Belgians make some of the best beer in the world. That is commonly accepted by beer aficionados and alcoholics alike. St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale is no exception.
St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale is a great beer. It may not, however, be a great Christmas Ale. It really is delicious. I enjoyed it immensely. However, it lacked the Christmas spices that I come to expect in Christmas Ales. I want cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey.
St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale may have had some honey flavor. I tasted likle a lighter, sweeter Chimay with a fruitier nose. If you’ve not experienced a Trappist ale (and St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale is one), it is hard to describe the flavor. There are no other beers like them.
St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale leaves Bell’s Christmas Ales and Great Lake’s Christmas Ales way behind in pure beer flavor and quality. St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale is completely unfiltered but contains no sediment. The brewer claims it is a “living beer” and may be aged up to fifteen years before drinking.
St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale poured with a foamy head that lasted several minutes. It went down very smoothly. It smelled heavenly. It was pure delight to my palate. I can say though, it just didn’t taste like Christmas. I have had no other St. Bernardus’ beers to compare, so I cannot say how different or special it is. I guess that is incentive to try some more St. Bernardus’ beers, and I will.
It would bee very easy to have a few St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ales in a single sitting, however be prepared to be lying of the floor after a few. At 10% alcohol by volume, it will push you left of sober in a few sips. You also have to quantify exactly what a beer is. St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale is sold in 750 ml bottles (about 25.4 ounces), so one beer is really two based on volume. Based on ABV, though, one beer is like four of your average super market swill, so be careful.
Finally, St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale is much more expensive than most beers. It cost me $10.55 (USD) to pick up one bottle. It may be cost prohibitive. It will take a special occasion or a great respect for quality before most will spend this much on beer. Remember, you get what you pay for, and your eally get something special with this beer.
Information about St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale ca be found at three different official sites:
- Brouwerij St. Bernard
- Sint Bernardus
- Belgian Family Brewers – the only site that mentioned St. Bernardus’ Christmas Ale explicitly
Try some if you can. For pure beer pleasure, you won’t be disappointed. If your expecting Christmasn spice, you may be let down, but you’ll soon forget why!