La Choulette Ambrée - Brasserie La Choulette

Not Rated.
La Choulette AmbréeLa Choulette Ambrée

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BA SCORE
89
very good

86 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 8
Gots: 2 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 66
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.14/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml green bottle. label has notches for dates, but none are marked off. instead, there is a printing of "18.06.08". it SEEMS this is a "best by" date, since that's what it is on the sans culottes bottle...

poured into tulip.

clear gemstone amber with copper tint. nice head gradually fades to wispy layer. great lacing.

aromas of fruity apple and caramel, almost candy-like. malt is indeed quite caramelized. whiff of grass and earthiness and trace of farmhouse character, plus phenols and maybe spice.

flavor is very malty sweet, mixing with apple-like esters and sharp phenols, with the sweetness approaching a cloying quality. gentle grassy hop gives a mild bitterness, but the spicy phenols come back and blend with that cloying sweetness, lingering into the finish as well.

not too thin, decently smooth, but slightly watery. lively carbonation, but not enough to completely wash away that sweet, phenolic, cloying character.

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.

Photo of putnam
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!).

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

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

picked this up to try out of curiosity. it pours a nice amber orange color with a nice offwhite head. this one didn't work for me as well as some other biere de gardes I've had as this was more of a marmalade and caramel effect than what I expected. Bottle notes its from 4-25-07.

Photo of beergeek279
4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy calls this beer the "French Defender". Pours a orangy amber color with a thick, soft beige head. Big malty aroma with hints of fruit and mustiness. A bit fruity (concord grape) in the taste, with an ambery, biscuity and nutty malt profile. Yeasty with a honeyed sweetness as well. Finishes a bit dry and smooth. Recommended if you like the biere de garde style. Alcohol is noticable, but surely not overwhelming.

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.

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.

Photo of inebrius
4.77/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of aquatonex
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours darkish copper, not much light coming through. Short head, dissipated, leaves a very thing ring and slight swirl of lace. Not that carbonated. Slightly sweet and nutty nose, a bit of malts as well. Taste is also sweet up front, a little caramel-y and nutty, some dates or some other dried fruitiness. Its strength is noticeable enough to make it enjoyable. It's a bit thin going down, lighter as it should be.

Photo of PartyBear
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep burgundy colour, with a rapidly fading tan head, and heavy fine carbonation. 3.5

Aroma: The initial aromas are a strange hybrid between winey grapes, and ripe wheat. There are hints of sourdough in there, with a mild citric lemon. Lots of spices, and clear notes of aniseed. 3

Taste: Lots of savoury wheats, grains, with a strange taste of plain salted crisps, very weird. There is a noticeable alcoholic taste that pushes through after this, with a bready sweetness, pepperiness, and some vanilla. The aftertaste is bittersweet, and slightly clingy. 3.5

Mouthfeel: Heavy and oily in the palete. The carbonation is quite lively, maybe too much. 3

Drinkability: Some very strange flavours in this one, quite unique. Probably couldn't manage more than one. Well worth a try. 3.5

Photo of Biscuit033
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml C&C

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.

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.

La Choulette Ambrée from Brasserie La Choulette
89 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.