Bière De Noël
Brasserie Thiriez

Bière De NoëlBière De Noël
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Style:
Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #52
ABV:
5.8%
Score:
84
Ranked #36,756
Avg:
3.71 | pDev: 13.48%
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
81
From:
Brasserie Thiriez
 
France
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  2
Gots
  6
SCORE
84
Good
Bière De NoëlBière De Noël
Notes:
Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 81 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken from New York

4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Says, "French holiday ale brewed with spices" on the label; stylistically like a Belgian dark featuring seasonings of the season lol - this is an excellent holiday ale - warm dark fruits and a leathery shellack, spices both savory and sweet, making me think of stuff like cardamom and clove, nutmeg and cumin... Mildly bitter; only mildly sweet, too - which I like - smooth, plushly-carbonated, medium-bodied feel, little bit of tack left behind on the finish...

Nov 26, 2020
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bonne Noël to all of my friends as the eradication of my Bottle (!) Backlog continues unabated here at Chez Woody! I almost blew it & opened something else at this point, but then a bolt of inspiration struck & I'm going with this gem, instead.

From the Bottle: "French Holiday Ale brewed with Spices"; "Brewed & Bottled by Brasserie Thiriez Esquelbecq, France"; "Daniel Thiriez brews his rustic ales in a tiny farmhouse brewery just over the border from Belgium. His Christmas ale is a ruddy amber and has a pleasant dry, hoppy finish. The flavor is largely of malt, but there is a subtle hint of spice from orange peel and allspice. Like all of Daniel's ales, is infiltered and unpasteurized."

I started out to Pop! the cap on this monster, but it had a substantial cap that required a bit of prising to remove. I was very gentle in terms of my C-Line pour into the awaiting glass as there was a heavy presence of lees on the punt/kick. This also resulted in naught but wisps for head. Everything is a trade-off these days. Color was Deep-Amber/Light-Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity, so my efforts had paid off. Nose was reminiscent of spice cake! OMFG, I haven't had spice cake in years. This had exactly that bready, biscuity spiciness that I loved as a wee lad. Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was an interesting admixture of musty, slightly funky yeast, pungent spiciness & a bready maltiness. It makes me curious as to whether Daniel Thiriez & Dany Prignon of Fantome know one another and/or compare notes. This was VERY reminiscent of a Fantome beer! I was finding it to be quite enjoyable, becoming spicier as it warmed. Spicier & funkier! Man, this was quite the treat. Aha! In transcribing the verbiage, it becomes clearer. Definitely allspice! The rest may have faded during its time in storage, but it had become a tremendously drinkable spiced ale. It certainly fit into the Style Guidelines. Finish was dry, as any beer imbued with spices should be expected to evince. I'll have to keep an eye out for future arrivals. YMMV.

Apr 19, 2020
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A superb yeast makes this stand-out.
Looks are driven by this yeast, a full foam that settles and is replaced by active protein swirls; my cue that this ale is still alive. The label is classic French advertising. Smells are mostly malt with subtle holiday spices. Tastes are the same, a well-integrated ale in which a rustic yeast is making the most of bringing the ingredients out. Only in the after-taste do I get sweetness and, then, it gets supplanted by spicing. Mouth is full; bubbly; a nice, comforting texture for the holidays.

I had Noel before dinner and continued it with a simple garlicky soup with a rich broth. Noel was respectful of my kitchen, but a saison would have been a better pairing.

This is only my second from Thiriez, so I owed them a brewery review and went on their website and... no English button to be found by me. But the photos and graphics are pretty and I gather this is a family brewery and they serve good food. I also want to thank Shelton Brothers for bringing Thiriez to Illinois which is difficult. But as I said in my first review, I am looking for Thiriez' biere de gardes.

Dec 15, 2019
Photo of Svartrhand
Svartrhand from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label was pretty accurate. Very present hoppy notes initially from the dry hopping but settling quickly to a slightly smokey strong malt finish. Hints of spices.

Pleasant beer.

