Le Merle | North Coast Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,361 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Le MerleLe Merle
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,361
Reviews:
522
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
9.95%
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
166
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,361 |  Reviews: 522
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very good saison, which some people think is gone and reired. Pours foamy whitish body and big lasting soapy white head, lasting lace. A little farmhouse aroma, and spice. Taste is above average, complex spice. A nce drinking saison, more of a sipper, hat refreshes the Summer wheaher.

 287 characters

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, CA.

Pours a clear golden color with a white head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, spices, yeast, and some light fruity aromas. Taste is pretty much the same but there is also a slight soapy flavor on the finish. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good saison that is tasty and easy to drink.

 491 characters

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

outstanding saison here. this is easily my favorite north coast beer to date. it pours a pale goldenrod color, cloudy but neat looking at the same time. a one and a half inch head rests on top and doesnt go away. the nose is great, fresh farmy yeast delivers a very organic feel, not as funky as some saisons, but refined and elegant. the yeast is the star of the show here, but there is a nice wheaty malt base and some gentle fruit flavors, golden raison, tangerine, lemongrass. its a very well balanced beer, completely devoid of any alcohol presence, despite being nearly 8% abv. it still feels like a felicate brew at that level. the feel is great, excited carbonation gives it a really bright mouthfeel. the body is medium, and really satisfyingly drinkable. at less than 6 bucks a bottle, this is one of the better beers my money has bought lately. a great late summer/early fall saison.

 894 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Knapp85
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Popped the cork with and poured into a snifter. The color is a really nice orange copper color. The head is nice at first then it settles down to a thinner white layer. The lacing is sparse. The smell is a little spicy with some wheat and just a very light aroma of funk. The taste is a little boozy with some spice and some grapes in there. The mouthfeel is bubbly and a little creamy. Not a bad brew. Pretty decent stuff for a saison.

 436 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down yet consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of floral hops, apples, lemons, spices and yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and is fruity with notes of spices and hints of sourness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and refreshing. It is a good representation of the style.

 634 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fitting beer for a late summer night. Kinda cool outside and sitting on the porch after a long day's work. Saison it is.

Le Merle begins with a serious pop with the cork. the beer shows very active carbonation and a billowing eggshell head that maintains constant replenishment because of the efforvesence. Golden to orange in color, the beer shows a modest haze, great retention, and ample lacing.

The whole gammot of fruits can be found in the nose: peaches, pears, apples, appricots, pineapples, under-rippened berries, mangos, papayas, orange zest, and lemons are all recognizable. Spicy pepper, corriander, curraco, and light plastics round out the phenols.

Flavors do much the same. Very fruity, spicy, and well, Belgiany. Lightly vineous, tart, and acidic taste amplify the zesty and vibrant fruits. It's easy to forget about the malts. These are very well attenuated and give a subtle cracker-like crisp grain flavor along with a confection sweetness that provide the daintiest of backdrops for the showcase of fruits and spices.

The body is quite light and crisp for its fruitiness, sweetness, and boldness. A moderate hop bitterness persists and has a problem ajoining to the beer properly. Very warm, nearly hot to the mouth with a sharp carbonic bite from the CO2 activity.

The spicy-fruity attributes of the beer are in the keeping of Saisons. Even the sweetness suggests so. Though there is little to complain about the beer, it is not wonderful as we expect from great Belgian varieties.

Edit: After the beer looses its carbonation a bit, the mouthfeel and aggressive textures fade nicely, leaving the fruity, spicy blend to work their magic.

 1,665 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml solid, caged and corked bottle.

This beer pours a hazy medium straw colour, with a ton of thin, wispy, teeming white head, which leaves some chunky lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of crisp peppery yeast, pale malt, and citrus. The taste is sweet wheaty malt, candy sugar, citrus rind, and a bit of yeast. The carbonation is quite even, the body light, a bit airy, but still, well, there. It finishes fairly dry, some new-found warming alcohol playing aside the latent citrus and yeast.

A nice, ramped up saison - all the grain, yeast, and fruit, with a slight elevated booze warming. What's not to love, especially from this summer-forlorn winter denizen?

 678 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.7/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

375ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me gaff in Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. Acquired at Lukas Liquor in Lone Tree, Colorado.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

Yields a satisfying cork pop upon opening. No upsurging issues or anything.

A: Pours a two finger white colour head - a bit too thin - of slight cream, decent thickness, and good retention for the high ABV. Decent lacing. Body colour is a nontransparent translucent pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not quite on par for the style, but generally inviting.

Sm: Light funkiness, pale malts, some dull lemon zest, and fairly stale citrus ester hops. An average strength aroma. Surprisingly, no yeast is detectable. No alcohol is detectable either.

T: Lemon and citrus zest in a dull and somewhat stale sense. Pale malts. Hints of funk. No real yeast character. No alcohol comes through. It's too simple; there's little to say about it. Lacks complexity and subtlety. Not particularly balance either. Meh. It leaves a lot to be desired. Lacks the subtle peppery character present in every quality saison I've had.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some tingly coarseness from the crystal malt. Decent carbonation. Okay palate presence. Doesn't feel custom-tailored to the flavours, but it works in general sense.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. I wouldn't bother with this again. There are far better beers in the style. Not recommended. Hides its ABV well, but that's one of the few things it has going for it. A severe disappointment from North Coast.

C-

 1,814 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy apricot nectar color with a whipped egg white cap that retains beautifully and leaves nice shards of lace

Smell: Wheat bread, with a lemon and grassy aroma that features some spices, too, such as coriander and a hint of clove

Taste: Fruity, up front, with apple and pear bleeding into the lemon and grassy bitterness, with spices arriving by mid-palate (white pepper, coriander and clove); after the swallow, flavors mellow out but there is a residual sweetness that builds, almost like a tripel

Mouthfeel: Medium body with spritzy carbonation

Drinkability: One of the top domestic saisons I have encountered - really catches the spirit of the style; this bottle is at least a year old and I tried it the day after I tried my four year old Jubilee which, though similar, had developed a bit more complexity

Thanks, rsyberg01, for the opportunity

 875 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden amber color with a two-finger, very bubbly, soapy, off white head of foam. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled phenolic with spices and yeast. There was a nice grain presence.

T - It tasted very spicy and yeasty with some sweet caramel and grain flavor. Some fruitiness, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very nice saison. Another very good brew from North Coast.

 484 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LXIXME
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Hazy orange with blond highlights. The first pour produces an enormous head that takes a few minutes to settle down.

Smell - Fruity and spicy; overtones of citrus and tropical fruit, subtle notes of clove.

Taste & body - Grassy and yeasty, mild banana-like sweetness mixed with a pleasant lemon juice sourness. Spicy, citrus-like hops provide a long, bitter finish. Medium in body with high carbonation.

Notes - An easy drinking saison with good character, and at $7 per 750ml bottle you really can't go wrong.

 526 characters

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Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,361 ratings.
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