Noël Des Géants | Brasserie Des Légendes

very good
193 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

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Ratings: 193 |  Reviews: 130
Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
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 woodychandler
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
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 BeerImmediately
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Held on to this one for the past year, and figured it was about time to review yesterday. Split w/ a friend who is a very experienced beer judge and home brewer...

Fat head with great lacing... fairly clear amber-to-brown body.

First impression on the aroma was 'animal' (i.e. dogs and cats)... but after letting it breathe, got some plum and raisin in the aroma. As it warmed, got some strong chewing tobacco quality.

Initial flavors were also unimpressive - started off as unsweetened iced tea, and musty. As it warmed, I picked up some ginger bread and lite tobacco. Decent holiday-spice, but not overpowering. Lot of herbal qualities come thru... almost lavendar like.

Slightly thin (but not watery) on the mouthfeel, which turned me off initially, until I could appreciate all that was going on in this beer. Medium parts sweet and dry, with a light herbal bitterness in the finish.

Drinkabilty was huge - would never have guessed this was 8.5% ABV.

** Recommendation - let this one warm into the high 50's before reviewing. **

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, pale amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark plum color that shows a lightly hazed, red / pale amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells spicy (sort of like pepper, coriander and a touch of elderberry) up front backed by fruit and rich malt notes. This smells a bit like a dark, sweet, spicy, holiday sweet bread. The malt has a nuttiness to it and almost smells of port or even sherry in the finish and perhaps even a touch of toasted grain character. There is a sort of over-ripe fruitiness to this beer that isn't quite rancid, definitely interesting, but a bit off-putting too.

Fairly dry as it first hits the tongue, the beer picks up some sweetness as it rolls across the palate; the sweetness contributes to the caramelized grain presence as well as a touch of sherry like character that seems contributed by a bit of oxidation. A touch of spice character in the finish seems a touch like cinnamon and there is an up front note of white pepper as well as some sweetness accentuating clove character that lightly influences the entire flavor profile. The body is pretty light considering the beers alcohol and this is definitely the beers strongest feature. A touch of nuttiness in the flavor takes on a toasted edge towards the finish at times and definitely boosts the complexity a bit more.

Not a bad beer, it is showing a bit of age around the edges and is fairly complex, but seems to be missing a little something to really make it a great beer.

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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 brewerburgundy
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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 Stinkypuss
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky caramel in color with an off white head. Little yeasties hang around. Smells malty, bready and boozey. Tastes chocolatey, some vanilla, plum. Even has some rum raisen notes. Ghost hops add bitterness. Medium to full bodied, a little chalky due to the yeast then finishes dry. Spices have died down to a slight notion . Easily drank, good beer.

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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 beerthulhu
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

- Brewed in Medieval Castle of Irchonwelz.

A: Poured a burnt rustic-orange with a thick haze. The head was soapy, 1 finger high, and quick to dissolve to a patchy covering. The lacing was soapy as well with a weak adherence factor. Against the light reveals a heavy turbidity of macro particles that danced within the glass from the strong carbonation.

S: A bit of sour yeastiness and sour dough is evident first on the nose. Musky fruit of apples and pears come along with a slight sour twang of lemons. Warm cola and dried honey rounds things out.

T: A spicy bite opens things up on the flavor. Musky fruit of apples and pears combine with semi-dry lemons are the most noticeable. Dried honey adds a bit of sweetness while warm pine needles adds a bit of evergreen appeal along with notes of boozy licorice. The finish finds a spiciness of tarragon along with a complimentary maltiness that provides a nice toasted sweetness.

M: The mouthful was bright with a good carbonation factor felt on the tongue. A warm booziness and licorice also comes through on the hold. A good maltiness lies on the tongue with an almost powdery feel.

D: Good for a single serving. The abv is moderate at 8.5%abv provides just the right amount of warmth without hinderance. Warm piney with licorice and dried honey gives this a wintery feel worthy of a try.

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Photo of Farrell
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
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 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 PreacherBrewer
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - pours a murky brownish orange color with a generous tan head.

S - yeasty, dried fruit, spices...

T - fermented apple cider/various aged fruit drinks. spices are abundant. very slight floral hop bite hits you on the aftershock. pretty complex. lots going on.

M - to me, this is the beers highlight. it's got such a unique mouthfeel that IMHO it's in it;s own league. bubbly, soft, ticklish, yet full. it makes this beer what it is. lovely stuff.

D - overall, what a great brew. this is a very solid beer with a lot going on. it's not your every-day kinda beer. even for a belgian! it's unique. thats what i like about it. i will be visiting this one again for sure.

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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 Clydesdale
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy, translucent burnt orange color. The off-white head is tall with a foamy, somewhat dense texture. Retention is solid, with some moderate patches of lacing along the glass.

S: A somewhat tangy/fruity, yeasty Belgian nose, with hints of sugar and spiciness. An interestingly herbal twang is also present, with an almost gingery note.

T: Some lightly caramel malt notes, with a bit of Belgian sugar to boot. A modest fruitiness recalls pear peel and raisins. A mild spiciness (clove) is present before fading into an herbal finish. I get significant notes of ginger and cinnamon as well.

