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:
91
Gots:
189
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 602 | Ratings: 1,205
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 goodbyeohio
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

dark brown with autumnal plum highlights. leaves a pillowy cap of dreamy, cloud-like head on top. lacing is sheeting. thick as balls and no joke.

aroma is grandiose... christmas spice and fresh fruitcake. candied fruits, cherries, oranges and plums. almond hints. freshly ground cloves and nutmeg.

tastes evenly strong with less character than the smell would imply. black pepper and wood begin and coffee cake muffin fills out the body. big age and bitter spice qualities hide the once-lively sweet fruits. mild musty apricot tang makes up for it a bit.

a sipper for sure. over carbonated. reminiscent of big xmas belgians like stille nacht but without the malty backbone or estery goodness. grassy. decent but does not live up to the hype. go for a scaldis or stille for excellence in this genre.

will try a 750 this xmas and rereview.

 864 characters

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

poured a deep copper color with dark reddish highlights, very attractive head. Smell is of dark fruit (plums, figs) with a light spicy note. Taste is enormous with malt with dark fruits coming through. Finished fruity on tbh palate. A little bit of Christmas in August.

 269 characters

Photo of kegerator
3/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

not impressed with this one
pours golden with a fizzy 1 inch head that leaves as soon as it develops. smell is pepper like spice, lemon peel and some sweetness is lingering
taste was huge peppery spice, not liking that, with warmth from the alcohol its very carbonated and fizzy almost soda like.

 298 characters

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

Dark chocolate in color with, frankly, a stark white head.

This one's been in the cellar for a while (Dec 2003), so I don't know exactly what to expect.

Ripe aroma of raisins and sugar plums--sweet and sticky. Thick and syrupy on the tongue, with molasses, raisins, and fruitcake.

A dessert in a bottle.

 313 characters

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

12oz bottle from somewhere local.

Poured into a Rapscallion snifter, formed an inch tall foamy tan head. Beer was translucent, but not clear, and of a bright reddish brown hue. Heavy foam lacing prevalent. Aroma is Belgian spicing and malts, with a bit of room left for some fruitiness. Taste is initially sweet malt, quickly enhanced by the spicing, then closing with a dry, slightly warming finish. Mouthfeel is quite creamy, and this brew is quite drinkable for its potency. Happy holidays would brought on by a few of these.

 532 characters

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
2.88/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Beautiful deep chestnut amber color with a sticky cream head that left lacing all over the chalice. Intensly sticky and clinging to anything it touched. I am not getting a lot of aroma off this. A small amount of phenolic fruitiness. The taste is crisp and spicy with heavy pepper kicks left on the tongue. The mouthfeel is very dry and a little cloying. This is a decent dark beligan, but not a memorable one.

 410 characters

Photo of MrSeth
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brown color with a 2 1/2" tan head. The suds last in a minimal layer on the surface for the duration of the drink.

Spiced bread and green leafy vegetables are mingled in with a yeasty nose. Good thick bodied mouthfeel.. The taste is a nice big malty caramel, spice, anise and red apples.. it bitters quickly at the end.. the finish is on abrupt side. this ale would be perfectly matched with winter holiday meals.

 432 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very cool little 25cl bottle. Pours a deep brown with hints of red and orange along with a soft bubbly off white head on top. Sweet candi sugar malt mixes with cloves, fresh yeast, orange citrus and a hint of pepper. I like it.

First sip brings a sweet spicy candy caramel maltiness with a meld of cinammon, cloves, pepper and a light citric fruitiness. The earthy yeast works in there as well. Quite a nice beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good strong carbonation...flows over the palate nicely. I really enjoy the flavor profile here and I easily see myself drinking a 750 of this. I'll be on the look out next year. Thanks to Cornboy for the opportunity.

 670 characters

Photo of gbontrag
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown ale with a reddish glow. Thick toasted head clings together then collapses in the middle talking to me in bubble-speak: Snap, crackle... "drink me. Your wife is out of town, the kids are asleep early -- indulge."
How does something so brown, that's sat in the bottle for so long, smell so fresh? It smells like a tropical greenhouse with exotic blooms drooping overhead dripping nectar and beckoning me with irresistible pheremone kisses.
Delicious. Spicy. Leaves the palate surprisingly clean. Crisp. There's good astringency, a little numbing. There's a dusting of barley flour that coats the palate with a sour twang. Tastes like spicy fruits: Fuji apples, bosc pear, asian pear, little red plums, and the list goes on.... Blood oranges, kumquats. Cookie dough: Butterscotch chip, snickerdoodle and gingersnap crackle...
I feel like a committed adultery.

