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De Ranke Père Noël - Brouwerij De Ranke

Not Rated.
De Ranke Père NoëlDe Ranke Père Noël

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

337 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 337
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: stcules on 12-04-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 337 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Peachy cloudy.Lots of lace, two samples and the colder bottle, newly opened, with strong carbonation was more tasty. The warmer one with sediment at the bottom, was fine but not as tasty. Noticeably fruity and spicy Belgian more than anything, and would like even better in the cold wnter. Sampled at Cole's Belgianfest.
Had a bottle a year later at cellar temperature and observed a nicely cellared spicey yeast melange, good drinking.A year and a half later, just as good.

Sammy, May 01, 2006
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

t0rin0, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, and slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with spice and hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the mouthfeel on this one isn't too good.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this bottle up at West Lakeview in Chicago. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours a golden color with a creamy, dense head that reaches several fingers high. Lots and lots of lacing though not necessarily the best retention. The nose is pretty plain with some mild spicing--maybe a spruce-like character. The taste is a bit astringent and harsh, really. There is an odd bitterness in the finish. Body is medium with moderate carbonation. Really dry finish. This is pretty odd overall and I'm not quite sure what they were going for.

Thorpe429, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

zestar, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

acurtis, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is golden amber in color and poured with a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface that quickly dissipated and left some lacy patterns in the center and a ring of bubbles around the collar of the glass. A slight amount of carbonation is visible.
S: Aromas of spices prominently stand out in the nose along with some hints of alcohol and yeast.
T: Like the smell, the taste is quite spicy and has a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is well masked and makes this beer relatively easy to drink.

metter98, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pallid pumpkin with bumblebee colored highlights. Slightly more than half the glass was filled with sandstone colored froth following the pour. Although it shrinks in fine fashion, not as much lace as expected sticks to the glass. Second and third pours look a little better.

One doesn't see too many spiced holiday beers in this particular style. I was unable to find the spice bill anywhere and the nose doesn't give up its secrets easily. Pere Noel smells like a typical BSPA with typical Belgian yeast esters (with the exception of more pepperiness). Typical does not mean average.

The flavor is anything but typical. Whatever spices were used are clashing with my palate preferences. It tastes like a ton of white pepper was added, along with cardamom and maybe a little citrus peel. The beer tastes somewhat hot, though not in the unmasked alcohol sense. 7.0% won't warm anyone up.

Malt doesn't contribute any flavor and the hops have surely faded in the several years since bottling. So why so much bitterness? A lack of sweetness doesn't make PN taste or feel much like a holiday ale. For what it's worth, the 'best by' date on this 750 is still more than one year away. The only flavors left are the spices and a woodiness that tastes out of place. Unfortunately, the flavor profile is more cacophonous than harmonious.

The body/mouthfeel is too thin and is too underbubbled. Given the healthy POP! on cork extraction, I was expecting something a good bit more lively. Oh well... even a picture perfect mouthfeel wouldn't have been able to bring the flavor up to snuff.

On the strength of XX Bitter and Kriek De Ranke, I was all set to bestow legendary status on Brouwerij De Ranke. Pere Noel tempers my enthusiasm by a fair amount. It's possible that it's much better when fresh, but I seriously doubt it. And at $13.59 per, I'll probably never find out. If you run across a small bottle, try that first.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy dirty hazy beige color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of Saaz dry hops with some light dry funky notes. Taste is dominated by dry Saaz notes with a light funky notes, some floral notes and a quite dry ending and all this being supported by a nice Belgian malt backbone. Full body with limited filtration and great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting experience but maybe a tad too dry to be enjoyed on a repetitive basis.

Phyl21ca, May 06, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With massive hop bitterness and otherwise strong Belgiany character of dry fruit flavors, spicy balance, and vinous note, this Christmas Ale foregoes the common holiday spices for the spices of hops and well brewed Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

The pour brings a mildly hazy, strong golden color with a froathy coat of foam with fair staying power- only reducing to an intermitten sheet mid way through the session.

Aromas don't show the breath of hops, but rather display a balanced blend of bready/sugary malts, fruity esters, and spicy pepper and alcohol. A fairly standard scent from Belgian Strong Golden Ales.

