Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
588 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:
588
Ratings:
1,171
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
14.77%
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
178
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 588 | Ratings: 1,171
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

 378 characters

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.

 295 characters

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.

 174 characters

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.

 336 characters

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.

 223 characters

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.

 333 characters

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.

 639 characters

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!

 983 characters

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.

 276 characters

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!

 355 characters

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!

 245 characters

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.

 169 characters

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.

 1,052 characters

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.

 608 characters

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.

 241 characters

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
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 GlacierSapien
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

beautiful deep ruby color under light...looks like christmas!
great dark belgian ale not the best out there but it can surely hold its own... absolutely gorgeous looking beer and fortunately it's delicious too.
got it on sale in late january, but I would drink this anytime of the year.

 286 characters

Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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 dbrauneis
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, almost opaque dark reddish brown in color with a moderate amount of active visible carbonation rising quickly along the edges of the glass and moderate amounts of garnet red highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark fruits, spices, and that distinctive Belgian yeast.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly sweet dark malts with moderate amounts of dark fruit sweetness. There is a moderate flavor of distinctive Belgian yeast and a moderate to strong flavor of spices (what I think of as holiday or mulling type spices). Minimal amounts of bitterness with no lingering in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Extremely easy to drink with very well hidden alcohol. Very enjoyable and a great example of a holiday Belgian ale.

 1,045 characters

Photo of jwhancher
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Christmas gift poured into an oversized chalice glass. Pours a slightly hazy brown amber color with nice thick off white head and okay lacing on the glass. Smells of carmelized brown sugar with dark fruit such as raisins, plum, fig, and dark poppy seeds. Has a spicy phenolic aroma with hints of black pepper. Tastes of the same carmelized brown sugar as in the nose. Seems to have a relatively significant upfront bitterness that lingers and really stings the tongue. Sweet tasting upfront with full bodied feel. Alcohol well in check. Overall, a very nice Belgian beer. Paired well with some turkey pot pie. Would be great as a winter warmer, for the holidays, or a nice celebratory beer with the corked & caged presentation.

 732 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Corsendonk tulip.

Deep mahogany red body, with a real dark mocha to tan three finger head. Some clarity with real nice slow rising carbonation coming up in this glass. Big ring and island clumpy lacing in the middle, with fine bubbles in its makeup, and also some rings an sheets of lacing down the sides. Very impressive, how a proper glass makes a beer look like a winner.

Solid nose, if not sensing obvious. Mild sense of candied sugars, but some real nice phenolic spice clove action with mild caramel. Hints slightly fruity plum a bit with a very sharp aroma but not overpowering or over the top. Quite nice.

Palate really delivers. Classic Belgian character with a nice fruity angle. Dark bread and raisin match together with a big champagne dry carbonation. Real nice warmth and heat to this as it comes off like a Christmas quad practically, thick malted, rich brandy like warmth. Very playful carbonation that gives to a champagne like body, but has the malt thickness take over with brown sugar, cherry like fruit and spices.

Real nice Belgian dark that comes off more like a Christmas quad. Excellent Belgian brew.

 1,170 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage, 12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, opaque brown color with two and a half fingers of white head that dissolved into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic! Tons of spices such as clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and tons of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and figs.

Taste: Wow! Malty up front, with notes of freshly baked dark bread, followed by tons of that stone fruit of raisins, plumbs and dates. There are notes of clove and cinnamon, and slight hints of star anise or licorice, and toffee-like sweetness. Not much in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, with some pretty good carbonation to wake up the taste buds. With an ABV of 8.5%, the alcohol presence is certainly there, in fact it packs more of a punch than an 8.5% should.

Overall: Great Beer! One of my favorite Belgian Christmas beers in fact! I love the fruitiness that this beer has which is balanced perfectly with its maltiness. Absolutely delicious!!

 1,053 characters

Photo of uvachief
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured aggressively from a 12oz bottle that was about 40 degrees. Huge amounts of creamy head. Full 4 fingers or more that lingered significantly. Had to wait several minutes for head to break and recede. Beautiful deep ruby brown color. I small malts like a loaf of fresh bread but not overpowering. Not much else maybe caramel. True Belgian Strong Ale. Light bodied in the mouth. Taste spices like cloves, nutmeg, caramel and hops. Citrus buried in there as well. Goes down smooth with no burn. Hides the high abv well. Winter Warmer on steroids. Nicely drinkable. Good change of pace beer from the fruit/vegetable beers and lighter than a heavy Russian Imperial Stout. I like it but wasn't blown away. $4.99 for a 12oz bottle.

 746 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.09/5  rDev -1%
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!

 537 characters

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,171 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe