Gavroche - Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

411 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 411
Reviews: 233
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 15
Gots: 26 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre visit their website

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 411 | Reviews: 233
Reviews by TheHammer:
Photo of TheHammer
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a more indepth review but I lost it to IE's treacherous lack of form saving. Serves me right for not using Firefox.

Appearance: Overwhelming head that overflowed the glass, however as a result the head was abundant, lace filled and well sustaining. The body is a cloud of yeast and carbonation.

Smell: Didn't take much warming, but it helped it's case. Very fruit as grape, citrus and yeast filled caramel malt make their presence known. I'm catching a slight acidic tone though.

Taste: Starts with a abundantly citrus mix of orange, lemon and tangerine backed by the mild malt and large yeast presence that defines the beer. It then turns to a slight kick of fruity hops that have a slight acid and solvent alchohol taste to it.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation and transistioning are exceptional, and the alchohol taste seems to cleanse the palet leaving only a fruity yeast aftertaste. Only downside is it is a little bit dry.

Drinkability: I find it very difficult to rate "high class" beers high in this catagory. The yeasty dryness and big carbonation really hamstrings it here. Still, no bloating issue and I had not problems getting it down.

Final Thoughts: This beer, and I suspect this style reminds me very much of trappist beer, specfically Chimay Red and Blue. It's nice, but it's not something I'd regualarly buy. I would recommend it though.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoy the biere de garde style,this seemed to be out of that category in its traits.Poured a hazed lighter amber shade with a huge blooming white head that never settled.Aromas of pilsner malt with a faint leafy note,not really a whole lot going on.Flavors are dryish and lightly toasted,a bit of freshly baked bread in the finish.Does not seem that it could be 8.5%abv.,its rather light.Eh I was expecting more,there are many better of the style.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

AROMA- Rich, thick, maltiness,- molasses, caramel, Steen's cane syrup, with a big black cherry ester, herbal hop is restrained but noticeable, grape skin and apricot notes, ever so faint musty malt character

APPEARANCE- Gigantic out of control rocky biege head, deep, dfark bronze beer with slight chill haze, thick frothy lace.

FLAVOR- Deep candy-sweet malt base is well-attenuated and kept in balance by assertive alcohol and a punchy hop bitterness. Big dried cherry ester. Big perfumey herbal hop hit in the finish lingers.

MOUTHFEEL- medium-light bodied and chewy, lively carbonation, alcohol numbs palate a bit.

OVERALL- Comes off almost like an American Strong or British Old Ale, very bombastic for biere de guarde, but tasty none the less. Big but balanced, intense, but not really complex. Would probably make a great cellaring project.

Photo of Todd
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 fl. oz. brown bottle. No freshness date. Labeled a special bottle fermented ale. Strange profile of some kid with a cap and scarf. Very French.

Appearance: Dark red/brown with a nice off-white, sticky, creamy lace head comprised of various bubble sizes. Colour reminds me of real cherry juice.

Smell: Rather clean smelling with a really faint tartness and light malt toasted aroma. Perhaps a bit herbal and earthy in the nose too.

Taste: Creamy mouthfeel (from the lively carbonation) upfront. Medium bodied. Very herbal, slightly medicinal, spice flavour in the first sip; ginger-like. This is followed by a abrupt crispness and sharp, quick, hop bitterness. It wants to be tart, but is held back. The brew then settles into a slightly toasted (a bit roasted) malt character with strong coffee-milk-like flavours and mild caramel notes at the end (more like malted milk). Malt sweetness is oddly creamy, lacto-like. Finishes with the later on the palate.

Notes: One of the more interesting brews to have blessed my fridge in a long time. So complex and distinct.

Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge pale beige froth with a multi-sized bubbly rocky form. Sticks like a champ and hangs around courtesy of the active carbonation. Cloudy tawny amber hue blocks out any rays of light.

Sweet honey, berry tart fruitiness, chalky toasted malt and some earthy yeast make up the complex yet very inviting aroma.

Big musty palate with a mineral / earthy flavour throughout. Very crisp with an aged dry flavour. Slight tartness jumps in and tosses up a dried berry flavour. Lots of higher alcohols and yeasty flavours going around, spicy phenols dance around with suggestions of clove, ginger and dill. Malt character is very dry with a withered toasted grain flavour.

