Noël Des Géants | Brasserie Des Légendes

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Noël Des GéantsNoël Des Géants
Very Good
196 Ratings
Noël Des GéantsNoël Des Géants

Brewed by:
Brasserie Des Légendes

Style: Herb and Spice Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopGoblin on 12-31-2007

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 196 |  Reviews: 131
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Luminous Longhorns orange with oodles of uprushing carbonation that results in a massive crown of pastel gold colored froth. The foam looks sticky (airy, cotton candy texture), but there isn't much lace at all. The second pour adds an appealing murkiness as the yeasties get into the act.

The nose is underpowered to say the least. And it's uninteresting to say the most. Noel Des Geants smells like a Belgian amber ale that has a woody sort of herbal quality. The brewers added a 'special aromatic herb from the region of the brewery', but won't say what it is. I need more to go on to make any guesses.

Whatever was added is both prominent and distinctive, but isn't immediately obvious. It's woodsy and herbal and earthy, almost like ground bark of some sort. Here's what it isn't: coriander, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise or grains of paradise. Lightbulb on... juniper bark perhaps? Enough with the guesses, let's move on.

There's a fair amount of 'brown' malt that doesn't add much sweetness. Nor does it taste or feel like candi sugar was added. Noel Des Geants come across as a Belgian dubbel, to which has been added a hefty amount of herbal spiciness. This beer is more interesting than good.

On a negative note, the mouthfeel is on the light side for the ABV. On a positive note, it has a decent amount of creaminess and a fair amount of inflation, thanks to bubbles that are still on the boisterous side.

Being glad that the bottle is only 330 ml rather than 750 ml is never a good sign. Noel Des Geants (Christmas Of The Giants... whatever that means) is decent beer that doesn't get it done because it doesn't have an overly appealing spice bill. Goliath (Gouyasse Triple) is still Brasserie Des Geants best beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lots of foam is not saying enough, it not a gusher but when the liquid hits the glass beware and pour gently. On the bright side it produced a gigantic head which showcased a spectacular head retention. Candied fruit , fennel, powdered clove, and molasses bread in the complex aroma. Sweet malty palate upfront with suggestions of oatmeal raisin cookie dough, and a cinnamon latte. Alcohol is warming with some fruity esters, nothing that goes overboard. Hint of herbal phenols and faint herbal hop middle to end. Slowly drying finish tells you to take another sip.

No doubt this is one of the top winter seasonals I have had. The complex flavors are there and the drinkability is there as well, overall an exceptional beer.

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Photo of mrquartetman
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This splendid Belgian Christmas ale is sort of a combination dubbel and strong ale. It is a big, sweet, highly malty beer.

Appearance: Reddish gold, big head on the pour, head dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: Malty, vanilla, candy aroma, lots of plummy fruit in the nose.

Taste: Big, sweet malt with noticeable sugar and background spiciness. The spice in the beer is subtle and unidentifiable. Subsequent swallow reveals an also subtle hop that arises in mid-palate and disappears.

Mouthfeel: Among the best of this season, a very dense, lasting flavor that invites further drinking.

Drinkability: This highly drinkable ale is potentially dangerous, since it would go well with some strong foods, particularly certain creamy cheeses, and one might just keep on going without engaging the thinking area.

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Photo of tylerbrowe
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Kraken
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 2/12/09

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a 16 oz pint glass. Massive spewing head, issues forth with only a mild pour. Head is a slightly off white, cloud like, think cumulonimbus, and rocky with impressive staying power and a heavy lace. Color is a an opaque walnut.

Nose- Mild sweet peaches, pears, and fresh bread.

Palate- Nice. Fresh bread, unsweetened caramel. Heavy nutty tones, walnut and almond. Silky smooth. Some bittering hops in the finish. Faintly sweet, dry in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Dry, very nice.

Drinkability- Good. This is a nice un-Christmasy Christmas beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.56/5  rDev +20%
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 Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a caramel color, off white head, about 1/3" thick. Aroma was very candy-esque, plenty of spice, but not to the point it was overkill or offputting.

