“St.Bernardus Christmas Ale is a dark seasonal brewed in the classic ‘Quadrupel’ style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. (10,0 % ABV) Similar to all the beers from our brewery, it greets the drinker with the signature aroma of the St.Bernardus house yeast strain (in use since 1946!) Rivaling the complexity of the St.Bernardus Abt 12, St.Bernardus Christmas Ale offers a spicy, mint-like flavor profile exuding the tastes of warming alcohol, fermented molasses, apricots, licorice and marzipan that are highligted by the perfect balance of brewing sugars. The perfect companion to enjoy a (cold?) winter evening, with or without the company of your friends!” 10% ABV Belgian Quad Ale
Purchased from BevMo in Fresno, California.
Poured from a 25.9 oz bottle into my Libbey Belgian Ale glass. The color is hazy brown, similar to very strong brewed iced tea. Solid carbonation is visible climbing up the glass. A solid, off-white head is poured, which retains incredibly well and leaves good lacing.
I immediately notice the aromas of typical Belgian ale yeast, but with a slight tinge of sourness. Cloves, nutmeg, spice, banana, and sour dark fruit aromas emanate.
A medium-bodied ale, actually much lighter than expected for a large Belgian quad, with a lot of carbonation harshness noticeable as it goes down. The flavors match the nose pretty well, down to the ever-so-light tinge of dark fruit sourness on the back end. The spice notes stand out a bit more on the palate as well. The alcohol is hidden nicely, and it finishes a bit dry, with lingering yeasty characteristics.
Well, this beer definitely seems like a Belgian quad. However, it doesn’t quite distinguish itself as a Christmas beer. Maybe the light addition of nutmeg spice makes it a Christmas beer in the brewery description, but it doesn’t seem all that different than other Belgian ales. It has a very spastic mouthfeel, as the carbonation doesn’t really subside during the drinking. Overall, the flavors are done pretty well, but don’t seem quite on par with the ABT 12, which I hope to review soon.
Merry Christmas to all my readers/followers, and thank you for your support through our first year!
Brouwerij St. Bernardus – Watou, Belgium