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


on tap

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RATINGS: 1235   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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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.

   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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
larryLSB (463) - 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

   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%.

   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.

   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.

   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!

   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Qubert (62) - USA - NOV 29, 2009
750 mL bottle. Pours a dark brown with thick white head. Aroma of spices, fruit, brown sugar and malt. Taste is a sweet malt with spices (cloves) with a slight alcohol burn. Great seasonal Christmas beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
rane (943) - Nibe, DENMARK - NOV 29, 2009
Bottle Dark brown with pale brown head, a little unclear. Aroma sweet malty, spices, dried fruits. Taste quite strong alcohol at first sip but then dangerously easy to drink. Sweet, spiced beer with notes of dried fruits.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Plovmand (6913) - Helsinge, DENMARK - NOV 27, 2009
Bottle shared by Pinball. Brown body with a medium off white head. The aroma is sweet malty, spices, caramel and dark fruit. Yeasty flavour with xmas spices, sweet malt, caramel, brown mollasse and prune. Sweet spicy finish.

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