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
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Ratings: 196 |  Reviews: 131
Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
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 Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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 djrn2
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that slowly died down and left a thin layer of bubbles continually covering the surface as well as lacy patterns of bubbles down the edges of the glass.
S: The nose has aromas of earthy hops, spices and herbs.
T: Similar to the smell, flavors of herbs and spices stand out in the overall taste - cinnamon, clove, lavender and pepper stand out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and quite dry and spicy, particularly in the finish. There is a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: All of the spices make this beer a slow sipper, even though the alcohol is well hidden from the taste. The taste is rather complex and the spices leave you longing for another sip.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
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 superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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 zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left thin traces of lace on glass.

S - It smelled very herbal and floral. A nice malty nose, too.

T - It had a very spicy bite at first sip. It tasted of dried fruits - dark fruits like plum and raisin. Just enough bready maltiness to balance it out.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry clean finish.

O - This is a nice Belgian ale. I've enjoyed this Christmas 5 pack from Shelton Bros.

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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 jlindros
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this is a couple years old, but with no date its hard to tell.

Pours a fizzy Belgian sticky lacing head fades slowly over super murky yeast chunked dark copper mahogany brown color.

Nose starts with some light Belgian malts, orange peel, light spices, strong Belgian ale aromas, light booze, bright fruit that could be an infection but maybe not.

Taste brings Belgian strong pale ale flavors, Belgian malts and fruity yeast, orange peel and light spices, bright malts and light candi sugar, some warming and tingly booze, little creamy and nutty, no infection, some light paler hips that were probably predominant when it was fresh. Finish is a little drier with lingering spices, coriander, orange peel, etc.

Mouth is med to a little lighter bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Drink is decent with light warming and tingly booze, and spices that come on a little strong but not overpowering, a decent dry finish and for a winter ale not too heavy.

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Photo of smcolw
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured less than half of the 11.2 oz glass and ended up with 3/4 foam in a 20 oz glass. Recedes in a rocky fashion. Spotty lace left on the glass. Slightly hazy, with a dark amber color liquor.

Sweet, mild rum-like aromas. I smell plums with sugar (does that make them sugar plums. I don't know what they would smell like).

Strong alcohol warmth, a little too potent for my tastes. Not as sweet as the smell would indicate. Relatively thin with a respectively high carbonation level. I can't detect any spices. The aftertaste is a pleasant blend of hop bitterness and the remnants of malt sugars. Still, the alcohol overwhelms all of the subtlety of this beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A PHL Beer Week remnant that has, like the previous reviewer's, been sitting awaiting the right moment. Like, now.

From the bottle: "The Brasserie des Legendes is housed in a medieval castle in the town of Irchonwelz, in the French-speaking south of Belgium. Its majestic gate stands high to allow the passage of the occasional visiting giant ... as the town is known for its annual Giants Parade."

I decanted it slowly, ending up with less than a finger's worth of deep-tan head that quickly fizzed its way out of existence and into wisps. Color was a deep coppery-red with NE-plus quality clarity. Nose had a vinous grape-y quality up front along with the chewing tobacco sweetness mentioned by the previous reviewer. Mouthfeel was very full, with a lot of huge carbonic bubbles leading the way. The taste was unique, a blend of raisin, bourbon, tobacco, and lemon zest. Frankly, it was like a cocktail more than a beer. Oh, those crazy Belgians and the crazier Shelton Brothers for importing such beers. Finish combined the lemon zestiness with the vinous quality of the nose for a dryness that would have put many martinis to shame. Phew! This begged for an H2O chaser, I'll tell you. I am all for dry, but this was on a Sahara Desert scale with the Zephyr winds blowing past.

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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 ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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 duceswild
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

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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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 drewone
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Slatetank
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I appreciated mughugger sharing this at last night's Christmas Bash for the Lancaster County Brewer's '10. Poured from the curvaceous 25 oz bottle into a cervoise.

The color is medium brown like cinnamon w/ light toasted color and caramel w/ white cap that settles to a tightly formed bead ring. The lace clings spottily. The smell is like a perfume, potpourri or simply a spicy fragrant belgian ale! The scent of dates wood spice and dried fruit w/ very light cocoa and hints of vinous aroma w/ gentle biscuit and mild raisin. The complex quality is something I enjoy, with light tobacco and other earthy aromas that seem to go with the season. The feel is moderately carbonated w/ mild fruitiness and light tannin w/ a roasted element but bits of woodiness add to the texture and earthy elements are at the forefront.

The flavor is nice w/ mild dry spice and wood-cinnamony w/ a hint of date and light brown sugar like a spice cookie w/ some woody resinous textures playing off the spice and malt sweetness in a way that melds well. I dig the mild tannin keeping it in the front of the palate and slight blend of raisin, date and grassy elements with mild nuttiness in the finish. This is a seriously complex beer that I didn't think much of til it got warmer toward cellar temp it really opens up and the last drops of yeast added some nice belgian character along with the malty spice _ I would not drink multiples of but great for what it is

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