Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,211 Ratings
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 stirgy on 11-22-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,211
Reviews:
607
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.41%
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
191
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,211 |  Reviews: 607
Photo of noslenwerd
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours out creamy, with a nice looking head with large bubbles. Color is mild brown with a slight cherry red tint. Above average lacing for an ale.

S: Mild alcohol smell to it, other than that not very strong smelling. Mild "tuaca" liquor smell.

T: Foams up nicely when it hits your tongue. Not sure how to describe the taste but its very good. Not very "Christmasy" to me but very tasty. The more I drink it the more the overall taste is muted for whatever reason, and the alcohol tastes seems to overtake.

Summary: Mouthfeel on this one is the thing that sticks out to me. Taste is good but nothing out of the ordinary for a belgian dark

 644 characters

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with an off white head that laces the glass. The smell was full of dark fruit as well as cherries. The taste was heavy on malt in the beginning making a heavy beer, good for winter, with some semi sweet flavors like black cherry on the finish made a very refreshing brew. Would definitely get again.

 318 characters

Photo of elizur
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Steve_Studnuts
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Hootie159
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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 jdkitchi
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/21/2012 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, brown sugar, apples, Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of apples, caramel and brown sugar. Then some Belgian yeast and hearty malt character breadiness comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

 793 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330mL bottle into a chalice
21/08/15, which I believe is this years vintage

A: Pours a dark brown with reddish hues when held up to light. Just over 1 fingers width of light tan colored head, which takes a good amount of time to dissipate down. A thick coat of film remains throughout the entire drink, but leaves only vary sparse patches of lacing.

S: Spice is the most prominent aroma, along with some caramel and an orangey citrus. Brown sugar and nutmeg. Smells very nice, but rather tame.

T: Dried dark fruit, orange, lots of spice, a dark sweetness like brown sugar or molasses although Im not really picking up either flavor specifically, cocoa notes, a touch of hop bitterness.

M/D: Manages to pull off the creamy smoothness with concurrent biting carbonation, like only a good Belgian beer can do. Medium bodied, no hint of the ABV. Drinkability is great.

O: Overall, a very nice Christmas ale. All of the great Belgian Strong Dark's that come out this time of year is one of the many reasons winter its my favorite beer "season". This one is very good, but St. Bernardus Christmas ale still remains the king for me. This is one Ill be sure to come back to again next year.

 1,191 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1" tan colored head that lasts a while. Moderate lace paints the glass.

Smell: light chocolate, lots of malt sweetness, and a bit of fruit sweetness creates a mild but pleasant aroma.

Taste: nice malt flavor with some chocolate, a hint of spice and earthiness, prunes sweetness, and a moderate bitterness. Alcohol is barely noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Crisp to start, smooth and a bit creamy at the finish. Long aftertaste.

Drinkability: a nice xmas beer to slowly sip in front of a roaring fire. Definitely worthy of a try.

 588 characters

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

Poured into a Chimay goblet glass. Nice tight head, lacing, dark, but Amber in the light. Smell very close to the taste. Comparing to the similar Chimay darkest beer, this beer has strong fruit smell and taste, but sophisticated fruit. Raisins, figs, dates. A Nestle Chunky bar minus the chocolate. The high alcohol content is not apparent. This is however a very thick and complex ale. If you enjoy dark, complex beers, this is most worthy. Merry Christmas!

 458 characters

Photo of Nunya
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasty, well balanced and smooth. No one thing is extra out of this world about this brew.. except maybe for the mouthfeel. Pillowy comes to mind.
I'd like to score this higher but this beer does not need my scores to validate it.
A very tasty Christmas cheer beer.Go get some.

 278 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 8.5oz brown pop top, foiled, with nice label. Best by September 2014 clearly stamped on the back. The label says this is 8.1%, not 8.5% as stated above. Poured into my Ommegang glass.

Appearance: Attractive dark amber-orange beer with a large, fluffy ivory cap with nice retention. Fairly bright, except for some tiny sediment in suspension. Massive sheets of Belgian lacing.

Smell: Lots of sweet, dark fruit leads here, with sweet grapey wine and perhaps some dark, sticky dried fig as well, backed by very soft (and indistinct) spices. Definitely on the sweet side; a couple of swirls in the glass bring out fainter notes of caramel and light bready malt. Overall, very nice.

