Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
587 Reviews
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pezoids on 11-22-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
587
Ratings:
1,166
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
14.77%
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
171
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 587 | Ratings: 1,166
Photo of Dasa1044
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this up as a Christmas gift, and shared gift with the happy recipient!

Pour: Dark brown, almost black. Not as thick as expected building a nice head.

Nose: Subtle spices, and mildly hoppy smell. Very pleasant.

Taste: Much lighter taste than the alcohol content would suggest. Definitely a surprise. Lot's of great flavors to discern. Cloves, Cinnamon and nuts.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, not thick at all, very lively carbonation.

Overall: It really made the perfect Christmas gift. A beer to savior.

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Photo of Marcosleigh
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best beer I ever tasted, at the beginning I was skeptical about the alcohol grade but at the end the flavor is so delicate, is like drinking a 30 year old whisky, love the dark color and excellent carbonation, 2 Thumbs way Up!

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Photo of kstokem
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had Corsendonk Christmas Ale on draught at Mahar's Pub in Castleton-on-Hudson just before Christmas. It was offered at $5 for 10 oz. or $10/20oz. I started with a 10 oz. but had to follow it with a second 10 oz. It was one of those "oh I have the perfect beer for me" evenings.

Unfortunately, this beer is seasonal. I went back after Christmas and it was gone. Mahar said he was trying to obtain another keg. It was being searched for among the diminishing stock of Corsendonk Christmas Ale in the Albany/Capital Region, NY.

I hope to check in with Mahar tomorrow to see if he was successful in getting more.

If you come across Corsendonk Christmas Ale
on draught, don't drink it, save it for me.

I have had Corsendonk Christmas Ale in bottles a few times before and it is great that way too, but to my mind, no beer is better in the bottle than it is when you can get it draught style. I did however, recently purchase 2 750ml bottles so I could enjoy the Ale sometime later this year.

I recommend the Mahar's Pub in Castleton on Hudson, NY. It is a small neighborhood off-shoot of the long term, well established Mahar's Pub neighborhood pub on Madison Ave. in Albany, NY. Both Mahar's are serious places to drink a huge international variety of great beers.

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Photo of talkingpoints
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The one beer that I just absolutely love!!! A great brewery that produces the Monk Brown Abbey Ale has stepped it up a notch with this seasonal offering. This dark beer is not renowned for its hops(which are on the light side) but for its maltiness. It is a thick and rich beer with flavors and spices pouring out. You don't really have to think hard about this one but rather just sit back and sip that 750Ml of magic malt. this should be the favorite seasonal offering of any Guiness drinker. Once again. Wow

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Photo of sitarist
4.95/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, clear ruby color. There are a lot of bubbles rising up to a thick tan head. The head last for awhile before falling to an 1/8" cap that leaves rings of lacing, the lacing slowly slides back into the beer.

The aromas are sweet, fruity, and spicy. I smell hints of stewed plums, ripe red apples, grape candy, poppy roll, anise, and coriander.

The first thing I taste is spiced apples, there are hints of plum, grape candy, anise, pepper, and coriander. Its more like a punch than it is a beer.

A little to light, and a little to dry. I sure would like for the flavors to stick around a little longer.

This is a highly drinkable, and also a highly deceptive beer. The alcohol is almost undetectable. I cant believe how many times Ive passed by this one; I'm glad that I finally tried this gem.

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Photo of Cyrano41
4.93/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this just after new years. Poured a dark, opaque brown into a standard pint glass. The smell was spicy and pleasant, I didn't know what to expect from this one but it exceeded even the bar set by the other Corsendonk ales I've had. I immediately wanted another one and regretted only picking up the one in my build your own from six pack from total wine. Isn't "Give me another" the highest praise ?

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Photo of halo21
4.9/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: We poured this amber and brown colored beer hard into a Duvel snifter glass, with plenty of room for the tan chunky head to expand upwards. It was dark and rich looking, with fine carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Rich, with candied fruits; big raisin and a bit of apple, all with a kick of spice.

Taste: Sweet with fruit flavors, malts and yeast, with a drying spice finish; coriander and a bit of pepper in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, with warming heat and nicely viscous; finely carbonated that is almost a festive component.

Drinkability/Palitability: Medium to high - very smooth and warming, but at 8.50% ABV, this is not a Summer session beer, but a few would go down easy on a cold Winter night.

Notes: This is an A+ beer, not only in the style of beer, but across all brews. The best part about winter is the big heavy beers that are released and enjoyed. This bottle was popped open not only on a bitter cold day, but also a long workday full of manual labor and cleaning. Perfect end to the day.

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Photo of BrianBoruma
4.87/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've actually had this one several times on tap but reviewing a bottle recently purchased served in a brewery glass.

A: Thin white head over a dark brown body with rubyish highlights. Head leaves lacing as I consume it.

S: Fruits, dark fruits, spices are hard to distinguish, I like that. I get some allspice and cinnamon, maybe some anise.

