Pater Lieven (Kerst Pater Special) Christmas | Brouwerij Van den Bossche

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Pater Lieven (Kerst Pater Special) ChristmasPater Lieven (Kerst Pater Special) Christmas
92 Ratings
Pater Lieven (Kerst Pater Special) ChristmasPater Lieven (Kerst Pater Special) Christmas

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van den Bossche

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zerk on 01-01-2003

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 |  Reviews: 64
Reviews by Denali:
Photo of Denali
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Package: 11.2 ounce capped bottle, no vintage on bottle but says best served before 01/06/05. Label is purple with snowflakes and a picture of Santa.

Appearance: A lot of carbonation produced a beautiful creamy tan head formed from lots of tiny bubbles. Beer was opaque black- no light is getting through this beer.

Smell: Initially strong berry, followed by a slightly musty aroma.

Taste: Surprising dark and sweet roasted flavors up front (toffee, chocolate). Spicy flavors then emerge (including pepper amongst others), followed by a slightly bitter-sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy and very effervescent.

Drinkability: Alcohol taste is hidden. Very drinkable.

Comments: Very enjoyable, although taste did not seem to match the aroma. Still enjoyable nevertheless.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
2.69/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Very dark brown and cloudy in the body with a nice, Belgian foaming head that puddled in the center on the surface of the ale.

Smell – Nice, dark malts with lots of sugars but a strange, funky sour note ruins the nose.

Taste – The malt base is sweet and inviting, but there’s a sour note that overshadowed the effort.

Mouthfeel – This one is in between medium and full with a decent, lively carbonated feel.

Drinkability – The off-style tartness spoiled this one for my tastes.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 750ml bottle with a best by 121009 date on the label. When I uncaged it, the cork came flying out by itself. It was a dark red-brown with a thick off white head. It had a fruity (raisins, cherries) aroma, as well as some cinnamon. I thought the taste was mostly fruity, somewhat sweet. A little too thin and carbonated.

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Photo of Todd
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from the 2002 Kerstbierfestival, Essen, Belgium.

Dark brown with red tints and an off-white foam head with okay lacing. Light candy, coriander and orange peel aromas in the nose. Sharp, quick and crisp carbonation and upfront shot of bitterness. Sweet oranges, ripe autumn fruits, hop leaves and yeast. Notes of herbal and coriander. Dry and coarse in the finish.

Interesting, even a bit complex, but pretty average.

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Photo of deebo
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Delirium Cafe in Brussels.

A-Clear, dark brown with red tints. Weak tan head that quickly dies without lacing.

S-A hint of funky yeast, otherwise fairly clean aroma.

T-Yeasty, malty sweet. A touch of funkiness...has the guezue here funked this beer up or is it supposed to have that hint of sourness?

M-Medium bodied and carbonated.

D-Probably too good. As the beer warms you get a bit of an alcohol burn, but wouldn't guess the strength of this one.

O-Still looking for a bad Belgian beer, not my favorite but still better than average.

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Photo of rastaman
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yeast, brown sugar, candy. salt, caramel+ toffee, some late spicyness. Decent body and flavour, nice soft texture. Some rubber, with definite acidity, didn't excite me too much, but there is something at least vaguley interesting about it, just didn't like the sugary sweetness.

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Photo of MaevaS
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak glass, received a huge creamy head that retained for a good 10 minutes, but that almost totally disappeared. As expected, color is opaque darkness, with copious slow bubbles throughout the beer. Thick lace builds up as the glass empties.

Smells volley between heavier aromas of roasted malts and alcohol-soaked raisins to lighter aromas like peppery spices and berries.

The flavor delivers what I would expect from its smells, but there's even more going on. The mouth is immediately awakened by a slighty tart and sweet cherry essence. It's followed by and meshed within a bready roundness, a nearly ginger-like zing, milk chocolate smoothness, and a porter-like finish.

Interestingly thin in the mouth, but it works. These flavors are too top-notch for anything else to distract from them. The alcohol is well-hidden, providing only the most minor warming sensation.

This one delivers flavor variety and complexity in abudance. Why brew this one only for the winter holidays? This needs a year-round release! I'd drink it even on the hottest summer day.

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Photo of mattfancett
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasty little Belgian from the Belgian Shop. Dark brown with a white head, spicey aroma. Not too bold spicey in taste for this substyle, some ginger, drinkable mostly helped by the sugar , middling mouthfeel. Dry bitter aftertaste. Nothing exceptionable.

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Photo of beerinabottle
4.44/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite sweet and easier to drink than I expected.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy dark red-brown with a light tan head.
Fruity up front, reminds me me of Unibroue's Maudite, with strawberries and plum. There's a mild caramel background malt and a hint of cinnamon. The aroma is tea-like, green tea specifically, with more bready caramel. The aftertaste is a touch astringent, like there's too much spice (though it doesn't taste like that). This might benefit from aging and while it isn't an amazing Belgian, it's fairly nice and tasty.

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBD of: L613 121006....WTFO?? So either 2012, 2010 or 2013, cork came off with a resounding pop!

