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La Choulette De Noël - Brasserie La Choulette

Not Rated.
La Choulette De NoëlLa Choulette De Noël

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

66 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 87
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 8.62%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie La Choulette visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 11-27-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 87
Photo of Wasatch
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

750ml
Caged/Corked
Best By: 22/03/07

Poured into a tulip a nice golden dark copper color, some carbonation, tiny fizzy off-white head, some islands left behind. The nose is malty, slight yeast, figs, raisins, plums, and some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty/yeasty, with some dark fruits thrown in, and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a different Biere de Garde in my book, tasty, but quite not the same. Very easy drinking brew. (488 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for one year.

Appearance: Pours a relatively dark amber color with a slightly bubbly head that fades quickly but leaves an archipelago on the surface; virtually no lacing

Smell: Caramel, vanilla and some light dried fruits and hazelnuts

Taste: Starts with a hazelnut and caramel flavor; after the swallow, some balsa wood drying of the mouth takes place and blends with the sweet flavors through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with light carbonation; slight warming

Drinkability: Very pleasant but not particularly distinctive (549 characters)

Photo of Shovelbum
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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 Choulette’s Ambree to this offering, but it still serves as an excellent winter warmer. (747 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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! (927 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (584 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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! (457 characters)

Photo of buyBinboaVodka
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark cloudy amber with a large head that dissapates rather quickly.

S - The smell is sweet malts with apparent spices such as cinnamon, clove, allspice, and dark fruits.

T - The taste is fairly similiar to the smell with the spices coming through and some hints of dark fruits show up.

M - The beer is dry with high carbonation. It eveaporates quickly off the tounge and leaves the palate wanting more.

O - I''m glad I had this beer but probablt wouldn't go back to it. It was well worth the try though. (527 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a golden orange/copper pour, 2 fingers ofoamy off white head, nice retention.
sweet scents of berries, honey, bready, banana
a very sweet malty profile, full of fruity complexity! Getting a toffee / aramel like flavor up front with a sweet raisin, apple, banana finish. Very tasty ale!!
a highly carbonated medium body beer with a nice creamy feel on the lips. 
a nice surprise of a beer! Picked this 750ml up on clearance for $7 and it was worth every penny. (461 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle on sale for $10. I was not sure what to expect from this beer but I was a little surprised how much I enjoyed it. It was a dark amber color with a good head. The smell was spicy and dusty, not bad. The taste was spices, dust almost like a dark saison but also made me think of Christmas spices which could be the power of suggestion at work. Overall I thought this was a good beer but I would not revisit it. I will however purchase their framboise next. (467 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the more drinkable Saisons i've had. Poured out to chestnut brown color with a small foamy head. Medium level of carbonation. Nice lacing. Aromas were light and fresh; crushed cashew nuts and malts, with some caramel and sweet molasses notes. Taste was rather enjoyable; honey, dark fruits, light malts and some nutmeg spice blended well. Mouthfeel was medium to light bodied and quite crisp, with a crystal clean finish. Decent drinkability; i'd have this again when in the mood for a saison. I may try some of the less seasonal offerings from Brasserie La Choulette, as this was suprisingly good. Recommended. (618 characters)

Photo of rdickey
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (542 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear reddish orange in color. Two finger head lingers a while. No significant lacing develops during the session.

Smell: fruit sweetness and some yeast tones are mild but detectable.

Taste: plums, raisins, caramel, and a hint of honey provide the sweetness. Mild bitterness, some yeast spiciness, and hints of alcohol bring it into check.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Long fruit sweetness aftertaste.Medium bodied.

Drinkability: a pleasant Christmas time beer that is enjoyed slowly. Worth giving this a try. (535 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by date of April 2004, Sampled October 2004
Rich raisin-like dark fruit notes emanate from my glass as I pour this beer. It is brilliantly clear ruby-highlighted amber color, and is topped by a fluffy thick head that is light tan. There is lots of sweet fruitiness in this beer, I get notes of candied cherries, raisins, fig, and fruitcake. The same candied note dominates the finish of this one, it is definitely an added flavor, but I am not quite sure what flavoring would produce this taste. The taste is pretty dry and malty up front, but then moves to the hyper sweet character in the finish (by hyper I don't mean that this beer is super sweet, just that the sweetness seems to be a sensitized component of this beer). Actually this beer is showing its age a bit as well, there is a certain mellow oxidation character here as well that contributes notes of sherry.

Upon reflection, the hyper sweet character that I have been sensing may in fact just be the aged character of this beer kicking in, it is not distracting, and perhaps adds a certain something to this beer. (1,086 characters)

Photo of thierrynantes
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottles (75 cl. & 33cl.), tasted in 2009/2010.

Appearance : amber color, with white foamy head.
Smell : malty aromas and spiced.
Taste and mouthfeel : malty and caramel, nicely spiced.
Drinkability : a good beer in the French style "Bière de garde" (257 characters)

Photo of benito
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a corked 750 mL bottle, this biere de garde comes a hazy amber with a small white head. The bouquet is earthy and oaky, with a brisk saltiness to it as well, and on the palate, there's a distinguished butteriness that rolls across the tongue. Interestingly, the creaminess here manages to wrap well around spicy foods like chorizo and highly flavored cheeses too. This brew's lightness makes it exceptionally refreshing and easy drinking as well.

