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Affligem Noël - Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem

Not Rated.
Affligem NoëlAffligem Noël

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550 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 550
Reviews: 338
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 37
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem visit their website

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 550 | Reviews: 338 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CWiggins
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at Peace Street Market in Raleigh for $8.99 (750ml) two weeks ago. I'm a sucker for Christmas ales, so I just couldn't pass this one up, as I've never seen it before (or anything else by this brewer, for that matter).

It poured a dark brown with yellow highlights, and with a just off-white creamy head that stuck around for a little while. The aroma was mainly of dark fruits, spices and malts, with little hop presence. As the beer warmed, the aroma became much more intense, and the fruity esters dominated. Ripe, tart fruits dominate the flavor, while malts and some hops support it. Some spiciness is present as well, mostly brown sugar and cloves. It has a medium body. The alcohol is felt very quickly: I really had enough just after the first snifter full (half a 750ml bottle), but just couldn't help continuing.

This is a very good Christmas ale. So often, seasonal ales based on Christmas don't tend to be very special. This one is.

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

From notes:

A-Cloudy and foamy, brown with ruby highlights. Huge foam head 3/4inch off white in color.
S-Fruity yeast esters(lots of red fruit and a bit of spice almost like what I would expect). Malty all through the body, with lots of caramel and strong alcohol.
T- Red Fruit Cherry and berry flavors....light hops and a hint of crispness. Sweet, malty, caramel that covers the alcohol nicely.
M/D-Medium bodied, lots of carbonation, and very smooth....the best part was that the 750ml bottle only cost me a $1.69(hence my drinkability)!

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

Pours a very dark, crystalline amber that looks too good to be real. Turns out it isn't -- this beer is colored with caramel. Why bother? Ugh. The aroma is quite spicy with coriander and cinnamon, and joined by some mild molasses notes. Rich and sweet on the palate, with plenty of spicing present from the start to the finish. Light fruitiness crops up at the mid-palate, but the emphasis is more on spices and sweet malts than fruit esters. Rich yeastiness comes out at higher temperatures. Mouthfeel is big in body and carbonation, although the carbonation is less than some other beers in this one's class. There's some residual stickiness in the back of the throat left by the caramel coloring. Overall, this is a good winter beer, and one that will probably age well, but I still don't get the caramel coloring thing -- it seems unnecessary and creates problems with mouthfeel.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby/brown color. Thick tan head is creamy and laces the glass nicely.

Smell: Has a spicy, sweet aroma of dark fruits. Cloves, plums, figs, etc.

Taste: Quite spicy (cloves, brown sugar, nutmeg, ...) with mild alcohol undertones, and more alcohol in the aftertaste. Not very much complexity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and generally smooth, but with slightly excessive carbonation.

Drinkability: The alcohol in the tastes really creeps to the front after a while.

This is an ok beer for this style. The taste of alcohol is a bit too much, as is the carbonation. The taste in general is lacking a bit too, as it's almost like the spice cabinet fell in the beer. If you like this style of beer it's worth a glass if you come by it, but otherwise I'd pass.

Photo of bensiff
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poored from the 750ml caged bottle into the unspecialized Guinness glass a mahogany red color with a slight haze. Initial big rocky head of a light tan color that quickly settled to a fraction of its original height with minimal lacing. Smell is estery, alcoholic, and typical of spiced abbey styles, nothing special. But then again, even nothing special in Belgium is still pretty good.

Taste is respectable, but again nothing special. It hits the tongue with a rich maltiness that quickly shifts to alcohol and finishes with a strange spice note reminiscent of coriander and pepper intermixed with a touch of sourness.

Mouthfeel is lacking and slightly watery. Overall an enjoyable beer that is average for the style.

Photo of theopholis
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a beautiful deep amber/cherrywood, with a nice creamy head with soem decent staying power. Very little lacing. The color is slightly opaque. I may have stirred up the yeast a bit..

