Affligem Noël - Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem
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Ratings: 526 | Reviews: 333 | Display Reviews Only:
4.22/5 rDev +3.4%
Rich ruby brown color with a decent tan head. Aromas of malt, some Christmasy-type spices and a trace amount of hops. Big malt taste, and, of course, some candi sugar of the dark variety, finishing clean and smooth with the spice showing up again in the finish. Candied raisins, trace amount of anise in there, too. A small bit of astringency, but definitely not off or overbearing. I liked this beer a great deal last year and this year's no exception. A mighty fine winter seasonal.
12-14-2003 09:11:17 | More by crookedhalo
4.58/5 rDev +12.3%
Pours a ruby amber with a thin head. Better than average carbonation can be seen. Aroma is mild hops, some malt background, a hint of candy sugar and some berry elements. Virtually no lacing, despite its ABV.
Taste is light malts, light hops, lightly bready yet full bodied. Mildly spicy, sweetish but not sugary with some tart character, like candied fruit. Cinnamon, nutmeg and spice almost like cayenne that bites the tongue. Very close to what I imagine liquified fruitcake would taste like.
Very smooth, almost no trace of alcohol in the profile. Light on the palate, finishes clean. These words may seem to describe a rather mild offering but together these flavors emerge as a bold, complex, strong but extremely well-balanced ale.
Cork was dated 6/03 so this bottle was moderately fresh but I would imagine this beer would only improve with age.
12-13-2003 03:43:59 | More by assurbanipaul
4.28/5 rDev +4.9%
Sinful and really delicious! This beer pours golden brown with a mountainous white frothy head. Large bubbles massaged the side of the glass with loads of sticky lacing. Gorgeous!
The aroma was easily the best part of this beer. I've summed up the aroma like this....Imagine a freshly baked fruit cake with sweet white icing glazed all over the top, sliced apples dipped halfway through the cake and sprinkled with cinnamon. It was stupendous!
Tons of pears, apples, cinnamon, sweet malts, yeast, caramel, dried orange peels and alcohol. I really enjoyed this!
12-11-2003 05:53:31 | More by Crosling
3.88/5 rDev -4.9%
2001 bottle. Thanks to Drew.
Sugary phenolic nose with hints of rosemary. Herbal and spicy, Affligem Noel opens up on the palette with a sticky, fruity sweetness complimented by firm, yeasty structure that lends a pleasant creaminess to the brew. The finish is, oddly, scotch with sweet phenols and Northern Brewer-like (read: classically bitter) aftertaste.
12-01-2003 01:04:10 | More by ngandhi
4.5/5 rDev +10.3%
Poured from a caged and corked 750 ml. bottle, it's a beautiful mahogany with a thick head that lingers to the end. Dark fruit and spice with noticeable yeast make for a wonderful smell. The taste is just as nice: complex and fascinating. Peppery flavors play nicely against the taste of raisin and cherry. With fairly high carbonation, the mouthfeel is nice and chewy. As for drinkability, the 750 was gone before I knew what happened. This is a beautiful beer and one I'll revisit as we get even closer to Christmas.
11-30-2003 06:11:21 | More by mickeymac
3.93/5 rDev -3.7%
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.
11-29-2003 01:33:24 | More by oberon
4.35/5 rDev +6.6%
Nice pop of the cork as this one was unleashed. Sent a sweet yeasty scent into the air. Poured a nice ruby/amber with noticable
carbonation bubbles. Big foamy chunky beige head.
Smells of dark sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, tropical fruits, alcohol and yeast.
Big malty, complex taste. Lots of fruit, spice and a brown sugar sweetness. Slightly tart yeastiness and mild hops at the end helps to balance.
Lighter in body than expected with mouth filling carbonation.
Decent drinkability for such a sweet, heavy malt, high alcohol gem.
Gee, is that bottle empty already ?
11-23-2003 02:53:12 | More by rkhaze
4.53/5 rDev +11%
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.
