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St. Amand - Brasserie Castelain

St. AmandSt. Amand

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

94 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 94
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%


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)
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 79 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11/17/07- Received as a gift from a fellow craft beer drinker.

Presentation- 750ml bottle both caged and corked. Some kinda best by stamp on the back label. It's either good through 2008 or 2014...thinking 2014 unless France has 14 months on their calendar.

Appearance- Darker golden approaching amber coloring. Full one inch head on pour. Leaves a nice almost 1/4 inch frothy white ring when it settles. Good patches of lacing remain.

Smell- Scents of muted fruit, a bit of grain character as well. Fruity bitter hops and a touch bready.

Taste- Rather hoppy this brew is. Wasn't expecting that. Fruit flavors are there. Not really strong and not super fresh, but leave a decent flavor behind. Tastes a touch grainy as well. Almost like a cross between a Saison and a pils. Interesting.

Mouthfeel- Highly carbonated with a mild bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not bad at all. Nothing jumps out as being great or spectacular, but definitely quaffable and quite easily sessionable I'm sure. Always hesitant by trying French brews, but in this case they proved me wrong.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2007 21:20:25 | More by GClarkage
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium copper or light amber in hue, St. Amand carries a glowing haze with an off-white creamy head that retains well but laces little.

Toasty-sweet aromas seem very pilsner-like (think German Dunkels), except with a spicy herbal noble hop pungent scent. Both Earthy and woodsy, the beer has a light musty quality reminescent of cork or sagebrush combined with simple caramels.

Sweeter and spicier flavors prevail. Toasty caramel malts take precidence over the ample hop counterparts (lemongrass, tea-like nutmegs and basil scents). Fruity esters give rise to the plumby, approciot, apple taste that rises after mid-palate and just before the finish. Though spicy and light alcohol dryness in the end, the beer still finishes rather sweet, woodsy, and pleasantly dusty (perhaps from the cork).

The body is medium through and through. Impressions of malt and butter early on seem to linger well into the finish, keeping the beer from the complete dryness that it deserves. Regardless, the beer is quite quaffable and easty to drink.

Delicious and strong, this aged Belgian Amber Ale is often misunderstoon and unfortunately so- Though a Saison-like brightness and dryness is prefered, this on falls just on the sweeter side of the dominant beers of its style.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 07:27:31 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a tall belgian bottle with a flip top, it poured a dark red amber color and formed a small foamy offwhite head that left trace lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, citrus and caramel. A flavor of malt, citrus and caramel. Fairly light body for this style but rather refreshing with a light finish. Not a bad beer, but more of a session style.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2003 21:34:47 | More by Wildman
Photo of bruachan
bruachan

District of Columbia

3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i've been sitting on this one for a little while. kept it in the fridge for some good aging

the head is nice and fluffy and spews forth spicy hop aromas. the aroma sports some toasty scents. the beer's color is a dark amber—on the way to brown

it's malty. not dynamic, though. there's some hop flavor in there, too, to add some depth, but the malt needs more help than the yummy hops can offer. as it warms spices emerge and in the end it turns into a decent brew, as some of the toasty elements exhibited in the aroma appear in flavor

i'm not going to write home about it but if i were in europe and discovered this pouring from casks in a small cafe i would never leave (perhaps that really isn't about the beer)

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2007 01:43:00 | More by bruachan
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wanted to like this more than I did. I don't know if it was the environment or my status, but I wasn't able to detect the subtleties others have noted. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it.
Aroma was muted and a bit dull, which improved some as it warmed. Light malt based with sweetness from what appears to be candi. Thick full head and yellow-gold with reddish hues. Tiny bubbles rising. Slight lacing.
Firm maltiness to flavor noted first, slightly sweet (again candi sweetness) and a slight alcohol quality.
Heavier than I expected, but enjoyably smooth that increased in its pleasing quality as it warmed.
Enjoyable and a fairly easy drinker for style.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2003 15:42:46 | More by garymuchow
Photo of yelterdow
yelterdow

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at just under fridge temperature in an oversize wine glass.

Appearance- Hazy peach-iced tea color with a small, thin head that reduced to a mat with large bubbles around the border.

Smell- As the beer sat for several minutes, I observed a similarity to some of the great quadrupels... namely Rochefort 10. A caramely, malty nose with hints of fig, sherry and orange. Is that clove? Very nice.

