La Choulette Ambrée - Brasserie La Choulette
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Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
4.83/5 rDev +21.4%
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.
Im currently reading Markowskis 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.
11-17-2005 00:45:21 | More by Shovelbum
4.75/5 rDev +19.3%
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.
06-01-2005 01:59:16 | More by amicar
4.75/5 rDev +19.3%
A snort is earth, either a particular traumatic adolescent shove into the dirt or an exploration of vegetable garden biology the initial contact is of soil. Soil and natural syrup, nut oil and bark, charged floating honey, the sweat of voluntary labor and expectation haunt this brew.
08-28-2005 03:52:56 | More by inebrius
4.58/5 rDev +15.1%
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.
10-06-2005 05:41:00 | More by cokes
4.53/5 rDev +13.8%
Served in the 750 mL bottle into a chalice. The color was amber, with a wispy head. The smell was a very strong apple sweetness that wafted out from the bottle. The taste was apple sweet with a strong yeastiness and a slight warming alcohol. Mouthfeel was nicely carbonated. As for drinkability, could have quite a few of these!
Thank you to Hart at the Sharp Edge for the recommendation. A really nice biere de garde, with a good apple sweetness that fits quite nicely. Quite good, and despite the cost, this is one that I'd have again.
03-08-2004 01:03:56 | More by beergeek279
4.5/5 rDev +13.1%
Fans exclusively of tootsie roll-flavored malt-bombs and continuously hopped beer extractions should avoid the beers of La Choulette.
Caramel amber colored with a large, liquid and airy mass of cream-colored foam. The aromas are complicated. Sour butterfat, stones, flowers, fenugreek and mustard can be discerned atop a mass of mashed, boiled grain aromas. On the palate it is thin enough to be refreshing. The flavors are willowy and include an array of lavender, sage, white grapes, apples, tangy ginger cakes and carob. The finish is quite grainy. Altogether, this is the most stand-alone of this producer's beers, though with food it would undoubtedly be a champion.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... A beer for travelers.
$6 for a 750ml in MI (that's cheep!).
01-25-2005 19:35:44 | More by putnam
4.43/5 rDev +11.3%
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.
02-02-2009 20:31:30 | More by oldhippie247
4.4/5 rDev +10.6%
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.
11-09-2006 23:19:05 | More by granger10
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
4.35/5 rDev +9.3%
750ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...
Poured a golden copper / rusty orange colour... Slightly off white head poured quite big and fades to a nice layer...
Aroma - Biscuity malt, toffee, nutty, grassy, banana hints, burnt orange notes, slight pepperiness...
Taste Spicy maltiness, slight sweetness, caramel, nice light bitterness, some aniseed hints underneath...
Feel - Pretty smooth, slightly oily. Medium body. Very drinkable...
Overall - An excellent beer, very drinkable. Recommended !!
01-23-2006 15:50:47 | More by mdagnew
4.35/5 rDev +9.3%
Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.
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.
09-25-2008 23:47:17 | More by Wasatch
4.35/5 rDev +9.3%
The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear medium amber brown with an off-white head which rose tall and fell slowly to coat the chalice.
The aroma was nicely malty with dark caramel aromas coupled with dark fruits, raisins and prunes. The aroma contained a spicy phenolic most likely from the higher alcohol that was peppery with cinnamon. Also present was a nice Belgian yeast component.
The flavor was malty with caramel tempting the palate on the first sip. The flavor immediately releases some Belgian yeast spice and farmhouse character. The flavors were light and interesting with malty caramel, spicy yeast - pepper and slight cinnamon, and earthy/grassy bittering to complement. Also present was a low citrus component. The dark fruits rounded out the flavors at lower levels with more raisins and prunes.
The finish was dry with light malt and dark fruit flavors, slight pepper, and very light citrus into the aftertaste. The body was medium. A nice Biere de Garde, listed as a Saison. The malt presence was not over the top and the hop bitteirng and flavor kept the malt from becoming cloying. No real alcohol presence except for a slight warming after consumption and a light phenolic in the aroma.
750 ml bottle, corked and bailed. Best before end 05 on label.
07-17-2005 21:04:14 | More by GCBrewingCo
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
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.
09-14-2007 07:50:33 | More by rallison
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
75 cL bottle with undistinguishable freshness date. Clear copper color, fluffy off-white head, fading as i type. Smell is sweet and funky, you can definitely smell that belgian yeast, with some subtle licorice scents. Taste is full and fruity, with pepper and licorice, slightly sweet, yet butt and large with hops and alcohol finishers. A very nice beer, I like it, although it is only my second saison. I would recommend this one.
06-13-2005 22:08:37 | More by TastyTaste
4.3/5 rDev +8%
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.
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.
08-01-2010 07:49:19 | More by SPThirtyThree
District of Columbia
4.3/5 rDev +8%
it's a brownish amber with ruby highlights. lacing is minimal
it's got a spicy aroma: cinnamon and ginger. rum raisin as well
more raisin flavors with molasses to boot. it's highly carbonated and dry. there are some soft nutty flavors on the backside (and i can smell it, too). this aspect even makes me think of Rochefort
the whole time i can't help but but wonder if this is really a BdG. nice brew, though
11-22-2006 02:47:20 | More by bruachan
4.3/5 rDev +8%
A true amber ale, it is solid red with a thin, soft, and velvety head leaving fingers of lace in the glass. Smells of caramel, earthy hops, and musty cork. Opens to a plush pils backdrop with faint apple/pear esters floating around.
Taste asserts first a caramel and roast tandem that is complex and rough without overbearing on the pallette. Slides dry and tickling toward a hoppy finish of earthy herbal flavor. Quite rustic with burly toast, caramel, and hop scruff intertwining, though a a fascinating apple-like ester presents itself to lend just a note of sweetness. The medium-low mouthfeel is lager smooth with a perfect amount of carbonation for support and palette cleansing.
Always a strong choice for an amber biere de garde that I oft skip over in favor of Jenlain. Very earthy beer in many respects.
11-26-2005 21:34:45 | More by nomad
4.22/5 rDev +6%
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.
05-11-2010 23:21:50 | More by GilGarp
4.2/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
09-02-2009 02:04:01 | More by Tone
4.18/5 rDev +5%
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.
07-19-2008 00:41:45 | More by Biscuit033
British Columbia (Canada)
4.18/5 rDev +5%
Mmmm....my first saison (although some call it a biere du garde). This beer pours a beautiful slightly cloudy caramel colour. The head is dense, thick and white, almost like whip cream.
I can detect the scent of malts, spice and caramel. A very soft, pleasant scent that doesn't overwhelm: everything is well balanced, and no one flavour dominates.
Taste wise, the malts are a bit stronger, but there is the flavour of caramel, raisins and spice. Though this is a "summer" beer, the flavour is suited to winter as well.
I feel this is a little thick and syrupy going done, and the high ABV does limit drinkability. Nonetheless, this is an excellent beer and I will be buying it again.
11-22-2005 06:06:47 | More by BDTyre
La Choulette Ambrée from Brasserie La Choulette
89 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.