Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

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Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 625 | Ratings: 1,274
Photo of TooManyGlasses
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml cage and cork bottle. Pours a deep reddish brown with 1-2 fingers of pale tan head. Aroma is malty - plum, brown sugar, bit of molasses, stone fruit. Taste of toffee, burnt sugar, dark fruits, some clove/all spice. Creamy mouthfeel on medium body, mild hint bitterness at finish. Very nice.

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Photo of MNAle
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma - Raisins, caramel, brown sugar, sweet baked bread, hint of alcohol. Tall tan head, thick and creamy, falling in 5 minutes or so to a thick cap, leaving lots of lacing behind. Dark brown color, which becomes a red wine with a back light. Feel is a bit on the thin side, but soft. Taste is as the aroma, raisins, caramel, sweet malts, with spices coming through. Aftertaste remains as with the taste, and lingers of awhile. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep ruby red with a huge tan head that refuses to give way. Great lacing. Aroma is full of dark fruit and spices. Flavor is dark brown sugar, figs, raisins and also grapes. Feel is super smooth and creamy. Overall an outstanding ale.

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Photo of OlaB
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark-brown color with a medium top of beige head that dissolves very quickly. Aroma is of dark malt,caramel,bread,raisins,plums, ginger, anis, corriander and brown sugar. The taste is sweet with notes of dark and dried fruits at the start with a nice malty back with notes of bread, caramel and spices. The finish has a slight bitterness while I also sense some notes of licorice that blends very good in. Aftertaste has a good lenght and strenght.
Mouthfeel is soft and oily with a medium carbonation and a medium body.
A very good example of a belgian christmas ale. Enjoyable and great tasting.

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Photo of Djoneil
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Draught 8oz snifter at the Brass Tap here in Baltimore. Probably the best looking Belgian (or Belgian-inspired ale) I've encountered. Like all the Belgians I've encountered (still a fairly limited sample size) it possesses a notable nose - which in this case works for it.

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Photo of jmbranum
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Aged 2 years, poured from a small bottle into a glass.

Extremely rich, lots of wine and raisin notes, some spices, malty but not too much. Toasty notes. Reminds a tiny bit of Aventinus surprisingly enough.

Super smooth mouth feel. Not much hops but aging might be a factor here.

Clear mahogany brown.

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Photo of jkblr
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle bb 22/08/20 poured into a Corsendonk tulip glass at fridge temp and allowed to warm 8.5% ABV. The beer pours medium brown in color with prolific tan colored head. The head settles to a foamy island and ring leaving spots of lacing all down the glass. The aroma reveals sweet bread, brown sugar, dark dried fruits and cherries. The taste is semisweet breads, brown sugar and dark fruits with a firm and equalizing bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied with above average carbonation and a dry finish. The alcohol is very restrained and unnoticeable in aroma or taste. Overall, very good. Very well executed and balanced BSDA. Recommended, especially if the sweetness of other Belgian beers is a concern.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the swap at our Christmas party. thanks to whomever brought it. Just a hint of haze in this dark brown liquid with a feisty tan head that persists. Rich dark malts hint of oxidation some nice dark fruits bubbly mouthfeel. Pretty tasty sipper.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml, caged and corked bottle - it may be a bit early for a Christmas brew, but it's cold and snowy outside right now, so that's good enough for me.

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and mildly bubbly tan head, which leaves some stellar webbed lace around the glass as it gently sinks out of sight.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, some mixed Mediterranean black fruitiness, molasses, nutmeg and coriander spice, a hint of estery yeastiness, and some very subtle earthy, musty, and dead floral hop bitters. The taste is grainy and bready caramel malt, biscuity toffee squares, fruity dates and figs, brown sugar simple syrup, a muddled earthy spiciness, faint black licorice notes, and more well-understated musty, herbal, and floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is fairly tame in its palate-propping frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and generally smooth, with a small airy creaminess slowly evolving as I move through this process. It finishes off-dry, the malt and mixed frooty esters performing a slow, meandering dip into oblivion.

Overall - yup, this one certainly passes muster for provisional acceptance to 'world's best' for one of my favourite styles. It is rather complex, robust, and yet laid-back, a perfect summary of the best of European brewing. And that 16+ proof booze quotient - not a lick of its existence is bared, so I guess I'm going to have to have a nap later. Sweet dreams!

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One I have been waiting to get my filthy hands and taste buds on!

