La Choulette Ambrée - Brasserie La Choulette

Not Rated.
La Choulette AmbréeLa Choulette Ambrée

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

66 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 86
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 8.54%
Wants: 8
Gots: 3 | 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:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 08-03-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 66 | Hads: 86
Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (470 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (461 characters)

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. (545 characters)

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. (834 characters)

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 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 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. (339 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (1,289 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
3.82/5  rDev -4%
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. (619 characters)

Photo of mdagnew
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 !! (521 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 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 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. (356 characters)

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

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. (432 characters)

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 spoony
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (1,379 characters)

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)

Photo of albern
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
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. (1,141 characters)

Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (451 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The label says Biere de Garde, but it's here as a Saison. Whatever. Poured out to a pumpkin orange color with a well formed 1/2 inch head and good lacing around the interior of the glass. Aromas of caramel, sweet spice, pumpkins and some earthy notes. Taste was medium bodied and slightly complex; flavors of fruits, spices, sugar, and ginger were present, as was some hints of herbs. Not bad. Mouthfeel was fair, not too weak yet filling enough to make the beer quaffable. Fair drinkability, this brew wasn't bad overall. I'll likely try some of the brewers other offerings. (575 characters)

Photo of paterlodie
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 14-03-08. Nice and due to good feed by the prearling bubble well lasting light beige head and anberbrown beer. Nose is fruity apricot and strawberry, bretty and wheatmalty with nice phenolic hoptouch. Good taste though missing bitterness IMO and bit yeasty hangbitter. But next to that bretty, tasty, bit of sourness and overall tasty. Well carbonated and easy drinkable brew. (379 characters)

Photo of BDTyre
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (693 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The packaging consisted of a green 750 ml bottle, with a champagne style cork, and a wire cage. When the cork was pulled, a satisfying pop revealed that the yeast had been nicely active in the bottle. Poured into a 16 oz wine goblet, the body was clear amber red with moderate carbonation, and could be easily mistaken for a wine. The aroma was also somewhat wine like, with notes of cherry and oak and very little if any hops. The taste was smooth and refreshing. The body was very dry and woody with an astringent tartness, but almost no sourness. Fruits like cherries, red grapes, and pears were also abundant. Floral hops showed up in the middle of the peppery finish. Mouthfeel was surprisingly full. This Bière de Garde tasted much maltier than my previous experiences with beers from the related style Saison, and exhibited fewer funky flavors. Overall this was quite an enjoyable beer, which will most definitely turn me into trying more of its brethren. (963 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I really enjoyed this beer. It is decisively sour, with a kriek-like quality I found very endearing. While I would not call this a sessionable beer, I would highly recommend it.

It poured a hazy amber with 5mm of head. It exhibited a cherry fruity-sourness in its bouquet. It didn't have a dry-sourness (like a Berliner Weisse would), rather it had this sweet-sour dichotomy going on that certain fruits provide that makes you pucker. Tart would be the best word I suppose. Not very drinkable/sessionable, but I still enjoyed it. (532 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
La Choulette Ambrée from Brasserie La Choulette
88 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.