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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:
#1,644
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,215 |  Reviews: 608
Photo of Hyhat
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of blbarnett3
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Lebby
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.26/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Dark amber brown with plenty of tan fine bubbled head. Head is, in fact spectacular. The magnificent head, of course, yields plenty of lacing.

S - Nutty malt aroma with hint of cherries.

T - First taste is sweet but it becomes more acidic as you hold it in your mouth.

M - Thin soda pop feel.

D - I am not a fan of sour tasting beer. Some people like it. I think I would not drink this again, not because it is bad but because there are so many that are better.

 480 characters

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.28/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This dark brown ale poured a large and retentive head that left pleasant lace upon my glass. The spicy aroma of cinnamon, ginger, and thyme was intriguing. Unfortunately, the flavor of the beer was not especially complex, and not entirely pleasant. Maybe this was a bad bottle but sour grapes flavors overpowered the chocolate and other malt notes. As the ale warmed, sweetness became a stronger presence but it never became interesting.

 437 characters

Photo of stakem
3.29/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml into a couple of snifters. The brew appears a polished clear color of mahogany with a rich 2 finger topping of yellowish stained khaki head. As the cap slowly fades, it leaves a thick wall of lace sticking all over the glassware. Rising bubbles maintain a thin film across the top and a light swirl revives the cap.

The aroma has a bit of mineral and metallic elements coupled with dark burnt sugar like caramel and toffee. Some fruity hints like raisins and plums are also present mixed with a bit of herbal to medicinal quality. Across the back are some citrus zesty elements that are faintly like lemon or orange.

The taste is mutually carbonic in flavor that brings out some mineral and metallic elements. The maltiness is a bit like raisins, blended with toffee and caramel. Some herbal hops bring out a bit of medicinal aspect to this brew that lingers long inside the mouth. For being 8.5%, the alcohol is fairly well integrated.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a decent offering with a minimal zesty spiced influence that is just enough to set it off as being different from the standard belgian style strong ale. Overall not bad and it is something I would drink again if offered but not something I would have to drink to make my Christmas complete.

 1,318 characters

Photo of Marraybay
3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber red with exceedingly generous head; nice glass presentation. Fruity and vinous in the nose and registers the same on the palate. Sweet and syrupy; effervescent. A bit of a balance issue for me in that I felt some citrus and or bitterness was needed as a counterpunch to the sweetness. Also a bit of a metallic note toward the finish that I find unappealing. Fairly big beer at +8, but not overwhelmingly so. Interesting beer, but as someone who isn't a great fan of the style, I probably wouldn't revisit.

 516 characters

Photo of dqrull
3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber, thick foam, about a finger high. Little to no lace lingering on the inside of the glass, foams up really nice after some swirling, sexy.

Smell is appealing, dark fruits, yeast esters, somewhat malty and sweet, and there is some kind of spice in the back that I cant really place, nothing my palate is familiar with...

The taste pretty much delivers what the smell promised, but I find that the unknown spice is taking over a bit much at the end, and it spoils it a bit for me. As the spice surfaces though, there is a slight bitterness also, which saves the beer a little.

Mouthfeel is creamy and pleasant.

 629 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.31/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle at Naja's Place in Redondo Beach last night for five dollars, 2004 vintage, then a 2007 bottle after we got home to see the differences, poured into a Chimay goblet both times, split with my buddy Nathan

A-Brown, probably medium but with almost a tint of purple, 3/4 inch tan head both times around, neither lasted long, not much retention, but there was some lacing
S-Nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, prunes, raisins, dates, Belgian yeast, sweet malt, caramel, toffee, and various spices that remind you of the holidays
T-First taste is caramel, especially in the older bottle, brown sugar and somewhat chewy malts in the middle, finish is slightly dry but yeasty at the same time with plenty of dark fruit in the back, later on more sweetness comes to the surface but so does the alcohol and it is not hidden very well in either bottle, actually prefer it warm but it does have a much stronger flavor at that point
M-Full bodied even the aged one, not near enough carbonation which caused it to be rather syrupy, sweet, boozy, and fruity mouthfeel, taste lingers
D-Could not drink much of this stuff, six ounces each time was plenty and sometimes felt like too much, pretty heavy on the stomach, ABV is pretty high for what it is, not very smooth

I preferred the fresher batch to the older one but they had very little difference, just more sugary in the newer bottle, not the best Christmas ale I have had but still not bad, definitely with a Belgian twist, not a bad price for what it is, especially surprised that a four year old bottle cost so little at a bar, might drink again, recommended

 1,613 characters

Photo of guinnessman
3.32/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Excited to try this one after a recommendation from a coworker. Poured with a nice 1/2-in. head in a Konings Hoeven chalice. A very pretty ruby color, that keeps me staring. I wasn't getting many aromas, only a fruit I can't pinpoint. Tasting grapefruit and cherries, and after warming a bit I tasted banana, also, a little but of alcohol lingers but not very noticeable. A nice tingling mouthfeel I rather enjoyed.

