Corsendonk Christmas Ale | Brouwerij Corsendonk

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,212 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:
1,212
Reviews:
608
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.41%
 
 
Wants:
92
Gots:
192
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,212 |  Reviews: 608
Photo of rdoggg
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of asabreed
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Merry Christmas everyone.

Corked and caged bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Dark and deep amber with tons of carbonation surging around the glass, off-white head, and semi-decent lacing curled around the glass.

Smell: A nice amalgam of cookies, fruit, spiciness, and yeast. A lot of subtle complexity keeps coming out as it warms.

Taste: A good amount of darker fruit with berries, cherries, and apples coming in, along with some spiciness, some pepper, maybe some cinnamon and coriander, some cookies and sweet raw dough, and lots of subtle and balanced and intriguing spice notes. Finishes semi-sweet with lingering fruit and spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full to heavier-bodied with a good creaminess and burst of carbonation at the end.

Drinkability: Not sure what separates this from other BSD styles, but I do get a bit more spice I suppose. Still, a delicious sipper, and one I feel lucky to have on this Christmas day.

 938 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazel chestnut color with depth. Khaki head is creamy and frothy. So far so good.

S: Cherry slushy, oak, burnt caramel, toast and maple.

T: Begins sweet and fruity with some serious figs, over ripe dark cherries, blueberry and raspberry. I think the next flavor I identify could be described as brown sugar bubble gum, quite nice. You can find anise, nutmeg and perhaps some coriander as well. Perhaps some lemon on the tip of the tongue too. Most of the malty backbone seems to actually be accounted for by the sugar added. Finishes with hints of apricot, peach yogurt and brown sugar.

M: Medium body, full mouthfeel with just a bit of fluffiness.

D: This beer reminds me a lot of the Delerium Noel but sort of like the less alcohol cousin. Good drinkability and not too sweet.

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Photo of scootny
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8.5 oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. A tightly carbonated head of about a finger. Spots of lace on my glass as it fades. A slightly hazy chestnut colored beverage sits with a light covering of bubbles in my drinking vessel. Mild carbonation. Stately.

Smell is of sweet burgundy, candy sugar, malt, and spice. A trace of floral hops cuts in and out. Yeasty esters mix with fusel alcohol to suggest well brandied fruitcake.

Taste is of malt, roasted sugar, and light caramel with an alcoholic edge. Toffee shows up and a blend of dark fruits and spice carry the taste to its finish. Light and clean hops cut off the sugar and alcohol train quickly. A lingering dryness with biscuits and graham crackers come after the hops and set up the next sip. Fruitcake suggested in the nose becomes real in the mouth. Superb.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy, a gentle chewyness. Carbonation is a creamyesque spritzy. A little more than you might expect from observing the glass but perfect for the brew.

Drinkability for a strong winter is surprising. Goes down easy for a liquid fruitcake. Must be the perfect hop balance and carbonation. May be the great holiday standard.

 1,160 characters

Photo of BeerCon5
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with about two fingers of off-white fluffy head that mostly remains throughout the beer.

The scent is full of fruit, citrus, and spices.

The taste is of dark fruit, some citrus, some brown sugar, cinnamon, there is hardly any alcohol presence.

Full body, a little creamy feel, moderate carbonation.

This was a very good beer, very nice flavor. I may add this to my list of must have holiday beers.

 426 characters

Photo of Zimm
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of pknyc
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of rcjennings
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of gobuccos
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Pours clear orange-mahogany in color. head is a huge pillowy tan mass with decent lacing.

Aroma is candylike sweetness with strong apricot fruitiness and peppery yeasty spices.

Taste is big, sweet and fruity. Generous apple and dark fruit notes up front. Strongly spiced with nutmeg, pepper and ginger. Midway through the caramel and orange peel make an appearance. Finish is smooth a pleasant warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with plenty of carbonation.

This is a tasty treat. Complex, but very smooth and approachable.

 539 characters

Photo of Radome
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from a 750 ml bottle bought in Madrid.

A - Beer is medium to dark brown and slightly cloudy. Some light comes through the glass when held up to a lamp. Head is just off-white, thick and fluffy and maintains that way throughout.

