Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël) - Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

Not Rated.
Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël)Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël)

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BA SCORE
83
good

176 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 8
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 12-10-2002

In the beginning, it was only brewed in the winter and was called Barbãr Winter Bok. However, since 2008 the consumer decided otherwise.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 106
Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small bottle pouring black body, with no lasting head. Sweet honey and yeast aromas. Medium bodied, full carbonation. Tastes of cola, pepper, honey,ginger, cardomon,drop of clove, orange-grapey.Satisfying though slightly drying aftertaste.Significant alcohol.

Photo of t0rin0
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this because I though the concept of a belgian bock was neat. It poured a nice dark somewhat see through black/brown. Some medium head and a little lacing. I think it was a bit over carbonated. The aroma was of all kinds of crazy spicing. The bottle says that it has honey, orange peel, corriander, wheat, and 2 kinds of hops. Personaly I can smell the orange, corriander, and dark malts. But I can taste the honey as well as the rest of the stuff. It was a really nice balance. This is one of those beers that turn out to be good after dumping a ton of different flavors into it. The body was medium/heavy but the excess carbonation was mildly distracting. Overall I would describe this as a hybrid of bock and dubbel but more towards the bock side. I would love to drink this again.

Photo of GRG1313
2.06/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Amber/orange with short white head. Candidly a rather unimpressive effort. A very light and "soda poppy" drink, although there are hints of honey and spice, coriander and orange peel - all very mild and a bit too subtle for my taste. Very light bodied with the carbonation being the primary "standout." Nothing special here; almost like a "light beer" of winter ales. Just my experience....

Photo of metter98
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is jet black in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dark beige head that slowly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface..
S: There are light aromas of honey and notes of dark fruit in the nose.
T: Flavors of honey are quite evident in the taste, which is mostly sweet. There are some hints of oranges and raisins while spices are evident in the finish. The honey flavors become a little stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a high amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is well hidden from the taste but the sweetness of the honey makes this beer slightly cloying.

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color with auburn highlights and a suitably massive head that leaves strands of lace behind

Smell: Fermented honey and caramel, with dark fruit, coriander and cardamom

Taste: Opens with the caramel and fermented honey flavors that grow increasingly sweet and mead-like by mid-palate, with undertones of overripe dark fruit, bananas, coriander and cardamom; after the swallow, a sweet, almost raisiny character arrives to dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with medium to high carbonation

Drinkability: A bit too sweet to drink in any quantity, the beer is well brewed and provides an interesting flavor intersection between a BSDA and a doppelbock

Photo of BEERchitect
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An odd little beer that made the Pazzo list. I began my session with this 8%er.

The beer begins with a ruby-mahogany color that was darkened by deep brown low-lights. An initial froathy tan head falters under the alcohol and sugars to a film but then retained well. Light lacing and legging on the glass.

Sharp, spicy aromas of orange peel, corriander, and fruity sweetness. Very complex with pilsner malts, fruity esters, phenolic peppery, and yeasty tartness.

Flavors are extremely sweet with some maltiness, but more importantly the candi sugars. The heavy dosing of added spices rise in dominance and exceed the expected balance. Very fruity and spicy with grapes, figs, raisons, dates, berries, and all other fruits and Christmas spices usually found in fruitcake. Still the candied-sweet fruits takes on the proportions of cotton candy in the mouth.

Quite sticky, tacky, and sugar laden to the mouthfeel. Very hot from the fusals notes of 8% (feels much more alcoholic than it is.) Spicy and tingly textures take the taste buds for a wild and bumpy ride. The 10 oz. glass quickly becomes tiresome.

The yeast in this beer can't be happy. Maybe fermented hot to amplify the alcohol, fruitiness, and peppery notes. Still, the beer didn't attenuate well enough to absorb the excess amount of sugar. If the flavors and textures of the beer matched the aromas, then the beer would have been worthwhile.

Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never expected to enjoy this beer as much as I did! This brew pours out as a deep amber color with a half inch cream colored head on it. The aroma of this beer is so sweet and inviting. It's one of those beers I just didn't want to lower from my nose. The taste of the beer has that same rich sweetness and alcohol in there that just warms the inside of your body. The mouthfeel is Silky smooth and very easy to put down. I found this to be a hidden gem of a beer. I would look for this one again any day.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark ruby color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sugary dry fruit and candy is some what appealing. Taste is also dominated by candi with clear sugar notes and light dry fruit ester. Body is a bit thin for style with good carbonation and no alcohol was apparent. Not too bad overall though a bit too sweet for my own taste.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black cherry with bright orange accents and abundant bubbles. The wheat toast colored crown is large and airy, but it doesn't have the world's greatest texture. Nor is it sticky enough to lay down more than a few scattered scraps of bubble bath-like lace. The beer makes up for the head's shortcomings.

The nose is interesting. Given the ingredients (see below), it's hard to think of Winter Bok as a BSDA. Only in the sense that it's Belgian, strong, dark and an ale. Medium-dark fruit and an intriguing spiciness dominate. Clove and cardamom (from the Belgian yeast, most likely) are at least as prevalent as coriander.

As far as I can tell, Winter Bok is essentially a darker version of the standard Barbar. They both contain honey, bitter orange and coriander. Sort of a mead meets dark witbier meets BSDA. Truth be told, it tastes most like the last of those. Sweeter and differently spiced perhaps, but otherwise pretty close to a classic BSDA.

The malt backbone is on the skimpy side for the ABV and is more brown ale than porter or stout. It's doubtful that anything as dark as roasted or chocolate malt was used. Flavors include figs dipped in honey, steely caramel, orange zest and the spices mentioned above. Other than providing a minor nip of back end bitterness, the Hallertau and Styrian Goldings hops keep their heads down.

Considering the fact that it's essentially a winter warmer that tips the scales at 8.0%, the mouthfeel is a little weak in the knees. While it does its job fairly well, the carbonation injects only a minimal amount of creaminess and can't save the day in the end.

For whatever reason, I like Barbar (Belgian Honey Ale) more than I like Barbar Winter Bok. They're both delicious, but the lighter beer allows the additional ingredients to contribute more than the darker beer. If you're a Belgianophile, this one is still worth a single bottle purchase if you happen to run across it.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle - $3.79 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Best Before: L20120908.

Appearance: Pours out a dark brown body with a faintly ecru, sea foam-like head.

Smell: Fragrant, floral spices, muted malts, and a bitterish, citrusy splash of triple sec enveloped in some vague sweetish notions of malt and honey and thinned molasses.

Taste: Sweet and somewhat sugary initially, though not particular malty or really honeyish, and more along the lines of an herbal, fruity tea spiked with gourmet dark sugars. The flavor jumps around with each and every sip, giving you a tastes ranging from dried, bitter herbs, to molasses, to dark bread, to squishy over-ripe cherries, to dried orange peel, to RC Cola. Earthy spiciness throughout. Touch of tangy dried berries on the spicy, drying, alcohol warmth-included finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall: Right on, pachyderm. That elephant can sure brew up a pretty decent beer. A reasonably tasty beer that keeps you guessing like a good game of Clue.

Photo of Jason
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz brown bottle w/ a freshness date.

Slightly fizzy head still retains quite well, dark brown that is pretty much opaque. Massive waft of orange peel first then coriander and some earthy honey and toasted grain. Exploding smoothness with each sip that feigns and almost viscous body but actually is semi-dry and on the lighter side. Lots of orange peel and coriander with an edge of honey and a pinch of chewy malt. Slightly estery with a quickly dissipating sweetness. Suggestion of carob powder, yeast, fruit and spicy phenols in the drying finish.

Hits all of the winter flavors, alcoholic as well ... a good pick if you are looking for a slightly dryer winter seasonal.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Barbar Winter Bok (aka Barbar Biere de Noel)

In the frosted Barbar handle mug, it appears dark brown, with a slim, tan head holding tight on top.

Aroma: Honey is evident, and doesn't contribute to too much sweetness, with orange there, too, and a nice drizzling of coriander. Interesting that the two main flavors of a wit are here in this dark winter offering, yet we don't really get the feel of a wit. The dark malts match those flavors to a t, although they don't add too many of their own. Some minor chocolate, a drip of molasses. (Or is that the honey tricking me?

