Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
606 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 stirgy on 11-22-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
606
Ratings:
1,208
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.41%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
189
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 606 | Ratings: 1,208
Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: served very cold and this is a bitter beew and not worthy. But warmed up to proper temp and you have a very soothing brew.

a: Pours dark brown almost black with off white head. Some, but not much lacing.
s: pepery fruits.
t: Similar to smell, but with a healthy amount of sweetness. WIth a bit of the belgian flavor adding to the overall effect. Finishes with some bitterness in the back of the tonge.
m: Full bodied with champagne feel.
d: something definatly something to sip on a cold winter evening.

 516 characters

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.26/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Dark amber brown with plenty of tan fine bubbled head. Head is, in fact spectacular. The magnificent head, of course, yields plenty of lacing.

S - Nutty malt aroma with hint of cherries.

T - First taste is sweet but it becomes more acidic as you hold it in your mouth.

M - Thin soda pop feel.

D - I am not a fan of sour tasting beer. Some people like it. I think I would not drink this again, not because it is bad but because there are so many that are better.

 480 characters

Photo of ejquin
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

App: Very deep red/brown, almost black with a thick white head. Good lacing.

Smell: Yeasty and phenolic, but not overly so. Not as citrusy as I expected with some underlying spice.

Taste: This bottle is about a year old now, and I think age mellowed it a bit. Not quite as bold as I expected but still nice. Very well balanced. Deep and spicy with just a tiny perception of the alcohol. Warming.

Mouth: Thick and smooth with great carbonation.

Drink: Excellent

Overall: A top notch belgian, The age most likely turned everything down a notch, but the flovors are very well in balance.

 599 characters

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

Appearance: Corsendonk Christmas Ale pours a dark vermilion colour along with a thick crown of great posture and light brown-to-soy-like tone. The descent of the glorious crown is a slow process to behold eventually leaving a half-full apparel of lacing.

Smell: A distinct form of acridity, a mild butter 'n' floral sweetness, some soy, and a small amount of lactose.

Taste: Mild sweetness in the tone of dark fruits followed by a equally mild bitterness interspersed with caramel-to-butterscotch flavours. Occasionally the bitterness peaks and makes itself more noticed in some of the intervals, but on an finishing note, it's overall pretty timid.

Mouthfeel: Dry, delightfully round with a alert carbonation while some alcohol reveal itself in that of a warming manner.

Drinkability: Smooth and very pleasant to the palate. Mild, but not weak, more so "moderately distinct", that is to say: balanced. More please!

 920 characters

Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml into tulip glass. A: Amber/brown, light puffy head, nice amount of lacing. S: Toasted malt, dark fruit, caramel, spice. T: Sweet up front, raisins, caramel, pine, some citrus, grassy hops in the finish. Really great balance. M: Moderate carbonation, very smooth. D: Very drinkable. I can detect the alcohol, but it's pretty light for something this strong. Really wonderful beer, I'll probably pick it up again.

 418 characters

Photo of TheLiterati
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a $20 gift pack (as a gift to myself!) at my local Whole Foods Market. Came complete with eight bottles of ale and a gratis gift glass to enjoy them in. Also available in a brown bomber, which is good to know since I'll definitely enjoy more of this seasonal for as long as it’s available.

Pours a nice deep brown, with a deep and creamy caramel colored head. Scents of plums, raisins, dates, cloves tease the olfactory. The taste is much the same: deep and complex, mildly fruity and even woodsy, with a smooth mouthfeel and pleasant carbonation.

Quite the quaffable ale.

 590 characters

Photo of pershan
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a clear, deep amber with very little head into a chalice. Didn't really detect anything in the aroma. The flavor was of sweet candy sugar and bubble gum in the foreground, with a nice hop bite and slight yeast sourness in the finish. Nice carbonation too. Seemed to be very well balanced, with no individual component dominating, which you would expect from a true Belgian strong. Much better than the Legacy Euphoria I had a few days ago.

 506 characters

Photo of ImusBeer
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served up in an 11oz wine glass, white wine.

It had a more brown appearance than black, with a tan head and produced some thin lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell was mostly light smoke and oak with some dark fruits. Taste of roasted malt, sweet malt/molassas, prunes with some spiceness like nutmeg.

