Bière De Noël
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Bière De NoëlBière De Noël
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Ranked #194
Ranked #23,184
3.86 | pDev: 10.62%
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
Very Good
Bière De NoëlBière De Noël
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 68 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: I was lucky enough to visit the Brasserie de l’Abbaye du Val-Dieu during our annual Easter Belgium Trip in 2001. At the time I do not believe that this was bottled, and if it was, it had all gone during our Easter visit. So when I spied a 750ml of the Val-Dieu Bière de Noël during a trip to Hi-Times in Costa-Mesa recently, I figured that I would give it a whirl, as $6.99 for the 75cl didn’t seem too bad and I knew that their other beers were reasonably good. Just as the BA database picture, the main dark blue label is of a snow covered Abbaye in a suitable wintery scene. ‘Caged and Corked’, the Cork let fly with a massive resonating thrupp as soon as the gold colored cage was removed. The twisted and bent cork had been under some serious pressure, if you ever think that the cages are there for show, think again!! Cork is dated 10/05.

Appearance: Immense gun-smoke, almost canon-smoke, preceded the pour. It’s a good job I was quick on my feet as the beer was already erupting up the tall bottle neck. Best served in a Goblet, but I opted for a tall thin flute, as I knew the high levels of carbonation would make this one awkward at times. A racing head forms quickly. Densely packed small creamy bubbles, bone-white, they slowly recede leaving a bone marrow collapsed crust. The body is a very clear classic-golden color with a decent amount of streamers. Looks excellent, hindered by the oversize head at times which probably means that it looses out on a 4.5 in the end.

Nose: Lots of nuzzling your way through the thick head is needed at times, because the thick massive covering does tend to mask the nice aromas that this Bière de Noël has to offer. Fight your through and it is worth it, even if you have to remove the froth from your own nose a few times! Spicy Tripel in style and aroma. Spicy hops, some pepper, but there is a nice fruit dimension also, some peach and apricots with a hint of plums and Kiwi fruit at times. Soiled yeasts and a real earthy dimension as the Noël warms. I wish the aromas had a little more strength and impcat though.

Taste: Spicy hop entrance, light but prickly black peppers. Yeasty middle with earthy tones that mix well with the hops and light grain malts. Has a very dry, almost crisp, finish with a lovely lingering hoppy feel that is mildy spicy on the cheeks. A peach and bitter cider-apple ending builds in strength as you work your way down the bottle and your cheeks acclimatize to the tangy bitterness. A Golden-Tripel with just that bit extra! Rather fruity at times. Nice.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a stern contribution from the alcohol that is not overpowering but never lets you forget that this is 7%. Despite the high carbonation, this is a smooth beer that sits well in the mouth.

Drinkability: Only the continual top-up of the over-carbonated beer in my glass, and the wait for it to settle, resulted in a longer than expected drink time. Easily partaken with a few chunks of sharp cheddar, this is a relatively easy going Bière de Noël.

Overall: Basically a Tripel with some extra Xmas kick, this is a reasonable enough effort, but I confess to being a tad old-fashioned and preferring my Xmas beers to be dark and dangerous. That said, this is well worth a try. Val-Dieu make some solid beers that are above average but yet never seem to stand out from the crowd, again, this is one such offering. Reasonably good value at $6.99 though.

May 25, 2004
More User Reviews:
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tux_alin from Romania

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Mar 26, 2019
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elnachooo from Spain

3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

De color ámbar con un dedo de espuma de buena retención. Cuerpo y carbonatación media. Aroma especiado. En boca es una cerveza con un comienzo levemente dulce para llegar a un final donde se siente el cilantro y el clavo de olor.

Jan 19, 2020
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Dactrius from Wisconsin

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Jan 18, 2020
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Archfiend from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sep 26, 2020
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Sigmund from Norway

3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 ml brown bottle, now available in Norway (Vinmonopolet, bestillingsutvalget). ABV is 7%. Hazy brown colour, huge head. Okay fruity aroma (orange peel and dark fruits) with notes of spices and oak. Flavour is moderately spicy and fruity with a fairly soft mouthfeel. Not the most complex Belgian I’ve had, but decent enough. Over-priced in Norway, though.

Nov 17, 2006
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A carefully poured bottle delivers a clear, deep gold/amber body with a full head of creamy white foam. The head holds exceptionally well, and leaves wide sheets and thick rings of foamy lace throughout the goblet. The nose is perfumey with floral hops, delicate spice, alcohol, sweetish candy-like malt, a drop of vanilla, and a light, yeasty fruitiness (apples). It's zesty in the mouth with a light body and a very fine, effervescent carbonation that tingles the tongue before warming to become more "airy". The flavor is more solid, however, with a well-threaded combination of grassy and floral hops, lightly candyish/cookie dough-like malt, delicate spice, and light yeasty fruitiness backed by a solid bitterness. It finishes quite dry with a wash of drying alcohol, some lingering bitterness, a note of apple-like fruitiness, and an uncommon touch of salt. A beautiful looking and interesting beer that probably makes a better digestif than apertif.

Aug 15, 2003
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MJR from Missouri

3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Corked 750ml bottle.

Appearance: Pours a light amber surrounded by copper edges. The body has good clarity, with lots of carbonation bubbles. The head starts out thick and hefty, and slowly dwindles down to a thick cap with good lacing.

Smell: The aroma is quite soft with a delicate fruitiness that is a touch spicy. I detect a touch of honey, as well as a bready note from the yeast. There's a hint of a tripel that banana and clove? Too faint to tell...

Taste: The flavor is malty and fruity, with a firm breadiness. It's not sweet has a good balance between the malt and hops. The spiciness is extremely subtle and a bit bland. Again, the banana and clove notes that make this a trippel are well buried and not easily detected. A touch of earthy yeast shows itself in the short finish, along with a faint, generic hop bitterness. The aftertaste is practically nonexistent... Very relaxed flavor profile, bland might be the right word to use.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, with an almost watery body. This brew could use more body, as there's no 'ass' to it.

Drinkability: Barely above average. This is a bit boring for a holiday brew. I need something more interesting to hold my attention when the weather turns nasty.

'Thanks' to StevieW for including this one in our trade.

May 19, 2003
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hyuga from North Carolina

4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 edition. Dark golden color with the characteristic Belgian pale/tripel white head. Goes down, but stays at a good level contributing to a nice mouthfeel. Much lace is left behind. Lots of spicy yeast in the aroma, along with some pretty big malt character, which is a bit bready. As far as the flavor, Spicy yeast and sweet, bready malt dominate once more, with a yeast/hop bitterness throughout. A slight minty character is noticeable as well, adding the Christmasy feel. Alcohol warms generously. Not my favorite tripel, but a great effort. Picked this up in a gift pack containing two 750 ml bottles and two glasses.

Dec 14, 2002
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mzwolinski from California

3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Talk about your well-carbonated beers! This one almost blew a hole in my ceiling as soon as I'd loosened the cage a bit. Caveat emptor!

Even after a bit of the brew had spewed onto my floor, there was still plenty enough carbonation left to produce a large, frothy white head atop the bronze colored beer.

Lots of yeast in the aroma. As it warms, the spiciness of the hops comes through, along with some nutmeg/cinnamon notes.

Lightly spiced in flavor from the start, with a bready middle, and a slightly sour, pleasantly bitter finish. Very creamy in mouthfeel with a moderately dry finish.

Not too shabby!

Mar 18, 2004
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Gusler from Arizona

3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudless deep copper color, the head mountainous, the texture creamy, the color a light tan and as it desiccates, leaves a fine covering sheet of lace. The aroma of ripe plums, sweet, earthy as in yeast, crisp and clean with a malt underpinning to seal off the nose, quite pleasant to sniff. Front is ambrosial, the top middling in its mouth feel, finish is biting in its acidity, the hops delectable, the aftertaste very dry, and a very pleasant to quaff beer, also a bit of a “Tummy Warmer”.

Jan 29, 2003
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, smoked amber appearance, with a nice snowy white head. Lookin' good.

Nice, fruity aroma, apples and cherries, white grapes, lemon and melon...

Taste: yum, big, bright, dark fruits and some spice. Fairly clean, zippy, refreshing. Medium bodied, very malty, little hops, well-hid alcohol...

Only drawback may be the sweet malty flavor isn't leavened much, and could be too much in one sitting for some. But that's the point of holiday/winter brews, isn't it, a little indulgence?

Very tasty, and good for sharing, ...and little ol' me, I got the whole bottle all to my'll be a good night...

Jan 24, 2007
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Andreji from Texas

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11-12 season. Lucky opportunity to have run into a small, new beer store smack in the middle of paris (unfortunately, i lack both their address as their name, but can suggest simply walking some 200m east of the sous-bock, along the rue st.honorė).

Pour is an interesting hue i must claim never to have seen. It's mostly tending towards a deep, reddish tone, sort of that of ripe watermelon.

Smell is strong, and spicy. Dominated by an astringent half zesty feel. No sweetness to it. A slight alcoholised feel.

Taste is a bit bland. Feels a bit watery but very grapefriuit like bitterness throughout. Grainy thereafter. Not sweet, but never overwhelming bitterness. There's a very mould yessty feel to it, much à la belge. Thin, slighly fizzy. Alcohol is nonetheless well hidden.

Overall a nice beer, but not extraordinary. Not the best of noëls, but not too shabby.

Dec 26, 2011
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JISurfer from South Carolina

4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful winter beer. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was sure it was going to be good, cause it was from Belgium. Most of the Belgium's I've had are good. This one didn't disappoint. It was a nice murky amber color with an off-white head. The head was super thick and lasted pretty much the whole drink. The taste was spectacular. It had hints of nuttyness, beefyness, and a little fruit, ie plums, raisins, and grapes. The best undertones where the ones of different spices. The spices that I detected were cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and some mint. It was a great blend that balanced out the drink very well. I got a bottle for my grandpaw for his b-day. I know one guy that's gonna be happier than hell.

Dec 25, 2003
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Sixpack595 from Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice tripel. Not sure what makes it "Biere de Noel", theres just a touch more spiciness than in most tripels, but nothing shocking. Copper color with plenty of fluff white foam. Sweet, malty, candy nose with a touch of floral hops. Fruity, bannana taste with a crisp finish. My only real complaint is that its a bit weak in taste as well as mouthfeel.

Dec 25, 2003
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crookedhalo from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002. Pours a bronze/light amber color with an immense, long lasting light beige head. Excellent fluffy lacing. The nose is very fruity (pear, apple) and there is a honey-like appeal to the malt, very faint spicing. Slightly sweet and yeasty at first, but the fruitiness soon takes over and leaves the palate open for the light dryness and hoppiness in the finish. Quite nice. Not as strong as other tripels, and it shows in the lighter mouthfeel. Nonetheless, it is a very nice winter beer that I'll have to try again, only a fresher bottle.

Dec 30, 2004
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BierReise from Florida

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark gold with a huge frothy head. Excellent retention as with every other ValDieu I've sampled. Aroma is Tripel like, spicy with fruit notes and yeast. Body is medium and crisp. Flavor is spicy and sweet with candy sugar and fruit notes. Overall a decent seasonal.

Jan 15, 2004
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tavernjef from Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice light toffee ambered brown color thats fairly clear fills the goblet with some slow but always active streams of bubbles. A small/mediumish, yet firmly smoothed and compacted capping of slightly tanned and grayed foam sits atop with good length. Tons of lacing coats the glass with lots of powdery spots and a glaze of frosty sheeting.

Aroma is mild yet well fitting within a malt laden nose that resembles most bock-type smells. Toffee, plum, dried apricot, and fig dance lightly, with a dash of bakery spice, but with a clean, approachable roundedness thats sweetened and deep.

Flavors are much like the nose. A nicely played out mildness in tone of malts that gather in a rounded fruity, darkened sweetness with some nice notions to peach, apricot, and plum surrounded but a tender toffee undertow. Slightly spicy in a few areas that speak of vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar develope as it finishes. some nice little sticky areas remain in the sweet toffeeish malts.

Feel is very creamy and smooth with a fullish medium body of silken maltyness that glides down with amazing ease throughout each sip. Just the right amount of carbonation grab hits the front and middle. Nice and lengthy with a semi chewy body that really sticks the malts on the palate and memory. Especially in the finish. The cinnamom and vanilla spice make for a nice delight as the malts soak in. Very creamy and drinkable as the lower 7% for a Tripel makes this nearly effortless to put back.

A beautifully made beer that nurtures and cares for your palate with a yummy, rounded, delicate, smooth, creamy, maltyness which endures the likes of its own presense in the mind as well as the palate. You then ponder how they can make such a lovely beer. Solidly delish!

Oct 05, 2006
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ybnorml from Rhode Island

3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clean dark amber/copper colored beer, which gets hazier into the bottle. Has a huge creamy off white head that leaves all kinds of lace. The aroma has a light dried friut note with some apple sweetness. The flavor is also VERY light with some hints of fruit sweetness and a glimmer of a tabbacco bitterness on the finish.

May 18, 2005
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention. Aroma of cinnamon and pepper with some distinctive Belgian yeast. Taste is quite sweet with a good malt presence and a well mix balance of spices. Body is above average but a good creamy texture. Nothing extraordinary but good example of the style.

Apr 07, 2006
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CRJMellor from Arkansas

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange/amber /chestnut and lots of effervescence. Huge head on the pour and a massive lace on the appropriate glassware.
Aroma of caramel, pale malt, some grain and a spciy coriander and citrus fruit notes.
Flavors of caramel, brown sugar, dark citrus, coriander, hint of cinnamon and other spices.
Mouthfeel starts light and airy and moves to a moderately spiced middle and finishes with a sweet citrusy touch of alcohol.
Drinkability is very good. Little out of season but high quality beer.

May 14, 2004
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Rastacouere from Canada (QC)

3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky amber hue. Huge spectacular frothy white head, sticking to the glass, long-lasting. Spicy aroma with a ton of nuances at times approaching cloves, christmas cake, anise or ginger). Highly yeasty, minty, fruity (peaches, orange, apricot). Mild hop presence even. I love how this accomplishes a lot with low alcohol. Very fruity palate, almost vinous with apricot, melon and peach hints and close to as spicy as the nose. Very interesting mix, superbly tasy for 7%. Medium bodied, moderately high carbonation, almost foamy mouthfeel. Excellent execution imo, but there are better examples.

Jul 05, 2004
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A knock-out gorgeous white head with bubbles and lace, like a frothy vanilla milkshake. Creamy. The winner by drinkability in a 4-way playoff of x-mas beers on March 25. On sweet side, but just couldn't get enough of it. Malt magic fresh from Belgium.

Mar 25, 2005
WOLFGANG from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Jul 04, 2013
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Dukeofearl from California

2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2003 Vintage 750 ml bottle, drank in the Christmas season of 2004.

I had the coolest experience opening this bottle- one I've never seen. I took off the cage, and just watched as the pressure in the bottle slowly pushed the cork up and out of the bottle- went flying several fet. I've had gunshot openings, but this was in slow motion. Very fun.

Pours a darkish golden with a pretty medium off-white head. Unfortunately, the appearance was the best part of this beer.

Aroma was light, slightly sweet with notes of honey, dates vanilla, perhaps some berry. Spices of a Noel? maybe present, but not obvious.

Oddly enough, the flavor is like a mellow tripel- sharp, tart, full-flavored with no rough edges. The alcohol profile was a little to much on the back end. However, the beer lest a very strange chemical residue in my mouth that got progressively worse as I drank this beer (shared with my sister). Stale hops? Because of this, I started out liking the flavor, but it got worse as the bottle emptied.

At the end of the day, I decided I didn't care for it.

Feb 05, 2005
Bière De Noël from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 68 ratings