Noël Des Géants | Brasserie Des Légendes

very good
129 Reviews
Noël Des GéantsNoël Des Géants

Brewed by:
Brasserie Des Légendes

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopGoblin on 12-31-2007

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Reviews: 129 | Ratings: 192
Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Opened with a little bit of gushing. Pours a lightly hazy orange amber with tiny particles throughout, probably because of the turbid pour. Half finger white head dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, toffee, peach and apricot, hints of orange and clove. Flavor is caramel malt, light stone fruit, orange rind, clove and earthy green herbs. Finishes dry with clove, cinnamon and herb bitterness. Medium bodied with hyperactive carbonation. A nice semi-dry pale Belgian ale with a strong spice and bitter herb presence. Initially has a Belgian pale ale profile, but changes to a more winter warmer, spicy finish. Tastes good with a slight medicinal herbalness, but this is well handled. The carbonation is a bit high, but otherwise a quite enjoyable holiday ale. It only arrived in our market in Spring, but I'd get this again for a winter warmer with a strong Belgian profile.

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Photo of dcotom
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from an 11.2-ounce bottle into a tumbler, as soon as the gusher died down. Hazy caramel-sauce color, with loads of soft off-white foam. Aromas and flavors of sweet caramel, tart fruit, and spice, with a slightly bitter and peppery finish. Interesting flavor profile and a very good beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like auburn amber colored beer, good head surpassing the half inch line. Aroma was like belgian candy, still had the spice rack thing going for it, but not overly done.

Hides alcohol well, smooth, plenty of brown malt and sugar giving the beer a well placed balance. Any dark fruit notes don't come off overly harsh or bitter. Toffee is a smoothing agent here.

Not too many Belgian xmas ales I'd recommend, but this one was actually enjoyable.

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Photo of tzieser
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 11.2oz bottle.

L: hazy, ruby in color with a bubbly white head that settles into a thick lacing.

S: it has that classic Belgian yeast aroma (bananas, cloves) with an added sweet fruity malt aroma

T: delicious complex. lots of sugary malts showing dried fruit notes. Candied Apple, banana, clove and perhaps a hint of anise. ABV is very well hidden. A great Belgian winter warmer.

M: dry mouthfeel

O: a great winter beer that's worth checking out

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Photo of tone77
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Came slowly oozing out of the bottle as soon as I cracked it. Has a cloudy medium brown color with a 1.5 inch head. Smell is lots of spices, malts. Taste is spices, malts, some ginger, just a touch of alcohol. Feels medium bodied and very carbonated in the mouth and overall is unique and enjoyable.

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Photo of seedyone
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From bottle at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Still cold outside but the spiceness is missing the spot. Rather then warming they are a bit biting. The body/mouthfeel is good, but the fullness of flavor was behind the texture. It filled out as it warmed, but still came up short.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium brown-orange hue with a pretty strong haze and a thin layer of ivory foam. There's a decent lace left on the glass as the head dissipates.

Smell: sweet with plenty of malt. I don't get a lot of herbal or spicy character, but it's got a decent winter warmer-type strength to it.

Taste: very malty with plenty of sweetness and a lightly wintry spicing, perhaps nutmeg and a dash of cinnamon. It's subdued but quite effective. I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation and a satisfyingly Belgian creaminess. I dig it.

Overall: not a bad beer at all. It definitely drinks below its ABV, and the light hand used in the spicing works well in this application.

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Photo of pat61
4.56/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Some yeasty fruit aromas with some spice – probably nutmeg dominate the nose. It pours reddish gold to garnet chestnut under a finely bubbled 1” tan tinted white foam collar. The palate begins with dried fruit flavors, a trace of earthiness, some toffee sweetness, dark sugars and a range of spices including nutmeg. It has a very creamy medium bodied texture driven by very fine soft carbonation.