Pours a ruby tinged chestnut with 1+ finger of sand colored head. The way the head is singing would make Fred Eckart (sic) very happy! Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Woody notes, raisins, herbal hops & apricots

T: Dryness, oaky & caramel notes, plus raisins up front. Apricots, plums, nice chocolate & leafy hops as this warms. Finishes dry with much dark fruits, apples & cinnamon; plus some leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with lively carbonation, some stickyness once warm

Drinks pretty easy, this will probably hold up a few more years given the lively carbonation, but pretty tasty right now; loads of complex flavor already at the party!

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Photo of Bierschenker
4.63/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours out lovely into my chalice. It has a great appearance. A dark chocolate brown colour with a dense creamy tan head.
The smell is very strong: malt, alcohol, raisins, coffee beans, chocolate bitter.
Tastes very soft and gentle. Silky dark flavour. At first some slight carbonation on the tip of your tongue, followed by a sweet and bitter alcohol and malt taste. Goes into chocolate and raisins. And ends with a coffee taste, pure chocolate bitterness, roasted coffee beans, some sweetness and alcohol. Still very gentle, Never does one layer overpower another.

Great, no, super beer! One of my new favourites. You will pardon my slight over enthusiasm as this is my favourite beer type. But most other reviewers seem to agree.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

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Photo of OlaB
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep drak-brown color with a medium top of beige head that disolves rather quick. Aroma is dark dried fruits like figues,raisins and dates and toffee, dark bread with hints off chocolate,spices and cherries. Flavour is sweet and fruity with toasted malts and bread in the back also with a hint off chocolate.I also sense some sour notes as well. Light bitter finish with a nice lenght in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium body and with a light carbonation that make this goes down really easy. The balance on this beer is very good. A really good tasting kerstbier. This i would love have again.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

When this beer was poured, it poured with an invigorating tan head with fine sized bubbles. This beer had a sweet aroma to it and a hint of oranges. There was good lacing observed with this beer. The taste was smooth and somewhat fizzy. All in all, not too bad of a drink.

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Photo of fattyre
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear very dark slightly reddish brown color with a large rocky/creamy tan head. The mouthfeel is firm and pleasant almost winelike. The smell is slightly spicey with a earthy sweet maltiness and mild pepper. The taste is slightly malty with a mingling of candy sugar and slight nuttiness followed by a mild warming alcohol. This is a pleasant winter beer that is warming with no detectable spices. It also hides its alcohol very well.

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Photo of MJR
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours an incredibly dark brown that is completely opaque. Even with my gentle pour, it's light tan head starts out huge, slowly shrinking to a thick cap.

Smell: Vague aroma of dark fruits and spices.

Taste: Candy sweet flavor with lots of dark fruits and spices. Plum, fig, and raison... There's an interesting flavor that's a bit hard to's a fake sweetness with a bit of an organic quality to it. A hint of a burnt flavor in the finish. The alcohol is present from start to finish, but doesn't overwhelm the other flavors. This brew isn't balanced very well, as everything seems slighty out of whack. Is that dirt I taste?!?

Mouthfeel: A bit on the dry side with a fairly thin mouthfeel. Too thin...this brew needs more 'ass.' The heavy carbonation doesn't help either.

Drinkability:'s drinkable, but there are many better winter holiday brews out there. This one just doesn't seem to be put together right...

A 'thank you' goes out to StevieW for including this one in our trade.

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Photo of desint
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 4/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark red amber with very little head. Dark fruit and sweet malt aroma. Very sweet toffee and fruits, intense at first, but fading quickly. Doesn't leave much of an impression. Pleasant, but understated and not memorable.

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Photo of Brent
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The last of the winter seasonals to emerge from the beer fridge. Pours a dark cola brown/black with a modest head that quickly faded to lace around the edges. Moderately sweet yeasty aroma hinting of tropical fruit. A little thin on the tongue for a dark Belgian, but not disconcertingly so. Yeast flavors dominated, washing out the malt. Resin fruit flavors of fig and date, a bit too sweet at the finish. Not a bad beer, but stands in the shadow of most bigger seasonal offerings. Thanks to BelgianBum for the sample.

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Photo of StevieW
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small bottle. Blue label. Burgundy or shiny brown color depending on the light. Beige dense super rocky head. Laced the glass all the way. I didn't have any problem with the smell like the ba's before me. Some subtle christmas smells of roasted plums, figs, and candied fruit. Kinda reminded me of an Imperial Stout for a minute or two, really it did. Taste was smooth and subtle spicy combination of the roasted fruit and sweet chocolate malt. Nice chocolate taste, creamy and smooth, more than bitter. Pockets full of cinnamon every so often. Medium to light bodied, but very flavorful. There may be a problem with consistency with this stuff, I really enjoyed this beer, while others did not. Then again, I seem to like them all.

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Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a caliginous brown color with a gigantesque creamy tan head; the lace formed after desiccation is a silky sheet to cover the glass. Big malt nose, light hints of over ripe fruit, sweet and quite clean and fresh to the senses. Start is quite sweet, lot of malt with the top middling in mouth feel. Finish is pleasantly acidic and the hops sparse with a lingering dry aftertaste. A touch to thin in body for me, not much hops and lacking in bite

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Pater Lieven (Kerst Pater Special) Christmas from Brouwerij Van den Bossche
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 92 ratings