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Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

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587 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 pezoids on 11-22-2001

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Reviews: 587 | Ratings: 1,167
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.

 510 characters

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.

 723 characters

Photo of riversider76
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber brown with a thin tan head that did not disappear. Aroma is of sweet dark fruit, and spice. Body is medium with some carbonation. Taste is of caramel, fruit, and spice. Excellent version of this style. Must try.

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12-2-15 - On tap at Monk's in Philly. Served in a low stemmed globe - front bar with my bro and his colleague. Dark brown and oh so smooth. I had this one years ago, so I'm glad Jodie recommended that I have it again. Crisp and not too spicy. Just a great strong dark ale. If like to try a side by side with St. B's x-mas. Next time in.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a bottle of the 2003 vintage and today is Oct 4,2004. Dark brown in color with hints of amber when the light hits it just right. Has a small beige head. The aroma hints at herbs and spices but is has predominate dried fruit plummy presence. There is a distinct chocolate taste at first. Followed by a plummy fruitiness and a smooth herb and spice finish. As it warms there is an addition of chocolate to the aroma.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great beer!

Pours a very murky brown with a small tan head on it. Smells of dates, brown sugar figs. All the dark fruits are there.

The taste is the gem here though. Such an easy drinker for 8.5%. The dark fruits are there but not over the top. Nice malt backbone to hold it all together.

I could drink these all night. Now this was aged 1 year and I do prefer it this way, but it's good fresh too!

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

A: poured into a corsedonk brewery glass and held up to the light a dark ruby red. A dirty white to light tan head that's nice and thick and very frothy. The head hangs around and leaves some lacing.

S: very spicy and a darker roasted malt sweetness. Biscuity and a little smooth hop notes.

T: sweet malt and common christmas spices, slightly roasted and big cinnamon flavor. The sweetness comes out as dried figs and plums. There isn't a whole lot of hop presence but what is there is earthy.

MF: smooth and complex, medium body. Rich and only a little effervescent.

D: a great Christmas beer at an awesome price especially when a glass is thrown in. A quick christmas buy again.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Champagne bottle poured into a Duvel glass. 2/7

Pours medium dark brown, light on the bottom, darker on the top. Thick 1/2 inch white foam, fluffy. Sweet candy cherry nose. Fruity too. Smooth belgian yeast taste that expands. Strong carbonation. Cola background. Nutty. Touch of booze mixed in.

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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.

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

From notes:


A - Brownish, but is dark ruby colored when held up to light. 2 finger head. Fine creamy tan foam with unbelievable lacing.

S - Dark fruits, figs, spices (clove, coriander, nutmeg, maybe a tiny bit of anise).

T - Sweet, spicy dark fruit. Molasses, candi sugar, mild spiciness (clove and coriander), caramel, and even a little chocolate in the finish.

M - Medium, creamy and well carbonated.

O - Awesome. I could drink these regularly, without a doubt. This has to be my favorite Christmas beer.

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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.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice and creamy head that takes a while to dissipate. The beer itself is a dark brown color with shades of purple and opaque. The overall look is pretty good and is very nice. While some BSDAs are darker, the color on this one work swell for the style and a fresh change of pace.

The beer smell is very good and surprisingly balanced. The main notes deliver a fruity smell amplified by strong Belgian sugar notes. The fruit notes are mainly dark fruit notes such as a ripe plum with a slight date and fig note to it.

The beer taste has the same notes. The overall taste is a dark fruit taste amplified by the Belgian sugar. The dark fruits are the same; a ripe plum with fig and dates. However, the beer also seems to have a slight alcohol note to it but not a very strong one. The beer taste also appears to have a slight hop presence.

The mouthfeel is fairly good. The beer is heavy bodied with a certain thickness to it. There also appears to be a slight burn to it.

Overall, a fairly good BSDA and worth getting when you can.

 1,052 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a two-fingered, thick, light tan head leaving an even lace. Color is a dark, clear amber. Light-medium carbonation. Light malty/hoppy nose. Medium bodied. Starts smooth and malty, finishes with a warming touch. Excellent Christmas ale. $7.50 for a 750ml bottle.

 267 characters

Photo of parkcenterlounge
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Excellent Christmas beer. Belgian Strong Ale tastes too smooth to be so strong. Had from draft and has a very light feel with great subtle spice notes. Don't miss out when this comes around

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Photo of MattyG85
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy and dark brownish ruby with a moderate amount of rising bubbles. Big two finger light tan head which settles into a thin creamy layer. Leaves some good lacing.

Smell: A yeasty, spicy, and fruity Belgian aroma with hints of winter spice and dark fruit. Belgian yeast with hints of funk, pepper, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom. Toasted malt with bready hints of biscuit, straw, toast, and cracker. Big mix of fruit esters with hints of banana, apple, pear, lemon, grape, raisin, cherry, plum, fig, and prune. Also some sweet hints of candied Belgian sugar and subtle hops. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a yeasty, spicy, and fruity classic Belgian taste with good notes of fruit and spices. Belgian yeast with spice notes of pepper, funk, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom. Toasted malt with notes of biscuit, grains, straw, toast, and cracker. Good mix of fruit with notes of banana, pear, green apple, lemon, grapes, cherry, raisin, fig, plum, and prune. Sweet taste of Belgian candied sugar. Background notes of floral hops. A very nice Belgian taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Creamy, crisp, and fairly chewy. Alcohol heat is pretty light.

Overall: A very good Belgian Dark Ale. Good mix of yeast and spice notes with the fruity esters.

 1,377 characters

Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a dark amber with a two-finger tan head. The head sticks around for quite a while before settling into a pancake on top of the beer. Lacing is decent.

Smells of fruits - mostly light but hints of darker ones - along with mild spices and milder yeast smells.

Tastes good. Light fruit flavors up front that segue into darker fruits and very light spices. There's a nice classic Belgian aftertaste - very sweet but not overly so.

Mouthfeel is very good. Good thickness with a grainy carbonation that does it's job very well. Smooth.

Drinkability is good. I finished this very easily and could've had another.

Overall this is a solid Christmas beer that should be in everyone's rotation.

 742 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.

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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.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,167 ratings.
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