La Choulette De Noël | Brasserie La Choulette

BA SCORE
85
very good
91 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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La Choulette De NoëlLa Choulette De Noël
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie La Choulette
France
lachoulette.com

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 11-27-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
91
Reviews:
66
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
11.23%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 66
Photo of champ103
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark reddish brown color. A small white cap of foam forms, and leaves hardly any lace.
S: Lots of layers in the nose. At first a dry oak aroma. Dark and sour fruits. Some sweet caramel and vanilla.
T: Again, a dry oak flavor up front. Sweet caramel with some slightly sour dark fruits.
M/D: A medium body, but a bit on the watery side. Some prickly carbonation as well. Easy and smooth to drink. I will have no problems finishing this even with the somewhat high ABV.

A very enjoyable beer. I will pick up more of this next time I see it. Something I would recommend.

 579 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle on sale for $10. I was not sure what to expect from this beer but I was a little surprised how much I enjoyed it. It was a dark amber color with a good head. The smell was spicy and dusty, not bad. The taste was spices, dust almost like a dark saison but also made me think of Christmas spices which could be the power of suggestion at work. Overall I thought this was a good beer but I would not revisit it. I will however purchase their framboise next.

 467 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours from the 75cl green wired and corked bottle a clear burnished copper color with the head minimal in size, the texture frothy and the color a very light tan, after its quick demise the lace forms a thin sheet upon the glass. Nose has an over ripe fruit aroma, plum like, sweet and refreshing, the start is sweet with the malt presence adequate; top is light to moderate in feel. Finish is strikingly acidic and the hops delectable in their spiciness, the aftertaste almost vinous, dry as a desert bleached bone, a fine drinking beer and one that hits the “B” spot, at least for me.

 597 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a St. Feuillien goblet (love the bulbous shape on this one), the Noel is a dark, brownish garnet, with only a slight haze and thin, light tan head. Darker then I expected, more Noel then biere de garde, but vibrant and appetizing.
The aroma is rich and bright malts, immediately reminding me of a bock, nutty and sweet with just the slightest funk. Yummy, but a bit much.
The taste's not nearly as robust as the aroma, which at first was a bit disappointing, but as I work my way through the bottle, I've come to really appreciate it (as well as grown tired of the overbearing aroma). This is a really fine beer. The palate follows the malty nose, caramel, brown sugar, hazelnut, some dark fruits and a really tasty, yet subtle boozy finish. This Noel is surprising balanced and smooth with a clean finish. The more you let it warm up, the more it opens up, particularly a rich honey booze, and well executed holiday spice. Or is that just superb depth from the esters and specialty malt? Being a Noel, I'm thinking spices, but maybe thats being pessimistic. Regardless, its very good and worth the wait if your bottle's refrigerated.
The mouthfeel is thin and light, but not in an unsatisfying manner. There has been a steady flow of streamers rising up from the bottom of my glass, although those may be more from the etched monogram in the center of the St. Feuillien goblet. Nevertheless, there's a pleasant yet light effervescence.
The drinkability on this was pretty high, although it can be a bit cloying, but that depends how quickly you want to drink it. Letting mine open up was a good call, and had the evening provided more time, I could certainly have had another. Overall this was an enjoyable experience, although I should have known that with a Noel Biere de Garde, I was in for an unusual treat. The best buy date is in 2 days, although I assume it's an 06 brew b/c the year boxes are 6-9, so I'm surprised that they don't call for it to be aged. Apparently they already did the 'garding' and found the sweet spot!

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Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Pop the cork. A dark ruby red couloured brew with a large head of white/off-white foam. Aromas are of sweet belgian malts and candy sugar, as well as several kinds of fruits and hops. There are also some Flanders Red ale notes on the nose with some cherry-like aromas and some funky lambic-like tartness. The taste follows through with some lovely oud red flavors of cherries and some other sweet malt like flavors. The mouthfeel is nice and full and the drinkability is excellent. Nice.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Spied this on a recent trip to Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, CA. Contrary to popular belief the French do occasionally knock out a decent brew or two, so I figured this one was worth a try, especially as I had already tried another excellent offering from this Brasserie, the Les Bière Des San Culottes.

A 750ml standard looking green glass “Belgium’ beer bottle, which could equally pass for a wine bottle. Cork and caged, the silver cage was easily removed allowing the thumbed cork to basically remove itself. No date on the cork, just the words ‘La Choulette 59111 Hordain-F’. The main label lists this offering a 7% Vol./alc. and recommends a serving temperature of 10° à 12° (which translates into 50-54°F in Olde Worlde units). Has one of those really annoying “clipped” main labels that says Best Before May 04, but you just know someone fucked up when aligning the labels, because it has at least 5 other snippet chunks missing from the label edge that basically line up with none of the dates or months. Why Brewers continue to bother with this old-fashioned method that never works is beyond me, especially with modern technology that can add the time, day, date and year to each bottle label relatively easily. Imported by Shelton Brothers I note, and described on the back label as a “Special French Winter Ale from a Farmhouse Brewery that dates back to 1885” with yet another Best Before End clip style label that this time says “May 04”. Least the Collars and Cuffs match!