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Photo of JPowell712
4.34/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Besides being very interested in this beer because of the fact that it is brewed in a medieval castle... This is a damn good beer! It pours a hazy light brown with specs of hops and spices floating around. The color almost resembles an iced tea. Right on the first taste, I noticed the crisp brightness. It is very refreshing and the spices blended work well with the non-filtered brew. Belgium beers never disappoint, this one is very good. The 8.5% alc/vol is hidden well with the almost creamy aftertaste, but it warms you nicely. I would love to drink this outdoors on a cold night. Overall, I would highly suggest trying this one before the cold weather ends.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%

Bottle. Poured a semi-opaque Amber color with a proud head. Smells neutral. A little sweet, a little spicy. Malt forward; no hops. Maybe a bit medicinal. The first sip did nothing for me. The yeast brings a strong bite. The spices aren't overwhelming by any means but they also make me rear back a bit. The second sip and those following after are mostly more enjoyable. I adjust to the flavor and pick out some nuances. Almost like a spiced bread. It's not overly sweet,mwhich is a plus for my palate. The Belgian aspects of the beer aren't all-encompassing. I like that but I am also a bit confused as to what the thesis of this beer is. It's kinda Belgian, kinda spicy, kinda bland. I don't know. The best part of this one is its body and alcohol masking. The Anne Frank of alcohol. I had no idea; this one shiv'd me with its alcohol content. To finish the story, this one was not a beer I would come back to.

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Photo of silverking
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy amber with sediment and lively carbonation. One finger of fluffy off white head lasts to the bottom of the glass and leaves well defined rings of lace.

S- leafy, peppery. orange peel, coriander.

T- crisp, astringent bitterness. Coriander and orange peel again. Slightly watery finish. Very herbal.

M- light. Active carbonation. Clean and crisp finish.

O- interesting. I was expecting more body from and winter seasonal.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.65/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Noël Des Géants has a very thick, creamy, cream-colored head, heavy lacing left behind, and an initially clear amber appearance, which, after one swishes the caked-on bottom bottle contents and pours them in, has a descending reddish, muddy cloud. The aroma is strong and sharp- sweet bread, spice, herbs, and other things I am not able to identify. Taste is of sharp, pronounced spices, a good hop bitterness, and rich bread. Mouthfeel is mostly heavy, and Noël Des Géants finishes dry, somewhat boozy, rich, and delicious. Drinkability isn’t bad, either. Overall, this is outstanding!


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Photo of Chico1985
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slow gusher and lots of foam on the pour. The color is light brownish-orange with some haze and plenty of bubblin'. Thick off-white head retains and leaves great lace.

Smell is definitely big on the spices, clove and coriander come to mind. Banana, molasses, yeast and some citrus there as well.

Clove and banana are still most prevalent, generally spice-heavy with a base beer that brings elements of Belgian strong pales and dubbels - sweet caramel, molasses, toasted bread, candi sugar, earthy tones.

Body feels just a bit weak, a little too thin for the ABV. High-ish carbonation. A bit of a sipper.

Decent, definitely deserves the 'spiced beer' categorization, though the spices themselves and the beer in general aren't very remarkable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I just couldn't turn this bottle down after seeing it on the seasonal shelf at Total Wine. Damn this ticking urge... Anyway, it pours a partly-cloudy sunset bronze-amber topped by a finger or so of off-cream foam. The nose comprises pumpernickel, clove, brown sugar, dark fruits, light candied orange peel, and toffee. The taste brings in more of the same, with an increased level of dark fruits, though, make no mistake, the rest (particularly the spices, especially newly-arrived ginger and cinnamon) doesn't fade without a fight. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a solid spiced Winter brew, if nothing all that special. I'd certainly have another, though.

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Photo of acevenom
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a brandy snifter. The beer pours dark hazy copper with a finger and a half length off-white head. There are bubbles visible rising along the side of the glass. There are malty aromas as well as some scent of toffee, fruit, and some spice. The fruity aroma is akin to plum and fig. The spice notes are mostly coriander. The flavors are of bready pilsner malt with a stronger spice note in the flavor than in the nose. The coriander comes out, but I also get some hints of pepper, orange peel, and anise that other reviewers picked out. The sweetness is pretty balanced out with the abundant spice bouquet in this beer. The fruity notes come out a little stronger as the beer warms. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is slightly dry and the alcohol provides a nice warming quality. Not much of the aftertaste lingers in this beer, allowing a stronger drinkability for this beer. This is a very good beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle I brought to share at drewone's place.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, yeast, spices, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think it smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Noël Des Géants (poured into a snifter) is hazy amber with a small, creamy white head on top. Once the foam is gone a few spots of lace cling to the glass.

