Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale
BA SCORE
4.14/5
1,214 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:
#1,621
Reviews:
608
Ratings:
1,214
pDev:
10.39%
Bros Score:
4.42
 
 
Wants:
92
Gots:
192
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,214 |  Reviews: 608
Photo of Viggo
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas tasting with biegaman, grub and ThatWineGuy, biegaman busted this one out.

Pours a clear ruby red, some brown hints, very thick off white head forms, leaves tons of lace sheets, settles to a thick layer, very pretty. Smell is apples, spices, caramel, yeast, bread, nice malt layers, spices are done right, nice fruitiness. Taste is yeasty, some spices, bread, caramel, apples, banana, wheat, citrus, oak, lots of fruit, neat! Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, easy to drink, nice flavours, great Christmas beer. Thanks Jan!

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Photo of headbucket
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice deep brown color. Nice, big head with a semi-aggresive pour. Lots of lacing left on the glass as the beer recedes. This beer has some of the nicest lacing and foam left on the side of a glass that I have ever seen on a beer. After my second pour(rather aggressive) from a 750ml bottle, there was a solid, thick, and wide layer of foam/lacing left all the way around the glass.

S: the weakest part of the beer for me. It isn't bad, just very tame. grains and yeast, a bit sweet.

T: Nice dark malts, a bit of brown sugar sweetness, belgian yeast flavors, and chocolate(chocolate malt?) over a bit of fruit-citrus but not a bright hoppy citrus, it is like a light orange flavor. the dark malt/chocolate and orange/citrus flavor linger.

M: silky smooth, nice and thick without being syrupy. it is very smooth and silky, goes down very nice.

O: A great beer, probably my favorite christmas beer. This beer and Troeg's Mad Elf are my favorite Xmas beer because they aren't heavily spiced with cinnamon and similar spices/flavors that a lot of american christmas beers have. The alcohol doesn't detract at all. It is slightly evident but doesn't detract at all. I like this beer a bit more as it had warmed up, and as I get closer to the bottom of the bottle. It is malty without being overly sweet and has a great hint of fruit(orange) in it. Will pick up a few more bottles for sure before they disappear from the store I got this bottle from. This is a christmas 2010 bottle.

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Photo of baybum
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of EMV
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a semi-opaque deep mahogany/cherry color. Thick tannish head that sticks around forever... almost foam. Great legs.

S: Dark fruits and caramel... plums and spice.

T/F: Malt and spices.... plums and figs stewed together with brown sugar, cloves, and nutmeg. Faint cocoa notes bouncing around as well. Smooth as silk.

O: A very balanced and drinkable celebration of Christmas. It tastes like an old fashioned dessert, and that's not a bad thing at all. Definitely a seasonal treat and I like the warming at the end.

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Photo of kingjohnh
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DanGeo
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a deep mahogany-brown body that glows when held to the light. The head is a thick cream off-white that last and last. It has a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles to keep the head going.

S- The smell of pale malt is a base for notes of dark cherries, plumes, figs and a note of aromatic spices like ginger with a faint cinnamon. There is a perfume sweetness that ties all the aromas together.

T- There is a sweet lightly toasted malt flavor that has lots of nice complexity. Notes of pears and plums compliment the malt with a spicy hint of pepper at the finish. A faint note of apple with the carbonic bite at the finish has a good balance.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a strong fizz in the texture. There is a soft alcohol warmth that enhances the spicy finish.

D- This is a very nice winter beer. The fruit and spice flavors really give more depth to the malt without overpowering the flavors of the typical Dark Ale. Winter was made for beers like these.

 1,033 characters

Photo of Bananaman
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Corsendonk Christmas Ale is the first Belgian Christmas ale I've tried. (Chimay Bleue was a christmas ale from the beginning though, but I don't associate it with Christmas anyway)

Looks good, dark brown color with a "tight" beige foam. Looks really pretty with that cute 25 cl bottle too!

Smells good! Mmm, lots of belgian spices and some orange with a nice character of yeast and chocolate. Really amazing smell anyway!

Taste is good and fillng. Lots of belgian spices, chocolate (not the darkest kind) and some typical notes of yeast and hops. I think this is a great Christmas beer! A real treat, for the low price, and only around 20 SEK or 3 USD.

 656 characters

Photo of iceviper22
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Mad Elf Chalice

Pours a deep reddish brown color with a 1/4 inch or so of loose bubbly tan head that fades quickly.

Smells of fruits, maltyness, nutmeg, and oranges are present. No real alcohol aroma to it.

It has a sweet, spicy and bitter taste to it with the nutmeg and orange hints peeking through. It has a moderate amount of carbonation.

Overall, it's a little bitter for a winter beer but a decent brew that I could enjoy once or twice a year for the holidays.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Benjiehorn
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

By and large the best Christmas beer that I've had this year. It helps that I picked the bottle up from Binny's in Lakeview, and it had been aging for a year on their shelf. Lots of nice vanilla and cocoa, a touch of cherry, some brown sugar, and a little bit of raisin. A slight carbonation tingles as it goes down, typical for most Belgians. A great Christmas beer, highly recommended!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 295 characters

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.

 953 characters

Photo of gdfan47
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a very nice dark brown (you can see through it), and a nice off brown head
S- cinnamon, ginger, chocolate, hops
T- spices, the nutmeg is present and really nice lots of them, really refreshing, it has a nice hop and malt finish
M- silky smooth, just the right amount of carbonation, this beer was served on the warmer side and it really worked for this style
D- very good, I would not have guessed at the slighty higher than normal abv very nice

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

Photo of gandres
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2 ounce bottle to wine glass
reddish brown, clear, medium tan head quickly head goes away
Nose: malty with a hint of beries drink: berries come out
tasty, medium bitter
lively carbonation
very good beer ok to repeat, look for
Drank: April 30, 2016

 258 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.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,214 ratings
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