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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

97 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13%
Wants: 5
Gots: 3 | 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)
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 4000qtrap
4000qtrap

Missouri

3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 04:48:05 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a transparent dark caramel color with a light tan fluffy and bubbly thin head that lingers for a little.

S-the nose is plain and simple of caramel and cooked brown sugar with hints of an herbal hop underneath but hard to detect.

T-flavor pretty much the same, notes of toasted malts with roasted brown sugar and slightly burnt caramel. herbal hay like hops faint in the back.

M-syrupy medium body, chewy with big carbonation in the back.

D-malt foward and simple, nothing wrong with it but nothing at all that makes me want to come back.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2010 01:24:34 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a massive capp that draps lace down the sides of the chalice

Smell: Fruity, with apple and plum tones backed up by caramel

Taste: Opens with the apple and plum fruit flavors, but by mid-palate the caramel arrives, bringing along an herbacious element, as well, that adds a slightly tart dimension; after the swallow, the flavors are nicely balanced and linger well into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Sways a bit to the sweet side for a beer of this style, but still has a nice balanced character; a rather unusual flavor profile and a beer well worth seeking out

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 19:40:36 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 07:27:31 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Cresant
Cresant

Kentucky

4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 750 mL brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Bottled 4/2/10. Clear but deep copper in color. The head was cream, rich and appealing. A cap remained throughout.

Smell was sweet malts and citrus. Bread and faint yeast.

Taste was peppery. Faintly chalky, dusty. There seemed to be a light metallic twang. Very fruity - maybe fresh plums and apples. Bread crusts. Fairly drying. Subtle bitterness. Well balanced. Seems mellow and well constructed.

Mouthfeel was medium in body. there was plenty of zip but finished smooth.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 23:08:13 | More by Cresant
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

St.Amand French Country Ale (review #700)

Appearance: Clear and copper in color, good head retention.

Smell. Bready, sweet, chocolate. Malty.

Taste: Malty, with toffee and caramel flavor. Hops are leafy and tobacco like in nature. Nutty and lightly roasted malt profile. Overall light and crisp, muted fruit with a small porportion of noble hops. Very faint sour note. On par for style.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, smooth, ample carbonation and some chewey malt lingering. Finish is dry.

Drinkability: Excellent. Could be classified as an amber ale, but its much more full. A great beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 20:40:31 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of hoegaardenhero
hoegaardenhero

California

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 04:16:01 | More by hoegaardenhero
Photo of BDLbrewster
BDLbrewster

Minnesota

3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 23:01:43 | More by BDLbrewster
Photo of gpogo
gpogo

California

4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 02:43:45 | More by gpogo
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2009 15:21:32 | More by Gmann
Photo of CheeseTurds
CheeseTurds

California

4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 04:18:53 | More by CheeseTurds
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
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...

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2009 15:44:03 | More by dsa7783
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a nice and clear amber/ruby color. Totally clear. A massive white head retains fairly well, but dissipates to a 2 finger billowy foam crust leaving very nice lacing.

Nose is loaded with nice fruit flavors. Some slight sour notes in the nose. Slightly vinous.

Wow! Now THIS, THIS is Biere de Garde. A fantastic brew. Opens up with a nice belgian-like yeast note, then flowers into huge fruit flavors. Plums, a bit of raisin, and a very nice creaminess. Some biere de gardes are a bit too sour (im talking to you BFM) and some are a bit too malty (im talking to you La Choulette) but this one is just where It oughta be. The finish has a nice touch of dryness. Some slight spice in here as well. Man, great stuff.

Mouthfeel is a touch, just a tiny touch to thick, and could be a bit drier on the finish. Carbonation is right where it should be, but maybe a tiny bit more would be ideal.

Drinkablility is quite solid here. Could easily session this brew like crazy. It is a touch heavy for the abv, but aside from that no real issues.

Overall, Wow! Biere de Garde has never been a favorite sytle of mine, but this one could totally turn that around. Many Biere de Gardes just have that slight something that if changed would make it great. Well, this one has that something. A great Biere de Garde.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 03:41:29 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of erz316
erz316

Indiana

3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 05:11:52 | More by erz316
Photo of TheEclecticGent
TheEclecticGent

Georgia

2.53/5  rDev -32.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 15:54:18 | More by TheEclecticGent
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

2.7/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

St. Amand French Country Ale. Pour is phenomenal; a cloudy orange-amber with a massive off-white head. Sadly, the rest of the beer doesn't live up to this. Aroma is floral and earthy, with some hay. Taste is one-dimensional. All caramel malt and bread. Flat mouthfeel. Very boring beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 18:53:59 | More by magictrokini
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is darkened copper with an exuberant head. The smell is malty and sweet with a mild hop character. The flavor is tart lemons and some acceptable but uninteresting malt. The blend of flavors is pleasant, but the beer is somewhat disappointing overall. My score seems a bit high considering I wouldn't recommend it. The beer is too sweet and watery for me. Ultimately, the malt flavor is somewhat uninteresting. On the other hand, this is the kind of beer that I would enjoy trying in its home country.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 04:18:52 | More by popery
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(from notes taken early august 2008)

750ml bottle. "best by" date of 16/10/08. possible batch numbers of L7198 and 15:36

poured into tulip

clear, honey-tinted, deep amber, caramel color. lots of off-white head. some lace.

maltose sugar and carmel in the nose. apple juice. faint spices. hay and whiff of yeast. phenols faint in backend. hints of yeasty fermentation.

flavors similar, but just lighter overall. malt mixes with phenolic and aforementioned fruit notes. grassy, hay-like hop gives mild bitterness, ligers slightly into a semi-dry, off-sweet finish. traces of malty caramel and phenols in the aftertaste.

smooth. fluffy, moderate carbonation

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 18:02:03 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of winky13
winky13

California

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 03:52:46 | More by winky13
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 20:36:30 | More by GPHarris
Photo of ThirstyBird
ThirstyBird

Germany

3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2008 19:31:30 | More by ThirstyBird
Photo of Beerenauslese
Beerenauslese

California

2.6/5  rDev -31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Luscious transparent orange-amber color, pours a three-finger head that lasts, leaving mounds of cappuccino foam, then thinning into lace.

Smells of clove and cinnamon spice and tropical fruit.

Tastes flat, nothing special leaps out. Spices are faint, a little bannana, a little citrus, but otherwise the flavors are murky.

Mouthfeel is flat, with little carbonation.

A pour of this is OK, but one is enough.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2008 01:16:19 | More by Beerenauslese
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 04:03:12 | More by nickfl
Photo of Patrick999
Patrick999

Florida

4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2008 20:55:54 | More by Patrick999
Photo of Poser
Poser

Alabama

4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 21:36:17 | More by Poser
St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.