S - Aroma is mostly about the malt, like toasted grain and molasses. There is also a green grass note, lemon zest and maybe a hint of a spice, but I can't identify which spice. Finally, there is a hint of alcohol and an old wood smell that makes me think this may have been aged on wood. There might even be a tiny bit of smokiness.

T - The taste is also lighter than expected. Sweet, grainy malt with some light molasses and dark fruits. This is followed by a light herb/spice note and finally a sweet, very slightly boozy finish. The tastes are very complex but somehow give an overall clean, open impression, not heavy and smothering.

M - Medium body; fairly sweet and mouth-coating finish. Low to medium hops bitterness. A low level of alcohol burn. Noticeable carbonation fizz, but not distracting.

O - Although I can detect a bit of spice (possibly from yeast), this is not an overly-spiced Christmas ale that tries too hard. A supremely well-balanced beer. It is complex yet drinkable, dark and sweet yet not smothering. My hat's off to the brewers.

 1,298 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.95/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my St.B chalice.
Pours a dark ruby brown with only a slight head. Can catch a glimpse of light around the edging of the beer.
Smell is yeasty, with some candy sugar. There is a earthy fruit and a slight alcohol smell coming through as well.
Taste is dark ripened fruit and yeast. There is more alcohol coming through in the taste than was found in the smell.
The mouthfeel is very carbonated with a slight burn to it.
A decent holiday offering but not my favorite.

 493 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

dark brown with autumnal plum highlights. leaves a pillowy cap of dreamy, cloud-like head on top. lacing is sheeting. thick as balls and no joke.

aroma is grandiose... christmas spice and fresh fruitcake. candied fruits, cherries, oranges and plums. almond hints. freshly ground cloves and nutmeg.

tastes evenly strong with less character than the smell would imply. black pepper and wood begin and coffee cake muffin fills out the body. big age and bitter spice qualities hide the once-lively sweet fruits. mild musty apricot tang makes up for it a bit.

a sipper for sure. over carbonated. reminiscent of big xmas belgians like stille nacht but without the malty backbone or estery goodness. grassy. decent but does not live up to the hype. go for a scaldis or stille for excellence in this genre.

will try a 750 this xmas and rereview.

 864 characters

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

It came to me a rich amber brown, flashing ruby in lighter areas. A finger of creamy tan head settled slowly to soft froth islets. Dense lacing clouded the inside of the glass.

The aroma was justn a bit strained, but did eventually give up a thick malty sweetness, rife with caramel, and earthy with figs, prunes, raisins, dates, and a touch of cherry...oh, and a healthy kick of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the flavor filled out well more than the aroma, with a tasted grain sweetness leading the way, and boasting of caramel, and a raft of dried earth fruits as promised in the aroma. A slight tanginess, yeasty in nature, carried through in the middle, and is soon bested by a credible wash of alcohol. Some residual malt sweetness revisits, and then a gentle spiciness won out, prodding the finish to a mellow, warm, softly bittered legacy that leaves a crispness behind. The flavor is a complex but well blended affair that is very easy to take.

Between medium and full bodied, the grain presence is densely sweet enough to coat, but the spicy crispness keeps it from cloying.

As Christmas goes, there's no shortage of fine seasonal beers, and I will add this one to my list of preferred potables. It's righ, warm, and savory, and the end result is something to be enjoyed when the weather is nipping at your...well, something. The ABV will keep you toasty, and it is easily and wisely heeded, but it does go down in a fine way. So even though it's July, I'm anticipating the fresh release of this Noel nicety.

 1,526 characters

Photo of phishbone23
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of Beerasaurus
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jacobob10
2.31/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750 mL bottle. Best before end: 8/28/2017.

Pours dark ruby/brown in color with a one-finger beige head. Minimal lacing on the glass. No aroma whatsoever. Some light spice is present but this was not what I was expecting. The flavor was a disappointment as well. Lightly sweet and spicy. Mouthfeel was thin and over-carbonated.

I'm assuming I got a bad bottle. Based on the positive reviews by others, I'm pretty certain that was the case. It was drinkable, so it didn't go to waste, but clearly off.

