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 Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of KillaB
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of matjack85
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of spinrsx
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml Bottle from the SAQ Quebec for 4.50$ - 2011 VIntage

Appearance - Clear light brown colour with a small size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an average level of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, peat, butterscotch

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste butterscotch/caramel and malts mixed with dark fruits. There is also a peatiness and I can taste the booze. It ends with a malty sweet and boozy aftertaste.

Overall – A little too much of a wee heavy flavour to this one for me - which isn't my favourite style of beer. It's still an interesting beer that clocks in at 14% and is remains quite drinkable. I've go a few more to see how they develop over the years.

 810 characters

Photo of jtierney89
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

05 vintage

Clear rusted hue, with not much head. Rum raison on the nose, bit of wood, some pretty offensive solvent alcohol.

Thankfull the beer drinks much better than the nose. Smooth like a port wine. Sweet sugary taste balanced with a touch of alcohol heat. Has a sherry like woodiness. Aged amazingly, velvet like mouth feel, incredibly smooth with good balance between sweetness and alcohol. Very impressive.

 415 characters

Photo of hopmopped
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Digimaika2
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(3.75) A: Crystal clear amber coloured with a fast vanishing bubbly head.

(4.25) S: Bourbon soaked raisins, orange, banana, nut qualities, figs, and spices (faint cinnamon). Very good.

(4.0) T: Similar to aroma with boozy raisin, tart orange, caramel, dried dark fruits (figs and dates), spices, and pecans. As expected, the warmth of the alcohol is quite noticeable but it isn’t harsh at all and compliments the dark fruits very well. Mellow and smooth.

(4.25) M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Thick and syrupy with a pleasingly very dry mouthfeel throughout.

(4.0) D: This is very good and I’ll be aging a bottle or two more, along with drinking a couple more as is.

 683 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

dang, and the memories come flooding back...
little to no head, lots of tiny bubbles rising to the surface and crackling upon surfacing. true copper/amber/orange color. much more of a 'carbonation' than i was expecting for such a high abv brew.
smell is almost non-existent, but maybe barley?
taste? sweet. alcohol-ly, slightly twangy bitter. i never knew this was classified as a dopplebock.
much thinner than i remember. back before i got into anything too extraordinary or diverse, this was the killer. it had to be crossed off the list along with its sister, the pale, enroute to completing the '101 beers from around the world'at Der Baron's in Las Vegas. this and thomas hardy. and celebrator! but dang i really like celebrator these days... it's also a dopplebock, my favorite style. but this isnt as bad as i remember it. i will still prefer a 9% belgian over this, but i had to try it again after discovering it is classified as a dopplebock.
overall, though, i'd have to say it's a worthwhile endeavor; just dont allow it to get warm, i imagine. the 14% abv will surely come out to bite ya then. it's a stately brew, even while sitting in my pathetic 11oz butwiper clydesdale mug.

 1,190 characters

Photo of JHarris1717
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of patre_tim
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark brown with orange tinge, fair carbonation, filtered, almost no head just a white residue from carbonation.

S: Smells like barley, puke, caramel, alcohol.

T: Pleasantly surprised. I get the barley, some sweet caramel, crème brule, some floral fruitiness, heavy hit of alcohol makes me think I am drinking a liquor. There is an underlying sweetness that backs this all the way. Almost an orange and a cherry blossom quality.

M: Thick and syrupy, alcohol burn, medium carbonation.

O: Bottled in 2012. Loving this one. I think its great, like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. Love the sweetnes and the complex flavours, as well as the bottle with the pic. Definitely a sipper or dessert beer.

 703 characters

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

Pours with a two-finger, bubbly white head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Crystal ruby/amber color. Light carbonation and light - medium bodied. Nose is sweet raisins and alcohol, flavor is smooth and sweet dark fruit and honey. NOT a session beer - the 14% ABV is quite noticeable . . . savor this beer. $5.10 for a 330ml bottle, from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me. Bottled in 2010 - cellars well.

