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Affligem Noël - Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem

Affligem NoëlAffligem Noël

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508 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 508
Reviews: 330
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 12-18-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 508 | Reviews: 330 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BierJager89


4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Beautiful translucent ruby red with a light tan head.

S: Cherry, ginger, and nectary orange in the nose.

T: Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cherry, orange, ginger, very christmasy and tasty.

M: Medium bodied and smoothish.

O: Delicious. It has that orange flavor to it that (along with the season's spices, of course) is characteristic of Belgian winter/Christmas ales. This is one of my favorites of the style and from the brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 22:51:20 | More by BierJager89
Photo of gatornation


4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a medium brown color with an off white head
S-fig raisins brown sugar and brandy
T- dark fruits greet the palate with a brandy wood taste,next brown sugar and plums mixed with cherries all mixed with a spicy hoppy finish
M-full bodied with medium carbonation fruity and spicy
O-great winter ale with a little alcohol heat great dark fruit and spice flavor

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2014 18:19:18 | More by gatornation
Photo of Flounder57


4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer was served in a snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a crimson color with good clarity when held up to light with vision of slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass. Layered lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Bananas, toffee, bready malts, spicy yeast, and warm boozy alcohol.

Taste: Bananas, cherries, toffee, creamy, bready flavor, spicy yeast, nice warm alcohol, and mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Silky, creamy, smooth, full bodied, sipper, nice warm booze, and low carbonation.

Overall: A nice brew for this Nor'easter coming our way. Good to be inside with this tasty brew.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2014 06:20:04 | More by Flounder57
Photo of silverking


4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- deep amber with ruby accents. Short lived beige head, which fades to a thin ring if foam that leaves sheets of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- brandy soaked figs and raisins, brown sugar, dried plums, dried cherry.

T- figs, brown sugar, dried cherries, and the finish shows some alcohol and a spicy hop presence.

M- full bodied, light prickly carbonation.

O- fantastic, absolutely fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 21:11:41 | More by silverking
Photo of Suds


3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brown, explosively effervescent beer is the epitome of a Belgian Christmas brew. Sugar and spice. Malt and caramel and yeast. The head is enormous and long lasting. Warmth and spritzy liveliness. Full body...the beer is a very enjoyable seasonal treat.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 01:46:41 | More by Suds
Photo of Fcolle2


4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown and ruby red in color with a one finger fluffy off white head that has good retention

Smell has some nice light vinigarlike notes along with light fruit like esters and a light spice. Malt is caramel

Taste follows the nose with fruity flavors spicy phenol light pepper and apricot primarily. Malt is rich and caramel like and mildly sweet with a light tart dry finish

Mouthfeel is good. Dry, sweet high carbonation and medium bodied.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 21:51:43 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of ryannosaurus


4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 poured to snifter

Pretty pretty my precious is almost garnet red. Small light tan head settles quickly, with a light lacing.

Smell is like sweet biscuits and christmas cookies

Flavor starts with a toffee assault and spicy cinnamon and clove whipping post lash. A hint of smoked peat and swedish coffee. Lush and delicious pure malt aftertaste. A hint of hot alcohol, about what I expect at 9% abv. A bit of golden retriever as it warms, so don't feel bad if you make it go away before room temp.

Heavy and silky slick mouthfeel moderated with a CO2 bite

If you are looking for a damn fine Christmas cookie in a bootle, this is the top of the 2013 class I've tasted to this point (I'll save my St Bernadus for Christmas day). The whole toffee/malt/spice flavor vulcan mind meld is a step beyond other seasonal beers and Affligem's trippel. It is almost Christmas... if you've not earned your lump of coal yet, after a couple of these you may.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 06:46:05 | More by ryannosaurus
Photo of thecheapies


3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Red amber with sudsy lace. Love the appearance in its intended glass.

Spicy phenols, bready notes, dark cherry fruits, implied mulling spice, touch of buttery vanilla, candi sugar, and plum. A nice festive nose.

Soft flavors of clove spice with lots of candi sugar and spicy yeast phenols. Red fruit nuances with warmth and breadiness. Some dark fruit and nuttiness, but mostly straightforward. Not hot, but showing booziness. Perhaps, a kiss of cinnamon.

