Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
602 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:
602
Ratings:
1,205
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.41%
 
 
Wants:
92
Gots:
189
For Trade:
2
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 602 | Ratings: 1,205
Photo of mdagnew
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

250ml bottle bought from belgianshop.com

Poured a deep mahogany red / brown colour... Creamy tan head poured big and foamy then faded slowly to almost nothing... very light sticky lacing...

Aroma - Very tart and spicy dark fruits (raisins, currents, prunes), molasses / dark muscovado sugar sweetness, light smokey notes, toasted maltiness, strong Belgian yeastiness, fruit loaf and alcohol soaked Christmas cake, light peppery hops, some rum hints...

Taste – Dark juicy fruits (prunes, blackcurrents, raisins), pretty noticable alcohol notes, sweet nuttiness, medicinal, some liquorice, burnt toffee sweetness, toasty malts, spicy hops, some pine notes...

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy... medium body...fairly drinkable even at 8.5%..

Overall - An excellent beer - pretty much how i expect Belgian Christmas beers to be... recommended...

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Photo of BlindPig
2.94/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Big darker tan head on a clear deep amber body (can't really see through it til you hold it up to the light).
S- Spices come through first. A big malt aroma too. Also something weird comes through too. Like toothpaste or light pine cones?
T- Big malt body with a dose of spices. Some light european hops also come out. A weird lighter taste comes through (which seems very out of place) but I can't pinpoint what it is.
M- Medium body with low to medium carbonation.
D- It's a kind of weird beer. I think their other two are a lot better. Can't see me drinking the whole bottle of this. Just some weird aromas and flavors come out of this.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brick red color with a thick head. The lacing is about average. This is a pretty beer in general. The smell is fantastic. A blend of spices (nutmeg) and various fruits (almost like a fruit salad). The taste is malty with a sweet/spice finish. The mouthfeel is delicate and carbonated. This is a wonderful seasonal beer which I’d look forward to drinking during the holiday season!

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Photo of Bobikel
2.84/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a caged and corked 750ml bollte.

Appearance - Pours a deep clear red. A small 1/2 inch head appears and stays for quite some time. Lacing is very good.

Smell - Rigid deep maltiness, and some hops. A little soapy? Maybe infected?

Taste - Yeasty, warm, and a little cloying. Plum, and corriander.

Mouthfeel - Highly effervescent, dancing on the toung with a pleasant pointyness. A little thick.

Drinkability - Not really a sesionable drinker, nor is it a quiet-night sipper.

Overall - Fun to try, but a little dissapointing. Reminds me a little of Lefthand's "Goosinator", but with a little more depth.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy brown color, with a nice head that stayed around for the whole glass. Laced up the entire glass! Smell was nicely spiced, nutmeg, cinnamon. Taste followed suit. Almost had a spiced rum taste to it. No hint of alcohol, and very full feeling. Again very spiced taste about it, which cuts down on the drinkability of it a bit. All said, family enjoyed it, got a couple calls of"its different". But this was a nice holiday feeling brew.

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Photo of malty
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8.2 oz. bottle best before 8/22/07.

Pours a brown russet color with a slight chill haze. A frothy billowing 2" light beige head sit solidly atop this wonderful smelling liquid... Nice globs and rings of lacework.

Smells like rum soaked figs and prunes. Faint cinnamon and anise scents hide behind vanilla and nutty nougat.

Hearty and fresh flavors of dark fruits and dark roasted and slightly gritty malts. The flavors are a bit rustic but all are clean and beautifully balanced; Zesty cinnamon, warming dark rum, almonds and cherries along with other faint and well-placed spices.

Mouthfeel is gorgeous; on the medium side of full bodied with fine and playful carbonation. Long flavorful and warming finish.

Drinkability is also great. I could picture myself drinking a few wide-mouth goblets of this, but I only bought this single bottle.

A fantastic a well-crafted Christmas Ale for sure. Masterfully crafted and balanced with the right amount of heft to fill and warm the belly with enough grace to be set alongside the finest holiday dinners. I'm content drinking mine right here at the computer in the same room with my son kicking his Nerf soccer ball against the wall over and over and over again, (and I'm not annoyed in the least). A wonderful Christmas offering.

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

Poured a deep, dark amber with an offwhite full finger head that takes it time melting to top-covering sticky lacing.
Aromas are caramel, both dark and light fruits, and spices like corriander, cinnamon, and clove.
Mouthfeel is initially soft on the tongue then slightly biting. Both of which could come from the tiny carbonation.
Taste is blended caramel, dark fruits, and spices. Finish is slightly bitter from the hops...sort of a citrus peel sharpness that cleanses the pallete nicely.
Aftertaste is the memory of toasted caramel and a hint of belgium yeast.
Where is the alcohol? I sense it neither in the aromas nor the taste.
This is a wonderfully complex winter brew and definitely worth seeking out.
Many thanks to numenor1 for the SS 06 package that included this.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

Appearance is deep brown with dark red hues, with a lovely off white head and some lacing. Smells of fruits, spices, and caramel. Tastes of cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, other spices, sugar, and some smokiness. Very smooth and creamy, yet also a bit chewy. An excellent Christmas brew, looking forward to having another one next year.

