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Biere De Noël - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Biere De NoëlBiere De Noël

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

52 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 17.16%
Wants: 7
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.75% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
35 IBU

(Beer added by: GClarkage on 05-22-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by neckbeered:
Photo of neckbeered
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

neckbeered, Jun 11, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%

Deep amber with a tan head.

Rich maple and raisin on the nose. Reminds me of a doppelbock with a Belgian twist.

Flavor is a bit of a let down. Sweet plump raisin with some heat, caramel, and maple.

It's rich but unrefined. Shows potential but needs work across the board. So far, the Olde Bluehair is the only beer from this series that I would look forward to trying again.

brownbeer, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

BuckeyeSlim, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of sgttibbs
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

sgttibbs, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of tempest
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%

Bottle #834

Thanks to Alvey at Four Firkins for directing me to this fine brew. This immediately reminded me of St. Bernardus Abt 12. The appearance is a clear brown with a light tan head. The aroma has sweet vanilla, cherries and caramel candy. These all follow up in the flavor with the addition of small, but tasty spice and herb hops note, and almost tart blackberries and a very very slight licorice note. This is a very smooth drink, I had no problem splitting the 750 ml bottle with a friend. This is a very impressive dark Belgian. If it weren't for the label, I'd have no idea this was made in the states. It's rare to find American brewers who can't capture the rich and smooth characteristics of fine Belgian so well.

tempest, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%

2012 batch pours an effervescent brown/crimson with a sliver of cream colored head. No head retention or lacing

S: Pears, raisins, brown sugar & apricots, cherries & a bit of Brandy

T: Rich figgy, jammy notes, a touch of cinnamon & brown sugar too up front, plus slightly boozey. A touch of candi sugar, leafy hops & whisper of maraschino cherry, a bit of boozey jammyness, more leafy hops & touch white grape as this warms. Finishes dry, & jammy with a bit of boozeyness

MF: Fairly smooth, noticeable carbonation, warming, a bit of stickiness as well

A super solid Belgian Dark, not sure what this was like young, but 8+ months of aging has done it proud, still a bit boozey for my tastes. I can see this holding up for at least 2 years

russpowell, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -19.6%

GRG1313, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of cyrushire
3/5  rDev -19.6%

cyrushire, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%

2012 bottling... ABV is up to 10%... Picked up tonight at Brewforia Meridian for a pricey $16ish on the way home after a long day at work... Bottle# 1816/3240

Poured into my slim tulip... Fairly clear dark walnut brew... short lasting head... no real lacing or cap.

Nose is nice.. fairly rich mix of dark toasty malt.. caramel.. Belgian qualities are a little light leaning toward golden raisin, lighter dried cherries, and some figgy notes.. Nothing is wrong, aromas just lean toward the lighter side.

Flavor is about the same... all nasal notes are amplified, but are still a bit light to be a great BSDA... also seems to be more sweet than should be.. not quite enough bitterness to balance..

Very low carbonation, especially for the style.. needs a lot more bubbles..

Decent brew as it stands... I wonder if more time in the bottle would help... right now, it is woefully undercarbonated and certainly too sweet.

I hoped to like this one more, but this year's Biere De Noel needs to be dialed down for 2013.

I feel bad about writing reviews when the best thing I can give props for is the aroma.. that is this case unfortunately.

3.5/4/3.5/3/3

JohnGalt1, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of DeekNayvuz
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

DeekNayvuz, May 22, 2013
Photo of yamar68
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%

2012 vintage (10% ABV)

Bottle #2273 of 3240

Pours with a surprising amount of hazy nut brown clarity. A finger of foamy khaki carbonation leaves behind loads of thick, consistent lace. Quite pretty looking stuff.

Semisweet on the nose... clean, mellow brown sugar... faint fruit character, nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon, a touch of alcohol heat surfaces with a bit warmth.

Candied sugar and smooth Belgian spice on the palate. Molasses and/or bread pudding. Pretty tame which leads to a pretty impressive level of drinkability.

I prefer this to past vintages; balanced but maybe a little boring.

yamar68, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a dark walnut amber with virtually no carbonation and a quick pour leaves only a slight ring around the glass. Aroma of dark and dark dried fruit, caramel malt, holiday spicing of cinnamon, cloves and vanilla, only a hint of Belgian spicing. Flavor follows aroma with caramel malt, rich dark dried fruit, lighter cherry and stone fruit, a deft touch of the same holiday spicing with a touch of Belgian yeast. Finishes with dark fruit, sligthly earthy and spicy. A relief after the pour, there is light carbonation to give a medium body and pleasant enough mouth feel. A nicely made holiday ale that is well balanced between malt, fruit and spicing. Needs a bit more carbonation, but maybe this was an anomalous bottle. I will still look for this next year.

LiquidAmber, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of scottoale
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%

Bottle #540 of 1800. A green 750ml. champagne bottle with gold foil over the cap and neck and ABV is printed on the front label, it reads : Alc. 8.75%. It pours out a dark amber brown with a huge beige head of three fingers. The head eventually settles to a lasting 1/2" and leaves gobs of lace clinging to the glass. A very well carbonated and attractive brew.

The smell is sweet and dark fruity with some notes of yeast and alcohol as well. Smells right for the style.

The taste is even better than the aroma, with lots of caramel, prune, raisen, fig and a pleasant touch of alcohol in the finish. A nice balance as well with some hops contributing nice bitterness to the end, along with warmth from the alcohol.

