Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

very good
1,092 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: 1,092 | Ratings: 2,029
Photo of nomad
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2002 vintage

A warm rosy red pours out with deeper glints, creating a beer of resplendent color but purely placid surface. After an initial bubbling in a snifter this lager sits as still, clear, and smooth as glass.

Whether on draught or bottle, this beer smells to me of cocoa powder amongst sweet German Cara malts. Balancing is an appropriate alcohol presence that is well integrated.

Flavor continues with light cocoa hints and a powdery dryness that keeps the sugary malt body at bay. Smooth and surprisingly slight despite its starting gravity, there's a slight creaminess in the finish. Has the definiton of a round, moderate mouthfeel only accentuated by aging.

A classic "bier" if there ever was, I've been able to sample a variety of vintage bottles, always pleasing but never one I'm dying to drink again. I love a malty, big beer, but its a bit sweet and not as complex as comparable beers.

 914 characters

Photo of Admiraldinty
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1999 Bottle

In the words of Johnny Carson, "This is some wild and wacky shtuff." Pours a murky, muddy brown with reddish highlights and with very little head.

Aroma is strongly alcoholic, almost like rum. Fruity (plums, raisins), and syrupy malt (in the best doppelbock tradition).

Very smooth mouthfeel and creamy mouthfeel. Very thick and syrupy. Big on alcohol with dark fruits, and some chocolate. Not really any hops to speak of. Extremely warming.

This is something else, but being something else it should be savored, and enjoyed slowly on special occassions.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a golden amber color. The nose is high in alcohol. There is a good malt behind it, but it is highly obscured with the alcohol. There is a bit if fig in there. Wow. This beer makes my face do cartwheels. The second taste is a bit better. The flavor is sweet and molasses. This is a thick beer. I don't know where this falls in the style, but after the initial taste, this is a pretty decent beer. This is thick and syrupy. I think that one of these would do me, but I think I want to get another and let it sit for a few years and see where that gets me.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An unassuming two tone silver and black triple labeled, "Eggenberg Schlob" embosed browner 11.2 oz bottle that most importantly dates this as a 2003 vintage, on the body label. Other info: "the world's most extrodinary beer" "malt liquor 14 % ABV" and on the back body label "brewed only once a year on December 6 and aged for 10 months."

Poured into a tulip glass, shows like a golden amber coppery clear hued offering with scant bubbles rising under a halo ringed white high ABV toned cap.

Easy aroma of malts overbearing the nose with some spicey hints similar, not surprising, to a Barley Wine Ale. Not a lot of other scents.

First swigs: Massive syrupy maximum malted almost port wine. Tons of turbinado raw sugar taste. Sticky lingering cloying aftertaste of sugar, sugar, and more sugar. Awl-kee-hawl esters also, (duh!) obviously arise to the fore of the tongue here. As warmed, a bit of ginger spice and confectioners sugar peeks out.

A wee bit cloying on the syrupy side. Second pour is "second verse...same as the first." Flat root beer takes over this one to a detriment, me fears.

Last swigs: A seriously warm down the gullet port wine turns to root beer soda notes meets barley wine offering. An 11.2 oz is almost 10.2 oz too much. But seriously folks, this turned into a port wine after half way thru.

Beer is good. Happy strong beering.

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Photo of dren
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I had to re-evaluate this beer. I slammed it the first time I had it, but after having it again, I have to give it a much better rating.

2004 on the bottle

It pours a dark amber with a slight cream colored head. Smells of dark dried fruits, plums, figs. Tastes of the same dark dried fruits, some dark chocolate flavors, brown sugar and earthy flavors. More flavor than sweetness unlike the Belgian candied beers. A warming alcohol presence. A very heavy mouthfeel, almost like wax coating your throat. If it wasn't for the thick mouthfeel I would like this beer a bit more. Certainly a sipper. This beer holds well over the years and starts to mellow/blend its flavors. I've heard this is best drank 2 years after the date on the bottle.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 vintage - bottle: Poured a clear light brown colored beer with a medium head with almost no retention. Aroma is reminiscent of plums with a touch of alcohol. Taste is quite sweet with again the plum taste being quite evident. Alcohol is quite subtle but still noticeable, which is quite good for a 14% beer. Overall, this is very enjoyable and can see some similarities with a good barley wine.

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Photo of Sammy
2.94/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Way high alcohol and it smelled it. 2003 edition and in an ideal world it would have waited closer to its 2008 expiry date. Like a 100 proof. This is the Austria brewed under license and no longer the original and not all that complex. Orange-amber-yellow appearance with some lace. Some syrupy fruit mid-sip.

