Affligem Noël | Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem

Affligem NoëlAffligem Noël
Liked This Beer
4.08 w/ 569 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 12-18-2001

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Ratings: 569 |  Reviews: 340
Photo of Arbitrator
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Toronado.

A: Cloudy brown color with slightly tan head. Minor lacing.

S: Figs, brown sugar, caramel, cloves.

T: Follows the nose. The dark fruit and sugar come in first, giving way to a mildly caramel malt taste. The finish is spicy cloves with a hint of hops. Fairly complex, but leans a little on the sweet side.

M: Light, with some alcohol prickling. Moderate carbonation and medium body.

D: Pretty high. I drank most of the first one and then left it for a bit; by the time I returned, it was too warm to drink. I ordered another one later and enjoyed it. The flavors really come out as it warms, and it needs to be finished within an optimal temperature range.

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Photo of Hunter
2.9/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: Pours a dark amber with a thick but fast-dissolving head of large bubbles. Minimal lacing.

smell: Reminds me almost of one of my homebrews. The smell of spice hits the nose right off, followed by a mild hop and malt combination. Bread, candy, light florals work as undertones.

taste: Disappointing. The typical Belgian candi sugar sweetness is there, but little else. Lighter than I expected it to be, almost watery. Given other reviews here, I wonder whether I got a bad bottle.

mouthfeel: Scours the palate, light and frothy.

drinkability: Quaffable, but there are better winter warmers out there, both import and domestic. I may buy another bottle and sample again to give it a fair shake.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from total wine in roseville.

A - Pours auburn orange, with a 4-fingered auburn-white head, and dissipates slow. Leaves a little lacing.

S - Clove, honey, and dark belgian candi sugars.

T - Clove, honey, dark belgian candi sugars, and a little bit of slightly spicy and earthy hops.

M - Well-balanced, complete mouthfeel. Excellent.

D - Really good beer. Very impressed as most Affligem products are mostly so-so with me.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Transparent brown, but they add caramel coloring. Have they been doing that since 1074 when the original recipe was created? Pours with a nice head that dissipates quickly, leaving some lace on the glass.

S: Figs, caramelized sugar, just a little wet wool.

T: chocolate, roasted malts, dried figs, caramelized sugar.

M: Nice effervescence, light, a little prickly ginger aftertaste.

D: A nice light holiday ale. I often drink the Tripel because it is a good value, this, I think, is a similar value. Gets a buzz on early. Nice holiday session beer to drink slowly.

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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.

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Photo of illidurit
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pours a dark mahogany with a thick creamy head. Great lacing and retention. Aroma is prunes and caramel, with a nice spiced note. Flavor is burnt toffee, earthy pepper, allspice, bruised apple, and ginger. Pretty nice complexity. Mouthfeel is a little flat. Earthy and tasty, one of Affligem's best.

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

A special surprise while getting some fried chicken at Front Porch.

A: A dark mahogany brown. Nice fluffy white head.

S: Caramel, dark fruit, spices. A classic smelling Belgian Xmas ale.

T/M: Super caramelly but not in a bad way. Nice dark fruit. Dates and raisins. Full bodied and very well balanced. This is a tasty one.

D: Had two glasses and wanted a third. Tasty sipper.

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Photo of tpd975
3.62/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tony at the Oldsmar Tap House for opening this one to share.

A: Pours a nice caramel brown hue with a nice 1/2 finger head. So so retention and no lace.

S: Nice sweet caramel brown sugar aromas with notes of dark fruit. Hints of xmas spices push thru as well.

T: Nice dark fruit sweetness up front. A bit of roasted malt melds into a mixture of chritmas spice. Light hints of alcohol and chocolate round things out.

M: Medium in body, smooth, with ample carbonation.

D: Not one to drink a whole bottle of yourself, but great to share.

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Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a silky tan head. Excellent lacing. The nose has dark fruits, sweet candy malts, Belgian yeasts and Christmas spices. The taste didn't quite hold the complexity found in the nose. A nice blend fo bready malts, peppery yeasts and warm spices. Full body suits the style well. A great beer from Affligem.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this while celebrating my first accident. Cheers to the asshole who ran a red light!

A: Pours a fairly cloudy brown color with a finger of slightly brownish white head. Some lacing. Label says it is artificially colored. Probably a golden ale with spices and color. Doesn't look bad though.

S: Do I smell gingerbread or so I want to? The yeast is fairly potent which is always allowed. The spices are really well done in that they are not super potent. There are there but in the back. This is a Belgian and should smell accordingly.

T: Sweet up front. Then you get hints of the yeast. The spices are really well done and are similar to the nose. The malt is really there but in a subtle way. Really well balanced.

M: Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Perfect for a holiday beer.

D: Really pleasantly suprised by this one. You think holiday beer and you think about the brewer bad touching you with cinnamon and other heavy spices. This was really well balanced. A very nice example of a winter beer without a pine tree garnish.