Taste- Alcohol is present a bit too early, which interferes slightly with taste. The figgy fruit and toasty caramel comes through, albeit not very strong. I would have expected more character than the beer actually demonstrates. Good balance overall.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Thin and watery in the mouth, which surprised me. On the nose, you might expect a big, slick experience with all the aromas present. Carbonation is light to moderate, and almost gone by the end of my glass.

Overall, this beer has some of the qualities of a quad, combined with a much lighter style and therefore is somewhat of an enigma. Nice beer, worth the fun and effort in reviewing it.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2005 01:51:51 | More by yelterdow
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2005 06:48:51 | More by cokes
Photo of Fugazme
Fugazme

Nebraska

3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

A nice copper/orange pour with a 1/2" bright, white head... slightly tan in hue... little retention and a decent swirl.

Aroma is big with some funky blue cheese notes... apricot and honey... even a touch of caramel.

Barnyardish flavor, yet quite sweet, too. A touch of apple leftover on the palate... dry at times, but overall a bit too thin for me. I'd call it decent in flavor and mouthfeel.

Overall drinkability is average for me... but I don't think I'd turn it down... I do like the nose quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 18:02:06 | More by Fugazme
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is light amber colored and transparent with a small off white head. The aroma offers yeast, malt, apples, a splash of white wine. Grape skins and an earthy character. Light in body with fairly low carbonation. A touch of oxidation. Mild hop presence offers a hint of bitterness. Caramel malt and green apples. Pretty easy going.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 23:11:49 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2003 16:49:13 | More by Gusler
Photo of crookedhalo
crookedhalo

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Generous pop from the swing-top Grolsch-style lid. Poured a pale coppery-orange highlighted with effervescent whitish head. Left a nice lacing in the glass when finished. Rather weak aroma compared to some other biere de gardes I've tried. Solid qualities reside in the malty flavor mixed with herbal undertones with a slightly tart and zesty finish. Definitely better in the flavor than aroma. Worth a shot if you've never tried it.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2003 11:09:54 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a golden amber color with a nice bit of head retention.
There’s a funky aroma to it that's contrasted with a lightness on the palate. Bit of a funky funk finish, but overall not terribly complex and not one I’d try again for the price. Pass.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 19:12:13 | More by elNopalero
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear honey brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy chunks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and some citrus aromas. Taste is much the same with some slight caramel flavors as well. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer and very easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2012 03:25:21 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of philipt
philipt

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first French biere de garde, so I didn't know quite what to expect. A pleasant, and lucky, find at the local food market.

Flip-top, 750ml bottle. Pours a clear, copper body with rapidly disintegrating head. Malt and bubblegum aroma. The taste is rather simple versus what I expected. Malt and a candy sweetness dominated the flavor. Quite lively and refreshing though. Very little hop presence. Easy to drink.

An easily forgettable beer. This beer had the unlucky position of being rated following the Stone Imperial Stout (no beer should follow that rating).

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2003 14:39:23 | More by philipt
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2006 03:15:03 | More by akorsak
Photo of erz316
erz316

Indiana

3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - the bottle pours out beautiful coloured burnt orange, with a white head to contrast. Cloudy in appearance, but translucent enough to let a good amount of light through to show the color. bubbles arise from the bottom of my glass

S - not much to report here. the smell of hops is very minimal, and a slight fruitiness from esters is actually more noticeable than the hops.

T - a noticeable bitterness from hops comes to the back of the tongue, while there is a very slight sweetness in aftertaste.

MF&D - goes down very smooth, not much carbonation. a good medium body drink, though overall I would say it is ineffectual.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 05:11:52 | More by erz316
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I expected more from this. It poured a clear orange color with little to no head. The aroma was better with sweet malt, grass, and fruit (apple ?) detected.

Carbonation was very light, producing an almost flat mouthfeel. The body was medium-heavy and malt dominates the flavor. Bitterness trailed behind the malt leaving this slightly unbalanced. Some fruit tones were detected after swallowing.

Smooth on the tongue and the malt lingers on the tongue for a short few seconds, which I didn't expect with the heavier body.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2003 23:42:50 | More by Gavage
Photo of jonworth
jonworth

Florida

3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Coppery, loses head quickly, leaving very little webbing. Honey and something else -- almonds? -- on the nose, but a little too cloying. Fairly complex taste, with more flavors and spices than I could ever hope to identify. The depth of the flavor is somewhat overshadowed by an astringent follow-through, though. It's not bad, but at it's rather high price point I don't believe I'll buy it again.

