Affligem Noël | Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem

Affligem NoëlAffligem Noël
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 569 |  Reviews: 340
Photo of HardTarget
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 02-15-05
Caged and corked bomber with serving glass and temp recommendations and abv listed and 22/03 on the cork.
Aroma 4.5: Rich dark fruity malts and a distinct Belgian banana nose. A strong dose of spicy alcohol as well.
Appearance 4.5: Lovely deep rosewood amber with a good finger of tan head that settled to a small cover
Flavor 3.5: The wood flavor is a bit more pronounced in the taste, with a caramelized banana and raisin wine quality. Some strong spice flavor as well, maybe nutmeg or allspice.
Mouthfeel 3.5: Very carbonated, a touch fizzy at first sip. Medium light body with a firm alcohol dryness in the finish.
Overall Impression 3.5: Great nose, easy on the eyes, a bit harsh in the mouth both in taste and feel. I’m enjoying this glass, but I’m thinking some more aging would do the bottle well. Definitely going to save a couple bottles for next season, hoping it will let the alcohol meld a bit better.
Thanks to Pegasus for securing a case at a great price.

Reviewed 12-27-05
Bottle Inspection: Corked and caged 750 ml brown bottle, label shares that it’s rich and dark like a Dubble, sumptuous and smooth like a tripel. I normally don’t care for marketing drivel, but that’s fairly helpful. Also lists 9% abv, glass and serving temp suggestions (wide mouth-chalice, 44-46 F) and cork has 22/03, which I assume is 2003, I’ve held it for at least a year.

Aroma 4.5: Perfumed alcohol, smells between a dubble and a quad to me, rich dark fruit, Belgian yeast; rose floral meets hard candy. Very inviting

Appearance 4.5: Opaque murky brown glass doesn’t give up any edge. Good finger of creamy tan head waits patiently for me to finish typing, and might just outlive me.

Flavor 4.5: Subtle flavor, approaching sublime. Candied fruit, apple, pear, brown sugar, hint of tobacco-almost like a leather pouch used to collect fruit. All this and more blended into a unique, easy going taste. There is a little Belgian banana flavor working too to give it some even more complexity.

Mouthfeel 3.5: Lively, almost aggressive carbonation level, silky smooth texture, medium body, slowly fading, drying finish.

Overall Impression 4.5: Crushingly drinkable, only playful hints at the 9% monster that lurks within. Truly a great winter/Christmas beer that gets much better with some aging.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown hazy body, ruby red in color when light is held to the glass. Really big head, tan and foamy, fades to an uneven rocky surface. Smell is pure beligian. Spicy and woody, slightly musty, with plenty of alcohol aromas. Taste is very alcoholic, spicy and earthy with plenty of hops on the fade. A nice big beer for the winter months. I am celebrating the Super Bowl with this stuff, which I would be celbrating like Chriitsmas if the Vikings were still in seaon. Good stuff, get it.

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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.

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

Murky brown, orange shades displaying a generous off-white head. Plain fruits (banana, dates, plums) aroma, yeasty pudding flavors, fluffy character. Sweetness delicately balanced by a tart rhubarb-like layer and cinammon. Perhaps a slight vegetal tone. Highly carbonated, almost bubbly though not disturbing. Pineapple bite in the finish. Good, answers the usual christmas beer anticipation, if not as spicy as some. A solid all-around 4

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

I really enojyed this one.

Poured out a fairly deep brown with a nice 1/2 inch head that stayed around and left some slight lacing.
Aroma reminded me of sweet sugary pie dough, with a touch of sweet fruit and very slight spice.
Taste was very nice. No huge flavor hit you because its blended so well that you get a hit of all the flavors at once. Fruity, Sweet bread and malts. Beautfiully balanced. The alcohol was never present in the noise or taste, even as it warmed up. Not typical of a noel as more spice tends to be the major player. I thouroughly enjoyed this one and would buy it again for sure.

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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.

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Photo of medic25
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle in a Hennepin chalice.
Nice presentation; rich brown-amber color, decent carbonation with a cream -colored head that stays around for much of the duration. Also a fair amount of lacing as the level drops. Very subtle aroma; yeasty, not in the least overwhelming. Flavor seems to improve as the beer warms (or maybe as I get closer to the end of the bottle!). Hints of raisins, malty, with little in the way of hops. Very drinkable Belgian; I'll have to make this something of a Christmas tradition!

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

Mahogany with a low light brown head, decent carbonation, and weak lace. Fruity, raisin, dubble-like aroma with touches of chocolate. Tastes much the same without any chocolate character. Medium-full bodied, smooth and warming.

Would like to compare to their standard Dubbel since this seems spot on for that style.

