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Le Merle | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Le MerleLe Merle
BA SCORE
3.9/5
Very Good
1,371 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#7,029
Reviews:
525
Ratings:
1,371
pDev:
10%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
172
Trade:
3
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,371 |  Reviews: 525
Photo of dertyd
3.01/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Hard core carbonation. Fizzy snow white head is dominating the glass, allowing only a small dingy egg yolk colored body to form.

S: Loads of barnyard and wet blanket. Fair amount of floral pollen, daisies, clover honey and bread sticks. Overall, fairly fresh aroma.

T: Starts mildly tangy with notes of old lemon juice and bland pineapples. Spicy with stale seasonings…you can tell they are there but don’t pack much of a punch. Dry hay and some rounded yellow fruits and fresh grass clippings are the next batch of flavors to cross the palate. Finishes really bitter, all across the back sides of the tongue. More bitter than suits the style and adds off kilt balance of the other flavors.

M: Medium body, bit crisp in the mouthfeel.

D: Not really digging this one. Not a lot of balance which I prefer in my brews. This one is a bit flagrant and all over the place.

 876 characters

Photo of StaveHooks
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A hazy golden honey body with a generous amount of white foam. Very pretty. No lacing.

S - Sour Granny Smith apples, lemons, white grapes, earthy yeast, soapy hops, spicy Belgian yeast.

T - Green apples, tart cherries, lemon, pears, faint banana. The acidic fruit showcases a bold sweet pale malt. Heavy wheat towards the finish. Finishes with slightly sweet mineral citrus flavors then turns pretty dry right at the very end with lots of wheat.

M - Uber champagne carbonation fills the whole mouth with foamy bubbles on every drink. It basically robs half of the potential flavors. It's almost hard to swallow.

Get ready to belch...alot! This is a fruit filled Saison that I wish wasn't bombarded with fizzy carbonation, because it had so much potential. The carbonation really hurts the flavors and the overall enjoyment of drinking this beer.

 854 characters

Photo of thejoshgray
3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of ojiikun
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Live reviewed from the BrickStore in Atlanta.

Served up in an eponymously gold-leaved goblet. Barkeep had to pull in almost a dozen stages to control the massive, merengue head. Body is slightly hazy and wit-ish. Head fell fast but never disappeared.

Smell is much sweeter than expected for a saison, more like a BSPA. Sweet malts, though the yeast is more true to the style.

Taste is dry and farmy at first, but then is immediately overpowered by a copper-ey note that simply reminds me too much of blood. What malts can be found are clean and quality. Last notes on the lips are back to BSPA.

Mouthfeel is downright creamy and light.

Drinkability is hindered by the metallic tones which are so hard to take. Served with some nice, spicy or meaty food, it eases down well enough.

 785 characters

Photo of theopholis
3.16/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Fairly clear, very sparkly honey color. Decent head, but absolutely no head retention. Hardly any effervescence one it settles down.

Smell- Starts out with a nice, complex malt sweetness but then settles down to a....okay...it's still a fairly complex sweetness with some tartness in there. Quite inviting.

Taste- Not bad, not great. Well blended malt sweetens mixed with a hint of tartness. Just the barest hint of earthiness. Not nearly as complex as I would expect, and the over-carbonation gives it a bit of a salty taste.

Mouthfeel- As I said earlier, it's over-carbonated. But it's more of that. It's very course carbonation. It feels like the CO2 was never completely dissolved in the beer. It has more of a 7-up feel then a nice Saison.

Drinkability- Despite all the flaws I mentioned earlier, this is a worthy effort of a tough style. I would recommend you try it. Maybe I got a bad bottle. Maybe the brewer is still dialing in the recipe. Despite my disappointment with this particular bottle,, I WILL try it again, because I taste some real possibilities in this beer.

 1,098 characters

Photo of badboyrsl84
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I searched long and hard for this one and I'm not sure it was worth all the trouble.

The pour was full of head. I was blown away and figured this was gonna be over carbonated and I was right. It was a gold color with an almost see through appearance.

the smell is very fruity with some citrus.