The yeast is, surprisingly, not powdery. Proves to be a smooth drink with medium body. Lighter carbonation really allows the alcohol to want to zing you.

Pretty darn good, all things considered. A lot of beer. Festive.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2013 01:19:11 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Durge


4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rosy walnut brown color with a scant bit of off- white head that essentially disappears quickly and leaves no trace of lace. The aroma suggests vinous fruit and malty grain, tart and crisp. The flavor offers deep malts and a slighly grassy bite. There's some dark fruit presence and pineapple highlights. The body is medium with fair carbonation for a relatively smooth feel. A solid brew

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2013 21:49:50 | More by Durge
Photo of artoolemomo


3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a lot of head which seems to also have very good retention. The head is a very light beige while the body is a muddy, dark amber which appears as a glowing orange, medium amber when held up to the light. Some lacing has been left behind.

Nose- Lots of raisins. There is a fair amount of presence but I wish there were more complexity. Some brown sugar and molasses from the glass. A little bit of caramel from the bottle. Some bread. Swirling doesn't add much to the aroma.

Taste- Same as the aroma- lots of raisins, followed by caramel. Some brown bread, brown sugar, and molasses. Does seem as if it has been aging for 2 years. It's very mellow and smooth and lacks presence. The raisins tend to be a little sour (notes of prune come up) and give the beer somewhat of a wine character. Reminds me more of a dubbel than a BDSA. Clove and banana start to appear, as does apple. I am beginning to see why the label describes this as a mix between their dubbel and their tripel. I haven't had either but I can imagine. I'm sure this had lots of presence and complexity when it was younger but now it's all about integration and balance. No hint of the 9% and this beer is incredibly smooth and mellow. A good to very good beer. Not in the same league as the heavy hitters in this style but still a good beer.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with a suitable amount of carbonation. Borders on creamy and smooth with a light, dry finish.

Drinkability- Very subtle and very drinkable. Soft and mellow. 9 bucks is not a bad price at all but I don't know if I would pay it again. Perhaps for a fresher bottle to get a better sense of the flavor profile.

Overall- Good to very good. Not overwhelming as this beer thrives as result of its mellow character. Definitely worth a try if you like Belgians and at this age, it's very accessible for non Belgian drinkers.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 01:53:35 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature chalice, bottled on 8/16/2012. Pours slightly cloudy ruby red color with a 1 finger fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of raisin, apple, caramel, molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, toast, candi sugar, light clove, bread, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of deep malt with yeast esters and spices. Taste of raisin, apple, caramel, molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, toast, light clove, candi sugar, toffee, pepper, bread, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, toast, candi sugar, light clove, toffee, bread, pepper, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of malt flavors with fruity yeast esters and spicing; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent spiced Belgian strong ale! Great balance and complexity of malt, yeast esters, and spices; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 04:16:28 | More by superspak
Photo of ggourde


3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Murky chocolate brown with creamy head, but no Belgian Lace. Dried fruit- raisins dominate while black licorice comes out. Taste of spices and dried fruit (plums and raisins). A bit sharp- lots of carbonation. Nice alcohol warming. A good winter beer, perhaps with a little more conditioning the sharpness will mellow out.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2013 05:04:32 | More by ggourde
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From the corked, caged 750 ml. bottle - 2011 batch. Marked 12-229-13. Sampled on 3/22/13.

So I am drinking a Christmas ale two days into spring but the aging does wonders. The pour is dark brown-amber with good clarity and a relatively long-lasting beige head.

The nose is alive with Belgian sugars, sweet toasted malts, molasses, and a slight hop note.

The body is medium to bold with a little astringency but still pleasant.

The flavor is quite sweet thanks to the malts and Belgian sugars mentioned earlier. Molasses can be tasted too. Not much in the way of spices but the sweetness makes up for that. Low to moderate hop bitterness lingering on the tail end. Easy to drink even at 9% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 00:56:31 | More by puboflyons
Photo of AgentMunky


3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Stamped 12 229 13 10:32 2291.

A: Some generous head and sparkling effervescence enliven a gorgeous red-clear beer. Very

S: It smells like cherry cough syrup, but in a good way. Sweet, nectary, and borderline cloying.

