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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

99 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-23-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yelterdow
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

yelterdow, Jul 14, 2005
Photo of BenZ
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

BenZ, Jun 09, 2005
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

oberon, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

allengarvin, Jan 28, 2005
Photo of horndecker
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
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....

horndecker, Dec 04, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 12, 2004
Photo of ADR
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

ADR, Jun 27, 2004
Photo of mickeymac
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

mickeymac, Jun 23, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +19%
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.

ppoitras, May 05, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.63/5  rDev -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.

Gueuzedude, Apr 20, 2004
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.

francisweizen, Mar 01, 2004
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.

Wildman, Nov 27, 2003
Photo of crookedhalo
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

crookedhalo, Nov 18, 2003
Photo of Gavage
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Gavage, Nov 17, 2003
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.

garymuchow, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of UnionMade
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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.

UnionMade, Aug 24, 2003
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.

Gusler, Mar 26, 2003
Photo of John
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

John, Jan 28, 2003
Photo of philipt
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first French biere de garde, so I didn't know quite what to expect. A pleasant, and lucky, find at the local food market.

Flip-top, 750ml bottle. Pours a clear, copper body with rapidly disintegrating head. Malt and bubblegum aroma. The taste is rather simple versus what I expected. Malt and a candy sweetness dominated the flavor. Quite lively and refreshing though. Very little hop presence. Easy to drink.

An easily forgettable beer. This beer had the unlucky position of being rated following the Stone Imperial Stout (no beer should follow that rating).

philipt, Jan 25, 2003
Photo of paceyourself
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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%.

paceyourself, Jan 05, 2003
Photo of Thrasher
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL flip top bottle. Dark amber with big head which vanishes. If you ask me, this beer is identical to Ruddles County Ale. Rich, malty, sweet, delectable. Heavy apple cider qualities, chewy, a tiny dead bit of alcohol in the middle. A mild dryness and a little bit of spice denotes the hops. Nothing to discern it as French or even Belgian. No present yeast; I guess it had already done its job by the time it was bottled. I swear, it tastes just like Ruddles. Which is fine by me, Ruddles is one of my favorite beers. Just not what I expected from a biere de garde. Perhaps its a fraction sweeter, and lacking the creamy British mouthfeel. Anyway it's damn good. Maybe even tastier than Ruddles.

Thrasher, Nov 25, 2002
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely, rosy amber hue, like a nectarine skin, with a thick, fuzzy, creamy, beige-toned head.
Fresh fruit and bold effervescence in the nose, floral, herbal, with a hoppy zest, juicy and jubilant, making me anxious to raise it up to my lips, ...and away we go...
mmmm, big, brisk, bouyant feel in the mouth, happy hops on the palate, tingles the tongue. Medium to full body, never -ending fruit factor, peach, apricot, cherries, mango and more...I'm liking it big-time. Very glad this comes in the economy-size package, which allows me to sample more tastiness at one time. Overall, this is an excellent hoppy session ale, like a fruity saison, perhaps?

In my first review, I merely rounded it up as a French Alpha King...nowadays, I say "not quite, but almost"....I still like it lots, though...

feloniousmonk, Nov 19, 2002
Photo of nathi
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Light amber with a medium head. Sweet sugary and candy like aroma with a hint of caramel, very simple. Sweetness up front followed by dry finish. Profile is llike sugar, not rich malt. Complex musky undertones, raw dirt character. Very slight metalic hop in finish. Very disapointing.Ranks 4th out of 5 Bier de Gardes tasted during the same session.

nathi, Nov 09, 2002
Photo of marc77
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy garnet hue, covered by a light tan uniformly thick, creamy head that leaves intricate lace. The aroma is a combination of mild bubblegum esters, acidic sweet kiwi - like fruitiness and powdery, dry cocoa, w/ an undertone of acetaldehyde and yeast must. Maple sugar like sweetness in flavor is ensued by biscuit malt and light carob. Esters complement the malt profile to yield a dark, mellow, fig like fruitiness. The light hop bitterness is well integrated and perfectly offsets residual sweetness without interfering with the malt profile. Moderately bodied, w/ a creamy smooth mouthfeel that belies the relatively low strength. Finishes w/ a hint of toasty malt and bittersweet chocolate, but clean otherwise. St. Amand is truly a delicious brew. The overall balance and depth of character is stunning, considering the relatively low strength (5.9% ABV) Superlative drinkability due to its lightness on the palate-- It's a joy to drink. Reminescent of a dubbel / brown ale hybrid.

marc77, Sep 23, 2002
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St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.