La Bavaisienne | Brasserie Theillier

81 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 109
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
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 +10.5%
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.

 555 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light beer with a permanent big fluffy head. Spicy aroma and taste. Not all that drinkable, and thin-medium mouthfeel. Pepper, cloves, cardomaon, grassiness and hops there. Best of France, whatever that should mean. Still drinkable at end of hot summer day. Better with food.

 275 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +10%
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 cokes
4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
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 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.

 1,764 characters

Photo of Skidz
4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

 1,085 characters

Photo of allengarvin
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
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 GCBrewingCo
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice clear medium amber golden with a frothy just off-white head that rose tall and fell very slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was lightly malty with a caramel malt presence and a earthy hop presence. The aroma was lightly fruity and lightly spicy with some slight belgian yeast character.

The flavor was a balanced combination of caramel maltiness in conjunction with moderate levels of hop bittering and hop flavor. The balance on first contact with the palate was malt, but that immediate changed to hops. The hops had a slight metallic edge that diminished as the beer stayed in contact with the palate and as time passed. The flavor was crisp and well executed with some peppery spice presence.

The finish was dry with lasting earthy hop bittering into the aftertaste and slight reminders of malty caramel. The body was medium and well done with a nice carbonation level. The beer contained no real alcohol presence.

750 ml green capped and foil sealed bottle. This is a Biere de Garde if it were a slight bit more malty, definitely not a Belgian Strong, more likely a Belgian Pale Ale, but the hop levels are not that intense. In any case a well crafted beer.

 1,208 characters

Photo of HogHill
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this 750 from Colonial Spirits in Acton for just under six bucks. Nice green bottle with wine bottle wrapping over the large bottle cap.

Impressive 3 finger head of white froth, atop a copper body that has good clarity. Lots of lace on my glass as this one is consumed.

First sip brings on a sweet caramel flavor, with a small yeast presence. There's a high level of carbonation here and a medium bodied feel.

Overall I like this one a lot. It was the 2nd french beer I've tried (Jenlain biere de garde was the first) , and I will definitely pick up another 750 of this again.

Notes: This is one of the featured beers in Phil Markowski's (Southampton Publick House) Farmhouse Ales book. It's listed under the biere de garde half of the book, but even the Brasserie Thellier brewer doesn't really classify it as a biere de garde.

 850 characters

Photo of shapudding
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hand carried back from the brewery by a good friend! Dated Feb 06, L 4 16.
Deep amber and clear with a thick eggshell colored creamy head. Ton of carbonation rising up to the heavy head that you can just peak through. Richly scented, caramel, malty, sweetly floral, buttery sugar, and warmly alcoholic. Tightly packed carbonation which makes the body feel more medium, feels just a bit too foamy for my tastes. Very dry, very crisp, darkened toast, bit vineous -chardonnay. Very enjoyable!

 491 characters

Photo of Dantes
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

 2,784 characters

Photo of silenius
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I heard about this beer in Phil Markowski's book Farmhouse Ales.

It intrigued me and when I saw it for sale I had to snatch it up. It had to sit for about a week as carrying it home stirred up all sorts of yeast from the bottom. For four days later I still say clouds lingerin in the neck of the bottle. Finally I get to try it.

It pours an amber copper with a nice fluffy yellow-tinged head that lightly laces the glass.

Smell is very light raw sugar and a hint of grassiness. Nothing astonishing, but pleasant.

Taste starts like overly sugared iced coffee and then shifts to a moderate bitterness coming through the sweet. It ends with a sweet sensation on the tip of my tongue. I think it is slightly out of balance on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is quite creamy and lively without feeling overly carbonated and without any carbonation bite.

Drinkability suffers with it being a little out of whack with too much sweetness. This might pair well with something containing carmelized onions.

 1,008 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
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 aracauna
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The deep amber body is topped by a voluminous whipped custard head that clings to the glass for dear life. This is perhaps the maltiest of the style that I’ve had to date with rich caramel malts providing the base of the aroma and flavor. There’s a good bit of apple peel fruitiness and the flavor is a tad sweet. The only thing that bugs me about the beers is a slight harshness in the lingering bitterness of the finish. But the bitterness seems to fade as I drink it, so it could have been something to do with the temperature. Definitely gets better as it warms.

 568 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer shows a ligher shade of scarlet red. Clarity is good. Vigorous carbonation is noted. And a huge crop of off white head. Impressive looking. Nose is interesting. Some funky barnyard and horsey aromas, though not as strong as say Cantillon. Musty cellars. Yeast sediment. Earthy dirt tones. Herbal. Pretty good. While this beer has a definite dry quality to it, there's a ghostly sweet aspect that is very alluring. The beer is very earthy. It's all about the farmhouse qualities... the hay, the barn, the horse blanket. It's not real acidic or tart, but definitely yeasty and musty. Like a cellar. This is really enjoyable and disappearing way too fast.

