Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
601 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:
601
Ratings:
1,204
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.41%
 
 
Wants:
92
Gots:
188
For Trade:
2
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 601 | Ratings: 1,204
Photo of TheBungyo
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured very very dark, like a black hole topped with a delicious looking brown head. Lots of pretty lacing on the way down. My god the nose is SO complex. At first I got applesauce, then dried plums, followed by some burnt brown sugar and cinnamon and other spices. This is easily the most interesting beer I've ever smelled. Taste is largely the same .... the only problem is that it smells far better than it tastes. It's almost as if the smells are jockeying for position trying to dominate one another and never melding. I find it distracting. Could some age cure this? Mouth is medium.
I like this and plan to buy it again ... but only to see if the taste has melded a bit.

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Photo of
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. A dark mahogany color with red highlights. Appeared to be clear. Light tan, large head. Smell was fantastic, raisins, port mine, molasses, caramel, dark chocolate, and some earthy/barnyard Belgian yeast. Taste was where it fell down a bit. Strong metallic notes, improving to raisins, dark fruits and chocolate. Some phenolic notes through middle. It all worked pretty well together. No hops to speak of. Medium bodied, low carbonation, drying with some alcohol warming. Overall, this beer has a lot going for it, but...many people have commented on metal in Belgians, but this is the most noticeable it has ever been for me. ABV well hidden, which made this relatively easy to drink. A pretty good beer, but not that exciting to me.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.9/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Red maroon body, fluffy off-white head, a slow fader. Good sticky lace.

Smell: Sweet, fruit and herbal, carmel.

Taste: Thin and buttery, this beer should be good through mid-2007, but this is rather unimpressive. The flavors are bland for the style, and the only good part is a slight vinous character. I was expecting mroe from this one.

Drinkability: Bad bottle? I doubt it, it's most likely been refrigerated since being put on the shelf. I will pass on this, hopefully othr bottles are better.

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

It came to me a rich amber brown, flashing ruby in lighter areas. A finger of creamy tan head settled slowly to soft froth islets. Dense lacing clouded the inside of the glass.

The aroma was justn a bit strained, but did eventually give up a thick malty sweetness, rife with caramel, and earthy with figs, prunes, raisins, dates, and a touch of cherry...oh, and a healthy kick of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the flavor filled out well more than the aroma, with a tasted grain sweetness leading the way, and boasting of caramel, and a raft of dried earth fruits as promised in the aroma. A slight tanginess, yeasty in nature, carried through in the middle, and is soon bested by a credible wash of alcohol. Some residual malt sweetness revisits, and then a gentle spiciness won out, prodding the finish to a mellow, warm, softly bittered legacy that leaves a crispness behind. The flavor is a complex but well blended affair that is very easy to take.

Between medium and full bodied, the grain presence is densely sweet enough to coat, but the spicy crispness keeps it from cloying.

As Christmas goes, there's no shortage of fine seasonal beers, and I will add this one to my list of preferred potables. It's righ, warm, and savory, and the end result is something to be enjoyed when the weather is nipping at your...well, something. The ABV will keep you toasty, and it is easily and wisely heeded, but it does go down in a fine way. So even though it's July, I'm anticipating the fresh release of this Noel nicety.

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Photo of haz77
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark burgundy with an inch of tan head. This falls to a thin layer after about a minute.

S - Rum, Christmas pudding, slight metallic background, cherries, figs, plums, some toffee.

T - Begins with the fruits mentioned and some tartness before a creamy Christmas spice middle takes over. Starts to dry out towards the end and the alcohol comes through with a slight metallic taste.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium body and carbonation.

D - Not bad, but there are certainly other dark Belgians I would look towards first. Decent drinkability.

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

Best by date January 2007, Sampled July 2006
Pours with a large, initially three and a half finger thick, amber-cream colored head that leaves a rocky, lace leaving texture as it slowly falls back into the beer. The beer is a dark, brownish color with a touch of amber. It shows a brilliantly clear ruby hued beer when held up to the light. Rich, aromatic notes of concentrated malt greet my nose. Notes of raisins, dates and figs mingle with sweet notes of caramel, toffee, . both a spicy note of clove and bit rum-like hot alcohol are just slightly noticed among the other notes. Overall the aroma is quite sweet and almost even a bit sticky; very desert like in its aromatics.