 309 characters

Photo of 99bottles
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2000.

Appearance: Quite a deep brown with hints of mahogany. Whatever fizzy head arose soon faded to... absolutely nothing. Too much alcohol to have any retention.

Smell: Strong malt.

Taste: Very strong alcohol taste is reminiscent of brandy. Subtle fruit esters of plum and cherry arise. A sweet vanilla flavor is compounded with a taste of oak, both of which fade into the decadently sweet malt. A complex and heavy beer, closer to an aged whiskey.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and rich, this coats the mouth and has a cloying property.

Drinkability: Whoa. It's nice, but I can't imagine ever drinking more than one of these. It might even be better to split one with someone else, as an entire bottle gets to be a bit much.

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Photo of danadeny
3.37/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 2003.

Poured a brownish red color with no head. It smells doughy and a little fruit sweetness. The taste of sweet sweet alcohol is strong. There is a hint of some spice and some burtness, but mainly flavors of sugar and maple syrup. This proved to be a little more than a sipping beer, something I would have 1 or 2 of a night. The mouthfeel is slick and oily. overall not too bad, but nothing too special.

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Photo of SheepNutz
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2000:
12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep deep ruby red with one finger of head that quickly dies to a small collar. There is no lacing left over. The smell is potent! Rich and malty, with lots of plums and grapes topped on caramel malts. A fairly strong dose of alcohol sure wakes your ass up too. Its almost got the smell of a strong scotch ale or wee heavy. The taste is also way over on the malty side. Those dark fruits really shining through again, just not as much as in the smell. A bit too much alcohol on the finish. By how it's pasked, you'd think this was plum schnapps. The mouthfeel is very thick and strong, heavy on the tongue. The drinkability suffers some due to the strong strong alcohol content and taste. It'll sure put your ass to sleep!

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Photo of chriscolby
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle: "Bottled in 2003 . . . 14% ABV"

The beer pours a deep copper color and is crystal clear. There's not much of a head to Samichlaus, but that is expected from a beer of this gravity. Lots of alcohol, esters and fusels in the nose, again as expected, but not so much that they totally overshadow the malt.

The flavor is moderately malty, noticably sweet and very alcoholic. The beer's body is lighter and drier than you might expect from such a huge beer. It's not dry by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not as thick and sickly sweet as some big beers tend to be. Lightly carbonated.

It's "drinkability" is good, assuming you are sipping it. Samichlaus bears little resemblence to what most people think of as beer. It's more alcoholic by far than most beers and is even more boozy than many big, red wines. (In fact, you catch quite a bit of the raison/plum notes you might find in a fruity wine in this beer.) A great beer to sip and slowly savor on a cold winter's night (which I should have saved it for rather than drinking it now in July).

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

This one poured a nice brown, with hints of deep red, and with no head to speak of. I've notived a lot of the very high alcohol beers tend not to develop much of a head. Reduction of surface tension as the percent alcohol goes up? Probably, although I would have thought the higher concentration of other dissolved components would offset that. Oh well.

The smell... hard to describe. A little sweet, but mainly a rich malt aroma that set me back a bit. The alcohol aroma was secondary and did not detract from the experience.

The taste is similarly hard to describe. The rich malt was very prominent, as was the sweetness in the background, and there was a hint of saltiness and an aftertaste of strong alcohol, almost like whiskey.

A beer that must be experienced. I am glad that it was not allowed to die off... if you find it, try it. You'll be glad you did. I saved mine to celebrate the 2004 NCAA Women's Basketball game, and it was a perfect match. Not a beer to drink every night, but great for special occasions.

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

Appearance: This beer poured a dark brown / dark copper with tones of black and dark ruby with minimal head, that barely laced glass.

Smell: Strong tones of dark fruit, figs, grapes, plums etc, with a final strong note of alcohol which smacks the pallate even further. This beer smells big with overall good fruit tones.

Taste: This beer upfront is very sweet. The tones of the dark fruit are extremely present and blow up in the mouth. Towards the end , this beer heats up and warms one's mouth with strong alcohol notes as it finishes, Overall this beer is well balanced with a strong alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Along with this beer's bigness, it is also thick and oily in the mouth.. Quite a complex texture to this beer which matches it's strong attributes of alcohol and fruit. The finishing heat to this beer adds a nice finish..