I was excited to share this bottle with my family on Christmas but it turned out to be a total dud. Unfortunately, I have to review it as is. I don't know if I would drop $10 on a bottle again to retry it but I'm hoping I somehow have another opportunity to do so.

 781 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, the color was a dark brown with a reddish hue. There was very little foam but, nice lace. The smell was the weakest link to this fine dunkel. I could pick up the malts and a hint of spice and citrus. The flavor was of a mild sour spritzy orange taste, with a hint of roasted malts and spice. A well balanced dunkel, maybe just a bit to sour in the after taste. But, still well crafted!

 398 characters

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

Poured into the goblet that came in the gift pack.

A: Nice large, foamy off white head with nice retention and lacing. Pours brown with hints of red.

S: Smell is of a caramel maltiness, with a nice addition of spice.

T: Taste is of dark fruits with a malty backbone. A bit of caramel and roastiness. Just a hint of warming alcohol finishes it off.

MF: Medium bodied, not much carbonation noted.

D: This is very refreshing. Finally a Christmas drink I can enjoy! Glad the gift pack came with 6.

 498 characters

Photo of mattcrill
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours burgundy brown with a rocky white head.

Smell: cloves and spice abound! Smells like a festive candle that's burning. Definitely reminds me of colder months with a fire going and some Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby singing some Christmas tunes by the tree.

Taste: almost tea-like with smatterings of spice and cinnamon. A sweet malty finish rounds out this unique brew.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied to thin but very complex and enjoyable.

Drinkability and overall: Great! Spices dominate and it is a pleasant drink. I'm always worried about drinking Belgian beers because I don't think my palate is worthy enough to pick up all the nuances of a finely crafted Belgian beer. I think this is the case for this beer. In other words, it's better than I can describe. Definitely worth your time to try and I will re-visit this one in December.

 862 characters

Photo of TrilliumFan
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Bottle at least 2 years old. Wow, what a treat. Pours brown but deep copper when backlit. Huge, creamy tan head, great retention, and some patchy lacing sticks around. Very active and surprisingly clear. SMELL is of dark fruit, malty sweetness, and some light boozy esters initially. Spiciness emerges later. Very long legs and gets better and stronger. TASTE is a sweet malty base with light spiciness, dark fruit, Belgian yeast character and a mild bitterness late. Wicked smooth and very tasty. FEEL is thick, rich, full bodied and viscous. Alc warming bites a bit. Mostly clean, slightly bitter finish. OVERALL Very tasty, smooth, rich, balanced and complex. Extremely enjoyable. Get some and cellar it if you can.

 718 characters

Photo of mschofield
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle
Hazy Golden amber, with a red tinge, 2 finger tan head, laces in sheets.
Spicy, fruity and sweet aroma.
Very malty, and I picked up a number of tastes mainly fruit grape, chocolate, orange peel, raspberry, strawberry, cherry, and a little nutty and anise (licorice). Quite complex.
Medium to full feel, a little oily/syrupy.

 342 characters

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

A beautiful amber in color with an equally beautiful off-white head. This beer practically glows in the proper light.

It smells of dried fruit and malt with just the hint of sourness.

The taste is very good. Notes of fruit mix with mustiness and just a bit of bitterness to create a very complex flavor.

The body is nice and chewy yet smooth and creamy as well.

Overall this is an excellent beer. I'm quite fond of the style and Corsendonk keeps my faith alive.

 474 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I stopped by the sterling Sun Singer this afternoon, and found this gem lingering from early winter. A great find, and I'm fortunate to have had it. I admit that I'm a sucker for a good presentation and I like to think myself sufficiently scrutinizing to separate a beer's book from its cover, so to speak. This has both a great appearance and taste. The presentation is glorious--three off-white fingers of foam on a reddish-mahogany body, with thick lacing on the Ommegang glass. Five stars.

The nose is impressive--lots of fruit and spice, especially ginger, cinnamon, and anise. The taste is enough to make one rave--fruit, and dried fruit at that, with raisin combining with more pleasant citrus; spice; all smoothly delivered. Well carbonated and smooth, this is a great BSDA and Christmas Ale, really outstanding.

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Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,212 ratings.
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