Pours a deep chestnut body with a red tinge, caramel head of a decent finger width.

Lacing is superb.

Aroma is packed with winter fruits, and a sweet caramel as per the head. A real treat inviting you to get stuck right in.....which I do!

Taste is very good indeed, complex mixture of malt, caramel, those winter spices and a little undercurrent of liquorice...delightful.

Feel is a little dry and of artificial sweeteners at first, but the palate gets accustomed by the second or third swig.

Overall an exceptional beer....... Not sure there is a need for any beer in the world other than Belgian Christmas ales.....streets and streets ahead of anything else.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from fridge temp. Pours a nice dark brown with a good amount of tan head. Nose is malts, candy, caramel, fig, and brown sugar. There are some hints of spice. Taste is really nice. Lots of dark fruit, bread, wood, caramel, chocolate, and brown sugar. The alcohol is barely detectable, and this is super balanced and complex. Great example of the style. Overall, this is a fantastic Belgian ale.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the corked bottle in a snifter via the Little Lady's son----Thanks Matt
This nice ale pours a rugged and dark red tinged deep mahogany with a very
nice head of off white khaki foam that settles to a thick ring, thin light pool, and
showcases some darn nice lacing. Nose of subtle dark breaded malts, light date
and fig notes, and subtle coriander and nutmeg. Flavors nail it for the style with
dark fresh baked date and raisin bread touched with brown sugar and candy malts.
Subtle cola and nutmeg mingle with a spicy coriander and light cinnamon that is
balanced and appreciable with a subtle floral hop and light warming booze.
Very nice mouth feel; medium light body, medium carbonation that makes this one
an easy drinker that is lively and delicious, and a sweet ever so subtly dry finish that
with warmth shows more fruit notes of dried cherries and light clove.

Excellent---a Christmas classic from Belgium.


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Photo of VABA
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-A very dark amber color with a generous head and some nice lacing.
A-Aroma has nice gentle hints of the traditional Holiday spices, namely nutmeg, cinnamon and shortbread.
T-The taste is a very gentle and subdued Holiday spiciness, very well balanced.
M-A light bodied well carbonated ale.
O-Very pleasant, well balanced nicely done Holiday Ale.

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Photo of ordybill
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a tulip glass. The appearance is a dark brown with a large billowy tan head. Yhe aroma is boozy malt with spice. The taste follows the nose.

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Photo of thebeers
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lovely clear dark garnet color with a massive four fingers of tan head. Decent lacing.

Pleasant, subdued Christmasy aroma with oak, nutmeg, cherry, fig, cinnamon and shortbread all softly present.

The taste is even more subdued, with brown bread malts and dull grassy hops most prominent, but still with a lot of depth beneath, including Belgian yeast, light wood and even lighter cherry, fig, caramel and spice notes.

On the heavier side of medium bodied with certain syrupyness cut by moderate carbonation.

This is a pleasant, dialed back Christmas Ale that brown ale fans will enjoy.

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Photo of Yoann
3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle to a tulip
A - Clear brown with a creamy head
S - Roasty and caramel malts with herbal hops
T - Pretty well balanced
M - Very carbonated but smooth
O - Belgian Christmas ales are a sure value !

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Photo of farrago
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Need to be careful as a slow pour gets you three plus fingers of head, solid tan hue, looks very airy and whipped up , delicate as it pops and sizzles down to the surface, the lacing weak and without much stick. Yellowish brown liquid of above average clarity, hyper-aggressive and speedy bubbles throughout. Cola bean, vanilla bean and milk chocolate give the nose a breezy sweetness, the nutmeg, ginger styled spice shows restraint, light allusions to golden raisin and fig bolster the Italian plum and cherry notes. Medium-bodied and manages to put on weight and finish on the heavier side. More cocoa powder, molasses, ginger snap and candied orange peel, licorice and cola, at times recalls Dr. Pepper soda. Black raisin, fig to date, cherry and blackberry, more concentration than sugariness. Retronasally you get more clove and dark country bread plus witch hazel. There’s a very subtle roast which helps to dry out the finish. Carbonation is unremarkable. Don’t get overt alcohol presence. In the final analysis something seems to be missing, no definitive punctuation.

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Photo of nick_perry
3.17/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Cloudy brown color with a tan head. Smells strongly like ginger ale. Taste matches somewhat, along with notes of yeast, coriander, and dark fruits. A bit different than an American winter seasonal, but I like it nonetheless, and certainly find it interesting.