Drinkability: For such a big beer this goes down pretty easily. You can def tell its a strong beer, but the fruit tones and heat from the alcohol help to hide any harshness.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer arrived at the table with cascading small bubbles erupting into a smooth and frothy yet compact head which lasted till the last swallow. The color was a deep ruby amber brown that contributed to the light tan head. One beautiful glass!

The aroma was dark fruits, raisins, plums, etc. The sweet malty aromas of caramel and chocolate brought the senses alive.

The flavor was again dark fruits in a complex mix with sweet maltiness. Also present were chocolate and coffee flavors that made the beer even more complex.

The finish was just slightly off dry and pleasant with chocolate, coffee, caramel and the dark fruits leaving the palate feeling alive in the aftertaste. The body was medium full.

A very complex beer that has never dissappointed. Selected as a beer for after a nice German dinner this was the perfect place to enjoy this beer.

Glass at The Bier Garden in Portsmouth, VA. This is only the second time I have ever seen Samichlaus on tap. Till we meet again!

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2003
Malty caramel alcohol aroma. Small off-white head fades to a thin film. Deep golden colored beer with a ruby hue. Slick, sweet caramel, a bit of vanilla, with a warming alcoholic finish. A big, sweet, smooth beer reminds me of Winter Solistice's big brother.

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Photo of Skidz
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a light brown and sits bright amber in the glass with a small off-white head. A very classy looking brew.

Smells of diacetyl, dark fruity esters, grapes and pears. A nice fruity blend, like taking a whiff of a fruit concentrate. Alcohol is noticeable, as it should be.

Taste is initially sweet, and I mean really sweet. Caramel and dark fruits domintate this syrupy brew (it's just THICK), and the alcohol bounces all over your mouth. Definately a strong brew, but gets some good flavor in where it can.

Syrupy and thick in the mouth, but very smooth and gentle. Little in terms of carbonation which lets all that sweetness come out strong. I'd like to have one of these each year, and definately try to age a few as well. Takes some time to fully enjoy, but it does grow on you.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in 2002.

A very clear orange-brown in the glass, with only a ring of light tan foam after seconds. The smell is intoxicating apples, like apples that are going to knock me over the head. Some essence of flowers as well, roses.

I don't really know what to do about this taste. It's heavy, spicy alcohol all the way. I think beer when I look at it--but I taste rum and coke left to sit for awhile so all the carbonation has gone away. Great hop addition at the end helps to BEGIN to balance the alcohol, but I don't think it gets the job done. Dark chocolate bitterness. I would've liked a little more carbonation to help this behemoth down my throat. Overripe, sickly-sweet fruits dominate the palate, raisins above all, and oranges and apples. Caramel sweetness continues past the hop and alcohol aftertastes..

Warms the stomach--but I wouldn't have another.

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Photo of TagoMago
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz. (2002 edition) bottle which states "the world's most extraordinary beer" - poured into snifter.

Appearance: Pours with absolutely no head (due to its extremely high alcohol content). The beer is dark brown/copper in color and is rather thick and syrupy looking, slightly clinging to the glass with each sip

Aroma: The alcohol hits you with a punch. There is a very sweet, raison-like aroma to this beer.

Taste: The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. The flavor is dominated by a sweet, spicy, somewhat fruity raison/plum-like taste, and a strong warming character is detected due to the alcohol.

Overall: This is a beer like no other. At 14% ABV, use extreme caution and care - this beer will kick the shit out of you if not respected. Drinking any more than two of these in a sitting is almost suicidal. This is a beer that is to be sipped and appreciated, much like a fine whiskey.

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Photo of tfinn
3.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

bottled 2002. consumed 2004.

quick-dissipating head; deep reddish amber (light auburn). I suppose strong aged beers like this are expected to be fairly flat, but a little more head would be nice.

smells malty. and even more malty. with caramel malt all the way down on top of that. with a hint of alcohol, which grows in intensity as the glass warms.

14%. it doesn't taste like it. but it does feel like it after a few sips. flavor-wise it's a solid (muted) doppel that stops short of being cloying; well, perhaps not. the malt isn't overpowering and seems kept in check with... alcohol perhaps? beneath the surface malt layer there are subtle earthy flavors: raisins, plums, candied fruits; like a liquified trappist fruitcake. there appear to be hops around the edges, hidden in the taste shadows, but I could just be imagining things.

mouthfeel is very full but is amazingly non-sticky and not as heavy as I expected. as it warms up I can feel the alcohol numbing my tongue. and warming alcohol... warming ME. and my BRANE.

wow. too much of a good thing is still too much and while I admire this beer's strength, tonight I'm wishing it came in 8oz bottles. definitely a sipping beer, and to be honest, after a few sips, the novelty has worn thin...

