Le Merle | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Le MerleLe Merle
Very Good
1,384 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,384 |  Reviews: 528
Photo of sommersb
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 08-06-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 375ml brown bottle, corked and caged
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Single from Grace's, Nashville

Hazy yellow color, with a white head of 3 fingers. Shows good lacing and very good retention.

Aromas are spicy, fruity (lemons), and peppery. Also has some musty Belgian yeast smells. Taste is zesty and spicy, with tropical fruits. Bitterness is low. Very tasty.

Feel has a lively carbonation on a medium body. Finishes with a good balance of sweet fruitiness and a dryness from the yeast.

Overall a very impressive saison. I'd pick this one up again.

 609 characters

Photo of WritersBlock
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mattparsons
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of onestoploser
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of DivaTron
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- A dull amber. A bit cloudy and syrupy. A glassful of foam at first... thick enough to chew. Beautifully sparkling. Fun, inconsistant lacing that at one point will linger for minutes, and at others disappears immediately.

S- Just a bit sharp. Fresh, buttery, with a hint of basil... or fresh cut grass. It's summertime in this bottle.

T- An easy-going saison. It delivers some herbal seasoning... but mostly sticks to a clean buttery palate. As some sweetness develops the butter turns into a pleasant caramel. Very upfront. Fades into a pleasant coppery/metallic bitter-tang. Truly, excellently refreshing.

M- Front-forward presence on the tongue and roof of the mouth... very little going on backside. Some nice carbonation that adds bite but doesn't distract from the smooth buttery taste. Most of the flavor fades quickly enough to leave you with just a hint of alcohol.

I often look for a saison that is steeped with black pepper and herbal spiciness/weirdness. This might be the opposite. But the delivery is very good. It's crisp and buttery, with most of it's flavors in the foreground... with little left underneath to ponder. These are all good and bad things depending on what you are looking for. But it fills a niche that I haven't quite seen before, and for that I commend it.

 1,296 characters

Photo of eseemiller
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of Danobold
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of GilGarp
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle served cool into a goblet.

Le Merle is a beer that has, for whatever reason, eluded us in Colorado. We get most of the other North Coast beers here but this is the first time I've seen Le Merle on the shelf.

The cork releases with a loud pop and I pour it straight into the glass. It has a slightly hazy pale yellow color with thin white head. It settles slowly but leaves no lace.

Aroma is evident even from a short distance away. A beautiful Belgian yeast provides a pleasant fruity smell. A little bit of spice in there too.

The flavor is much more bold with big notes of spice, pepper, and lemon. It is subtly sweet at first but turns more funky and tart towards the middle. It finishes dry leaving me longing for another sip.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and high in carbonation but on par for the style.

Overall a well done saison and one I'm glad to have in our state.

 900 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml. bottle, corked and caged, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Deep golden in color, almost orange, with a foamy white head that slowly settles. Lacing is solid and sticky.

S: Yeasty up front, with some honey notes, giving way to some citrus, pepper, and grassy undertones.

T: Fresh bread and funky yeast in the foreground, with a mid-palate consisting of pepper, citrus, and fruity esters. Finish is clean and has a grassy note.

Notes: Moderate to medium in body, with a very clean mouthfeel. Great complex flavor and balance make this a very palatable brew. For the money, Le Merle is a steal, as it rivals some of its Belgian counterparts.

 647 characters

Photo of Maxwell
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I love this bottle. It is artsy and minimalistic with its outline of a merlin bird. I especially love the subtle touches of yellow for the beak, eye, and beer name. The color scheme is simple: black, white, and gray with touches of yellow. I also love the choice to cork this beer. I think fat bulbous corks are awesome, and I love the little twisty things that go over it, as well as the designs on the top of the little twisty things. Overall the bottle feels classy and simplistic and I really enjoy it. This bottle is definitely worthy of a prime spot on your shelf.

The beer pours a nice paling yellow at the bottom of the glass with a slight oranging on the top. It’s almost straw yellow with a slight ambering at the top, and a huge fat whit bubbly head that has a decent retention, and sticks to the sides of the glass, forcing peaks to run up the edges in a wall of lacing. The beer is also quite hazy, but sits in the glass beautifully. The smell is light and fruity sweet with some nice lingering spices and a strong underlying citrus orange kick. Pineapple also seems to be present in the smell, which is lovely.
The beer tastes quite strangely bitter, with a very harsh cut on the tongue. There is a nice light fruity flavor to this beer, much like the smell with spicy hints and very sour feel in the mouth and on the tongue which has got me lips puckering slightly. This is far more of a sour-ale than any other saison I have tried, reminding me more and more of a lambic ale. Carbonation and harsh bitter/sour attacks the tongue right off the bat and hides some of the more slight spicy flavors that seem to exist as ghosts in the beer. The beer leaves the tip of the tongue tingling with harsh bubbles, and thus mutes a lot of the after-flavor as well. Orange and slight pineapple are still present in the flavoring. Overall I feel like the beer sits too sweet and harsh on the tongue which kills other flavors complexity and doesn’t really make it for me. This beer has an awesome bottle and pours very lovely in a glass, but its taste and smell don’t deliver. I rank this a meh beer with an awesome bottle (I really like the bottle if you haven’t noticed…).

 2,187 characters

Photo of rkarimi
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of goodonezach
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of TexasMartin
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Bobhoya
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of chugalug06
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good looking bottle. Nice subtle label. Brew pours three-finger, white, fluffy soap, head. Brew is Very murky orange-yellow.

Pineapple, orange, lemon, pepper, and Belgian spice. Slightly tart.

Very smooth and drinkable. High carbonation, wet and refreshing. Lemon, orange and peppery-spice dominate. Yep, is a mild tart saison.

Whoa. This brew totally caught me off-guard, as it sat on the shelf, I almost passed it by... Glad I didn't. Highly recommended at the $7 price and for an easy summer drinker. Compares well to Great Divides Colette.

 549 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium to dark orange with a towering head. Nice lace.

Spciy yeast, some nice honeyed malt, nice spiced bite of bitterness at the end. If you have this complexity in the nose, look out!

Dried out yeast with some brief sweet malt. Turns quickly with some peppery woody spice and yeast, some bitterness, and a bit of a dried out finish. Honey and dried bitter malt. Great brew.

Medium body, good firm carbonation.

A great domestic version of the style. Love this beer.

 476 characters

Photo of DavidST
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. This pours a clear golden color, fizzes from the bottom, short lived white head. Smells of role citrus fruit, malts. The feel is medium, high carbonation. The taste is pretty good, some Belgian esters some nice amount of malts.

 274 characters

Photo of littleporter
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of joshwalt
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Lynn
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of wilkinswesley
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of NeutroMan
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 1,384 ratings