erling1000 (826) - DENMARK - NOV 15, 2014
A dark belgian xmas ale. Palate like velvet. Aroma is complex, coffee, vineous. Taste is bitter. Interesting beer. Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - FEB 2, 2012
THOUGHTS: Not as nice as the 2010, but still an incredible beer. Less spices and a lot more orange in this one. Hid alcohol fairly well, but the alcohol did cancel out some of the other aromas.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a very dark red that nearly opaque black in the glass except for the edges. It also had a large, rocky, almost meringue-like, light brown head that slowly diminished and remained a decent sheet and left excellent lacing. The aroma had moderate to heavy grain, roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee and chocolate syrup; spicy yeast; cherry, vanilla, alcohol, wood, smoke, some Christmasy spices, orange and orange peel. The initial flavor was moderately sweet; while the finish was mod to heavily sweet and light to mod bitter. The flavor was like one of those orange flavored chocolate candies that are shaped an actual orange that breaks into slices. There was oranges, chocolate syrup, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, orange peel, a little coffee, candy sugar, spicy yeast, dusty yeast, sort of doughy yeast, soy sauce, a little smoke, roasted malt, something sort of bourbony, cherry, alcohol, vanilla, and some holiday spices. But mostly it was orange, chocolate and dusty yeast. The medium to full body was silky and then a bit dry with fiarly soft carbonation and a lightly alcoholic finish. Arborescence (29) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - FEB 11, 2012
Black. Pours a very thick head that develops quickly, pour gently!
Dark chocolate, alcohol, burnt coffee, malt.
Strong malt attack with coffee and chocolate flavours, develops into an aftertaste typical for barley wines; warms you up on the way down. Not your typical Christmas Ale flavours, although they do claim to have added some spices to it. Plenty of sweetness too from the added sugar and syrup. Very thick and soupy!
Interesting! Mikkeller, which is a very productive and experimental brewery, has gone to Belgium to brew this year’s Santa’s Little Helper (not that I’ve tried the previous ones) and they have produced a fine Belgian Strong Ale. This one has elements similar to Rochefort 8 or 10, which are among my favourite Strong Belgian Trappists — Mikkeller’s version is much sweeter though. The sweetness is a bit much after a few sips, but I guess it’s ok given that it’s a Christmas Ale. The high ABV helps to balance the sweetness a bit though, and makes this a beer to be enjoyed slowly. Certainly worth looking for. ExpendableHero (934) - Florida, USA - DEC 2, 2011
This beer rocks. Dark brown, with some reddish hues. Strong aromas of spices, and dark chocolate. Tastes of dark fruit, toffee/caramel, dark chocolate, some coffee, and lots of malt. A bit thick, with some warming booze thrown in. Sweet, chocolaty finish. This stuff is great, words do not do it justice. I strongly recommend this to anyone. Furseth (2165) - Kungälv, SWEDEN - DEC 11, 2011
Bottle: Clear red/Brown colour, big creamy brown head. Aroma was dominated of iron,fruits,caramelly,raisins,vanilla and brown sirup. Flavor was almost the same here Medium body, and a long fruity/raisins finish! Well done!!
Beerheart65 (1503) - Pori, FINLAND - SEP 10, 2012
Aroma has dark sweet malting, licorice, herbs, citrus, pine. Lots of character and nuances. Looks also great. oily black, creamy frothy long head is beige. After aroma taste is surprisingly crisp, noppiness more in front. Good taste. Dry coffee and elements from aroma. Crisp roasted, dry finish, full. Great Christmas beer for dessert or just to enjoy.