Apr 15, 2015

Perennial Ales Fete de Noel

Translated from French, Perennial Ales Fete de Noel means “Christmas Party” and with its seasonal blend of ingredients (and higher alcohol content), it certainly makes an attempt at creating a party in the bottle. In fact, at 10% ABV it’s a big and boozy beer that surely had many of you getting down at your own company holiday parties. I, unfortunately, didn’t run across this Belgian-style strong dark ale until late this past February.

Brewed with orange peel and fermented with raisins the beer is then given a dose of rosemary. It’s a combination that brings a bit of an herbal quality to the brew, but the dark fruit and raisin aspect of the style stand out more — particularly in the aroma. On the tongue the beer is a bit hot and perhaps too sweet. I have a feeling that a little time in the cellar would do this beer some good and allow the alcohol to mellow a touch.


Fete de Noel pours with a thin beige cap of foam that fell gently to a patchy surface cover above the deep amber brew.

Perennial Ales Fete de Noel photo


Overall the aroma is a bit faint, but raisin, caramel, yeast and alcohol do present themselves more as the beer warms in the glass.


The yeast, caramel, raisin and distant herbal/spice notes lead the way with each sip. Hints of fruit cake persist throughout. The beer is pretty darn sweet, perhaps a bit too much for its own good, though it does fade slowly through the warming, lightly drying finish. The brew feels a bit thin on the palate, as well.


All in all, Fete de Noel is a pretty decent brew. It’s lacking a little refinement and completeness — the sweetness and alcohol warmth could do with a little mellowing. If I had found another bottle of this one, I think setting it aside for a bit would take care of some of its issues. The brew just needs a little time to come together.

Rating: 3.5/5

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