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:
91
Gots:
188
For Trade:
2
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 601 | Ratings: 1,204
Photo of msquared36
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Muddy/dirty water appearance. Only real negative with the beer. Retains foam with moderate lacing left on glass.

Weak scent. Noticeable scent is sweet and fruity.

Well balanced and refreshing. Plum and bread at first. Finishes with moderate sweetness. Just bitter enough to counter the sweetness.

Smooth and syrupy with champaign like carbonation.

Very good beer. Comforting christmas ale without overpowering spice.

 420 characters

Photo of Dope
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dated 17.07.16 - a best by date I assume.

A: Pours dark brown with an extremely effervescent and tall light brown head. Head fades very slowly with a big island of foam sticking around. Light fluffy chunks of lacing everywhere.

S: Smells mostly like a typical fruity BSDA. Lots of dark fruits like raisin, prunes, and grapes. Quite a bit of brown sugar sweetening it up too. Might be just a hint of nutmeg but I think it's the power of suggestion. Light cloves.

T: Loads of sweet sweet belgian candi sugar with loads of dark fruit. Candied dark fruit everywhere. Brown sugar. Has almost a cola-like character. Really kinda tastes like coke with dark fruits in it. Some light spices in the middle, cinnamon and maybe even a little nutmeg? Light cloves follow. Lightly spicy aftertaste with more dried dark fruits lingering.

M: Medium heavy - smooth and sweet.

O: This is one hell of a nice brew. Perhaps the best belgian christmas ale ever. Spices aren't out of control like most, they just provide a nice layer of complexity. Loads of awesome belgian candi sugar everywhere. Great complexity and balance. Drinkability is great as well. My only nitpicking is sometimes I get a plasticky taste in the aftertaste. It's sorta random. Maybe I should stop eating bubblewrap.

 1,275 characters

Photo of mverity
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'08 and '09 bottles thanks to Masterson for bringing these. Pour a barely hazy deep brown with a faint hint of red. Nice tan collar. Almost ne head. Aroma of caramel and some faint spice. Taste is sweet caramel, tough of dirty funk and that same slight spice. '09 is slightly sweeter. Really enjoyable aftertaste. Smooth sweet and a tough of grit in the mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

 381 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 8/1/16.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, dark fruit, and slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice mix of malt and dark fruit qualities.

 586 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle
Served in a tulip glass
Batch 8116
Best before end: 20/08/15
My bottle says 8.1% abv

A - It is dark amber with ruby highlights. It is capped by several inches of beige head.

S - It has a red berry, fruity smell to it. It also has a candied, sweet aroma.

T - The taste is very pleasing. It is fruity and spicy. I taste some ripe red fruit, fig, and the spiciness from the Belgian yeast.

M - It has a medium feel to it. The carbonation makes my tongue tingle.

O - I bought this last Christmas. It tastes very nice. I enjoy the fruitiness and spiciness of this beer. I really didn't expect much, and it was a wonderful surprise. I may get this again for next Christmas.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

A: Dark brown with a huge three (or more) finger tan head that lingered. Very thick lacing. This one makes its presence known.

S: Belgian yeast, dark fruits (featuring dates, plums and raisins). Caramel, brown sugar, cloves.

T: Follows nose with a big gingerbread presence. Cherries, too. Tastes pop up as it warms. I recommend serving it warm instead of right out of the fridge.

M: Medium to heavy with uber frothy carbonation.

O: A fine Winter Warmer. Sip slowly and enjoy the season with friends.

 551 characters

Photo of BigMarty1980
4.84/5  rDev +17.2%

A- A deep ruby brown color

S- Strong scents of figs & cherries. Also yeast

T- Just as it smells. Figs & Cherries. Faint trail of citrus

M-Full bodied but not too much

O- My friend has raved about this beer for years. I went to a Whole Foods that offers alcohol and I saw this on the shelf. I grabbed the 2nd to last one and I am shocked I haven't made it a point to try this sooner. This beer is amazing & upon first taste it catapulted all the way to the top of my favorites list. If you find it...TRY IT

 509 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Brown bodied coming off with a hazy body, you also can't forget the heavy bubbles on the body which made the head rise pretty high with a vigorous pour (maybe two finger's length) dropping quickly after one sip.

Smell: easily the weakest characteristic of this beer, with light dark grape scent and maybe a really light honey tone go with is what keeps it rated this high, the scent itself is lighter than air. Comes and goes too quickly.

Taste: Strong dark fruit feels that feel a bit bitter with a yeast undertones. It's feels sweet, sour and did I mention just slightly bitter?

Mouth: Heavy carbonation, sticky.

Overall: Picked this up randomly just because I knew I never had it before and personally I think I made the right choice. Six hundredth review and I'm still craving more...Salud!

