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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

98 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | 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: 98 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of erz316
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.

erz316, Jan 08, 2009
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.

WetCoaster, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of 4000qtrap
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Source/Serving: 750mL bottle, Expires 12/21/11

S: Sweet malt character with heavy toasted biscuit, prune caramel, tart stale red wine, red wine cork and a little hay around the edges. Definitely a nice amount of musty/earthiness balanced against some marzipan and even alcohol (@5.9%, wow). Once you get past the sweetness it has a lot of depth.

T: Quite sweet up front with predominant grape syrup/caramel for almost the entirety of the sip. Slight sour/tart character along with some butter/ almond nuttiness, and lightly floral noble-esque hops which briefly show off some bitterness on the way to the finish to stave off the unrestrained heavy malt forward character. Syrupy body with medium carbonation. More warming than expected and alcohol comes through once its warmed just a pinch. Finish is semi-dry but sticky with butter, almond, and some hay/cork with an earthy washed-rind cheese sort of funk that’s not over the top and pleasant.

Notes: Nice sweet-funk flavors, but not dynamic. The beer does get much better and more balanced as it warms, however, and I had to give this some time to start to appreciate it. I'm fairly new to this style and this is a classic so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now.

4000qtrap, May 02, 2011
Photo of drperm
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.

drperm, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of horndecker
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Caged and corked 750ml bottle. Inviting label. I'm a fan of the Castelain Blonde so I looked forward to this one. I was a bit disappointed.
Deep orange peach color with an off white head that was initially quite active but dissipated very quickly. The nose was funky and citric as expected but not too complicated. The first sip is sour and malt, somewhat akin to lambic, with bright notes of apples and and a biscuity sweetness in the center. And then a quick bitter finish. It doesn't last too long. Everything is over very quickly.
A bit thin bodied I thought, but refreshing and very drinkable with the appropriate meal....

horndecker, Dec 04, 2004
Photo of remitrom
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

remitrom, Aug 07, 2013
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 BDLbrewster
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.

BDLbrewster, Dec 28, 2009
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 BastardFromABasket
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

After popping the cork caught a nice bready yeast aroma out of the bottle. Had a big foamy off-white head that dissipated after a minute. Color was clear amber. Smelled of malts and a bit of yeast but not much hops. Tasted of malts up front - a bit of skunk (not unpleasant) - with a hint of dark fruit and finished with some hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with fine bubbles but not overly effervescent. Overall very good.

BastardFromABasket, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of hiku7
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.

hiku7, Feb 29, 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 Abita45
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.

Abita45, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of philipt
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).

philipt, Jan 25, 2003
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 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
Photo of grumblebee
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

grumblebee, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of nathi
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Light amber with a medium head. Sweet sugary and candy like aroma with a hint of caramel, very simple. Sweetness up front followed by dry finish. Profile is llike sugar, not rich malt. Complex musky undertones, raw dirt character. Very slight metalic hop in finish. Very disapointing.Ranks 4th out of 5 Bier de Gardes tasted during the same session.

nathi, Nov 09, 2002
Photo of IdentityAles
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.

IdentityAles, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of jonworth
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]

jonworth, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of Buddman223
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Buddman223, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of CheeseTurds
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.

CheeseTurds, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of winky13
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this refrigerated at the local bevmo. The deep amber hue nicely accompanies the lightly effervescent brew. Very lightly hopped and not as sweet as a Belgian. The wife liked the nose. Liked it but for the price would head towards a similarly priced Belgian dubbel.

winky13, Sep 14, 2008
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St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.