Sunday, December 25, 2011

Brouwerij Corsendonk - Christmas Ale

Purchased From: Harvest Fine Wines & Spirits
Serving Type: 330ml bottle, poured into a snifter

In celebration of Christmas this year I chose to review, the very fittingly named, Christmas Ale from Belgium-based Corsendonk. The Christmas Ale is a seasonally released interpretation of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale produced by the well-known Belgian brewer.

The beer pours a deep chestnut body with a large, frothy yellowed light tan head. The foam retention is excellent and leaves sparse lacing on the glass. The snifter-concentrated nose is very dusty and dry. Definite cellar notes combine with mineral water to form a solid musty base. Dry, but potent, spices emanate late on the aroma and combine with dark smokey incense notes.

On the sip the mouthfeel is very smooth. Carbonation is light overall, but features pockets of bristling bubbles that prod the palate. Surprisingly bright fruits light up the flavor with minor orangey citrus and a dusting of apricot. There's even a hint of light mango or papaya. As the citrus fades the apricot opens the door to some darker Winter fruits that usher in a dash of candied sweetness. Spices play well with the fruity notes and lend a dryness on the back end. The finish comes across with a minor carbonation bite and a lasting, but receding, fruitiness and a satisfying chest heat.

An excellent beer for Winter drinking that proudly features bright flavors, often lost in the deluge of Winter Warmers and the like.

Final Verdict: A

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