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

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1390   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
neuromatt (1225) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 1, 2011
750 mL bottle from the Kensington Wine Market in Calgary, served in a Trappist glass. Pours hazy mahogany with a moderate, frothy tan head. The head remains and leaves lots of lace on the glass. The aroma has tonnes of raisins, molasses, flowers, yeast, and fruit along with a tiny hint of spice. The flavour is moderately sweet throughout, with fruit, raisins and spice. The finish is a little more bitter, with Christmas spice. On the palate, it is full in body with a smooth, milky texture and average carbonation. Overall, this is an exceptional Belgian ale with a deep malty character and fruity, spicy accents. A great way to warm the coldest of winter nights. 2011-04-01

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
chibuck (3504) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 30, 2011
Saw this on tap at Local Option last night, couldnít pass the chance to finally tick a top Belgian...Dark brown pour, but a really deep hue that I like. The head is light tan, creamy with good retention and lacing...Finally a Christmas beer aroma that doesnít overpower the senses. Dark fruits with spice, but spice is an accent not the center of the beer. The taste is the same, dark fruits with spice. Worth trying, great winter Christmas beer.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ungstrup (32950) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - MAR 28, 2011
Bottled. A deep red beer with a thin tan head. The aroma has notes of over ripe fruits, yeast, spices, alcohol, prunes, and a bit of wood. The flavor is sweet with notes of malt, caramel, alcohol, over ripe fruits, prunes, and yeast, leading to a dry alcoholic finish. The alcohol prickles the tongue.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
vikingguy (1023) - Chaska, Minnesota, USA - MAR 26, 2011
Dark brown color with thick white head. Sweet fruity, brown sugar aroma. Rich, layered taste. From a high level, itís sweet belgian malt with spice. Digging lower you taste cherry juice, figs, caramel, vanilla, molasses and some spicy nutmeg. Pretty sweet but also a tad sour and some balancing bitterness. Nice body, a little creamy. This is really good. I think this tastes similar to the Ommegang Three Philosophers.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Elwood (3336) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - MAR 16, 2011
Serving: 750 ml. bottle from State Line Liquors. It pours a hazy, dark brown color with a fluffy, off-white head. The nose is powerful with notes of vanilla, clove, Belgian yeast, brown sugar, caramel, date, and dried fruits. Very nice indeed. The flavor is a mix of sweetness (brown sugar, dark caramel, raisins, date) and spice (nutmeg, clove, vanilla, and something I canít quite place). The abundant carbonation lightens things up so it doesnít seem heavy. Medium bodied with high carbonation leading to a slightly dry finish. Outstanding layers of flavor in this brew. Definitely a must try.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Embrouille (2835) - SWITZERLAND - MAR 16, 2011
Bottled 75cl. Very sweet with a strong banana reminiscence throughout. Dissapointing.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
crossovert (10692) - Illinois, USA - MAR 15, 2011
The cork rocketed off. It is another nice one from Uncle St. B, it has loads of malt, spices, and yeasty components. Rich, thick, and dark.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Kriegbaum (845) - Randers, DENMARK - MAR 12, 2011
Bottle 750 ml. with cork stoppers. Dark brown pour, with a large off-white head, long shelf life. A complex beer with many impressions. Aroma of malt, yeast, banana and and hints of Christmas spices and dough. The taste is sweet. Sweetness continues well into the end. A little sweet for my taste.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Brewchacho4 (71) - Vancouver, WA, Washington, USA - MAR 4, 2011
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2011 Shared a bottle of this with a couple of friends to celebrate the birth of Steveís son, Telfer. Feels nice to crack open a great beer for a special occasion, doesnít it? Well, Iíve been a huge fan of St. Bernardus Abt 12 for a while, and after being told by many people this was even better, I was antsy to try it!! Popped the cork and poured into a Trappist glass. Pours a deep, dark brown with a thick, frothy off-white head with speckles of what appears to be spices. So far so good! Aroma is very intriguing. Huge hits of nutmeg, cinnamon, dark fruit, caramel, bread dough, vanilla, and even a bit of clove in there. The taste is very similar; notes of pumpkin pie (probably from the nutmeg), bread dough, chocolate, banana, and caramel. Very complex beer. Has a strong malty backbone overlaid nicely with the spices. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very smooth and velvety with light carbonation. Finishes like a bite of fresh pumpkin pie. Iíve got to say, Iím pretty impressed with this beer. Iím a huge fan of winter warmers, and this is a perfect example of one. Better than Abt 12? Maybe... theyíre both phenomenal in their own right. All Iíll say is Iím glad Iíve got another one of these waiting in the beer fridge for next year!!!

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DerBiermeister (586) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - FEB 27, 2011
I enjoy a good winter ale that seems warming and pleasant and so complex that you are not sure what you are actually drinking. I noticed fruity qualities and enjoyed the complex palate of this brew and chose it in a taste test over similarly interesting Terrapin Tomfoolery as I had this brew on tap from the J. Clyde in Birmingham. I must confess I was not exactly sure what all I was tasting. I wouldnít mind having this again though.


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