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Affligem Noël - Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem

Not Rated.
Affligem NoëlAffligem Noël

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

553 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 553
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 37
Gots: 41 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 12-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 553 | Reviews: 339
Reviews by puboflyons:
Photo of puboflyons
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown with a huge foamy head,aroma is very malty and sweet like candied sugar and juicy fruit.Taste is of dried fruit and sweet candied sugar with some light smokiness that liners.A very rich somewhat complex brew good for after dinner like me right now.

Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Beautiful, dark brown sugar body with a gorgeous volcanic head that rose monstrously, went down slowly, and laced the glass.

Smell - Big BSDA aromas. The malt is mature and deep, the sugars are dark and sweet, and the fruits (ripe peaches and apricots, dates, and plums) fill the nostrils.

Taste - This one delivers. The super-sugary malt flavors drip sweetness in the mouth. The malt is lightly toasted and heavily infused with the above-listed fruits and a giant dose of brown sugar syrup mixed with cinnamon-laced apple juice.

Mouthfeel - Some good carbonation, along with the syrupy, chewy, rich feel of the ale makes this one a mouthwatering pleasure.

Drinkability - The wonderful malt and fruit flavors, along with a touch of alcohol, helped this one go down extremely well.

Update - Popped a 2007 that I picked up at BevMo. Man I really like this brew. The malts and sugars are balanced towards sweetness, which is how I enjoy my Christmas Ales, and the exotic spices go well with the healthy yeast. Overall this is an excellent BSDA and one of my favorite Christmas beers of all time.

Update - Tried a 2008 right off the shelf and it definitely needed some time in the cellar, so I would suggest at least a year to get your money's worth out of this wonderful ale.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one hell of a beer. The appearance is an impressive red-amber with a thick, puffy white head like a roll of Charmin ultra. Great head! Seriously, it feels uncannyily good on the lips and tongue.

The smell contains subtle orange notes but mostly reminds me of an American Amber-Red.

The taste is spicy and tropical with loads of caramel and yeasts that I associate with Capitol Amber.

MF is superb, primarily because of the outstanding head.

Drinkability is higher than most Noel beers of this sort because it isn’t overly sweet, spiced, or just plain candied citrusy.

Photo of steelerguy
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Caramel color, cloudy, big frothy head, with moderately high carbonation.

S - Malty dark fruit aromas and spice.

T - The dark fruit is definitely there, but the spices shine through, but not in an overbearing way. Finishes with a good bit of warm alcohol.

M - A good bite from both the carbonation and the alcohol finish. Although it has a moderate body the carbonation and alcohol clean it up.

D - The mouthfeel description continues to the drinkability, does not feel to heavy at all. Spiced beers can be overdone so easily but their restraint makes this beer a joy to drink.

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

Pours a cherry-brown color, with a typically fizzy Belgian head. Smells of cherry and spice and other things nice. Taste is divine, with a nice cherry-chocolate flavor, as well as some spice. The mouthfeel seems a bit fizzy, but not bad.

Overall, this is a very tasty Belgian, one that gives me a nice warm feeling. Even though it's well after Xmas, this is a nice winter's treat for me.

Photo of sponberg
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great big bopple that's not quite big enough. Cloudy dark amber with a rocky white head and an aroma of musty dark fruit and hints of malt and butterscotch. Let's sit down beside the tree and see what happens...

ahhh, an outstanding beer when the snow's falling. Starts with a hint of background alcohol and complex earthy fruitiness - figs, yellow raisins, with some toffee and spiciness - anise and nutmeg maybe? Big and round, with the alcohol and spice showing up more prominently in the finish as it warms. Fair degree of bitterness to balance out the malts & sugars. A very fine Christmas ale.

Whaddya mean you want me to put the tree topper on top of the tree? I still have half of a glass of Affligem left! Can't it wait? You sure you want me to put on a 40 year old ornament after a fifth of 9% brew? Ohhh-kayyyy... it's your mom's ornament!! (sounds of nothing crashing) Ahhh, now back to my brew...

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

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. The bottle is corked and caged. It lists its abv at 9% and there is a date or batch number of 10 230 11 on the label.

