Le Merle | North Coast Brewing Co.

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88
very good
508 Reviews
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Le MerleLe Merle
BEER INFO

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

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
Reviews:
508
Ratings:
1,308
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
16.37%
 
 
Wants:
40
Gots:
155
For Trade:
3
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 508 | Ratings: 1,308
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.

 737 characters

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.

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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.

 1,151 characters

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.

 281 characters

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.

 205 characters

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.

 421 characters

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.

 232 characters

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.

 531 characters

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.

 521 characters

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.

 346 characters

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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Photo of JFrank78
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle. It's a hazy golden pour, good head and an inviting smell. I've been going back to Le Merle for a good while. Subtle citrus and frisky hops. Yum, yum. It tastes like late summer at the ballpark.

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Photo of leaddog
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy gold colour with four fingers of overflowing foamy white head.

Smell - Hints of Belgian yeast, orange peel, spicy hops, and a touch of pepper. Aromas are fairly subdued.

Taste - A punch of orange peel and Belgian yeast, along with the spicy hops. Quite a lot of zing due to the citrusy orange peel.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry with a lingering zing from the orange peel.

Overall - An interesting twist to the saison style from North Coast. The orange peel definitely takes charge and the the traditional saison elements act as a supporting cast.

 613 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours milky with golden yellow , apricot and orange hues. Fat head of cream colored foam that falls slowly and leaves lace. Nose is delicate but vibrant fruit. Tropical pineapple and pear nectar. Light crisp malt sweetness, bright floral. Peppery and grassy. A more neutral than funky yeast with a slight tart twang.

Taste is light refreshing and fruity. A touch of pepper and hop bitter finish this one dry. Active carbonation accents a light breadiness. Yeast is earthy. The beer has a tartness to the overall drink that keeps the palate engaged. The only noticeable alcohol in the beer is a a sweet almost syrupy element in the finish. More peppery as it warms.

Complex and delightful with a pleasant bit of strength from abv.

 748 characters

Photo of Ian_B
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy yellow with a tinge of orange. Billowing foamy head with good retention.

Peppercorn and herbal spices on the nose, with quite a bit of dry-hopped tropical citrus and a doughy yeast with complex esters and phenols (though these may get lost only slightly behind the tropical hops).

Taste of light peppercorn and lots of tropical juice along the lines of guava. Lots of juicy herbal flavours as well, with earthy phenols.

Quite smooth, medium body, but with a lot of carbonation and dryness from the yeast. Very well balanced.

Tropical and herbal juice, with a fantastic peppery crisp carb.

 597 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Hazy orange body with a thick, off-white head. Aromas include stone fruits, yeast, a touch of fruity hops. Apple, pear, melon, Belgian yeast strain. Moderate sweetness. More akin to a tripel than a saison. Decent, but one pour is plenty. Sweet + alcohol = limited drinkability.

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Photo of Lard_City
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I always have trouble with analyzing saisons but this one is pretty simple. Very mild malt and hoppiness with a decent carbonation burn and a bit of sweetness. Very little aftertaste. Quite refreshing.

 201 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle served in a wine glass

Appearance: hazy gold and very bubbly

Nose: fresh fruit, yeast, classic Belgian yeast, coriander, tropical fruit

Taste: tropical fruit, yeast, bready and fresh, the ample bubbles lift all the flavors off the tongue and make for a great mouth feel. Slight hops bitterness in the finish but not enough to distract from the greatness of this beer.

Overall: I really enjoyed this Saison. It's part of a 4 pack so I'm cellaring the rest to see what changes.

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Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.
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