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French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde) - Southampton Publick House

Not Rated.
French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde)French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

81 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 24
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-17-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gory4d
gory4d

New York

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

09-10-2013 18:57:52 | More by gory4d
Photo of ark57
ark57

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a beautiful copper/amber that is mostly clear and has a nice head and some decent lacing. The aroma is mostly earthy hops, but there is a faint woodiness to it as well as some detectable malt. It has a good malt backbone and is slightly tart with some cedar/wood notes and a dry, bitter finish. This is fantastic. I wish I bought more bottles of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2004 17:50:11 | More by ark57
Photo of wertschy
wertschy

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -20%

12-21-2012 02:49:15 | More by wertschy
Photo of MJR
MJR

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750ml bottle

Dirty penny in color, with good clarity and a creamy tan head that holds well. Fair amount of sticky lace. Aroma is a soft and malty blend of caramel, apples, damp wood, yeasty spiciness, hay, a hint of pear, and faint barnyard. Well carbonated, with a light and airy body.

Caramel malt and white grape skins arrive first, followed by a wonderful balance of ever-growing peppery spiciness and apple/pear-like fruitiness. The tail end has some metal, fresh hay, damp wood, and barnyard, rounding out the palate with an underlying hint of sour funkiness which gets stronger towards the bottom of the bottle. Late hit of hop flavor and bitterness. Dry finish. The apple and barnyard notes last and last… The body gets a touch thicker and creamier as it sits, from both the CO2 leaving the solution and the yeast slowly finding its way into my glass.

Overall, a well-crafted and delicious example of a rare style that rarely finds its students sticking to the guidelines.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2004 16:43:14 | More by MJR
Photo of Realale
Realale

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rich deep copper. Massive extremely fine beige head settles slowly to a full rocky cap that laces nicely.

Initial nose is a mouth-watering combination of moderate sweetness and moderate sourness. With a bit of time it snaps into focus with a distinct toffee edge that verges on burnt sugar leading the way. Oodles of yeasty bready malt lurck beneath. Toffee morphs more to tart cherry with time, though the burnt note remains.

Lighter and livlier on the palate than the malt dominated nose would lead one to believe. Complex maltiness is the defining character, but there is a lot going on, all kept interesting by a refeshing acidity that pokes through here and there. Long, lingering finish that exhibits excellent balance.

Lovely soft caressing bottle-conditioned mouthfeel. The beer just foams gently into every nook and cranny of the mouth. Obviously, highly drinkable. An outstanding and flexible dinner companion, but well worth quiet contemplation on its own as well.

Many thanks to MJR for the kind present. 2004 edition from 750 ml.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2005 02:24:32 | More by Realale
Photo of AaronRed
AaronRed

New York

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The guy at the beer store told me this beer was flying off the shelf. I decided to try it since I like trying local brews. Pours a nice amber in to a tulip glass, shwoing off it's clarity as well. Not much in aroma, mostly bready, but not offensive. Sweetness dominates at first, but becomes more structured after the first few sips. Hints of some kind of herb. Very well made, shows it's a substantial brew by the way it sits on your tounge, with a nice long aftertaste. Highly recommended and a bit different.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 00:34:43 | More by AaronRed
Photo of palma
palma

New York

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber/copper. Creates a heafty tan, creamy looking head that lasts forever.

Nose: dark caramel malt, burnt sugar, raisins. Some light Christmas spices as well.

Taste: This beer reminds me of a light winter warmer. Malty overall, with some subtle clove and nutmeg spices throughout. Toasted malt flavor and stong earthy/peaty notes overpower any hops trying to peek through in this beer. Finishes semi-dry with a bit of licorish in the aftertaste. I like.

Mouthfeel: Creamy on the palate with some sugar stickiness after each sip.

Notes: This beer is nothing like Southampton's other Biere de Garde, Biere De Mars. The Mars is lighter (both appearance and taste-wise) and has much more fruit and hop flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2005 04:22:47 | More by palma
Photo of longpondbeerman
longpondbeerman

Maine

3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Half Time in Poughkeepsie, NY, we brought home a growler for, what else, Christmas. However, we couldn't wait, so we gave ourselves an early gift. The French Country Christmas Ale poured a rich and deep reddish amber with a thin khaki head. Grassy, but in a fresh sweet way, and hoppy to the nose, there is also a hint of maple syrup underneath. Frankly, I found the taste a touch thin and static--a disappointment, really, given what I found to be the complexity of the aroma. The malts dominated (figs, prunes?), the taste settled smoothly, but it never evolved, and the carbonation seemed too demanding.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2005 22:41:23 | More by longpondbeerman
Photo of Lnedrive14
Lnedrive14

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I keep trying these Saison-type rustic ales, and I keep not liking them. I guess I'm just not a fan of the style, so take the review with a grain of salt, I suppose.

