Le Merle | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Le MerleLe Merle
Very Good
1,372 Ratings
Le MerleLe Merle

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerBeing on 06-03-2007

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Ratings: 1,372 |  Reviews: 525
Photo of donniecuffs
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this at Savor 2010. Poured a hazy yellow-gold hue, with a finger of white, decent retention, and good lacing. Very citrusy in the nose, with orange, lemon, and apricot, and a little spicy (coriander). The taste was a nice blend of spicy citrus, with nothing really standing out as overpowering. Slightly spicy in the finish, with very little hint of the alcohol content. Very lightly carbonated; smooth and light on the palate. Overall a serviceable and somewhat sessionable golden ale.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich straw color, with golden hues. Not exactly clear, it's more translucent. Massive head - so nice.

Tart yeasty aromas. An underlying malt bed Wild smell.

Oh my. Wild tartness with an earthy funk really pokes through. Soft malt character is unobtrusive behind the wildness. A little alcohol is notable in the very back. After the initial pizzazz the flavors balance a little more into a highly drinkable brew. Medium body, mild carbonation.

I love the wild twang, it draws me in for more and is very satisfying. Num.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with no freshness date purchased from a place thats clearing them out, so it must be older.

A- this one pours a hazy straw colored body with a massive white fluffy head. the head lasts almost the entire length of the glass and leaves a solid wall of lacing behind.

S- the smell on this one is rather subdued. it has several wheat like qualities. clove, bubble gum, and lots of yeast. some sweet fruity malts in here too.

T- the taste follows the nose. lots of yeast and fruity malts. banana, pear, and apple. lots of spicy clove, coriander, and bubble gum.

M- light to medium bodied with ample carbonation. no trace of alcohol.

D- easy to finish the bottle, and almost a sessionable ABV. this is something i can see myself having this again. espicially if the price break i got it with holds up.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a great hazey hay colored sunshine. Hnts of pale orange mix and dazzle the eyes. Agood head greet right after the pour, but eventually recedes to nothing. The aroma is a spicey mix dry fruits ad vibrant minerals. Very good recreation of a Belgian classic. The first sip is a very spicey fruit. Hnts f cinan and nutmeg. The middle and finish is little dryer. The finish is reminiscat of dry English water mixed with chammomile. The palte is smooth, yet dry and fruity. Dried fruits and unsweetened. Great rendition of a hard to mimic Belgian classic.

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Photo of baggio
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with fellow BA Bark at Oliver Twist, Stockholm

A: Yellow and very unclear. Some thin lace on top.

S: Orange, yeast, tropical fruits.

T: Hay, Orange, Coriander, Pepper, Peach, Wheat.

M: Lots of carbonation in this one. It has a fresh feel to it and feels very belgian.

D: Easy drink. Could have this all night long.

Had this beer in between imperial stouts and dipa's and it was very refreshing. This is good beer. Go try!

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: hazy, light amber/straw colored, pours a thick white head that fades very slowly.

Smell: spicy, estery, citrus, lemon peel, grapefruit, peppery, hoppy, some floral notes, a hint of hay.

Taste: Spicy, peppery, citrus, lemon, grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: light-medium bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth, creamy, zesty.

Overall: a tasty saison. Good spice, well balanced. Drinkability is high.

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Photo of mactrail
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fruity and moderately sweet with the usual Belgian drying finish. Hazy golden color with just beautiful piles of foam. Not a gusher, but the lacing and clouds of bubbles after each sip are as lovely as I've seen.

Aroma is spicy with the fermenting pineapple smell. Flavor is rich with that funky tang that counteracts the malty sweetness. Pear fruitiness and apple skin tannins. A bold amount of clove-like spiciness emerges after some sipping, though that maybe that's the sediment talking.

This is in many ways a model Saison. It's on the strong side, but with enough flavor to drink well. It also doesn't have that overdose of yeasty craziness that I find too often in clumsier examples. Also this is the best I've had from a brewery that does not do much for me otherwise. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

 840 characters

Photo of vidisad
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of EmptyPockets
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of guzzleacoldone
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Hoops4life511
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750 mL corked and caged bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance - Almost couldn't fill this one out because the cork tried to take my eye out. Pours a slightly hazy pale burnt orange with a white frothy head that retained for a little white. Patches are left around the top of the glass, but eventually dissipate. Carbonation coming from the bottom faster than a glass of champagne.

Smell - Grain, Belgian yeast, touch of lemon, earthy. Aroma really jumps out at you and is pleasant.

Taste/Mouth/Drink - Very bold continuation of the nose, the earthy notes take over your mouth. Some fruity sweetness comes through with an estery Belgian finish. Carbonation is a bit off putting and is very noticeable. Very full body for a saison and not as refreshing as I would have hoped for from this style.

Overall, a tasty beer worth the try. I was looking for refreshment with this one though and didn't quite find it. I would love another with a full flavored meal, I bet it would really pop.

