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Val-Dieu Bière De Noël - Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Not Rated.
Val-Dieu Bière De NoëlVal-Dieu Bière De Noël

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

45 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu visit their website

Style | ABV
Tripel |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-14-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ggaughan
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 33 cl bottle. This boy has been aging in my cellar for about 2 years now and thought that spring time was a good time to try it. The beer poured a golden amber color with a nice thick, bubbly white head with great lacing. The aroma is sweet, lemony, a bit peppery and definite tones of Belgian yeast. Very pleasing. The taste is equally nice. The taste is sweet and refreshing a bit toasted. With a light to medium body, this beer is deceivingly good at 7% abv. Merry Chirstmas!

Photo of Metalmonk
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I think of a Tripel, this isn't the kind of thing that comes to mind, but it's a good one nevertheless.

I bought this because it was from the 2004/2005 winter release. Cork said 10/04. That's either a bad thing (didn't sell because it sucks) or a good thing (a fine, aged, vintage holiday ale). Luckily it was good enough to justify the purchase. (There's more where this came from, if anyone's interested in an aged bomber of this.)

Poured a super-creamy head atop a caramel-brown body. Moderate carbonation with lots of bubbles. LOTS of lace: thick honeycomb walls formed while the beer gradually left the glass.

Had a very grassy smell, accented by hints of raisin and caramel.

Tasted of soft alcohol, dark fruits, caramel and toffee. The creamy mouthfeel thinned a little as it held in the mouth, and there was a dryness after the swallow.

This has all the warming and fruity characteristics of any good holiday ale, and would be good drinking year-round.

Photo of mattfancett
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A knock-out gorgeous white head with bubbles and lace, like a frothy vanilla milkshake. Creamy. The winner by drinkability in a 4-way playoff of x-mas beers on March 25. On sweet side, but just couldn't get enough of it. Malt magic fresh from Belgium.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A carefully poured bottle delivers a clear, deep gold/amber body with a full head of creamy white foam. The head holds exceptionally well, and leaves wide sheets and thick rings of foamy lace throughout the goblet. The nose is perfumey with floral hops, delicate spice, alcohol, sweetish candy-like malt, a drop of vanilla, and a light, yeasty fruitiness (apples). It's zesty in the mouth with a light body and a very fine, effervescent carbonation that tingles the tongue before warming to become more "airy". The flavor is more solid, however, with a well-threaded combination of grassy and floral hops, lightly candyish/cookie dough-like malt, delicate spice, and light yeasty fruitiness backed by a solid bitterness. It finishes quite dry with a wash of drying alcohol, some lingering bitterness, a note of apple-like fruitiness, and an uncommon touch of salt. A beautiful looking and interesting beer that probably makes a better digestif than apertif.

Photo of frontalot
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention. Aroma of cinnamon and pepper with some distinctive Belgian yeast. Taste is quite sweet with a good malt presence and a well mix balance of spices. Body is above average but a good creamy texture. Nothing extraordinary but good example of the style.

Photo of CRJMellor
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange/amber /chestnut and lots of effervescence. Huge head on the pour and a massive lace on the appropriate glassware.
Aroma of caramel, pale malt, some grain and a spciy coriander and citrus fruit notes.
Flavors of caramel, brown sugar, dark citrus, coriander, hint of cinnamon and other spices.
Mouthfeel starts light and airy and moves to a moderately spiced middle and finishes with a sweet citrusy touch of alcohol.
Drinkability is very good. Little out of season but high quality beer.

Photo of MJR
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Corked 750ml bottle.

Appearance: Pours a light amber surrounded by copper edges. The body has good clarity, with lots of carbonation bubbles. The head starts out thick and hefty, and slowly dwindles down to a thick cap with good lacing.

Smell: The aroma is quite soft with a delicate fruitiness that is a touch spicy. I detect a touch of honey, as well as a bready note from the yeast. There's a hint of a tripel character...is that banana and clove? Too faint to tell...