Taste: sweet, smooth, and lightly spicy. Delcicious dark malt meets these sweet & spicy flavors, and I had to just call it a delight. It's not terrifically complex, but not everything has to be. It is medium to full body, and hangs in there on the palate, but doesn't overstay it's welcome. It's like sweet and lovely meets body and soul.

8% alcohol helps the heat and the warmth. Flavors are a total treat.

I'm still rather confused by the designation "book", while they yet call it an "ale". Maybe that word means something else in Belgium?

Something else weird, one the glass what looks like a sword and shield carrying amazon is a mono-toned outline, perhaps suggesting nudity? On the tap handle, the figure is clothed. Standards? Censorship? Whatever.It's a tasty brew, and I will return to it again.

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/30/08- Purchased at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a best by code on the back label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep copper in color, maybe some rust color as well. Nice 3/4 inch head and leaves light patchwork of lace behind.

Smell- Fairly sweet and a decent dose of spice. A bit of chocolate malt and honey as well.

Taste- Pretty much like the nose. Maybe a touch medicinal, but not really bothersome. Good amount of sweetend honey and a very light chocolate malted flavor. A few spices here and there including corriander and maybe a tiny bit of a peppery flavor.

Mouthfeel- Middle of the road carbonation level. Lighty sweet aftertaste and a bit sticky.

Drinkability- Nice beer overal. I've been impressed with both Barbar offerings I have had.

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The fourth and final Belgian Honey Beer is an evening of Belgian Honey Beers: Flip-top 330ml brown bottle, poured into a Hoegaarden Grand Cru stemmed tulip glass.

Reddy-brown body, dark, but clear when held up to the light. A weak tan coloured head tried to sit on top for a while.

Heavy malt molasses in the aroma, with honey undertones.

The taste was of really sweet malty molasses, again with that undertone of a honey presence.

I found the beer both strange and too sweet. I generally like the sweeter brews, but this was over the top for me, almost sicky sweet towards the end of the mouthfeel.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Barbãr Winterbok

From the tap it pours a dark brown, clear, with ruby hues. Aroma of dark fruits, primarily raisin, grape and fig. In the taste, fruity yeast imparting date, raisin, fig notes along with a sugary malt body and a light tang. Alcohol is well hidden. Trademark dark Belgian ale flavor, big time dark fruits. Light roasted malt qualities. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with adequate carbonation. Overall, a tasty winter brew from Barbar, a spiced honey ale is also in their lineup.

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a friend for sharing this. I was expecting some simple and overly sweet Belgian, but I was pleasantly surprised. At first it tasted like there was a good share of wheat from the sour malt taste. Then, yes, there was a honey note, which was followed by mild coriander and then mellow dark fruits. Very drinkable and comes off like some sort of crazy Belgian dunkel wheat. This is different and worth a try.

Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BB 25/10/2009, served chilled in Gulden Draak's tulip-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a very dark mahogany hue, mildly carbonated and topped with a huge beige soufflé head that slowly retreats to a thin cap.
S: deeply aromatic, maybe due to the magic of the honey in interaction with the yeastiness? There're plenty of grainy malts, licorice syrup, black sugar, plum candy, and of course plenty of honey notes which are however very fine indeed, on top of the usual estery notes (like sweetened kidney bean paste) and bitter-sweet herbal notes of yeast sediments. Overall, aromatic and rich, but a touch too sweet for the balance.
T: an oily and lubricating swallow of rich, sweet dark malts and juicy dark fruit syrup (featuring black plums, raisins, dates and a touch of aromatic figs) is closely followed by a wave of aromatic licorice and melted black sugar, before a dry-ish wave of yeastiness and bitter hops with a residual "ginger-honey"-ish flavour creeps down deep to the four corners of the palate. Overall, the flavour structure is very clear, with one layer of flavour emerging and building on top of another layer, leaving the dry palate and a residual herbal bitter mouthfeel to linger nicely in the very end.
M&D: pretty soft in carbonation, full-flavoured but not heavy at all, with the alc. well hidden behind the malty façade, while the bitter-sweet, dry finishing touch also witnesses the good work of yeast's consumption of the sugar provided by both malts and honey. Overall, I find this a well-structured and enticing strong dark ale with a good level of complexity to offer. Very delicious and highly drinkable!