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz; sale Total Wine.

It has a beautiful appearance, very nice lacing, head that remains, and a nice caramel color.

Reasonably nice aroma: Yeasty and fruity.

There is nothing about the taste that stands out, and too spicy for my tastes.

Mouth-feel: not bad, nice carbonation, medium body, on the dry side.

Overall, this is not what I am looking for in a Belgian dark strong. It was a bit disappointing.

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Photo of KevCan
4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bought a gift pack, including 6 8.5-oz bottles and a glass, from Total Wine in Arlington, VA. Poured into the gift glass!

Look: Dark brown, massive head, and phenomenal lacing.

Smell: Classic Belgian dark ale: heavy malt, fruitcake, dark fruit, yeast. Smells like a Belgian quadruple.

Taste: Very flavorful, yet refreshing. Raisin, dark bread, yeast. Extremely drinkable.

Feel: Medium-minus body, high carbonation.

Overall: Outstanding all around.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown with big billowing khaki head that leaves spidery lace all over. Nose is malty and musty with dark fruits and a touch of orange peel. Taste is rich without being cloying. Syrupy fruits, malt, some raisin. Spice is subdued for the style, which is a good thing. However, it isn't as complex as some Belgians in the same range. Overall, a very enjoyable beer that didn't go too weird.

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Photo of m_hall
4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked Magnum bottle (cork is stamped "Lot 153") into a tulip glass. Pours a clear, dark garnet red, topped by a three-finger tall khaki head that falls to a thin film. Lacing is spotty.

Aromas are dominated by fruits- plum, black cherries, raspberry, vinous grape, some citrus peel, along with molasses. There's also a bright spiciness (coriander) and alcohol tang present too that lend a bit of contrast.

Flavors are contrasting but balanced: sweetness from the malts, molasses, raisin, apricot, along with notes of dried cherry and orange peel bringing a nicely offsetting tartness at the same time. Both the fruits and the citric tones open up nicely as the beer warms. These flavors meld very well and seem to go back and forth as they progress into a long, somewhat drying finish that adds subtle Christmas spices and an herbal hop bitterness.

Mouth-feel is moderately heavy, and very smooth. Alcohol is present but well controlled, subtly warming. Carbonation is fairly low, just enough to add some tingle.

Of the Christmas Ales I've tried, this one is the least overbearing with it's use of seasonal spices, using them as a supporting element to an already fine Belgian Dark Ale rather than as a gimmick. Really, even though this is a "seasonal" ale, this is an all-around outstanding Dark Ale that would be very enjoyable anytime. In addition, the fairly high alcohol and wonderfully complex flavors make this one a great candidate for cellaring (the bottle lists the Best Before date on my bottle at 07/09/19), so I may look to see if I can pick up another bottle for a vertical tasting down the road. All around, an excellent beer and a must-try if you're a fan of Christmas beers or dark ales in general.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter. Surprisingly low head for a Belgian. Thin ring, stray lace. Deep dark brown.

Nose of sour fruit, toffee, molasses, and nuts. Underlying sweetness.

Similar taste, sour fruit becomes raisin, which dominates an otherwise varied palette.

Pretty smooth feel, carbonation is there, but balanced out.

A remarkably complex Christmas dark. A joy to drink and even just to smell. Fans of brown ale, dubbels and winter warmers would prob like this, too.

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Photo of Vixie
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice looking ruby red beer with a decent sized tan head. The head does dissipate fairly quickly for a Belgian beer, leaving some lacing on the glass.

Smell is fruity, with citrus and spice notes.

Nice and fruity up front, cherries, orange, and raisin come to mind. There is a bit of a warming spice to this, mainly cloves and pepper. Also can taste hints of Belgian candy sugar, and leaves a bit of heat at the finish.

The feel is a bit sharp, making itself felt, then smooths out going down.

Definitely a nice beer here. There's a lot of flavor, and it all mixes well. The warming makes it great for a cold day, and the spices seem to fit the holiday season. This is one I would like to have more of.

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Photo of Bruno74200
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear brown colour with a good white head. Rye bread and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon), clove, light tartness. Not overly sweet. This beer is very balanced. 8.5% ABV? Don't seem to be, not boozy at all. Very smooth and chewy.
A good beer but not the best Christmas ale.

On a second tasting still very balanced. Nice

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,274 ratings