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De Ranke Père Noël - Brouwerij De Ranke

Not Rated.
De Ranke Père NoëlDe Ranke Père Noël

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

389 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 389
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 6
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: stcules on 12-04-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 389 | Reviews: 220
Photo of glid02
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy orange-red color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of earthy malts with very light spices and medium fruits that smell slightly akin to unsweetened carbonated fruit punch.

Tastes good. Earthy medium malt flavors up front with good amounts of leafy hops. Very slight fruit flavors make an appearance midway through the sip and are overtaken quickly by a solid bitterness that carries through to the end of the sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this was a unique beer and was surprisingly bitter however I didn't find it completely out of place. Worth a shot.

Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Antique brass garlanded in a bubbly wreath of white. The last ounce or so poured - which was done so carefully, I might add - did contain a minor trace of sediment. Cloudiness eclipsed the glass gradually, initially only at the top where the yeast nebula was plainly visible but then slowly the thick haze expanded, like frost on a car's windshield.

And a hoppy Christmas to you, De Ranke! By golly it's taken me one year to unwrap the contents of this bottle but sure enough these lupullin-loving brewers packed in enough of the little green cones that I'm still smelling them a full 12 months later! It is a gritty, pungent hoppiness, replete with grassy and herbal tones, not unlike this brewery's XX Bitter.

The taste is surprisingly full as well - a sweetish, honey-nut type flavour is swept over by a tsunami of pungent, piny bitterness. What ensues is a forceful showing from both malts and hops; the former developing into a biscuity, golden honeycomb-type sponginess and the latter lending a very drying, practically pithy texture.

Flavour specifics can't be all that specific because there really isn't much about the beer that makes it overly distinguishing. My guess is the malt bill is made up of little more than pale/pilsner malt and the yeast seems awfully restricted. I count zero spicy nuances and the (only minimally stocked) fruit platter includes apples, and maybe pear.

Although unambitious, its flavour is definitely not unappealing. My 33cl bottle is running low already and I'm wishing I had another. Warmth seems to have done well and unfastened notes of table nuts, macadamia and chestnut in particular. The hops, too, seem to have benefited - increasingly I'm sensing the tropical zest of orange peel.

Santa Claus is a simply man: he likes to eat cookies, be jolly, pose for photographs at the mall, and, once a year or so, he likes to deliver toys to all the world's boys and girls. A simple life for a simple man. It's only according, therefore, that De Ranke's Père Noël be a simple beer - just a modest, unornamented, simple and satisfying pale ale.

Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a slightly hazy, peachy honey color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is interesting, consisting mostly of honey, spice and peach. The beer smells as if it will be fairly sweet, but this is De Ranke after all, and I should have guessed what that means. On the palate, the beer starts off with some moderate sweetness, consisting of honey and stone fruit.... but then the hops come on strong. This beer has considerable hoppy bitterness, and before you know it, you encounter a long, drawn out, dry finish. Mouthfeel is actually fairly light for the style, and the lovely hoppy bitterness makes drinking this beer an absolute joy.

Wonderful stuff and pure De Ranke. Now in my list of top Belgian IPA's.

Photo of lownote
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very clear pour on tap with thick head. The beer smelled of spice and a little fruit. The beer was very sour/tart. I think maybe sour apples? It was also very thin and sharp, an intense taste/feel. A neat Winter beer. Still not sure why I was trying it in this hot August weather.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Photo of philipquarles
4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottled in September of '08. Pours a cloudy dark copper with a huge, rocky, off-white head that lasts. A bit of sediment. The rush of floral hops aromas is fantastic. Grassy and grainy with some citrus and other light fruit, as well as a bit of must. Really complex. The taste is equally nice, with all of the hop presence suggested by the nose and then some. The perfect amount of bitterness is countered by nice, slightly roasty, earthy malt. Interesting mineral yeast notes. Dark fruits. Medium-full body. Another exceptional beer from De Ranke.

Photo of tmoneyba
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Belmont Party.