 415 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.35/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance proposes a huge off-white head over a dark brown body. Aroma is quite rich, very spicy with tons of cinnamon, cardomom, thyme, sage, ginger, nuts, caramel, tobacco, chocolate and a mild alcohol touch. Quite complex and appealing. It's another story on the palate though where we have another sad case of beer whose aroma doesn't match the aroma's promises. The flavors are just not so well blended together and the balance lacks where it's just some vaguely thrown spices to stop the sweetness. Not to help anything, it's very effervescent on the tongue, almost fizzy. Finish is malty sweet and a bit unclean.

 620 characters

Photo of gfreed
3.36/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Relative to other beer from Corsendonk, this is rather uninteresting: it has a flat flavor that wants to be like the palen but doesn't quite have the muscle or the yeast. Relative to other christmas-themed beer in general, however, this is spectacular because it isn't larded with spices and herbs. It's mildly fizzy and has a decent, if understated maltiness that could use a bit of a boost in the flavor and the density. I would like to have had a bit more warmth and zing; nonetheless it's worth a single bottle. I wouldn't invest in a four-pack.

 549 characters

Photo of tlema1
3.37/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, has the typical dark Belgian aroma, I get some dark fruit notes...from 2013

83 characters

Photo of caddybuyer
3.38/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 release poured fresh.

A-Dark brown pour with garnet highlights when held to light. Thick rocky tan head. Nice looking brew.

S-Belgian yeast, dark fruits and a hint of spice. Very underwhelming overall, I expected this to be a pungent treat for the nose.

D-Nose carries over to the palate and I have to admit that this one was a huge letdown. Yeasty and malty without much body and alcohol present, even my wife who does not drink beer felt this had little to offer in complex taste. Maybe some age? Too bad.

M-Way overcarbonated and much thinner than I would have expected.

D-Based on the reviews I was reading I feel like I was drinking a totally different brew. Not a huge fan of the regular Corsendonk either, so maybe this brewery is just not my thing.

 767 characters

Photo of clalalive
3.39/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of PGVG
3.4/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of Mjoepp
3.43/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown, with light brown head.

S: Fruits, especially figs, spices and caramel notes.

T: Sweet, some alcohol, figs, raisins. Aftertaste is a round taste of alcohol and some bitterness from hops.

Overall: Decent, nothing special among the christmas beers.

 263 characters

Photo of KevinGordon
3.44/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of crnipeter
3.44/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml into small Chimay chalice. I forgot to look at the production/BBE date but the bottle was quite recent one.
The bubbly head atop of dark brown garnet fluid quickly dissipates forming soapy sheet that disintegrates further into floating patches of agglomerated bubbles. The nose reveals citrus alike aroma that probably originates from copious use of coriander. Thin and crispy with well hidden alcohol the beer is bitter-sweet like a nutmeg and gives an impression of being heavily spiced with coriander and perhaps a warming sensation yielding black pepper. Flavor profile ends with lightly bitter hoppy finish with some dryness. This brew is overly spiced: the qualities of underlaying beer are entirely masked by generous additions of condiments. Spices should enhance the beer not subdue it.Thus I cannot say much about BSDA that served as a platform for this xmas ale - my guess is that brewers used a bit fortified Corsendonk Pater and enriched it with tons of additaments. Not impressed - Corsendonk xmas is like a woman who exaggerates with makeup - instead of stressing out her beauty she looks like a painted clown.

 1,131 characters

Photo of BrownAleMale
3.46/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ervs Mug served in a Great Lakes sniffter

Appearance- Mahogony to dark brown with an amber hue. Head is very minimal and stays very minimal all the way through. Very light lacing.

Smell- Very light clove scent. Not getting a ton of specific spices, just a definite spice smell though.

Taste- Pretty much follows the nose. Spice is there but very very light. Im thinking that the flavors and smells are diminished because it was on tap.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a nice crisp semi carbonated finish.

Overall- I like my winter spiced ales to have a little more pronouced flavors and smells. I do believe the fact that it was on tap may have its part in that.

 673 characters

Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Heard this was a tasty winter warmer. Picked up a 12oz'er at Capones to give it a whirl. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, deep ruby red/brown color with a big tan head. This one left a lot of spotty lacing down the glass.

Smell: Big malty profile with some holiday spiciness to it. Ginger, nutmeg, dark fruits and a warm alcohol aroma.

Taste: Not much of a christmas spice beer, mostly dark fruits with some spicy hints in the finish. Sweet at times as it warms up. Moderate malt backbone. Some warming from the alcohol. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, almost creamy. Finishes dry as I said earlier, very mild bitterness as well. Sweet, with some alcohol warming that gets a little overbearing the warmer it gets, at least for my tastes. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Just one for me. Medium-Full bodied beer, not as heavy as its color would indicate. Just too much alcohol presence.

Not a big fan of the style, though this might change my mind. Not a bad beer, just not my thing.

 1,009 characters

Photo of RandomExile
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: light-reddish brown, upward streaming lines of carbonation; scant light brown head; light but pervasive bands of pointillist lacing
S: malty, musky, caramel
T: apple-citrus, musky caramel
M: savory, medium-bodied
O: Pretty decent, melds together well but falls a bit short of special. The savory/musky elements might appeal to some, but I'm still looking for something with a fuller body and dry.

20oz. / Snifter / Victoria Gastro Pub, Columbia, MD

 453 characters

Photo of ThirstyHrothgar
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Wish it was a bit spicier

25 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

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