Aroma- Smells like a crisp, clean, malty sweetness with lots of sweet candied sugar. Mabye some sweet ripe white grape and crisp apple in there to. The label says it's brewed with spices, and I did get a jolt of spiceness at the very beginning, but now I can't find it. Smells great.

Taste - Nothing really jumps out. I'm getting some over-ripe fruit and caramel followed by some kind of indescernable spice flavor (I'm not big on spicy beers and can't pick out once spice from another). Doesn't taste nearly as good as it smelled, but not much on God's green Earth could have tasted as good as this stuff smelled. Still, not bad. As you drink more of it, you get more of the alcohol taste and hot spiciness.

Mouthfeel - Medium body for the style. way over-carbonated for my taste tho. I suspect I would get a lot more of the complexity out of this beer if it didn't kill my tastebuds with the carbonation.

Drinkability - I'm not much into Belian beers, but I would try this one again.

Photo of Stubbie1
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Notes from Xmas)
Dark ruby color with a nice thick head. The head is steady and strong and lasts forever. Aroma is spicy, hints of dark fruit make their way up front and finishes with a mild hint of alcohol on the nose. The taste is a mix of dark fruit, raisins, figs, prunes and spices. All are blended well with none overpowering each other. Just when you thought the flavor was finished a slight wave of alcohol will wash across your tongue and travel down to warm your belly.

This beer looks as good as it taste. The lacing will last forever and as the beer warms you senses pick up more and more “things” happening with this beer. A must to try on any occasion.

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

I've had this once before and enjoyed it. Popping another one for a review.
Served at room temp.
Poured into a tulip glass.
Popped the bottle and the beer erupted. All over my computer table. Shitty. After i cleaned up the mess i started drinking:

Appearance is good. Dark ruby red color with a thick pearl white head. Lacing is nice as well.

Smell is good. Sweet fruits, candied malts and nutty Belgium goodness.

Taste is good. Not as much sweetness as i would have thought. Toasty malts, plum and alcohol jump out. Spices are well done. Tad bit cloying.

Mouthfeel is very good. Texture is very nice and the carbonation creates a fluffy, creamy feeling.

Drinkability is above-average. If the alcohol wasn't so big in the flavor i would have given it higher marks.

Overall: Solid offering and a good beer. Not up there with the greats but still solid. I'll be aging a few for sure.

Photo of montageman
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a Christmas gift from my best friend. I figured I'd save it for a cold, wintery night. Well, it's about -5F outside and there is snow falling. A perfect night for this brew.

Poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice. Bottle says "caramel color added" so the appearance mirrors that - this is a nice cloudy reddish brown. The head is about a finger or so and the lacing is incredible. The smell is spicy and fruity - reminiscent of Christmas cookies, which means there's some bread/yeast in the nose as well. Taste is tart cherry in the front with a spicy malt middle and a bit of floral finish - very complex & delicious. This is well carbonated, which brings out the different flavors while adding another layer to this brew. This is an excellent Christmas beer, right up there with Delirium. Highly Recommended.

Photo of gonzogambler
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle (cork date says '03) on sale for only $6.50. Pours a thick caramel brown with a fine dense head. The beer smells rich and spicy; a hint of nutmeg. As with many belgians the 9% is hidden quite well, but is noticeable after drinking a glass; this beer is very enjoyable to drink. The flavor is of caramel and holiday candies with some dried dark fruits, there is a slight bite but the beer finishes smoothly.
Like the clerk at the liquor store said, "You're going to love this one."

Photo of ti2777
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750 bomber purchased (on sale!!) at the former Happy Deli in Hell's Kitchen summer of 2005. I've been ageing this baby in my cellar/fridge and the results are as follows:

A dark amber color with good head retention and little lacing. Beer had thrown 1/4" of sediment in bottle. Candied orange peel, dark caramel, smokey yeast, spicey alcohol, and baking spices: cinnamon, cloves, allspice, anise greet the nose. Caramel, malts, candi sugar, and sweet alcohol on the palate with a gingerbread flavor. Hops only mildly bitter to offset sweetness. A rich, smooth, warming mouthfeel with mild carbonation from the midpalate extending into a long, satisfying finish. Deceptively, but deliciously easy to drink at 9%abv.