Feb 06, 2018
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i definitely have a little beer of the moment personal bias going on right now. i have come back into this recent full fledged love of rustic belgian (and here by proximity, french) ales of all persuasions. i got in waves with styles, usually drinking the season or honing in on something specifically, but lately i just cant get enough old world belgian stuff, and this is a great beer in that yeasty green bottle fashion. deeo amber to mahogany in color, an inch and then another inch with a twirl of head on it, creamy tan colored and fading only slowly. some fish food looking yeast flakes settle to the bottom of my red wine glass quickly. the aroma here is the same as the flavor, partial oxidation, strong rustic belgian yeast with a soft spice and a nice malty base thats both sturdy and interesting. dried apple and cherry notes to it, a little brown sugar sweetness, but this is neither sweet nor fruity. its balanced instead between the more bready elements of the grain and the yeast. the beer has a spice profile, earthy and dusty and festive, but the ale does not on the surface appear to be spiced, rather its a phenomenon of the yeast, which is the subtle star of this show. fuller body with a lot of bubbles, the texture is really right on for the holidays. we passed this around while opening presents on christmas eve, and while it didnt necessarily set the mood like the label implies that it might, it also did not seem out of place for this occasion. well done, i love these guys, wish more of their beers showed up in colorado...

Dec 28, 2016
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ChrisCage from Canada (AB)

4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- First off....incredible head on this brew; it reminds me straight away of a richly whipped meringue on a pie and is a very nice tan color that seems to have an indefinite retention span! The liquid is a medium brown, with tinges of orange and red blended in. There is a great amount of lacing on my glass as well, and the carbonation appears to be lazily rising to the top of the beer. Very nice looking beer overall!

S- The first aroma that greets my nose is of citrus fruits....grapefruit and tangerine rinds to be exact, along with darkly sweet malts and spices such as cinnamon, cloves to a lesser extent and pumpkin pie. There is really no hop presence to smell and also has a smidgen of booziness to it.....again, nice overall!

T- The flavors are quite different from the aromas for sure! There is a big flavor of dark dried fruits such as plum and fig, and has a rum like quality to it. The booze factor is noticeable in the flavor but doesn't hinder the overall taste. Sweet malts are also dominant with molasses and toffee flavors, that bind into an overall flavor that I can best describe as a light rum cake!

M/O- The mouthfeel leans towards full bodied but it's not quite there, and the carbonation is refined and smooth.....this could qualify as a desert beer and would do well with a plum pudding or with a slice of Christmas cake or Rum cake! It warms the senses and is quite nice on a wintery day such as the one I am reviewing this on! It's a decent beer and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy something a little more complex!

Nov 23, 2014
Photo of Brenden
Brenden from Ohio

3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The color is a muddled medium brown that actually leans darker but interestingly shows a lot of orange in the light. The head is a tan foam that peaks at under a finger It fades to the point of leaving a broken island and some edging, and some decent lace is dropped on the glass.
The smell is some tangy fruits with an earthy backing and light kitchen spicing with a bit of yeasty must.
The taste starts off sweeter before going a little more bitter, spices showing strongly without being overbearing and a bit of orange peel lingering. Some sourdough elements linger.
The dry and bitter tang almost feels like felt on the tongue initially, though a light crispness and good carbonation makes for a soft fluffiness.

Nov 20, 2014
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman from Canada (ON)

3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Single bottle from Premier Gourmet in Buffalo. Poured into a snifter, shared while doing some Christmas baking.

Dark ruby caramel in colour, hazy, and with a thin head that survives as a faint ring.

Nose is, for me, strong of raw honey, with a bit of spice, nuts, and biscuit.

Tastes much the same - spice, honey, sweet malt, a bit of Belgian yeast, dry finish.

Mild bodied, oily, moderate to low carbonation.

Tasty enough, sweet and spicy.

Dec 13, 2013
Photo of impending
impending from California

2.53/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

C-

750ml into a tulip. Pours a deep, nearly clear copper amber walnut, dense towering egg cream colored head, nice lacing.

The aroma is worrisome. Strong phenolic spiciness with a touch of oxidation and potential sour, musty yeast.

The first sip just creates dissonance. My initial reaction to each sip is that it has started to turn but mid point to long lasting significantly evolving aftertaste says it is all by design, it is intended. The problem being I must incur the beginning to get to the end.
Medium bodied lively mouthfeel.
cheers
jd

Jun 15, 2013
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27 from Canada (AB)

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - slighly hazy mahogany brown, solid two fingers of tan head that retained very well
S - very nutty, medium roastiness, subtle licorice and earthiness, definitely smells like a brown ale rather than a belgian dark
T - nutty start, raw leather, tobacco, and just a mild touch of pine resin, again more like an english brown than any kind of xmas or belgian
M - relatively light with an airy creaminess, finishes a little on the thin side
T - its fairly tasty and easy drinking, although in terms of flavour there are a couple of issues: it has nothing in the way of typical xmas or winter brew flavours, and it taste like a brown ale and not much like a belgian dark (although that is likely just miscategorized here), I did enjoy it but it was nothing like what I expected