A creamy mouthfeel is balanced almost immediately by a tingly carbonation. The beer is not nearly as sweet tasting as the aroma would suggest, which is good as I was not sure if I was up fro a sticky brew. Notes of concentrated malt are here though. I get notes of dark caramelized fruit, notes of burnt raisins and roasted plums. Light notes of toasted malt join a hint of roasted grain. The fruit notes are what really stand out here; this brew is rich and satiating, yet actually not heavy and even a bit light and easy to drink, though I would characterize this as being light on the palate. Some spicy cola like notes are also in this beer as well as some light notes of clove. Actually the cola like note is definitely interesting, it is mostly the caramel flavors from cola, but definitely some of the spiciness is in this beer as well. This beer is quite interesting, perhaps a touch on the simplistic side, but quite good none the less.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep chestnut with amber highlights. Pale tan head immediately fills the glass-then settles to one finger of dense soap bubbles, retains a cap very well and leaves spotty lacing. Complex phenolic nose with dark toasted malt in the background. Dark fruit aromas like dates and plums- and light fruits like peaches. The taste is sweet toasted dark malt upfront then turns tart and phenolic through the middle. The aftertaste hints at dryness, cleansing some of the mild residual fruit sweetness and faint phenolic bite. No perceivable hops here, but this balances fine without. Low carbonation and med/full body create a velvety texture, and the tart phenol/fruitness fades with the residual sugar for a satisfying but not overpowering finish. Drinks very well for the style...everything a Belgian strong dark ale should be.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
1.98/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A - A deep Mahongany, almost black, brew with a two finger finger light brown head that has decent retention. As it dissipates, it leaves attractive, delicate rings of lacing behind.

S - Bananas, cloves, raisins, dates and caramel malt. Pleasant, but nothing fantastic.

T - Metals (tin and copper) that linger into the aftertaste. A strong raisin presence over a fainter coffee malt character with a strange chemical twinge throughout. The aftertaste is metallic and chemically bitter. Awful!

M - Simply horrendous! Extremely parching with a medium body. The chemical flavor is dessicating. After each sip I want to chug a glass of water. As a side, it is hard to separate the chemical taste from the mouthfeel.

D - Awful! Awful! Awful! I never want this again. Each sip implanted a strong suggestion to send this brew to the drain. It was not too long before I gave in to this urge. It was terrible to do, but I couldn't drink another sip of this.

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

Dense, pillowy foam; slightly off-white head. Condensed, spotted, and thin lacing with good strength. Muddy brown in color with hues of burgundy and mahogany.

Fresh, ripe vinous fruit aromatics: cherry, plum; fig, bourbon-tinged sour apple. Semi-sweet candied sugar; a touch of toffee. A great mix of fruit sweetness/tartness with a whaff of creamy chocolate.

Slightly tart, aged fruit: apple, plum, orange, pear; most predominantly fig. Creamy touch of powdered chocolate and coffee; moderately sweet, Belgian candied sugar. A hint of spice at mid sip leads to a creamy finish. Chocolate and plum with hints of alcohol in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; Smooth and creamy on the palate.

A very nice flavored Belgian Brown Ale. The alcohol presence is well masked with the sweet and tart fruit qualities. Worth a taste; very warming for the winter months.

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

BB 22-08-07. Nice apearance with beige head that lasts very well and a mahony dark brown almost black beer and clear. Nose is koreander, sweet caramellic malts, citrussy and litle sweet corn. Taste is good as it shows nice and full body, sweet but not overdone, litle spice and moderate bitterness. All together very harmonicly and balanced. Easy accesable and enjoyable christmasbrew.

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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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite similar in Conrsendonk's Brown Ale, which is esquisit, but with a better musky aroma and flavor. Also has added spices that blend with the light tartness. The color is a solid brown with a ruby tint and floating spices and yeast; otherwise fairly clear with a stubborn foamstand. Smells malty, tart, spicy, woodsy, and lightly sour--typical of Belgians. Atypical in the use of nutmeg, allspice, cinnemon, and lightly pepperred. Viscous, round body with light wine, cider fruitiness and acidic. Finishes sweet, tart, and spicy with a light dryness. Delicate and bold--a joy to drink.

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

Mours a ruby brown, sticky sticky lacing, and good head and retention. Aroma is raisiny, and slightly phenolic. Taste is refreshing, slight flavor of wood and a light mouth puckering, phenols are present and funky. Mouthfeel is okay, slightly dry though. Drinkablilty is ok, nothing great.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.04/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown with w/ little to no head

S - Spicy malts w/ molasses, honey, nutmeg and orange peel

T - Sweet malts and the orange peel. Everything else is hidden.

M - sharp carbination on the palette with a dry finish.

D - It's an o.k. holiday beer. Not my favorite, but is good enough to bring in the x-mas cheer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a deep mahogany-brown body that glows when held to the light. The head is a thick cream off-white that last and last. It has a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles to keep the head going.

S- The smell of pale malt is a base for notes of dark cherries, plumes, figs and a note of aromatic spices like ginger with a faint cinnamon. There is a perfume sweetness that ties all the aromas together.

T- There is a sweet lightly toasted malt flavor that has lots of nice complexity. Notes of pears and plums compliment the malt with a spicy hint of pepper at the finish. A faint note of apple with the carbonic bite at the finish has a good balance.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a strong fizz in the texture. There is a soft alcohol warmth that enhances the spicy finish.

