Stine (1779) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 13, 2008
Bottled August 2007. A luminescent pour of marigold and a firm, but thin cap of white, slowly to recede. Aroma of cinnamon and pear flesh; herbal, sweet, and dark. An adhesive-like spicy-tart character that suggests the interplay of mature yeasts with still-fresh hops. Lightly papery with whispers of phenols, and abundant herbs and flowers; I can almost feel the bees gathering on this aroma. Still, it’s hidden in the basement; musty, dingy and damp; the best quality of the aroma is certainly the playfulness of the yeasts with the sparkly sharp edged hops. It seems at a pretty ideal point of age for that reason.
DaMenace123 (253) - Houston, Texas, USA - AUG 3, 2008
Flavor is a dried out apple, dusted in dandelion petals, autumn leaves, and jasmine flowers. A bright mineral glint, but it’s soft, and hazy. Coriander seeds. A bit of lemon. Flavors seem to pop up suddenly and all with great subtlety; none there to steal the show but for cameo only; this is a perfect approach for a beer of this style and exemplifies what’s so lovable about it. A creamy calm of wildflower honey in the middle, tempered in a plain wooden bitterness; at times seeming somewhat empty, but righting itself quickly, into a pleasant white fruit flavor toward the finish.
Palate is brisk and bright, while somewhat autumnal in feel; medium body, slightly sharp, and long in the end; bitterness of dandelion and herb character that gets quite papery. Good yeast and hop character throughout, with enough firmness underneath for it to seem fulsome despite its general light-heartedness. Another fine offering from one of my favorite breweries.
Hoppy smell. Golden orange appearance with big head. Spicy and hoppy taste. Smooth feel. GarrettB (1580) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 1, 2008
Here comes another Christmas beer which, like television specials, seem to come in every shape and form once December rolls around. I found the bottle charming with the pint sized Santa gnome attempting to tackle an equally tall glass, as this is how I often feel tackling a heavy 750mL bottle of beer sometimes, but I didn’t fear anything from this, the Pere Noel from De Ranke. The pour produces a thick and honey-esque liquid, covering a wide breadth of oranges and reds, and capped with 1 centimeter of plain, white foam. Flecks and specks float around the glass, indicating the raw, unfiltered creation of the beer. I find the smell is relatively faint, with a certain slightly hoppy dryness and a good wheat flavor, opposite a shade of pale ale astringency. The beginning of the sip has a low-key fruity touch, exhibiting lemon and orange, with some coriander spiciness added to the mix. The aforementioned hops pipes up a bit near the aftertaste until the beer is sent onto the esophagus, leaving behind only a pale ale sweetness. Really, an elegant, low n’ slow grapefruit bitter kind of beer with a Christmas touch. I’ll drink it, but I much prefer the Belgian "cheese and wood" approach to Christmas. BoBoChamp (5755) - Gent, BELGIUM - JUL 26, 2008
33cl, from De Hopduvel Gent, easy to drink X-Mas brew, but not complex, cloudy, good head, nice brew Ober (2812) - Bommelerwaard, NETHERLANDS - JUL 4, 2008
A hazy dark orange colored beer, with a beige rocky foamed head. The aroma of nice bitter hops, fruity sweet, and spicey. The taste is malt bitter, orange sweet with floral and notes of pepper. A long bitter aftertaste.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - JUL 3, 2008
750mL bottle, courtesy of acrdz. Thanks, Mike! Pours a murky orange color with tan edges; off-white head with good retention and fine-bubbled lacing; very nice pour. Nice dry mineral and piney bitterness in the aroma; complex yeastiness and crackers; some light saltiness; excellent nose. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: crisp mineral bitterness upfront; again, solid yeast character, pine, mint, and light breadiness; well carbonated and very drinkable; nice balance between a toasty / yeasty core and prominent mineral / piney bitterness. Good stuff. Lengthy finish: toasty breadiness, pine and mineral hops, and dry yeast. Stefano (2004) - Thisted, DENMARK - MAY 28, 2008
Very murky, golden ale with a mid-sized, fluffy, off-white head. Aromas were some spice and vanilla. The flavor was lemony, honey, light fruit, and coriander. The mouthfeel was light bodied and lightly carbonated. Pretty good.
jgb9348 (6187) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - MAY 26, 2008
Perfect hazy golden amber body with a reddish tint and a perfect off-white head. Aroma of fresh malt, cranberries, raisins, hops and a bit of bitter alcohol. Full-bodied; Strong malty flavoured body with a good malt backbone and an alcoholic kick that lasts quite a while. Aftertaste shows the malt and spice with a bit of coriander seed freshness and alcoholic malt. Overall, a good belgie ale with some mild malt and spice characteristics. I sampled this 33 cL bottl purchased from the Bier Tempel in Bruxelles, Belgium on 01-January-2008, sampled on 26-May-2008 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. nuplastikk (6206) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 24, 2008
UPDATED: JUL 27, 2009 11.2oz bottle. Glowing thick orange-tan color. A yeasty creaminess and hoppy dryness that is unusual for a Christmas beer. Delicious, complex but drinkable at 7%. Some sweet herbal tones happening as well. Great beer. I rated this lower out of the 750ml bottle later..giving it a 3.8. Boutip (6312) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 6, 2008
Bottle: Poured a cloudy dirty hazy beige color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of Saaz dry hops with some light dry funky notes. Taste is dominated by dry Saaz notes with a light funky notes, some floral notes and a quite dry ending and all this being supported by a nice Belgian malt backbone. Full body with limited filtration and great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting experience but maybe a tad too dry to be enjoyed on a repetitive basis.