La Choulette De Noël - Brasserie La Choulette
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Patrick999:
4.25/5 rDev +10.7%
Review #600, a Christmas biere de garde on Christmas Day. Poured into a goblet. Shows very good head formation and a few rings of solid lacing. Fairly dark amber, could pass for an American Brown. Impressive presentation.
Smells like a very malty beer, with hints of cinnamon apples.
Lot of malt front to back, but no sweetness ever really manifests on the palate. The beer remains dry through and through, with a dusty mineral character typical and desirable in bieres de garde. Minerals, light spice and a faint suggestion of the apple noted in the aroma. A light hand was used with the spices here; they don't overpower the beer.
Dusty mouthfeel with significant bubbly bite.
Even though this is a Christmas beer, I think this is a pretty textbook example of biere de garde. It adheres very close to style, with minor Christmas-spice accents. Recommended for fans of the style. Good by itself, but as usual, begs for a nice food pairing. It would easily fly with Christmas dinners of all stripes.
12-25-2010 20:53:02 | More by Patrick999
More User Reviews:
3.03/5 rDev -21.1%
Reviewed from notes.
Picked this up at Wells liquors in Towson Maryland. Best by date printed on the label is 3/22/07. Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Fin Du Monde tulip glass. Gentle pour yields a 1/4 inch head that fades very quickly. Bone white head leaves a minimal lace. Color is a deep and murky earthy brown.
Nose- Some dark over ripe fruit. Burnt caramel, sour grapes and molasses.
Palate- Wonderfully smooth and muted caramel nuttiness. Sweet, bordering on cloying. Faint hint of finishing hops. Finishes dry. This, I believe, is past its prime and is begining to show it.
Mouthfeel- Under carbonated, dry and cloying.
Drinkability- Under carbonated, fairly monotone and unmemorable.
01-06-2009 01:21:48 | More by Kraken
3.23/5 rDev -15.9%
Big pop to the cork. Attractive mostly clear dark chestnut color, luminous. Pale yellow head is composed of some bigger bubbles that break the head down in under 40 seconds. Laces in some strings and dots in the first glass, fuller in the second. Aroma is festive, nuts combined with apricots and darker figs. Mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation is quite soft. Sweet malts dominate the flavor profile early, the nutiness from the smell is amplified along with a syrupy almost cherry sense. What gets a little out of hand is a hint of wood, almost sawdust -- ever suck on a tinkertoy when you were a kid? Dries a bit at the close, slight hop assertion, but continues to fill out in the aftertaste. A good-looking beer, but its color and flavors don't match a Saison, and the maltiness seems a little flawed to my tastes.
12-31-2004 16:51:12 | More by ADR
4.05/5 rDev +5.5%
My second La Choulette biere, I spotted this at my local and I figured I would give it a try since I had hadn't had any La Choulette Ambree' in about ten years. This one pours a rustic muddled amber brown unsure of what color it wants to be in my glass with a big thicket of foaming khaki tan head. Fine lacing left behind on the sides of the glass this is definitely a french style farmhouse ale, not as funky as Belgian saisons/biere de gardes. Aroma has tart apples/green raisins and a thick layer of fresh baked breadiness, very nice mineral water tone as well binds things together with light herbal hops blended in. Flavor is complex a light air of musky horse blanket, with tart apples juicy plump raisins or plums, with a thick slice of bread with caramelized toasted malts playing the key role here. Strength is well hidden I wouldn't have guessed this had that much booze in it with a blind taste, mouthfeel is a nice juicy round middle with a big dry finish. Medium bodied effervescent airy carbonation very nice texture rolling off the palate with each sip. Overall a likeable biere albeit a bit expensive at 9.99 a 750ml bottle. However, I'm glad I decided to revisit this French brewery not bad at all.
11-06-2011 14:48:01 | More by WVbeergeek
3.95/5 rDev +2.9%
Pours a thin off-white head over a black ruby-edged body. Excellent lace and decent head retention. Aromas of vinous fruit and alcohol. Sweet malt and dark vinous fruit flavors. Notes of plum and earth. Slight tartness. Light hop bitterness in the background. Lean body. Light carbonation. Warming alcohol presence. Smooth mouthfeel with a drying finish.
A Saison? Quite dark and malty for the style, with less complexity and spiciness than others I've sampled. Consider this a Biere de Garde. Categories aside, I find this to be a bit on the lean side in both body and complexity, but it still has an interesting and pleasing flavor profile. I prefer La Choulettes Ambree to this offering, but it still serves as an excellent winter warmer.
