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Le Pianiste - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Le Pianiste
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BA SCORE
83
good

17 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 17
Hads: 70
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 4.12%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 04-11-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 17 | Hads: 70
Photo of mothman
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Jazz Series #2

Pours an off white head. Color is a hazed bright golden orange.

Aroma: Bready malts with some orange peel. Fairly malty with a light touch of earthy hops. Fairly muted nose. Has an off flavor I can't pick up.

Taste: Very bready and biscuity. Orange peel, coriander, and spice here. Really not a whole lot going on here.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and creamy. Medium bodied. Kind of chewy. Dry as well. Medium carbonation.

Overall, I just wasn't too impressed with this one. Just not much going on here. Still happy to have tried it. I didn't want too much of this beer. (579 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at City Tap House, Philly, PA

A: Golden, mostly clear, nice white head with some lacing.

S: Light malts, citrusy hops, a bit floral.

T: Light, fruity, floral and grassy.

M: Light-medium body, crisp.

D: Nice and drinkable, complex and light. (264 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Similar to Le Batteur, this piano-inspired beer takes the bready and fruity flavors into a darker and spicier territory.

Pouring a deep amber, mohogany layered hue, the beer casts deep highlights of chestnut and dark gold through a mild haze. It's just off white head sheets the glass like creme to coffee. With smooth retention and light lace, this biere de garde looks unlike any of the style that I've seen yet.

Sweeter notes of caramel and bread crust rise first as the nose approaches the tulip. But a backnote of light pepper, toast, and nuts round the malt and yeast character into a bruin-ish nose.

Flavors ride a constent line with aromas: medium caramel is met with dry toast and bread crust taste. Lightly melanoidin-rich, the beer has a savory and nearly meatish taste. Pecans and peppercorn are lasting flavors as the beer fades into dry toastiness to finish.

Medium bodied to start, the caramel taste brings with it mild residual malt weight that slows down drinkability somewhat. Creamy rather than dry effervesence keeps the beer feeling richer and more velvety for an extended aftertaste of toast and pepper.

If I were trying this beer blindly, I would have pegged it for an American-brewed Belgian-style bruin/brune, and not of biere de garde. It's extra weight, creaminess, and simplified taste coupled with the darker taste keeps the beer living in obscurity. (1,384 characters)

Photo of TheBear11D
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Bell's August 9th

Pours a deep tangerine orange with a soft white foamy head that leaves moderate lacing.

Has a mild nose. Fresh bread and a light malt that cannot be distinguished.

Has a pretty decent balance with nothing that is overpowering and takes over the beer. Dark chocolate is present with bread as well.

Medium body with light carbonation.

Overall this beer is decent but not wonderful. (412 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap, Maduro - Madison

from notes

appearance: served in a shaker pint, dark copper body, off-white head, decent lace

smell: autumnal, bready, malty, moderate sweetness

taste: There were a handful of biere de gardes floating around the bells taplist that night - none very impressive unfortunately. Earthy and dry, toasted malt, grainy sweetness. Not sure what Bells is really going for with this line, but its kind of a bore.

mouthfeel: medium, sweet, dry and earthy

overall: ok (486 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Cambridge in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark golden amber/copper color with a half finger white head that quickly settles into a very thin ring.  Minimal spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with peppery spice, grassy hops, faint farmhouse funk and sweet malt.  Some pepper and resinous hops along with a very subtle barnyard farmhouse character.  This is followed by sweet malt flavors of red fruits, caramel and toffee.  The nose is blander than expected and feels more like a biere de garde than a dark saison/farmhouse.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with peppery spice and an earthy presence that lingers over the floral notes, hop bitterness, light fruit and malt backbone into a slightly dry finish.  Subtle musty/funky farmhouse character along with pepper and clove.  Light malt notes of bread and biscuit followed by sweeter dark fruit notes, notably red apple and dark berries.  Complex, full bodied, well balanced and easy to drink. (985 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: deep orange with a brownish hint. A finger or so of a tannish head that fades slowly and leaves a lacing. Pretty much opaque.

Smell: very strong pilsner malt. Belgian yeast and some fruitiness.

Taste: opens with strong pilsner malts. Fairly sweet. Belgian yeast and some fruitiness.
Some earthy hops too

Mouthfeel: medium body. A little dry.

Overall: probably the middle of the series. A decent biere de garde but nothing too great. (453 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

@ Beer Study

Foggy autumnal orange color with nearly no head. Aromas of sweet caramel, yeast, apple, and some mild spicy and leafy notes. Flavor is more appealing and harmonious...biscuit malt sweetness, light spice, pale fruitiness, nuts, and some toasty bread in the aftertaste. Medium bodied and dryish. Pretty tasty overall. (329 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Autumn Brew Review. Pours a medium orange clear color with a slight white head. Very biscuity and malty aroma in the nose. Medium mouthfeel. Sweet and matly upfront with the biscuity flavors. A beer that reminds me of the fall. Decent but probably not something I would drink all the time. (298 characters)

Photo of
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Slow's in Detroit.

Appearance - hazy orange-copper with a small but persistent cap of white head. Leaves decent lacing.

