Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

La Choulette Ambrée - Brasserie La Choulette

Not Rated.
La Choulette Ambrée
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.
very good

68 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 90
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 10
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie La Choulette visit their website

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 08-03-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 68 | Hads: 90
Reviews by granger10:
Photo of granger10
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brilliant bronze color. Shiny looking with a quality large foamy white head. Head maintains well and never gets too large. Good sheets of lacing around the glass.

Very spicy and phenolic aroma. Peppery almost but some sweeter malts ride in there as well. A touch of rustic character accompanies a slightly mid-dark fruit element. It's like apples and plums combined. Very complex smells.

Flavor lives up to aroma. Light on the mouth with a nice touch of liveliness but the body still seems substantial, if that makes sense. Caramel malty flavors at the top. Yeasty spicy flavor from the beginning goes all the way to the finish. A touch of sour fruit in the middle counters the malty caramel component. The back has some alcohol esters and pepper components. Finishes with a touch of a floral element and some residual sugars. Complex, delicate, full flavored. I need to get this again.

 894 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

La Choulette Ambrée offers a rich bread, dried cherries, brandy, malt, woody aroma with no hops. It pours amber to brown with a slight haze and a persistent 2” white, persistent foam cap. The palate starts very smooth with rich malt sweetened lightly with caramel, hints of coffee or chocolate, traces of cardamom and includes a suspicion of bourbon in the aftertaste with traces of dried fruit – especially figs - in the middle. It has medium carbonation, medium low body, and a slight alcohol warming that is deceptive considering the beer’s strength.

 562 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Spied this unusual brew on my inaugural trip to the Vin de Pays store in downtown Long Beach. I am familiar with La Choulette brews and as I have yet to Review this one I fancied it was time to pick up a bottle.

A 750ml standard looking green glass “Belgium” style flat bottomed beer bottle. Simple unmarked thumbed cork is restrained with a silver cap and cage. Main label has this listed as “La Choulette Ambrée”. Described as a “Biere De Garde Artisanale Traditional French Ale”. 8% Vol./alc. Has one of those really annoying “miss-clipped” main labels, but it has a date stamped on the bottom of the label “14.10.06” so I guess I’m still good to go!

Appearance: The gunsmoke once the cork was easily popped was impressively dominant as it rested above the bottle of the mouth, it still lingered and swirled in the air as I carefully poured. Chestnut brown with some glowing amber when backlit. Head starts with a decent 2” rising cap but settles slowly, leaving some ringed blotchy lacing, before it settles to a nice ¼” thick Vicar’s collar. Firm conditioning that seems a little lazy though towards the bottom of the bottle, the slow moving streamers in the body lend a laid back feel.

Nose: Projects a strong caramelized sugar start, this soon edges with figs, dark fruits and a heavy bold spicy malt profile which all blend together rather nicely. The aromas have a dull dowdy and soil laden earthy facet to them which depresses the overall enjoyment but adds a funky aspect that gently reminds you that is a Bière De Garde Ambrée.

Taste: Brewed from Flanders and Hallertau Hops, as well as Pale and Special Malts it does tend to have an Earthy tone to it. The Pale Malts are quite fruity and exhibit a thick feel. The hop bitterness is peat like with a rich soil feel to it. Tends to exhibit a bitter-sweet honey dimension which sits as a backdrop to the more tangy fruity aspects.

Mouthfeel: Light and airy, the caramelized sugar never gets to be sticky or sickly sweet, but it stays in the background and always threatens to. The soft carbonation easily spreads the good word of the flavor Department whilst allowing the rich textures of this Bière De Garde Ambrée to sinfully expand across the tongue.

Drinkability: Far easier than I expected, more Bière De Garde than Ambrée, but it melds the two nicely into a mighty quaffable brew.

Overall: Surprised me I have to say, I first sampled this years ago on a trip to France and the Fermie-Brasserie Beck and their marvelous Hommelpap. Back then I recall this being less palatable, but now, it impresses, maybe it’s changed, who knows?, I do note with interest that my penciled entry into my Woods/Rigley Beers of France book from the late 90’s has it listed at only 7.5%, interesting. Cost me $8.99 and whilst it is at the higher end of what I usually pay, it did not disappoint. Well worth a try, or a revisit if you were disappointed first time around like I was.

