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Le Merle - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Le MerleLe Merle

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,162 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,162
Reviews: 483
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10%
Wants: 34
Gots: 96 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-03-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,162 | Reviews: 483
Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazed gold with towering foamy white head. Settles in a couple of minutes to a quarter inch leaving blobs here and there. Smell: semi sweet, soft mustiness, lightly herbal, fruity. Taste: lightly herbal, peppery, lemon peel, pineapple aftertaste. Wheat. Fluffy feel, medium body, fades out leaving a grainy and herbal last impression. Fairly standard but enjoyable.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of jamesgaither
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of BBP
3.44/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours orangish yellow. Slight head and retention is a but weak. Nearly no retention.

The aroma is slightly tart and spicy. Typical blonde ale aromas.

The taste is of a BPA with slight funk. Spiciness accompanies it all. A but of citrus and grain. Mild but decent character. Some hops sans the bitterness.

Medium heavy with medium body. The finish is mildly dry and sticky.

Overall a decent beer but a bit pale and light for my tastes. tastefully done but not entirely intense.

Photo of s4s
2/5  rDev -48.7%

Photo of TheBishopco
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Warfarin
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of BeerArchivist
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Digitallama
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of gdhawley
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of sjstraub
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of avaldivia
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of sbricker
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Haightfulbrew
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 750ml in California

Pour: Pale golden blonde, light haze, and instantly huge three finger head, light and airy, which slowly settles around the edges. Great lacing and a central tower of foam persist throughout. Plenty of carbonation, and quite tight. This beer sat open in the fridge from lunch until dinner, and still poured a four finger head.

Nose: Lemon, clove, orange, pineapple, some wheat and honey. Grassy, a bit of Belgian funk, and some saazy hop. Nice light Belgian nose all around.

Taste: Lemon and citrus lead off, and persist throughout. Some sweeter stuff, along with coriander and spice in the middle, then hoppy spice and dry to finish. The high alcohol content is completely hidden. Off the cuff, I would have called it 5.5%.

Mouth: Medium thin body. Tight, sharp, aggressive carbonation leaves a burn on the tongue that fits the style.

Overall: Great beer. A nice introduction to the Saison, albeit a very high alcohol one. Worthy try for Stella drinkers looking to break out of the box. Wonderfully quenching. Perfect lunch time beer.

Photo of bobhits
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a lively body, darker orange much like a cloudy IPA. Impressively thick head that seems odd for the style. Unlike others that have a good amount of carbonation, this one has the sticky elements.

The nose is of apples, pears, lemons with a zesty finish. I wasn’t expecting this much fruit and citrus without some funk or off saison notes. Second thought, there is some saison aromas, but they are subtle.

The flavor is more of the nose with some funky hops at the end to bring out the classic farm house flavors. This one has a good deep malt and more powerful flavors than most. The funk seems almost covered by the malt bill, thee 7.9% I think is a culprit here.

A great summer/fall beer. Refreshing but big and bold enough to be the end of one’s night almost always. For the style I’d like a touch less body and more carbonation.

I’m passed on this offering for years, something about a cage and cork that just screams “buy me, but I’ll suck.” Add in I wasn’t blown away by some of their other lighter offerings and my expectations were reserved to say the least. Thankfully this is a very decent example of the style. A bit over priced, would be better at about 6 a bottle (current price is about 22 for a 6 pack which seems insane for this). Worth a try but tap I think may be the better choice.

Photo of EnJeiBee
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - It has a hazy golden hue, thin white head and very little lacing

S - Typical saison. Bubblegum fruitiness and yeast.

T - The surprisingly tangy flavor of oranges hits you right up front followed by a slight wet hay, bubblegum funk

M - Less than medium bodied and highly carbonated with a finish that is a little sweeter than I expected

O - This is great saison! The nose certainly doesn't do a good job of forewarning what the taste has in store for you. I would recommend you try this if you get the chance.

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

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.

Photo of TTAmod
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into snifter.

A: Typical saison. Cloudy light-gold color with a fluffy, white head.

S: Lots of sweet fruit, some Belgian yeast, and a tad bit of funk

T: This one is a lot sweeter than the nose makes it out to be. Primary fruit flavor is...orange or mango. Hard to tell. There's a lot of yeasty taste and a bit of funk (tastes like wet hay...hard to describe) at the end with a slight alcohol burn.

M: Thin-moderate body. Lots of carbonation, yet somehow silky smooth. Extremely nice.

O: The Saison is one of my favorite types of beer. This particular one is EXTREMELY authentic. This brewery has done the nearly impossible in making an authentic-tasting American Belgian ale. Honestly, this is one of the best saisons I've ever had. It's refreshing, fruity, sweet, yeasty, and funky, just like a sasion should be.

Also, for $7.99 for a 750 mL....it's an unbelievable value.

Photo of Derek
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy straw with a white head, great retention and lace.

S: Big fruity aroma (bubble-gum like), with some spice and a hint of funk (Brett?).

T: The bubblegum fruitiness is predominant, with some underlying spice, grass and earth. Grainy bread from the malt.

M: Moderate body is smooth. Although there is a bit of sharpness, there really isn't any acidity. A bit more like a bier de garde?

D: Fresh and full of flavour at the brewpub... went well with the rockfish. The saison style is somewhat open to interpretation, and while I liked it, it just wasn't stellar IMHO.

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

Pours a pale golden colour with mild haze and strong, furious bead. Head is off-white, fluffy and generous like whipped egg white. Looks pretty great.

Saisony on the nose, some organic notes with spicy barnyard, stone fruit, slight citrus, peppery character and some floral freshness hanging at the back. Hint of liqueury booze as well, pretty decent.

Taste is surprisingly tangy with a strong orange flavour upfront that then gets distinct off/rank notes midway with some capsicum, mustard seed and horsey note towards the back. Slightly boozey with a touch of heat but quite sweet on the back, and some more spice would be great; hint of marmalade finishes off. Not bad but a bit too much residual sweetness and doesn't finish as crisply as I'd like.

Full, fair stickiness with slight booze hit and dryness on the back, could use more to cut off the fullness.

Decent saison notes, but another argument in favour of capping saison ABV at 6%. The booze warmth just overrides the otherwise really pleasant saisony notes and they should be allowed to speak for themselves.

Photo of TenHornsProud
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange with a small, fine white head that fades almost instantly.

Smells of sweet malt, some spice/phenol from the yeast and not much else.

Up front taste is sweet with some pear notes and is followed with the classic phenolic, spice taste of a Belgian saison yeast. Finally, there is some noble type hop bitterness that lingers on the palate, which fits the style quite well.

High carbonation and dry, my requisites for a saison.

This is a great saison that is absolutely worth a try. It is a nice, almost classic, example which has a sweet, phenolic, slightly fruity taste. The yeast character is interesting enough to accent the hop and malt/sugar accents.

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Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,162 ratings.