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La Bavaisienne | Brasserie Theillier

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La BavaisienneLa Bavaisienne
110 Ratings
La BavaisienneLa Bavaisienne

Brewed by:
Brasserie Theillier

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2002

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Ratings: 110 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of cokes
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An autumnal, pumpkin-golden shade, hazed and riled with dispersed bubbles, sits below a grinning whipped cream steeple of nicotine-stained teeth.
Tickling perfumes of honey-nut cereal, bruised apples, discarded pears, cedar, wintergreen, balsawood, clove, and tarragon.
It issues into the mouth with a stanch fruitiness. But here's the enigma: the fruits here don't actually exist. Maybe it is only one fruit. Or maybe it is 100,000. But whatever, it's fucking not real, and you've never seen the likes of it. It's not the intersection of figs and dates and pears and applesauce and kiwis and plantains and papayas...but it is very close. But here, it is singular and not envelopingly sweet that that mixture would be. Let's call it Spacefruit, because I'm pretty sure shit like this must grow on Saturn, or in France or wherever. It recedes partially and allows a toasted grain breadiness, all glazed in honey, and adorned with nuts. It's like a bowl of Honey-Nut Cheerios with chunks of...um..spacefruit in it.
But that ain't it.
The later portion of the sips brings myriad dry wood hues, mostly of cedar and sandlewood, and stray beach-stranded dry driftwood. It also bounces around notions of clove, vanilla, coriander, pepper, limestone, chalk, and sweet basil, as it drfits towards the rosewater-spruce-lemongrass-tarragon-wintergreen hop exclamation.
Wrap this up in a pill of tightly wound carbonation and whipped milk textures, and its tactile sensuality is congruent with everything else present.
All this talk about space has me thinking....this is probably as complex and equally complicated to inter-planetary travel, but a whole lot more fun. If I ever had plan of becoming an astronaut...fuck it...I'll just stay home with another bottle of this.

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Photo of Skidz
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out gold tinted amber and sits coppered gold in the glass with a massive off-white head, sputtering to a thick coating of foam with lacings coating the glass. Blamo!

Smells of rich caramel, golden raisins and fresh apples. Notes of tropical fruit bounce around, pineapple and papayas. Toasty malt character, hitting on biscuits. Very flowery nose, solid all around.

Tastes mildly sweet up front with raisins and figs up front with a shot of caramel. Biscuity malts progress and move into some more interesting fruit flavors of mangoes, apple, nectarines and pineapple. Some spicy hop notes rise up with a little alcoholic warmth. Yeast comes in close the finish. Finish is mildly bitter, toasty malts stick around well after swallowing.

Creamy smooth with tact carbonation and a medium-full body. Wonderful feel, makes for easy handling.

This beer is all over the place and so completely well balanced. Dashing good looks, inviting nose, superb taste and a body that puts it all out. Can't really ask for more, well I could ask for more of this...but that's about it.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.83/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BBE march 2007. Great and lasting white head and beautifull and clear amber brew. Nose is very cirtussy fruity and green with some ambermaltsweetness. Great fresh arome and can be wrong but is this american hops? Well they are there in taste also that's next to well bittered but also full matly aromatic, medium bodied, bit koreander like spicy and well backed by not overdone alcohollevel. Medium to high carbonisationlevel fitting the brew and overall smooth mouthfeel despite bitterness that's maybe quiet high for a biere de garde but is this one or more an IPA-clone. Still with good french twist and wish I took more then just this 1 750ml bottle. Great brew IMO.

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Photo of Rylorax
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Sephiroth
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Undated 750ml bottle. Decent lacing, light and malty smelling. Some hop aroma as well.

This is the best Biere de Garde I have ever had. It is dry and malty, with the hops cleaning your palate and making you want another sip. Very little of the yeasty fruitiness that I do not like in other beers of this style. Smooth mouthfeel, with nothing cloying. Very drinkable, and I suspect this goes really well with food.