Must be served at cellar temperature, when it is too cold the phenols and mustiness is fierce. Very complex and a brew that is somewhat of an acquired taste also. This is definitely strong enough to pair up with pungent cheeses.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked one of these up after a sample at the Belgian Beer Fest.
Dark copper in color with half the glass filling with aerated foam...leaves some webbed lacing as it fades.
Very inviting in the aroma...boatload of malt, mild spice, banana..
The taste is mildly sweet...quite spicy with a bitter finish. Fruity with citrus mainly...peppery esters, bready yeast flavor as well. Finishes very real sense of the alcohol.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and as was seen in the pour, quite carbonated...very easy to consume a couple of these.

Photo of jakester
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it, mistakenly, in a pilsner glass. This beer wants to jump out of the glass! No date can be found anywhere.

Pours a hazy orange/amber, with a huge three finger head of beige colored foam. The head falls to a good coating and a ring, with fantastic lacing. Carbonation appears moderate.

Aroma is very fruity, with notes of sour cherries, grapes, and apples, and a caramel candy background. Smells clean for the style.

Flavor is dark caramel, toasted malt, slightly tart, and fruits like above. I expected more in the way of sourness. Hop bitterness is fairly high. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. The flavor of this beer is on the weak side for the style. Aftertaste is bitter, malty, and slightly tart.

Mouthfeel is highly effervescent carbonation, making the body feel more full than it actually is. I'd say the body is low to medium, with some residual sugar present. Finish is short and tingly.

This is disappointing for a Flanders Red, but overall, not a bad beer. Highly carbonated, bitter, and mildly tasty. Pretty good burps!

Photo of wattoclone
4.51/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark unfiltered amber with white head. Delectable fruity aroma of apricot, pear and apple. The taste is slightly sweet, yeasty with a tart cherry finish. Very easy, smooth drinking. Sort of like a cross between a saison and a Belgian pale ale, it was very enjoyable. Thankfully, on draft at Capone's so I didn't have to travel to France.

Photo of jondeelee
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gavroche, charming in name and association with Les Miserables, is a strong beer (8.5% ABV) that comes with a heavily malty nose. Molasses and caramelized brown sugars dominate here, along with vanilla, wet wheat, chocolate malt, and milk chocolate aromas.

On the tongue, the beer gives an immediate shock of cognac-like flavors, where alcoholic sugars with not-so-subtle hints of date, raisin, and wood-grain alcohol wash lovingly over the tastebuds. Molasses and brown sugar join the foray with reckless abandon, and port wine caramels round out the assault. The brew is quite carbonated--medium-heavy--and the fizziness unfortunately seems to shorten the length of the malty aftertaste. Mouthfeel medium-light.

Overall, the flavors present in Gavroche are excellent, the brewers having obviously chosen top-quality ingredients and used them liberally. The brew's one weakness is its high carbonation, which, in addition to slightly robbing the taste, makes the beer feel more like a soft drink on the tongue and soft palate. Still, this is a brew to be reckoned with. Well worth trying.

Photo of glid02
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Tower on Piedmont in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy brownish-copper color with a towering off-white head, I have to wait and let this one settle before finishing the pour. The head recedes into a medium-sized pancake on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted malts with hints of berries. Once the beer warms a bit a small amount of funk comes out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Until the beer warms there are only lightly toasted sweet malt flavors with hints of berries. Once the beer warms there's a very small amount of funk, but the aforementioned flavors are still dominant. Slightly dry finish. There's not a whole lot of evidence of the 8.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness with carbonation that's surprisingly not over the top after the amount of head in the pour.

Drinkability is good. The beer is certainly easier to drink once it's allowed to warm.

Overall this was a beer that I enjoyed, but I'm still trying to fully appreciate Biere de Garde's so maybe I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have given the style. Still, it's worth a shot.

Photo of rastaman
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Flanders Red Ale? Didn't pick it as that, nor did it say that on the label. Savoury, caramelly, slightyl yeasty. NIce bitter, herbal hops in the finish, full flavoured, very pleasant, tasted like a typical dark Biere de Garde, something a bit vinous about it aswell, really tasty in the end (Bottle- GBBF 03')

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- The first gentle pour is a full glass of head. After a few minutes of resting the second pour reveals a crystal clear red body with a slight pink hue. There is a big carbonation of tiny bubbles and the head last for a bit making clouds on the side of the glass.

S- This beer has a soft brown malt note that has a bit of wood and cardboard note to it, but is otherwise a very clean smell.

T- There is a soft roasted sweetness that has a hint of raisins and wood to it with a slight tartness that turns more bitter at the finish. There is a faint fusel alcohol note that increases as the beer warms and unfortunately brings out the bitterness aswell.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat that increases as the beer warms. There is a fizzy texture at the end that really cleans the flavor of the tongue.

