Biere De Noël | Big Sky Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
78 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Biere De NoëlBiere De Noël
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States
bigskybrew.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.75%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
35 IBU

Added by GClarkage on 05-22-2007

BEER STATS
Ratings:
78
Reviews:
37
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
14.95%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
10
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of andrenaline
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of yamar68
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage (10% ABV)

Bottle #2273 of 3240

Pours with a surprising amount of hazy nut brown clarity. A finger of foamy khaki carbonation leaves behind loads of thick, consistent lace. Quite pretty looking stuff.

Semisweet on the nose... clean, mellow brown sugar... faint fruit character, nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon, a touch of alcohol heat surfaces with a bit warmth.

Candied sugar and smooth Belgian spice on the palate. Molasses and/or bread pudding. Pretty tame which leads to a pretty impressive level of drinkability.

I prefer this to past vintages; balanced but maybe a little boring.

 600 characters

Photo of superspak
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2012 vintage bottling. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of plum, pear, apple, fig, raisin, caramel, toast, brown sugar, light pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity and solid balance of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt notes; with solid strength. A bit too fruity in the aromas and lacking much malt depth and complexity. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, date, apricot, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light chocolate, light nuttiness, pepper, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light earthy yeast spicy finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, date, apricot, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, light chocolate/nuttiness, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong dark ale. All around great balance, robustness, and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. The aromas were a bit unbalanced, but the flavors were spot on with great complexity. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,708 characters

Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage. Bottle 836 of 1800.

Poured into Town Hall chalice.

Color is murky caramel brown. Very hazy. Pours a fizzy tan head. Not very appealing.

Aroma: Dark malts, cherries. Very Belgium based. Raisins, yeast, chocolate, and caramel.

Taste: Lots of raisins and spices, cherries, big malt profile, caramel, and chocolate. It definitely fits the style of BSDA well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with a slight touch of heat. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends very malty and somewhat clean.

Overall, a nice winter beer. I definitely like it. Glad we get it here. A nice Belgian style beer brewed by an American brewery. I dig it.

 658 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SHODriver
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep mahogany hue with a slow to appear and quick to fade off white head that leaves a small collar around the edge of the snifter
S: smells of dark fruits, some spice and some caramel.
T: tastes of dark fruits, some spice, and caramel but a lot of dark fruit flavor throughout. swallow is more dark fruits and a bit of sweet cherry, caramel and a bit of spice and a bit of alcohol heat on the finish
M: very soft and delicate carbonation and a somewhat thin feeling mouthfeel for a beer of its heft, drying finish
O: it looks pretty good aside from the lack of a head and what I personally feel is undercarbonation. it isn't flat but it's probably about as close as you can get and still detect carbonation. flavors are solid, it has good complexity and the finish is almost perfect. I would have liked for the flavors to be a little bolder but the subtlety is nice

 878 characters

Photo of Tivlavrie
3.92/5  rDev +1%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a dark walnut amber with virtually no carbonation and a quick pour leaves only a slight ring around the glass. Aroma of dark and dark dried fruit, caramel malt, holiday spicing of cinnamon, cloves and vanilla, only a hint of Belgian spicing. Flavor follows aroma with caramel malt, rich dark dried fruit, lighter cherry and stone fruit, a deft touch of the same holiday spicing with a touch of Belgian yeast. Finishes with dark fruit, sligthly earthy and spicy. A relief after the pour, there is light carbonation to give a medium body and pleasant enough mouth feel. A nicely made holiday ale that is well balanced between malt, fruit and spicing. Needs a bit more carbonation, but maybe this was an anomalous bottle. I will still look for this next year.

 798 characters

Photo of Trosevear
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Day 6 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

L: A dark brown with a slight red tinge to it white a slight white head that disappeared quickly.

S: Sweet smell with almost a slight sour smell to it.

T: Super sweet with a slight malt taste to it, and a little tangy taste to it.

F: A slightly lighter body than I was thinking, with a slightly higher amount of carbination.

O: A really good beer from the Calander they just keep getting better and better each day, even though sometimes I'm a little late on drinking them.

 522 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with large bubbled white head.

Nose seems somewhat off to me. It has dark fruits, maybe a suggestion of vegetables or mushroom. I can't decide if this "funkiness" is supposed to be there or if I received a bad bottle.

The taste is fine, which leads me to think it is supposed to be this way. Sweet and sour with some fruit and a velvetty smooth texture. Carbonation rolls well at the end on the finish, and again a very smooth quality impresses well.

Only detracting feature is the somewhat funky nose.

 522 characters

Photo of Mlkluther
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Day 12 of the BeerAdvent calendar.

Pours light caramel brown with a white head which disappears and leaves no living.

Nose has some dark fruit, raisin, and some cinnamon and spice.

Taste follows nose with a little boozy finish yet remains smooth.

I really liked this beer.

 280 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, 10.1% ABV, day 12 of the 2014 Craft Beer Advent calendar - now we're getting down to brass tacks for the Christmas beer goodness.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with one skinny finger of weakly foamy, bubbly, and generally fizzy beige head, which leaves but a few remote and isolated dots of lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of sweet caramel malt, a touch of drier toffee, brown sugar, somewhat pungent dark fruit - yer typical figs, dates, and besotted raisins, with maybe a bit of saucy maraschino cherry as well - laid-back yeast, a touch of muddled seasonal confection spice, and a bristling, sort of nose-hair twitching, alcohol heat. The taste is doughy caramel malt, toffee pudding, slightly charred simple syrup, indistinct warming spices, a nice black fruitiness - dates, prunes, and plump raisins - ethereal Belgian yeast, and a bit of earthy, weedy hops, ones who inadvertently slipped into a big ol' vat o' booze.

The bubbles are pretty well understated, barely showing some frothy leg for our amusement, the body a heady medium-full weight, generally smooth and mildly creamy, the alcohol the only transgressor here, and it apparently has other things on its mind. It finishes on the sweet side, sure, but the various contributors are aligned in that certain old-world way, one which avoids any thoughts of scraping one's tongue.

A rather enjoyable ode to the Belgian BSDA greats - complex, fruity, and with a big whack of mostly undetectable booze - yup, that's what does it for me during Yuletide. Good on this brewery for reminding me why I enjoyed myself so much in their town a few years ago, even if it was summer at the time.

 1,710 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 batch pours an effervescent brown/crimson with a sliver of cream colored head. No head retention or lacing

S: Pears, raisins, brown sugar & apricots, cherries & a bit of Brandy

T: Rich figgy, jammy notes, a touch of cinnamon & brown sugar too up front, plus slightly boozey. A touch of candi sugar, leafy hops & whisper of maraschino cherry, a bit of boozey jammyness, more leafy hops & touch white grape as this warms. Finishes dry, & jammy with a bit of boozeyness

MF: Fairly smooth, noticeable carbonation, warming, a bit of stickiness as well

A super solid Belgian Dark, not sure what this was like young, but 8+ months of aging has done it proud, still a bit boozey for my tastes. I can see this holding up for at least 2 years

 741 characters

Photo of cam477
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of sgttibbs
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of DeadeyeOTDO
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Kmat10
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of HoistinBrews
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of sherpahigh
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of strongaf
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Bunman3
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Wonderful! This brew is a great representative of the style and the season. This tastes like Christmas Cake in a glass, bread, dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel with a boozy warmth at the end. I'm a big fan of Big Sky and I'm very glad this was part of my Craft Beer Advent calendar this year.

 295 characters

Photo of Yeti1979
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Biere De Noël from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 78 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More