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Affligem Noël | Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem

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Affligem NoëlAffligem Noël
574 Ratings
Affligem NoëlAffligem Noël

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 574 |  Reviews: 342
Reviews by SeanChouffe:
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown/copper color, plenty of CO2, and a full, rocky, light brown head. Decent head retention and a nice sticky lace. The aroma is malty with spices (coriander) aroma hops and some astringency. The flavor has a sweet start, tart middle and a bitter finish, with spices and astringent flavors remaining. The mouthfeel is medium/full bodied with creaminess and light effervescence.
IMHO: A decent beer, but overdone on the hop astringency bit. Not well balanced.

 474 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown with a huge foamy head,aroma is very malty and sweet like candied sugar and juicy fruit.Taste is of dried fruit and sweet candied sugar with some light smokiness that liners.A very rich somewhat complex brew good for after dinner like me right now.

 275 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Beautiful, dark brown sugar body with a gorgeous volcanic head that rose monstrously, went down slowly, and laced the glass.

Smell - Big BSDA aromas. The malt is mature and deep, the sugars are dark and sweet, and the fruits (ripe peaches and apricots, dates, and plums) fill the nostrils.

Taste - This one delivers. The super-sugary malt flavors drip sweetness in the mouth. The malt is lightly toasted and heavily infused with the above-listed fruits and a giant dose of brown sugar syrup mixed with cinnamon-laced apple juice.

Mouthfeel - Some good carbonation, along with the syrupy, chewy, rich feel of the ale makes this one a mouthwatering pleasure.

Drinkability - The wonderful malt and fruit flavors, along with a touch of alcohol, helped this one go down extremely well.

Update - Popped a 2007 that I picked up at BevMo. Man I really like this brew. The malts and sugars are balanced towards sweetness, which is how I enjoy my Christmas Ales, and the exotic spices go well with the healthy yeast. Overall this is an excellent BSDA and one of my favorite Christmas beers of all time.

Update - Tried a 2008 right off the shelf and it definitely needed some time in the cellar, so I would suggest at least a year to get your money's worth out of this wonderful ale.

 1,291 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one hell of a beer. The appearance is an impressive red-amber with a thick, puffy white head like a roll of Charmin ultra. Great head! Seriously, it feels uncannyily good on the lips and tongue.

The smell contains subtle orange notes but mostly reminds me of an American Amber-Red.

The taste is spicy and tropical with loads of caramel and yeasts that I associate with Capitol Amber.

MF is superb, primarily because of the outstanding head.

Drinkability is higher than most Noel beers of this sort because it isn’t overly sweet, spiced, or just plain candied citrusy.

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Photo of steelerguy
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Caramel color, cloudy, big frothy head, with moderately high carbonation.

S - Malty dark fruit aromas and spice.

T - The dark fruit is definitely there, but the spices shine through, but not in an overbearing way. Finishes with a good bit of warm alcohol.

M - A good bite from both the carbonation and the alcohol finish. Although it has a moderate body the carbonation and alcohol clean it up.

D - The mouthfeel description continues to the drinkability, does not feel to heavy at all. Spiced beers can be overdone so easily but their restraint makes this beer a joy to drink.

 585 characters

Photo of skybluewater
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cherry-brown color, with a typically fizzy Belgian head. Smells of cherry and spice and other things nice. Taste is divine, with a nice cherry-chocolate flavor, as well as some spice. The mouthfeel seems a bit fizzy, but not bad.

Overall, this is a very tasty Belgian, one that gives me a nice warm feeling. Even though it's well after Xmas, this is a nice winter's treat for me.

 391 characters

Photo of sponberg
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great big bopple that's not quite big enough. Cloudy dark amber with a rocky white head and an aroma of musty dark fruit and hints of malt and butterscotch. Let's sit down beside the tree and see what happens...

ahhh, an outstanding beer when the snow's falling. Starts with a hint of background alcohol and complex earthy fruitiness - figs, yellow raisins, with some toffee and spiciness - anise and nutmeg maybe? Big and round, with the alcohol and spice showing up more prominently in the finish as it warms. Fair degree of bitterness to balance out the malts & sugars. A very fine Christmas ale.

Whaddya mean you want me to put the tree topper on top of the tree? I still have half of a glass of Affligem left! Can't it wait? You sure you want me to put on a 40 year old ornament after a fifth of 9% brew? Ohhh-kayyyy... it's your mom's ornament!! (sounds of nothing crashing) Ahhh, now back to my brew...

 916 characters

Photo of generallee
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. The bottle is corked and caged. It lists its abv at 9% and there is a date or batch number of 10 230 11 on the label.

Appearance: The body has a deep coppery amber color with bright reddish/orange highlights. On top sits a long standing light tan head. A small cap of foam hangs on till the very last sip and makes for some good lacing on the glass.

Smell: It has a big sweet character with loads of yeast and tropical fruit notes.

Taste/Palate: It has a wonderful mix of toasted malt, Belgian sugar, bready and yeast notes with sweet tropical and dried fruits mixed in. There is a mild peppery warmth from the alcohol as well. I get a little more dry spice and maybe a slight touch of hops in the finish which is still carries some sweetness. This all comes by a smooth easy drinking medium to full body.