09-05-2003 03:34:57 | More by RoyalT
4/5 rDev -2%
Dark brown color, medium white head, creamy and very thick. Aroma is malty and a little spicy. Full-bodied Belgian Ale. Malty and slightly sweet. Typical Belgian yeastiness and fruitiness, orange, dates, raisins and chocolate. Spices come through all these flavors to add too a really nice tasting beer. Very smooth taste. High alcohol is warming without any typical alcohol bite. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and somewhat malty.
06-10-2003 21:12:38 | More by beerguy101
4.55/5 rDev +11.5%
Vintage 6/02 on the cork.
Red/Brown color. Rich thick lasting inviting light brown head. The head is sticky and clingy on the sides of the goblet. Rich caramel sweet malt and fruity yeast nose. Mellow soft flavor starts out sweetly with a soft caramel marshmellow taste which is then cut well by a sturdy yeast and hop bitterness on the tongue. Very balenced. A well rounded brew that is sweet upfront with a nice backbone of hops and spice in the finish. Wonderful smooth as silk mouth. WOW what a mouth. A very smooth rounded subtile drinkable beer esp. at 9%. Cheers to Jay V for this present during the holiday season! It won't be the last time I drink this beer!
04-24-2003 13:02:07 | More by frank4sail
4/5 rDev -2%
This big beautiful 2002 Christmas Seasonal is pouring a nice burnt umber (reddish brown). The head is thick and lively with a wide variety of bubble sizes that eventually settles to a moderate head leaving lace down the sides of the glass. The nose is mild spiced malt. The taste is sweet malt, and strong hops with a distinctive alcohol flavor. There is a pleasant and subtle spice to this and notes of citrus. Overall a better than fair seasonal but not the best one I have had.
03-23-2003 17:37:41 | More by AtrumAnimus
4.88/5 rDev +19.6%
Package: 750 ml corked bottle, 2002 vintage.
Appearance: A lot of carbonation as I poured it into my glass produced a beautiful creamy tan head formed from lots of tiny bubbles. Beer was slightly opaque brown/slight reddish color. Very inviting.
Smell: Lots of different spices (including cinnamon), fruity aromas (including apricot and plums perhaps), and also some alcohol. Fantastic.
Taste: Oh my! The malt, the spices (so many, including the cinnamon I detected in the aroma), also a little fruity. Superb. A total delight.
Mouthfeel: The carbonation really fizzles in my mouth, allowing the flavors to burst all over. Joy.
Drinkability: Sheer pleasure.
Comments: This has to be one of my all time favorites. If I could live on this beer alone, I would. It is to be treasured. As the tag that came with the bottle says, "Brewed to be Shared." Thank you Stu (from Shoreline Beverage on Long Island) for recommending this to me. After having this one bottle, I went back and bought the other three that he had left.
02-22-2003 14:34:58 | More by Denali
4.28/5 rDev +4.9%
Package: 750ml corked bottle, beautiful foil-paper label with 3 snowmen, carolers in corners, and a nice seasonal message describing this as “rich and dark like a dubbel, sumptuous and smooth like a tripel.” Serving recommendation of 44-48º. 9% ABV. No date
Cost: $5.99 Shop-Rite Liquors, Caldwell
Presentation: Affligem glass
Appearance: Cloudy, rich brown. Translucent, not opaque, but not clear. Stiff, meringue-like head lasts forever. Strings of fine bubbles. Strong lace as beer is finished. Bottle opens with a distinct pop.
Smell: Notes of candied fruit, citron, melon, stone fruits. A touch of Belgian mustiness.
Taste: Stronger than aroma suggests. Creaminess, yeast, and malty sweetness appear up front with candied fruit. Surprising drop-off in the middle. Initial flavors wane momentarily. Vinous quality appears on the finish along with spicy notes of clove and allspice. Sensation of alcohol almost non-existent. Perhaps not enough bite to hold up the sweetness of the malt. Just avoids being cloying. Marked down from 4.5 for slight flabbiness and weak middle.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is perfect; remaining down to the bottom but not harsh. Super-smooth with nice body. Flavors not as mouth-filling as I recall.
Drinkability: High ABV limits this. Would improve with a bit more edge.
