Castelain Blond Biere De Garde - Brasserie Castelain

Not Rated.
Castelain Blond Biere De GardeCastelain Blond Biere De Garde

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BA SCORE
87
very good

126 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 126
Hads: 202
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.4%
Wants: 6
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Castelain visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 12-26-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 202
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beautiful, hazy (bottle-conditioned), golden northern French ale delivers sweetish, honey-like malt tempered with mustiness and some cork, but no Brettanomyces (barnyard, horseblanket, etc.). The appearance is quite nice, and it leaves some decent lace. The body is medium/almost-becoming-full; which matches its malty flavor. It's lively effervescence, however, is refreshing; and helps to balance the malt as its bitterness is somewhat restrained. It's quite drinkable; and satisfying with enough character to keep it interesting throughout several glasses. A classic! (575 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked and capped 750 ml bottle, as shown in the BA photo, with the following printed on the back label: "07/2002 L1 199 17.20". I assume a bottled on date, and so this one is not quite 3 years old. Hope it's ok.

[Edit on 5/16/05] Thanks to some feedback from fellow BA irishsnake, it is quite possible that the 07/2002 is a best-by date, which means I bought this a full 2 years (actually more) after it was "out of date". Oops! But it was still pretty tasty. I wonder what it was like when it was good? <Back to the original review, which is already in progress!>

Pours a slightly hazy dark golden honey colored- kind of thick looking like a Belgian Tripel. Slight head in a goblet from the initial pour quits down to a thin cover, leaving no lace. Aroma is sweet and inviting, honey and apricots, peaches, and pear syrup. A slight spiciness behind the sweetness.

Flavor is pleasant, less sweet than the aroma, but not powerfully spicy and tart like a Belgian Pale Ale or Tripel. Spiciness is there, but not strong. A yeasty bite and subtle alcohol is present, growing slighly as the glass empties.

Mouthfeel is full and round, leaves a sense that you have just drunk something when you had this. Overall, pretty good stuff. (1,244 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corked 750 with best before date printed on the back label, poured into a tulip.

Pale gold with lots of carbonation and a rocky white head that shows good retention and lots of globby lace.

The nose has a grassy, tanginess to it. Almost sour with some hop dryness.

The taste is very delicate with some maltiness paired with a dry, clean finish. There's light notes of green grapes and some spice, but they don't exactly jump right out at you.

Although this one has a lot of carbonation, it doesn't attack the tongue and makes for a very drinkable, light bodied brew that could compliment a wide range of foods. (623 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, caged and corked. Brewer calls this a Biere de Garde, but BA says its a saison? So be it.Pours very light amber, slight haze, delicate white head, dying slowly down to a tiny bubble film and leaving very fine and scattered lacing. Nose is reserved, just a hint of peppery spice and fresh fruit. (308 characters)

Photo of pentathlete
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark straw with tiny bubble carbonation. Small head thins down to about 1/8 inch. I'm thinking I'm trying a Biere de Garde and my notes say: "this smells like a saison," then I check BA and find out that's exactly what it is. So my nose feels vinidicated. Not much in the way of horse blanket though. For a saison it seems a bit tame. Mouthfeel was full and sweet but diminished quickly. Crispy finish with a tiny afterbite which lengthens the taste. It's balanced, but over the long haul: like the average of extremes which is not the best way to achieve balance. I did enjoy this brew, but there are better saisons. I was searching for a BdG to try. Guess I'll consult BA before buying strictly off the label. (719 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a crystal clear pale light golden with a white compact head which fell quickly but lasted to lace the chalice.

The aroma was filled with belgian yeast spiciness followed by a fruity component and some malty sweetness.

The flavor was light and crisp and fruity with spice. The maltiness that was present in the aroma is not prominent and is very low in the flavor. The spice is belgian yeast spice.

The finish was just dry with lasting belgian yeast spice. The body was medium to medium light.

750 ml cork and bail bottle. A nice beer, but missing complexity. (586 characters)

Photo of drewbage
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the BJ's Saison and Biere de Garde tasting.

Beer pours into a straight sided Silly Saison glass.

Beer is pale gold and brilliantly clear with a low white head

Aroma is grainy with citrus tones. The aroma closes snappily with a crisp grassy goldings hop aroma.

Flavor starts with a grainy continential pilsner malt character that lends sweetness and chewiness through the beer that melds with mild earthy mushroom like flavors. The flavor is finally broken by a pronounced spicy and peppery hop bite that leads the drinker to the finish. (560 characters)

Photo of crookedhalo
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

75 cl cork and caged bottle. Pours a slightly hazed light golden color with a thin white head that leaves some lacing. Honeylike aroma with a small bit of barnyard funk and fruitiness in the aroma, too. Light bodied, healthy carbonation and a crisp finish equate to a nice summer quaffer. One of the finer beers I've tried from France. Retains a nice light feel, like a pils or maybe even like a lighter Duvel or something. One of the most quaffable brews I've tried recently. Regardless, it's worth seeking out. (512 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged 750ml from Waterbury Beverage, Waterbury, VT.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a thick, dense 1 1/2" white head, over a clear, straw brew. Big bits of foamy lace throughout the drinking experience. The aroma is crisp, and consists of a partnership of pale malts and a slight fruity component. Taste is reminiscent of the nose, quite well balanced. Mouthfeel is a bit effervescent, the smoothness conquers all for this one. Could drink it all day, although the price is somewhat prohibitive of that practice... (539 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml Cork and Caged, tall brown glass bottle with a white oval shaped gold edged label that has a green lined picture of a small Castle on it, just as the BA Database picture in fact. Labeled as ‘Castelain Blond Biere de Garde’, this could well be one of the many beers that Castelain brew that has just been relabeled for the US market (I suspect it is the Ch’ti Blonde). Listed at 6.4% Alc/Vol. The reverse metallic gold label has a background description of the Brasserie Castelain and a stamped Code of “19/06/04 L3170 10:10”.

Appearance: The cork was tight, but as soon as it was loosened it was freely expelled with a very loud thrupp. Pours with a lovely looking golden-blonde body that has a super-model presentation and is completely free of any blemishes. High levels of dissolved carbonation. A thick white rich head forms easily and leaves a thick smattering of lacing on the glass walls. This looks fantastic as it sits atop the straw body, this would put most real Czech Pilsners to shame!

Nose: A rich alcohol whiff drenched in spicy hops followed by light yeasts, pilsner malts, and some herbal barnyard odors. Reminds me of a rather funky farmyard Triple at times.

Taste: This is very nice. Spicy hops mixed with a pilsner malt body start the experience, then lots of earthy, damp straw, musty cardboard and yeast character comes to the fore and adds a delicate ‘Biere de Garde’ character. A fine offering indeed.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly robust given it’s rather average feel. Like a great Pilsner it is not heavy but has a solid body that has a feel that is certainly far from light yet delicate enough to add a terrific drinkability.

Drinkability: A quaffable offering from the chaps at Brasserie Castelain. The 750ml is easy to drain if you are on your own.

Overall: Cost $7.49 for the 750ml, and whilst it is a nice enough drink that has traveled far, I’m not sure it is one I would seek out and/or purchase again given the relatively high price. Still, if you fancy trying it once though, regardless of value, give it a go! (2,088 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 10/2002.

Clear and gold, with tiny, rapidly accending bubbles and a stately ivory-cream crown.
Fragrant of tangerine, white pepper, and clove. Backed by ample rustic yeast tones, and a generalize sweet maltiness.
Enters with a firm malt base. Sweetish, yet mostly dry. Carapils? A honeyed sensation gains a foothold, and mingles with vaporous citrus fruits. Orange peels mostly, but a bit pulpier that that. Spice adds clove and vanilla. Yeast contributes an earthy pillow. Not sharply "farmy" though. There is something of an oat-like feel and flavor to this that I find difficult to grasp. Ends vaguely florally bittered, almost minty. Lingering, lemon-honey tea afterward.
What's impressive here, is that everything seems compacted and necessary. Nothing forced, nothing raw. Mellow, flavorful, and right. Not flashy. Just tasty.
Spritzy, but never sharp. Cushioned but not fat. This is like a lightweight fleece blanket in the mouth.
And it begs for large doses.

This one is nice, Hugey. Thanks bro. (1,028 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice orange/amber color.Great head that stayed all the way down.Aroma of orange/lemon mixed with spices.Yeasty and malty.Great flavor-citrusy again.Nice malt upfront.Very "bright" mouthfeel to it.A very drinkable beer-perfect for a summer's day. (245 characters)

Photo of erica
4.78/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Split a 750ml bottle of this nice one from France...
I didn't like the way this one looked too much. It was kind of a dirty dark orange colour, and the yeast chunks were just all over. Maybe the bottle got shook up somehow, but it was very chunky-style, which isn't appealing to me. There was a huge, long lasting head though, which distracted me a little from what was going on below. However, that seemed to be the only negative of this beer. The aroma was a bit outdoorsy, citrusy and cider-like actually, a bit sweet and sour. The taste was exceptional, tart, fruity, malty, spicy, sugary, a whole lot mixed together and balanced very well. Mouthfeel was good, a bit light, and drinkability was excellent because of the lightness combined with all the flavour in there. Great job, france! (793 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is such a great brew! A lovely dark golden appearance witha huge head of fluffy, white, whip cream head. The aromas are unreal, lemons (and their respective peels), other citrus fruits, citric and lightly floral hops, dirt, a bit of alcohol, light malts, and a distinctly pleasant mustiness. The taste is good. Sharply citric, hoppy and earthy up front, before the blankets of malt smooth out the whole operation. The finish is dry, pleasant, and lingering. The mouthfeel is a bit light but the drinkability is off the hook! (529 characters)

Photo of SeanChouffe
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber/golden color with a thick, fluffy white head, light effervescence and a slippery lace. The aroma is fruity, bubblegum, fresh and lightly grassy, and a little astringent. It is medium bodied, creamy, lightly sweet with some CO2. Finishes crisply and has a lingering hop bitterness that creeps up on you. A well-balanced beer with pleasant, subtle, characteristics- the best Saison I have tried to date. (416 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice rich yellow with a decent head that doesnt leave to much lacing,the aroma is malty sweetish with some very light iron tones.Taste was more rich than what I had thought it would be very malty and sweet with some alcohol notes coming thru dried fruit flavor comes thru,this pretty rich tadting.A good beer not overly complex but flavorful and hearty I would buy again. (379 characters)

Photo of granger10
2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one looks like a lager and by most accounts tastes like a lager/pilsner. Body is kind of thin and weak. Nothing solid about this beer. A weak lemony flavor begins followed by some malty sweetness that seems out of place. Pears and other fruits are there but hardly. An earthy hoppiness is the only consistent in it. I was not impressed by this beer. (354 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well-carbonated golden brew with slight haze forms a huge peaking, rocky, meringue-like head with medium sized bubbles. Aroma is of sour green apples, burnt rubber, crisp mineralized water, and almost a german noble hop character. Taste starts with a very wet, crisp mouthfeel and mild flavor hops, melds into a mild, crisp , biscuit malt backbone, then fades into a pleasant peppery alcohol kick, ending with a crisp yet mild lingering bittering hop and pale malt sugars. Slight fusels are noted, but not too obtrusive. The peppery alcohol bite becomes more pronounced as the beer warms, and becomes somewhat unpleasant. Does not pair at all with Thai food:). Have I used the term "crisp" enough? A good summer thirst quencher. (728 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this tonite from a bottle.

