Home > Bock, Doppelbock > Samichlaus Classic Bier (341 of 1001)

Samichlaus Classic Bier (341 of 1001)

Rating: 4.05

A ridiculously big beer now and quite a rare one too, this is a 14% abv. doppelbock from Austria’s Schloss Eggenberg brewery that is only brewed once a year, on the 6th of December for release the following year. Now brewed under license by the Feldschlösschen brewery in Switzerland, the beer is aged for around ten months before being bottled and I will be reviewing a 2014 vintage of the beer that I picked up from the BeersOfEurope website a couple of years ago but never quite got around to drinking given it’s such a strong beer. This one will be the 341st beer from the 1001 beers list that I’ll have reviewed here but will be my first Austrian offering from it, I’m still listing as an Austrian beer since it’s still brewed under contract from an Austrian brewery, even though the actual brewing takes place in Switzerland there days. It should also be noted that the beer is quite a well received one and it is also well reviewed online too; it is currently listed as the 25th best doppelbock in the world on the BeerAdvocate website and the reviews are good elsewhere too.

samichlaus-classic-bier

Appearance (4/5): Lighter than I’d expected for some reason, despite the fact I knew very little about this one going in. The beer is a caramel to copper brown with a thin head that’s an off white to cream brown, sitting mainly round the edges of the glass. There is a few bubbles showing through the head as well but the body is a still and slightly hazy one; overall the beer looks great,  especially for the such a strong one.
Aroma (9/10): Really sweet in the early going with plenty toffee and caramel notes, it’s not overpowering but definitely stronger than I thought. I got some darker fruits, mainly figs and dates with a bit of raisin and plum in there too. This was followed by some vanilla or butterscotch notes before a little spice and oak made an appearance. Quite a few sugars feature nearer the middle alongside biscuit and the odd earthy malt too, with a couple subtle hops towards the end. The balance on the nose was quite a good one thankfully and only a hint of alcohol showed itself despite the strength of the beer.
Taste (8/10): Following on well from the nose, the beer opens with a lot of toffee and caramel malts that give it a fairly sweet taste that comes through stronger than the nose without overpowering. There was a lot of sugars following this and I got some biscuit flavours too before some plum and fig flavours showed themselves. Again the balance was good but it did seem a little stronger than with the nose, some more alcohol and grains appearing at the end than was previously the case.
Palate (4/5): Quite a thick, full-bodied offering that’s sweet and almost syrupy with a lot of fine carbonation and some spice too. There was plenty of sugars with a lingering sweetness that gets stronger as things go on and there was touches of warning alcohol nearer the end that gave it a boozy feel. Initially the beer wasn’t overly strong but things stepped up a gear after the beer opened up a little; it’s definitely not one for the faint of heart.

Overall (15/20): Quite a strong beer with a full body and a very sweet mouthfeel, it opened up as a fairly balanced offering but gradually things got sweeter and it eventually began to overpower towards the end, almost seeming sickening but not quite. Some nice malts featured alongside some decent caramel flavours with plenty ripe fruits as well which is what I expected but it was just a touch too strong at times. The beer had good carbonation levels though and by the end it was also quite boozy with a pretty warming feel and solid kick to it. Overall it was a very nice beer but due to the strength it’s probably more likely to be a one-off for me rather than something I’d go back to often, if at all.

Brewed In: Vorchdorf, Austria (udner contract at Rheinfelden, Switzerland)
Brewery: Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg (under contract at Feldschlösschen)
First Brewed: 1979
Type: Doppelbock
Abv: 14.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: BeersOfEurope.co.uk
Price: £4.99

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