1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Castelain Blond Biere De Garde - Brasserie Castelain

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

192 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 192
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 5
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Castelain visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 12-26-2001)
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 192 | Reviews: 123 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am drinking a 750 mL C&C bottle for what is my first biere de garde. My understanding is that there are certain similiarities between bieres de garde and saisons, so I am looking forward to this.

Appearance: The ale pours a yellow color that resembles apple juice or white grape juice. It is clear with no hint of sediment, at least in the first pour. The ale is carbonated (as the attenuation in the Chimay goblet is showing) and there is a small ring of lace.

Smell: The aroma reminds me of a BSPA. There are notes of fruit and spice dominating, specifically pepper (at least I think, I tend to notice pepper a lot, so I could be full of BS).

Taste: The taste is more tripel than saison. There is a defined hop presence and some soft malt notes that are balanced, slightly edging toward the hops side.

Mouthfeel: The ale sits nicely with the spices providing a playful side.

Drinkability: I am surprised. The taste of a tripel with the punch of a weaker beer, very hard to pass this one up. It is my first biere de garde, as I mentioned, and look forward to exploring more.

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

Light gold with a white head. Semi-hazy. "Light" seems to be the theme of this beer, with a delicate spiciness on the nose, likewise on the palate. In fact I'm rather struck by the easy nature of this beer's flavor profile. A medium spritziness imparts a lively mouthfeel that stirs things up in a welcome fashion. Castelain is light and easy, and refreshing. It doesn't blow my mind but it does have its place.

Photo of Faustgeist
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The elegant 750lm bottles poured a fine burn-yellow drink. The head came up well, but dissipated quickly.

The nose was all about hops, with delicate, delicious, promising floral notes. My, I like this sort of thing.

The taste delivered exactly what the nose promised. Herbal crisp, floral hops flavors. The sweet malt took backstage to this, and supported the drink well indeed.

The finish was divine, as the lovely carbonation moved the malt into focus and led to a long, lush, flavorful experience.

I am discovering, through these systematic beer tastings, that Bier Du Gard is a formitable style. Very much to my liking! Having been a devout stout drinker for the past 20+ years, I am as wide-eyes as can be! :)

Best,
~R

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

This 750 ml bottle of Castelain Blond Biere de Garde poured blond with the slightest haze. It formed a light white head which dissipated quickly, and left a light lacing. Fine bubbles evolved quickly from the bottom and sides of the glass.

The aroma of this beer was quite delicate. Malty, grassy and hop aromas were predominant. Alcohol aromas were noticeable but definitely in the background.

A moderate hop bitterness and kettle hop were the two most predominant flavors in this bottle of Castelain. In the middle ground alcohol flavors were clearly detectable. The slightest hints of malt were in the background flavor of Castelian Blond. A light carbon dioxide “bite” also was evident. All in all, the flavor of Castelain Blond was well balanced with none of the major flavor elements drowning out the others.

The body of this beer was light. It was quite refreshing and finished dry with a light to moderate degree of carbonation.

Of a group of Blond Bieres de Garde that I have tasted, Castelian was one of my favorites. It was relatively delicate and well balanced. It would likely be enjoyed by beer drinkers of every degree of sophistication. As a side note, Castelian is been brewed by the Brasserie Benifontaine, the same brewery which produces the notably more expensive Ch’Ti Blond Biere de Garde. Although these beers are quite similar in appearance and share a number of characteristics, Castelain is more enjoyable as well as less expensive than its relative Ch’ti.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a hazy pale golden color. The head is one-finger in height, creamy and white. The aroma is malty with a noble hop presence. Earthy, citrus and orange notes give it a lot of complexity. The taste is amazing. It is earthy, with some juicy citrus notes. The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a very good beer. It is the first Biere de Garde I have tasted, and I am hoping that other in the style are similar to this beer.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a sparse, light head. That segued into nothingness. Had a very straw-like appearance with some cloudiness and a grainy look. Very faint wiff of malt and a little grainy hops. Tasted very faintly of earth grass mixed malt. But other than that, all the flavors were very subdued. A semi-light mouthfeel with a spritz of lemon thrown into the mix. Not what I expected at all. Very bland and not worth picking up another bottle.

Photo of mzwolinski
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So far, I've been pretty under-whelmed with most of the French Ales I've tried. They're an interesting lot, French beers. They all seem to miss the mark by a bit. But they all do it in slightly different ways. The only thing they seem to have in common is that they, well, miss.

This one starts off nice. Classic-looking label, with a custom desgined bottle and a caged cork top. This cork comes off with a LOUD pop and had me scrambling to get the beer to a spill-safe area, but it turned out that I needn't have worried.

Lots of carbonation when it pours, though. A nice, clear, golden straw color with a furious torrent of carbonation leading up to a thick, pillowy off-white head.

Very pleasant aroma, with hints of lemon, grass, delicate spices and a bit of barnyard must.