Unfortunately there's some chill haze going on, but that doesn't stop the warm golden color from showing. Smell is what I would expect out of this, strong pilsner profile. The taste grows on your sip after sip, it's actually pretty darn smooth. I find this to taste pretty much like a pilsner, but it's a darn tasty and smooth one. I have to rate the drinkability at 4.5 because I could go for another one right about now. Very pleasant surprise from a beer I knew nothing about.

pat (520 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Golden/peach color..nice whiote head..fresh aroma:notes of citrus, bananas, vanilla. Medium body, great finish, lovely feeling that sticks with you--soft and sensual, perfectly refreshing! (188 characters)

Photo of ADR
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delicate pale yellow, translucent to hazy. One half inch of head in a fluted glass, laces in rings. Sharp aroma, some wine grape and a sense of barnyard hay. Very laid-back malt -- a little lemon, spiced pear, and a sugary green tea-like flavor with a woodsy sense. Dries at the end. Hop is pretty minimal to my tastes, slight sense lends to the dry finish. Nice overall impression of subtle fruitiness, flavor may be less complex than the aroma but a highly drinkable beer. (474 characters)

Photo of nathi
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Straw yellow with light fluffy head that falls fast and leaves very little lace. Low malt aroma with some sweetness. More malt and less sugar in the aroma then the Amand from the same brewery. Also has a much more complex flavor then the Amand, although the malt remains simple and sugary. Good dryness in the finish with a light tartness. Great pear like fruityness and slight muskyness. More subtle earthy character then Amand. Just a touch of spicy hops provide balance. A nice beer, but not a style I love. Ranks 2nd out of 5 bier de gardes sampled on same day. (574 characters)

Photo of putnam
4.59/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear yellow with orange. Petillant/frizzante.
Distinct aromas of crushed crab shells together with granitic rocks, ocean rain and sweet crab meat. Perfect.
The flavors are delivered in a honey-sweet, slick textured package and involve enormous floral notes, honey, linen, vanilla, and finish with a baked apple tartness and nutmeg flavors. A light, syrupy sweetness rains down on the earthy, floral nuances throughout. A cascade of sweetness.
this is a beer I would take to Nunavut. I bet it would go well with seal. Or coastal Labrador. A great chaser for steamed seaweed. (578 characters)

Photo of marc77
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The thick, creamy, well retained porcelain white head sits atop a brilliant, crystal clear perfectly golden hued brew. Textured, Pollock like lace is left down the glass. Ripe citrusy fruit upfront in aroma, followed by light yeast must and a rustic woody hop nose. Trace butterscotch eeks into the aroma as the beer warms. Sweetness in flavor is of a ripe tropical fruit nature, with the mild hop bitterness partially offsetting, leaving the overall character of this brew lightly sweet. Although individual malt flavors aren't showcased, maltiness makes its presence known through a full, rich body and silky, dextrinous mouthfeel. Light caramel malt and toasty Vienna are present as a trace. Subdued clove phenol is the sole fermentation byproduct flavor in this otherwise clean and highly drinkable brew. Although mild, an herbal, possibly Strisselspalt hop flavor is perceptible. Malt notes reemerge in the lightly toasty and sweet finish. Castelain is a highly drinkable and tasty brew. It's reminescent of a Dortmunder Export / Saison hybrid both in appearance and flavor. It's malt profile is rich, yet it retains a crisp drinkability and refined fruitiness. (1,177 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a clear light golden. It's high carbonation level is apparent on viewing the rapidly surfacing gas bubbles. A slight white head sits on top and recedes to an edging in about a minute. Lacing ability is very nice. Really nice deep earthy aroma. Some definite herbal notes and spiciness present on the nose as well. There's a light body to this beer. A nicely carbonated mouthfeel, but not overdone. This is not a style of beer I've not drank a lot of, but after trying this one, I am more prone to try many more (gradually though if they are all priced like this one). It's a very pleasant drinking experience. There's a firm malt base (seems like a pils base to me, but I may be wrong.) A definite earthy, herbal, musty characteristic. This may be stemming from the hops, but could be the effect of herbs and spices. A highly drinkable tasty beverage. (875 characters)

Castelain Blond Biere De Garde from Brasserie Castelain
87 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.