Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

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

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk
Belgium
corsendonk.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 11-22-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
606
Ratings:
1,208
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.41%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
189
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 606 | Ratings: 1,208
Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle with a best before end date of 9/18/2008. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a brown/ruby color with a half inch off-white head. It smells like citrus, spices, dark fruit, bread, bananas and pears. It tastes very fruity, like dark fruit, pears and bananas, and also like pepper, cloves and Belgian yeast. Mouthfeel is medium/full, but a bit over-carbonated to me. Drinkability is OK, it's smooth but the high carbonation cuts down on the drinkability. Overall I think this is a decent beer, but I think it would be better if the carbonation was lower. But even then, I'd still drink it again given the chance.

 626 characters

Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: served very cold and this is a bitter beew and not worthy. But warmed up to proper temp and you have a very soothing brew.

a: Pours dark brown almost black with off white head. Some, but not much lacing.
s: pepery fruits.
t: Similar to smell, but with a healthy amount of sweetness. WIth a bit of the belgian flavor adding to the overall effect. Finishes with some bitterness in the back of the tonge.
m: Full bodied with champagne feel.
d: something definatly something to sip on a cold winter evening.

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Photo of twbrewer
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep red color with a huge off-white or tan colored foam that slowly falls to a thick sticky layer.

S-The smell of spices and caramel malt hits me first then a faint fruit and a very Belgian yeast smell comes thru.

T-Very close to the smell but in addition there is a orange peel and coriander and then a slight earthy/spicey hop taste.

M-Medium body with great carbonation.Sweet but also slighty dry on the palate.

D-This is a great Christmas/Winter Warmer.It is a smooth sweet beer that is very drinkable and the 8.50% is very well hidden.I might keep remaing bottles until next winter!

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Photo of grub
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

christmas tasting hosted by biegaman on dec 15/07. he contributed this one. thanks jan!

750ml bottle, corked and caged, best before 12/09/09.

pours deep ruby red with a big fluffy off-white head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is nice. clearly belgian yeast. light alcohol. very light cardamom. bit of earthy/musty character. bready malt.

taste is nice. big fruit. low bitterness level. light belgian yeast and spice. bready malt. bit of alcohol. caramel and toffee. orange peel.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is good. well balanced. a nice christmas ale - good balance of fruit and light spice to keep it interesting, but not unpleasant or overpowering. if only they all showed this kind of balanced restraint!

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Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

01/08/05- Purchased at Mollie Stones in Burlingame, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle with no date. Poured into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- Lovely thick white head, dark brown semi cloudy pour and wonderful lacing.

Smell- Much dark fruits (plums, raisins, dates), and plenty of spices including cinnimon and ginger root.

Taste- Fairly metallic and a tad stale tasting. Plenty of raisin and date flavors. Good amount of cinnimon and a bit of dark chocolate.
Liquorice is present also. Very flavorful, but a bit cardboard stale tasting.

Mouthfeel- Fairly full and chewy consistency. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability- THis one would be a pretty darn good one except for the metallic and stale issue. It wasn't super stale, but enough to throw off the taste buds and knock it down a notch.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle in to a goblet

Pours a clear ruby brown with a tightly constructed light tan head.

Malty, bready yet pruney smell.

Very bright taste. Peppery, bready yet sweet taste.

Very carbonated mouthfeel and a well drinking beer make this a Christmas delight. Not quite as good as I expected, but very good none the less.

 342 characters

Photo of BrewMaster
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottle. Served from a 750 ml corked bottle. The cork was held on by a small strap that ran across the top of the cork. It's a very interesting looking manner of securing a cork. Lot no. 131484 stamped on to the sides of the cork.

The beer poured a reddish tan with an off white, and large-bubbled head. The aroma is sweet with notes of grape and maple. The flavor has notes of white grape, caramel, nutmeg, clove, anise, bitter root, and a light heather aftertaste. There is an undue harshness to the flavor and it could certainly use some age. It is also very carbonated, almost too much.

 598 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, been cellaring. pours a redish hued sappy brown color, like a maple leaf. smells very boozy with notes of vanilla, sweet malts, and holiday spice. flavor peppers in some dried fruit tones and a big rich mouthfeel. not as carbonated as a fresh one might be, but it lends a nice mellow character here. belgian yeast floating around inside a little bit, imparting a slightly funky finish. good but not incredible holiday brew

 436 characters

Photo of TheBungyo
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured very very dark, like a black hole topped with a delicious looking brown head. Lots of pretty lacing on the way down. My god the nose is SO complex. At first I got applesauce, then dried plums, followed by some burnt brown sugar and cinnamon and other spices. This is easily the most interesting beer I've ever smelled. Taste is largely the same .... the only problem is that it smells far better than it tastes. It's almost as if the smells are jockeying for position trying to dominate one another and never melding. I find it distracting. Could some age cure this? Mouth is medium.
I like this and plan to buy it again ... but only to see if the taste has melded a bit.