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Photo of ppoitras
3.35/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle from a beer exchange with a friend at the holidays. Label notes bottled in 2002.

Poured into a Rapscallion snifter, a minimal 1/8" inch formed, which quickly receded to a slight layer of foam over the syrupy dark copper brew. Upon swirling, reasonable lacing occurs on the sides of the glass. The aroma is overwhelming alcohol, with a sort of sickly sweet lean to it, as you would expect from a 14% product. Taste is all about malts and the resultant alcohol, which warms the tongue and even burns a bit on the way down the hatch. Just seems too strong for the Dopplebock category, in my mind, leaning more towards the Sam Adams Triple Bock arena. As warming occurs the brew becomes even sweeter, almost too a fault. This brew certainly has its place, just not in my drinking itinerary very often, I'm afraid...

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Photo of NJpadreFan
1.85/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Samichlaus Bier
bottled in 2003

Appearance- reddish orange with no head. Slight carbonation.
Smell- fruit and alcohol!! I detect grapes, prunes, and nose burning alcohol fumes!!
Taste- bleech! Robitussin mixed with prune juice mixed with rubbing alcohol! Very sweet and very disgusting!

Overall- what a disgusting tasting beer! No pleasure in this other than pouring it down the sink!
This beer is all hype. 1 of the most overrated!!

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Photo of Beersignal
1.63/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2002 vintage.

Poured a lovely limpid copper/caramel colour primed with ripe peach flesh highlights. Hardly any of the off white foam managed to stay behind longer than the blink of an eye and left no lace.

Up front, you are stricken by firm malt aromas and candy sugars followed by spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and slight cloves. The finish is alcoholic, reninescent of fruit brandy.

The body is dense and alcoholic, and the taste is sweet, syrupy, cloying and generally unpleasant. Flavours of malt and faint pepper have difficulty cutting through the sugar. A long and heavy alcohol sweetness lingers.

This beer in no way resembles the one brewed formerly by Hurlimanns which posessed much more depth and balance and was a pleasure to sip as a nightcap. I RARELY dump beer down the drain but I certainly wasn't going to get sick drinking this one.

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

Bottled in 2002
Pours a copper color with lots of effervescence and an off white head. The head diminished quickly and left a fine sticky lace. The aroma is malty and astringent with some fruity ester background. The flavor is sweet with an astringent middle and a slight peppery bite at the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy, medium bodied, smooth and slightly effervescent.

Because of this beer's high abv, it is important to taste it at a cellar temperature.

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Photo of Hefe
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2003. Tasted on 3/31/04. 12oz. brown bottle.

Appearance: Dark amber with a reddish tone, no head to speak of. Bubbles swim up from the dark mysterious depths. :-)

Smell: Sweet alcohol, toasty/toffeeish malt, and indeterminate fruity overtones.

Taste: Big malt, with notes of grape, orange, caramel, and a yeasty alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, but enough balance to keep it from overwhelming the palate.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipping beer.

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Photo of Foxman
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2002, it pours a deep, rich amber, clear and crisp. A rapid single finger of whitish head dwindles to frothy traces just as rapidly as it appeared. Slick lacing just cant seem to cling to the glass and slides back to whence it came.

The aroma swings in with a dense cloud of toasted malt, sweet and carrying a resolute port character. The malt component is reminiscent of a freshly popped bottle of Goya malt drink, but considerably more refined. A peripheral black cherry note finishes out along with a mild yeast tang. It's notable that the sweetness capably disguises the alcohol that you know is there.

The first sip delivers a frontal assault of smooth and sweet toasted malt. The second wave brings down a ring of cherry around a meatier center of condensed grapes, again much like port. King Alcohol flexes big muscles here, opening up wide the sinuses. The lip-smacking sweetness tones down slightly toward the end, with an almost sparkling dry berry streak vying with a mild yeast tang at the finish.

It's medium bodied, but the sticky sweetness makes it feel heavier in the mouth. It flows and coats, then ebbs, leaving syrupy sugar traces on the tongue and lips.

With the cherry and grape highlights, you don't necessarily have to love malt to like this, but if you do love malt, you're going to love this as well. The flavor is thick and sweet, but bright and never cloying. Even with that Olympian ABV tossing thunderbolts from the heavens, its rich toasty character draws you in and makes drinking it a smooth and warming pleasure. So now I know, it's more than just a cool name, it's a bold and earthy malted experience.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,029 ratings.
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