 403 characters

Photo of Bucciamarcia
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of bismarksays
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of golf4collet
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.36/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Single bottle, 2012 vintage. Glad to see this in the LCBO after being rejected a few years back. Enjoyed as an after-supper sipper on the first cold night in a couple of weeks.

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Nice bright caramel-ruby in colour, with about a half inch of head that burns away in a matter of seconds. For a brew that is at 14%, this doesn't surprise me, but regardless of the reason it ain't the best looking brew to come out of the fridge.

Smells sweet and boozy, nice rich caramel, lightly burned sugar, vanilla, plum, and cherry.

Damn this is one tasty brew. Lovely and sweet, very rich - a real pleasure to sip. Big sweet caramel and vanilla flavours, with the booze and fruit coming in later. Light puckery finish, not as bold as I'd have thought, but still delicious. Like a sweet barleywine. I know it's a doppelbock, but honestly at this strength it shares so many similar characteristics to other similar styles. Whatever it is, I'm really enjoying it. Great mouthfeel to it as well - not overly thick or heavy, but with a nice balanced carbonation to keep things in check. A fine sipping beer.

Great winter brew - definitely planning on holding on to a few of these for next Christmas.

 1,213 characters

Photo of AlexFields
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

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

A treat to see at my local LCBO...

A - Pours a crystal clear ruby red colour, finger of head with little retention and no lacing.

S - Dark fruits, dried raisins, hints of apricot, candied sugar and a touch of toffee and leather on the finish.

T - The sweetness took me by surprise, syropy butter caramel and toffee, the dark fruit notes of raisins and plums come through, vinous red wine notes, candied apple and apricots, and alcohol sweetness lingers on the palette alongside a hint of leafy hops and bready malt.

M - Lighter bodied and a tad syropy for my liking, ABV heat is present but not overwhelming.

O - This stuff is not for the faint of heart. More of an after dinner dessert type drink, and a sweetness reminiscent to ice wine. It's a sipper and the first of the style of brew that is genuinely unique and memorable. Well worth seeking out, but certainly not something I could drink more than one of in a single sitting.

 937 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(2011 bottle - tasted early Jan 2013, poured into a snifter)

A: small bit of tan head, no retention, no lacing - liquid is a deep copper color, quite clear - reminds me of maple syrup

S: melanoidin-rich malt, somewhat bold - toasty, sugary-sweet dense bread - fresh, invigorating alcohol, in the background at first and balanced real well, which eventually comes to the fore, exhibiting a vaguely floral, medicinal edge

T: alcohol is way more apparent on the palate, but buffered wonderfully by the malt - the decidedly bock-like malt character shows nice depth - fruity aromatics create some complexity - the aftertaste is the best part, as the malt slowly resurfaces from beneath the herbal alcohol warmth

M: almost shockingly sharp (booze) up front, gives way quickly to a mildly syrupy body (w/o cloying sweetness) - the alcohol seems to float above the medium-dense malt foundation - really smooth - a warming flush starts seconds after ingesting, washes away, stays warm mid-chest - the alcohol lightly burns and lifts off the palate, out up into the nose - surprising level of dryness in the finish, tastebuds experience slight dessication

O: definitely a sipper - I could imagine how aging this would mellow out the overall burn of the alcohol, establishing the malt more, finding balance, very likely turning this into a 5-start brew somewhere down that line

 1,372 characters

Photo of jsnoek
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of tbryan5
4.99/5  rDev +25.1%

Photo of Stocean1
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a thin off white head that immediately dissipated. Deep copper semi-clear but thick like syrup. Thin patchy lacing. What I expected.

Smell is plums and cherry, lots of booze, reminds me of a rum filled chocolate, I like.

Taste is a bowl of sweet rum soaked cherries and raisins, this should be accompanied my a slab of christmas fruit cake. Has some underlying earthy peat coming through. The hops do not stand out whatsoever. Big, bold, and good if this is what you are looking for.

