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La Choulette Ambrée - Brasserie La Choulette

Not Rated.
La Choulette AmbréeLa Choulette Ambrée

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

84 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.3%
Wants: 6
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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.

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!

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of corby112
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from both can and bottle. Among any of the better amber ales or biere de gardes, seems the most popular of this brewery. Pours with fairly weak retention, a crystal amber in colour. Strong aroma, good mouthfeel and agreeable flavour. Light roast caramel malt, some chewy presence, though mouthfeel a little light, tad watery. Alcohol becomes more noticeable as it warms. Overall good malt, nice subtle blending, among the best of French beers I've had.

Photo of Tone
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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.

Photo of cokes
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of canucklehead
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice, this beer looks great sitting in a chalice.Tawny reddish brown with white lacing. malt on the nose with hints of hops. This is a very rounded amber farmhouse ale. Autumn flavours make this almost like a French Fall beer. A slight Belgian type finish lets you know the region. Very drinkable and quite straightforward in its approach.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of allengarvin
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml, poured into a nonik glass. At first, no head was developing, so I gave it a fairly vigorous pour and a small amount of foam appeared, but dissipated quickly. Otherwise, a pleasant-looking dark gold, quite clear. Light fruitiness in the nose (apple, grape), with some cork mustiness. Lots of fruitiness (plums, grape) in the taste as well a distinct nutty malt flavor that is quite pleasant--perhaps even a little roasted-potato-like. Hops are restrained. A bit watery, though reasonably full-bodied.

An OK beer is the best I can say. Not any obvious faults except the low carbonation, but not that drinkable.

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.

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.

Photo of thierrynantes
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of mikeincharleston
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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La Choulette Ambrée from Brasserie La Choulette
89 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.