Noël Des Géants | Brasserie Des Légendes

very good
130 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: 130 | Ratings: 193
Photo of sabrills70
2.55/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clody copper oranges with a deep thick head that lasted quite a while. Smells of ginger and spices. Taste is a bit one dimentional. It has no body or depth to it. As Belgian ales go this one is pretty light. Its seems like a well made beer I am just looking for more when it comes to a Belgian ale

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Photo of jmdrpi
2.72/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

330mL bottle.

appears a hazy brown color with amber highlights. thin white head of tiny bubbles that stays to the end. pine and juniper aroma. I was expecting christmas mulling spices, but I pick up more earthy spices. I swear as it warms it smells dead-on like a heavily herbed italian pasta sauce. very odd.

tastes of yeast, juniper, rosemary, herbal. the taste is hard to separate from the aroma. smooth mouthfeel though.

drinkability definitely takes a hit because for me, the aroma distracts from the taste and makes it harder to drink and enjoy.

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Photo of DIM
2.81/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

a: This was a hazy reddish copper color. It poured with a big, sticky, creamy white head.

s: Perfumed, solventy alcohol punctuated by flowery cherries and musky artificial sweetner.

t: Sweet from start to finish. Starts off with sugary artificial cherriesthat fade to a harsh, solventy, pink packet chalkiness.

m: Creamy and mildly fizzy carbonation along with a fairly viscous body.

d: Pleasant enough up front, even if it was one dimensional. The finish was was quite harsh though.

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Photo of tempest
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%
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 HopGoblin
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

sampled from a 330ml bottle: Pours deep caramel with ruby highlights. Fluffy, off white, two finger head adorns the top of the glass. Aromas of candy sugar, dark fruit with sweet floral aroma. First taste is a bit sweet, with honey flavors. Then out of nowhere comes a strong herb flavor, which reminds me of a Chirtmas tree (The Shelton Brothers website says they use a special aromatic herb from the region of the brewery?). The aftertaste of this herb is a bit funky and it really dries out the mouth. Nothing special on this one, in fact it is tough to finish the 330ml bottle.

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Photo of teromous
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

My bottle was very different from the one displayed, it looked more like a champagne bottle and was 1 PT 9.4 FL OZ, same 8.5% as shown above.

A: It pours a light hazelnut brown, and is pretty hazy but clear enough to see there is a generous amount of carbonation. It keeps an off-white head the size of my pinky finger and retains very well.

S: Smells yeasty and a little metallic. There is a familiar Belgian scent to it.

T: It tastes a little roasted, with slight bitterness. It seems to be a little more on the hoppy side. There is a slight funk to it...probably not from the yeast but maybe the water? It adds a nice character to it. It tastes a little thin going down and leaves very little malt in the aftertaste.

M: As mentioned in the taste section, it is a little thin. It isn't all that balanced, but nothing really jumps out impressively either.

D: It's drinkable, and it's a good beer. It's not very bitter or strong in flavor, so it's pretty easy to drink. The transition from the nose to the mouth as you drink is very pleasant, but there are better Belgian style beers (even ones not authentically Belgian).

Overall, I think this is a good beer. I think it's one drink a person should have at least once (because of the history behind the brewery) but the price of the beer reflects its rareness, and honestly...not its quality.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was an interesting orange-brown color, hazy, with lots of tiny floaters in it. There was a half finger head that fizzed loudly, but rather than subsiding quickly, it reduced to a thin layer which persisted, and left a lot of lacing on the glass.

Aroma was spicy, with hints of cinnamon. There was some slightly musty earthen malt aromas, and maybe a hint of sweetness - but not much.

Taste was moderately sweet, with honey overtones. Caramel and medium malts formed the middle, and finish was dry with spiciness. Hops were in there but not prominent.

Mouthfeel was dry, as the taste, and slightly astringent. This reminded me a lot of an oak-aged beer, but without the tannins or vanilla character.

Drinkability has to take a little hit because of the spiciness. It's OK, but that's about it. Nothing that stands out as memorable - it's not an easily identified spice, as clove or cinnamon would be, for example. It's more herbal.

