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
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 68 | Hads: 90
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 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.


 785 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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)

 408 characters

Photo of Arthuros
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at La Capsule in Lille.
Very sweet amber, with an almost metallic taste. Also quite sweet, and not very hoppy.
Almost cider-like by some respects.
Good as a dessert beer, don't drink with anything too strong though.

 225 characters

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.

 503 characters

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.

 269 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 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.

 597 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 pinotboy007
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Arrowine, Arlington, VA; had never seen it before.

A - Burnt copper/amber/dark iced tea color with a khaki-colored head that settles to a shoulder with modest lacing.

S - Malt, dates, cinnamon.

T/M - Complex malt, dates, peat, cinnamon, tea and caramel. Beautifully silky and creamy without being too dense.

D - A food friendly ale worth grabbing if you see it. Very nice stuff.

 395 characters

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

 627 characters

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.

 616 characters

Photo of nathi
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light orangish amber color, nice thick head, lots of lace.

Very floral aroma with slight strawberry and pear complexity Very woody/musky. A lot going on in the aroma for this style. Good caramel malt aroma

Flavor has nice malt at start, very sweet, but finishes very dry with a like acidicness that keeps it from being cloying. More body then other bier de gardes samples, also more alcohol in the finish. A nice spicy hop finish. Malt is still very simple, but great complexity with nice muskyness working well with floral and estery character. Well balanced. This was the best of 5 bier de gardes sampled in one night. Still though, I dont really care for the style.

 683 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

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