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De Ranke Père Noël | Brouwerij De Ranke

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De Ranke Père NoëlDe Ranke Père Noël

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Père Noël is a Christmas ale, though very different from any other Christmas ales you might know. While most Christmas ales are rich & sweet, this one is amber-coloured, 7% vol. Alc. strong and tastes quite bitter. The complex taste is completed with the addition of liquorice. In the recipe we can also find pale malt, Munich malt, Caramel malt, Brewers Gold hops and Hallertau hops.

Added by stcules on 12-04-2001

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Reviews: 229 | Ratings: 431
Photo of Meganomiidae
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

.A: Pours golden-orange with a finger-width head, which dissipates quickly. Almost no lacing.
S: A bit tart on the nose, strangely reminiscent of sour beers. Citrus fruit, Christmas spices, light malt scent.
T: Contrary to the nose, no sourness. Slightly more bitter than expected. Carrot-like on the forefront, followed by earthiness and spice. Tastes like a boatload of herbs went into this, probably helping to contribute to the bitterness.
M: Light body, rolls through the mouth with ease.

Decent, but not the best of the style. Worth trying for the intense herb lovers.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This interesting little brew was enjoyed from the 11.2 oz bottle in a snifter. Ale pours a hazy deep amber golden with a effervescent white head that dissipates quickly to a very thin ring with little lacing. Nose of Belgian candy sugars, citrus fruits of lemon and orange zest, spicy peppery hops, and sweet Belgian yeast. Flavors, with a good little rest in the glass give rise to sweet candy malts to the front and sides, sweet tart like citrus flavors to the sides as well, and a white pepper and bittering hops bite in the back as well as on the aftertaste. Smooth, wet, well carbonated mouth feel. Would love to have a bigger bottle of this to lay down for a number of years and try again. Very deep intense flavors that improve with warmth. Cold it is just a lightly sweet bitter beast, warmed it is a complex multi-layered delicious brew that keeps me going back and changing my numbers.

Happy New Year----Cheers!

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beatiful orange, hazy beer with a two finger high, white headthat leaves lacing on the glass when it slowly sinks down to a thin top on the beer.

Nose: Belian yeast, citrus, orange, grass, honey, pear and melon.
Taste: Grassy hops, herbs, orange zest, citrus, white pepper and grapefruit.
Mouth: Medium body. High carbonation. Crisp. High bitterness that stays in the mouth and ends with some sour-sweet tickling feeling at the back of my tongue.

A beatiful Belgian Christmas beer from De Ranke (of course). De Ranke still hasn't disappoint me - They always produce great beer!

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Photo of seedyone
3/5  rDev -21.1%

12/19/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. On tap. Not sure what I have here. No distinct aroma, good lacing, some hops, but not much, nice body but no distinguishing character. In the spirit of the season one might expect some warm spiciness. Not here. So what's left? Meh!

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Photo of mwilbur
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter. Paper wrapper says best before end of 08 20 18. Bottle cap says expires 10/08/18.
A: Pours a murky golden-orange hue with a massive 4 inch rocky white head. Excellent retention and decent lacing.
S: Orange zest, spicy and grassy hops, mild grapefruit, melon, pear, honey, and white pepper. Quite deep and complex.
T: Strong white pepper followed by herbal and grassy hops (more bitter than I was expecting). Fruit hits later with delicate pear, light citrus, and a hint of melon.
M: Quite bitter, especially for style. Light body. Mildly sweet.
D: A decent brew. Quite bitter, which takes this down a notch in my book...clashes too much with the style.

2015 vintage. Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip. Bottled 11 Jul 15. Best by 13/07/20.
A: Pours a clear dark orange amber with highly active carbonation jets producing an overly large 4-5 inch frothy white head. Excellent retention. Some lacing. (3.75)
S: Mint, grassy and herbal hop notes, white pepper, soft clove and vanilla. (4.25)
T: Follows aroma fairly closely with mint and the herbal hop notes hitting first. These are closely followed by the white pepper and subtle spice notes (clove, vanilla, and almond). Some dry cracker. With warming, the vanilla and almond notes become stronger...very nice. (3.75)
M: Light-medium body. Bitter and dry, which (again) is a bit much for the style. Subtle spicy sweetness. (3.75)
D: End result: I basically agree with my previous review. One thing that can be said is that this has very good consistency. (3.75)

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from La Cervoiserie, and tasted in 2014.

