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La Choulette De Noël | Brasserie La Choulette

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BA SCORE
86
very good
66 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
66
Ratings:
91
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
13.32%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 91
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.

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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 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.

 902 characters

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.

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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

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

saw this as part of a "christmas beer liquidation" display. best by 3-20-09.

A - nice clear brown color, highly carbonated, big tan head.

S - Earthy, funky notes are dominant, light dark fruits, caramel and spice. Took a few whiffs and decided it was not skunked.

T - nice malty caramel sweetness, spices, earthy hops and a hint of must.

M - medium, medium light bodied, highly carbonated, dry finish.

D - nice, approachable and I got it on a discount!

 457 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a clean brown/amber beer. Has a spoonable creamy beige head that leaves a good lace. The aroma is light and sweet with a hint of fruit/apple. The flavor starts with an inviting honey and molasses character. The finish is a nice easy alcohol warmth as it settles in.

 273 characters

Photo of mwilbur
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip.
A: Pours a clear reddish-amber with moderate carbonation producing a rather thick 2+ inch thick head. Good retention and lacing. Very nice.
S: Sweet caramel malt, soft citrus and spice, and a hint of banana and clove.
T: Soft banana and melon. Yeasty bread. Mild clove and spice. A musty note and dried cherries too. Hint of black pepper. Sweet caramel malt and mildly spicy hops linger in the background. Understated, but a nice mix of notes. This one was nice to begin with and grew on me over the course of the bottle.
M: Light-medium body. Soft and smooth to begin with...turning toward a mildly acidic bite midway through. Pleasantly effervescent. An understated, but nice lingering finish. Superb for style.
D: Highly drinkable. An excellent example of style. I believe this is also a very accessible quality brew...bring it to a holiday party and watch the converts discover the true joy of beer.

 941 characters

Photo of cbl2
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$7.49 750 mL 7.00% Best 3/22/07.

Appearance:

Pours a clear ruby brown with a thin film of white foam.

Aroma:

Tart with ripe plum/cherry aromas, a touch of nutmeg, and notes of biscuit.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Biscuity bread quality with a huge nutty flavor that makes this taste like a brown, more than a Saison. Highly drinkable, as the 7% is completely masked, and quite tasty, though unlike any Saison I've ever had.

 433 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cellared since last Christmas. Pours a clear copper color with a large beige colored head. Big malty nose, lightly fruity and yeasty smelling, but mostly malt and some kilned candi sugar notes. Initial sip threw me a curveball. I thought it might have a bit of tartness to it judging by the aroma, but there was none. Just sweet, malty and a hint of green apple. A bit minerally and a watery aftertaste. Carbonation is good. Pretty good for a darker biere de garde.

 465 characters

Photo of Patrick999
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #600, a Christmas biere de garde on Christmas Day. Poured into a goblet. Shows very good head formation and a few rings of solid lacing. Fairly dark amber, could pass for an American Brown. Impressive presentation.

Smells like a very malty beer, with hints of cinnamon apples.

Lot of malt front to back, but no sweetness ever really manifests on the palate. The beer remains dry through and through, with a dusty mineral character typical and desirable in bieres de garde. Minerals, light spice and a faint suggestion of the apple noted in the aroma. A light hand was used with the spices here; they don't overpower the beer.

Dusty mouthfeel with significant bubbly bite.

Even though this is a Christmas beer, I think this is a pretty textbook example of biere de garde. It adheres very close to style, with minor Christmas-spice accents. Recommended for fans of the style. Good by itself, but as usual, begs for a nice food pairing. It would easily fly with Christmas dinners of all stripes.

 1,007 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky ruby-brown color with an off-white head that diminishes. The aroma is malty and herbal with a yeasty, kinda corky smell. The flavor is malty and phenolic with a cardboard, corky taste. Medium-light in body, semi-drying. Not what I was hoping for. I'd skip it next time.

 275 characters

Photo of ypsifly
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 that is corked, caged, and marked best before 3/06 into a tulip.

Clear, dark copper with a small, beady head of off white. Not much for retention or lace.

Caramel with some earthy sourness and pinch of dark fruits. There's also a bit of funk that reminds me of lawn clippings piled in my garden, but with lots of nuts.

The caramel is also noticiable in the taste. Its then followed by some nuts and citric sour. The nutty flavors return for a finish that has a strong carbonation tingle. Its all interesting, but I was expecting something that tastes more like a french farmhouse ale. This tastes like a good bruin with some interesting character. Points deducted.

Moderate mouth that enjoys good carbonation. I like that in a beer.

