Brouwerij De Ranke - Père Noël
Santa Claus hugging a snifter of beer on the label with the word's "Belgian Christmas Ale" underneath are the only things that makes this a Christmas beer. There is nothing in the aroma or flavour that gives it the typical characteristics expected of a Belgian Christmas Ale. The brewery's own website even indicates "...very different from any other Christmas ales you might know". They're not kidding. I contemplated not bothering to include it as part of my Twelve Beers, but since I'm a little behind on my posts due to taking a trip back to my Canadian homeland, I'll go ahead and keep it as number four.
It's actually a pretty good Strong Belgian Pale Ale and I'd be more enthused about drinking it if that's all that I was expecting. Usual aromas of lemon and bananas with a hint of white pepper and cloves. Light pale and sweet caramel malt flavours to start along with some of the same spiciness found in the aroma. Finishes very dry with a grassy hop bitterness. A decent beer, but again, certainly not one that I could classify as a Christmas Ale. On to number five!