Appearance: Fantastic swirling light blue gun-smoke rose from the bottle mouth and slowly dissolved as the Cork was easily extracted. A thick pour revealed a dark brown caramel beer that is clear with a nicely formed ½” tan head. The chestnut body looks gorgeous in the glass. The head retention is superb and some nice smattered lacing is experienced. Below average conditioning levels.

Nose: Sweet malts, melting brown sugars, candy sugar, light fruits and some freshly tanned leather mixed with dark spices. Deeply inhaled, it smells like the sugar laden red colored candy dip used for Toffee Apples! Smells appealing.

Taste: Nice caramel malts to start with. Brown sugars and some light bitterness is consumed by the caramel and sugary sweetness in the middle. Grainy dissolved sugar feel and tastes ruin this beer. Labeled as a ‘Bière de Garde’, I have to respectfully completely disagree. This is merely a very average, overtly sweet, Brune. Nothing special at all, and certainly not worthy of the Noël moniker that it carries.

Mouthfeel: Sickly sticky feel as the beer warms. Served at the recommended temperature it is bearable, but the main body feel is of saccharin and brown sugar when it warms.

Drinkability: Average, and very cloying at times, the Drinkability resembles that of a sweet Bruin. It’s OK, and I managed the 750ml, but a 375ml bottle would have done to be honest.

Overall: Brewed from Flanders and Hallertau Hops, as well as Pale and Special Malts, it sounds impressive but drinks like a “run-of-the-mill” sweet Brune. Not that special for a Xmas offering to be brutal, and certainly not worth he $7.99 I paid for it. Not bad, but don’t waste your cash on this one, not unless it’s around the $3-4 mark for an (outdated) 75cl.

 3,298 characters

Photo of cokes
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear amber, or more precisely, the intersection of gold and magenta. The head is a modest, fading, yellowed tan.
Nose of wet cereal, corkboard, and prunes.
Begins with a slick, sugared maltiness. Grape and plum notions arrise, but this is mostly just malt syrup. The middle is woodsy and papery, full of walnut and cork. This too, seems concentrated, like wood-flavored syrup. Rides out with honey notions and spicy, dead herb hop note.
The syrup hues I've repeatedly mentioned are no so much indicative of a fullness of body as simply undercarbonated, and thus full of blunt, unopposed flavors. It's not overly thick, just simple of mind, and unfulfilling. And what presents itself doesn't merit any praise.

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Photo of lillitnn92
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear medium amber with an off-white head that fell quickly, but lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was earthy most prevalent with a light spice character and some farmhouse aromatics. Also present was a caramel maltiness coupled with a nice, but low dark fruit aroma.

The flavor was malty and interesting, but not overly complex. The flavor contained caramel malt sweetness when it first contacted the palate which quickly began to dry from the bittering and an earthy hop flavor with some slight spice emerged. The low dark fruit component was also present in the flavor and was mainly raisins.

The finish was dry with a lasting malt and dark fruit into the aftertaste. The body was just almost medium, but seemed a bit less due to the carbonation. Some alcohol finally ememerged in the warming after consumption. A nice beer, perhaps more of a Belgian Dark Ale than a Saison.

750 ml bottle, corked and bailed. Best before end 05 on label.

 987 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of ADR
3.26/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big pop to the cork. Attractive mostly clear dark chestnut color, luminous. Pale yellow head is composed of some bigger bubbles that break the head down in under 40 seconds. Laces in some strings and dots in the first glass, fuller in the second. Aroma is festive, nuts combined with apricots and darker figs. Mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation is quite soft. Sweet malts dominate the flavor profile early, the nutiness from the smell is amplified along with a syrupy almost cherry sense. What gets a little out of hand is a hint of wood, almost sawdust -- ever suck on a tinkertoy when you were a kid? Dries a bit at the close, slight hop assertion, but continues to fill out in the aftertaste. A good-looking beer, but its color and flavors don't match a Saison, and the maltiness seems a little flawed to my tastes.

 823 characters

Photo of Prost76
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of thierrynantes
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottles (75 cl. & 33cl.), tasted in 2009/2010.

Appearance : amber color, with white foamy head.
Smell : malty aromas and spiced.
Taste and mouthfeel : malty and caramel, nicely spiced.
Drinkability : a good beer in the French style "Bière de garde"

 257 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.17/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml shared with Kevin and Nick pre-Christmas party.

Pour is hazy and a light amber color with a thick off-white head. Thin cap retains for the duration while leaving great lace.

Scents of apple, spice, raisin, caramel, bready and yeasty tones. Pretty good.

Taste is surprisingly plain considering the scent. Somehow reduced to caramel and bready malts, Belgian yeast and some dark fruit. Really not much else going on here.

Light for 7% and low carbonation. Definitely could use some more spritz, just feels weak on the palate.

This is one of the oddest smell-to-taste transfers ever, feels like 2 different beers. The scent+appearance had promise, but it just really lacked elsewhere.

 692 characters

Photo of Vylo
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sparx1100
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of DogFood11
2.77/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ML bottle caged and corked. Poured into a chalice it forms a thin filmy head. Lace is ring like. Brown body with some copper around the edges.

