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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 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 dqrull
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber, thick foam, about a finger high. Little to no lace lingering on the inside of the glass, foams up really nice after some swirling, sexy.

Smell is appealing, dark fruits, yeast esters, somewhat malty and sweet, and there is some kind of spice in the back that I cant really place, nothing my palate is familiar with...

The taste pretty much delivers what the smell promised, but I find that the unknown spice is taking over a bit much at the end, and it spoils it a bit for me. As the spice surfaces though, there is a slight bitterness also, which saves the beer a little.

Mouthfeel is creamy and pleasant.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Bubbly, dark caramel/toffee, umber color -muddy around the edges

S: Dark fruits -cherry

T: More dark fruits, spices, candy, sweet aftertaste that's also gets a little sour. Yummy.

M: Heavy flavor on the tongue -clean finish. Tingly.

D: Flavorful and interesting, very pleasant.

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Photo of oracle
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

10 oz draft pour served in a Corsendonk Christmas Ale goblet.

Beer arrived very dark and opaque in the glass, although I've never seen a beer this dark have such a white head on it. Very unusual. Head was about 1/2 inch of bubbly and sticky foam that left fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell was quite intriguing. Lightly spicy and very fruity. It held a the faintest hint of yeast as well.

Taste was like no other beer I've tried before. I've always been a huge hop head up until now, largely drinking IPAs and Double IPAs. This beer really opened up my eyes to the possibilities that a very malty beer can be very good too. Taste was simply incredible. Sweet, like nectar, without being too sugary or syrup like. Very fruity, with orange notes and a strong carmel presence as well as many others flavors. This beer was actually so complex, I couldn't sort out all the flavors I was tasting in there.

Mouthfeel was just perfect. Light and airy. Any heavier and this wold be hard to drink. Minimal carbonation to get in the way of the flavors, but not flat.

Absolutely outstanding and highly recommended

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Photo of CuttDeez
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter

A - A deep rustic brown body. Very big kahki light brown head that is both foamy and bubbly with lace.

S - Fruit and molassas. Great carmalized sugars and roasted sugar and good fruit profile. The beer also smells of spices of clove and cinnamon it is very easy to pick up in my opinion.

T & M & D - The taste starts out with a big malty sweet profile and tons of dark fruits - both of which meld together and work well. Then the spices and aromatics that were in the nose come through in the middle and end of the beer. The beer becomes earthen and oaky on the finish but only slightly with a little spice and malt as well. Medium boddied with slight carbination make this beer feel great.

O - Good Xmas beer and you can enjoy it any time as well. Thanks SB for hooking me up!


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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.

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Photo of hellbilly
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle BB 12/09/09

slightly hazy pour is maroon brown and capped by a thin tan head.

there are some floral tea-like qualities in the aroma underneath brown sugar, golden raisins, vanilla, sweet malt and cinnamon-y spiciness.

the flavor profile pretty much masks the aroma... along with some yeasty earthiness, faint chocolate and banana starch with a dry spiced finish. it is a bit sweet but definitely doable. light to medium bodied given the abv% with a smooth rich texture.

insanely easy to drink...

 523 characters

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

Note: served very cold and this is a bitter beew and not worthy. But warmed up to proper temp and you have a very soothing brew.

a: Pours dark brown almost black with off white head. Some, but not much lacing.
s: pepery fruits.
t: Similar to smell, but with a healthy amount of sweetness. WIth a bit of the belgian flavor adding to the overall effect. Finishes with some bitterness in the back of the tonge.
m: Full bodied with champagne feel.
d: something definatly something to sip on a cold winter evening.

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Photo of JCaweinstein
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown color, crystal cleary with lots of carbonation. Two finger creamy white head with long lasting retention. It's pretty.
I smell fruit, plums, clove, and other spices. It's a very festive smell which is very fitting.
I'm getting a deep and rich fruity flavor. It tastes of raisins, sprices, and a slight hint of hops. It's a little bready too.
This is a crisp and medium bodied and coats the mouth. It's very smooth with a nice fruity finish.
This is a very nice Christmas ale. It's complex in both flavor and aroma and feels good going down. I would buy this again next season.

