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St. Amand - Brasserie Castelain

Not Rated.
St. AmandSt. Amand

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

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 83
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
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 83
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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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%.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Photo of JohnK17
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

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

A- White head with brown amber mahogany color. Left a small lacing on the glass.

A- Fruity aromas. Slight sour notes.

T- A bit of toasted malt. Very lightly sour. Pleasant aftertaste, slight notes of apples. Incredibly refreshing.

M- Very smooth. Medium body with moderate-high carbonation.

D- I bought this a year ago and have cellared it until now. I just wished I had opened this sooner. Nice on a cold day, but I imagine this to be great on a fall evening as well. Don't let the "slightly sour" scare you away.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

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

$8,69 corked and caged 750mL Camp Creek World of Beverage East Point / Atlanta, Ga. USA
Very interesting. I do not recall having ever had this style before, but I really enjoyed it. It poured a burnt orange colour with a bit of chill haze, and had a 3 finger foamy cap which slowly became pitted and craggy as it died down. Looked very nice, almost as though it belonged in an ad. I must have poured it just right.
Smell was fruit, yeast, and a bit of a candied smell present, as well, almost akin to honey roasted or candied peanuts. Curious. The yeast smell was easily the most prominent; very bread-like.
Taste seems to be a multitude of things, including, yeasty bread / dough, fruit, bitter hops, and a slight bit of a sourness. The hop bitterness in this was rather pleasant and unexpected. Ales of this sort (Belgian / French country ale, farmhouse ale) nearly always have more of a sourness to them than anything else. The lovely bitter hop finish was a delightful surprise.
Mouthfeel had a bit more fullness to it than I would have though by simply looking at it. It is certainly full bodied and rather heavy, all things considered, anyway. Nevertheless, I found it quite drinkable and will certainly pick up another 2 or 3 750's to have on hand. A lovely surprise, indeed.

Photo of sbanacho
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber to copper brew, the full finger of head is a white that looks almost grey with such a dark beer underneath. Head dissipates rather quickly, leaving a soapy cap and full lacing.

I found the aroma to be raisiny and full of dark malt character. 'Belgian' yeast jumps right in while floral, herbal hops add a touch of boldness. The flavor keeps the ripe fruit coming, quite full. Sweet caramel malt, leaning towards a toffee - lightly toasted, very prevalent, and tasty. Solid hop presence, noticeable but nowhere near the dominant flavor. Some herbal, and some spicing that could be the hops or could be, well, spices. Smooth and creamy presence, finishes semi-dry and retains a good bit of the apple sweetness in the aftertaste.

I prefer this one to a lighter biere de garde such as Jenlain or Gavroche, even Castelain blond. Now if I was cooking... there is a lot to be done with a pale saison-style ale (pork chops anyone?), while St. Amand might overload the caramelized flavor. Save this one for sipping, and enjoy thoroughly. For the style, this one is dark to me, and I'm loving every bit of it. Reminiscent of an ESB with characteristic Belgian touches. If anything, I would rate this higher in the future, but none of the individual characteristics leapt out at me.

Photo of Patrick999
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh, a biere de garde, I wish there were more readily available. Found this one at Total Wine in North Miami. Rather boring-looking label with a generic description of "French Country Ale," but you just know that there's a real beer within the contents of that boring bottle.

A - Popped the cork and poured; it's darker than I expected. I was expecting something light and cheery, while this is a kind of sinister-looking amber with a bit of a glow to it. No matter - nice head, good lacing to be seen.

S - There's some subtle stuff going on here. A bit of earthy hop, wet hay - definitely somewhat "farm-y." Some honey-toast as it warms. Ever so slight undercurrent of mustiness, courtesy of the native yeast.

T - Very nice. A hint of sour to begin, some substantive grassy hop, and a honey-toast sweetness tracking with the aroma that is perceived rather than fully tasted. Moderately dry and quite refreshing.

F - A slight grit in the feel, maybe attributable to the local water. Beyond that, it's weight on the palate is extremely light. Well-carbonated but not terribly sharp.

D - Another excellent biere de garde from Castelain. You can enjoy the 750 with no trouble, and not feel too guilty about it. Enough going on to keep you interested, light and refreshing enough to keep you drinking. Would pair well with nearly anything, but this is one of those beers that makes me wish I was sipping it outside a Parisian cafe, watching the women walk by. The French can't brew beer? I call B.S. on that one; there's more than enough evidence to the contrary.

If you see this dull-looking bottle on the shelf, buy it.

Photo of dsa7783
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Gingerman, NYC...
An excellent depiction of the style, true stuff... Light-bodied, perilously drinkable...
Pours a hazy, dirty blond color...
Smell: Raw hay, slight wheat and honey grains...
Taste: Honey, cotton candy, pears, candied sugars...
Medium-bodied,
Great, authentic stuff...

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St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.