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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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173 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 173
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 6
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA visit their website

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 173 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Taffle
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Relentlessly dark brew. Black with a little shade of dark copper on the sides. Lush tan head lasting nicely.

Huge aroma of coriander and fruit. Also a lot of caramel-like sweetness going on. I like the liquorice analogy Todd referenced. Some spiciness and a hair of alcohol present.

Spicy, bitter flavors blend well with the carbonation and feel on impact. Honey sweet and citric tasting with a dry, wine finish.

Could have finished a little more boldy. Seemed lacking the Belgian roots - but still good and unique.

As I finished the brew, the aftertaste got to me a little. I can definitely see how a wine enthusiast would enjoy this one.

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 AltBock
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle that I poured into a Chimay chalice. The back of the bottle had a best before date of 2009 08 22.

Barbãr is a dark cola brown with a nice looking massive 2 inch creamy head of white foam. This head of foam had excellent retention that left behind a small white film and a ton of white streaks of lace around the glass. The aroma was lightly sweet with a pinch of hops in the background. The aroma featured lightly roasted malts,sweet caramel, subtle milk chocolate, juicy fruits, a hint of honey, a tiny splash of bitter hops, and then it ended with a quick splash of orange peel. The aroma was truly unique. The taste was dry with quite a few dark fruits, roasted malts, honey, coriander, orange peel, and a big bite of alcohol at the finish. The mouthfeel was somewhere in between medium and full bodied. It was hard to tell. The aftertaste was fruity with roasted malts and more alcohol. Barbãr is a very unusual and unique brew. The small amount of honey and coriander was a nice touch and the alcohol was that powerful. If you can find a single of it, it's worth a shot.

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

Deep brown clear body with a pillowy head that fades to a strong layer after a bit.

A little of everything here. Some chocolate, some raisin, dark crystal malt. No alcohol or harshness.

Very thick and full of all kinds of flavors. Very sweet with the honey throughout along with faint fig flavor.

Medium/high carbonation lifts some of the heaviness, but it still sticks to your palate a lot.

A great slow sipper, just like a winter warmer should be.

Photo of riversider76
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber brown,with a fluffy head that did not disappear. Aroma is of sweet dark fruit,and spices. Medium bodied,with lots of carbonation. Taste is rasins, and plums,with a bit of citrus. Some peppery sipces,and a nice burn to the finish,made this a very enjoyable brew!

Photo of stephendr
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. glass bottle- color of deep dark amber, with a medium tan colored head - nose of jammy, raisins, sweet prunes, mint jelly, and malt – robust taste of earthy, bark, mild fruit, and some citrus- body is, and with medium high carbonation – aftertaste of sweet fruit, lingering, and spices

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

Bottle Inspection: 8% abv, notes honey, coriander, orange peel, wheat, malted barley, Hallertau and Styrian hops. Best before 20090822 (sampled 20080102) 11.2 oz.

Aroma: Perfumed with floral elements, lilac? Honey and coriander come through as well.

Appearance: Opaque brown/black glass holds a solid cover through the glass leaving coats of lace.

Flavor: Heavy grape ester element coupled with a melon characteristic that reminds me strongly of Rochefort beers. While it lacks that complexity, the honeydew melon flavor is spot on. The floral notes are matched if not exceeded by the fruit flavors, with a hint of bubblegum in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Low to moderate carbonation, medium body, clean finish.

Overall Impression: Enjoyable beer. A great winter brew full of spices and flavor, but all melding into a straightforward taste that’s easy to drink.

Photo of roblowther
2.37/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Black color, soap-sudsy off-white head. Smell is sweet and earthy with a peppery note. The taste is very sweet, followed by nutmeg and wassal flavors and a licorice aftertaste. Doesn't meld well together, really. The mouthfeel is thin & oily. Drinkability is not good really. I had hopes for this but not so much any more. I keep burping up anise & phenols. :(

Photo of rodenbach99
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bouteille brune de 330ml.

belle couleur brune avec mousse épaisse, des reflets de rouge sont présents dans la bière. nez discret de malt, de caramel,en bouche tout est est rondeur, onctueuse et longue. bonne bière agréable, l’alcool ne se fait pas sentir.

