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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: 1034   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.


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Drake (8617) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - NOV 16, 2008
750 mL bottle from Whole Foods Charlottesville, VA. Pours a deep, dark reddish brown. with a large head, nice retention and wisps of lacing. Slightly tart fruity notes in the aroma with some earthy and bready notes. Fruity taste of berries and cherries with some brown sugar and spice. Full bodied and quite smooth with active carbonation. Very nice.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
adrian910ss (2361) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 19, 2008
750 ml bottle. Pours a rusty muddy brown with a thick creamy beige head. Spicy aroma of nutmeg, dates, raisins, brown sugar, caramel and bread dough. Taste of nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar, dates, caramel, and raisins. Very good but not as good as the original.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
buzzoven (376) - JAPAN - OCT 17, 2008
Popped the cork and was greeted with an almost mythical styled mist emitting from the open mouth of the bomber. Poured a hardcore ruby brown/black with a massive bobbing foamy crown. Smell was predominately that of marshmellow and spiced melon; with a little bit of toasted caramel in there. Flavour is quite delicate and fairly complex here...sometimes differing from sip to sip and certainly changing with temperature adjustment, etc. Some things that I noticed: coffee, toffee, taste of autumn leaves and snow (i mean that in a good way), gumdrops, apples, licorice, pepper, jasmine, Earl Grey tea, and even a slight bite of bitter honey. Not much of a finish..and to tell you the truth, this could have benefitted from a bit more body--but overall...supremely drinkable and worthy of your next festive time--you lousy stinking drunkard!

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
YK23 (465) - Haifa, ISRAEL - OCT 15, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 28, 2008 Bottle: very malty, loads of dried fruits but mainly dates and some raisins, caramel, some faint chocolate and coffee notes, delicate alcohol all the way through, late mild hoppy bitterness, very rich, very complex, very good beer.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BoBoChamp (5559) - Gent, BELGIUM - SEP 22, 2008
75cl, from De Hopduvel Gent, very complex, balanced, hazy, good head, one of the best X-Mas brews, a topper!

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
joekinty (263) - rockledge, Florida, USA - SEP 5, 2008
want some get some cause you just cant have none watercress and chicken are surely good with this beer so is watermelon

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
paiste2002 (185) - Saugus, California, USA - AUG 25, 2008
Pours a dark brown with a huge white head. Aroma is subtle dark fruit, raisin, malty, spicy Flavor is of roasted malt, raisins, dates, dark candi sugar, caramel. Finish is lingering, complex sweetness with a slight warming as it comes to room temp. Awesome beer. Very nice with the closing of the Olympic games this evening.

3.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
GarrettB (1057) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 1, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 7, 2012 12/8/2009 - American brewers put out a wonderful selection of Christmas seasonals, but they always seem to pale in comparison to the classy heralds of the seasons festivities that march their way across the Atlantic to our beer stashes. At the front of the pack is our dear and beloved St. Bernardus monk, pointing diligently (to where? nobody knows) and fancying a Santa cap for the occasion. The beer, too, sports a thick and heavy hat with heavy lacing, and the St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is that particular shade of deep, oiled and aged wood that borders on black, but flickers back to brown with a blink and a wipe of an eye. A medley of dessert smells and Christmas kitchen delights march out of the glass - sweet red grapes, sugary licorice, grape juice and sweet raisins that yield their hyper-concentrated sugars between eagerly chomping teeth. This is far, far sweeter than anything else I’ve had from St. Bernardus. It is probably a celebratory push into the season’s traditional gluttony, and I’m ready to celebrate. Sadly, we all know that feeling of withdrawal after Christmas is done, and we have to shelve our ever present plates of cookies and brownies. These confections, usually relegated to the occasional dessert, have been accessories to our lives, jumping down our gullets every time we pass the plate on the trip between rooms. The St. Bernardus speeds up the crushing blow of the end of Christmas in the flavor, where all the promises of the aroma have been turned up to 11. Carbonation plagues the palate, and jarring tastes of bad hard candy and cough syrup and a clumsy flavor of grape juice coat the tongue in a cloying carol to flavors commonly found in Christmas brews. It is too much - sweet and sugary, like too many gingerbread cookies in the wee hours of the morning, and a lingering, sticky aftertaste that clings to you like so much late night snacking guilt. There is a limit, I think, to how far these lovely Belgian Christmas ales can go, and the St. Bernardus pushes it past that limit and well beyond. I much prefer the monk without his Christmas cap. 8/1/2008 - FOOMF! The pour on this festive brew from St. Bernardus immediately explodes into a mushroom cloud of tasty foam. After a considerable wait, this hemisphere of bubbles slowly erodes into a huge, volcanic crater, allowing a more passable attempt at drinking the feer without getting foam on my eyebrows. The aroma is slightly spicy, exhibiting a sturdy whiff of black pepper, cinnamon and the more rounded white pepper, with a squeeze of both lemon and lime lending a Caribbean air. The whole of the aroma is extremely creamy, and though the scents are prickly, they’re delicious all the same, though I hardly see how this makes for much of a Christmas beer. The flavor has that same certain Belgian woodiness to it, which can only be wrought delicious by skilled artists, and indeed the workers at St. Bernardus are very skilled. Most of the wood and dry flavors encountered in the beginning flake off towards the end though, replaced by a boisterous alcohol flavor. Piercing notes of sharp wood flavors remain through the taste, though, and makes for an appropriately passive and pensive beer for drinking next to a holiday fire.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mcbackus (758) - Merritt Island, Florida, USA - JUL 28, 2008
bottle courtesy of homer321: pours a clean dark brown with a small tan head. aroma is awesome with fantastic cherry adn sark fruits, bright caramel, jsut fantastic araoma. flavour is a tingly bright malt wth some to the cherry comes through nice adn the dark fuits are good but not overpowering.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
radiomgb (2263) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 13, 2008
Beautiful amber-brown in colour with a lingering beige head and excellent lacing. The aroma was of sweet toffee, some alcohol, yeast, plums and spice. The flavour was plummy, toffee covered fruits, light sweetness, some alcohol and smooth throughout. Creamy mouthfeel, medium body, medium/high carbonation. Finishes long, sweet with a light and lingering alcohol warmth.

An excellent winter beer, the alcohol never overpowered this, good balance.

750ml bottle obtained in a trade with Beerlando, thanks Bryan.
Opened on February 18, 2008
Best before August 7, 2012.



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