Appearance : orange color, with white foamy head (nice lacing).
Smell : fruity and malty aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : sweet-sour and malt flavors with a long aftertaste.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 330 ml bottle. Pours a hazy orangish-brownish colour. Huge fruit and booze notes on the nose with hints of herbs. Taste offers apricot and stone fruits, some nutty/marzipan notes and a big bitter finish to cut through the sweetness. Bottle-conditioned, so big carbonation.

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Photo of rdickey
4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: A very dark gold, almost bordering on brown, body is topped by a fine, off-white head that lingers a reasonable period and leaves narrow strips of lacing.

S: The expected pepperiness is complemented by a nice grassy hoppiness, along with a hint of citrus.

T: The hops hit my tongue first, and although the grassy element remains, it is now complemented with an herbal element that adds an appealing depth. There's a slight hint of anise, an expansion of the citrus, and the classic Belgian white pepper rounds it out.

M: Moderate to high zippiness works well here; it almost floats in my mouth.

D: I will be the first to acknowledge that this isn't the most Christmasy beer, at least in the traditional sense of dark, spiced and generally heavy ales. Nevertheless, it's a very nice beer and, given that I love Belgian pales, I'll pick one up around the holidays whenever I have the opportunity.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was fortunate enough to taste both 2010 and 2013 vintages side by side at the bull and bush holiday event last night, and my take on this beer is that time does not flatter it at all. it pours a dark honey color with rusty orange hues and a robust whitish head with excellent retention. the nose is strange, juicy, rotting fruit, and Belgian yeast, an odd combination. it smells like compost when its half ready, less earthy, but equally sort of sweet and vinegary, not fully appetizing. the flavor is fresher, but still with a juicy fruity element that doesn't really fit what I thought knew about holiday beer. not overly spiced, but some herbal flavors hit, as does some bitter citrus in the finish. Belgian yeast seems out of place for the flavor profile too, this is all over the place. the 2013 vintage had a decent mouthfeel, bubbly and cleaner than the messy taste, but the 2010 had lost its vigorous carbonation and came across particularly thin as a result. I didn't really care for either one, as they lacked that winter warming property that I love about holiday beer. I would pass this up if I encounter is again.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

De Ranke Père Noël has a very thick, creamy, off-white head, an initially clear, quite bubbly, amber appearance, with little tan grit suspended throughout, and some moderate lacing left behind on the glass. The beer clouds up when the bottom contents are swished and poured in. Aroma is of spices (white pepper?), some citrus peel, malt, grain husk, and sweetness. Taste is of white pepper, other spices, white bread, malt, fairly strong bitterness, citrus, sugar, but no licorice. Mouthfeel is medium and prickly, to an extent, and De Ranke Père Noël finishes semi-dry, spicy, and drinkable. Overall, this is really tasty.


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Photo of Chico1985
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The pour is dark copper-ish orange with some haziness. Thick off-white head retains well as a patchy cap that leaves good lace.

Scents of sugar cookies, big herbal and earthy hops, Belgian farm, yeast, citrus.

Taste is quite farmy, hoppy, and sweet. Lots of herbal hop, spices, citrus, grass, sweet caramel malts, honey, some bread, etc.

Quite carbonated, seems overly foamy. Feels bigger than 7% with some alcohol heat there.

Strong flavors in every area (hops, spice, farm, sweetness) make this seem a little all over the place, but it's good overall. Complex and somewhat intense flavors for 7%.

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Photo of bump8628
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Classy packaging, typical of De Ranke. Light amber, mostly clear, with a thick clumpy white head that sticks to the tulip. Just a nice spicy Belgian ale, big black and white pepper notes, along with a wallop of grassy hops. A hint of liquorice adds some intrigue but isn't obvious or overwhelming. Very dry and digestible. A snappy, almost chalky, hop bitterness lingers on the finish. This doesn't scream of the holiday season, but certainly screams of a quality, enjoyable Belgian ale. De Ranke makes good beer, I wish we got more of their range around these parts.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, and slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with spice and hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the mouthfeel on this one isn't too good.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Best by 9/27/2017
Glass: Tulip

I'm not sure why this is considered a Christmas beer, considering it lacks the spices and obvious heaviness of many holiday-themed beers, but I suppose its winter release schedule is justification enough. Pere Noel is a complex, varied Belgian-style ale that manages to still come across as clean and distinct, rather than muddied, despite the myriad flavors from pale and caramel-like malts, bitter and grassy hops, and Belgian yeast. Hoppy, but not as intensely so as XX Bitter, I substantially enjoyed this beer, and like most in the De Ranke portfolio, found it ending far too early. If only this brewery's beers were more affordable, I'd happily enjoy them on a more frequent basis.

