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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

368 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 368
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 5
Gots: 17 | 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: 368 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Risser09
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a crystal wine glass - Best Before Aug. 12th...of next year? - Served at cellar temperature

Appearance: Sort of hazy (unfiltered beer) golden color with orange highlights. the head is off white and bubbly, like a champagne. Cakey top part of the head and lots of sticky lace left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Fragrant with hops, belgian yeast, spices and orange peel. A freshness that lends itself to fresh herbs, but not so chloryphyl smelling. Very good.

Taste: Hop oil and a balanced malt flavor are main players. Bitterness is lingering and readily there. Spices are nutmeg and allspice. Black pepper is a flavor that is there as well. Not sure what makes all of these Belgian Christmas beers so Christmas-like.

Mouthfeel: Markedly Belgian in all areas, including this one. Mouthfeel is medium to thick bodied and has lots of spice. alcohol makes a presence and this one also has a lot of lingering bitterness.

Drinkability:Great. I liked this one a lot, although the Christmas theme throws me off a little bit. I always can appreciate a hopped up Belgian beer. The best "holiday" beer of the season for me. Get some. I have a year old 750ml that I might crack soon.

Photo of Lupin
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm interested in trying this one out because I loved Guldenberg and seemingly went against the tide of love for the XX Bitter, which I detested. Maybe I just had an oxidized bottle or something, but it was nearly undrinkable.

Cork was a little bit dry and took some coercing to begin to properly accept my corkscrew. Had to clean out the top and some of the inside of the neck before pouring what ended up being a lively-headed amber. Head is about an inch, and dies down to a nice coating around 3/16" thick. Ommegang 10th anniversary flute on hand.

Apparently (according to the label), De Ranke loves to use Hallertau and Brewer's gold hops in their beers. My problem with XX bitter was that I could taste nothing else when I drank it, and the hops didn't taste refreshing, just bitter. I've had hop-bombs before and this one just didn't cut it for me.

This beer seems to lie in between the two I've tried. The smell is deliciously fresh-hoppy, if a tiny bit antiseptic/ethery. I smell some ground pepper in there for some reason.

Taste is a little thin up front--bright and a little american golden ale-ish; this one's all about the finish, especially when cold. Harsh hop tones abound.

As it warms, it gets a little more interesting up front. Thick, bready malt flavors abound--reminds me a little bit of 3 monts in this regard. The last few ounces will be very yeasty, so keep that in mind.

Definitely an interesting brew, I have to give de ranke credit for one thing---they always make something I can form an opinion on, but this is harder to do so than the others... I like it, but there's something about that peppery hop character that is a double edged sword, IMO. I imagine this could be paired very well with certain sweet foods, glazed meats and such.. On its own, the peppery hops just kinda bug me, though. If you like bitter, non-oily hops that don't have that profound tart character, check this one out. If youlike anything from De Ranke, this is definitely required drinking.

Photo of acrawf6
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark orange amber with some haze. Head is a pillowing tan that drops to a small thick later on top.

Smell. Sweet, but also has a waxy yeastiness to it i'm not really caring for. Smells tame and sugary.

Taste. Sweet with a very light caramel, but I think is more on the dryer side compared to others. There is a small tartness to it that is citrusy. The flavor is on the lighter side, and even has a lager character to it. Aftertaste has a little alcohol in it, surprising to me with the relatively lower alc. content.

Mouthfeel. Its crisp and light...a little too light for my likings. Carbonation is at a good high level.

Overall, not really a bspa i like. It's not bad, but its leaving me wanting a fuller and sweeter beer. I dont hate it, but i wouldnt think about getting it again.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.78/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pere Noel had some nice champagne-like qualities in its flavor and mouthfeel, and an interesting aroma, but there wasn't really enough flavor to it to really peak my interest.

This beer poured an opaque orange-pink with lots of fine head. Aroma contained lots of earthiness, isoamyl acetate (banana/circus peanuts), and ethyl butyrate (bubble gum). There was a champagne flavor and mouthfeel, but not much in the way of flavor. Mouthfeel was a bit thin.

I wouldn't recommend this beer.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium 'almost clear' orange with a nice frothy white head of an inch and a half.
Head melts at a pretty 'normal' rate to leave nice lacing in it's wake.

