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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: 1034   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.


beermatrix's rating

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - DEC 20, 2007
Pours out a dark brown to settle a nearly mat black with a small sense of brownness to its body. Very heavy looking and an impressively tall capping to top it off of light crispy brown foam thats a bit rough and tumbled. Kinda crunchy looking at first but developes into a moderately creamy bubbleness and density as it sits. It keeps well and stretches all sorts of wonderful lacing that looks of wet powdered sugar. Nice lofty aroma of cookie dough and spice. Crisp yet round with a full on malt tilt of breads and dark fruits. Mostly figgy, touch of raisin, perhaps some dates and molasses covering the big breadyness. Nice yeastyness to it which seems to be adding a root beerish type of hints to its dryness. Slender hops add some grassyness to its spicy complexity which included some anise, cinnamon, mint, and ginger cookies. Flavors are bold, lasting and carry alot of what the smell leads to with its big maltyness and yeastified balance. Firm grip of dark candish malts leads right in with a nice holiday cake-like dimension of figgyness first, then dark cherry, dates, chocolate covered raisins, and then the peppy spices. Notes of root beer, anise, pepper, carrot cake, and ginger make their way in and out of the malty doughy darkness but linger mostly across its finish with a slender, delicately woven dryness of grassy hops. Pretty damn solid! Perhaps not quite a match to the Abt 12, but damn if its not close! Feel is big, bold, and beautiful. The girth is massive in the body of this stuff. Heavy yet smooth, crunchy and crisp yet creamy with a whole lotta malts to create an exceedingly thick bread/cake-like structure of body. Not to mention the subtle details of yeasty play, dark fruity tang, perfectly intensed warmness, hoppy dryness, and spice. Which all lasts forever and a day the second it spills on to your palate. Wow! Great stuff! No big surprise really. St. B knows how to impress and this is perfect for the holidays!


4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
eduardovl (865) - SWITZERLAND - OCT 14, 2014
750ml served in a La Trappe Trappist chalice. A: Pours a dark amber to brown color with a big creamy fluffy beige head. A bit cloudy. Good retention. A thin layer is always there and many lacings are left S: Mainly dark fruits and caramel. Plums, dates, figs and raisins. Caramel malts, Belgian yeasts, toffee and alcohol in the end T: Follows the nose: Dark fruits, toffee, caramel malts and Belgian yeasts. Sweet taste and mild on bitterness, quite bready as a traditional Belgian strong Ale. Alcohol can be also felt in the end M: Full creamy and molasses body. Medium carbonation. Alcohol in the end O: Very drinkable and tasty beer. Exactly what you expect from a St. Bernardus beer... An excellent beer! ;) [ BA Review @ 2/5/2012 ]

3.6
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
outlawskies (961) - - OCT 12, 2014
Julie thinks it is a very. nice Belgium mild on the spices she gives a 4 ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
markoijelena (433) - SERBIA - OCT 12, 2014
Bottle 0.33l from De Hopduvel beer shop Ghent Belgium.Pour it dark colour with medium white head.Taste and aroma of caramel, raspberry, blueberry, brown sugar.Very good only I think to need a little bit more complex flavour.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Alengrin (2065) - BELGIUM - OCT 12, 2014
Christmas beer from Sint-Bernardus largely destined for export to Danemark (unfortunately, I hasten to add). Tasted at ZBF last year. Light beige head, dark burgundy colour, complex fruity and malty aroma, chocolate, raisins, grapes, cloves, liquorice, cinnamon, caramel; complex taste, deep and soft malty, spicy but fortunately in a subtle way adding to the complexity, sweetish but never cloying, full and creamy mouthfeel, herbal hoppiness in the finish along with warming alcohol. Not very creative for the style but, as usual with this range, very well crafted and complex. Great beer, in other words.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
slowrunner77 (5804) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 5, 2014
"another very solid ale from St B, but i’m afraid i still think they are a touch overated...good, but definitely not one of the best. heavier feel, carbonation too high. lots of spicy and fruity belgian yeast character. good but not great."

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
HammerTroll (515) - Pula / Zagreb, CROATIA - SEP 1, 2014
Cloudy brown color, big off-white to tan head. Huge lacing. Dark fruits, biscuit, brown sugar, malt and berries aroma. Boozy. Heavy sweetness. Full body, flat carbonation. Creamy texture. This is like Christmas cake with alcohol and fruits.
(Svijet Piva 0,75l bottle)

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
azzie (232) - - AUG 29, 2014
Bottle. Hazy amber liquid with big yellowish head. Medium to full body, medium to light carbonation. Very sweet. Fruity and alcoholy. Something like wine in aftertaste. A bit hard to drink.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
vipinvelp (2245) - Velp, NETHERLANDS - AUG 28, 2014
Bottle shared w/ Tim. Dark ruby brown off-white lacing foam. Sweet caramel aroma and taste, bit too sweet. But may be I should not drink a Christmas beer in August. (Efteling 201408)

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
veceo (544) - CROATIA - AUG 26, 2014
Cloudy brown color, big tan, uneven, staying head. Full body, soft carbonation. Aroma of brown sugar, malts, yeast, banana, mulled wine, dark fruits. Medium sweet taste. Very good christmas ale.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
k92488 (264) - NORWAY - AUG 24, 2014
DWF; Bottle from Cardinal, Bottle 1,5l. White thick head.Aroma is malt and caramel, fruity, alchol and yeast.Taste is sweet and sour.


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