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Photo of russpowell
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opens to a resounding pop!

Pours an effervescent apricot with 2 fingers of pearl colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Musty apples & pineapples, plus apple blossoms

T: Apples & pears, some lemon & a touch of white pepper up front. A bit of booze warmth, plus mushroom as this warms up, along with a touch of pineapple & some dryness. Finishes fruitty with candi sugar dryness, came close to a 4.5

MF: Medium bodied with a slight stickyness & low carbonation

Drinks fairly easy, a good saison that really opened up as this warmed

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Photo of SFNC
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of 0x4a64
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of puboflyons
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Brattleboro, Vermont Brewers Festival on May 22, 2010. The pour is a hazy, cloudy yellow with about three inches of foamy head that takes a few minutes to settle down. Yeast and wheat are evident in the aroma so it smells like it should. The taste is also full of wheat and yeast notes. Not all that bad but some US-brewed Belgian style ales are better.

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Photo of mntlover
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy darker yellow color with a big frothy white head that falls slow, sadly only light lace left behind.

Aroma is good nice sweet malts loaded with tropical fruits, mango, apple and pears mingled together. Fruits are lightly tart and mingle with funk and lightly spicy yeast notes.

Taste is like the aroma nice starts lightly sweet, then the tart fruits show up for a second moving right into spice and a funky finish. Little sweeter then most Saison's I have had but only sweet for a little while before the funk sets in.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side but with good average carbonation level.

Overall a pretty tasty Saison one worth re sampling for sure.

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Photo of rarbring
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clouded dark yellow brew, an off-white head with little lacing but good curtains.

Smelling winey, grapes, grape-fruit, and peaches.

Sweet sugary start, white wine, grapes, apples and spices.

Medium low carbonation, fresh texture with a good body, a light sour dryness,

An easily accessible Saison, a bit on the sweet side.

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Photo of callmemickey
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange-hay colored body with a slight off white head. Mediocre retention and spotty lacing.

S: Farm fresh floral character. Orchard tones including ripening apples and peaches. Slight earthy breads.

T: The taste, like the nose, is soft and rounded... which isn't always a bad thing, but does diminish the ability to explore the depth of flavor. Mostly a fresh breeze flavor.. grassy with slight fruit flavoring. Not much spice. Some alcohol creeps in.

M: Smooth and crisp. Light bodied.

D: This is a good saison... it just lacks in the complexity and cohesiveness of a well crafted saison. Worth exploring.

 613 characters

Photo of mryuk
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an unfiltered yellow gold with zero head.

smell is sweet and malty with lots of orange.

taste is sweet and orange and light with a bit of sour.

mouth is light-medium bodied with low carbonation.

overall it was pretty drinkable but I am not overly excited to have another one.

 285 characters

Photo of Snowdog
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of coldmeat23
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Tulip
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

This pours a clear, golden, peach color, with light, amber hues. Two-fingers of foamy, eggshell colored head sits on top. Retention is fairly good. Lacing is good, but pretty slick, so it keeps sliding back down.

Big notes of tropical fruits are noticed first. A good level of belgian yeast is here. It has a sort of 'fruit bread' kind of scent. There is also a nice earthiness, presumably from the hops.

This is quite a balanced taste. The yeast and the fruits are well-matched. The earthy notes of the hops provide a nice amount of dryness, which counters the sweetness, almost perfectly. There is no bitterness to speak of, which lends to the enjoyment of this beer.

This has a medium body and a high level of carbonation. There is a bit of roughness around the edges, with a touch of creaminess in the middle. It makes for an interesting mouthfeel.

This is very well-balanced and easy drinking. Along with the 7.9%abv, which is only lightly noticed, this is quite drinkable.

 1,031 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours hazy and rustic orange in color with a white, two-finger width head. Good retention, then dissipates to a thin, consistent layer of suds. A few spots here and there make up the lacing.

Smell - Smells like your classic saison - light fruitiness (mild lemon, green banana, apple), spice and funk.

Taste - Follows the nose. Spicy, funky, lightly fruity. A hint of hay. Finish lingers with mild lemon brightness and a bit of spice.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with bitey carbonation. Slick, smooth texture. Very very drinker with a crisp, semi-dry finish.

Overall - A straight-up classic example of a saison here. All the basic flavors are present and they're expertly balanced. I'm not much of a saison guy, thus this will probably be my first and last purchase, but much respect to such a well executed brew.

 828 characters

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

La merle pours a peachy hazy yellow with good head, but it dissipates quick. ok lace. The nose is very wheaty, and some spice is there. Taste has alot of wheat, and has alot of spice as well. Some banana on the finish. Now notice more spice through the middle, good spice and good flavor. Mouthfeel is good for a saison. Drinkability is very high and refreshing. I could see this being very good on a hot summer day. way to go north coast.

 439 characters

Photo of Justdoit1234
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Phenwayphrank74
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%

Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 1,372 ratings
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