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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 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.

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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 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 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.

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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.

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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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Photo of bigkahunas4
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured a huge head, with a cola body. Nose was complete brown sugar goodness.

The brew was quite sweet, but had a nice biting hop to its finish. Very similar to a Belgian IPA. Feel was rather light, pretty blah.

Overall this was okay - not offensive or too sweet.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass at about 45 degrees.

Pours a clear mahogany with a thick a thick, off-white froth. The nose is sweet with cinnamon, brown sugar, pie crust, baked red apples, caramel, cherry pie filling, cranberries, subtle raspberries. There is a little alcohol sweetness on the finish, but a long finish a great carbonation/mouthfeel. Overall a fantastic brew that really helps put me in the mood for cold days, warm fires, Christmas lights! One of my favorite Christmas beers to date.

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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.

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

Why I love Christmas part 324: "Amazing beers from breweries I don't usually care much about or for."

Corsendonk is a classic Belgian brewery that I just don't usually love the beer from. I mean, what's the point of brewing in Belgium if you're not making Quads right? (joke)

Anyway, I'm not a Blonde or really much of a trippel fan but I thought - hey it's Christmas, let's try all the Christmas Ales.

I am glad this one made it onto my list. It was recommended by the bartender lady at the Sharp Edge when I stopped by today to apparently get raped on bottles of Samichlaus. But that's a whole 'nother rant. Welcome to PA. Bend over.

Phenomenal pour and foamy, thick creamy caramel head with beautiful drapey lacing. Like a picture of how beer should look.

Aroma is medium fruity and of course, spicy.

Taste is old world malty, fruity spicy goodness with a hint of pepper. The impulse to chew it slowly is very strong. Getting the blend of creamy foam with the underlying beer right is easy and makes it so much more enjoyable.

A touch too carbonated for me, but that's probably what is making this great foam. And it seems a little heady for only an 8.5, but these are hairs we're splitting now.

"You lad, what day is it today?" "Today sir? Why it's Christmas Day!"

Would that all Christmas ales were this splendid.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A belgian dark ale indeed. Pours dark brownish red with a short lasting head. Smells very grassy and a little yeasty. Tastes like a basic belgian dark with a little more hops and a lot more alcoholic flavor. There's a bitter aspect to it that's very hard to describe, and I give up easy. Aftertaste is very slight.

I tried this for the first time about a year ago and must have gotten it mixed up with another beer because this time it wasn't at all what I expected. It's a good seasonal but doesn't tickle my fancy the way so many other winters have. Oh well.

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Photo of MerkinMan
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Trappeze in Athens, Georgia.

A: Beautifully clear brown / ruby color. Nice head in a stemmed glass with flared top.

S: Christmas spices are certainly present, but not at all overwhelming. Yeasty character is also notable by smell.

T: A very nice Christmas beer that does not go overboard, nor lose its original identity behind the christmas spices. Cinnamon seems to be the most prevalent. Dark fruit notes from the yeast compliment the other spices very well.

MF: Light bodied and sparkly. Very nice.

D: One of the most drinkable christmas beers I have had this year. Recommended (especially on-tap).

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Photo of Aiptasia
2.85/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampling this from a 12 oz. bottle tonight. It's an average looking Belgian specialty ale. Nothing remarkable. Fast fizzy head that fades with a little lacing. It smells like watery cinnamon raisin bagels. Taste is wet with a definite Belgian cheesy funk from the yeast, reminiscent of swiss cheese. Some fruity plum backnote tang on the back of the tongue and not much else. It's wetter tasting than a lot of Belgians and it's not overly sweet. Overall, it's ok. I don't find it quite as good as a lot of other Belgians.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into my Chimay goblet, best before September 18, 2008.

A - Clear brown liquid with a reddish hue as the light comes through. Nice fluffy, cream-colored head that dissipates slowly to a nice layer.
S - Sweet sugar smell, with a hint of clove and coriander. A little bit of ripe fruit, kind of a raisin smell to it. Also a touch of an underlying earthy, woody smell.
T - Wow...ripe dark fruit, figs, raisins, a little pear perhaps, all balanced by a peppery clove flavor that keeps the fruitiness in check perfectly. Also a nice full malt flavor that comes out in the swallow as the alcohol gives a nice warming flavor in the throat.
M - A little creamy, a little bubbly, very well balanced. Feels great in the mouth and on the swallow.
D - Very nice winter Belgian ale. I would certainly like to sit around and drink a couple of these on a winter evening. Overall, a drinkable, complex, delicious Belgian ale. A great offering from Corsendonk, probably my favorite of their offerings. Stock up in the winter months while you can.

