Beer Wednesday: Affligem Noel and St Bernardus Christmas Ale

That's right, Belgian Christmas beers! Because I'm pretentious like that. I had the Affligem Noel and St. Bernardus Christmas Ale over the weekend, and I really liked them both. Very good holiday beers, I'd recommend them to anyone who digs strong, cold-weather beers.

The Affligem Noel is my favorite of the two. Reviews on Beer Advocate are right on point for me: it has a smooth, rich body, and lots of flavor. I like the raisin and fig flavors, which are common in dark abbey ales, which also combine with flavors of warm spices of some kind (I'm not very familiar with spice flavors, so let's just say cumin cause it's fun to say) to make it really delicious. It doesn't taste too heavy, but it is 9% ABV so be careful. Not sure the price, but split a pint or bottle with someone and you'll be glad.

The St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is much sweeter, so if you don't have a sweet tooth you may not enjoy it as much as I did. Again I agree with the Beer Advocate reviewers - the beer matches sweet fruity flavors with an almost yeasty, bread-like character to great effect. This is more sweet dried berries than the dried figs and raisins of the Affligem Noel... if this were a wine I would call it more "fruit forward" with its flavors. St. Bernardus is also strong at 10% ABV, and again I don't know the price but still recommend it.

For my palate two very delicious beers, I recommend them to anyone who likes delicious, strong, dark ales. Cheers and Happy Holidays y'all.


  1. I had the Affligem Noel this past weekend - great beer! Super smooth, and sneaky strong.

    We found it at a local "Eastern European" bar/grill - Bistro Gambrinus - a GREAT place to find beer (including this week's review from Royce). It was relatively cheap too - $6.50 a pint.

  2. Scooter, I am so proud of you. Tasting all these delicious beers, and giving us great review notes like "Super smooth and sneaky strong" - sneaky strong is a perfect description of the Affligem Noel.

    I remember back in your first beer review on FIWK when you claimed you couldn't even distinguish tastes. And now look at you, drinking at a hip local gastropub. So proud right now.