Le Merle | North Coast Brewing Co.

very good
1,360 Ratings
no score
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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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Ratings: 1,360 |  Reviews: 522
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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a North Coast tulip.

A: Crystal clear golden color. Rocky off white head retains well. Blotches of thick foamy lacing.

S: Very complex yeast aromas. Good and musty. Freshly ground black pepper. Clove. Perfumey. Grassy and oily hops. Stale bread and crackers. Vague tropical fruits and perhaps some pitted fruits (dates?) far in the background.

T: Nice and tart up front. Citrus rind tartness. Tropical fruits, pithy orange and tangerine. Lots of musty yeast. Medium malt sweetness. Moderate clovey phenols and some oily hops temper this sweetness. Alcohol is perceptible toward the back end. Medium sweet finish with a lot of lingering yeasty must.

M: Hefty medium body. Stiff scrubbing carbonation effectively lifts it off the palate and keeps it from feeling weighty. Mild alcohol warmth.

O: Great stuff. It's a very brawny and muscular saison. Not as light and drinkable as most in the style tend to be these days, but it's very complex and bold.

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3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

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Photo of highTempo
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

The color is a warm amber, with an orange undertone and a bit of cloudiness/haziness. I've seen others describe this as 'straw' but this glass is definitely darker and more red than that. The red tones and richness of the color is unusual for a saison and really nice.

It pours with a foamy, clear white head but it dissipates quickly. I would like a little bit more retention in the head but all that's left is a little lacing after less than a minute. Still, the color is great.

The smell is definitely like a cider. Other folks that have said that up here are spot on. It's a bit sharp and crisp - hits the back of the nose. There's some citrus and just a little bit of malt and yeast. The carbonation already comes through in the nose.

The flavor really picks up for me. It's definitely still fruity. There's some herbal quality, maybe grassy, with just a bit of bitterness at the end. The finish is really rapid which matches the 'sparkling' quality of this beer. There's not much alcohol presence and what is there hits and evaporates quickly. It's only a little bit sweet to me. The citrus quality counters that nicely and the finish is dry.

Overall the carbonation is what I would call 'sharp' and 'small'. The body is thin and sparkling. it's light for a saison. This is a good beer for people who like 'crisp' beers.

I would recommend this for people who like hard ciders, traditional Hefes, or who want a drinkable beer that has a remarkably high alcohol content relative to the body and 'drinkability'. It's not my favorite saison ever but it's very good and I'd definitely grab a bottle if I saw it available again.

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Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,360 ratings.
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