The mouth was mostly thin for the color but did have some silkiness on the tongue. The alcohol is a bit too high for many of these but it's a really good sipping beer.

 478 characters

Photo of counselor
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 corked and caged bottle opened wit a stiff wisp of carbonation. The beer poured a dark cocoa espresso color with a tall foamy head that reduced rather quickly leaving nice lacing on the glass. The smell was spicey, buttery, with layers of yeasty bannana aromas and freshly split oak logs. The taste was well balanced with traditional belgian ale flavors from the yeast bits in the glass. Each sip brought out the changes in this beer as it warmed from the early crisp dry notes of spice and tobacco to the later fruity plum, bannana and fig flavors. Each mouthful was enjoyable from the early cold & well carbonated one to the final warm & flatter one. A fine exmple of a beer!

 681 characters

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

A fine Christmas offering from Corsendonk.

The 25oz., corked bottled poured nicely, with a deep reddish hue, and a creamy, off-white and sustaining head.

The smell was of raisins, cinnamon and clove. The initial taste was of complex malts fused with spices (plus raisin and a detection of chocolate). The body was solid, quite full. The finish was smooth and a lovely 'Euro' sweetness lingered and begged the tongue for more. Certainly, however, you want to savor this lovely holiday beer. It's not one to quaff. Matter of fact, I took about 1 1/2 hours to sip at a leisurely pace.

My sample is at least a year old, probably older, as I purchased it last Christmas and hung it in my wine rack for the past year. My wine rack is the worse off now...

 758 characters

Photo of QXSTER1
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another reason to celebrate Christmas! This ale pours a clear, deep ruby with a wispy white head. Smells of spices and a wiff of alcohol. Taste is a complex blend of earthy Belgian yeast, dark ripe fruits, subdued toffee, baking spices and subtle background hops. It all comes together in a dangerously drinkable brew. Sweetness is there but not cloying, just enough to accentuate the malt flavors.
I have found Belgian ales to be a bit cleaner on tap than refermented in the bottle and it definitely adds to the drinkability of this brew.

 540 characters

Photo of Chinon01
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The taste of this beer is of orange, orange peel and orange Tang with yeast sizzle and noticeable hops in the finish. It also leaves a touch of cocoa around the outer back of the tongue and has a very clean finish. The mouthfeel was average and the drinkability was good.

 271 characters

Photo of TheBear11D
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours deep dark brown, nearly black. A medium head that is off-white to creamy tan in color.

S: Scents of raisens with cinnamon topped by a background of pine and woods.

T: Brief spicy bitterness up front quickly followed by malty smoothness of fruity flavors.

M: Medium body with an abundance of carbonation that compliments the taste.

D: Smooth and bubbly. Great flavor and mouthfeel make this easy to drink.

 417 characters

Photo of Bananaman
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
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 RandomExile
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: light-reddish brown, upward streaming lines of carbonation; scant light brown head; light but pervasive bands of pointillist lacing
S: malty, musky, caramel
T: apple-citrus, musky caramel
M: savory, medium-bodied
O: Pretty decent, melds together well but falls a bit short of special. The savory/musky elements might appeal to some, but I'm still looking for something with a fuller body and dry.

20oz. / Snifter / Victoria Gastro Pub, Columbia, MD

 453 characters

Photo of bigkahunas4
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured a huge head, with a cola body. Nose was complete brown sugar goodness.

The brew was quite sweet, but had a nice biting hop to its finish. Very similar to a Belgian IPA. Feel was rather light, pretty blah.

Overall this was okay - not offensive or too sweet.

 275 characters

Photo of Dinglehacker
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter. Surprisingly low head for a Belgian. Thin ring, stray lace. Deep dark brown.

Nose of sour fruit, toffee, molasses, and nuts. Underlying sweetness.

Similar taste, sour fruit becomes raisin, which dominates an otherwise varied palette.

Pretty smooth feel, carbonation is there, but balanced out.

A remarkably complex Christmas dark. A joy to drink and even just to smell. Fans of brown ale, dubbels and winter warmers would prob like this, too.

 470 characters

Photo of nick_perry
3.17/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Cloudy brown color with a tan head. Smells strongly like ginger ale. Taste matches somewhat, along with notes of yeast, coriander, and dark fruits. A bit different than an American winter seasonal, but I like it nonetheless, and certainly find it interesting.