Taste: Sweet, grapey red wine, supported by very subtle spice notes. I swore I got vanilla on the first sip, but I'm having trouble finding it now. Booze (even at only 8.1%) is perfectly integrated into the fruity and spicy aspects of this; I suspect that if I had a 750 of this, I'd drink the whole thing down rather quickly and then wonder why I was a bit light-headed. Flavorful and sweet, but ends fairly dry so that it's not at all cloying.

Mouthfeel: Fantastic. Fluffy, soft, and just...nice.

Overall: Just short of fantastic. Even though this is really, REALLY good, I don't think I like it QUITE as much as St. Bernardus. The sweet grapey flavors (I swear, as much as I hate to say this, it reminds me of Concord wine or the like, but oh so much better) and soft spice flavors are really nice. The only downfall here is a bit of a lack of complexity which, in time, might be forthcoming. At any rate, darn good stuff.

At around $6.99-8.99 for a 750, I'd give this a solid 89-90 B+/A-

 1,693 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a leather couch brown with a tawdry two-finger tan head that left lacing down the glass. A great smell of roasted malts, chocolate and bread along with some spiciness. Smooth, slightly creamy and medium-bodied with a mix of some fruits, both dark and tart, and a great balance w/ some sweet malts (caramel and chocolate mostly). This leads to an easy-going and warming brew (the ABV is hidden well) that has a slightly tart, dry finish to complement the overall sweet, silky texture of the beer as it passes over the tongue. This is a great X-Mas beer, as it is one you can sip on and it warms you up on a cold night.

 624 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at "Christmas in July" at The Blind Tiger. Presumably 2002 vintage.

This ale poured a dark brown color with hints of red. The foam was tan and settled relatively quickly. The smell was vinous, with the smell of alcohol. The taste was slightly sweet malt but with caramel, oak, fig, and vinous grapes in the mix. The mouthfeel was smooth and light on the tongue. The body was medium and the carbonation low. This was a good, enjoyable strong ale.

 463 characters

Photo of DamDweller
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corsendonk Christmas, 2009

Nice drinking beer that would go well with all food types, ranging from steak to a nice white fish.

Initial pour has an appealing chestnut color with a strong head. There is a slight citrus smell along with a heavy alcohol presence. Drank this beer right out of the fridge, which was a big mistake. It completely dulled the complex flavors. After letting the beer warm up a bit there was a nice chocolate malt flavor that cleared tongue quickly followed by strong taste of prunes and young cherries. At the end, a moderate hop finish showed itself and cleaned the pallet well. Considering the alcohol percentage and the initial smell, I was surprised to not taste much alcohol at all, especially keeping the style in mind.

This was a good beer and one that I wish I had more than one bottle of. It would be drinkable any time of year with a wide variety of foods. The mouthfeel is refreshing and yet the body was strong enough to be enjoyed during the coldest part of the year.

 1,008 characters

Photo of Filosoof
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great, great look. Dark brown with a sand coloured lasting top. The smell belongs to dark, cold winter nights. In summer I advise more freshness.

S: creamy, coffee/toffee;
T: round, quite sweet but not too, caramel, it could have some more spices or hop to make it really interesting;
M: mouthfull cream and CO2; round finish.
O: nice, welldone, but not the real top in this style.

 382 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a nice huge foamy head with good retention and some nice lacing. Aroma of bubblegum and sweet malt is really enjoyable and somewhat reminiscent of great Belgian dark ale. Taste is a mix between some bubblegum notes with a nice fruity ester and some sweet Belgian-type malt. Body might be slightly thin for the style with some great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I was expecting something good but definitely this one exceeded my expectation.

 497 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small glass. Label says best by the end of 22/09/14 which means September 22nd, 2014 since the Europeans put their dates in a different order.

A- Pours a black color that turns a reddish hue when put up to the light with 3/4 of an inch of off-white head that relinquishes to an 1/8 inch ring around the glass's edge and has some nice, sticky lacing.

S- A very apparent pear smell ascends and is quite pleasant. Other notes of apple as well as the ever-present Belgian yeast.

