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De Ranke Père Noël | Brouwerij De Ranke

very good
226 Reviews
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De Ranke Père NoëlDe Ranke Père Noël

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke
Belgium | website

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: 226 | Ratings: 427
Photo of Fatehunter
2.55/5  rDev -33.1%
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 +3.4%
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 -6.8%
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 +3.7%
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 +6.3%
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 +8.1%
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 +0.5%
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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Photo of smakawhat
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Light foamy off white head, a bit whipped up and maybe two fingers tall. Body color is quite murky brown looking though, with a little bit of orange as well. Lots of nice little visible carbonation. It looks ok.

Nose has an odd sense of hop. Some stanky sticky yeast sensations, not much sweetness either. Pine. Clean. Somewhat spicy also. Kind of odd nothing too bad though.

Body hits with some spicy hop profiles, and a good malt backbone. Not much sweetness, and an odd spice character that hints at clove but not quite. Dry finish. Crisp action with a kind of muted palate along with the spice. Not very lingering. Some sweetness while it warms up more.

Overall this is not too bad for a Belgian, but I don't find much unique about this or distinct for a seasonal beer.

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

750ml, green tissue paper wrapped bottle. I am moderately enamoured with the cartoon Santa trying to prop up the (relatively, possibly?) big-ass chalice.

This beer pours a murky, roiling, dark bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of very finely foamy sateen off-white head, which leaves a few well-wrought instances of bonsai tree lace around the glass as it slowly sinks out of sight.

It smells of biscuity, grainy pale malt, earthy, musty Belgian yeast, a twinge of dry caramel, and dank leafy, forest floor hops. The taste is more bready cereal grain malt, a growing spiciness that I can only really depict as a multiple personality imbued peppercorn essence, some subdued zingy yeast, a hint of citrus pith, and softly soused leafy hops.

The bubbles are a tad frothy, but generally on the level, the body medium-light in weight, and more or less smooth. It finishes off-dry, the grainy malt still holding court, the white pepper bowing slightly, and the yeast getting out before last call.

One of the better BSPAs that I have yet encountered, but also one that has little to do with anything remotely Christmas-like. Ok, maybe I grind pepper onto my potatoes and turkey, but that isn't quite the idea here. A good tipple, just maybe not one to that directly complements all those endemic holiday baked goods.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, a December offering from Amanti Vino's Beer of the Month club. It was poured into my Dogfish Head signature glass.

Pere Noel pours a hazy, dark tangerine color. Two fingers of lightly whipped foam rise up atop the beer, but neither head retention nor lacing do anything to distinguish themselves. The nose is wonderfully complex. Aromas of straw, crackers, light peachy stone fruit, and a bit of pepper all show up, with any one of the above seeming to be dominant each time I take it in. The flavor profile just doesn't have the depth of vibrancy that was found in the nose. There's a good amount of cracker malt sweetness up front, and a fair bit of freshly cracked black pepper in the finish. Unfortunately, there's not much else. What's present is nice, I just found myself wanting a little bit more. The mouthfeel is just OK. The body is a touch chewy, and the carbonation is decidedly muted for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Aside from the aromatics, De Ranke's Pere Noel is a fairly ho-hum BSPA.

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Photo of AdamBear
2.08/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A-dark orange gold with just a very thin white head that disappears except around the edges.

S-smells like spoiled pale belgian spices. its a strong scent. definitely smells tart...the scary thing is i didn't think this was supposed to be tart, so now i'm wondering if this beer was spoiled by accident or on purpose. definitely does not smell right.

T-comes in with a very, very off flavor of melted plastic and some pale belgian malts. this beer tastes horrible. it honestly tastes like a chemical of sort. there's no refuge in the after-taste. this is just off.

M-medium to high carbonation, difficult to even notice due to off flavor.

