St. Feuillien Cuvée De Noël | Brasserie St. Feuillien

BA SCORE
89
very good
330 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay
Read the review
St. Feuillien Cuvée De NoëlSt. Feuillien Cuvée De Noël
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie St. Feuillien
Belgium
st-feuillien.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by NeroFiddled on 10-22-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
330
Reviews:
221
Avg:
4
pDev:
10.5%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
14
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 330 |  Reviews: 221
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750. Pours a dark garnet with foam that explodes out of the bottle. Settles down in the glass to thin cap. Nice. The smell is spicy with cinammon, nutmeg, and clove as well as sweet malt and candi sugar and glaced dark fruits. Taste is quite sweet as well, but with more of that delicious candied fruit and spice flavor as well as candi sugar and Belgian yeast notes.A little biscuity as well. Carbonated, full, creamy, and sweet in the mouth. A nice sweet complement to cheese or as a digestif.

 512 characters

Photo of oelergud
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750ml bottle.
Beautiful winter scenery on the label.
Dark ruby and mahogany opaque body with an uneven hilly and airy head. Good rentention and decent lace.
The smell is very sweet and spicy and abit of an alcoholic note. So malty and delicious.
Strong taste as well. Malty, spiced, sweet and solid. Almond and abit of vegetable. An aftertaste of sweet malts but still balanced with mild pine hops.
Medium body, surprisingly little coating.
Very drinkable and not as high abv as many big bottle offerings which is nice for a change.

-Oelergud

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep brown/burgundy color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with some sweet apricot and a dry fig is totally sublime. Taste is a mix between great Belgian caramel malt with some dry figs and candi sugar with a creamy texture. Body is full and alcohol is totally not discernable. This beer somehow reminded me of Gouden Carolus Noel and maybe a bit of Rochefort 10 in there.

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Photo of Nesued
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small bottle. "0630300" listed as the "best by" date.

Appearance - Dark amber color, a slight haze. A wealth of a tan head formed upon a slow pour. Nice lacing that clinged to the glass.

Smell - Sweet malty aroma. Big caramel aroma as well.

Taste - Esters and banana taste. Very pleasing hop taste. Good carbonation adds to the body and nicely expands the taste.

Mouthfeel - Good refreshing feel, the carbonation blends the flavors of the malt and the sugars well together. It also lasts well into the dregs of the glass.

Drinkability - I bought two of these during the christmas season and finally "bit the bullet" and opened this one. A nice Noel beer. Good represention of the style.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml brown bottle from the makeshift "cellar", 2004 vintage.
Poured into a mini tulip it forms a loose khaki head that leaves little to no lace. Dark brown body is cloudy. Corked and caged with a nice "pop" of air as I opened it.

Murky brown body. It has some of the points you would expect but lacks complexity. For instance, there is an underlying dark fruit belly but it is watered and subdued. Its not rich at all to a point of being a fault. Mild smokey quality to it kind of throws a wrench in the overall picture. On the bright side the lighter fruits have a chance to shine in this and pineapple sticks out especially as it warms up a bit. Its not all that heavy on the palate and the moderate carbonation lets this weave around the palate. A brew that changes dramatically as you let it warm.

Notes: Some upside some downside. I would reccomend not aging this 4 years. I've had a bottle of this same vintage every year and this was the worst. 1 year under its belt was the best but still not in the upper class for the style. Decent.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a St. Feuillien chalice, the beer pours a brown/chestnut color with a half inch tan head. It smells like dark fruit, caramel and bananas. The beer starts off sweet, wtih a caramel, spicy, plum and raisin taste, and then has a good hoppy bitter finish. Mouthfeel is a bit creamy, with high (but not too much) carbonation, and medium body. Drinkability is OK, but not great. I think this is a good beer, but I don't think it's one I'd go out of my way to buy.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Produces thin half finger thick head that is light tan. This has a body of a dark copper color, and has hues of ruby red too.

Gives off very metallic aromas. Mild honey characters as well as doughy sweet bread.

The taste is very lively and rich. Very sweet, but sour too with a slight metallic finish. Definitely warming to the palate

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Photo of MiScusi
3.4/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2005 version.
On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Belgian Beer Festival in Pasadena.

Beer poured a darkish brown. Not much of a head on this beer, even with swirling. Malty and spicey all the way. Carbonation was on the very low end... spices were subtle. I prefer American winter beers over this one, it just didn't hit the spot.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.74/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 version, from a 750 ml bottle tasted in January 2007. Price and location not recorded.

