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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
87
very good

1,051 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,051
Reviews: 469
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 31
Gots: 62 | 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
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Ratings: 1,051 | Reviews: 469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of niiiv
3/5  rDev -22.9%

niiiv, Sep 15, 2013
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3/5  rDev -22.9%

smartassboiler, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of VikeMan
3/5  rDev -22.9%

VikeMan, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of Dogleg
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Dogleg, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of bernat1971
3/5  rDev -22.9%

bernat1971, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -22.9%

ejimhof, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of Focusf111
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Focusf111, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of Rollzroyce21
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Rollzroyce21, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of jmathis
3/5  rDev -22.9%

jmathis, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of drwolfe
3/5  rDev -22.9%

drwolfe, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of Troublebar
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Troublebar, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of rickyleepotts
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

How cool… to have a beer named after you. Of course, only if the beer is good. But this beer promises to have some hints of fruit in there. Fruits and spice that is.

The first thing I notice is how big the bottle is. I like it that some of these beers have big bottles. A big bottle, since we are splitting the beers amongst us, provides a full pint a piece. That’s more beer to enjoy, and more time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

This beer looks like a wheat in the glass… perhaps a thicker, more robust Blue Moon. But smells nothing like a Blue Moon. It has a spicy nose, but a certain sweetness that is some of those fruit notes I keep reading about. The head is quite frothy too, which is unusual for lighter beers. (Yes, I did a proper pour.)

At first you are hit with some subtle carnation, but then you are just covered with utter sweetness. The beer explodes on the back of the palate and settles into a smooth, sweet aftertaste that quickly turns almost warm… those spices that I could smell a few minutes ago. The aftertaste lasts for a LONG time too. It just sits there, making you want to enjoy that rather than another drink. A big bottle could last someone a long time if planned accordingly.

The beer has a pretty high ABV too, nearly reaching 8%. So taking your time with a big bottle might be your best bet. The beer is good… not great, but very good. However I fear a beer like this won’t be very memorable. Taste is too complex to really explain, and since it’s such a new brew not sure I would even remember what it’s called unless staring at the bottle.

rickyleepotts, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3/5  rDev -22.9%

PittBeerGirl, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of MammothTarantula
3/5  rDev -22.9%

MammothTarantula, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was a bit underwhelmed by this beer. For some reason I expected the makers of Old Rasputin, Old Stock Ale, and Red Seal to be able to make a little better Saison than this. Nonetheless, it wasn't bad.

It poured a pale, opaque yellow which reminded me of lemonade. Aroma was light, sweet, citrus-y and effervescent. In fact, this beer reminded me a great deal of Sprite or Sierra Mist. It wasn't bad, but it didn't really scratch my beer itch; it just seemed a bit insubstantial and almost in flavor like a shandy or a radler. Mouthfeel was very light and active.

Not bad, but I can't say I'll be having this again. I got this bottle at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, and split it with Surly Sober.

BeerBelcher, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of Nichols33
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Nichols33, Friday at 09:09 PM
Photo of od_sf
3/5  rDev -22.9%

od_sf, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of JustinMatthew
3/5  rDev -22.9%

JustinMatthew, May 06, 2012
Photo of dunlap926
3/5  rDev -22.9%

dunlap926, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -22.9%

jfcaa193, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of BigTrubble
3/5  rDev -22.9%

BigTrubble, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of StaveHooks
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A hazy golden honey body with a generous amount of white foam. Very pretty. No lacing.

S - Sour Granny Smith apples, lemons, white grapes, earthy yeast, soapy hops, spicy Belgian yeast.

T - Green apples, tart cherries, lemon, pears, faint banana. The acidic fruit showcases a bold sweet pale malt. Heavy wheat towards the finish. Finishes with slightly sweet mineral citrus flavors then turns pretty dry right at the very end with lots of wheat.

M - Uber champagne carbonation fills the whole mouth with foamy bubbles on every drink. It basically robs half of the potential flavors. It's almost hard to swallow.

Get ready to belch...alot! This is a fruit filled Saison that I wish wasn't bombarded with fizzy carbonation, because it had so much potential. The carbonation really hurts the flavors and the overall enjoyment of drinking this beer.

StaveHooks, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Hard core carbonation. Fizzy snow white head is dominating the glass, allowing only a small dingy egg yolk colored body to form.

S: Loads of barnyard and wet blanket. Fair amount of floral pollen, daisies, clover honey and bread sticks. Overall, fairly fresh aroma.

T: Starts mildly tangy with notes of old lemon juice and bland pineapples. Spicy with stale seasonings…you can tell they are there but don’t pack much of a punch. Dry hay and some rounded yellow fruits and fresh grass clippings are the next batch of flavors to cross the palate. Finishes really bitter, all across the back sides of the tongue. More bitter than suits the style and adds off kilt balance of the other flavors.

M: Medium body, bit crisp in the mouthfeel.

D: Not really digging this one. Not a lot of balance which I prefer in my brews. This one is a bit flagrant and all over the place.

Westsidethreat, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of ojiikun
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Live reviewed from the BrickStore in Atlanta.

Served up in an eponymously gold-leaved goblet. Barkeep had to pull in almost a dozen stages to control the massive, merengue head. Body is slightly hazy and wit-ish. Head fell fast but never disappeared.

Smell is much sweeter than expected for a saison, more like a BSPA. Sweet malts, though the yeast is more true to the style.

Taste is dry and farmy at first, but then is immediately overpowered by a copper-ey note that simply reminds me too much of blood. What malts can be found are clean and quality. Last notes on the lips are back to BSPA.

Mouthfeel is downright creamy and light.

Drinkability is hindered by the metallic tones which are so hard to take. Served with some nice, spicy or meaty food, it eases down well enough.

ojiikun, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Fairly clear, very sparkly honey color. Decent head, but absolutely no head retention. Hardly any effervescence one it settles down.

Smell- Starts out with a nice, complex malt sweetness but then settles down to a....okay...it's still a fairly complex sweetness with some tartness in there. Quite inviting.

Taste- Not bad, not great. Well blended malt sweetens mixed with a hint of tartness. Just the barest hint of earthiness. Not nearly as complex as I would expect, and the over-carbonation gives it a bit of a salty taste.

Mouthfeel- As I said earlier, it's over-carbonated. But it's more of that. It's very course carbonation. It feels like the CO2 was never completely dissolved in the beer. It has more of a 7-up feel then a nice Saison.

Drinkability- Despite all the flaws I mentioned earlier, this is a worthy effort of a tough style. I would recommend you try it. Maybe I got a bad bottle. Maybe the brewer is still dialing in the recipe. Despite my disappointment with this particular bottle,, I WILL try it again, because I taste some real possibilities in this beer.

theopholis, Mar 06, 2010
Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,051 ratings.