D- This is a very nice winter beer. The fruit and spice flavors really give more depth to the malt without overpowering the flavors of the typical Dark Ale. Winter was made for beers like these.

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

Pours cloudy brown with plenty of yeasty goodness floating about. Smelled like a super-strong ale, which is exactly what it is supposed to smell like. Didn't notice any other discerning smells to make this winter seem more special than others; although it could be considered that this isn't a seasonal (other than the label) because the expiration date on this bottle was 2 years from now. The taste was pleasureable, and although the alc content is high, it really didn't come off that way to me. All in all, a very good example of the style, certainly worth picking up a few more. Almost wish I could get it in the big-big bottle size the other Corsendonks come in.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy and very dark, almost aphotic brown with a healthy head that crowns nicely.

S: Reminiscent of Ommegang with a touch of citrus and anise added.

T/MF: Very rich and cakey. Full bodied. Silky finnish. Big flavors of Christmas spice, chocolate, nuts, husks, and lip smacking smoke. Very big beer on the flavor. I can’t put words to how robust this one is.

D: Warming and pleasurable. Very drinkable on a cold day or any other time for this matter. This beer is not limited to the Christmas season by any means. Quite complex in interesting.

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

little late for xmas, but i don't think that's a problem.
pours up extremely dark ruby color with a huge head of large bubbles, creamy top. oddly, the bubbles seem to get smaller as the head settles. lots of lace in strange patterns.
smells like a strong belgian beer, but not overpowering. sweet, yeast.
taste was quite nice. malty dark fruit, raisin and cherry, yeast and wheat. hops show up as the beer warms, but they are still pretty sweet, citrus like, with a bit of peppery spice.
mouthfeel is thick and creamy. the beer widens in the mouth, bubbles everywhere. smooth, smooth, smooth.
drinkabiliby is decent, above average, but i couldn't sip this all night. would love to have it again, much better than many belgian beers that are too tart, but it's very strong.

cheers...

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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.

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Photo of ski271
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a very large, light tan, frothy, slowly diminishing head. It has a pleasant, lightly sweet smell of perfumey wheat and Belgian yeast. Orange, clove, cherry and licorice. The taste is of big, sweet, complex malts with a moderate amount of citrus. The finish is long and warming, with all sorts of flavors still bouncing all over the place. Clove, nuts, prunes, bread… even gingerbread cookie! The mouthfeel is nice but a little on the thin side for a BSDA. This is a very complex beer that changed so many times just over the 45 minutes it took me to sip this bottle down. It’s a very intriguing beer that I can’t wait to have again. A must try.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep, dark brown with a tan head that leaves excellent lacing when sipped down. The aroma is of sweet candi sugar, malts, dark fruits and spice. The flavor is yeasty, malty and slightly sweet and spicy. Medium-full in body and smooth drinking for its strength. Nice brew. No thanks to StuBob, bob, bob, bob, bobaran for drinking half this bottle.

 357 characters

Photo of BadBadger
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This dark ale pours an incredibly dark color (as one would hope for). The head is foamy and plentiful, although not long lasting (a gentle swirl of the chalice will remedy this). The smell is a pleasant mixture of spices, fruits and malts. The taste is nicely balanced mixture of alchohol, citrus, spice, and malts, with no single feature being overbearing. A very enjoyable beverage. Worth celebrating the season with. Enjoy!

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

I've had this on tap and from the large bottle and found no difference in quality.
Appearance is pretty dark brown.
Pours with a huge frothy head, which settles down to almost nothing.
Smells great..malty and slightly fruit.
Taste is fantastic!...very complex, fruit, malt, anise, caramel, just enough sugar. I found this to be a very well balanced ale. Mouthfeel was medium to light..but really just right , I thought. The large bottle took my girlfriend and I about 90 minutes to drink...we just savored it like a cognac....and as it warmed, more complexity developed. Nice semi sweet -semi dry finish.

I went to the liquor store a few days later and bought the last 5 bottles they had. We really loved this ale !

 722 characters

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

This Belgian Strong Dark Ale pours a really dark amber color with a light head of carbonation. The smell to me was a light, sharp, and fruity. The taste was a sharp fermented beginning with hints of gingerbread and fruitcake (a good fruitcake)..yea I said good and fruitcake in one sentence! For a dark Belgian ale it has a light mouth feel.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a light brown cola like color with a red tint and a bubbly yellow tan head.

Smells of dry bitter yeast, sweet honey, caramel and ginger.

Tasted of sour wheat, subtle chocolates, hazelnut, anis and grapefruit rind with a dry sour finish. There are some good flavors present, but they don’t seem very well blended and the predominant dryness tends to detract from some of the subtleties.

The mouth feel was thin with intense small bubbles.

This was a very disappointing discovery after having this on tap.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,204 ratings.
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