St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

0 Comments By Blake December 8, 2009

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

For our second Belgian seasonal review we’ve selected St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. If you don’t already know, I’m pretty much cheating by reviewing this beer. I knew what I was pulling from the case at BX, ”reviewing” it is just an excuse to savor a big bottle of delicious on a Tuesday night.

This is the youngest of the St. Bernardus beers. I don’t know how long they’ve been making it, the brewery doesn’t list it amongst it’s beers on their website, but I have managed to get my hands on one for at least the last five years.

It pours murky chocolate brown into the goblet. The head is white and frothy but dissipates fast leaving a ring of white lace around the rim of the glass. It has a wonderful yeasty nose with a smell of dried fruits and a hint of mulling spice. The mouthfeel of this beer is just fantastic. Its full and the carbonation is just right, leaving a velvety tickle at the back of the mouth.

As it warms the fruit comes out in the flavor and the spice comes out in the nose. This beer is 10% abv, but you’d never know it. I know its there, I can smell it and feel the warmth in the finish, but there is so much good going on in this one you just don’t notice.

I love the St. Bernardus yeast. They can do no wrong with this strain, the fruit notes are there but they are enveloped in a velvety malty goodness that I am not good enough to put into words. Its just a little spicier in the finish than the abt 12, a hint of pepper and cloves is there but is very subdued. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that this is just the 12 plus a spice blend.

I really was trying to avoid giving out a perfect rating, but this beer is ridiculously good. I can’t recommend it enough.

5/5  If your palate has developed a taste for Belgian strong ale, you too will love this beer.

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