01-02-2006 22:06:46 | More by Shovelbum
2.78/5 rDev -27.6%
Clear amber, or more precisely, the intersection of gold and magenta. The head is a modest, fading, yellowed tan.
Nose of wet cereal, corkboard, and prunes.
Begins with a slick, sugared maltiness. Grape and plum notions arrise, but this is mostly just malt syrup. The middle is woodsy and papery, full of walnut and cork. This too, seems concentrated, like wood-flavored syrup. Rides out with honey notions and spicy, dead herb hop note.
The syrup hues I've repeatedly mentioned are no so much indicative of a fullness of body as simply undercarbonated, and thus full of blunt, unopposed flavors. It's not overly thick, just simple of mind, and unfulfilling. And what presents itself doesn't merit any praise.
01-22-2005 22:50:30 | More by cokes
4.08/5 rDev +6.3%
A very good drinking choulette, and one I would readily have again. Excellent with dinner. Palish biere de garde colour, heavenly spicy scent. Easy mouthfeel, understated carbonation and it;s in its prime, nine months before expirey. Slightly candy sweet that works nicely with the spices. Sour notes well under control.
08-06-2006 03:30:14 | More by Sammy
3.95/5 rDev +2.9%
A: Clear ruby-tinted chestnut beneath an off-white head of frothy bubbles that holds well but leaves only thin lace.
S: Nose is limited but offers some light sugary malt and a touch of yeasty fruit and spice. Clearly a filtered (not bibbtle-conditioned) beer.
T: The flavor is sweetish, somewhat herbal, and a tinge musty with notes of carmelized sugars, fruit syrup, and raisins. Very nice!
M: Medium bodied with a delicate carbonation that's fine-bubbled but more of a median level than effervescent.
D: Although it's not one of the super-elite Belgian Christmas ales, it would be hard to argue that this one's not worth its cost. It's more of a mainstream ale than some, yet it's still full enough to keep you interested - and in a certain way, it's very much more drinkable. And as this is indeed a Christmas ale, I'd be more than willing to offer it to guests before, during, or after a holiday feast. Quite enjoyable!
05-20-2007 16:00:53 | More by NeroFiddled
4.1/5 rDev +6.8%
Appearance: 750 mL bottle finished with a cork and cage. Marked as best before 20Mar09. Poured into a crystal chimay goblet (330 mL). Rich copper color. Amazing head retention...it held for better than four minutes with clear bubbles which did not diminish in any way. Oulle dfrom my cellar and served at ~ 61 degrees Fahrenheit.
Smell: Earthy to grassy nose at first with a bit of sweetness and a clear jammy/plummy fruit sense. No alcoholic or medicinal notes.
Taste: Very sweet. Notes of caramel with a touch of earth. The fruity smell carries over to a pleasant sweet fruit flavor. Plum is the thought that comes to mind first. Not a berry flavor by any sense.
Mouthfeel: This beer has medium body. It has a lingering aftertaste, but is not cloying or overly done. It should be savored and enjoyed over time.
Drinkability: Bottled at 750 mL, it shoudl be shared. I would not suggest drinking more than a half bottle. Easy drinking without alcholic notes. A nice holiday beer without the heavy body.
02-24-2008 04:57:38 | More by F2brewers
4/5 rDev +4.2%
This offering pours a dark maroon leaving a thin tan head that leaves very quickly. The aroma is bready, tart unripened fruit, strawberries, cherries, sour dough bread, and a musty dank aroma. The taste is tart upfront, sour cherries, strawberries, lemon, leaving a syrupy mouthfeel that coats the palate. The hops are brisk but not astringent, malty fruitness really finishes this beer off but is balanced by a tart fruitness that really makes this beer great. Overall this is a nice beer, I haven't had it in a few years but glad I went back to it for this Christmas.
12-25-2006 20:36:01 | More by Franchise
3.6/5 rDev -6.3%
Best before end: 22. 03. 07.
Pours a deep cherrywood with a thin, frothy, light tanned head that doesn't stick around much before it becomes a thin layer of bubbles on top of the body. However, it leaves some lacing rings with each sip. Nose starts off with a whiff of vanilla, cherries, chocolate, molasses, and bread. The background alcohol in the smell gives this sort of a cordial quality. Flavors also offer a very similar profile with the vanilla, berries, dark malty flavors of bread, chocolate, and cane syrup. Finishes with herbal hops, mild bitterness, and a sticky sweetness. Reminds me of a doppelbock at times, but with a Franco-Belgian twist on it. Lingering aftertaste reminds me of those all-natural fruit roll-ups. Mouthfeel is rather full with a barely-there carbonation, which works rather well with the flavors. I really enjoy this, but its kind of a heavy one to drink a lot of.
