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Le Merle - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Le MerleLe Merle

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

984 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 984
Reviews: 463
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 29
Gots: 58 | 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)
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Ratings: 984 | Reviews: 463 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml solid, caged and corked bottle.

This beer pours a hazy medium straw colour, with a ton of thin, wispy, teeming white head, which leaves some chunky lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of crisp peppery yeast, pale malt, and citrus. The taste is sweet wheaty malt, candy sugar, citrus rind, and a bit of yeast. The carbonation is quite even, the body light, a bit airy, but still, well, there. It finishes fairly dry, some new-found warming alcohol playing aside the latent citrus and yeast.

A nice, ramped up saison - all the grain, yeast, and fruit, with a slight elevated booze warming. What's not to love, especially from this summer-forlorn winter denizen?

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 04:57:43 | More by biboergosum
Photo of wschmit


3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

75cL bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Thoroughly bubbly, pale golden body with some haziness beneath a fluffy, Duvel-like high head. Very pretty.

S: Slightly musty and meaty, but also some freshly mowed hay and floral bouquet. Ever so slightly tart. A bit of a alcoholic towards the end.

T: Yeasty and bready, but with some of the spiciness usual to the style. Also on the hoppy end by saison standards, though still quite mild. Again, some of that meaty funk, which is good, but also a minerally, metallic taste, too, which is less good.

M: Spot-on. Effervescent, with the right body, that carries the yeast/malt dominant beer to a happy conclusion. Biggest ding is it's a bit alcoholic tasting.

D: Not a particularly challenging saison, but true to style if not great for the style. Goes down alright. At 9 bucks for the bomber, a pretty good value saison, but it has nothing on the stars of this style.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2011 05:11:03 | More by wschmit
Photo of lionchow


3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy light gold with a big white head that recedes into a rocky white head.

Fruity aroma of pears and apples.

Flavor is slightly sweet, with a spicy yeasty bite. A bit of funk and bitterness lingers. Flavor is not as spicy as I would expect, and not dry enough.

Mouthfeel is lively from the carbonation.

Overall an ok saison, but not as satisfying as other options.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 05:44:08 | More by lionchow
Photo of mlazzaro


4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bottle aged for several years.
Looks appetizing in the glass, a straw colored, highly carbonated brew. Decent sized white head with nice tiny bubble structure. The smell and taste of this beer immediately reminded me of strawberries. Sweet, slightly tart Saison yeast. Really delicious, really refreshing. Mouthfeel is thin and carbonic/acidic. Drinkability is high I really liked this beer and would gladlly drink again. I am curious to know the difference between this aged bottle and a freshly brewed one.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 13:59:56 | More by mlazzaro
Photo of BieresDesMoines


3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a bright yellow with a good fluffy head that fades but doesn't leave much lace. The aroma is floral and spicy lightly soapy with some bready yeastiness. The flavor is spicy with some nice bright hoppiness mildly bready with a hint of banana and lemon zest.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 17:10:02 | More by BieresDesMoines
Photo of BaileysBrew


2.75/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml corked bottle

Uncorked the bottle and there was almost no pressure behind the cork. This made sense upon pouring, as there almost no carbonation. Odd for this style?

Appearance was golden with orange hues with a faint haze. Absolutely no head, even right after the pour.

Smell was grapefruit and orange with hints of yeast. No pepper or spice detected.

This beer was a bit disappointing to drink, mostly because it was very flat. That colors my review quite a bit. But it tasted a bit like a hard apple cider with just a touch of sparkle. There were some yeast notes and a little tangerine in the distance. It kept taking me back to my first attempt to homebrew a cider, and it wasn't that good.

The mouthfeel was actually pretty good if you took a big drink. That helped capture some of the carbonation and the viscosity was really right on--very smooth.

Overall, was not impressed. I think the carbonation would have made a big difference, but this still tasted alot like a bad hard cider.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 14:07:08 | More by BaileysBrew
Photo of Frothboss


3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden orange with no froth and light lacing. Smells like oranges and grapefruit. Tastes tangy with sour/bitters hanging on the back of my tongue. Mouthfeel is bubbly with smooth swallow. Good i would drink again, really like the grapefruit taste.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2011 21:36:26 | More by Frothboss
Photo of impending


3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml into a tulip. Pours a hazy dull golden straw. Minor head even with encouragement, subsided quickly. Unexceptional lacing.

Aroma has considerable hop presence and only minor funk. Spicy, peppery atop a tart grapefruit and orange.

Taste begins sweet with a viscous mouthfeel. Flavor of hops dominate. A bit more funk in the flavor than in the nose. Finish is slight dry and bitter, level of bitterness is surprisingly low considering the level of the hop taste. Aftertaste dissipates quietly.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 07:25:53 | More by impending
Photo of Jamesplarson


4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i really like this beer i think that is a very representative portion of the saison family and i enjoyed every aspect of the beer. The color is absolutly my most favorite part of this brew.. its head retention is inciedble and the white head and that malty body is something i will come bcak to to enjoy every time. Slanch.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 09:14:09 | More by Jamesplarson
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass (all we had available at the time). The beer pours a cloudy copper-orange coloring, with some amber highlights in the deep parts. No head. The beer has smells that seem to bounce between a sour and a barleywine. There are some very sweet notes, almost citrusy, as well as some sour aromas. The beer has an initial flavor of light spice, grapes, and alcohol that blossoms into a wide tongue sour taste, with a malty backbone, that fills the mouth. The bold sour flavors carry through to the aftertaste. The beer remains light in mouth, despite the powerful flavors. The finish is sudden, and rather abrupt after the developing nature of the flavor. It quickly retreats, leaving the slightly sour aftertaste in mouth, begging for another sip. Surprisingly easy to drink, likely due to the flavors blending so well.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 23:00:24 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Augustiner719

New York

3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into a tulip glass.

This saison pours a very deep orange honey color. Much darker than your typical saison, also has a bit of viscosity to it which i don't usually find. There is a large fluffy white head that is very thick and recedes slowly, leaving behind minimal lacing. The aroma is very light and delicate. Very pretty floral components, a touch of hop citrus and some grapefruit zest on the nose. The flavors are very well blended together, and i get a lot of floral citrus flavors. The draw back is that it is not light at all on the body. Really viscous and oily body. There is also a bitter citrus pith component that makes this fall off a bit. After the bitterness comes some oily hop residue that doesnt follow the traditional saison. This is good for a fall style however. Mouthfeel is oily and viscous. Medium to heavy bodied and totally palate coating. Drinkability is nice and this really is a food friendly beer. This would do great with a chicken dish or even a lighter style german pork schnitzel dish with lemons. Not your typical saison, but a good value and worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 00:34:39 | More by Augustiner719
Photo of grittybrews


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy honey-orange into a tulip with three fingers of creamy white head. Pleasant, powerful aroma of lemon and hints of banana and spicy Belgian funk.

Relatively high carbonation and a thick, prickly mouthfeel. Flavors of lemon and wheat up front with some mild leather/funk to balance. Quite sweet at first with caramel notes reminiscent of North Coast's Pranqster, but as the beer warmed it became quite a bit drier and peppery notes emerged.

Alcohol was well-hidden and this brew was quite drinkable, especially after it warmed up a bit.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 07:19:07 | More by grittybrews
Photo of Erish


4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. I poured this bottle into a large wine glass.

A: cloudy honey gold color, good cream-colored head quickly falls into a skinny cap with good lacing.

S: floral, honey, clove, a hint of banana, grape.

T: overall a very vinous, pleasantly sour character; the front has honey, sweet bread-like grain, the middle has apple, banana, a bit of Belgian funk, the finish is gently floral and fruity.

M: medium-bodied, silky, moderate carbonation, somewhat sour; very nice.

D: I could definitely see myself quaffing one or two of these after working the fields of Flanders!

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 02:23:14 | More by Erish
Photo of nickthegun12


3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

typical saison style color here...a dark straw yellow...with lots of carbonation and a nice big white head...thick lacing...

smells fresh like a saison....you can actually smell the dryness in the nose...

has a nice wheat taste with some bitterness....something taste a little off though....

nice dry feel....and lots of tingly carbonation...

ok drinkability here...prob wouldn't want to enjoy but just one of these...

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 00:12:47 | More by nickthegun12
Photo of titosupertramp


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, golden yellow. Nice thick, white head that disapates quickly.

S: Lemon, some orange, spicy. Smells like a saison.

T: Tastes like a saison. Follows the nose. Lemon, yeasty, coriander. Has a nice hoppy character to it as well.

M: Bubbly, tingly with a slight burn. I like this, but I normally prefer these to be a little dryer. Nothing wrong w/ the mouthfeel though.

D: Goes down smoothly and is delicious.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 03:36:45 | More by titosupertramp
Photo of ssalgado


3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My wife brought this home from a bottle shop. Have had this a few times, including at the brewery on draft but this is the first time reviewing it. Very cloudy with a light yellow/orange hue. Short head that goes away quickly. Taste is crisp with a nice yeasty bite to it. Light hints of lemon & other spices. Good carbonation adds to the crisp flavor. Essentially, a mellow, tasty saison with strong yeast flavors and light on the hops.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 04:24:32 | More by ssalgado
Photo of cpetrone84


3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-very cloudy urine like yellow with tons of thin bubbly off white head.

S-yeasty lemon up front, candied sugar is strong, a fair bit of spice and corriander behind with a touch of grassy hay like hops in the back.

T-much sweeter than the nose would let on. The yeast is subtle but present, tons of candied sugar and lemon with just a hint of banana in the back. the spice is very subtle and almost not there, the hops are citrusy with a touch of hay in the finish.

M-a little light in body but soft and creamy feel to it. It is quite wet and juicy throughout and lacks a dry finish I like. Carbonation is just fine and has a clean crisp finish.

