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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:
Photo of SrMonkey
2.65/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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 ObiWanKushnobi
4/5  rDev +7.2%

ObiWanKushnobi, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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 hardy008
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle 3072 of 3240. 2012 Vintage.

Pours a crimson color with a one finger head after an aggressive pour. Has fair retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has figs, dates, cherries, and brown sugar.

Tastes sweet and somewhat boozy with figs, dates, cherries, and brown sugar. Two letdowns for me are the fact that the alcohol is not well hidden. and there is very little carbonation. While the carbonation is a mouth feel issue, it does decrease my enjoyment of this beer.

Medium bodied, and as previously mentioned, very little carbonation. Has an alcohol aftertaste. Overall, not very well made. The biggest of the 2 main problems is the lack of carbonation.If the carbonation was adequate, and the alcohol was properly hidden, this could be a nice beer.

hardy008, Dec 05, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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 BoRaeCho
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%

BoRaeCho, Sep 19, 2012
Photo of draheim
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 BuckeyeSlim
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

BuckeyeSlim, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.6/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 #141

A: Poured a deep cherry amberish color with good carbonation and a nice dirty white cap. Lots of carbonation on this as it was a gusher when I first popped it.

S: Major hints of dark fruits; figs, raisins. Caramel, chocolate cherries and faded cocoa

T: Figs, raisins, plums, candy sweetness, faded cocoa, mint and allspice. Caramel and toffee.

M: Big body, well carbonated, tasty

O: Excellent!

barleywinefiend, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, I've been meaning to try this for a while, and as there was only one bottle remaining at Hi-Times today, I picked it up, assuming this is the 2008 Vintage, it's certainly no younger than 2009, No. 1298/1800, my main brew for Oscar Night 2011,

A: Pours a deep brown with a big, almost gushing white head but dies down quickly. Off-white head, good head retention, solid lace.

S: Beautiful heavy fig, Pedro Ximenez sherry, and brown sugar.

T: Fig heavy, the maltiness is full-flavoured and elegant. Lots of molasses, chocolate cherries, carob.

M: Full-bodied, smooth, soft carbonation, very easy on the palate for how big it is.

D: I never had it fresh, but clearly age hasn't hurt it. I was a little scared of the green bottle, but that hasn't caused a problem thankfully. This beer is great, if there are any bottles laying around pick them up; I would have loved to have this last Christmas. Just a shame I may never have this beer again.

Halcyondays, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 brownbeer
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 mothman
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage. Bottle 836 of 1800.

Poured into Town Hall chalice.

Color is murky caramel brown. Very hazy. Pours a fizzy tan head. Not very appealing.

Aroma: Dark malts, cherries. Very Belgium based. Raisins, yeast, chocolate, and caramel.

Taste: Lots of raisins and spices, cherries, big malt profile, caramel, and chocolate. It definitely fits the style of BSDA well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with a slight touch of heat. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends very malty and somewhat clean.

Overall, a nice winter beer. I definitely like it. Glad we get it here. A nice Belgian style beer brewed by an American brewery. I dig it.

mothman, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of ZAP
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Cherrywood colored...froth 1 inch tan head

S-Yeasty and doughy...cookie dough...almonds and hazelnuts...hint of caramel..

T-Sweeter cookie dough....almonds...some caramel...boozieness evident on finish adding spiciness and dryness.

M-Highly charged up at first...spritzy..champagne like at first....bit of a bitter alcohol dry finish and medium bodied...I expected full bodied from the aroma

D-A nice effort...definitely a sipper...great aroma...rest is close but not quite in the upper echelon.

BigHuge thanks to BigHugey for sharing this highly coveted and hard to find brew...

ZAP, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of Bighuge
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Regal burgandy tone. Thick fluffy head of almost pure white froth. Lace comes in thick sheets. Like this aroma. Nice spicing, from yeast and other? I get flashes of cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and pepper. Underneath all the spicing I get nice nuances of biscuity malt. Flavor is great. All that great spicing translates nicely to the palate. The cardamon and cinnamon. Great stuff. Belgian doughy yeastiness sets the foundation. Hops are in the background. Spices pepper the whole crime scene. Some fruity esters show up as well....green apple, pineapple and apricot. Great beer.

