Mar 4, 2010

Noël Des Géants

I actually bought this bottle on a whim while visiting a new-to-me establishment a short drive from the house. I had never heard of Brasserie des Géants, but does that really matter when it comes to Belgian holiday seasonals? I’m pretty much a sucker for anything from that area of the world with “noël” on the label.

After getting the stash of bottles safely home, a little research revealed that Brasserie des Géants was only recently established around 2000 at the site of a castle dating back to the 13th century. There wasn’t any description on the brewery’s website of what I may find in this particular beer, but I can say that whatever is in there has produced one of the best winter seasonals I’ve had.


Be careful when pouring this beer. The amount of head it produced on each pour was impressive and showcased some impressive retention. The liquid in the glass was a hazy, rusty brown in color.


There is a boat load of spices in the nose of this one. There’s a tangy, fruity presence that complements the Belgian yeast perfectly. As far as the spices go, I picked up some clove, but for the most part the collective smell of the herbs was too deep and layered for me to really pick out anything else.


Noël Des Géants turned out maltier than I expected, leading with a lightly toasted, bisquity malt that’s quickly followed the slightly sweet candied sugar of the Belgian yeast and a pile of herbs/spices. Overall, it’s a wonderfully balanced beer with a crisp, medium body and a warming, semi-dry finish.


I hadn’t really expected much from this beer having picked it up randomly at the store, but I’ll be damned if I can come up with but a handful of winter/holiday seasonals that are better than this one. It’s right up there at the top. The herbs, malts and Belgian candy all come together nicely into a complex, yet completely drinkable beer. I hope the store has more when I head back that way this weekend.

Rating: 4.5/5

More: , ,