 866 characters

Photo of santoslhalper
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a dark ruby red with a fomay beige head. The head clings nicely.

Smell: The smell burns the nostrils a little bit, but it's mostly of sticky sweet malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Incredibly well-balanced for sure, but the flavors that are there are nothing special. It's smooth as all hell, but the flavors don't live up to their expectations. The mouthfeel is creamy but medium bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a good beer, but doesn't live up to it's expectations. That doesn't take away from the fact that it's a solid brew, and an enjoyable one at that. It just seems to me there are much better beers of this style out there.

 662 characters

Photo of guinnessman
3.32/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Excited to try this one after a recommendation from a coworker. Poured with a nice 1/2-in. head in a Konings Hoeven chalice. A very pretty ruby color, that keeps me staring. I wasn't getting many aromas, only a fruit I can't pinpoint. Tasting grapefruit and cherries, and after warming a bit I tasted banana, also, a little but of alcohol lingers but not very noticeable. A nice tingling mouthfeel I rather enjoyed.

 415 characters

Photo of watermelonman
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a dark brown with a good head that lasted well. The lace looks good too.

The smell, taste, and mouthfeel are all very good. A dark mix of esters and malts dominate the overall flavor, with fruits coming through strong in the taste. The mouthfeel took me by surprise. It's very pleasing without being too sharp or too heavy at all. Drinkability is also very good, being both easy to drink and enticing.

 419 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For some reason, I selected this one instead of the Val Dieu or Gouden Carolus winter seasonals for my 700th review. Very pleased that I chose this one. Brought it upstairs from the cellar to see that it is corked, but not caged. A metal wire twist holds a black tab across the cork. After a couple minutes of effort, the cork disembarked with a "pop", using the thumb twiddling technique. Some gray smoke wafted out of the open bottle.
Appearance: Poured into a Konings Hoeven chalice the body is a clear, dark mahogany. The head is of a silky appearance, medium beige in color. Looks like mousse. Sheet lacing is as exceptional as for any Belgian ale I've ever seen.
Aroma: Rather complex, and extremely interesting. Banana peel leads off, followed by fig newtons, a mild hint of anise, and a plethora of fruity esters that range from tropical apricot to orange. A whiff of ethanol is barely noticed in the mix.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, like velvet. Effervescent carbonation is like a Pez candy exploding in your mouth.
Taste: I love the complexity of fruitiness going on. Dark fruits, fresh plums, rum fruitcake, spice array of anise, coriander, and ginger. A pleasant note of cherry cough syrup jumps into the middle, and adds a meek note of medicinal alcohol. Swirling in the yeast, for the final pour, adds some earthy character that reminds me of a freshly plowed vegetable garden. Finish is balanced between the tropical fruit sweetness and a mild hop and yeast twang. Wow! This is incredibly tasty.
Drinkability: Price and availability are the only impediments to drinkability. I can only dream about how good this one will be after some time in the cellar. Highly recommended.

 1,699 characters

Photo of SaunaKing
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with a cork in it. I dont ever remember having to uncork a beer before. Poured a rusty, copper-brown with hints of ruby. Fizzy head at first but blows up into a nice thich frothy one that leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma is mild and floral with a tiny hint of caramel or toffee. Very nice tasting with a sweet maltiness and mild hop taste. Well balanced and does a nice job of hiding the high abv.
Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. A rare treat to get a big beer that is so smooth and drinkable.

 506 characters

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

Opened a 750 mL bottle on Christmas Eve of '04. Pours a dark shadowy garnet with a khaki head. Thick lacing down the side of the goblet. Aroma consists of spice, malt, licorice and cherry. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with plenty of carbonation. Rich malt is apparent followed by a noticeable anise or licorice spice. Turns a little minerally toward the back. Flavors of cloves and dark fruit emerge as the beer warms to room temperature. Alcohol is not noticeable in the flavor, but hits you after the first glass. The masked 8.5% abv can sneak up on you rather quickly. This was quite a treat on Christmas Eve.

 608 characters

Photo of Stubbie1
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown hue and frothy white head (well maybe a bit off white) tops this beer. Spice is strong on the nose with dark fruit like plumbs and figs. A smooth and silky mouthfeel is present. The taste is malt and spice and a hint of alcohol wash across the pallet. This is a wonderful and easy drinking brew. After 2 or more the spice gets to be a bit much (well for me) Because of this beer, Xmas should come twice a year.

