orange and vanilla oak, and some alcohol. It was somewhat thick with no carbonation, and had a lasting bittersweet aftertaste with a bit of alcohol warming. Overall this is the best of the Eggenbergs. It is fantastically complex, with a clean and delicious flavor and great body. It had noticeable alcohol, which made it a better for sipping. But it's so rewarding to drink. Holding onto this long enough to age would be difficult, but possibly very worth it.

 712 characters

Photo of GilGarp
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up on a recomendation from Men's Journal since they seem to know their stuff when it comes to beer. It's supposedly a great way to get through the holidays with family. Must be the nice aroma...

Pours from a 330ml brown bottle into my curvy Sam Adams glass. I'm surprised that there is not a spec of yeast or sediment even at the bottom. Not as dark as I expected either. It has the appearance of an American red ale but it's almost completely lacking in head. Even with a smooth fast pour down the center of the glass, barely half an inch develops and it's gone in a flash.

Aroma is immediately evident as I pop the cap but in the glass it's mysteriously missing. Slightly sweet and fruity but nothing outstanding.

The taste is where this beer really packs a punch. Very sweet and strong, port-like flavors of cherries and oak, also apples and pears. Of course the alcohol is also a big part of this beer and it's 14% strength just can't be hidden.

Mouthfeel is smooth, almost syrupy but not too heavy. The burn is considerable. It could use a bit more carbonation to prevent it from feeling like wine or liquor.

Drinkability is ok but it really makes for a good nightcap as I'm finding out. After just a few sips, the warming comes over me and I'm ready for bed.

 1,283 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear dark amber color with a small light head. Sounded very carbonated. The head dissapeared quickly. Aroma has hints of grape, alcohol pear, apple, brown sugar, raisins and dark fruits.
Taste is super sweet and malty! Reminds me of fall and like a whiskey spiked cider. There is a nice bitterness and LOTS of warmth from the alcohol. Feel is sticky smooooth and syrupy. Well this is pretty cool and drinkable. More than one and your hammered.

 453 characters

Photo of junkman203
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First of all, wow. This is a strong beer. I did not notice the alcohol content before I drank of it. Again, wow.

Appearence is a brownish maroon, very nice looking. it has a thin head that goes away quickly, leaving a thin ring. Smell, taste and mouth feel are all dominated by the high alcohol content. Not in a bad way, though. Smell and taste are also very sweet and malty.

As far as drinkability, I think this is a good beer for after dinner, sipping and relaxing before bed. It is definately not a chugging beer.

After looking at other reviews and more closely at my bottle, I should mention I have a "bottled in 2006" bottle.

 635 characters

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a thin white head that fades fast. The aroma is very sweet and rich with some nice caramel notes and a distinct alcohol note.
The flavor begins with a smooth malty sweetness that carries over but it isn't cloying and finishes clean with a burn from the alcohol.
Mouthfeel is thin and it is perfect for the style.
Overall this is an excellent brew that is a bit sweet for my tastes but it is nice to drink in the colder months as a nice winter warmer.

 490 characters

Photo of BarryNL
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful deep copper colour with reddish highlights. A white head forms on the pour, but collapses fairly quickly.

S: Rich, sherry like doppelbock aroma. Sweet malt and alcohol also come through.

T: Very sweet dessert wine flavour, but with a malty edge.Toffee, plum, port wine, caramel. Hop bitterness is low but balancing and no hop flavour.

M: Rich and fluffy. Very smooth.

D: A slow drinking beer - more of a sipping wine than a beer type experience.

This is really a different class of drink to most beers - it also deserves to be classed with fortified or dessert wines. Having said that, if you take it for what it is then it is a exceptional and well made beer. Fermenting such a monster can't be easy and the Eggenberg should be congratulated on producing such a unique beer.

 793 characters

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,041 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More