Dismiss Notice
Get FREE shipping on all US orders of $25 or more from the BeerAdvocate Store.

No promo code required. Offer valid through 4/30.

Ready to gear up? Start shopping →

La Choulette Ambrée | Brasserie La Choulette

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
69 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
69
Ratings:
91
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
10.8%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie La Choulette
France | website

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 08-03-2002

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 91
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 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 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 Shovelbum
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A beautiful thick and creamy off-white head over a glowing red-amber body. Spectacular. Cascading sheets of lace and a thin head holds on as the volume is lowered. Caramel malt aromas with cork, hay and floral notes. Nice malt profile upfront in the mouth. Deep Caramel malts lead the charge, some touches of chocolate and nuts round out a wonderfully balanced sweetness. A bit of oak, spices, fruit and hops in the background. A touch of crispness, but otherwise very smooth mouthfeel.

I’m currently reading Markowski’s Farmhouse Ales, which is a wonderful study of the biere de garde and saison styles (like the bottle label, he lists this as a biere de garde). While his descriptions are great, tasting is believing. This particular example combines a healthy dose of malts with complex aromas and flavors, and does it all without being overbearing. Zen-like subtly and balance.

 887 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 codewarrior
3.02/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750mL bomber into a Snifter

Beer is bearing a Best Before End on the bottle, which I find odd for a Biere de Garde.

A: Mahogany with rich creamy head, dissipating quickly.

S: Caramel sweetness with hints of fruit and tobacco.

T: Sweet in the extreme, sweeter as it opens up. Light and too thin in its flavor. Aftertaste is hollowy sweet, like diet soda.

F: Thin, almost limp. Maybe this bottle is off?

D: On re-consideration, probably not as bad as I initially reacted, but still couldn't drink the whole glass. This beer was served at the recommended temperature, but I found it only to be drinkable at temperatures signifigantly below and above the recommended serving, and then, not in large quantities.

I have a suspicion my bottle was off. Look forward to retrying at a future date if I come across this again.

 836 characters

Photo of hman43
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours a hazy amber color with a off white almost tannish head.

Smell: It has a rich, malty, aroma that features bread, dark fruits, toffee, and alcohol.

Taste:It has a malty rich taste of bread, toffee, a bit of roast, spices, and alcohol.

Feel: It has a heavy feel to it with a slightly sweet, the bitter aftertaste with alcohol warming.

Overall: It is a very malt rich beer. The malts dominate the aroma and flavor with a sweet, then bitter aftertaste.

 469 characters

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.

 561 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 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.

cheers...

 785 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 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 amicar
4.72/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a corked 750mL green bottle opened with a satisfying "pop"
This smell hits me before my nose gets near the glass- nice. It's a true amber color with sticky off- white foam that I swear is climbing up the glass. A more intense whiff gives me a biscuity bread smell with some nice sharp undertones. A little ester under there; slight spice as well. First taste is dramatically full of bread and fresh grain- and then in a sip or two something wonderful happens and the solvent- esque fruit esters kick in. A hint of toated malt, but no acridity here. This feels wonderful in the mouth, with a smooth slickness that gives way to a tingling sensation followed by the perfect amount of warmth. The rough edges on this bad boy have been really nicely smoothed out. I'll have no problems finishing this one off by myself.

This is more sophisticated than I would have expected. Really a subtle, beautiful, well- balanced beer. Just tops.

 944 characters

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.

 374 characters

Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Corked and caged. The beer peers out from the bottle slightly reddish in color, which is somewhat surprising. After popping the cork, the beer overflowed and foamed (with no end in sight!) until I was able to get some of it into a glass.*

I'm not all that familiar with French culture - maybe this is the Brasserie La Choulette's idea of a gift.

This bière de garde is a brownish amber, contrary to how it looked in the bottle. Low clarity, and a huge, three-finger, rocky, sandstone head. After the head finally subsides, a thick layer of cream persists atop the beer.

S: Spicy and estery notes dominate, especially at warmer temperatures. The nose has a faint sweetness, that, when combined with the spiciness, give a distinct wildflower honey impression. There is also a funkiness emanating from the beer, a slight barnyard character. The esters are reminiscent of peaches and grapes.

T: La Choulette made a very well-balanced beer here. It's much lighter and fruitier than the nose suggested, but slightly tart. It is just bitter enough to have an astringent "dryness," but that counters the strong, sweet, caramel flavors from the crystal malts. There is also a saltiness and distinct earthiness/spiciness from the wild yeast. There is also a metallic, coppery taste like that found in Chimay Grand Reserve. Acetaldehyde also lingers, giving the apple-like tartness, and a character that resembles wine. High carbonation helps to offset some of the stronger and provides balance. I can't praise the effervescence too much, however, since the overcarbonation punished me upon uncorking.

The flavor and degree of sourness remind me a bit of the Duchesse, although I doubt they would be very similar if compared side-by-side, as the Duchesse is a Flanders Red.

M: Creamy upfront, then slightly astringent, and a bit sticky like apple juice.

D: High.

If you're in the mood for a slightly sour beer, this one is great. It's extremely complex, and although it may be a bit heavy on the sweet malts, it delivers surprises with every sip. This farmhouse amber would be a low-mid A were it not for it's rendition of Mt. Vesuvius on my countertop. However, because of a rough start, I docked the appearance to give this it's B+ rating.

* I should point out that I opened this one around 55° F, and that further chilling would have reduced, and possible prevented, the foaming.

 2,386 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 oldhippie247
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great coppery-amber with an off-white head that appears more fluffy than creamy.

A nutty aroma dominates the nose, with caramel, bready maltiness playing back-up.

The sweet caramel and hazelnut aromas follow through on the palate, slowly giving way to a mild caramelized malt and hop bitterness. Wisps of apple brandy and walnuts also appear, conjuring up pairings with camembert or delice de bourgogne.

A great artisanal French biere de garde.

 456 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 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.

 432 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
La Choulette Ambrée from Brasserie La Choulette
89 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.