Appearance: The body has a deep coppery amber color with bright reddish/orange highlights. On top sits a long standing light tan head. A small cap of foam hangs on till the very last sip and makes for some good lacing on the glass.

Smell: It has a big sweet character with loads of yeast and tropical fruit notes.

Taste/Palate: It has a wonderful mix of toasted malt, Belgian sugar, bready and yeast notes with sweet tropical and dried fruits mixed in. There is a mild peppery warmth from the alcohol as well. I get a little more dry spice and maybe a slight touch of hops in the finish which is still carries some sweetness. This all comes by a smooth easy drinking medium to full body.

Notes: This is an excellent holiday classic that fills you palate with wonderful flavor and warms your body and soul.

Photo of Jason
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml conditioned bottle, 2002 vintage.

Dark mahogany brown color, two fingered off-white head that is very thick and creamy. Aroma of musty cork and vinous undertones with bigger aromas of chocolate and tropical fruit as it warms up. Flavor is a brilliantly evenhanded mix of caramel, dates, raisins, chocolate bitter orange, and spiciness. A good amount of yeast as well let alone the big warming alcohol that holds faint solvent and tropical fruit in the back. A full bodied and rounded brew, a dollop of residual sweetness. Creamy on the tongue. A sipping brew to have with some holiday dessert, one of the many winter seasonals that should be on your list.

Photo of Billolick
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The holidays are over, but winter is not. Large bottle, caged and corked. Opened with a flourish of escaping energy, poured with a vigorous head, leaving a puffy, fluffy head, leaves the expected respectable sticky lacing. Dark almond in color, cloudy. Nose is of ripe fruit. This is a tasty, warming ale. Lots of yeasty, bready goodness. Slightly prickly on the tongue. As it warms, notes of clove, yeast, licorish, and smoke come foward. Very nice winter brew, lacking the depth of complexity of the higher rated BSDAs, but still well worth a try.

Photo of magictrokini
2.92/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not impressed by this one, maybe I got a bad bottle. Pours clear copper, thanks to the artificial caramel coloring, with a medium off-white head. Flat flavor. Caramel, malt, apple, corriander, nutmeg, and yeast. Problem is nothing really popped out, so everything seemed to drown in a soup of spice and malt.

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

A-Served in Affligem chalice-2 fingers think pillowy head that laces glass. Clear and reddish brown.

S-Yeasty esters are dominant aroma-sweet malt is also in your face.

T-Yeasty like most all Belgians. Sweet malt, not that far off from a Quad, raisins/rich dried fruit taste evident.

M-Fair carbonation-vapory alcohol end bite but isn't overpowering, especially considering the strength of this beer.

D-Solid but I'm sure a couple of these would knock you out. Probably a good thing you can taste the alcohol.

O-A nice beer to try. Rich yet not too overpowering. A great winter beer!

Photo of ADR
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sedimented and opaque, a burnt umber overall color. Yellowish head of bubbles tending to larger sizes, rises to a good inch in the glass. Fat dots and strings for laces. Smells of candied pear, lots of cinnamon comes through in the aroma. Medium body and carbonation, nicely composed. Treacle flavors, yeasty background, but establishing a malty overall tone, embellished by a peachiness. Nice sense of balance, hops are peppery and somewhat background in impression, but combined with a lively mouthfeel and a menthol sense and a building alcohol warming. Well-done and nicely complex, the beer takes on a candy-like impression as its temperature rises, you can really taste this characteristic by licking your lips.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ST: 750 ml poured into a goblet.

A: Reddish-brown with a thick finger-inch fluffy brown-tinged white head that has great retention. It leaves a bit of lacing and turns red in the light, sediment and ample carbonation can be seen.

S: Apple, pepper, malt, and yeast.

T: Lots of fruit, it starts with apple and pears, then some spice joins the party before a nice finish that is not to heavy and has crisp apple.

M: Not to heavy due to ample carbonation and it can be a bit creamy.

D: This beer is smooth, but is has high alcohol.

