Affligem Noël | Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem

340 Reviews
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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Reviews: 340 | Ratings: 568
Photo of Vancoubeer
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lost of carbonation and due to the yeast its pretty foamy. The head did dissipate quickly. Somewhat tanish whitish head and very mahogany brown. Kind of like a dubbel. The smell is very subtle tropical fruits to strong dark fruits. No hops in the smell at all. In the taste, there is a ton of sweet malty fruits and it leaves a tropical fruit tang. Very nice and the spices are subtle but they are there. The mouthfeel is medium sticky and leaves a pleasant flavor. Overall, this is a top notch beer. As it warms, you get the flavor of the grains to balance the sweetness. An amazing beer indeed and perfect for the holidays. Not as spiced as I thought but I must say its not as warm as I would like and as it does I am sure it will have flavors jumping out of it.

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

Poured into a tulip glass. Hazy copper color with a solid two fingers of head.

Strong malt smell, complimented with spices that I cannot quite place.

Heady tasting, malt backbone that fades into the drink. Tough to tell what else is going on, but it's good. Mild spices, by no means strong.

Medium body, quite crisp and clean texture with moderate carbonation.

A great beer for Christmas Eve in front of the fireplace.

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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!

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Photo of liquoredgoat
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Maple brown with red autumn hues and rising bubbles from carbonation. An aggressive pour will give a big, white head that will quickly cower down to one finger (or less) in only a minute.

S: Peach cobbler, dried apricot, sweet baked pastry. The nose is the best thing about this beer. It's a damn fine nose.

T: More peach cobbler. A lovely fruit bouquet of raisins, plums, currants, and apricots. The finish is a mild white wine with almost no alcohol heat.

M: Light body with mild foam that expands in the mouth and seems to cling.

O: This is a good seasonal beer with enough reminisces of autumn in it's profile to put you in the holiday spirit, but as an example of the style itself I wouldn't choose this over Chimay or Gulden Draak on any given weekday.

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Photo of Philousa
2.46/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber, black cherry color with a thin, wispy tan head. Metallic, sweet caramel and honey aroma followed by clove, other strong spices, and banana ester. Plum, dates, and sweet dark fruit flavors hit first, but are fleeting. Candied sugar and bitter allspice flavors dominate and linger. Feel is light and airy with a wet finish. Easily drinkable.

As I try more Belgian winter ales I am confronted with the fact that I just don't like winter spices in beers. If the Belgians can't make it work, what hope do I have? Metallic flavors or aromas are never really good qualities in beer. I'm hoping mine acquired this aroma in transit and it isn't built into the recipe. Candied sugar is too strong in this one, which is an unfortunate pitfall in many Belgian dark ales. Let's try to balance high alcohol content and bitter malts with sweet dark fruits and delicate carbonation next time.

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Photo of amphion1065
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle into a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very clear, orange shade of ruby red. A one-finger light tan head really sticks around. Great lacing, too.

The aroma is wonderfully spiced. It almost seems like cardamom, or maybe potpurri. The Belgian yeast is quite strong, imparting an unmistakable bubblegum aroma. Oranges and brown sugar round this package out.

The taste is very well balanced, and less sweet than I expected. There's a very strong licorice component, it really does remind me of anise. A bready, biscuit flavor throughout. Strong citrus fruit, namely orange. The whole combination approximates the taste of pfeffernüsse or gingerbread, which certainly works for me.

Mouthfeel is very nice, bordering on overcarbonated but not quite there. It's mind-boggling that this is 9%.

Probably the best Christmas beer I've had this year. The spices are really pleasant, and this is a very fun beer.

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Photo of RobertColianni
3.67/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Rose-y. Very carbinated. Sticky yeast present. The head keeps going away and reappearing like a beige fog.

S: I said that this beer smells like thousand year aged fruit cake. That's it. It's amazing.

T: As I pull the beer towards my mouth I get alot of ranberry and sharp cheddar scents. The beer is packed with fruitfulness. After warming up, I get serious chlorine taste...

M: Watery. Thin. I feel the foam going down.

O: It's okay. Smells alot better than it tastes. It's odd to call this a Noël as it's basically the same as Chimay, Duvel, or any other common Belgian. Warming it up doesn't help, either.

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

A-a ruby amber with two fingers of a creamy looking head

S-the smell is malt heavy with cherries, caramel and a nice earthy smell that comes out as the beer warms.

T-this beer has a heavy malt backbone with sweet cherries mixed in. The beer does start to give a more roasted quality as it warms, but it still feels like it is lacking in something.

M-moderate body, heavy carbonation, somewhat sticky mouthfeel. Carbonation is very high in this one.

Overall it is a good beer, but I expected more. I would have liked to have tasted a fuller, richer malt flavor.