D- This beer is a bit dull with not many flavors and those that are there are not very interesting. Especially at this price point I was expecting at least a little flavor.

Photo of scottford
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a bottle at a Cora in Strasbourg. Best by date: 12.11.15

Pours a hazy copper - almost hazelnut - shade of brown with 2-3 fingers of an off white head.

Smells similar to that of a Belgian tripel, just toned down. Those spices do tend to stick out though.

There's barely any taste on the front of the tongue. The most predominant taste in this beer is a slight "twang" in the back of your mouth. It's not unpleasant... just different. It's more malt-forward, with those spice notes being downplayed significantly.

Feels very smooth on the palate.

Overall, this is a very good beer and at 8.5% alcohol I really have no idea where they're putting it. This is a good and filling beer.

Photo of ggaughan
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared this bottle with my brother at UJ's on the Manatawny. The beer poured a hazy redish color into the glass with active carbonation and a medium tanish head. Based on the name it could be confused for a flemish sour or Flanders Red but it is really a Biere de Garde and that comes across in the taste and smell. The aroma is a clean an fruity (cherries, grapes, etc). The taste is a bit fruity with some good hop bitterness and carbonation. They did a good job of masking the high abv in this one. The beer has a medium body but due to the active carbonation, it is not overly drinkable, at least for more than one.

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, with one of the strangest, yet eventually simplest (thanks, honey!) cork enclosures that I have ever seen. A beer that apparently celebrates the lowly newsboy, and is also part of a seasonal gift pack available in Alberta, with one glass per bottle, which is two glasses too may, IMHO.

This beer pours a clear, medium copper amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, silky, finely foamy off-white head, which leaves some random swaths of splattered fuzzy lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of bready, lightly biscuity pale malt, soused apple and pear puree, a bit of oily nuttiness, and some floral, earthy hops. The taste is somewhat sour bready caramel malt, middling earthy yeast, some well proffered orchard fruitiness, earthy, leafy, and somewhat spicy hops, and a rather subtle booze warming.

The bubbles are quite frothy, and a bit fizzy, the body medium-light in weight, and generally pretty smooth, nothing else taking further issue with the status quo. It finishes off-dry, the bready malt putting down roots, the yeast planning for their late spring vacation, the fruit aping in a somewhat garish manner, and the sole efforts of the drying alcohol almost appreciated by this point.

A beer redolent of the French countryside? You bet, unequivocally. The best part, however, is the relative lack of yeasty offsets, which usually seem to bleed over for this style, yet do us the favour of forgoing that altogether here, leaving us with a pale malty, kind of obscured boozy beau of a bevy, if you'll excuse my French.

Photo of GilGarp
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the distinctive little brown bottle into my tulip glass. A slow and steady pour gives way to thick head. The beer is a golden pink color with good clarity. The rest of the beer, still in the bottle, appears to have a lot of yeast floating in suspension.

The aroma is slightly sweet, earthy, and the yeast reminds me of a Belgian.

Flavor is really nicely balanced between sweet and bitter. It's similar to a Belgian strong pale or saison but neither as dry nor highly carbonated. A little bit of tart and sour like a green apple but not puckering.

Mouthfeel is nice with medium body, medium carbonation, and not too heavy in any one trait. Like I said, nicely balanced.

Drinkability is better than I expected for the style. Alcohol is well-hidden and it would be enjoyable whether it was 80 degrees or snowing.

Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The yeast taste predominates and it is more of a decent Blegium produced outside of France. Reminded me more of a Unibroue than a beer de garde, that flavour being understated. Quite drinkable, some grain and creaminess in mouthfeel.. Nice yeasty head and pleasant aroma.

Photo of thepassingofdays
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

a- half inch of fluffy head, nice looking brownish red color.

s- not a lot to say here! Didn't smell much and what I did smell was rather plain.

t- surprisingly bitter, with a woody finish. Unlike all the other red ales I've tried. Much more complex taste.

m- the bitterness lingers a bit too long. It's very smooth and heavy for a red ales as well.

d- Went excellently with a cheesesteak, heh. Refreshing, and the constrast between the beer and pretty much everything a normal person would eat is enjoyable. Good variety.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre's Gavroche is a classic of the biere de garde style that starts with a high original gravity of 17.5-18º Plato, and is given 4 to 5 weeks aging.