Plenty of body and carbonation keep things full and lively from start to finish, along with the great taste make this special release a pleasure to drink. It reels you in for more after every sip. A great winter brew with a solid touch of Belgium...cheers to a fine Montana brew! A big thanks to travisd13 for making this brew possible for me to enjoy.

scottoale, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of SHODriver
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%

A: pours a deep mahogany hue with a slow to appear and quick to fade off white head that leaves a small collar around the edge of the snifter
S: smells of dark fruits, some spice and some caramel.
T: tastes of dark fruits, some spice, and caramel but a lot of dark fruit flavor throughout. swallow is more dark fruits and a bit of sweet cherry, caramel and a bit of spice and a bit of alcohol heat on the finish
M: very soft and delicate carbonation and a somewhat thin feeling mouthfeel for a beer of its heft, drying finish
O: it looks pretty good aside from the lack of a head and what I personally feel is undercarbonation. it isn't flat but it's probably about as close as you can get and still detect carbonation. flavors are solid, it has good complexity and the finish is almost perfect. I would have liked for the flavors to be a little bolder but the subtlety is nice

SHODriver, May 30, 2013
Photo of Jameswoody
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Jameswoody, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of beergil
1.5/5  rDev -59.8%

beergil, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of spoonhawk
2/5  rDev -46.4%

spoonhawk, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Bottle acquired in trade.

Poured a deeper amberish / orange color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of roastiness, toasted caramel, wood, and some dark fruits. Tastes of dark fruits, vanilla, lighter wood, spices, and toasted caramel.

Notes from 4/14/08

hopdog, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of SrMonkey
2.65/5  rDev -29%

Bottle 022 of 2012 vintage.

Virtually no carbonation even with a hard pour, and the cork was on tight. Lighter brown in color. Has a nice dubbel aroma, dark fruits, clove. Flavors are muted, sweet upfront with fig, other dark fruit, phenols pop up on the finish. As it warms alcohol becomes more prominent on the finish. For style and abv the body is thin.

Mediocre for the style, luckily it was on holiday clearance.

SrMonkey, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of draheim
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%

750mL (#684 of 1800) into a snifter. Pours a deep ruby amber w/ a crackly 1-finger tan head, lively carbonation.

Aroma is dark fruits (figs, dates), vanilla, brown sugar, holiday spices, and booze. Really enticing aroma.

Taste follows nose. Lots of sticky chewy dried fruits, vanilla, toffee, and a warming touch of alcohol. Delicious. Reminds me more of a barley wine, but good is good.

Mouthfeel is smooth and a little sticky, but the carbonation keeps it crisp and light.

Overall, a really nice tasty warming sipper.

draheim, May 11, 2012
Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

zeff80, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
4.53/5  rDev +21.4%

05/08/07- Growler fill at the Big Sky Brewery in Missoula, MT.

Presentation- Growler fill from the tap.

Appearance- Liquified caramel color. Lots of micro fine yeast sediment. 1/4 inch creamy head which settles at a fine rim. Light streaky lacing.

Smell- Lots of dark fruits in the nose with a large caramel malt character. Prunes, raisins and figs. Great nose.

Taste- The nose knows! Like a caramel smoothie with fruit. Caramello base with a roasted nutty flavor. Lots of prunes. plums, raisins, figs and dates. Liquid caramel fruitcake is what we have here.

Mouthfeel- Fuller mouthfeel with a creamy and silky texture. Really low carbonation. Almost cask like.

Drinkability- Another excellent output from Big Sky! Not sure of the abv because they wouldn't divulge it. 8.7% at max though by Montana law.

GClarkage, May 22, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%

750ml
Gold Foil/Capped

Poured into a chalice a very nice amber color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger plus thick/creamy off-white head, with some nice thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some slight yeast note, very nice dark fruit notes, and some caramel. The taste is very nice, malty, with some yeast notes, figs, grapes, plums, raisins, with some caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, Big Sky does a very good job with their 750ml bottles, highly recommend.

Wasatch, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of DenverLogan
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%

Corked bottle...poured in a St Bernardus chalice. Bottle 1467 of 3240 (I also drank #1444 and fully reviewed it, but took so long that when I hit "Review" it was lost :()
Small cork pop...pours a copper - brown with small head of various sized bubbles.
Aroma of tropical fruit yogurt, cherry cola, menthol tobacco, dark malts.
Low carbonation...big sweet mouthfeel.
Oooh...malt bomb...lots of malts... flavors of candy sugar, bitter tropical fruit rind, cola, sage, cream of tartar, powdered sugar, figs, raisins, rosemary, liquorice, anise, alcohol, bitter chocolate, caramel, toffee, carob...lots of rich flavors...also something slightly mouth puckering bitter. Let's give it 5 minutes...
OK...head is still there, but minimal, aroma of funky fruit rind, big sweet malt flavors with phenols and holiday spice notes. Somewhat like an English barleywine...strong, low carbonation, big malt flavors, a little hot. I can't call this an easy drinker like, say, many Belgian noels/holiday beers, but not as sweet as a Thomas Hardy or J.W. Lees. It's rough like a Montana winter!
Feb 24...having bottle 1471 of 3240, 2012 batch. The above description holds, with perhaps a bit more mellowness, which is good, but still a big sweet malt bomb. I'll bet a year of aging could help.
May 16...having bottle 1864 of 3240, 2012 batch. I'm upping the overall score as this has mellowed and aging has reduced some of the sweetness.

DenverLogan, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3/5  rDev -19.6%

2012 vintage. Bottle # 1348/3240.

10% ABV per the label.

Pours a hazy dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, and brown sugar aromas. Taste is much the same with dark fruit and super malty 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 an average beer that has some subdued aromas and muddled flavors that aren't being helped by the lack of carbonation.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 04, 2013
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Biere De Noël from Big Sky Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.