Bière De Noël | Brasserie Thiriez

Bière De NoëlBière De Noël
72 Ratings
Bière De NoëlBière De Noël

Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Naerhu on 10-03-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 |  Reviews: 51
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a soft golden-amber body that is slightly dense but glow in the light. There is a sea of microbubbles racing upward to form a huge head of off-white soap suds that stick to the sides of the glass registering each sip.

S- The soft sweet smell of fresh honey malt has notes of Belgian monastery yeast, slightly fruity with some earthy qualities, and a faint soft hop green quality at the finish.

T- The initial taste is soft sweet light malt with a tartness aswell. Then the faint ripe orange note comes through and turns more tangerine and brightens up the flavor.
There is a soft pine finish that has a soft allspice flavor to it that leaves a soft sweet, spice, hop flavor to linger in your mouth.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat and a very soft carbonation that enhances the flavors at the finish.

D- The soft wild notes work well with the fresh malt flavors and the orange rind brightness bridges the malt and hops working in concert with the spices. This beer is not big and no overly complex but is very balanced and delcious.

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Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of Googs
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of philipquarles
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cL bottle of the 2008 release. Pours a beautiful honey orange with a billowing eggshell cap and lots of sediment. Very effervescent. The foam cap is resilient, eventually dying down to a thick film while leaving sheets of lacing on the sides of the glass. Aromas of sour apples, vinegar, lemon zest, barnyard yeast, and a faint malt background blend to give it a very nice scent. The sour character is dampened on the palate, with a pleasantly sweet, slightly fruity character balancing the a bit of tartness. Again citrus comes to mind, along with some earthiness and spice. Hops are evident in the finish. I love beers like this--very complex, lots of character, and yet a low(ish) ABV.

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Photo of putnam
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wilted brown malt, cascading vanilla in hubbard blossoms, aromas. The look is reddish brown paper. Clouded. More nostril pulls produce sweet peas, melon rind, strawberry greens, strawberries and tangerine. Now orange peels and brandy. On the palate it is dusty and licorice/sweet vermouth flavored before sun shines to reveal sprouts emerging from matted leaves.

This is not one of my favorite Thiriez beers.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
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!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.26/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Winter 2007 / 2008 Release; Sampled February 2007
An extremely careful pour still yields a six finger thick head that resides a good two fingers above the rim of my glass. Tightly beaded up top, but the bubbles get larger as you get closer to the beer, the head is a light tan color and has some incredible staying pour, it is at least a full five minutes before the head even recedes to the rim of the glass. The beer is almost brilliantly clear, it has a light amber hue to it, but when held up to the light it show a ton of mad, streaming carbonation bubbles and a lightly orange tinged, full copper color. The aroma is a mix of light fruit notes, malt character, and a hint of spice. The fruitiness can be a bit green at times with notes of unripe melon, ripe plum, rhubarb and a touch of cucumber. A hint of caramelized grain and a lightly toasty, cracker like malt character comes through the more I explore the aroma. There is an earthy, slightly woody, mildly phenolic, touch phenolic aromatic note here that I would be hard put to actually place, but must be influenced heavily by the allspice.

Luckily I am drinking out of a tulip glass so that the five fingers of head does not hinder my ability to taste the beer. It is also very well carbonated, though considering I had to wait quite some time to be able to taste the brew, it is no longer excessive; persistent, airy, with a peppery carbonic bite in the finish, the ample carbonation adds a rustic touch here and helps this beer to be quite quenching and drinkable. The beer has a nice, surprising yet welcome, tartness to it. The middle of the beer has a light malt sweetness that accentuates the fruit flavors found in this beer. The fruit notes remind me of a mix of Anjou pears, and grassy, yet ripe melons. This is nicely light bodied, really this is right in line with my idea of a Farmhouse Ale, which I would like to think this is. Spice flavors seem to accentuate the light tartness found in this brew; the spice notes are slightly woody, with a touch of phenolics, definitely peppery, but strangely lingering with an almost green vegetal note (but not really). The spice notes are really noticeable in the finish, though as the beer warms a bit an orange-zest note starts to become more noticeable in the middle of this brew. I should add though that if I had not known spices were added to this brew (and in fact I did not until I was part way through this beer), I would not have confidently said any were used here; they have been kept subtle, yet allowed to influence the flavor profile in interesting ways. The malt, which does provide a light sweetness, does not play a huge role here, especially for a holiday beer; caramelized bread-like notes in the middle play a role here and subtle notes of toasty grain, with soft soda-cracker notes are just noticeable in the finish.

