Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
587 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 pezoids on 11-22-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
587
Ratings:
1,166
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
14.77%
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
172
For Trade:
2
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 587 | Ratings: 1,166
Photo of archyquaffer
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 330 ml (11.2 oz) Euro-brown bottle into a small pilsener glass. The label has some nice Christmas art, with a medieval-looking Madonna and child standing in a monastery. The label includes a "best before" date of August 2018. A moderate pour produces a creamy, chunky and quite sticky head of about an inch. The beer is a ruddy, yellowish-brown and fairly hazy with light carbonation.

The aroma has a sharp, cider-like tartness. The flavor is not as tart as the aroma suggests, but is nonetheless pleasantly acidic, with cherry, apple and melon notes, with balance provided by a dose of mild earthy funk, a touch of sweet tobacco, and a subtle nuttiness. The mouth feel is creamy and frothy.

This beer is quite a treat and very reasonably priced at $2.95 for the bottle, purchased at Front Street Market in Butte, Montana. I'm enjoying this during the NFL's wild card weekend. I may go back and obtain more of this for cellaring.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the year old bottle, it pours a darkish brown with a moderate head with large bubbles, dissipating somewhat rapidly into a small covering of the liquid. Somewhat spicy and fruity to the nose, followed by an easy drinking similar flavor in the mouth. It went too quickly! Yum!

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Photo of dacrza1
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: December 28, 2015... GLASSWARE: Corsendonk tulip...OCCASION: enjoying each day of the Christmas break with a review... APPEARANCE: pours a dark, lustrous purple brown body; immense, three-finger brown head forms creamy, bubbly cork that retains its dignity for quite some time; when it acquiesces, what is left is equally majestic--a flurry of Brussels lace ... AROMA: plum and raisin, doughy, toasted malts and earthy hops mingle with less dominant citrus to provide a welcoming, complex aroma... PALATE: strong, commanding yet smooth sip; maltiness is apparent in its fortitude at the finish, while the early palate suggests some hop activity; lively during its middle passage, while dry at the end--full-bodied, thick, and not at all bitter... TASTE: first, the toasted sweetness of bread and chocolate converge; just as quickly, orange and licorice arrive to create a nuanced holiday flavor; malts are doughy, slightly smoky and formidable; plum and pear make the fruitiness even more apparent--quite a cocktail, but one that holds to its original mission of drinkability...OVERALL: I purchased this months ago in preparation for this season--yet so far from its end date of January 2017--and this old friend does not disappoint. Up to 8.5% ABV as per its label, this cream, full-bodied beer relentlessly pleases sip after sip, a perfect comrade for the freezing rain falling outside...not much to find fault with here--a great drinking experience...

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very fruity, a little bit sour at the end, but the taste itself is not too special or notable.
Not too much aftertaste, but does have some fruity aftertaste.

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Photo of Svingjo
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought as part of a six pack 250ml gift pack. Pours a dark brown colour with a thick tan head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving a thick ring around the glass. Lots of dark fruit, caramel, and holiday spices. The flavour is much the same with the rich fruit and sweet malt jumping to the forefront. There is a slight alcohol burn but not as much as you might expect given the ABV. There also is a slight hop bitterness that is perfectly balanced. The carbonation is active but just enough to give the medium body feel a nice crispness. An awesome example of the style. One of the better winter warmers.

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Photo of parkcenterlounge
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Excellent Christmas beer. Belgian Strong Ale tastes too smooth to be so strong. Had from draft and has a very light feel with great subtle spice notes. Don't miss out when this comes around

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Photo of mkh012
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled on Christmas 2015. A deep, reddish brown with a sticky tan head. I get raisins, toffee, dried cherries, and slight anise on the nose. Taste starts with lively carbonation and a subtle anise bite. I hate licorice, but it was subtle here and gave way mid-palate to raisins, dried cherries, and holiday spice. Mild cherry or cranberry sweetness lingers. Great aftertaste. The flavors meld and dull a bit as I get further into the bottle. A solid BSDA with nice Christmas-esque flavors.

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Photo of EMV
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
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 ajm5108
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown with a pretty thick head, layer of foam lingers for awhile. Very sweet aroma with candy apple cider, rum raisin, sugary alchohol esters and tropic fruit. Takes you by surprise with just how sweet / fruity it is. The apple / pear flavor is define noticeable, pretty strong spicy phenol taste but not hot or boozey, an licorice / anise flavor comes out towards the end and is the most lingering. Almost tastes like an apple Jagermeister would if it had a thick malt body. It has a good fruit / spice mix but it the bitter anise kinda subsumes the dryer, more subtle fruit notes. So if you like black licorice and spicey phenols then have it. Not bad but not particularly my cup of tea, so to speak.

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Photo of keithmurray
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark brown color with tan head

Smell - cocoa, clove, nutmeg

Taste - cocoa, clove, nutmeg, caramel

Mouthfeel - Medium Bodied, Medium plus carbonation, moderate sweetness from the cocoa, clove & nutmeg arrive and linger at the finish line

Overall - this is a nice beverage that I am enjoying. Worth a try for Belgian Ale lovers

Prive Point - $4.29/11.2 oz bottle

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Photo of delta490
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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 josanguapo
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From cervezasespeciales. In Teku glass. Watching Sons of Anarchy 2x09. Curious spicy touch. Not sure if id like it if I drink it more times, but im more inclined towards yes.

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Photo of Whiteturtle
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful mahogany ruby colour with a 1 finger head.

Belgian yeast, clove, anise, cinnamon, ginger, and rum soaked cherries hit the nose. After a few minutes more dark fruit aromas are released along with some sweet pastries.

