Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale
1,217 Ratings
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 11-22-2001

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,217 |  Reviews: 608
Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1" tan colored head that lasts a while. Moderate lace paints the glass.

Smell: light chocolate, lots of malt sweetness, and a bit of fruit sweetness creates a mild but pleasant aroma.

Taste: nice malt flavor with some chocolate, a hint of spice and earthiness, prunes sweetness, and a moderate bitterness. Alcohol is barely noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Crisp to start, smooth and a bit creamy at the finish. Long aftertaste.

Drinkability: a nice xmas beer to slowly sip in front of a roaring fire. Definitely worthy of a try.

 588 characters

Photo of KMillard
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Chimay goblet glass. Nice tight head, lacing, dark, but Amber in the light. Smell very close to the taste. Comparing to the similar Chimay darkest beer, this beer has strong fruit smell and taste, but sophisticated fruit. Raisins, figs, dates. A Nestle Chunky bar minus the chocolate. The high alcohol content is not apparent. This is however a very thick and complex ale. If you enjoy dark, complex beers, this is most worthy. Merry Christmas!

 458 characters

Photo of Nunya
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasty, well balanced and smooth. No one thing is extra out of this world about this brew.. except maybe for the mouthfeel. Pillowy comes to mind.
I'd like to score this higher but this beer does not need my scores to validate it.
A very tasty Christmas cheer beer.Go get some.

 278 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 8.5oz brown pop top, foiled, with nice label. Best by September 2014 clearly stamped on the back. The label says this is 8.1%, not 8.5% as stated above. Poured into my Ommegang glass.

Appearance: Attractive dark amber-orange beer with a large, fluffy ivory cap with nice retention. Fairly bright, except for some tiny sediment in suspension. Massive sheets of Belgian lacing.

Smell: Lots of sweet, dark fruit leads here, with sweet grapey wine and perhaps some dark, sticky dried fig as well, backed by very soft (and indistinct) spices. Definitely on the sweet side; a couple of swirls in the glass bring out fainter notes of caramel and light bready malt. Overall, very nice.

Taste: Sweet, grapey red wine, supported by very subtle spice notes. I swore I got vanilla on the first sip, but I'm having trouble finding it now. Booze (even at only 8.1%) is perfectly integrated into the fruity and spicy aspects of this; I suspect that if I had a 750 of this, I'd drink the whole thing down rather quickly and then wonder why I was a bit light-headed. Flavorful and sweet, but ends fairly dry so that it's not at all cloying.

Mouthfeel: Fantastic. Fluffy, soft, and just...nice.

Overall: Just short of fantastic. Even though this is really, REALLY good, I don't think I like it QUITE as much as St. Bernardus. The sweet grapey flavors (I swear, as much as I hate to say this, it reminds me of Concord wine or the like, but oh so much better) and soft spice flavors are really nice. The only downfall here is a bit of a lack of complexity which, in time, might be forthcoming. At any rate, darn good stuff.

At around $6.99-8.99 for a 750, I'd give this a solid 89-90 B+/A-

 1,693 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a leather couch brown with a tawdry two-finger tan head that left lacing down the glass. A great smell of roasted malts, chocolate and bread along with some spiciness. Smooth, slightly creamy and medium-bodied with a mix of some fruits, both dark and tart, and a great balance w/ some sweet malts (caramel and chocolate mostly). This leads to an easy-going and warming brew (the ABV is hidden well) that has a slightly tart, dry finish to complement the overall sweet, silky texture of the beer as it passes over the tongue. This is a great X-Mas beer, as it is one you can sip on and it warms you up on a cold night.

 624 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at "Christmas in July" at The Blind Tiger. Presumably 2002 vintage.

This ale poured a dark brown color with hints of red. The foam was tan and settled relatively quickly. The smell was vinous, with the smell of alcohol. The taste was slightly sweet malt but with caramel, oak, fig, and vinous grapes in the mix. The mouthfeel was smooth and light on the tongue. The body was medium and the carbonation low. This was a good, enjoyable strong ale.

 463 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RickS95
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with quite a bit of red. While it's dark, it's a bit clear. The head is impressive. Several fingers thick, really nice retention, sloppy lace left behind. It's a dark off-white foamy looking display of bubbles.

Classic Belgian smell, though I question the Christmas aspect of the beer. Lots of dark ripe fruits. Slight caramel malt note. The slightest bit of alcohol.

