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Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

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Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale
BA SCORE
4.14/5
Exceptional
1,215 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#1,648
Reviews:
608
Ratings:
1,215
pDev:
10.39%
Bros Score:
4.42
 
 
Wants:
93
Gots:
193
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,215 |  Reviews: 608
Photo of jjayjaye
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark tea color with mahogany hues and a loose light tan head the fades quickly to surface. Visibly effervescent, tiny pools form to keep the surface happy. The smell is nice. Not terribly aggressive. Primarily earthy Belgian yeast over a mild and semi-sweet malt fig character. The level of carbonation gives the mouth a nice creamy texture. It complements the earthy malt flavors nicely. There is also a spicy note in the taste. Finishes on the dry side. An easy drinker, the 8.5% ABV is well integrated. Overall a lighter bodied product than I anticipated. The folks at Sam the Beer Man come'n through once again. Good call. had fun with this one. The cork restraint device on top was pretty unique too; a big band of metal across the top instead of a logo cap.

 777 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium brown and translucent with white head. Nose is reminiscent of holiday spices, including some brown sugar and cinammon, maybe ginger. Also bready yeasty Belgian notes are there. Palate is on the medium to light side in flavors, with a significant mineral component and light brown bread with spices. Easy drinking, and rather refreshing as well. One of the lighter Christmas ales on the shelf to be savored at the holidays.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

A: Dark brown with a huge three (or more) finger tan head that lingered. Very thick lacing. This one makes its presence known.

S: Belgian yeast, dark fruits (featuring dates, plums and raisins). Caramel, brown sugar, cloves.

T: Follows nose with a big gingerbread presence. Cherries, too. Tastes pop up as it warms. I recommend serving it warm instead of right out of the fridge.

M: Medium to heavy with uber frothy carbonation.

O: A fine Winter Warmer. Sip slowly and enjoy the season with friends.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured carefully from a 250ml bottle into the a Corsendonk Christmas glass.

Looks dark red-mahogany with over an inch of lacy suds despite a very delicate pour. Looks like the holidays to me. After all, I stare at one of these every Christmas season.

Festive combination of soft and cedary spices, alcohol, and dark fruits. Nutty yeast spills into the fruits and comes out with aromas of Belgian chocolate. Nice.

Cedary spice, coriander, bakers chocolate, dried fig, roast chestnut, brandy, and spicy finish. Subtle clove and cooked apple. This beer screams Belgian Christmas to me in a classic way.

Medium to above-medium body with a spicy prickle from the carbonation. Pronounced alcohol that warms me well.

Classic Belgian ale. Enjoyable fresh and with age. Excellent late-night beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, deep reddish-brown body with a well-sized, foamy, light khaki-colored head. Nice creamy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Malty, sweetish aroma smelling of molasses, brown sugar, and simple syrup -- all sorts of sweet treats. There's a strong, downright perfumy orange note in the nose, like sniffing a full shot of triple sec. Touches of spicy and light floral hints.

Taste: Sweet, dark maltiness with tastes of dark caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Slight nuttiness, maybe even some slight breadiness. As was the case with the aroma, there's that very distinct orange fruitiness. Pleasant spiciness with an extra added dash of coriander. Very, very faint floral hint. Never more than a minor bitterness present. Pinch of cocoa powder arrives late in the flavor. Finishes fruity with a lingering maltiness and hint of earthy spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A tasty wintertime offering from Corsendonk and one I'd be happy (yes, happy) to return to next year.

 1,020 characters

Photo of peensteen
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brownish-ruby red colour, more than a finger of tan/off white head, good amount of lace as well. Smell is of spice and dark fruits, yeast and some spice, orange peel, touch of alcohol, cinnamon, raisin and plums and a bit of brown sugars. Taste is of dark fruit, yeasty with spices, orange peel, corriander, only mildly sweet with some sugars and a fruity aftertaste. Medium carbonation, medium- full bodied. Quite delicious, above average and something I had no problem finishing a 750ml of.

