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St. Amand - Brasserie Castelain

Not Rated.
St. AmandSt. Amand

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.7%
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-23-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 83
Photo of Beerenauslese
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Luscious transparent orange-amber color, pours a three-finger head that lasts, leaving mounds of cappuccino foam, then thinning into lace.

Smells of clove and cinnamon spice and tropical fruit.

Tastes flat, nothing special leaps out. Spices are faint, a little bannana, a little citrus, but otherwise the flavors are murky.

Mouthfeel is flat, with little carbonation.

A pour of this is OK, but one is enough.

Photo of nickfl
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers of off-white head, topping a perfectly clear, amber-brown body. The head has sufficient staying power and leaves nice rings of lace as it recedes.

S - Malty with light caramel, toasted malt, and toffee.

T - Sweet and malty up front. Notes of toasted malt, caramel, and just a hint of spice. Some fleeting notes of roasted malt in the finish, along with molasses. The sweetness lasts into the finish and is not quite, but almost, cloying.

M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a fairly sweet finish.

D - The malt flavors are powerful, and while they are accurate to the style, they border on overpowering and kind of hurt the drinkability of the beer. Aside from malt, there is not much going on here, and I would like to see a bit more complexity in a farmhouse beer.

Photo of Patrick999
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.

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.

Photo of Brad007
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.

Photo of edbeered
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of Nipitato
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Photo of drperm
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Photo of GClarkage
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.

Photo of jonworth
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
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]

Photo of SilentSabre
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.

Photo of blakesell
4.72/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 750ml caged and corked bottle into a pilsner glass.
Bottled 03/07

Appearance- Initally, I didn't think it had much carbonation when I popped the cork, but soon after while sticking my nose in to get a scent, I got a good amount of carbonation right on it. Beer pours an amber golden with a great head of carbonation quickly dissapates to a wafer of foam over the top, lacing clings to the glass in larger sized bubbles.

Smell- Thick and malty like a good marzen with enough lightness to still be refreshing at noon on a Sunday. A touch of cinnamon and cream frosting on the nose.

Taste- Enjoyable big malt upfront. Balanced and malty. No detectable alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Medium full bodied and moderately carbonated, refreshing and effervecent.

Drinkability- This is a great drinker, not too big with alcohol, malty enough to have enough balance. If this came in 6 packs I would drink this again and again. Beer for keeping, but good fresher as well.

Photo of IdentityAles
2.76/5  rDev -27%
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.

Photo of Zorro
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of jettjon
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 750ml caged cork bottle, decants with a pop. Dated 3/8/07; I’m assuming this is a “best by” date. Consumed on 6/10/07. Into a cervoise a pale, hazy mahogany color with Champaign-like carbonation. Thick, creamy brown tan head, about one fingers worth. Slow fade to a clumpy cap and good sheet-like, sticky lacing. Sweet malt and herbal hops on the nose. Earthy barley malt flavor out front tempering lightly peppery hops. Weak tea flavor, suggestions of honey; subtle overall. I find this brew light yet with a decent hop/malt character—an FPA perhaps? Mouth is semi-viscous with gentle carbonation smoothing things out. Wet on the edge of watery, but in a good, thirst-quenching way. Drinkability is very good; it’s simple and enjoyable with a subtle yet not boring flavor. ABV at 5.9% is suitably light for this style.

Overall: I’ve really been getting into saisons of late, and this one is a nice take on a light summer drinking ale. A bit darker and hoppier than a saison, still, very good in its own right. I’d have no reservations buying several more of these to sip on a hot day.

Photo of cjgator3
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
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).

Photo of bruachan
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
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)

Photo of BretSikkink
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.

Photo of Fugazme
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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

Appearance: Clear copper/orange -- very similar to an IPA or an American amber ale. Has a tall, faintly straw-colored head -- fizzy and loose -- with a good retention if you pour hard enough.

Smell: Spicy pils hops (Saaz/Hallertau?) hit first with a faint caramel maltiness. There's an even more faint floral/fruity/earthy yeast funk, which just squeaks this guy into the farmhouse realm. Not bad if you search around, but will definitely not knock your socks off.

Taste: Surprisingly dry and crisp -- very similar to a pale lager or German pils off the bat. Mildly malty with a bit of a swirling citrus-and-flowers scent as you exhale. Mouthfeel is crisp; light with sharp carbonation.

Drinkability: Depends; could be "refreshing" or "bland" depending on your expectations. I was hoping for a bit more character, but it was pleasant enough, and a fairly good value.

Photo of Abita45
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of Hautacam
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy caramel with a very slight tan head.
Smells very good ....yeast, fruits various. No detectable alcohol.
Surprizingly light flavor...yeast, malt... slight hop , sweet with some subtle fruit way in the background....just too light for me.
Mouthfeel is pretty light too....medium carbonation.
Very drinkable , but I wish it was just a bit more intense....it went well with food , but is not a stand alone beer. I like this style, and have had American versions only ( Heavyweight Biere d' Art and City Steam- Careless Love )....prefer those to this one.
My girlfriend likes it , so I probably will buy it again...and who knows , maybe the next one will have a bit more to it.

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St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.