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Gavroche - Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

Not Rated.
GavrocheGavroche

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

369 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 369
Reviews: 226
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.19%
Wants: 13
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 369 | Reviews: 226 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Sammy, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

t0rin0, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

djrn2, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is a slightly hazy copper color and has some yeast particles are visible floating in suspension. It poured into a tulip glass with a three finger high foamy beige head that has good retention properties. A light amount of carbonation is evident.
S: Earthy aromas dominate the smell; there are notes of toasted malts, fruits and sweetness.
T: The taste is rather well balanced between malty sweetness and mild amounts of hop bitterness. There are notes of apples, caramel, grapes and yeast in the flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a little bit of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is quite drinkable due to its balanced taste and interesting flavors. I would definitely try this again.

metter98, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of brentk56
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out with a huge head that never gives up; the liquid underneath is a cloudy amber color; plenty of lacing action

Smell: Malty as a Marzen, though there is something vaguely vinous underneath

Taste: Very malty, up front, with a ton of caramel flavor; by mid-palate, there is a hint of wood, vinous flavor and yeast and those flavors add another dimension to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: I was really expecting something different from this brewery; this is not a bad beer, but it is very sweet and that aspect overwhelms the other things that could otherwise make this a more interesting beer

brentk56, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Furiously bubbled pumpkin skin orange beneath a massive head of soft, creamy, sandstone colored foam. This so-called French Red Ale isn't really red, but then most brown ales aren't really brown. The appearance isn't what I expected given the style. It's still a reasonably attractive beer, even if it won't win any biere de garde beauty contests.

There isn't much of interest going on in the less than aromatic nose. Gavroche is primarily toasted malty, with a pinch of herb and a dash of spice. Again, the stated style wouldn't be among my first three guesses. I need more power and more definition before I can even begin to be impressed. Note: warming opens things up nicely.

This Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre offering tastes better than it smells, but it still doesn't add up to anything overly wonderful. I expected much more complexity than I've been given. The beer is malt-dominant with a hint of caramel-like sweetness. The flavor profile also contains fruity esters and a hint of Belgian yeasty spiciness. Alcohol is easily noted, although it's buried pretty well considering the ABV.

The mouthfeel follows along in the 'above average' groove that was created by the rest of the beer's attributes. It's on the firm side, with a decent amount of smoothness and no real creaminess. The bottle-conditioned carbonation strikes me as just about right.

Gavroche (a street urchin in Victor Hugo's 'Les Miserables') suffers from an abundance of simplicity. I know that biere de gardes are open to a great deal of interpretation, but I don't see this as a member of that style at all. To me, it tastes like a caramel malt-driven maibock with a hint of Belgian yeastiness. I expected more from the creators of 3 Monts. Now *that's* a biere de garde.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a murky brown color ale with a super huge foamy head with good retention. Aroma of grainy malt is quite dominating with a light funky touch coming from the yeast. Taste is quite complex with some caramel malt that end up a bit dry with some sweetness and a light funky and bitter finish. Body is above average and alcohol is well hidden. Better the most take on this sometime ambiguous style.

Phyl21ca, May 23, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With a lot of technique and ingredients taking this beer in several directions, the results are fairly simplistic. A Red Ale for sure, but some nuances that help its flavor and a few that seem lacking.

The beer's pour sure fits the bill- chestnut brown with a slight amber-red highlight. Creamy, lightly tanned foam crowns the beer and holds firm for the bulk of the session. Mostly clear, the beer has only the most modest of haze. Moderate on lace to showcase a clean malty character, this Red is on par with those from Ireland.

Boldly malty with caramel, toffee, bread crust, light nutty notes, and a bright freshly kilned barley flavor that brings out aromas of craker jacks candies. Slight estery notes remind me of apples and peaches for a slight fruity companion in scent.

Very malt-dominant yet not overly sweet. True malt flavor gives a rich taste of the bready to toffee flavors explained in aroma. Full flavored with just enough caramel sweetness to support the grain, wood, pecan, savory malts, fruity esters, and mild yeasty spice. All merge for a well rounded and effortless flavor profile.

Medium-full early but as the carbonation subsides, so does the creamy mouthfeel. This allows for a fleeting malt sweetness and allowing for a light woody and hoppy bitter finish of malty-dry character and soft malt linger. Very appealing procession across the surfaces of the mouth.

A very nice Red Ale but with unusual fruity notes, spicy notes, and more robust malt character than is expected. All these are welcomed as the influence of brewing traditions from Ireland, Belgium, England, and France converge.

BEERchitect, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Texasfan549, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

kjkinsey, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep red color with a fizzy cream colored head on top. The smell of the beer was pretty earthy to me I thought. There werre some light roasted notes and caramel on the nose. The taste of the beer was semi-sweet with a pretty strong bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was pretty good it had a medium body to it. Overall it's a decent brew from France.

