Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

very good
2,037 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

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Ratings: 2,037 |  Reviews: 1,094
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.

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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

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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.

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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

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

Complex way beyond complex. All the things said about this really special brew are probably true, and few of us are really qualified to review such a rare example of brewing arts. It is almost syrupy, sweet, sugary and oh, did I mention it packs a major league wallop of 14%ABV, careful. And yes, the alcohol is up front, but give it a few seconds to settle on the tongue and combined with tons of absurdly good flavors this brew is astounding, and I am glad to add a 4 pack (3 remaining) to my cave under the steps. I tried a 2010 vintage, it is newly 2013 so if it got better over the last few years, look out, this one is dangerously beautiful.

 647 characters

Photo of honestlyno
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of kvnstfrd
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stored for one year. Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a 12 oz. snifter.
Dark brown, slightly red and crystal clear. No head to speak of. Oaky smell of a good tawny port, fruit cake and alcohol. The taste tells me my nose was right. This is very much like a tawny port or creamed sherry. Also a similar warming alcohol sensation after the swallow. There are some hops in there, but they’re dominated by a wonderful sweetness. Mouth-feel is thick and almost oily with little detectable carbonation. I’m not sure this fits into the Doppelbock category, but this is one unique and awesome brew!

 594 characters

Photo of arash1000
1.5/5  rDev -62.4%

Photo of OregonGrown7
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Twig2848
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Sipchue
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of AmitC
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of claaark13
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Morey
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of JeffTheJuice
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of emyers
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Bottled in 2010.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden-amber color with essentially no head, just a hint of white lacing on the edges. This beer looks incredibly viscous in the glass - carbonation bubbles seem to be suspended as opposed to rising to the surface. Actually, it looks like a glass full of maple syrup.

Smell: Big sweet caramel up front with sweet dark fruit and a little solvent alcohol. Smells like it's going to be one sweet, strong beer.

Taste: Yep, it's sweet alright. The dark fruit comes out a little more here. Tastes like figs and sweet cherries covered in caramel and then another dusting of sugar, with the solvent-like alcohol coming through in the finish. The alcohol presence is expected, and frankly I don't think I would enjoy the beer as much without it there.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy with virtually no carbonation. Really coats the inside of the mouth as it goes down.

Overall: This is a big, sweet, complex sipper. And when all is said and done it's a damn good one. While I would definitely prefer it with more bittering hops, it's a great beer to sip by the fireplace on a winter night.

 1,141 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2oz brown pop top, beautifully foiled, with an elegant label. The last of my 2006 4-pk, so I figured I'd give this a review on Christmas night after a wonderful holiday with my family. Poured into my Founders snifter. From my parents for Christmas, several years ago. Cheers to you, guys!

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep red/amber, a bright hue reminding me of well-aged rum or whiskey. A firm pour produces a half-finger head, but it fades quickly to a thin whisp of a ring around the glass. However, there are TINY but lively bubbles of carbonation rising around the edges of the glass, even after six years in the bottle. Elegant.

Smell: Rich, creamy caramel, dark fruits (rum-raisin, maybe?) and the slightest hint of apple as well I think. A hint of sugary candy sweetness and light notes of toasted nuts. It smells boozy (like a spirit) but without the sharp burn. Powerful, warm, inviting.

Taste: I've had this several years younger and, I can now unequivocally say, this is, at six years of age, by far the best I've seen this beer. Powerful and boozy, but not hot at all, and with a softly prickly level of carbonation that matches with a viscous, heavy mouthfeel. Sweet dark caramel, sugary, candy-like sweetness, light notes of dark fruit, and a hint of apple here and there. It shares some characteristics in common with a good Belgian Quadrupel, but this is definitely its own beast. Just a hint of a sort of earthy/mushroom note that I've found in poorly-aged English old ales (Gale's Prize Old, for example, from 10-12 years ago) but here they're quite light and add just another layer of complexity. Stunning.

Mouthfeel: Rich, full, and with a perfect (light) level of peppery carbonation.

Overall: Adds up to slightly more than the sum of its parts. It's a $20-24 four-pack, depending on where you get it, and it's not easy to find. When young-ish, it's not particularly palatable, either. However, when aged for six years (even in decidedly sub-par conditions), it's really something special. If you find it, and you have the cash (and patience) it's definitely worth the price to lay some down long-term. After all, $12 for a bomber doesn't seem that unreasonable these days (even if such prices are becoming more of a hindrance as funds run tighter), so double that for a four-pack of 14% beer doesn't seem too bad. This is the perfect and (dare I say, despite my love of English barleywines) almost quintessential night-cap for a cold winter's evening. Especially Christmas.

93% A

 2,532 characters

Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,037 ratings.
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