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Affligem Noël - Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem

Not Rated.
Affligem NoëlAffligem Noël

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553 Ratings

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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

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: 553 | Reviews: 339
Photo of Boto
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught: This one is a dark amber color. It was also fairly clear with a minimal amount of head. the aroma has a bit of malts, with some spices and maybe some dark fruits. A somewhat spicy taste to go along with their typical sweetness. This was actually quite nice for a standard bar 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 BeerBuilder
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to brownish-ruby color with a thick, creamy tan head. Leaves a lot of lacing down the glass. The aromas are of brown sugar, malts, yeast, and some dark fruits. It is a bit yeasty and herbal as well. The flavor is malty sweet with brown sugar, and an herbal taste. It has a slight dark fruitiness as well. It is smooth and creamy in texture with a semi-sweet finish. This is one tasty Belgian brew.

Photo of taez555
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a thick bubbly white head with a dark brown body.

The nose was an assortment of fruits, phenols, apples, plums, raisins, dark sugar, yeast, malt and caramel. Quite a sugary and rich nose.

The taste was medium to full bodied. Yeast, phenols, dark sugar, fruits, plums, dates, raisins, apples, alcohol, and oranges with some hints of citrus and citrus peel. There was a slight sourness some verily light wood and earth notes. As for the bitterness, it starts off bitter but well-balanced and then fades as the flavor continue into the finish.

Really quite a yummy beer. A classic big Belgian perfect for the holidays or just sipping any day of the week.

Photo of granger10
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an auburn color around the edges with woody colors in the middle. Large head that settles quickly leaving a thin layer of foam along the top. Smell is yeasty, slightly fruity, and slightly spicy. Taste has a strong spice precense. Maybe some ginger and orange peel, but the orange peel is subdued. Taste reminds me of gingerbread cookies. Sweetness is very sweet like molasses but its not strong enough. Body is decent but its mostly comprised of spice and alcohol, which is fairly noticeable. Needs a little more substance in the middle. Hops appear toward the end but are faint, the finish is strong spice. Overall a good beer, but im happy with one.

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

The beer after its extrication from the 750ml bottle pours a slightly beclouded burnt umber color with a modest semi-creamy light tan head that upon its demise leaves a thick and clingy blanket of lace upon the glass. Nose is plum like with nice sweet malt back round, crisp and fresh to the senses; start is somewhat sweet with a nice malt presence and the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is prickly in its acidity and the hops spicy in their bite; the 9 percent ABV leaves a nice warm feeling in the tummy, a quite nice beer. This one I share with the “Veterans, past present and future”, and especially to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

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

This beer just became available in Arizona and is great. Split a bottle of it at Papago Brewing this past weekend. Color was a nice dark amber color. The beer was malty sweet but not cloying like many Belgian beers can be. You could tell that there were spices in it but they didn't overpower it, just making a great balanced spiced Christmas beer. Aroma was of malt, no hops. I'm going to put it on my Christams wish list and stick a couple bottles away to age another year.

Photo of beerceller99
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

75 cl. corked bottle. Pours a reddish brown hue with a big, persistant head which leaves a nice lace. Caramel orange chocolate smell. The taste is slightly sweet, fruity with plums, figs, and caramel apple flavors in a medium body. Finishes with a bittersweet alcohol and fermented fruit flavor.

A decent brew for the style.

Photo of putnam
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enormous, stiff mousse. Brown liquid.
Aromas of Russian black bread and hints of candied bananas, cocoa and coffee.
A big sweet entry on the palate is decorated with chocolate, nutmeg and cocoa. The texture is light to medium-bodied with a very fluid, alcohol driven gush of sweetness through the mid-palate. The finish is short. Very drinkable and a nice way to become intoxicated.
"High Alcohol" ... "Less Filling"

This is a well flavored but ultimately very commercial beer. This much alcohol and spice should be accompanied with some real viscosity and chew. Unfortunately shortcuts pay the bills.

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

Poured a nice brown color with a HUGE head that took some time to die down. A very nice-looking beer, definately a tribute to Belgian ales.

The taste was very intense... there was a very rich maltiness, some mustiness, and its potency was evident. The alcohol was not overpowering, however. The aftertaste was very complex indeed, and had so many overlapping flavors I could not untangle them all.

This was a wonderful ale, and I regret that I have not been able to find it again. One I would certainly like to have again, as it has been some time.