Aromas are typical Belgium yeasts and candied sugars, a little amber malt, and surprisingly corn....I think it is made up of the combination of spices but it comes across to my nose as corn.

Flavors again are pretty typical for a Belguim but finish with lots of bitter citrus hops not normally found in one.
Interesting, yes. Memorable....no.
A bit of a disappointment in what I would hope to be the brewers best effort at a festive ale.

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This bottle was a Christmas gift from my Mother-in-law. I am just now finally getting around to trying it.

Pours a fairly clear orange color with the classic big white, puffy head I expect from a Belgian. The head quickly recedes leaving only a few spots of lacing.

The aroma follows the label...it's hoppier than many Begian pale ales. Some grassy floral hops, dried fruits, yeast, spices and a musty scent towards the end.

The flavor isn't what I had hoped for. Herbal, grassy hops; traditional yeast; light tobacco, and that mustiness. I'm somewhat disappointed in this one.

Almost flat feeling medium body. Carbonation isn't where it should be. I made it through about half of this 750ml bottle, but have no desire to finish it. It's a shame, really, because I was looking forward to it.

Photo of
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Best by 10/2010, bottled 5 years before.

Hazy, glowing, dirty orange in color. Large, creamy ivory colored head. Brewed with Hallertau & Brewer's Gold hops.

Scents of oranges, lemons and apples. Spiced - coriander, clove, others? Bit of caramel as it warmed. Grassy also.

Taste followed scent fairly well. Phenolic/medicinal and not very sweet at all. Spices are present, but subtle. Hoppy at finish, grassy & herbal in character. Biscuity.

Light in body, with medium + carbonation. Drying.

I liked it. A new style - A hoppy, Belgian, winter warmer...Spices don't beat you over the head. Sweetness is faint, and the body is rather light. A bit like a saison. Odd winter offering - ABV reasonable, spices light, not sweet or heavy??

Photo of scruffwhor
1.98/5  rDev -48%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance- A rusty apple cider amber greets my eyes. Good two finger head, ad strong bubbling. Let's you know this a highly carbonated ber.

Aroma- Soapy hops and Belgian spices. Not a good combo.

Taste- Soap!!! I poured some of this beer into a different glass to make sure there wasn't any soap residue on my end affecting the flavor of this beer. Yep, the beer just tastes soapy. Must've got a bad bottle I guess. Tatses like hoppy soap with coriander and anise

Mouthfeel- Very soapy and overly astringent. Hard to drink.

Photo of DogFood11
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml green bottle, paper wrapped. Capped and corked. Poured this into a tulip it forms a silky, white, mountainous head that has amazing staying power. Orange to copper in body with plenty of support carbonation.

My initial reaction was "for a belgian this is hoppy and it melds very well with some traditional flavors". Hard to describe this brew because it has alot of subtle flavors. Shares alot of similarities with the XX offering from De Ranke. This seems to have a larger malt bill and a bit of a fruity side but other than that very similair. Musty and musky at times, especially in the smell.

Notes: So hard to think of this in a Belgian category as the "hoppy" craze is catching on even in a traditional style. I liked the way it worked and will buy one again on occassion.

Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml paper wrapped bottle, serving of it poured into a goblet

Smell is typical, mild hops with a sweetness and yeasty meld

Taste was no surprise, a hopped up Belgian Pale Ale, not sure I would classify this as a Strong Pale Ale, but I'm usually not sure about turning on red either.

This brew has a sweet taste considering this is advertised as a hoppy brew, in my opinion, I notice the sweetness more than anything.

I can't wait till Belgium has the "stones" to throw in a crap load of hops into their BPA's.

But overall this is a great beer, which hides its ABV pretty darn well, I'll gladly buy another.

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Absumaster
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is orange brown with a big head and is somewhat murky, but that may come from the fact that the bottle was laid down in the fridge.

Smell is slightly acidic with some Bretta notes, some fruitiness and citric, hoppy? This could be the hops or the Bretta or some spices like coriander, I don't know, it is interesting however. Also some basement smell which make the beer rather unfresh.

