La Moneuse Spéciale Noël | Brasserie de Blaugies

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La Moneuse Spéciale NoëlLa Moneuse Spéciale Noël

Brewed by:
Brasserie de Blaugies

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A special edition of la Moneuse, extra rich for the winter season.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-22-2002

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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 141
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No bottle date but the store had them on clearance, my guess this is from last winter.

Pours a light amber color with a thin fizzy head, fades quickly with no lacing on the glass, head is a light tannish color, lots of fine carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom.

Smell is a bit skunkified and reminds me very much of Heineken, a bland aroma of sweet malt upfront and dominating, not picking up any spice character on the nose or really anything else.

Taste is out of left field crazy and makes me wonder if this flavor was always here under the bland aroma or if the bottle has gone bad, either way it's remarkable more interesting than I was being led to believe, the sweet malt is cut off quick by a weird apple-sour flavor, not overly sour or tart like a lambic but just enough to still hit the sides unexpectedly, bunch of other light fruit flavors bouncing around but I'd say apple is the strongest presence, carbonation is strong and sharp which explodes in the mouth, just enough stickiness along the edges of the mouth.

What started out being very disappointing (as disappointing as a $5 clearance beer) actually turned out fine, can't say if this is the way it's supposed to be but whatever.

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Photo of aleigator
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Has a slightly beige, stable head, with a murky brown,cherry red color.

Smells of spicy, sweeter malts, with citraic and floral notes to it, along with clove, sharp pepper and nutmeg. On top of that settles a slightly fermented cherry fruitiness, complimenting to the spices.

Begins with a noteable metallic carbonation, toffeeish malts and peppery spices. Tastes actually much dryer than expected, the brew got a decent bitter, semi-dry hoppiness to it, providing a unique approach for this being a christmas beer. Not actually particularly sweet, but well balanced, due to many typical Saison aspects. Dough, slightly funky yeast among a crisp dryness, with hints of fruit to add depth to the taste. Finishes heavy on the spices, peppery, with a lot of cloves visible and bready malts.

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Photo of RandomExile
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: brownish red, very nearly opaque, just revealing shadows against direct light; no head; spotty lacing
S: savory, meaty, fruit and apple-y
T: a bit too meaty/savory, but still a quality apple/fruit flavor
M: medium-bodied, dryish
O: The intangibles come down favorably. The apple outweighs the savory, and it finishes satisfactorily. Decent, but I wouldn't pursue it.

12oz / Snifter / VGP

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, on special from Hop City

A: Pours a beautiful, clear amber color with almost four fingers of fluffy white head. Great retention and lacing.

S: An interesting mixture of Saison and Quad aromas. A fig sweetness is the strongest aroma, though it's quickly followed up by orange bitters, peppercorn, and bit of sour cherry that becomes stronger when the beer sits for a bit.

T: Lots of flavors are all coming together here. Sweetness comes in the form of plum and a bit of chocolate, though the beer stays quite dry. Spice comes in the way of peppercorn. Sour cherry in the background adds some complexity.

M: Medium thickness with very high carbonation.

O: A very interesting Saison. Dark fruit, plum, spices, and a bit of sour cherry, all while staying nice and dry - I've never had a beer quite like it. Certainly enjoyable, certainly odd.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Big white head on a deep reddish amber body. Some chunks floating about. Thick collar and a few islands.

Smell - Fruity. Kind of a cherry tartness. A little bit of grain, but mostly esters.

Taste - Fruitiness persists. Sharp acidic flavor. Not tart, but acidic. Spicier here, but not a strong spiciness. Sweet. Grainy.

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated. Sweet. Medium bodied.

Overall - Well made. Nothing exciting. I could drink it all day though.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy dark tan head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, spices, and some oxidized aromas. Taste is much the same with spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but is showing some signs of oxidation.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Thanks once again to DoktorZee for the cool Christmas gift from his recent sojourn to southern California.

This beer pours a hazy, dark orange-brick amber hue, with two fingers of densely foamy, pale beige head, which leaves a rather random portrayal of streaky lace around the glass as it genially fades away.

It smells of earthy yeast, semi-sweet pale malt, some mild convenience store candy sugar, a bit of white wine vinous character, and some understated leafy, grassy hops. The taste is fruity, predominantly plum-like malt, a bit of acerbic yeastiness, dry white wine notes, some middling yeast, a less than certain muddled sweet spiciness, and a twinge of softly lilting alcohol.