 595 characters

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.26/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Dark amber brown with plenty of tan fine bubbled head. Head is, in fact spectacular. The magnificent head, of course, yields plenty of lacing.

S - Nutty malt aroma with hint of cherries.

T - First taste is sweet but it becomes more acidic as you hold it in your mouth.

M - Thin soda pop feel.

D - I am not a fan of sour tasting beer. Some people like it. I think I would not drink this again, not because it is bad but because there are so many that are better.

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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 Asgeirr
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Corsendonk Christmas Ale pours a dark vermilion colour along with a thick crown of great posture and light brown-to-soy-like tone. The descent of the glorious crown is a slow process to behold eventually leaving a half-full apparel of lacing.

Smell: A distinct form of acridity, a mild butter 'n' floral sweetness, some soy, and a small amount of lactose.

Taste: Mild sweetness in the tone of dark fruits followed by a equally mild bitterness interspersed with caramel-to-butterscotch flavours. Occasionally the bitterness peaks and makes itself more noticed in some of the intervals, but on an finishing note, it's overall pretty timid.

Mouthfeel: Dry, delightfully round with a alert carbonation while some alcohol reveal itself in that of a warming manner.

Drinkability: Smooth and very pleasant to the palate. Mild, but not weak, more so "moderately distinct", that is to say: balanced. More please!

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Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle, poured into the Corsendonk Christmas Ale chalice.

The beer poured a deep, dark beautiful garnet, with ruby hues to the edges. The head was a massive, sand colored two finger affair, that faded away to a small cap of foam. Moderate lacing for the entire serving.
The aroma was malty and sweet, but light. Brown sugar, raisins, and citrus were noticed.
The taste was sweet, but not as sweet as the aroma. There was a noticable spice, and citrus notes, as well as candied fruits, and a slight boozy warmth. The mouthfeel was rich and filling.
I'll definately be waiting to buy the 2009 vintage of this wonderful beer. This is a wonderful beer, a true treat for the holidays, or any other time for that matter.

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Photo of TheLiterati
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a $20 gift pack (as a gift to myself!) at my local Whole Foods Market. Came complete with eight bottles of ale and a gratis gift glass to enjoy them in. Also available in a brown bomber, which is good to know since I'll definitely enjoy more of this seasonal for as long as it’s available.

Pours a nice deep brown, with a deep and creamy caramel colored head. Scents of plums, raisins, dates, cloves tease the olfactory. The taste is much the same: deep and complex, mildly fruity and even woodsy, with a smooth mouthfeel and pleasant carbonation.

Quite the quaffable ale.

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Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml into tulip glass. A: Amber/brown, light puffy head, nice amount of lacing. S: Toasted malt, dark fruit, caramel, spice. T: Sweet up front, raisins, caramel, pine, some citrus, grassy hops in the finish. Really great balance. M: Moderate carbonation, very smooth. D: Very drinkable. I can detect the alcohol, but it's pretty light for something this strong. Really wonderful beer, I'll probably pick it up again.

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

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a clear, deep amber with very little head into a chalice. Didn't really detect anything in the aroma. The flavor was of sweet candy sugar and bubble gum in the foreground, with a nice hop bite and slight yeast sourness in the finish. Nice carbonation too. Seemed to be very well balanced, with no individual component dominating, which you would expect from a true Belgian strong. Much better than the Legacy Euphoria I had a few days ago.

 506 characters

Photo of ImusBeer
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served up in an 11oz wine glass, white wine.

It had a more brown appearance than black, with a tan head and produced some thin lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell was mostly light smoke and oak with some dark fruits. Taste of roasted malt, sweet malt/molassas, prunes with some spiceness like nutmeg.

