St. Amand - Brasserie Castelain

Not Rated.
St. AmandSt. Amand

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BA SCORE
85
very good

82 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 101
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.64%
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 82 | Hads: 101
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. (655 characters)

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. (389 characters)

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) (724 characters)

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. (726 characters)

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. (1,263 characters)

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. (1,074 characters)

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. (875 characters)

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. (606 characters)

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. (557 characters)

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

Appearance: Rich medium amber color. Nice rustic one finger head.

Aroma: Malty a little sweet.

Flavor: Definate malt on front. Some seweetness and a little bitter on the end. The flavor felt a little watered down in my opinion. decent but not great.

Body: Highly carbonated yet fairly smooth.

A nice beer but not my favorite. It is enjoyable enough but would not go out of my way to buy again.

Serving type: bottle (419 characters)

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.... (629 characters)

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. (858 characters)

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. (722 characters)

Photo of 4000qtrap
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,230 characters)

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. (635 characters)

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. (798 characters)

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). (600 characters)

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. (690 characters)

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. (1,104 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - poured a three-fingers thick dense and creamy tan head into a snifter that left thick sheeting and lace. billows nicely and really coats the glass. the body was a bright amber color.
s - malty caramel and vanilla aromas.
t - malty, earthy and citrusy hops with a honeylike sweet finish.
m - medium slick mouthfeel.
d - highly drinkable. (340 characters)

Photo of paceyourself
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
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%. (355 characters)

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. (707 characters)

Photo of John
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy chestnut color. Loosely gathered foam head settles to a steady layer. Aroma is fruity largely consisting of apple, raisins and plum. In combination with the steady carbonation, the flavors and crisp texture create a complex array. Sweet, tart and fruity notes freely shift about the palette. There’s also some woody notes and the yeast imparts an underlying musty, farm character. A fine French country ale and a delicious brew. (434 characters)

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: light ring of whote foam around the top of a dull amber-brown body

s: sweet malts; popcorn; a sour note; light grape; dry wheat

t: very mild but sweet; still that sour note; sweet syrupy malts; warms up with each sip; light saltiness;

m: i feel that this is a little aggressive but is good; light-medium body; limited cloy

d: ok; very mild; could be good with some good foods; worth a try and could make a good pairing (426 characters)

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. (270 characters)

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