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Photo of benmiliron
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received an 8-pk. with glass from my sister as a Christmas gift. Thanks sis!

A smoky brown tan color, good foamy head that fades quickly. Some lacing. Smells of sugar, malt, spice and all things nice. Not much hop aroma, but the bitter is there in the taste. Taste is superb. Belgian fruits, spices, yeast and malts, a bit of smoke, and candied plums. Mouthfeel is sticky with good carbonation to support. Maybe a hair too fizzy.

This is one of the best Christmas ales out there.

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Photo of jscottku21
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, this ale was quite good. Spices including cinnamon and cloves were very distinct yet not overwhelming. Extremely drinkable, although the 8.5% will surely catch up with you, I would absolutely revisit this excellent offering from Corsendonk. Cheers!

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.95/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my St.B chalice.
Pours a dark ruby brown with only a slight head. Can catch a glimpse of light around the edging of the beer.
Smell is yeasty, with some candy sugar. There is a earthy fruit and a slight alcohol smell coming through as well.
Taste is dark ripened fruit and yeast. There is more alcohol coming through in the taste than was found in the smell.
The mouthfeel is very carbonated with a slight burn to it.
A decent holiday offering but not my favorite.

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

A beautiful amber in color with an equally beautiful off-white head. This beer practically glows in the proper light.

It smells of dried fruit and malt with just the hint of sourness.

The taste is very good. Notes of fruit mix with mustiness and just a bit of bitterness to create a very complex flavor.

The body is nice and chewy yet smooth and creamy as well.

Overall this is an excellent beer. I'm quite fond of the style and Corsendonk keeps my faith alive.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into my Chimay goblet, best before September 18, 2008.

A - Clear brown liquid with a reddish hue as the light comes through. Nice fluffy, cream-colored head that dissipates slowly to a nice layer.
S - Sweet sugar smell, with a hint of clove and coriander. A little bit of ripe fruit, kind of a raisin smell to it. Also a touch of an underlying earthy, woody smell.
T - Wow...ripe dark fruit, figs, raisins, a little pear perhaps, all balanced by a peppery clove flavor that keeps the fruitiness in check perfectly. Also a nice full malt flavor that comes out in the swallow as the alcohol gives a nice warming flavor in the throat.
M - A little creamy, a little bubbly, very well balanced. Feels great in the mouth and on the swallow.
D - Very nice winter Belgian ale. I would certainly like to sit around and drink a couple of these on a winter evening. Overall, a drinkable, complex, delicious Belgian ale. A great offering from Corsendonk, probably my favorite of their offerings. Stock up in the winter months while you can.

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

A: Hazel chestnut color with depth. Khaki head is creamy and frothy. So far so good.

S: Cherry slushy, oak, burnt caramel, toast and maple.

T: Begins sweet and fruity with some serious figs, over ripe dark cherries, blueberry and raspberry. I think the next flavor I identify could be described as brown sugar bubble gum, quite nice. You can find anise, nutmeg and perhaps some coriander as well. Perhaps some lemon on the tip of the tongue too. Most of the malty backbone seems to actually be accounted for by the sugar added. Finishes with hints of apricot, peach yogurt and brown sugar.

M: Medium body, full mouthfeel with just a bit of fluffiness.

D: This beer reminds me a lot of the Delerium Noel but sort of like the less alcohol cousin. Good drinkability and not too sweet.

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Photo of ccrida
2.43/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on draft in a regular Corsendonk cervoise, it was a dark amber in a color with very little head or carbonation, but left behind a nice khaki lace. The aroma was mainly sweet malt and yeast, but fairly mild. The taste was immediately dominated by anise, which gave way to a nice malt backbone and a bit of fig or prune, then a slightly boozy finish. I had trouble getting by the anise, which I'll admit is far from my favorite spice, and not normally so overbearing as to turn me off from the rest of the brew. The mouthfeel was a bit thin for the style, and since I didn't care for the spice used, I didn't find this one to be that drinkable. I should also note that the 8.5% ABV was no less evident then some of the +10% Noels that are much more balanced. I seem to recall liking the Corsendonk Noel last year, so I'm not sure if the recipe has changed, the keg I drank from needed aged, or my palate is finer tuned, but this year it's my least favorite of any holiday beer so far.

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Photo of cyberbmcd
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a fine beer in the Belgian Ale tradition.

It pours a dark Brown with a one finger head that dissipates a little too quickly. Fine lacing and a sweet smell accompany.

It has a smooth silky mouthfeel. Starts out sweet with a blast of nutmeg then finishes with a bitter bite. you can taste the cinnamon and nutmeg and wintery spices that it's brewed with.

The champagne style cork was a nice touch as well.

Overall, this is a fine brew to sip with your family at Christmas dinner or while typing a review for beer advocate, whatever the case may be.

