Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

very good
1,087 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,087 | Ratings: 2,023
Photo of CoreyC
4.86/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2013 11.2 oz bottle
A Light head, very unique cooper/amber color. Looks like Vin Santo.
S Brandied cherries. Light but nice.
T Smooth and sweet. Spiked fruit - delicous. Tastes like a very finely aged beer (was already over two years old when I bought it) in terms of the sweet sherry like flavors.
M Nice, light and clean for the sweerness.
O Excellent. If you like malt/fruit/sweet beers, it doesn't get better.

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Photo of rarigney
4.71/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottling of a 25.4 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass. Initial impression, very sweet, very boozy. Tastes of dark fruity sweetness. My first sample of Samichlaus Classic, but I'm glad I stashed one for next Christmas.

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Photo of EMV
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. 2014 edition served in January 2016.

L: Pours a clear deep reddish amber color. Thin off-white head with nice lacing.

S: Malts and honey. Boozy and sweet.

T/F: This drinks like a warm caressing slap in the face if that makes any sense. Dark sugars and sticky malts up front. Rum and honey.. raisins and caramel. Boozy for sure... then warm and fuzzy at the finish. Low carbonation as you'd expect from a brew this powerful.

O: All I can say is 'wow' and unlike just about anything else you're likely to come across. A slow sipper... best at cellar temperature, and just so much going on to enjoy with this one. This is a case that I won't be working through any time soon... and very glad to have it for some vertical tastings in years to come. Snag it if you can find it.

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

2007 vintage, poured into a snifter. The beer is a muddled, brown coloring, with a low profile, creamy colored head. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and apple. Amazingly layered and balanced. The flavors are apple and old world fruit forward, with highlights of sugar, brown sugar, molasses, and earthy notes. Very layered and dynamic. The body is smooth and surprisingly light, with a layered aftertaste of old world fruit, rich and sweet notes, and booze. The finish is rich, smooth, and layered. Solid beer, and really holds up well to aging.

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Photo of rbelcher1959
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer to me is almost like a honey mead. My wife and I agree that there is a slight mead taste to this beer.Reddish brown color with almost no head. The alcohol level is high with this one 14%. We like it as an after dinner sipper

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at room temperature.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep hickory brown, shot through with cherrywood red highlights. Forms nearly no head, with what does form consisting of vaguely beige bubbles which swiftly dissipate to a thick ring. No real lacing to speak of.

Smell: The aroma actually hit me at arm's length within a second of my cracking the cap! Sweetness dominates the nose, all caramel and fruits like cherries and plums. Hints of rum waft by as one enjoys the aroma, and there's an underlying base that's similar to a sticky bun or schnecken. I could smell this beer all day.

Taste: First and foremost, this is a hypersweet doppelbock, hitting the tongue like a barrage of boozy sugar. Rum and cognac are the first impression I get from the flavor profile, which are swiftly joined by notes of cherry and plum. Beneath, there's a sort of base layer of a sticky bun glazed with caramel. Something of a medicinal tone is present throughout the entire tasting process, with a sort of coppery tinge to all the other flavors present. There's also more than a little alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Light of body, yet sticky, with light carbonation and the aforementioned alcohol heat.

Overall: Quite a good doppelbock, although almost more of a treat to inhale than imbibe. For the price point, there are plenty of other doppelbocks I enjoy more, particularly given the ABV overtone that creeps in. Although, for a 14% beer, those overtones are fairly well in check.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a classic indeed! I am somewhat surprised this isn't rated higher than it is especially given the inherent generosity of BA reviewers. At 14% ABV this is right on the edge of my tolerance for big beers so I can definitely taste some alcohol heat but it is tempered and balanced. Surprisingly drinkable for the ABV. I love the smell and taste of molasses, dark fruits soaked in booze. Very malty, sweet and caramel-like.

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Unique mahogany color; almost no head and what little there was dissipated quickly. Subtle, but very interesting nose - I smell cherries, pears, raisins. Taste- very malty, very sweet, caramel, and rum soaked raisins, sherry-- is this what would happen if you could liquefy a fruit cake? A little boozy flavor, but pleasantly surprised that the alcohol taste is more subtle than I would have expected from the ABV. The mouth feel is almost more sherry than beer; syrupy. At least for me, this is a very unique drinking experience (albeit I tend to normally dwell in hoppier places). While I don't think I could drink this every day, it is certainly a welcome and unique holiday treat and I nice change of pace from the other holiday beers I have been enjoying -- think I will be asking Santa annually to leave 11.2 ounces of this under my tree.