A: The most beautiful beer I have ever seen. Amazingly fluffy white head that sticks around for the perfect amount of time. A hazy copper color with maybe the smallest hint of cranberry.

S/T: Very fruity - even has that sort of fruity "bite" that you get after a crisp granny smith apple. I found the taste to be a bit harsh - not inviting like I like my beer. Medium body, low hop bitterness. Not sure what I felt this brew was missing.

M/D: Mouthfeel was great - medium to high levels of carbonation. I could feel the brew on my tongue for quite a while after swallowing, a sensation I rather enjoyed. Drinkability was very low - I enjoyed the brew a bit at the beginning, but the beer was just way too harsh on the palate. Stinging.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2006 03:54:33 | More by Lnedrive14
Photo of Rainintheface
Rainintheface

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: mostly clear amber with a short lived 1 finger white head and high carbonation

S: malt, of the faint caramel kind. moderate fruit aromas, twine and some very mild cellar aromas.

T: malty, yeasty fruit, spicy and earthy hops

M: moderate body, crisp, dry and lightly tart

D: quite good. i hope there's some left.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 17:37:10 | More by Rainintheface
Photo of xenjoiii
xenjoiii

New York

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Southampton Publick House - 2013 Vintage (brewed and bottled at the pub) bottles are now available as well!.

A: Two fingers of white head that receded to a thick layer of froth.

S: Notes of caramel, and fruit (dried apricot and peach). The yeast shines through, as well.

T: Follows the nose with notes of sweet caramel (maybe toffee?), followed by a burst of fruit and spice (yeast). The fruitiness becomes prominent as the beer warms.

M: a fortified body, moderate carbonation, and despite the sweetness, a rather dry finish.

O: On par, if not better, than last years vintage. Another high quality beer from Evan. This beer is a well hidden christmas treat, for us locals. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2013 18:13:27 | More by xenjoiii
Photo of gcare02
gcare02

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

06-13-2014 02:50:21 | More by gcare02
Photo of NoLiberty
NoLiberty

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

By far the best thing about this beer was it's incredible smell. A full-bodied aroma with strong strawberry characteristics. Southamton's Biere De Garde, now becoming a popular follow-up to the well accepted US Saisons - prove they take this seriosuly.

Pours with a radiant orange hue and clean white head. Subtle and small carbonated bubbles remind us of handcrafted qualities. Sour fruit front followed by clean, dry, earthy finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2005 01:41:09 | More by NoLiberty
Photo of lou91
lou91

California

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 –750ml bottle. Damn that was one of the loudest pops of a champagne cork I have ever heard. Needless to say, it left a mighty noisy and active head. It took a while to settle down. Surprise to see it so clear. Nice amber color. Pleasant nose of caramel and sour cherries/cranberries. Subtle but obvious spices – white pepper, nutmeg maybe ginger. All of this is very light but not impossible to taste- better as it warms. A good interpretation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2006 05:36:23 | More by lou91
Photo of joefuzz
joefuzz

New York

4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

Super gusher watch out....pours golden orange with a huge white head.

Smells of biscuit malt with a very belgian smell.

Tastes of white grape, apple and peach and a very nice sweet maalt aftertaste with some sort of saison yeast strain

Mouthfeel is light drinking with fairly hight carbonation

Overall another amazing offering from phil-era southampton. I can only hope they can continue this tradition of amazing beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 07:30:29 | More by joefuzz
Photo of dwarbi
dwarbi

New York

3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy, murky beer. Light brown in color. The aroma is weak. There's almost nothing there. If you whiff real hard, you can catch some hints of fruit, but it's a chore. Tastes primarily of cherry. Smooth. Good mouthfeel. As the beer drains, it creates a sour taste in the mouth. Kind of like drinking milk.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2003 04:51:54 | More by dwarbi
Photo of TheycallmeTim
TheycallmeTim

New York

4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into an oversized wine glass.

