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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1501   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.

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 10, 2012
Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a St. Bernardus branded goblet. The bottle creates a loud pop when I pull the cork, but it is no gusher. A burgundy brown colored beer is full and rich to the eye, with a full eggshell white head that is initially huge before settling down a little bit. The aroma is full of plums, dates, and a bit of raisins. Holiday spices light up the nose as well. All of these aromas exist in front of a full caramel malt. My first sip is quite sweet. Brown sugar, plums, dates, figs, and raisins are the most noticeable at first. The holiday spices from the nose come through as well; nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon all work well with the fruit notes. A bit of bread crusts and sweet caramel provide the malt presence. There is a bit of booze and light dry bitterness toward the end of the sip. From the pop of the cork, it was obvious that this is a well-carbonated brew. It is a overly creamy carbonation with a little bit of a bubbly nature as well, as I am used to in the abbey ales. The flavor starts sweet and sticky and finishes with a light residue on the lips. Overall I thought this was quite complex and enjoyable. Pretty much what I would expect out of St. Bernardus.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
tiong (6901) - Espoo, FINLAND - APR 28, 2012
750ml bottle from Bierzwerg

Pours dark brown with a foamy head. Strong fruity and malty aroma with ripe fruits, caramel, syrup and solvent notes. Very fruity and malty taste with hints of caramel, ripe fruits and solvent. Finish is malty and sweet. A bit unbalanced, perhaps slightly too fruity and has some unpleasant notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
HopfenWeisse (1516) - - APR 20, 2012
750ml bottle from Bierzwerg. Dark brown colour with small head. Aroma is spicy. Flavour is malt, sweet, spices.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
anders8000 (390) - aarhus.c., DENMARK - APR 15, 2012
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. Water, malt sugar, hops and yeast.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
BlackHaddock (6974) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - APR 9, 2012
On 15th Dec 2011 I wrote this: At last Ive had an on-tap St Bernardus Christmas Ale that I could review (the other times Ive drank it I didnt really have reviewing opportunities, beerfests etc). This time however was different: the lovely Red Rose bar in Brugge being the venue. 33cl for Euro 4.00, worth every cent. Poured into a St Bernardus goblet it looked the business in every way: Jet black with a deep beige crown of tight bubbles sat on top. The head stayed and gave waves of lacing as I wolfed the brew down. The smell was of dark, rich, candied fruits with a good measure of caramel and malts thrown in. The taste always blows me away, creamy, rich and hearty in every way, yet its so mellow the 10%ABV does not show at all; this is a dangerous brew and so, so easy on the palate it just slides down the throat at an alarming rate. A brew to savour, but very difficult not to quaff at pace and order another, and another, and another. Whatever spices they use just enhance the flavours from the mash tun and helps to turn the brew from excellent to superb. A true classic and a beer Ill never tire of drinking (if Ive got the next day off).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jimhilt (2595) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 26, 2012
Will pour a five+ finger cream head that fades very slowly, leaving some lace. Deep, opaque brown color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is Belgian yeast and flavor is sweet Belgian yeast and spice, nice Christmas ale. Higher ABV is hidden. $11.20 for a 750ml caged & corked bottle from Tullys Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
wilderthanyou (758) - Guelph, CANADA - FEB 21, 2012
So I figured, what better time to drink a Christmas ale than the middle of a abnormally warm February. . . .Pours a mahogany brown with a decent fizzy sticky off white cap. The aroma is spice, dark fruits, carmalized sugar, touch of apple, dough, awesome. The flavour is fantastic, starts out with a tingle of spice on the tip of the tongue, carmalized sugars and dark fruits sweeten things, a strange kinda bitterness at the back of the tongue, like apple skin sorta, mixes with a sweet warm alcohol note, it works, and its good. The foamy mouth feel. AWESOME!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Gary (1972) - Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 13, 2012
UPDATED: FEB 14, 2012 (750ml Corked) Proper review when I sober up next week . A rich ,spicy , robust offering from that alcoholic monk . I love the smooth malt complexity profile located with in all St Bernardus beers.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ndg2e (36) - Arizona, USA - FEB 11, 2012
A good Christmas beer. Spice flavor. Spice smell. Good pour strong palate. Would drink again

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
mnoud (318) - Martinsburg, West Virginia, USA - FEB 11, 2012
750ml bottle in Chimay glass. Pours fairly dark brown. A bubbly foamy 1 finger light head dissipates leaving a film across the top and lacing the sides. Aroma has the Belgian smell. Flavor has a bit of a carbonated alcoholic bite on the front end. Otherwise it has a nice mildly tangy or fruity flavor that is tempered and erased by carbonation and alcohol aftertaste.

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