Happy Drinking!

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 Morris729
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy chestnut brown color with a creamy tan head that fades into a heavy lace. Nose is sweet, rich malt and Juicy Fruit bubblegum. Taste is caramel and dark fruit along with Belgian spice and yeast. Notes of chocolate malt towards the middle with a dry semi-spicy finish. Nicely done.

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

750ml bottle, into Chimay goblet.

Pours a crisp, clear medium brown, nearly opaque. Pours with a big, dense creamy tan head, dissipates to light head, leaves little lace.

Aroma is spice: nutmeg, coriander, allspice? Also hints of phenols.

Taste is big spice, all of the same above, and a distinct phenol bite in the middle and finish. Alcohol isn't pronounced, but is present. Caramel malt, some toasted brown sugar, and some stonefruits hints.

Finishes crisp and tingly, with a distinct mouth numbing note.

A decent beer, very drinkable, but not nearly so complex or interesting as I might have expected. Basically a big, darkish Belgian session beer AFAIC.

Photo of slyke
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Affligem Noel pours hazy brown-red in color with an ample tan head. The smell is dominated by grassy notes and alcohol. The taste is hoppy at the beginning and end, the center of the taste is bready with a note of anise (black licorice) and other spices. The mouthfeel is full and somewhat creamy. As for drinkability, the beer is a solid sipper. I received it as a gift, but I will seek it out again.

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

6 249 13, a Christmas gift from my awesome girlfriend ;-0 Somehow I doubt they've been using this recipe since 1074, according to the bottle, but I get the idea.

A: Deep and brown, dark enough to intimidate but clean enough to see sediment through (of which there isn't any). Fluffy dirt colored head and Brussles lacing.

S: Sweet rich carmel malts. A bit like gingerbread.

T: Sweet malts, spicy carbonation. Some heat. Mild subtle spices like nutneg and ginger. Hybrid characteristics of a dubbel and tripel.

M: Carbonation lifts the heavy body. It is slightly sticky. Not so subtle candi sugar.

D: Good drinkability, as long as it's kept below cellar temp.

Photo of bjohnson
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

6 271 15 on label...

A: Pours a dark rust color color with a one finger cream colored head. Nice retention of this bubbly head. A bit of lacing, but nothing too crazy.
S: Nice fruity esters with a good yeasty backbone. Lemon zest with a spicyness to it--possibly coriander and cloves. Slight bit of cinnamon and nutmeg also. Smooth with a silkyness in the mouth. A bit of a gritty finish left on the palate.
T/M: Yeastyness is most abundant but it's coupled and almost completely masked by the spices--cinnamon, cloves, coriander, and nutmeg. All the spices are mild without one becoming a dominant flavor. Maltyness left on the tongue in the aftertaste that has a slight bitterness to it. Didn't detect any bitterness in the flavors, but this must be where the hops assert their authority.
D: Pretty tasty winter or if I were being pc, "holiday" brew...read=nice Christmas brew. Get it if you can, but there are others out there that I think are better. Nice high abv will warm the chest and make you silly like the fat man if you drink it by yourself...

Photo of russpowell
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle with a cryptic date code of 6 249 17

Pours a deep chestnut with 2.5 fingers deep rocky head. Good lacing & a nice healthy film

S: Slight metallic & caramel notes. Hints of nutmeg & cinamon & fruitty notes as it warms

T: Caramel, fruitty, & warming up front with cinamon notes. Some chocolate notes & a gentle hint of iron. Big fruittynes (plums)/jammyness with nutmeg/cinamon & brown sugar once this warms. Finishes fruitty, warming, dry with bready notes, plus a little more spiceyness! Easily the best holiday beer I've had so far year regardless of total score!