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Photo of MGBBob80
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I like it! Very understated. Poured dark with a reddish hue. Head was off-white and dissipated quickly. Nice lacing on the glass. There is almost no aroma, the carbonation is adequate and it has an earthy taste that reminds me of good farming soil and old shoe leather. I did not pick up some of the plum and cherry mentioned by other reviewers, but that's probably my palate and not there's.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into St. Bernardus chalice.

A - Hazy, tawny brown with 3 fingers of light tan head. Retention is decent, with a moderate cap still remaining after a few minutes. Minimal lacing.

S - Spice takes the forefront immediately. I'm not sure what it is, but it smells a bit like a combination of cinnamon, anise, and pine. Not the hop sort of piney, more like actual pine needles. Spices/herbs are backed by lots of brown sugar with a touch of hazelnut and banana.

T - Very sweet from the beginning with lots of brown sugar and the nutty/slightly fruit flavors from the nose. Somewhat bready, though this is quickly eclipsed by the brew's big spice element. Cinnamon and anise still come to mind with an almost overwhelming presence of pine and something almost like mint and hawthorne berries. Very strange and bordering on that sort of minty cooling effect. Huge sweetness eventually subsides by about half late palate, though the minty/piney/herbal flavor is in full force providing a touch of bitterness. Finish is still quite sweet and somehow translates into a quick flash of dark chocolate.

M - The body falls somewhere between light and medium, though surprisingly Noel des Geants seems fairly light. Carbonation is moderate-low. Part of me is unsatisfied and wants this to be a heavier brew, but then again I'm a little afraid of how a thicker beer might augment the already audacious presence of the herbs/spices.

D - Although this beer is going down mostly smooth without the alcohol peeking through, the intense spice component is a little rough after about half the bottle, as is the huge sweetness. Overall an interesting beer; perhaps a treat to share with a friend after dessert, but on it's own it's quite in-your-face.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
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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Photo of corby112
3.39/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked a bottle of this up on a recent Xmas beer run. 11.2 oz. poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep dark chestnut brown with mahogany edges and dark golden ruby edges when held to a light source and a frothy two finger off-white head with great retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that streaks the tulip with splotches of soapy lacing.

Estery dark fruit aroma with lots of sour dark cherry, plum and raisin. Slightly medicinal with some sweet cloying syrupy notes. Spicy pepper/peppermint with slight roasted malt and pine needle.

Soft carbonation up front with a lot of sweet estery belgian yeast providing some nice dark fruit notes followed by an earthy toasted subtle malt body and slightly syrupy cloyingly sweet medicinal flavor. Subtle spice, mostly peppery peppermint and pine needle. Very subtly tart with a bit of vinegar feel. Astringent alcohol taste in the finish.

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- bulbous, shapely, almost dom perignon shaped bottle and a tiny label makes a nice presentation. pours a murky brown that's glowing reddish orange when back-lit. the foam has a light fluffy whipped texture and holds itself pretty good and the lace is very clingy in places, seemingly holding up the foam.

S- interesting herbal fruity/spicy aroma. hardwood notes of hickory and pecan stand behind layers of peppercorn, coriander, lemon zest, and bergamot. there are hints of cinnamon and nutmeg in the background, but not enough to make this beer smell cinnamony or christmasy. brown sugar, toffee, and nutty malt with slightly grassy, i'm assuming, hops. honeyish and floral with earthy nutty yeast once it opens up.

