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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 mickeymac
mickeymac

California

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a caged and corked 750 ml bottle, it's amber with a somewhat fizzy off-white head that goes away quickly, leaving no trace of lace. The smell is barnyard funk and just a trace of fruity sweetness. This has a light flavor, with a fair balance between light sweetness and a touch of bitterness on the finish. It's very dry and satisfying. It paired well with some spicy Haitian chicken and beans and rice.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2004 02:32:54 | More by mickeymac
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$8,69 corked and caged 750mL Camp Creek World of Beverage East Point / Atlanta, Ga. USA
Very interesting. I do not recall having ever had this style before, but I really enjoyed it. It poured a burnt orange colour with a bit of chill haze, and had a 3 finger foamy cap which slowly became pitted and craggy as it died down. Looked very nice, almost as though it belonged in an ad. I must have poured it just right.
Smell was fruit, yeast, and a bit of a candied smell present, as well, almost akin to honey roasted or candied peanuts. Curious. The yeast smell was easily the most prominent; very bread-like.
Taste seems to be a multitude of things, including, yeasty bread / dough, fruit, bitter hops, and a slight bit of a sourness. The hop bitterness in this was rather pleasant and unexpected. Ales of this sort (Belgian / French country ale, farmhouse ale) nearly always have more of a sourness to them than anything else. The lovely bitter hop finish was a delightful surprise.
Mouthfeel had a bit more fullness to it than I would have though by simply looking at it. It is certainly full bodied and rather heavy, all things considered, anyway. Nevertheless, I found it quite drinkable and will certainly pick up another 2 or 3 750's to have on hand. A lovely surprise, indeed.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2007 23:21:00 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of gpogo
gpogo

California

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- White head with brown amber mahogany color. Left a small lacing on the glass.

A- Fruity aromas. Slight sour notes.

T- A bit of toasted malt. Very lightly sour. Pleasant aftertaste, slight notes of apples. Incredibly refreshing.

M- Very smooth. Medium body with moderate-high carbonation.

D- I bought this a year ago and have cellared it until now. I just wished I had opened this sooner. Nice on a cold day, but I imagine this to be great on a fall evening as well. Don't let the "slightly sour" scare you away.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 02:43:45 | More by gpogo
Photo of hiku7
hiku7

California

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light bready pils malt aroma, with pear esters, spice, and a tiny bit of funk. No hop aroma. Slight whisp of alcohol as it warms.

Pours brilliant dark copper with a one-finger off white head. Short lasting. No lacing. Thin foam, moderate carbonation.

Fruity pear esters, and strawberries. Toasted sweet malt flavor. No hop bite. Very mild bitterness in the finish. Good balance. Some vinous flavors a bit reminiscent of grapes. Could be slightly oxidized.

Medium body. Smooth, delicate feel. Crisp dry finish and moderate carbonation. No astringency.

Very enjoyable. My first venture in the style. I will try others.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 21:20:31 | More by hiku7
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2005 01:52:58 | More by oberon
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber to copper brew, the full finger of head is a white that looks almost grey with such a dark beer underneath. Head dissipates rather quickly, leaving a soapy cap and full lacing.

I found the aroma to be raisiny and full of dark malt character. 'Belgian' yeast jumps right in while floral, herbal hops add a touch of boldness. The flavor keeps the ripe fruit coming, quite full. Sweet caramel malt, leaning towards a toffee - lightly toasted, very prevalent, and tasty. Solid hop presence, noticeable but nowhere near the dominant flavor. Some herbal, and some spicing that could be the hops or could be, well, spices. Smooth and creamy presence, finishes semi-dry and retains a good bit of the apple sweetness in the aftertaste.

