Noël Des Géants | Brasserie Des Légendes

Noël Des GéantsNoël Des Géants
194 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 194 |  Reviews: 130
Photo of sabrills70
2.55/5  rDev -32.7%
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 -28.2%
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 davidwhatshisnam
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of DIM
2.81/5  rDev -25.9%
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%
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.

 344 characters

Photo of jcruelty
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of RollBounce
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Kahlerbock
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of HopGoblin
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
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 -18.2%
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.

 1,350 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

 944 characters

Photo of WynnO
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of duceswild
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of jrfehon33
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of BobbyOlson
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of LivingTheDream84
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of MGBBob80
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

 392 characters

Photo of PatrickJR
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

 1,763 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
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 -10.6%
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.

 897 characters

Photo of Giggy
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of hustlesworth
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
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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Noël Des Géants from Brasserie Des Légendes
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 194 ratings
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