I open this caged and corked beauty to a fanfare of a pop and pretty gunsmoke. For a lark I stuck my nose the the bottle and was very pleasantly greeted by dark ale beery goodness. Slightl sweetness, roasted nuts, and a hint of spices come up- the specifics aren't nearly as important as much as how well the whole aroma package worked together.

A downside is the look of the beer- kind of muddy, a lot of chunky dark yeast stirs up quickly to muddy it even further- head is pretty much a bunch of tan soap bubbles that quickly pop.

But the flavor more than makes up for it. Yummy in my tummy! Baked brown sugar cookies with gentle but definite winter spices- cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg. And drinkable! 9% ABV and it goes down like chocolate milk. Something else. It does have a hint of the alcohol strength in the mouthfeel, that's a minor quibble.

Overall one of my new fan favorites. Can I have some more, please!

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Photo of jettjon
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 750ml bottle into a deep wine goblet, pours a handsome deep chestnut color with a few tiny bubbles. One finger solid brown-tan cap slowly fades away, leaving minor lacing. Good looking beer. Nose is spicy, with light clove/coriander and some dark fruit. As the bottle recommends, this brew is best served a bit warm and the nose improved as it moved up from fridge temp. Taste is again spicy but with a solid malt backbone and good hops balance. A bit peppery with mild dark fruit as well. What sells me on this beer is the malt background peeking through all the clutter. Mouth is a bit over-carbonated, pretty substantial, wet, and not too thin. Drinkability is good, but excessive carbonation detracts. I had no problem finishing the bottle over a few hours.

Overall: Very good, but not outstanding Belgian dark. Solid, a bit subdued and definitely best served a bit warm. Worth a try if one comes your way during the holiday season.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.2/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Cloudy brown with an orange tint. A thin head on the surface. Only specks of lacing.

S - Bananas, heather and caramel malt.

T - Caramel malt with a strong floral hop profile, lillies and heather.

M - Smooth, carbonation tingles a bit, a little refreshing, medium body.

D - It is alright, not much frills either way. It smells better than it tastes, but it isn't a real joy to drink. I think I will pass in the future, but I will check out this brewery's other offerings.

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Photo of yelterdow
2.82/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Saving this for the right occasion. Right now it's January and it's raining and it's cold. This would be the aforementioned right occasion.

750ml bottle cellared for 20 months... I'll be brave and take this one on by myself. Served at cellar temperature in a Chimay chalice with its trademark etching for proper head replenishment.

Appearance- After the deafening, sudden pop of the cork (no overflow, thankfully), the beer pours a clear, light ruby. Tiny particles of yeast are floating here and there, while the inch-high crown settles to a transparent film. A central stream of carbonation races wildly to the surface.

Smell- Alcohol soaked plums and prunes with berries and spices. There's a mulled wine aroma that incorporates potpourri as well, adding an interesting holiday character.

Taste- The 9% alcohol really overpowers even the spices here... this could be a lot more balanced and complex. I can't get past the "hot" element that detracts from what could be a wonderful tasting. The caramel malts are obvious and feel heavy in the mouth, while the fruity, spicy character continues to battle the alcohol presence. Certainly not the tasting experience I was hoping for.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Just as in the glass, the carbonation swells nicely at first but then goes ballistic in the mouth... it goes on to the point of being totally out of control and annoying. Take a can of soda and shake it like an idiot, then serve it... yeah, kind of like that. I couldn't recommend this with a clear concience, with all the other terrific Winter beers available.

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Photo of Absumaster
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A dark deep brown beer with a small head.

Smell is caramel and burned/roasted of the dark malts with some alcohol whiffs and spices.

Taste is burned with lots of caramel and candysugar. The beer is slightly sticky and there is a lot of excessive carbonation. Body is very thin, like a lot of sugar has been used.

Maybe it is because I have a slight cold, but the beer wasn't very complex and body was thin.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Corked bottle with a nice wintery scene on the label.

