Samichlaus was first brewed in 1980 by Swiss brewer Hürlimann. This extreme beer is brewed on Dec. 6 every year and is matured an entire year before being released the following December. At the time, this Christmas treat was the strongest beer in the world (14% abv). When Hürlimann was purchased by Feldschlössen, production of Samichlaus was stopped until 2000, when the brand was acquired by Eggenberg Castle Brewery in Austria.
Writing about it in 1991, Michael Jackson noted:
“It has a reddish-brown colour and a malty aroma and taste that remind me of Horlicks with a slug of alcohol added. At such a high gravity, it would be overwhelmingly cloying but for its smoothness (thanks, no doubt, to the long maturation) and that kick of alcohol. Instead, it is creamy, soothing and gently warming.
It takes almost a year of slow secondary fermentation to develop the full strength of Samichlaus. I can think of no other beer that has such a long period of cold storage (in German, lagering). Nor could the location of the cellars be more appropriate. The whole of the brewery is set into the foothills of the Alps, where the technique of lagering was born (though that was, it must be conceded, on the more easterly side of the mountains in Bavaria).”
Color: (60 EBC)
Original gravity: 1114