 492 characters

Photo of counselor
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 corked and caged bottle opened wit a stiff wisp of carbonation. The beer poured a dark cocoa espresso color with a tall foamy head that reduced rather quickly leaving nice lacing on the glass. The smell was spicey, buttery, with layers of yeasty bannana aromas and freshly split oak logs. The taste was well balanced with traditional belgian ale flavors from the yeast bits in the glass. Each sip brought out the changes in this beer as it warmed from the early crisp dry notes of spice and tobacco to the later fruity plum, bannana and fig flavors. Each mouthful was enjoyable from the early cold & well carbonated one to the final warm & flatter one. A fine exmple of a beer!

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

Photo of magine
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

Pours a hazed dark amber with lots of ruby red tint. Huge big fluffy bubbles make up a light brownish/tan head. Lots of bubbles cascading up to make up the head. Has almost a red tint to the head, great lace and thick chunky island remain. Great looks.

Brew smells of dark fruits and yeasts. Pretty good nose.

Brew is spiced up front; lots of dark fruits balanced perfectly by a creamy head and feel. Warming alcohol and spice lingers. Very complex and very good.

A complex tasty, drinkable brew here. I have owned the glass for years and now I finally get to try the brew. It did not dissapoint; one of the best dark Belgian ales I have tried.

 693 characters

Photo of mverity
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'08 and '09 bottles thanks to Masterson for bringing these. Pour a barely hazy deep brown with a faint hint of red. Nice tan collar. Almost ne head. Aroma of caramel and some faint spice. Taste is sweet caramel, tough of dirty funk and that same slight spice. '09 is slightly sweeter. Really enjoyable aftertaste. Smooth sweet and a tough of grit in the mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

 381 characters

Photo of Suds
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a big, dark-brown beer with an light-tan head. The liquid is shadowy, with faint reddish-hues when held to the light. The aroma is predominately geared toward sweet malt, assisted with a lot of competing sensations: yeast, cherries, cinnamon, bubble-gum esters, nutmeg, and a handful of other spices. The taste is sweet and characteristically Belgian. Full malt flavor with some alcohol and an abundance of fruit flavors. There’s very slight warming, and it hides its alcohol surprisingly well. Fairly high carbonation and quite full bodied. This is a complex and enjoyable winter ale. I’d seek it out again.

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

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

This year I got the big bottle Corsendonk, 750 ml.

The beer pours clear, dark maghogny with a deep red tone and a one finger high, beige head that leaves lacing on the glass.

Nose: Dried fruit, syrup, brown sugar, Belgian yeast, vanilla, caramel, red berries, apple and fudge.
Taste: A sweet taste, yet a little "sour" with a bitterness back at the tounge. Caramel malt, dried fruit, oak, plum, spice, yeast, red fruit and nutmeg.
Mouth: Medium to full body. High carbonation. Dry ending. Soft and smooth.

A GREAT Christmas Beer!

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Photo of MA08
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of LordHammer
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas gift from my brother in law. Excellent gift.

A: Brilliant mahogany with a tan head. Looks inviting.

S: On initial pour, got a big banana whiff, but once it's in the glass it is much more restrained. Some fruit, smells sweet, bit of banana and some cherries, seems like.

T: Nicely malty, with definite sweet and alcohol notes. A vague spiciness, probably from the yeast, but much less of the fruit than in the nose. Definitely nice, gets better as it warms.

M: Highly carbed, and relatively thin due to the alcohol content. A nice balance to the big flavors.

D: This is delicious, but definitely a one and done sort of situation.

 643 characters

Photo of andjusticeforale
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This arrived in its own style glass; Big deep brown with a tan head. Carbonation was fantastic, a little more bubbly than would let a head stay around. A quick swirl brought it back.

This had a nice malty backbone, a beautiful richness and a smooth dry finish. Not much fruit or sices, but there was a nice earthiness, and tremendous drinkability. Alcohol masked fantasically.

What this lacks in overall depth of taste or complexity, it makes up in drinkability. Like a supercharged Corsendonk abbey ale.

 510 characters

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

Clear brown body with solid head. Smell: caramelized malts, clean yeast, toastiness. Tastes of caramel, dark candi sugar, coriander, pepper, peach. Sharp carbonation and sticky body. This is a tasty, straightforward holiday Belgian beer.

 241 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In years past, I have only found this beauty in 750 ml bottles- this year my local favorite store also had it in 4-packs of 33 cl bottles, and it was cheaper (per oz) than buying the big bottle- double score for a higher ABV brew! Poured in a proper Corsendonk tulip glass.