I prefer this one to a lighter biere de garde such as Jenlain or Gavroche, even Castelain blond. Now if I was cooking... there is a lot to be done with a pale saison-style ale (pork chops anyone?), while St. Amand might overload the caramelized flavor. Save this one for sipping, and enjoy thoroughly. For the style, this one is dark to me, and I'm loving every bit of it. Reminiscent of an ESB with characteristic Belgian touches. If anything, I would rate this higher in the future, but none of the individual characteristics leapt out at me.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2007 07:32:45 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Patrick999
Patrick999

Florida

4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh, a biere de garde, I wish there were more readily available. Found this one at Total Wine in North Miami. Rather boring-looking label with a generic description of "French Country Ale," but you just know that there's a real beer within the contents of that boring bottle.

A - Popped the cork and poured; it's darker than I expected. I was expecting something light and cheery, while this is a kind of sinister-looking amber with a bit of a glow to it. No matter - nice head, good lacing to be seen.

S - There's some subtle stuff going on here. A bit of earthy hop, wet hay - definitely somewhat "farm-y." Some honey-toast as it warms. Ever so slight undercurrent of mustiness, courtesy of the native yeast.

T - Very nice. A hint of sour to begin, some substantive grassy hop, and a honey-toast sweetness tracking with the aroma that is perceived rather than fully tasted. Moderately dry and quite refreshing.

F - A slight grit in the feel, maybe attributable to the local water. Beyond that, it's weight on the palate is extremely light. Well-carbonated but not terribly sharp.

D - Another excellent biere de garde from Castelain. You can enjoy the 750 with no trouble, and not feel too guilty about it. Enough going on to keep you interested, light and refreshing enough to keep you drinking. Would pair well with nearly anything, but this is one of those beers that makes me wish I was sipping it outside a Parisian cafe, watching the women walk by. The French can't brew beer? I call B.S. on that one; there's more than enough evidence to the contrary.

If you see this dull-looking bottle on the shelf, buy it.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2008 20:55:54 | More by Patrick999
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin

Texas

4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overcarbonated. This has been sitting in my fridge for over a month, undisturbed, and when I popped the cork, it came pouring out over the top and onto my lap.

Appearance: Clear, varnished redwood color, with a big and frothy head (half of which I had to wipe up with a towel).

Aroma: Musty and very fruity nose, with sweet grainy malt and a peppery yeast character.

Flavor: Sweet, flour-like malt and the fruity taste of dried cherries, with faint spicy hops and very light clovish phenols. Finishes fairly sweet, slightly caramel.

Body: Medium body, too much carbonation.

A good, tasty beer, not complex but an excellent session brew, or a simple and flavorful accompaniment to dinner.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2005 03:28:53 | More by allengarvin
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

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...

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2009 15:44:03 | More by dsa7783
Photo of Abita45
Abita45

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Michael's Deli in King of Prussia, PA and poured from a bottle into a pint glass. The beer has a nice amber hue and is fragrantly citrus and little head to speak of.

It has a nicely floral and sweet malty taste, medium hops and with low carbonation, this beer has a nice taste and smooth finish. It is slightly creamy and easy to drink. I don't know if I could have many before the sweetness and mouthfeel made me want to change things up, but for the two plus pints I got out of the bottle it was very good and a beer I could enjoy on a regular basis. I took a bottle to a friend as a party gift and it was well received.

It is an enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2007 03:26:33 | More by Abita45
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(from notes taken early august 2008)

750ml bottle. "best by" date of 16/10/08. possible batch numbers of L7198 and 15:36

poured into tulip

clear, honey-tinted, deep amber, caramel color. lots of off-white head. some lace.

maltose sugar and carmel in the nose. apple juice. faint spices. hay and whiff of yeast. phenols faint in backend. hints of yeasty fermentation.

flavors similar, but just lighter overall. malt mixes with phenolic and aforementioned fruit notes. grassy, hay-like hop gives mild bitterness, ligers slightly into a semi-dry, off-sweet finish. traces of malty caramel and phenols in the aftertaste.

smooth. fluffy, moderate carbonation

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 18:02:03 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of Cresant
Cresant

