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


on tap

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RATINGS: 1131   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89   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.

TheCrowsNest's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
TheCrowsNest (76) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - NOV 30, 2012
Dark brown with a dense khaki head. Aromas of bubblegum, sweet cherries, dark bread. Flavor profile carries lots of fruity yeast and bubblegum, some dark toffee, hint of anise, some alcohol sweetness. Full bodied and a clean finish with high carbonation. The best Belgian Christmas/Noel ale. Period.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
deepeary (172) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 25, 2014
750 ml from the LCBO. Very aromatic, floral hops, sweet bready malt, herbal and funky yeast notes, banana. Taste follows suit, undetectable 10% abv. Very well balanced.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
RevBFG (61) - - DEC 24, 2014
Wow. Bottle from Total Wine, enjoyed on Christmas eve after services. Might have to be a new Christmas tradition.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
smaynard6000 (659) - Apopka, Florida, USA - DEC 24, 2014
750ml bottle. Pours a hazy dark brown with tan colored head. Aroma is mostly fruity with spices. Plum and raisin notes with some spiciness that lingers on the palate. Rich and nuanced, I enjoyed this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
leghorn99 (35) - Livorno, ITALY - DEC 24, 2014
Osservazioni: All’aspetto è velata e di un bel color ambrato carico / marrone, con riflessi rossastri; molto bella anche la schiuma, compatta, cremosa, color ocra e molto persistente. Al naso profumi vinosi, sentori di prugna, zucchero caramellato, frutta candita, frutta matura; s’avverte anche qualche leggera nota aspra di amarena, ed una lieve speziatura (noce moscata). L’attacco è dolce, con caramello, uvetta sultanina e prugna disidratata, ben bilanciato da una leggera asprezza di frutti rossi (mirtillo rosso, ribes, prugna acerba); la bevuta quindi si alleggerisce progressivamente, con un finale quasi secco e molto pulito. L’amaro è impercettibile, il retrogusto è etilico, caldo e morbido, di nuovo a metà strada tra note dolci di uvetta e più aspre di frutti rossi. Il corpo è medio, la carbonazione abbastanza sostenuta.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
niquillis (1203) - Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 24, 2014
330ml bottle from Congress, Longton. Pours deep red black brown with light tan. Good zing, stewed dark fruits, roast and a floral zip. Excellent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
revolution2718 (266) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 23, 2014
Pours a rich mahogany with a big fluffy juicy soapy foamy head. Nose is Belgian yeast, bready, dark fruits. Taste is tons of yeast character, dark fruit esters, a bit of sweet malt, maybe some holiday spices if not its a spicy yeast. Very high carb, effervescent. Top tier beer, holiday or otherwise

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
PapaVillum (508) - Valby, DENMARK - DEC 23, 2014
75 cl/750 ml, flaske, 10,0 % ABV, købt i Den Belgiske Ølbutik i Vanløse, 24. december 2014. Kastanje-brun jule-Ale med kæmpe offwhite-gaver skumkrone på 7-8 cm tykkelse. Kronen svinder i normalt tempo ned til gardiner, overflade og 1 cm tykkelse efter en halv snes minutter. "Traditionel" duft af belgisk stærk ale af engelsk plumcake og den gode tørrede frugt. Desuden gær, rosin, sveske, Smagen lægger syrligt ud. Grænsende til surt. Dernæst en dejlig balance mellem humlet bitterhed og sødme. Lang god smag med masser af syrligt modspil til den sædvanlige belgiske smag. Karboneringen er derimod på et niveau, som jeg finder alt for højt: Skummende i munden skal man finde smagen, og det kunne munkene gøre bedre. Middel stor krop og middel god konsistens: olieret. God og gedigen belgisk juleøl.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MMR (342) - NETHERLANDS - DEC 23, 2014
Wow this is surely a good treat for the Christmas season! Wonderful dark brown ale with a fruity nose and aroma of nuts and caramel. One of the best beers from the St. Bernardus Brewery!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Randy4Beer (247) - - DEC 23, 2014
Unlike some other sites, I don’t see it being differentiated by year, so I will identify this review as being for the 2014 Vintage. Cherrywood brown in colour, crowned by an off-white head that is thick and lasting. Visible carbonation bubbles. The nose is flooded with prunes, pears, molasses, caramel malts, Tastes are very raisiny, prunes, Christmas spices, honey, and light candied orange. As a winter warmer, this 10% abv, 750ml bottle is just the right thing. Given its name, I decided to uncork it on December 23rd. No regrets on that.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
lotsalaughs (129) - Alberta, CANADA - DEC 22, 2014
brown, clear, minimal head, tan foam, light sweetness, lightly bitter, medium body, sticky, average carbonation, bitter Purchased in winter 2012 and cellared for special occasion. Poured brownish ruby with short lived tan foam. Decent lacing. Big aromas of dark candied fruit and sweet bread. Bitter sweet initially with a dark rum heat slowly building to the finish. Average to light carbonation, with a mid range body. Seemed to stick on the tongue a bit, and coat the mouth - bitter sweetness lingers on well into the finish. Best $18 CAD beer I have ever had!

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