Bighuge, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of scottoale
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 Crosling
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pros: Naturally carbonated giving a nice appearance to the ale. Caressing body is very nice.

Cons: Doesn't have much depth or concentration. It's not a complex ale, not a lot of definition, not much to describe.

While a beer of high quality, I feel the brewery could make some improvements on the recipe.

Crosling, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of Splunny
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

988 of 1800
Got this on from John @ Dennis Brother's Liquors.

A: Poured a dark amber with a small whie head.

S: Smells of roasted caramel, burnt sugar, dark fruits, etc.

T: Smooth caramel, malty, and a bit fruity. Great taste.

M: Very creamy, a good body to this beer.

D: Considering the alcohol content, this one is exceptionally drinkable. I wish there was more than 1800 of this one.

Splunny, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, brown body with a fizzy, light beige head.

Smell: Aroma of concentrated burnt caramel cubes with a light, pleasant fruitiness, and an even light wisp of alcohol.

Taste: Sugary sweet maltiness with a very rich, satisfying caramel flavor. Light touch of dark fruits. A montage of spice, sour yeast, bitterness, and alcohol before arriving at the dry finish with a lingering scorched caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Well carbonated.

Drinkability: Now that's pretty good. Far, far better than the version I had last year. Way to turn it around, Big Sky.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 177of 1800 - Pours very brown slightly cloudy with a frothy tan colored head. Smells of Belgium yeast, sweet fruits and a lot of caramelized malts. First sip is both sweet then very quickly bitter with just a small hop presence. Well carbonated thanks to the bottle conditioning this beer has a great mouthfeel.

ATLbeerDog, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of optiontwo
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml poured into Stella glass

Appearance: Ruby/brown with a one inch white head. Slightly translucent.

Smell: Brown sugar right away, then bittersweet chocolate, dark fruits, and citrus. Smells nice and complex.

Taste: Plenty going on, sour cherry, grape and toffee start it off and it finishes with some chocolate, spice, and a small hop bite at the end. The taste is just as complex as the smell and that's a very good thing.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation. Medium bodied so not too much to take.

Drinkability: So-so. I definitely am not cruising through this bottle but I would pick one up again to share with someone.

Overall: Having had a Belgian double earlier in the day it gave me a good basis for comparison and even though this is an American brewery's take on a Belgian double, I enjoyed this more. Pick it up if you can, there's only 1800.

optiontwo, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of tempest
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 Bitterbill
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ML gold foil wrapped and capped bottle, no. 179 of 1800.

This pours a clear deep amber brown with...2/3 tannish foam, 1/3 liquid. It's way foamy and it wants to creep out of the bottle but I have my eye on it.

The smell has notes of yeast, some candy sugar and caramel malt sweetness, some bitterness, and light dark fruity tones. A very nice nose.

The taste is very interesting. A light candy sweetness is first thing I notice but it immediately follows with some caramel malt, hop bitterness, and yeast. I like. More sips in and there's some of the dark fruit I mentioned in the smell showing up, with some spicing, and 2nd pour shows a cloudy liquid. Lots of nice lacing and head retention is super good...oh and it's quite warming.

The mouthfeel is pretty light for the style, the carbonation is rather brisk, it finishes decidedly bitter with just a light kick of tartness.

Drinkability? For a 8.75% brew, it's pretty darned good. I like what's going on here so I'm not really that distracted by the abv.

Bottom line: This Big Sky brew is very tasty and I'm glad I got a chance to try it. If it was available locally, I'd buy more.

Bitterbill, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #1002 of 1800.

Dark plummish appearance, huge, copious cocoa/tanned head, intensively rockish and reeling...quite a performance.

Rosy nose at first sniff...fruity, malty, but rather quiet. Can't say too much about it. Don't want to say anything bad about it, either.

In the mouth, it floods and fills the palate...nice and malty. minor fruity feel. Little hops, some spice. Getting bigger as we go. Yummy. Plum, and fig, and bit of a portish flavor, too. Gets maltier, fruitier, spicier...
...this is something I'd adore as a draft offering from a local brewpub, or as an affordable 6-pack from a local brewery..but I won't be buying another $14 750 ml bottle.
Glad they're doing this, but I'm sure they can do it in 12 ouncers. I'd buy it by the case if they would.

feloniousmonk, Dec 15, 2008
Biere De Noël from Big Sky Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.