Belgian Christmas Ale
pFriem Family Brewers

Belgian Christmas AleBelgian Christmas Ale
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #75
ABV:
8%
Score:
88
Ranked #7,910
Avg:
4.12 | pDev: 11.65%
Reviews:
11
Ratings:
39
From:
pFriem Family Brewers
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  2
Gots
  5
SCORE
88
Very Good
Belgian Christmas AleBelgian Christmas Ale
Notes: In Belgium, Old St. Nick delivers a bundle of sticks to those who have behaved badly throughout the year. Just to be safe, we suggest foregoing cookies and leaving Santa a pFriem Belgian Christmas Ale. Brewed with coriander in a rich, Dubbel base, its toffee aromas and hints of fresh, ripe orange will leave a milk-chocolaty velvet coat on Santa’s tongue and guarantee that you won’t be getting sticks this year.

ABV 8.0% IBU 30

FLAVOR PROFILE
Creamy Milk Chocolate, Ripe Orange, So Smooth!

AVAILABILITY
Limited

INGREDIENTS
MALT
Gambrinus Canadian Pilsner

HOPS
German Perle

YEAST
Belgian Ale

SUGAR
Belgian Dark Candi Sugar

SPICES
Coriander

Deep ruby red, with dark undertones, while supporting a thick off-white foam. Toffee aromas dance with fresh ripe orange. Creamy milk chocolate covers the tongue, but is lifted by zesty lemon. Velvet coats the mouth at the finish while saying “so smooth”.
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 39 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mushroomcloud
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12.7oz bottle corked and caged on 11-1-19, opened 12-24-19.
2 finger dense and creamy off-white head with excellent retention. The beer itself is brown and a bright, clean amber when held to the light. A plethora of carbonation racing up to hold the head in place. Thick sheet of lace.
Very floral and zesty aroma to start. Lemon zest, lemon oil. Pepper. Hint of brown sugar. Fantastic use of coriander here, excellent.
Brown bread, subtle orange and lemon...zesty and just a touch herbal.
Medium body, high carbonation. Delicate mouthfeel. Medium length, clean and dry finish.
Very good to Outstanding. Subtle but complex flavors, looks phenomenal, nice feel and finish. I want more.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a high sided tulip glass.

Look is a dark brown ruby with a frothy off white head.

Aroma is toffee Belgian dark fruits with a hint of spice.

Taste is a lot lighter than I expected with a light Belgian quad note at the end.

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Photo of beergoot
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark copper body; lively carbonation; dense, sculpted head. Earthy, musty aroma; vinous. Relatively light malt base flavor; faint chocolate; a bit spicy; candi sugar sweetness; a tad phenolic. Medium body; fluffy; alcohol warmth permeates the mouthfeel; lightly sweet yet feels dry overall.

Overall, this is an enjoyable holiday ale. Its appearance is the real highlight. The taste is very subtle with all the elements it delivers. Very nice.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.54/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

$ 9.74 (Including shipping)/375 mL cork and cage bottle ($ 0.767/oz) from Tavour, Seattle, WA. Reviewed 1/5/19.
Undated bottle. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 45 degrees (per bottle instructions) in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.
Body – Medium reddish-amber, clear.
Head – Large (Maximum 6.5 cm, controlled center pour), initially fizzy, light tan, medium density, average retention, diminishing to a four mm ring and a thin complete layer with a few rocks.
Lacing – None.
First pour – Medium brown, clear.
Aroma – 3.75 - Dark fruit, mostly figs – weakens.
Flavor – 3.5 - Begins with some dark fruit, ends with a slight bitterness. Generally weak and muddled. No alcohol (8% ABV), no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3 – Medium, less than creamy, lively carbonation bordering on fizzy.
Impression and interpretation - 3.5 – For my taste, does not live up to the pFriem hype. Closer to Mad Elf (sans cherry) than either La Terrible or Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours a beautiful and crystal clear ruby red, reminiscent of a red glass ornament lowly lit on the tree. It's large bubbled foamy head is lightly tanned, persistent to the surface, and laces moderately.

Clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon spices mingle and dance around sweet raisons and plum, while an earthy note lingers on.

The blend of spices hit the tongue first, collectively tasting somewhat like cardamom. The citrus spice blend is met by toffee and dark fruits, and banana and esters follow.

A wonderful balance of sweetness and spice is met with a very carbonated and very dry feel. A little alcohol warmth is just right to make it nice and cozy.

pFriem Belgian Style Christmas Ale is a real treat. Like a walk along the edge of a snow dusted town, warmly but dimly lit with festive lights. If I could change one thing, I'd like this to be just a touch more rich, but no complaints here. This will see my refrigerator again in the near future. Cheers!

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Photo of dro7
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

375ml corked bottle poured into a Corsendonk chalice. Let this beer warm up, do not drink straight out of the fridge.

Pours amber brown with a very thick head which does not dicipate,

Aroma is bready, Belgian yeast, dates, plum.

Taste: thick bread, Belgian yeast, slight spice, dark fruits, plum, and figs.

Overall: this is an excellent beer, tastes exactly like a Belgian dubbel, not so much like a Belgian Christmas Ale but tastes like a real Belgian. If I were given this blindly, I would assume it was a real Belgian dubbel. Priem's beers always impress me!

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Photo of mactrail
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Rich and malty dark amber brew with a modest foam in the Affligem chalice. The creamy carbonation is the best feature. Faint honey aroma. The Belgian yeasty dryness emerges at the finish.

It is hard to criticize what would be a sensational brew from a hundred other breweries. pFirem just makes so much excellent beer in every style. This is the November 2016 batch. Poured from the 375 ml bottle after looking for the pliers. I think 500 ml would be a good size for tasting. Not to mention the price of this stuff.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a hazy, medium orange amber with lots of small floating particles and a fine one finger khaki head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, Belgian yeast, cinnamon and clove; classic Belgian Christmas profile. Flavor of caramel and candi malt, dark and light stone fruit, lots of cinnamon, light clove and ginger, starts semi-sweet but finishes semi-dry and spicy. Medium bodied with peppery active carbonation. A nice domestic take on a holiday Belgian dark, with classic Belgian strong dark profile amped up with more cinnamon and perhaps ginger. Pleasant seasonal ale.

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Photo of rarigney
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable Christmas ale, purchased in November at Belmont Station in Portland. Pours a very dark amber with an off-white head. Trying several Christmas ales this year. This is one of my favorites.

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Photo of TheWiltChamberlainofipas
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome beer here. Think belgian dubble but with a wonderful sweetness accompanied by holiday spices. I'm picking up cinnamon, clove, and peppermint with little alcohol present. This is good.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.37/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a finger of head on a dark amber body.
The aroma is faint caramel and candy.
The taste is a mild candy sweet with a little caramel.
The texture is soft.
It's okay.

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Belgian Christmas Ale from pFriem Family Brewers
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 39 ratings