Knapp85, Dec 04, 2011
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.

oberon, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of emerge077
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cellar notes: This has been kicking around for over a year and a half since my initial review. Bière de Garde was meant for storing, so let's see how this one survived.

Chunky sediment, red body. Apple tartness, followed by a dry bready sweetness. Strength is there, but not overt. Fairly one dimensional. Still not my cup of tea...

Original review:
So this obviously isn't a Flanders Red, the packaging is a little deceptive. 4-pack states that it's from the French part of Flanders, and the bottle says "French Red Ale". Easy to get confused, oh well...

Pours with alot of foam, that settles slowly and leaves lace. Hazy deep amber, suspended particles from bottle conditioning. Bready malt smell, a little earthy and sweet. Taste is a bit sweet also, and astringent in the aftertaste. Reminds me of a few euro lagers i've tried that were old. This has a bit more character though. As it warms, a little caramel comes out.

Mouthfeel is fairly full and malty, it's decent in that respect. I split one with a friend, then drank another later the same day, so it's drinkable.
Not worth the $9.99 a 4-pk. though...

emerge077, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of zeff80
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Sycamore - Columbia, MO.

A - Poured out a cloudy, burgundy color with ruby highlights. It had a two-finger head of bubbly, off-white foam.

S - Aroma was black cherries, sweet breads and some yeastiness.

T - Mild sour cherry flavor with a malty sweetness. Some toffee and a spicy bitterness added just enough bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a somewhat dry finish.

O - This was pretty tasty. Another great bottle find at Sycamore!

zeff80, Oct 28, 2011
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.

biboergosum, Jan 25, 2013
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!

NeroFiddled, May 14, 2006
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

SocalKicks, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Jason, Aug 29, 2002
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruit, honey, caramelized malts, some Belgian yeast, some spices and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel, honey some fruit followed by an odd wild Belgian yeast flavor. The malt character is hearty and there’s a very mild hops presence but not much balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, not the best representation of style, not a beer that I would choose again as there are others that better in the style.

TheManiacalOne, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded ruby brown with minimal tan head. Nose is sugary, cherry, with a touch of wood. Flavor is smooth with a touch of wood somewhere in there and a slight bit of caramelized sugar. Feel is great. Nice effervescence and bubbly on the tongue. Drinkable, yes. Quite good and worth going to...maybe worth going to again.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of jwc215
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours clouded orange/amber with a thick, towering, fluffy head that descends to a well-retained thin cover. Some trailing lace slides down the glass with only a bit of stickage.

The smell is of coriander, black pepper, a whiff of ginger. Bready yeast and orange peel soon come to dominate the aroma.

The taste is of carmelized bready graininess with coriander and ginger. It has a sprinkling of black pepper, presumably from the alcohol, which is present, but in an enhancing way. Slightly nutty in the background, it has a candy sweetness that is balanced by a subtle hop spiciness. Dry, somewhat aniseedy finish. Very complex.

Light-to-medium bodied, with the flavor clinging to (dancing on?) the palate.

A complex, delicious bottle-conditioned brew to sip on!

jwc215, Sep 14, 2007
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge head (more than six fingers thick) that fades slowly and rockily. Amber color with a slight chill haze.

Malty aroma with classic Biere de Garde smells. Some mild perfume in the background.

Spicy and warming. The higher alcohol level is evident, but the puckering (slightly astringent) Italian-like spices balance this well. Overall, this is a malty beer with little notable hop. Solid body with a lower carbonation level than the head would indicate.

smcolw, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle,

A: Pours red amber with an almost gushing off-white head, thick lace, good retention.

S: Crystal malt, hay, fermented oranges and melon. Peppery notes of Belgo-French yeast.

T: Crystal malt dominated, quite a bit hoppier than the usually biere de garde. Light acidity, malty but well attenuated.

M: Medium-bodied, dry, ashy at times, prickly carbonation.

D: Not really what I was expecting in this style. Has its good points, but not something I'd revisit.

Halcyondays, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of kojevergas
2.98/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

33cl bottle served into a Gordon tulip in a cafe in France. Cost was 5 euro. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice soft cream, great thickness, and wonderful retention for the high ABV. Colour is a clear gold.

Sm: Clean cream, bacteria, wood, maybe some pine, and barley. Mild in strength.

T: Wood (mainly pine I suppose), bacteria, some fringe esters (piney but fruity), and other tree-evocative notes I can't quite place. Complex if strange, but well built and balanced for what its trying to do.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but short of crisp or refreshing. A bit flat and muted. Not complementary of the flavours of the body.

Dr: High ABV is well concealed, drinkability is decent, and flavours are distinct. It isn't to my tastes, but fans of the flavours will enjoy it.

kojevergas, Sep 25, 2011
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Gavroche from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
85 out of 100 based on 369 ratings.