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Le Merle | North Coast Brewing Co.

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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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Reviews: 515 | Ratings: 1,326
Photo of jmd1978
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale cloudy yellow Collin with nice 2 inch creamy head. Nose is bready with floral and fruity notes. Taste of apples, white grapes, and tangerine followed by notes of bready malts and hints pear. Very light finish. Saisons not usually my thing but this one definitely decent enough to try again.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I associate North Coast mostly with expertise in the British tradition whose stand-out feature is blending malts. Unlike the typical west coast brewery that uses hops as the main attraction, North Coast uses hops for balance.

So with their relative restraint of hops, I speculate, it is easier for North Coast to shift into the Belgian tradition... once they find the right yeast.

In Le Merle, they found the right yeast. It may be their best Belgian style ale. Try it.
More of an amber tone in the glass, the nose finds lots of tropical fruit from the yeast and hops synergy.
You will like the taste, also; full enough for substance and balanced enough to go with food.

Le Merle is listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die" and it deserves it.
So it is, I speculate, with you.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured to a Duvel glass.

A: The body is opaque orange-y to copper-y. Poured a two finger thick white head that soon became a very thin head with lots of retention and lacing.
S: I'm currently with a cold that unables me to feel the aroma in its wholr but I can feel the phenolic touch with a very proeminent profile of yeast and breadiness.
T: Sweet, Bready and yeasty. Actually, as I drink this beer it feels like a mariage between a wheat beer and a belgian strong pale ale. Which actually explains the opaqueness in the appearance.
M:The mouthfeel is very soft eith an awesom crescendo of bitterness to a mild level. High carbonation, high body. Great.
O: Second North Coast beer. As a saison, I look at this with a mix of wheat beet and BSPA. It explains the variations on a BSPA base. It's really interesting.

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Photo of MarkQ617
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this poured into a pint glass. Color was a translucent yellow-orange with a significant amount of fluffy foam head. The aroma and flavor were both sweet but not overly so. I dont know that Ive ever seen such a variety of flavors in reading the reviews on here for this beer, but I got pineapple, yeast, banana, and guava. Mouthfeel was damn good for a saison, very refreshing. Maybe a little underrated on here in my opinion.

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Photo of gandres
3.21/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tap to glass @ North Coast Brewing tap room@ Fort Bragg,CA
Appearance : Pale straw light yellow, cloudy, hazy, big white head disappears quickly, lacing
Aroma: yeast, aroma is like wheat beer
Taste: lightly sour,
Palate: long bitter finish, average carbonation
Overall: good beer, not to repeat, not to look for
Drank: April 13, 2016

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed form the growler via Jungle Jim's in Fairfield. This nice saison pours a cloudy golden orange with a moderate head of white foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin layer, and nice lacing. Nose of moderate citrus notes, light grassy notes, pears, and subtle yeasty goodness. Flavors exceed the nose with light sweet candy malts on the front and sides mingling with lime peel, lemon grass, pears, and crackers on the middle and back touched by lemon zest and subtle herb notes of coriander. Nice mouth feel, lightly carbonated, and a nice dry finish makes for an excellent saison that is crush-able and solid for the style. First time having this in a growler and a welcome experience indeed.


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Photo of flyingpig
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

355ml Bottle from Brewdog's DogHouse BottleDog, Glasgow (£5.10):
I really enjoyed this, mainly as it didn't seem like as strong a saison since the usual funk & tart flavours were considerably subdued with more emphasis on sweet & tropical fruit flavours. The balance was good though with nice bitterness & I felt the beer would be an introduction to the style; great stuff & one that went down a lot better than I thought it would.

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Photo of anon
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep orange, amberish hue. Two finger head dwindling down but retaining foam throughout. Very, very light lace, if any. Right out of the gate the tropical fruits hit your nose. Pineapple, guava, honeydew, papaya. Subtle spice.

