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La Choulette De Noël - Brasserie La Choulette

Not Rated.
La Choulette De NoëlLa Choulette De Noël

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

86 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 3
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie La Choulette visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 11-27-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -47.8%

Photo of DogFood11
2.73/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ML bottle caged and corked. Poured into a chalice it forms a thin filmy head. Lace is ring like. Brown body with some copper around the edges.

Plenty of malty flavors up front including caramel, toasted grain and a slight bitterness. There is even a faint hershey's chocolate taste lingering deep in the background. The brew is pretty thin overall and doesn't have much of interest. It needed a sharper bitter, tart, sour, balanced edge but when it looks for the balancer it just fades away. Alcohol comes through fairly easily combined with a slightly spiced pumpkin bread taste. Not for me.

Notes: Slight metallic twinge at the end of each pull was a distraction. The taste lays down on the palate for quite some time and its a bit cakey. Overall I'd say this is a below average offering and certainly not worthy of another purchase at its current price.

Photo of cokes
2.78/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of Kraken
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

Photo of Chico1985
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Spied this on a recent trip to Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, CA. Contrary to popular belief the French do occasionally knock out a decent brew or two, so I figured this one was worth a try, especially as I had already tried another excellent offering from this Brasserie, the Les Bière Des San Culottes.

A 750ml standard looking green glass “Belgium’ beer bottle, which could equally pass for a wine bottle. Cork and caged, the silver cage was easily removed allowing the thumbed cork to basically remove itself. No date on the cork, just the words ‘La Choulette 59111 Hordain-F’. The main label lists this offering a 7% Vol./alc. and recommends a serving temperature of 10° à 12° (which translates into 50-54°F in Olde Worlde units). Has one of those really annoying “clipped” main labels that says Best Before May 04, but you just know someone fucked up when aligning the labels, because it has at least 5 other snippet chunks missing from the label edge that basically line up with none of the dates or months. Why Brewers continue to bother with this old-fashioned method that never works is beyond me, especially with modern technology that can add the time, day, date and year to each bottle label relatively easily. Imported by Shelton Brothers I note, and described on the back label as a “Special French Winter Ale from a Farmhouse Brewery that dates back to 1885” with yet another Best Before End clip style label that this time says “May 04”. Least the Collars and Cuffs match!

Appearance: Fantastic swirling light blue gun-smoke rose from the bottle mouth and slowly dissolved as the Cork was easily extracted. A thick pour revealed a dark brown caramel beer that is clear with a nicely formed ½” tan head. The chestnut body looks gorgeous in the glass. The head retention is superb and some nice smattered lacing is experienced. Below average conditioning levels.

Nose: Sweet malts, melting brown sugars, candy sugar, light fruits and some freshly tanned leather mixed with dark spices. Deeply inhaled, it smells like the sugar laden red colored candy dip used for Toffee Apples! Smells appealing.

Taste: Nice caramel malts to start with. Brown sugars and some light bitterness is consumed by the caramel and sugary sweetness in the middle. Grainy dissolved sugar feel and tastes ruin this beer. Labeled as a ‘Bière de Garde’, I have to respectfully completely disagree. This is merely a very average, overtly sweet, Brune. Nothing special at all, and certainly not worthy of the Noël moniker that it carries.

Mouthfeel: Sickly sticky feel as the beer warms. Served at the recommended temperature it is bearable, but the main body feel is of saccharin and brown sugar when it warms.

Drinkability: Average, and very cloying at times, the Drinkability resembles that of a sweet Bruin. It’s OK, and I managed the 750ml, but a 375ml bottle would have done to be honest.

Overall: Brewed from Flanders and Hallertau Hops, as well as Pale and Special Malts, it sounds impressive but drinks like a “run-of-the-mill” sweet Brune. Not that special for a Xmas offering to be brutal, and certainly not worth he $7.99 I paid for it. Not bad, but don’t waste your cash on this one, not unless it’s around the $3-4 mark for an (outdated) 75cl.

Photo of Hex92
3.18/5  rDev -17%
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.

Photo of jwc215
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of ADR
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of lillitnn92
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky ruby-brown color with an off-white head that diminishes. The aroma is malty and herbal with a yeasty, kinda corky smell. The flavor is malty and phenolic with a cardboard, corky taste. Medium-light in body, semi-drying. Not what I was hoping for. I'd skip it next time.

Photo of ark57
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This particular beer had been cellared for a year. It was good, but I feel it is better fresh. Tasting notes for cellared beer:

Ruby Brown color and a big huge that lasts for a while. Spicy, fruity aroma. Medium bodied, fruits and spices in taste, but also a metallic tinge. It is warming in the peppery finish. I liked this, but the metallic tinge I was getting was what I didn't like.

Photo of silenius
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by date of April 2006.

Pours like a cola. Clear reddish tinged brown body with lots of tan foam. Minimal lacing. Oddly dark for a Saison. No yeast in the bottle.

Smell is, well, pretty much not there. I can't deduct too many points for something that is not offensive.

Taste is a roasty caramel nuttiness with a sharp crack of hops bitterness. Leaves with a nut bitter drying.

Mouthfeel is thin like water, but with agreeable carbonation. Not sharp.

This is OK for drinkability and it tastes nice, but nothing urging me to go back and get more.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of wvsabbath
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Keiner
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Sturmthis
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of tyboxr
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottl e on sale as a whim. Opens nice, pretty good color- much like magic hat #9, very little head and no leg left on glass.Smells sweet and slightly citrus like. Taste is up front and lingers nicely. Would pair nicely with goose or duck. Probably would not buy again.

Photo of ypsifly
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 that is corked, caged, and marked best before 3/06 into a tulip.

Clear, dark copper with a small, beady head of off white. Not much for retention or lace.

Caramel with some earthy sourness and pinch of dark fruits. There's also a bit of funk that reminds me of lawn clippings piled in my garden, but with lots of nuts.

The caramel is also noticiable in the taste. Its then followed by some nuts and citric sour. The nutty flavors return for a finish that has a strong carbonation tingle. Its all interesting, but I was expecting something that tastes more like a french farmhouse ale. This tastes like a good bruin with some interesting character. Points deducted.

Moderate mouth that enjoys good carbonation. I like that in a beer.

I like the flavors, despite the fact that they are not what I expected. Next time I'm in the mood I'll spend the cash on something closer to style

Photo of goochpunch
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.6/5  rDev -6%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of impending
3.64/5  rDev -5%
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

Photo of biegaman
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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