RateBeer
overall
91
95
style
Brewed by John Martin
Style: English Strong Ale
Genval, Belgium

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 389   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.47   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 264   ABV: 8.8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Created in the thirties, Gordon Xmas initiated the tradition of Christmas brews.


3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Stuu666 (1371) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - DEC 29, 2013
Bottle at xmas tasting. Chestnut brown, sweet toffee and caramel on nose, light carbonation, tastes sweet, caramel, bit of a harsh finish.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
a_cross (593) - Poole, Dorset, ENGLAND - DEC 28, 2013
Superb retro festive label needs mentioning - I hope they never change it; deep red brown beer, little head to speak of with a few off white bubbles clinging to the edges; aroma is plum pudding, raisins, spices; taste is lovely dried fruit, brandy butter, spice, toasted malt; sweet, with a developing bitterness followed by a pleasing, almost savoury finish; most Chrismas beers are pale imitations of this; an unchanging Yuletide classic.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Douberd (1999) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - DEC 26, 2013
Bottle, 750 ml. Poured into a tulip. ABV 8.8% Deep mahogany brown colour on a body, with red ruby shades. Two fingers of light brown head, thick, with average retention. Medium lacing left on the glass. Aroma of red fruits, sugar, grapes, strong port or mayrodaphne wine notes. Taste is quite sweet, very wine like. The alcohol very well hidden, this one goes down like water. Some toasted malts too, along with toffee like flavour. Medium thick body, nice carbonation. Overall not much different than other Belgian strong ales but very good in what it is.

3.2
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
beerandbeyond (655) - ISRAEL - DEC 25, 2013
330ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Clear deep russet with reddish hues, nice off white head. Soft nose, some bread, caramel malt, faint floral notes and light spices. Sweet heavy malt flavor, with dark caramel and juicy ripe fruit. Low bitterness, mellow spices. Full bodied, thick but surprisingly not cloying, somewhat alcoholic but OK.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
ElManana (204) - Scheldewindeke, BELGIUM - DEC 25, 2013
Bottle. Pours a hazelnut brown. Flat head. Nose is siruppy, bit of malt, slightly acidic, medicinal. Taste is rather pale, some alcohol, again some sirup and as good as no aftertaste that stays to linger. Quite flat.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
msbernac (493) - POLAND - DEC 25, 2013
Bottle Aroma-caramel, Appearance-dark amber, clear, white foam, Taste-medium bitterness, light sweetness, lightly sour, lightly sour, Palate-medium body, slick feel, soft carbonation, bitter finish Overall-very good

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Sureshpa (277) - Maastricht, NETHERLANDS - DEC 25, 2013
Aroma: Black cherry, forrestfruits, little booze Appearance: Brown, clear, red glow, off white head, full lace Taste: Chestnutroast, red & dark forrest fruits, dark cherry, light dry finish, little booze

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Theydon_Bois (7895) - The ’Sham, Surrey, ENGLAND - DEC 25, 2013
Bottle at home, between Xmas day chores, acquired from the cellar at Kulminator - 2001 vintage, 25/12/13. Opaque dark mahogony brown with a moderate light beige covering that dissipates and retains as a pond. Nose carries a good level of oxidisation but coming through are also notes of date, prunes, toffee, fruit loaf and brown sugars. Taste comprises rich Xmas cake, dates, brown sugar, hint of cocoa, leathery old sofa, tobacco, dates, prunes, figs, dark fruit cocophany, pinch of spice. Medium bodied, fine carbonation, easy drinking with a sweet closure. Overall this has held up fairly well and I enjoyed drinking it, the initial over oxidised nose gave way to a complex fruit cake of a beer in the taste. Not bad at all for the age, be interested to rate a fresh example!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
EdKing (1786) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 24, 2013
Bottle from Beermerchants.com. Pours ruby red, off white head. Nose is big toffee, boiled sweet, barley sugar, bit cheesy, dark fruit, burnt sugar/caramel. Taste is malty, boiled sweet, caramel, burnt sugar, roasty malt, slight ripe fruit tanginess, prune, fig, slight nuttiness and in the finish there’s a touch of yeast extract, saltiness.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MarcoDL (1974) - NETHERLANDS - DEC 24, 2013
Malty aroma. Tastes malty as well, with some chocolate and caramel sweetness and some fresh spices.


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