Mouth is full bodied as expected, syrupy, very sweet, not overly bitter, boozy, little carbonation.

A very nice brew that has a big well balanced taste. Will grab another ($3.95 - very decent) and put it in the cellar.

 713 characters

Photo of adamcthomp
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Peyton5410
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of tswater
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of rickyleepotts
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have no idea what this beer is going to taste like. I saw this the other day at Total Wine & More, and the bottled looked interesting. Sure enough it was on the list. So I grabbed a bottle for $4.99 and was excited to drink it. I was excited because I like the name, it was around the holidays (when this beer is brewed) and it is 14% alcohol by volume! This is a BIG beer, and some folks on Twitter said it smells and tastes like booze. A 14% beer that hasn’t had proper time to age is probably more like drinking whiskey. Which is fine… I like whiskey!

Oh, and another thing I like about this one. It says “malt liquor” on the label. Forget beer when you can drink malt liquor!

In the Glass: The beer is ruby red and has a VERY thin head. It appears thick and flat in the glass. There is no lace here, but the beer does coat the inside of the glass nicely making me think the flavor is strong and the aftertaste just hang on for dear life. Beers like this are usually for special occasions. What is the special occasion today? The fact we get to drink this beer!

Nose: We are drinking this right from the fridge, so it is still a little too cold. But the aroma is not as pronounced as I expected it to be. It is sweet, and has loads of raisin aromas as well as some hints of cherry. I am not smelling the booze that everyone on Twitter was talking about. When I say it smells “sweet”, I am not talking barleywine sweet. I am talking burnt sugar sweet. Think of something that is caramelized in the kitchen. That is what I am getting here. There is some big raisin aroma on my second whiff.

Flavor: Holy. Crap. That is incredible. Those same dark fruit notes from the aroma are there, and they just smack you in the face. The booze that everyone is talking about is more pronounced in the flavor. That booze is pretty much all you taste right off the bat. This is not a beer you would chug, and I am actually surprised they don’t sell this in bombers. They might, but our store just doesn’t carry them. Plus, the ABV is so high, it might not be possible (or against the law) to sell a beer that high in a bottle that big.

When it comes to the flavor, I am VERY pleased and quite impressed. It is not like any other beer that I can think off the top of my head.

Mouthfeel: This might be the best part about this beer. Well, the flavor is pretty great… but the mouthfeel is really nice, too. Right off the bat, your palate is just destroyed with the booze. Then, as you swallow, the booze mellows out and the sweetness sets in. Those same dark fruits that you were smelling are there, and are blatantly obvious. Also, as you sit there, the aftertaste loses luster really fast, but with every swallow you are back to the raisins that I was smelling. After the booze mellows after your first swallow, you would never know this was 14% ABV.

Aftertaste: I was expecting the sweetness to stick around for a while… but it doesn’t. It’s there, and then gone. The burp is nice, but is forced. The beer has VERY little carbonation. It reminds me of what a cask beer produces… almost flat. It’s not flat, but after one drink you will see what I mean. For a beer that has an ABV this high, meaning you are not going to have more than 1 or 2 of these, I expected the aftertaste to last a little longer. I like it when beers last for 5-7 minutes. Those beers are easily paired with a nice cigar.

I must say, I really enjoyed this beer. I might buy another bottle to sit on for a few years to see how it mellows out in the cellar. We are starting to get a pretty impressive cellar going. I think we are actually out of closet space! If you get the chance to try this beer, do. It’s not too expensive, and has a nice flavor. Bravo Castle, you did a fine job with the Samichlaus Bier.

Samichlaus Bier – The bottle says: “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.”

Rating: 4/5 (If the aftertaste would have lasted a few minutes longer, I might have given this a 5/5. But with that weak aftertaste, I can’t go all the way. The flavor is great… but I have to rate on all aspects of the beer, not just the flavor.)

 4,355 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