Dec 14, 2011

La Grivoise de Noel

La Grivoise de Noel photo

The last beer I had from Quebec’s Le Trou du Diable was their phenomenal La Buteuse Brassin Special, a Belgian Strong Ale aged in apple cider brandy barrels. As much as I loved that beer (and haven’t seen it since), it was pretty much a no brainer for me to pick up their Belgian Strong Dark Ale, La Grivoise de Noel.

Loosely translated to “The Christmas Sauce,” this 7.5% ABV isn’t what I would call the quintessential Belgian holiday brew, but it still has it’s merits. The beer has a solid helping of spices and herbs to accompany hints of dried fruit and banana. It’s a warming little sipper of a beer that would be suitable on a cold winter’s night.


The beer pours a reddish brown in color with a quickly falling light tan head.


Mild spices fill the nose along with a moderate amount of banana, a light sugary sweetness and a hint of alcohol.


La Grivoise de Noel tastes just like it smells, but much more warming than expected. The banana presence is a little stronger, but not too dominating. A crisp mouthfeel pushes everything across the palate toward a lingering finish that has a healthy malt sweetness. It’s a fairly sweet beer, but not cloying. There are hints of dried fruits along with the malt backbone that add to the festive nature of the beer.


All in all La Grivoise de Noel is a tasty brew. It just doesn’t carry the flavors that I particularly want in a holiday seasonal. I’m sure that there will be many fans of this beer. I’m just not real keen on the dominating banana character of the beer.


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