The flavor, though, was a disappointment to me. I was simply expecting something a bit more THICK, I guess. This just fell flat. Overall very grainy, with a hint of honey sweetness and just some mild hop spice in the finish. It's a nice enough flavor, for what it's worth, but it simply strikes me as a bit one-dimensional, and not particularly a dimension that I want to drink 750 ml of.

Still, it's a fair representative of the style, and I imagine it would be fairly refreshing -- if just a TAD too sticky in the throat -- on a hot summer day. Not bad.

Photo of Toddv29424
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with moderate head. Smell is a little like a macro-lager with the same light wheat maltness. Taste is light with a touch of honey. The malt can be tasted too, I would say that its a dark mixed with a light which adds to a fluffier consistancy. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, but this is a little too sweet for me. Also its hard to get over the smell when its like Bud.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I took this recommendation for turkey dinner from Garret Oliver's Brewmaster's Table. If you're reading this, Mr. Oliver, touche.

Pours to a clear, golden color with a slight amber hue. The head is fairly minimal, and there is very little visible carbonation.

The smell is very flowery hoppy. This reminds me of a well done Czech pils, in both smell and taste. Sweet and flowery with a slightly grassy and herbal dry, bitter finish.

Very clean and crisp. The carbonation cuts through the flavors quite well. The body is still medium and a bit creamy as well. Quite good. Not only a good match for Thanksgiving turkey, but a good beer to sit back and drink either way.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thick rapidly fading white head over a translucent golden hued body. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, and hints of fruit, spice and earth. Green apple flavors up front in the mouth with smooth malts and a touch of pepper. Hop bitterness lurks in the background. Lean to Medium in body. Crisp in the mouth with moderate carbonation. Mellow to slightly drying finish.

I prefer the darker, maltier versions of the biere de garde style. However, even as a blond this beer seemed to be lacking a certain degree of complexity found in other versions of the style. Decent maltiness, but nothing to drool over

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice beer de garde. Poured out to a deep golden yellow hue, with some haziness. Some notes of lace and medium high level of carbonation. Aromas of malt and yeast, with some sweet citrus notes. Taste was along the same lines as the aroma, but a bit lighter and lacked the depth of what I would've really liked. Flavors of malt and light herbs were mild on the palate, with a medium dry finish. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Decent drinkability, but overall this brew did not really do it for me. Worthy of a try, for fans of the style.

Photo of Fugazme
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Date on the back says: 10/2002

Opening the bottle, I got scared. A huge "sulphur-like" smell arose in the air. I poured what looked like a beautiful beer with a very modest head and pretty body. It deflected light and I could barely see through to the other side. Looked great and I was encouraged.

On my first whiff of the glass, the sulphur smell remained... not good... on second whiff it was nearly gone. I started to detect a spicey aroma with hints of pine and apricot. It got better on the third smell. I rate it just above average as the first whiff was so off-putting.

The appearance was good. Cloudy and golden. Near zero head, but not non-existent.

First taste was honey-like and bold. Very creamy and sweet. Spicy.

This was one of the best mouthfeels I've ever had in a beer. Wonderfully bubbly and borderline champagne-like. Went down very well.

The bubbliness dissipated into a smooth, very drinkable beer.

Photo of mjohn27603
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 750ml dated 31/08/05. Pours very pale yellow in color almost translucent. Head forms but is quickly dissipated leaving thin film. I detect no aroma. First sip reveals a malty but very very subtle taste. Slight earthiness and chalky taste. I cannot overemphasize how subtle this beer is. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side. Now getting a slight grassy and manure flavor to the beer after taking a big gulp. You can easily down this beer as it goes down like a lawnmower beer with a bit more character than straight pilsner.

Photo of gimmehead
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy peach with a big white head and lots of bubbles. Very spicy Saaz hop aroma; yeasty, bready, estery and a whiff of orange peel. Tastes of grainy malts, wheaty and grassy. Lots of spicy hops. A little citric and yeasty with a clean spicy finish. Even though it isn't particularly high in ABV, ther is some alcohol in the finish. Soft and bubbly with lots of carbonation to tickle the tongue and a dry finish. Light and crisp, refreshing and easily drinkable.

Photo of allengarvin
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a quite pale golden color, some initial foam atop that fades. Aroma is sweet, light malt, some wheatiness and a wee bit of fruit. That fruit comes through a lot clearer on first taste, with notes of green apple or tart pear along with some lemongrass citrus. Bitterness is moderate to light, with candy sweetness coming in a bit at the finish. Body is not at all heavy, with a crisp mouthfeel and high carbonation.

A fine beer, very drinkable.

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

Pours an almost clear orange-peach with a big pillowy white head and minimal lace. Smells quite yeasty, with a slight fruity background. Quite effervescent and dry in the mouth. Loads of yeasty and slightly spicy dryness up front. As the beer warms, it develops an appealing but restrained fruitiness.

Easy drinking, delicate, and clean. This biere de garde is missing the funkiness and complexity of the best saisons, however.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
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!

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.

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.

Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of pentathlete
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of drewbage
3.55/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
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...

Castelain Blond Biere De Garde from Brasserie Castelain
87 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.