Brewed by Brasserie La Binchoise
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Binche, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 443   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.62/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
Speciale NoŽl could only be a Christmas beer. It is a classic, warming winter ale with plenty of depth and a roasted, fruity malt character.
A.K.A. Reserve Speciale

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ARMed (625) - Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 13, 2004
Finishes with a refreshing taste. Piny and sweet with a extremeley flavorful palate. Cherry red amber with a chambagne "lively" taste. Aroma is sweet but also one of esters.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - FEB 12, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 28, 2006 Quite possibly my favorite Belgian, and maybe even my favorite overall. Starts off with a semi murky, amber pour with pillowy head. Great spice and fruit aroma. Sweet at the first sip, followed by a fresh fruit (pear maybe?) flavor, cloves and other spices, bread, bananas, bubblegum and super smooth finish. I wish it was easier to come by, I could drink it every week.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JFGrind (2006) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 3, 2004
1996 Vintage - A friend of mine opened a bottle he had since 1996. The years of cellaring mellowed this beer a bit. Sweetness and citrus flavor were evident but not overbearing. Plenty of flavor, happy it wasn't drown out by an overwhelming sweetness. It may be best to cellar this beer a bit to let it mellow.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TAR (2691) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - JAN 30, 2004
Speckled coppery orange. Adhesive, rocky, off-white froth. Very aromatic with heavy notes of honey, sweet orange peels, coriander, and ginger. Fairly airy underneath with dabs of minty herbs, anise, and esters coupled with bready malts and powdery yeast. Dense body and fluffily carbonated. Starts with a tingly spice and peachy esters topped with full bready malt and fig notes. Light anise notes and juicy orange pulp appear as the malts gain more of a crackly, lightly toasted aspect. Coriander and clove play right off the citrus, sweet malts, and spicy yeast. Finishes on the spicy and dry side with lingering clove, ginger, light herbs and leafy hops. The lovely yeast tones continue to mesmerize atop a lightly-glazed malt backing. The yeast in this is downright exquisite and the herbs are wonderfully stated. Easily among the most elegant Christmas brews available.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 6/20
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JAN 17, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2004 What the he!! is wrong with these people? Why do all of their beers taste like someone spilled orange juice into the mix? The Brune sucked and I gave them another try and this beer sucks. Stay away from this brewery unless you like mixing beer and OJ.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
bierkoning (12581) - La Tropica, NETHERLANDS - JAN 7, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2006 Orange brown color, steady frothy head. Malty, hoppy aroma. Complex and hard to define. Some pepper, maybe a bit flowery. That also goes for the flavor. Hops, pepper, malt, some licorice, flowers. Sweet, but also complex. Assertive. The alcohol is there, but not to much noticed. Full bodied. Great beer! A 1995 version, tasted at the 6th DRG in feb 2006 showed this beer doesnít survive long cellaring. Dust and sherry in the aroma, sherry flavor with some remaining fruit. Totall loss of its own character, so the rating is for the fresh version. The tap version, tasted at íT Pleintje in Hengelo was also disappointing. Lemon raspberry and soap in aroma and flavor. Herbal bitter, especially in the finish. Curacao probably, and coreander. maybe the bottle also needs a re-rate: (6 3 6 2 11 = 2.8)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Terminus (3597) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 30, 2003
A champagne and beer mix looking beer while poured. Sweet and sour aroma matches a flavor with the same characteristics. The aftertaste is worth the drink itself.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hotstuff (4874) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 29, 2003
A small sized ivory head with fine-small sized bubbles that mostly diminished. The body was transparent and uncarbonated with a copper hue. The nose was malty, sweet, fruity and some hops. The flavor was sweet, bitter, a bit sour, fruity and malty. The mouthfeel was smooth and a bit tingly. This was a medium bodied beer with fair amounts of lacing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
thedm (5797) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 29, 2003
This bottled brew with a cork labelled 02-09-24 brought to the Three Floyds Birthday Gathering 12/27/2003 poured a large head of foamy fine to medium sized off white colored bubbles that left behind a transparent light brown colored uncarbonated body. The aroma wwas a mixture of malt fruit and soices while the mouthfeel was initially tingly and vinuous yet smooth in the finish. It had a thick vinuous caramel malt hop flavor. Quite a nice beer. Merry Chistmas!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 28, 2003
Hazy reddish copper hue with a good white head and some lace. Aroma hints of fruit (apple, plum and orange), toasted malt, aromatic hops, wood, ginger, allspice and dusty yeast esters. The taste starts sweet and malty. A twangy fruitness and bitter undertone supports the dry traditional yeast background. Spicy on the finish. Soft and warming feel, enjoyable. This is a very nice Belgian Ale, sublime yet interesting. Thanks to theDM for the taste at the 12/27 party.

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