The aroma is fruity with a touch of spice. Raisins and dates are blended with orange peel and rye bread. Almost reminds me of a fruit cake.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft and smooth on the palate with mild carbonation. The flavor is sweet with fruity notes of raisin and plum along with a bready malt sweetness. The spices don't seem as strong as the aroma, but orange peel and pepper are present. It finishes sweet with lingering spices when gone.

This is a great Christmas beer. Lots of sweet fruity flavor with a touch of spice. Quite drinkable, but better to sip and savor.

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Photo of mttaylor1066
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Add this to your Christmas ale rotation, a not-too-heavy spiced ale that creates a holiday for your mouth.

Pours a quiet, dark cider color. Minimal head (I'm a side-of-the-glass man myself) that persists and forms little colonies of bubbles.

The aroma is complex, spicy and malty with a whiff of yeast. This is a beer to enjoy before it hits the lips!

Tastes of dark wine, ripe raisin, Belgian yeast and toasted ginger. All this in an ale! You can feel the alcohol heat...on n cold winter's night that ain't so bad.

There's a lot of carbonation to make this ale dance on the tongue. A lively holiday ale.

Overall, this is one I'm going to look for each season to go with my other favorite Christmas ales.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Christmas celebrations in the land of the giants evokes the notions of larger than life beers of tremendous taste, robust textures, and bewildering spicy alcohols. Although Noel des Geants releases a more somber taste, it is an elegant and satisfying taste nevertheless.

Poured into a brandy snifter, the body shows off the beer's robust deep straw colors of goldenrod and burnt orange while favoring lighter cider colors on the edge. Lightly hazed from the dissolved yeast, the beer projects a whimsical glow when back lit. The beer releases a dainty and creamy head that skirts the rim evenly and while the head lightens, it never completely collapses, rather lacing on the glass with intermittent island structures.

Perfumy, fruity, and sternly rooted in a grainy sweet foundation, the beer sings the praises of Belgian ales of moderate intensity. Aromas of freshly dried pilsner malt gives a bready impression with yeast and dough. Highly floral, the beer's bouquet really opens up with a flowery scent of honeysuckle. Soft spices of coriander, dried orange peel, and star anise decorate the nose and offer balance to the sweet malt and fruity esters.

Supple bready-sweet pilsner malts seem to fuse with honey and confectioner's sugar that give the fruit flavors a candy-coated effect. Apricots, oranges, pears, and figs are among the esters that can be pulled from the flavor profile. And a counterbalance of potpourri and alcohol offer juxtaposition to the fruit and candy and signal a turn to closure. Turning ever bitter, earthy, and raw- the taste of grain and straw offers a rustic and genuine farmhouse-type taste to finish.

Medium bodied and incredibly soft, the beer lays gently on the tongue and gives a feminine presence with light chamomile-type oiliness and a sultry powdery note to close. Pleasantly warm and with a gentle spice- the ale is dry and lightly tannin to end the session.

Despite its "giant" references, the beer is small on the palate and stomach, making it supple and elegant ale. It's both charming and soft. But its overall light profile keeps me wanting more strength, power, and complexity.

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Photo of Vec2267
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - burnt orange, lots of bubbles, huge frothy head, minimal lacing

S - fruit/apricots, yeast spicieness, herbal, alcohol

T - again fruity, very dry, spice (pepper/clove), alcohol

M - medium bodied

O - lots of complexity bu too many disconnected flavors to be appealing

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours cloudy red orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, pear, clove, allspice, ginger, tea, cinnamon, molasses, bread, herbal, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of raisin, toast, biscuit, caramel, molasses, clove, ginger, earth, nuttiness, tea, allspice, herbal, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, caramel, toast, biscuit, molasses, nuttiness, ginger, tea, herbal, and clove on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of flavors; nice balance of malt and holiday spice flavors; zero cloying on the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian spiced beer. Nice spice/malt balance and complexity; very smooth to sip on. Very enjoyable and unique offering.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale brown with hints of orange, with generous white head that is silky smooth and leaves ample lace. Nose is bready & fruity. Palate offers a good balance of dark fruits, dark bready flavors, fennel seeds and a few miscellaneous baking spices. Finish has a slight burnt, toasty sugary quality. Easy drinking.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz Bottle from Bevmo La Quinta CA for 5$