The taste was very very carbonated and has some citrus as well as all the other tastes that are found Belgians. Nothing special here. Maybe its a bad brew.

I will finish with, its very carbonated and will probably be a forgettable brew to me.

 540 characters

Photo of Jablonski
3.19/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a cloudy yellow-orange with some sediment on the sides; the head is large and long lasting; minimal lacing on the glass

S: appears a bit subdued; mostly sour apple and a bit of spice

T: initially sweet with a banana flavor followed by a drier bitter aftertaste; I can sense a slight funky flavor to the beer, but it does not come out strong

M: good thickness, carbonation too strong

D: easy to drink; nothing too bad about the beer, but nothing special

 465 characters

Photo of PerArvidsson
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A "Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale", I drank with chips and dip before dinner. I'm not sure what technically makes a beer "Belgian Style", but at the first taste I was reminded of some of the beers I had during my last trip to Belgium. It was very good, with a cork top like a champagne bottle.

 290 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Consumed on tap at Gather many eons ago. Poured into an enormous wine glass that somehow fit about 16-20oz of beer. Been wanting to try this for a while, but I feel that North Coast's Belgian-style offerings have never really impressed me too much overall.

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with amber hues - with the enormous 3 fingers worth of frothy white head, this could easily be mistaken for a strong Belgian blonde ale or something similar. There's a little bit of build and thickness present, but it's a pretty unassuming beer overall, even within the ever-changing style at hand. Head retention is pretty low, and carbonation seems to die down rather rapidly as time goes on, leaves not much of anything unless aggressively swirled. Looks like many, many other Belgian-style beers I've seen before.

The aroma is a combination of slightly funky fruity esters from the yeast, as well as sweetness and mild bitterness from the malts and hops. Notes of banana, lemon peel, and pears immediately come in, followed by some light floral aromas (similar to violets) as well as pine, grass, and orange blossom. Some vanilla, as well sweetened toffee and caramel notes. Maybe sugar cane. I'm definitely looking into this more than I should, as far as saisons go, this is very, very toned down.

The flavor is near identical to the aroma, except for the fact that there's an ever more present note of banana no doubt from the yeast. I don't mind banana forward beers so much, but this definitely feels a bit one-note in the long run. Green apple, pear, and lemon peel make themselves noticeable. The sugar cane and vanilla notes are stronger here, and sort of overpower the delicate floral notes and perhaps barnyard or grassy flavors that this was attempting to go for. It's very mild, and the alcohol is stupidly hidden, which caught up to me in no time during consumption. Thick and creamy, and easy drinking, as any saison should be. Very mild, however.

If I'm going to go for a domestically made, affordable saison, I think I'd stick with Ommegang's Hennepin over this any day of the week. Simply put, this lacks the funky, rustic character than would classify anything as a saison in order to distinguish it from a strong Belgian blonde ale, which this far more resembles. Not that it's a bad thing - it's still a well made beer - it's just very mild and way too high in alcohol for it to merit practical consumption. North Coast definitely has better Belgian style offerings - this one at least could be a good introduction to someone starting to get into these types of beers.

 2,589 characters

Photo of BeerAndFilm
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of gandres
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tap to glass @ North Coast Brewing tap [email protected] 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

 336 characters

Photo of h0ppster
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured on tap

A - Very clear, bonde in color. Head is 2-3 fingers and clears up into an almost nonexistent lacy ring around the glass.

S - Strong fruit, light pepper, barn & funk. Alcohol comes through slightly but expected at 7.9%

T - very close to the smell - strong sweet fruit notes up front. Taste ends with a lingering sweetness and light peppery barnyard funk.

M - mouth feel is good overall.

Overall a tasty saison. A bit sweet, slightly out of style, but worth a try.

 483 characters

Photo of MichialTanner1
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of shoegueuze
3.24/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of alex4sure23
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of drone
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Treb0R
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of jkurosaki
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of zrab11
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Glenney67
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Zbeetleman
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 1,371 ratings
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