 680 characters

Photo of pershan
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a clear, deep amber with very little head into a chalice. Didn't really detect anything in the aroma. The flavor was of sweet candy sugar and bubble gum in the foreground, with a nice hop bite and slight yeast sourness in the finish. Nice carbonation too. Seemed to be very well balanced, with no individual component dominating, which you would expect from a true Belgian strong. Much better than the Legacy Euphoria I had a few days ago.

 506 characters

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solidly a Belgian dark ale. A nice dark red-brown color, long lasting head.

Floral nose with hints of malt and caramel.

Flavor is much like it's nose- bitter hops but subdued melded with malt, yeast, caramel and citrus tang.

Nice mouthfeel with a long cordial finish.

Drinkability is such that this beer goes down very smoothly and rather rapidly. The only complaint I have is that the bottles were 8.5oz nip bottles. Just not enough beer in one bottle for an enjoyable session.

Nice-- I'll probably have to wait until 2011 for another try at this seasonal beer.

 568 characters

Photo of
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. A dark mahogany color with red highlights. Appeared to be clear. Light tan, large head. Smell was fantastic, raisins, port mine, molasses, caramel, dark chocolate, and some earthy/barnyard Belgian yeast. Taste was where it fell down a bit. Strong metallic notes, improving to raisins, dark fruits and chocolate. Some phenolic notes through middle. It all worked pretty well together. No hops to speak of. Medium bodied, low carbonation, drying with some alcohol warming. Overall, this beer has a lot going for it, but...many people have commented on metal in Belgians, but this is the most noticeable it has ever been for me. ABV well hidden, which made this relatively easy to drink. A pretty good beer, but not that exciting to me.

 747 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice egg plant color with a rather weak tan head. The head dies to a collar and leaves some spotty lace.

S: Nice blast of malt and yeast. This is a Belgian Xmas ale no doubt. Tons of dark fruit adn hints of spice especially nutmeg.

T: Taste matches the aroma to a T with the addition of caramelized brown sugar.

M: Full bodied and syrupy.

D: Drinkable, but a 750ml is a bit much for one.

 402 characters

Photo of 57md
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown with ruby hints. There are two healthy fingers of head (boy, is this a live beer) and the retention and lacing are top notch. The nose has an unpleasant cidery element to it. Malt and berries are the upfront flavors and the finish is slightly bitter with a dose of alcohol warmth.

December 2016 update: Had a bottle with at least two years of age on it (I'm not certain if it had age on it when I bought it, so it could be older). The cidery essence is completely gone from the nose - just malty now. The dark fruits are gone from the flavor profile but so is the alcohol bite. This has evolved into a fairly standard but tasty Belgian brown ale. I hate to admit it but I like this stripped down aged version better than the freshie I first sampled five years ago.

 777 characters

Photo of sponberg
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown with a lacy white head. Dark malts and spice in the nose - almost Christmas cookie like.

Very tingly mouthfeel to start (settles a bit with time), with a round chocolate and date malt base. Very firm bitterness, tastes like it's mostly due to spice rather than hops. Curacao orange and spices (clove, coriander, ginger) start to round out the flavor along with a Belgian yeastiness through the sip. Finishes with a slightly bitter malt and spice flavor that's rather enjoyable. Very drinkable to start, but to me the spices would get old after a couple.

 575 characters

Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of fairly mild dark fruit, burnt caramels, candy sugar and sweet malts. Obvious Belgian yeast smells as well.

The taste is very light roast with a bit of mild dark fruits. There is also some light caramel, cocoa and toffee. Flavors of prunes, raisins and dark cherries. At the end, a moderate hop finish showed itself and cleaned the pallet well.

The mouthfeel is on the dry-side, delightfully round with a alert carbonation while some alcohol reveal itself in that of a warming manner. Smooth and very pleasant to the palate. Mild, but not weak, very simple yet balanced.

 581 characters

Photo of uvachief
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured aggressively from a 12oz bottle that was about 40 degrees. Huge amounts of creamy head. Full 4 fingers or more that lingered significantly. Had to wait several minutes for head to break and recede. Beautiful deep ruby brown color. I small malts like a loaf of fresh bread but not overpowering. Not much else maybe caramel. True Belgian Strong Ale. Light bodied in the mouth. Taste spices like cloves, nutmeg, caramel and hops. Citrus buried in there as well. Goes down smooth with no burn. Hides the high abv well. Winter Warmer on steroids. Nicely drinkable. Good change of pace beer from the fruit/vegetable beers and lighter than a heavy Russian Imperial Stout. I like it but wasn't blown away. $4.99 for a 12oz bottle.