This pours a very nice brown with garnet touches and a nice moderately sized off-white head. Aroma is what you would expect from a Christmas ale- lots of gentle spices on top of a bready malty brew. The flavor includes nuts and winter spices (nutmeg and clove, among others I can't identify) that are all are there in a gentle way- not in your face with a 2x4. Alcohol presence is a little stronger than I like, but not overpowering like in some brews.

Overall, I am not a big fan of Christmas ales- usually a little too "wintery" for sunny southern California, I guess. Also, some are pretty out there in terms of spicing. This brew has those elements, but more subtly than others I've had. This is a nice presentation from a brewery I like all their products. Corsendonk was really my first experience with Belgian beer a couple years ago, and therefore, it's a favorite in my household!

 1,169 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a split mix case with mugghugger I ended up with 5 of these and boy are they tasty.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful mahogany caramel brown. Translucent. When back lit it showcases a red hue and loads of carbonation. The lacing slides don the walls of my snifter back in to the body but looks nice on every swirl.

Smell: Dark caramel malts, dark fruits - figs- hints of chocolate and nuts with spices of the season and hints of wood loaded in the nose as well. The aroma also allows a bit of booze to come through.

Taste: It has a unique flavor. Somewhat of a farmhouse Saison yeast character laying underneath the syrupy sweet, but inviting, caramel malt, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and more sweet brown sugar flavors. The hops and spices interplay very well malty sweet yet lively feel to this winter ale.

Mouthfeel: It has a thick full chewy yet smooth feel across the palate. Very nice.

Drinkability: This is a big beer for two back to back but I did it. That said it is no sessioner. This one is for sipping at the end of a cold night. It’ll will warm you up wonderfully.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

 1,134 characters

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

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium brown hue with a moderate haze and two fingers of frothy tan foam. Head has good retention and an attractive, chunky lace is left on the glass. I like it.

Smell: quite sweet with a nice maltiness and a bit of chocolate character. There's also a dusty element I quite like. It's not bursting with fruitiness, yet it is still very good in its own subdued way. Quite good indeed.

Taste: sweet but not overwhelmingly so, with a nice malty character and some subtle flavor of dark fruit -- raisins and dates. This is a very low-key beer, but I like it anyway.

Mouthfeel: medium body but with a huge carbonation and giant, if somewhat evanescent, creaminess. Love it.

Overall: a fantastic beer. It drinks damn easy for 8.5%. I usually like a little more complexity, but this beer's subtlety is its personality. Great.

 888 characters

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

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.5oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Globe

A beautiful mahogany color with a huge, light tan head. Little lines and dots of lace coat the sides of the glass. A stream of bubbles push north from the nucleation site. The aroma is oddly complex. Fruity esters, tart Belgian yeast, cinnamon, ginger, raisins, plums, and clove. I almost get a little bit of port wine. A sturdy malt base with earthy, dry hops allow all the flavors to dart and dance around. Most similarly resembles raisin bread and ginger cookies. A complex, beer for sure. Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel. Easily drinkable.

 593 characters

Photo of delta490
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a thick fizzy tan head. The head burns off quickly. The aroma is malty, with hints of spice and sour fruit. The taste is is bigger than the sum of its parts, blending the aroma's qualities into one tasty beer. The body is a little lighter with a solid hit of carbonation.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note: I'm reviewing this beer after cellaring the bottle for close to a year.

A: Pours a dark, hazy amber with a thick beige head that laces deep into the glass. Very nice.

S: Gentle aromas of spices, cream, chocolate, and funky Belgian yeast are present on the nose. I've had this beer fresh, and after nearly a year in the bottle, the smell is much less lively and spicy. It's still pretty nice though.

T: Opens sweet and malty with notes of heavy cream, coriander, milk chocolate, caramel, red apples, spiced pears, gingerbread, and perhaps some faint suggestions of cinnamon and clove, though I doubt this ale contains either spice. The finish is long and smooth with notes of chocolate, cream, and orchard fruits underscored by mellow alcohol.

M: Relatively full-bodied, thick, and sensuous. It feels great and is very smooth.

O: I still enjoy this beer just as much as I did the first time I tried it. This is a near prefect strong dark ale.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,215 ratings
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