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Photo of scottoale
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caged/corked 750ml. brown bottle with a code on the label: 8 225 14 and 9/08 stamped on the cork. It pours a reddish-copper brown with a finger of light tan foamy head. Good carbonation is evident with the pop of the cork and decent head retention.

Sweet, spicy and strong of alcohol to the nose. Malt, licorice, toffee, clove and more spices fill the nostrils. Alcohol becomes more predominant as it warms.

Nice sweet spicy flavor of the afore mentioned smell, nicely balanced and plenty of warmth from the alcohol. The sweet is just in check with the hops pulling hard, the spice is not quite, but almost cloying by the end of the 750ml. Overall flavor is very enjoyable and very seasonal as well.

Full and fluffy is the mouthfeel...smoooth and cream like. A bit of heft to the body, strong in the alcohol, yet still very drinkable for a semi-expirienced palate.

A very nice offering for the holidays that I look forward to every year.

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Photo of nick76
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very citrusy and sweet with alcohol and caramel. The appearance is light red/brown with a large head. The flavor is not great but not bad and very much like the aroma. The main flavors are citrus and soap with some sweetness and toasted malt. The palate is smooth with some spices in the finish. Overall it's not a disappointment but not great.

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Photo of jpalarchio
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Never had a beer with so much pressure behind the cork. No spillage; had I known, I would have liked to see how far the cork would fly. This beer poured out with some serious carbonation; almost like champagne.

Color is a deep red/brown, very similar in color to my dachshund. Taste is full of spice and very creamy like. The carbonation is a little distracting; lacing looks like it will last forever. Alcohol is well hidden for 9%, waiting to make it through the bottle.

Okay for a holiday treat, once a year is probably enough.

Cork dated "9/07", bottle coded "7 214 11"

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Photo of stcules
2.71/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reddish brown color, with a beautiful beige head, one finger.
Malty smell, quite sweet and fruity, with some spices. Orange peel, and something else.
A bit of alcohol, too, but not too much. Maybe some balsamic notes, eucalyptus.
After all, quite balanced.
At the taste a bit too much alcohol. Marzipan. A bit cloying.
In the end, though is a Christmas beer, it is a bit cloying and heavy.
Average body, too much alcohol and marzipan in the aftertaste too.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle's been waiting since last Christmas but I finally remembered it. The cork exploded out of the bottle as soon as I unwound the cage, luckily it was just air as no beer came out. The beer is dark and murky, a brown color with a little orange. The head was big and frothy, tan colored, and left no lace that I could see on the glasses. The smell was similar to several other Belgian strong ales I've had, it brings to mind Grotten Brown and maybe Nostradamus. The main aromas were dark fruits and yeasty esters. These came out in the flavor (plums, figs maybe) along with some alcohol burn. The body was OK, thick enough to match the flavors, and drinkability is good but tempered by the taste of alcohol.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Indybigtom: Poured a cloudy lightly filtrated brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some nice fruity ester. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt with some fruity ester and some dry fruits such as raisins. Full body with limited filtration and no apparent alcohol. I have to admit that this one was quite good and exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of hellomcfly
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Attractive reddish-brown in color. Large foamy off-white head and a small amount of lacing.

S - Very fragrant. Nice strong spicy smell.

T - Lots of spices (cinnamin, nutmeg, clove etc), a fruity fig, plum, raisin, prune thing going on with a nice alcohol warmth. Much of what is to be expected from this style.

M - Medium bodied and smooth. Nice carbonation and kind of a sticky mouthfeel.

D - Tasty beer. I had it on a warm day but this would make a great holiday sipper. You wouldn't want to pound this but that's not what this is for anyways. Pretty drinkable for the style.

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Photo of mltobin
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is a deep, cloudy, brownish color with a two finger head. The smell is slightly spicy, with some nuts and carmel coming across.
The taste is rich and pleasant, a very nice christmas style beer, one of the better ones.
The mouthfeel is exemplary with a balance of spicy hops and the right dash of sweetness .
Drinkability is solid for a holiday beer, one of the best that I have ever tasted in this category, can`t wait until next Christmas.

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

Decided to bring this one over to the BBQ last night and share it with the family. I had been waiting quite some time to try it, and decided that last night would work quite well. Popped the top and out poured a delicious looking ruby tinted brown liquid. Nice clarity, with a touch of sediment at the bottom. Very nice three inch high head of tan colored lace formed on the top and hung around for a good few moments before settling down to just a thin layer of lace and some nice side glass presentation. There were a few touches of carbonation visible as well drifting up toward the surface.

The aroma was very rich, with a nice mixture of sweet caramel notes and dark fruity yeast. Hints of plums and raisins were all over this one, as was a sweet liqueur type aroma, which gave a hint to the alcohol that lie within. A nice touch of spice as well, with hints of nutmeg and other Christmas type smells. The flavor followed suit perfectly. Opening up with a nice sweet malty flavor that warmed from within, it quickly became much more complex. A small boozy flavor coming in behind it, was laced with nice bits of spice and rum soaked raisin flavors. Definitely a sweet Belgian here, with the malt profile clearly dominating. There were some lingering flavors of roasted nuts as you got toward the end and the long lasting finish, had the slightest of sour bites to it. Very complex indeed. The overall profile though was quite mellow with nothing really dominating in one way or another, and a very smooth and creamy Mouthfeel. The carbonation never did let up and led to this one never coming across as dull or flat throughout the session. The alcohol was a touch noticeable at first, but never distracting, and was just enough to let you know this was indeed a nice sipper.

