St. Amand - Brasserie Castelain

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St. AmandSt. Amand

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very good

82 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 82
Hads: 102
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 12.7%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Castelain visit their website

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 82 | Hads: 102
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 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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Photo of mzwolinski
4.62/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sunset orange/red in color, with a thin, wispy top. A nice looking beer, with an attractive enough bottle, though the French have a long way to go to catch up to their neighbors to the East in terms of creativity on this (and other) measure(s).

Lots going on in the aroma. Fruit hits the nose first, with orange and apple dominating the field. A bit of coriander spice blends nicely with an herbal/floral hop character to create an overall very inviting boquet.

Sweet in the mouth, but light enough in body and well-spiced enogh to be refreshing. But this beer achieves drinkability without sacrificing anything in terms of the complexity of the flavor. Don't be fooled by the first sip -- there's more to this beer than first appears. Mango, apple, and more citric fruits water the mouth mid-palate, and sit atop a caramely malt base with a somewhat bready flavor and just a tinge of oak. Nicely hopped at the finish; each sip leaves you wanting another.

I was, for some reason, not ready to be impressed by this beer. But I was pleasantly surprised! A great summer beer that shouldn't be saved for summer alone.

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Photo of cokes
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of BenZ
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

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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 allengarvin
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of horndecker
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
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....

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

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Photo of ADR
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First glass is clearish, later ones are barely sedimented, odd. Light chestnut color with a good pale yellow head that doesn't last long though. Cottony thin string lacing on the glass. Piquant kind of aroma, almost candied cherry and rummy. Light body with generous carbonation. Very fruity -- berry-like in early impression. Switches to a more classic maltier tone later in the sip, reminding me of maple sugar. Thin but distinct metallic hop at the end, lingering into the aftertaste. A number of flavors are going on here, kind of a wild and wooly brew.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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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 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 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 Wildman
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.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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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 garymuchow
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.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First of all, the clamp top wine bottle size is totally SWEET.
The beer pours a murky golden amber, with a huge thick head. Amazing.
Aroma is very strange, with a yeasty nuttiness, belgian fruitiness and a lagered sort of aged winey smell. Maybe the bottle was a little old. It very well could have been. I got it at that kind of liquor store.
Flavor starts out mild, wine-like, and the flavor just explodes midway through the sip. A strange nuttiness, big fruity belgian candi flavor, surprising hop presence, altogether pleasant. This is a hard beer to forget. Finish is rich and sticks to your tongue. I was tasting this beer even through the beer I had right after this one. Maybe I was just remembering it. It was quite splendid, sir. My only complaint was that the carbonation was so intense, and it was sort of filling. Great taste, less filling.

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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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St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.