Plenty of malty flavors up front including caramel, toasted grain and a slight bitterness. There is even a faint hershey's chocolate taste lingering deep in the background. The brew is pretty thin overall and doesn't have much of interest. It needed a sharper bitter, tart, sour, balanced edge but when it looks for the balancer it just fades away. Alcohol comes through fairly easily combined with a slightly spiced pumpkin bread taste. Not for me.

Notes: Slight metallic twinge at the end of each pull was a distraction. The taste lays down on the palate for quite some time and its a bit cakey. Overall I'd say this is a below average offering and certainly not worthy of another purchase at its current price.

 865 characters

Photo of JoelClark
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of facundoCNB
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a golden orange/copper pour, 2 fingers ofoamy off white head, nice retention.
sweet scents of berries, honey, bready, banana
a very sweet malty profile, full of fruity complexity! Getting a toffee / aramel like flavor up front with a sweet raisin, apple, banana finish. Very tasty ale!!
a highly carbonated medium body beer with a nice creamy feel on the lips. 
a nice surprise of a beer! Picked this 750ml up on clearance for $7 and it was worth every penny.

 461 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the more drinkable Saisons i've had. Poured out to chestnut brown color with a small foamy head. Medium level of carbonation. Nice lacing. Aromas were light and fresh; crushed cashew nuts and malts, with some caramel and sweet molasses notes. Taste was rather enjoyable; honey, dark fruits, light malts and some nutmeg spice blended well. Mouthfeel was medium to light bodied and quite crisp, with a crystal clean finish. Decent drinkability; i'd have this again when in the mood for a saison. I may try some of the less seasonal offerings from Brasserie La Choulette, as this was suprisingly good. Recommended.

 618 characters

Photo of impending
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

B+

750ml into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear deep copper amber garnet, minor tan cream colored head even with an enthusiastic pour, minor lacing.

Aroma is pulpy overripe fruits, honey, a hint of cherry and notes from a scotch ale.

Flavor is of generic fruits, a little honey and caramel. Quick dry twang quickly is a no bitter finish which fades pleasantly. Medium, smooth bodied, low carbed mouthfeel. Fairly subtle flavor which evolves nicely over a narrow range.
cheers
jd

 478 characters

Photo of goochpunch
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Best before end: 22. 03. 07.

Pours a deep cherrywood with a thin, frothy, light tanned head that doesn't stick around much before it becomes a thin layer of bubbles on top of the body. However, it leaves some lacing rings with each sip. Nose starts off with a whiff of vanilla, cherries, chocolate, molasses, and bread. The background alcohol in the smell gives this sort of a cordial quality. Flavors also offer a very similar profile with the vanilla, berries, dark malty flavors of bread, chocolate, and cane syrup. Finishes with herbal hops, mild bitterness, and a sticky sweetness. Reminds me of a doppelbock at times, but with a Franco-Belgian twist on it. Lingering aftertaste reminds me of those all-natural fruit roll-ups. Mouthfeel is rather full with a barely-there carbonation, which works rather well with the flavors. I really enjoy this, but its kind of a heavy one to drink a lot of.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

75cl dark green corked bottle. Freshness date etched on bottom of label.
It pours a deep ruby-hued mahogany color with a slow fading beige head and some sticky patchy lacing.
A big sweet malty aroma is upfront and fairly long lasting. A curious smell of leather mingles with a whiff of fruit cocktail. A faint smell of dried hops lingers throughout, as does the smell of tobacco.
Tastes of sweet honey and caramel coat the hearty barley body. Flavors, supported on a taste of brown bread, ranging from figs, orange zest, spruce, grapefruit and pears are all very distinct. Light rummy alcohol is noticeable throughout.
This brew was the hands down favorite at our Christmas Eve beer tasting.

 696 characters

Photo of putnam
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer will require a great deal of patience and trust from most BAs. There was a time when I was sure that wild-fermented, unfiltered Loire Valley Chenin Blanc and Rhone reds tasted thin, harsh and fecal. Now the alternatives taste manufactured and exagerrated.

So with the beers of La Choulette. The idea here seems to be "transparency" -- what some may describe as "thinness." The point is to capture natural, ordained flavor in the most discreetly textured medium possible. On that measure, this is a stunning success.

Brown and clear with a nice, replenishing blanket of cream-colored foam. Aromas are of exotic, tropical brown spices steeped in brandy: cola, nutmeg and cumin. There is also a presence of salty, buttered rye and groats in the nose. Flavors of black tea, chicory, vanilla and sweet spices fully occupy a texture that is rinsing and clear.
It is dry. Alcohol provides the only sweetness, and it is noticable. What I really like is the cadence of flavor and how a surge of noble, raw, brown, spice hulls flavors rises on the finish to perfect the close.

Serve with a steamed pot of shellfish, lamb or wild mushroom tarts.

$6.5 for a 750ml in MI (that's cheep!).

 1,200 characters

La Choulette De Noël from Brasserie La Choulette
3.83 out of 5 based on 91 ratings.
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