La Moneuse Spéciale Noël
Brasserie de Blaugies

La Moneuse Spéciale NoëlLa Moneuse Spéciale Noël
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #1,054
Ranked #20,447
3.88 | pDev: 10.05%
Brasserie de Blaugies
Very Good
La Moneuse Spéciale NoëlLa Moneuse Spéciale Noël
Notes: A special edition of la Moneuse, extra rich for the winter season.
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Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 158 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by jdhilt:
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a five-finger white pillowy head leaving a good lace pour *slowly*. Slightly cloudy amber with some chunky bits. Slight hint of a fruity nose. Strong carbonation. Smooth and warm going down, a good balance of malts and hops. A 750ml bottle was $8.50 from Colonial Spirits in Acton, Ma.

May 10, 2004
More User Reviews:
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garymuchow from Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New label on bottle compared to the photo as of this date.
I found this quite exceptional.
Aroma was spicy, yeasty, sweet light fruit, tinge of malt, sour, slightly clovey-peppery. Excellent light effervesent carbonation experienced in aroma, appearance and mouthfeel.
Amber of orange, gold and brown. Clear at top of bottle, with floaty stuff toward the bottom. Left large marks of yeast as poured.
Taste is a little more flat than aroma. Heavier malt quality mixes with moderate hop taste and bitterness middle to a fairly long dry finish. Start of drink maintains light somwhat sweet fruity quality. Less phenols than in aroma. Surprisingly light alcohol presence in taste. Fairly low sourness. Takes on more earthiness towards the bottom of the bottle.
Interesting mix of light sparkling wine type of carbonation with moderately heavy feel from the malt. Feel the alcohol warmth in the stomach.
Website of distributor and brewer lists it as a saison. I liked this a lot. Good spiciness. I like the heavier malt. Really enjoyable.
Oh ya', thanks to Mark at 3 Corners for donating this bottle to me.

Jan 28, 2005
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beerguy101 from California

3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium brown color. Medium head. Aroma is malty, fruity and slightly yeasty. Malty and somewhat dry. Spiced, of course, with coriander, allspice and clove. Slightly dry. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Aug 28, 2003
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Bighuge from Minnesota

3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy copper hue with scarlet red tinting. Yeast particulates float here and there. A big, bubbly, rocky, fizzy white head caps this brew and sticks around for awhile. Nose is fruity, yeasty, estery and doughy. The beer feels well carbonated and airy on the tongue. Just a titch too gaseous, but not off the deep end. The body is a bit better than light. The nose indicates a lot of the flavors of this beer: Fruity esters are abundant. Yeasty and doughy characteristics and there throughout. And a nice little pepper like spiciness adds some depth.

Mar 03, 2003
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cokes from Wisconsin

4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Jan 11, 2005
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StevieW from Florida

3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with cork and cage. Has an odd little snowman in front of a Belgian farmhouse scene depicted on the label. Found this one at Lueken's Big Town Liquers in Dunedin, FL.
Hazy amber to light orange color. Fluffy and uneven beige head. Lasted the entire glass, bubbled up on every small pour. Initial smell was a musty, dank, farmhouse celler quality to it. Beyond yeasty, almost moldy. Odd and hard to swallow. Luckily the taste didn't have this wierdness to it, mostly a full bready, yeasty belgian quality to it. Match this with a earthy, spicy, nutmeg, and ginger flavors and it becomes a very good seasonal ale. Lacks the roasted fruit and plums that would expect from a Belgian Christmas beer. More of a peppery and spicy bounce to it. Medium to full bodied, noticable belly warming abv. Well worth a try if you see it, just hold you nose on the first taste.

Jul 24, 2003
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CharlesRiver from Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer in the cellar for about 4 months so it is very fresh. I loved the other beer that I had from this brewery. Orange brown in color with a consistant white head that has tons of tiny little bubbles. And the bubbles don't stop! Tons of streams of them make their way to the top.

As a side note, as I look through the 750ml bottle it is no longer clear. The bubbles have pushed the heavy sediment all over the place. My second glass will be completely different.

The taste is very smooth. Explosive in the mouth but so well balanced. Orange, coriander, yeast and lemon all come through. A solid grassy hop flavor comes through as well. A great artisenal beer from a small "mom and pop" brewery.

Jan 24, 2004
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stcules from Italy

3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden honey color, with a good dirty white creamy foam.
Calm smell, harmonious, but a bit too light. Malt and some spices, difficult to name (orange and coriander?).
In the taste the orange peel and the pepper are more evident. Fruity notes, some caramel, present but not too much.
In the aftertaste a bit of bitterness, but the caramel (and some sugar) prevails.

Dec 27, 2009
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Feb 20, 2007
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TheLongBeachBum from California

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

The last official (coach) stop on our 2004 Wakefield CAMRA Belgium Trip XII was to the Taverne Du Château in Montignies-sur-Rocs. Listed in Tim Webb’s Guide (4th Edition, Page 217) we had planned to come here for at least a couple of hours after the earlier trip to the Brasseries Blaugies, where we had tried the three regular offerings; Bière Darbyste, Saison D’Epeautre and La Moneuse – but sadly not the 2003/4 Seasonal, as they had none left.

Thankfully we found some of the La Moneuse Spéciale Noël here at the Taverne Du Château in Montignies-sur-Rocs.

Presentation: A 750ml cork and caged green glass bottle that was shared between two of us. A white spotted red border label has a creamy background with a black line drawing of the Blaugies Farm Cottage & a Horse and Cart outside. In fact it is the same label as the La Moneuse except that the buildings in the picture are snowcapped and a cheerful looking snowman sits in the bottom right hand corner. A very heavily sedimented Ale that is not filtered and listed at 8% Alc. Vol. and Best Before 9-06.

Appearance: The heavy sediment was disturbed when the Cork was opened, but I managed two get two relatively clear glasses out before the yeast really hit big-time. A golden amber colored body, mildly hazy at first, it looked pretty good initially with an awesome off-white head that was crusty and formed a very uneven expanse above the body of the beer. Nice lacing as the head collapsed around the sides to leave only a central floating head cone, which allowed the beer to slip underneath when the Glass goblet was tipped and the Noël imbibed.
Be Warned: This has high levels of conditioning that will wake up the sediment once release, no matter how carefully you store this one!!

Nose: Has an Earthy nose that reveals some horse-blanket, bread dough, sweaty hay, spices and a light herbal aspect set against the more traditional Belgium Pale Ale backdrop of grainy Malts. Dark Fruits, Cloves and Bananas as well at times. Smells gorgeous.

Taste: Some sweet malts and a hint of fresh garden herbs mixed in for good measure to start with. Bitterness enters the middle but is quickly consumed by lots of dark fruits, candy and a lick of bananas. The bitterness comes through again in the ending, this time it stays. It is astringent in the last third with a nice spicy sweet malt dimension.

Mouthfeel: Again, the carbonation is high but this never seems to interfere with the mouthfeel, it always supports it and lends a nicely aerated feel to this fruity Pale Ale cum dark Saison. Feels like drinking a smooth but malty Pale Ale whilst breathing in the stale air from a dark barnyard at times.

Drinkability: The only Seasonal brew that Blaugies produce, and whilst not my favorite of the Blaugies portfolio, I found this one to have a decent quaffability.

Overall: After the earlier trip to the Brasserie de Blaugies, and the chance to drink the 3 regular beers outside in the sunshine, I was a little disappointed with this one. Somehow I expected more given the excellent credentials of the 3 regular offerings. Perhaps I had set the bar way too high in anticipation, this often happens. A good beer, all round, but not really “Spéciale” in my honest opinion. Sort of a mix between a Saison and a Belgium Pale Ale - some in our group who also tried this believed that it tasted a little ‘green’, and thought that this would improve with age?
Perhaps I concur, perhaps not.

May 15, 2004
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putnam from Michigan

4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a red colored caramel amber liquid with a stiff crumpled topping of cream color. Lots of apple, crabapple and plum fruits baked in butter, spiked with vanilla and organized with resiny straw flavored hops. The flavors are intense and oily bitter. Scorched pine thrusting through caky, biscuity layers of fluff and apricot skin fruit. Broken raw hazelnuts. Old vine Sauvignon Blanc drizzled with rewarewas honey on rye crackers. Brown grass. Sticky red pollen. The finish accumulates into a polished ball of tar and twine soaked lemon juice fritters.

Dec 11, 2007
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UnionMade from New York

2.83/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The beer claims to be a strong saison.
The beer pours a hazy light cinnamon amber, with a murky, gassy off white head. The head fizzles out to nearly nothing almost immediately.
It smells like a lambic, with that sharp tartness and wierd fruitiness, sort of orangey tangerine or something to that effect. I was expecting a dark, heavy belgian style, and this wasn't exactly what i was looking for. Sort of farmy and a bit winey. Perhaps this is a bit oxodized.
Flavor is initially....terrible. Sour fruitiness. Very farmy and a bit grainy. The more you drink, the better it seems to be. It seems to improve with some warmth. Maltiness is strange. Hops seem to be non present, adding perhaps a little edge to the fruity tartness. Semi dry finish, leaving almost no aftertaste. Carbonation is way too much, I'm feeling gassy already. Complex and interesting, although in a Basquiat kind of way...kind of grotesque, but intriguing.
Odd and sour, perhaps a bit old. I purchased this at CT Beverage Mart, so it very well may be.

Aug 26, 2003
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UncleJimbo from Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured from the 750 mL bottle a hazy golden brown with small foam. The aroma was mild and was of sour grapes. The taste was dominated by grapes, somewhat musty, but with some flavors of yeast and malt evident. The mouthfeel was balanced and smooth. The drinkability was good.

Jan 24, 2003
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Dec 07, 2003
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Gusler from Arizona

3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah the first of the “New Year 2004” beers and one from my current most favorite sub-style a “Belgian Strong Ale”.

The beer pours to a foggy orange color loaded with dross, both suspended and slowly sinking to coat the bottom of the glass. On the pour the head formed was gigantesque in size, creamy in texture and a toothsome light tan color, over time as I let it breathe and warm to the glass and room, it also formed a thick and clinging sheet of lace to conceal the glass. The aroma of banana, fresh cut pineapple, strawberry cotton candy sweet, fresh malt, clean and quite pleasing to the eye and nose. It begins lightly sweet, rich in malt, the top light to middling in its feel to the palate with the finish stinging in its acidic bite. Hops are pleasing in their spiciness and they increase their presence as the beer warms to the room, quite dry aftertaste that lingers long on the palate, a fine beer to start out the “New Year”.

Jan 01, 2004
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thoroughly hazed, bright orange appearance, huge, rocky head, lace leaving...

Aroma: blast of funky Belgian yeast, citrus and spice.

Taste:Snappy, and hoppy, with resilient flashes of funky, sour citric splashes. Like a hoppier,boozier saison.
Zingy,zippy, refreshing,flavorful...

I'm liking this... yum...

Mar 12, 2009
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Mitchster from Michigan

3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Recommended by Nick from LiquorMax in Loveland. Bottle conditioned, corked and caged, 1 pint 9.4 fluid oz bottle. 8% ABV. Considered a "Holiday Saison".

Pours out to a very cloudy medium amber, forming a large tightly beaded light beige head with good retention and minimal lacing. The aroma is overwhelmingly spiced, immediately smelling like Jack Daniels mixed with ginger, cinnamon and bananas. Some toasted nutty malt husk is pleasant. Carbonation is firm. The mouthfeel is explosive and spritzy with a thin body and a ruddy, oxidized finish. Taste begins with pennies and grass soaked in lemon juice mixed with tonic water and soap, followed by cloves, yeast, some mild higher alcohols, and ending in a dank cardboard flavor and ruddy mouthfeel. Bitterness is mild and hops are barely discernable. As it warms, barnyard character and lemon pepper comes out.

This beer is OK, but the mouthfeel is poor, the body is thin, and it's obviously oxidized. I was certainly expecting more considering the price. Do yourself a favor and grab yourself a 6'er of New Belgium Dubble instead.

Feb 18, 2005
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crookedhalo from Pennsylvania

3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cork almost popped out by itself when I was undoing the cage. So I grabbed a couple more goblets assuming this one was going to blow up when the cork was unleashed. It did. Didn't lose a drop, though :) When the volcanic head was under control, amber colored beer formed from the two-toned beige and brownish yeast-laden foam. Flaky particles in the bottom of the goblet. Stained yeast clings to the side of the leftover bottle. Barnyardy aromas; yeast, astringent grain and candi sugar. Overall, earthy and sour notes to the aroma. Sweet malt and a fruity, vinous, tart finish with the same barnyard character throughout. A very wild beer in the literal sense. Quite enjoyable.

Revisited 2-22-05 from a bottle with the old label that I've been cellaring for a couple years. It blew up, carbonation-wise, the same way as my initial review. However, I upped the taste rating from a 3.5 to a 4 because I appreciate a bit more that husky astringency, as I've been dabbling into the uniqueness of some of those craft-brewed Belgians. Still, slightly bummed about how the bottle blows up once uncorked; some beer was wasted this time. I thought cellaring would mellow, but I was mistaken. A quality beer, and I'm glad I revisited. Some similarities to Loterbol's blond could be made, hop character aside.

Dec 28, 2003
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Jo_Renish from Vermont

4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a belgian tulip @ 40º.

Appearance - Pours an autumn amber with approximately one and a half finger of head that retains fairly well. Partially opaque with visible "sediment" present.

Aroma - Flooded with a face full of lemon zest, clove, white grape and sour cherries. No detectable funk as a product of culture.

Taste - Thwacked by granny smith apple, closely followed by lemon peel and white grape. A detectable but subtle caramel profile ties this pour up tightly.

Mouthfeel - Light, crisp carbonation with a medium viscosity that moves swiftly over the palette.

Overall - I really enjoyed this beer and regret not buying two bottles! Very complex but easily dissected by even the most infantile palette.

Jan 11, 2021
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cbl2 from New York

4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

9/19/2006 $8.59 750 mL 8.00% Winter release, 2005 printed on cork which explodes with a loud pop from the bottle.


I just poured a glass of foam! Half an inch of beer with 4 inches of head. The small amount of beer in my glass is a lovely clear claret brown, and the head is nicely formed.


Tart ripe cherries, piquant and slightly sweet.


Extremely smooth, with little carbonation considering the immense head. Tart acidity with notes of cherries, chocolate and a slight tinge of alcohol. Very drinkable, though dangerously so with the high alcohol.


"A very festive and hardy holiday "saison", home-made at Belgium's smallest family brewery. Extra rich for the holiday season. Schoolteachers Marie-Noelle Pourtois and Pierre-Alex Carlier have together come up with the formula for great traditional brews. Their hearty, flavorful, and sometimes exotic styles are all made in their tiny garage brewery."

I'm shocked we got a small "tiny garage brewery beer" from belgium, but I'm not complaining, this is pretty tasty.

Sep 19, 2006
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Hhawk06 from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one from a 750 mL corked bottle in a snifter. It poured with a huge, fluffy head with a dark caramel body. I noticed some sediment during the last pour as well. The nose is very intriguing, more fruity right away but after a good swirl and waft you get a couple more olfactory probes; pepper/spice/rind. The mouthfeel is very prickly on contact but smooths out as the beer goes down. Also, it has a very peppery texture with a full malt mody attached. There is some sort of an orange rind overtone that oversees. The finish, however, is more peculiar and inviting. First off, it is more mellow but flavor packed. Its very fruity at first, then settles in to a little bit of a phenolic taste and finally a good complimenting bittering kick. Its not the best belgian around, but still serviceable.

Jan 23, 2005
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tavernjef from Minnesota

3.14/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Muted glow of dark peachy orange. Huge, plush, fluffy top of yellowy, vanilla stained, foam that lasts and lasts and lasts. Keeping an always present half inch stack nearly the whole session. Impressive. And the lacing is dusted across the glass in a nice etched fashion of tiny snowflakes and frosting.

Aroma is fairly one dimensional with a forward funked powdery yeastiness and dry hay spice. Some slivers and shavings of citric peels note a bit in certain wiffs.

Taste, unfortunately is a bit one dimensional as well. Tangy soured pale fruityness and yeasty funked dryness hits hard and fast leaving a scrapped mouth of dry grass blades, dirty fruits, and an off tartness that leaves it unbalanced in the finish; and throughout most of its run in the flavors.

Feel is pretty active with a fair tug in the sour tartness and has a texture thats a bit unwelcome as it seems to tear into the throat with a razory edge of harsh carbonation. Deposits of tart, dirty citric fruits lay in waste behind a grassy dryness and slight yeasty chalkyness. For what its worth it tends to mellow out some as it sits, but the flavors really never go anywhere, nor peak, nor does its smoothness.

Not all that impressive, with the exception of its looks, a deceptive glass of Belgian ale is to be beheld when opening this one.

Sep 21, 2006
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beergeek279 from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 750 mL bottle. The color was a unfiltered gold, with a white head containing brown patches of yeast. The smell was fruity and alcoholic. The taste was a very nice fruity taste, the yeast seemed quite noticable, leading to an altogether complex taste, and the alcohol was barely noticable. Mouthfeel was extremely heavily carbonated. As for drinkability, could have this one all day.

Well, when we opened this one up at the Creekhouse, the bottle exploded, which was said to be a problem for all the bottles. Once it calmed down though, the beer inside was quite good. A wonderful beer, one I had the pleasure to share with my brother and my good friend WVbeergeek, and one I'd definitely have again.

Dec 02, 2003
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rajendra82 from Georgia

4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When opening this bottle, be very afraid. As soon as I loosened the wire cage, the cork shot out of the green 750 ml. bomber and hit the ceiling. Luckily it was pointed away from any valuable objects and vital body organs. The anticipated geyser of beer however did not erupt following this first shot, and the rest of the drinking session went unhindered.

The beer came out hazy, amber, and fizzy, and readily formed a three finger craggy head in the tulip. Not quite as sharp looking as the inimitable Duvel, and the head lacked that same staying power too. The smell was pleasingly fruity (bananas, apple, and pear) with a floral and earthy fullness imparted by the yeast. There was also a decent backdrop of coriander and other sundry spices. The taste was typical of the other Belgian Strong Pale Ales, with an up front but light sweetness, sharp fermented candy sugar acidity, house yeast dustiness, and a dry finish enhanced by aged hops and spices. In this beer the spices seemed more plentiful than the norm, and the finish lingered on a bit longer than others. Airy and creamy mouthfeel and bright disposition made this a joy to drink. Not a hint of the 8% ABV to be found anywhere.

While not necessarily screaming special Christmas creation, this beer was enjoyable enough to be downed quickly for its simple yet alluring persona.

Nov 25, 2006
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RoyalT from Ohio

3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Sep 06, 2003
La Moneuse Spéciale Noël from Brasserie de Blaugies
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 158 ratings