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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: 1237   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
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Fevernova (210) - Athens, Ohio, USA - DEC 24, 2009
750mL bottle -- Pours very dark brown with a thick off-white head. Aromas and flavors of brown sugar, figs, dates, and spice. Heavy mouth-feel with some mild bitterness.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
ajm (1066) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 24, 2009
Tap at Wurstkuche. This may have just hit the spot, but it is one of the more flavorful Belgian taps I have ever had. Nose of baked quince, apple, plum (mincemeat, essentially) with attendant mulled spice and Trappist yeast. Color is a very satisfying ruby brown. Flavor is much the same and surprisingly warming, if not super-complex. This and Stille Nacht are my fave Xmas beers of the ages.

3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
AgedOak (99) - Ohio, USA - DEC 24, 2009
On tap at World of Beers in Tampa Palms. Pours a medium brown with light tan head. Nose is of fruit and faint cinnamon. This is a truly seasonal ale, with a very full mouthfeel. Tastes of fruit, cherries and berries, with spice (again subtle cinnamon) mask the 10% alcohol. This Chrismas Ale follows the excellent tradition of St. Bernardus.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
j12601 (7700) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 22, 2009
On tap for growler fills at Half-Time. Pours a deep cola brown, a bit hazy, with a thick beige to tan head. Plum, roast, chocolate, and toast. Light oxidization, but this is from a keg aged at least a year. Medium bodied, smooth and sweet with candy and light cherries. Finishes with some big boozy notes at first, but they mellow out further into the beer. Light plum notes.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Alcohoarder (34) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 22, 2009
What a delightful winter beer. Lots of fruit (cherries and berries) and spices (cinnamon, clove). Great balance and mouthfeel. Alcohol is amazingly well hidden so pace yourself!

3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
JaBier (5454) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - DEC 20, 2009
Bottle sample at Dogbrick’s Christmas party. Cloudy and chunky brown pour with a medium tan head. Caramel and dark fruit nose with Belgian yeast, brown sugar, spice and another note that I can only categorize as spruce or mint. Read some other ratings to see if I’m off my rocker, and I must be. Definitely got that note though, in both nose and flavor. Oh well. Other characteristics of the flavor are syrupy sweetness, caramel and spice before a syrupy finish. Not my style, but glad I got to try it.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerchugger (708) - North Canton, Ohio, USA - DEC 19, 2009
Pours a murky brown with a very thick tan head on top that lasts for quite some time. Smells rather plumy, fruity, and a bit of a belgian yeast aroma coming through. As it warms a little, a sweeter dark sugar character is noticeable. Very heavy malts upfront show flavors of a belgian yeast strain, but also rich sweet fruits, sweet dark sugars, and a a bit metallic too (kind of weird, it’s a beer clean glass I’m using). It’s very smooth and very enjoyable! The finish is a little bready wtih the rich sweet malts noticeable through the end.

3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
daleharshman (972) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 19, 2009
750 ml bottle from BevMo while watching the Saints game. Pours a dark chestnut brown with a huge and long-lasting head. Aroma of tart yeast, bready malts, and some dark fruit. Flavor has rich caramel, more dark fruit, nice tangy spice, and a hint of chocolate. Medium body with generous carbonation. A hint of booze, but the high ABV is generally well concealed. I think this could do much better with some age.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BVery (7896) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - DEC 19, 2009
Tap. Pours a murky brown with a soapy head. Aroma of raisins and a little booze. Taste is complex - raisin/plum, alcohol is present, and some spice. Very creamy. Awesome.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
alobar (3059) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 19, 2009
Four year old bottle. Still quite live. Pours ruby brown with a fizzy tan soapy head. Aroma of dark fruit. Flavor of plums, raisins, and spice. Impressive lacing. Just velvety goodness in a glass.


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