Overall: This is a great Christmas beer. It has complex flavor and is not to heavy thanks to the carbonation. It has a great aroma and finish. I have one that I plan to age for a year. I will update this when I drink it next year.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a chalice) The cork said 10/07
A- This beer had a dark dense caramel body that show a soft glow of reddish-brown at the very base of the glass. There was a light tan head that was creamy and bubble and lasted for a bit. The beer was a bit to dense to see any carbonation.
S- The aroma was pretty clean with an apple cider aroma that had a slight sweetness to it and a faint dry spice note underneath.
T- The sweet stewed apple quality blended with a dry caramel candy note and a soft brown nougat note in the finish.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noticed. D- This beer has a caramel and cidery flavor to it but not much depth beyond that. Just not very interesting or rich in flavor.

Photo of degerbah
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark brown with copious head. Almost half of my glass was head before I was done pouring. Smells heavily of caramel and spices.

The taste is heavily of caramel and some type of fruit. Perhaps apricots and rainsins. Not the easiest drinker, but gives me a nice warming feeling in my stomach. I might have to pick up another bottle to cellar for the holiday season. Definitely worth the seven dollars I paid for the wine-sized bottle.

Photo of sloejams
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

EVERYWHERE I went in Paris, I would see the Affligem Noël advertisements. Every Metro stop, every newstand, even almost every bloody building had the nice looking poster showing a proper goblet of this fine elixir surrounded by the spices within it. I've had this years version once prior to my trip. It was delicious, no 'bout a doubt it. These omnipresent ads took over my world while in France. I needed to have more. I just did. Only problem NOWHERE had the actual beer!

After looking in about a dozen shops and probably peering into two dozen bars (even many places listed in the Paris Beerfly), I all but gave up. My travelmates were all enthralled. What was the delicious nectar that evaded us so? We can it be? Finally, one bar we sauntered by had it on draught, but we were lunchbound and no one else wanted to pop in for a glass.

When I got home to LA, I stopped in my local shop - a place I knew would have it. Sure enough, it was delicious as could be.

Pouring into my chalice, it looked exactly like Coca-Cola. Sniffing at it, I even get some of that Coke smell - not much mind you, most is filled with spices: clove, cinnamon, and star anise. A slight bready yeastiness seeps out as well. The spices and malt characters shined in the flavor – even more so than the nose. It was a subtle sweetness that rounded the balance. Delicious.

A fine Belgian holiday offering.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a caged and corked 750 into a chalice. Cork is dated 1/06.

A-This is based in the initial pour. Murky dark amber with a creamy tan head. Minimal lacing. Fairly clear orange/ruby at the bottom of the glass when held to light. Not as dark as I though it might be.

S-Yeasty and earthy, slightly citrus biased and a wee bit funky. Behind that lies a fruitiness that seems more fresh than dark and aged.

T-Nose carries through to the palate and the initial impression of this was extreme disappointment. Medium bodied, this reminded me of a fairly standard tripel more than a special Belgian winter warmer. Apples, pears, citrus, a bit of bananna, and darker fruits in the background are carried by the yeast with hardly a hint of alcohol. If I were to review this against the universe of beers, it would receive a higher rating, but reviewing it in style, against other Belgian holiday offerings, I'm afraid it falls short, at least for me.

M-Nice, medium-creamy mouthfeel with the standard effervescence.

D-Interesting, but there are others out there I prefer.

Photo of racer2k
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 750ml corked bottle into a tulip glass

A - Pours a dark mahogany bronze color with a thick fluffy cake batter head. Substantial lacing retention is present all around the class and continues until the beer is gone.

S - Caramel, candied sugars, spices, and fruitcake all come to mind with this beer. There are also some distinct fruity aromas of raisins and even pears. There is a mild alcohol aroma that is present in my glass as well.

T - Burnt sugars, caramel, yeast and fresh baked bread are on my tongue. There is also a strong presence of pears, raisins and fruitcake with a hint of chocolate malt on the back end of the swallow. There is a strong alcohol presence at the back end of the taste.

M - This beer has a medium body but is heavy on the carbonation. Removing the cork created quite a pop similar to a champagne bottle opening. Alcohol presence is not overpowering but definitely there.