A bit of a let down. The fruity flavors never really came through. There was some spice and maltiness, but everything in the nose never made it to the tongue. It's certainly not bad, just a bit of a downer after how good it looked.

It's an easy sipper. The taste is easy on the palate and the high alcohol doesn't overwhelm. The flavor is mostly neutral. The fruity sweetness never presents itself, though it's slightly tart in the finish. No real hoppy bitterness and only faint heat from the alcohol. Carbonated, dry finish. At the high end of medium body.

Better than any American rendition of the style, but a step below some of the other Belgians. A good beer overall that I'm glad I tried. Will be proud to have the bottle in my collection.

 1,136 characters

Photo of dsshuck
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of joegrnwave
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of seaver41
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Ngntjp
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of noslenwerd
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours out creamy, with a nice looking head with large bubbles. Color is mild brown with a slight cherry red tint. Above average lacing for an ale.

S: Mild alcohol smell to it, other than that not very strong smelling. Mild "tuaca" liquor smell.

T: Foams up nicely when it hits your tongue. Not sure how to describe the taste but its very good. Not very "Christmasy" to me but very tasty. The more I drink it the more the overall taste is muted for whatever reason, and the alcohol tastes seems to overtake.

Summary: Mouthfeel on this one is the thing that sticks out to me. Taste is good but nothing out of the ordinary for a belgian dark

 644 characters

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with an off white head that laces the glass. The smell was full of dark fruit as well as cherries. The taste was heavy on malt in the beginning making a heavy beer, good for winter, with some semi sweet flavors like black cherry on the finish made a very refreshing brew. Would definitely get again.

 318 characters

Photo of elizur
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Steve_Studnuts
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Hootie159
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BadBadger
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This dark ale pours an incredibly dark color (as one would hope for). The head is foamy and plentiful, although not long lasting (a gentle swirl of the chalice will remedy this). The smell is a pleasant mixture of spices, fruits and malts. The taste is nicely balanced mixture of alchohol, citrus, spice, and malts, with no single feature being overbearing. A very enjoyable beverage. Worth celebrating the season with. Enjoy!

 426 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330ml slender brown bottle poured into a new belgium goblet. Served chilled, the beer hisses loudly upon opening and, even with a gentle transfer, creates a big thick cap of head. It settles very slowly leaving sticky, spotty lacing.

It's a pretty redish brown color with pretty good clarity. The aroma is sweet, spicy, and slightly musky.

Flavor is surprisingly bitter and sour. There's lots of character, mostly from the unusal yeast that was used, but it's not all good. The malts seem to have a little more roasty flavor than commonly found in the style.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body and full in carbonation.

Overall, a little disappointing. I imagine it will get a little better with age. It probably wouldn't hurt to serve it at a warmer temperature.

 769 characters

Photo of GoGators
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Morey
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle and into a glass with medium poor that produced a 3 finger head which settled to about 1/4 of an inch after a few minutes. Smells of fruits and spice and everything nice. This is a great tasting beer, which in my opinion is very similar in taste to Troegs Mad Elf (or probably the other way around). Being that it is a little lower in alcohol content (8.5% compared to 11%), I find it to have slightly better drinkability.

Morey's Bottom Line: I'm guessing that this beer was an inspiration for the Troegs brothers when creating The Mad Elf....that's how similar the taste is (see for yourself).

 621 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite similar in Conrsendonk's Brown Ale, which is esquisit, but with a better musky aroma and flavor. Also has added spices that blend with the light tartness. The color is a solid brown with a ruby tint and floating spices and yeast; otherwise fairly clear with a stubborn foamstand. Smells malty, tart, spicy, woodsy, and lightly sour--typical of Belgians. Atypical in the use of nutmeg, allspice, cinnemon, and lightly pepperred. Viscous, round body with light wine, cider fruitiness and acidic. Finishes sweet, tart, and spicy with a light dryness. Delicate and bold--a joy to drink.

 588 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass the beer is dark blood red with black edges when held to the light. The beige head is enormous and thick. It reaches at least three fingers high before slowly receding to leave a thick web of lace. The retention is superb leaving a perfect cap on top of my beer.

The aroma is sweet candied pears, apples and white grapes along with spices and malt. Rather christmas like.

The flavor is much the same as the nose. Sugary candied fruit, maple syrup, cinnamon toast, and hints of cocoa.

Medium creamy body with loads of carbonation.

Overall a wonderful way to cap off my christmas eve. Actually I wouldn't mind capping off any night with this beer.

 675 characters

Photo of bluehende
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,217 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.