Affligem Noël has always been one of my absolute favorites. This example was not aged as I usually try to have it, so perhaps my impressions may be skewed. I seem to remember that this beer normally has a more fully-flavored middle, as it expands in the mouth with a slight lemony-citrus backbone. In this instance, the flavor seemed to fade before finishing with the familiar spice notes. I have cellared the other one of these, so I may compare an aged example of the vintage.
Backwash: I believe that this beer is another must-try. It is one of the Winter Seasonal benchmarks. The flavor of this particular bottle was a bit thinner than I remember, but still very impressive. Delivers most of what the label promises. I rank it above Scaldis Noël and Delirium Noël. The Jimmy Stewart of Holiday Brews.
NB: I saved the second half of this bottle with a Vacu-Vin and finished it almost exactly 24 hours later. Flavors filled out just a bit and carbonation was remarkably preserved. Over-poured it, thinking that carbonation level would be down, and ended up with a huge cap of foam!
01-03-2003 14:11:48 | More by Dantes
4.45/5 rDev +9.1%
Pours a slightly hazy mahogony brown color, with a massive thick and creamy tan head, heavy carbonation, and lots of broken lace. Spicy and potent aroma of alcohol and dark fruit. Taste begins with rich malt flavor, cloves, cinnamon, and a surge of stinging carbonation, gives way to strong pepper and alcohol notes, finishing with bitter chocolate and strong hops. The alcohol is quite warming and very potent, devastatingly so. An absolutely superior beer - one of the best I have ever had.
12-31-2002 22:24:40 | More by Pegasus
4.1/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
12-28-2002 13:44:44 | More by Jason
4.1/5 rDev +0.5%
Poured a reddish brown with a light brown foam. The smell had a malty aroma with a hint of spicies. The taste was creamy and malty with a hint of spicies also. I would not buy this brew again, but it was nice the first time!
12-24-2002 17:54:27 | More by BeerManDan
3.78/5 rDev -7.4%
Hazy Orange-brown color, huge frothy head that leaves a clingy lace in the glass, sweet bready floral aroma, sweet caremel malty flavor, nice light bitterness in the finish, medium body with a pleasant creamy mouthfeel, a great seasonal ale.
12-23-2002 17:01:07 | More by maxpower
4.65/5 rDev +14%
I tried this on 12-17-2002 at a Beer Tasting held in the Rock Bottom, Long Beach.
Fifth beer of the night for me and my fellow Tasters.
Again, a deep brown chestnut color, and also with a very mild haze, but this does not concern me with beers of this strength and quality though. The head was tan brown and also quite sturdy in the sampling glass, carbonation was quite high and the head did last well into the tasting, but eventually died away to reveal a flattish looking beer. Delirium Noël was the prior beer, it was uncanny because both looked quite similar but thats where the similarity ends.
Affligem has Class, for the aromas are quite astounding. A positively *Huge* nose that presents an organized collection of familiar, and not-so-familiar, scents, smells and odours. This truly is Christmas which present do I open ., I mean which aroma do I smell first? Well, in no particular order they are; Alcohol, Malt, Roasted Barley, Strong Coffee, Nutmeg, Spices, Herbs, Dark Fruits, Rich Brandy, Port soaked Apples, Rum & Raisin Dark Chocolate, Dates, Belgium Chocolate Liqueurs, et al. This is one seriously great smelling beer. Tastes are 100% reflective of the aromas, an alcoholic-maltiness leads the way, and then the more complex richer tastes and dark chocolate brandy tastes enter towards the middle and back end. A fantastic lingering finish, I did not want to swallow, and so savor this beer as long as I possibly could. Youd better get a big pad and a new pen if you are going to review this beer at home, oh, and swat up on your superlatives as well. At the end of the 8 beers that we tasted on Tuesday night, I went round the room, collected the partly finished bottles of Affligem and finished whatever of this beer was left. Awesome experience, even better as it warmed.
Affligem Noël is 9% ABV and a true Christmas Beer for me. Strong, Complex, Very Potent, Warming and Mysterious at times just how they should be. On reflection, it makes the prior beer, Delirium Noël, as good as it is feel somewhat amateurish and timid. A quality offering, and guess what Heineken own 95% of this Brewery, but the good news is that Affligem brands must be brewed in Belgium for the next 30 years. If you see this beer - purchase a couple of Bottles, drink some and cellar the rest, this beer could well turn out to be a classic in years hence. Mightily Impressive.