T- this beer has a very unique flavor. it's all at once cinnamon and ginger, very woodsy and earthy with an astringent herbal bitterness that flattens out and lasts longer than and gets in the way of the other flavors. there's some toasty, some nutty, some pepper and anise, pine cone, lemon and orange peel, dates, beeswax (wtf?) and a honey sweetness whose presence is faint, meager, and far out of balance with the contrasting flavors resulting in a watery drop-off after the initial rush of spice, fruit, and grain. finishes like freshly cut almost green wood, the cardboard box that holds my mom's christmas stuff, or your jacket when you leave one of "the countrys largest" christmas stores like the christmas-forsaken one in manteo NC my aforementioned family used to drag me to on vacation. it has the faint hint of cinnamon and spice and the smell of old ornaments that we just can't manage to throw away, all metallic and glass, and dust from the basement, cardboard from the box, funk from the 80's and with pine sap residue built up on the hooks. this could be starting to sound like a wicked christmas burn but it's not.
for one, back then we had real mothachristmas trees, not this plastic (although beautifully decorated) bullchristmas i got next to me in the dining room right now. downside is that's a subdued, background, linger in the wool type flavor, not the robust well rounded BSDA i expect out of a cool-christmas $10 bottle. honestly if you told me a mediocre american brewing company made this beer, i would probably believe you however the sign of expertise is that the alcohol is extremely well hidden behind the floral bitterness, which is 90% olfactory, which is why i'm christmassing in the first place. front half- awesome. back half- blah. this is just a long christmas way to say that i'm on the fence. the freakin snow covered one.

MF- the spicy hot yet cooling feel of ginger (if it's even an ingredient) stings the palate along with the zesty carbonation which is so tight in the glass, that when it hits your christmas mouth it expands the christmas proteins in the the beer or something, turning what once was a watery sip in a instant to a full bodied creamy prickly champagney beer milkshake. maybe it's the pH of my christmas saliva but a howdy ho, cornwallis. dry on the cheeks and especially on the tongue. sticky on the lips and in the mustache that connects to the rest of the beard. becomes alcohol dry with a vodka feel.

D- christmas, my christmas i'm creepin up on a mothachristmas buzz from this bottle when the radiator is right by your computer and it's 18 degrees outside without the wind chill and you spent the last 7 hours in the mall and at kmart and the store with clothes for dogs and you picked up this beer at world market and it was... so-so. rambling on like this makes the bottle go faster, a bottle that i otherwise may have re-corked (capped) and put to the side while i popped that taddy porter that's been winking at me.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep cloudy amber color with moderate white foamy head.

Smell demonstrates a distinct 'belgian ale' presence with some nice yeast and candy sugar notes.

Taste is really dissapointing. I just cannot find much of anything. Very neutral.

The ending follows the taste. There just is not that much flavor.

Very esy to drink. The alcohol content takes over at the finish.

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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 jayhawk73
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On draft at Rustico:

Pours a dark brown color w/ a thin off white head. Minimal lacing on my snifter glass. The smell is really weak. I mean, REALLY weak... I barely get anything other than some woody notes, spices, and some malt. All extremely understated. The taste is slightly better. The woody-earthiness and spices are the main thing here, but still a little weak on taste. Feel is medium, with little carbonation and somewhat dry finish. Glad I got to try this, but probably won't look for it again. Cheers.

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Photo of ccrida
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

33cl bottle I picked up about 2 months ago, stored and served ~55F. Poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Noël Des Géants is a murky, rusty dark bronze with a large, creamy light tan head that leaves pretty thick, foamy lace.

Smell is caramel, leafy hops, a touch of diacetyl.

Taste is pretty good but rather restrained, fruity farmhouse ester, grape and mismashed spices, citrus. Like a darker BdG, a bitter, almost astringent finish that comes from spices.

Mouthfeel is almost excessively carbonated, with a medium body.

Drinkability is ok, there's a lot going on if you try to break it down, but they all seem to almost neutralize each other, leaving a peppery burn that isn't helped by the crisp, foamy mouthfeel. The ABV isn't apparent, however it's not to digestible for whatever reason, an overspiced, dark farmhouse.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured 11.2oz bottle into tulip. Deep caramel brown with a bit of a chill haze and thick egg shell white head. Aroma is sweet and malty...apples, caramel, brown sugar, candied cherries, with some earthiness. Tight Belgian carbonation and medium to medium light body feel. Some sediments linger which is a turn of for me personally. Sweet bready brown sugar flavor up front and then into some Belgian esters but mostly apple. Light spiciness and a pretty forward yeast flavor as well.