Photo of marc77
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pellucid deep ruby hue. Mountainous, steadfast, fluffed light bister head yields coating lace. Gorgeous. Upfront in aroma is an egalitarian mélange of fresh grated cinnamon, orange peel and floral, nectar like esters. As it warms trace bubblegum and clove add subtle candylike and herbal tones, respectively. Judiciously spiced and welcoming aromawise. In flavor, incipient is a transient, citric, lemon like acidity. It is ensued by a dubbelesque combination of raisin, carob and yeast derived must. Spicing is agreeably understated and complementary. Mellow ground coriander melds with the sweet, woody undertone to lend a sandalwood smoke impression. The taste reminds me of the aroma of the markets in Riyadh I used to go to as a kid. Lightly bodied and surprisingly rather dry, but superbly quaffable as a result. Becomes more honey like in its malt character, while carob and dark fruit notes diminish as it breathes. Residual sweetness never becomes cloying. Finishes soft, with trace dark malt and hop bitterness lingering parallel with dilute orange sweetness. A delicious, complex brew that sits dangerously light on the palate. Akin to a traditional dubbel / spiced dark strong hybrid. Outstanding. I should've cellared this for longer. Bottled 10/03.

Photo of mzwolinski
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep red in color with a thin, uneven tan head which quickly settles to a smooth, thin, creamy top.

Quite a strong, sour, musky, yeasty aroma. It takes a little while to work through this layer, but something fruity emerges later on. I have a hard time nailing the scent -- it doesn't seem to be any of the standards.

Wow! The flavor! Quite different from what the aroma led me to expect. Rich, dubbel-like maltiness, with a bit of orange zest, caramel, some candyish malt, cocoa and dates. Yeast comes through at the finish along with a gentle spiciness. Full bodied with a *lot* going on. The alcohol is warming, and lends a bit of estery goodness to the finish, but is not at all intrusive.

Merry Christmas to me!

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

Pours a dark brown/copper color, plenty of CO2, and a full, rocky, light brown head. Decent head retention and a nice sticky lace. The aroma is malty with spices (coriander) aroma hops and some astringency. The flavor has a sweet start, tart middle and a bitter finish, with spices and astringent flavors remaining. The mouthfeel is medium/full bodied with creaminess and light effervescence.
IMHO: A decent beer, but overdone on the hop astringency bit. Not well balanced.

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

Affligem Noel 2002-03 season. This bottle conditioned beer carefully poured to a cloudy, dark red coppery color with a big lasting head. The aroma was yeasty and fruity. The taste was nice, sweet and winey and a bit fruity. It had a good body with a nice hop bite. The finish was a little dry and citrusy.
I liked this Belgian style beer more than some of the others I've tried because it wasn't as yeasty and citrusy as they were.

Photo of Hex92
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. In my mind this is the way a beer should look when you pour it in the glass. Great color, thick foamy head that laces down the glass nicely. Feels good on the tongue and is very drinkable. I would like to kick back a few of these in a single sitting but the price and high ABV (which is barely noticeable) make that difficult to do. This is a beer that I buy a bottle of whenever I see it.

Photo of ElGuapo
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alas, I will finally drink this one. This brew has been in my fridge for months now. I have taken it out on many occasions ready to sit down and drink it, but I always end up putting it back in there. Let's just hope it is not mad at me for sitting next to some left over shit beer for some time.

After blasting off the cork, a slow pour produced a murky amber brown brew topped in a huge mass of tannish foam. The retention is excellent, and I can already see the lace gripping to the sides of the glass. All is well on appearance. The aroma is initially filled with fruits. Dark fruits and berries. A nice array of spices are also found in the nose. Maybe a touch of caramel and a bit of grains thrown in the mix. I did also pick up a small whiff of alcohol.

The start is sweet with candies and fruit. The rich fruity flavor takes the wheel for a bit before being joined by spices. I really had to search before finding hints of alcohol in the finish which is mostly filled with toasty grains. The warming effect is mild, but it will do the trick. The flavoring is nice. It is not really spicy, so if you are in for a milder winter brew, look no further. If you want a brew with a nice body that is good in cold weather, you will not be disappointed either. It has a simple complexity if you get me on that one. Everything is very well balanced, and it makes a nice transition through its flavors. It is silky smooth, creamy. Drinkability is excellent. This really seems like a beer that a lot of people would enjoy.

Note: This one came out a bit cold, but it really thrived when it warmed (more so than other brews).

Photo of kbub6f
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge, coarse, maple-tan, hilly head on top of a deep, garnet, clear beauty. Foamy, clump, thick lacing. The smell is sweet candy, fruity grapes and a little yeasty toffee. Nice. Sweet, sweet grapes and alcohol give way to a tangy, sweet, fruity, full, creamy middle. Alcohol in the finish and some nice bready grains surprise me. This is just a nice, strong, sweet, fruity Belgian. Perfect for Christmas.

Photo of BierReise
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

75cl bottle cork dated 10/02. Poured an attractive ruby red color with a tight thick head that had some staying power. Aroma is a classic Belgian one of fruity malt, yeast and candy sugar. Very nice aroma. Body is medium and crisply effervescent. Flavor not as good as aroma unfortunately. Has some metallic issues with a fruity malt flavor. Just average in that department. Finishes slightly dry and tart. Overall not a bad one, just nothing really interesting to me.

