bnoel09 (450) - Elk Grove, California, USA - DEC 19, 2013
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Poured into a snifter from a bottle with a cork marked 42/12. Sort of a hazy brown with ruby highlights and a cream colored head with quite a bit of sediment floating throughout. Aroma is a mix of sugar, bread, and dark fruit notes. Flavor is sweet malts with a good dose of fruity almost cider like notes, and some spices. Palate seems a little odd - mouthfeel starts off on the thin side, but finishes sort of sticky, making it seem thicker, all the while with quite lively carbonation. Overall this is not bad, but just a little too cloyingly sweet for my tastes.
Gachupines (974) - USA - DEC 16, 2013
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Hazy brown with a thick white head. Aroma is dark fruit, a little yeasty and bready. Flavor is pleasantly sweet with a bit of mild dark fruit and a touch of funky yeast. Big malt, nice and thick while finishing clean.
baraciisch (2135) - California, USA - DEC 13, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark magenta in color... Aroma of banana, clove, brown candi sugar... Flavor is light brown malts, spices come through on palate.... Yeasty finish... Okay
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
wildbeercat (353) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 5, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle into a trappist glass; served cool.
Aroma: Pretty fruity actually. A little white grape and peach maybe. Orange too. Some nice spice.
Appearance: Dark, but clear, ruby body with a small, creamy, light tan head.
Taste: Orange and peach up front, followed by a little spice and yeast. Nice toasty malt throughout. Flavors arenít in your face; theyíre nice and mild.
Palate: Medium body, moderate fruity/malty finish.
Overall: A nice Christmas beer; the fruit in the aroma plays nicely with the spice in the flavor. Really nice!
gschrade (778) - Collinsville, USA - DEC 4, 2013
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
I had this at Global Brew. Pours reddish-brown with a tan head. Taste Carmel, fruity, sweet. I thought this was pretty good. I would definitely drink this again.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
kvnstfrd (32) - Branson, Missouri, USA - NOV 5, 2013
1.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
Appearance: A crystal clear dark copper color with a small off-white head. Bubbles are small and diminish quicky, so I expect this to be quite prickly.
Fruit and spices, but very faint, even after swirling in the glass several times.
A lot going on here! Belgian yeast, fig, molasses, a hint of ripe cherry and then a light dose of clove and cinnamon spice comes through, especially as it warms up a bit.
Seems full bodied at first, but the high amount of carbonation makes the aftertaste light, prickly and dry. A warming alcohol burn at the very end.
Christmas (spiced) beers are not my favorite style, but I always look forward to them each year because they are constanly changing and always interesting. Overall, this is a good beer, but I think less carbonation would improve it considerably.
MarcoDL (2503) - NETHERLANDS - SEP 6, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Amai, this is one sweet beer. I knew what to expect, since this is a christmas beer. But even knowing that I was not prepared for the tsunami of sugar. Decent beer.
jstraw (1939) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 13, 2013
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Cloudy caramel with good, fine-bubble, foamy head, good legs / Sweet, malty nose of dark fruit, brown sugar, toffee / Medium to full body, creamy, smooth, sweet but with excellent balance and good bitterness peaking out from under the big body / Flavors of date, raisin, fig, fresh caramel, chocolate, nut, sherry, cinnamon / Outstanding, even in August.
RolkaNation (141) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 14, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Beautiful dark ruby red color, big fluffy head. Aroma is more subdued than I imagined but has notes of sherry, dark cherry, sugar cookie, and Belgian yeast. Thick going down with a nice soft carbonation. Taste echoes the nose but with a hint of pine as well and a bit of a metallic quality late. Definitely a solid beer for sure, but several better Belgian Christmases out there.
chalicemaster (111) - Ohio, USA - MAY 13, 2013
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Winter beers can be a fickle thing, there is a tendency from some brewers to load up on ícomfortsí like cinnamon and what youíre left with is some kind of sparkling herbal tea. But when theyíre done well, itís a really special thing. I picked up this Noel by complete chance from the reduced section of an Acme in May. Poured into a traditional glass, itís a luxurious deep red - very little head. The aroma is typical abbey, but very rich on the nose. Taste is just wonderful: liquorice, orange, and sugar flavours are upfront with a lovely warming, brandy-esque finish. My only complaint is that it is slightly over-carbonated, but I from what I read from other reviews, that dulls and more of the texture comes out, so if I can ever find another one of these I will be hoarding one for a few years.
This actually tastes like christmas in a wonderfully specific way without being completely obvious. The balance of flavours here is so fantastically done, you canít quite pinpoint what it is that makes the beer so special - and to me - thatís the mark of a great beer.