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St. Amand - Brasserie Castelain

Not Rated.
St. AmandSt. Amand

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

83 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 83
Hads: 103
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 14.06%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Castelain visit their website

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 (19) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 83 | Hads: 103
Photo of Gmann
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of cokes
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.58/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.07/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of dsa7783
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...
Great, authentic stuff...

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Photo of ADR
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of babaracas
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%

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.

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Photo of marc77
4.57/5  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.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.72/5  rDev -27.9%
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.

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Photo of Cresant
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Wildman
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of impending
3.14/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml into a tulip. Pours a gorgeous crystal clear amber copper, minor dense cream colored head was short lived, minnor lacing

Aroma is of honey candied fruits. No earth, nothing rustic.

Taste has a mellow citrus tang curled around its sweetness. Short lived aftertaste evaporates quickly. No flavor asserts, would pair well with delicate food. Near zero bitter nor dry. Pleasantly bland. Light bodied mouthfeel.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
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

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Photo of bruachan
3.62/5  rDev -4%
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)

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of John
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.43/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.