Taste is bitter with the spicy Bretta-ness again. I guess this is coriander. There is also a good hoppiness, that is somewhat citric. In the back there is some malt and candy sugar. Body is medium and aftertaste is dry and bitter. Carbonation is sizzling on the tongue.

What a great beer, complex, bitter and hoppy!

Photo of waughbrew
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah! At last Pere Noel, which has somehow eluded me for years now, and has been one of my most sought-after beers. Pretty clothes on the 750ml bottle, with Father Christmas hugging a glass of Belgian beer. Date says "best by" 9/2011, which is five years after bottling by law I believe. That means that this beer is pretty fresh, being only about three months in the bottle as of drinking time.

I popped the cap, and was frightened at what I saw - beer at the very tip of the bottle, above the cork. A sniff...acetic. Damn! I grabbed my Rabbit and tried the cork. It was soft, so it pulled right through a couple times before getting a decent grab. When it came out, it fell in a few big pieces, none of which fell into the beer. Another sniff...smells great! A relief for sure.

Brilliant copper with a huge creamy head that froths and fumes, lasts then laces. Beautiful. Dusty cotton candy aroma with underripe banana, clove, hay, and a strong herbal nature. Complex, yet not entirely enticing. Flavor is orange rind, candied yams, and a lasting minerally spiciness and bitterness that mellows a bit as it approaches room temp. Medium body with some comfortable fizz and a little nip at the end.

Neat dryness and complex. This is not entirely different in feel and complexity of the St. Bernardus beers that I have recently had. Do they share the same primary yeast strain? Anyway, the minerally oranginess gets tiring for me. It is a top-notch beer, but that flavor profile is not usually what I am looking for. I think I will stick with my XX for the most part.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale amber with a good head. Smells slightly metallic and hoppy with some citrus background. Taste is very hoppy, but with soft hops, and lemon citrusy. Bubblegum and other yeasties on the finish. fairly unusual and interesting. Soft mouthfeel, but crisp. Quite drinkable.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The foil came off showing a vinegar covered. Mopped it up a bit then pulled the cork with a bang. I think the beer is ok. Flax colored body with a lot of haze. Head is 1/2 inches of off white cratered bubbles.

S: Green peppers, lemon thyme, honey, tomato vines.

T: This beer tastes like bitter green bell pepper juice. There's a splash of lemon, fresh cut grass, bittered greens and moss. Has a cellar quality to it, sort of pungent and funky. Finishes a little dirty, lightly bitter and herbal.

M: Medium body, full mouthfeel but a bit fuzzy.

D: I'm finding that I'm not a fan of "bitters" outside the US. I guess I find them boring and uncomplete. This beer did grow on me over time though.

Photo of bjohnson
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wrapped in lime green paper. Best buy 09/2011. Capped and corked.

A: Pours a cloudy dark orange almost amber color. Big two and a half finger puffy cloud like head that leaves amazing lace. Whirlwind of fizz rising from the bottom and middle of the glass.
S: Wheaty notes with a big spicyness in the nose. Wheaty notes are a bit harsh. Hop notes are definitely present but not overly abundant.
T/M: Fruity hop notes coupled with a yeasty belgian notes. Extra dry finish, no seriously dry, with champagne like esters. Biscuity aftertaste also with the champagne notes. Medium body, but feels light.
D: Easy drinking, but I'm not sure that's how one would like to start out rating the "drinkability". I wasn't wowed by this brew. It wasn't bad, but nothing amazing or out of the ordinary. Spicy in the nose, but nothing in the taste. Although this is a belgian strong pale ale, I would take out the "strong". Noel? No Christmas spices here! I'd pass on this as it's not worth the $12-13...

Photo of RedHaze
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, with a best by of 11 2010.

Pours a very hazy orange with a frothy two finger head, that settles slowly to a thick cap, leaving behind a thin, patchy lacing.

Smell; mildly spicy and a little musty. There's a little bit of hops in there as well. Pretty nice, but the aromas are fairly subdued, with nothing really standing out all that much.

Taste; I was pretty surprised with the first few sips, because there was some nice fruit flavors that were not present in the nose. There's some mangoes and pears, but there's also a touch of some tart fruits. This finishes with a mild peppery spiciness, with a some bittering hops, and really dry.