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Photo of Yancey82
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoying Samichlaus for the first time on Christmas morning. A 2014 vintage pours a clear amber with a head that dissipates quickly. Smells sweet and tastes sweeter. A great sipper. Looking forward to aging these.

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Photo of BierRunner
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is not a typical beer so you must appreciate the style. It is more of a barley wine than a beer. Fascinating layers of taste. However, very high ABV means you are aware of the alcohol throughout. This is one to sip. Would be interested to see how it ages.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Reddish brown with a thin beige head.

Smell: Fruits, and alcohol.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth full bodied. Very sweet molasses and fight with faint wheat notes.

Overall: Very sweet! But very good.

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Photo of stortore
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours an amber color, clear, with no head and no lacing. Smells wonderful. Malt, wine, plums, oak, raisins, figs, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar. The taste mostly follows the nose. Malt forward, raisins, figs, dates, caramel, brown sugar, some wine. A little alcohol comes through. It's pretty sweet, although not cloyingly so. Smooth, great body, taste lingers on the tongue.

Really enjoyed this one, the flavors burst vividly, as does the aroma. First bottle of a four pack I've had for about a year, and look forward to see how it ages over the next year or so. If you like big, malty beers, go get this one. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of dcotom
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2013. Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle into Seidel glass. Caramel color, no head, no carbonation to speak of. Looks like bourbon in the glass. Aroma has notes of dark-fruit jam, dark bread, malts, and alcohol. Very sweet on the palate, no bitterness at all. Again, bread, dark fruit, prunes, alcohol warmth although not boozy at all. Lingering sweet syrupy finish. This seems to become more and more complex with each sip. If a doppelbock is, as they say, a "meal in a glass," this is apéritif, entrée, and dessert in a glass.

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Photo of drmeto
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-pours a clear copper-ruby with a small,quickly dissipating,foamy,beige head
-low carbonation visible
-Follows the nose with a toasty finish
-very sweet
-medeium carbonation
-medium to full body
Mouthfeel is a little too light,otherwise its a great sipper.

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

This is the first beer I rate all 5s. I tried a 2010 version (5 years cellared) it was awesome. Poured deep brown with red highlights, hazy. Smell is complex, rich, malty, great. Taste is complex but mellow, very well balanced. Body is very creamy, low carbonation. One of the best beers I´ve had.

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Photo of Chessmaster
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'd heard a lot about this from various blogs and wanted to try it.

Poured from bottle into a Gulden Draak glass/goblet.

A: Pours a deep reddish brown, very clear, with a wisp of foam that quickly dissipates to nothing. That's to be expected with 14% ABV. The color is attractive, the beer is clear, and some occasional bubbles can be seen streaming up from the bottom.

S: The smell is primarily sweet, cocoa maybe with some hints of dark fruit like raisins. The booze is apparent in the smell. Overall pleasant but not amazing. No hops apparent.

T: The initial flavor is warming, sweet malt -- chocolate, raisins, maybe plums -pleasant. The aftertaste has a kick of alcohol warmth and unpleasant bite. No hops apparent.

M: The mouthful is thick and full-bodied. A sipper for sure.

O: Overall, I was underwhelmed by this, but I can tell it is a good beer for the style (a strong, boozy, sipper). It wouldn't be a go-to beer for me but I can appreciate it.

I plan to save the other 3 bottles in the 4 pack. 2 for sharing at Christmas and 1 to age. I've heard this can be aged to great effect.

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Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby red with a small beige head that leaves no lacing. Not a ton of bubbles in the glass. Smell and taste are of complex malts: caramel, fruits, dried dark fruits, raisins, prunes, and dark bread. It tastes like 12 things at once. Mouthfeel is sticky and sweet. A treat to have once or twice a year.

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Photo of J_Chavez15
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out a darker red not amber but red. Thin white head. Smells of fruits some chocolate and maybe some kind of coffee. This one is a creeper so taking it slow is a must. With that being said this beer is a once or twice a yqear thing. One of the best. Beers i ever tried.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2014. Poured into a snifter glass.

