St. Amand | Brasserie Castelain

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BA SCORE
85
very good
83 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
83
Ratings:
104
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
14.02%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
St. AmandSt. Amand
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Castelain
France | website

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-23-2002

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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 104
Photo of UCLABrewN84
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.

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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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
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

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Photo of oberon
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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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.

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Photo of mactrail
2.81/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
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...

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Photo of Huhzubendah
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.

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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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is lightly hazy and has a copper color. The head is a light tan color. I get an aroma of cider, and as I go deeper into the aroma I get lots of fruity apple scents as well as a background of graininess, and a light herbal character. The beer produces a large head, but the carbonation is relatively light. This is mainly a light refreshing beer. Up front it has a bit of sweetness, which, carries throughout the taste profile. Tastes of caramel, cider, a bit of astringency, and a bit of plum. Quite clean overall, basically this is quite simplistic and straight forward. A nice, refreshing beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

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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).

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fruity nose, not much hop, malt and a touch of pepper. Pours dark amber under a 2” pillowy foam cap. The palate starts with light fruit, pineapple, caramel, pepper and a hint of hops on the finish. Some faint light cardboard flavors suggest the beginning of oxidation. bottled 10-10-11, above average carbonation, a touch of cardboard on the finish, some light fruit, pepper and a hint of hops on the finish. Medium to medium full body, with average carbonation. A fresher bottle is less sweet and crisper with the fruit tending more towards peach and less pineapple. Much better – do not age.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of drpimento
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's a very malty amber beer, tho not much to style. Aroma is malt, toffee, caramel, a bit of fruit. Appearance was great with a huge frothy head. Flavor was just ok,similar to nose, plus metallic. Good body. There are many other Bieres de Garde I'd rather have.

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Photo of cpetrone84
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.

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Photo of popery
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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

Another interesting French brew from Castelain. 750ml bottle, pop the cork and pour. A nice murky golden liquid is presented with quite the large, fluffy white head. Aromas are of belgian malts, and subtle hops on the finish. The taste is mostly malty with some spiciness and citrus fruit appearance in the middle and on the end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the drinkability is nice. A good brew, but one of the least complex I have had in this style.

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Photo of Gmann
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.