TChrome (1481) - North Richland Hills, Texas, USA - APR 25, 2005
Bottle 2002: Pours orange red amber with a moderately dissipating off white head. Aroma is rich, very barleywine-ish, very sweet malt, maple syrup, alcohol. Flavor is sweet, very rich, alcohol burn when it hits the esophagus, but not before. Definite aged quality. This is a delicous dessert beer. Really nice. I wished I had some to age. Thank you Secret Santa (I still don’t know who you are?) joeygjr (8) - Virginia, USA - APR 25, 2005 does not count
Ripe cheese, fruit and alcohol prominent in the nose. Rich and coppery in appearance -- short-lived head. Robust and full bodied. Apple, pear, concord grapes, and nuts figure in the taste. Bread early on the tongue, with the fruity flavours in the middle, and strong alcohols in the after taste. Aperitif par excellance. Padron4KM (810) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - APR 24, 2005
2004 edition, sampled April ’05. BillyM (151) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - APR 23, 2005
Pours out clear amber with a short lived tan head.
Aroma is rich and fruity, port like, with apricots and prune, a little toffee in there too.
Flavor is sweet and port like also, plum, prune, apricot. Alcohol is very noticable, especialy as it warms up. Cant drink more than one of these in a session.
It will be interesting to see how this one ages.
An interesting but not entirely satisfying beer, in my opinion. Perhaps, as I’ve heard, it does age well. Definitely a sipping beer with the strong alcohol overtones. More of an after-dinner drink (as stated in the description). The aroma is entirely unique & I’m not even sure how to describe it – a sort of stew for the nose with sweet and malty scents as well as some I’m not familiar with. It’s scary, yet peaks my curiosity, knowing that a beer with a strong reputation has such a sharp smell. My initial taste was equally as intriguing, as I was not expecting such an overpowering taste (though I probably should have been from the 14% ABV). Still, taking the idea of it being a standard beer out of the equation, as I sipped I found myself more content with its flavor. A sweet mixture of fruit & malt, with that alcohol always lingering to warm up your senses. Obviously, don’t drink this as a “beer”, but enjoy it as a unique beverage. [$14.99/4pk] jerohen (2348) - Bussum, NETHERLANDS - APR 23, 2005
Forgot to write down what vintage. This is an alcoholic beast, the ethanol hits you as soon as you open the bottle. Warming and sweet, like liquor. Might age very well, but even now i thought it was quite good.
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - APR 21, 2005
Bottle, vintage 2004. Strong alcohol in the nose, almost slight whiskey aromas. Some garbage juice and figgy fruit. Spirity on the tongue, lots of alcohol, toffee apple. salty, dark fruit flavours, some port/ sherry. Hint of strawberry. Lightly sticky mouthfeel, turns smooth, then has a big alcohol kick in the end. Really warming, and perhaps too much alcohol showing and too much sticky malt for me. BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - APR 17, 2005
2002 bottle, served in a Real Ale Fest sampler glass and next to the 1996 Hurlimann Samichlaus (big mistake): This brew has a ruby carmel hue with little head or lace but some nice oily film around the glassware. The aroma has notes of prune and fig, aromatic and floral pipe tobacco, moderate phenolic presence, and a touch of peated scotch. The taste starts fruity and moderately sweet, more akin to a dessert wine than a beer, but quite enjoyable. I detect a bit of soy or sea salt upon the finish explaining the scotch notes. Additional depth of honeydew and candi sugar provides a wonderful complex taste that will only get better. The feel is a bit sharp and biting (versus the Hurlimann which was so lush, I was nearly at a loss for words), still you can do much worse. Warming for sure, do not plan to go out after drinking one of these. Very good but I feel it is no longer a world classic. Still, if you are open to big beer that you should savor over hours, then this can be your beer. Cellar and enjoy. Dorqui (2260) - Brescia, ITALY - APR 12, 2005
Ruby-red colour, strangely limpid, discreetly bubbly. Strong and alcoholic scent, much deciding. Syrupy sweet taste, powerful and warmth. Much perfumed and full bodied. Indeed excessive. brkc (11) - USA - APR 11, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2006 A little bit like drinking syrup but for some reason I just love this one. You can definitely taste the alcohol and see the film left on the glass. Aroma leaves a little bit to be desired. No head. Heavy duty. Needs to be sipped slowly. JakeBrake (14) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - APR 5, 2005
Samichlaus is more accurately described as a "malt liquer" than a beer. Incredibly intense, with a level of complexity usually only found in Scotch, it is best served in a brandy snifter or tulip glass and sipped slowly over the course of an hour. The aroma, probably its weakest point, is powerful and strange. The flavor is intensely sweet and strongly malty, and it is next to impossible to drink this beer in swallows. Strong, warm alcoholic kick, with a powerful sedative effect. Beautiful, deep reddish brown color. Reputed to improve with age – I am cellaring 12 bottles from the 2004 vintage to confirm this.
It’s not for everone, but for those who can tolerate its unique style, nothing else compares.