Photo of theopholis
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance- Poured a dark opaque mahogany hints of amber on the edges. Almost like syrup. The head was a sticky off-white head that had some impressive staying power. The beer continued to effervesce for quite a long time.

Aroma- Quite sour. Not much else. No malt, no spiciness, nothing.

Taste- Much better tasting than smelling. Starts off with an interesting spiciness with a honey/malty sweetness followed by some kind of grape. Hints of raisin and licorice. Despite the grapiness and raisins, I would not say I tasted much in the way of dark fruits. Interesting.

Mouthfeel- Lots of CO2 that dissipates very quickly as soon as it hits your tongue. An interesting effect. Good, full body.

Drinkability- Worth a shot.

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 rallison
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark brown with a 1 finger off-white head that recedes to a bit of lacing.

Smells of orange and spices and honey. Not bad.

Taste is pretty good. Dubbel-like malt backbone with lots of spicing. I get orange, coriander and the like here. Honey. Possibly slightly overdone in the spicing, and could use a touch more of a balanced malt presence. Still, it is tasty.

Mouthfeel is a touch too carbonated.

Drinkability is good.

Overall, recommended. While not amazing, this is worth trying in the small size bottle.

Photo of JanM
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vintage 2005 Barbãr Winterbok was left over in my X-mas stash so I drank it while cooking dinner today. Poured with little foam and medium carbonation. Nice dark brown color. The smell was fruity, almost like sweet jam, and full of yeast. The first taste was the honey followed by sugar, more yeast, roasted malts and alcohol. It was good, but straightforward rather than complex.

Photo of EPICAC
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Poechenellekelder in Brussels.

Appearance: Pours a hazy brown with a beige head that thins to a ring leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Dark fruit, spices and an almost evergreen aroma.

Taste: Sweet fruit and maltiness upfront. The finish is spicy with a light bitterness. A little too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, despite sweetness.

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

Dark brown liquid, majestic creamy head, carbonation low, bubbles big.

Smell honeyish, spicy, with a note of roasted malts.

Start sweetish, body full, spices and honey very well present in the general taste. Finish herbal, spicey with a hint of hops (finally!).

Not your everyday beer, but an interesting one. Worth a try.

Photo of texashammer
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served in a smallish, fat, logo mug on draft. dark brown/orange with good, thick head that sticks around. smells of rich caramel and alcohol, with Belgian yeast. on the palate: burnt fruit, rich, some booze. medium full body, good but not terribly exciting.

Photo of paterlodie
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No expire date but knowing the store a product from this winter.
Pours in fine with graet head that stays ok and has a yellow/white color. Beercolor is almost black but with deepred shine.
Smell is flowers, honey, koreander and sweet. More or less the opposite of what you expect for a darkbeer.
Taste is very fruity, litle malty, sweet, honey and tasting somehow parfumed. Hardly any roast and in my eyes far too sweet and fruity for a black beer like that. One that if you like honey you will fully enjoy& a good brew but not my taste.

Photo of putnam
2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was taken in by the artwork that reminded me of the Baladin products from Italy. Doh!

Cola-colored with a spotty display of coffee and cream-colored bubbles.
On the nose it is intense with loads of sweet vanilla, root beer and caramelized banana. On the palate it is racy and jointed with separate impressions of sweet syrup, sweetened coffee, roasted, candied grains and pepsi.
Utterly unsophisticated and meaninglessly sweet. Why not drink a rum and coke?

Photo of pootz
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I think this was mislabled as a "bok" beer but it seems like a belgian strong with honey or a barley wine.

Came in a date coded "33 centiliter" (11.5 Imp.oz.) euro long neck crown capped.

The pour was a disaster for my first one as I was not expecting a lees type beer (Maybe it says so in one of the 4 languages on the lable) and I poured in all the "chunks" of the lees making the first glass quite muddied. The second one I decanted and it was much better.

