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Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
586 Reviews
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk
Belgium | website

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:
586
Ratings:
1,165
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.41%
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
171
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 586 | Ratings: 1,165
Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This Belgian strong dark ale pours a dark brown color with a slight red tint and a thick, foamy tan head. The smell is surprisingly very mild with only hints of caramel malts and some spices. The taste is more appropriate with many of the flavors typical of Belgian beers: banana bread, coriander, cloves, plums, and some spicy snap at the finish. The flavors are certainly present, but they’re still a little more subdued than what I would expect out of a Belgian beer of this color. The alcohol is noticeable, but also a little more subdued than I would guess from an 8.5% beer though it does send a nice warmth through you. The body is medium, which again is a little lighter than I would expect from the color. Not a bad beer by any means, but a little bit disappointing based on how high the rankings are. I would just like some more punch out of it, but it is still a finely crafted beer.

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Photo of gandres
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured from 11.2 oz. brown bottle - best before 19/08/18

Corsendonk Christmas Ale changed the color of my tulip glass to a dark mahogany producing a generous 2-finger thick tan head. The head held well and eventually formed clingy lacing. The nose was first hit with dark fruits (i.e., plums, raisins) and brown sugar (caramel) followed by nice holiday spices. The taste matches the nose almost perfectly except the spices are more predominate. The mouth feel was crisp, smooth and had a dry finish with light warmth from the alcohol, The body and carbonation is medium .

This [true] Belgian Strong Dark Ale is one nice brew for the holidays - for that matter ANYTIME!

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Three finger white-brown head, very dark brown red-tinged body.

Smell: Dark fruits, marshmallow, weak spices (smells almost like Dr.Pepper), and has a light vinous quality. You can even smell the alcohol a bit, which I didn't like.

Taste: Sweet dark fruits (mainly plum), marshmallow fluff, cinnamon, pepper, and notes of wood and chocolate.

Feel: High carbonation, medium bodied, and has a noticeable alcohol bite.

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Photo of erk0607
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Clear, effervescing red-tinged brown with a creamy beige head.

S: Dark, malty

T: Creamy, strong spices though I couldn't say which, malty, like a dark Christmas ale should

F: Slightly foamy on the tongue, not heavy per say, but a sipping beer for sure

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Photo of Cyrano41
4.93/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this just after new years. Poured a dark, opaque brown into a standard pint glass. The smell was spicy and pleasant, I didn't know what to expect from this one but it exceeded even the bar set by the other Corsendonk ales I've had. I immediately wanted another one and regretted only picking up the one in my build your own from six pack from total wine. Isn't "Give me another" the highest praise ?

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good looking pour is clear, dark brown with lasting beige pillow on top. Aroma has some spices I'm not too fond of - anise and clove. I can smell the Belgian yeast and malt I enjoy beneath, but the spice is detracting. Flavor is better, with the spices more subdued, some ripened fruits and sweet malt. Slightly thin, but smooth mouthfeel. Not sure I'll revisit this one.

 371 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours rich brown with a large head. The aroma is full of candied dark fruits, as well as clove and nutmeg. The flavor is a similar mildly sweet mix of raisin, currant, and spices. The mouthfeel is rather creamy. Overall this was a fun tipple for present opening.

 273 characters

Photo of jspaner
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rich, dark reddish-brown color with a thin layer of head. The smell is the usual Belgian yeasty aroma, but with spices, typical of Christmas beers. Nothing extraordinary here, it's probably what you would expect. The taste is slightly tart, and I found the spices to be over-represented. I would prefer more dark fruit flavors or mild malty flavors, but if it's there, it seems to be hidden behind the spiciness. I detect a little nutty flavor, but the spices (anise?) seem to dominate. The aftertaste is a bit bitter & tart. Overall it's a tasty dark Belgian ale, but I had hoped for more balance. The spices dominate, to the detriment of the other flavors.

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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.

 614 characters

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.

 490 characters

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.

 583 characters

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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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
92 out of 100 based on 586 ratings.
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