The mouth was mostly thin for the color but did have some silkiness on the tongue. The alcohol is a bit too high for many of these but it's a really good sipping beer.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Three finger white-brown head, very dark brown red-tinged body.

Smell: Dark fruits, marshmallow, weak spices (smells almost like Dr.Pepper), and has a light vinous quality. You can even smell the alcohol a bit, which I didn't like.

Taste: Sweet dark fruits (mainly plum), marshmallow fluff, cinnamon, pepper, and notes of wood and chocolate.

Feel: High carbonation, medium bodied, and has a noticeable alcohol bite.

 424 characters

Photo of counselor
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 corked and caged bottle opened wit a stiff wisp of carbonation. The beer poured a dark cocoa espresso color with a tall foamy head that reduced rather quickly leaving nice lacing on the glass. The smell was spicey, buttery, with layers of yeasty bannana aromas and freshly split oak logs. The taste was well balanced with traditional belgian ale flavors from the yeast bits in the glass. Each sip brought out the changes in this beer as it warmed from the early crisp dry notes of spice and tobacco to the later fruity plum, bannana and fig flavors. Each mouthful was enjoyable from the early cold & well carbonated one to the final warm & flatter one. A fine exmple of a beer!

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Photo of RedBaron
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fine Christmas offering from Corsendonk.

The 25oz., corked bottled poured nicely, with a deep reddish hue, and a creamy, off-white and sustaining head.

The smell was of raisins, cinnamon and clove. The initial taste was of complex malts fused with spices (plus raisin and a detection of chocolate). The body was solid, quite full. The finish was smooth and a lovely 'Euro' sweetness lingered and begged the tongue for more. Certainly, however, you want to savor this lovely holiday beer. It's not one to quaff. Matter of fact, I took about 1 1/2 hours to sip at a leisurely pace.

My sample is at least a year old, probably older, as I purchased it last Christmas and hung it in my wine rack for the past year. My wine rack is the worse off now...

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Photo of QXSTER1
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another reason to celebrate Christmas! This ale pours a clear, deep ruby with a wispy white head. Smells of spices and a wiff of alcohol. Taste is a complex blend of earthy Belgian yeast, dark ripe fruits, subdued toffee, baking spices and subtle background hops. It all comes together in a dangerously drinkable brew. Sweetness is there but not cloying, just enough to accentuate the malt flavors.
I have found Belgian ales to be a bit cleaner on tap than refermented in the bottle and it definitely adds to the drinkability of this brew.

 540 characters

Photo of Chinon01
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The taste of this beer is of orange, orange peel and orange Tang with yeast sizzle and noticeable hops in the finish. It also leaves a touch of cocoa around the outer back of the tongue and has a very clean finish. The mouthfeel was average and the drinkability was good.

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Photo of TheBear11D
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours deep dark brown, nearly black. A medium head that is off-white to creamy tan in color.

S: Scents of raisens with cinnamon topped by a background of pine and woods.

T: Brief spicy bitterness up front quickly followed by malty smoothness of fruity flavors.

M: Medium body with an abundance of carbonation that compliments the taste.

D: Smooth and bubbly. Great flavor and mouthfeel make this easy to drink.

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Photo of Bananaman
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Corsendonk Christmas Ale is the first Belgian Christmas ale I've tried. (Chimay Bleue was a christmas ale from the beginning though, but I don't associate it with Christmas anyway)

Looks good, dark brown color with a "tight" beige foam. Looks really pretty with that cute 25 cl bottle too!

Smells good! Mmm, lots of belgian spices and some orange with a nice character of yeast and chocolate. Really amazing smell anyway!

Taste is good and fillng. Lots of belgian spices, chocolate (not the darkest kind) and some typical notes of yeast and hops. I think this is a great Christmas beer! A real treat, for the low price, and only around 20 SEK or 3 USD.

 656 characters

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

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