Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël) | Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

109 Reviews
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Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël)Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël)

Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
In the beginning, it was only brewed in the winter and was called Barbãr Winter Bok. However, since 2008 the consumer decided otherwise.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 12-10-2002

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 192
Photo of mrfrancis
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber with a bubbly off-white head that laces deep into the glass.

S: Gentle, sweet aromas of candy sugar, toffee, honey, raisins, plums, and figs are immediately noticeable. As the beer warms, a slight alcohol booziness comes through, but is never overpowering.

T: Opens sweet and fruity with notes of candy sugar, toffee, dark bread, cocoa, molasses, wildflower honey, raisins, plums, figs, and dates. The finish is sweet and warming with a swirl of dark fruit, honey, and alcohol flavors.

M: Medium-to-full bodied, oily, and slick. I did not find the carbonation to be all that noticeable, but this is a minor knock. The slickness of this beer makes it somewhat more drinkable than some of the fuller-bodied Belgian strong dark ales.

O: This is not the most complex strong dark ale, but it does have an appeal all its own. I particularly appreciated the fact that the honey does not get lost in the mix. This would definitely be one for fans of malty, sweet beers.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barbar Bok, 330ml bottle at The Only, no best before, bottle states 8.5%, Belgian strong ale made with 2.5% honey.

Pours quite a dark brown with hints of russet and cherrywood. Finger of khaki head settles into some nice lacing. Nose is dark and malty, hints of fruitbread and spicing, toffee, raisin, molasses, Belgian yeast esters, and an obvious honey sweetness.

Pretty nice beer, lots of toffee and raisin, fruit bread, cocoa powder, honey sweetness and flavor is evident, nice spicing of cloves, molasses, a touch hot but not overly so, smooth and sticky rich with a nice drying finish. Round body, pretty sweet for the style, easy to drink and not overly complex, but hitting the spot on this cool fall day.

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Photo of depechemode1983
2.93/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark mahogany in color. Foamy off white head with good retention. No lacing. Just an ok looking beer.

S Light toasted grains. I'm picking up corn in an American adjunct lager fashion. Faint honey and maple syrup linger in the background. All in all its pretty malt forward but not in a Belgium sense.

T - Sweet. Lots of corn syrup in the taste. Also picking up plums, wheat bread a little vanilla and candy sugars. Not impressed at all. Not horrible though.

M - Medium bodied. Pretty soft mouth feel. It goes down pretty smooth.

O - Not a very good representation of the style. Drinkable but I won't be buying this one again. There are better Belgian Ales out there for the the same price.

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Photo of Beeronious07
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

bought it at the local Beer shop in 0.33 liter bottle for 3.2 euros and served it at a temperature of 8 Celsius in a 0.33 liters CHIMAY goblet.
best before L06082012

A - definitely the darkest beer i have ever had. the darkest shade of chocolaty color combined with the cloudiness of the beer, don't allows for even a beam of light to show trough. the head was not that big and with again not that big retention rate, but the creaminess was to die for .... and also not that much carbonation

S - u can definitely feel the rich aroma of the honey with some some bitterness in the background. also some hops in the air with an aftershock of alcohol...

T - not that heavy beer to drink even though i expected to bee one, with moderate bitterness that i totally loved.

M - a definite alcohol in the background and the absence of carbonation can definitely be felt.

as i ended my review i can surely guarantee that this beer is too much complicate for me to do my 3rd review of all time on it but again i totally loved it even though i am not that much lover of dark bitter beers.
who know i might do another review on this one in i later time, hopefully from some Belgian pub...

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle - $3.79 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Best Before: L20120908.

Appearance: Pours out a dark brown body with a faintly ecru, sea foam-like head.

Smell: Fragrant, floral spices, muted malts, and a bitterish, citrusy splash of triple sec enveloped in some vague sweetish notions of malt and honey and thinned molasses.