Stunning, ruby red color with great clarity. A thin white head initially that fizzles out into a thin ring around the edge of the beer. Sweet, malty aroma of dark fruits and toffee. The flavor brings out a huge port wine quality. Very sweet, but never to the point of being cloying. Almost no hops to speak of, this is all about the malt. The alcohol is well hidden, yet you know just by the reading the ABV off the bottle that this is one to be sipped. Really enjoyable brew here and makes an excellent digestif or dessert beer.

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Photo of Eziel
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle. Poured a nice deep brown with very little carbonation. After the first couple sips, the beer warmed up into a very nice pitted fruit/malt bomb. I couldn't taste much of the 14% which was a good thing. Overall, an interesting beer that I'd drink again.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.37/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

330 ml in a snifter a 2014 bottle so for this beer relatively fresh

A: like a barley wine but lighter, little to no head, reddish vermilion hue, truly a unique and beautiful color

S: kind of faint, but also pretty much smells like a standard dopplebock, not overly fragrant, somewhat autumnal and warm but all aromas are faint, subtly dry and biscuit like--more so as the beer mellows, a tad of alcohol at the back of the nose and some astringency joining it, w/a bit of tartness every now and again, honestly the alcohol in this given the other flavors and the sweetness makes it a savory sipper for sure

T: like a mildly less hoppy barleywine, both sweet and bitter, rich and somewhat juicy like a berry of some sort, a tinge of cinnamon

M: thick but not quite syrup, but close

O: you will feel this beer but not taste it, this beer is thoroughly enjoyable and complex but not immediately so, it's not exactly welcoming you in to ponder it's complexities, it is very full but not overly boozy, not sure that a fresh bottle is worthy of the slogan " the worlds most extraordinary beverage" but it is good and also having not aged it i cannot comment on what the beer will do given time. This fresher bottle tasted like a less bitter barleywine almost to the letter. Truly does border on a liquor like burn. It is certainly worth a try if you can find it, but if you are looking to drink it right away I would say don't work too hard trying to locate this beer, once again i cannot comment on what aging does to this beer (though I've heard great things) but for me a fresh bottle is nothing necessarily to write home about. I would say if you are looking for something representational of a great doppelbock in the truest sense (this really doesn't taste like a dopplebock to me) try ayinger celebrator instead.Definitely interesting and definitely good though. Will age some and see how it develops with time

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Photo of thebeers
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 vintage. Reddish amber color with very thin white head. Big and boozy toffee-caramel malt aroma with cherry, plum and Christmas spices. All carry over to the taste. Sweet, syrupy and slightly hot. Not sure why I popped this in July, but can see how it would hit the spot on a cold winter night.

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Photo of generallee
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label lists the abv at 14% abv. Appearance: This one has a deep mahogany color with a light haze and a little yeast sediment. It raises a small quick fading fading light tan head. At 14% I don’t expect it to have much head or lacing. Smell: It has a full nose of sweet candy like fruity notes. Apples, plums, figs and red pears covered in sugar and soaked in spiced rum jump out at me. Taste / Palate: This one leads with big sweet maltiness packed with notes of candied fruit and boozy cake. The finish is warm and boozy in a good way. Hops are set way off in the background but still add a little spice to the overall character. The palate feels big full and a little syrup like with light carbonation.

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Photo of LaneMeyer
1.85/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had this a long time ago. I probably need to revisit this one as it has so much praise around here. But ya, I couldn't finish the bottle. Tasted like liquid smoke to me at the time.

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Photo of logicalparadox
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sweet, surprisingly juicy, viscous and thick, but not at all chewy or dense. Syrupy, describes it well. Profile almost like plum wine or plum brandy, a little boozy, but not overpowering in the front or the middle. Lots of fruitiness and low carbonation could trick you at times to imagining your sipping a spirit or a cocktail perhaps. Brandy, brandywine, and rum come to mind for me.

Warming, complex, and a long finish where the alcohol flavor can start to build, depending on the state of your pallate at the time, especially as it warms. That's something I personally find undesirable, as my tolerance for alcoholic flavors is low and I dislike spirits and liquors for that reason.

Not my kind of thing, but I can certainly appreciate why it's so highly lauded.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,023 ratings.
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