T- Pears come through in the flavor just as well but give way to a pretty strong metallic taste that I don't appreciate. Plenty of banana notes from the yeast but it's buried a bit quickly by the heavy malt base. Some spice makes an appearance but isn't one of the main components of the profile. Bit of a soapy taste when I swish.

M- Soft, yet bold with medium-high carbonation.

O- You can't ask for much more in a Belgian winter ale. Not a lot of Christmas spices or herbs but still memorable and comforting

 1,005 characters

Photo of metter98
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear and very dark amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a two finger high beige head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles consistently covering the surface.
S: The nose has aromas of dark fruits, spices and yeast.
T: Flavors of spices stand out in the overall taste, which also has notes of dark fruits and yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is extremely easy to drink - any traces of alcohol arde barely perceptible and the beer goes down very smoothly.

 607 characters

Photo of nhindian
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Fantome tulip.

A - A careful pour yields a dark brown beer with ruby-tinged highlights. Opaque but thankfully pretty clear from sediment. I can actually see quite a bit of carbonation on the sides of the glass and lots of bubbles stick to the sides. A 3-fingered head floats on top, lasting almost the entire beer, gradually shrinking. Lacing is pretty consistent and abundant.

S - I'm actually not sure what makes this a 'Christmas' version of Corsendonk, as I'm not getting much spices from the nose, and I'm not sure if there should be. There is a bit of spiciness I'd attribute to the yeast, but it could be some light spices added. Anyway, besides that, I get grapes, raisins, tobacco, a hint of leather, some banana. Some darker fruits and sugar. Typically Belgian.

T - The first thing I can pinpoint in the taste is a rum quality, like some rum covered cherries. This is only in flavor, however, as the alcohol is incredibly well-hidden. It's then sugary and sweet, fruity and leathery, and the malts add to a biscuity dryness. Finish is long, sweet, with a tinge of alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with medium carbonation. A bit of a spicy finish lends to it being a bit dry, but the sweetness lingers as well.

D - Drinkability is high. An incredibly easy drinking beer that has great flavor to it. Would've liked the aroma to be a bit more ... bold, and maybe something to distinguish itself as necessarily 'Christmas', but I really enjoyed this one.

 1,503 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas tasting with biegaman, grub and ThatWineGuy, biegaman busted this one out.

Pours a clear ruby red, some brown hints, very thick off white head forms, leaves tons of lace sheets, settles to a thick layer, very pretty. Smell is apples, spices, caramel, yeast, bread, nice malt layers, spices are done right, nice fruitiness. Taste is yeasty, some spices, bread, caramel, apples, banana, wheat, citrus, oak, lots of fruit, neat! Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, easy to drink, nice flavours, great Christmas beer. Thanks Jan!

 560 characters

Photo of headbucket
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice deep brown color. Nice, big head with a semi-aggresive pour. Lots of lacing left on the glass as the beer recedes. This beer has some of the nicest lacing and foam left on the side of a glass that I have ever seen on a beer. After my second pour(rather aggressive) from a 750ml bottle, there was a solid, thick, and wide layer of foam/lacing left all the way around the glass.

S: the weakest part of the beer for me. It isn't bad, just very tame. grains and yeast, a bit sweet.

T: Nice dark malts, a bit of brown sugar sweetness, belgian yeast flavors, and chocolate(chocolate malt?) over a bit of fruit-citrus but not a bright hoppy citrus, it is like a light orange flavor. the dark malt/chocolate and orange/citrus flavor linger.

M: silky smooth, nice and thick without being syrupy. it is very smooth and silky, goes down very nice.

O: A great beer, probably my favorite christmas beer. This beer and Troeg's Mad Elf are my favorite Xmas beer because they aren't heavily spiced with cinnamon and similar spices/flavors that a lot of american christmas beers have. The alcohol doesn't detract at all. It is slightly evident but doesn't detract at all. I like this beer a bit more as it had warmed up, and as I get closer to the bottom of the bottle. It is malty without being overly sweet and has a great hint of fruit(orange) in it. Will pick up a few more bottles for sure before they disappear from the store I got this bottle from. This is a christmas 2010 bottle.

 1,485 characters

Photo of baybum
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,211 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.