Alcohol remarkably hidden for 8.5% abv. Wish more of the BSDA style was like this, the brown sugar, sweetness isn't over the top and there isn't a ton of the fig, prune and raisin flavors. Its nice and mild, but then plenty sweet with a little bit of toffee then much more caramel malt. Maybe some cinnamon and vanilla make up part of the spicing.

Overall, this is a neat Christmas beer, the belgian yeast plays nice with all the other flavors, the spices are in the right proportion. Would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of Jeffwildcat
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

St: 750ml poured into a chalice. The bottle lists the ABV, but it does not list a DBD or BOD.

A: Cloudy light reddish-brown with a full-fingernail white rocky head. The head retention is very good; it sits on top for over a minute.The beer leaves light lacing.

S: Orange, clove, fig, vanilla, bread, and malt.

T: Lots of spice right up front: cinnamon, clove, and allspice. There is a smokey burn bread that joins up with some citrus orange peel on the finish. There is also some warming alcohol and more spice.

M: Medium and smooth.

O: Since this is a Belgian noel, I was not expecting the large amount of spice that dominates this beer. The finish is a bit abrasive and lingering. Overall, the spice could have been balanced better.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a stemmed strange)
A- The dark brown body turns a glowing orange-brown in the light with a spongy off-white head that sticks to the glass with each sip. There are strands of tiny carbonation that trail up the sides of the glass.
S- The bright apple and malt flavor has a sweetened condensed mil note and a perfumed mead finish.
T- The cidery notes meld into caramel notes and sawdust notes that both turn into a dark toffee as the beer warms. There is a nice soft hop snap at the finish and a light brown sugar hint when warm.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slight fizzy finish that enhances the plastic fusel alcohol heat notes.
D- This beer has some nice layers of dry sugar flavors that balance with the fizz notes and the hop notes. There are interesting apple qualities that remain in the background.

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Photo of BennyL1
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe

A - The brew has a mahogany body with a small ring of tan head. Spotty lacing along the glass.

S - A bit of spicy cinnamon up front as well as some other holiday spices. The malts are also present in the nose as well.

T - Christmas spices and Belgian yeast up front. The beer has a nice malt background which rounds it out very nicely.

M - Medium body with the right amount of carbonation that makes it feel really good on the palate.

D - Not bad for a Christmas beer, a bit spicy but I wouldn't turn this one down if offered.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle, Sam Adams glass, no freshness date.

A shade darker and deeper than a hearty IPA, the head isn't large but consistent. There was yeast in the bottle, as there should be, and I poured some but not all.

Other than classic Belgian yeast must, a nasally refreshing wintergreen lends almost physical coolness that can also be perceived as clean lemon. It could also even be clean pine, but not in a hoppy way.

Lemon grass, ginger, smaller wintergreen. Banana and clove via the yeast. This is a nice, complex, controlled beer of this style. Moderate Belgian biscuity malt, a little like its been sitting out in humidity. More cool lemon peel.

There is nothing special other than the flavors in the mouth and it's thin.

I can't taste the alcohol, and because it adds nothing past intoxication potential I can't see why this beer needs to be 8.5% ABV.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
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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Photo of RickS95
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burgundy brownish color with reddish hues throughout. The head is huge, white, and lasts forever, eventually leaving a sticky white lace all over the glass. Very foamy.

There was little smell, even as the beer warmed. Only after sticking my nose most of the way to the foamy head did I start to pick up cloves and a bit of cherry or darker fruits. The funky fruity yeast the Belgians are known for also seemed present.

Same thing with the taste. What's there is good, it's just not very pronounced. There is enough dark fruits and cloves to go around, but there is also some peppery spice and a bit of candied sugar. Malt was there and if I didn't know better, I'd say some pilsner malt was used.

Mouthfeel was all over the place. It's sweet, spicy, fruity, bitter, dry. Medium bodied with a strange finish that left me feeling both syrupy and dry at the same time. Plenty of carbonation.

It's a strange beer, but it worked for me. The ABV level of 8.5% is perfect for a beer and despite the highish number, it was well hidden making it very drinkable. I'd love to have another one in the future.

