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

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 1400   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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!


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ebone1988 (1310) - Dearborn, Michigan, USA - AUG 15, 2016
Aroma is figs, booze, caramel, toffee, dry, dark fruit, nice. Appearance is brown, light tan head, hazy. Taste is fruity, tons of fig, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, plums, really good. Mouthfeel is medium body, light carbonation, crisp, fruit and booze aftertaste. Overall, this is great stuff, even better than Abt 12.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
alomtnez (335) - SPAIN - AUG 12, 2016
Medium beige head with good retention. Hazy and muddy brown appearance. Spicy aroma, fruity, caramel (brown sugar). Very sweet flavour and very spicy (clove, pepper hints), some fruity and malty. A very spicy beer.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mice (782) - FINLAND - AUG 8, 2016
Hyvin tummanruskea olut melko runsaalla, aavistuksen beigeen vivahtavalla vaahdolla, joka jättää reilusti pitsiä. Tuoksussa tummaa hedelmää, ennen kaikkea luumua, sokerista makeutta ja lievää mausteisuutta sekä jollain tapaa viinimäinen yleisfiilis. Maussa joulu on vahvasti esillä, vaikkei tämä mikään maustepommi olekaan. Tumman hedelmäinen, vahvasti neilikkainen, kanelinen ja hieman aniksinen. Loppupuolellaan hieman maltaisen makea ennen kuivempaa ja mausteisempaa, jälleen varsin punaviinimäistä loppuliukua. Aika täyteläinen suutuntuma, sopivasti hiilihappoinen. Todella laadukas jouluolut.

2.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
cheap (5253) - Beaver Valley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 24, 2016
Finally had a chance to taste this on tap in the magic tree’s christmas in july happening. Darker ale. Neat how it appears as fairly flat but even without co2 there is a tad of cutting effects on the palette. Was expecting another over the top holiday beer but what I got was a milder, more civilized vesion of what was expected. This is a well balanced brew between a typical holiday spiced brew and a good civilized belgian. Yes, finally a holiday brew that I can respect. Right there in the league of good holiday ales like Reclamation Christmas Ale. Look, I don’t care for any holiday ales, but this is acceptable.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
heavy (2739) - Split, CROATIA - JUL 24, 2016
A 0.75 l bottle that poured a hazy copper body with medium sized ivory head. Aroma of caramel, cooked dark fruits, spices, including cinnamon and cloves, sour cherry and of course yeast. Flavor was lightly sweet and toasted and lightly roasted malts, caramel-coffee, cocoa, dark fruits, winter spicy (cinnamon, herbal). A little bit alcoholic. Full body with long, sweetish finish, sugary, spicy and also a bit perfumey. A fine Christmas beer.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
OminouSC2 (424) - SWEDEN - JUL 11, 2016
Dark red/brown color. Dried fruit aromas, spices, oranges, gillyflowers. Dried fruits, oranges, caramel, yeast and spices. Something off in the taste/finish. Not really sure what. A bit too sweet.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Mesjasz (908) - Lodz, POLAND - JUN 11, 2016
St. Bernardus Christmas Ale - uzupełnienie ocen piw pitych przed używaniem ratebeer.

4.2
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
McDear (40) - Napoli, ITALY - JUN 11, 2016
Una birra veramente particolare che mi ha dato l’immediata impressione dei profumi e dei sentori del Natale. Un immediato amaro di luppolo che cede quasi subito ad un intermezzo di malto e caramello con un finale dolce con decisi aromi di coriandolo e cannella. Schiuma abbondante di colore rosa, alcol forte e deciso a 10 abv come è giusto che sia per una birra natalizia. Un rara opera d’arte brassicola. Per veri intenditori.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Arayaga2 (2114) - portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 4, 2016
Dark cola brown with a dense tan head of very tiny bubbles. Aroma is rich cola notes, and taste is the same, with slight cherry funk on a strong dark base. Can’t believe I’ve had it so many times, and am just rating it now. VGF #2, she made a funny face

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Helsdon (349) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 16, 2016
Had this one stewing for over a year. Finally. Racked it open. Pours a rosy brown with lees cloud. Thinner head that breaks down rather fast. Nose of brown sugar, malts and prunes. Similar taste of carmel malts, dried fruits, booze and mild yeast. A little thinner on the palate than I expected but a very nice beer.


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