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La Choulette Ambrée - Brasserie La Choulette

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La Choulette Ambrée
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very good

68 Reviews
no score

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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
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 90
Photo of Hornet2003
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Graham5161986
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of eberkman
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a corked wine-style bottle.

Poured a reddish-orange with a big ecru-colored head. Somewhat cloudy with flecks of yeast floating throughout.

Smelled primarily fruity with apples and cherries. Taste was tart and dry -- tangy, sour fruits with a somewhat bitter finish. Carbonated, crisp somewhat thin mouthfeel. Enjoyable as something to sip with a light meal on a warm evening. A little fruity and sour for my general tastes, but a decent choice overall. Definitely interesting and complex.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a flat reddish-orange with very little head and virtually no lacing or effervescence. Appearance was more of a cherry-apple cider than a beer, and the aroma was a pleasant mix of spices and fruit (mostly apples and grapes).

This beer was interesting in that the mouthfeel, flavor and finish were all what I would imagine the result to be if you mixed a Lambic and a Flemish Sour together. At various sips and times, I detected fruity, sweet, sour, spicy and a hint of the 8% alcohol. Different, but not bad at all.

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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!

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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.

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Photo of Umbra
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled in Paris, bottle was all in French, not sure of dating.

Only downside was the weak head and lacing. Brown, slightly clear.
Bready, clove nose
Full of bready flavors, mingled with clove and brown sugar. Peppery finish with hidden ETOH. Smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of Braudog
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged and corked 75cl bottle; poured with an immense head of tight foam and a beautiful tornadic swirl of yeast-inspired carbonation. When an aroma can finally escape, it is slightly spicy and tart, not unlike a freshly peeled blood orange. The flavor, however, is much more full-bodied. This is very earthy with a brown-sugary base, and a viscuous flowery aspect. I enjoyed it quite much. (#2798, 4/15/2007)

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Photo of yinzer
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ML Bottle. Has some age, I'll guess a year in my cellar.

appearance: eay pour w/a one finger head that left me quickly. Some lacing with bubbles in suspension. Orange/yellow.

smell: Fruity esters and malt tones.

taste: Surprising rich and malty. Figs and honey.

mouthfeel: I'd say thick for the style, hope that it had more carbonation when younger.

drinkability: Goes down smooth but no cravings for another sip.

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Photo of bruachan
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of biegaman
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of gonzo138
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a dark reddish brown, with a thin white head that did not really retain at all, and left a thin white lace around the edge of the glass that stayed around for a while

S- at first a sweet malt aroma, a little bit a raisin fruit smell is present as well, alcohol presence is noticable too

T- malt sweet taste coats mouth, raisin and alcohol flavors are also present in taste, slight hoppy bite at the finsh

M- nice carbonation good tingley feeling on tounge, medium body, sticky mouthfeel

D- goes down fairly easy for a beer with an ABV of 8%, a very interesting style, I look forward to trying more vareties

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Photo of fartingdog
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 bottle.

Poured a nice amber color- good head.

Smells of caramel, sweet, floral. Tastes slightly sweet, mild hop or floral characteritics. Good body, an easy drinker.

This was one of the sweeter Biere de Garde's I've had. Not much in the way of earthy flavors, unfortunately, it seems less of a 'rustic' beer than other BdG's (i.e Jenlain.) A good beer overall.

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Photo of bonbright7
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this at Shoreline in Huntington, NY and served with it with surf 'n' turf
wraps as we were settling in for a comfortable Friday night. I poured the amber ale into my 50cl glass and was quietly amazed by the oatmeal head that formed as I backed off on pouring more.

The reddish amber flavor was just right with elements of sweetness and floral impressions to make it known I had found something extra special.
I continued without much hestitation until the bottle was empty.

Maybe my choice of shrimp and beef wraps were not the best with this great ale, but I loved the ale anyway.

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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.

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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.

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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 !!

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Photo of nomad
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of NClifestyle
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a great beer to have with the turkey today.
Poured from a wine sized bottle, slightly hazy ruby orange color, with thick bubbly head on top. Nice layer stays around, no lace, at least not in the wine glass I was drinking from today.
Smells of gentle peach/orange with hints of wheat, mostly light malt aroma.
Taste is a touch sweet and slightly spicy. Similar to a wheat beer, some caramel sweetness at first, then a spicy rush that yields a quick hot bite in the back of the mouth.
A light to medium mouth feel, some carbonation and tingle, somewhat dry mouthfeel.
This beer goes great with Thanksgiving food, and probably with other varied meals as well. I wouldn't choose this beer at the bar, but would find it again for drinking at home and with dinner.


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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.

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La Choulette Ambrée from Brasserie La Choulette
88 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.