1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Le Merle - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Le MerleLe Merle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,037 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,037
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 29
Gots: 60 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,037 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LolaLotus
5/5  rDev +28.5%

LolaLotus, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of jonathaniler
5/5  rDev +28.5%

jonathaniler, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of bluntedboywonder
5/5  rDev +28.5%

bluntedboywonder, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First things first. Saison is a cool concept, but originally this beer should be low alcohol, it's meant to be a potable beverage right?

That said this is a beer for the working class, and after a hard days labor in the field of carpet covered squares, I needed some potable refreshment, for re-hydrating my mind, and body.

The Bistro in Hayward CA. is the place, the atmosphere to accomplish such tasks.

I dig saisons and this beer from North Coast was an awesome interpretation. The bouquet was of flowers and fruits, the taste had a bit of spice, but it had a pleasing evervesance that I really dug. It at almost 8% did not have an alchool prescence that lesser beers at such percentage may have.

Overall, I dig this beer. Drinking a 750ml bottle on my own, gave me time to appreciate it, as it warmed it got better, more drinkable. It reminded me of Pure Mead, at the first taste, and later as my palate dried. This is excellent with strong cheese and fruit. A white wine alternative...

xmorgan, May 13, 2009
Photo of Digitallama
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Digitallama, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of ThomasG19
5/5  rDev +28.5%

ThomasG19, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of Warfarin
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Warfarin, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of peter53
5/5  rDev +28.5%

peter53, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of KimenTshom
5/5  rDev +28.5%

KimenTshom, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of Rudgers73
4.93/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a bright orange-juice like color with a decent cloudiness to it out of the 750 mL corked and caged bottle. The head is a solid inch and slowly settles down to a retentive 1/4 inch thick foam. Lots of aroma in this one. Very fruity, mainly citrus and banana. There is a definite tart grapefruit aroma in there too. The beer itself is relatively mild in flavor. A surprise much like my first try of Saison DuPont. There is a nice prickly CO2 body that gives a lot of pepper notes to the semi-sweet, semi-bitter beer. The aftertaste is strong metallic hops and oily at the end. A very good example of an authentic belgian style saison IMO. This is similar to the Jolly Pumpkin's Bam Bière, but has more of that undetectable alcohol than the sessionable JP, again a bit more true to the style. This is a great example of an American brewer that really captivated this delicate and unique Belgian style.

Rudgers73, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of unclejimbay
4.85/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Le Merle
North Coast Brewing Co.
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
ABV: 7.90 %
reviewed 11/25/09, 750ml > snifter

5.0/4.5/5.0/4.5/5.0

Appearance looks like cloudy witbier in appearnace, light hazy golden color with fluffy 2 finger head. Excellent head retention and lace.

Smell reminds me a of a clove/tart/wheat aroma with some other mild spce notes mixed in.

Tastes as it smells. Creamy. Tart. Pils & Wheat Malts. Spicey. Dry. Crisp. Very appropriatte for a Saison IMHO.

Drinkable is a 5.0. Right on according to style in my opinion. The most enjoyable Saion I have had to date IMHO since I first tried a Hennepin. In one word....
Impressive. Very impressive NCBC. You surpassed my expectations on this one indeed. Thanks to "kstrickler" for an excellent trade and the higlight of our trade to date. I have been wanting to try this one for awhile now. I do have NCBC in my area, but have never seen La Merle.

unclejimbay, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of Noonan425
4.84/5  rDev +24.4%

Noonan425, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.79/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12.7 oz bottle with cork

A pale gold and super hazy, rushing and flowing look, a gyser of bubbles creates a 2" tower of foam, clumpy, fizzy and well retained.


A zingy, zesty, sour earthy yeast upfront, tangy and citric with lemmon but hearty with a touch of honey and wheat. Inviting and very complex smell!

Oh, Damn. That is one easy sip , super complex feel and flavor with huge sour fruits, dry earthiness with wheat. Zippy, light and smooth, did i mention how complex it is?!? Seems to evaporate with a dry bite right before the finish. Clean, clean, like sparkling water, the yeast is just delightful, this one gives just about any Belgian/French saison a run for it's money in all aspects. I think I'm in love.

GratefulBeerGuy, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of addiwilliams
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

addiwilliams, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of shick1
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

shick1, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of Didier
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Didier, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of jco3rd
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

jco3rd, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of bobv
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

bobv, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of shigg85
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

shigg85, Sep 05, 2012
Photo of FreeKansas
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

FreeKansas, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of creez
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

creez, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of detlefchef
4.68/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks so, so pretty. Brilliant golden color with a delicate head that reforms with each swirl.

Deep, abundant pear and spice aromas and more pear on the palate with a vibrant heat on the finish. Somehow both lingering and clean, which makes this such a regal beer.

God I love this beer. Hands down my favorite foray into Belgian styled beers made by a brewery that doesn't specifically specialize in them.
Pairing: Herb-roasted quail with pear and caramelized onion

detlefchef, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of BeerlyLegal
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Le Merle is a smooth brew for any celebratory occasion or summer evening. Hints of champagne and lady juices along with apples and natural herbs. Sourish with little aftertaste, this brew has pale/light characteristics and with a 7.9% ABV this makes it a perfect way to start or end the night.

Overall, this is as light of a Belgian I'll ever enjoy and would consider this to be the real champagne of beer.

BeerlyLegal, May 02, 2013
Photo of alamere
4.63/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a stemless wine glass..

A - A bit of a hazy, golden yellow orange, with a tight, champaigne-esque head. This is a beer that would pour a massive head into an ale glass..

S - Really smells amazing, some pear notes, some citrus.. you can almost smell the sparkling wine spritziness of it.

T - Doesn't get much better than this for this style... I've been sampling Saison all week and this is as good as they taste to me. You can still taste the grain, the herbal hop notes, a grassiness.. and this beer is light enough to drink for a long time. I'm surprised at the stated ABV because it really just doesn't feel like it at all. The perfect hot summer day Belgian beer. It doesn't have that soapiness that some Pilsner beers have.. but that certainly isn't my favorite part of many Saisons.

M - It's crisp, light and airy, and at the same time it's got a smoothness to it... a

Overall - I must be drinking the North Coast cool-aid, but I can't imagine someone not liking this beer. I suppose if you aren't a fan of the style.. but this is an exceptional belgian style beer in my opinion. This is EXACTLY what I think of when I think of Saison.. might be better to say, this is what I dream about when I think of Saison.

alamere, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of Franchise
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering from North Coast pours a foggy orange leaving a very carbonated body and a thick 3in head. The nose is fantastic, lemon, orange, wheat, honey, musty, grass, earthy spicy hops with a sour citrus, candi sugar, ending.

The taste is dry, crisp, salty, sweet carbonation in this fruity mouthfeel. Spicy, delicious clove honey, ripened fruit, plums, pears, peaches, wheat, syrupy coating the back of the tongue with a sweet earthy bitterness in the finish.

Franchise, Jun 04, 2008
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,037 ratings.