Taste: The flavor is malty and fruity, with a firm breadiness. It's not sweet though...it has a good balance between the malt and hops. The spiciness is extremely subtle and a bit bland. Again, the banana and clove notes that make this a trippel are well buried and not easily detected. A touch of earthy yeast shows itself in the short finish, along with a faint, generic hop bitterness. The aftertaste is practically nonexistent... Very relaxed flavor profile, bland might be the right word to use.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, with an almost watery body. This brew could use more body, as there's no 'ass' to it.

Drinkability: Barely above average. This is a bit boring for a holiday brew. I need something more interesting to hold my attention when the weather turns nasty.

'Thanks' to StevieW for including this one in our trade.

Photo of Dukeofearl
2.83/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2003 Vintage 750 ml bottle, drank in the Christmas season of 2004.

I had the coolest experience opening this bottle- one I've never seen. I took off the cage, and just watched as the pressure in the bottle slowly pushed the cork up and out of the bottle- went flying several fet. I've had gunshot openings, but this was in slow motion. Very fun.

Pours a darkish golden with a pretty medium off-white head. Unfortunately, the appearance was the best part of this beer.

Aroma was light, slightly sweet with notes of honey, dates vanilla, perhaps some berry. Spices of a Noel? maybe present, but not obvious.

Oddly enough, the flavor is like a mellow tripel- sharp, tart, full-flavored with no rough edges. The alcohol profile was a little to much on the back end. However, the beer lest a very strange chemical residue in my mouth that got progressively worse as I drank this beer (shared with my sister). Stale hops? Because of this, I started out liking the flavor, but it got worse as the bottle emptied.

At the end of the day, I decided I didn't care for it.

Photo of desint
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of hyuga
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 edition. Dark golden color with the characteristic Belgian pale/tripel white head. Goes down, but stays at a good level contributing to a nice mouthfeel. Much lace is left behind. Lots of spicy yeast in the aroma, along with some pretty big malt character, which is a bit bready. As far as the flavor, Spicy yeast and sweet, bready malt dominate once more, with a yeast/hop bitterness throughout. A slight minty character is noticeable as well, adding the Christmasy feel. Alcohol warms generously. Not my favorite tripel, but a great effort. Picked this up in a gift pack containing two 750 ml bottles and two glasses.

Photo of RuudJH
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33 cl. bottle of Christmas beer from Val-Dieu.

Colour light brown, murky, with a nice white head, leaving good lacing in my Chimay glass.
Smell and taste are balanced with malty sweetness, some floral hops, a bit of spicyness too.
Aftertaste is very mellow: this beer goes down very easy. The sediment seems to give it a bit more bite towards the end, though.
A good and decent brew.

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudless deep copper color, the head mountainous, the texture creamy, the color a light tan and as it desiccates, leaves a fine covering sheet of lace. The aroma of ripe plums, sweet, earthy as in yeast, crisp and clean with a malt underpinning to seal off the nose, quite pleasant to sniff. Front is ambrosial, the top middling in its mouth feel, finish is biting in its acidity, the hops delectable, the aftertaste very dry, and a very pleasant to quaff beer, also a bit of a “Tummy Warmer”.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cork and caged 75cl bottle, opened on 1st Dec 2013.

Expected a darker hue to this brew, it poured a clear deep gold with a full if un-lasting head.

The nose was spiced nuts and sweet malty molasses with good old Belgian yeast esters.

The taste followed the same lines, malty, nutty and yeasty with hints of spices within the flavourings.

OK and another Belgian Christmas beer worth finding.

Photo of atigerlife
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with the cork dated 10/04, poured into a Leffe goblet.

This beer was absolutely beautiful in glass. A clear amber, highly carbonated with small bubbles. A very thick, light brown fluffy head that doesn't go away. Wonderful lacing.

The aroma is sweet, perfumy with a spicy plum smell. Quite clean aroma.

The taste was harder to figure. Somewhat winy with a tart blast throughout. Very tangy aftertaste with some curious herbal notes. Reminded me of Thanksgiving herbs. Not what I was expecting and not what I would want.