Jan 19, 2013
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg from Canada (AB)

3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into tulip 26/12/12

A brownish cola with a big mocha head that hangs around for ages, there's some foam at the bottom and a a ring of lace followed by random patches

S earthy notes and leafy hops, coco, faint citrus, brown sugar, and yeast, there's some spice I can't place and a little top soil

T has a strange coco powder mixed with earth thing going for it, not a bad thing but hard to place and a small step back from the nose

M medium bodied with a soft creamy feel, nutty earthy aftertaste

O very earthy brew going on here, nice smell but the taste didn't quite match up, decent stuff but not the best I've had from this brewery

easy enough to drink but its missing a little something but I don't even know what I'm wishing for, interesting brew worth trying

Dec 27, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, batch 326, which nicely reflects the Christmas tree lights.

This beer pours a muddled, dark orange-ish amber hue, with two fingers of densely foamy, caked beige head, which leaves a lot of pitted fuzzy lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of biscuity caramel malt, some toasted nuts, a bit of earthy yeast, and spicy, leafy hops. The taste is softly bready caramel malt, some prominent oily nuttiness, weak savoury spices, a flinty mineral essence, a soft orchard fruitiness, and tame earthy, leafy hops.

The carbonation is mild, but still adequately supportive, the body a sturdy medium weight, and generally smooth, just a small pithiness messing with things a bit. It finishes off-dry, the biscuit and nutty malt notes holding their steady pattern.

More of a brown ale, with slight Belgian affectations, than anything - and at the same time, eminently drinkable, the bittersweet nutty character urging you to put down the silly laptop, and just have some more.

Dec 10, 2012
Photo of ksimons
ksimons from Illinois

3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours a hazy light chestnut with a huge amount of light tan head

S-nice roasted malt, spices, caramel, light fruitiness, and some Belgian yeast

T-taste is different than what I expected, not as malty as I would have thought. Still have a decent amount of bread like taste with a bit of sour cherry, and a mild spiciness, though I wouldn't necessarily describe them as holidayish.

M-light to medium body, moderate carbonation, leaves a bit of sourness on the tongue

Overall not the best holiday beer, but not the worst either. Most likely won't try this again.

May 08, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The most over-carbonated beer I've ever experienced in my life. As soon as the cap came off, this gushered like a fire hydrant at full pressure, within 10 seconds, there was only two inches of beer in the 750 ml bottle, making this the most expensive tiny half glass of beer I've ever purchased. This is the second massive gusher in three days and I'm not a happy camper. I envy the other reviewer who had no carbonation. Poured the remainder into a Gulden Draak tulip. The massive head dissipated very quickly to a ring around the glass, off-white in color. The remaining beer is a murky dark mahogany brown. Aroma of dark and sour fruit, a hint of caramel and earthy spicing. Taste is subdued, light flavor of dark and light fruit (cherries, plum and apple), sour cherry. Finishes sour with light spicing. Much closer to a saison or biere de garde than a Belgian dark ale. The spicing somewhat overwhelms the other flavors and I'd like a bit more malt for a Belgian dark. Light bodied, but nicely carbonated once it settled down. This was a miss for me.

Mar 05, 2012
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holiday Tasting event 2011. Poured into sampler glass. Pours a deep orange-brown body. Nose of sour berries, nutmeg and other earthy spices, toasted chestnut, and a sharp acetic acid note. Flavor starts with lots of tart cherry and berries, then has some toasted nut and oak. Hints of caramel, spiced wine, and sweet-salted peanut. Medium body is lightly carbonated and watery, but finishes with a spiced wooden dryness.

Dec 28, 2011
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mrfrancis from Kentucky

3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky, hazy amber with a thin, creamy off-white mousse.

S: The nose is dominated by spices, with aromas of caramel, cream, toffee, and roasted nuts playing second fiddle. Already, this one seems somewhat out of whack.

T: Notes of honey roasted nuts, heavy cream, dark bread, caramel, toffee, and vanilla bean are gradually overwhelmed by heavy spicing. The finish is rich with caramel, nut, bread, and spice notes.