It is hard to ask for more from the appearance of this rustic brew, the excessive carbonation produces a billowing, pillow like head that rests atop an almost brilliantly clear brew that has some color to it. The allspice adds an interesting dimension to this brew, it certainly did not take the path that I would expect and I am surprised how green the spice can be in the finish. In the end though I think it is a good choice for this brew, something like cinnamon or nutmeg would have clashed too much with the other flavors found in this brew. This is really a masterful use of spices by the brewer; light, subtle, yet significant and the particular choices really seem to work here. My second pour of the beer restores the ample carbonation and I realize how much I missed it; that peppery carbonic bit really makes this beer that much more enjoyable. I would definitely recommend drinking this beer quickly so that it retains the interesting carbonation (so share it, what else is a 750ml bottle for).

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, poured into tulip glass:

Pours deep orange/brownish amber with a tall, foamy off-white head that slowly descends and stays, leaving lacing.

The smell is of apricot/dried fruits, some orange, light spicing (not necessarily of winter-type).

The taste is of dried fruits, caramel and honey, some breadiness (gingerbread?), orange marmalade. Sweet and lightly spicy with a citric/earthy hop touch in the finish. Unique, well-balanced and tasty! Not what I expected for a winter/Christmas - but it works splendidly! It has a pleasant, I would even say, refreshing, aftertaste.

It has a creamy, medium body - pushes towards full-bodied. Again - perhaps not Christmas/Winter-y, but, then could depend on your location (more moderate climates - this is winter-y enough, for sure!) Even caught in this cold winter climate, I'm far from complaining.

It is delicious - well-balanced. Spicy, but not overly so, with a nice maltiness and a touch of balancing, flavour-some bitterness. A unique, nicely brew.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was made for xmas 2004, but was drank on Oct. 4, 2005. Freshness may be an issue. Thanks to RobBeer for this beer.

A - dense off (far off) white head on a black brown body. Large amounts of floaties visible at the bottom of the glass.
S - light aroma of very dark malt, molasses, brown rice sugar.
T - Next to no bitterness. Very slightly sweet. Complex, but understated. Very nice play of malt and molasses, carob bean, chocolate covered coffee beans.
M - Light, next to no carbonation. Silky smooth.
D - I cannot believe that I have had a beer this good in my fridge for so long. Smooth, complex, yet understated. Perfect sipping beer.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy deep ruby-garnet (the color of beets) with a massive three finger head of off-white foam. This leaves some nice lace on the glass, and the color reminds me of the deep crimson-purple of raw steak.

S - Red wine vinegar, sour rotten apple, and cider. When I used to mow the lawn in my parents back yard, I hated mowing under the two apple trees because the rotten apples that had fallen off of the tree were covered in bees who did not appreciate being disturbed by the law mower. This smells like the vinegary-sweet notes rising from those bee-infested apples in the summer.

T - This one tastes much like it smells. Sweet-n-sour apple funk, bitter unsweetened apple cider, mixed fruit juice, and beet juice. This tastes nothing like I expected from a "winter warmer" though I've learned that this category is really nothing more than a catch-all place to throw beers that the brewer calls a winter beer (ie SN Celebration, wassail-type brews, stouts, and witbiers with extra spice are all in this category and are nothing alike).

M - Sour-pucker face! This is pretty aggressively sour and astringent, and I like it! Makes it a bit rough to drink quickly, but that's not the point with artisan brews like this. The finish is off-dry and slightly sour. Nice!

D - Definitely good beer! I will pick this up again come next Christmas. The sourness is appetizing, and is a nice change from all of the super-malty winter beers.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
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...

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Photo of paterlodie
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBE 06. Good head and a amber brown beer with quiet some haze. Nose is sweet gale and malts with camallic note. Overall decent and good but missing litle spark to make it great. Taste is good also having a fine sweet but fresh maltyness. Still dry overall caracter and smooth drinking. Aftertaste is litle peppery and low bitterness but enjoyable as this whole brew is. Drinks easy and though there is nothing heavy about it enjoyable to me; and IMO subtile taste.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.06/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- A careful pour yielded a 1" high creamy head, which slowly gave-way to some incredible lacing. Body was a lightly carbonated, homogenously sedimented, honey color. Just picture-perfect.

S- Crackerlike malt, metal, cidery notes and Belgian yeast aromas comprise the nose. Smells nice- a promise of good things to come?

T- An *explosion* of flavor. Malts seem more bready than anticipated. Like a loaf of fresh bread baked with Belgian yeast and subtle hints of spice (nutmeg?). A delicious Christmas beer.

