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Bière De Noël - Brasserie Thiriez

Not Rated.
Bière De NoëlBière De Noël

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

50 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 50
Hads: 66
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.89%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Naerhu on 10-03-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 50 | Hads: 66
Photo of ATPete
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, very fresh

label states 6%

Pours a reddish brown color with a massive yeast cloud that slowly settles and becomes one with the brew. Fruity yeast esters, plum, green apple, melon, chocolate, rich berry notes, cinnamon and a mild tone of oxidation. Creamy in body at first as the bubbles invade the tongue, the beer falls off the palate very quickly, a fruity, malty aftertaste is left lingering. Very drinkable, an odd but welcome Winter offering. (464 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clouded, medium brown body with a fizzy, fine, white head.

Smell: We have a nose of basic bread crusts and a few tired, begrudging notes of stale chocolate powder and spice. There's also a sourish fruit character in the backdrop. Many things make me think of Christmastime, the aroma of this beer is not one of them.

Taste: Sugared toasted bread crusts mingled with lesser tastes of caramel and cocoa powder. Sourish fruitiness akin to substandard plum products. This one offers very little in the hop and bitterness department, and, I hate to say it, very little in terms of festive spice character as well. All-spice? More like no-spice! The finish is quite effervescent, suspiciously so, even, and carries with it a final hint of both light sourness and toast.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thing body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, unfortunately, this one wasn't very good and one I cannot recommend. For me, it's less of a Bière De Noël and more of a Bière de No Thanks. Everything from the spice character to the malt profile, it's all so mild and uninteresting. (1,098 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Like a saison, this beer has a mild spiciness and a light mouthfeel. It is also substantialy creamy and grew on me throughout the meal. Pours golden yellow with lots of white foam and lace. Sweet and spicy, not bad for France. Refreshing. Carbonation suprisingly above average. (277 characters)

Photo of riversider76
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden orange with a fluffy head. Decent retention and a nice laceing. Aroma is of dark ripe fruits and yeast. Body is medium with some carbonation. Taste is like a light Belgin Ale.Fruity with hints of spice.A bit late in the season for a Winter beer,but worth the try. (278 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a cloudy tea color with a thin off-white head.

The aroma is slightly sour with a dark fruitiness to it.

The taste is much like the aroma with the sourness and dark fruit.

Lighter bodied, tart, and moderately carbonated.

An average winter warmer at best. (280 characters)

Photo of Absumaster
2.38/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A bright, brown, copper beer with a settling head that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell is fruity with notes of overripe melons. Some musty notes. The kind of dry yeast notes. A bit oxidized.

Taste is musty and very fruity with some dirty socks. This is a sort of Belgian Pale ale, the malt is a bit dark and it has some candi sugar notes, but nothing too crazy. Bitterness is low. Carbonation is out of control, every sip is a mouth full of gas. This makes the drinkability poor. (488 characters)

Photo of Crosling
2/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Fresh from France, this ale pours with a red burgundy color and has a long lasting collar of white foam. Aroma is depthless, but shows a touch of sweet malt and green bottle skunk. A fresh bottle, but still shows a lot of green bottle character. Thin mouth feel. Poorly flavored and very mild in character. No yeast or malt character. Undrinkable. (347 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

02/12/09- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, 2008 vintage. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- About a dead on caramel colored pour. 1/2 inch head on pour. Slight rim remains for the duration. Some lacing at first, but fades quickly.

Smell- Has a very funky smell on opening the bottle. Smells more skunked than funk though. Actually smells a bit like a Heineken. When it warms, it has a bit of a caramel malt scent and swhat smells like mole and ancho powder. Kinda odd for sure.

