Bière De Noël | Brasserie Thiriez

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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

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Ratings: 72 |  Reviews: 51
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Like a saison, this beer has a mild spiciness and a light mouthfeel. It is also substantialy creamy and grew on me throughout the meal. Pours golden yellow with lots of white foam and lace. Sweet and spicy, not bad for France. Refreshing. Carbonation suprisingly above average.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.37/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pour a dark copper with a light tan head that quickly fades.

Nose is all big ripe banana malt character with hints of some alspice and undertones of sweet walnuts.

Mouthfeel is thin, weak and watery.

Flavors are watered malt, fruit and bananas but thin, weak and unappealing.

Short finish is very light malt.

This one is sort of like a bad waterly soda. No need to try again.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
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 t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of metter98
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.8/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clouded, medium brown body with a fizzy, fine, white head.

Smell: We have a nose of basic bread crusts and a few tired, begrudging notes of stale chocolate powder and spice. There's also a sourish fruit character in the backdrop. Many things make me think of Christmastime, the aroma of this beer is not one of them.

Taste: Sugared toasted bread crusts mingled with lesser tastes of caramel and cocoa powder. Sourish fruitiness akin to substandard plum products. This one offers very little in the hop and bitterness department, and, I hate to say it, very little in terms of festive spice character as well. All-spice? More like no-spice! The finish is quite effervescent, suspiciously so, even, and carries with it a final hint of both light sourness and toast.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thing body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, unfortunately, this one wasn't very good and one I cannot recommend. For me, it's less of a Bière De Noël and more of a Bière de No Thanks. Everything from the spice character to the malt profile, it's all so mild and uninteresting.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
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 atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.72/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.23/5  rDev +16.5%
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 GClarkage
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

02/12/09- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, 2008 vintage. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- About a dead on caramel colored pour. 1/2 inch head on pour. Slight rim remains for the duration. Some lacing at first, but fades quickly.

Smell- Has a very funky smell on opening the bottle. Smells more skunked than funk though. Actually smells a bit like a Heineken. When it warms, it has a bit of a caramel malt scent and swhat smells like mole and ancho powder. Kinda odd for sure.

Taste- Has a touch of nutmeg and cinnimon...note just a touch. Has a medium sour taste on the back of the tongue and a light sweet taste on the tip of the tongue. Lightly hopped and some other various spices mixed in.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level. Light sour aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not really feeling winter as I sit here on a golf course in Arizona. Decent flavors and fairly easy to drink, but not the best winter beer I have had. Maybe even less than average. Still not bad though. Just a touch boring.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +24%

Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +11%
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 Gueuzedude
4.26/5  rDev +17.4%
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 JohnGalt1
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz picked up sometime last week at the Coop for about $4... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1" head dies quickly leaving no lace... the brew is a hazy orange amber when held to a light... it seemed to be a fizzer so I only got about 2/3'rds of a glass out of it before the yeast dregs really started coming.

Aroma is like a caramely Belgian Amber... musty fruitiness with a fair amount of spiciness..

Not nearly as much sweetness in the flavor as expected.. definitely more of a Belgian brown ale.. yeasty fruitiness with some unidentifiable spices... maybe pepper and a lite dusting of coriander.. finish is sorta dry with an apple skin component..

very carbonated yet still with fine carbonation.. medium body is nearly wiped out by the carbonation.. burpy.

Really nothing great going on here... It's fine.. definitely not a drain pour.. but just pretty unremarkable.

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Photo of Hayley_86
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Halcyondays
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a murky maple amber with a soft fizzy white head. This one was a bit of a gusher. Good head retention, no lace.

S: Fragrant nose of holiday spice and fruitcake. Cherry cordial and gingerbread make an appearance. Interesting and complex.

T: Dark fig component initially with a light sour cherry note, wine-like flavours midway through. Spiced bread and some acidity finish the brew. Gets medicinal/cough syrupy at the end with some astringent grapey fruit.

M: Rather light and fizzy, thin. Feels like it disappears as soon as it hits the tongue. Bit too much carbonation.

D: A drinkable brew for me, but not much else, a lot better winter brews out there. Some solid spice flavours, but the overall character of the beer is thin and lacking.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger cream head that fades slowly, leaving a good lace. Cloudy brown color. Spices and tart nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is tart like a farmhouse ale with holiday spices. Expensive at $12.50 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of wordemupg
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
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

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +24%
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 champ103
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Bière De Noël from Brasserie Thiriez
3.63 out of 5 based on 72 ratings.
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