De Ranke Père Noël | Brouwerij Brasserie De Ranke

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De Ranke Père NoëlDe Ranke Père Noël
Very Good
De Ranke Père NoëlDe Ranke Père Noël

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Brasserie 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.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 235 | Ratings: 464
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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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Durty Nellie's.

My third 12 Beers of Christmas beer. It pours a cloudy sunrise amber topped by a half-finger of dirty cream-white foam. The nose comprises clove, wheat, light lemon zest, light coriander, grapefruit zest, banana peel, light-ish toffee, and black pepper. The taste brings in more of the same, with more black pepper, some nutmeg, and plenty of dark greens. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth-ish feel. Overall, a generally nice beer, but one that doesn't really impress in any meaningful way. It's tasty and solid, but nothing special.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy yellow, very hazy, pretty much straight up new white head. One of the bigger hop aromas I've come across from a belgian, and it would loom even larger had it not been up against a pungent belgian yeast strain, this was big.

Taste was big as well, packed a lot of hoppiness in there with lots of the yeast phenols, very dry, slightly bready. Every sip was big time, there wasn't much in the way of nuance, the yeast flavor didn't impart any banana or fruityness. Can't really tell what makes this a xmas beer, its pretty much just hops and standard belgian yeast. Its enjoyable and all, its just kinda puzzling why they put Santa on the label, but then again, there's nothing xmasy about Lagunitas Sucks. . .

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Photo of Kendo
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the 750 ml bottle (wrapped in holiday green paper) into a Piraat tulip-snifter type glass. Body is cloudy orangey-amber with a half-finger white head. Leaves behind nice lace.

S: First I note the Belgian yeasty notes: some cloves, some generic spice. Then I get ripe apple skins, even some apple cider.

T: Interesting - bready malt up front, with a touch of caramel malt for sweetness. Then spice - clove, cinnamon and a bit of pepper at the finish. Some peach or nectarine skins. Earthy, grassy hop bitterness towards the end. Also a bit of funk. Bitterness borders on soury tartness at times; almost lemony at other times. Heat from the alcohol is felt in the belly as a nice warming sensation. Like I said - interesting. Not your typical wintery-spice Belgian Christmas Ale.

M: Call it medium in heft. Carbonation is modestly fizzy, but relatively soft.

O: Good stuff. This beer is all over the place, but in a good way. Merry Christmas!

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Grand Cru Winter Reserve.

A: Slightly hazy golden color with two-finger, white, frothy head that lasted a while. Good lacing.

S: Spicy with some hop notes. A bit of fruit.

T: Moderate sweetness and solid bitterness. Spice and Belgian yeast. I think the bitterness overpowers the other Belgian characteristics.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Silky and smooth. Slightly dry and alcoholic.

O: This ale had a great head and lacing, but the nose was a bit off to me, and I thought the bitterness was a bit overpowering. I liked the Grand Cru Winter Reserve slightly better.

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

I bought this beer a few weeks ago at the Dutch-Belgium border. The shop is called Bierparadijs, situated in Meer.

Christmas is coming so this is the time to drink this one. Poured in my Struise glass this beer looks ok. Not spectacular...Tealike coulour with a one finger head. No lacing and some carbonation.

A kind of a dry-ish smell with some caramel/candysugar.

In the taste there is the same caramel touch, not much though. Taste is a bit too thin and i worder why this is called a Christmas beer.

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

a - a murky, but bright, golden pour with a refreshingly clean white head

s - spices, some nice fruit notes in the back....Slight earthy tone with a good dose of yeast and a twist of funk

t - Some funkiness thrown in the middle of a blend of fruitiness/yeastybread/earth.... Christmas that only Belgium can bring

m - A medium bodied, clean drinking beer that sort of wakes up one's mouth

o - I love Belgian Beers and Enjoy the Christmas seasonals...This was a good blend of both...

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Photo of seasonsix
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is all over the place. Pretty sure I had an off-pour, but here goes:

A - super murky. Maybe it was the bottom of the keg and I got a yeast/sediment blast - this was light brown mud.

S - belgian bouquet, light pine

T - just what I expected - floral sweetness yet undeniably strong alcohol heat, prickly herbal/piney characteristics. nice.

M - just a little fizz to assist the piney tastes, nothing over the top here.

