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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 bluejacket74
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

bluejacket74, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Hopheadjeffery, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of TeachChefs
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

TeachChefs, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of Prost76
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Prost76, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

spycow, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

StonedTrippin, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of lou91
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

lou91, Jan 01, 2004
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 biegaman
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

biegaman, Mar 23, 2011
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 RenoZymurgist
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich crimson red color with an off white head that subsided to a thin ring of film around the edge of the glass. The aroma is sweet and malty almost like a scotch ale but much more estery. The taste is very smooth and creamy, it begins with the most unobtrusive malt sweetness that builds as the beer rolls over the tongue. The usual belgian high carbonation levels arent found in this one and it is a refreshing example. The mouthfeel is very nice yet i might revisit this beer later as i think i might have got a bottle the leaked gas through the cork as it just dosent seem carbonated enough. Very tasty and drinkable yet a little flat for a belgian.

RenoZymurgist, Jul 26, 2007
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 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
Photo of czechsaaz
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

czechsaaz, Feb 06, 2007
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 jibbyvonjibb
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

jibbyvonjibb, Jan 07, 2011
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 tyboxr
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

tyboxr, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of silenius
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

silenius, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Mebuzzard, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of wvsabbath
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

wvsabbath, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of Keiner
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Keiner, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of Sturmthis
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Sturmthis, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of ark57
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

ark57, Feb 24, 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
La Choulette De Noël from Brasserie La Choulette
86 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.