 423 characters

Photo of Beervis
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another beer I've been wanting to try for quite some time, and it was everything that I had hoped.

Pours a dark brown with a very thick head. Smell is of caramel, spices, and flowery hops.

Body is medium-full with flavors of spice, bright hops, and slightly candy-sweet. I was quite surprised by the hoppiness. Very easy to drink and with the higher alcohol, it really warms.

A great winter-warmer...definitely one of my favorites.

 441 characters

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

A winter warmer brown and spicey Belgium brew. Thanks Doug Shoemaker for an extra from your Esprit order. Easy drink, hard to believe its 8.5%. Foamy initial pour. Lots of malt and some sugar. yeastiness is there. Nicely hopped. Light medium mouthfeel.

 252 characters

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

Teeny bottle, pours darkest of ambers, soft tan head, leaving some lacing. Pungent nose of bready rum raisin dough. this beer benefits from being served at a nice warmer temperature. Cold it had a prickly mouthfeel and some off putting flavors, as it warms it becomes much softer, and the tastes and flavors become rich. Lots of rum, raisin, cookies, mint, smoke, and alcohol flowing across the tongue. Very flavorful and pleasant stuff.

 437 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in color with a thin, spotty tan head. The aroma is slightly grapey at first, but darkens to a plummy fruitiness with hints of toasted malt. First flavor to hit the mouth is a candi sugar sweetness, followed by a vinous middle, and a toasty, pepper/corriander spicy finish. Light chocolate notes in the aftertaste. Fairly light bodied but hardly wimpy in terms of flavor. This is a well-balanced and nicely complex brew. Merry Christmas to me!

 454 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a clear red ale with almost no head. It looked a little weak.

The aroma, however, was very nice. There was a core of medium malts, with some hints of spiciness and a rich hoppiness at the end.

The taste was so complex... so hard to describe. Rich malts, a slight mustiness, a little earthy, spicy, peppery, and rather well carbonated. And it all blended so well... excellent.

Mouthfeel was nice... not incredibly bold, but somewhat restrained. And I would definitely have more of these. I am not a huge fan of the style, as I prefer hoppier beers, but this one was a wonderful example.

 597 characters

Photo of stjarnflikka
4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage

Pours a reddish beer thats all clear and has a strong carbonation. There is a nice, cramy foam on top.

Smell is great! Citric traces blend together with fruits, malt and yeasty traces. After a while there is a surypy like sweetness and some alcohol to it together with a wine like sourness.

Taste is fruity, rich and this is very much a perfect taste. Fruits blend together with a very sweet taste. There is a bready thickness to it and a nice bitterness. There are traces of citrus and some spices in the aftertaste together with a soothing bitterness.

Leaves a nice warmth after every sip, a very nice brew, certainly a garanteed bottle on next years christmas table.

 694 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

01/08/05- Purchased at Mollie Stones in Burlingame, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle with no date. Poured into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- Lovely thick white head, dark brown semi cloudy pour and wonderful lacing.

Smell- Much dark fruits (plums, raisins, dates), and plenty of spices including cinnimon and ginger root.

Taste- Fairly metallic and a tad stale tasting. Plenty of raisin and date flavors. Good amount of cinnimon and a bit of dark chocolate.
Liquorice is present also. Very flavorful, but a bit cardboard stale tasting.

Mouthfeel- Fairly full and chewy consistency. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability- THis one would be a pretty darn good one except for the metallic and stale issue. It wasn't super stale, but enough to throw off the taste buds and knock it down a notch.

 800 characters

Photo of Zraly
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a wonderful midnight amber. A nice off-white head sits like royalty amass the dark elixir. Pungent spice smells permeate one's nose and invite to take a taste of what must be heavan in a glass.

Rich fruitcake flavors along with dark caramel malts predominate the upfront sweet notes. Strangly crisp at a point, and a thick, luxurious finish. Sweet and full-bodied. Carbonation is supportive, but not intrusive. Winter spices manage to sing like a Christmas choir. A naunce of alcohol laps against one's palate. Banana-yeast backround plunges the depths of this ale into the rare, charted territories with high levels of complexity, strangeness and assertiveness...all at once. Beautiful.

I'm drinking this to start off my night. If my night is half as good as this, I'm in for a real treat.

 802 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe