La Moneuse Spéciale Noël | Brasserie de Blaugies

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La Moneuse Spéciale NoëlLa Moneuse Spéciale Noël
Very Good
151 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 |  Reviews: 101
Reviews by Sephiroth:
Photo of Sephiroth
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cork flies out with cage still attached. I was ready for exactly this thing, and before I had a mess, I gently pour into a tulip. First pour is a yeasty burnt orange color. Nice Saison aroma,hoppy at first, balanced with some Xmas style spices/malt. Apples. Slight musty note.

I am relieved that the taste is more Saison than Xmas ale. There is an initial wave of yeasty tartness, then a lemon-ginger-bready quality, and granny smith apples galore. There is something about those Belgian yeasts that just screams, "Belgian!" The bubbles are many, and extremely small. I'm drinkin this one quickly.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Deep, slight dark orange with a big head that went down quickly.

Smell - This has the traditional BSPA aroma with a little heaviness on the sweets. The yeast came out first, sharp and mature, mixed with a number of different spices including coriander, pepper, and a few others. The fruits are big, sugary, oranges with lemon and strong melons. I can't overemphasize the strength of the fruits in this nose.

Taste - The sharp fruits lead off here. The tart and sour notes play a big part. The spices are there as well and the yeast (strangely) picks up the rear. It finishes with a spicy, almost pasty kind of sourness that tastes like licking the inside of a juiced lemon.

Mouthfeel - Heavily carbonated and light bodied like a weitzen.

Drinkability - This was interesting. It's a real sipper due to the heavy carbonation and heavy fruity/sour flavors. I think it is aptly billed as a Christmas ale. I drank it on a hot day in early September but this is something to sip at the fireplace while opening the tube socks your eight-six year old Aunt Edna buys for you every year.

Comments - I enjoyed this bottle, but it felt off-style and I'm sure not to everyone's liking. I also concur with VENOM's assessment: the main weakness of this ale is that it lacked the depth that I've come to expect from a reputable BSPA.

Update - Took another shot at this in '08 - same likes and dislikes. It's heavily spiced but lacks depth and the carbonation is too heavy, but otherwise a decent drink.

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

An exceptional winter saison, demonstrating all the barn yard wheat, grains, oats, and hay that a saison should while adding an avant-garde citric sourness. The combined effect of these two primary traits is to create a unique brew similar to what one would expect a blend of the Saison Dupont and the Fantome Hiver to taste like. This beer uses sourness to evoke considerable more interest than the Dupont without forsaking taste like the Hiver does. This is certainly the best balanced of the few winter saisons I have tried making it the most drinkable too. Very well done.

Note: The bottle I consumed had a considerably different label then the one pictured here on BA but it is my understanding that they are the same beer.

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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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Photo of Kraken
2.68/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed over Christmas.

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Fin Du Monde tulip glass. Cork removed from the bottle with a resounding "pop". A slow bottle geyser ensued forcing me to pour quickly and some what heavy handed. Heavy pour resulted in a glass of foam. Twenty minutes later I returned to a 1/3 full glass of murky cider colored beer. Slight lace and moderate head retention.

Nose- Light finishing hops, some sourness detectable in the nose. not much else.

Palate- Old wood, sourness, some underlying sweetness. Light and grassy. No all together unpleasant but by no means great. Very confused and thin. Perhaps I got an older bottle.

Mouthfeel- Tart and thin

Drinkability- no very. I found this to be confused and slightly muddled.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update: Tasted this year's 05 offering it seems carbonation issues have been worked out since last time I tried, back to a great tasting funky Christmas farmhouse ale much more enjoyable.

Appearance: Coudy amber brown orange tone with a nice fluffy tan head with streaks of dark brown yeast settlement throughout it, not much lacing compared to most Belgians. Aroma: Cidery, vinous with a strong demeanoring alcohol bite to it complex but doesn't tie it altogether for me. Taste: Spritzy farmhouse style ale, with some cork rideen woodiness, and vinous tones not too sweet or bitter just kinda lackluster doesn't serve up anything too special like a Christmas ale should. Mouthfeel: High carbonation these bottles have had inconsistent carbonation levels known to expel outta the bottle after popping the cork, medium bodied ale. Drinikability: Wasn't to impressed probably wouldn't seek it again, didn't do anything for me.

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

(Served in a snifter)
the cork says its a 2005
A- As soon as I released the cage this baby was ready to pop. The body is a warm aged copper with lots of carbonation and a slight hazy. The head is a thick cream light tan that last and last.

S- The smell is a nice soft tart yeasty nose with a hint of sweetness before the spice and hop finish.

T- This beer has a peppery bite with the fresh malt taste at the beginning. Then there is a very soft tart note that leads to some nice green floral hops that have a note of noble hop taste. The carbonic bite enhances the hop bitterness just a bit. As it warms there is a slight note of old wood in the malt taste but not enough to give off vanilla or oak notes.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with some fizz in the texture. No astringency or alcohol warmth in this one.

D- This is a nice strong pale ale with some good hops and it still has that edge of Belgian yeast but it is not a sour beer by any means. It just has a bit of terrior to enhance the hops.

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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 mdaschaf
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cokes
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bloodied tan and opague with an mountainous buttered cream foam.
Shiraz wettened hay nose, tending more towards dead grass, with only minor peppered plum and grapey clues. A light cider tartness wavers in and out.
Begins far more toasty and grainy than I expected. All full of dark breads and roasted cashews. It fades towards and green grape tartness, then on to transient red grape, vinous reguards. Yeast saturated middle, and beyond. The finish is all autumnal farm, with drying hay bails, stables, and damp earth. The peppery hop bite is well suited, and segues almost unoticed. The airy nature of this brew effortless hides it strength and ushers it down the tubes....probably too quickly.
It's a bit coarse and disorganized up front, but it collects in to something purposefully quirky, composed, tasty, and utmostly drinkable.

This seems like something that would age incredibly well. With, oh, say, 2 years rest, this might have Fantome sweating a little.
Or maybe not.

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Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber at L'autre Oeuil in Aylmer. Medium yellow, a little head. The smell was funky, but in a plastic metallic smell. Lacey. As it warmed, the aroma became more grapey, yeasty, and spicey. The taste is ginger and other spices and...yeasty.Grows on me as I drink it. Tad above average mouthfeel.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just like the other Blaugies beers, the head on this one wants to climb right out of the glass. And unless you're really careful, it'll probably take a few quick sips to keep it from spilling over. The robe is a hazy, ruby-accented, orange--copper-chestnut beneath it's massive, rocky head of ivory. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves beautiful rings of lace throughout most of the glass.

The nose is brown sugar-like, caramelish, and even lightly cocoa-ish over yeast, spicy, and hops. There's a suggestion of some citrus zest and peppery notes, but they're somewhat muted; and a hint of yeasty mustiness.

The flavor, however, reveals more of those peppery and citrusy notes, and they're quite lively and bright over a sweetish, darkened sugar maltiness that's somewhat muted by a background of earthy, mineralish, and lightly barnyard-like character. Some chocolatey malt appears here and there; and some dark fruit also flitters about (never really making an appearance); but the alcohol is always very well cloaked. More spice (cardamom?, coriander?, cinnamon? star anise?) returns in the lingering dry finish.

Quite impressive, La Moneuse Speciale Noel delivers just enough light spicing to make itself interesting and keep you guessing, while at the same time delivering a malt and yeast base that's remarkably drinkable despite its strength. One could easily work through a glass of this, just taking in all that it has to offer, and yet never feeling overwhelmed. Worth trying.

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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 andjusticeforale
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This flows from the bottle an odd yellowy brown, frothy and warming in the appearance, only distracted by the clumps of yeast or spice which float in the head and lag in the bottom;

There is a citrus smell, yeast, must, and champagne.

The first taste reveals an extensive earthy quality that is there upon every first sip. The carbonation is really amped up for lack of a better term, and the mouthfeel is like a malty champagne. There are huge notes of single malt scotch and brandy, with definitely less bitterness than a regular saison. (the bottle calls this a "special or darker" saison, I believe). There are some notes of very earthy spice or minerals that wash around and make themselves apparent at times, almost like nutmeg? Something.

This is truly complex; at times it is funky and earthy and still manages to be as classy as champagne. A definite must try for fans of holiday Belgians and Holiday Saisons.

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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 dgallina
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml dark green bottle without date. Hard to tell what year this is from, though it is probably at least a year old given the quantity of sediment deposited at the bottom of the bottle. Required a very careful decanting.