 2,990 characters

Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beers highest marks come in the nice pour a big pillowey head that settles nicely and sticky a nice medium amber color to enjoy.Aroma is like powdered sugar almost with some slight spicey notes and pizza dough aromas.Taste is definently malty with a little irony taste I didnt think it was overly sweet.Supposed to be good with food will have my other with dinner.

 369 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber tone great amount of off white cream colored head very nice lacing belgian style fine webs. Aroma: Vinous grape tone, sweet barley wine like malts are lingering with a touch of honey infused there wild tones farmhouse bready yeast and bites of peppery qualities. Taste: Awesome wine like tone to it, amber malts send a caramel spot of flavor tart apple in the finish with the spices and slight farmhouse funk playing a factor in the overall flavor, good stuff. Mouthfeel: Soft in the Belgian sense, soft water brings about a lighter to medium bodied ale with a creamy texture to it. Drinkability, definitely good stuff effortless to consume I may have to try this one again. A bit expensive but well worth it especially if you in to the biere de garde.

 770 characters

Photo of Shovelbum
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A beautiful thick and creamy off-white head over a glowing red-amber body. Spectacular. Cascading sheets of lace and a thin head holds on as the volume is lowered. Caramel malt aromas with cork, hay and floral notes. Nice malt profile upfront in the mouth. Deep Caramel malts lead the charge, some touches of chocolate and nuts round out a wonderfully balanced sweetness. A bit of oak, spices, fruit and hops in the background. A touch of crispness, but otherwise very smooth mouthfeel.

I’m currently reading Markowski’s Farmhouse Ales, which is a wonderful study of the biere de garde and saison styles (like the bottle label, he lists this as a biere de garde). While his descriptions are great, tasting is believing. This particular example combines a healthy dose of malts with complex aromas and flavors, and does it all without being overbearing. Zen-like subtly and balance.

 887 characters

Photo of rastaman
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice biere de garde, deep amber colour, lots of caramel malt flavours, slightly sticky sweet start, but quite dry, bitter slaty finish, i quite liked it, but a bit sticky for me.

 183 characters

Photo of azorie
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of bexley10
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of GilGarp
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

 995 characters

Photo of cokes
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy twilight amber gold adorned with a plump column of bleached tan.
Pear butter nose, with flares of cedar and sandalwood, with a backing florality of rosewater and lilac.
Grain off the blocks, light toasted and lugging notions of nut skins. It expands into mashed pears, cinnamon apple sauce, fried plantains, and white grapes. The middle see this trek towards wood and earth. Horse haired strewn sandstone wavers amongst suede, aniseed, dried maples and dowel rods. The hops drive hop blossoms of clover and lavender, and while the bitterness is minor, it is well-stated and erudite.
Medium full in the mouth, with a liquid fleece build that is both fuzzy and soft.
For something that is 8%, it is downright dirty.
This particular Choulette might keep its pants on, but it's in no way less alluring.

 810 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Satisfying smooth but unexceptional biere de garde, well carbonated even harsh. Attractive light brown rum color. Moderately fruity yeast, grape like, lemon, sugar, nuts, pepper . Musty initial aroma, mild barnyard. Medium mouthfeel, probably good with fish.

