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: 2,032
Photo of Dinglehacker
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into snifter. Small headed fizzes away, and lace leaves a wavy palimpsest.

Smalls of fruit, dark, dried but a little moist, cherries and figs, mostly.

Taste is weighty. The strong alcohol content isn't in play too much, pushed to the back by a malty saccharine fruits and the aged wood it forms in, which is reminiscent of a Wee Heavy. As it warms up, this resemblance becames even more promounced. The dark fruits of the scent carry through the flavor.

Feel: A slightly labored swallow; likely from the alk content.

Nothing tastes like Samichlaus. It does not much resemble its style; Eggenberg's other great beer, their Dunkel, is more indicative of a Doppelbock. But none of that matters. This is one of the greats.

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

2010 Vintage

L: Like blood, amber hues
S: Sugar whifs, chocolate malt, wood
T: Super sweet but drinkable, compared to it fresh. Some heat, which is hidden well.
F: Oily
O: I drink one of these every once in a while with some age on it. Can be a real tooth acher.

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Photo of Chris_r2112
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oh boy, 14%. This one should be fun.

Appearance: a nice amber/brownish colour. Almost no head or retention. No lacing on the glass whatsoever.

Smell: Wow, this beer smells sweet! Its like getting smacked in the face with apples and cherries. It is also apparent that Samichlaus is aged, as it smells slightly of wood and whiskey.

Taste: This beer surprisingly hides its 14% ABV very well. Like the aroma, this is exceptionally sweet. I'm getting strong apples, cherries, light brown sugar. There is some licorice in there as well. Call me crazy, but I am also detecting light hints of rye whiskey. Beer gets slightly boozier as it warms.

Feel: Light-Medium body. VERY little carbonation, which is to be expected considering this beers ABV. The factor that bumped the feel of this beer from a 3.25 to a 3.5 was the lovely warming sensation caused by the alcohol content.

This is the strongest beer I've ever tried, and it is definitely interesting. This beer carries itself very well compared to other boozy brews, with complex hints of apples and cherries. I could see myself picking this one up again when its brewed next year.

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

A: deep ruby copper. Thin head

S: sweet molasses. Oak. Brown sugar. Hops. Bread. Dates. Candied orange.

T: oak. Booze. Caramel brown sugar. Candied dark fruit

F: medium plus body. Boozy. Crisp finish

O: I love this beer. And with age on it it's mind blowing

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this out of a bottle from a buddy (he shared)

Smells of molasses and black Licorice, figs or cherries

Taste is of anise, sweet licorice, malts...the alcohol is barely detectable

Feel is medium bodied and creamy.

Overall this beer tasted great

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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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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,032 ratings.
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