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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

84 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 2
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: 84 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

RBorsato, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

francisweizen, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.15/5  rDev -18%
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.

TheLongBeachBum, May 24, 2004
Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +4.2%

ROGUE16, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -47.9%

BGsWo22, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of cokes
2.78/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

cokes, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of ArrogantB
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

ArrogantB, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear medium amber with an off-white head that fell quickly, but lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was earthy most prevalent with a light spice character and some farmhouse aromatics. Also present was a caramel maltiness coupled with a nice, but low dark fruit aroma.

The flavor was malty and interesting, but not overly complex. The flavor contained caramel malt sweetness when it first contacted the palate which quickly began to dry from the bittering and an earthy hop flavor with some slight spice emerged. The low dark fruit component was also present in the flavor and was mainly raisins.

The finish was dry with a lasting malt and dark fruit into the aftertaste. The body was just almost medium, but seemed a bit less due to the carbonation. Some alcohol finally ememerged in the warming after consumption. A nice beer, perhaps more of a Belgian Dark Ale than a Saison.

750 ml bottle, corked and bailed. Best before end 05 on label.

GCBrewingCo, Jul 21, 2005
Photo of ADR
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

ADR, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of thierrynantes
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
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"

thierrynantes, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of DogFood11
2.73/5  rDev -28.9%
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.

DogFood11, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of facundoCNB
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

facundoCNB, Oct 24, 2012
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.88/5  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.

Frozensoul327, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of wvsabbath
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

wvsabbath, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of Chico1985
3.11/5  rDev -19%
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.

Chico1985, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

BeerResearcher, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of putnam
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!).

putnam, Jan 25, 2005
Photo of goochpunch
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

goochpunch, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of JoelClark
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

JoelClark, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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!

barleywinebrewer, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of impending
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
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

impending, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of ybnorml
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a clean brown/amber beer. Has a spoonable creamy beige head that leaves a good lace. The aroma is light and sweet with a hint of fruit/apple. The flavor starts with an inviting honey and molasses character. The finish is a nice easy alcohol warmth as it settles in.

ybnorml, Dec 28, 2004
Photo of sparx1100
4/5  rDev +4.2%

sparx1100, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of cbl2
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$7.49 750 mL 7.00% Best 3/22/07.

Appearance:

Pours a clear ruby brown with a thin film of white foam.

Aroma:

Tart with ripe plum/cherry aromas, a touch of nutmeg, and notes of biscuit.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

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.

cbl2, Jul 30, 2006
Photo of crookedhalo
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

crookedhalo, Dec 25, 2004
La Choulette De Noël from Brasserie La Choulette
86 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.