Brouwerij St Bernardus is famous for both their beers and their heritage. The brewery used to brew the famous Westvleteren beers before the monastery returned all production back to within the abbey’s walls. Their Abt 12 represents what Westvleteren 12 used to be before the abbey changed their yeast strain. You can read more about the two beers and their history here.
Their Christmas Ale is another quad style beer that, as its name indicates, is a winter seasonal release. It’s just now coming into stores, although this review was written down last year from that year’s batch.
Appearance: Bright Garnet/Brown, tan head, great retention.
Aroma: Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cocoa, molasses, brown sugar, dates, dried fruit, chocolate
Taste: Malty, dried fruit, dark chocolate, dates, spicy finish.
Overall Impression: Like the Abt 12, this is a great beer with a huge amount of depth and complexity. Let it warm a bit out of the fridge to get all the flavor. I’m very curious to try this side by side with the straight Abt 12 quad!
Availability: Seasonally at better beer shops that carry beers imported by D & V International.
I love your description!
Thanks! It’s a really great beer.
Every year I buy two or three bottles of these one to drink and one to store for the next years, they cost about 5 euro’s ( 8 dollars a bottle here in the Netherlands).
I bet it ages nicely!
This looks delicious! I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on some. Thanks!
It seems to have pretty good distribution, and is now available in 11.2oz bottles!
Great review. I wondered why the Westvleteren and St. Bernardus 12 were so similar. I picked up a bottle of the 25 oz. Christmas Ale and the Corsendonk Christmas for a little side-by-side comparison.
I haven’t tried the Corsendonk Christmas yet. I’ve always been a bit hit or miss with their stuff. I’m trying a Brasserie de Cazeau Tournay de Noel.