Taste- Has a touch of nutmeg and cinnimon...note just a touch. Has a medium sour taste on the back of the tongue and a light sweet taste on the tip of the tongue. Lightly hopped and some other various spices mixed in.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level. Light sour aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not really feeling winter as I sit here on a golf course in Arizona. Decent flavors and fairly easy to drink, but not the best winter beer I have had. Maybe even less than average. Still not bad though. Just a touch boring. (1,053 characters)

Photo of philipquarles
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cL bottle of the 2008 release. Pours a beautiful honey orange with a billowing eggshell cap and lots of sediment. Very effervescent. The foam cap is resilient, eventually dying down to a thick film while leaving sheets of lacing on the sides of the glass. Aromas of sour apples, vinegar, lemon zest, barnyard yeast, and a faint malt background blend to give it a very nice scent. The sour character is dampened on the palate, with a pleasantly sweet, slightly fruity character balancing the a bit of tartness. Again citrus comes to mind, along with some earthiness and spice. Hops are evident in the finish. I love beers like this--very complex, lots of character, and yet a low(ish) ABV. (690 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy deep ruby-garnet (the color of beets) with a massive three finger head of off-white foam. This leaves some nice lace on the glass, and the color reminds me of the deep crimson-purple of raw steak.

S - Red wine vinegar, sour rotten apple, and cider. When I used to mow the lawn in my parents back yard, I hated mowing under the two apple trees because the rotten apples that had fallen off of the tree were covered in bees who did not appreciate being disturbed by the law mower. This smells like the vinegary-sweet notes rising from those bee-infested apples in the summer.

T - This one tastes much like it smells. Sweet-n-sour apple funk, bitter unsweetened apple cider, mixed fruit juice, and beet juice. This tastes nothing like I expected from a "winter warmer" though I've learned that this category is really nothing more than a catch-all place to throw beers that the brewer calls a winter beer (ie SN Celebration, wassail-type brews, stouts, and witbiers with extra spice are all in this category and are nothing alike).

M - Sour-pucker face! This is pretty aggressively sour and astringent, and I like it! Makes it a bit rough to drink quickly, but that's not the point with artisan brews like this. The finish is off-dry and slightly sour. Nice!

D - Definitely good beer! I will pick this up again come next Christmas. The sourness is appetizing, and is a nice change from all of the super-malty winter beers. (1,435 characters)

Photo of orangemoustache
4.04/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dirty looking amber/copper with a almond head that billows a good three and a half fingers tall,very carbonated(hint:pour slowly). Not an over abundance of lacing, just enough to add some nice flare. The nose smells like cider vinegar and soured pears, it burns my nose just a little, which is surprising considering the low ABV ,this is not a bad thing. A good malt backbone is accented with spice and tart fruit flavors. Wow this is super tart! Reminds me of a thin Flanders Red with lots more fruit tartness and spiciness. The body is on the light side, carbonation is on the high side, which gives a medium feel and excellent drinkability. (651 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a soft golden-amber body that is slightly dense but glow in the light. There is a sea of microbubbles racing upward to form a huge head of off-white soap suds that stick to the sides of the glass registering each sip.

S- The soft sweet smell of fresh honey malt has notes of Belgian monastery yeast, slightly fruity with some earthy qualities, and a faint soft hop green quality at the finish.

T- The initial taste is soft sweet light malt with a tartness aswell. Then the faint ripe orange note comes through and turns more tangerine and brightens up the flavor.
There is a soft pine finish that has a soft allspice flavor to it that leaves a soft sweet, spice, hop flavor to linger in your mouth.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat and a very soft carbonation that enhances the flavors at the finish.

D- The soft wild notes work well with the fresh malt flavors and the orange rind brightness bridges the malt and hops working in concert with the spices. This beer is not big and no overly complex but is very balanced and delcious. (1,121 characters)

Photo of putnam
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wilted brown malt, cascading vanilla in hubbard blossoms, aromas. The look is reddish brown paper. Clouded. More nostril pulls produce sweet peas, melon rind, strawberry greens, strawberries and tangerine. Now orange peels and brandy. On the palate it is dusty and licorice/sweet vermouth flavored before sun shines to reveal sprouts emerging from matted leaves.

This is not one of my favorite Thiriez beers. (410 characters)

Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into a Hennepin flute.