Per Label: "Abbey Christmas Ale"

9/03 on cork
Tasted: 12/30/04

($7.19 / 750ml / 25.4 oz corked and caged champagne style bottle)

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

Pours a nice clear ruby-amber color, the head is large, frothy and a full tan color. It is quite well carbonated and a steady stream of bubbles rise through this amber elixer. The aroma is quite fruity with sweet notes of apricot, strawberry, raisins, fruitcake, and hints of a dense rich spicecake. The taste is quite smooth and creamy up front, with a rich mouthcoating character. It is fairly sweet, and finishes with a lightly spicy astringency. There are notes of apricot, fig, caramel, lightly toasted grain, hints of chocolate, and rum. In the finish there is a light bitterness as well as spicy hints of ginger, clove, and allspice.

I have not had this beer in about 7 years, and I remember it fondly as being one of those beers that I looked forward to picking up every holiday season. It is about how I remember it, rich, sweet and chewy, perfectly appropriate for a cold winter evening. It is not the most complex beer but it hits the spot. Nothing in particular is stunning about this beer, but the combination leaves me with a great beer sitting in my Tulip glass. Cheers and happy new year.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a chunky and hazy medium amber with a yellow and very persistent head which laced the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a definite alcohol presence and belgian yeast spiciness with caramel and dark fruits.

The flavor was more belgian yeast spiciness, with a nice malt backbone and dark fruits with caramel and complex flavors abounding.

The finish was dry with a nice lingering spice and lasting caramel. The body was medium full.

750 ml bottle, corked and bailed. If the beer did not have so much alcohol presence it probably would do more in the drinkability department.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From a caged and corked 22oz bottle with the cork dated 6/03. Not certain if that indicates a "bottled on" date or not. Affligem Noël had a uniform brown appearance and a dense creamy vanilla colored head that left sticky chunks of lace behind.
Nose: huge caramel notes assail the sinuses! Immensely sweet malty aroma. Buttery toffee aroma with dark fruits and easily detectable alcohol fumes round out the array of scents. I started getting woozy just inhaling.
Taste: caramel flavor just about smacked in the head. Lots of raisin and date flavor interspersed with a hearty toasted malt taste. Light, mild spiciness in the finish. Hope presence very subdued. The alcohol was rather raspy and raw.
Feel: full, rich and creamy.
Overall, I was a bit underwhelmed by this beer. The malt and caramel sweetness was laid on too thickly and the alcohol content was too thinly disguised for my liking. Still, not a bad way to end a Christmas day.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thick and cloudy, dark burgundy color, near maroon, with a nine, fizzy, creamy tanned head above.

Aroma is yeast and zest...citric and spicy...a lemon cookie with a glaze of cinnamon and ginger. Or more likely, coriander..with a blast of cloves.

More of the same appears on the palate...big citric fruit, tangy, yeasty zest, and huge flavor, big. big, big....and happily recieved on the tongue and down the throat...the ctirc fruit zest and the spicy factor continue in tandem all the way down the line, with brief suggestions of black cherries, dark grapes and berries, currants and such...

Body is medium, bordering on full, and the finish is long and dominated with the full, tangy fruity flavor that continues throughout the flavor profile found in this bottle...a very festive brew, sure to enjoin any lost soul to the raft of happiness, I assure you!

(I've only gotten halfway through this bottle and I suspect that I'll like it more as I drain the thing...yup, it's happening...yum, this is the epitome...boy, oh, boy, how can you get any better?)

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Photo of filabrazilia
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark copper with a billowy beige head that does not diminsh as I drink. Sheets of lace cling to the glass.

This is a rich aromatic brew that is full of dried dark fruit and delightful spice notes. This is like a fine fruit cake that has just been taken from the oven. Very nice.

The taste is pleasant and smooth--malty and sweet but not too sweet. The alcohol gently complements the sweetness of this mildly assertive beer.

This is a mid bodied beer that is slightly chewy in the mouth. The carbonation tingles the mouth and delivers the alcohol to the sides of the mouth. The finish is carmel like and mildly sweet.

This is a remarkably smooth beer. While a winter warmer, this beer is very easy to drink. This beer has it all--fruit, spice, sweetness and alcohol--all that blend nicely in this delicious Christmas ale.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick displacent mahogany color with semi-glowing dark orange edges. Excellently thick, firm, and creamy light tan yogurt topping that stays and stays. Exquisite capping on this, I could barely bring myself to spoil the appearance by any movement let only sip from this astounding looking nectur. But push on I shall...

Aroma of softly sweet caramel covered apples and pears, actually, seemingly more plummy and dusted with chocolate, but that dark red apple and pear keeps bubbling up from underneath keeping a dullish tropical nuance thats quite nice with a mildness thats very acceptable to the nose.

Taste has a very nice softness to its character with some diverse tropical fruityness of tamer darkened orange, solid plum, medium date, hinting raisin, notes of apple and pear united into a chocolate and caramel brigade of brownie-like features. Yum! The softness of the melding flavors are intiguingly delicious and well balanced. Nothing supersedes the other, soon as you have enough fruit the chocolate/caramel kicks in and then the other way around when it gets to the finish. Slow and softer yet yeast softens the finish with a light drying. Yeilding and slowly giving in to, eventually, just a wonderment of fresh, soft flavors.