Overall, this was one of the better Belgian Noel's I have had. Very rich and complex, and delightfully smooth I could have had this one again and again. Seemed to go over very well with the family, as it was the first bottle that was emptied. Come next year I will have to pick up another of these to try. Definitely have to recommend this one.

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Photo of smcolw
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Impressive rocky, beige head. A warm amber color with nearly no haze.

Sweet with tremendous amount of molasses and brown sugar. No notable hop.

This is like an upside-down beer. There's a whiff of bitterness at the beginning of the sip. This quickly disappears to strong sweet sensation of raisins, brandy and Chambourd (the raspberry liqueur from France). The swallow reminds me of a good port while the aftertaste has the slightest sourness to it. This is a full-bodied offering that is close to light cream.

A wonderful Belgian offering for those who harbor a sweet tooth.

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Photo of larsee01
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle to glass goblet.

A--Beautiful reddish-brown pour. Dark with lots of carbonation. Big, foamy, persistent head, staying throughout whole beer.

S--Nice fruity/spicy scent. Tiny hint of balancing yeasty sour and phenol. Sweet dark malt.

T--Spicy, nutty start with malty sweetness. Bittering balance at end. Some metallic phenols with creeping alcohol warmth. Flowery, almost rosy at finish. Nice.

M--Smooth, but rich body. Lots of carbonation. Finishes a tad dry, which is surprising but ok.

D--An hoiday special, so a spicy, sweet, rich, higher-ABV sipper...but drinkable and enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of ROMER79
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It poured a Chestnut brown with a nice thick tan head into a tulip glass. I could smell chocolate, caramel, nuts, and spices right off the bat. The taste was pretty much the same and the flavors just pop on the palate. It has a great balance between the spices and the sugars. I feel that the '08 batch was right up there with the Bernardus Christmas Ale. Very tasty beer and very easy to drink. I am glad that I had it this year.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.14/5  rDev -23%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The cork says 10/07

Pours out a beautiful ruby tinged garnet with a ton of carbonation in the body and a huge, overflowing, foamy head that I had to "cut" off with a butter knife. Leaves some great, thick, full lacing. Smells of mild cinnamon, nutmeg and anise in the spicing category. I also get some spicy yeast, some orange, honey-covered fruits, and warm alcohol. I'm pretty unimpressed with the flavor here. Just has a vague (and overbearing) malt sweetness with some spicy, phenolic yeast tones and warming alcohol. Although, I don't like it when beers are spiced over the edge, they would have been more than welcome in this modest beer. Admittedly, there is a pleasant dried fruit thing going on in the middle and a really nice grassy and floral hop character in the finish. Finishes sweet. Mouthfeel is moderate with a great carbonation. Very bubbly, but the bubbles only make this feel fuller in the mouth rather than pricking the tongue. This is decent, but kind of sweet for me and without much that grabs me. It will be a bit of a chore finishing this big bottle.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - A clear caramel brown brew with a reddish hue and an enormous head that leaves thick cakes of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Hints of caramel, dates, jelly beans (pectin), apples, mace, cinnamon, roasted chicory, cloves and a hint of hazelnuts. The smell is enticing, but it isn't a screaming invitation - modest in its excellence.

T - The flavor is light malty sweetness of dark fruits (dates with a bit of prunes and raisins) and a touch of cloves, cinnamon, chicory and mace. It is also a touch nutty under the spices. The aftertaste is of lingering malty flavors with only a hint of bitterness - even the lingering spices are still evident. Very pleasing, I am captivated by this one.

M - Thick, creamy, frothy - pretty refreshing too. The carbonation is high, but it is still pretty smooth. My tongue got to be a bit a dried though.

D - Pretty good. This is a great Belgian beer. It is not leaning too far to the sweetness and it has the exact amount of requisite Xmas sort of flavor to make is seasonally essential. I am very pleased and will likely find my way to this one again. An exceptional Xmas beer.

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Photo of iasanlee
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear carmel amber color with a toasted marshmallow colored 2 finger head. Moderate lacing.

S- Metallic, spicy, sweet plums.

T- Sweet and tart red apple. A brief Metallic taste that leads into a distinct carmel apple. All I can think is carmel apple. Very little evidence of the ABV.

M- Medium body, with a tight and gentle carbonation on the tongue. Creamy but not thick.

D- I enjoyed this one a lot. A pleasure to pop open after stepping in from the 10* weather.

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Affligem Noël from Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem
Beer rating: 86.8% out of 100 with 569 ratings
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