BlackHaddock (3488) - Shropshire, - MAY 1, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
April 2009: Brown 33cl bottle, best before Oct 09, it had been hanging around in my stash for a couple of years and I decided its time had come!
I knew it could produce a stupidly large head, so I used my equally large ’Judas’ glass to review it in.
Because the glass could take it, the beer looked fantastic. The body was a dark ruby colour, but clear when held to the light. On top sat a wonderfully full off-white, slightly tanned head. At the end of the review there was still a full covering of head, thinner but still a full covering, with heavy lacing down the glass.
The smell is toffee apple with malted biscuits, cinnamon and liquorice, I’ll let you decide which is the strongest when you try the beer.
A hidden sweetness comes through in the taste, not the sickly over-sweet flavour some Belgian Christmas beers have, but never-the-less, it has a sweet side to it. For me the liquorice is the dominant feature of the taste, this gives the beer a dryness that the first sweet impression doesn’t even hint at. Other Christmas type spices arrive as the beer warms (chives?), very moorish!
Rich but not creamy (the liquorice sees to that), the flavours do hang around and the 9% was more and more evident as the review progressed.
For the last two years I’ve been to the ’Belgian Christmas Beer Festival’ in Essen. I like to think I know a bit about this type of beer and this one is worth getting hold of.
sulawang (599) - British Columbia, CANADA - JUN 30, 2014
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Pours pale copper brown with a large lasting creamy head, sticky lacing, a good layer of retention, and surprisingly almost no activity.
Nose: Brown sugar malts with a hint of spices. (lvl-4)-pungency
Attack: bubbly-tingly/fizzy crisp mouthfeel, incoming malts + alcohol
Mid-palate: (metallic copper taste-bottle contamination?), continued fizzy, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) toffee malts, brown sugar, alcohol, molasses, cola, dark fruit
Finish: bloated, alcohol, metallic malty bitter finish.
Summary: Perhaps I got a bad bottle but this had an off-putting metallic taste to it. Coupled with it’s over booziness and excessive fizzy texture, I can’t recommend it.
Beerhunter111 (6868) - Hasborn, GERMANY - APR 28, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Ins Glas ergießt sich ein leicht trübes rötlichbraunes Bier mit schöner Schaumkrone. Geruch sehr malzig süß, fruchtig, leicht würzig. Geschmack fruchtig malzig, überreife Früchte, nur leicht alkoholisch.
Iznogud (618) - CROATIA - APR 11, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle 750 ml at Pivkan, Zagreb. Pours hazy red brown with beige head. Malty and spicy aroma. Sweet caramel, malty flavor with some fruits as well.
superspak (2443) - Michigan, USA - MAR 25, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle into signature chalice; 9/2007 date on the cork. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, prune, fig, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, clove, light chocolate, herbal, and toast/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, light chocolate, clove, herbal, floral, and toast/yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, prune, fig, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, light chocolate, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and big robustness of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast flavors; with a great malt/yeast ester flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and moderately creamy/slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.
Icedwarf (262) - Etten-Leur, NETHERLANDS - MAR 15, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Heel goed bier, donker bruin van kleur met heel veel koolzuur. Schuim blijft lang staan. Smaak, kruidig, iets zoet, cholcolade, citroen en fruit en anijs. Eén ven de betere Kerstbieren. Fles 33cl waarvan etiket is aangepast.
Kosmokrator (456) - ITALY - FEB 25, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottiglia 2012: Limpido color ambrato con riflessi rubino in controluce, massiccio cappello di soffice schiuma beige molto persistente. Aroma intenso e dolce con immeditati sentori di frutta matura e sciroppata ed in un secondo momento emergono sentori di zucchero caramellato e cannella; sembra di annusare una crostata casereccia. Gusto dolce, rotondo, fruttato e caramellato con note di toffee e spezie molto intense, sul finale compaiono liquirizia, scorza di agrumi ed un pizzico di luppolo. Corpo medio-abbondante, effervescenza gentile, struttura vellutata e setosa. Ottima birra natalizia, 100% belga, dolce ma non stucchevole e con un pizzico di personalità!
paulvanpelt (321) - Reusel, NETHERLANDS - FEB 10, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Aroma van suiker, mout. Licht kunstmatig. Donker amber. Licht zuur. Licht zoet. Medium body. Zacht.
JulienHuxley (2934) - Hilversum, NETHERLANDS - FEB 4, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
33 cl bottle. Dark yet clear red-brown pour with very thick frothy off white foam. Aroma is spicy, cinnamon, quite herbal, minty, peppermint, spicy belgian yeast. Taste is sweet, quite spicy, light metallic notes, quite grainy, caramel, pepper. Palate is med-dry, full bodied with full carbonation. Quite enjoyable.
freretoc (573) - Besançon, FRANCE - FEB 1, 2014
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bu en bouteille de 33cl, une couleur brune cuivrée avec une mousse qui monte vite, en bouche les notes grillées du caramel et du café arrivent et enfin une amertume forte.
Beerman6686 (4195) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 29, 2014
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 8/20
This one poured a light orange with a white head. Aroma was of cardboard, oxidation, booz and some dark fruits. Flavor was similar, very caramel cardboardy, lots of booze, and not really any traditional belgian characteristics at all.