The mouthfeel was light, so highly carbonated that it was actually stinging my tongue. Overall, this was a good beer and I would certainly be willing to have another. Certainly not the best tripel, but a nice curiosity.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky amber hue. Huge spectacular frothy white head, sticking to the glass, long-lasting. Spicy aroma with a ton of nuances at times approaching cloves, christmas cake, anise or ginger). Highly yeasty, minty, fruity (peaches, orange, apricot). Mild hop presence even. I love how this accomplishes a lot with low alcohol. Very fruity palate, almost vinous with apricot, melon and peach hints and close to as spicy as the nose. Very interesting mix, superbly tasy for 7%. Medium bodied, moderately high carbonation, almost foamy mouthfeel. Excellent execution imo, but there are better examples.

Photo of Absumaster
2.45/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pfff, I am getting soooo fed up with these so called Belgian Christmas brews, which contain way too much sugar and are the normal dark beer with an extra 25% sugar added. This doesn't add anyting to the beer in complexity or taste, just alcohol. After the St. Feuillien and Delirium Christmas beers I am really disappointed.
What other people taste as being green apples is just a normal cider-like taste, caused by adding way too much sugar. Try to ferment 2 pounds of sugar with a beeryeast and you will get your green apples. Not only does this ruin the taste, but the body becomes very thin and balance is totally gone.

So let's review the Val Dieu biere de Nöel:
Appearance is amber colored with lots of carbonation and a 2 inch thick head.

Smell is green apples and estery with some slight oxidized notes and moderate alcohol smell.

Taste is slightly caramel with the green apples again. The slight oxidation in the smell also comes through in the taste. Mouthfeel is very thin and reminds me of my early days of homebrewing when I tried to make as much alcohol as possible. The lack of balance is very striking and overrules any other potential taste, which is drawn to the background.

Photo of Sigmund
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 ml brown bottle, now available in Norway (Vinmonopolet, bestillingsutvalget). ABV is 7%. Hazy brown colour, huge head. Okay fruity aroma (orange peel and dark fruits) with notes of spices and oak. Flavour is moderately spicy and fruity with a fairly soft mouthfeel. Not the most complex Belgian I’ve had, but decent enough. Over-priced in Norway, though.

Photo of mdagnew
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from BelgianShop.com... aged for about 18 months...

Poured a deep golden orange colour. Creamy head poured pretty tight, thick and foamy then faded slowly to decent wispy covering... sporadic carbonation drifts slowly to the surface... good amount of patchy lacing...

Aroma - Spicy Belgian yeasty / bready notes, lots of rich alcohol soaked dried fruits and peel (apricots, figs, apples, oranges, some raisin), toasted malt loaf, rich roasted nutty sweetness, candy sugar, anise traces, medicinal hints, some burnt butter, lots of grassy / peppery notes, some light oakiness....

Taste – Lots of toasted breadiness mixed with dried fruit sweetness (raisins, peach, figs, oranges and apples), pretty yeasty, some caramel, warming alcohol is pretty noticeable, some black pepper and cinnamon spiciness, definite aniseed, lots of roasted malts, pear drops, light grassy hops, some saltiness...

Feel - Pretty sharp and dry... medium body... dangerously drinkable at 7%...

Overall - A very good (if not overly festive) tripel... well worth a try...

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Andreji
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11-12 season. Lucky opportunity to have run into a small, new beer store smack in the middle of paris (unfortunately, i lack both their address as their name, but can suggest simply walking some 200m east of the sous-bock, along the rue st.honorė).

Pour is an interesting hue i must claim never to have seen. It's mostly tending towards a deep, reddish tone, sort of that of ripe watermelon.

Smell is strong, and spicy. Dominated by an astringent half zesty feel. No sweetness to it. A slight alcoholised feel.

Taste is a bit bland. Feels a bit watery but very grapefriuit like bitterness throughout. Grainy thereafter. Not sweet, but never overwhelming bitterness. There's a very mould yessty feel to it, much à la belge. Thin, slighly fizzy. Alcohol is nonetheless well hidden.

Overall a nice beer, but not extraordinary. Not the best of noëls, but not too shabby.

Photo of mzwolinski
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Talk about your well-carbonated beers! This one almost blew a hole in my ceiling as soon as I'd loosened the cage a bit. Caveat emptor!