 417 characters

Photo of jlink52
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of Rastacouere
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great orange-amber body. Eternally lasting 1-inch foam. Very deep aroma although never aggressive. Makes you feels like you’re the one who is lucky to study it and not the subject that is lucky to be studied. You ar lucky to smell this and must offer proper efforts to grasp that terrific rusty character that is hard to pinpoint, but offers such a subtle earthiness to compensate those wet hay flavours and mild hops that seems to have a german origin as unlikely as it is (styrians?). Rather complex when you dig it with the perfect level of sweetness. Palate is a killer, just the right yeast character, perfectly peaking through the copious rustic flavours (basement, hay, wet cask wood, must etc.) Very dry finish, malty. Delicious, one that has you sucking your tongue afterwards. Highly drinkable, splendid spongy texture, foamy, hiding its high carbonation through an unreal quaffability… I must concur with the general opinion that this thrones the bière de garde style…Big props to JPDipso!

 1,004 characters

Photo of Boto
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle: Sampled at the CTRiver Brewers Festival. This one poured an orangish-golden color. There wasn’t a lot of head on it. The aroma was quite nice. There was floral notes, as well as some fruits and spiciness. The taste is very complex, and has a dryness and spiciness to it. Really an excellent beer!

 311 characters

Photo of buliwuf
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - green 750ml bottle with art of man sowing seed, capped not corked

Appearance - light brown color with a large frothy white head, and much carbonation

Nose - slightly spicy, but toasty and earthly as well.

Mouthfeel -creamy and smooth, yet well carbonated and not thick.

Taste - toasty, biscuity, slightly earthy and yeasty, with an undercurrent of prickly orange-like spice. Smooth and grainy with a subtle caramel flavor throughout, especially as it warms. Finishes mildly dry, with touches of alcohol.

Overall - excellent example, though too expensive to be a session.

 602 characters

Photo of MJR
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber surrounded by copper edges. The body has excellent clarity, with lots of carbonation bubbles slowing rising to the surface. The tan head is thick, rich, and holds well, leaving a nice pattern of lace down the glass.

Smell: The aroma is quite rich with a heavy dose of smooth, rounded caramel balanced by faintly spicy hops. There's an earthy aspect to the smell that is a combination of freshly mown hay and those common Belgian descriptors like 'farmhouse' and 'horseblanket.' Fantastic aroma!

Taste: The flavor starts off incredibly rich and thick with lots of caramel. There's a touch of fruity sweetness, but it's held in check by a good amount of spicy hop bitterness. Around the halfway point, the earthy, musty character kicks in. In the finish, there's a hint of a phenolic flavor mixed in with the malty aftertaste. Oddly enough, a faint metallic note shows up in the last few inches of the bottle. Wonderful balance between the various flavors.

Mouthfeel: Round and full with a buttery mouthfeel of medium thickness. Somewhat dry towards the end. Amazing mouthfeel...

Drinkability: Top notch drinkability... The alcohol is a bit high, but is beautifully hidden. This is one beer I could enjoy in any season.

A 'beer to guard?' You're damn right! Back away from my bottle or else...

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Photo of gbontrag
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Smells damn good. 58F. Beautiful walnut color. Little fuzz on top doesn’t hang around to long. Rich malt aroma with side notes of hay. Yummy bread flavor with the thinnest spread of homemade currant jelly. A bit of chewing gum, some fresh alfalfa strands, and grass. I’ll tell you what, I could drink buckets of this. The malt hangs around the palate like a street corner quartet providing a pleasant buzz to the proceedings. And this beer proceeds to impress me with layers of grassy hops, and I'm gonna love you malt. It's totally relaxed, not overtly farmy barmy, though there's a little of that mustiness. Balanced. Session on.

 633 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml greenbottle, foil lined, capped. Described as "a beautifully balanced Biere de Garde from France's oldest working brewery. Malty, hoppy, amber ale"-7% ABV. Recommended by Nick at LiquorMax in Loveland, Co.