M- Medium body- nicely underattenuated. However, the carbonation here is coarse and somewhat bloating. This is a big negative in my book.

D- Very drinkable despite the carbonation issue. Wouldn't mind making this a Christmas tradition!

Note: I noticed lesser reviews for this beer. I have been aging this particular bottle for over a year. Perhaps this age has improved the beer?

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Photo of orangemoustache
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dirty looking amber/copper with a almond head that billows a good three and a half fingers tall,very carbonated(hint:pour slowly). Not an over abundance of lacing, just enough to add some nice flare. The nose smells like cider vinegar and soured pears, it burns my nose just a little, which is surprising considering the low ABV ,this is not a bad thing. A good malt backbone is accented with spice and tart fruit flavors. Wow this is super tart! Reminds me of a thin Flanders Red with lots more fruit tartness and spiciness. The body is on the light side, carbonation is on the high side, which gives a medium feel and excellent drinkability.

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Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Available by the glass at the Annual Holiday Special at Max's.

The beer pours a honey peach color with very good head retention and decent lacing. Carbonation is very active in this one. On the nose I get an intense aroma of spicey sweet skunkiness, reminding me very much of heineken on steroids. There's some apple too, and despite the description, the aroma works for me. I like the way this beer smells. On the palate this beer is quite rich, with loads of honey, cherry, apple and melon. Also, as the beer sits in the glass and warms a bit, the skunkiness seems to dissipate more and more. Ulimately, this is a medium bodied beer with the abv. well disguised.

This is a very nice, easy drinking holiday beer. Not bad at all...

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Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of animal69
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy apricot beer with absolutely massice off-white chunky head. Had to wait several mintes for it to settle before thwe first taste. Lots of sticky lacing.

Smell shows a light summer fruitiness (Apricots)
along with a noticeable amount of citrus.

Taste has a strong citrus character. some apple and peach flavors are also present.

Leaves a pleasant sweet taste in the mouth with nice retention.

Nicely drinkable. Much different from any other winter warmer I have ever had.

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Photo of ATPete
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, very fresh

label states 6%

Pours a reddish brown color with a massive yeast cloud that slowly settles and becomes one with the brew. Fruity yeast esters, plum, green apple, melon, chocolate, rich berry notes, cinnamon and a mild tone of oxidation. Creamy in body at first as the bubbles invade the tongue, the beer falls off the palate very quickly, a fruity, malty aftertaste is left lingering. Very drinkable, an odd but welcome Winter offering.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crazily bubbled kumquat that is barely visible thanks to a featherlight mass of beige foam that fills 9/10s of the glass immediately after the pour. It looks like a little patience will be in order. Once the bubbles settle down, a gentle snowstorm of yeast comes into view.

In years past, this particular offering was a Belgian dark ale/brune. For 2007, Brasserie Thiriez decided to brew a witbier. Tangy wheat dominates the aroma, followed by lemon peel (which wasn't used), orange peel and allspice. BDN smells like a saison-witbier hybrid and should be mighty tasty.

Biere De Noel tastes more like a summer cooler than a winter warmer. Winter warmers should be dark, rich and spiced; not light, light and spiced. Ah, who cares? It's pretty good beer and that's all that matters. Even though this particular vintage has held up remarkably well over the past nine months, I'd drink whatever you have before this year's batch is released.

The flavor is nearly as tart and tangy as a Berliner weissbier. It really does tastes more lemon-like than orange-like, and there's a hint of kiwi and an herbal woodiness as well. That last one is typical for a farmhouse ale. It's good that the allspice is zesty because the 6.0% ABV won't exactly warm your cockles.

It's rarely a good sign when there's a huge escape of carbonation on crown cracking and when foam threatens to exit the bottle seconds thereafter. The mouthfeel is usually too chaotic at first, passes through perfect in a flash, and is then energy deficient. That's what happened here, although it wasn't quite that dramatic.

Thireiz Biere De Noel might be an appropriate winter beer for the the Cote d'Azur, but those living in more northerly regions of France will want something more substantial. While this is enjoyable beer (especially in late summer), I hope the brewery gives us something completely different the next time around.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a chalice.

A - light copper color, decent head that settles but is retained well

S - fruity yeast character with malt sweetness noted

T - nice yeast fruitiness with clove-like accents accompanying the sweet malt; faint trace of hops on the finish

M - medium body, moderately high carbonation

D - decent Christmas beer, enjoyable, but I wouldn't want more than one during a session

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Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Bière De Noël from Brasserie Thiriez
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 72 ratings
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