Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,210 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
Ratings:
1,210
Reviews:
607
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.41%
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
191
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,210 |  Reviews: 607
Photo of rudy2828
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of bacasnax
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of Casey3236
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of RickS95
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
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 coreyfmcdonald
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

33cl bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark amber color with two fingers of off white head. Great lacing and retention.

S: Prunes are the strongest aroma present, moderately strong for the style. Nutmeg, orange peel, peppercorn, and a bit of licorice are also present.

T: Much milder than the aroma. Dark fruits are still there, but the beer is pretty dry. Peppercorn and citrus are there to balance.

M: A bit thin with strong carbonation.

O: The smell is quite nice - a nice array of dark fruits paired with great Belgian yeast esters. The smell doesn't quite have the punch or complexity that the aroma has. Overall good, but not great.

 647 characters

Photo of hreb
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recently re-discovered this one at Brookline's Publick House, on draught. I subsequently picked up this 250mL mini-bottle, which I'm trying just chilled, served in a Chimay chalice. Best before end 20/08/15. Beer pours a rich brown color with an epic head of a lighter brown. Beer appears to be loaded with bubbles. Aroma is pretty subtle, but yeasty, slightly funky, and spicy. Spice ("natural" spice, that is) comes through much more in the flavor, along with a really rich body, and a mouthfeel that is definitely not too heavy for this heady brew. This Belgian is unbelievably easy drinking due to its fantastic balance and complex flavors. You'll get drunk (or broke) long before getting bored of these.

 710 characters

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of Duchesse
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of ucsbmullet
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Zachtheporter
4/5  rDev -3.1%

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

Corsendonk Christmas Ale is a really lovely, deep mahogany-to-plum color with a really thick tan head. Leaves waves of lacing all the way down the glass. Lots of carbonation apparent, as well.

Smells of Belgian yeast, some dark fruit funk, alcohol and bread. Very inviting.

Tastes of dried fruit, yeasty bread, a little alcohol, but still extremely balanced. Really exceptionally complex, yet drinkable beer.

Great mouthfeel. Very smooth, almost velvety on the tongue.

Overall, this is an excellent beer. I look forward to drinking another and will definitely be trying this in years to come.

 600 characters

Photo of generallee
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of BGsWo22
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of chinchill
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.
Pours a beautiful mahogany color; clear with a large, durable and thick tan head that leaves lots of lacing. Perfect appearance.

Nutty and spicy, with a rather high level of carbonation that makes for a lively feel. Lightly tart, with a strong dark fruitiness, especially in the aftertaste. Flavor better than aroma, although both evolve and improve with warming. A revisit finds a surprising amount of licorice (think black jellybeans) in this bottle.

O: Everything comes together nicely in this beer, despite my lack of love for the yeasty aroma. Excellent and highly recommended. (Aged bottle about 8 months past BB date was as good as ever).

 694 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark, hazy reddish amber with a massive light tan head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma of dried and fresh dark fruit, bready malt and an almost minerally spicing. Flavor follows, dominated by dark dried fruit, brown sugar, coriander and oxidation flavors. Finishes semi-dry with dark fruit, spicing and faint hops. Medium bodied. The bottle has a "best before" date of 2015, but serious online research does not reveal how that translates to bottling date. There is noticeable, but pleasant oxidation flavor here, so I'm curious how old the bottle is. A pleasant, but somewhat understated Belgian strong dark ale.

 667 characters

Photo of jwps214
2.75/5  rDev -33.4%

Photo of bsopko
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Bockerdoppel91
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of HollyHops
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of xnicknj
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Jon's Bar and Grille - served in tulip

Deep plum, near-purple pour with a thin beige head resting on top. Fades out completely, leaving little lacing or film behind.

Rich and sweet in the nose with candied dark fruits and brown sugar. Dates, raisins and figs, soft alcohol warmth and Belgian yeast.

Malty layers of tasty sweet dark fruit, containing a mix and mash of raisins, dates and figs. Burnt sugar and Belgian yeast resting on top of a thick backbone with toasted warmth. Rich and robust, finishing a bit hot and sweet.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and a bit heavy on the tongue. This fits in well with other Belgian Christmas beers I've sampled, and while still sweet, this isn't as cloying as some others (i.e., St. Feuillien).

 771 characters

Photo of zenithberwyn
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Braz
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Dark bread. yeast, grape

Appearance: Huge active white head leaving nice amount of lacing. Very dark amber.

Taste: White grape character. Soft citrus notes. Malty with a lingering sweetness. Very rich with subtle toastiness.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated and velvety.

Overall: Very good but maybe a little sweet. I wish the offerings from this brewery were easier to find around here as I'd love to try them all.

 423 characters

Photo of BamfBacon
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of falloutsnow
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Bottled 2012, lot 8116
Glass: Tulip

Corsendonk's Christmas Ale is a fairly standard BSDA that has plenty of caramel malt and plum/prune character for interest, though I did not notice the spicing that others mention in their reviews, and this would have added some welcome additional complexity to the overall beer. This was a fine example of the style, above (the 3.0) average, but still not one I found overly exciting for my palate (I find myself preferring Trois Pistoles or N'Ice Chouffe to this).

Pours an expansively voluminous head, many centimeters in height, even with a fairly slow pour. Bubbles in this huge mass are initially small, but as time elapses and the head is exposed to oxygen, the bubbles on top become increasingy large and collapse upon themselves. The head very slowly descends to a thin cap of foam atop the body, leaving copious and thick lacing across the entire glass. This ranges from thick, ropy strands to intricate lacelike patterns. The body is a very dark amber color, light bringing out brown-amber hues and showing that the beer is transparent.

Aroma is mild overall, primarily grape-like or vinous with slight plum and cola-like attributes, along with hints of caramel and toasted or darkly kilned malt.

Front of palate picks up fruity grape esters along with some prune/plum and richly malty sweetness. Mid-palate experiences flavors of plum/prune, grape, toasted malt, caramel and slight toasted nut flavor, a surprise hint of potting soil. Back finds some toasted malt, plum/prune, grape, caramel, and mild graininess. Aftertaste of plum/prune, grape, mildly kilned malt with a slight caramel and nut flavor (probaby from Special B malt usage).

Beer is medium-bodied, with high levels of fairly aggressive carbonation, giving this an at-first fizzy mouthfeel that quickly foams up on the palate to become fairly smooth and easy-flowing. Closes quite dry, with moderate stickiness remaining across the palate.

 1,992 characters

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,210 ratings.
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