Pours out to a lightly hazy dark amber, forming a modest light biege head with good retention and lacing. Carbonation is not as spritzy as I was expecting, which is nice...more of a medium to mild carbonation level. The aroma is superb...great farmhouse character...musty basement, barnyard, plenty of wet horse blanket, diabetic ketotic urine, mead, vanilla, dark clover honey and floral apple fields. Reminds me a bit of Abbaye des Rocs. The mouthfeel is very soft and smooth with a medium body. Very easy to drink, with a lightly dry finish. The taste really is an echo of the aroma. There is a touch of alcoholic esters perceptable in the middle The aftertaste is quite unique...airy and redolent with tobacco, leather, dates, and figs. Not very tart or acidic for the style. Bitterness is mild and very herbaceous. Besides a slight metallic quality and mild alcohol, there are no perceptabe off-flavors for the style.

A unique and charming Biere de Garde. Warming, soothing, and satisfying, this brings peace to any day. Rich without being presumptous, this is a very good brew and is highly recommended.

 1,328 characters

Photo of allengarvin
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours our a cloudy amber with a moderate head of froth. Little bits of yeast float around inside. Hops, malts and esters combine in the aroma to remind me of caramalized oranges. Lot of hop bitterness and flavor up front, earthy, also very grapefruit-like. Orange-like esters add some more citrus flavor. Nicely offset by good, lightly toasted malt with just a touch of sweetness before a lingering dry finish. Lot of carbonation and a large, spritzy mouthfeel.

Truly, a stunningly good beer, one of the best beers I've had this year.

 537 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out reddish brown with a dense, off-white head flecked with brown chunks. The aroma is caramel, honey, herbs, and just a little funkiness. The flavor is suprisingly malty. Complex malts, very herbal, and a gentle hop spiciness. Apples and figs. Finishes bitter. The mouthfeel is so full and creamy. Incredibly drinkable. This beer is a real pleasure to drink. I highly recommend it.

 388 characters

Photo of gimmehead
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bright copper with a huge white head and tons of streaming bubbles and yeasty lurkers. Aroma is very spicy and grassy, new mown hay comes to mind, with a very grainy earthiness that balances the spicy hops very well. Tastes just like the nose, but with a more pronounced grainy malt character. Lots of noble hops. Very yeasty and bready, a hint of sweetness just before a dry finish. Medium body with tons of carbonation. This is one of the most drinkable and refreshing beers I've ever had. Well balanced and the 750mL bottle was just the right quantity.

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Photo of Dantes
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Package: 750ml (1 pint, 9.4 oz) foil-sealed, crowned, puntless, green bottle (I thought this beer came corked at one point?). Front label depicts what looks like a gamekeeper in the style of Hals. Descriptors include “French Farmhouse Ale,” “A beautifully balanced Bière de Garde from France’s oldest working brewery. Malty, hoppy, amber ale.” Rear label recapitulates the same basic information. Well THAT covers most of the bases. No date information and ABV noted as 7%.

Cost: $6.99 at Somerville Supersaver

Presentation: Bière de garde tulip glass at ~50º.

Appearance: Monumental ivory head that makes nitro-Guinness envious, threatens to burst out of the glass with even the most gentle pour. I’m sure I could rest a pound coin on it without its falling through! The color is a fairly standard amber and crystal clear. Fairly active carbonation presents in medium-gauge bubbles. Head is beyond sticky, leaving massive foam stillicides along the sides of the glass.

Smell: Absolutely classic musty, horse-sweat nose backed by formidable malts and a faint spiciness. Mildly floral. Little alcoholic hotness.

Taste: The first taste seems sweetly flabby with heavy caramel flavor, but this is instantly backed with some crisp herbal notes, although I don’t detect the “dill and cucumber” noted in the Times. I get more coriander, pepper, and possibly marjoram. The hops are secondary but nicely balanced against the malts. Filled out with nice earthy, yeasty flavors. Moderate to full, fairly dry finish, with a sourish fillip at the end. Quite complex and intriguing.

Mouthfeel: As usual for these fine, artisanally-produced, bottle-conditioned ales; the carbonation is fine, perfectly pitched, and creamy. Each swallow fills the mouth with a recapitulation of the enormous head. The alcohol adds a subtle, warming heft. Just about perfect.