Poured a very dark opaque cola-mahogany with a chunky off white head that stayed for a while then reduced to a light tan lace. Lots of cabonation in the glass.

Aromas of berries, licorice, spice...Very pronounced and pleasing.

Started sharp (cabonation) but built to a large prickely, large mouth feel punctuated by licorice tastes and a honey-malty sweeteness that outstrippped the hopping. Finished with a malty sweet fruity taste and a slight hop and honey after taste....then that great "warming" effect.

A belgian strong beer with lot's of character but not to my personal tastes. I don't like overly murky beers (unless a weissbeir) and the chunky lees on the glass bottom really turned me off. It's also a tad sweet for me.

Try this winter bok along with some pecans and brie in front of a warm fire on a cold January night. That seems to be it's niche because it isn't made for sessions, quaffing or thrist busting.

Photo of TerryW
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dark brown, almost to black. Great big persistent head that leaves behind solid curtains of lace.

Nose is malt and honey, some gentle spiciness, licorice. Quite nice.

Taste is malty and pleasantly sweet. Finishes up with a subtle, dty licorice flavour.

Good as a one off. Too sweet to drink a ton of, but interesting enough to be worth a try.

Photo of Todd
3.04/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Notes from the 2002 Kerstbierfestival, Essen, Belgium.

Black beer, thin off-white lace. Herbal, black currant aroma with some liquorice. Lightly carbonated with a coarse mouthfeel. Fruity, a bit juicy, dry, chocolate, caramel and notes of raw honey. Prickly herbal spice with a bitter finish that's dry and leafy ... thin, too.

Not too impressed by this offering ...

Photo of Popsinc
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A rich black pour with a medium off-white head. The nose is very sweet with hints of brown sugar, honey & molasses. The taste as well is awfully sweet. Decent spiceiness. Black licorice & light chocolate notes. Too sweet for my liking. lacking in many other good qualities. A nice lively mouthfeel but the finish is too sweet and high in alcohol. While the alcohol warmth could be nice, this beer needs to be mellowed out and more subtle with it suagry sweetness.

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

As this is a Belgium Beer, available nationally, it rightly circulates under two names; Barbãr Winterbok, or Barbãr de Noël, depending on where you originate. As I tried this in Holland, it was advertised and sold as the former.
A very dark, deep chestnut color with a deep red mahogany hue when held to the light. Difficult to tell whether this beer is clear or not, because it is served in a frosted glass, the same glass as its weaker sibling actually. This helps to mask, rather than hide, the turbid nature of this beer - for it is not totally clear on closer inspection. But then, as this is a Christmas Honey Beer, perhaps that is understandable. The head is a deep smooth fantastic looking tan color that has incredible staying power and is comprised of exceptionally small bubbles barely perceptible to the naked eye, maybe the Nitrogen-CO2 mixed dispense aids this.
Nose is of malt with a honeyed sweetness - so no surpises there then. Mouthfeel is a little lacking for an 8% beer. The Barbãr is a Pale Ale with added Honey, but I am not sure how this beer is “arrived at”, that is to say whether it is a separate brew, or a seasonal concotion, it certainly tastes like the former. Either way, it has a very accomplished introduction, a smooth silky mouthfeel that belies it strength. Roast malt sweetness at the start that lingers in the mouth a while. The sweetness eventually makes way for some caramel in the middle and a very bitter finish in the end, almost tastes as if it is dry-hopped. A highly accomplished, interesting and very quaffable beer – a really dangerous lunchtime beer (oops!), considering its high strength.
A superb beer that I found to be exceptionally drinkable from the Tap. I asked whether it was available in the Bottle and the answer was a 50-50 Yes/No split from those questioned, so who knows - perhaps it is?.
A definite 4/5 beer for me. A little more mouthfeel and this beer would really rock.
Tried on 11-26-02. Draft seasonal at the ‘t Proeflokaal, Netherlands.

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Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël) from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
83 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.