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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1256   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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

   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!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Bacchus66 (56) - South Carolina, USA - NOV 23, 2015
From 330ml. Pours dark brown with a ridiculous head, seriously, took like five minutes to get this into the glass waiting for the thick pillowy head to subside. The nose features a nice whiff of spice and malt, while the complex flavors are all over the place - cinnamon, coriander, clove, raisins, caramel and banana. The warming alcohol makes this a good choice for cold winter nights (with or without a fire). Outstanding.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Mr_Pink_152 (2439) - Lincoln, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - NOV 21, 2015
Bottle from The Real Ale Store, Newark. Deep Ruby colour with a tan head. Spicy fruit and slight yeast aroma. Taste light fruity sweet.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Peter_L (1217) - SWEDEN - NOV 21, 2015
Flaska inköpt förra året. Intensiva dofter av dadlar. Kan även urskilja aromer av fruktkaka och russin. Värmande och fyllig munkänsla. De 10% är som bortblåsta från bryggeriets karta. Söt men inte översöt. Fruktig utan överdrift.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Lore (1647) - Budapest, HUNGARY - NOV 20, 2015
dark mahogany colour, large, creamy beige-ish head, which lasts for several minutes; aroma of dried figs, plum, maybe some cherries, too, raisin notes, herbs, hints of anise, gingerbread and candy sugar; taste is the same, though a little bit masked by a bit too agressive carbonation; would be perfect with a bit less CO2

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Kauge (941) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - NOV 13, 2015
Bottle from Koht. BB 06.08.19. Pours a dark coppery brown colour with a ruby glare; the head’s big-bubbled, drops fast and leaves a thin scattered layer. The aroma... ooh, nice... where to begin... plummy, caramelly, slightly spicy but not specifically christmasy (which I like), very pleasant candy- or bubblegum-like notes. The flavour’s similar; the booze starts to creep forward only after a while. Warming. This is multilayered stuff. Very active carbonation, at first it feels almost aggressive even, but it mellows later on and helps cut through the somewhat sticky palate. And to be honest, as the carbonation flattens, the whole thing kinda dies. Other than that, it’s an excellent brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
martjoobolut (1898) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - NOV 13, 2015
0,33L bottle (from Koht). Pours dark brown with brownish beige head. The head stays. Aroma is spices, dark fruits, sweetness, malt. Flavor is sweet, caramel, burnt sugar, alcohol, spices, malt. Finish is spices and alcohol. Overall: good, but too boozy and feels a bit underwhelming compared to many BSA-s.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
HuldgaardRJ (170) - Sønderborg, DENMARK - NOV 8, 2015
(5) Average at best. Wonderful aroma and taste. A good beer. Had a wonderful idea of what power this beer packs. !

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
RhetoricalAns (666) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 5, 2015
Dark mahogany pour, thin fizzy tan head. Warm sweet aroma, caramel, dark fruit, spicy, ginger, coriander and clove. Taste follows with a sweet heavy, slightly syrupy body. Some warming alcohol comes through. Love it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Linnet (1384) - Karlstad, SWEDEN - OCT 30, 2015
Fruity, yeasty, jam, earthy, warming, copper colour, red tints, big off-white head, big sweetness, lightly bitter, warming.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
edgallow (3075) - nashville, Tennessee, USA - OCT 26, 2015
Pours brown with a off white head. Aroma of yeast, fruit, malts and sugar. Taste is caramel, fruit, alcohol and toffee.

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