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La Choulette Ambrée - Brasserie La Choulette

La Choulette AmbréeLa Choulette Ambrée

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

80 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 80
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 9.32%


Brewed by:
Brasserie La Choulette visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 08-03-2002)
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Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 64 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of spoony
spoony

Colorado

3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle (best by November 26, 2015) into a tulip.

A-A slightly aggressive pour produces nearly three fingers of khaki head. The retention is so-so, maybe a minute, but there is a decent bit of lacing on the glass. The brew is an attractive, dark, honey-amber color with red highlights.

S-The smell is pretty tame, with musty apple cider, pear, and maybe a hint of other light-flesh fruits. There is also a bit of caramel and toasted bread. A little boring...I cannot classify this as inviting or intriguing.

T-Forutnately, the taste surpasses the smell. There is still a bit of light fruit and cider flavor (probably from the alcohol), but the malt profile of toasted bread, sweet caramel, and toffee is way more substantial on the tongue than on the nose. The brew is pretty sweet with very minimal hops and suggestions of Belgian yeast every now and again.

M-The feel is medium to light body with an assertive, slightly rough carbonation that gives a crisp feel.

O-This is a good, but not memorable beer. The flavor profile is pretty solid for the style with nice toasted malts, and the alcohol is very well-integrated into the beer. It is also pretty good-looking and true to style in that regard. The smell and feel are a bit lacking, and I could have used a bit more hops or sharpness to balance the sweet malt profile, but these are not major criticisms.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 03:39:33 | More by spoony
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber in color and has large chunks of yeast visible near the bottom of the glass (simply from the initial pour). It has a two finger high dense beige head that gradually died down but consistently left a short head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts and earthy yeast are present in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell, except that the malts contribute some sweetness that ever so slightly overshadows the earthiness from the yeast. Slight hints of dark fruits are also apparent and no bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly chewy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a lot maltier and heaver in body compared to other beers in the style (sort of like a comparison between a bock and a doppelbock), but it's light enough to be rather drinkable, especially since any traces of alcohol are very well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 03:28:28 | More by metter98
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish brown with large voluminous head that gives off massive lace patches. The malts are strong in the aroma, as I pick up good amounts of caramel and dry bread (touch of roast) as well as some leafy hop zest. Medium-bodied and filling thanks to yeast, smooth, sweet thanks to caramel and some sweet fruit notes, touch of sugar, and there's a crisp balance thanks to moderate citric hop base and good carbonation. Finishes easy with a nice crisp bite to it and a tad sweet and I swear there's a minor wine-like fruitiness on the end.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2012 17:22:52 | More by clayrock81
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy brown color ale with a large frothy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bready yeast with fruity ester is quite nice. Taste is also dominated by a huge semidry caramel malt base with nice yeast ester of fresh bread and light fruit. Body is quite full with limited filtration and good bottle conditioning with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Much better then expected and a nice example of how good the French bière de garde can be.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 21:26:42 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of codewarrior
codewarrior

New York

2.95/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750mL bomber into a Snifter

Beer is bearing a Best Before End on the bottle, which I find odd for a Biere de Garde.

A: Mahogany with rich creamy head, dissipating quickly.

S: Caramel sweetness with hints of fruit and tobacco.

T: Sweet in the extreme, sweeter as it opens up. Light and too thin in its flavor. Aftertaste is hollowy sweet, like diet soda.

F: Thin, almost limp. Maybe this bottle is off?

D: On re-consideration, probably not as bad as I initially reacted, but still couldn't drink the whole glass. This beer was served at the recommended temperature, but I found it only to be drinkable at temperatures signifigantly below and above the recommended serving, and then, not in large quantities.

I have a suspicion my bottle was off. Look forward to retrying at a future date if I come across this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2010 14:59:58 | More by codewarrior
Photo of SPThirtyThree
SPThirtyThree

Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Corked and caged. The beer peers out from the bottle slightly reddish in color, which is somewhat surprising. After popping the cork, the beer overflowed and foamed (with no end in sight!) until I was able to get some of it into a glass.*

I'm not all that familiar with French culture - maybe this is the Brasserie La Choulette's idea of a gift.

This bière de garde is a brownish amber, contrary to how it looked in the bottle. Low clarity, and a huge, three-finger, rocky, sandstone head. After the head finally subsides, a thick layer of cream persists atop the beer.

S: Spicy and estery notes dominate, especially at warmer temperatures. The nose has a faint sweetness, that, when combined with the spiciness, give a distinct wildflower honey impression. There is also a funkiness emanating from the beer, a slight barnyard character. The esters are reminiscent of peaches and grapes.

T: La Choulette made a very well-balanced beer here. It's much lighter and fruitier than the nose suggested, but slightly tart. It is just bitter enough to have an astringent "dryness," but that counters the strong, sweet, caramel flavors from the crystal malts. There is also a saltiness and distinct earthiness/spiciness from the wild yeast. There is also a metallic, coppery taste like that found in Chimay Grand Reserve. Acetaldehyde also lingers, giving the apple-like tartness, and a character that resembles wine. High carbonation helps to offset some of the stronger and provides balance. I can't praise the effervescence too much, however, since the overcarbonation punished me upon uncorking.

The flavor and degree of sourness remind me a bit of the Duchesse, although I doubt they would be very similar if compared side-by-side, as the Duchesse is a Flanders Red.

M: Creamy upfront, then slightly astringent, and a bit sticky like apple juice.

D: High.

If you're in the mood for a slightly sour beer, this one is great. It's extremely complex, and although it may be a bit heavy on the sweet malts, it delivers surprises with every sip. This farmhouse amber would be a low-mid A were it not for it's rendition of Mt. Vesuvius on my countertop. However, because of a rough start, I docked the appearance to give this it's B+ rating.

* I should point out that I opened this one around 55° F, and that further chilling would have reduced, and possible prevented, the foaming.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 07:49:19 | More by SPThirtyThree
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp

Colorado

4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750mL green glass bottle, corked and caged, dated 19-06-09.

Opened in celebration of finishing the semester - yea!

Served cool and poured into my St. Bernardus Watou glass, the Ambrée has a hazy copper color with an inch of head and good retention.

Aroma is complex - spicy, funky, and a little winey. The latter is not what I'd describe as oxidation but more like dark fruits and red grapes.

Flavor is quite nice - a little like a doppelbock that's lighter in color and body. There is the similar caramel-sweet base with nice spice notes and a bit of toasty grains. The flavors have good depth and complexity but it's not overwhelming. Light fruit flavors like apple, cherry, and grape, help to balance out the spice.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with just the right amount of carbonation. Alcohol is present but fairly well-hidden given this beer's strength.

Overall really nice, not what I was expecting (Biere de Garde was more of a Saison in my head) but still very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 23:21:50 | More by GilGarp
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber color with lighter red hues when held to a light source and a thin foamy yellowish head that quickly fades leaving no lacing.

Very subtle light fruit aroma with hints of earthy hops, spice and faint hops. Very bland and uninteresting.

Fuller bodied with much more of a malt presence than expected. Slightly spicy with citrus and dark fruits. Medium carbonation which helps the mouthfeel. Alcohol not well masked. Average at best.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2010 00:39:07 | More by corby112
Photo of PartyBear
PartyBear

United Kingdom (England)

3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep burgundy colour, with a rapidly fading tan head, and heavy fine carbonation. 3.5

Aroma: The initial aromas are a strange hybrid between winey grapes, and ripe wheat. There are hints of sourdough in there, with a mild citric lemon. Lots of spices, and clear notes of aniseed. 3

Taste: Lots of savoury wheats, grains, with a strange taste of plain salted crisps, very weird. There is a noticeable alcoholic taste that pushes through after this, with a bready sweetness, pepperiness, and some vanilla. The aftertaste is bittersweet, and slightly clingy. 3.5

Mouthfeel: Heavy and oily in the palete. The carbonation is quite lively, maybe too much. 3

Drinkability: Some very strange flavours in this one, quite unique. Probably couldn't manage more than one. Well worth a try. 3.5

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 14:33:43 | More by PartyBear
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, amber/brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and good lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, brown sugar, citrus, and slight pale hop. Fits the style of a Biere de Garde. Mouth feel is smooth and sharp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale hops, alcohol, tart malt, sweet malt, slight citrus, and brown sugar. Overall, a darker and more malty biere de garde than I'm used to having, but still rather good.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 02:04:01 | More by Tone
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle courtesy of RomanW70 (thanks Dan) served in my ST tulip. 25.04.07 indicated on the label. Poured a hazy, plum color with a three inch off-white head that sizzled and popped as it receded into a frothy quarter inch cap; sheets of watery lacing, but no legs. Nose was dark fruit, vinous and somewhat acidic with a hint of chocolate towards the back. Taste follows nose, with a bit of sourness/astringency at the finish. Mouthfeel is light and sparklingly effervescent with a little bit of prickliness across the tongue. I've had the opportunity to try a few Bière de Gardes, and I tend to not really enjoy the style. That being said, this brew seems a little closer to a belgian strong dark in style, and I was pleasantly surprised. As such, my rating reflects the beer itself and not its attributes relative to the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2009 00:40:18 | More by Jwale73
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

3.13/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml green bottle. label has notches for dates, but none are marked off. instead, there is a printing of "18.06.08". it SEEMS this is a "best by" date, since that's what it is on the sans culottes bottle...

poured into tulip.

clear gemstone amber with copper tint. nice head gradually fades to wispy layer. great lacing.

aromas of fruity apple and caramel, almost candy-like. malt is indeed quite caramelized. whiff of grass and earthiness and trace of farmhouse character, plus phenols and maybe spice.

flavor is very malty sweet, mixing with apple-like esters and sharp phenols, with the sweetness approaching a cloying quality. gentle grassy hop gives a mild bitterness, but the spicy phenols come back and blend with that cloying sweetness, lingering into the finish as well.

not too thin, decently smooth, but slightly watery. lively carbonation, but not enough to completely wash away that sweet, phenolic, cloying character.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 05:58:44 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of oldhippie247
oldhippie247

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great coppery-amber with an off-white head that appears more fluffy than creamy.

A nutty aroma dominates the nose, with caramel, bready maltiness playing back-up.

The sweet caramel and hazelnut aromas follow through on the palate, slowly giving way to a mild caramelized malt and hop bitterness. Wisps of apple brandy and walnuts also appear, conjuring up pairings with camembert or delice de bourgogne.

A great artisanal French biere de garde.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2009 20:31:30 | More by oldhippie247
Photo of bonkers
bonkers

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. The beer is rum brown with a fluffy white head. The head recedes quickly, leaving some lacing on the sides. The aroma is earthy and sweet. It is sweet on the tongue, with taste of caramel and alcohol. The beer is medium bodied with above average carbonation. The beer is smooth and easily drinkable. This is my first Biere de Garde so I do not have any thing to compare it to, but I do like this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 20:09:13 | More by bonkers
Photo of aquatonex
aquatonex

New York

3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours darkish copper, not much light coming through. Short head, dissipated, leaves a very thing ring and slight swirl of lace. Not that carbonated. Slightly sweet and nutty nose, a bit of malts as well. Taste is also sweet up front, a little caramel-y and nutty, some dates or some other dried fruitiness. Its strength is noticeable enough to make it enjoyable. It's a bit thin going down, lighter as it should be.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 03:12:02 | More by aquatonex
Photo of pinotboy007
pinotboy007

Virginia

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Arrowine, Arlington, VA; had never seen it before.

A - Burnt copper/amber/dark iced tea color with a khaki-colored head that settles to a shoulder with modest lacing.

S - Malt, dates, cinnamon.

T/M - Complex malt, dates, peat, cinnamon, tea and caramel. Beautifully silky and creamy without being too dense.

D - A food friendly ale worth grabbing if you see it. Very nice stuff.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2008 19:41:31 | More by pinotboy007
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass a very nice clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy/fizzy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island in the middle of the glass and some sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, with some spice and yeast. The taste sweet, malty, yeasty, and a nice touch of spice. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a nice one, thanks Joe.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 23:47:17 | More by Wasatch
Photo of barleywinebrewer
barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

picked this up to try out of curiosity. it pours a nice amber orange color with a nice offwhite head. this one didn't work for me as well as some other biere de gardes I've had as this was more of a marmalade and caramel effect than what I expected. Bottle notes its from 4-25-07.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 02:30:47 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of Biscuit033
Biscuit033

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml C&C

A: Clear copper/amber with a two finger head the settles quickly but leaves nice lacing.

S: Malt, flowers, earth, and some metallic notes.

T: A lot of malt character and flavor sans the sweetness, bready, floral, and slightly roasty.

M: Very crisp and dry.

D: This will make a good pair with some goat cheese and honey. Goes down with ease despite the 8% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2008 00:41:45 | More by Biscuit033
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl Green cork and caged bottle, poured into two Corsendonk stemmed tulip shaped glasses.

The pour was in one almost smooth action, but the second glass ended up with a few pieces of sediment. Otherwise the beer was a lovely amber, a little lighter than a typical Belgian Amber beer but with the same good biege foaming head. The beer was opened 4 months after the Best Before Date.

The aroma was like a fairly sweet malty biscuit straight out of the oven.

Good flavours throughout, this is a well balanced beer and I really enjoyed it. The 8% doesn't knock your socks off, but you know it's there.

The French beer scene is a lot better than most poeple realise, this is a good example of what they are missing.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2008 18:23:46 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of geexploitation
geexploitation

Indiana

4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color, bordering on brown, with some bright highlights. The smallish head leaves a bit of lace on the glass. The aroma is low on esters and skews toward the malt side, with plenty of bready, almost German malts and a dusty tobacco note. On the palate, big carbonation and smooth, sweet maltiness alongside some dextrins. There's a bit of orangey fruitiness evident on the edges. Good acidity toward the end. The finish is long and a tad sweet, while the mouthfeel is full and malty overall, with a bit of hop acids at the end and plenty of soft carbonation throughout. Overall, this is a tasty biere de garde, skewed toward the malty side, without much of the herbal/earthy notes often found in beers of the style. Still, it's a rich-yet-light, interesting beer that would probably be great with food and cheese, so still a definite thumbs up.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 04:32:26 | More by geexploitation
Photo of Hornet2003
Hornet2003

British Columbia (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice amber, clear with a half finger head on the pour. No lacing as I drink.

Smell: Musty, with a hint of cherries. Yeasty like sourdough bread

Taste: Sour and tart with a slight hint if cherries.

Mouthfeel: Pretty bubbly, but the flavours linger over all parts of the tongue for a long time.

Drinkability: A little too much alcohol to be really drinkable. 8% is strong in anyone's book and unfortunately, precludes this from drinking smooth past one bottle.

Overall: My first bière de garde. I like it, but I wish it didn't have so much ABV.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2008 01:05:07 | More by Hornet2003
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer, in that it pours a orangish amber, fairly clear (I didn't get any yeasty bits floating about as mentioned in other reviews) and only moderately carbonated. The beer has a smallish head that does retain and does lace to a degree. The smell is quite musty, full of caramel malts, perhaps some cherry, yeasty alcohol aromas, some tartness in the smell too. The smell is not overly enticing, but keep going because the taste is better. What you'll find is a very caramelized malty, tart, sourish, cherryish ale that is quite sippable and refreshing. The caramel comes out the gate quite strong but near the finish, some of the other complex flavors emerge, some tart apples, some cherry notes, a yeasty tang, some sweet malts, some sourish hops. The beer is not overly carbonated, quite light bodied for its 8% ABV, and quite soft on the tongue. There is nothing here that will offend. Right out of the bottle, the caramel was a bit much and I thought it was too much like a strong Marzen, but then the beer's other qualities emerged. Not a bad beer, worth scouting out, very good sipping beer on a cold winters evening. L'Chaim.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 22:14:41 | More by albern
Photo of Graham5161986
Graham5161986

British Columbia (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark red with fizzy head that reduces quickly to a bubbly film that leaves very little lace. Clear with tons of carbonation bubbles

S: smells of ripe cherries and sugar plumbs dominate. Very sweet, sugary scent

T: very sweet with an incredibly caramely finish and sour alcohol bite

M: creamy, chewy texture with tingly carbonation and a strong but smooth finish

D: This one is a bit too sweet for my liking, but I think it does a pretty good job of fitting in with the style. Despite its high ABV, it was highly drinkable. I certainly recommend it as it is an interesting taste experience from France.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2007 07:26:05 | More by Graham5161986
Photo of thierrynantes
thierrynantes

France

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33cl., 75cl.), tasted in 2003.

Appearance : An amber color, fine and tight foam.
Smell : caramelized sweetness but not excessive
Taste and mouthfeel : spice aniseed flavours, caramel, delicatly hoped.
Drinkability : good beer in the style "bière de garde", less sweet than the Jenlain, more bitter.

Review translated from french 7-9-2008.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2007 20:21:35 | More by thierrynantes
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La Choulette Ambrée from Brasserie La Choulette
88 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.