Samichlaus Bier | Hurlimann Brewery

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Samichlaus BierSamichlaus Bier
18 Ratings
Samichlaus BierSamichlaus Bier

Brewed by:
Hurlimann Brewery

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-03-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of ajs4bd
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of turtlemead
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Sarlacc83
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%

Photo of BeerManDan
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What an excellent beer. When poured, it was a very dark brown with very little tan foam and not lace. The smell was very malty and just had a mild all around aroma. The flavor was of a very malty nature with no harsh taste for the amount of alcohol this Doppelbock. What a pleasant surprise from my first sip, to my last gulp! Wow!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 1997, Sampled 12th of December 2003
Presentation; I much prefer the stubby bottles of the original Samichlaus, the long necks of the new one do not quite do it for me.
Pours a deep amber color. The malty, perhaps even a bit sour, aroma is pervasive as I pour this beer. Notes of alcohol are evident in the nose as well. It pours with no head, when roused it forms a thin light brown head. Malty aromas are coming out all over the place in this beer. Slight notes of oxidation only add to the complexity of this brew. My first thought when I take a taste is that this beer has lightened up a bit, then the malty domination kicks in. This is perhaps a bit oxidized after 6 years, but the malt profile is still so powerful that the oxidized/ sherry profile is quite well surpressed. There are some soy sauce - Worcester - super malt flavors are still quite evident in this beer. No hop aroma or flavor is detected, though there is still a bit of balancing bitterness in the finish. The alcohol is fairly well hidden, especially for a 14.7% alcohol brew. The finish is quite persistent, it is malt to the nth degree. This is a sipping brew. This beer just required to be noticed. The malt just screams as it escapes from the glass. Deep fruit/ strong fruit is even evident in this lager, though it is malt derived as opposed to yeast derived. This beer is quite thick with an oily tongue coating consistency. Still quite good after 6 years in the bottle.

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Photo of erica
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1996 Vintage: This one was good but getting to the point of being too thick for me. It smelled sweet and boozy, had no head and wasn't too carbonated. The colour was nice, a dark reddish-brown which I felt went nice with the smell and taste. It tasted chocolatey, sweet, a bit fruity, but more of the molasses/brown sugary kind of sweet than fruity sweet. I'd get it again as long as my local shop still had it.

1997 Vintage: I liked this one a bit better than the 1996, it was actually pretty carbonated for being so old. It tasted kind of similar but wasn't nearly as molasses-y or thick. I don't like a beer to be too syrupy. It was a little fruity-sweet, nice red-brown colour, and again I'd get it again while supplies last!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1997 Vintage: this stuff is wonderful. It pours out a dark brown, blood red colour with a small, almost non-existant head. The aromas are of brown sugar, heavy roasted malts, belgian yeast and candy sugar, alcohol, slight hops, dark fruits, caramel and chocolate/toffee. The taste is a melange of dark fruit flavors, caramel, chocolate, and malts. The mouthfeel is thick, creamy and lucious. The drinkability was also great for an ale of 14%abv!

1996 Vintage: this stuff is great. A dark brown, maroon coloured liquid with a small frothy head. The aromas are of brown sugar, roasted malts, yeast, candy sugar, alcohol, and more! The taste is quite malty, boozy, chocolate-y and excellent. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and the drinkability is great! I liked the 96 much better than the 97 personally...

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.87/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 1995

Had a rare treat when this was pulled out and sampled. The beer had not deteriorated with age. It retained a huge malty presence and a slick viscous mouthfeel. It's nose was fruity and alcoholic yet still retained a quite a bit of maltiness. All in all an excellent beer.

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Photo of BenConnery
1.96/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I read that this had been the strongest beer in the world for a time so I grabbed one while in a brewpub in Glasgow. I can't recall the vintage but I suspect this one had past its time or else wasn't one of the best.
It poured out of the bottle a thick brown black colour with very little or no head and looked every inch a scary 14% in the glass.
The first sip gave hints of its sweet almost syrupy quality, the sweetness was a little overpowering in such a dark beer.
It was a little like a cross between vegemite, molasses and flat coke. I'm sure there are better versions of this beer out there but the one I had was barely drinkable.