MF: Rich, sticky, low/medium carbonation with some syruppy notes

Drinks great for the abv & a great Christmas ale. This really worked for me. Worth the $7.99 IMO

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

Murky scorched amber pour with a beautiful head of khaki froth that is thick, clingy, and lasting. The stiff head forms peaks and craters in that last until the beer is gone...impressive.

The nore is rich and fruity, brimming with moist raisinbread, berries, musty yeast, and light toasty malt. As it warms, and oaky sherry or port note becomes apparent.

The flavor is even better. Dark and complex, it reminds me a little of Chimay Grand Reserve. It starts fruity and finishes with peppery hops and dry minerality. Very complex.

Body is just below big, with a perfect mouthfeel that is full, yet soft and creamy. An absolute bargain at $6.50 for a corked 750. I will certainly seek this out again before it 's gone for the season!

Photo of shadow1961
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Affligem's Noël Christmas Ale pours out a fluffy
tan head over a dark brown brew. Carbonation
is active, and the nose is rich with yeast, malt,
bubblegum, and dark fruit flavors. The flavor is
of malt, molasses, raisin, and spices. It's slightly
sweet and the mouthfeel is tingly. With the 9%
alcohol by volume, there's a definite warming effect.
This is just the drink for quiet adults to get together
to ponder the season over. Another amiable brew
from Affligem. Very good!

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

750 ml bottle served in my Chimay Goblet.

A - Pours a beautiful deep amber color, with a nice cream colored head that fizzes down quickly to a thin layer. Minimal lacing on the glass.

S - Smells of sweet candied sugar with underpinnings of grape juice and apple cider. A little bit of sour grape begins to come through as I inhale more of the lovely aroma. As it warms, a little bit of allspice and nutmeg.

T - Tons of ripe fruit, toffee, and caramel followed by a lovely winter spice flavor at the first swallow. This is very nice and much more complex than I expected...a pleasant surprise. Some of the sweet/sour qualities of a nice flemish red balanced perfectly by the malty sweetness of a dubbel, and of course a little bit of the warming alcohol of a tripel giving this the perfect winter taste.

M - Mouth is smooth and creamy with the perfect amount of tingly carbonation. Very full without being overly thick...nice.

D - Mouth and taste lend this to being a very drinkable winter warmer. Now, you probably don't want to go out and session this, but I can't think of too many better beers to sip by the fire on a brisk winter evening. Cheers!

Photo of theo692
2.58/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had high hopes for this beer, but it disappointed at pretty much every turn. It's not a bad beer, per se, it's just not very good.

Served in Chimay goblet, around 37 degrees, and left to warm for about 15 minutes. 750 ml bottle purchased at Bevmo.

Poured lovely and with a nice caramel color. About 1/4 inch of foam, a nice rich brown, as well. So far, so good. But the flavor was amazingly flat, with no flourish or really much of anything. With 9%, I was expecting at least a hint of alcohol-ish, but...nothing. It was like drinking a dark brown Asahi or something like that. Might be a bad bottle.

If you are looking for a good, rich (and possibly spicy) holiday beer for the cold, dark, rainy evenings, this isn't the one for you.

Photo of DouggiePhresh
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It Pours a murky brown with light tan colored, soapy head which quickly dissipates into thin patches of foam .

I immediately noticed the distinct smell of scotch.

It tastes alcoholic. Dark, candied fruits.

The mouthfeel is syrupy. Light and sparse carbonation.

Very drinkable. I wanna say almost a Quad.

Photo of rodrot
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Christmas in early October, why not? Poured from a corked and caged 750 ml bottle a turbid brown color with a huge pillowy head that took forever to go down. Aroma was malty and spicy, with some ripe fruit mixed in the nose. Taste was of toasty malts, dark fruits(plums and figs), spicy hops and maple syrup. There was also a winey, vinous note that added to the experience. The beer had a medium to full bodied mouthfeel and was rich and warming. Alcohol was there but it didn't detract from the overall enjoyment of this brew. Very nice and one that I will drink again, especially during the colder months.

Affligem Noël from Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem
91 out of 100 based on 550 ratings.