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Photo of wangbruins
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Nice caramel brown with a very hazy hue, decent head, a little thin, and the lacing is ok

S- Cherries and maple syrup with a little bit of smoke. It has a subtle sweet scent

T- Lots of brown sugar and a very small smoked nut flavor but the sweetness is very powerful

M- Good body but very's a very sugary beer

D- It's a good sipper but more than two would be a stretch

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
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 Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out with a cloudy red colored body. The head was white and fluffy. It settles within a minute or so and leaves a light lacing. The smell of the beer has some spicy herbal notes on the nose. The taste of the beer is yeasty and a bit spicy. The mouthfeel of the beer is decent, had a nice carbonation level and body mass. Overall it's not a bad winter brew but I could have been better. I would probably try this one again if I saw it again.

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Photo of popery
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer doesn't really have enough going on to hate or love. It's just a ho-hum Belgian-style ale with a bit of spice. Pours a bright copper color with a fizzy white head. The aroma is mostly caramel malt, Belgian earthiness, candi sugar and spice (juniper berries?), but it doesn't amount to anything particularly exciting. Flavor is mildly sweet. Mouthfeel is too thin. Actually, the beer is generally fairly weak for 8.5% abv. Not a bad beer but not something I'd recommend with so many excellent Belgian ales around.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, amberesque body with a airy, meringue-like, whitish head.

Smell: The modest aroma has an overall earthy quality to it, sporting notes of caramel and stale dark bread, with undercurrents of herbs, spice, and, at least for me, a notable grape fruitiness.

Taste: Dry, dark maltiness pass along some tastes of dark bread and dark caramel. The flavor is accented by a seemingly dried herbal flavor. Touch of spiciness reminiscent of cinnamon, though it seems no actual spices were harmed in the brewing of this beer. Belgian yeastiness. More of that bold, fruity grape juice character carrying over from the nose, more easily gleaned on the amply carbonated, drying finish that provides a bit more spiciness and some alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation with a light, lively mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It does display a curious complexity, but I simply didn't care for the particular mix of flavors going on in this one -- like a first date where there was just no connection, no spark. However, it's one I may potentially revisit in the Winter of this new year. Look! I'm putting in on my 365 Days of Puppies calendar this very moment (Dec. 5th, a Golden Retriever pup)!

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Christmas is gone and past, but it is still the right weather to enjoy a Christmas beer. 330 ml bottle, on to the beer:

Pillowy looking head on top. The color itself is a slightly washed out brown. There is some amount of whipped lacing sticking to the glass. There's a little bit of head retaining itself all the way down. Very spicy in the nose. It is zesty, though just a bit over the top. Lemon peel, lemon pepper, lavender, thyme. No sign of the malt, hops, or yeast, but that could change as I taste it.

The good is the alcohol is buried. The okay is that the spices are dominant without much help from the beer. I don't mind dominant spices as long as there's something to balance things out. Not a bad overall flavor at all. I'm surprised that the beer, being at 8.5% ABV, doesn't create much in the way of malt or yeast flavor.

Lavender and lemon pepper are the two things that come to mind. Something else is there too, but the name of it is not crossing my mind. Slightly sour at times.

Spiced beer all the way. It's an interesting beer to try, and one whos attractiveness is enhanced by a "save $2 off instantly" coupon for the 330 ml bottle. Only $0.99 after that, making it one of my better buys of 2009.

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Photo of FloppyDog
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent golden copper with a 1/2 finger of white head.

Aroma is of spicy Belgian yeast and cinnamon upfront with candy sweetness and a hint of green apple coming through as afterthoughts. Reminiscent of a homemade apple beer form.

Taste is sweet with that spicy yeast profile that came through heavily in the aroma. Mild hop flavor and bitterness finish out the taste, which helps lends some balance to the sweetness, but the beer is still on the sweet side overall.

Mouth feel is prickly with very tiny carbonation that helps to lighten up the feel of the otherwise heavy 8.5% beer.

Overall, enjoyable, but can get lost in the crowd of other Belgian beers out there.

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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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Noël Des Géants from Brasserie Des Légendes
3.81 out of 5 based on 193 ratings.
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