Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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BA SCORE
89
very good
1,079 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,079
Ratings:
1,988
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
22.31%
 
 
Wants:
179
Gots:
383
For Trade:
22
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Reviews: 1,079 | Ratings: 1,988
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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Photo of FormatKid
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 12oz bottle from Bacchus in Chattanooga. "Bottled in 2002" is on the label. This beer comes out of the bottle a rusty brown. It's very translucent. Quick fizzy head busts up about a finger-width high and quickly disappears into nothing. I'm not exaggerating when I say nothing, not even a rim of sparse foam around the edges. Carbonation rises slowly in small bubbles but is present.

Alcohol jumps right off the scent and assaults your nose. Seems like I've smelled less alcohol in a shot of whiskey. Behind the alcohol I can detect faintly the toasty malts, and a flat woody scent.

Taste is evident of alcohol all the way through. The scent and flavor here seem to corelate nearly 100%. Front is malt, which leads into that solid, oaky, wood taste. Alcohol stomps on the back of your tongue at the end, and assaults your nose from the inside out. Warm trails almost immediately crawl down my throat and accumulate in my belly. Mouthfeel is thick, almost slipping down like syrup. A nutty roundness becomes apparent as it opens up. I'd also like to add that I'm very glad I let this thing warm up a bit before consuming.

This brew has a sophisticated taste, yet busts you in the mouth with a brandy-drenched glove. I have to reach out to find some of the other flavors here besides alcohol, but they're there, just subtle. I like this beer a lot because it challenges my tastebuds. One thing I doubt I need to say here but I'll say anyway....THIS IS DEFINATELY A SIPPER.

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Photo of rdrummer
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A hard to find beer that is a really heavy Austrian entry to the best beers in the world. Although, the brewer bills it as the strongest beer in the world, it has been passed by a number of efforts by the Sam Adams brewery in the US with very mixed results. This beer is the real thing. It pours a dark brown, with amber highlights with a very small pale brown head that is very short-lasting. The aroma is fruity and malty with the odor of figs or dates being most pronounced. Those fruit flavors (maybe raisins, too) come through in the taste along with a deep malty flavor.

This is not a beer to serve to guys swilling beer at a party. They're not going to like it on a number of levels, although they will like the alcohol hit that comes after sipping for a while.

This feels very thick in the mouth with a heavy alcohol kick on the backside. The only drawback for me is a sweetness that overwhelms by the time you get to the bottom of the bottle. This is a sipping beer not one that reaches the drinkability in me.

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Photo of GnomeKing
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer packs a wallop. The taste is extremely rich and potent. I had a 7oz glass on tap, and that was enough. I enjoyed it, but there's only so much you can take. The heavy malt and alcohol taste makes this a sipping beer. There aren't many other flavors, or perhaps the alcohol buries them. This only comes around once a year for a few weeks, and it would make a nice brew to have on a cold winter evening. It would be a substitute for a brandy (if I drank brandy). Overall, though, it's too tough to get down for regular drinking.

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Photo of Gavage
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Luckily got to have a glass of this on tap. It arrived in a long glass sporting a nice bronze color with no head (barely a faint tiny one hugging the side of the glass). The aroma was all sweet malt and alcohol. The flavor is complex. Malt is all over this making this very sweet with plenty of caramel and fruity tones.

The mouthfeel is syrupy, as the malt thickly coats your tongue even after swallowing. Very thick bodied. I battled with giving this a 3 on the drinkability scale, but the complex flavors gave it another 1/2 point. Very unique and worth trying at least one in your lifetime.

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Photo of jtfest
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2001 bottling sampled. Almost a maple syrup color with reddish hues, it has a smallish tan head that eventually disappears virtually altogether. The aroma is of chocolate, alcohol, and cough syrup. A tingly carbonation accompanies the sticky thick mouthfeel with a candy sweetness and faint alcohol aftertaste. More of a desert treat than a session beer, it would be great sitting by a warm fire in the middle of a blizzard.

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

2003 Vintage here.

Pours a clear flat dark gold or brown color.

Smells like Olives and a bit of malt. Sweet and fruity like the really good olive oil they have in Italy! The stuff we get in the USA isn't even close. Smells like heaven!

Sweet malty almost syrupy! This is PURE CONCENTRATED DOPPELBOCK! More flavors than I can name. Vanilla, fruit, caramel, dates, and even some hops! This is possibly the ultimate Doppelbock.

