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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 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 popery
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

popery, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of cokes
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

cokes, Sep 22, 2005
Photo of cpetrone84
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

cpetrone84, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Gmann
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Gmann, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

jfcaa193, Feb 19, 2012
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 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 JohnK17
4/5  rDev +5.8%

JohnK17, Dec 11, 2012
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...

dsa7783, Mar 08, 2009
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 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.

BretSikkink, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of elNopalero
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

elNopalero, Dec 21, 2011
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
Photo of magictrokini
2.7/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of uturn
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

uturn, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of Cresant
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Cresant, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dispensed from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Magic Chouffe tulip glass. Dark copper colored beer with a small, white head. Somewhat dense but disappears rather quickly and leaves littles trace that the beer was there.

Aroma is sour yet sweet, and slightly musty. Sour, green apple aromas with the tartness of an apple pie. Somewhat yeasty.

Sort of lacking in overall depth. Thin on the mouthfeel. Tangy, sweet, slight hop bitterness, plenty of caramel malty flavors. Light and refreshing but a little thin on the mouthfeel. Finishes dry as a bone and exceptionally clean on the palate. A good sessioner Id say.

SaCkErZ9, Jan 25, 2008
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 babaracas
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%

Pours a clear orange-red, one finger thick cream colored head, few wispy patches of lace.

Smell: apricot, marmalade note, wet grains, mild earthiness.

Taste: caramel apple, sweet plum flesh, red grape, date bread, grain twang, earthy and herbal notes.

Medium-light bodied, active carbonation, drying and slightly sticky finish.

Best by 11/15. Slightly sweeter than Castelain's "blonde," but similarly as delicious.

babaracas, Aug 16, 2014
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 pknyc
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

pknyc, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
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

tai4ji2x, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of bruachan
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
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)

bruachan, May 14, 2007
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

AKBelgianBeast, Jan 21, 2009
St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.