Again tropical fruit is quite prominent in the taste. Along with the aforementioned fruits come hints of coconut, citrus peel, banana. Coriander, peppercorn and rye. A little bit of cracker and bread. Some farmhouse funk, straw, must, nutty and floral subtleties.

Finishes out quite juicy but semi-dry. Lots of depth and character in this one, but I'd have preferred a little more spice. A different take on the style and an excellent offering, but just misses on that particularity of the farmhouse style.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of head on a clear golden body with lots of bubbles.
The aroma is earthy, yeast, lemon, grapefruit and a little pineapple.
The taste is mild bitter with some fruit sweetness, and some dirt flavor.
The texture is soft and fizzy.
Really enjoyable.

 260 characters

Photo of schenectady
2.73/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

L- HUGE white head that slowly dissipated to a thin head on top. Murky haziness. Dark yellow/orange color.

S- Very sweet with pronounced pineapple, mango, candied fruit.

T- Pretty dry. Banana flavor sticks out. No real funk. Dry finish.

F- Leaves a dry bitter coating. Light carbonation that diminishes as you drink it.

O- Not the typical saison that I'm used to.

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Photo of Icedog
4.76/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pouring the biggest head I've ever seen on a beer surprises me up front: then the odor blew me away. It's not what your mom would recommend. It has a real blond bier kind of odor with a twist of hops that verifies why it seems to sour at the first sniff. That mustiness lingers yet doesn't leave me fearing the after-taste at all. The general feel satisfies because you don't need to fight it down and it's not a true bitter bier. Loved the buzz; keep it coming to Texas...

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Photo of MACrist
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

LOOKS: Amber orange. Poured into snifter, leaves about an inch of soapy off white head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer on top of the beer. Beer is opaque with very tiny bubbles streaming up. Very slight lacing left down the glass.
AROMA: This is my first Saison and it's not what I was expecting, at least for aroma. I'm getting slightly tart fruit, like mango and papaya. Floral notes, bready, yeasty aroma, candied fruit. Not a lot of funk!
TASTE: Some bitterness, mildly astringent. Bready and yeasty. Very mild as far as sweetness. Dried, lighter fruits. Slightly tart, more of a bitterness, really.
MOUTHFEEL: The carbonation is definitely in the forefront, but not obnoxious. Very dry beer throughout the whole sip.
OVERALL: For my first Saison, I really enjoyed trying this style. I have a feeling this is mild compared to others but I would try this again. Pretty tasty.

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Photo of WellRested518
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L- A burnt yellow-gold with excellent clarity. Two fingers of head fade to a half-finger crown with brilliant lace. Lookin' gewddd.

S- Dusty cellar, wet hay, prickly pear, guava, grape must, pineapple, & canned peaches. Classic flavors of banana & clove are also abundant, but overshadowed by the tropical sweetness. Still very good.

T/M/O- The sweetness really kicks in here with notes of pear & grape juice, but oddly all of the citrus & old-world flare has been lost. It seems to almost get a trippel feel to it, as it becomes a bit cloying. Lacking depth, the carb becomes less & less effervescent. Eventually all is lost in what made a good beer superb... begging for a volley of nuance from the old-world.
This beer is good, but I'll be dammed if it couldn't be great. I understand that they wanted to create a clean, new-world saison, but if they had bottled with the slightest amount of Brett they could've kept some charm & cleaned up the residual sweetness.

Ps- I really dig this beer, but I see at as more of a trippel in this light.
Pps- I'm soooo going to blend this with some funky-peach Berliner-Weisse that I've got in the fridge.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty bright yellow appearance, soft white head. Pungent yeast aroma, smells even dry, keeps spice cabinet known, but it works.

Taste had citrus, plenty dry mouthfeel. A bit of pepper. Good carbonation. One of the better non wild saisons. More traditional and better for it.