Taste: Sweet and somewhat sugary initially, though not particular malty or really honeyish, and more along the lines of an herbal, fruity tea spiked with gourmet dark sugars. The flavor jumps around with each and every sip, giving you a tastes ranging from dried, bitter herbs, to molasses, to dark bread, to squishy over-ripe cherries, to dried orange peel, to RC Cola. Earthy spiciness throughout. Touch of tangy dried berries on the spicy, drying, alcohol warmth-included finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall: Right on, pachyderm. That elephant can sure brew up a pretty decent beer. A reasonably tasty beer that keeps you guessing like a good game of Clue.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never expected to enjoy this beer as much as I did! This brew pours out as a deep amber color with a half inch cream colored head on it. The aroma of this beer is so sweet and inviting. It's one of those beers I just didn't want to lower from my nose. The taste of the beer has that same rich sweetness and alcohol in there that just warms the inside of your body. The mouthfeel is Silky smooth and very easy to put down. I found this to be a hidden gem of a beer. I would look for this one again any day.

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Photo of DoktorZee
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a schooner; no obvious best before date.

A - cloudy and light brown; fluffy tan head that doesn't leave much lacing behind.

S - strong sour malt on the nose, not much else.

T - sweet malts totally dominate with plenty of caramel and toffee notes. The sweetness really sticks with this one.

M - quite light with moderate carbonation.

D - initially very drinkable but the sweetness becomes somewhat cloying; would prevent one from having too many.

Decent beer, but one I probably wouldn't have again. Happy to have tried it!

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a dark dark reddish amber with a fizzy two-finger light brown sugar head that has decent retention, leaving minimal lacing.
aroma is definitely belgian esters, brown sugar, maple, some spice, and a bit of bready yeastiness.
Taste is rich dark malt undertones accentuated by dark fruit, chocolate pudding, spiced rum and caramel. Some hefty Belgian yeast action underlying. Definitely liking it.
Mouth is fair for the style... maybe a hint thin and the ample carbonation doesn't quite jive with the rich darkness. a touch thicker with a smidgen less carbonation and it would be great.
Pretty easy drinking, smooth, without any crazy bitter or astringent nor cloyingly sweet notes. All in all, a solid yet interesting dark ale with decent strength, decent spice profile, and a good bit of depth. definitely worth trying.

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Photo of biggred1
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, murky brown with a mega-fizzy ecru head that leaves some fine lace on the glass. Burnt sugar, dark druit and Belgian yeast funk in the nose. Mild dark bread, coriander spice and figs with some funky brown banana notes. Medium bodied and highly carbonated. Okay but not my fave.

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Photo of ThaCreep
3.07/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smell of grilled honey on the nose but you can feel also the presence of malt and yeast. At the tasting, we identify directly what little taste of honey, honey with which the beer was fermented but the flavor is much further back than in the simple Barbar. Presence of oriental spices enough, enough sour mouth (also liquorice elsewhere) and finish little persistence. A little disappointed because although it remains good, unlike its big sister, honey there is only secondary and that without it, the drink is not much different from a simple dark belgian ale.

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Photo of metter98
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is jet black in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dark beige head that slowly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface..
S: There are light aromas of honey and notes of dark fruit in the nose.
T: Flavors of honey are quite evident in the taste, which is mostly sweet. There are some hints of oranges and raisins while spices are evident in the finish. The honey flavors become a little stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a high amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is well hidden from the taste but the sweetness of the honey makes this beer slightly cloying.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a brown colour with a very large frothy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some very nice lacing running in stages down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, grape juice, plums, all spice

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it comes across as very sweet and slightly syrupy. I can taste malts mixed with red grape juice and a honey sweetness. There are also notes of plums and all spice. The beer finishes with a sweet grape juice aftertaste.

Drink - The beer has a little bit too much grape juice flavour, but it's still decent. The alcohol is well hidden and it was definitely worth trying.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, pale ruby brown with a tall loose tan head that fades to lumps. Nose is yeast, orange and cinnamon oils, cedar and a whiff of booze. Light ginger cakes malts with kola spice hops, with hints of cardamon and raisin. Orange and coriander are in there all right. Tingly linger. Light, boozy, lively.

Lots of nice spice flavors that make this a good winter drinker, but too fizzy and hot to stick with.

