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Brewed by St. Bernardus Brouwerij
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Watou, Belgium

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1029   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is the youngest descendant in the illustrious family of delicious Abbey Ales by Brewery St. Bernardus. This specialty beer of 10% alc. vol. is characterized by its deep dark colour, with a creamy, thick head and a full, almost velvety taste with a fruity nose. It's a seasonal ale, brewed annually for the holiday season. The long winter nights are perfect moments to savour this ale with or without friends and to enjoy its unique, complex taste and after-taste.


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
IrishBoy (3836) - Bakersfield, California, USA - DEC 12, 2008
750ml bottle from GM Liquors in my St Bernardus Watou glass. Nose very raisiny, plummy, with caramelly sweetness and clovey spiciness. Clear brown with a small beige head. Flavor is sweet caramel, light alcohol warmth, lots of fruitiness, and a little peppery spiciness. Finish is fruity, spicy, and lightly sweet with a mild warmth.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
jacobp51 (5) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 12, 2008 does not count
On tap at San Diego Brewing Company. 8 oz snifter. Very mild, sweet aroma. Very deep brown in color with light, lacy head. Very smooth in the mouth with pleasant maltiness a mild fruit esters. Overall a very pleasnt brew that feels right at home for the holiday season.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
nbutler11 (1267) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - DEC 12, 2008
On tap at Whole Foods in Chandler. Had this with a bowl of chili and actually felt like it was winter in Arizona. Pours jet black with a malty brown head that leaves gorgeous lacing. Looks as good as it tastes. Loaded with dark fruits, orange peel, cinnamon, caramel, bread pudding...all the holiday classics. Probably the finest holiday beer Ive yet to try.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hapjydeuce (938) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 12, 2008
On tap at OBriens. Murky brown color with rocky head and plenty of that St. Bernardus classy appearance. Malty aroma similar to that of the Abt 12, with raisin, plum and potpourri. Flavor is a bit sweeter, with more attention towards cinnamon and ginger spice. Some gingerbread sticking through on the finish. Still retains the Trappist-like yeasty body on the palate. Firm and thick mouthfeel. Goes down easy.

3.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
luttonm (2222) - Belgrade, SERBIA - DEC 12, 2008
Tap at Stumbling Monk. Sweet, roasty spicy malt. Bright but heavier and paler than the exceptional abt12. Strong taste that is nice, a terrific beer but no where near as interesting or nice as the abt

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
caesar (5119) - Bunnik/Utrecht, NETHERLANDS - DEC 11, 2008
Tap at City beer, SF. Dark color, brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, some dark fruit, spices, licorice. Good strong malty taste in the typical bernardus way, but with a bit more xmas spices and slight less sugar. Very nice stuff.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - DEC 8, 2008
Corked bottle. Pours a perfect amber brown with a generous head; reminds me of a root beer float. Aroma is sweet, with hints of cinammon malt and bitter English toffee. Flavor is spicy cinammon diluted with tangy vanilla ice cream. Nice body that lets the beer sit lazily on the tongue. Very approachable despite the high ABV. Definite seasonal repeat.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - DEC 8, 2008
Draft. Pours a dark brune body with a white head. Sweet caramel malty body with a nice spicy nutmeg. Dark fruity plum and ginger. Good brew.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 7, 2008
2007 bottle, aged for one year. Pours a dark and hazy, reddish-chestnut color. A dense, spongy, well retained head of khaki colored foam leaves thick, sheety rings of lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma is heavily fruited, notes of rum soaked raisons and figs showing in the forward. Vanilla bread pudding shows alongside earthy, Christmas spice notes. Flavors follow suit, boldly sweet and caramelly up front, with huge raison, plum and fig elements. Rum cake and gingerbread show in the background, while ground nutmeg complements the sugary sweetness. Medium-full bodied, with moderate carbonation, I feel that most of the substance comes from the residual sugar. This is a tasty brew, but I would prefer some semblance of hop balance, as this one proved just a bit too sweet for me.

3.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
illidurit (2146) - Petaluma, California, USA - DEC 7, 2008
On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pours a muddy dark brown with a thick tan head that sticks around until the liquid is gone. Great thick lacing. Aroma is very deep, with fig, overripe plum, green apple, caramelized orange peel, ginger, phenols, and a touch of saccharine cola. Flavor is a little more straightforward. Rummy raisins, orange peel, ginger, and licorice. Alcohol and carbonation are a bit too apparent and so this beer is not particularly drinkable, but it is a nice warming winter treat to share.


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