 746 characters

Photo of PacNWDad
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

L: Pretty caramel-amber color. Reasonable amount cream colored head on pour, then lots of lace on the sides. A bit cloudy.

S: Caramel, yeast, roasted malt, earth and coriander.

T: Sweet lead with some hops bitterness and a bit of sour bringing up the rear.

F: Very smooth, moderately carbonated, extremely drinkable, surprisingly little alcohol notes given the strength.

O: A very enjoyable winter beer.

 457 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap I believe at Belgian Cafe, Philly, PA. This was a recent tasting at Pinocchio's, Media, PA.

Darker red-brown color, deep but clear, with a foamy khaki head that receded to a thin layer, leaving generous lacing on the glass. Aroma of dark sugars, light spice, orange blossom. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, toasted bread, yeast, orange blossom, raisins, light floral hop notes. Medium body, moderate carbonation, fairly smooth, and a pretty pleasant drink overall.

 506 characters

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I poured this into a goblet styled glass from a 750ml bottle which produced a notable and foamy head. The nose was rich with malt and a spice that I would later realize as anise. Upon tasting there is an immediate malt presence that fades relatively quickly to allow for quick light hoppy finish with the linger taste of black licorice. There was pretty good warming on the way down but it wasn't at all unpleasant.

I'm not a huge anise/black licorice type of person so this one isn't going to be a personal favorite. That aside, everything else comes together to make a very enjoyable brew. Great for Christmas and that's probably often enough for me.

 654 characters

Photo of RedBeerchetta
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at American Craft.

Not muc of a head, and I like head on Christmas beers.

Scent is great. Cinnamon, some citrus, biscuits. Nice, just lacking a little "breadiness" for my palate.

Taste is a bit thin, but still enjoyable. Caramel, sweet, holiday spices. Yum, but Christmas beers are my favorite and this isn't my favorite of those.

 340 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours rich brown with a large head. The aroma is full of candied dark fruits, as well as clove and nutmeg. The flavor is a similar mildly sweet mix of raisin, currant, and spices. The mouthfeel is rather creamy. Overall this was a fun tipple for present opening.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stored for at least 3 years. Labeled as best before 25/09/05. Hope it's not too late, but at 8.5% it shouldn't be too bad. Cork on so tight it required a corkscrew.
Pours relatively thick and dark. Candy sweet with a rich dark fruit quality. Huge tan head that settles on it's own time. Pours initially without the yeast at first, therefore clear and clean pour of dark amber of brown and burgundy. Significant lacing as it settles. Alcohol becomes more apparent without losing the initial qualities. Sweetness becomes deeper and loses the candy quality.
Flavor is not as bold as anticipated. Yeast qualities are well noted with the alcohol following suit. Moderately dry with no particular hop flavor. Starts with a light sweetness. Middle holds a rather strong hard water/metallic flavor that distracts some and includes a mild aqueous note as well. Slight oxidation of the cardboard type, but it's mild (and of course my mistake for cellaring so long). Get little shots of caramel. There seems to be a bit of vanilla with the yeast (not sweet though).
Feel is unspectacular. Seems fairly typical for style. Relatively smooth. Carbonation is a little low, but does seem to produce plenty of fill once consumed.
Drinks pretty well. Not too rich and I was able to complete the bottle while watching a movie (Hellboy) and other than a slight buzz and carbonation fullness, no damage done.
750ml bottle courtesy of Secret Santa 2005 and a former BA who I can't recall. Thanks.

 1,475 characters

Photo of ImusBeer
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served up in an 11oz wine glass, white wine.

It had a more brown appearance than black, with a tan head and produced some thin lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell was mostly light smoke and oak with some dark fruits. Taste of roasted malt, sweet malt/molassas, prunes with some spiceness like nutmeg.

The mouth was mostly thin for the color but did have some silkiness on the tongue. The alcohol is a bit too high for many of these but it's a really good sipping beer.

 478 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.8/5  rDev -8%

Pours two fingers of head on a dark brown body.
The aroma is roasted malt, anise, smoke and pine.
The taste starts with a mild malty sweetness, toffee, burnt wood and mild lemon bitterness. Nicely complex profile.
The texture is crisp and a bit too fizzy.
A wonderful ale.

 272 characters

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,208 ratings.
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