T/M: Very surprising! Not what I expected. It's light, spicy, grainy, and interesting. Almost like a tripel infused with spiced honey and heavy fruit juice. The finish is again reminiscent of medicinal cherries, and aftertaste is heavy/sweet. Starts better than it ends.

O: This is a very good Christmas ale, but not overly compelling. I would have again, and somewhat recommend, but there are better alternatives out there.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 07:03:32 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of jlindros


4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Somehow this review escaped me over the years. Tap at Horseshoe Pub in Hudson, MA.

Nice rich creamy darker almost mahogany colored head fades at a med pace with little lacing, mostly clear cranberry maroon colored beer.

Nose is typical, big malts, reddish toasty brown malts, caramel and toffee, light nutty, booze is fairly strong with some phenols. Dark fruits are big, fig, date, brown sugar covered candied raisin, nutmeg and cardamom like spices are quite light, bit of other Xmas spices, some candi sugar.

Taste is similar, esters and phenols, candy syrup, apple esters and dark fruit, raisins, fig, date, brown sugar candi sugar, etc. Light bitterness from some grassy hops it seems. Nice malts too, light toffee and caramel, but somehow feels slightly thin, light booze. Mellows as it goes, finish is syrupy and sweet, sticky, lingering dark fruits and malts, candy sugar and toffee, fair bitterness kicking in, a bit more booze too.

Mouth is med bodied, seems a bit thin for what it should be, decent carb, light warming booze.

Overall nice, almost a staple for a Belgian Xmas beers, most of the typical nice Belgian characters with light Xmas spices in there too.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2013 14:37:47 | More by jlindros
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, spices, and an earthly, honey-like aroma. Taste is much the same with a dried dark fruit flavor and a slight alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that I noticed gets markedly better as it warms up with time.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 06:35:37 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of socon67

New York

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened on Christmas Day

A - Dark amber color with a creme foam that rises high and settles just as fast. Some cloudy sediment is seen in the pour.

S - Scents of black licorice, raisin bread, and dried currants coem to the nose. As it warms some baking spices jump out as well.

T - Strong flavors of dried fruits give this a strong sweetness. Black licorice candy is noted as well. Can'ty decide if its like Good & Plenty or sambuca.

M - A thick consistency makes this a decent sipping beer. Leaves a spicy feel on the tongue. Some carbonation is noted.

O - In a more tradtional style this is a nice after dinner holiday beer. Was happy to share this with family. Open it and let it warm a moment in the glass before enjoying.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 14:31:53 | More by socon67
Photo of Mavigo


4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

'Tis the season, I've been saving this for this day, Merry Christmas everyone!, from a 750ml bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Pours a rich red mahogany color, cloudy, with a half inch reddish caramel color head with good amounts of lacing.

S: Smells incredible, cinnamon, brown sugars, honey, malts, yeast, alcohol is strongly present, spicy

T: Incredible taste, very sweet, molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark fruits, caramel, malts, barley, yeast, spices, with a heavy alcohol backlash at the finish, a slow sipper, to be indulged in small amounts in a non hurried fashion.

M: Very thick, rich, syrupy but not overly done, lower carbonation, a plus for me, strong kick from the alcohol at the finish, warmth. A perfect match for the holidays.

O: It was what I expected and more, provided lots of holiday cheer, very delicious and well balanced and finely crafted beer, a must have on anyone's Christmas list.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 02:30:42 | More by Mavigo
Photo of falloutsnow


3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From: Hyvee, Council Bluffs, IA
Date: 2011 vintage
Glass: Tulip

I purchased this bottle on discount after the 2011 holiday season. Unfortunately, it sat in my cellar for nearly a year before I decided it needed to be consumed for this year's festivities. While I'm not sure about the fresh flavors of the beer, the one-year aged version has substantial dried date and fig flavor teamed with caramel malt and a touch of fruity esters similar to cherries. While others note substantial spicing in the ale, I didn't pick up on this. With a year's age on it, I enjoyed the experience, but didn't think this beer particularly above average. I'll grab a fresh bottle of this next year: I don't think this ages well.

Pours a 1.5cm head of tan or dark beige foam, composed of small bubbles, quite dense in appearance. Retention is about average, lasting a minute or so, as the head fades to a thin ring around the glass with a small island of residual lace atop the body. Body itself is a transparent amber red color, light bringing out orange hues in the red-brown mix. Carbonation is visible and active through the body.

