La Choulette De Noël - Brasserie La Choulette
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
4.53/5 rDev +18%
Guest bottle at ABC upstairs. Unique and awesome.
Pours very deep brown, not cloudy though. Nice head, very nice lacing. Smell is immediately extremely spiced. Finally, a beer with a lot of spice. Wintry mix of spices, including mint as well. Some sweet notes as well. Taste follows with a powerful spiced blend and nice sweet maltiness. Wonderful.
12-02-2005 01:34:49 | More by aquatonex
4.5/5 rDev +17.2%
This beer will require a great deal of patience and trust from most BAs. There was a time when I was sure that wild-fermented, unfiltered Loire Valley Chenin Blanc and Rhone reds tasted thin, harsh and fecal. Now the alternatives taste manufactured and exagerrated.
So with the beers of La Choulette. The idea here seems to be "transparency" -- what some may describe as "thinness." The point is to capture natural, ordained flavor in the most discreetly textured medium possible. On that measure, this is a stunning success.
Brown and clear with a nice, replenishing blanket of cream-colored foam. Aromas are of exotic, tropical brown spices steeped in brandy: cola, nutmeg and cumin. There is also a presence of salty, buttered rye and groats in the nose. Flavors of black tea, chicory, vanilla and sweet spices fully occupy a texture that is rinsing and clear.
It is dry. Alcohol provides the only sweetness, and it is noticable. What I really like is the cadence of flavor and how a surge of noble, raw, brown, spice hulls flavors rises on the finish to perfect the close.
Serve with a steamed pot of shellfish, lamb or wild mushroom tarts.
$6.5 for a 750ml in MI (that's cheep!).
01-25-2005 19:55:39 | More by putnam
4.5/5 rDev +17.2%
750ml bottle. Pop the cork. A dark ruby red couloured brew with a large head of white/off-white foam. Aromas are of sweet belgian malts and candy sugar, as well as several kinds of fruits and hops. There are also some Flanders Red ale notes on the nose with some cherry-like aromas and some funky lambic-like tartness. The taste follows through with some lovely oud red flavors of cherries and some other sweet malt like flavors. The mouthfeel is nice and full and the drinkability is excellent. Nice.
03-01-2004 23:18:40 | More by francisweizen
4.45/5 rDev +15.9%
75cl dark green corked bottle. Freshness date etched on bottom of label.
It pours a deep ruby-hued mahogany color with a slow fading beige head and some sticky patchy lacing.
A big sweet malty aroma is upfront and fairly long lasting. A curious smell of leather mingles with a whiff of fruit cocktail. A faint smell of dried hops lingers throughout, as does the smell of tobacco.
Tastes of sweet honey and caramel coat the hearty barley body. Flavors, supported on a taste of brown bread, ranging from figs, orange zest, spruce, grapefruit and pears are all very distinct. Light rummy alcohol is noticeable throughout.
This brew was the hands down favorite at our Christmas Eve beer tasting.
03-15-2006 05:17:00 | More by BeerResearcher
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
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
4.28/5 rDev +11.5%
I opened this winter offering after cellaring it for at least a year, maybe two. Not being familiar with the brewery (other than that it is in France, close to Belgium), I wasn't sure what to expect, but was quite pleased. The beer pours a medium dark color, slightly cloudy, with a small, white head. The aroma is very pleasant, with some sweet malt aroma along with yeasty plum esters. Flavor is sweet from both a nice malt composition and the spice/candy sugar flavors present. Vanilla and raisin come through strong. Mouthfeel is smooth, with a very small amount of alcohol warmth present, but perhaps a slight bit thin. Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with this winter beer from France. I'd definitely drink it again, though it would be interesting to see if it's as good without such a long conditioning time.
12-11-2006 04:53:06 | More by Beauregard
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
4.25/5 rDev +10.7%
Ruby red in color with a huge off white head that lasts and lasts. Smell is full of raisins, dates, malt and a hint of chocolate. Very effervesant as tons of little bubbles make their way to the top. The taste is complex. Soft and sweet in the beginning. The middle seems very dry as does the aftertaste. I pick up so many different flavors. Raisins, dates, nuts, rhubarb and chocolate. No alcohol notes that I can pick up. A touch of sour and cherry come through as well.
I solid seasonal that I will put up again next year.
01-15-2004 01:24:05 | More by CharlesRiver
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
4.2/5 rDev +9.4%
Nothing like a Christmas beer in August!!
A- A careful pour yielded a thin layer of tan foam, which slowly dissipated, giving way to some tiny bits of lacing. Body is a hazy honey color, with abundant carbonation visible from both the sides and top of glass.
S- Sweet and spicy on the nose... just like a Christmas beer should be! Aromas of burnt candy sugar and caramel malt are up front, with a nutmegy spiciness in the background.
T- Anticipated flavors of burnt candy sugar, caramel malt and nutmeg are strong, but not overpowering... this is followed by some restrained booziness, which translates into a nice, warming BUTTERY (diacetyl) finish!
M- Medium to full body with tons of texture from the unattenuated sugar. Unfortunately, this is spoiled a bit by the rampant carbonation.
D- Very drinkable. Would have again... and will probably finish the 750ml bottle all on my own.
Note: This bottle has been cellared for over a year (improving). Also, note that this review was done while the beer was approx. 50 degrees F... and the aromas/flavors/mouthfeel change considerably as the beer warms.
09-04-2009 00:05:13 | More by jgasparine
4.2/5 rDev +9.4%
Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a St. Feuillien goblet (love the bulbous shape on this one), the Noel is a dark, brownish garnet, with only a slight haze and thin, light tan head. Darker then I expected, more Noel then biere de garde, but vibrant and appetizing.