Photo of John_M
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's the other night.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with fairly good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just a hint of sweet malt and spice. The beer is actually pretty intriguing on the palate. I get a sugar daddy caramel flavor, intertwined with almost a gingerale flavor. It's not bad. The beer is very light and soft on the palate, and frankly the 8% abv. is surprising. This does not come across as a big beer, and drinkabilty is pretty good. My only complaint is that over all the beer seems just a bit light and insipid, with some pretty simple flavors. Nevertheless, it's tasty enough and is fairly pleasant.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed with honey and spices (coriander, orange peel).

A: Poured a very dark, opaque mahogany with a sudsy off tan head.

S: fresh and fruity full of plums, honey, raisins, pears and oranges. The nose was very sweet and spicy with some fresh grapes as well.

T: fruity with some white grapes, raisins, figs, and a vinous sweet fruity wine notes as well a honey sweetness. The palate was sweet and vinous with a touch of smokiness coming through upon warming.

M: moderate with some warm raisins and grape juice like texture. There was a soft roasted character along with some dark molasses with a very nice winter spiciness.

D: Overall a nicely done winter bock at 8.0%abv. that was spicy and semi-sweet, providing a good alcohol warming.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cola colored brown with some tarnished garnet when held to the light. OK bubling beneath a nice to finger head that quickly recedes. Faintly spice brown sugared orange peel and sweet bread with a faint roast plus some molasses in the nose. Some plum jelly too. Fruit caked fruits, molasses spread over some semi-sweet grains. Sweet palate, honey infused with candi sugared grains. Not cloying at all, plus unnoticeable alcohol.

Photo of spinrsx
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a brown colour with a very large frothy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some very nice lacing running in stages down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, grape juice, plums, all spice

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it comes across as very sweet and slightly syrupy. I can taste malts mixed with red grape juice and a honey sweetness. There are also notes of plums and all spice. The beer finishes with a sweet grape juice aftertaste.

Drink - The beer has a little bit too much grape juice flavour, but it's still decent. The alcohol is well hidden and it was definitely worth trying.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A very dark hazy brown, almost pitch black with a 1/2 inch of mocha colored head. Belgium dark ale indeed.

S - Smell is mostly fruity yeasts and dark fruits but I can smells some mild honey.

T - Well not much for sweetness of honey and the taste may impact some coriander or orange peel but the yeast and dark fruit is too overpowering to deliver those "hidden" qualities. Noticeable ABV makes it hard to drink.

M - It's medium to heavy so a very dark Belgium winter bock.

Overall I really don't like dark Belgium ales and this one assures of the dislike.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a dark brown color with a few highlights around the edges. Light cap of tan foam showing little retention and lacing.

Nose is fruity and bready, akin to a trappist quad. Rich and fragrant with notes of raisin, plums and pineapple alcohol.

Wow, super fruity and rich. Full-bodied and a little metallic on the finish. Highly carbonated and the drinkability is fairly low on this one. I have a feeling this beer might be a love it/hate it type of brew. There are many BSDAs that are more complex, subtle and delicious than this readily available (see Chimay Blue), but this one will cure a curiosity for the unknown if one is so inclined. It is decent, just really not distinguishable.

Photo of ZAP
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep brown/maroon blend..light tan head on top fizzes like cola..

S-Smells yeasty...dark fruits (plums dark cherries)....

T-Sweet and very interesting....it has the backbone of a Belgian dubbel but is much sweeter...cotton candy like in some ways...orange peel and corriander evident...very sweet with mead like qualities...but the dark fruitiness of the dubbel backbone blends with it all nicely....very enjoyalbe...it sounds too sweet but it really isn't.

M-medium bodied at best...sweet and sticky but not cloying...finishes with a touch of light spiciness.

D-Different but recommended. Might be a little on the sweet side for some but it is not cloying.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-ish to brown in color with a tan head. In the aroma, coriander, cinnamon, and a note of honey. In the taste, coriander, sweet cinnamon, and a dry honey flavor. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry coriander and cinnamon like aftertaste. The honey is a bit sweet to dry, a bit basic but nice nonetheless.

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Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël) from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
83 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.