Brouwerij Corsendonk Corsendonk Christmas Ale (2013) – Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 8.1% ABV

Brouwerij Corsendonk Corsendonk Christmas Ale (2013) Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 8.1% ABV (C$1.79 at Grand Liquor Store Nelson, 250 ml, best before 26-Jun-2016, acquired 27-Jan-2018, reviewed 28-Jan-2018)

Appearance: hazy brown with two fingers of fluffy beige head, excellent retention and heavy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: brown sugar, dried dark fruit, liquorice, spices. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium, soft carbonation, building bitter and warming finish. (4/5)

Interesting… I bought this thinking I had scored an unbelievable deal (under $11 for six, with a glass) and I’m still happy with that deal – but it’s perhaps not quite so unbelievable. The box says this is 8.5% ABV, but the bottle says 8.1%. And, the BB date on the bottle is 2016. So, a little research suggests this is in fact a 2013 vintage, since that seems to be the only recent vintage that had an 8.1% ABV. (Unless it’s a 2004-2010 vintage, that is. But, it seems likely that there’d be a 3 year BB date, so I’m going with 2013 for my vintage here.) And, as far as I can tell, five years (or more) in the bottle has harmed this not at all. It’s an excellent example of the BSDA style, with flavours dominated by dark sugar and dried fruits, in addition to mild “seasonal” spices. Yeah, christmas may be long over, but given the amount of snow I’ve had to deal with in the past couple of days, I can use a little christmas – and this provides that. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze