Père Noël Belgian Christmas Ale by Brouwerij De Ranke of Belgium is a treat for a cold winter’s night. The bitterness is a refreshing change from the often sweet and spiced Christmas beers.
Père Noël pours hazy copper with a large off-white head that dissipates to lace. Aromas of bread and malt with a touch of banana. It tastes sweet at first then moves to malts and bread followed by a slightly bitter and very dry finish. It has none of the spices you might expect from a Christmas ale. The brewery mentions the addition of licorice, but I don’t detect any.
It’s a really good Belgian Strong Ale. It is made with pale malt, Munich malt, Caramel malt, Brewers Gold hops and Hallertau hops. It has a pleasant mouthfeel due to the lack of pasteurization and filtration. Bottle conditioning gives it a smooth carbonation. The 7% ABV is not noticeable.
Père Noël is French for Father Christmas. On Christmas Eve, French children traditionally place their shoes in front of the fireplace with carrots for Gui, Père Noël’s donkey. Père Noël replaces the carrots with gifts for the children.
A bottle of Père Noël Christmas Ale would fit nicely in one of my shoes.
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