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

Bought a bomber at World Market in Round Rock...was gonna save for Christmas, but got a little too curious.

Poured into my Chimay goblet. Fantastic color...dark orange/brown combo...thick off white head leaving great streaks of lace.

MMM...there's a ton going on with the scent. Dark fruits, figs, cherries, grapes, bananans, cinammon, other spices...good stuff.

Taste follows, but there's something in the aftertaste that throws off the overall flavor...almost as if there's a bit of...just a hint of a metal taste on the backend...even so, still a very tasty and smooth beer.

I'd like to re-review this one down the road to make sure the beer is A-ok...because i give this one high marks as is.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review was taken into my notebook a few weeks ago.

750ml brown bottle with Belgian style cork. A great Christmas season style bottle. Poured into a snifter.

A - dark mahogany. It's a mixture of brown with some rich ruby Hughes. Decent off white head that quickly to a delicious looking ring of lace.

S - aroma Is of different fruit. Maybe tropical, but more dark fruit than anything. Typical of a big Belgian brew. I get cooked dates. Maybe some of the redder fruits as well. Pomegranates and black cherries. Very small whiff of chocolate along with all the spices needed.

T - exceptional flavor with different spices and more dark fruits within. A somewhat sweet note in here as well. Freshly cooked dates and figs. Great tasting from start to finish.

M - full bodied, but some may consider it a little lighter than it really is. Very good balance and somewhat smooth. Enjoyable to sip. A very drinkable brew even at 9.0%.

O - for me this is a must try for those who enjoy a well made Belgian brew or those who just may be in the Christmas spirit. First time I've seen this on the shelves and I hope it's not the last. It's very tasty and the aroma is wonderful.

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Photo of imasloth
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a reddish dark brown with a sizable off-white head receding to about an eighth of an inch. Beer is opaque in brandy snifter.

S- Light with citrus and apricot scents.

T- Very complex. You get simultaneous malt, sweetness, and bitterness.

M- Surprisingly light body. Some alcohol.

O- Good Christmas beer, but maybe not especially memorable. Don't know that I'll go out of way for it next year.

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Photo of drtth
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an Affligem goblet. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a rich dark reddish brown color with a ¼” creamy tan head that slowly recedes to leave a ring and irregularly shaped island of thin foam on the surface of the liquid. Sipping produces a nice layer of foam that breaks up into patches and legs of lacing as it slides back down to the liquid. The ring and island of foam persist to the end of the beer.

Smell: The soft aroma is filled with the promise of hidden fruits, mostly dark fruits like plum and dark cherries. There is also a bit of spice here that brings to mind things like cinnamon and ginger.

Taste: The flavor is filled with bready, lightly spicy candi sugar sweetness that is broken up nicely by a certain amount of tart fruitiness from the dark fruits. In the background there is some semi-sweet chocolate and the spices found by the nose.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied with some barely detectable carbonation for most of the beer. The finish slides from the candi sugar sweeness into the tart fruitiness and then trails off to a lightly grassy, slightly bitter dryness in the back of the throat.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I found this one quite drinkable and an easy sipper with each sip leading naturally to the next. I’ll certainly be happy to have this again and may even decide this year or next to order a case and have it be my Christmas beer for the season. My overall impression is that this is first rate beer and flawed only by a lighter bodied mouth feel and a touch too much sweeness that doesn’t get balanced out by the hop finish.

 1,687 characters

Photo of Mar02x
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A clear brown beer with a nice beige head. Unfortunately the head quickly disappears to nowhere.

S - A fresh taste of cherries, vanilla, spices, wood, some peat, and some booze.

T - Spices, wood, vanilla, peat, a mild sweetness and bitterness.

M - Medium carbonation and a light stickiness in the mouth with warming alcohol and bitterness in the finish.

O - A very nice Christmas ale, not very special but very tasty and worth having a try.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes:

Pours a copper color w/ a one finger cocoa head. Fairly average lacing on my tulip glass. Good looking holiday brew. Nose is malt, Belgian yeast, spices, and bread. Really nice, although it could be stronger- it's a little on the weak side. Taste is better than the nose, w/ toffee and caramel coming out in addition to the nose profile. Excellent. Feel is medium w/ good carbonation and a nice malt backbone. Overall, I really enjoy this beer- a great holiday brew when it gets cold outside. Cheers.

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

Bottle shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff.

The beer is dark sunset orange. Yeah, that's right, you heard me. The head is two inches thick, after a slow pour down the center of the snifter. The head fades to a thin layer quite rapidly, leaving sparse lacing in its wake.

The aroma is malty with holiday spices. Fruit and yeast. Smells slightly sweet.

Good flavor. Lots of yeast, loving that. Thankfully, the flavor is not as sweet as the scent indicated. Dark fruits and yeast, though lighter than is found in a quad or Belgian strong dark ale. Well balanced with a lot of flavor. Yeast, spice, malt all come through.

