Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
605 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 stirgy on 11-22-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
605
Ratings:
1,208
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.41%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
190
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 605 | Ratings: 1,208
Photo of HopsAreDaMan
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz; sale Total Wine.

It has a beautiful appearance, very nice lacing, head that remains, and a nice caramel color.

Reasonably nice aroma: Yeasty and fruity.

There is nothing about the taste that stands out, and too spicy for my tastes.

Mouth-feel: not bad, nice carbonation, medium body, on the dry side.

Overall, this is not what I am looking for in a Belgian dark strong. It was a bit disappointing.

 412 characters

Photo of Longstaff
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I thought this was a decent beer that was easy to drink, but compared to other Belgian style Christmas ales, I thought this was lacking in flavor. It poured beautifully with a one inch big bubbled head. The body was dark until held up to the light then was reddish and crystal clear. The most dominate flavor was metallic, with chocolate, maltiness, and spices very subdued. Alot like their pale ale but darker with a touch of chocolate flavor. A bit thin on mouthfeel with a high carbonation level made it easy to drink. I think I would rather have Delerium Noel or N'Ice Chouffe instead.

 589 characters

Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a ruby brown color with a tan brown head that leaves spotted lacing around the glass.

Smells of holiday spices, and nutmeg.

Taste chewy up front, with caramel and nutmeg maybe some ginger, honey notes, and a warming alcohol flavor that finishes it off.

Absolutely a great beer that has so much going on it's hard to describe. I'm very impressed and I'm going to look for more to stock up on.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Belgian Strong Dark Ale pours a really dark amber color with a light head of carbonation. The smell to me was a light, sharp, and fruity. The taste was a sharp fermented beginning with hints of gingerbread and fruitcake (a good fruitcake)..yea I said good and fruitcake in one sentence! For a dark Belgian ale it has a light mouth feel.

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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 andjusticeforale
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This arrived in its own style glass; Big deep brown with a tan head. Carbonation was fantastic, a little more bubbly than would let a head stay around. A quick swirl brought it back.

This had a nice malty backbone, a beautiful richness and a smooth dry finish. Not much fruit or sices, but there was a nice earthiness, and tremendous drinkability. Alcohol masked fantasically.

What this lacks in overall depth of taste or complexity, it makes up in drinkability. Like a supercharged Corsendonk abbey ale.

 510 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.

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Photo of NClifestyle
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

little late for xmas, but i don't think that's a problem.
pours up extremely dark ruby color with a huge head of large bubbles, creamy top. oddly, the bubbles seem to get smaller as the head settles. lots of lace in strange patterns.
smells like a strong belgian beer, but not overpowering. sweet, yeast.
taste was quite nice. malty dark fruit, raisin and cherry, yeast and wheat. hops show up as the beer warms, but they are still pretty sweet, citrus like, with a bit of peppery spice.
mouthfeel is thick and creamy. the beer widens in the mouth, bubbles everywhere. smooth, smooth, smooth.
drinkabiliby is decent, above average, but i couldn't sip this all night. would love to have it again, much better than many belgian beers that are too tart, but it's very strong.

cheers...

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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.

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Photo of VALIS666
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a huge head into a Duvel tulip glass. Very pleasant deep brown color held to the light. However, both the scent and the taste are far lighter than I expected. The most dominant smell I got was a watery, rusty scent, not particularly good. The taste is clean and smooth and strongly carbonated with a bit of spice and sweetness. A decent beer but far less robust than I expected.

 385 characters

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.28/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This dark brown ale poured a large and retentive head that left pleasant lace upon my glass. The spicy aroma of cinnamon, ginger, and thyme was intriguing. Unfortunately, the flavor of the beer was not especially complex, and not entirely pleasant. Maybe this was a bad bottle but sour grapes flavors overpowered the chocolate and other malt notes. As the ale warmed, sweetness became a stronger presence but it never became interesting.

 437 characters

Photo of gdfan47
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a very nice dark brown (you can see through it), and a nice off brown head
S- cinnamon, ginger, chocolate, hops
T- spices, the nutmeg is present and really nice lots of them, really refreshing, it has a nice hop and malt finish
M- silky smooth, just the right amount of carbonation, this beer was served on the warmer side and it really worked for this style
D- very good, I would not have guessed at the slighty higher than normal abv very nice

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

Another (ho hum) outstanding beer from Belgium. First off, I love the look (maybe it's the mood I'm in). It's garnet in color, topped initially by a frothy tan head. The head reduces to a millimeter layer across the top, which is continually fed by these moderately-fast moving streams of bubbles. Not quite champagne-like, but close. Smell is cooked plums, raisins, with hints of ginger, coriander, and orange. Taste is a festive combination of bread pudding and cooked plums. Spices hit in the middle, with coriander and ginger hitting first, followed by a mellow clove aspect, finishing with a touch of caramelized orange rind. Mild hop presence keeps things nicely balanced. I agree with other reviewers that the mouthfeel is a bit thin (due in part to moderately high carbonation), but I'm actually enjoying it. I will add this to my list of holiday traditions!

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Photo of Hex92
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- dark brown, but the light will penetrate through.
S- mmm good. Smells like ginger bread, maybe fruit cake too.
T- nice strong dark ale with extra spice flavors. Not overpowering with the spice, just the right mix.
M- perfect. Just the right balance of coating on your mouth.

Overall a great beer. I will buy this one again, probably soon...since the wife tried it and wouldn't give it back....so I only got to drink half of the beer :-)

 443 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 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 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.

 724 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.

 629 characters

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 mkh012
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled on Christmas 2015. A deep, reddish brown with a sticky tan head. I get raisins, toffee, dried cherries, and slight anise on the nose. Taste starts with lively carbonation and a subtle anise bite. I hate licorice, but it was subtle here and gave way mid-palate to raisins, dried cherries, and holiday spice. Mild cherry or cranberry sweetness lingers. Great aftertaste. The flavors meld and dull a bit as I get further into the bottle. A solid BSDA with nice Christmas-esque flavors.

 490 characters

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

 1,124 characters

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!

-Cheers

 819 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.

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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...
7/4/7/3/16/3.7

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