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St. Amand - Brasserie Castelain

Not Rated.
St. AmandSt. Amand

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

99 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Castelain visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-23-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by paceyourself:
Photo of paceyourself
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is the first brew i've tasted from Brasserie Castelain and i enjoyed it a great deal. It poured a hazy dark ruby in color with a off white rocky head that faded to a thick ring. A crisp clean candy aroma is like no other i've smelt before. The sweet fruity taste seemed the same from begining to end. A little thin bodied but quite drinkable at 5.9%.

paceyourself, Jan 05, 2003
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange with a big fluffy head that leaves a light amount of lace,aroma is light and herbal with some grassiness a real hop presence for sure along with some dry biscuit.Very solid a straight to the point in flavor dry cracker like flavors with a minty/herbal finish that lingers nicely I also notice just a little sweet caramel intermingling in there as well but its light.A very nice ale a easy quaffer glad I tried it.

oberon, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of bishopdc0
3/5  rDev -20.6%

bishopdc0, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of magictrokini
2.7/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

St. Amand French Country Ale. Pour is phenomenal; a cloudy orange-amber with a massive off-white head. Sadly, the rest of the beer doesn't live up to this. Aroma is floral and earthy, with some hay. Taste is one-dimensional. All caramel malt and bread. Flat mouthfeel. Very boring beer.

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of Thrasher
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL flip top bottle. Dark amber with big head which vanishes. If you ask me, this beer is identical to Ruddles County Ale. Rich, malty, sweet, delectable. Heavy apple cider qualities, chewy, a tiny dead bit of alcohol in the middle. A mild dryness and a little bit of spice denotes the hops. Nothing to discern it as French or even Belgian. No present yeast; I guess it had already done its job by the time it was bottled. I swear, it tastes just like Ruddles. Which is fine by me, Ruddles is one of my favorite beers. Just not what I expected from a biere de garde. Perhaps its a fraction sweeter, and lacking the creamy British mouthfeel. Anyway it's damn good. Maybe even tastier than Ruddles.

Thrasher, Nov 25, 2002
Photo of ADR
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First glass is clearish, later ones are barely sedimented, odd. Light chestnut color with a good pale yellow head that doesn't last long though. Cottony thin string lacing on the glass. Piquant kind of aroma, almost candied cherry and rummy. Light body with generous carbonation. Very fruity -- berry-like in early impression. Switches to a more classic maltier tone later in the sip, reminding me of maple sugar. Thin but distinct metallic hop at the end, lingering into the aftertaste. A number of flavors are going on here, kind of a wild and wooly brew.

ADR, Jun 27, 2004
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a nice and clear amber/ruby color. Totally clear. A massive white head retains fairly well, but dissipates to a 2 finger billowy foam crust leaving very nice lacing.

Nose is loaded with nice fruit flavors. Some slight sour notes in the nose. Slightly vinous.

Wow! Now THIS, THIS is Biere de Garde. A fantastic brew. Opens up with a nice belgian-like yeast note, then flowers into huge fruit flavors. Plums, a bit of raisin, and a very nice creaminess. Some biere de gardes are a bit too sour (im talking to you BFM) and some are a bit too malty (im talking to you La Choulette) but this one is just where It oughta be. The finish has a nice touch of dryness. Some slight spice in here as well. Man, great stuff.

Mouthfeel is a touch, just a tiny touch to thick, and could be a bit drier on the finish. Carbonation is right where it should be, but maybe a tiny bit more would be ideal.

Drinkablility is quite solid here. Could easily session this brew like crazy. It is a touch heavy for the abv, but aside from that no real issues.

Overall, Wow! Biere de Garde has never been a favorite sytle of mine, but this one could totally turn that around. Many Biere de Gardes just have that slight something that if changed would make it great. Well, this one has that something. A great Biere de Garde.

