Noël Christmas AleJanuary 1, 2011 Opwijk, Belgium
Imported by: Total Beverage Solutions
Mount Pleasant, SC
Available: AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, AND WI
Affligem Abbey, in north-west Belgium, dates to 1074. The monks license their name to a nearby commercial brewery.
Color: dark ruby red
Original gravity: 1099
This takes me back almost 30 years to my first brushes with Belgian beers. The full experience—big bottle, cork and cage, pop! and pour, rich chestnut brown beer with a tan cap of foam—prepares me for what’s in the glass. I smell light cherry, cocoa, some melon and a hint of clove. Mmmm. It foams when it hits the warmth of my mouth, blowing spice and cocoa-dusted fruit to every corner, and finishing with dry malt and anise; definitely not cloying. A hot, saucy bread pudding would be perfect with this.
- Lew Bryson
I’ve been impressed in the past at what a good caretaker Heineken has been of the Affligem brands and here they prove their worth again. While not exactly the most complex Christmas beer on the block, this reddish-amber ale with its spicy, chocolate and cherry nose shows well in the glass, offering plenty of red berry fruit up front, hints of Oaxacan chocolate and port wine in the body and a soothing, spice cake finish. Stronger than I recall it being in the past, but certainly a tasty holiday tipple.
- Stephen Beaumont
Lew Bryson writes about beer and whiskey from his home in southeast Pennsylvania. He has a family and two dogs. That's all you need to know.
Once described as “beerdom's Brillat-Savarin,” Stephen Beaumont is the author of five books and countless articles on beer, spirits, food, travel, and how it all goes together.
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