1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

St. Amand - Brasserie Castelain

Not Rated.
St. AmandSt. Amand

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

100 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 100
Reviews: 82
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of elNopalero
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a golden amber color with a nice bit of head retention.
There’s a funky aroma to it that's contrasted with a lightness on the palate. Bit of a funky funk finish, but overall not terribly complex and not one I’d try again for the price. Pass.

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.

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.

Photo of BastardFromABasket
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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 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 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.

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.

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

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....

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of grumblebee
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Sspeer1
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

Photo of uturn
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

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.

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