A--I should have reviewed this yesterday, the first day on the growler. Because today it's flatter: the head goes from about a finger and a half to a fingernail, although you do get some decent off-white skim that lasts, and even some lacing from it! This beer is no quitter, and the body is a beautiful almost pure caramel, with only a hint more red.

S--Not terribly complex, some floral hints and an earthy, almost root beer smell. Weird, and kinda intriguing, to be honest.

T--Incredibly satisfying. I'm getting plenty of toasty sweetish malt holding up behind all sorts of grain: whole-wheat, more molasses-like pumpernickel, even a touch of spicy rye. There are also hints of pepper and poppy seed that propel themselves (how's /that/ for allieration?!) out from what is mostly a mellow, almost toffee, malt backdrop. Hops aren't much here but I think that's normal for the style. What sticks out as uncharacteristic for the style is the minimal yeast presence. That may be what robs the nose.

M&D--Expert stuff here. Lively bubbles lighten the load of the barley and the alcohol is well-masked. Perfect beer for a fire!

Serving type: growler

11-15-2008 22:33:55 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of gdfan47
gdfan47

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at "The Note" in west chester... they had a pretty good beer selection

it poured a coppery orange color with a little bit of head, that took a bow early

it smelled piney and of holiday spices.. really hard to nail town

it tastes alot like it smells, only not as sweet as you think it might be

its pretty smooth , easy, and enjoyable to drink

really good beer, def suprised to see it at this place and I enjoyed it

I will try as much of this as I can

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2008 01:43:46 | More by gdfan47
Photo of kennyo
kennyo

New York

3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this on tap at the Collins Bar. Poured a hazy coppper color with a little head that disappeared after a minute or two. The aroma was sugar, bready/yeast, spice/cinnamon. aste had some malt, some toastiness, a little hop bitterness on the back of the toungue. THis beer is very drinkable but nothing special.

I seem to almost be disapointed with Southhampton beers on tap, I've never been to the brewery, but I'm almost always happy with their bottled product

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2007 01:40:25 | More by kennyo
Photo of erica
erica

California

4.97/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this from a 750 ml bottle, poured in a glass for me when i came home from work. Quite a nice thing to come home to, don't you think? I was very impressed with this beer from SPH. Very.

The colour was a dark orangey-red, a bit cloudy, with a nice off-white creamy head that lasted a long time. It smelled fruity and spicy and outdoorsy, almost like cinnamon apricots maybe, it was good. It tasted even better! Similar flavours to the aroma, but more mixed in, tasted citrusy a bit... It kind of tasted like I was sitting on a back porch with a big field with various trees and fruit bushes and little streams all around me. It just had an outdoor feel to it somehow. The mouthfeel was excellent, very smooth and soft, and drinkability also was great, except for the fact that I won't be able to drink more of it, at least not anytime soon i'm sure.

All in all a tasty brew that I'm very happy to have tried.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2004 15:02:11 | More by erica
Photo of BeerLover729
BeerLover729

New York

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Huge thick fizzy head that fades to a thick creamy lacing?/head. This copper auburn beer is downright gorgeous.

S: Caramelized and biscuity malt flavors tickle my olfactory nerve.

T: Creamy caramel beer but with a dry astringent finish. Very mild malt sweetness that is very pleasant and palatable with biscuit malt carbo's that are particularly yummy. Yeasty character is mild but complex and notable despite no real phenols or esters.

M: This beer has a heavy light body with pleasant dextrin character despite the dry crips character of this highly attenuated beer. Medium to sharp, vigorous, carbonation.

D: This is a drinking beer. Its smooth crisp character is enticing enough to keep the desire constant but simple enough to not hold you back from drinking this beer as a session beer. In fact I personally could drink this beer all night long.

Notes: Not the most complex beer that I ever feel in love with but this is an amazing brew none the less. The toasty caramel malt character reminds me of and rivals the best octoberfest style beers I have had. Definitely the best winter sessonal I have had all winter 2007-2008. An excellent beer. Thank you Phil.

My bottle is in a 750 mL bottle. It has a red label and it says Joyeux Noel 2007 French Country Christmas Ale a Biere de Garde-style Stong Ale. Just thought I'de mention that since there seems to be a lot of variety.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2008 02:37:22 | More by BeerLover729
French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde) from Southampton Publick House
90 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.