Poured hazy orange color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate yeast and resin hop aroma. Medium body with a dry texture and soft carbonation. Medium bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

My expectations where met with a change of pace brew.

Photo of Albinoh
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I loved the bottle presentation, a plain bottle covered with a piece of paper stating the beer name and style. The appearance looks... homemade, which for me completed the picture quite good, very very turbid, with a good fruity and yeasty aroma, good foamy head. The smell had some hints of fruits (apple, pear?) and a good sweet yeastyness. The beer is bitter, after a couple of sips you will have a dry mouth.

Very good... I'm glad I picked this one up.

Photo of wl0307
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 3rd beer on my 2008-9 Belgian Winter Ale tasting "panel". BB August 2012, served chilled in Hapkin's tulip-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a lightly murky, dark reddish amber hue, coming with pretty moderate carbonation and a 1.5cm thick beige creamy froth lasting pretty well.
S: aromatic and hoppy, reminiscent of the same brewery's XX Bitter actually - the juicy citric/flowery/pomelo-grapefruit/lychee-ish hop aroma comes at an equal level as fruit esters and candy-ish sweetness, against a solid caramelised-sugary malt bedrock, where a faint touch of honey gets intertwined with the other aromatic elements. Hoppy and just lightly yeasty overall - my cup of tea!
T: a lightly effervescent foretaste of aromatic hops and chewy herbal bitterness of yeasts flows freely, underlined by lightly stinky yeastiness like overripe banana (only just), spicy esters (a bit of ginger and other ground Chinese root-herbs) and really light-bodied malts... The citric, lychee-shell-ish and flowery hop flavour comes in abundance, then the bitter level gears up to result in an utterly bitter and incredibly chewy undertone, with a bitter-sweet herbal-fruity touch (like dried & powdered licorice-prune) lingering forever... there's no end to the joy on the bitter side of the hop story, I take it!
M&D: refreshing on the carbonation, medium-bodied, reasonably yeasty and marvellous hoppy, against a balanced performance b/w yeastiness and sour-fruity touch... All in all, this is not a bit less pleasant than the sister product XX Bitter, which is always one of my favourite Belgian ales. Although I fail to find this ale in line with the idea behind any other Belgian X'mas ale that tends to be highly malty, spicy, fruity, estery, or heavey-weight, I personally think this is a lovely tasty brew that should be enjoyed all year round, on any occasion, including the special season of X'mas of course!

Photo of adamette
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle which is the first of 5 "Christmas in Belgium" beers that I will taste and rate. The package was $25 making each beer $5 on average. Purchased at Chuck's Fine Wines in Chagrin Falls. "Best by" date of August 2012 and it states on the label that it was bottled 5 years prior to "Best by" date. Poured into my Great Lakes Christmas Goblet.

A Murky medium brown body with sediment floating around. Indeed I could see sediment in the bottle before I even opened it. Generous one inch head that dissipated very quickly. No lacing at all on my glass.

S Not a strong smell at all. Some malt, some hops. Not unpleasant. Not the most impressive either.

T Nice malt and barley taste and despite the label which announces "Hoppy Christmas Ale" the hop profile is not that high. There is a bigger hop presence than most in this style, though but even Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel has a bigger hop presence.

M Full with moderate malt and hops taste along with that barley.

D Quite good. This is an expensive and not easy to find beer though so I don't know how much I will actually drink in the future (not likely too much I suspect).

Notes: This is a solid BSPA.

Photo of IDrinkAllot
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is very strong in flavor and was hard to ignore. It has spice and allot hops with a very bitter, clean, and dry finish. If you are a hop head and a big Belgian fan this one might be for you. The mouth fell was a little lacking but the smell and appearance with its massive head certainly made up for it.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001, 750ml bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours perfectly clear pale gold, with a massive four-plus inch head of pure white spongy froth. The dense foam took several minutes to subside, and a solid coating was revealed on the surface. Plenty of tattered lacework throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with dried pineapple, tart apples, and spice. Light malt, white pepper, cut grass, and lemon pith follow through.