Medium bodied. Well carbonated. Nice feel. A bit sweet, but not cloying.

A solid beer and a suitable choice for the holiday season.

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Photo of DavidST
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a goblet. 2011 version.

This pours a nice clearish tea color with a decent white head which quickly dissipates. The smell is pretty great some fruit like banana and a pretty decent malt smell, nice brown sugar and caramel. The feel is medium with high carbonation, very tingly. The taste is wonderful, lots of malty tastes, some dark fruit and a nice dry finish. Overall an excellent winter weather beer, glad I bought this.

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Photo of acemathew
3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance was brown and dark.

A little head came from this beer tons of carbonation.

I am going to say that this beer was overly aged or not aged properly. I blame myself.

Alcohol was quite subdued. Smells of dates and fig and yams.

Some spice notes to speak of. Not hot good mouth feel good sweetness not too bitter not much funk either.

Some oxidation qualities. Something I like but just OK. Next time I wont age it if I do definitely in a refrigerator.

A quality beer.

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Photo of nickd717
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 2/19/2009. Bottle shared at an event at The Bruery.

Dark reddish-brown with a nice thick beige head. Aroma is fruity and dubbel-ish with dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, and Belgian yeast. Flavor is more of the same with dark fruity notes, a little sour apple, and winter spices thrown in. Medium body and smooth on the palate. A decent Belgian x-mas ale.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: the beer pours a chestnut brown color, with a nice fluffy brown head.
Smell: Sweet malts, caramel, Belgian yeast, dark fruits (prunes) red fruits and spices.
Taste: Sweet malts, prunes, spicy hops, dark sugar and fruits. Nice spicy and dry finish
Mouthfeel: Medium-carbonation, creamy silk mouthfeel.
Overall: Good brew

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Photo of Rickythejeweler
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml caged and corked. I didn't even get the cage off completely and the cork rocketed up with the loudest pop I have ever had from a beer bottle.

A - Dark Chestnut with Mahogany hues, 4 finger fluffy head with little brown spots, tons of yeast floating around.

S - Cherry, belgian yeast, alcohol.

T - Malty, black cherry, raison, bready.

M - Very carbonated.

O - Had this on tap and I liked it, the bottle was lacking. Maybe if I waited a year or so this would have been a better experience.

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Photo of JamisonM
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: first pour is quite clear a nice ruby red color with a tan head big head really nice color great looking beer.

S: banana and spicy yeast a bit of clove with some sweet notes like brown sugar

T: quite sweet brown sugar a bit of acidity with it that balances it out but still its not dry on the tongue.

M: med mouth with high carbonation

Overall: its a very nice beer but nothing great above average

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Photo of cgmees
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle.

The beer pours a dark amber color with a off-white head that slowly fades to lacing.

The aroma has a rich, malty scent with hints of dark fruit.

The taste is good. It has a smooth, dry, malty flavor that's rich and warm with some excellent dark fruit character. It'is sweet and fruity with some warmth in the finish.

Full bodied beer with adequate carbonation.

Mellow, easy drinking beer that's moderately complex and great for the holidays.

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

Had this on tap at Cole's in Buffalo. Pours an amber-brown colour with thick off-white head. Lots of lacing around the glass. Smells of licorice, dark fruit and some spices to go along with the Belgian yeast. Some alcohol is noticeable in the flavour, I find the licorice sticks around as an after-taste. Fairly smooth mouthfeel for the style. A really nice Belgian xmas beer.

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

Pours a rufous color, its clear around the edges, cloudy in the middle. A grayish head falls to a ring that leaves random spots of lacing.

The aroma is busy, with a mix of raisins, caramel, sticky buns, mixed nuts, musty barn, cherries, and milk...mostly sweet with a faint whiff of something tart.

I taste caramel, molasses, cherry, grape, plum, spice, and pepper.

Medium to full body. Carbonation, alcohol, spice, and hops bite my tongue!

A good beer that's nothing special.

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

A: Dark, clear mahogany color with a ruby hue. Poured a 2 finger tan head that dissipated slowly to a thick cap. Decanted continually. Laced in wavy rings.

S: Sweet dark fruits; raisins, figs, black cherries. Candi sugar, toffee and burnt caramel too. Not much on spices, but could definitely smell the alcohol.

T: Bready caramel malt. Sweet dark fruits and molasses create a cornucopia of big flavors. A mild, even bitter with warming alcohol balance and break the smoothness.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Smooth and flavorful. Sweet then warm and dry in the finish. Interesting balance.

D: Big ABV is a little daunting, but worth a try. Flavorful and interesting; complex.

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Affligem Noël from Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem
4.08 out of 5 based on 568 ratings.
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