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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: 1228   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.


3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 3, 2009
Great purply-black pour with moderate off-white head that tends to linger briefly then fades into a light lacing. Very rich roasty aroma, burnt grain and lightly spiced highlights. The flavors are roasted barley malt, coffee, dark sweet fruits, plums, carmel, toffee, and hints of holiday spices. Very creamy texture, not clying or overly sweet. Very well balanced and luxurious.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tastybeer (1823) - Indiana, USA - DEC 3, 2009
On draft Pizza Paradiso Dupont circle. Pours dark brown with tons of head/lacing. Tastes like candy sugar, honey, chocolate, and some citrus. Goes down easy. This beer is excellent.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
17thfloor (2435) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 2, 2009
2009 Bottle. Pours a very dark but still clear and glowing brown orange with a nice fizzy frothy creamy colored head. Aroma is wonderful, lovely plummy trappist yeast, lightly sweet, moderately spicy, a hint doughy, a bit of fruit, a touch of brown sugar and nuts, really well balanced. Flavor follows but is a bit on the tinny metallic side, but just a touch, some more esters than what the aroma indicates, more doughy, chalky with just a subtle hint of banana, ginger bread, some rich brown sugar, a bit more than medium sweetness, very yeasty, the finish is fairly hot with a cleaner spicy nutty yeasty aftertaste. Medium/full bodied, closer to medium, slightly sugary chalky with plenty of sharp carbonation.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - NOV 30, 2009
75cl bottle split with larryLSB. A very nice and very typical Belgian christmas specialty ale that reminds me of Gouden Carolous or Nice Chouffe to an extent. Spiced and perfumey, but with a smooth fruitiness. Murky brown in color with a creamy light beige head. Purple highlights. Floral, perfumey aroma with a touch of anise, some figs, light dough, fruity yeast, orange peel, and sweet honeyish, syrupy malt in the aroma. The flavor is almost like a spiced cookie with just a few raisins in it. Light clove ginger and alcohol. Sweet, but alcohol just wins out in the end without being harsh. Low bitterness makes the sweetness stand out more, but the finishing gravity is still pretty low, and shows in the light and clean body, aided by high carbonation. The carbonation is appropriate for the style, but is just a tad too coarse and only becomes pleasant with a good deal of swirling to knock it down a couple notches. Great beer besides this. Definitely a solid christmas ale, and the Belgians make what is probably my favorite style of the season.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
larryLSB (451) - La Selva Beach, California, USA - NOV 30, 2009
Poured from 750ml, into a St. Bernardus chalice, darker brown, with reddish hue and medium light tan head. Nose of figs, spices, ginger and bread, with good carbonation. Taste was sweet and smooth, nicely balanced, with a nice overall warm finish. The first of the Belgium Christmas ales this year will revisit before the 25th of December

4.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
TheHulk (486) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - NOV 30, 2009
WOW!! this is definately an ale first and seasonal second. Aroma is of crisp clean malt, at great odds with the colour. It’s quite dark but clear around the edges, it sort of holds ther dark stuff inside itself somehow. head is good on pour, goes down but remains bubbly. GREAT malt taste, it’s not that strong but still manages to be rich, the usual x-mas spices are there I think but you really have to want to taste them, the ale flavour eclipses them, though as I have a few more sips there are starting to show. I think I had this beer too cold for full flavour but unfortunately I can’t decipher the heiroglyphs they call ’farenheight’ to accurately discern that. The smoothness keeps on going after the swallow, bubbles and still that great malt aftertaste, the same as it was in the beginning of the flavour. It really is hard to taste the 10%.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
redeyeloon (21) - Colorado, USA - NOV 30, 2009
750mL bottle -> Watou St. Bernardus goblet @58deg F. Nose is refreshing alive with black pepper and fresh oak chips with a hint of fruit, earth and caramel. Pours smooth dark auburn brown. Head is thick and tan with big bubbles. Settles to thin film after several minutes. Generous malt and subtle bitter meets the tongue then settles to a long and balanced finish of fruit and pepper. Palate is full bodied, creamy and suprisingly lively with carbonation. Very pleasant overall. Gets better with every sip. Hoping Cork & Bottle has this at room temp so I can cellar some for next year.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mikalooch (224) - , New Jersey, USA - NOV 30, 2009
Bottle. Pours a deep reddish brown with small off white head. Aroma is strong on the dark fruits and yeast with a touch of syrup. Flavor is primarily sweet dark fruits, plum and grapes, much like the nose, mixed with a nice caramel backbone, candi sugar and a bit of alcohol heat. Moderately thick but easy drinking, really warms you up. Nice.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - NOV 30, 2009
Cloudy and brown like the Charles River in Boston. A thin layer of film floats and waits to be consumed. Aromas of Christrmas indeed, dark brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon stick dried figs and star of anise with a delicious caramel maltiness to tie it all together. Smooth and velvety body, very nice. Fruity and spicy flavors will bring you into the Christmas spirit even on a warm day in Florida. Thank you St. Bernardus for being such a fine brewer!

3.5
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - NOV 29, 2009
Hazy brown in color. Aroma is minimal. Strong anise-licorice flavor that threatens to overwhelm but then the alcohol peeks through and you get a bready finish that really lingers.


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