AKBelgianBeast, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of cokes
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An auburned shade of copper with a fleeting drift of pale ecru lace.
Scented of balsawood, cedar, fog, and almonds.
Enters the mouth with a minor toasted caramel notion, switching quickly to spicier woody hues. Stray, vague nut notions waft by, as it concludes with a mossy green hop rasp.
The body is pale and thin, and like the taste, it sorely lacks the structure malt should provide. It is certainly downable, but in the wake of classics like 3 Monts, La Baviasienne, or even Castelain's namesake biere des garde, this seems pretty vapid and unispired.

cokes, Sep 22, 2005
Photo of cjgator3
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a copper/amber color with an off white head. The aroma is dominated by the malt, caramel and just a touch of slightly spicy hops. The taste is predominately malty with some spices.The drinkability is very high and it is not difficult at a ll to drink a whole 750ml. Overall, this was an enjoyable brew that is recommended.

On a side note, on doing some research on Bénifontaine, France where this beer is made, it is interesting to note that it is brewed in a very small town in Northern France with a total population of 278 (1999).

cjgator3, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of Gmann
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours a rich copper color with a fluffy off-white head that settled into a nice cap. The aroma is quite faint, I pick up some buttery caramel malt. The taste is very smooth, what I expect a Biere de Garde to taste like. A nice caramel malt with the slightest hint of butter along with some mineral/rust flavors and low bitter hops. The brew has a moderate feel with airy carbonation, finishes malty sweet but in no way cloying, again very smooth. A very good example of the style. The flavors don't blow me away, typical of the style, but this seems to be one of the better samples of the style.

Gmann, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of akorsak
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am drinking a 750 mL C&C bottle, served cold. The ale has been poured into a Rare Vos tumbler.

Appearance: The ale pours a nice auburn-ruby red color. There are no hints of any sediment in the ale (based on first pour only). The ale appears carbonated, giving a nice lace to the glass. The head seems to have clumped together in certain spots.

Smell: The ale has a surprisingly strong malt nose. That sweet malt character interacts with an unusual yeast aroma to produce a nose with fruity aromas in it.

Taste: As you note above, I staid tha the ale appeared to be carbonated. The only drawback is that there is little evidence of that carbonation in the taste. It comes across as flat. The malt tastes are strong, not to the point of a barleywine, but stronger than I expected. After the malts, there is a dry, grape-like taste with no hop character.

Mouthfeel: The ale sits alright in the mouth. The malt notes are stronger than I expected or wanted. I'd rather have something a little less malty.

Drinkability: I am not a fan of this ale, the malts are too strong and the wild tastes I'd expect from a biere de garde/saison is nowhere to be found.

akorsak, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle shared with my wife, who likes the style. Purchase location and cost not recorded.

Pours a medium brown with very nice carbonation in a Delerium Tremens tulip/snifter. A small but pleasant-looking head sits atop and sticks around a good long while.

Aroma is lightly sweet, toffee and caramel, with gentle herbal hops weaving in and out. Flavor profile follows through, no alcohol burn at the end. Fruitier than the aroma. Sweetness is noticeable, but not overpowering. Somewhat light thin mouthfeel but it's nice and creamy when swirled through my teeth.

My favorite of the style (to date) is Jenlain, and this one is very similar, perhaps a bit lighter in mouthfeel and in flavor intensity. Good stuff.

Dukeofearl, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

jaydoc, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of edbeered
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle(750ml), this pours a hazy reddish amber color, with a small white head that dissipates quickly and minimal lacing on the glass. The smell is slight but malty. The taste is complex, with lots of frutiy flavors present, especially cherry and raisin, along with a toffee or butterscotch maltiness. This beer is suitably rich in flavor, yet light on the tongue. This beer is comparitively light in alcohol(5.9%ABV)for the style, and is very drinkable. This is a very nice brew and worth getting if you can find it.

edbeered, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear deep amber orange in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that took a long time to die down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of caramel malts and raisins are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of caramel malts and raisins. Only a bit of sweetness is noticeable because the malts are balanced off by some notes of earthy hops. Not much bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems a little maltier compared to others in the style but wasn't that difficult to drink.

metter98, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucid gold color, the head prodigious and spumescent, the lace is a fine covering of the glass, both a bright white. Dominated my the malt, citrus crisp or somewhat lemon like, fresh and pleasant, start has a distinct malt feel, lightly sweet, the top middling in its feel to the palate. Potently acidic, the hops understated but noticeable and the after taste as dry as they come. Drinkable and something worth a try, for the Belgian lovers.

