Monday, December 17, 2007

25 Beers of Christmas, Day 17: Samichlaus 2003

Perhaps one of the first Christmas beers, Samichlaus is only brewed once a year on December 6th and stored for more than 10 months at the Eggenberg brewery before release. It was at one time the strongest beer commercially available at 14% ABV. Originally the beer was brewed in Switzerland but after a disappearance and revival it is brewed in Austria. This beer was bottled in 2003 and has been in my cellar for three years.

It pours bright red with a bit of golden brown mixed in and topped by a thin tan head that quickly dissipates down to a wisp. The nose is filled with powerful fruity malt. It an enormous aroma of vanilla, oak, dark fruit, overripe plums, lightly sour cherries and big caramel flavors.

In the mouth there is still some alcohol present and it is surrounded by the swirling flavors of dark fruit, vanilla, oakiness and big rich caramel malt. Also it is sugary and sweet. However the finish is relatively clean.
It's huge and a slow sipper for sure but a once a year treat.

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