The name Gavroche refers to a character from Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables", a playful, idealistic, and free-spirited child (or "street urchin") who's shot down by the National Guards in the Saint Jean market. This quote from the book may explain his reference in relation to the naming of the beer... "Gavroche was a whirlwind. They saw him incessantly, they heard him constantly. He filled the air, being everywhere at once....He vexed the loungers, he excited the idle, he reanimated the weary, provoked the thoughtful, kept some in cheerfulness, others in breath, others in anger, all in motion!"

The beer pours a mostly clear, deep amber body beneath a creamy head of light tan that holds remarkably well and leaves some nice splashes of lace about the glass.

The nose is malty, toasty, spicy, mildly fruity, and just slightly musty or woody. 80% of the grist is made up of Munich malt and you can smell it.

The carbonation is lively, but it's more zesty than prickly on the tongue as it's bottle-conditioned bubbles are quite fine. Medium bodied.

The flavor is malty but not sweet, with a combination of spice and sublime alcohol and herbal hops that balance its caramelish and toasty side. Part of it's malty 'sweetness' may be due to the addition of brown sugar to the kettle. It finishes mainly dry with some lingering toasty and nutty malt, and a smear of grassy, herbal, and almost licorice-like hops.

Quite enjoyable!

Photo of dbossman
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Muddy auburn and cloudy with a thin head, which is surprising considering how much foam gushed out of this bottle when I cracked it open; minimal lacing

S: Cider vinegar, granny smith apples, honey, herbs, and a musty grainy and bready quality dominate; but there sure is an interesting, pungent vinegar and apple tartness that pervades

T: Dry tartness up front; a touch of cider vinegar but mostly lots of dry fruits (pears and apples) mixed with a musty, mineraly, bready base

F: Nicely carbonated and even a bit creamy from the yeast

O: An interesting, tart, tad funky biere de garde; not boozy but still a bit tough to drink a ton of

Photo of Fatehunter
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Two fingers of head, a hazy red/amber color body.

It has a rich malty smell. Not much else though.

Tastes of sweet malt, wet barley, mild bitterness. Tasty and hardy.

Lots of carbonation, medium body.

An enjoyable beer. Maybe a bit too much carbonation.

Photo of dgallina
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce brown bottle. Labeled as a bottle-conditioned "French red ale." No freshness dating.

Poured clear reddish-orange with 1/3 glass of soapy foam, very good lace. Smells spicy with black pepper, yeast, and citrus fruits (lemon, orange). Flavor begins with sweet and slightly musty grains, develops a toasted center with metallic and peppery spice notes, finishes with caramel and strong alcohol sting. Medium-oily body with lots of carbonation, but decently balanced creaminess. An interesting, though not definitive, take on the biere de garde.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.09/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Into a Corsendonk Tulip...

A - Lots of attractive head with nice staying power. Attractive amber body.

S - Not a very strong aroma here. Some mild tart and spicy cider like aroma barely works it way out of the glass, even after swirling intensely. Did note some grassiness. What is there is nice, but it's just too "eh" for me...

T - Starts out mildly spicy, then allows for a mild/bland apple cider like tartness to take over. This is all balanced out by spicy and grassy hops, almost dubble like. Not much of a finish, or much of any flavor at any point....

M - Not bad, full and slightly crisp.

D - This beer is not the worst thing ever, and I would venture to say that many people would enjoy this lightweight. I respect subtlety in beer, but this was just seemed weak... Won't look for again...

Photo of Donis
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For December, my beer club decided to have us try a bottle of Gavroche French Red Ale. I usually have some idea of how a beer will taste prior to opening the bottle but I usually try to avoid having a preconceived notion and go in with an open mind. I'm glad I avoided thinking about what this beer was supposed to taste like because if I had it would have been off by plenty.

The bottle came looking different than in its BA picture with a cork and metal stay. The first pour was fairly carbonated as the bottle condition I'm sure had a lot to do with that. Overall it got better as I got further into the beer and ended very nicely.

A - Amber, 2 finger head

S - Floral

T - Caramel and fruit notes

M - Pleasant and sudsy

O - Good brew!

Photo of Chinon01
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is orange-copper with soapy sloppy head. Taste and smell are of slightly sour apple, tart with roasted malt. Spicy with a tingle. Virtually no hop presence but finishes spicy. Alcohol completely hidden. Deeper apple character like cidre or stewed apple as well. Mouthfeel and drinkability are high due to fuller almost chewy consistency and crisp lingering lively acidity.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Gavroche from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
85 out of 100 based on 411 ratings.