Light bodied with a crisp, pillowy mouthfeel. Dry and quenching with a sharp edge.

Tart fruit, biscuity malt, lemon zest, and wet hay start the palate. Hints of soured apples, bitter orange, and juniper step forward.

Finishes bone-dry with light funk, a sustaining minerally bitterness, and a lingering tart warmth.

A very tart and dry beer, with light spice and a bit of Brett. Almost within Saison territory, but hoppier.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours a ruddy, muddy drab orange. Tails of sediment swirl around a bit before mixing and/or settling to the bottom.A good capping of beach foam fluffs to a finger maybe before settling down to a mostly solid cover. No lacing to this baby despite the good head retention.

Aroma - some faint fruity tartness/sourness lies behind a classic Belgian yeast nose. Some odd, solventy chemical-ly kind of smell, part alcohol heat, part banana like polish remover, and part pool chlorine. Not overpowering or necessarily bad, just a wide range of stuff happening.

Taste - good start with the expected Belgian yeastiness. The grain is a little late, giving some crackery notes at the fore but mostly unable to keep up with the hit of hops that occur around mid-palate through the swallow. A light touch of Belgian funkiness on the swallow, too. Some nice grassy florals mix with a warming alcohol for a tasty finish. Ends with a dry bitterness, this is definitely a hoppy Christmas ale per the label.

Mouthfeel - crisp and fluffy, some good smoothness to the body.

Drinkability - not as sweet as I'd have my Christmas beers, but pretty good stuff all in all.

Photo of chrisafari
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma: citrus, banana, clove, spice, bubblegum and slightly hoppy.

Pours clear golden with 1/4 inch off white head.

Flavor: begins with clean and fresh hops, then becomes spicy and peppery. The hops are piney and spicy. Slightly dry finish. The finish is also kind of watery and bland.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Some lacing and a persistent head.

Drinkability: medium-low to medium.

Overall: just ok. Nothing special but not bad either. Worth the try.

Photo of ATPete
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

crowned 750ml paper wrapped bottle with an upside down 11.2oz label

Pours an opaque and cloudy orange brown color with small froth puffs of foam on its surface, leaving some sticking. Fresh, oily and citrusy hops right up front in the nose, slightly resinous and piney, with a subdued grapefruit aroma that reminds of a West Coast IPA, this is to go without mentioning the slightly herbal, medicinal, classic, Belgian hop character dancing beside. Bright in flavor, big fruity, juicy hops and a bready Belgian yeast character. Grainy and obviously unfiltered, to the tongue, it makes the beers body and overall flavor profile incredibly smooth and drinkable. Moderate carbonation and a fresh but bitter finish. This beer will remain one of my favorites for years to come.

Photo of jwinkleblech
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle with a beautiful head that hangs around, classic Belgium strong ale nose without overwhelming hops...just right. Carbonation was low but not flat. Nice balance in the taste...piney and biscuity. Strong flavor with a dry finish. Can understand why Santa loves this ale!

2008 results - #6

Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml cork-caged paper-wrapped bottle - poured into tulip glass:

Pours hazed orange amber with a thick off-white head that descends and stays, leaving plenty of lacing.

The smell is funky with bitter spicing. Bitter with sourdough and pepper. Like Santa is hugging the glass, so am I...

The taste is of herbal/floral bitterness with a bit of caramel holding the bittering hops together (by a thread - but enough). Puckering but smooth. Very dry finish.

It has a lovely, traditional Belgian effervescence. Spritzy enough for a winter body.

Bitter, spicy, funky, but with a malt backbone that leaves a sweet stickiness that was undetected in the taste. This is a great Belgian hoppy winter brew.

Photo of burnstar
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky brownish gold with a somewhat small head. Smell is citrusy hops- lemons with some yeasty earthiness. Taste has very little sweetness. Big citrusy hops with a particularly strong grapefruit note. Finishes dry with a slight lingering bitterness. Crisp and well carbonated. Nice overall, reminds me of some belgian IPA's I've had but maybe a bit one dimensional.