I like the flavors, despite the fact that they are not what I expected. Next time I'm in the mood I'll spend the cash on something closer to style

 912 characters

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby red in color with a huge off white head that lasts and lasts. Smell is full of raisins, dates, malt and a hint of chocolate. Very effervesant as tons of little bubbles make their way to the top. The taste is complex. Soft and sweet in the beginning. The middle seems very dry as does the aftertaste. I pick up so many different flavors. Raisins, dates, nuts, rhubarb and chocolate. No alcohol notes that I can pick up. A touch of sour and cherry come through as well.

I solid seasonal that I will put up again next year.

 529 characters

Photo of megahurts4
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

La Choulette de Noel

Appearance: Honey colored with a medium-large head, and good lacing.

Smell: Sweet candy caramel, slight apple, and malts.

Taste: Malts, apple, caramel, slight yeast (visible, too), and subtle spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium with a smooth, malty texture.

Overall:
How about dessert? This would be great for dessert. The smell is very sweet, but the brew itself is not overly sweet. It has that malty dopplebock-like caramel backbone. It is very smooth and easy to drink, but not too watery.

 509 characters

Photo of jgasparine
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing like a Christmas beer in August!!

A- A careful pour yielded a thin layer of tan foam, which slowly dissipated, giving way to some tiny bits of lacing. Body is a hazy honey color, with abundant carbonation visible from both the sides and top of glass.

S- Sweet and spicy on the nose... just like a Christmas beer should be! Aromas of burnt candy sugar and caramel malt are up front, with a nutmegy spiciness in the background.

T- Anticipated flavors of burnt candy sugar, caramel malt and nutmeg are strong, but not overpowering... this is followed by some restrained booziness, which translates into a nice, warming BUTTERY (diacetyl) finish!

M- Medium to full body with tons of texture from the unattenuated sugar. Unfortunately, this is spoiled a bit by the rampant carbonation.

D- Very drinkable. Would have again... and will probably finish the 750ml bottle all on my own.

Note: This bottle has been cellared for over a year (improving). Also, note that this review was done while the beer was approx. 50 degrees F... and the aromas/flavors/mouthfeel change considerably as the beer warms.

 1,108 characters

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

This offering pours a dark maroon leaving a thin tan head that leaves very quickly. The aroma is bready, tart unripened fruit, strawberries, cherries, sour dough bread, and a musty dank aroma. The taste is tart upfront, sour cherries, strawberries, lemon, leaving a syrupy mouthfeel that coats the palate. The hops are brisk but not astringent, malty fruitness really finishes this beer off but is balanced by a tart fruitness that really makes this beer great. Overall this is a nice beer, I haven't had it in a few years but glad I went back to it for this Christmas.

 569 characters

Photo of FightingEntropy
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

White head piles up fairly well after a good pop of the cork, but fell rather quickly. Dark cherry color that turns to cherry sour red with a little light behind it. Strong yeasty smell in the nose with some malt, no hop. Nice malt base, a bit of alcohol, and overripe cherry, raisins. Strong bite in the taste that mellows nicely after several washings over the palate. Light roast flavor underneath the malt, giving it a strong body for the style. Overall, very pleasant. Bit pricey at $8.50 but worth it for a try.

 517 characters

Photo of aquatonex
4.54/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Guest bottle at ABC upstairs. Unique and awesome.

Pours very deep brown, not cloudy though. Nice head, very nice lacing. Smell is immediately extremely spiced. Finally, a beer with a lot of spice. Wintry mix of spices, including mint as well. Some sweet notes as well. Taste follows with a powerful spiced blend and nice sweet maltiness. Wonderful.

 351 characters

Photo of czechsaaz
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very fruity and estery aroma. Smells like prunes and apples to me. I get some toasty malt aromas too and a nice blended spiciness that may be a yeast character since it's so subtle.

Nice brown color and clear. Very small but persistant head with good rising cabonation in the glass. Some lacing but not much.

Flavor is very fruity and estery. I get bready yeast at some points and cherries and plums at others. The spicy notes I got in the aroma I'm not picking up here. Decent hop bitterness but the malt dominates the flavor. Seems like theres a lot of caramel or munich type malts in the flavor. None of the flavors are particularly big.

Body seems a little light but the carbonation level is very nice and refreshing.

A nice, pleasant beer but I'm not really thrilled by it. I was hoping for a little more from a Christmas beer. I would drink it again though. It's pretty good.

 893 characters

Photo of ark57
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This particular beer had been cellared for a year. It was good, but I feel it is better fresh. Tasting notes for cellared beer:

Ruby Brown color and a big huge that lasts for a while. Spicy, fruity aroma. Medium bodied, fruits and spices in taste, but also a metallic tinge. It is warming in the peppery finish. I liked this, but the metallic tinge I was getting was what I didn't like.

 389 characters

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