The taste for me starts off with those rum soaked cherry notes. Maybe a little bakers chocolate as well. Plum, sweet malt, cranberry, and the wild yeast round out the mouthfeel for me. The 8% is noticeable but not unpleasant. I found the ABV is perfect for this beer: warm enough to push those dark fruit and spice notes, but tame enough not to smother any of the aromas or tastes. The body is a little thinner than I expected, but its rich enough to make up for that.

I really like this beer. This is the best holiday beer I have had this year and I have tried quite a few. I found a 6 pack (8 oz bottles) plus a Corsendonk chalice for $14, which I thought was a steal. This is a great introductory beer for people wanting to try BSDA, winter seasonals, or just an awesome Belgian beer. It should please most beer geeks as well, but there is more complex and layered beers of this style out there.

Give this one a try if you can find it.

 1,179 characters

Photo of Gregaroo
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12-2-15 - On tap at Monk's in Philly. Served in a low stemmed globe - front bar with my bro and his colleague. Dark brown and oh so smooth. I had this one years ago, so I'm glad Jodie recommended that I have it again. Crisp and not too spicy. Just a great strong dark ale. If like to try a side by side with St. B's x-mas. Next time in.

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Photo of riversider76
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber brown with a thin tan head that did not disappear. Aroma is of sweet dark fruit, and spice. Body is medium with some carbonation. Taste is of caramel, fruit, and spice. Excellent version of this style. Must try.

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Photo of devo1980
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely excellent beer. I picked up a case of this in January 2015. The expiration on the beer is 2018. So, I have made a point to drink one each month. This beer gets better each month. A very unique take on a Christmas Ale. Bursting with flavor and taste, difficult to describe as it is not like any other beer i have had.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked, caged 750 ml. bottle with an expiration date of 17 Aug 2018. Sampled on November 15, 2015.

The pour is mahogany amber-red with a long lasting foamy tan head.

All kinds of interesting aromas here. I pick up sweet barley malts, coriander,clove, black licorice, plums, a little orange zest, slight smoke, and Belgian candied sugar. Everything melds together well. No booze on the nose.

Medium to bold body but it is so lusciously soft and smooth.

Same sweet barley malt, citrus, and slightly spicy flavor but I pick up the alcohol burn here however it is warming and mellow to the end. This would be great by a wood stove fire.

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Photo of Zaktcc
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a very dark brown, coca-cola color with two and half finger, coffee colored head. Decent head retention and lacing present.

S - Strong yet pleasant aroma. Strong hints of caramel malt as well as sugar. Hints of darker fruits are present as well; perhaps plum is the most dominate. Overall very distinct and complex aroma that is very appealing to the nose; sweet with no bitterness present.

T - Very pleasant yet not too complex flavor. Sweet caramel notes upfront finishing with the dark fruit flavorings as well as a semi-sugary flavors. Tastes are spot on with the aromas; sweet overall, not much bitterness if any at all and some hints of liquor are apparent.

M - Heavy to medium bodied beer with a pleasant carbonated feel to it. Notes of alcohol are present, faintly. Very smooth and drinkable.

O - Solid beer overall; would be very enjoyable during the holidays (currently drinking out of season). Very smooth, drinkable beer that makes me miss the holidays!

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Photo of stevoj
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although I drank this out of season, it was still a knockout. Poured a clear dark brown with llight and airy, but thick (three fingers) head. Taste is smooth and mellow, very malty, but no hint of the 8.1% ABV. This was an easy drinker, and very pleasurable. Highly recommend.

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Photo of arizcards
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead 2-1-15 for $4.49. Best by 9-1-17.

Beer poured brown with a beautiful off white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is dark fruits, quite nice.

Taste is strong on figs and blackberries with a touch of nutmeg.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall this is a very nice beer, one that I would do again!

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Photo of Marcosleigh
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best beer I ever tasted, at the beginning I was skeptical about the alcohol grade but at the end the flavor is so delicate, is like drinking a 30 year old whisky, love the dark color and excellent carbonation, 2 Thumbs way Up!

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Photo of MUTINY
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Quick review. Had this during winter 2014 - tastiest & most complex 'Christmas' beer of the season. I'll revisit this review with more details if I ever find my notes.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice and creamy head that takes a while to dissipate. The beer itself is a dark brown color with shades of purple and opaque. The overall look is pretty good and is very nice. While some BSDAs are darker, the color on this one work swell for the style and a fresh change of pace.

The beer smell is very good and surprisingly balanced. The main notes deliver a fruity smell amplified by strong Belgian sugar notes. The fruit notes are mainly dark fruit notes such as a ripe plum with a slight date and fig note to it.

The beer taste has the same notes. The overall taste is a dark fruit taste amplified by the Belgian sugar. The dark fruits are the same; a ripe plum with fig and dates. However, the beer also seems to have a slight alcohol note to it but not a very strong one. The beer taste also appears to have a slight hop presence.

The mouthfeel is fairly good. The beer is heavy bodied with a certain thickness to it. There also appears to be a slight burn to it.

Overall, a fairly good BSDA and worth getting when you can.

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Photo of pat61
4.84/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Have had both on tap and from the 33cl bottle. The aroma is a spice and dried fruit combination that evokes alcohol soaked fruit cake. It pours brilliant deep reddish chestnut under a 2" very white tan foam cap that slowly descends to a thick, lacy film. It enters the palate hinting of cherry that morphs to apricot backed by dark dried fruit (figs or dates but not prune) sweetened by dark sugar flavors with a bitter hop accent on the finish. The soft foamy texture is outstanding and is more apparent in the bottled version than on tap. The carbonation is above average and the body hovers around medium.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,166 ratings.
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