Photo of Kraken
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes

Best before 9/2013. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Upon cracking the cap, beer started to foam. Quick transfer to the drinking vessel yielded a surprisingly scant head that falls fairly quickly. Color is a wonderful copper tinged amber. Very nice lace.

Nose- Citric hops, lemon zest, orange rind. Some notes of ginger, slight alcohol.

Palate- Hops are not intense as the nose would suggest. Citrus fruits, lemon and orange come through, some biscuit and bread. Extremely active carbonation. Lots of wonderful finishing hops, and a syrupy sweetness from the candi sugar comes through. Exceedingly dry in the finish. Booze is well hidden. Very Good.

Mouthfeel- Dry, bitter, and lovely.

Drinkability- Great, however price is prohibitive.

Seek out this is another great offering from De Ranke.

Photo of TheMistler
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crack the bottle - get the snake-y white foam. Par for the yeast course, I guess. Pours with a white, uneven head that settles in such a way that it creates a very pockmarked look. Pretty nice lacing. A cloudy orange, gold brew.

A very sharp nose, with a bevy of fresh pine towering over some yeast, dough.

This is indeed a hoppy ale, as the bottle indicates. Grass and pine, spicy lemon rind. Resin coats the palate - contributing a slippery feel - and sticks around, with lip-smackingly dry and bitter results. Some biscuit, dough, again overshadowed by the hops.

Low end carbonation, in my opinion it could have used a bit more.

Photo of Gehrig
4.41/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle snagged at the sterling Sun Singer. Hazy cider orange body topped with one and one-half fingers of off-white head; undulating rings of ample lacing leave me most impressed--great BSPA look. The smell and taste, however, are a notch below the great appearance but still solid. Earthy tones dominate the nose, malty as well as hopped, somewhat musty though not offensive, and a bit sour.

The sour carries through into the taste, not quite reminiscent of a saison but not far off in the farmhouse odor. Lots of dried fruit in the taste--fig, raisin, all tart--and with a good peppery flavor. It improves as it warms near room temperature. Terrific effervescence skillfully melds the hops and malt, really tying together what is an excellent beer.

I wish this were more readily available, but will settle for it as a great quasi-warmer BSPA. Fantastic.

Photo of corby112
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA.

Pours a cloudy dark red color with a thin beige head that quickly dissapears with no lacing. Aroma of sour cherries and spicy cinnamon. Fruity taste (sour cherry, prune, raiisin) with a nice spicy cinnamon character.

Photo of albern
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice hazy orange amber color with a pretty efforvescent head. The beer was pouring out of the bottle and left a nice head once it hit the glass. The aroma is candied sugared Belgian fermentation and a typical Belgian yeastiness. Add some coriander and sweet malts and spices, and there is the nose on this beer.

The taste is quite tart and biting, with much of the sweetness subdued behind a biting hoppiness and maybe a roughish tart malt. The beer sweetens as it settles and some of the harshness fades into the backround. The ABV is hidden quite well, the mouthfeel is pretty mild. This is a pretty carbonated brew. It is the tartness and hop bite that make this a slightly diminished Belgian pale. Not bad, but far from my favorite.

Photo of MTNboy
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- Hazy bronze color with a huge thick cream colored head. "Great tight lace pattern!"

Smell- Beany with some herbal earth tones and spice.

Taste- Fig and fruit tones with some seasonings. Some good bitterness for a beer of this style. A little bit of a burnt sour aftertaste though.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied to start but it seems like it lightens up.

Drinkability- A think it is a great seasonal a little different for this style.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish/ copper color with a big off white head. In the aroma, orange citrus, corriander and quite yeasty. In the taste, spicey corriander and a big yeasty flavor. A smooth and yeasty mouthfeel, with a yeasty and small corriander aftertaste. Fantastic beer, smooth and yeasty, nice big spiciness. A great flavor and good balance.

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De Ranke Père Noël from Brouwerij De Ranke
86 out of 100 based on 389 ratings.