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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: 1236   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!


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rdb84 (303) - NETHERLANDS - JUL 5, 2015
Dark brown with frothy head. A: red pepper, boozy cherry aroma, generic plum/chocolate mix. T: christmas cake, red peppers, mixed with regular sb12. D: peppery, slightly boozy development with anise hints at the end. Aftertaste: bit peppery as well. I like the sb12 better, it has a deep sweet sensation that im missing here.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Martinus (3638) - Baarle-Nassau, NETHERLANDS - MAY 15, 2015
Clear brown colour, white head. Aroma of banana, candy, caramel, banana candy, those yellow banana sweets. Sweet flavour, caramel, light bitter, apple and banana. Sweet finish, apple brandy, strong banana sweets.
(from 33cL bottle @ home)

3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
xpndbl (1) - USA - MAY 2, 2015 does not count
Houterig . In de nasmaak metalig . wel bekende volmondige smaak . Rook ervaar ik ook in de mond .

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mateuszk (552) - Poznań, POLAND - APR 25, 2015
Bottle. Pours brown, a little hazy with minimal tan head. In aroma very complex, malty, caramel and toast, bread, dried fruits. In taste strong malty base, sweet, caramel, dired fruits with low mint finish. Medium bitter, full bodied, soft carbonation, alcohol present in good way. Very good quad.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
rosenbergh (8434) - Tampere, FINLAND - APR 11, 2015
750 ml bottle. I can’t remember where I got this...
Cloudy dark red colour with a small off-white head. Fruity, cherry, tart, sourish and mild metal notes in the aroma. Lambic-ky. The flavour is sweetness, syrup, malt, alcohol and mild dry fruits. The lambic notes in the aroma makes this quite fresh. The flavour could have more of those elements.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Koskela (388) - Marysville, California, USA - APR 8, 2015
Sweet earthy and fruity aromas come from this deep red and hazy brew with a beige head. Full bodied malty sweet crisp with a ton of tiny carb bubbles. This is an abbey and well done.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Vighals (1896) - Sørumsand, NORWAY - APR 3, 2015
Mørk brunorange tåkete med høyt beige skum. Mørke frukter, svisker, gjær og karamell. Mest fruktig søtsmak, markert sviske, toast og noe brent karamellburterhet. Krydderier. Fyldig. Litt salt i avslutningen. Mye kullsyre

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
maxwelldeux (4160) - Snohomish, Washington, USA - MAR 30, 2015
Bottle. Overflowed a bit when I opened it. Pours a hazy darker brown color with a moderate off-white head on there. Nose has some hints of bread to it as well as some candied figs. Taste is slightly sweet and has some dark fruits coming through. OK, but not really my sort of thing.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nihtila (1615) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 26, 2015
6.12.2014. Dark brown beer. Spicy aroma with plums, dark fruits. Taste is quite intense, dark fruits. Tasty.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Bulk_Carrier (2677) - Final Resting Place, Vermont, USA - MAR 22, 2015
This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a hazy brown color with a one finger sustaining white foamy head that concaves a bit but holds its own for a good two minutes before dissipating ever so lightly. The smell had a sweet to lightly spiced combination of cinnamon and ginger running into a sweet biscuity/bready goodness. Subtle hints of cocoa allocate nicely in and around my nose. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors to combine and flavor a sweet bready aftertaste leading into a semi - wet finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sipping quality running about. Carbonation seems to run smooth and semi-dry. Overall, as a Belgian Strong Ale, it’s awesome to me it’s still awesome. Would love to have again for Christmas!


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