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Photo of Viaduck
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice loud pop. Cloudy Amber body & nice thick head. Mild hop scented aroma. Flavor is full of yeasty/ bready goodness. Slightly salty, no bitterness. The tongue senses lot of carbonated tingle. Very good.

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Photo of BWED
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Hazy golden orange. Head faintly off-white. A little delicate. Lacing is lacking, however.

S- Super yeasty and spicy. Stonefruit and some citrus.

T- Fruity, yeasty. Some citrus tang. Hops aren't noticeable. Bready/grainy bite.

M- A little tart, but there is a nice smoothness. Semi-dry finish, which the hops may play in to.

O- Flavor just isn't up there. Aroma is nice and strong, as well as the feel.

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.89/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: A one finger length creamy white head that slowly dissipated. The body was a golden bright yellow that was slightly cloudy, but turned clear after sitting a bit. Plenty of carbonation.

S: Apple and pear, also notes of honey and tropical fruit/flowers.

T: The flavors were bright and fruity, consisting of apple, pear, citrus, tropical fruits/flowers, spices, and vanilla. It was very refreshing!

F: Light bodied, fizzy, and prickly with carbonation, but not too exciting. It was pretty good otherwise.

O: It was quite delicious. I'll have to buy more next time.

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Photo of dikebrewery
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful pour, lots of white foam that stays forever. Amazing yeasty, fruity estery smell. Taste of orange citrus, melon, slight banana,spices and slight floral with a aftertaste of yeasty bread flavor. I have a love for Belgian Triples, pale ales and farmhouse ales so this one gets high marks.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: moderately hazy; medium gold in color; 2 finger off white head that receded to a wispy cap; very nice, long lasting lacing;

S: coriander is predominant with a little citrus and black pepper behind it;

T: coriander up front; some citrus tartness gets added in the middle, followed by orange pith; moderate bitterness with a little spice at the finish;

M; medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation; moderately dry finish; hides the ABV well;

O: nicely done;

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy gold under a rocky, turbulent 3” light cream colored foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: A slight tuch of toast in the nose with fruit and saison earthiness.
T: Orange, light mango, touch of papaya, apricot, peach or marmalade, definitely a little baguette. Light tartness and bitter in the aftertaste.
F: Medium body, highly effervescent, creamy.
O: A full flavored, easy to drink saison.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at New England Taphouse
In a pint glass for 10 bucks
Deep golden color with a smallish white head. Earthy rustic but still with a bready malty orange and tropical fruity sweetness. I'd drink it again if the price were better.

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Photo of aobrehm
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

L-Bottle conditioning is evident: clumpy chunks of yeast sediment. Pale golden color with decent clarity. White head that is reasonably well-retained.
S-Belgian Farmhouse yeast character is pronounced with limited grainy malt in the background.
T-Smooth on the tongue with plenty of Belgian yeast character. Finish is dry and slightly bitter.
F-Moderate carbonation. Light body that dries out.
O-A solid, well-balanced farmhouse ale. Plenty of yeast character supported just enough by grainy malt and hop bitterness.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Boulevard Brewing tulip glass

A: Pours hazy golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles to a light layer and laces well.

S: Peppery spice, light citrus, a Belgian yeast, fruity notes, and a little tartness.

T: Belgian yeasty, light funk, citrus, orange peel, spice, peppery, fruity notes, pear, melon, and a little light honey like sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, crisp, refreshing.

O: I'm not usually much of a saison guy, but this one was a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazylight golden color, big billowy head. Aroma was citrusy, spicy and funky. The taste was big belgian yeast up front, with some nice orange and pepper notes. The mouthfeel was light, dry with some nice prickly carbonation. Overall, this was a pretty good representation of the style, but for my money, I'm gonna stick with Tank 7 in the future.

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Photo of ShamasUVA
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In a 12 oz bottle, the new capped version. Excellent saison in all aspects, except could use a little more carbonation.

Excellent dryness. Yeast esters are super interesting!

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Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.91 out of 5 based on 1,326 ratings.
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