 662 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear copper in appearance with a rocky off-white head. The aroma is malty, spicy, and peppery. The flavor is bready, and malty. It is also a bit sweet, and has a light fruitiness. The body is medium, and it is easy drinking. A very tasty brew, would have another.

 270 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
4.71/5  rDev +15.2%
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 gbontrag
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
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 Boto
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
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 marcobrau
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hmm...judging by what the label says this should be re-classified as a biere de garde, so I'll review it as such. The label also descrbes La Bavaisienne as a malty, hoppy, amber ale -- and this is true -- but it's so much more. This beer pours with a fine bead of carbonation and lasting head of bright white foam. An aroma of new mown hay bursts forth, tinged with mineral-like notes. This mineral content is echoed on the palate. his medium-bodied ale has a soft mouthfeel despite it's high carbonation. I would go so far to describe the mouthfeel as being quite plush. This ale gets a bit snappy and crisp towards this finish with a late burst of lightly spicy hops amid honey-biscuit malt flavors. The finish is fairly dry for the style with a slight bit sweetness left on the tongue. An exceptional biere de garde, or strong pale ale, whichever you want to call it.

 870 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty, clear, copper color. It is well carbonated and supports a prodigious tan head. The aroma is sharp and spicy with some herbal notes as well as some malty ones too. The aroma is a good marriage between malt, hops, and yeast aromatics. My first impression of the taste is that this definitely hits the spot. It is light and flavorful, perfect for a hot summer evening. This has some nice sharp spicy notes that hit the front of my tongue; these are a nice balance to the malty sweetness that is also found in this beer. The malty sweetness has a depth of flavor, which really contributes to the overall character of this beer. I get flavor notes that are spicy, herbal, sweet and a certain caramel maltiness. While I would be hesitant to call this a stellar beer, the integrated flavors really meld very well together. This is certainly a well crafted beer, and one which I highly recommend.

 904 characters

Photo of ngandhi
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh, vegetal, and unusually true to its name as a "farmhouse" ale. Not as malty as some biere de gardes, but robust nonetheless with a warming alcohol pushing through, however controlled, into the finish. Soft bitter greens give way to a spicy fruitiness that eventually reveals itself as coriander. The coriander is subtle in this beer, lending no astringency on the palate or fuming spice on the nose. As some saisons like DuPont and Fantome taste perfect in the summer season for which they were intended, so does Bavaisienne for the early Midwestern fall.

Relax, relax.

 583 characters

Photo of marc77
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Clear deep bronze hue. Towering, animated, dogged, ivory white head supported by capacious bubble threads. Steadfast, frothy lace. Gorgeous. Wafts of lightly tart starfruit and underripe red apple prevalent in aroma. Subdued light toffee and sugar cookie hints. Trace orange mint and moist hay hints. Well rounded aromawise. In flavor, incipient is a combination of orange flesh and sweet biscuit. Dries promptly, with hop bitterness, black pepper hints and woody hop hints ensuing. Stately lime and kiwi hints. Persistent light caramel malt backbone. Fruitiness oddly diminishes as it breathes, with mild horsey, earthy tones replacing esters. Moderate in body, with ample dextrinous girth. Finishes both savory and dry, with airy sourdough hints. Delicious. So soft, yet so satiating. Superbly crafted and superlatively drinkable.

 832 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer after divorcing the 750ml green bottle settles in the glass a bright clear amber color, the head is Bunyanesque in size, the texture semi-creamy, as it slowly erodes, and the lace forms a thick and sticky blanket to seal off the glass from view. Nose is somewhat sweet, a tad earthy and maybe a hint of over ripe apples to seal off the nose, start is lightly sweet with a nice malt presence, the top fair to middling in its feel. Finish is light to moderate in carbonation, with a spicy hop presence and the aftertaste quite dry and long lasting. As you pour each glass, the head pops right up to the top of the glass, a very interesting brew!

 652 characters

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this beer for the first time at Colonial Spirits in Acton. Cool green 750 that is capped but not corked. Label says, "from France's oldest working brewery". Pours out and orange-brown color with a nice white fluffy head. The smell is grassy and malty. Very effervesant. Taste is similar and extremely smooth. Malty and sweet in the beginning then crisp and hoppy in the end. Very well balanced. A unique style that I am growing to love. If France has more beers like this, we could mend fences even faster:)

 513 characters

La Bavaisienne from Brasserie Theillier
4.09 out of 5 based on 109 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.