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Photo of Minotaur
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour on this beer is unique: into a Corsendonk Christmas glad from an 8 ounce bottle it produces an almost volcanic head the color of chimney smoke that erupts over the top of the glass. It hangs around while the beer warms and eventually settles into a half glass high lacing with a frosty skim atop the deep brown-black liquid.

The smell has an earthiness of robust malt, slightly coffee, slightly smokey and lightly citrus hops. It does not smell like your typical Gingerbread Christmas beer.

The taste is complex: deep, sour, also earthy and predominantly bitter. Unlike many Belgian christmas ales it is not syrupy or fruit-spice driven. It has a warming quality but not too alcoholic. There is a presence of Christmas spices but they are very subtle: hidden within drier malts and hop sharpness. With food (garlic spread cheese and wheat bread) a hint of sweetness comes out... but only a bit. Any adjunct sweetness here is secure and not overbearing. There is an amazing sense of balance in this beer.

It has a solid mouthfeel with lingering bitterness. I find it drinkable but not quite as smooth as could be. The carbonation seems lingering and for the type of beer it is I almost would like it to be a bit less so. But otherwise a very well rounded Christmas beer.

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Photo of MattBrooks
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy brown with plenty of yeasty goodness floating about. Smelled like a super-strong ale, which is exactly what it is supposed to smell like. Didn't notice any other discerning smells to make this winter seem more special than others; although it could be considered that this isn't a seasonal (other than the label) because the expiration date on this bottle was 2 years from now. The taste was pleasureable, and although the alc content is high, it really didn't come off that way to me. All in all, a very good example of the style, certainly worth picking up a few more. Almost wish I could get it in the big-big bottle size the other Corsendonks come in.

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Photo of SaunaKing
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with a cork in it. I dont ever remember having to uncork a beer before. Poured a rusty, copper-brown with hints of ruby. Fizzy head at first but blows up into a nice thich frothy one that leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma is mild and floral with a tiny hint of caramel or toffee. Very nice tasting with a sweet maltiness and mild hop taste. Well balanced and does a nice job of hiding the high abv.
Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. A rare treat to get a big beer that is so smooth and drinkable.

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

Bottle dated 11/9/11. Purchased December 2011. Opened 12/28/12. Pours a cloudy brown-garnet color with a tall beige head. Mild aroma of figs, plum, and mild cinnamon. Taste follows: figs, dates, plums, and browned apple and some mild cinnamon and allspice, all stewed in a alcohol base. The 8.5% ABV is not real evident. Goes down juicy and smooth. Very nice.

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

Pours a deep, reddish brown with brown highlights. Has a thick, cream colored head that thins out very quickly, leaving a thin head that last for the duration and has excellent lacing.

Has a sweet aroma. Strong notes of yeast and dark fruits, with hints of caramel and spice

Has a surprisingly strong sweet malt flavor that was not present in the aroma. Also has strong notes of dark fruit, with hints of spice, yeast, and a little bit of hop bitterness. The aftertaste is a bit sour, which is strange, but not unpleasant.

Medium body, with a high carbonation level. Very smooth, but just a bit too bubbly.

Great taste, OK feel, and an alcohol content that's not too high make this a beer you could sip all night.

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

Picked this up last week in Eugene, OR at the Beir Stein. Best buy date says 06/19/06, oh well hehe. Poured a brilliant ruby red with a 1cm head that never went away into my Chimay chalice. Smell is of candied dark fruits, plums, faint hints of dark cherries, and some smell I cant identify. Taste is good, took awhile for me to pin it down, but I am getting a huge bubblegum taste in this. Kinda odd I think, never had a beer have this taste in it, not offensive, just interesting. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and its the bubblegum flavor that does this, as soon as that flavor hits my sensors the beer gets all light and fluffylike in taste. I tend to prefer a thicker belgian beer so this was kinda a putoff for me. Drinkability is good, its a solid belgian dark ale, dunno as I would get more when I can get beers I know I like for the style easier and cheaper. But its always fun to try new things.

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