Corsendonk Christmas Ale
Brouwerij Corsendonk

Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale
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Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #12
ABV:
8.1%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,182
Avg:
4.17 | pDev: 10.07%
Reviews:
631
Ratings:
1,296
From:
Brouwerij Corsendonk
 
Belgium
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  95
Gots
  209
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 631 | Ratings: 1,296 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of NYNorseman
NYNorseman from New York

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I haven't had one of these in a few years. This was one of the beers that turned me on to the craft beer scene. I sit here on a chill April night, looking at the fire basking the room in glowing warmth and I close my eyes as I drink this. It is easy to imagine that it is December and we are all waiting on a visit from Saint Nick. Corsendonk Christmas Ale is a well balanced dark ale that tastes like dark fruits, chocolate, molasses, plum, cherry and holiday revelry! I was very happy when I peered into the back cooler of my local country store and spotted a few bombers staring at me. My wife and I are watching The History Channel origins of Christmas, I found a gift for her that I had hidden away, and this Corsendonk Christmas Ale has made it Christmas in April. God bless us everyone!

Apr 17, 2020
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 8.5 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some fruits. Taste is of vanilla, malts, alcohol, some light cherries. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer, but I was expecting more.

Mar 04, 2020
Photo of LifesAnesthesia
LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Deep, opaque brown with a large, frothy tan head that sticks around leaving lacing behind - very good looking beer.
S - Rich, bready malt and yeast along with dark fruit notes as well as some winter spices
T - Rich bready malt and yeast up front and throughout along with some notes of chocolate, dark fruits, some citrus, caramel, winter spices (nutmeg, coriander), some molasses, hints of cherry
F - Medium bodied with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. Crisp, smooth
O - A fantastic Belgian winter ale

Jan 13, 2020
Photo of envizz1
envizz1 from Pennsylvania

4.89/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I wish it had a more interesting color so I could give it all fives because this I an outstanding beer. We missed it last Christmas but put in a reserve with our local bottle shop and there it was under the Christmas tree :-). Lovely Belgian strong ale aroma. Rich malty sweetness, with banana and fig flavors. Mouthfeel holds even if you drink it slowly. Alcohol is perfectly balanced. This is a classic. Why do I have to wait twelve months for my next?

Jan 11, 2020
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VoxRationis from New York

4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from a 25.4 oz (750 ml) caged bottle into a custom taster pint; bottled 08/29/21.
A: Pours a rather clear, dark copper color with a two to three finger, fluffy, mocha color head with at least a finger of long term retention, and sticky rings of lacing.
S: Slightly tangy. Aromas of cherry, cranberry, molasses, and mocha.
T: Semisweet. Flavors definitely follow the nose, with the rich malty spine front and center. Inviting and balanced.
M: Medium bodied with solid, solid carbonation. Rich, creamy, and very smooth.
O: This is an absolutely brilliant Strong Dark Ale. Easily the best I have laid hands on. Will look for it next year.

Dec 28, 2019
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Very dark chocolate brown. One finger of white head with decent retention.

Smell: Very mild cherries, treacle, and plums.

Taste: Plums, stone fruit, chocolate, vanilla. No hops noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Full, thick body with high carbonation.

Overall: An excellent ale that needs a good kick.

Dec 20, 2019
Photo of Historiker
Historiker from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A slow, leisurely pour still produced 2 inches a head that stuck around for a while, eventually yielding to beautiful lacing.

Dark reddish brown in color.

Smelled primarily of plums and stone fruit, with a faint hint of raisins.

Taste and texture are a great combo. This is a remarkably smooth beer, and tastes of sweet malts and plums/stone fruit with a (very) faint Christmas spice. While I think this could stand alone year-round (much like how Chimay began as a Christmas beer), its very nice... quite enjoyable.

Dec 17, 2019
Photo of TooManyGlasses
TooManyGlasses from Canada

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Mar 04, 2019
Photo of MNAle
MNAle from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Jan 02, 2019
Photo of AdmiralOzone
AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Dec 27, 2018
Photo of OlaB
OlaB from Norway

4.21/5  rDev +1%
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.

Dec 22, 2018
Photo of DanO1066
DanO1066 from Maryland

4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Dec 19, 2018
Photo of jmbranum
jmbranum from Oklahoma

4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Dec 18, 2018
Photo of jkblr
jkblr from Indiana

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Dec 09, 2018
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Dec 09, 2018
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada

4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

Nov 08, 2018
Photo of The_Bujon
The_Bujon from Ireland

4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Apr 13, 2018
Photo of Beersnake1
Beersnake1 from California

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Jan 28, 2018
Photo of Brutaltruth
Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Cheers

Jan 05, 2018
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Dec 25, 2017
Photo of ordybill
ordybill from Georgia

4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Dec 22, 2017
Photo of thebeers
thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev 0%
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.

Dec 19, 2017
Photo of Yoann
Yoann from France

3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
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 !

Aug 01, 2017
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farrago from New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Jun 15, 2017
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nick_perry from North Carolina

3.17/5  rDev -24%
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.

Mar 11, 2017
Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1296 ratings