01-21-2007 04:27:52 | More by goochpunch
3.7/5 rDev -3.6%
I am drinking a 750 mL C&C bottle poured into my Westvleteren goblet.
Appearance: Dark ruby red, the ale is not what I expected for a beer defined as a saison. It poured with moderate carbonation and left a small ring around the mouth of the glass.
Smell: The aroma reminds me of a nut brown or similar style ale. It lacks the mustiness and yeasty aroma of a true saison. Strikes me as similar to the non-saison saisons produced by Fantome (the Fantome Saison notwithstanding, of course).
Taste: Again, the taste is not that of a saison. It is definitely a brown ale taste. That's not to say that the taste is bad, it is not. It just doesn't fit into the style.
Mouthfeel: As this is more of an intangible category, I am not hung up by the saison classification. The ale is smooth and well balanced. It sits well on the tongue and does not overpower the sweet/bitter taste buds.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. The ale is smooth and balanced, neither hops or malt overwhelm. Worth a shot if you consider it to be a brown or red ale, and not a saison.
01-22-2006 01:55:13 | More by akorsak
3.78/5 rDev -1.6%
750 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a tulip, the beer pours a slightly hazy amber color with about an inch light tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a lot of lacing. Aroma is mostly malty, it smells like dark fruit (raisins), toffee, caramel, apples and some sweet spices. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like dark fruit (raisins, plums), apples, caramel, bready malt, brown sugar, and some cinnamon. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit coating and has a good amount of carbonation. I liked this, and I think it's worth a try if you come across it.
12-27-2013 01:51:16 | More by bluejacket74
3.73/5 rDev -2.9%
Poured beautifully into my chimay chalice glass rich thick head with excellent sweet smells emanating. The look was also enticing with a clear red/amber glow. The taste did not come through immediately when it was cold but become apparent once it warmed. Nice caramel and honey undertones with a pronounced malt profile. There was a definite alcohol warmth but at 7%ABV, it is missing that winter warmth. It also does not have any distinctive winter characteristics it is too thin and no spices to speak of. This beer is crisp, clean with nice flavors but fails in the winter ale department and was kind of pricey at $9.50 at Berkeley bowl. I remember Trader Joes used to carry a French xmas beer and it was good but it was like 4 bucks. This beer has a best if drunk by date of 2004. Not the mark of excellence.
01-01-2004 03:21:12 | More by lou91
4.03/5 rDev +4.9%
Finally getting around to trying this one tonight as sort of a night cap to a fun evening in Greenville. Been sitting in the fridge for a couple months but I had never gotten around to trying it. Poured a very nice deep reddish amber with a good sized three finger plus high head of thick off white lace. This faded rather slowly and was replaced by a nice thick layer of side glass lace and a good amount of foam left on the top of the liquid.
THe aroma was rich and spicy. Lots of yeast present here, but at the same time very sweet with hardly atouch of alcohol. Rich caramel malty notes prevelant throught, really making a difference here, The flavor was very smooth with a rich sweet character coming through and balanced well against a dark fruity yeast character. Nice notes of pums and raisins throughout this one, really offering quite a bit of depth here. As it warmed a bit of spicy rum like flavor cae out with a touch of peppery like alcohol, but very nicely done. Very smooth texture and very highly carbonated, this as definitly a good choice here. It was highly drinkable and made an excellent sipper that was for sure.
Overall I thought this was a fine noel and a really good choice for the evening. Sometimes the style can wear on me but I think this was done really well. I would defintly get this one again next year!
03-23-2008 03:10:08 | More by mikesgroove
3.9/5 rDev +1.6%
A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high off white head that slowly died down but never completely faded away..
S: The smell is somewhat earthy and has aromas of caramel and spices.
T: Sharing similarities with the smell, there are flavors of caramel, plums and spices in the taste, which has a slight amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink; the spices keep it interesting but don't overpower the taste.