The carbonation is a tad frothy, but nothing really overwrought, the body medium-light in weight, and quite smooth, with only a slightly pithy overtone. It finishes just barely off-dry, the pale malt, lingering astringent fruitiness, rising earthy, leafy hoppiness, and simmering boozy warmth all contributing to a general sense of well being.

A decent enough Saison-type offering, sure, but the 'Noel' upgrades are tenuous at best - nothing all that seasonal really presents itself, which isn't quite a bad thing, per se, but given the marketing around this offering, I was expecting a fair bit more in terms of spice, sweetness, and overall, overt Yule-time goodness. So, good enough, to be certain, but not all that presently relevant.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

year old bottle

loud cork pop, poured a deep amber almost brown in color with 2 fingers of very foamy head. smells of belgian yeast, cocoa, raisins, dates, figs. taste of slight sour cherries, caramel, faint cocoa, a bitterness from roasted grains (slight coffee).. a nice complex beer.

medium body on the lighter side, lots of carbonation and a creamy feel. this is a very nice beer.. like a chocolatey saison. feels like it developed nicely over time.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As the holiday beer scene opens up, the season is awash with darker hues, richer taste, fuller body, and often reckless spice additions. Blaugies kicks things off with La Moneuse Special Noel with a tamer and crisper palate.

The beer opens with a champagne-type pour and tawny orange light. As the tightly knit bubbles congregate to cap the tulip, the spirited beer underneath illuminates with the color of burnt orange and chestnut thought a standard yeasty haze. Firmly headed, the foam demonstrates great staying power and sheds broken lacing patterns as the beer fades.

Winy aromas of grape, plumb, and white raisin quickly leap from the glass and reminds me of the boarder shared between Belgium's beers and France's wine. Nearly mouth watering tartness from under ripened berries and figgy richness occupy the nose until a crisp malt balance shows.

Medium sweet to taste, a candied flavor of powdered sugar strikes against the doughy structure of fruitcake for both a bready-rich taste and succulent candied fruit. Balanced by woodish hops and dry spice, the counterpart to malty sweetness is clove, nutmeg, and peppercorn. The semi-malty upstart trails off and leaves the finish to display sprite fruitiness, peppery alcohols, and mild wine tannin.

Where the richer taste to start makes the mouth want to register richness in texture as well. But the beer is pulled from the tongue effortlessly by the acute carbonation and ushers in a fast fleeting finish that makes the flavors best appreciated in aftertaste.

I'm not sure if I would have instantly recognized the beer as a winter saison, mainly because of the richer fruit and malt impressions. But the crisp substrate, spicy yeast notes, and dry fruit character definitely sells the saison notion in retrospect.

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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy reddish orange color with a nice 2-3 finger foamy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of lightly tart cherry, apple, orange zest, pepper, herbal, hay, grass, earth, light holiday spices, slight funk, and yeast spiciness. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good complexity. Taste of lightly tart cherry, apple, orange, bread, pepper, coriander, herbal, grass, earth, light holiday spices, light funk, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of cherry, apple, orange zest, pepper, herbal, earth, and spices on the finish for a good bit. Nice flavor balance and complexity; with no cloying sweetness at all. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a fairly slick and prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice saison! Really well balanced with nice complexity; despite the fact that the holiday spices were nearly gone due to age. Really smooth to sip on and highly enjoyable.

 1,136 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Friar Tuck's in Peoria, IL
No bottled on date
Poured into a tulip glass

The beer pours a 1cm head of off-white, fairly compact bubbles. Head decreases fairly rapidly to a thin ring around the glass, leaving minor lacing along edges of glass. Body is a dark amber brown color, with deep red highlights. Carbonation is visible, though appears a bit sparse and sluggish after the pour.

La Moneuse Spéciale Noël is a pleasant dark saison, but I thought the tastes were a bit muddied, too indistinct, and the body not carbonated enough, resulting in a very smooth mouthfeel whereas a crisper feel seemed more appropriate. A beer I enjoyed, but am not sure I would go out of my way to try multiple times, unlike the Darbyste.

Aromas are of fairly typical Belgian ale yeast, Belgian malts, maybe a bit of dark candi sugar, and grape as the most dominant ester. Good overall, but a bit muted and not particularly unique or astounding.