Gusler, Mar 26, 2003
Photo of pknyc
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

pknyc, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of Poser
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber in the tulip with a frothy top. Light aroma with some citrus and hop tones. A floral, malty start that continues throughout. Hops are subtle which gives it a pleasant sweetness. It's a citrus texture on the mouthfeel. This would probably go great as a desert beer after some sushi.

Poser, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of grumblebee
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

grumblebee, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of BenZ
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure if my bottle was old, or what, but I picked up some very different things than the other reviewers. The nose was very pleasant, with hints of fruit, coriander and lots of sherry. The taste reminded me of a Flanders Red Ale that I have had, except that the flavor was only about 1/3 as strong. There were other flavors in there as well: maltiness, maybe the slightest hint of saaz, and the classic Belgian esters. This beer was fantastic, and if it was a fluke, it would be too bad. I'll try it again if I ever run across it.

BenZ, Jun 09, 2005
Photo of Cresant
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 750 mL brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Bottled 4/2/10. Clear but deep copper in color. The head was cream, rich and appealing. A cap remained throughout.

Smell was sweet malts and citrus. Bread and faint yeast.

Taste was peppery. Faintly chalky, dusty. There seemed to be a light metallic twang. Very fruity - maybe fresh plums and apples. Bread crusts. Fairly drying. Subtle bitterness. Well balanced. Seems mellow and well constructed.

Mouthfeel was medium in body. there was plenty of zip but finished smooth.

Cresant, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of Zorro
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the glass this is a reddish gold colored ale with a smallish white head. I would describe the color of this ale as an aged bronze color.

The smell is very strongly herbal and buttery with a little bit of rose and grass with a faint sour scent.

The taste begins sweetish and malty with an unexpected coffee flavor. Caramel, butter and coffee are the main flavors here. There is a chocolate caramel flavor present that I also didn't expect. Interesting chocolate and caramel ale I didn't expect, I expected something closer to a Saison.

The mouthfeel is good.

An interesting beer, but not one that I will likely try again. It is OK but rather expensive and just not that spectacular a beverage.

Zorro, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of marc77
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy garnet hue, covered by a light tan uniformly thick, creamy head that leaves intricate lace. The aroma is a combination of mild bubblegum esters, acidic sweet kiwi - like fruitiness and powdery, dry cocoa, w/ an undertone of acetaldehyde and yeast must. Maple sugar like sweetness in flavor is ensued by biscuit malt and light carob. Esters complement the malt profile to yield a dark, mellow, fig like fruitiness. The light hop bitterness is well integrated and perfectly offsets residual sweetness without interfering with the malt profile. Moderately bodied, w/ a creamy smooth mouthfeel that belies the relatively low strength. Finishes w/ a hint of toasty malt and bittersweet chocolate, but clean otherwise. St. Amand is truly a delicious brew. The overall balance and depth of character is stunning, considering the relatively low strength (5.9% ABV) Superlative drinkability due to its lightness on the palate-- It's a joy to drink. Reminescent of a dubbel / brown ale hybrid.

marc77, Sep 23, 2002
Photo of TheEclecticGent
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - This beer pours a slightly hazy orange-amber color. Looks good and looks like what I expected from a Biere de Garde but maybe a tad more orange than most. Some head (2 mm) dropping to just swirls by the second sip.

S - Got a bit of a flat smell, some spices and maybe aged fruit. A hay like note in here. It's got that wet cardboard smell that always worries me a bit.

T - Tastes flat as well. Yep, it's got that wet cardboard flavor as well that I don't like. There are some spices in here but they are muted and the dominant flavor is that strange malt flavor that I call "wet cardboard".

M - Mouthfeel is flat, with very little carbonation.

D- Not impressed.

TheEclecticGent, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of dsa7783
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Gingerman, NYC...
An excellent depiction of the style, true stuff... Light-bodied, perilously drinkable...
Pours a hazy, dirty blond color...
Smell: Raw hay, slight wheat and honey grains...
Taste: Honey, cotton candy, pears, candied sugars...
Medium-bodied,
Great, authentic stuff...

dsa7783, Mar 08, 2009
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St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.