Notes: This is an excellent holiday classic that fills you palate with wonderful flavor and warms your body and soul.

 1,002 characters

Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Jason
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml conditioned bottle, 2002 vintage.

Dark mahogany brown color, two fingered off-white head that is very thick and creamy. Aroma of musty cork and vinous undertones with bigger aromas of chocolate and tropical fruit as it warms up. Flavor is a brilliantly evenhanded mix of caramel, dates, raisins, chocolate bitter orange, and spiciness. A good amount of yeast as well let alone the big warming alcohol that holds faint solvent and tropical fruit in the back. A full bodied and rounded brew, a dollop of residual sweetness. Creamy on the tongue. A sipping brew to have with some holiday dessert, one of the many winter seasonals that should be on your list.

 676 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The holidays are over, but winter is not. Large bottle, caged and corked. Opened with a flourish of escaping energy, poured with a vigorous head, leaving a puffy, fluffy head, leaves the expected respectable sticky lacing. Dark almond in color, cloudy. Nose is of ripe fruit. This is a tasty, warming ale. Lots of yeasty, bready goodness. Slightly prickly on the tongue. As it warms, notes of clove, yeast, licorish, and smoke come foward. Very nice winter brew, lacking the depth of complexity of the higher rated BSDAs, but still well worth a try.

 549 characters

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of magictrokini
2.92/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not impressed by this one, maybe I got a bad bottle. Pours clear copper, thanks to the artificial caramel coloring, with a medium off-white head. Flat flavor. Caramel, malt, apple, corriander, nutmeg, and yeast. Problem is nothing really popped out, so everything seemed to drown in a soup of spice and malt.

 308 characters

Photo of deebo
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Served in Affligem chalice-2 fingers think pillowy head that laces glass. Clear and reddish brown.

S-Yeasty esters are dominant aroma-sweet malt is also in your face.

T-Yeasty like most all Belgians. Sweet malt, not that far off from a Quad, raisins/rich dried fruit taste evident.

M-Fair carbonation-vapory alcohol end bite but isn't overpowering, especially considering the strength of this beer.

D-Solid but I'm sure a couple of these would knock you out. Probably a good thing you can taste the alcohol.

O-A nice beer to try. Rich yet not too overpowering. A great winter beer!

 588 characters

Photo of jiffymon
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of ADR
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sedimented and opaque, a burnt umber overall color. Yellowish head of bubbles tending to larger sizes, rises to a good inch in the glass. Fat dots and strings for laces. Smells of candied pear, lots of cinnamon comes through in the aroma. Medium body and carbonation, nicely composed. Treacle flavors, yeasty background, but establishing a malty overall tone, embellished by a peachiness. Nice sense of balance, hops are peppery and somewhat background in impression, but combined with a lively mouthfeel and a menthol sense and a building alcohol warming. Well-done and nicely complex, the beer takes on a candy-like impression as its temperature rises, you can really taste this characteristic by licking your lips.

 717 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml cork and wire bottle with no clear bottling date but it has been cellared for at least 2 years.
Pours clear reddish brown with a very durable and creamy beige head. Good lacing that quickly slides down the sides of the glass.
Aroma: rich smells of dark dried fruits, light spices, and fruit cake.
Flavor: follows the aroma. Very well balanced and harmonious mix of flavors including dates and raisins. Slightly sweet but with a lightly bitter finish.
Feel: full body with rather lively carbonation.

 514 characters

Photo of timontheroad
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ST: 750 ml poured into a goblet.

A: Reddish-brown with a thick finger-inch fluffy brown-tinged white head that has great retention. It leaves a bit of lacing and turns red in the light, sediment and ample carbonation can be seen.

S: Apple, pepper, malt, and yeast.

T: Lots of fruit, it starts with apple and pears, then some spice joins the party before a nice finish that is not to heavy and has crisp apple.

M: Not to heavy due to ample carbonation and it can be a bit creamy.

D: This beer is smooth, but is has high alcohol.

Overall: This is a great Christmas beer. It has complex flavor and is not to heavy thanks to the carbonation. It has a great aroma and finish. I have one that I plan to age for a year. I will update this when I drink it next year.

 767 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a chalice) The cork said 10/07
A- This beer had a dark dense caramel body that show a soft glow of reddish-brown at the very base of the glass. There was a light tan head that was creamy and bubble and lasted for a bit. The beer was a bit to dense to see any carbonation.
S- The aroma was pretty clean with an apple cider aroma that had a slight sweetness to it and a faint dry spice note underneath.
T- The sweet stewed apple quality blended with a dry caramel candy note and a soft brown nougat note in the finish.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noticed. D- This beer has a caramel and cidery flavor to it but not much depth beyond that. Just not very interesting or rich in flavor.

 732 characters

Photo of degerbah
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark brown with copious head. Almost half of my glass was head before I was done pouring. Smells heavily of caramel and spices.

The taste is heavily of caramel and some type of fruit. Perhaps apricots and rainsins. Not the easiest drinker, but gives me a nice warming feeling in my stomach. I might have to pick up another bottle to cellar for the holiday season. Definitely worth the seven dollars I paid for the wine-sized bottle.

 448 characters

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of RDW
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

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Affligem Noël from Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 574 ratings