RateBeer
overall
88
95
style
Brewed by John Martin
Style: English Strong Ale
Genval, Belgium

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 434   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.46   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 264   ABV: 8.8%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Created in the thirties, Gordon Xmas initiated the tradition of Christmas brews.


3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
FatPhil (10992) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - DEC 14, 2008
330ml bottle - - Gallows Bird, Espoo
Beautiful deep red, luscious thick self-supporting creamy head. Rich mämmi and raisin aroma. Soft carbonation on the tongue. Initial spicy taste, but quickly a wave of very dry nuttiness - so dry it is almost papery. Aroma also shows the spice. A curious combination of the sweet, smooth, and sticky with the drying. Pleasant nutty finish. Covers 8.8% very well. Scores fairly well everywhere, but does not wow me. Definitely pretty good, just no wow.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
mjs (5364) - Helsinki, FINLAND - DEC 10, 2008
Bottle at Hilpeä Hauki, Helsinki, on 2008-11-14. Deep amber and clear. Cherry aromas and port wine in nose. Full bodied, sticky and sugary palate with little carbonation. Sweetness, roastedness, nuts, hint of chocolate and some raisin in taste. Sugary aftertaste.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
fata2683 (2176) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 30, 2008
Bottle, pours very dark brown with a thin light tan/off white head. The aroma is pleasant. Honey, dark malt, licorice, and a little bit of alcohol. The mouth starts creamy with a light sweet malt background, that turns slightly bitter with some dark fruit and spice in the finish. Light alcohol burn as it warms. Nice stuff!

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Svesse (6967) - Hässelby, SWEDEN - NOV 27, 2008
(Bottle, Monk’s Café, Stockholm) Dark reddish brown colour with frothy, beige head. Malty nose with dark fruit, raisins, prunes and cherries. Slightly vinous. Malty taste with caramel, dark fruit, cherries, prunes, chocolate and a fairly spicy finish. Above medium body, chewy mouthfeel, fairly sweet. Not really complex, but nice and tasty with a warming alcohol glow at the back. In short: chocolatey, spicy and sweet malt with dried fruits.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Bragesnak (5395) - Aarhus, DENMARK - NOV 26, 2008
Thorups, Aarhus, DK. On tap, 211108. Reddish brown with small head. Aroma of fruit and som malt. Flavor is sweet with red berries and some caramel

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Geuzelambix (243) - København, DENMARK - NOV 20, 2008
I beer that doesn’t hadle the alcohol very well. The taste is nice, but it’s partly overshadowed by the intense sweetness of the alcohol. Packed with pointy spices.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
bonfunck (149) - Waasmunster, BELGIUM - NOV 19, 2008
33 cl bottle, dark red brown, fruity, roasted barley and malt, i belive there is a touche of gluwein taste

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MartinT (8619) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 18, 2008
My Bottom Line:
Firm toasted malts harbor sweetened dried fruit in a balanced setting where sustained hop bitterness installs its leafiness for the long run.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-Sturdy foam covers the apparently clear(?!) orange-tinged blood red.
-The nose is tamer and more linear than the flavor profile, which appears more expressive, but also more complex.
-The comfortable effervescence and levelled dextrins provide a well-sculpted mouthfeel.
-This is not nearly as spicy as most Belgian Kerstbiers.
-A discreet alcohol presence lets all other flavors shine.
-Some minerals seem to accompany the toastiness and light roastiness, especially in the nose.
-The sweet fruitiness is redolent of licorice, but not overly so.

Bottle; no date notched.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ghawener (1527) - San Salvador, EL SALVADOR - AUG 17, 2008
At RateBeerians Tasting, thanks to rcasta. Bottle: Nice marriage between a dopple bock and a belgian ale. Fruity and heart warming.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ramenen (466) - San Salvador, EL SALVADOR - AUG 17, 2008
Thanks to rcasta who brought it all the way from Porto Portugal. Great Ale, pours a dark brown with a tan head. Sweet and spicy, warms up your stomach.


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