D-this is a little muddled and simple, not bad and easily drinken. Nothing special and a little sweet in the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 22:06:19 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of evilkalla


4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: 375ml bottle into a snifter. Heck of a long cork for such a small bottle.

A: Slightly cloudy, golden pale. About an eight inch of head which dissipated pretty fast. Fairly carbonated. Looks great.

S: Pale malts and saison-style yeast. Smells good.

T: Maltier and a little sweeter than I expected. Great saison yeast characteristics. Hints of orange peel. Slight bitterness. I would have preferred it to be a little drier tasting however still very good.

M: Fizzy and tingly on the tongue which I've grown to expect from belgian-style pales. Good.

D: A very drinkable saison. Would drink it again if I saw it.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 22:58:13 | More by evilkalla
Photo of JoEBoBpr


3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - Poured a bit more oily than expected with a nice bright but hazy orange color and a nice off0white head about ,25 inches tall that receded fairly quickly.

S - Aroma starts off with some nice tart fruit hints. Some lemon peel as well as oranges and some grapefruit notes. Some nice hop hints can be noted in the nose as well as some good funk.

T & M - Flavor starts off with a nice refreshing citrus notes and a slight tartness. The orange and lemon from the aroma are quite present and very nice and refreshing. Then the nice yeast flavors come in, slight phenols as well as nice interesting funk. There is some nice hop flavor in this one as well with some slight peach notes and vinous qualities. Nice and crisp with clean flavor and a semi-dry finish.

D - I am loving this style more and more each time I try different kinds. This one is up there as a good sure thing Saison. Refreshing, crisp and clean.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 21:27:33 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of djmichaelk


3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml corked & caged bottle into a perfect pint.

A - Slightly hazy pale yellow, with a sizable three-finger head that has some pretty good retention. A bit of lacing, but it doesn't last very long.

S - Grassy and a little earthy, with lemony notes in the front. A bit of funkiness if you search for it, but it's pretty subtle.

T - The citrusy flavor hits first, along with that grassiness that makes me think of being out in a field in the California countryside (which is probably the point). It's similar to other saisons, but the flavors are more muted here. The funk is mainly in the finish, and is subtle like the nose implies.

M - Good carbonation, light on the tongue. Slightly dry but not really drying.

D - Higher abv than I usually get from a saison, but this is light enough that I could drink plenty of it.

O - The price is the only thing standing in the way of this being a great everyday beer. If this came in 4-packs and was priced slightly lower I could see it moving faster.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 09:05:04 | More by djmichaelk
Photo of megahurts4


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

North Coast Le Merle Saison

Appearance: Huge head, cloudy-yellow, and some good lacing.

Smell: Yeasty wheat and a very subtle hops.

Taste: Yeast, wheat, slight malt, and subtle hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light and smooth.

This is a very good saison! It is fairly subdued but full of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 04:01:14 | More by megahurts4
Photo of Shaw


4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden/amber in color with a nice off-white head with lots of carbonation.

Nice earthy and funky aroma with a hint of sourness and lemon.

Flavor is lightly dry with nice lemon and yeast notes. Very nice.

Body is great with a wonderful feel from the carbonation.

Overall this is a very nice saison, and another winner from North Coast. Seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 00:29:04 | More by Shaw
Photo of SmokinSmyth


3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A "Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale", I drank with chips and dip before dinner. I'm not sure what technically makes a beer "Belgian Style", but at the first taste I was reminded of some of the beers I had during my last trip to Belgium. It was very good, with a cork top like a champagne bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2010 18:21:51 | More by SmokinSmyth
Photo of scott451

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. A towering bubbly white head on a fairly hazy apricot. Strong carbonation. The head soon diminishes to a persistent thin layer. Minimal lacing.

Very nice smell. Understated sweet spices with some citrusy malts. In the taste there are complex malts with a nice bite at the finish. Fruit flavours come out as it warms. A pronounced lingering twang at the finish.

Medium body and well carbonated. Very drinkable. True to the style. This could be tweaked into a very nice saison.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 18:12:40 | More by scott451
Photo of womencantsail


2.98/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a cloudy golden orange color with an enormous white head that eventually dies down and leaves some nice lacing.

S: The nose is driven by the cracker and bread malt aromas along with a strong yeast presence. Some light citrus zest notes along with some pepper and banana. Not all that much that says saison, and sort of bland.

T: As unremarkable as the aromas were, the flavor is similarly boring. The intense carbonation mutes what flavor is there. Again, this beer is mostly wheat bread and yeast (almost doughy) with a light citrus component.

M: Over-carbonated to say the least. The body is medium, but the intense carbonation is just a bit too much.

D: This is a rather lackluster beer. North Coast gets a lot of notoriety because of Old Rasputin and Old Stock, but I've found most of their other beers to be mediocre.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 16:21:18 | More by womencantsail
Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 984 ratings.