Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

BA SCORE
89
very good
2,052 Ratings
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Austria
schloss-eggenberg.at

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,052
Reviews:
1,101
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
16.54%
 
 
Wants:
185
Gots:
403
For Trade:
19
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,052 |  Reviews: 1,101
Photo of nullbort
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mmilyko
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

remember when Samichlaus was the strongest beer available. I was an early US Navy retiree & a transfer sophomore at Pitt, living at the Centre Plaza Apartments, further from campus than I liked, but close to the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium in (ahem) Shadyside, really, Slibberty. Friday nights, I would take a seat at the left end of the bar, just inside the door, now reconfigured, and be joined by two other regulars. We would routinely split the bigger, more expensive bottles just so that we could say that we tried that beer. Samiclhlaus night saw me nearly freeze to death on the way home! Let us see if I fare any better today.

From the bottle: "The World's Most Extraordinary Beverage"; "Bottled in 2014"; "Brewed only once a year on December 6, Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This specialty 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."

I Pop!ped the cap & gently decanted just enough to be able to see what was going on. A vigorous in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, soapy, tawny head that could not wait to fall away to wisps. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity & deep amber highlights. Nose was actually rather sherry-like with notes of leather, caramel, roasted chestnuts & a fusel alcohol burn that ran up into my sinus cavity & hid! Ahhhh! It burns! Mouthfeel was medium, less big than the earlier, more recent Helles, suggesting that it will thin out over time. I let it simply play over my tongue, warming as it did so. This was clearly a big, malt-driven beer with all of the sweetness that I was getting. Beyond the caramelized sugar, I also tasted leather, coconut, dried dark fruits, such as prunes & raisins as well as cherries and an amorphous nuttiness that would come and go. Phew! This will take the chill off. It really had a breadiness that made me think of B&M Brown Bread, especially the one with raisins. Have you ever had bread from a CAN? It's REALLY good, and with a schmear of cream cheese, it is even better. I like to keep a CAN on-hand just to freak out guests since most people are unfamiliar with it. This beer was that bread, liquefied. Once again, it hearkens back to my ancestral monks, brewing this beer to hold them over from pre-sunrise to post-sunset during their Lenten fast. Clearly, I am not bound by their sanctity & vows, but I can understand how this would work. Heck, I had to take a lay-down following Samichlaus Helles earlier! Perhaps I should work on an illuminated text ... In the interim, finish was hot, dry & a clear indication that patience is key with this beer. I have no doubt that years of aging will do wonders to smooth out this bad boy. See you then!

 2,791 characters

Photo of VoxRationis
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Decanted in a conical pint glass. Poured a medium copper color with minimal head, dissipating rapidly with minimal lacing or legs. Fragrant with roasted malt, inclusive of sweet biscuit and tea. Tastes nice balanced wth almost an apple note. Nice mouthfeel; remarkable light-bodied, given the alcohol content. Opened to celebrate completing our taxes; really a keeper.

 373 characters

Photo of 1488BeerSquad
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of buggyboo
4.88/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I normally don't do reviews of beers, but today I opened a 2005 bottle of this beer, 12 years young. Notes of cocoa and diacetyl abound which is great in a bock beer with absolutely no signs of age or oxidation. My best beer cellaring experience to date. While it may not be the "worlds most extraordinary beer" it would seem to be one of them. Put one of these away for 10-15 years with no worries.

 403 characters

Photo of jmasher85
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 25 oz bottle.
Where some beers are good "wine lover's" beers, this is more of a dessert/fortified wine lover's offering. It pours dark red and crystal clear, with carbonation that riding hot out the gates but quickly fizzles into nothing, and I mean nothing. Halfway through the glass, you pretty much cease to notice any bubbles, and by the bottom of the bottle, it might as well be still. This doesn't really detract from the feel, though, which is clean, not as syrupy or thick as you'd imagine from the other qualities of the wine.

And by other qualities, I do mean that this could be a port or sherry, though a hint more in the direction of a strong, dark, rich ale like a wee heavy or, well a doppelbock. That last suggestion should be obvious, but flavor-wise, the closest comparison I have is a less soy saucy Samuel Adams Triple Bock or a lighter, smoother Utopias. Tons of strong, ripe, sweet fruit flavors in here, stewed plum and blackberry being chief among them, but other qualities like carob, chocolate, honey, molasses, caramel and toffee, light notes of oak, and only the most slightly bitter finish that's less about hops than roasted malts.

Really, this stuff is sweet, unique, and special. It's not a beer I'd want every day necessarily, though writing this review the morning after putting away an entire 25oz bottle myself, I still find myself wanting more. Hell, even the glass still smells great. I could happily buy a case of large bottles, drink half, seal it, let it oxidize, and drink a nicely decanted 2nd half the next day. Again, know what you're getting into – sweet, strong, shockingly smooth, but still a sipper – but this beer is like that person you thought was kinda cute, had a nice conversation with, and then the next day you realize you have a huge crush on.

