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Le Merle - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Le MerleLe Merle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,014 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,014
Reviews: 465
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 29
Gots: 59 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-03-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,014 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Ben4881:
Photo of Ben4881
Ben4881

Texas

4.08/5  rDev +4.6%

La Merle
North Coast Brewing Co.

Appearance:
The first thing that strikes me about this beer is the massive billowing white head that sticks around for quite a while and settles to a quarter inch layer of bubbles. Underneath the bubble bath like layer of foam is a beer that is a hazy golden yellow with hints of orange highlights. I was afraid to attempt agitating the yeast in the bottle due to the highly apparent amount of carbonation. After most of the beer was deposited I used what beer was left to agitate the yeast. That had an enormous effect on the color. The beer was much thicker, and no orange was present. The beer became an opaque golden yellow, almost tan color.

Smell:
To me, this beer smells like a Belgian Ale ought to smell. Yeasty bread notes are present, as well as the fragrance of bananas and a hint of alcohol.

Taste:
Contrary to the smell, this beer is very sweet and fruity. I detect flavors of apples, peaches, and apricots up front. Then the taste morphs, for a brief moment, into a very strong alcohol flavor. Then, quickly, a fresh fruity finish that gives way to a mild dry aftertaste with a complex combination of alcohol, fruit, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel:
This beer feels just like it looks. It has a medium body, which is expressed in the overall haziness. This beer also has a boat load of carbonation, present in the mammoth eruption of bubbles. The carbonation definitely lightens the body somewhat.

Drinkability:
The combination of a strong alcohol flavor and a sweet fruity flavor makes this beer a sipper. The mild dryness of the finish makes taking another sip that much more pleasurable. A pint is ideal for sharing, and I would not be able to take down another in the same sitting.

06-30-2008 16:30:30 | More by Ben4881
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%

Poured into an oversized wine glass a sort of hazed milky peach-like color with a thick blooming white head,complex aromas of yeasty clove spice,lemon pith,and overripe pineapple mainly,the funk is there but not overly so.A somewhat sharp mouthfeel is somewhat of an annoyance at first but it mellows after a bit,flavors start out citric and green from the abundance of hops used,it then shows off its funk and yeast elements wich kept the beer from being off the charts for me.Its alot better than some Belgian counterparts,its complex and enjoyable.

06-26-2008 23:13:25 | More by oberon
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

2.9/5  rDev -25.6%

Le Merle from North Coast pours a hazed orange-amber into a large snifter with aggressive carbonation and a nice thick white foam. Musty aroma of lemon pepper and bananas. Flavor includes hay, banana, grassy hops, and spice. Some alchol warming is present. No sourness or funk to be found and the bitterness is high for style. The bitterness becomes more balanced by yeast fruit flavors as the beer warms, however, at that point the particulate yeast begins to present some off (and not in a good funky way) flavors. Not my kind of saison.

12-07-2007 18:54:15 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of Tiernan
Tiernan

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

02-23-2013 05:22:02 | More by Tiernan
Photo of wesbrownyeah
wesbrownyeah

Florida

3.78/5  rDev -3.1%

North Coast Brewing Le Merle Farmhouse Ale 7.9% alcohol, poured into pint glass from corked and caged 750ml bottle.

A- Pours a hazed golden fluid that radiates in the light causing the inside of the glass to be slightly orange. Huge foamy white head rises as the beer is first poured taking a few minutes to settle into a nice half inch head that stays for the remainder of the brew.

S- Musky yeasty spice upfront remind me of a dusty cellar. Light scents of lemongrass and lemon rine are noted.

T-M- Fresh flavors of lemongrass, allspice, lemon rine, and dusty yeast upfront. Secondly I note s smooth sting of citrus hops underneath the musky yeast. Carbonation is bountiful with more than enough to tingle the tongue and slickly roll over the palete.

Overall a very drinkable and enjoyable beer in the aspects of a sunny day or just to quinch any thirst for a good user friendly Farmhouse that doesn't push to much funk... Cheers!

02-09-2012 05:05:00 | More by wesbrownyeah
Photo of weatherdog
weatherdog

Illinois

3.45/5  rDev -11.5%

75cL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

It pours a golden hazy orange with an off-white head that doesn't quit; helped on by the Duvel etching. Minimal lacing down the side of the glass.

The smell is huge pepper and some lemon to me. Classic saison smell. The back end has just a whiff of alcohol.

The taste mirrors a lot of the smell with a huge pepper bite followed by some lemon and maybe some orange. At the end there seems to be something just a little off putting. I don't know if its the yeast or what but the best i can describe it a little oily-tasting. It detracts from the initial good flavor. At the very end there is some Belgian yeast esters with some alcohol as well.

This beer is very carbonated and practically foams in my mouth. I'm glad i choose to use the Duvel tulip to knock some of it out of solution as it's sitting here. Besides that it's pretty light on the tongue and good drinkability. I haven't had that many examples of the style but this one just had something a little off in the taste.

02-15-2010 01:58:39 | More by weatherdog
Photo of PerArvidsson
PerArvidsson

Sweden

3.2/5  rDev -17.9%

08-16-2014 17:15:20 | More by PerArvidsson
Photo of alex4sure23
alex4sure23


3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

03-03-2014 01:42:30 | More by alex4sure23
Photo of steelerguy
steelerguy

New York

3.58/5  rDev -8.2%

A - Deep gold with a touch of amber, nice frothy head that hangs around for awhile thanks to the high carbonation.

S - Earthy aroma with some spice and old fruit.

T - Much like the aroma, lots of fruit flavors, but with a sour tang as if they have just turned. There is also a good bit of spice, perhaps a touch too much.

M - Dry finish although not as much as most Saisons, a little more body than usual. Carbonation and alcohol keep the finish dry even if it does have more body than your typical Saison.

D - Nice Saison, complex flavors, but a little too much sour for me to keep it nice and refreshing.

08-14-2010 00:02:46 | More by steelerguy
Photo of SanDNigel
SanDNigel

California

3.46/5  rDev -11.3%

375ml into chubby tulip
A- Hazy golden yellow. Big-bubble white head that runs away as fast as it can (you can hear it..)
S- Raunchy bread dough is the first thing I can think of. I guess a touch of anise. Pretty funky
T- Like it smells. That super caramelly heavy tripel kinda thing. Its good but doesn't make me wanna jump up n down
M- The big bubbles help whisk away the heaviness of the beer body. Bubbles feel huge
I don't know if I would buy this beer again, but I am enjoying what I have in front of me.

07-28-2013 04:12:46 | More by SanDNigel
Photo of danthehopslamman
danthehopslamman

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

08-06-2013 07:27:33 | More by danthehopslamman
Photo of andyfrancis
andyfrancis

California

3.93/5  rDev +0.8%

bubbles on top of bubbles with more bubbles. Almost violently carbonated, with the head growing from the bottom as fast as it reduces on the top. Cloudy yellow pour, but it could be some chill haze, almost white head. Looks pretty great in a wine glass

Just getting some sourish yeast on the nose. This thick head may be acting as a bit of an aroma barrier. Aroma growing in complexity as it warms.

Bitter up front, quickly overwhelmed by cascades of spice and fruit esters. Yummy.

Crisp, fairly clean finish, faint lingering hints of the spice and fruit.

Could and will drink all 750ml easily, and will be feeling just fine afterwards. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall...pretty, pretty good. On par with any of the other american attempts at the belgian farmhouse style.

07-14-2010 04:56:15 | More by andyfrancis
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

3.53/5  rDev -9.5%

A - Pours mostly clear straw color with massive four finger creamy white head. Head has excellent retention. Leaves a nice lacing.

S - Quite a bit of yeast in the aroma. Also some decent spice and a lot of semi-tart fruit, apples and a bit of lemon, and a noticeable sweetness.

T - Tart fruit up front, again apples and lemon. Here is also a layer if sweetness on top of the tart. Certainly unique among the saisons I've had. Yeast funk comes in the middle with more tartness on the finish.

M - medium mouthfeel with a semi-dry finish

O - Definitely stands out. Doesn't seem like a very traditional representation if the style. A bit too fruity to be great, but still enjoyable.

10-08-2011 02:50:56 | More by warnerry
Photo of dill
dill

California

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

served on tap in a North Coast snifter.

A: highly carbonated, deep gold in color with a thin, white head.

S: very earthy aromas with a bit of maltiness.

T: citrus flavors with a bit of spice. a bit sweet with a bitter finish.

M: crisp with a medium, tight carbonation.

D: I enjoyed this one slowly and wasn't eager to go back to it. I really like the tanginess and appreciate that it's not too strong, but it's not my favorite in this style.

03-12-2008 23:19:31 | More by dill
Photo of Fiore757
Fiore757


4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

06-05-2013 01:15:30 | More by Fiore757
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.22/5  rDev +8.2%

Large bottle, caged and corked, no freshness nor bottling info offered. Pours light apricot amber, semi cloudy and initially shooting up a HUGE eggshell head, it slowly becomes a puffy and long lasting meringue. Leaving gobs of thick sheeting and ringed lace. Plenty of micro bubbles continuing to rise. Nice looking glass of beer. Nose is multifaceted with whiffs of soap, perfume and light pepper. Love the style and this is a worthy take on it. More perfume, plenty of pepper, spiced tropical fruit such as bananas, melon, mango. Moderate, subtle drying hops late. Complex, interesting beer. Well worth a try.

03-01-2008 20:59:36 | More by Billolick
Photo of aquazr1
aquazr1

California

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

04-24-2014 02:39:35 | More by aquazr1
Photo of reitzbrewing
reitzbrewing

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.6%

07-08-2014 21:33:12 | More by reitzbrewing
Photo of Hoops4life511
Hoops4life511

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%

750 mL corked and caged bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance - Almost couldn't fill this one out because the cork tried to take my eye out. Pours a slightly hazy pale burnt orange with a white frothy head that retained for a little white. Patches are left around the top of the glass, but eventually dissipate. Carbonation coming from the bottom faster than a glass of champagne.

Smell - Grain, Belgian yeast, touch of lemon, earthy. Aroma really jumps out at you and is pleasant.

Taste/Mouth/Drink - Very bold continuation of the nose, the earthy notes take over your mouth. Some fruity sweetness comes through with an estery Belgian finish. Carbonation is a bit off putting and is very noticeable. Very full body for a saison and not as refreshing as I would have hoped for from this style.

Overall, a tasty beer worth the try. I was looking for refreshment with this one though and didn't quite find it. I would love another with a full flavored meal, I bet it would really pop.

09-15-2010 00:15:28 | More by Hoops4life511
Photo of Altenor
Altenor

California

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

07-25-2013 06:56:29 | More by Altenor
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

3.43/5  rDev -12.1%

Pours yellow with a puffy white head. Orange peel, lemon, wheat, pepper, and earthy yeast. Grassy, fruity taste with some spice, particularly the white pepper. The yeast was nice, not overpoweing, but enough to give you some funk while keeping the beer light.

12-10-2008 22:40:13 | More by magictrokini
Photo of Kraken
Kraken

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%

Poured from corked and caged 750ml into over sized wine glasses . Split with my brother while waiting for a pizza. Pours with a nice 2 finger off white head. Mild lacing billowy fine head like drifted snow. Smell is fantastic belgain yeast slight candy sugar and a spiceiness. Taste is very nice a slight bit of citris, very rich very smooth and creamy. Very tasty, as it warms you begin to a get a hint of grapefruit, light hop bitterness ,alcohol becomes apparent as it warms. Long finish Mouth feel is complex. Moderate drinkability. Very nice beer true to style

06-28-2008 01:40:41 | More by Kraken
Photo of Meldrick
Meldrick

Indiana

4.55/5  rDev +16.7%

I poured from a 750 ml cork and bale bottle into a large tulip glass. The first thing I observed was the brilliant orange color and the billowing off-white head. The aroma was citrusy and bready, reminiscent of a piece of toast with marmalade. The flavors were bright with the initial impact of fruitiness followed by the malts. The overall mouthfeel is average. Le Merle maintains a perfect balance of hoppy bitterness and sweetness of the malts. It finishes crisp and dry.

Le Merle is absolutely my favorite beer and my home is never without a bottle!

03-24-2013 05:58:55 | More by Meldrick
Photo of Janeinma
Janeinma

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.6%

06-02-2013 22:48:27 | More by Janeinma
Photo of highTempo
highTempo

Oregon

4.04/5  rDev +3.6%

Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

The color is a warm amber, with an orange undertone and a bit of cloudiness/haziness. I've seen others describe this as 'straw' but this glass is definitely darker and more red than that. The red tones and richness of the color is unusual for a saison and really nice.

It pours with a foamy, clear white head but it dissipates quickly. I would like a little bit more retention in the head but all that's left is a little lacing after less than a minute. Still, the color is great.

The smell is definitely like a cider. Other folks that have said that up here are spot on. It's a bit sharp and crisp - hits the back of the nose. There's some citrus and just a little bit of malt and yeast. The carbonation already comes through in the nose.

The flavor really picks up for me. It's definitely still fruity. There's some herbal quality, maybe grassy, with just a bit of bitterness at the end. The finish is really rapid which matches the 'sparkling' quality of this beer. There's not much alcohol presence and what is there hits and evaporates quickly. It's only a little bit sweet to me. The citrus quality counters that nicely and the finish is dry.

Overall the carbonation is what I would call 'sharp' and 'small'. The body is thin and sparkling. it's light for a saison. This is a good beer for people who like 'crisp' beers.

I would recommend this for people who like hard ciders, traditional Hefes, or who want a drinkable beer that has a remarkably high alcohol content relative to the body and 'drinkability'. It's not my favorite saison ever but it's very good and I'd definitely grab a bottle if I saw it available again.

05-07-2014 23:44:24 | More by highTempo
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Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,014 ratings.