The aroma is rich and bright malts, immediately reminding me of a bock, nutty and sweet with just the slightest funk. Yummy, but a bit much.
The taste's not nearly as robust as the aroma, which at first was a bit disappointing, but as I work my way through the bottle, I've come to really appreciate it (as well as grown tired of the overbearing aroma). This is a really fine beer. The palate follows the malty nose, caramel, brown sugar, hazelnut, some dark fruits and a really tasty, yet subtle boozy finish. This Noel is surprising balanced and smooth with a clean finish. The more you let it warm up, the more it opens up, particularly a rich honey booze, and well executed holiday spice. Or is that just superb depth from the esters and specialty malt? Being a Noel, I'm thinking spices, but maybe thats being pessimistic. Regardless, its very good and worth the wait if your bottle's refrigerated.
The mouthfeel is thin and light, but not in an unsatisfying manner. There has been a steady flow of streamers rising up from the bottom of my glass, although those may be more from the etched monogram in the center of the St. Feuillien goblet. Nevertheless, there's a pleasant yet light effervescence.
The drinkability on this was pretty high, although it can be a bit cloying, but that depends how quickly you want to drink it. Letting mine open up was a good call, and had the evening provided more time, I could certainly have had another. Overall this was an enjoyable experience, although I should have known that with a Noel Biere de Garde, I was in for an unusual treat. The best buy date is in 2 days, although I assume it's an 06 brew b/c the year boxes are 6-9, so I'm surprised that they don't call for it to be aged. Apparently they already did the 'garding' and found the sweet spot!
03-20-2007 06:29:48 | More by ccrida
4.18/5 rDev +8.9%
75cl green glass bottle, poured into a St. Bernardus goblet
Pours a crystal clear, deep amber with a small but well formed tan head. Retention kind of sucks, but lacing and collar are nice.
Smell is slightly musty, cola, nutmeg, woodsy, cinnamon, loads of other spices, licorice and spent coffee grounds.
Taste is very interesting. This is one of the few beers I've ever had that has almost no sweetness to it at all. It's kind of cool actually. Coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, licorice, a hint of alcohol and bitter hops and an exceptionally dry finish. I have to say I've never had a beer like this, I like it a lot.
The only thing that suffers here is the mouthfeel and only because this one makes you more thirsty as you drink it it's so damn dry.
Overall, a REALLY intriguing beer. One that, if I could get it again, I would.
04-23-2005 01:22:12 | More by LuckySevens82
4.13/5 rDev +7.6%
POP! goes the cork, and out comes the brew, and it goes quickly into a Maredsous chalice, ready to enjoy...
Hazed auburn appearance, caramel-brown at spots, under a nice, off-white slab of foam...good enough...
Aroma is a wicked mix of citric sour and dark fruit sweet...deep and enticing...I like it, although I didn't expect it...caramel and toffee tip in, as well...
Brisk carbonation, bright toffee-ish flavor, sweet, and smooth...thinnish mouthfeel, rather bare in flavor, ...but it's a sui generis product, a saison, or so we say, but dark, which they ain't...a caramel-y biere de garde...I must make sure not to compare it unfavorably against a dubbel or something, and take it for what it isn't, regardless of my befuddlement toward what it actually is.
It's nice...you can drink it, and a smile will beam on board your face. That's nice, right?
I'll enjoy the rest of this bottle, but it's not going to set the woods on fire...
12-01-2005 04:33:15 | More by feloniousmonk
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
4.1/5 rDev +6.8%
A very drinkable seasonal in that it will warm you, but not knock you out. The beer pours a brilliant, and very, very clear, almost wine like deep blazing orange-like a glowing fire. Soft in the mouth and in the aroma, with mild chocolate,some banana like fruitiness, and creamy malted milk. A nutty, toasty flavor prevails on the tail end. A malt driven and really quite refreshing brew that is easy to drink and easy on the budget as well. This one came in at around six or seven bucks!
11-27-2003 03:46:03 | More by moulefrite
4.1/5 rDev +6.8%
$7.49 750 mL 7.00% Best 3/22/07.
Pours a clear ruby brown with a thin film of white foam.
Tart with ripe plum/cherry aromas, a touch of nutmeg, and notes of biscuit.
Biscuity bread quality with a huge nutty flavor that makes this taste like a brown, more than a Saison. Highly drinkable, as the 7% is completely masked, and quite tasty, though unlike any Saison I've ever had.
07-30-2006 14:39:37 | More by cbl2
4.1/5 rDev +6.8%
I'm somewhat surprised on the low ratings for this one. I liked it a lot. Seemed like a biere de garde with more fruit and complexity.
Poured a dark amber brown with a good foamy head. Head left lacing and some webbing. Head soon gone.
Lots going on in the smell: citrus, taragon, and some basil from the hops. Some alcohol occasionally (and especially on pouring). Slight whiffs of caramel and toffee. And of course that spicy yeasty smell, which I find difficulty describing.
Upon tasting, the corriander and cloves becomes more intentse, as well as the malt sweetness. Now I get a definite earthy taste: mushrooms, st. nectare cheese, mold. Slight raspberry comes out. Aftertaste plastic at times, with a stange guava taste.
Mouthfeel is fine for the style--very carbonated and occasionally diluted feeling (such as after drinking water), but full of power when cutting through some turkey and gravy.
Very drinkable. Alcohol almost a non-issue, and nothing to get sick of. Great with roasted poultry skin!
01-24-2006 13:34:13 | More by fromage
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
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
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
La Choulette De Noël from Brasserie La Choulette
86 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.