Advent Beer Calendar 2011: Day 9: Noël des Géants

Noël des GéantsToday’s beer pick comes from Brasserie des Géants in Wallonia, the French speaking half of Belgium: Noël des Géants, or literally “Christmas of the Giants.” The brewery adopts its “Giants” name from the medieval castle in the town of Irchonwelz in which it is housed, drawn from the feature of the large gate which can accommodate the “occasional visiting giant.”

Noël des Géants is a strong ale at 8.5% abv, and is spiced with a local herb:

The Géants Christmas beer came out in 2007, and it’s their best one yet. Rich and warming, and just a bit spicy (thanks to the delicate addition of a special aromatic herb from the region of the brewery), this festive ale has everything you want in a Belgian beer – but not the cheap sugary flavor that the more commercial breweries use to reel in a less sophisticated crowd.

Indeed, it’s decadent and rich with caramel and toffee and rummy dark fruits, fitting exactly what its name implies—a giant of a Christmas beer.

Untappd. BeerAdvocate: B+. RateBeer: 3.36/5, 87th percentile.