A: Pours a murky dark plum brownish color. Frothy pillow like looking whiteish head. Nice puffy retention on this guy.
S: Dark fruit of plums, bubblegum, banana, apple, and pear notes all strike the senses. Theres a spicy quality to the fruit. Slight champagne like aromas also. Very soft smelling.
T/M: Thick and syrupy with dark fruit notes of prunes, raisins, and plums. Slight nuttiness to the malt profile. Nuttiness and caramel comes out more as it warms. Hop bitterness is present in the aftertaste with a subtle stinging on the tongue. Spicy character shows off the high abv, although it's very well controlled. Soft and silky on the palate--amazingly smooth.
D: Damn drinkable Christmas belgian brew--definitely one I'd get next year. Easy drinking once it warms up a bunch.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dusky tawny with a modicum of brick red and generous edges of dark honey. The beer is capped by a pale caramel crown that filled at least half the glass following the pour and is still on the large side several minutes later. Tiny, pearl-like bubbles glitter and then burst, leaving miniscule craters as they do so. A good look; not a special one.

The same could be said for the nose. It's caramel malt dominant with aromas of fermented orchard fruit (apples and pears) and indeterminate spices. Although I like it just fine, there's nothing present to make it stand out from the Belgian crowd.

Cuvee de Noel is good beer. It tastes like quite a few other BSDAs that I could name, although it has a heavier spice load than most. Cinnamon, nutmeg and clove are guesses. I like it when the brewery publishes the spice bill since I enjoy trying to pick out the various flavors as I drink.

If I could change one thing, I'd give this beer a bigger malt load. I like my BSDAs, especially the holiday versions, to be bigger and sweeter than this (see Gouden Carolus Noel). This one possesses a sour fruitiness and a bitter hoppiness that are both more prominent than the toasted barley sweetness. I doubt that much candi sugar was added, but I'm sure some was needed to get the ABV up to 9%.

As noted above, the mouthfeel is lighter than I like on beer of this style. It's also a little more carbonated than I prefer. Since those two characteristics match up well, I can't complain too loudly. The body is firming up and the bubbles are settling down as the beer sits, so I've bumped the score accordingly.

Cuvee de Noel is my first Brasserie St. Feuillien beer. Although it isn't as good as a few other BSDAs that I could name, it's a delicious holiday ale that has no real faults, only attributes that don't quite match up with my preferences. I'm still enjoying the hell out of it and appreciate the opportunity to experience more Christmas cheer on Boxing Day.

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Photo of sponberg
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a two-year-old 750 ml bottle of this brew, cellared in the dark at 55 degrees. Yeast packs solid onto the bottom. Took a good 30 seconds to get the cork out of this one, and at that I had to go VERY carefully to release the carbonation. No foaming, no gushing - good sign.

Medium brown with reddish highlights, fairly high carbonation, an offwhite head that lasts a LONG time. Aroma of toffee, marzipan, cocoa, slight alcohol, very slight oxidation if any - no cardboard.

VERY earthy, marzipan-like flavor - depth is off the charts. Pinpoint carbonation and lots of it prevents the true flavors from revealing themselves off the bat. The alcohol kicks in, along with a faint smokiness, about halfway through the sip. The finish adds in dried cherries and hints of banana that last through the finish. Prickly carbonation lightens the mouthfeel. Would love to have another bottle, but alas, I only cellared one.

This brew is eminently suitable for cellaring - give it a shot!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep red brown, with a very nice head that lasted to the very last drop. Smell was very sweet and malty. A bit of a grainy smell as well. Taste hit you with the grain and fruit right up front. Very crisp, and no hint of alcohol at all. Very nicely carbonated, and light tasting, but not thin. This was very enjoyable, I would definatly try this again and was a treat at xmas eve at my parents house!

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Photo of luvND
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 750 cc cork bottle

A: Gorgeous ruby red color, sticky, thick rocky head, 2 fingers easily

S: Really nice, bread, yeast, malt, candied fruit and brown sugar

T: Sugars and fruit hit first, some ripe banana, a trace of mint in the aftertase, almost like Northern Brewer hops

M: Well balanced, not too thin, not too thick

D: Pretty drinkable given the alcohol, I don't pick it up much in the aftertaste.

Notes: A really nice Belgian Dark Strong, this might make the "have one every Christmas" list

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Photo of Suds
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the stubby 330 ml bottle, this brew pours a deep and murky brownish-rust color. The head is solid and consistent beige foam. It’s an attractive brew, although without the bulbous head that I expected. The aroma is a jumble of caramel, spice, fruit, pepper, yeast, and a hint of alcohol. It’s a delicate, but ester-laden smell. The aroma has a lot of chocolate and roasted malt in it. There’s some slight warming, with a spice-encrusted plum flavor. Not bad. The mouthfeel is full and satisfying. Lower carbonation than expected. The finish has lots of yeast and spice, with an underlying maltiness that’s omnipresent. I enjoyed this beer more and more as I worked through the glass. It’s a beer that doesn’t grab you from the outset, but will draw you in as you drink it. This was well worth it.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a two finger espresso foam colored rocky head that has very good retention, and very good lacing. Body is a very dark brown. Looks great.