Smell - subtly sweet malt, a bit of earth, and just a touch of soft tartness.

Taste - Nothing overly complex, but very tasty. A little on the sweet side, with malt upfront followed by a soft minerally tartness and a dry finish.

Overall this is a simple, but pleasing beer. (406 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

5.8%

hazy (from wheat, i assume) and featuring a nice orange color. good froth too. heady

the aroma is quite yeasty: spicy and sweet and fruity. floral hops

wheaty flavor with restrained sweetness. no fruit, really but as yeasty tasting as it is smelling. a little caramel and honey, surprisingly. the hop element is considerable: a nicely balanced bitterness and good noble flavor (384 characters)

Photo of jampics2
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Night Town during Cleveland Beer Week. The entire Bell's Jazz Series was featured for the first time ever in Ohio.

Le Pianiste is right in the middle of the series in terms of color. The beer is a cloudy, dirty copper color with hints of amber, all capped off with an off-white head that sticks around much better than its blond brother. Some decent lace is produced. This beer won't make anyone run out and start a beer blog, but it's really appealing and makes me want to come closer and get a nose-full.

The smell is really sweet. There's a baked bread crust quality and a touch of honey and a slight toasted presence. The sugars from the malt somehow really jump out of the glass, and there's little in the way of yeast or hops to balance the maltiness. The yeast does add an earthy touch and even a slight tartness with mild esters coming to the forefront. A touch of sweet dark fruit (candied raisins) closes out a rather pleasant but uncomplicated bouquet.

The taste is also very, very sweet. A traditional Bière de Garde should be lightly sweet and a touch toasty, but I wonder if this is a bit under-attenuated as it really is lip-smacking with its sugary notes. Some slight biscuit flavors and mild toast make the malt a touch more complicated than a bowl of Sugar Smacks, but the yeast has done very little to break up the almost cloying taste. Some noble hops are noted, adding just a touch of earth and bitterness to the flavor. The yeast gives slight notes of dark fruit and perhaps even some earthy nuttiness. A touch of honey rounds out a pleasant taste and leaves me pleased but wondering if my blood sugar has spiked.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with some stickiness. The low to medium carbonation makes this creamy and enjoyable, adding some substance to the mix and avoiding some coating sensations. There is, surprise, some lingering sweetness in the finish - almost a candy-like sacchariferous quality. The beer is drinkable and would probably go really well with dessert. But it really stands out in the series as having the least amount of traditional flavors. If there was some more noble hop presence, or even some dank basement notes, this would be on the right track. As it is, this is not a beer I'll be revisiting again unless I have some bitter Belgian chocolate on hand. Skip the piano and head to the double bass. (2,364 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe - August 2010. Reviewed from notes.

Pours an orange copper color with an off white head and a decent amount of lacing. Nose brings some caramel malt, a bit of earthiness, and some minor floral characteristics. Taste is about the same, with the caramel taking on some dry undertones and mixing well with the fresh, earthy characteristics of the beer. Light body with good carbonation, this was one of the first few biere de gardes that I've actually enjoyed and detected multiple flavors from, which I hope is more a reflection on my failure to find good ones as opposed to there not being any available in the States. (647 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

tap blue dust. Pour is golden amber with a frothy off white head. Nose has a nice grain up front, lightly toasted bread with good malt depth. golden fruits bright behind, nice apricot and lemon notes. Taste has more grain, light spice to it, bread lingers a touch on the lemon and golden fruits and raisins. Body is light, airy, well carbonated, crisp and dry. (360 characters)

Photo of Gatch
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Café.

A: amber brown in color with a thick white head. Good lace and retention.

S: light fruity malts and a tiny bit of funk.

T: plenty of bready fruity malt and sweet biscuity malts. Almost floral. Proper beer for the weather which is sunny and beautiful and warm while sitting in their gorgeous beer garden.

M: smooth and refreshing. A bit of funk to make this true to style.

O: great beer that I probably wouldn't have tried if I looked at the BA score first. (484 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Number two (of three) in the French Jazz series - The Amber

Serving glass: Poured from tap into small goblet.

Appearance: Cloudy orange with very thin head.

Smell: Not much at first (slightly malty and sweet) but opens up as it warms with a focus on caramel and a nice earthiness.

Taste: Just seems to be light caramel malts at first taste, but then becomes very nutty, fruity, and earthy. This one really improves as it rests in the glass.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, smooth, somewhat full body.

Drinkability: This seems to be the more traditional Biere de Garde of the three, and I think it is the best. Great sipping beer, and at 5.8%, you can just keep sipping. (671 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of the "Jazz" series. The Pianist French Amber Biere de Garde.

A: Pours a nice amber hue with a nice tan head. Good retention and some lacing.

S: Aromas of nice sweet caramel malt, yeast, and a touch of citrus.

T: I enjoy this one more than the blond. Wish I had a chance to see the brune come on. Lots of rich sweet caramel malt. Very light yeasty undertones. Mild sweet fruits, with hints of citrus and bread dough.

M: Medium in body, smooth, creamy, damn good.

D: Awesome. I really liked this beer. Was a real pleasant surprise to see it on the menu. (563 characters)

Le Pianiste from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.