 259 characters

Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass at about 45 degrees.

Pours a clear mahogany with a thick a thick, off-white froth. The nose is sweet with cinnamon, brown sugar, pie crust, baked red apples, caramel, cherry pie filling, cranberries, subtle raspberries. There is a little alcohol sweetness on the finish, but a long finish a great carbonation/mouthfeel. Overall a fantastic brew that really helps put me in the mood for cold days, warm fires, Christmas lights! One of my favorite Christmas beers to date.

 505 characters

Photo of atomicbeer
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 11/9/11. Purchased December 2011. Opened 12/28/12. Pours a cloudy brown-garnet color with a tall beige head. Mild aroma of figs, plum, and mild cinnamon. Taste follows: figs, dates, plums, and browned apple and some mild cinnamon and allspice, all stewed in a alcohol base. The 8.5% ABV is not real evident. Goes down juicy and smooth. Very nice.

 359 characters

Photo of radioscooter
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Why I love Christmas part 324: "Amazing beers from breweries I don't usually care much about or for."

Corsendonk is a classic Belgian brewery that I just don't usually love the beer from. I mean, what's the point of brewing in Belgium if you're not making Quads right? (joke)

Anyway, I'm not a Blonde or really much of a trippel fan but I thought - hey it's Christmas, let's try all the Christmas Ales.

I am glad this one made it onto my list. It was recommended by the bartender lady at the Sharp Edge when I stopped by today to apparently get raped on bottles of Samichlaus. But that's a whole 'nother rant. Welcome to PA. Bend over.

Phenomenal pour and foamy, thick creamy caramel head with beautiful drapey lacing. Like a picture of how beer should look.

Aroma is medium fruity and of course, spicy.

Taste is old world malty, fruity spicy goodness with a hint of pepper. The impulse to chew it slowly is very strong. Getting the blend of creamy foam with the underlying beer right is easy and makes it so much more enjoyable.

A touch too carbonated for me, but that's probably what is making this great foam. And it seems a little heady for only an 8.5, but these are hairs we're splitting now.

"You lad, what day is it today?" "Today sir? Why it's Christmas Day!"

Would that all Christmas ales were this splendid.

 1,331 characters

Photo of 86MonteSS
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A belgian dark ale indeed. Pours dark brownish red with a short lasting head. Smells very grassy and a little yeasty. Tastes like a basic belgian dark with a little more hops and a lot more alcoholic flavor. There's a bitter aspect to it that's very hard to describe, and I give up easy. Aftertaste is very slight.

I tried this for the first time about a year ago and must have gotten it mixed up with another beer because this time it wasn't at all what I expected. It's a good seasonal but doesn't tickle my fancy the way so many other winters have. Oh well.

 563 characters

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

Served on-tap at Trappeze in Athens, Georgia.

A: Beautifully clear brown / ruby color. Nice head in a stemmed glass with flared top.

S: Christmas spices are certainly present, but not at all overwhelming. Yeasty character is also notable by smell.

T: A very nice Christmas beer that does not go overboard, nor lose its original identity behind the christmas spices. Cinnamon seems to be the most prevalent. Dark fruit notes from the yeast compliment the other spices very well.

MF: Light bodied and sparkly. Very nice.

D: One of the most drinkable christmas beers I have had this year. Recommended (especially on-tap).

 623 characters

Photo of Aiptasia
2.85/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampling this from a 12 oz. bottle tonight. It's an average looking Belgian specialty ale. Nothing remarkable. Fast fizzy head that fades with a little lacing. It smells like watery cinnamon raisin bagels. Taste is wet with a definite Belgian cheesy funk from the yeast, reminiscent of swiss cheese. Some fruity plum backnote tang on the back of the tongue and not much else. It's wetter tasting than a lot of Belgians and it's not overly sweet. Overall, it's ok. I don't find it quite as good as a lot of other Belgians.

 521 characters

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

A - Dark brown brew with a gorgeous full head. Creamy lacing.

S - Brown sugar, raisins, roasted nuts...very nice.

T - Roasted malts are very tasty. Sweet brown sugar and yeasty bread also noted. An excellent brew.

M - Creamy malts, warming alcohols, very smooth, nice blend of malts and hops.

D - Keep this one coming.

 322 characters

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,208 ratings.
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