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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

346 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 346
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | 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: 346 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mynie
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

De Ranke. These here sonsofbitches know how to take a Belgian beer and making it all hoppy like.

Pours like an APA. Medium fizzy, medium amber, with a nice fluffy white head.

Smells earthy and hoppy. Not much by way of Belgian yeast, but there's enough hop/must/soil complexities to keep a weirdo like myself happy. I mean, seriously, what's wrong with me, where I'm excited to drink something like smells like dirt and a basement? But it smells like a really appetizing dirty basement, like if your mom kept an herb garden downstairs and some of your fondest memories were of helping her water the oregano (please don't read anything weird into that last sentence--it's amazing how fine a line there is between stretching an explanation and being cryptically metaphoric.)

Tastes like a fabulous combination between an American and Belgian PA. You got the fruity barley of a Belgian, starting things off, moving into a rusty, earthy middle, then into dry and citrusy hops, and then a finish that smacks of coriander, white pepper, and grass.

mynie, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of pioppo
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A limpid orange-coloured beer.. A the end it's more hazy because the yeasts is in the bottom of the bottle. A very fine and very persistent white foam!!

S - Apricot and peach.. Very spicy and hot flavour!! Also plums and figs. Then come the ethylic and medicinal. Good and interesting smells!!

T - The spicy return widely in the mouth, helped by the high level of alcohol. Probably this beer isn't at his best maturation.

M - Poor body and smoothness but very dry beer. Good to finish the day and the holiday with the right spirit!!

D - Engaging drinking, I surely want it another but at a good level of maturation..

pioppo, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, orange-brown color with a cream head. Head falls to a very small one. Thin, airy head.

Very interesting nose. Some sweet malts mixed with Belgian yeast. Dark fruits and a bit of funk. Smells like every style of Belgian mixed together. Deep down it smells like a fruity Rochefort 10.

Interesting taste too. I can taste the strong dark Belgian like a Rochefort or St. Bernardus followed by a tart berry flavor, cherries and a bit of farmhouse funk. Hops are very noticeable.

Medium to full bodied and rather smooth. Low carbonation.

Can't say I've ever tasted anything like this. Very different Belgian flavors mixed together but with plenty of hops. Interesting brew.

dstc, Jan 13, 2011
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 Chincino
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on-tap at a bar in Philadelphia. I also bought a bottle of it to go from the Foodery beer store in Philly.

I had wanted to try it because I've enjoyed other De Ranke beers and I figured I'd try it during the holiday season. The beer poured to be orange/golden color with an inch of white lacing.

It smelled strong of citrusy hops. The beer was light and smooth to the taste. You could definitely drink more than one in a sitting. A good holiday brew.

Chincino, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of ArrogantB
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle with a best by date of 2014 so this must be a 2009, darn. No wonder it was discounted. Hazy orange color and smells like citrus and spices, just ok though. The taste is more citrus and Belgian yeast. This is good as far as the style is concerned but it still wasn't worth the $10 I spent on it.

ArrogantB, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of BennyL1
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium glass from a 11.2 oz bottle.

A - A nice fingers worth of foamy white head forms from a fairly aggressive pour. The brew is a very cloudy peach color. A fair amount of lacing as well.

S - First thing in the nose is a smell citrusy hops. Followed by a yeasty bread aroma and maybe even some banana. Not picking up many spices however. I expected a little more from the nose.

T - Some light fruits such as pears and banana. Floral hops come through in the taste and is balanced out pretty well with the malt backbone. Nothing overly wild but a solid tasting brew.

M - Light in body with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol isn't very noticeable.

D - High drinkability. Not to heavy and with the 7% not noticeable one wouldn't have to much of a problem drinking a couple of these.

