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Le Merle - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Le MerleLe Merle

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,163 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,163
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.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,163 | Reviews: 483
Photo of mmercede
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from Total Wine in Cherry Hill

A: Pours a brilliant pale/golden orange with an opaque color. The head is thick and last well. Initially this beer must be poured slowly as to not over foam. The lacing on the inside of the glass is beautiful and fades slowly.

S: Smell is of a yeasty/funky complexity with strong acidic notes. biscuits, toasted malt, dark chocolate, cherries, balsamic vinegar.

T: The sourness is quite nice with tastes of ripe cherries, pinapple, molasses, and biscuits. There is also a light taste of balsamic vinegar. A complex belgian yeast is present throughout along with nice fresh pine notes. Besides all of these nice flavors, the beer is pretty boozy. This is not an extremely big saison and the booziness is a major complaint. That being said, I think some age could make this a really great beer.

M: The mouthfeel is heavy with strong creamy carbonation. I think this is a bit over carbonated. The carbonation gets in the way a bit.

O: An enjoyable beer from one of my favorite styles. It has a ton of potential but tastes a bit young. A year or two could do this one some justice.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - The brew pours a golden-orange hue, and is capped with a stratospheric head, a la Duvel. Surprisingly little lace results.

S - The nose is quite funky. I get a blast of green apple, hay-straw, and green grassy notes. As it opens up, lemon verbena and apple cider notes appear.

T - The caramel-type base is unfortunate here, because with a purely pale-pils type of malt, this would be phenomenal. As is, it is quite good. Flavor specifics include breadiness, orchard fruit, apple skin, herbal and floral blossom notes, and a sweet booze punch on the finish.

M - Pretty good; no complaints here.

O - I am surprised how good this is. I guess I shouldn't be, as North Coast makes several high quality brews.

Photo of allanplaysguitar
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

YES! This was a great Saison. I am have been on a bit of a Saison trip and this won was a total WIN! The yeast really did shine on this one and brought some great esters and spice. There was a little bit of that Belgium funk, which I really loved in this beer. I don't know if I would recommend this as an "intro to craft beer" type of thing, as I feel it was a bit on the complex side, but for sure something that anyone with a preference to Belgium beers should try.

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

750 ml corked cottled, as North Coast Le Merle Saison (Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale), courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 7.9%. Slightly hazy golden colour, huge white head. Sweetish aroma of syrup, farmhouse yeast and rotting fruits / stale berries. High level of carbonation in the mouth. The flavour is better than the aroma, medium sweet and moderately spicy, decent hops in the finish. Quite nice to drink, should also go well with many foods.

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
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?

Photo of wschmit
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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.

Photo of mlazzaro
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of BaileysBrew
2.83/5  rDev -27.4%
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.

Photo of Frothboss
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of impending
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of Jamesplarson
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of grittybrews
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of Erish
4.25/5  rDev +9%
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!

Photo of nickthegun12
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
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...

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.

Photo of ssalgado
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,163 ratings.