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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1023   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 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
corkyrory66 (549) - BELGIUM - JUL 16, 2013
Oh merveille des merveilles, grandeur des grandeurs, merveille des grandeurs, grandeur des merveilles … Attention chef d’oeuvre !!! Bouteille de 75 cl à 10 % abv... beau programme !!! Couleur entre noir et roux très foncé. Clarté très opaque. Bulles assez grosses mais vraiment très nombreuses, partout dans le verre, et très vives. Mousse beige, café crème, soyeuse au centre et à flocons au bord. Arômes vineux, fruits confits, fruits mûrs, avec une pointe d’épices orientales. 1ère bouche soyeuse sur du très grand bourgogne rouge, style clos Vougeot, je ne vous dirai pas quelle parcelle, mais un indice : de là on peut voir la Romanée Conti … Cette bouche présente un liant superbe et des épices. L’arrière-bouche est sublime, elle offre tout en même temps : pain complet, vin, lie, fruits nobles, malt, etc. 2ème bouche avec des nuances au-delà du dicible, avec une pointe de lavande, de la cannelle, du thym et du romarin. 3ème nez avec une pointe d’anis délicate. 3ème bouche à la texture veloutée, avec une pointe fine de noix, noisette, amande. Arrière-bouche complète, fine et très complexe. Longueur splendide, forte et élégante. Levure comme de la soie, pure, avec des côtés aromatiques uniques. Alcool progressif, qui fait un gros travail d’arrière-fond et soutient l’ensemble de l’architecture. Finale : un grand sommet, de l’art pur. Conclusion : on a tout ici dans ce verre, depuis le velouté en passant par les céréales, les épices, la levure, le houblon, etc etc. Cette bière est dans le sens propre du terme « capiteuse », et elle est digne des plus grands vins français. Nous en avons cité deux en début de critique, mais il y en aurait beaucoup d’autres. (Je l’ai dégustée d’ailleurs un 14 juillet pour bien montrer que la Belgique n’est aucunement inférieure pour la dégustation de grands crus …Qu’on se le dise, citoyens ...) Un sommet du brassage, tout comme sa sœur l’Abt. (Encore une fois, merci aux membres de ratebeer, pour me permettre le premier 5 de cette bière sur 848 votes !!! Incroyable mais vrai !!! En fait, cette bière mérite cent fois le 5, c’est- à-dire 500 sur 100. Cote minimale bien entendu, et donnée à froid, 2 jours après dégustation ….)

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
UkrainPubCrawler (105) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 29, 2013
Absolutely delicious and sophisticated taste. Deep dark color with rich foamy head. Very tasty floral and spice notes. A new seasonal favorite!

   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.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
BigBen2120 (688) - Derry, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 17, 2009
(Review written December 2008) 75cL bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester, Maine. Pours a hazy but still translucent dark copper with a half inch of light tan head. Smells intensely fruity and spicy, with banana, nut, and chocolate notes. Tastes fruity, chocolatey, and spicy, with an underlying toastiness. Banana, nut, cherry, dates, and cloves all play nearly equal roles. On the heavier side of medium-bodied with ample carbonation. More of a sipper, though one sip most definitely invites another and this beer was gone long before I wanted it to be. Wow. Quite possibly the best beer this brewery makes, a phenomenal Christmas beer, and one of the most flavorful and complex beers I’ve had all year. Amazing!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
mikeinfl (5) - Gainesville, Florida, USA - APR 3, 2010 does not count
This is, quite possibly, the best beer ever created. Smells delicious, tastes like Christmas. I need to find a way to be able to buy it year-round.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
BlackHaddock (3600) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - APR 9, 2012
On 15th Dec 2011 I wrote this: At last I’ve had an on-tap St Bernardus Christmas Ale that I could review (the other times I’ve drank it I didn’t really have reviewing opportunities, beerfests etc). This time however was different: the lovely Red Rose bar in Brugge being the venue. 33cl for Euro 4.00, worth every cent. Poured into a St Bernardus goblet it looked the business in every way: Jet black with a deep beige crown of tight bubbles sat on top. The head stayed and gave waves of lacing as I wolfed the brew down. The smell was of dark, rich, candied fruits with a good measure of caramel and malts thrown in. The taste always blows me away, creamy, rich and hearty in every way, yet it’s so mellow the 10%ABV does not show at all; this is a dangerous brew and so, so easy on the palate it just slides down the throat at an alarming rate. A brew to savour, but very difficult not to quaff at pace and order another, and another, and another. Whatever spices they use just enhance the flavours from the mash tun and helps to turn the brew from excellent to superb. A true classic and a beer I’ll never tire of drinking (if I’ve got the next day off).

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Grzesiek79 (3175) - Radom, POLAND - JAN 16, 2014
Prawdziwe arcydzielo. Kolejny raz jestem zadowolony z jakosci i smaku piw z tego browaru. Wyglad ideal. Wspaniala wielka puszystsa i trwala piana zapach typowo swiateczny, gozdziki, cynamon troche sliwek i zwlaszcza daktyle. W smaku truflowo sliwkowe, jakby babcine powidla z dodatkiem niewielkiej ilosci cukru. Kolor intensywnie ciemno brazowy. No a metnosc na super poziomie, spora i oblepiajaca dno butelki 0,75cl. Korek zagrzmial glosno, dymek spory poszedl no i spore wysyceie jak to w dobrych belgijskich ale. Nic tylko polecac na swieta zwlaszcza.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
lemasney (398) - Trenton, New Jersey, USA - DEC 6, 2008
Style and Glass: Strong Dark Belgian Ale, Trappist ABV, Volume & Calories: 10 % in 22 fl oz. estimated at400 C Purchased at: Issac Newton’s, Newtown, PA for $18.00 Aroma: malty, sweet, inviting. Visuals: typical St. Bernardus label — neither inviting or not, like visiting an old friend, dark pour, thin head, opaque, dark body, red brown body, nice lace. Taste: amazingly balanced, deep flavors, overlapping influences, peach, banana, cinnamon, bitter hops, high strength. Palate: high quality, fruit juice texture, amazing, deep finish. Overall: delicious. An amazing treat. Beautiful, rich, and deep. A repeat when I can afford it. A high level favorite. medium value. high craft. Paired with a brownie and ice cream dessert — matched well in sweetness and contrast.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
KornDogg (528) - Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 27, 2009
Deep and Dark with large tannish red head...strong fruity aroma ... the sweet fruity flavor balances out the alcohol and warming power... great Ale, not really sure what the difference is between this and the regular abt 12

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
OldPeculiar (11) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - DEC 12, 2010
Incredibly fragrant and distinct taste. An explosion of flavors in your mouth. Sweet, but with plenty of character and integrity. Definitely a sipping beer if there ever was one. Keeps giving and giving... A beer in true Christmas tradition. Fantastic (but one is enough)!

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