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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: 1138   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89   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.


4.8
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
amirneu (6) - ISRAEL - MAR 6, 2009 does not count
A true belgian masterpiece! A rich, thick dark ale with a very complex aroma of roasted barley and a unique chocolate-caramel taste. A real winter warmer.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
tomthompson89 (1905) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 4, 2009
nice dark pour, foam is beige and creamy. nose is sweet malts candy sugar, some fruity notes and belgian spice. flavor is similar sweet and spicy. yummy

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Goodgrief (1811) - Middletown, Delaware, USA - FEB 21, 2009
Year old bottle. Murky brown pour, super head and spider web lacing. The aroma is yeasty with hints of dark fruit. The flavor follows suit. Sweet fruity malt, but some spicing and a lot of good belgian yeastiness. Creamy in the mouthfeel. For some reason, this thing made me crave a cheeseburger...off to the grill!

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Glouglouburp (6104) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 18, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2009 In short: A Belgian Christmas dark ale that is extra-yeasty, a little fruity, a little spicy and relatively dry. Very good beer
How: Bottle 750ml. Consumed when 1 year of age.
The look: Dark ruby (almost mahogany) body topped by a large beige head
In long: From the nose I could tell this is a very yeasty beer. Nose also has a lot of woody hops. Taste is unsurprisingly very yeasty but not as fruity as with most extra-yeasty beer. Tree bark, dry wood, dried dates, dried figs, nuts, caramel, some toffee. For once the usual Christmas spices (cloves mainly) are very well integrated and do not feel like an addition. No alcohol presence at all, this beer is surprisingly drinkable for a 10% monster. Expansive foamy/spongy body. Very good but not excellent. From most other breweries this beer would be an achievement, but coming from St-Bernardus it is only a moderate success because they have set the bar so high. If all bars were set so high only basketball players would be able to order a beer in a pub.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
HOPSHUNTER (742) - Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 16, 2009
Poured a deep brown color with a tall creamy head. Great lacing. A bit too fizzy for my taste. The flavor was typical of a winter/christmas brew but still very good. Very nice beer!

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
RaginCajun (320) - Houston, Texas, USA - FEB 10, 2009
Dark brown body with a coarse diminishing head. Fruity & malty nose with a touch of ginger and cinnamon in the aroma. Slight yeast note in the aroma as well. Very appetizing. First taste is dominated by various spices and a caramel feel and the palate is rather thin. Slight alcohol astringency on the finish. Despite small blemishes, this is a very well made beer. The flavor is deep and rich, and the palate builds up as you go through the body. Like a typical Christmas ale, this beer has a strong candy taste on the nose with a relatively benign finish. While I do not think this style is in any way the ideal beer, I think the execution of this brew is a good standard for other brewers of Christmas ales to shoot for.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
nickd717 (3573) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 9, 2009
Bottle at Rose & Crown in Palo Alto. Really solid stuff, maybe even better than the Abt 12. Dark brown color with a red hue. Dark fruits on the aroma with some vinous notes, caramel, and yeast. Sweet malt, candi sugar, dark fruits, spice, and Belgian yeast combine for a strong flavor that stands up to the full body. One of the better holiday beers I’ve had - of course I’d expect no less from Belgian monks who all they do is brew beer (and religious stuff).

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - FEB 8, 2009
2007 vintage in the 750 mL bottle from Johns Market Portland. Huge explosive head. Strong aroma of red wine, raisins and brine. Reddish dark brown. Very thick with big alcohol on the tongue. Fruity big wine flavors. Sweet, but not medicinal. Very similar to the Abt 12, but with less roastedness and much more sweetness.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
nearbeer (3845) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 8, 2009
750 ml. Murky, darkish brown with a lasting half inch of foam. Aroma is raisin, brown sugar, spiced rum and light caramel. Flavor is the same but with more rum. Medium body is a bit too frothy, has some alcohol warmth and a spicy-dryness.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BrotherGrendel (787) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 8, 2009
A- Murky caramel/orange hue, huge amounts of off-white frothy head that is effervescent and mostly sustaining, splatters of lacing S- Nose is dark fruits, sweet belgian candy, alcohol, green apples, and spices T- Initial taste is dark fruits followed by spritzy spices, peppermint, and bananas, finishes with sweetness and alcohol warming M- Full-bodied, thick chewy texture, amped-up carbonation D- Smooth and balanced strong ale, milder spice flavors and lively carbonation contribute to a unique taste profile, very easy-drinking but best enjoyed sipping slowly on a cold night


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