Taste is richly malty, like a light dubbel, with vinous components as the most noticeable ester. Other fruit esters are there as well, perhaps a bit of dark, juicy plum. Slight spiciness, unsure if actual spices were used in the brewing, or if these are just phenolic compounds. Ethanol generally well-hidden, slightly detectable on the back of the palate.

The beer is medium-bodied, a bit watery around the edges, which is surprising for an 8% ABV brew. Carbonation starts out fairly strong when pouring, but quickly peters out. When drinking, the body does not feel carbonated enough, resulting in a very smooth, placid mouthfeel whereas a crisper feel seems more appropriate. No detectable ethanol in nose or throat. Closes semi-dry.

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Photo of impending
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


750ml into a tulip. Pours a hazed deep amber copper, towering meringue head recedes leaving excellent lacing. A tall cap formed in the bottle and remained unchanged for an hour.

Musty chalky yeasty scents sit atop lemongrass and fleshy soft apricots about to turn. Peculiar choice of spicing for a Noël.

Fairly robust musty flavor as well, tiny tartness waiting to develop. Fruit honey citrus. Grape skin vinous qualities. Moderately sharp dry bite, sits in for bitters. Thin bodied lively mouthfeel.

Not particularly Noëly, nice just the same.


If this is still not categorized as a saison I encourage you to report an update.

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Photo of RickS95
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good looking pale ale, slightly darker than I normally see, kind of a cross between orange and copper. Thin layer of medium sided bubbles with slight retention.

Smells like a saison, not so much a pale ale. Funky yeast, cracked pepper, grape, a bit of alcohol.

Grape, pepper, tart apple, white wine-like. You can taste the carbonation.

Mouthfeel is more wine/champagne like than beer like. Spicy, tart, dry, acidic, even a bit sweet.

The bottle claims it's a saison, this forum calls it a pale ale. It's a saison and fits the bills pretty well. Not so much a winter warmer, but a good beer regardless of how it's classified.

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Photo of Shadteks
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at The Bad Apple 1/6/12

Served in tulip

Poured a beautiful slightly hazy golden,it was sold to me as a saison as the menu stated??? It tasted very much like a saison, yeasty, slightly sour funk and a great dry finish. Nose was brett funk and an almost white grape sweet scent.

It was my first time trying this brewer would def try again.


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

A: 1/4" off white head that left a nice lacing over cloudy amber liquid.

S: Strong yeast, similar to a saison, and some floral hops.

T: Somewhat bitter up front, similar to a dry white wine, combined with earthy and grassy tasting hops.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium to high level of fine carbonation.

O: A decent Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from West Lakeview Liquors and served in a Blaugies Moneuse tulip.

Pours a deep golden or light copper color with a thin off-white head. Not much retention or lacing. A bit of a collar throughout. The nose brings a bit of bready malt along with some spicing. Light fruit notes as well. Flavor has fruit and a bit of spice plus some light alcohol. Medium body with good carbonation and a semi-dry finish. Decent enough, but nothing too special.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: This is a review of a bottle that has been cellared for over a year.

A: Pours a hazy amber with a tight, compact off-white head. Little chunks of yeast quickly gather at the bottom of the glass.

S: Unlike some other reviewers, I'm not picking up much in the way of Christmas spices on the nose. Instead, I detect roasted chestnuts, hazelnuts, leather, cream, toffee, and dried fruit.

T: Definitely on the malty side. Notes of heavy cream, leather, vanilla bean, cocoa powder, toffee, biscuits, almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, dates, and figs are joined by a subtly earthy, peppery hop bitterness. The finish is mellow and complex with nut, biscuit, and cream notes.

M: Medium to full bodied, though it's closer to the former than the latter. Starts off slick, but quickly dries out. Carbonation is very weak, though this is not entirely a bad thing. Very little alcohol burn.

O: This is an excellent holiday offering. I've never had it fresh, but can attest that this is very nice with a little age. I should, however, note that I feel this beer has been misclassified; this is really much more of a strong saison than a Belgian strong pale ale.

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Photo of taigor
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a small glass.

A - Poured dark amber, brown color with average head which quickly dissipated leaving light lacing around the glass.

S - Mostly malts with yeast, winter spices and caramel.

T - This is where this winter ale completely surprises you. Unlike Noel it is very earthy, grassy and hoppy almost like saison/farmhouse ale. It does have yeast, citrus, honey, caramel and brown sugar but summer taste predominate.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Disappointing as Noel, great as saison.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After pulling the cork with a bang, this beer pours a cloudy copper with sediments of yeast floating a top the orange hues all beneath a foamy, off-white head that eventually dissolves to leave a scattered lacing.