Photo of CRJMellor
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper/maroon color with golden highlights. Decent head retention and grat lace on the glass. Aroma was candy sugar, coriander, hint of cinnamon, dark malts, yeast and dark bread. Flavors that I found were a deep malt finish with a hint of cinnamon, a biscuity nad buttery middle and yeasty and spicy finish. Very complex flavors that really worked well together as the beer warmed. Mouthfeel was "chewy" and alive with slight dryness on the back end. Very tasty and very warming beer. I drink this on draught all night (and the pass out).

Photo of AaronRed
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having had this beer before, I knew I was going to enjoy it. Immensely rewarding, it produces tight foam bubbles that persist almost until the glass is empty, Fresh smells of corrinder and or other spices are present, but take a backround to the tast, which is sweet with an underlying bitterness tha balances this beer out wonderfuly. As big as this beer is, (and high in alcohol), it's so smooth. Great choice for a Belgian X-mas beer.

Photo of Gavage
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Perfect beer for the holiday season. Pours a murky brown color with a medium tan head. The head lasted through half of the drink before becoming a spotty residue on the surface. The aroma was overall somewhat earthy, along with yeast, malt, and bread smells.

The flavor was full of malt and yeast, with a light balance of bitterness. Reminds me of a big brother to an abbey dubbel.The mouthfeel was smooth and a bit of crispness was noticed on the tongue due to the high carbonation level. The malt rides the tongue long into the aftertaste. Quite drinkable as the high alcohol level is not as noticable as in some other xmas ales.

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

I am a tad bit nervous about this beer. The cork is dated 10/01 and I have been cellaring for about a year. I hope that it's previous owner took good care of it. The best before date is 13/09/03.

Pours a cloudy brown color with a good size head that seems to last and last. The smell is sweet with hints of figs, raisins and nuts. The taste is great. There is no trace of any alcohol notes at all. Although, I would say this is about at it's prime. The carbonation is starting to get very high and it is picking up some smokey notes. I don't see how this beer could improve any more. It could only drop off in terms of quality. It held up well. I think that I will save a Corsendonk Christmas for next year.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. Aged for a year and a half (dated on the cork 6/02). A huge head of creamy light-tan foam resides over a dark chestnut body that teems with streaming effervescent carbonation. When held to the light, the clear brownish body displays ruby and brass highlights. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves wide creamy rings and craggy splashes of lace throughout the entire glass. And although the nose remains quite contained beneath its creamy cap, a distinct candy-ish character, some mustiness, dark fruit, and a touch of toffee come through. In the mouth, its very fine and natural (bottle-conditioned) carbonation warms to become quite airy, giving its light-medium body a bit of a bigger feel, and it passes across the palate with a quick zest that becomes pillowy soft & smooth before it reaches the throat. The flavors reflect the aroma with a candyish malt that's tempered by some sublime phenols and peppery spice. A touch of herbal hops and some minimal drying alcohol rounds it out. Along the way some subdued dark fruit, some nuttiness, and even a hint of cocoa appear; yet it finishes dry and powdery. Impressive! It's bold without being overwhelming, and it never builds on the palate. The alcohol is well-heeled and it finishes clean. This is a really nice beer to enjoy at a quite time during the holiday season, but I don't think it's subtle complexities can really be enjoyed within a party atmosphere.

Photo of clvand0
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby color with a nice amount of head and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is of sweet malts and fruits. The flavor is a little sweet with some malts and a nice bit of spices to make it interesting. It has a thick mouthfeel and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Photo of Weissenheimer
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got the last two bottles of last year's Affligem Noel at my local beverage shop after hearing lots of good things about it. I pop the cork and pour, and the magic begins. The huge, foamy head soon becomes craggy in the manner of limestone formations. The lacing is luxuriant, and has a distinctive way of rolling down the glass as a unit after each sip. The liquid is a beautiful mahogany.

The first thing I taste is a lovely, smooth caramel flavor. The carbonation is perfect; it makes itself known without being overdone. The taste is spicy, with an anise flavor that's well-blended with the caramel.

This is one of _those_ beers. You know, the ones where you take your first sip and say "Hey, this is pretty good!" and by the time you're done with your first glass you're ready to give the brewmaster a kidney. The taste is big, smooth, round, and buttery. If I had one word to describe it, it would be "sumptuous". It's not tremendously complicated, but it's constructed so well - out of just a few perfectly-tooled elements - that it brings to mind a masterfully carved piece of woodwork. Incredibly smooth despite its richness, it sweeps over my palate like a thick sheet of velvet. This is one exceptional beer. I'll be getting a bunch of this and aging it for next Christmas.

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