O-i'm usually hesitant to purchase Belgians i haven't heard of. sometimes i'm met with a great surprise, but there are times when the beer scares me. they scare me because i think about how this bottle has possibly been on the shelf forever since most people will just walk past something in a bland label that they've never heard of. this bottle though clearly states it is drinkable until mid 2013...so i'm left to believe this is just truly a terrible beer that i'll never give another chance. tastes like a science experiment, a bad science experiment.

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

750ml bottle poured into tulip 2/12/12

A hazy dark amber with some sediment floating around, large foam almost has a slight pink color going one, good retention and lots of random lace

S leafy and earthy hops are strong, the yeast is almost funky reminding me of wet leaves starting to rot on the forest floor but it smells better then it sounds, lots of caramel, some dry cereal and wet wood

T slightly spicy but not any Christmas spice I was expecting, mimics the smell with some herbal hops and a little rind added to the mix, pretty tasty brew

M nearing full bodied and could use a few more bubbles but there's enough to give it some life, a little slick at first and after the fact there's just a little grit, very long finish of rind and leafy, herbal notes

O pretty solid stuff and a bit of a surprise as I was expecting a Winter warmer style Belgian, I think this is a better route

a nice hoppy Belgian that's very easy to drink without a hint of booze at any point at all. I didn't know it when I grabbed this from the fridge but its just what I was craving on this snowy, chilly day

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Photo of superspak
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating but assumed to be from last year. Pours very hazy reddish orange color with a nice 1-2 finger fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big apple, grape, caramel, pepper, pear, clove, earth, toast, grass, herbal, candi sugar, and yeast spiciness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of caramel, bread, toast, pepper, clove, apple, raisin, herbal, earth, grass, pear, candi sugar, and yeast spiciness. Good amount of tart earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, toast, pepper, bread, clove, herbal, grass, candi sugar, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Solid flavor complexity with decent balance; a light amount of astringent earthy bitterness is present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, slick, and crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a pretty good Belgian ale. Solid flavor complexity and balance; and quite smooth to sip on. A fairly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz beer poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a thin puffy layer. it is hazy orange brown color with some clarity and signs of carbonation coming up through the glass. Some lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: fruitiness, bready malts, yeasty esters, earthiness, spiciness, Belgian candy.

Taste: boozy, bready, Belgian candy, bitterness

Mouthfeel: Smooth, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, a little chewy, and a bit booze to warms things up.

Overall: Average and good BSPA. Enjoyable, but there are others that I would go to first.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from Bevmo La Quinta for 4$

Appearance - Hazy copper colour with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, breads/grains, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, grapes, and a peach-pit/nuttiness. There is also a caramel sweetness and some bitter hops and some peppery notes. It ends with a slightly sweet malty aftertaste and then some lingering hop bitterness kicks in.

Overall - An interesting tasting beer. Can't say I've had one quite like it. There is a surprising amount of bitterness that lingers after there beers gone down. Not really a christmasy beer.. but still quite good. Not something I'd pick up again however.

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Photo of shleepy
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Writing from 2-week-old notes. Served from bottle into wine glasses.

A: Hazy amber. Big, fluffy head.

S: Earthy, bitter. A little spice, as well.

T: Bitter hops that are only slightly balanced by malts. Bitterness remains in aftertaste. Pretty interesting, though.

M: Medium body / carbonation.

O: Decent but not too spectacular.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle 750mL split 3 ways
A: dark copper. slight haze. huge fluffy head.
S: grassy, woody, herbal hops. caramel. candi-sugar. licorice.
T: some candi sweetness but not much. spices. almost dry finish. hoppy tannins on tongue. slight tartness.
M: low-med bidy. med carbonation.
O: an interesting spicy brew. its pretty drinkable, but im not crazy about it.

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

Review from 5/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip.
Pours a cloudy medium to dark orange brown. One finger off-white head and some lacing. Mild aroma of hops, light malt, light fruit, Belgian spicing. Mild flavor of light malt and fruit, immediate hop kick. Finishes slightly dry with a nonspecific hop bitterness. Kind of low key for flavor and the hops are nice, but not very aromatic. A pleasant, but not that memorable Belgian hopped ale.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Puts up a big, inch and a half, fine, white froth over a clear amber that clouds once the yeast drops in. The head compresses and lasts for the duration, leaving nice lacing.

