Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

605 Reviews
Corsendonk Christmas AleCorsendonk Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk

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

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Reviews: 605 | Ratings: 1,208
Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber, light brown hue, thin, yet bubble-bath like off-white head. Has a sweet, candy cane, malt-like aroma, perhaps some spices on the nose as well. Massive offerings up front, in this full-bodied masterpiece - some citrus, defining esters, sharp spices, coriander and plums are most noticeable. Tucked away are the decent winter spices, hops are quite noticeable, incredible malt-based backbone, ginger, cinammon, fresh grapes, even a burnt liked toast presence to her. The body maintains your a-typical Belgium yeasty/spicy offerings. For a winter brew, one of the best you'll find; superior in every fashion.

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

Nice big 750 ml bottle from Rodman's in DC.

A beautiful brown color with a nice head, poured into a Palm snifter. Smells of cinnamon, brown sugar, and currant. Strong smells of yeast. The taste is full of toasted malts and dark fruits such as fig.

An interesting sharpness to the spice character. Not common for a Christmas ale, but certainly appropriate for the BSDA characterization and possesses a unique mixture of Christmas and other dark ale spices.

Really exceptional brew. Great all the way through.

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Photo of drtth
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served lightly chilled in a Corsendonk goblet. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. (Drunk and reviewed during early January 09).

Appearance: Light tan head which leaves behind some lacing as it settles to a thin cover over the liquid. Deep dark purplish red in color.

Smell: Complex with spices and dark fruits (e.g., plums, raisins) all mingled in a wonderful aroma.

Taste: The flavor is much what you'd expect from the aroma--Christmas spices and dark fruits with traces of hop bitterness. There's also some nice chocolate flavor here as well. On the whole it is very rich tasting but in no way heavy or cloying in its sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is a bit thin and lightly carbonated. The finish is medium long with hints of brandy like flavor, hops and a bit of alcohol.

Drinkability: This has an easy drinkability if you sip slowly. But don't let the ABV sneak up on you while enjoying the feelings of warmth and good flavor.

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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 stirgy
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I believe this is the 2002 version. An excellent beer! Pours a murky black cherry color with a very rich and creamy head of foam. The aroma emanates sweet raisins and melon. Almost like a fruit cordial, or Pucker liqueur. The taste is alcoholic, bitter, fruity and dry and sherry-like, with hints of chocolate and cherries, even has a hint of rum. The flavors are complex and it’s easy to find a lot of good things in this beer. Flavorful with a medium malt sweetness. Highly drinkable and an excellent Holiday beer. Now, if I could only get this one on tap.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brownish hue with a kinda white, kinda tan head. Nice maltiness, and some characteristic yeastiness, plus a little bit of biscuity kinda fruity flavor to it. A welcome surprise to find at my local farm market. And a bargain, at 4.39 for a 750ml I will be drinking these until they are gone. Overall a great holiday beer.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked, caged 750 ml. bottle with an expiration date of 17 Aug 2018. Sampled on November 15, 2015.

The pour is mahogany amber-red with a long lasting foamy tan head.

All kinds of interesting aromas here. I pick up sweet barley malts, coriander,clove, black licorice, plums, a little orange zest, slight smoke, and Belgian candied sugar. Everything melds together well. No booze on the nose.

Medium to bold body but it is so lusciously soft and smooth.

Same sweet barley malt, citrus, and slightly spicy flavor but I pick up the alcohol burn here however it is warming and mellow to the end. This would be great by a wood stove fire.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter glass.

Look is a dark brownish red with a thin white head.

Smell is like a spiced imperial brown.

Taste is a dry roasty brown spiced beer.

Absolutely delicious. Merry Christmas.

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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.

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A murky mahogany color on the pour, with a bountiful head that is also frothy in its texture with the residual lace fine sheets to coat the glass. Aroma of raisins, malt and cotton candy sweet, a true pleasure to the nose. Sweetly malt at the front, top is rich and full, and the finish brandy like, pleasantly hopped, pleasing in its acidity and the aftertaste somewhat alcohol bitter with a nice sense of warmth for the tummy on these cold winter nights.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage at Kulminator. Poured into a mini snifter. Low head and retention. Of course considering the age.  Dark, dark ruddy brown body. Aroma dominated by brown sugar, molasses, raisins, port and vanilla. Taste is malty sweet, caramel, vanilla. Low carbonation. Zero alcohol. None. This is a great example of why people have cellars. Perfect. 

