Advent Beer Calendar 2010: Day 1: St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

St. Bernardus Christmas AleAmazingly enough, December has rolled around again and it brings one of my favorite times of the year, both in regards to beer and to the holiday season. As is tradition here at The Brew Site, December also heralds the Beer Advent Calendar—now in its sixth(!) iteration. I love doing this feature each year, and like last year, I’m inviting some other folks to join in the fun.

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is the first beer for the 2010 calendar: this beer from Belgian’s Brouwerij St. Bernardus is a strong dark Abbey ale (10% alcohol by volume) and is

…characterized by its deep dark colour, with a creamy, thick head and a full, almost velvety taste with a fruity nose. It’s a seasonal ale, brewed annually for the holiday season. The long winter nights are perfect moments to savour this ale with or without friends and to enjoy its unique, complex taste and after-taste. [via RateBeer]

This a complex and multi-layered brew with hints of holiday spice, dark fruits, and is candy- and malty-sweet. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is one of the best-known holiday ales to come out of Belgium and is one of the best in St. Bernardus’ lineup—so if someone offers you up a taste (or a glass, or a bottle), be sure to accept with a “Merry Christmas!”

BeerAdvocate: A-. RateBeer: 3.85/5, 99th percentile.