Kentucky

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 23:08:13 | More by Cresant
Photo of Poser
Poser

Alabama

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 21:36:17 | More by Poser
Photo of edbeered
edbeered

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 03:51:52 | More by edbeered
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a massive capp that draps lace down the sides of the chalice

Smell: Fruity, with apple and plum tones backed up by caramel

Taste: Opens with the apple and plum fruit flavors, but by mid-palate the caramel arrives, bringing along an herbacious element, as well, that adds a slightly tart dimension; after the swallow, the flavors are nicely balanced and linger well into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Sways a bit to the sweet side for a beer of this style, but still has a nice balanced character; a rather unusual flavor profile and a beer well worth seeking out

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 19:40:36 | More by brentk56
Photo of drperm
drperm

Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL from the Hendersonville Co-op. Also easily found at Bruisin’ Ales in Asheville. St. Amand pours a handsome -- no, gorgeous -- copper color with plenty of generous head, even when poured slowly. The nose is extremely complex -- clay soil, caramel, butter, farmland, and fresh aromatic hops are all in there, along with some more elusive intangibles that are conjuring up all sorts of images of rural Europe for me. On the tongue, the caramel sings out with a spritzy edge, the hops keep it interesting, and the butter moves to the forefront, but what really does it for me is a slight sour twist towards the end -- reminiscent of those Flemish Ales that I’ve recently fallen in love with (such as Duchesse de Bourgogne). This says to me, "drink with food!" Much better than Castelian/Ch’ti, as far as I’m concerned. Take it for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 16:45:22 | More by drperm
Photo of Nipitato
Nipitato

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a caged and corked bottle at Marty's Liquors in Allston, MA.

A: Reddish bronze brown. Opaque. Very thin splotchy white head.

S: Musty malty aroma with a background of apples and cinnamon. Slightly sour. Overall very nuanced and quite mellow.

T: Musty malty flavor similar to the nose. Malt has some caramel characteristics. Some spiciness. Sweet fruit (cherries and raisins) esters add character. Mildly sour taste throughout. Nuanced and complex.

MF: Medium body. Highly carbonated. No alcohol warming.

D, notes: I like this beer and would go for it again. Complex yet easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 18:03:19 | More by Nipitato
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

St.Amand French Country Ale (review #700)

Appearance: Clear and copper in color, good head retention.

Smell. Bready, sweet, chocolate. Malty.

Taste: Malty, with toffee and caramel flavor. Hops are leafy and tobacco like in nature. Nutty and lightly roasted malt profile. Overall light and crisp, muted fruit with a small porportion of noble hops. Very faint sour note. On par for style.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, smooth, ample carbonation and some chewey malt lingering. Finish is dry.

Drinkability: Excellent. Could be classified as an amber ale, but its much more full. A great beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 20:40:31 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of CheeseTurds
CheeseTurds

California

4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer.

I recently went to a Biere de Garde tasting and sampled 4 different kinds- nothing was this good. Very, very drinkable. Slightly tart but not a "sour beer." Beautiful, clear ruby appearance. Complex but smooth drinking.

I don't remember what I paid for this. If I saw it again for $10 or less, I'd grab it in a second.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 04:18:53 | More by CheeseTurds
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely, rosy amber hue, like a nectarine skin, with a thick, fuzzy, creamy, beige-toned head.
Fresh fruit and bold effervescence in the nose, floral, herbal, with a hoppy zest, juicy and jubilant, making me anxious to raise it up to my lips, ...and away we go...
mmmm, big, brisk, bouyant feel in the mouth, happy hops on the palate, tingles the tongue. Medium to full body, never -ending fruit factor, peach, apricot, cherries, mango and more...I'm liking it big-time. Very glad this comes in the economy-size package, which allows me to sample more tastiness at one time. Overall, this is an excellent hoppy session ale, like a fruity saison, perhaps?