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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.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark garnett brown, with a tan head that doesn't hang around for too long.
the aroma is of faintly medicinal fruits, mainly of the of berry variety (strawberry, raspberry, courrants(?)), but also containing cherry, plum and earthy fig type aromas, and even a little bit of sweet orange. it's a little vinous as well. there are traces of chocolate and toffee beneath the fruit. a little spicy in a indefinite way. malts come out more forcefully with some warmth. the yeast obviously played a big part in this one.
the taste is very fruity too, with the same type of fruit profile as the aroma. there is a powdery cocoa flavor intertwined with toffee. you pick up some anise, a little corriander (?). some yeasty qualities towards the finish.
the body is full-ish with active, but soft carbonation.
very good drinkability due to it's great flavor and aroma, and masking of it's abv. a great strong dark that was actually quite a surprise. one of my new favorite winter seasonals.

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Photo of Svingjo
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought as part of a six pack 250ml gift pack. Pours a dark brown colour with a thick tan head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving a thick ring around the glass. Lots of dark fruit, caramel, and holiday spices. The flavour is much the same with the rich fruit and sweet malt jumping to the forefront. There is a slight alcohol burn but not as much as you might expect given the ABV. There also is a slight hop bitterness that is perfectly balanced. The carbonation is active but just enough to give the medium body feel a nice crispness. An awesome example of the style. One of the better winter warmers.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We were just getting ready to leave the bar when Paul walks back to the table with a Jeroboam of this beer. Thanks Paul! Consumed on 10/24/2009 and poured into a snifter.

The beer is dark, dark brown, and is made of what appears to be liquid beer. The head that sits on top of the beer is fizzy and frothy and exhibits funny Belgian mannerisms.

The nose is spicy and phenolic with notes of white pepper and Belgian yeast. The malt is bready and evokes images of a silly Belgian family sitting beside a distinctly Belgian fire within a silly little Belgian house in the dead of winter. I seem to have just written "peppery, spicy" over and over for the smell. I do recall the bready character reminding me of dark bread. Notes of cinnamon, clove, and dark fruits are present.

The flavor is sweet bready malt with that same white peppery spiciness. Other notes are of cinnamon, clove, and molasses. Alcohol is well hidden and I detect Belgian yeast character. The beer is medium bodied with a very high level of carbonation. This is a great Christmas beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Stimack
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was able to try this brew on tap the tonight at Mahar’s. The brew poured to a very clear deep red/brown color with a nice off white head that broke down slowly and left great lacing. The aroma’s are fantastic with citrus fruit, malt, spices and candy. This is a great brew with the citrus, malt and slight chocolate tastes coming together and being enhanced by the spiced flavors. Also a slight alcohol flavor can be caught at the end of a pull. Over all this is a fantastic brew, glad I was able to give it a try and now a staple for the Christmas season.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear medium brown with an offwhite head that starts fairly healthy and fades to a thin cap. No real lacing. Smells strongly of orange and orange zest along with some spice and sweet malt. Taste is similar. Lots of orange peel up front as well as a touch of grapefruit juice, some sweet spices and clove and licorice on the finish, Delicious.
Crisp rather than creamy mouthfeel. This is one delicious Christmas beer. The spicing and heavy orange is different and very appropriate for the holidays.

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Photo of JeffH
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep brown with a light, quickly dispersing head
S- dried fruits, brown sugar
T- Crisp start with waves of dried, sweet fruit. Nice malt finish with a small amount of yeastiness
M- Lighter than expected with a high carbonation
O- Very good beer, looking forward to another soon

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Photo of dnichols
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It was poured from a corked and capped 750 ml bottle.

A: It poured a copper tinted brown body with a one finger dense and creamy head that retained well. It had clumping and leggy lacing that fell slowly into the liquid.

S: It smelled of candy coasted caramel mats with a coating of fruity esters.

T: It was deeply and sweetly malted with lots of caramel and hints of roasted chocolate malts. The toffee like profile was complemented by prunes and cherries and hints of dark pepper.

M: It was a full bodied beer with moderate carbonation and a smooth rich presence. It finished sweet, dry and clean.