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Photo of Frosty80
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color: pours medium golden-brown. sits clear, dark brown with ruby hue, active carbonation and a thick cola-like head that dissipates as such initially but retains more with just a half inch left

Smell: strong hop, orange peel and coriander presence along with a light maltiness, and faint dark fruit and honey presence. aromas, especially the malt, are very clean and crisp and light

Taste: components come together as an obvious Belgian of course. pronounced yet balanced hop character. bitter orange and coriander followed by some honey and dark fruit notes. spicy yeast character. finish is slightly dry with a light hop bitterness and flavor balanced by sweet malt and dark fruit notes with just a tinge of smoke that i didnt get initially in the palate

Mouthfeel: high-medium carbonation and body

Notes: not bad. nothing great. personally would have liked a little less carbonation. otherwise a decent dubbel-like brew

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Barbar Winter Bok (aka Barbar Biere de Noel)

In the frosted Barbar handle mug, it appears dark brown, with a slim, tan head holding tight on top.

Aroma: Honey is evident, and doesn't contribute to too much sweetness, with orange there, too, and a nice drizzling of coriander. Interesting that the two main flavors of a wit are here in this dark winter offering, yet we don't really get the feel of a wit. The dark malts match those flavors to a t, although they don't add too many of their own. Some minor chocolate, a drip of molasses. (Or is that the honey tricking me?

Taste: sweet, smooth, and lightly spicy. Delcicious dark malt meets these sweet & spicy flavors, and I had to just call it a delight. It's not terrifically complex, but not everything has to be. It is medium to full body, and hangs in there on the palate, but doesn't overstay it's welcome. It's like sweet and lovely meets body and soul.

8% alcohol helps the heat and the warmth. Flavors are a total treat.

I'm still rather confused by the designation "book", while they yet call it an "ale". Maybe that word means something else in Belgium?

Something else weird, one the glass what looks like a sword and shield carrying amazon is a mono-toned outline, perhaps suggesting nudity? On the tap handle, the figure is clothed. Standards? Censorship? Whatever.It's a tasty brew, and I will return to it again.

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Photo of Jason
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz brown bottle w/ a freshness date.

Slightly fizzy head still retains quite well, dark brown that is pretty much opaque. Massive waft of orange peel first then coriander and some earthy honey and toasted grain. Exploding smoothness with each sip that feigns and almost viscous body but actually is semi-dry and on the lighter side. Lots of orange peel and coriander with an edge of honey and a pinch of chewy malt. Slightly estery with a quickly dissipating sweetness. Suggestion of carob powder, yeast, fruit and spicy phenols in the drying finish.

Hits all of the winter flavors, alcoholic as well ... a good pick if you are looking for a slightly dryer winter seasonal.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The fourth and final Belgian Honey Beer is an evening of Belgian Honey Beers: Flip-top 330ml brown bottle, poured into a Hoegaarden Grand Cru stemmed tulip glass.

Reddy-brown body, dark, but clear when held up to the light. A weak tan coloured head tried to sit on top for a while.

Heavy malt molasses in the aroma, with honey undertones.

The taste was of really sweet malty molasses, again with that undertone of a honey presence.

I found the beer both strange and too sweet. I generally like the sweeter brews, but this was over the top for me, almost sicky sweet towards the end of the mouthfeel.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #34 (Nov 2009):

Winter in Belgium is a glorious time, as nearly every brewery has some form of winter or Christmas Ale. Here, we have a strong Brown Ale that is brewed with honey, bitter orange peel and coriander.

Dark enough so the light does not make it through; solid lofty head nearly spills over the side of the glass, but thankfully we have a beer-pouring expert or the day would have been ruined. Sweet aroma with a couple of bitter whacks from the orange peel and coriander; a little buttery and juicy (cherries?) as well. Carbonation is pushy, with a big rolling crispness. Hints of roasted grain and orange peel battle against the maltiness and residual honey. Medicinal and clove phenols add more to the spicing that overtakes the malt but not its foundation. Finishes dry with a kiss of mineral/metallic flavor.

A bit in your face. Even when it warms up a little between the orange peel and the phenolic clove flavor, it really grabs a hold of the taste buds and does not want to let go. A good choice is looking for a strong, dark spice ale that is going to clean your palate with every sip.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So my bottle just says Barbar Bok instead of Barbar Winter Bok but I guess it must be the same beer.