Pours a beautiful clear copper with mammoth thin white head that stays around forever. Aroma is on the earthy side of the style. Big black pepper, musty leaves, mold, and yeast notes. Only the barest touch of lime-like fruit in the smell. Flavor is slow-building until the beer warms An Initial thin graininess develops into rounded lime, orange, and banana fruitiness towards the end. Finishes medium-dry and prickly with a surprisingly big hop bite, peppery yeast, and lingering bananas. Very little alcohol manifestation despite the strong Saison style. Excellent mouth feel, with vibrant carbonation and pleasing light-to-medium heft. Quite drinkable. I finished half the bottle before I'd really begun to wrap my mouth and head around the flavors.

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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 Beertracker
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of philipquarles
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cL bottle. Pours a murky dark orange with a creamy eggshell head and a bit of sediment. Smells slightly tart and funky with an overall sweet vinous character. Dry, acidic taste with faint fruity notes in the background. Herbal and a bit spicy. Heavily carbonated.

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Photo of cyrushire
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jessicapreuss
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of desint
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of lou91
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy Cow! Bottle explosion is right - I should have read the review before I opened it. I have never seen beer shoot out the top - it felt like I won a nascar race but insead a $9.50 beer was shooting out the top. The beer is an opaque golden/amber with an obviously thick head. Since the beer was all over my hands it was easy to smell the beautiful belgian flavors-yeast, sugar and sweet bread. Initial taste is really nice-rich and creamy with hints of cloves and honey. Clean finish makes this beer really easy to drink. As it warms it becomes better with the nose giving off great scents. Given the great belgian xmas beers out there, this is probably at the lower end and priced higher. Not exceptional but still a good solid beer. Buy it at Berkeley Bowl.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle served at cellar temp and allowed to warm up for 20 minutes and poured into a New Belgium Snifter

A – Poured a very nice and surprisingly bright amber with a large almost immeasurable head of white froth foam that literally just towered over the top of the glass and never really came down. This was a very active and still alive brew and that was very clearly evident here. Aside from the huge head of froth on top, this eventually settled down somewhat to reveal copious amount of gooey side glass lace that stuck to everything and just really refused to let go. If you could make what was behind all the froth you would see that this one poured very hazy and cloudy with a good amount of sediment falling to the bottom of the glass, and nice streams of carbonation riding up to the top. Classic strong Belgian pale.

S – The first thing I noticed when I smelled this was how bright the smell was and how I could easily pick up and unusual amount of hops within it. The first thing I could find was this night bright fresh cut grass like aroma that really gave it a nice fresh appeal to me. Once working past that and deciphering my way through the nice cereal like grain backbone I found very nice aromas of light and fruity yeast with hints of pears, peaches, apricot and a touch of lemon and tangerine even. Very nice and light aroma.

T – The flavor was surprisingly very good. I was not expecting the profile to come off as light as it did, but it was very nice. Usually with these Belgian Noels there are rather even and it takes a while to really dive into them, however this one was quite different and really was a nice turn for me. Deep flavors of grass and lemon were the first things that greeted me, very bright flavors that really perked you up and let you prepare for what was coming in behind them. In their wake were the nice flavors of light yeast coated with pears and a touch of fig, with a nice light spice sprinkled in throughout. These melded seamlessly with the light grainy back and then rounded the corner to bring home a nice dry long lasting finish that had just the right hint of bitterness to really make it interesting.

M – Very nice light bodied ale, this was no where near as heavy as some of the others I have had this season. It really had great carbonation, leaving it with a very lively feel throughout the session and a nice creamy and smooth consistency that was very common to the style. Nice long drawn out finish only served to cap it off perfectly.

D – Very nice drinker here. The flavors were very light and refreshing even with a nice crispness and cleanness to it at the end that really lended itself well and did not bog you down by being too heavy and filling, not to mention clocking in at only 8% this one was much easier going down then some of the 12+% monsters that come out this time of year.

Overall I really thought this was very good, it had a very different feel and flavor then most of the other Xmas Belgians I have had and that really was nice to see this time of year. Nice and light this one really had that extra little bit of zing that helped to push it over the top. A quality choice that I would no hesitate to enjoy again.

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La Moneuse Spéciale Noël from Brasserie de Blaugies
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 151 ratings