 258 characters

Photo of bditty187
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber-gold in hue with significant coppery highlights. The liquid shows a slight influence of sediment. When backlit this beer shines! The head was slightly off-white in color; at the apex the head was a healthy two fingers in height. The bubbles were rocky and dense, head retention was very good, and it slowly faded to a clumpy cap. It started creating lace before I started removing the beer! Overall the subsequent lacing was spotty and unimpressive. Still this beer looks good. I’m keen on the nose, there is a lovely balancing act between vinous notes and caramel malt. The fruitiness is heavy on grapes with kisses of pears and figs. There is a seamless transition to a charming caramel aroma and even some doughy qualities. Candied sweetness. Interwoven throughout are hints of spiciness that are largely nondescript. And then comes some mildly funky (barnyard and horsy and mold) notes with hints of pepper. Finally there are kisses of alcohol heat at the back, towards the end. The potency of the nose is moderate, the complexities are softly spoken but I do hear what this beer is saying. Inviting. The palate is dry with loads of caramel flavor and little sweetness. I am not sure how this is accomplished... but I like it. The malt offers doughy qualities. Caramel too. Like I said the sweetness is minimal. Flavor is big. In the middle is some raw apple cider that is lightly spiked with ginger and cinnamon. At this point the beer turns slightly dry and vinous notes emerge, grapes and hints of licorice. At the finish there is a firm mix of hop bitterness with a raw earthy undertone and some peppery notes. This is quite contrasting from the malt “sweetness” (it really isn’t that sweet, I am beating a dead horse here). The aftertaste is just a little warm at the back of the throat with a caramel, fruity residue that sits on the tongue. This beer is very diverse with its food prospects. I think it would be good with many things, from elegantly prepared steaks to pasta (with a light red sauce) or even hearty fried fish (like walleye). Honestly, this beer would be perfect for gourmet pizza. Hell yeah, ignore all the other food babble I dished out, this beer would be a KILLER with good pizza. Anyway. This beer is very solid. I like it a lot. It is not a world class Bière de Garde, so what. I it is a damn good beer. Medium in body, the carbonation is moderate but very airy, this makes the mouthfeel fluffy and relaxing with just enough bulk to support the flavors. This beer isn’t overly complex. At no point was I blown away but at no point was I bored. This is a very good beverage. It is very drinkable and (like I said above) it has endless future possibilities. I bought this 750ml bottle in Ames, IA last spring; it has been in my cellar since then. Find it. Drink it. You’ll like it.

PS: The label says 8.0% abv.

 2,868 characters

Photo of marcobrau
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 480 characters

Photo of amicar
4.72/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a corked 750mL green bottle opened with a satisfying "pop"
This smell hits me before my nose gets near the glass- nice. It's a true amber color with sticky off- white foam that I swear is climbing up the glass. A more intense whiff gives me a biscuity bread smell with some nice sharp undertones. A little ester under there; slight spice as well. First taste is dramatically full of bread and fresh grain- and then in a sip or two something wonderful happens and the solvent- esque fruit esters kick in. A hint of toated malt, but no acridity here. This feels wonderful in the mouth, with a smooth slickness that gives way to a tingling sensation followed by the perfect amount of warmth. The rough edges on this bad boy have been really nicely smoothed out. I'll have no problems finishing this one off by myself.

This is more sophisticated than I would have expected. Really a subtle, beautiful, well- balanced beer. Just tops.

 944 characters

Photo of rallison
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown/amber with a 1/2 finger white head that mostly dies. Smells of apple cider and some caramel.

Taste is quite interesting. Caramel malt. Apples. Anise. Some tartness. Interesting, and nice balance. Quite an interesting amber - never had anything quite like it. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is good on this. Somewhat rich with a nice bite at the end. Drinkability is very good.

Recommended. A unique, tasty brew. Just how I like them.

 447 characters

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 979 characters

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Second beer of the day at Het Kasteelhof in Cassel, Northern France. Pours a amber colour with a slight tanned head. Aromas of caramel & flowers. Tastes of spicy caramel with hints of burnt sugar as well as apple fruitiness. The high alcohol content is slightly warming but not at all easy to drink.

 300 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 717 characters

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

 280 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 862 characters

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass:

Pours deep ruby mahogany with a thin tan head that descends to a thin, patchy covering.

The smell is of sweet caramel candy. Musty with grassy/grainy notes. Subtle fruity spiciness lies underneath.

The taste is sweet - candyish - caramel/toffee. Husky grain in the back. Spicy, berry-like fruitiness emerges in the soft, sweet finish.

Medium-bodied and smooth, this is a nice sweet treat. Despite the alcohol level (which is hardly noticeable) this makes a nice summer night sipping brew choice. Also would pair well with lamb. A classic for the style!

 589 characters

Photo of Rivoire
3.44/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
La Choulette Ambrée from Brasserie La Choulette
88 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.