 840 characters

Photo of spense727
3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Great head and lacing
Smell - Belgian, bananas, brown sugar, a bit metallic
Taste - Very tasty with a bit of spicyness, a bitmetallic in aftertaste
Mouthfeel - Very carbonated, light
Overall - Tasty, fits style very well. Very drinkable.

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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 rangerred
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into a goblet.

Pours a very dark, opaque brown with a one finger dark tan head. Some rocky head retention along with splotchy lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is rich with burnt sugar and caramel along with some toffee. Mild yeasty notes are present along with some dark fruit.

The flavor continues the burnt sugar notes along with molasses and more toffee/caramel. The dark fruit notes come through a little stronger than in the aroma and compliment the burnt sugar quite nicely. There is a definite rum/cognac dark fruit/licorice character that really makes this feel like a wintertime brew.

Overall, a very nice beer. I feel the burn sugar helps lend a bit of character to this making it more appropriate for the winter months. The Belgian yeast notes are a bit more restrained than in some other Belgian ales alowing the malt to shine through. Quite nice.

 883 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep brown with a light off white or tan head. Lots of clingy lace and good foamy retention.

Raisin, alcohol, nuts, cocoa powder in the nose. General maltiness and maybe even something like warm cake. Nice.

Malt, fig, bitter cocoa, dark bread, bread crust bitterness. Some spice, a little yeast, some burnt sugars, all enveloped in some bitterness and a little alcohol.

Medium full in body, with nice carbonation.

Vey nice version of the style. Highly drinkable.

 472 characters

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

The had a very nice darkness, almost a prunish coloring and it allowed a deep thick cloud of a head.

The aroma had a lot of chocolate, caramel and malt but turned to a molasses sweetness. I captured a bit of fig, date and raisin.

The flavor had a molasses and sorghum character that seemed to stave off the chocolate I got in the scent. There was then the dried fruit s like prune, date, raisin and figs but the raisin seemed a little more prevalent.

The feel is very full, with a touch of sparkling carbonation that hits the throat lightly.

 544 characters

Photo of Ri0
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured 750ml bottle into Duvel Tulip. Bought in 2012 and aged for a year.

A - Very dark brown with a 4 finger mountain dirty white foamy head. A cap remains for the session and loads of lacing cling to the glass.

S - Very malty with sweet dark bread scents, yeast is also present. Some sweet molasses and gain. Spiced figs, and even some musty grape.

T - Sweet malts of dark bread, toast, molasses, cocoa, dark fruits, and spiced figs. Pretty complex and not overly sweet or spiced. I'm enjoying this more than expected.

M - Medium body with that is nice and smooth, even velvety. Plenty of carbonation!

O - I had no idea if would enjoy this beer, so I let it sit and age for a year to let my palate develop. I'm glad I did because it is quite good.

 759 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a slight ruby cast. Nice long lasting head that laces well. Malt and yeast nose with a touch of spice against a dark fruit background. Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation. More flavorful than a typical trappist ale. Well balanced with the 8.1% alcohol perfectly hidden by the malt bill. Nice dark fruit flavor of raisins and figs with a touch of spice. Clean finish with residual notes of malt, fruit and alcohol.

 457 characters

Photo of KajII
3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

[Suggested Glassware: Trappist Glass]

The pour was a dark murky chestnut brown with a small (less than 1 finger) light brown creamy head that was mostly diminishing, reducing to a thin puddled film with a small collar and had good runny lacing.

The aroma was of a toasted bread malt and a musty earthy Belgian yeast with notes of caramel, citrus (lemon and orange), dark fruit (raisons and prunes), brown sugar and a slight medicinal odor.

The taste was moderately sweet and very malty with a touch of brown sugar and caramel from the get go, and then it became a tad yeasty and decently fruity with a light citrus spicy finish that had a hint of alcohol right at the end. The flavor lasted an average duration after the swallow, with a smooth malty fruitiness left behind to lie on the taste buds for just a bit longer.

Mouthfeel was almost medium in body with a creamy texture and a carbonation that was quite lively.

Overall this was a fantastic brew that was smooth, creamy and rather tasty, making it exceptionally easy to drink. In fact I need to watch how much I drink of it, due to the high ABV which is almost hidden entirely...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews

 1,185 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at New World Tavern--served into a tulip glass

Appearance: chestnut brown in color, 1/2 inch head, clear, medium carbonation

Smell: holiday spice and pumpernickle bread

Taste:holiday spice, pumpernickle bread, big molasses, cinnamon, raisin, and slight cherry

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet with slight bitterness

Overall: A really good holiday ale that I was pleased to find on tap in July. Love the complexity and the molasses taste. I will now make this a part of my routine holiday beer pick up list.

 540 characters

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.

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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 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 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 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 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.

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