T: Lots more dark fruits, a bit like raisins or plums, spices come forwards in the finish, definitely get a bit of anise in there and some cinnamon. Malt comes a bit afterwards and a slight warming sensation from the alcohol. Can't tell if the floral comes from phenols or hop selection.

M: Rather well rounded. Not too much malt roundness, like a true Belgian this one finishes dry, not syrupy for the amount of alcohol.

D: Definitely could have another on a cold winter night. Though past that would not be a good idea with the 8.5% Definitely makes it on the list of favorite seasonals though.

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Photo of BigMarty1980
4.84/5  rDev +17.2%

A- A deep ruby brown color

S- Strong scents of figs & cherries. Also yeast

T- Just as it smells. Figs & Cherries. Faint trail of citrus

M-Full bodied but not too much

O- My friend has raved about this beer for years. I went to a Whole Foods that offers alcohol and I saw this on the shelf. I grabbed the 2nd to last one and I am shocked I haven't made it a point to try this sooner. This beer is amazing & upon first taste it catapulted all the way to the top of my favorites list. If you find it...TRY IT

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Photo of pat61
4.84/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Have had both on tap and from the 33cl bottle. The aroma is a spice and dried fruit combination that evokes alcohol soaked fruit cake. It pours brilliant deep reddish chestnut under a 2" very white tan foam cap that slowly descends to a thick, lacy film. It enters the palate hinting of cherry that morphs to apricot backed by dark dried fruit (figs or dates but not prune) sweetened by dark sugar flavors with a bitter hop accent on the finish. The soft foamy texture is outstanding and is more apparent in the bottled version than on tap. The carbonation is above average and the body hovers around medium.

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Photo of dragos
4.84/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is great. It looks dark in the glass, however sometimes you get either some yeast or coagulated proteins which seem to float in the bottle.
The mouth feel is perfect for a Christmas ale, medium to full. Not too full to overload your tongue and mouth but just enough to keep it interesting.
The flavour is superb. It has loads of dark fruit of all kinds. Sip it slowly and try to name everything you taste. I cannot get enough of this. Too bad it is only available during Christmas time.
I recommend this beer fully. Remember, this beer is not about the hops but malts and fermentation which means yeast.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked this beer up on clearance in February, guess they were clearing it out. Wonderful looking beer, thick and rich looking with great head, exactly what I would look for in a great beer. And then the smell, just as great. Then wow, tastes just as great. Could be a little more interesting but very smooth and tasty. Tastes maybe 5.5 max and is 8.5, wow. Excellent. Overall a great beer that is a must try and one I will looking to pick up again.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I stopped by the sterling Sun Singer this afternoon, and found this gem lingering from early winter. A great find, and I'm fortunate to have had it. I admit that I'm a sucker for a good presentation and I like to think myself sufficiently scrutinizing to separate a beer's book from its cover, so to speak. This has both a great appearance and taste. The presentation is glorious--three off-white fingers of foam on a reddish-mahogany body, with thick lacing on the Ommegang glass. Five stars.

The nose is impressive--lots of fruit and spice, especially ginger, cinnamon, and anise. The taste is enough to make one rave--fruit, and dried fruit at that, with raisin combining with more pleasant citrus; spice; all smoothly delivered. Well carbonated and smooth, this is a great BSDA and Christmas Ale, really outstanding.

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Photo of TheLiterati
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a $20 gift pack (as a gift to myself!) at my local Whole Foods Market. Came complete with eight bottles of ale and a gratis gift glass to enjoy them in. Also available in a brown bomber, which is good to know since I'll definitely enjoy more of this seasonal for as long as it’s available.

Pours a nice deep brown, with a deep and creamy caramel colored head. Scents of plums, raisins, dates, cloves tease the olfactory. The taste is much the same: deep and complex, mildly fruity and even woodsy, with a smooth mouthfeel and pleasant carbonation.

Quite the quaffable ale.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on tap and from the large bottle and found no difference in quality.
Appearance is pretty dark brown.
Pours with a huge frothy head, which settles down to almost nothing.
Smells great..malty and slightly fruit.
Taste is fantastic!...very complex, fruit, malt, anise, caramel, just enough sugar. I found this to be a very well balanced ale. Mouthfeel was medium to light..but really just right , I thought. The large bottle took my girlfriend and I about 90 minutes to drink...we just savored it like a cognac....and as it warmed, more complexity developed. Nice semi sweet -semi dry finish.

I went to the liquor store a few days later and bought the last 5 bottles they had. We really loved this ale !

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Photo of gbontrag
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown ale with a reddish glow. Thick toasted head clings together then collapses in the middle talking to me in bubble-speak: Snap, crackle... "drink me. Your wife is out of town, the kids are asleep early -- indulge."
How does something so brown, that's sat in the bottle for so long, smell so fresh? It smells like a tropical greenhouse with exotic blooms drooping overhead dripping nectar and beckoning me with irresistible pheremone kisses.
Delicious. Spicy. Leaves the palate surprisingly clean. Crisp. There's good astringency, a little numbing. There's a dusting of barley flour that coats the palate with a sour twang. Tastes like spicy fruits: Fuji apples, bosc pear, asian pear, little red plums, and the list goes on.... Blood oranges, kumquats. Cookie dough: Butterscotch chip, snickerdoodle and gingersnap crackle...
I feel like a committed adultery.