O - overall gets the job done as far as belgian xmas goes - nothing too robust. Again, pretty sure something was wrong with this pour.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice looking golden color with a white head on top. The smell of the be beer was pretty nice, it doesn't have any aromas of a christmas beer, I was really surprised by that. The taste of the beer has some fresh sweet grains in there along with some hop bitterness in there too. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and had a solid amount of carbonation. Overall this beer was pretty good, I wouldn't ever say that this is a Christmas brew though.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – light amber color, a little murky, with about two and a half or three fingers’ worth of frothy off-white colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – somewhat hoppy smell, but otherwise I’m not pulling much out of the smell, except that there’s a bit of a muskiness.

Taste – hoppiness in the taste as well, as well as a muskiness. The bitterness of the hops doesn’t hit until toward the middle of the taste.

Mouthfeel – fairly well balanced, not leaning more toward wateriness or creaminess.

Overall – not a bad tasting brew at all, but at the same time not extremely intriguing either.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a deep broze color with one finger of wispy beige head.

This one had a light aroma of ripe fruit, fresh earth, caramel malts and alcohol.

The taste was much like the aroma with ripe fruit, caramel malts, Belgian yeast and a touch of earthiness. A bit on the boozy side.

Medium bodied and sticky with a light carbonation.

A solid Belgian Strong Ale from the folks at Brouwerj De Ranke.

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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a slightly hazy deep orange body with a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles and a thin wisp of white head that sticks to the glass with each sip.

S- The note of brett cheese quality has a hint of barnyard character to it with a pear ester note in the finish. The aroma was pretty clean.

T- The soft brett note is followed by some dry ester hints and a yeasty character that blends with some grapefruit bitterness in the finish that is both brett and hop flavored.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a crisp fizz finish with no alcohol noticed.

O- The nice brett character is a bit clean and the fizz hides some of the character but the grapefruit flavor really grows as the beer warms.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a chilled ale glass, courtesy Calvano

A: golden orange; good head (dissipates quickly)
S: sweet citrus smell, very inviting
T: orangey bitter ale—fantastic flavor, one of the best syntheses I've had of a belgian and an IPA-style; the spice and fruit flavor does the trick, I think

Overall, a very satisfying beer.

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

Pours a cloudy golden orange with a thick white head and some nice lacing and head retention.

Père Noël has the earthy yeast notes so typical of Belgian breweries. There is an overall earthy hop quality, but I also notice some citrusy hop aromas, as well. The overall scent of the brew is slightly hoppy, a bit dusty with a sweet malt backbone.

The taste greatly reflects the scent. Earthy overtones with sweet malts, and a gentle hop bitterness. Tastes of tart citrus fruits, as well.

Medium-bodied with a slick mouthfeel; this brew is easy-drinking if a little underwhelming.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at the Belgian Cafe, Philly, PA

The name implies a holiday ale of some kind, but it isn't really. It's a strong, yet smooth, ale. Poured a cloudy amber with a nice white head. Pleasantly hoppy, and somewhat yeasty, in the nose and to the tongue, with just a tinge of spice. Smoother than a witbier; not to heavy or bloating. Nice all-around selection.

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Photo of cdizinno
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, amber brown with a fairly thin white film and slightly moderate lacing.

S: Mild pine, yeast and citrus hop. Some spiciness.

T&M: Tasty, hopped up belgian ale. Medium-light bodied with a slightly rough carbonation. Crisp and mildly dry on the finish.

Very good ale. Would definitely like to try it fresher as I just purchased on the close-out rack at the local Total Wine & More.

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Photo of kkipple
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Really cheap ($2) bottle at my local Total Wine. I like De Ranke, so why not? Dumped into my usual TK small goblet. There is a date bar on the bottle, but it's not notched. Alas.

Fine separation between frothy head and state here. Dense, creamy cap atop a fizzy, rich dull golden beer. Very soapy nose initially, eventually giving way to a dry, Noble-hopped Belgian with grassy, mildly earthy / floral scents. Flavor remains dry, Pils-malt flavored Belgian with a little pine and hay. Just a touch of orange peel. Reminds me strongly of Poperings Hommel Ale, just not as good. It's... okay.

Medium bodied mouthfeel here, with smooth, pleasing carbonation and a dry, grassy-light bitter hop finish that sticks to your tongue and lingers.

I finished this, and it was worth the $2 and decent. Not sure how fresh / unfresh this was, so a bit annoyed at that, but still. De Ranke makes great beers; this is maybe the weakest offering from them I've tried. Would try again, but nearer to the source.

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De Ranke Père Noël from Brouwerij Brasserie De Ranke
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 464 ratings