Flavors start out similarly with a soft powdered sugar sweetness that seemingly disolves in the mouth, along with esters of green apples, pears, and under rippened berries. As the beer progresses, it gives the impressions of orange zest, corriander, white pepper, and mint. Eventually the beer intensifies toward sharp grassy flavors, lemon grass, peppermint, and resiny bitterness.

Creamy, rich, and full early, the beer shows a quick transition towards dryness, crispness, and a hoppy-sharp astringency. Alcohol warmth gives more of a spicy note than heat.

Overall, the beer has the same progression and intensity as Achouffe Houblon Dobblet IPA but with slightly different flavors throughout. Still this beer is on par with the better hoppy Belgian Ales from that region.

BEERchitect, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this one right after the holidays, mainly because I thought the wrapping looked cool, if I am being honest. Nice green paper wrapped 750ml bottle that had some nice Xmas themed looks to it. A hoppy Belgian Xmas ale, sounds about right for me.

Appearance - The pour was very nice with a good hazy amber color to it. Some nice hints at a more reddish colored hue to it, around the sides. Very nice carbonation was evident with tons of bubbles streaming up toward the top of the glass throughout the session. A good sized three finger high head of white foam came over the top of the glass and hung around for a good few minutes before finally settling down to a thin layer across the top, but not before depositing copious amounts of side glass lace. Very nice cloudiness, with some sedimentation evident on the bottom of the glass.

Smell - The aroma was a touch off. I picked up a little bit of hops, but not as much as I would have thought. Tons of grainy yeast aroma coming off of this, with hints of grass, and spices. Does not smell like a Belgian Noel at all so far. Light aroma of banana and fig, but not much else, not very complex and not much depth to it.

Taste - The flavor was a utter disappointment for me to be honest. I was expecting a good deal more from this one, but was left hanging for the most part. The initial flavor was very light, with some banana and spice coming through. A touch of earthy hops on the end, but nothing like what I was thinking. The flavor was a bit musty if that makes sense, and very light. Not the kind of Noel I was expecting and definitely not a hoppy one. The finish was quick, with only the lingering taste of cereal grains left to go on. Pretty much uninspiring.

Mouthfeel - Decent enough light body in this one. Lots of carbonation, and it never really did let up, which is pretty much what you can expect from the style. Nice overall feel, not slick, with a smooth finish, albeit a quick one.

Drinkability - It was pretty session able I have to admit. Very light body, and light flavor profile, lended it to really be easy to throw down, however it was just not exciting enough to really do so. Just fell dull and boring to me, with nothing really interesting coming out of it.

Overall I was rather disappointed by this one. It was just too bland for me and really never did get off the ground. It is not really terrible in any way, it's just not really exciting either. I wished there could have been a little more depth to it, some more complexity. It's not a bad call, but for the price I would look elsewhere.

mikesgroove, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

ygtbsm94, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice looking golden color with a white head on top. The smell of the be beer was pretty nice, it doesn't have any aromas of a christmas beer, I was really surprised by that. The taste of the beer has some fresh sweet grains in there along with some hop bitterness in there too. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and had a solid amount of carbonation. Overall this beer was pretty good, I wouldn't ever say that this is a Christmas brew though.

Knapp85, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small chalice a rich gold with real pech colored hure a tight formed 1/2 finger white head atop,slight medicinal hop aromas along with some earthiness and light overripe pineapple.As in the nose slight medicinal notes intertwined with citrus fruits give it a pretty good hop profile all along a pretty big dryer earthiness is there a hint of mustiness shows thru as well.A Belgian pale I like not overly yeasty with a nice hop profile,I would buy again for sure a nice treat on tap.

oberon, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Durty Nellie's.

My third 12 Beers of Christmas beer. It pours a cloudy sunrise amber topped by a half-finger of dirty cream-white foam. The nose comprises clove, wheat, light lemon zest, light coriander, grapefruit zest, banana peel, light-ish toffee, and black pepper. The taste brings in more of the same, with more black pepper, some nutmeg, and plenty of dark greens. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth-ish feel. Overall, a generally nice beer, but one that doesn't really impress in any meaningful way. It's tasty and solid, but nothing special.

TMoney2591, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle gushed a little once it was opened, i'm guessing due to handling. It poured an opaque rusty orange, with an initial fluffy head that dwindled down to a thin collar.

