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

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1243   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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
chmurarz (518) - Legnica POLAND, POLAND - NOV 11, 2009
christmas ale 2009, 0.75 l bottle, very strong beer, 10% alc, alc is not dominant though, mildly sweet, typical for strong belgians aroma and taste, heavy and orangy, there is some caramel, citrus as well, very nice top, dried fruits and syrup, alc is quite strong, kicks in the head

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - NOV 9, 2009
Very similar to the Abt 12, but a bit more fruity. No disappointment here at all.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
drowland (7059) - Georgia, USA - NOV 8, 2009
On tap in an abbey glass. Pours a reddish brown with just about no head. The aroma is musk, a bit of yeast, dark fruits, and a hint of malt. The flavor is quite sweet with a big dose of malt. There are dark fruits and jammy grapes in there as well, with a touch of alcohol.

3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
obxdude10 (2121) - Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 8, 2009
This is a pretty uninteresting Belgian ale. The bottle popped under some real extreme pressure, which turned the first half of the glass into nothing more than a thick and bubbly head. There isnít much to the nose, with only slight notes of caramel malt, candi sugar, dark fruits and yeast. The body is light and smooth. The flavors are a little on the bland end, with some notes of dark fruits, brown sugar, yeast and bread. The finish is a little sour and semi-fruity. This certainly isnít the best Belgian or Christmas-seasonal beer Iíve sampled.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Taverner (1100) - San Ramon, California, USA - NOV 8, 2009
Fruity, yes. Very fruity. Pours a brown sugar-brown with frothy, soapy, sudsy tan head. Aroma is very fruity - notes of fig, raisin, apricot and other dried fruit. Also notes of must. Has just a touch of brett in it - from what I can tell, which gives this beer a very dry flavor on the palate. Not sure if this was intended or not, but at this point is very welcome, as it has not going full steam. Ends clean.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GMCC2181 (1554) - Newark, Delaware, USA - NOV 5, 2009
Bottle caged and corked, picked up at Stateline. Muddy brown/red-ish color, big head. Nice aroma of some spices, dark fruits. Taste is great...just what I was looking for in a holiday ale. Really nice spice, banana, fruity, cinnamon and some light roasted maltiness to it. Each sip, gets better. It has a creamy smoothness that makes it way to easy to drink for being ten percent. Overall a great beer to sip on a cold rainy night.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
elihapa (1533) - Honolulu, Hawaii, USA - OCT 28, 2009
On tap, Wurstkuche. Pours brown-ruby, slightly opaque, and with a small beige head. Aroma has initial bready, sweet malt, then moves into the Christmas spice cabinet: nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. Palate is similar to Abt 12, but less creamy. Flavor starts with a bite of sweet malt and brown sugar. The noel spices really come into their own in the finish, a bit heavy-handed if you ask me. The finish is peppery, boozy, with strong cinnamon. Just doesnít come through with the smoothness I wanted from a winter warmer. Fittingly, this beer tastes like a Belgian version of Anchorís Our Christmas, but less well put together. Doesnít even compare when put next to Abt 12. Perhaps better bottle-fermented than on tap.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
VertBaconStrips (2187) - Asshat, Alberta, CANADA - OCT 21, 2009
K, almost a year old... My bottle pretty much exploded. Dumped out a massive bubbly light brown cap that stays forever and leaves a total disaster in my glass... the foam has tons of speckly sediment trapped in it. Itís hard to tell on the colour with so much sediment - seems reddish when up to a light with the crown gone. Attentive yet uninspiring nose: sweet caramel, dates.. or figs? weak molasses, raisin, dark fruit, spices that may be hiding the alcohol... I really donít think I can breathe deep enough to pick up the alc. Banana? Hell yea... seems to be becoming more prevalent. Itís taken a while for these aromas to free themselves. As this warms a plumy spice with a very distant banana becomes the standard. Gonna be feeling this by the time I finish it! The taste is infectious - I cannot stop drinking this! I predict that Iíll finish the entire 750ml in under 20 mins. What a tasty beer - nothing that blows me away but just so damn drinkable. Spices, sweet caramel, plumbs and raisins on the first sip. Sweet and spiced and done to perfection. This is no complex beer but the flavours are perfect. Very well balanced... ahhaha now that Iím drunk and way to jacked on Slipknot itís hard giving 10ís and 5ís. Light dates, nut and chocolate, tons of malts. Over medium bodied, smooth, nice spice, finishes wonderfully.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BeerChaser0078 (909) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - OCT 17, 2009
750ml Bottle. Pours a deep dark reddish copper colour with a bubbly beige head that lasts for ages. Nose shows a little bit of alcohol as well as notes of raisins, dates, malt, cherry and a hint of chocolate. Flavour is also full of dark fruits, malt, spice and some more chocolate. While it is surprisingly highly carbonated, it is still very smooth and the alcohol is very well hidden. Iím yet to be disappointed by St Bernardus and this beer is one of their best, excellent at any time of year.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
njmoons (59) - New Jersey, USA - OCT 2, 2009
An excellent sweet Belgian Dark. Was happy to find this on tap at the local Beer Bar. Pours a dark reddish brown with little if any head. Smell is of sweet friuts, figs, raisins, and some spice. The sweet smells over shadow light notes of malt, chocolate, and there is little if any alcohol in the smell. Taste starts sweet with fruit and spices in good balance, slightly overshawdowing the malt. The sweet flavor last right through the end, but never is overwhelming to the flavor of the beer. The finsih is mildly bitter (very mild), slightly alcohol warm, and unexpectedly crisp. Taste is almost a 5 just a little sweet for me. Overall one most unique beers that I have truely enjoyed with the combination of subtle flavors and balance making this a winner! The mouthfeel is heavy and consistent with the style. Drinkability is excellent for such a strong beer, but after a couple you really start to feel it.


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