I dont want an Aston Martin DB7 GT anymore; just leave me a Crate of Affligem Noël instead .
12-19-2002 21:10:08 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.13/5 rDev +1.2%
This was a pleasant offering! Into the goblet she goes, with a beauteous, slightly hazy chestnut color. The head is a thin, fine, long-lasting tan layer, leaving a nice sheet of lace in the glass. The nose emits a lot of dark fruit flavors, like raisins and currants. Very pleasant, to me!! The body comes across as about medium, with a medium (for the style) smoothness on the tongue, meaning it has that bubbly, foamy carbonated feeling, which I like, too! Dark fruit flavors abound, too. It has some malty, sweet components, as well as some Belgian candy-sugar aspects. A slightly dry finish is present, which, to me anyway, detracts a touch from the bier. This is a very tasty, warming winter bier! I'd definitely have another of this Noel!! Prosit!!!
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5
12-10-2002 15:06:27 | More by Bierman9
4.22/5 rDev +3.4%
Pours a dark brown, almost black. Nice aroma of fruits, plum, raisons, and the taste to match. Tart, sweet, malty, almost bread like mouthfeel and nice, crisp, dry finish. Very drinkable, very nice brew. Did I mention very drinkable? Yeah, worth trying!
12-07-2002 19:39:45 | More by HopheadEd
4.22/5 rDev +3.4%
This beer poured a dark amber color and formed a light tan bubbly head that left some circular lace. A good amount of carbonation is present. The aroma is of malt, cinammon, chocolate and some other spices. A flavor of malt, chocolate and spice. A slightly tart finish due to the carbonation.
12-06-2002 20:19:59 | More by Wildman
4.6/5 rDev +12.7%
Big 750ml bottle. Label has snowmen signing Christmas carols.
Foamer. Murky brown color with a slight ruby hue to it. Super charged beige head. Excellant seasonal aroamas spicy nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate and everything else. Nice super smooth taste. Starts with all the spices up front but very sublte. Nutmeg Cinnamon, chocolate and yeasty belgian goodness combine with a very soft roasted fruit plum taste. Finish is a nice and rich, very balanced with a hot spicy flash of warming alcohol. Vey rich, perfectly balanced, moderately carbonated. Consistent flavors beginning to end. One of the best Christmas beers yet. Go find this one.
11-26-2002 18:38:10 | More by StevieW
4.43/5 rDev +8.6%
Pours with a lasting and vigorously effervescent light tan head that settles over clear ruby-red liquid. Nose is yeasty, fruity, chocolatey, malty, with alcoholic notes. Taste is rich, sweet & warming, with raisiny notes mixed with chocolate, hop bitterness and spiciness...nice and complex on the palate. Finish is warm and delicious! A superb sipping ale that no doubt would kick my ass if consumed in any quantity larger than a 750ml. bottle. One Xmas beer you should be on the lookout for!
11-23-2002 21:36:13 | More by beerluvr
4.38/5 rDev +7.4%
This has been aging for a little over a year (Date on cork says 10/01), so I pulled it out to give it a taste. Let me start off by saying, I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It poured out a nice reddish brown with good clarity and ample head that soon diminished to a thin layer. The nose was rich and sweet with a great fruit cake aroma. Sip after sip revealed an ambrosia of sweet fruit and rich malt. The finish was suprisingly dry with peppery notes way in the background. Carbonation was prevalent but fine and champagne like helping produce a smooth and satisfying mouthfeel. A warming alcohol character was also present and quite pleasing, especially during these colder month. Great beer for the season. Eager to try this years iteration.
11-19-2002 15:12:05 | More by DrewS
4.85/5 rDev +18.9%
Very smooth with a lovely deep reddish color. I'm not good at describing all of the flavors and nuances of different beers, but this was an incredible brew imho. Nice thick head and left nice trails down the glass. Had an almost peppery finish to it on the back of the palate. Great beer at a reasonable price.
04-10-2002 12:23:52 | More by LarryV
Affligem Noël from Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem
91 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.