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Photo of johnrobe
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Vintage 1995:
With temperatures plunging to 0F outside, I decided it was time to crack open this hefty brew. It pours a murky brown (even with the yeast settled in the bottle) with almost no carbonation. The smell is of toffee, toasted walnuts, rich chocolate, malted milk balls, and just a tiny bit of butterscotch. A huge alcohol punch explodes on the tastebuds, giving a sparkly sensation that I initially mistook for carbonation. The roasted nut flavor shows up big time as does chocolate malt. A secondary wave of sweetness is multidimensional with flavors of marzipan, raisins, molasses and milk chocolate. Unfortunately the sweeteness is a bit over the top and yet this brew feels a bit thin at the same time....over-attenuation for the sake of reaching 14%abv? This brew is worth trying, but trust me, split a bottle with someone. You'll thank me later. Its cloying sweetness and high alcohol content dramatically drop the drinkability of this brew.

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Photo of aracauna
2.92/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pours a cloudy, dull brown with virtually no head. The aroma is alcoholic, brandy-like. The flavor is big and bursting. A flavor like sweet, overripe oranges comes out first followed by something reminiscent of my mom's lemon cheesecake squares, then caramel brownies and finally a bit of hazelnut coffee. Unfortunately, it's also syrupy and cloying, making it much less pleasurable to drink it should.

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Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 1996:
Drank this in the dark but it seemed like there was a yeast/sediment haze throughout. My fault for not standing it up beforehand. There were wide open, sprawling and detailed aromas of burned sugar, coffee, walnut, pecan, hazelnut, scotch pine, raspberry syrup, slo-pokes, peanut-butter-and-honey, honey and maplewood. everything on the nose was discenable on the palate. Thanks to that subtle raspberry flavor, this beer sported a freshness that I hadn't expected. We followed this with another perfect beer from the same year: Sam Adams 3x Bock 1994. Memorable both.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 1996:
An excellent beer! Intensely rich, full and malty aroma - similar to Ovaltine - loaded with Munich and light crystal malts. Brownish in color with ruby/orange tints. The flavor is chock full of light chocolate, cocoanut and toffee - as well as some light, very-creamy coffee. The alcohol is well hidden amidst the rich malts, but it finishes with a sherry / brandy-like note with some dark fruit. Dry enough to keep it from becoming cloying. Very enjoyable throughout! Highly recommended.


Vintage 1995:
I recently reviewed the '96 Samichlaus. This '95 is now just about 5 years past it's release date. There's quite a difference between the two beers. The color is the same, a brownish red with reddish orange highlights. The carbonation level and mouthfeel are fairly similar. The aroma is also quite the same: sweet cocoa, toffee, caramel, sweet wort. But the cocoanut that I found in the previous vintage has declined to just flashes. The "Ovaltine" aroma is nearly gone, and there's a soft fudge note that hasn't been there before (or I wasn't able to recognize because it was masked by fuller aromas). The flavor has changed as well. It's sharper, with a fruitiness that wasn't there (at least not to this extent), and possibly the beginnings of a slight tang. However, I also noticed much more yeast in this bottle and a bit more haze. Both from the same mixed case and cellared side by side. Hmmm. The fudge character is also present in the flavor and the alcohol seems to be less masked. It's more prevalent towards the end of the swallow. There are also more bitter notes, which may or may not be expected as the maltiness receeds. Overall, I'm not sure if this has improved. The massive assault of malt in the '96/'97 was so impressive; and this doesn't have the elegance of a vintage Thos. Hardy's.

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

Vintage 1996:
The last vintage from the original brewery. Loads of dense, sweet caramel malt. I was surprised by how sweet the beer was after 5 years of aging - seemed to need more cellaring. Overall, it reminded me of Sam Adam's Tripple Bock, without so much maple flavor. Some sherry-like qualities. An enjoyable, hefty nightcap.

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Samichlaus Bier from Hurlimann Brewery
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 18 ratings