Appearance - Hazy reddish-brown colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. It's too hazy to make out the amount of carbonation and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for 2 or 3 minutes.

Smell - Malts, grapes/raisins/dates, anise, spruce

Taste & Mouth - There is a low amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, grapes/raisins/dates, and some leather. There is also a bit of a anise or spruce/mint flavour. It ends with a dark fruit spicy aftertaste.

Overall - The taste reminded me a bit of a fruitcake, which is a good thing for a Christmas themed beer I guess. Problem is, I'm not a huge fan of fruitcake. Still glad i gave it a shot, but I wouldn't pick this up again.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fills a Dogfish Head snifter with bright copper that is gem clear displaying lively carbonation throughout. The color is closer to that of aged and weathered cedar. A big, white, foamy head slowly settles to puffs of sea foam, leaving big, thick patches of lace.

The aroma gives a first impression of Band-Aids followed by herbal spices. Overall it is a touch astringent.

The malts give off crisp flavors, a little sweet with some earthiness. Ginger and possibly juniper accentuate a modest finish that is neither sweet nor dry. As this one warms, one can perceive hints of mint.

Alcohol is lower than expected in this medium bodied beer with lots of carbonation.

This is clearly a holiday specialty but should not be confused with the more spectacular beers of the season.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brasserie Des Géants "Noël Des Géants"
25.4 oz. bottle, simply capped beneath a capsule.
Imported by Shelton Brothers; no freshness dating.
$8.49 @ State Line Liquors, Elkton, MD

Poured from a long-standing refrigerated bottle the first pour is crystal clear. The body is an interesting color, a light russet brown. The light tan head rises up majestically and holds, slowly dropping to an eventual collar around the glass... unfortunate. Even more-so, the lacing is limited to splashes and spots about the glass. It's not bad, but it could be so much better.

In the nose it's herbal and somewhat floral over a delicate sweet-bread note. Just a flicker of juicy red fruit is present as well. Interesting. It's not complex but the herbal character is quite clear, and quite compelling. It's subtly piney, a hint minty like tarragon, and a bit drying and softly raspy like oregano.

As might be expected (or perhaps not), the herbal character found in the aroma carries over into the aroma. It's quite clear, and present throughout, but it's also fairly delicate. It doesn't press or nudge, it just lays there within the malt, which is in itself, not particularly bold, just lightly bready/nutty and softly caramelish and honey-like (perhaps even threaded through with notes of light molasses). There's a hint of yeastiness (some red fruit and some minor dark fruitiness) and a slight touch of something mildly leathery, subtly metallic, and even a hint musty (although that's probably just a perception due to the herbal character). It's not bitter, but perfectly balanced due to the spicing, and it finishes dry with a hint of soft oregano left behind.

In the mouth it's medium-full in body; and the moderate carbonation level gives just a delicate bristle to the tongue.

The Belgians are great at delicately spicing their beers to deliver a perfect, soft balance, and this one is no exception. Even the supple mouthfeel lends to its very accessible character - yet it's got an interesting herbal character that some might find off-putting if it was even just a hint fuller because they're not used to it. That, however, is exactly the thing that makes it work for the initiated. It's sophisticated and refined, and quite charming and drinkable despite its 8.5% abv. Soft and smooth like a warming blanket, this one can put you right to sleep if you're not careful.

It's one of the best X-mas beers I've ever enjoyed, and apparently it's under-rated. It's not a kick-you in the head with flavor beer, but it really satisfies as a unique sipper. Worth seeking out.

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Noël Des Géants from Brasserie Des Légendes
3.81 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
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