Purchased From: Bierkraft
Serving Type: 750 ml bottle, corked and caged, poured into a wine glass
Yesterday I posted a Christmas review of Fantôme de Noël for the holiday. I was happy to realize I had the beer to drink because I thought I had lost my review of the St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. Today I found my notes for the review and instead of waiting a year and reusing it in celebreation of Christmas 2013, I'm adding a second bonus Christmas beer.
This holiday special from Brouwerij Sint Bernardus in Watou Beligum pours a deep chestnut body with a mild amber glow that shines in light. The beer's foam produces a medium-sized light tan head that musters modest retention and leaves thin wisps of lace on the glass. Sweet candy adorns the nose, buttressed by spicy undertones of nutmeg and allspice. The beer seems very sweet with a light hint of astringency.
There's an interesting component of sweet leatheriness up front. The beer is initially smooth and slick but strong carbonation tumbles in on the mid-palate. Sweet and slightly sugary, the beer features figs and a mild touch of raisin. The dark fruits, light mustiness, and sugar give this Winter beer an edge like a Port wine. Carbonation dances on the tongue and evaporates the candied fruit leaving darker toffee notes and a full bodied creamy mouthfeel. Sweet breadiness and caramelized sugars define the finish that leaves a warming chest heat, perfect for cold Winter relaxing.
Final Verdict: A