A--Typical ludicrous Thiriez head. I was careful so there was no overflowing, but the foam threatened in wave upon wave of both gigantic gale on the ocean sized bubbles and tiny fizzers alike--maybe four fingers that dies pretty quickly and tames itself to a creamy nest on top of a honey colored body that's a little more brown than Thiriez's Amber. Body actually lightens to yellow toward the bottom. Carbonation persisted throughout the tasting and there was plenty of lacing. Very active, very exciting, alive beer--I like all the head whereas many others find it obnoxious.

S--Not as much as I would have liked. Mostly lemony and a little candied sugar with the typical farmhouse yeast strain. Some green apple notes mix with the lemon bite and make for a great effervescent, almost aperitif-like smell. Other than that, though, not much, and certainly less than the stray hay strands plucked from the underside of a pig funk you often get with Thiriez.

T--Not so winter warmer like, but tasty all the same. Very vibrant, not just for the style or time of year, but in general. A wicked departure from where I've been with beers lately, and a welcome one, in all honesty. This was so bright and refreshing, with more lemon and slightly sweeter orange (couldn't taste any spice, which was a disappointment) and soft sweetish and sour notes from the malt and yeast. I didn't get much from the hops, certainly nothing like the Blonde, but the finish is clean and light. An acidic, tangy beer--nearly tart, in fact--that you can really taste on the front of your tongue.

M&D--Mouthfeel is awesome, bubbly and restless and more than a kissing cousin to a saison/biere de garde. Manages to be a little creamy, too. Drinkability is fine, as there's a ton going on here for 6%, but shouldn't it be a little more warm for a WW?

Seems like a polarizing beer--all of Thiriez's brews seem to challenge expectation--but one I at least give a thumbs up. Reminded me of first-rate champagne, and would be an excellent substitute to pop open (or in this case uncap) come midnight on New Year's. (2,141 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.23/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, poured into tulip glass:

Pours deep orange/brownish amber with a tall, foamy off-white head that slowly descends and stays, leaving lacing.

The smell is of apricot/dried fruits, some orange, light spicing (not necessarily of winter-type).

The taste is of dried fruits, caramel and honey, some breadiness (gingerbread?), orange marmalade. Sweet and lightly spicy with a citric/earthy hop touch in the finish. Unique, well-balanced and tasty! Not what I expected for a winter/Christmas - but it works splendidly! It has a pleasant, I would even say, refreshing, aftertaste.

It has a creamy, medium body - pushes towards full-bodied. Again - perhaps not Christmas/Winter-y, but, then could depend on your location (more moderate climates - this is winter-y enough, for sure!) Even caught in this cold winter climate, I'm far from complaining.

It is delicious - well-balanced. Spicy, but not overly so, with a nice maltiness and a touch of balancing, flavour-some bitterness. A unique, nicely brew. (1,014 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Available by the glass at the Annual Holiday Special at Max's.

The beer pours a honey peach color with very good head retention and decent lacing. Carbonation is very active in this one. On the nose I get an intense aroma of spicey sweet skunkiness, reminding me very much of heineken on steroids. There's some apple too, and despite the description, the aroma works for me. I like the way this beer smells. On the palate this beer is quite rich, with loads of honey, cherry, apple and melon. Also, as the beer sits in the glass and warms a bit, the skunkiness seems to dissipate more and more. Ulimately, this is a medium bodied beer with the abv. well disguised.

This is a very nice, easy drinking holiday beer. Not bad at all... (734 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz picked up sometime last week at the Coop for about $4... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1" head dies quickly leaving no lace... the brew is a hazy orange amber when held to a light... it seemed to be a fizzer so I only got about 2/3'rds of a glass out of it before the yeast dregs really started coming.

Aroma is like a caramely Belgian Amber... musty fruitiness with a fair amount of spiciness..

Not nearly as much sweetness in the flavor as expected.. definitely more of a Belgian brown ale.. yeasty fruitiness with some unidentifiable spices... maybe pepper and a lite dusting of coriander.. finish is sorta dry with an apple skin component..

very carbonated yet still with fine carbonation.. medium body is nearly wiped out by the carbonation.. burpy.