Peppery with fresh hay and coriander. The promised hops seem to be hiding in my Dogfish Head snifter, but this tasting is about four months after purchase.

Spicy white pepper is about all I can perceive. This is enjoyable, but well off the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. The finish is peppery and very long.

Medium body with alcohol as expected. Carbonation is light. This is super dry and a bit solvent.

This one lacks the special qualities one normally seeks in a holiday beer. However, it is satisfying on a rainy spring day.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a one-finger, khaki colored head of long lasting foam. It left sticky, thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of orange zest, dried fruit and Christmas spices.

T - It tasted spicy with a touch of candy sugar. It had a bitter hop bite over some sweet caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This a really hoppy Belgian ale. It almost tasted like a Belgian IPA.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was on-tap in Daisy’s (‘t Brugs Beertje) during December 2011, so I obviously had to have one and review it.

Light copper/amber, almost orange coloured body, slight haze but not cloudy: on top an off-white topping.

The nose was yeasty and semi-sour, with citrusy hops adding to the overall aromas.

Dry and refreshing this is a spiced, fruity (apricots and oranges) beer: good balance of malt and hops and fairly complex and almost tangy because of its carbonisation.

Different and interesting, not you usual Belgian Christmas beer that’s for sure.

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Photo of Hunter
4.8/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Red-gold color, somewhat cloudy, and a thick head of foam with lovely tracing.

Smell: Sweet, malty, notes of light spice and alcohol.

Taste: Complex - The malt and hops come through, along with the sweetness of that sugar Belgian brewers love. Spicy fruit in the back notes.

Mouthfeel: Suitably chewy for the style, scouring notes on the tongue in the aftertaste.

Overall, I like this very much. $12.50 for a large bottle is a little prohibitive, but it's a lovely splurge. As well done as any fine Belgian ale. That country truly has a lock on fine beer.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden copper with your typical big, foamy white Belgian head. Definite scent of Belgian yeast, light spice, nice malts.

Light bitterness in the taste, with some definite spiciness to it. Light malts, faint candi sugar. Quite dry on the finish, but not too bitter.

Good, zesty carbonation. Nice mouthfeel. Decent beer, but a bit hard to drink a whole one unless you get a 330ml bottle.

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Photo of RickS95
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Different look than I expected for a holiday beer, but after finding out it's a pale ale, it's quite the looker for the style. A golden copper color, quite thick, that you can't see through. The head is a couple fingers thick of HUGE bubbles with good retention. As the head dies, the lacing is quite the sight.

Great smells of grape, pepper, funky Belgian yeast, and spices like coriander, cinnamon and orange peel.

Tastes more like a pale ale, which it is, than a holiday seasonal. I'm not exactly sure why this is considered a holiday beer, because it's just an any day of the week pale ale. Regardless, it tastes of pilsner malts, straw, pine, and earthy flowers.

Not quite as sweet as other Belgian pale ales, focusing instead of a hoppy bitter feeling with a spicy dry finish. The bitter really lasts too, pretty much til the next sip.

Somewhat disappointing in that it's not like other holiday offerings. The taste is run of the mill BPA, with only moderate ABV. Not a bad beer, just a bit disappointing.

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Photo of Suds
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Santa hugs a tulip glass on this 750 ml bottle, shared by my wife and I. The beer is a pale amber color with lots of haze and a mammoth brilliant head. A fine looking beer. The aroma is just average. I expected more from a Belgian Christmas Ale. It's a bit fruity, some earthy hops, and has a malt character underneath. Some yeast, but overall, a very restrained aroma. The flavor, though, is strong and good. Great balance between initial sweetness and hop flavor and bitterness. Some peppery spice qualities and a nice dollop of yeast. Good. The mouthfeel is substantial and the beer is a touch warming. This is a fine beer.

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De Ranke Père Noël from Brouwerij De Ranke
86 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.
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