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

I picked this up @ the Brew Crew in Albany, NY. Came in a 4 pack.

A - The beer pours a nice dark caramel with a red hue. It has a foamy head (of which you'd expect from a belgian).

S - Mild, caramel, malty smell with a touch of yeast undertone.

T - Fruity, spicy, sweet.

M - the slight spice taste has a finish that ends mildly. The sweetness is not heavy in your mouth.

D - Sweet, smooth, and easy going down. Has notes of caramel, toasted malt.

Overall, highly recommended!

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Photo of Phatz
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a split mix case with mugghugger I ended up with 5 of these and boy are they tasty.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful mahogany caramel brown. Translucent. When back lit it showcases a red hue and loads of carbonation. The lacing slides don the walls of my snifter back in to the body but looks nice on every swirl.

Smell: Dark caramel malts, dark fruits - figs- hints of chocolate and nuts with spices of the season and hints of wood loaded in the nose as well. The aroma also allows a bit of booze to come through.

Taste: It has a unique flavor. Somewhat of a farmhouse Saison yeast character laying underneath the syrupy sweet, but inviting, caramel malt, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and more sweet brown sugar flavors. The hops and spices interplay very well malty sweet yet lively feel to this winter ale.

Mouthfeel: It has a thick full chewy yet smooth feel across the palate. Very nice.

Drinkability: This is a big beer for two back to back but I did it. That said it is no sessioner. This one is for sipping at the end of a cold night. It’ll will warm you up wonderfully.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

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

I had a bottle at Kulminator in Antwerp.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy amber-brown with a fluffy brown head that slowly fades, leaving heavy lace.

Smell: Sweet cherry aroma, caramel and a light vinuous character.

Taste: Upfront there are toasty malts, with a mild roasted character. Light tartness that's reminiscent of cherries emerges in the center. The finish has some peppery spice and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Well-balanced, no character dominates over the others.

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Photo of elinash
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an elegant red with a nice head and lacing. The aroma has a metallic hint, with hints of orange zest and spice. Mouthfeel was smooth, but the finish is a little weak, with hints of spice lingering. Nicely complex taste, sweet, toasted malt- caramel. Overall it's a mild but complex beer. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of psinderson
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark, almost ruby red. Decent off-white head.

Smell: Very minimal aroma, but mostly malt, caramel.

Taste: Complex taste, mostly fruit. I sense some molasses and cherries with a mild hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Much thinner than expected.

Drinkability: Decently drinkable, but taste complexity may turn off some.

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Photo of bigdeuce
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a damn good beer. All kinds of fruit going on in here, plums, figs, oranges, bananas, nice oft sweet taste. Nice head with good lacing also. Should be brewed year round, as I didn't see the coralation with winter, not all that spicey. But nonetheless, a great beer that should be drank anytime it is found.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 'best before 16/09/07' poured into a 0.5L Duvel Tulip.

A: Very Dark, slight garnet hues when held up to the light. Thick off white head, great lacing down the glass. Bubbles sit on the bottom of the glass.

S: Not strong; slight alcohol, maybe a little yeastiness and dark fruit.

T: Dark fruit and spices. Normal Belgian yeast flavors, but toned down a little. made up for by the extra bit of spice flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation, maybe too much. Nice and full though

D: Pretty easy to drink, but high alcohol content.

I feel like I haven't given this beer enough credit, maybe because I can't taste everything going on there. Marked as a beer to revisit in the future.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very inviting stained mahogany color, with a head of yellow cream. Clear but dark. Smells of wintery spices, sweet vanilla, and sugared plums. On the palate, brisk carbonation, followed by sugared date sweetness perfectly balanced by hops and spices. The fruit character is big and juicy, but plays well with the other elements. Mouthfeel is thick but not sludgy, with great winter consistency -- meaning it sticks to the ribs but isn't a chore to get down. Light carbonation helps out here, too, as it takes some of the load off tongue when the malt bill hits. Overall, this is a wonderful beer, far superior to the other standard Corsendonk offerings in my opinion. Perfect for winter time, but an excellent Belgian any time of the year.

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Photo of rarevos
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay goblet.

A: Deep, brownish-ruby with fluffy, off-white head. Head has terrific longevity, and there are sticky trails on the side of the glass as it recedes.

S: Unmistakably Belgian, with a peppery, clovey, dried fruit aroma. Really faint, though.

T/M: Dried, dark fruit up front (figs, dates, plums, raisins) with some spiciness. Spices don't taste obviously Christmas-y to me (pepper, clove, mint), but there is a hint of cinnamon in there. I'm not picking up anise the way others have. There is a bit of nutmeg in the finish, but the cinnamon and nutmeg are VERY subdued, in no way like a winter warmer. And the finish is mostly malty and sweet, with a little bit of an alcohol presence that comes across as slightly aluminum-like.

D: Nice cold evening beer. Not really something so unique that I'd go out of my way to get it again, but I'm glad I tried it, and it didn't disappoint.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,205 ratings.
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