Brouwerij De Ranke Père Noël is, like most of De Ranke’s other beers, a departure from the Belgian norm of darker big beers for the holidays. The call it a “Hoppy Belgian Winter Ale.” This beer was one of the first creations of Nino Bacelle and Guido Devos after they teamed up to form De Ranke in 1996. They initially brewed their beer at Deca Brewery, De Struise Bouwers brews some of their beers here as well. This ended in 2008 when they opened their own facility.
Père Noël, in addition to be hoppy, is brewed with licorice. It uses Hallertau and Brewer’s Gold hops. In the 750ml bottle, the bottle is wrapped in a nice tissue paper to add some extra festivity to the season.
Appearance: Cloudy orange, beige head, great retention.
Aroma: Orange blossoms, floral, grassy, violets, light banana notes.
Taste: Spicy, banana, light biscuit notes, lightly fruity, spicy with pepper on the bitter finish.
Overall Impression: Even though this is a bitter beer, it’s well-integrated and balanced. The flavors are very subtle and complex but still “bright” in tone. This is a very lively beer that will form a nice contrast to other Belgian winter beers. While the others almost demand to enjoyed slowly by the fire on a quiet evening, this one wants to be shared at a boisterous winter party. It’s flavorful, fun, sociable, and festive!
Availability: Limited and seasonal, hurry while it lasts. Imported by Shelton Brothers.
Notes: Best by 08/2018
To read more De Ranke reviews or to learn more about the brewery, you can visit my Brouwerij/Brasserie De Ranke page.