M: Medium bodied and somewhat firm. Carbonation is mild, yet crisp. I was actually hoping for a higher alcohol content to mitigate the heavy spicing and make this one feel more like a holiday beer.

O: This is a decent beer, but one that I will likely not revisit. The spicing is just too heavy and it lacks that little bit of extra power to really warm you up when the weather turns cold. This isn't a bad effort, but it's not great either.

Dec 08, 2011
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

2.72/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Maybe the harshest spiced beer I've ever had, clouded amber brown body...fine khaki tan head even lacing. Aroma has a nice pleasant fruitiness with Christmas spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and tart tropical fruit nose really makes this beer nice in the nose. Flavor is full of carbonation and a rush of cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, cardamon almost burns the palate with spice doesn't really let the base beer shine at all. Mouthfeel is super carbonated, medium bodied but the long lasting spice factor coats the palate to the point of sickening spice. Overall, the nose was nice I liked the tropical tart fruit nose, but the barrage of harsh spice really ruins this beer.

Nov 08, 2011
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THECPJ from Delaware

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark murky brown with orange hue and minimal head

smell: strawberry, banana, spices, sweet, malts

taste: little sour, strawberry, spices, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: I really think this beer is more of biere de garde but anyways. It's was an interesting beer and quite enjoyed it.

Cheers,
The CPJ

May 30, 2011
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a green 25.4 oz. bottle. Has a pretty cloudy caramel color, but the score will be bumped down a notch because there is no head whatsoever. Smell is of spices, some fruits. Taste starts of with green apples, some spices, grapes, a bit wine like. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a different and solid beer.

Apr 30, 2011
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clearlydiluted from New York

2.46/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

a - a dark amber/brown color with a massive pillowy head

s - phenols that suggets a flanders red in it's sweet earthy tones, light spice notes

t - rather tame, hints of earthiness, light cherry notes, finishes dry and watery. lightly tart.

m - light-medium body with high carbonation.

d - drinkable but unremarkable.

Feb 24, 2011
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is slightly hazy brownish amber in color and poured into a snifter glass with a three finger high beige head that has excellent retention properties. A light to medium amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are earthy aromas of spices and yeast in the nose along with some hints of fruits.
T: Like the smell, flavors of spices stand out in the overall taste, which also has some notes of sour apples.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a slight amount of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink but nothing really stands out in particular to make this an interesting Christmas beer.

Jan 07, 2011
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scootny from New York

3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge head of beige hue. Flecks and bits of stuff mixed in. Cloudy orangey brown. Smell is lightly spiced with orange atop a firm malt bed. A touch of earth and a farmhouse fruitiness. Some caramel sweetness mixed in as well. Taste is light sweet malts with the orange and spice from the nose. A touch of wine and some tannic notes along with what seems like some light oak and vanilla. Dry lightly tart finish. Light supple feel with a nice carbonation and somewhat creamy fullness. Good drinkability and a nice lighter alternative for a holiday ale.

Dec 27, 2010
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jibbyvonjibb from California

4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber color. Cloudy.
T: Bit tart. Dark berry flavors from malt and/or spices. Orange peel citrus. Cocoa in background. Don't sense any farmhouse funk.
M: Medium body and carbonation.
O: An instant favorite. Love the fruitiness of the spices and the malt. A superb fruity Saison on par with Fantomes.

Nov 22, 2010
Photo of dstc
dstc from Florida

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, orangish brown with a tan head. Head falls slow yet stays. Thin, coating lace.

Aroma is of that farmhouse funk you'd expect from a northern French brewer. Smells sour and of spices.

Tangy tartness hits you up front in the taste. Malt backbone with little hops. Spicy. Sour and dry finish.

Medium bodied and fizzy in the mouth.

Decent enough brew, enjoyed it. Does not scream Christmas beer to me but still good.

Oct 27, 2010
Photo of champ103
champ103 from Texas

3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cloudy and dark amber/brown color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Some lace is left behind.
S: Dank and musky malt. Some caramel. Bread, biscuit and yeast.
T: Sweet, grainy malt, bread, and biscuit. Light yeast. Pretty bland.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Thin and watery. Not hard to drink, but I don't really want to come back for more.

Just kind of bland. There is nothing much here. Not the worst thing, but not something I would recommend either.

Jan 25, 2010
Bière De Noël from Brasserie Thiriez
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 81 ratings