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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 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 Franchise
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering pours a dark maroon leaving a thin tan head that leaves very quickly. The aroma is bready, tart unripened fruit, strawberries, cherries, sour dough bread, and a musty dank aroma. The taste is tart upfront, sour cherries, strawberries, lemon, leaving a syrupy mouthfeel that coats the palate. The hops are brisk but not astringent, malty fruitness really finishes this beer off but is balanced by a tart fruitness that really makes this beer great. Overall this is a nice beer, I haven't had it in a few years but glad I went back to it for this Christmas.

Franchise, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
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

brentk56, Dec 15, 2006
Photo of Beauregard
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I opened this winter offering after cellaring it for at least a year, maybe two. Not being familiar with the brewery (other than that it is in France, close to Belgium), I wasn't sure what to expect, but was quite pleased. The beer pours a medium dark color, slightly cloudy, with a small, white head. The aroma is very pleasant, with some sweet malt aroma along with yeasty plum esters. Flavor is sweet from both a nice malt composition and the spice/candy sugar flavors present. Vanilla and raisin come through strong. Mouthfeel is smooth, with a very small amount of alcohol warmth present, but perhaps a slight bit thin. Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with this winter beer from France. I'd definitely drink it again, though it would be interesting to see if it's as good without such a long conditioning time.

Beauregard, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

FightingEntropy, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Sammy, Aug 06, 2006
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 benito
3.85/5  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.

benito, May 17, 2006
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 fromage
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm somewhat surprised on the low ratings for this one. I liked it a lot. Seemed like a biere de garde with more fruit and complexity.

Poured a dark amber brown with a good foamy head. Head left lacing and some webbing. Head soon gone.

Lots going on in the smell: citrus, taragon, and some basil from the hops. Some alcohol occasionally (and especially on pouring). Slight whiffs of caramel and toffee. And of course that spicy yeasty smell, which I find difficulty describing.

Upon tasting, the corriander and cloves becomes more intentse, as well as the malt sweetness. Now I get a definite earthy taste: mushrooms, st. nectare cheese, mold. Slight raspberry comes out. Aftertaste plastic at times, with a stange guava taste.

Mouthfeel is fine for the style--very carbonated and occasionally diluted feeling (such as after drinking water), but full of power when cutting through some turkey and gravy.

Very drinkable. Alcohol almost a non-issue, and nothing to get sick of. Great with roasted poultry skin!

fromage, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of akorsak
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

akorsak, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of ypsifly
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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

ypsifly, Jan 18, 2006
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 Shovelbum
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Shovelbum, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of aquatonex
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Guest bottle at ABC upstairs. Unique and awesome.

Pours very deep brown, not cloudy though. Nice head, very nice lacing. Smell is immediately extremely spiced. Finally, a beer with a lot of spice. Wintry mix of spices, including mint as well. Some sweet notes as well. Taste follows with a powerful spiced blend and nice sweet maltiness. Wonderful.

aquatonex, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
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...

feloniousmonk, Dec 01, 2005
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 GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

GClarkage, Jun 01, 2005
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

75cl green glass bottle, poured into a St. Bernardus goblet

Pours a crystal clear, deep amber with a small but well formed tan head. Retention kind of sucks, but lacing and collar are nice.
Smell is slightly musty, cola, nutmeg, woodsy, cinnamon, loads of other spices, licorice and spent coffee grounds.
Taste is very interesting. This is one of the few beers I've ever had that has almost no sweetness to it at all. It's kind of cool actually. Coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, licorice, a hint of alcohol and bitter hops and an exceptionally dry finish. I have to say I've never had a beer like this, I like it a lot.
The only thing that suffers here is the mouthfeel and only because this one makes you more thirsty as you drink it it's so damn dry.
Overall, a REALLY intriguing beer. One that, if I could get it again, I would.

LuckySevens82, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of Gusler
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Gusler, Mar 16, 2005
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 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 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 BeerBuilder
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

BeerBuilder, Dec 31, 2004
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
La Choulette De Noël from Brasserie La Choulette
86 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.