BennyL1, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Tap and Table. Got a very full tulip glass for $8 with very little head. The beer was tasty enough, however, that I was happy to have the headspace filled. The was a spicy, almost herbal cherry aroma (probably from the licorice) and flavor with a little apricot and pear before a peppery, borderline grassy finish. It was fairly drinkable for the strength, but it was also complex enough to leave me satisfied to slowly sip. This is one of the better Belgians I've had lately and completely worth checking out. The character is like that of a cleaned up farmhouse ale, not a standard spiced-up Christmas beer.

tempest, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of Idler
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My wife and I had some of this beer on draught, in a pub called the Waggon And Horses in Halesowen, West Midlands, in England's "Black Country".

The beer was cloudy, amber-orange. Not a good look. But the beer tasted exquisite, spicy, with citric hops, and a great long bitter-sweet finish. Yum.

Idler, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this one last night at a Christmas party, and enjoyed it. Poured a nice dark golden color with a big, fluffy white head. Aromas of Belgian yeast, citrus and spices. Light to medium bodied, nicely carbonated and drinkable, with a light sweetness, a hint of spice and a mild bit of tartness.

emmasdad, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in an 11-ounce De Ranke glass goblet at the Publick House in Boston, Mass.

A: Deep golden, orange tinged, amber in color with a frothy, one-finger head of white foam. Retention was decent and the brew left some lacing.

S: Very fruity, floral and spicy, with citrus and herbal notes. A slight alcohol aroma along with some graininess and candied fruits.

T: Specialty malt sweetness up front with caramelized brown sugar and toasted wheat. A very fruity, floral and alcoholic flavor comes through mid-palate, washing to a spicy, full, bitter finish with some cloying sweetness.

M: Full-bodied and quite effervescent, this brew was a bit more filling than I had hoped for, possibly due to the carbonation levels.

D: A decent Belgian pale, possibly regarded as a winter brew because of the ABV elevation, clocking in at 7%, and the darker, fruity, sweeter flavors generated as opposed to other Belgian pales.

Gambrinus1184, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of BeerNemesis
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

De Ranke Père Noël | 750 ml. | 7.0% ABV | 2010

Brewer: Brouwerij De Ranke
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Glass: Duvel tulip

It's a hearty tangerine orange. Frothy head, great lacing.

Minty aroma, with herbs, yeast, hay and a pine coney smell. Unusual and quite nice.

Herbs dominate; white pepper, Belgian yeast, and a very bitter, grassy finish.

Powdery and desiccating, surprisingly enough. The body is medium, and carbonation is about right.

It's all the way on the bitter, herbal side of the spectrum. The aroma is interesting, but I find the taste too harsh.

Would I get it again?:

BeerNemesis, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of muttyd
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy/cloudy orange body. Thin head that fades away into a faint ring that coats the glass as I swirl it around. Aroma is similar to that of a saison - hay, lemon, earthy hops; also has aroma of biscuit and Belgian yeast. Flavor follows the nose with sweet honey/caramel malt backbone. Also getting some pepper/spice. Rather dry finish. Bubbly on the tongue.

Overall an enjoyable beer.

muttyd, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of BeerImmediately
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first Pere Noel...

330ml into Orval chalice at 45 degrees.

Forgot about potential sediment (it's a wee little bottle, after all) and dumped the whole thing in. Cloudy golden body with just a faint off-white head, that hangs out as a film forever.

Very minty aroma, with really nice accompanyments of herbs, earth, yeast, lemon, and hay - WOW, what an unexpected combo.... esp for a 'holiday' ale. My wife commented on its uniqueness from 4 feet away (although she did not like the aromas).

Very powdery on the palate ... flavors are very herbal - the most I've experienced since Saison du Buff. Lots of white pepper - almost too much of that quality. Some lemon zest, Belgian yeast, and grass. This one would've been awesome mid-Summer. Mouthfeel is crazy dry and clean, but there's a slightly bitter film left on the palate due to a surprising lack of carbonation.

Drinkability is ok, but just not my style. Speaking of style, this one is about as odd of a Belgian Strong Pale as you'll find... it seemed much more like a Saison, or Herbed/Spiced beer.

This is one of those really delicious, and complex beers that I simply can't score highly in the BSPA category.