A very worthwhile beer from La Choulette. (497 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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. (580 characters)

Photo of FightingEntropy
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

White head piles up fairly well after a good pop of the cork, but fell rather quickly. Dark cherry color that turns to cherry sour red with a little light behind it. Strong yeasty smell in the nose with some malt, no hop. Nice malt base, a bit of alcohol, and overripe cherry, raisins. Strong bite in the taste that mellows nicely after several washings over the palate. Light roast flavor underneath the malt, giving it a strong body for the style. Overall, very pleasant. Bit pricey at $8.50 but worth it for a try. (517 characters)

Photo of lou91
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (818 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

biere de garde is not a style I personally associate with holiday beer in my head, so this was a nice treat, and a rethinking of the Christmas beer paradigm for me. you could have told me this was Belgian and I would have agreed, the yeast is distinctively so. medium range amber color with some soft hazy and a large foaming off white head od teeny tiny bubbles. ring lacing as it sips. smells of sweet malt, subtle herbal spice, and Belgian yeast. there is a candy sweetness as first in the taste, but it is replaced quickly by a sharp spice profile that isn't immediately attributable to the usual suspects. my guess is that a good amount of the spiciness comes from the yeast, which has carbonated this beer robustly enough to clean up the richer sugary malt. a strange thin fruity finish to this one, caught me by surprise a little bit, apples and pears as it closes. a different take on a Christmas beer for sure, but one I enjoyed quite a lot. (950 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Away from the light, La Choulette De Noël has the kind of brown tone that was popular in the corduroy suits of the 1970s. Against the light, however, it reveals a sun-scorched amber that is recurrent in the amulets of ancient Egypt. Indeed, this clear, silken bière de garde ("beer for keeping") looks like it's something worth keeping. And drinking.

The beer's Styrofoam-like head doesn't hide the fact that it smells like a musty basement; mildewed fruits and moldy bread give this the pungency of the best French cheese money could afford. A soft nuttiness and light caramelization marks the malts, while its musty, woodsy, cellar-like character is simply unparalleled - and impossible to imitate.

I love French wine. I also love French beer (as well as a lot of other things French). But no one ever claimed that the French could brew a more flavourful beer than their Belgian or German or English counterparts, and I certainly won't refute that. Like most French beers I've had, this has a simple profile: moderate maltiness with a slight hop presence.

As per the French diet, this has a super-fresh breadiness. The malts in this offerings are made slightly buttery by light caramelization, which relates with it a plate of dried fruits (figs, raisins and prunes) as well as an initial cheese-like taste. The resounding impression is that of stale tootsie-rolls (a dubiously enjoyed flavour.) Beers like this provide all the evidence needed that farmhouse products (beer, cheese) share common origins.

The aftertaste coating my mouth is that of fig jam and chestnuts. How typically French. The beer is faintly savory, perhaps hops are responsible for this nearly imperceptible herbal element. It drinks with ease, although can't claim to be as refreshing as other lighter, paler ales. Like a bottle of wine, this is best slowly enjoyed and is wisely shared.

This brewery is a survivor. They've been doing their thing - the French farmhouse thing - since 1885. Unlike a lot of Belgian "abbey" breweries, you can be assured that this artisanal French operation is the real thing. Although the true art of Bière de Garde is basically as lost as the music of the Aztecs, you still have a chance to try the distinctiveness of Europe's forgotten brewing country - buy a La Choulette product. (2,303 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (1,063 characters)

Photo of impending
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

B+

750ml into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear deep copper amber garnet, minor tan cream colored head even with an enthusiastic pour, minor lacing.

Aroma is pulpy overripe fruits, honey, a hint of cherry and notes from a scotch ale.

Flavor is of generic fruits, a little honey and caramel. Quick dry twang quickly is a no bitter finish which fades pleasantly. Medium, smooth bodied, low carbed mouthfeel. Fairly subtle flavor which evolves nicely over a narrow range.
cheers
jd (478 characters)

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich crimson red color with an off white head that subsided to a thin ring of film around the edge of the glass. The aroma is sweet and malty almost like a scotch ale but much more estery. The taste is very smooth and creamy, it begins with the most unobtrusive malt sweetness that builds as the beer rolls over the tongue. The usual belgian high carbonation levels arent found in this one and it is a refreshing example. The mouthfeel is very nice yet i might revisit this beer later as i think i might have got a bottle the leaked gas through the cork as it just dosent seem carbonated enough. Very tasty and drinkable yet a little flat for a belgian. (662 characters)

Photo of crookedhalo
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cellared since last Christmas. Pours a clear copper color with a large beige colored head. Big malty nose, lightly fruity and yeasty smelling, but mostly malt and some kilned candi sugar notes. Initial sip threw me a curveball. I thought it might have a bit of tartness to it judging by the aroma, but there was none. Just sweet, malty and a hint of green apple. A bit minerally and a watery aftertaste. Carbonation is good. Pretty good for a darker biere de garde. (465 characters)

Photo of czechsaaz
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very fruity and estery aroma. Smells like prunes and apples to me. I get some toasty malt aromas too and a nice blended spiciness that may be a yeast character since it's so subtle.

Nice brown color and clear. Very small but persistant head with good rising cabonation in the glass. Some lacing but not much.

Flavor is very fruity and estery. I get bready yeast at some points and cherries and plums at others. The spicy notes I got in the aroma I'm not picking up here. Decent hop bitterness but the malt dominates the flavor. Seems like theres a lot of caramel or munich type malts in the flavor. None of the flavors are particularly big.

Body seems a little light but the carbonation level is very nice and refreshing.

A nice, pleasant beer but I'm not really thrilled by it. I was hoping for a little more from a Christmas beer. I would drink it again though. It's pretty good. (893 characters)

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La Choulette De Noël from Brasserie La Choulette
86 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.