In my first review, I merely rounded it up as a French Alpha King...nowadays, I say "not quite, but almost"....I still like it lots, though...

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2002 00:04:26 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml tall brown glass bottle with a thick lip that holds a thumbed cork in with a cage assembly and cap with the Ch’ti logo on it. The burgundy and gold edged neck label has the words ‘Traditional Bière de Garde’ wrapped around the word ‘St. Amand’. The main oval label has the words ‘French Country Ale’ above a panoramic view of the French countryside. Underneath the words ‘St. Amand’. Embossed logo of a worker emptying a sack into the Mash Tun around the neck of the bottle. Listed as 5,9% Alc.Vol. Dated (Bottled on?) 15/09/04 on the reverse label.

Appearance: Deep bronzed golden body that is perfectly clear. The head forms easily and slowly rescinds to a thin ¼” bubbly covering, with somewhere twixt a lush carpet and a frothy appearance. Some lacing but it doesn’t last too long as it tends to slide back down into my Glass. Nice levels of carbonation give the beer enough life to reinstate the head when swirled.

Nose: Yet again my trusty Duvel goblet seems to aid in revealing all of the nuances that a brew has to offer in the nose department. Swirled and constantly inhaled this is rather a solid offering. Whilst not exactly funky it certainly has a country feel to it. Mixed in with the grains I get light herbs and spices with a delicate fruity hint, mostly apple in the back end. There is a light caramel feel to the odors too as it warms.

Taste: Lots of grain and freshly baked Farmhouse Cobs in the mouth at the start. Light spices and herbs mingle in the bready middle with a nice back malt base. Tinges of Cox’s Orange Pippin Apples in the back end. Nicely put together, never over the top but never under whelming it manages to bring enough to the Table such that you will not be able to leave a clean plate with this one. The aftertaste is medium in length but tends to get a little fruity as the beer warms and produces a caramel toffee finish in the swallow. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: Mildy sweet malty profile in the mouthfeel has a touch of oaky wood to the dryish bready start sometimes, whilst at others a decent toffee feel lingers in the finish. A nice solid offering and it doesn’t want in this department at all.

Drinkability: Oh sooo drinkable. The 750ml was no challenged whatsoever, in fact I had to double my last pour, this one did not last very long. Thirst quenching and very quaffable with a lovely but well-balanced ‘farmhouse’ feel to it. Highly Enjoyable.

Overall: A cracking brew to start the night with. Incredibly well balanced yet with a myriad of interesting flavors that come and go if and when you look for them. A nice brew and well worth the purchase.

So the French can’t make beer?? Right!! Made with Artesian Well Water, Barley Malt from the Champagne region and Hops from Alsace. A true Bière De Garde and a bloody good offering yet again from Brasserie Castelain à Bénifontaine, I have yet to try one of their beers that I did not like.

The St. Amand is another winner for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2004 01:33:33 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of BenZ
BenZ

Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2005 01:58:14 | More by BenZ
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +19%
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 1" off-white head, over a clear, copper brew. Big bits of foam lace throughout the drinking experience. A slight sour aroma accompanies the malt and hops smells, making for an interesting orchestra. Taste is primarily of the medium (caramel) malt, but a hops crispness is present throughout. Mouthfeel is somewhat effervescent, but the overall package seems to work quite well. Disappointing only to see that this brew isn't more widely enjoyed by the masses.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2004 20:52:13 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has been sitting in my fridge for a few days. Thought I'd finally try it.

Color: Pours a decent amber color with a one-finger head.

Aroma: Spicy with raisin aroma. Malty. Inviting.

Taste: Smooth with some spiciness and hints of raisin in the middle. Smooth and nice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and impressive. Warming.

Verdict: A complex ale that doesn't fail. I have no idea why I was avoiding it all along. The best example I've had so far of this style.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2008 02:16:59 | More by Brad007
Photo of Thrasher
Thrasher

Oregon

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2002 17:13:30 | More by Thrasher
St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.