BeerImmediately, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of Neffbeer
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy golden color with a frothy white head. Lots of lacing left behind. The smell is of noble hops and light malt/bread. Exceptional taste. Noble hops up front, followed by malt and a dry crisp finish. Mouthfeel is bubbly and delicious. I just can't get enough of this beer. Give me more!

Neffbeer, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of phishgator
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 75 cl into a tulip glass. Big head with a deep golden, hazy hue. Mild carbonation. The aroma is of an old farmhouse, grassy and earthy. The flavor is a drying bitter bite all the way through to finish. There is touch of spicy hops, but the drying effect is dominant. The body is full for 7% and I find myself thinking that this is a great hopped ale from Beligum.

phishgator, Dec 02, 2010
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 CaptainPiret
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, cloudy orange with a thick head that -- though it decreased a bit -- remained until the final sip. I would almost prefer to smell the beer than drink it. A brilliant aroma of hops, fruit, and something that I could not trace (and will bother me for a while). That "something" -- maybe sugarcane? -- really stands out. The taste, primarily the aftertaste, was a bit too grassy for my liking.

CaptainPiret, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of Shakujin
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle at Delirium Cafe Reserve in Akasaka, Tokyo 2008 bottle

Appearance: Sort of a murky orangeish brown. Poured hard into De Ranke glass, but head was small. However lacing was good.

Aroma: Barnyard, hops, lemon, pale malts

Taste: Lemon comes through strong, followed by the funk, and a strong bitterness for a Belgian. Minor oxidation. Some light undefined spices in there as well. Tastes basically like a imperial version of their XX Bitter, which is not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel: Medium light.

Drinkability/Overall: Lemony and slightly funky/spicy Belgian IPA. Tasty! don't particularly want another glass of it though. I could see it going very well with something in the middle of a meal. Maybe steamed muscles, a heavy salad, or some well spiced chicken.

Shakujin, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Having the Cuvee de Ranke last week made me feel a bit foolish for not exploring this breweries line-up. I grabbed this at State Line yesterday.

Pouring a mildly hazy amber with a few yeasty floaties thanks to user error, this beer is capped with a dense, off-white head with great retention and lacing. Almost like an IPA, if you ask me. The nose is rather hugely hoppy as well. I'm not a fan of Belgian IPAs, especially the ones that combine the West Coast hop profile with the spicy yeast character. This beer avoids that pratfall quite majestically, with a big green, lemongrass hop aroma, along with a nice grassiness. Moderately earthy as well. A mild sweetness is present, a little honey-like, along with a moderate yeasty spice character, a little peppery? Solid stuff. The hop character really reminded me of the Cantillon Cuvee des Champions/Cuvee St. Gilloise, and looking at the De Ranke website, I find that they use Hallertau hops in this beer, much like the Cantillon beer.

Despite being close to a year old (maybe closer to 8 months?), this is still an aggressively hoppy beer with a big, green, grassy hop character that's moderately earthy as well. Coupled with a little citrus, it makes me think of a pot of wet earth with a squeeze of lemon on top. Yeasty spices are prominent too, a mild cinnamon and allspice like pungency. Mildly herbal too and just a touch soapy. Malt character is very low, I really don't get too much apart from a light honey-like sweetness. Drying and bitter on the finish, the hops really linger with a blend of an earthy, herbal and grassy character. Light in body with medium-high carbonation, this beer feels just a touch watery. The hops make this a bit of a bruiser, but I'd love to try this fresher.

**Edit 23 Dec 2011**
Nathan shared a magnum of the 1998 vintage last night. What a delight! Clear amber with a dense, white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is fresh, fruity, mildly hoppy, mildly musty with a damp cellar character. In no way would I guess this is 13 years old. Mildly spicy, Bretty even, with cloves. A little thin, but pretty excellent otherwise. The surprise of the night. 4.5/4/4/4/4.5

DefenCorps, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange with some haze (you can see the unfiltered sediment streaks in the body of the beer). Big fluffy white head, lots of lacing.

Odd medicinal scent. You get hop leaf and some yeastiness, but there is a funk that I cannot describe. Not off-puttng, but not enticing.