Bubblegum is the primary aroma, supported by light banana and apricot, soft herbal hops, backed up by a little earthy nutmeg.

Hops are subdued in the taste but definitely present. Light bitterness in the background, with a soft, cheesy hop character. Orange peel and fruit esters are also present. Yeast gives a certain level of smoothness. Carbonation is soft. The 750 was split two ways, which is probably the ideal serving. The hops seemed to build up and numb the palate a little bit. Last year I remember this being more earthy and spicy without much of hop character, maybe this is a fresher bottle.

emerge077, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a one-finger, khaki colored head of long lasting foam. It left sticky, thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of orange zest, dried fruit and Christmas spices.

T - It tasted spicy with a touch of candy sugar. It had a bitter hop bite over some sweet caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This a really hoppy Belgian ale. It almost tasted like a Belgian IPA.

zeff80, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, green tissue paper wrapped bottle. I am moderately enamoured with the cartoon Santa trying to prop up the (relatively, possibly?) big-ass chalice.

This beer pours a murky, roiling, dark bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of very finely foamy sateen off-white head, which leaves a few well-wrought instances of bonsai tree lace around the glass as it slowly sinks out of sight.

It smells of biscuity, grainy pale malt, earthy, musty Belgian yeast, a twinge of dry caramel, and dank leafy, forest floor hops. The taste is more bready cereal grain malt, a growing spiciness that I can only really depict as a multiple personality imbued peppercorn essence, some subdued zingy yeast, a hint of citrus pith, and softly soused leafy hops.

The bubbles are a tad frothy, but generally on the level, the body medium-light in weight, and more or less smooth. It finishes off-dry, the grainy malt still holding court, the white pepper bowing slightly, and the yeast getting out before last call.

One of the better BSPAs that I have yet encountered, but also one that has little to do with anything remotely Christmas-like. Ok, maybe I grind pepper onto my potatoes and turkey, but that isn't quite the idea here. A good tipple, just maybe not one to that directly complements all those endemic holiday baked goods.

biboergosum, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +5.3%

JAHMUR, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml, wrapped in paper without a label on the bottle. The first pour from a long-standing 750ml bottle is surprisingly clear, and its amber body displays orange and gold highlights beneath a magnificent pillow of soft and creamy white foam. The second glass becomes murky with the lees, but the brilliant head remains and it holds exceptionally well, leaving some very nice rings of lace about the goblet. The nose is fresh, exciting, and enticing with a combination of lightly fruity, earthy, and mildly musty yeast; delicately sweet malt; and bright, grassy hops. In the mouth it's very fine-bubbled carbonation is not as effervescent as might be expected, but rather median; and it's medium body combines with it to leave it just lightly tingly and then velvety smooth across the palate. The flavor is not overwhelming... to the contrary, it slowly draws you in, bit by bit. Some light, juicy and subtly tart fruit appears up-front, immediately backed by a soft, delicately candyish malt that wraps it like a blanket as a pillow of grassy, lightly floral, and somewhat spicy hops appear. Or are they spicy? Bolder peppery notes appear almost at the same moment. And a flick of alcohol is present as well; so is the peppery spiciness coming from the alcohol, spices, hops or a combination of all three? Who knows? Who cares? It finishes dry with some lingering pepper and a combination of citrusy and dried-apricot-like fruitiness that leaves you only partially satiated and wanting more. Raspy, pine-like notes and a bolder bitterness develop at the back of the throat as you progress through the glass, almost begging you to go back to the supple, juciy and citrusy fruit found at the start. Wow! What an enticing beer! It's certainly not what one might expect of a holiday ale (think bolder & spicier), as it's so much more the seductress. Refined... elegant... regal, perhaps. A brilliant pale ale that should be available year-round, and welcome on the dinner table at any time. Very nicely done!

NeroFiddled, Jul 27, 2004
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden orange with decent head that receeds at a quicker pace. If you pour the sediment in, it is a dark golden brown. Nose is slightly yeasty with the same level (or less) of citrus and overall that Belgian beer nose you come to expect. What an...odd...flavor. Lots of things going on here, but nothing that stands alone. Sweet like honey at first, and then a strike of spices comes over your tongue. Then there is an almost metallic tone that hits the roof of your mouth and takes over- but I think it is from spices, not any metallic influence on the bottle. If you pour the sediment in, it seems to be smoother with a more balanced profile. Feel is standard and heavy with carbonation, but not overdone. Very drinkable, though not highly so because it is such an enigma on the palate.