Pours a tall (>3cm) head of off-white to light beige foam, composed of small bubbles, looking fairly dense, yet declining in about a minute to a modest ring around the glass with some hazy residual foam atop the body of the beer. Lacing is present, nothing amazing, some moderate lines and clumps of foam remain attached to the walls of the glass. Beer is a semi-hazy (40-50% opacity) cold orange color, with light bringing out pale yellow and orange hues. Carbonation is visible through the haze, rising up from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is sweet and malty, yet prominently featuring spicy hops and phenols. Background scents are somewhat grassy, with backing Belgian yeast and slight bubblegum. In general, complex and enjoyable.

The major flavors in the beer are pale-meets-light-caramel-malt sweetness, European hop bitterness with floral and grassy tones, and yeast with complex yeast-produced esters/phenols. Think of the experience as a hoppy, light caramel-colored Belgian ale. Front of palate finds floral and grassy hop flavors tied to a moderate malt sweetness (perhaps pilsner with a touch of some light caramel and munich malt?). Mid-palate is a well-balanced mix of pale and caramel malt with bitterness arising from European hop choices, and some interesting and hard-to-place flavors from the yeast (at different times I've gotten pie spices, coconut, ) that always seem to complement the beer fairly well. Back of palate is of European hop bitterness with light, sweet maltiness behind it, along with the continuation of the complex secondary yeast metabolites. Aftertaste is pleasantly bitter with a background of slight breadiness with pale to amber-colored malt sweetness, slight bubblegum and phenolics lingering from the yeast.

Beer is medium-bodied with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a slightly foamy, smooth, never fizzy mouthfeel that blends unobtrusively with the flavors. Closes quite dry, with modest stickiness lingering across the palate.

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Photo of acevenom
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass. The beer pours hazy orange golden with a thick off-white head that dissipates slowly. Some lacing is left on the side of the glass as the head retreats. The beer smells of barley malt with some nice fruity notes. I get lemon and banana as well as some clove and pepper spiciness. I'm also picking up some grassiness as well. The grassy hop notes provide a nice flavor for this beer as well as back end bitterness. I get the spice from the nose, but more of those pepper notes than the clove notes, but the clove notes do come out more in later sips. I also get plenty of that bready malt after the first sip. I don't notice the 7% ABV at all. The flavors are nicely balanced. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. The beer is smooth and there's a lingering aftertaste of hops from this beer. While the alcohol isn't present in the flavor, it brings a nice warming feel after a few sips. This is a very good beer.

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- pours a hazy warm honey orange with a thick and creamy eggshell colored head. The foam has that hoppy look to it and there are chunks of lace stuck all over the glass.

S- nicely fruity and somewhat spicy aroma with plenty of yeast character. Melon, pear, banana, woodsy notes and peppery spice. Hops are lemony and grassy with a noble aroma. Kinda smells like a very yeasty pilsner.

T- interesting flavor. Almost chocolatey in a way so I'm wondering if there is any spice added to this beer. After a few sips, I also start to notice an odd flavor transition. The flavor isn't very fruity and it starts off with this weird sort of carob flavor, then on to some woodsy possibly grainy notes intermingled with what seems to be a combination of hop, yeast, and alcohol bitterness with some peppery spice. Finishes with a weird spice and slight tartness.

MF- feels almost watery although its not, and even thought there's plenty of carbonation it feels strangely flat and one-dimensional. Somewhat dry and clean on the palate.

D- I don't know about this one. It's not a bad beer but it seems all mixed up.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass and thanks to Luis for splitting the bottle.

Appearance: A hazy-cloudy amber with a ridiculous amount of bubbling on the body. `Real thick white head that the frame barely disappears that rose to just under a finger's length.

Smell: Light yeasty feel almost like baked bread. It is light or i would have gone a little higher.

Taste: Heavy yeast but comes off sour as well. I would best compare the taste to lemon skin meets rye bread. Hoppy, still bitter not too bad but not on the level of greatness.

Mouth: Medium, and sticks pretty well.

Overall: Not a bad brew, not sure if it's "Christmas" worthy. Worth trying but not keeping. Hope you have enjoyed better than me. Salud!