Smell - predominantly horse blanket, with hints of dried dark fruits like raisins and figs.

Taste - same as the smell. Almost entirely horse blanket. Hints of raisins and figs. The high abv is amazingly very well hidden. Overall, seemingly, an exercise in horse blanket sourness.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, fluid, and quite fizzy.

Drinkability - this is decent, not great, and the high abv supresses sessionability.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark garnett color. This beer is thick, so thick that no light will pass thru it. Head is frothy, latte colored and littered with bizarre dark brown sediment....of the like I've never seen before.

S: Brown sugar, molasses, sugar cookies, ginger snaps and amaretto.

T: This tastes exactly like ginger break cookie dough. Lightly spiced...ginger, molasses, sugar and cinnamon. Dark breadiness saturated with brandy makes one think seasonal toasts. Yeasty and dank, somewhat mysterious yet straight forward. Finishes like cinnamon toast cereal. Alcohol is hidden remarkable well up until the final moments where it tickles the tip of the tongue.

M: Medium body with a sincere mouthfeel.

D: This beer is tasty but lacks a lot of depth. I appreciate this offer for what it is though....a unique and intriguing seasonal brew.

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Photo of guinnessfan
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stubby bottle poured into Das Festhous pint glass.

A: Clear, reddish-brown, rust color with huge pillowy off-white head that hangs on for a long time. Good lacing.

S: Nothing out of the ordinary for the style, dark fruits, yeast, spice.

T: Same as smells, but add slight taste of alcohol and malt.

M: Medium body, good carbonation, smooth texture. Leaves almost no aftertaste.

D: Slight booziness may decrease drinkability a little, but very good. Didn't realize it was 9% until I was almost done. It doesn't taste that strong. Decent beer overall, yet it reminds me of Wild Goose Amber, which is a lot cheaper and better IMO.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a St. Feuillien chalice.

A: Pours a clear ruby-brown. One finger head slowly dissipates to a faint skim of foam. Some lacing.

S: Smells of caramel, plums, chocolate, spices, and alcohol.

T: See above and add pepper, more dark over-ripe fruit, and more alcohol. The alcohol nose and taste are pretty apparent but not a deal breaker. It adds another layer of complexity to the proceedings!

M: My beer fridge is set to 53-55 degrees and right out of the bottle it was at the perfect tempurature meaning the mouthfeel was creamy and full.

D: Given the 9% abv and the apparent alcohol, this beer is astonishingly drinkable. I believe proper tempurature is the key with this beer. Too cold and it will taste too much of alcohol and maybe come off a little one dimentional. Allow it to warm and look out! A lot of other flavors will come out to play.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The 330 ml stubby brown bottle was opened and after pouring, the beer looked clearer than typical foe the style. The body was reddish brown in color, and the head that sat atop was steady at a thickness of two fingers, thanks to the Duvel tulip I had selected for the occasion. The aroma was simply fantastic. Sweet candy sugar, cherries, white pepper, and leather were present in the smell is quite abundant quantities. The taste couldn’t quite deliver the complexity that the nose promised. The yeast had pretty much consumed all simple sugars, leaving this beer rather dry and peppery. The body was also a little thin, and couldn’t quite keep up with the alcohol. Citric sourness tang remained however, making it hard to really dislike. I suppose one could consider this a pale ale in a dark disguise. Spices were quite up front, but did not overwhelm. This was well made, but fell short of the lofty heights reached by its other compatriots.

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Photo of techdiver
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dense, but clear, reddish brown with smallish beige head that dissipates quickly.

Caramel malt nose. Medium bodied with light carbonation that feels good in the mouth.

Taste is quite malty with hops making their presence known in the background. Alcohol not as well hidden as in other brews of this type.

Not bad, but of the three I've now sampled from St. Feuillien I prefer the Tripel.

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St. Feuillien Cuvée De Noël from Brasserie St. Feuillien
4 out of 5 based on 330 ratings.
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