Really nothing great going on here... It's fine.. definitely not a drain pour.. but just pretty unremarkable. (881 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crazily bubbled kumquat that is barely visible thanks to a featherlight mass of beige foam that fills 9/10s of the glass immediately after the pour. It looks like a little patience will be in order. Once the bubbles settle down, a gentle snowstorm of yeast comes into view.

In years past, this particular offering was a Belgian dark ale/brune. For 2007, Brasserie Thiriez decided to brew a witbier. Tangy wheat dominates the aroma, followed by lemon peel (which wasn't used), orange peel and allspice. BDN smells like a saison-witbier hybrid and should be mighty tasty.

Biere De Noel tastes more like a summer cooler than a winter warmer. Winter warmers should be dark, rich and spiced; not light, light and spiced. Ah, who cares? It's pretty good beer and that's all that matters. Even though this particular vintage has held up remarkably well over the past nine months, I'd drink whatever you have before this year's batch is released.

The flavor is nearly as tart and tangy as a Berliner weissbier. It really does tastes more lemon-like than orange-like, and there's a hint of kiwi and an herbal woodiness as well. That last one is typical for a farmhouse ale. It's good that the allspice is zesty because the 6.0% ABV won't exactly warm your cockles.

It's rarely a good sign when there's a huge escape of carbonation on crown cracking and when foam threatens to exit the bottle seconds thereafter. The mouthfeel is usually too chaotic at first, passes through perfect in a flash, and is then energy deficient. That's what happened here, although it wasn't quite that dramatic.

Thireiz Biere De Noel might be an appropriate winter beer for the the Cote d'Azur, but those living in more northerly regions of France will want something more substantial. While this is enjoyable beer (especially in late summer), I hope the brewery gives us something completely different the next time around. (1,901 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy apricot beer with absolutely massice off-white chunky head. Had to wait several mintes for it to settle before thwe first taste. Lots of sticky lacing.

Smell shows a light summer fruitiness (Apricots)
along with a noticeable amount of citrus.

Taste has a strong citrus character. some apple and peach flavors are also present.

Leaves a pleasant sweet taste in the mouth with nice retention.

Nicely drinkable. Much different from any other winter warmer I have ever had. (490 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.26/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Winter 2007 / 2008 Release; Sampled February 2007
An extremely careful pour still yields a six finger thick head that resides a good two fingers above the rim of my glass. Tightly beaded up top, but the bubbles get larger as you get closer to the beer, the head is a light tan color and has some incredible staying pour, it is at least a full five minutes before the head even recedes to the rim of the glass. The beer is almost brilliantly clear, it has a light amber hue to it, but when held up to the light it show a ton of mad, streaming carbonation bubbles and a lightly orange tinged, full copper color. The aroma is a mix of light fruit notes, malt character, and a hint of spice. The fruitiness can be a bit green at times with notes of unripe melon, ripe plum, rhubarb and a touch of cucumber. A hint of caramelized grain and a lightly toasty, cracker like malt character comes through the more I explore the aroma. There is an earthy, slightly woody, mildly phenolic, touch phenolic aromatic note here that I would be hard put to actually place, but must be influenced heavily by the allspice.

Luckily I am drinking out of a tulip glass so that the five fingers of head does not hinder my ability to taste the beer. It is also very well carbonated, though considering I had to wait quite some time to be able to taste the brew, it is no longer excessive; persistent, airy, with a peppery carbonic bite in the finish, the ample carbonation adds a rustic touch here and helps this beer to be quite quenching and drinkable. The beer has a nice, surprising yet welcome, tartness to it. The middle of the beer has a light malt sweetness that accentuates the fruit flavors found in this beer. The fruit notes remind me of a mix of Anjou pears, and grassy, yet ripe melons. This is nicely light bodied, really this is right in line with my idea of a Farmhouse Ale, which I would like to think this is. Spice flavors seem to accentuate the light tartness found in this brew; the spice notes are slightly woody, with a touch of phenolics, definitely peppery, but strangely lingering with an almost green vegetal note (but not really). The spice notes are really noticeable in the finish, though as the beer warms a bit an orange-zest note starts to become more noticeable in the middle of this brew. I should add though that if I had not known spices were added to this brew (and in fact I did not until I was part way through this beer), I would not have confidently said any were used here; they have been kept subtle, yet allowed to influence the flavor profile in interesting ways. The malt, which does provide a light sweetness, does not play a huge role here, especially for a holiday beer; caramelized bread-like notes in the middle play a role here and subtle notes of toasty grain, with soft soda-cracker notes are just noticeable in the finish.