[750ml bottle, poured in a mug]

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2007 00:56:54 | More by jonworth
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9

Florida

3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dispensed from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Magic Chouffe tulip glass. Dark copper colored beer with a small, white head. Somewhat dense but disappears rather quickly and leaves littles trace that the beer was there.

Aroma is sour yet sweet, and slightly musty. Sour, green apple aromas with the tartness of an apple pie. Somewhat yeasty.

Sort of lacking in overall depth. Thin on the mouthfeel. Tangy, sweet, slight hop bitterness, plenty of caramel malty flavors. Light and refreshing but a little thin on the mouthfeel. Finishes dry as a bone and exceptionally clean on the palate. A good sessioner Id say.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2008 18:18:27 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is darkened copper with an exuberant head. The smell is malty and sweet with a mild hop character. The flavor is tart lemons and some acceptable but uninteresting malt. The blend of flavors is pleasant, but the beer is somewhat disappointing overall. My score seems a bit high considering I wouldn't recommend it. The beer is too sweet and watery for me. Ultimately, the malt flavor is somewhat uninteresting. On the other hand, this is the kind of beer that I would enjoy trying in its home country.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 04:18:52 | More by popery
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a transparent dark caramel color with a light tan fluffy and bubbly thin head that lingers for a little.

S-the nose is plain and simple of caramel and cooked brown sugar with hints of an herbal hop underneath but hard to detect.

T-flavor pretty much the same, notes of toasted malts with roasted brown sugar and slightly burnt caramel. herbal hay like hops faint in the back.

M-syrupy medium body, chewy with big carbonation in the back.

D-malt foward and simple, nothing wrong with it but nothing at all that makes me want to come back.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2010 01:24:34 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of impending
impending

California

3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml into a tulip. Pours a gorgeous crystal clear amber copper, minor dense cream colored head was short lived, minnor lacing

Aroma is of honey candied fruits. No earth, nothing rustic.

Taste has a mellow citrus tang curled around its sweetness. Short lived aftertaste evaporates quickly. No flavor asserts, would pair well with delicate food. Near zero bitter nor dry. Pleasantly bland. Light bodied mouthfeel.
cheers
jd

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 05:24:50 | More by impending
Photo of BDLbrewster
BDLbrewster

Minnesota

3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy light orange amber with tons of visible carbonation, small frothy head and very little lacing.

The smell is strong with barnyard, lots of earthy goodness. Slight mustiness, nice rich yeasty scents and a small amount of alcohol phenols buried under about a 8 inches of musty earthiness.

The taste is fairly in line with the nose, aside from an odd sugary worthers original lactic candy flavor that works the sides of your tongue you get pretty much what you smell. The barnyard is toned down in the flavor, but all the bready yeast and a slight touch of alcohol are there. On the dry side and I think I taste a touch of funk in there as well.

The mouthfeel is on the thin side and quite slippery with ample carbonation and finishing on the dry side.

Overall, run of the mill and a fair representation of the style. Not a stand out in my mind, but good in its own right. The price was great if that makes up for anything. $5 for the 750ml.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 23:01:43 | More by BDLbrewster
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

2.83/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is certainly at the flabby end of the Garde spectrum. It really tastes just like a cheap sweet Dunkel or low-hop Amber.

Light amber in the heavy chalice with a modest head. Light body. A slight fruitiness with a malt liquor finish. Apparently not much in the way of hops, but a slight soapy dishwater taste with a touch of earthy flavors. Faint metallic aftertaste. If it was sudsier, or had a touch of yeasty bitterness it would go down a lot easier.

It's really not that unpleasant to drink, just so uninteresting as to forget to finish the glass. On tap at Neighborhood in San Diego.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2012 06:20:15 | More by mactrail
Photo of IdentityAles
IdentityAles

Oregon

2.7/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter (tulips where dirty) around 40 F.

Nose: earthy, sour tartness, with hints of sweet apples and a little orange, all in all clean. (not what I expected)

Appearance: beautiful, copperish in color with a very nice candy apple red hue. Small, off white head that collapsed very quickly.

Taste: Candied apple sweetness, hints of honey, with a slight spicy hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, which helped cut the sweetness a little, but a little much for me.

I guess I would call this a drinkable, sweet, session style beer. Not my cup of tea though.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2007 04:50:53 | More by IdentityAles
St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.