D - This is a great Belgian holiday seasonal that drinks very well. It would also be a great candidate for aging as well. This was Santa's little helper on Christmas Eve assisting dad in the gift build-out and wrapping process. :)

Photo of IntriqKen
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark golden amber with a creamy offwhite half finger head that melts to creamy top covering lacing.
Aromas are dark belgium yeast and toasted sweet malts with a sweet sort of alcohol scent.
Taste is of candied dark toasted malt, a little dark fruits, belgium yeasts and alcohol.
Aftertaste is a strange mixture of cloying sweetness and drying.
Lots of alcohol warmth going down.
Sip this one on a winters night.

Photo of GilGarp
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At first glance, I passed on this beer because of the "added natural color" comment on the label. When it was priced two dollar less, I read the back of the bottle where it says 'rich and dark like our dubbel, sumptuous like our tripel.' A Belgian blend and only $5? Now I'm interested.

Pops loudly and quickly with minimal effort. Pours a rich deep red color with very good clarity and a great big head. Very nice looking beer.

Aroma certainly hints at a tripel dubbel collaboration. Malty and sweet but with a certain spicy yeast characteristic.

Flavor is equally interesting and delivers what was stated on the bottle. Basically a bigger, stronger, and spicier dubbel. It has some of that carmel, toffee, fig, and banana but with a bigger kick of spice. At times it's a bit musky, other times it's almost minty.

Mouthfeel is certainly in the style of effervescent Belgians. Big on body and carbonation.

Drinkability is good but it's a slow sipper, one to enjoy over the course of an evening, preferably with hearty food.

Overall very interesting: a real tongue-twisting, style-bending beer.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love me a loud crackly head, and this one is capital-A Audible. Snaps and pops down to a thin layer pretty quickly, but it's a beautiful cap of tight sea foam while it lasts. The color is entrancing rusty ruby red.

Aroma is totally typical Belgian holiday ale: strong spices, sweet spices, alcohol, red/dark fruits...

Flavor is the embodiment of everything the nose hints at: succulent dark fruits, especially grape and its wrinkly cousin raisin, with sweet pie spices like allspice, nutmeg, brown sugar and cinnamon entering in, and the bright, friendly nip of the 9% alcohol. Unmistakably Belgian in its yeast character. Warming and welcoming through and through. An interesting cherry/sherry thing develops with warming. Balanced and delicate, but not too delicate...

Perhaps a little too bubbly/burpy for my liking, but still a nice tingling caress, and less abrasive as it sits, airs out and warms.

I expected a great holiday beer from this brewery, and I got. Happy holidays are even happier with a fine Belgian ale in hand...

Photo of Mar02x
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A clear brown beer with a nice beige head. Unfortunately the head quickly disappears to nowhere.

S - A fresh taste of cherries, vanilla, spices, wood, some peat, and some booze.

T - Spices, wood, vanilla, peat, a mild sweetness and bitterness.

M - Medium carbonation and a light stickiness in the mouth with warming alcohol and bitterness in the finish.

O - A very nice Christmas ale, not very special but very tasty and worth having a try.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.64/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One word, Fresh! This beer pours a deep orange/brown color with cloudiness and a good head that recedes to a thin ring. The nose is very fruity, like fresh, fresh fruit. I can smell some spices. reminds me of some kind of spiced papaya or mandarin orange salad, that is what i would drink this with. The taste follows the nose, and the abv is almost indetectable. A little overcarbonated for a dark strong but by no means abrasive, good kick in the tongue. aftertaste lingers for weeks, and spices stick to the side of your mouth as the fructose taste syrups to your lips. It smells and tastes like some kind of body lotion or scented soap. I'm pretty sure if they churned this with butter, girls would rub it all over them. Maybe im just saying that cause im tipsy and alone, im gonna go to another site, ill be back in a few minutes. Good fruit flavors, but by no means overpowering. suttle spice and great drinkability for the abv. fantastic beer.

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.69/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL corked & caged. Received as a Christmas present from my wife, along with an Affligem glass (and 2 other beers & glasses).

Poured a nice red-amber with a small white head. Nice, full aroma of yeast, molasses, spice, and fermented raisins.

Taste is smooth and sweet, with more molasses, spice, rum fruits, candy sugar, wheat, and a touch of alcohol.

Deeeelicious, and quite appropriate for sharing with my in-laws today. One of the better strong dark Belgian ales I've had in recent memory. Thanks, Meghan.

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Affligem Noël from Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem
91 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.