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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 Sammy
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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

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!

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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

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.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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...

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 Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +30.5%

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.

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

05/31/05- Purchased at Plumpjack's Wine store in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and corked. Not dated, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Mahoganey colored pour with a creamy thick head and nice lacing.

Smell- Sasion??? Smells like a typical winter brew to me. Lots of spices overtake anything else.

Taste- Saison??? A tad sweet with tastes like cinimmon, mint, anise, clove. Even a brown ale taste of which seems like some bitter roasted malts?

Mouthfeel- Nicely carbonated.

Drinkability- I can't see saison in this beer. But, overall it was pretty tasty. If I see it again next winter I may pick up another.

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of akorsak
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Wasatch
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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.

Photo of Gusler
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of ccrida
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

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.

Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

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