Mouthfeel is super rich.

I could drink much more of this!

Only 5 X 5 beer I have ever tasted!

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Photo of merlin48
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 vintage here. Pours a clear, mahogany with ruby highlights. Head lasts 5 seconds and disappears, leaving no lacing behind. Aroma is incredibly complex. Rum soaked plums and peaches, toffee, molasses, and sherry. Also, some earthiness is apparent. Many additional aromas float in and out, but the alcohol presence makes up most of the background. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, chewy in a way, and warming alcohol is hard to miss. Taste is as complex as the nose. All kinds of fruits that have been dipped in a bucket of sherry, molasses, vinous notes akin to a good sherry, and some black pepper spiciness, all weave in and out of the flavor profile which is dominated by a big alcohol oomph. Actually, the big alcohol is craftily concealed in the taste and is much more apparent in the esophagus and below. This is truly a doppelbock on steroids. Definitely a slow sipping brew that is perfect as a nightcap(I went to sleep shortly after finishing this one). Plenty of complexities here. I would really enjoy sampling an older vintage to see how these age.

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A darker shade of tanned brown here...no head at all. A super malty aroma...basically malts and alcohol is it. It just tells you right away to be careful. Alcohol dominates the flavor. Well I kind of say that, but it's so syrupy and malty as well. It's not like a shot of liquor, so much better than that. It's actually more drinkable that I expected. The malts are very sugary sweet and chewy. It really makes this an enjoyable beer for having such strength. If you don't mind alcohol playing a huge part in the flavor of a beer, than this is one sweet ass brew!

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Photo of Rastacouere
2.25/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

2001 version: Red/Orange beer with a VERY sweet bouquet that can't quite hide alcohol content. The taste is very strong in alcohol, I didnt expect it to be well hidden like in many trappists ales, but here it really seems like we have liqueur-like alcohol sticking to candy, syrup, wood. I don't understand most people's passion about this beer or it wasn't old enough, too sweet.

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Photo of oelergud
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear brownish amber, very little carbonation with a light white head, not much retention.
Very strong scent of spiced honey and concentrated molasses.
Wow, the taste knocks you on your ass. Ripe banana, strong cherries, a hint of almonds and almost as if there's a shot of good cognag in it.
Full strong body, high viscosity and somewhat chewable.
Decent drinkability.

I wish this brew had a better head and more carbonation, the sweetness in the nose and taste is great but it can become overwhelming, this is a brew perfect for sharing as a whole bottle can get too much.

-Oelergud

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Photo of marburg
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2000. Deep brownish color. Hints of orange and red. Not hazed, but not clear -- just thick. Syrup and woodlands in the nose -- and oh yeah, alcohol. Deep, textured aromas.

Huge brown sugar flavor. Deep, carmelized, rich, layered sugar flavors. Powerful liquor -- cognac, perhaps. A bit harsh -- but not necessarily in a bad way. This is a big beer, and the alcohol asserts itself as part of the overall flavor profile.

Mild peppery finish. Alcohol driven for sure. Intense. But considering the strength and lack of carbonation, this is surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Bottled in 2002".

Man, that's a noisy head. Small and tan. Settles fast like Coke. Tiny lethargic bubbles stumble through the clear, darkred/garnet liquid. Sweet nose! Molasses, caramel, alcohol, some bread. It's almost a little cloying. Holy crap, that's a sweet front. Lots of alcohol. Sweet, dark caramel middle: syrup, grapes. Nice alcohol warming finish. Dry.

Wow.

Just a little sweet for my tastes, but this is a pretty amazing beer. Tames some with temperature.

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

Vintage 2001: Draught @ Papago
“Whoa Nellie what a beer”! A transparent deep garnet color on the pour, minimal head, minimal lace, maximal nose, the fusel alcohol just slaps your senses to the upright and locked position, ripe pineapple, bananas, bubble gum, sweet malt, its all there for the sniffing, start is sweet and nicely malted, the top is moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish is all about alcohol, which at 14% makes it strong, a couple of years in the barrel, gives it a deep dark robustness that’s certainly not meant for the weak of heart or those not into dark brooding beers, should just stay away, carbonation quite mild, very dry, vinous aftertaste, that lingers on for quite sometime as does the significant “tummy warming”, excellent is all I can say.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,988 ratings.
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