01-21-2011 01:39:07 | More by metter98
4.2/5 rDev +9.4%
The beer pours from the 75cl green wired and corked bottle a clear burnished copper color with the head minimal in size, the texture frothy and the color a very light tan, after its quick demise the lace forms a thin sheet upon the glass. Nose has an over ripe fruit aroma, plum like, sweet and refreshing, the start is sweet with the malt presence adequate; top is light to moderate in feel. Finish is strikingly acidic and the hops delectable in their spiciness, the aftertaste almost vinous, dry as a desert bleached bone, a fine drinking beer and one that hits the B spot, at least for me.
03-16-2005 23:41:13 | More by Gusler
4.3/5 rDev +12%
Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip.
A: Pours a clear reddish-amber with moderate carbonation producing a rather thick 2+ inch thick head. Good retention and lacing. Very nice.
S: Sweet caramel malt, soft citrus and spice, and a hint of banana and clove.
T: Soft banana and melon. Yeasty bread. Mild clove and spice. A musty note and dried cherries too. Hint of black pepper. Sweet caramel malt and mildly spicy hops linger in the background. Understated, but a nice mix of notes. This one was nice to begin with and grew on me over the course of the bottle.
M: Light-medium body. Soft and smooth to begin with...turning toward a mildly acidic bite midway through. Pleasantly effervescent. An understated, but nice lingering finish. Superb for style.
D: Highly drinkable. An excellent example of style. I believe this is also a very accessible quality brew...bring it to a holiday party and watch the converts discover the true joy of beer.
11-23-2010 05:19:53 | More by mwilbur
4.33/5 rDev +12.8%
La Choulette de Noel
Appearance: Honey colored with a medium-large head, and good lacing.
Smell: Sweet candy caramel, slight apple, and malts.
Taste: Malts, apple, caramel, slight yeast (visible, too), and subtle spices.
Mouthfeel: Medium with a smooth, malty texture.
How about dessert? This would be great for dessert. The smell is very sweet, but the brew itself is not overly sweet. It has that malty dopplebock-like caramel backbone. It is very smooth and easy to drink, but not too watery.
10-09-2010 03:54:20 | More by megahurts4
3.6/5 rDev -6.3%
A: Dark ruby color. Clear. Very classy. Large foamy head.
S: Toffee, a bit too much.
T: Candi-like toffee sweetness. Fruity: figs. Bit of rustic huskiness in finish that often shows up in Biere de Gardes.
M: Medium body and carb. Finish rather sweet, since there's little to balance it.
O: A caramel candy sweetness reigns in this beer. I can't say I'm a huge fan, though others may like it. Personally, I wouldn't buy it again. But it's not a bad beer - I just tend to prefer drier ones.
01-07-2011 02:16:12 | More by jibbyvonjibb
3.9/5 rDev +1.6%
saw this as part of a "christmas beer liquidation" display. best by 3-20-09.
A - nice clear brown color, highly carbonated, big tan head.
S - Earthy, funky notes are dominant, light dark fruits, caramel and spice. Took a few whiffs and decided it was not skunked.
T - nice malty caramel sweetness, spices, earthy hops and a hint of must.
M - medium, medium light bodied, highly carbonated, dry finish.
D - nice, approachable and I got it on a discount!
03-28-2008 20:52:48 | More by barleywinebrewer
3.88/5 rDev +1%
Appearance: Deep reddish amber. Moderate fine white head dissipates relatively quickly.
Smell: Bready malt notes dominate, although there's a subtle hint of dried fruit. Not much hoppiness is apparent.
Taste: The breadiness continues to dominate initially, but it's quickly augmented by some berry notes. The finish is surprisingly dry, as a subtly spicy hop presence makes itself known right at the end.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body - almost bouncy.
Drinkability: Pretty high - the almost effervescent mouthfeel goes a long way here.
11-27-2010 22:20:20 | More by rdickey
3.2/5 rDev -16.7%
750 ml cage-corked bottle, best before end of 20.03.09:
Pours copper with a large foamy head that settles to a lasting cover.
The smell is of a touch of mustiness with caramel, earthy notes, some vague fruitiness and a touch of alcohol. Didn't get much in spicy area.
The taste is of caramel and a hint towards chocolate that comes through but quickly fades out, with earthy, herbal, slightly grassy notes way in the back. Something bland about it, though. Slight metallic tinges and alcohol peek through.
It is medium-bodied. A bit thin for a Christmas ale, but pretty smooth and drinkable.
It seems to lack in richness and depth. Not nearly as impressed with this one as I was with other offerings from this brewery. And, pretty mediocre for both a biere de garde and a Christmas ale.
02-13-2008 03:19:50 | More by jwc215
La Choulette De Noël from Brasserie La Choulette
86 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.