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Photo of tempest
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to a friend for sharing this one, but I'm not a fan. I got a strong dry hay flavor over rubbery caramel. That sounds worse than this beer truly tastes, and I know some folks like this, it may just not be for me. The appearnce was a murky dark red-brown with a tan head. Overall, the beer is balanced, but I just don't like how it tastes.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Farrell
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought randomly from an equally desolate looking establishment, Noel Des Genats turned out to be one of the best winter brews I had and is in serious contention for one of the best beers I have had.

Starting off with a mid brownish hue and an impressive head, this beer incorporated such great flavors as caramelized sugar, plum, raisin, cinnamon, caramel, bread notes, and candied fruits all with a mild hop finish. If I were to make a comparison, it had a similar taste profile as Rochefort 10, but was lighter, smother, and more drinkable.

My only regret is that I only bought one bottle and will most likely have to wait until next Christmas to drink it again.

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Photo of Ralphs66
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So in the first week of May, I'm bustin' out a holiday beer. Xmas year round...bottles were on sale for $1.99 each so I picked one up during my weekly beer run. Poured beautifully with a nice foamy head that held on for a good long time. Color was brown and "warm". Nose was fig like with hints of spice; cinnamon mostly. Taste was comforting and Christmas-sy. Alcohol was very well hidden, and the beer was extremely drinkable; kinda wish I had bought a few more at this price. I'd be opening up my second or third by this point. Nice beer overall.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Teresa's Next Door (Wayne, PA) on 11/24/10. Served in a 10 oz tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear amber, with a ½ finger cap of bright-white foamy head. Retains with about half of that, leaving a rich cascade of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of sugars and bread, with notes of earth and fruit and some definite spicy activity. This is pleasant enough I guess but just doesn't seem to be giving up a whole lot of flavor here.

The taste is doughy and honeyed feeling with sweetness, along some dark fruit accents, and some herbal bitterness. A festive spiciness trails into the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little bit fuller feeling, with a prickly carbonation that sits on top some underlying thickness. This stays pretty crisp feeling on the palate for the most part though and this is definitely a nice steady sipper for the size.

This was OK. It definitely had that festive gingerbread cookie/fruit cake thing going on with it that a lot of these Christmas beers seem to shoot for. I don't know. I just didn't get the complexity out of this that some other reviewers did. This was a pleasant but ultimately didn't leave a huge impression on me.

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Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a musty brown color with a nice pillowy head that slowly dissipated into a puffy cap. The aroma is faint, I pick up some candied plums with a hint of spice. The taste is earthy/sprucey, some dark bready malt, grassy hops, candi sugar and a light berry fruit. A different take on an Belgian X-mas brew, earthy and bitter rather than boozy and sweet. The feel is chewy with heavy carbonation, finishes slightly bitter. A nice christmas brew, not a cloying sugar bomb, quite drinkable.

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Photo of jcruelty
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of scootny
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 33 cl bottle into the Chimay chalice. A very dark red ale with clouds of sediment in the glass. A beautiful head of a couple of fingers and superb retention and lacing all the way down. A modicum of carbonation activity as I drink.

Smell is sweet with light banana, black cherry, Belgian yeast and spices. Some malt and a touch of alcohol.

Taste is black cherry and spices. A banana bread malt backbone that has a hint of almond macaroon. More spices as I swallow and short quick hops cutting in to dry the long finish. A bit of alcohol works in to add heat and complexity. Macaroon lingers on the palate with herbal alcohol aromatics on the mouth and throat.

Moutfeel is thick and creamy. Just a nice sensation that brings you back for sip after sip.

Drinkability sets you up for a night of steady sipping and sipping. The process is so enjoyable you don't want to slow down or stop but you must if you want to be able to walk and talk.

A great Holiday ale that has depth and complexity. While alcohol is not invisible it never calls attention to itself, inviting a session that should never be. A beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of drcarver
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a vivacious body that produces a huge head. deep amber color with a white head that has great lacing and retention.

S - candied fruit and lightly spiced. sweet with a bit of funk

T/m - sweetness followed but a bit of spice. It is not overwhelming. A bit of funk but again nothing too powerful. A dry finish with little after taste.

O - one of the nicer winter ales.

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Noël Des Géants from Brasserie Des Légendes
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 196 ratings