Even after a bit of the brew had spewed onto my floor, there was still plenty enough carbonation left to produce a large, frothy white head atop the bronze colored beer.

Lots of yeast in the aroma. As it warms, the spiciness of the hops comes through, along with some nutmeg/cinnamon notes.

Lightly spiced in flavor from the start, with a bready middle, and a slightly sour, pleasantly bitter finish. Very creamy in mouthfeel with a moderately dry finish.

Not too shabby!

Photo of crookedhalo
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002. Pours a bronze/light amber color with an immense, long lasting light beige head. Excellent fluffy lacing. The nose is very fruity (pear, apple) and there is a honey-like appeal to the malt, very faint spicing. Slightly sweet and yeasty at first, but the fruitiness soon takes over and leaves the palate open for the light dryness and hoppiness in the finish. Quite nice. Not as strong as other tripels, and it shows in the lighter mouthfeel. Nonetheless, it is a very nice winter beer that I'll have to try again, only a fresher bottle.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: I was lucky enough to visit the Brasserie de l’Abbaye du Val-Dieu during our annual Easter Belgium Trip in 2001. At the time I do not believe that this was bottled, and if it was, it had all gone during our Easter visit. So when I spied a 750ml of the Val-Dieu Bière de Noël during a trip to Hi-Times in Costa-Mesa recently, I figured that I would give it a whirl, as $6.99 for the 75cl didn’t seem too bad and I knew that their other beers were reasonably good. Just as the BA database picture, the main dark blue label is of a snow covered Abbaye in a suitable wintery scene. ‘Caged and Corked’, the Cork let fly with a massive resonating thrupp as soon as the gold colored cage was removed. The twisted and bent cork had been under some serious pressure, if you ever think that the cages are there for show, think again!! Cork is dated 10/05.

Appearance: Immense gun-smoke, almost canon-smoke, preceded the pour. It’s a good job I was quick on my feet as the beer was already erupting up the tall bottle neck. Best served in a Goblet, but I opted for a tall thin flute, as I knew the high levels of carbonation would make this one awkward at times. A racing head forms quickly. Densely packed small creamy bubbles, bone-white, they slowly recede leaving a bone marrow collapsed crust. The body is a very clear classic-golden color with a decent amount of streamers. Looks excellent, hindered by the oversize head at times which probably means that it looses out on a 4.5 in the end.

Nose: Lots of nuzzling your way through the thick head is needed at times, because the thick massive covering does tend to mask the nice aromas that this Bière de Noël has to offer. Fight your through and it is worth it, even if you have to remove the froth from your own nose a few times! Spicy Tripel in style and aroma. Spicy hops, some pepper, but there is a nice fruit dimension also, some peach and apricots with a hint of plums and Kiwi fruit at times. Soiled yeasts and a real earthy dimension as the Noël warms. I wish the aromas had a little more strength and impcat though.

Taste: Spicy hop entrance, light but prickly black peppers. Yeasty middle with earthy tones that mix well with the hops and light grain malts. Has a very dry, almost crisp, finish with a lovely lingering hoppy feel that is mildy spicy on the cheeks. A peach and bitter cider-apple ending builds in strength as you work your way down the bottle and your cheeks acclimatize to the tangy bitterness. A Golden-Tripel with just that bit extra! Rather fruity at times. Nice.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a stern contribution from the alcohol that is not overpowering but never lets you forget that this is 7%. Despite the high carbonation, this is a smooth beer that sits well in the mouth.

Drinkability: Only the continual top-up of the over-carbonated beer in my glass, and the wait for it to settle, resulted in a longer than expected drink time. Easily partaken with a few chunks of sharp cheddar, this is a relatively easy going Bière de Noël.

Overall: Basically a Tripel with some extra Xmas kick, this is a reasonable enough effort, but I confess to being a tad old-fashioned and preferring my Xmas beers to be dark and dangerous. That said, this is well worth a try. Val-Dieu make some solid beers that are above average but yet never seem to stand out from the crowd, again, this is one such offering. Reasonably good value at $6.99 though.

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Val-Dieu Bière De Noël from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
86 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.