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Dec 6, 2000 03:19 PM

Christmas Beers- Tried the Anchor, what have you tried?

  • m

Any German ones?
or how about the Belgian flavors?

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  1. j
    Jason Perlow

    Forget those.

    THE Christmas beer is Samiclaus from Switzerland. Its one of the strongest beers in the world and is only made one day a year--on Christmas.

    Really good beer stores carry it, definitely pick some up.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Jason Perlow

      Samichlaus has been off the market for a year or two, but is returning this year, I think brewed by Eggenberger. I've heard it's excellent. BTW, I believe it's brewed on Dec 6, St Nikolas Day.

      My favorite Christmas beer is Stille Nacht, from De Dolle Brouwers, Esen, Belgium. Wonderful sugary sweet-sour character, and about 9% alcohol. It cellars for a good, long time.

      Of course, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is always great, as are Pyramid Snowcap and Geary's Hampshire Special.

      1. re: Jim Dorsch
        Jason Perlow

        "Samichlaus has been off the market for a year or two, but is returning this year, I think brewed by Eggenberger. I've heard it's excellent. BTW, I believe it's brewed on Dec 6, St Nikolas Day. "

        Interesting, I hadnt had a bottle for at least 2 years.

        So in Switzerland Santa Claus gets his own holiday?

        1. re: Jason Perlow

          As usual this year I ordered via mail/web some Jubel by Deschutes Brewery via belmont Station in Portland, Or. I'm a little late so I only got 1 six pack but I got 2 six packs of a new special thang, Super Jubel! It's supposed to be great, aged in oak and all sorts of great flavors in it (not spices). Also ordered, Pike 5x stout, Snowcap, Alaskan Smoked Porter, Hales Wee Heavy (which I had on draft years ago and was great-before they went to the Nitro tap--which I hate-flattens the flavor out in favor of texture only). I can only hope for a long cold winter so I can enjoy everything by a noisy NYC radiator (no fireplace here)!

          1. re: Jason Perlow

            Well, it isn't just in Switzerland. St. Nicholas's Day is big in much of northern Europe--it's the day the Dutch celebrate, too. Claus is short for Nikolaus

        2. re: Jason Perlow
          Michael Messier

          Be warned, Samiclaus is an acquired taste. I am not a neophyte at this, having been an all-grain home brewer for some time. Our home brew club had a tasting of high gravity (alcohol) beers a number of years ago. I thought this beer was vile. IMHO it's a novelty beer. I much prefer Anchor Fog Horn or Sierra Nevada Big Foot barley wine.

          1. re: Michael Messier

            Its certainly not a beer I would drink all the time, thats for sure. But I wouldnt qualify it as vile, its just incredibly strong.

            There are other high alcohol beers that I would qualify as vile -- like the german double-bock EKU 28, that promotes itself as the the strongest beer in the world.



            1. re: Jason Perlow

              EKU 28 certainly is different: syrupy sweet, and it sticks to your lips! I'm not sure if it's made presently, although some of the discontinued strong beers are making a comeback.

              I also prefer Bigfoot to Samichlaus, but I nevertheless wouldn't call the latter 'vile'.

              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                the german purity law of 1516 is very precise.
                beer in germany cannot be made by any other combination:
                water, yeast, malt, hops....

                1. re: Mr. W.

                  Well, I don't believe the purity law is what it once was, since the EU struck it down. My understanding is that the Germans voluntarily follow the Reinheitsgebot, at least for their own consumption, but even before the EU ruling, German brewers outside Bavaria made non-Reinheitsgebot beer for export. In recent years some European brewers reformulated their beers as all-malt for the US market, perhaps to keep up with US microbrews that are typically all-malt (although brewers in the US certainly don't hesitate to add unusual ingredients, and they are refreshingly adopting Belgian attitudes in many cases these days, which basically mean a brewer throws out the book and does what makes the beer best).

          2. re: Jason Perlow

            thanks for the tip on samichlaus! luckily, my drinking partner was ahead of me on this one and had been aging some bottles of it. we had a '96 and a '97 (i preferred the latter just a bit -- less brandylike).

            what usual favorite holiday beer, scaldis noel (great as ever), and stillenacht, which i didn't really dig.

            any other post-xmas imbibing reports?

            1. re: felicia


              Have you read my tasting notes? If not, use link below (if you don't surf by our homepage and check out the "What's New" column, you'll miss stuff like this!). My article also links to David Edeslstein's report of the same tasting, so you can get a second opinion.

              Also, please bear in mind that we have thousands of can we all get to know you if you use the single name "Felicia"? You're welcome to use whatever nametage you'd like, but if you'd use both your names (or a distinctive nickname), you'd surely be more memorable to our community.



          3. Haven't tried any yet. But you reminded me -- does Iron City (brewed in the Pittsburgh, PA, area) still put out "Old Frothingslosh" for the holidays? They advertised it as "the beer with the foam on the bottom."

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dena

              I don't think Olde Frothingslosh is made these days. And a year or two back, the model who portrayed Fatima Yechberg (however it's spelled) on the can passed away.

            2. Had an Affligem Noel last night and it blew my socks off.