Aromas of yeast, spices, fruity zest, and possibly cinnamon rise from the glass with the fruit and spice becoming more pronounced as it warms.

The flavor consists of sweet fruit, more yeast, perhaps a touch of grapes, and hints of floral notes.

The mouthfeel offers abundant amounts of carbonation with a medium, almost syrupy body that lacks the crispness of the Belgian Pale Ale style.

Perhaps miss classified, this beer has some good traits to offer. The appearance is darker than I would expect with discrepancies in the mouthfeel. The flavor and aroma are not exactly matching to the BPA style but do offer some nice traditional Belgian aspects.

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an absolute pleasure to drink. I expected a dark saison, maybe some spices, a lot of alcohol... But oh man, this was not the case. The bottle opened with a bang, as soon as I took off the cage, that cork was ready to go. It pours a deep blonde, very cloudy with more head in the glass than beer. Aroma was remarkably pleasant, some barnyard funk, some spicy hops, a lot of yeast. The Flavor was better with a soft sourness a little citrus, some spiciness that seemed to be coming only from the hops. Very earthy, and delicious.

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Photo of Rayek
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. The bottle says this is a holiday saison, not a BSPA.

A: Hazy red tinted deep copper. A huge rust tinged head forms even with a slow pour. Head retention is great. It slowly falls to a lumpy quilt of foam. Leaves lots of chunky lace.

S: When cold, this beer comes out of the bottle smelling a little too EPL. As it warms things get much better. Baking chocolate sticks out most. Up next is a strong sourdough aroma. In the back is some cut grass and straw. An Alcohol tingle rounds things out.

T: Warming is the trick here. Cold, the beer was too mild to my palate. As it warmed things got much more interesting.

M: The body is quite light for the strength. It's slightly dry and has a bevy of tingling carbonation that masks the flavor a bit. Chocolate sourdough bread is what I got right away. Bitterness is well balanced and earthy. The sourness is complimented by a barnyard funkiness that completes the picture. The alcohol is well masked, but does add a little warmth going down. Finishes with a lingering sourness and a bit of bittersweet chocolate.

D: Warmth is the key here. When cold there's not much going on. As it warms this becomes a very interesting beer. There's a nice funkiness at work that keeps things interesting. Less carbonation would help.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a nice head sitting atop the hazy amber liquid; leaves a bit of lace behind

Smell: Caramel, fig and date elements, along with some cinnamon and a hint of the farmhouse

Taste: Opens with the caramel, fig and date flavors and adds a bit of peppery yeast and apple elements by mid-palate; a hint of farmhouse funk adds character after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation

Drinkability: I have had this both in the bottle and on tap and a fresh example on tap is the way to go with this beer as the green bottle doesn't do the brew any favors

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is cloudy amber in color and poured with a finger high beige head that has good retention properties.
S: The smell isn't that strong and has earthy and musty aromas of hops and yeast.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but has a little more complexity with hints of fruits and spices in the flavors. The finish has some hints of sourness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the body with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink and has some refreshing properties. It's similar to a saison but has some added spices.

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Photo of magine
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a cloudy, yeasty dark orange, with a white active off white head. Head settles to a massive finger width island and rims the glass with nice sticky lacing throughout. Very good looking brew.

Brew smells of yeasts; malty, spicy, cloves some fruits. Decent nose.

Brew is balanced, a bit more carbonated then desired initially. Peppery, spiced, dark fruits and yeasty maltiness. Banana and cloves can be tasted as well. An oily grapefruit hop resin can be detected (I think) as well. As this brew warms it gets thicker and way more enjoyable. Very good warming full bodied brew. Good stuff.

This is a very good brew to sip and enjoy. Very good mouthfeel and flavors. Great looking brew as well. A little thick to session, but very good stuff to sip and enjoy.

 806 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AmericanBrew for sharing this bottle. 2005 vintage.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is very nice. I get notes of toffee, caramel and some orange citrus notes. The flavor is a mix of toffee and caramel malt, as well as some brown sugar and some spices. I get some ginger as well as some nutmeg. For being 5 to 6 years old, the beer didn't show any real signs of age or oxidation. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Glad I got to try this one.

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La Moneuse Spéciale Noël from Brasserie de Blaugies
3.85 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
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