D: It was smooth, rich, and complex. It is a bit heavy and has too high an ABV to be a long session beer...but as a holiday treat it holds up well.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

· Appearance: Deep brown like rich mahogany with hints of cherry or ruby, light tan head with a lingering lacing. Lively carbonation.
· Aroma: Dark fruit, cherry or raisin. Sweet toffee or caramel with noticeable alcohol.
· Taste: Sweet dark fruit flavors and spices dance on the palate in a pleasing medley with hints of toffee.
· Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, abundance of flavors that linger and a bit of a bite.
· Drinkability: Perfect beer for a 750ml. A bomber of one of these is excellent after a delightful meal. One of the best I’ve had recently.

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Photo of DreamInOrange
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle with a best by date of 9/22/14 into a tulip glass

A- 1/4 inch thick off-white heady, very frothy. Dark amber in color with evident carbonation.

S- Candied fruit and sweet alcohol

T- Nice balance of candied fruit, chocolate, and spice. Quick taste of the alcohol at the swallow. Really smooth.

M- Really great carbonation, slightly slick.

O- Great example of this style, definitely would go back to this beer

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Photo of dsa7783
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk's Abbey Pale Ale and Abbey Brown Ale are certainly two of some of the most flavorful, enjoyable Beglain beers... looked high and low to find the brewery's Christmas Ale, and finally struck gold at Oak Tree in South Plainfield where I copped a 750 ML bottle in a gift-pack which housed the bottle in a tin can stuffed with straw... Bought caged and corked, with the cork displaying an individual number of 6880... Teriffic dark, pruned-color hue with immense frothy head... smell is dominated by figs and malts, with a wonderful honey aroma... taste is complete with prunes, caramel, dark, brown sugars, thick and heavy malts, cream, candies, and figs... incredibly thick, rich, and intricate flavor dominated by a wonderful combination of sweet, candy flavors that dominate the pallate and overwhelm the taste buds with dark-fruit and toasty brown sugar flavors... excellent stuff, with an incredible thick, creamy mouthfeel... this one really takes over, and was worth the search... great drinkability, this one leaves you wanting more, and the ABV is barely noticeable behind a complex combination of amazing flavors... Another winner from Corsendonk... Definitely recommended...

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Photo of BWH3
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Flawless light caramel tinged brown ale with big brawny beige head. Hope you have the time to watch this head slowly dwindle into a fat ring and gorgeous lacing. Just effervescent enough. Clarity is crystal clear. My only negative is that it could be just a hair darker for a BSDA especially a seasonal specialty brew.

S: Marriage of dark fruit and banana esters. The spiciness is there but not all that robust or amazing.

T: Dark fruit (prune > raisin) and caramel sweetness dominate up front. A spicy note follows. The taste ends in a very unique toasted bread/yeast flavor that is very enjoyable. Hops seem absent, but do serve to cleanse the palate from the sweetness and bread/toast flavor.

M: Just thin enough and appropriately carbonated. Great head retention. Finish is balanced.

D: A 750mL of this amongst friends by the fire is the perfect holiday treat.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My basement/cellar continues to unearth some gems (hopefully). This one as a Best By date of 18/09/08 but given its ABV, I should be all right.

From the bottle: "Dark Ale"; "Dark Ale refermented in bottle."

I got a finger of deep-tan head with good retention off of my very gentle pour. Color was a solid garnet with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled of maple syrup, anise, milk chocolate, toffee and some mustiness. Mouthfeel was absolutely creamy and the taste was of Sugar Babies (caramel enrobed in milk chocolate) and it was MUCH more pleasant than my last encounter with those candies. I was still pre-teen, but I had had several cavities filled (and none since), but those candies ripped out the bottom two for the second time (!), the first time from Jujubes, another candy that I have not touched since. Finish was warm, not hot as the heat had had some time to die down, with a continued caramel/chocolate flavor and even some coffee on the extreme finish.

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Photo of DeepSix
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. A deep red amber/brown color. 2 fingers worth of a tan head. A lot of lacing along the glass.

A sweet smell almost of molasses, dark fruits, malt, and spices here.

A chorus of complex favor here, with an assortment of sweet fruits noted, with some toasted malt here, a hint of maybe some brown sugar its quite sweet overall. There is a very slight bit of hops here, but its very subdued. A medium body here, with a tiny bit of carbonation. The alcohol is barely noted even at this high ABV.

This quite a great seasonal offering, I'll differently look for this on tap at places. I could probably drink this all day, would have to watch out for its high ABV like noted previously.

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