Mouthfeel/Drinkabiliity; mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a bit of a biting carbonation in the finish. Drinkability but would be better if it were not quite so dry.

Photo of ellisdee97
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a 750ml green bottle with no label, yet wrapped in green crepe paper with a printed christmas label. Best before end of 10-2010. Capped and corked.

A: Murky golden orange with a thick one finger head. Infiltered. Bubbly champagne head which lingers, leaving a yeasty lacing. Resembles apple cider.

S: Champagne notes, fruity yeast with hidden aromatic hops. Musky malt base.

T: Tastes nothing like it looks or smells. Biscuit malt, crisp hops. Slight fruit from the yeast; pineapple or passion fruit. Pepper, vanilla bean and some nutmeg.

M: Good effervescent carbonation. Light bodied with a dry finish.

D: This is an excellent brew, quite decieving. Very easy to throw back with the high alcohol content.

Photo of cjgator3
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before end of: 11 2010

1 pint 9.4 fl. oz bottle wrapped in a decorative green papering. Poured into a tulip glass that produces an orangish copper color with a large fluffy off white head. The aroma is dry and sweet with a fruity/floral notes that is a bit tart as well. Taste starts out somewhat sweet but finishes with a spicey bitterness that finishes bone dry. There is also a lot of must/barnyard in the taste as well. Mouthfeel is highlighted by a lively amount of carbonation. Overall, this really is a delightfully complex and unique brew that I found drawing me in more and more as the bottle emptied. It is really an intriguing beer that I would recommend trying if you can get your hands on it.

Photo of bruachan
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this has been sitting in my collection for awhile. i can't find a brewing date, but the label on the bag says to drink before sometime in 2009

plenty of aged aroma floats around, yet what i get out of the glass itself spice and plenty of hop. it's smooth, with a little heat in the finish. this seems like it's probably been aging for a little while—it's mellow and fruity, but fairly bitter

it's not exciting, yet i doubt i could call it bland. beers like this inconvenience me because of this problem, though i routinely enjoy them

Photo of AlexJ
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky apricot pour with a dense head of white froth that has the trademark De Ranke retention and incredible lace artwork.

Aroma is crisp, pilsneresque malts, lemon grass, chalky minerality, green herbs, and musty Belgian yeast. Nice, but doesn't really stand out in any way.

Flavor very much the same. Crisp golden malt notes are quickly washed away by dry lemon zest, freshly cut green herbs, dry mineral notes, white pepper, a hint of pinapple and mint, and a decent amount of green hops bitterness. The yeast is musty and chalky. Good, but almost understated.

Body is medium, well carbonated, with a fluffy, airey mouthfeel. Good drinkability and not overly complex.

Photo of RoyalT
4.65/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Deep, dark, orange in color with a nice, beautiful yellowish-white head that showed terrific retention.

Smell – The rich, beautiful Belgian hops grab your attention straight away. They are big with wonderful floral notes and have a bit of an herbal character to them.

The malts are lighter but add structure to the bouquet. The sweetness is like a dull, raw sugar but very light. It all adds up to a wonderful aroma with smells that play harmoniously together.

Taste – The hops show surprising depth at the taste. The greenish herbs are outstanding and the ample brownish malt is professionally sweetened with just the right amount of sugar.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied and incredibly smooth in the mouth. It is very creamy and fluffy in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – This is amazingly smooth in the mouth with an incredible balance. It is so easy in the mouth yet so big on flavors it’s hard to believe.

Comments – I got a ton of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Gotta love it.

Photo of Jredner
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is slightly musty with spicy/fruity notes just beneath. Orange tinted tan in color with a diminishing, thumb thick, white head. Has a crisp tartness in the fore and ample orange peel notes that aren’t truly bitter, but none the less hold that citrusy peel flavor. Some wholesome sweetness that is bread-sweet rather than candy-sweet, though there is a fruity (apple mostly) sweet twang in the finish. The mustiness of the aroma is evident again in the flavor. Carbontion is medium to low, but complimentary to the beer.

De Ranke Père Noël from Brouwerij De Ranke
86 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.