Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

La Choulette De Noël - Brasserie La Choulette

Not Rated.
La Choulette De NoëlLa Choulette De Noël

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

66 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 87
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 6
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie La Choulette visit their website

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 (13) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 66 | Hads: 87
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 Chico1985
3.17/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml shared with Kevin and Nick pre-Christmas party.

Pour is hazy and a light amber color with a thick off-white head. Thin cap retains for the duration while leaving great lace.

Scents of apple, spice, raisin, caramel, bready and yeasty tones. Pretty good.

Taste is surprisingly plain considering the scent. Somehow reduced to caramel and bready malts, Belgian yeast and some dark fruit. Really not much else going on here.

Light for 7% and low carbonation. Definitely could use some more spritz, just feels weak on the palate.

This is one of the oddest smell-to-taste transfers ever, feels like 2 different beers. The scent+appearance had promise, but it just really lacked elsewhere.

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


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.

 478 characters

Photo of Hex92
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First of all a caveat. My bottle was dated 9_22_12. Its December of 2012. So maybe the extra 3 months pushed it over the edge...but I doubt it. Overall a very average beer. I can' t remember what I paid for it, but its not worth getting again.

It just is nothing special. It has no remarkable characteristics. Its OK in the glass. It kinda smells good. And the taste is meh.

There are too man beers out there to pick this one up again.

 438 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 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 WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

 1,216 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 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 jibbyvonjibb
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 489 characters

Photo of Patrick999
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 1,007 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 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 mwilbur
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 941 characters

Photo of megahurts4
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

 509 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 jgasparine
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

 1,108 characters

Photo of champ103
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark reddish brown color. A small white cap of foam forms, and leaves hardly any lace.
S: Lots of layers in the nose. At first a dry oak aroma. Dark and sour fruits. Some sweet caramel and vanilla.
T: Again, a dry oak flavor up front. Sweet caramel with some slightly sour dark fruits.
M/D: A medium body, but a bit on the watery side. Some prickly carbonation as well. Easy and smooth to drink. I will have no problems finishing this even with the somewhat high ABV.

A very enjoyable beer. I will pick up more of this next time I see it. Something I would recommend.

 579 characters

Photo of Kraken
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

 716 characters

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.

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 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 mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

 1,339 characters

Photo of F2brewers
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

 1,007 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.21/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 791 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
La Choulette De Noël from Brasserie La Choulette
86 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.