Overall worth trying I would say. But not because of any particular thing. It is just a very mysterious beer. Here, there, but nowhere. I suggest trying to mix up the sediment in the beer as it seemed to provide a more even and smooth experience.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber orange cloudy with an effervescent bubbly carbonation, this one was done in small batches reminscient of some hard to find farmhouse ales lacing is excellent fine Belgian webbed patterns. Aroma: A bouquet of floral Hallertau blended with a piney honey tinged tone with a streak of spicing to bring holiday cheers. Taste: I absolutely fell in love with this Belgian rarity, possibly up there on my all time favorite Belgian ales as well as Christmas beers I've tasted. Fruity tones accented and surrounded by the rush of pine cone like hops, so excellent this kind of hopping with the lucious malt backbone this is the Ruination of Belgian bier just a step below Properings Hommel in my opinion. Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a champagne like carbonation this one is hard to beat. Drinkability: My lord I indulged in this beer at the Sharp Edge on a Thursday by Saturday this beer was sold out there they moved two cases like nothing. Found it at D's Sixpack and picked up their last two bottles just excellent for a dinner brew or just if chilling around and the snow's coming down crack one of these babies it will put a smile on your face.

WVbeergeek, Dec 04, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Did a review of this from a 750 mll nearly 5 years ago. Wasn't a good one. Always felt I should give it a second chance, especially checking other opinions, and, thanks to the Christmas in Belgium 5-pack, here's my chance.

Into a gold-rimmed Gouden Carolus glass, just for kicks.

A color between orange and amber, big carbonation, slim white, dotted head, bubbles popping aplenty.

Loud, fragrant, floral hops, loads of lemon zest and spice. Bread and fruit. Cinnamon toast. A yeasty hoppy thing. Lively, zippy, warm and inviting.

Taste: bright hoppy blast right off, resonating through the mouth, softly fading like an echo. Spicy, warm, notes of dark fruits, & yeast abounding. Hops keep playing. Pepper, ginger, cinnamon, ...apple, tangerine, pear...next up: aspirin. Not as nice. Oh, well.
Drink again, and it's there anywhere, just the overall impression of a fairly complex and enjoyable quite hoppy Belgian amber ale.
Medium bodied, moderate finish, adequate mouthfeel.
But...I'm still not crazy about it. Something's amiss in the flavor, something I normally forgive in others of the style...too much pepper, that's it...I think.

So, sorry, Pere Noel, still not loving you.

feloniousmonk, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was fortunate enough to taste both 2010 and 2013 vintages side by side at the bull and bush holiday event last night, and my take on this beer is that time does not flatter it at all. it pours a dark honey color with rusty orange hues and a robust whitish head with excellent retention. the nose is strange, juicy, rotting fruit, and Belgian yeast, an odd combination. it smells like compost when its half ready, less earthy, but equally sort of sweet and vinegary, not fully appetizing. the flavor is fresher, but still with a juicy fruity element that doesn't really fit what I thought knew about holiday beer. not overly spiced, but some herbal flavors hit, as does some bitter citrus in the finish. Belgian yeast seems out of place for the flavor profile too, this is all over the place. the 2013 vintage had a decent mouthfeel, bubbly and cleaner than the messy taste, but the 2010 had lost its vigorous carbonation and came across particularly thin as a result. I didn't really care for either one, as they lacked that winter warming property that I love about holiday beer. I would pass this up if I encounter is again.

StonedTrippin, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at the Belgian Cafe, Philly, PA

The name implies a holiday ale of some kind, but it isn't really. It's a strong, yet smooth, ale. Poured a cloudy amber with a nice white head. Pleasantly hoppy, and somewhat yeasty, in the nose and to the tongue, with just a tinge of spice. Smoother than a witbier; not to heavy or bloating. Nice all-around selection.

Rifugium, May 01, 2011
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De Ranke Père Noël from Brouwerij De Ranke
86 out of 100 based on 337 ratings.