Aroma is of brown dried fruit esters (dates, Calimyrna figs) and caramel (Special B?) malts, with a hint of anise and cherries in the background.

Flavor is of dried fruit esters (dates and brown figs again) with sweet cherries and caramel malts. Perceived sharpness in flavor is due primarily to the ethanol, not detecting much hop-derived bitterness. Opens with caramel malt sweetness and some mash of dried dates. Mid-palate picks up additional complexity, adding cherry-like esters and a splash of ethanol to the mix. Back of palate finds a toning-down of the dried brown fruit, relying on caramel malt sweetness and characters along with some ethanol to close the experience. Aftertaste of lingering dried fruits (cherries, dates, raisins) and a hint of anise.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with quite active carbonation typical in Belgian beers. The result is a mouthfeel that is at first fizzy and somewhat prickly, but which quickly converts into a foamy, smooth experience. The result is sensation that at first wakes you and your palate up, then soothes them shortly after. Ethanol is detectable, but never burning or excessively hot for the ethanol content. Closes semi-dry with substantial stickiness remaining across the palate.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 23:24:47 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of Damian74Shensky

South Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Served in Chalice-2 fingers think head that laces glass. Dark reddish.

S-Yeasty esters are dominant aroma-sweet malt

T- Yeasty like most all Belgians. Sweet malt, raisins/rich dried fruit taste evident.

M-Fair carbonation-vapory alcohol end bite, strong 9% abv!

O-A nice beer to try. Nice spice, taste. My wife who isnt even a beer drinker enjoyed this.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 02:01:33 | More by Damian74Shensky
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml caged bottle into stange glass...
Pours a syrup colored brown with a bit of foamy head. Nice bannana and spice belgian-syle dubbel...dried fruit, molasses, spice, and some nutty flavors. Relly well balanced, easy to drink, and good all around flavor. A bit over spiced - but nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 21:34:08 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of Infamous7100


4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a beautiful ruby to brown. Lovely tan head. Minimal lacing.
S: all kinds of complex. Fruits and malt. Nice whiffs of candied sugar. Wow.
T: a blast of sweet malts and dark fruits. Sweet but citrusy. So complex and interesting.
M: medium body andd medium carbonation but a fantastic sweet after taste.
O: this beer is tremendous. Complex as all hell, flavorful and very well done. Enjoy next to a fire during the holiday season.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2012 01:23:29 | More by Infamous7100
Photo of gtermi


4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours a dark red body with a thick creamy tan head that slowly fades and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

S: I am picking up a nice amount of sweet fruit, a tiny bit of belgian yeast and a sort of Jager type smell from the spices.

T: LIke the smell, I am getting a nice fruity flavor, some yeast and a little bit of sweet grain and spice.

M: The beer has a nice full body with a strong amount of carbonation. There is a tiny bit of crispness on the back of the throat and the tip of the tongue.

O: This is a fantastic beer. There isnt a single part of this beer that lacks and I really wish this was year round. For a 750 at $6.50, that cant be beat!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 05:04:56 | More by gtermi
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass. Vintage bottle from 2011

Appearance: A very cloudy amber, little bubbles on the body. Head slightly off white is about 1/3" off the body.

Smell: Potent yeast, light barley feel and you end up inhaling this thing.

Taste: Everything, bitter, sweet, heavy yeast. It is a gem of a beer. Has a strong alcohol feel that get's to you after your first glass if you're not sharing.

Mouth: Medium and slightly heavy, is it smooth it depends whether it after dessert or a meal...I would prefer either or.

Overall: A great beer, I honestly sometimes I wish I didn't share it. I know I sound greedy but this beer was damn good, priceless to time watching MMA with my dad. Salud!

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 00:53:42 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of gottabetweed


3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a "Red Solo Cup". poured a nice clear amber with a substantial head that fades very quickly. Can't see the lacing because of the red cup.

Smell is fig, molasses yeast.

Tastes is biscuits, fig, molasses, spices, some fruit at the end with a nice alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is creamy and substatial, nice carbonation.

Overall a very nice ale. Very Belgian tasting with spices.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 22:39:45 | More by gottabetweed
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Affligem Noël from Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem
91 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.