M: A medium bodied beer with fairly perky carbonation providing a pleasant liveliness. The finish is a bit dry, with a slight hint of alcohol.

D: This is a tasty spiced beer. I was tempted to pick this up in December, but I waited and snagged a single for $1.50, which was a steal. A spicy, complex winter seasonal that scores points for originality.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy iced tea color with a full finger loose light tan colored head that fades quickly leaving spotty patterns of lacing. The smell is really nice and complex; an aggressive earthy fruity fig apple and caramel. A nice amount of creamy effervescence, bright and tangy, the mouth feel is medium-full bodied. The flavors aren't as pronounced as the nose, but the earthy harvest fruit and caramel characteristics are savory. The 8.5% ABV is a bit of a warmer, but otherwise well integrated. I recommend giving this one a spin.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 355 ml bottle poured into a Goblet produces an unfiltered amber to red body (odd for a proclaimed Belgian Strong Dark Ale by the shelf talker at Total Wine). The head is off white and a bit small but still chunky.

The aroma is sweet bready malt, slightly sour, fruity, and grainy.

The flavor is much less malty and more spice than expected. There is also a slight tart character in there that I was not expecting. The alcohol is slightly present but that is okay for the style I guess. With warmth notes of dark fruit, clove spice pull through a bit stronger.

Mouthfeel is lush and fluffy as the best Belgians are with more than ample carbonation.

This is certainly not a beer to session at 8.5 abv, but would be a nice sipper with a meal. Christmas dinner perhaps?

This beer is called Christmas of the Giants because it is brewed in the Irchonwelz castle in Irchonwelz Belgium. The Gate stands high to allow the passage of the ocassional visiting giant. My visit with this giant was a good one and at 1.99 a 355 ml I might just have to revisit it again.

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

11.2oz bottle served in a chalice.

Cloudy dark brown with a foamy beige head that stayed as a cap fueled by rising bubbles, rings of lacing left behind.
Aroma is somewhat yeasty with a light cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices.
Taste is good and malty with the yeast and spices being subtle.
Medium bodied with good carbonation, crisp.
Good drinkability.

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Photo of Gavage
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a cloudy dark copper color with a short head that falls quickly to a thick surface foam.

Smell: caramel, hint of spice, yeast, and a genreal earthy tone is pleasant on the nose.

Taste: a bready malt base here with caramel, yeast, pepper, brown sugar, and some soft spiciness. Alcohol is well hidden, and bitterness is moderate. An overall earthy quality arrives late.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, less crisp and a bit dry at the finish.

Drinkability: a nice flavored beer that is a bit of a slow sipper. More than one could be enjoyed in a session, but the well hidden alcohol will creep up on you.

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Photo of dstc
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown color with an orangish tint. Light tan head falls to a minimal one. Nice lace.

Smells like a Belgian beer (you know what that means). Sweet malts and Belgian yeasts.

Rather tangy taste with spicy malts. Fennel and clove are present as is the alcohol.

Medium bodied, mild and smooth in the mouth.

Nice Christmas brew that is easy and pleasant to drink.

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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 EtOHMD
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich, golden-orange color, quite warm hues which are nice on a cold winter day. Minimal head, but does not really matter. Aroma and taste is mainly of spices --- clove, cinnamon and perhaps most of all nutmeg --- with hints of fruit and vanilla. Feel is rich, complex and warming. Very good winter warmer type beer.

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle.

Pours a reddish brown color with a great off-white to tan head that dissipates in a couple minutes but eaves a half finger ring until the beer is finished. would have given it a 5 but the lacing was a bit disappointing.

Smells of caramel malts, with some dark fruits and a bit of alcohol.

Tastes of dark fruits up front, with the caramel a bit subdued as compared to the smell. Has a bit of spice, and a nice amount of warming alcohol. a bit of a syrupy mouthfeel, coats the mouth and feels fairly nice.

overall a solid brew.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Came part of a five pack Belgian assorted mix.

Snifter pour with a nice caramel, apricot pour and a three-finger foamy white head pour.

Plum and dark fruity aroma with some maltiness.

Very smooth fruity taste. A slight aftertaste on the buds and a dry finish.

Way too easy to drink for an 8.5%. I wasn't expecting too much from this beer but it definitely impressed me.

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Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid crystal malt and dark candy sugar aroma along with a classy Belgian yeast fruitiness. The taste is good as well. It's a smooth drinker with a nice, malty flavor and yeast fruitiness. There is a light spice character in the finish. I'm detecting coriander and something else I can't put my finger on. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good Belgian noel. It's mildly spiced and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Travlr
4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Greg Engert at Churchkey.
A: Chestnut/amber color with a large white head, long-lasting, with great lacing.
S: Subtle aroma of spice, maybe cinnamon and nutmeg.
T: Flavor begins with light mixed winter spice, then grass, then malt, then pumpernickel bread, and finishes with a faint bitter edge. Nicely complex.
M: Great body.
D: My second favorite Christmas beer of the 2009 season so far, very nice indeed.

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