Huge hop punch, so much that it dominates the other flavors in the beer. Some spice and yeast and sweetness/fruit in the malt, but the pine dominates. Finish is surprisingly clean.

Medium body, with enough carbonation to keep it just alive. All appropriate.

Overall, Good, but unbalanced. Without the mild Belgian funk, you'd think this was an American IPA. I had no trouble drinking this, but it isn't special enough for me to seek again. A one trick pony.

OtherShoe2, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle.

A light orange, honey brew topped with a rather large, fluffy white head. Semi-dense and good initial lacing, which fades to filmy as it drinks.
At first open, I smell the malt and it surprised me. The "hoppy christmas ale" term threw me off. But i suppose since it is a holiday brew I should have expect the malt and other spices; like coriander and pepper. Those come in on the big whiff.

The taste seems confused. A malt backbone with some spices, a bit mediciney. then the hops come it to add another type of spice and bite. The bready finish is complicated. This seems almost like a saison, but not as light.

Good beer...not sure about an Xmas brew, though. Would do well in the summertime.

Mebuzzard, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of organicbrewer
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Full gold. fairly clear. Huge eggshell head.


T-Firmly bitter. More Saaz (or at least they taste like saaz) hops. Sweet bready malt. Sweetness takes over as the carbonation drops away.

M-Medium bodied, medium carbonation. No alcohol heat.

D-Nice beer. The sweetness starts to take over as the beer warms and the carbonation blows off. But still a good beer.

organicbrewer, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pe're Noel, from the well regarded De Ranke Brewery. Served at near celler temperature. Best by August 2013.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful hazed orange, almost pinkish. A tightly beaded head forms and remains for a few minutes. No lacing on a clean glass, strange.

Smell: Bursts of euro hop goodness. Theres also a fruity ale character too.

Taste: Yeasty, light fruits. Some wheaty/hay like barnyard notes but very subdued. A little bit of acidity and citrus (lemon) going on. Good malt background and everything is very balanced and quite good. Brown sugar and a slight spiciness to the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a chalky, drying finish.

Drinkability: A good example of a belgian strong pale ale with moderate strength. The 7% doesn't make itself known. Pretty delicious.

Stinkypuss, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of becktone
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From Notes 1-25-10

This Magnum is vintage, we'll see how it has held up. Best before date is October 2006...less my reading of cognatives and context clues are wrong. First of all let me say that I've never pulled a cork out of a beer or wine bottle that has been this saturated, I mean this cork is wet. The smell of it is great, beautiful, smells like the cellar of a old winery, the old used oak barrels that still have wine in them. Real nice. I'm thinking that this has aged excellently.

Eye: One of the best pours I've seen in a long time. Head retention is stable at one finger. Its texture is foamy and color is bone white. Body is cloudy and is golden orange-copper.

Nose: Some tart and sour tones come through, I'm sure that these are from the aging process. Nothing more than that, perhaps some small malt underneath, but hard to detect. Mainly just some tart and oaky tones. Smells good, nothing turning me off to it.

Tongue: Huge malt flavor, but also in there is the cork. Really that, woody corky flavor is dominant. too bad....This isn't undrinkable but I'm thinking without the corkiness it would be a nice beer. I'll drink the rest of this bottle but would really enjoy it more if it weren't corked...still it adds character to it...gives it some dryness. Actually its a pretty nice mix. That corky, woody flavor balances out the sweetness. Still good in my book. I guess its aged well, I mean I'm sure this is much different than it was when first bottled but I like it. Very dry, and woody and corky tones compliment the dryness.

Feel and Drinkability: Medium body with what seems like it used to be higher levels of carbonation...I think they've dropped over the years. Carbonation is very very fine, tiny bubbles that don't attack the tongue but add to the beer's feel and flavor. All in all I'll most likely finish the bottle...wouldn't want to have paid for this bottle being the way it is now....Still, aged its something that I can drink, I'm positive that its better without any age on it.

becktone, Feb 21, 2010
De Ranke Père Noël from Brouwerij De Ranke
86 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.