 1,820 characters

Photo of Brewxer
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Rich, fruity and smooth taste, no alcohol detectable whatsoever, delicious. Smelled similar and nice, but not overly strong. I do prefer a beer with a bit of a head in terms of looks and mouthfeel was a bit lacking.

 217 characters

Photo of MjBrewhouse
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of crewfan1952
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tcsox
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BeerAndFilm
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of flyingpig
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle from Beers Of Europe (2014 vintage):
Quite a strong beer with a full body & a very sweet mouthfeel, it opened up as a fairly balanced offering but gradually things got sweeter & it eventually began to overpower towards the end, almost seeming sickening but not quite. Some nice malts featured alongside some decent caramel flavours with plenty ripe fruits as well which is what I expected but it was just a touch too strong at times. The beer had good carbonation levels though & by the end it was also quite boozy with a pretty warming feel & solid kick to it. Overall it was a very nice beer but due to the strength it's probably more likely to be a one-off for me rather than something I'd go back to often, if at all.

 734 characters

Photo of Chrispy_Creams
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cryptichead
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Leftofthedial
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bobv
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2015
Revisited 6 weeks after my first rating.
Vigorous pour yields a 1/4 inch head that disappears within a minute or two. Reddish, mahogany, amber body; sexy! Nose of caramel, candy sugar, cherries, chocolate, brandied cherries, and dark rum. Taste is elegantly complex while encompassing all of the aforementioned attributes that were previously alluded to regarding the aroma. Ha! Feel for a 14% abv beer is fine as can be. Overall, I think everyone should seek this out, cellar a few, drink, and savor.
And do not drink too cold!!!

 546 characters

Photo of 71ADub
3.06/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2012 vintage, from a keg at Bier Garden Portsmouth, VA. 5 oz. goblet.

A- light amber, delicate light tan head.

S- Hot. Wine, butter, fruitcake, hot from alcohol.

T - Fruitcake, scotch. The aftertaste is like cough syrup- how dissapointing.

M-low carbonation.medium body.

O- This had to be the worst vintage Sami I have ever had. Don't know what happened with the aging, but a true dissappointment this year. My buddies that also went with me in December to the kegtapping said the same thing.

 502 characters

Photo of Euroglot
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of hman43
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours amber with slight ruby highlights.

Smell: The aroma is dominated by the malt. It has aromas of Maillard, toast, with slight dark fruit and slight chocolate.

Taste: It has a sweet Maillard and toast flavoring to start off with. The are flavor of plums and a slight hint of chocolate.

Feel: It has a full body. There is alcohol warming as well.

Overall, this is a malty sweet lager that features Maillard and toasty flavors with other flavors in support.

 477 characters

Photo of token_23223
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of scootny
4.94/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I remember this brew from about 30 years ago as I started my journey into serious craft beer. At the time it was purchased for the ABV. I was drinking a lot of Belgians at the time and had not really developed a taste for bocks or dopplebocks with the exception of Aventinus. Always been in love with that beer. Anyway I bought it and I was in over my head by a mile. Drank it too cold, too fast, too ignorantly. And I knew about how to drink real beer. I just hadn't developed a palate for bocks, an appreciation for the art of big malt, especially one as thick and sweet as this.

Now I'm completely blown away by this brew. A 2014 bottling. Brilliantly clear with little head and no retention or lacing. Who cares about carbonation! It just looks like a glass of class. Swirl it and just a wisp of bubbles trace themselves across the top and disappear like a puff of smoke.

Nose starts to clue you in. Think sherry or port and you are in the ballpark. Think Bourbon and or single malt and you have arrived. Huge alcohol fumes with lots of cherries and plums. Notes of vanilla. A big peppery bite. A malty undercurrent. Hops are floral and light.

Taste is benchmark for big beers. This hits like a hybrid of sherry and bourbon. Sweet and juicy like the wine. Warming and complex like Kentucky's finest. Following the nose, it presents so many exquisitely balanced flavors. All the aforementioned. The front is sweet with toffee, butter and faint biscuits. Followed strongly by a parade of cherries and and plums. Finish has a very mild alcohol bite with floral hops. Coffee and cocoa flow as the finish fades leaving brown sugar and fusel alcohol. For all its strength it is surprisingly easy to drink and the booze is quite well integrated.

Feel is syrupy with a gentle and perfect carbonation. As the bottle says, it's warming and creamy. This will rival any distilled sippin' favorite you have. It's so satisfying and delicious, and you can sip just a little bit more of it for a longer time before you have to call it quits and still have your wits.

This is an unbelievably great beer. I had no idea that it is as rare as it is so I am going back to stock up on the 2014/15 bottles in my nearby discount seller.

 2,244 characters

Photo of PJCarnell
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of toom
1.28/5  rDev -67.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Vile. Smells and tastes like cheap whiskey mixed with castor oil and castrol oil. I poured out 3/4 of it. Disgusting. £6 wasted.

130 characters

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,052 ratings.
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