La Choulette De Noël - Brasserie La Choulette

Not Rated.
La Choulette De NoëlLa Choulette De Noël

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BA SCORE
86
very good

66 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 66
Hads: 87
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 8.62%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie La Choulette visit their website
France

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 87
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (832 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (597 characters)

Photo of putnam
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
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!). (1,200 characters)

Photo of cokes
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
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. (713 characters)

Photo of ADR
3.26/5  rDev -14.9%
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. (823 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
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. (275 characters)

Photo of ybnorml
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (273 characters)

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. (465 characters)

Photo of silenius
3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (564 characters)

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. (1,086 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.18/5  rDev -17%
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. (3,298 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
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. (501 characters)

Photo of ark57
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (389 characters)

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

Ruby red in color with a huge off white head that lasts and lasts. Smell is full of raisins, dates, malt and a hint of chocolate. Very effervesant as tons of little bubbles make their way to the top. The taste is complex. Soft and sweet in the beginning. The middle seems very dry as does the aftertaste. I pick up so many different flavors. Raisins, dates, nuts, rhubarb and chocolate. No alcohol notes that I can pick up. A touch of sour and cherry come through as well.

I solid seasonal that I will put up again next year. (529 characters)

Photo of lou91
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured beautifully into my chimay chalice glass – rich thick head with excellent sweet smells emanating. The look was also enticing with a clear red/amber glow. The taste did not come through immediately when it was cold but become apparent once it warmed. Nice caramel and honey undertones with a pronounced malt profile. There was a definite alcohol warmth but at 7%ABV, it is missing that winter warmth. It also does not have any distinctive winter characteristics – it is too thin and no spices to speak of. This beer is crisp, clean with nice flavors but fails in the winter ale department and was kind of pricey at $9.50 at Berkeley bowl. I remember Trader Joes used to carry a French xmas beer and it was good but it was like 4 bucks. This beer has a best if drunk by date of 2004. Not the mark of excellence. (818 characters)

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

A very drinkable seasonal in that it will warm you, but not knock you out. The beer pours a brilliant, and very, very clear, almost wine like deep blazing orange-like a glowing fire. Soft in the mouth and in the aroma, with mild chocolate,some banana like fruitiness, and creamy malted milk. A nutty, toasty flavor prevails on the tail end. A malt driven and really quite refreshing brew that is easy to drink and easy on the budget as well. This one came in at around six or seven bucks! (488 characters)

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La Choulette De Noël from Brasserie La Choulette
86 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.