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Photo of avalon07
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bomber to a tulip glass. Had a dark brown color with ruby red tints. Cloudy consistency. There was a big, off-white, creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A fruity, malty, spicy smell. Very aromatic.

T: Tasted of malt, citrus fruits, esters and spices. Remarkably well-balanced with clean lines. Alcohol is barely noticable. An excellent flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation with a very dry finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

D: A drinkable beer if there ever was one. AN extremely well-constructed Belgian Strong Dark Ale that's one of the best I've had in the style.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

Appearance is deep brown with dark red hues, with a lovely off white head and some lacing. Smells of fruits, spices, and caramel. Tastes of cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, other spices, sugar, and some smokiness. Very smooth and creamy, yet also a bit chewy. An excellent Christmas brew, looking forward to having another one next year.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.79/5  rDev +16%

Had a 2013 release on 11/3/14. Very tasty dart fruits and fig. Full bodied and warms the belly very nice. One of the best and most satisfying Belgian Strong Dark Ales I've had to date. Will be buying the 2014 release soon.

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage

Pours a reddish beer thats all clear and has a strong carbonation. There is a nice, cramy foam on top.

Smell is great! Citric traces blend together with fruits, malt and yeasty traces. After a while there is a surypy like sweetness and some alcohol to it together with a wine like sourness.

Taste is fruity, rich and this is very much a perfect taste. Fruits blend together with a very sweet taste. There is a bready thickness to it and a nice bitterness. There are traces of citrus and some spices in the aftertaste together with a soothing bitterness.

Leaves a nice warmth after every sip, a very nice brew, certainly a garanteed bottle on next years christmas table.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 that is corked and banded that came in a metal tube that had some straw in it to cushion the bottle. Best before 9-25-05...but I'm feelin' lucky tonight. lol Served in a chalice.

Had to manage a slow careful pour as this one foamed up upon hitting the glass. Deep brown with reddish edges under a tall head of light cream. Good retention, but with spotty rings of lace.

Nice balance of cookie dough, mild holiday spices, chalk, clove, bannana, a little licorice, and some malty sweetness. Damn!

Big, full velvet mouth. The spices are a bit more pronounced, especially the licorice(anise) and a pinch of coriander. Lots of dark ripe fruits such as plums and some citrus. A nice touch of bitter hops and lots of "classic Belgian" yeast flavors that have a bit of bubblegum and clove. The alcohol only registers as a warming sensation in a slightly bitter finish. Double Damn!

I would compare this with Gouden Carolous Cuve Van Der Kaiser(sp?) in terms of taste, mouth and overall satisfaction. Well worth the $11.99. I will buy more.

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Photo of JamesS
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a wonderfully dark brown, near-black with fantastic head and awesome lacing. Great thick malt scents, with a wonderful bit of fruit (cherry) and spice (nutmeg) in the nose. A great strong dark ale with Christmas flavors, it had wonderful fruitiness with some cherry and orange flavors, nice spices with a low hit of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a great bit of hoppy spiciness as well; all flavors were well balanced. Slightly rough with some of the spiciness on the way down, along with just a bit of alcohol heat, but a fantastic beer nonetheless!

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Three finger white-brown head, very dark brown red-tinged body.

Smell: Dark fruits, marshmallow, weak spices (smells almost like Dr.Pepper), and has a light vinous quality. You can even smell the alcohol a bit, which I didn't like.

Taste: Sweet dark fruits (mainly plum), marshmallow fluff, cinnamon, pepper, and notes of wood and chocolate.

Feel: High carbonation, medium bodied, and has a noticeable alcohol bite.

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Photo of benmiliron
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received an 8-pk. with glass from my sister as a Christmas gift. Thanks sis!

A smoky brown tan color, good foamy head that fades quickly. Some lacing. Smells of sugar, malt, spice and all things nice. Not much hop aroma, but the bitter is there in the taste. Taste is superb. Belgian fruits, spices, yeast and malts, a bit of smoke, and candied plums. Mouthfeel is sticky with good carbonation to support. Maybe a hair too fizzy.

This is one of the best Christmas ales out there.

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Photo of chadmoe1
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Notes from 12/12/11

A -- Deep golden brown with 1" light tan head; lots of lacing

S -- Belgian fruity yeast, raisin and pear notes

T -- Toast malty goodness, fruity yeast, raisin/currant, long aftertaste

M -- Strong carb, medium body

O -- Belgian beer + Christmas! Distinct Belgian flavors (fruity yeast, smooth toasty/lightly roasted malt, warm alcohol) with spices that balance. I could drink this over and over again!

Bottle, poured in snifter glass

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 587 ratings.
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