Feel is about medium with one excellent softness across the palate. By far the overwhelming character of this that really sparks a very high enjoyment level. Good stuff and fun to behold.
Recommended for the Holiday season - July 4th to Easter...

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml botttle with no B/B date on the label but 06/03 on the cork.
Pours out a dark amber color with a thin tan head.
Aroma is plummy, raisins, caramel, fruit cake. Flavor is fruity, caramel, raisins, apricots. Alcohol is well hidden
Finish starts out sugary sweet ends up dry.
Very drinkable. Got on sale for $5.99 so QPR goes way up.

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Photo of Zorro
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 edition, cork reads 6/03.

Pours a cloudy deep red brown ale with a minimal amount of head.

Smell is sweet and full of fruity scents like raisins and lots of brown sugar and Brandy scents with just a touch of alcohol in the scent.

Taste is a bit drier because of the alcohol level. Medium sweet with lots of brown sugar flavor and a touch of Brandy in the taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

A real sipping and warming brew, perfect for Christmas it is READY to mull straight from the bottle.

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Photo of Boto
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught: This one is a dark amber color. It was also fairly clear with a minimal amount of head. the aroma has a bit of malts, with some spices and maybe some dark fruits. A somewhat spicy taste to go along with their typical sweetness. This was actually quite nice for a standard bar beer.

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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.

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

Pours to brownish-ruby color with a thick, creamy tan head. Leaves a lot of lacing down the glass. The aromas are of brown sugar, malts, yeast, and some dark fruits. It is a bit yeasty and herbal as well. The flavor is malty sweet with brown sugar, and an herbal taste. It has a slight dark fruitiness as well. It is smooth and creamy in texture with a semi-sweet finish. This is one tasty Belgian brew.

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Photo of taez555
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a thick bubbly white head with a dark brown body.

The nose was an assortment of fruits, phenols, apples, plums, raisins, dark sugar, yeast, malt and caramel. Quite a sugary and rich nose.

The taste was medium to full bodied. Yeast, phenols, dark sugar, fruits, plums, dates, raisins, apples, alcohol, and oranges with some hints of citrus and citrus peel. There was a slight sourness some verily light wood and earth notes. As for the bitterness, it starts off bitter but well-balanced and then fades as the flavor continue into the finish.

Really quite a yummy beer. A classic big Belgian perfect for the holidays or just sipping any day of the week.

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Photo of granger10
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an auburn color around the edges with woody colors in the middle. Large head that settles quickly leaving a thin layer of foam along the top. Smell is yeasty, slightly fruity, and slightly spicy. Taste has a strong spice precense. Maybe some ginger and orange peel, but the orange peel is subdued. Taste reminds me of gingerbread cookies. Sweetness is very sweet like molasses but its not strong enough. Body is decent but its mostly comprised of spice and alcohol, which is fairly noticeable. Needs a little more substance in the middle. Hops appear toward the end but are faint, the finish is strong spice. Overall a good beer, but im happy with one.

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

The beer after its extrication from the 750ml bottle pours a slightly beclouded burnt umber color with a modest semi-creamy light tan head that upon its demise leaves a thick and clingy blanket of lace upon the glass. Nose is plum like with nice sweet malt back round, crisp and fresh to the senses; start is somewhat sweet with a nice malt presence and the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is prickly in its acidity and the hops spicy in their bite; the 9 percent ABV leaves a nice warm feeling in the tummy, a quite nice beer. This one I share with the “Veterans, past present and future”, and especially to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

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

This beer just became available in Arizona and is great. Split a bottle of it at Papago Brewing this past weekend. Color was a nice dark amber color. The beer was malty sweet but not cloying like many Belgian beers can be. You could tell that there were spices in it but they didn't overpower it, just making a great balanced spiced Christmas beer. Aroma was of malt, no hops. I'm going to put it on my Christams wish list and stick a couple bottles away to age another year.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

75 cl. corked bottle. Pours a reddish brown hue with a big, persistant head which leaves a nice lace. Caramel orange chocolate smell. The taste is slightly sweet, fruity with plums, figs, and caramel apple flavors in a medium body. Finishes with a bittersweet alcohol and fermented fruit flavor.

A decent brew for the style.

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Photo of putnam
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enormous, stiff mousse. Brown liquid.
Aromas of Russian black bread and hints of candied bananas, cocoa and coffee.
A big sweet entry on the palate is decorated with chocolate, nutmeg and cocoa. The texture is light to medium-bodied with a very fluid, alcohol driven gush of sweetness through the mid-palate. The finish is short. Very drinkable and a nice way to become intoxicated.
"High Alcohol" ... "Less Filling"

This is a well flavored but ultimately very commercial beer. This much alcohol and spice should be accompanied with some real viscosity and chew. Unfortunately shortcuts pay the bills.

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Affligem Noël from Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 569 ratings
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