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Photo of impending
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


750ml into a tulip. Pours a hazed amber, towering dense orange tinged head recedes to clumpy froth, excellent lacing.

Sweet spicy powdery yeast aroma. Clean and upbeat. Apple, apricot and ginger.

Low in sweetness, not particularly fruity. Sharp dry twang intros a surprising amount of equal part grass and earthy hop bitter which is pleasantly short lived. Bit more than thin bodied lively mouthfeel.
where's the licorice

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.55/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Three fingers of head on a cloudy, dark straw colored body.
The aroma is barnyardish with some wet hay and grapefruit. Tough to really like.
The taste is a mixture with a sourness throughout. There’s some lemon bitterness.
A fairly crisp and light texture with a nice fizz.
The mixed up flavor profile really set this back.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was happy to find this beer on my trip. I put that in the cart immediately.

I like the vibrant orange in the tulip glass. THe four inches of foam retained really well. This led to some very good lacing on the glass.

Off the top I get some really nice hoppy characteristics. There is some belgian yeast in the background (with a touch of sour). I get some decent spice presence on this one.

There is a lot going on in each sip. The belgian character comes through more in each sip.

Overall this is a good beer. It has good balance. I recommend trying it out.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer wants to be better.

Red-rose color (or copper?) - juicy glow. Head keeps good collar. Not a terribly inspiring to gaze upon. Caramel-malty and berry-jelly aromas. Some oxidation. Otherwise weak.

The taste hints at something more. Was this a weathered keg?

It's malty, mostly. Subtle background berry/spiced-apple fruitiness, vague smokiness starting midway, capped off with a warming, band-aid-y phenolic finish. Further along, a flavor I can only describe as tangy dough slurry, joins in.

Altogether, lacking in complexity and it, at best, shows moderate depth. The little dextriny roll on the tongue and dry snap is something to be positive about.... Nothing to recommend here.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - bottle erupted in foam as soon as it was cracked, consequently pouring to about 50% head on the first glass, swampy yellow brown
S - spicy and funky sour citrus yeastiness, touch of leafy greens
T - pepper and mineral qualities up front, light sour orange and lime citrus, somewhat grassy and metallic, all good BPA qualities but nothing really making it specifically and xmas beer
M - fairly light with big Belgian carbonation, slightly puckering, dry mineral finish
O - it is definitely a quality BPA where both the Belgian yeastiness and Pale Ale hoppiness are married well, however nothing really speaks to this beer related to Santa or the hoiday seasons in any way other than the label which is a little disappointing

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear pale tangerine with lumpy, creamy, peach-tinged head that leaves snow drifts on the inside of the glass.
Waxy yeast, banana and yellow apple, and fresh herbs on the nose.
Butter cookie and ripe yellow pear, some esters, a bit of yeasty white pepper, and mild spice hops.
Lemon curd finish and coriander spice linger with some chalky bitterness.
Medium, super soft and creamy, round.

Smooth as velvet. Hops could stand taller, given XX as a cousin to this beer, but incredibly well integrated. Wouldn't notice the liquorice, it's more a rooty, birch beer flavor than the black candy type. 5 year BB date, and I could see laying it down. Not very Christmassy, but that hardly matters.

De Ranke get it right again.

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

Dark copper liquid with a small tan foam head. Good lacing. Body is translucent.

Pale malts with some other, darker sugars in the aroma. Belgian yeast gives hints of dark fruits, like plum and raisin. The yeast may also add some winter spice aromas.

The beer has a malty flavor. Winter spices can also be tasted. There is a hint of alcohol in the finish.

Like a good winter ale, this beer provides some warmth. There is a good amount of carbonation. The beer is a bit thick and leaves behind a good coating.

This is a very good Belgian winter ale. It's perfect for a snowy Christmas day—just like today!

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, stamp on bottle cap says EXP 11/08/17. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a hazy orange/amber color with an inch and a half off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like grainy and caramel malt, peppery and sweet spice, candi sugar, citrus peel, and some apricots. It tastes like grainy malt, sweet spices, candi sugar, licorice, peppery spice, pears, and yeast. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and is well carbonated. It's a good overall brew, but I'm not sure if I'd pay $13.99 for this again. With that being said, I think it's worth trying.

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De Ranke Père Noël from Brouwerij De Ranke
3.8 out of 5 based on 431 ratings.
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