It is hard to ask for more from the appearance of this rustic brew, the excessive carbonation produces a billowing, pillow like head that rests atop an almost brilliantly clear brew that has some color to it. The allspice adds an interesting dimension to this brew, it certainly did not take the path that I would expect and I am surprised how green the spice can be in the finish. In the end though I think it is a good choice for this brew, something like cinnamon or nutmeg would have clashed too much with the other flavors found in this brew. This is really a masterful use of spices by the brewer; light, subtle, yet significant and the particular choices really seem to work here. My second pour of the beer restores the ample carbonation and I realize how much I missed it; that peppery carbonic bit really makes this beer that much more enjoyable. I would definitely recommend drinking this beer quickly so that it retains the interesting carbonation (so share it, what else is a 750ml bottle for).

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ (3,902 characters)

Photo of watchnerd
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Different label than the one pictured. Despite the name, not really what I think of as a Xmas ale, being lighter in both body, alcohol, and presence than your typical winter ale. Nonetheless, enjoyable, with fruity notes typical of a Belgian Bruin, even though it isn’t. (286 characters)

Photo of scoobybrew
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a chalice.

A - light copper color, decent head that settles but is retained well

S - fruity yeast character with malt sweetness noted

T - nice yeast fruitiness with clove-like accents accompanying the sweet malt; faint trace of hops on the finish

M - medium body, moderately high carbonation

D - decent Christmas beer, enjoyable, but I wouldn't want more than one during a session (422 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml, this year's bottling (labeled 6.0%), poured into my Gavroche tulip,
the Bière De Noël is a cloudy golden auburn with a light, fizzy tan head that quickly dissipates after near overflowing, leaving light lace.

Smell is spicy and bright, honey, butter, caramel and nilla wafers.

Taste is malty melanoidin and light sweeter spices, with lots of orange like citrus fruit and a hint of must, which quickly fade to a limp, watery, sugary finish.

Mouthfeel is thin and oily. I paired this with beef wellington, and it really failed to stand up. In spite of the huge head on the pour, this beer feels flat in the mouth, although it easily is roused with an easy swirl.

Drinkability is OK I suppose, but I was hoping for a heartier offering for a Bière De Noël, and the lack of body leaves the spices overdone. (821 characters)

Photo of paterlodie
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBE 06. Good head and a amber brown beer with quiet some haze. Nose is sweet gale and malts with camallic note. Overall decent and good but missing litle spark to make it great. Taste is good also having a fine sweet but fresh maltyness. Still dry overall caracter and smooth drinking. Aftertaste is litle peppery and low bitterness but enjoyable as this whole brew is. Drinks easy and though there is nothing heavy about it enjoyable to me; and IMO subtile taste. (464 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was made for xmas 2004, but was drank on Oct. 4, 2005. Freshness may be an issue. Thanks to RobBeer for this beer.

A - dense off (far off) white head on a black brown body. Large amounts of floaties visible at the bottom of the glass.
S - light aroma of very dark malt, molasses, brown rice sugar.
T - Next to no bitterness. Very slightly sweet. Complex, but understated. Very nice play of malt and molasses, carob bean, chocolate covered coffee beans.
M - Light, next to no carbonation. Silky smooth.
D - I cannot believe that I have had a beer this good in my fridge for so long. Smooth, complex, yet understated. Perfect sipping beer. (655 characters)

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Bière De Noël from Brasserie Thiriez
82 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.