Drinkability: A fine experience, although there are a few other similar beers I prefer. Still, it’s hard to fault this beer.

Backwash: A recent NY Times article inspired me to again sample through some of the bières de garde I hadn’t had in some time. Once I find my favorite beer in a category, I tend to stick with it, but the article and the disappearance of 3 Monts from NJ, provided a great opportunity to go asearching. This beer is one of the classics, with tremendous flavor and complexity. I consider this more a saison/bière de garde than a Belgian Strong Ale and put this near the top of that category, surpassed by 3 Monts, Southampton’s French Country, Heavyweight’s Bière d’Arte, and La Choulette. I intend to revisit many of these classics in the months to come. Definitely worth seeking out and still a great value. One of those beers that dares you to buy a cheap bottle of wine.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

La Bavaisienne pours a fairly clear, amber-orange body beneath a rocky head of big-bubbled off-white froth that holds quite well and leaves patchy sheets (at the outset) and craggy streaks of lace about the glass.

The nose offers sweet and lightly tart fruit (tangerine, papaya); some sweet, grainy malt; a mild mustiness; and a delicate touch of spice.

In the mouth it bristles the tongue before warming to become somewhat airy and somewhat creamy (but not completely one or the other), with a medium-full body and lightly effervescent carbonation.

It's malty flavor delivers candied fruit (oranges, papaya, apple); brash, grassy, and subtly spicy hops; over a sweet, honeyish, grainy and hay-like bed of malt. A wide, dull bitterness backs it, and although it takes a moment for the sweetness of the malt to receed in the finish, the bitterness is immediately there and overwhelms it. Some delicate spice lingers in the aftertaste; but the alcohol never really shows itself in that way, so it must be from actual spice, or perhaps the hops.

It's not particularily complex, but what's there is very good. Of course, it's full, sticky malt does deter its drinkability a bit, leaving it more of a quiet, after dinner drink than a pub-time quaffer. Otherwise, it's a very nicely done, malty and strong Biere de Garde. As it's intended for storage, I'd suggest giving this one at least a few months in the cellar to bring it to top condition.

 1,451 characters

Photo of theminutemen
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Turdfurgeson: Poured a deep slightly hazy brown color ale with huge white foamy head with some good retention and some good lacing. Taste of deep malt with some balance sweetness and some spicy yeast. Body is full with some great carbonation and no alcohol could be detected. Lots of character with a nice creamy body. The balance in this beer is just incredible. I would love to try this again.

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Photo of Stoffel
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of psoriasaurus
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of hopley
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of scruffwhor
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Made sure I picked the bottle with the nicest looking label.

Great, happy looking off-white head greets the eye. Lasts to a nice film of foam atop a very dark, rusty amber. You can only see the bubbling at the bottom of the glass or on the edges of the beer. Very hazey. This beer looks awesome. Very inviting toasted melba toast malts mixed with some soft rosemary and thyme. Maybe some caramel notes in the nose as well. The taste starts with mild toasted barely and a grain palate. This slowly develops to a much sweeter malt bill. Caramel and some honey do the waltz with mildy herbal hops. Tastes like a European field in Spring at about 7 a.m. Leaves a toasted caramel aftertaste in the mouth. Great yeast profile gives notes of fresh fruit still on the vine.

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Photo of moulefrite
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great find! Kristal clear amber color with a soft white, thick pillow of foam that leaves scattered splotches and retains well. Aromas are peppery, assertively hoppy, mildly honeyed, and are balanced by rich, toasty malted notes. The mouthfeel is full, crisp, very smooth, and just buzzes with hop bitter. This is rather like the Saison Dupont in style though it has more of a piney hop character and perhaps a deeper malt component. The balance here is astounding.The long hoppy finish lingers and is enveloped by just the right amount of malt sweetness. This is a hard to put down, really well made beer. Thanks again to Ron at Shelton Bros. for another stellar sample! Are these Bros. not putting together one of the most exciting portfolios on the market or what?!

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La Bavaisienne from Brasserie Theillier
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 110 ratings
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