A- Very dark reddish brown. Almost looks black. Nice beige head is a very fizzy foam which is kind of different to me.

S- smells great. Cherry coke. The cherry in a ''fruit at the bottom'' yogurt. Yeast and a little something metallic. And then... it started fading a bit. Usually a beer ''blooms'' as it warms but not this one for some reason.

T- Dark cherry. A discrete but still noticeable typical Strong Belgian bitterness. Alcohol is hot and very present but it tastes great.

M- Medium to low carbonation. Medium body but can get quite foamy if you swish it around. This is a very good mouthfeel but nothing to some other BSDAs I've had the chance to try.

D- Good. Clean drinking. 8% ABV of course so you can't drink tons but it is a pretty drinkable brew.

The honey Barbar didn't do much for me so I wasn't expecting much but I liked this.

Can't say it's a favorite but would buy it again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark ruby color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sugary dry fruit and candy is some what appealing. Taste is also dominated by candi with clear sugar notes and light dry fruit ester. Body is a bit thin for style with good carbonation and no alcohol was apparent. Not too bad overall though a bit too sweet for my own taste.

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from my Achel Chalice

A - Pours a dork mahogany colour and a large bubbled off white head that dies quickly.

S - Burnt malts aromas from the bottle.Once poured more of a chocolate and jelly bean aroma takes hold.

T - Notes of dark spicey fruit and a hint of smokeyness.

M - Medium body and slightly overcarbonated

D - Not bad for the style but there are better examples

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Photo of hubearth
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served into a Rochefort chalice. Should be served in a bock.
It was a bottle of 330ml with an old school pressure cap. Not the same bottle as on the picture. It just said Barbar Bok on the label, not Barbar Winterbok, but it's the same beer.

A: Really dark, like a stout, but very "liquid". It lacks a smoothness. The head doesn't stay even if I made it two finger tick. The head is white, wich make the beer less attractive for a dark one.

S: Soft, doesn't smell much, but it has great flavor. In order of what hit me: freshness, curaçao, caramel, liquoris. I'm not sure if I smell the corriander, maybe it's mixed with the curaçao. Overall, I like the smell, but it lack deepness.

T: I liked it better in a bock. You can taste the curaçao from the start, especially if you breath while you sip. The flavors start soft and evolve in the mouth. I can taste the corriander mixed with the curaçao. There's a taste of banana that comes at the end along with honey and evolves in a taste of dry fruit. It leaves you with that taste and some caramel too. A little bit of bitterness stays afterward too.
The 8% of alcool taste more than expected, wich kills a little bit of the flavors.

M: Good, but it could be more. There's not enough mouthfeel to keep a real good taste afterward.

D: I could have two but not more. The sweetness and especially the curaçao can get over you.

Overall: a good beer. It's not my first and not my last. When it's on the menu, I often get it.

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Photo of dtivp
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber , a little hazy with a big tan head that quickly dissipates into a small head with no lacing.

Dark fruit aroma with some sweet malt.

First tasted sweet dark fruit, plum and cherry then it finished with a slight hop bitterness.

Highly carbonated and a moderate body.

This beer has a little too much carbonation for me. It is an OK beer not my purchase list.

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Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small bottle pouring black body, with no lasting head. Sweet honey and yeast aromas. Medium bodied, full carbonation. Tastes of cola, pepper, honey,ginger, cardomon,drop of clove, orange-grapey.Satisfying though slightly drying aftertaste.Significant alcohol.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color with auburn highlights and a suitably massive head that leaves strands of lace behind

Smell: Fermented honey and caramel, with dark fruit, coriander and cardamom

Taste: Opens with the caramel and fermented honey flavors that grow increasingly sweet and mead-like by mid-palate, with undertones of overripe dark fruit, bananas, coriander and cardamom; after the swallow, a sweet, almost raisiny character arrives to dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with medium to high carbonation

Drinkability: A bit too sweet to drink in any quantity, the beer is well brewed and provides an interesting flavor intersection between a BSDA and a doppelbock

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Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël) from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
3.67 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
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