La Choulette Ambrée
Brasserie La Choulette

La Choulette AmbréeLa Choulette Ambrée
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Style:
French Bière de Garde
Ranked #25
ABV:
8%
Score:
88
Ranked #11,739
Avg:
3.96 | pDev: 9.34%
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
102
From:
Brasserie La Choulette
 
France
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  11
Gots
  6
SCORE
88
Very Good
La Choulette AmbréeLa Choulette Ambrée
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 102 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Maxpower086
Maxpower086 from Canada

4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice deep maple syrup brown with some reddish hues. smell is cherry, caramel and berries. taste is very sweet, malty, caramel, sherry/bourbon and subtle smokey oak. pretty good overall

Feb 01, 2020
Photo of KooVee
KooVee from Finland

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl bottle, combination of reviews when fresh and when 2.5yo.

Clearish dark amber, (for the style) moderately busy foam that subsides but leaves a thin finely constructed layer.

Nose is fruity and sweet when fresh, after ageing less remains but it is much more balanced and interesting: subdued bread, layered with caramel/toffee and a prominent presence of raisin once the beer warms up.

Taste is overly sweet when fresh, with some woody notes. No hop presence at any point of the evolution. The excessive malty sweetness turns wirh time into toffee and raisins with an understated aftertaste of good brandy. The sticky mouthfeel stays just the right side of diluted after 2.5 years. Still a bit of wood there. Pleasant, more than simple, sweetness in the aftertaste that might turn into honey.

Overall, I rate this based on the best (2.5yo) phase for the beer I have witnessed. Ageing and drinking at 13-15C improves this beer significantly. I would guess rhe ingredients and the process are spot on for ageing. What would lift this on a par with, say Belgian brunes, would be some hops or spices to carry the interest once the body fades. And a more interesting yeast. That is maybe the biggest obstacle here -- the yeast is distinctly workman-like.

Feb 17, 2019
Photo of drmeto
drmeto from Germany

3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

L:
-pours a clear amber with a medium to big,foamy,offwhite head
-medium to high carbonation visible
S:
-caramel,plums,banana,brown sugar,spicy
T:
-caramel,toffee,astringent,orange,spicy,plums
-no hop bitterniss
-very sweet
F:
-medium to high carbonation
-medium body
-alcohol noticeable
O:
Decent, but a bit too sweet for me

Jul 28, 2016
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours a hazy amber color with a off white almost tannish head.

Smell: It has a rich, malty, aroma that features bread, dark fruits, toffee, and alcohol.

Taste:It has a malty rich taste of bread, toffee, a bit of roast, spices, and alcohol.

Feel: It has a heavy feel to it with a slightly sweet, the bitter aftertaste with alcohol warming.

Overall: It is a very malt rich beer. The malts dominate the aroma and flavor with a sweet, then bitter aftertaste.

Apr 09, 2016
Photo of Arthuros
Arthuros from France

3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at La Capsule in Lille.
Very sweet amber, with an almost metallic taste. Also quite sweet, and not very hoppy.
Almost cider-like by some respects.
Good as a dessert beer, don't drink with anything too strong though.

Sep 14, 2015
Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
Jerseyislandbeer from Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Second beer of the day at Het Kasteelhof in Cassel, Northern France. Pours a amber colour with a slight tanned head. Aromas of caramel & flowers. Tastes of spicy caramel with hints of burnt sugar as well as apple fruitiness. The high alcohol content is slightly warming but not at all easy to drink.

Sep 06, 2015
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Handsome dark amber with an enthusiastic foam in the Ciney snifter. Woodsy and fruity aroma. Flavors of raisins and sugar cookies. A tart note along with the grainy taste. Strange and interesting though not my favorite in this style. It seems to be right in the Bière de Garde style, with the sweet mustiness.

Looking at the reviews, I wonder if people are drinking the same beer. Interesting how much variation this one has. Maybe it's more alive in the bottle, for better or worse. From the 750 ml bottle purchased at Elizabeth Station in Bellingham.

Jun 25, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.57/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

La Choulette Ambrée offers a rich bread, dried cherries, brandy, malt, woody aroma with no hops. It pours amber to brown with a slight haze and a persistent 2” white, persistent foam cap. The palate starts very smooth with rich malt sweetened lightly with caramel, hints of coffee or chocolate, traces of cardamom and includes a suspicion of bourbon in the aftertaste with traces of dried fruit – especially figs - in the middle. It has medium carbonation, medium low body, and a slight alcohol warming that is deceptive considering the beer’s strength.

Feb 01, 2015
Photo of spoony
spoony from Colorado

3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle (best by November 26, 2015) into a tulip.

A-A slightly aggressive pour produces nearly three fingers of khaki head. The retention is so-so, maybe a minute, but there is a decent bit of lacing on the glass. The brew is an attractive, dark, honey-amber color with red highlights.

S-The smell is pretty tame, with musty apple cider, pear, and maybe a hint of other light-flesh fruits. There is also a bit of caramel and toasted bread. A little boring...I cannot classify this as inviting or intriguing.

T-Forutnately, the taste surpasses the smell. There is still a bit of light fruit and cider flavor (probably from the alcohol), but the malt profile of toasted bread, sweet caramel, and toffee is way more substantial on the tongue than on the nose. The brew is pretty sweet with very minimal hops and suggestions of Belgian yeast every now and again.

M-The feel is medium to light body with an assertive, slightly rough carbonation that gives a crisp feel.

O-This is a good, but not memorable beer. The flavor profile is pretty solid for the style with nice toasted malts, and the alcohol is very well-integrated into the beer. It is also pretty good-looking and true to style in that regard. The smell and feel are a bit lacking, and I could have used a bit more hops or sharpness to balance the sweet malt profile, but these are not major criticisms.

Sep 26, 2013
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber in color and has large chunks of yeast visible near the bottom of the glass (simply from the initial pour). It has a two finger high dense beige head that gradually died down but consistently left a short head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts and earthy yeast are present in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell, except that the malts contribute some sweetness that ever so slightly overshadows the earthiness from the yeast. Slight hints of dark fruits are also apparent and no bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly chewy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a lot maltier and heaver in body compared to other beers in the style (sort of like a comparison between a bock and a doppelbock), but it's light enough to be rather drinkable, especially since any traces of alcohol are very well hidden.

Feb 26, 2013
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish brown with large voluminous head that gives off massive lace patches. The malts are strong in the aroma, as I pick up good amounts of caramel and dry bread (touch of roast) as well as some leafy hop zest. Medium-bodied and filling thanks to yeast, smooth, sweet thanks to caramel and some sweet fruit notes, touch of sugar, and there's a crisp balance thanks to moderate citric hop base and good carbonation. Finishes easy with a nice crisp bite to it and a tad sweet and I swear there's a minor wine-like fruitiness on the end.

Mar 14, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca from Canada

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy brown color ale with a large frothy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bready yeast with fruity ester is quite nice. Taste is also dominated by a huge semidry caramel malt base with nice yeast ester of fresh bread and light fruit. Body is quite full with limited filtration and good bottle conditioning with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Much better then expected and a nice example of how good the French bière de garde can be.

Dec 01, 2010
Photo of codewarrior
codewarrior from New York

3.02/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750mL bomber into a Snifter

Beer is bearing a Best Before End on the bottle, which I find odd for a Biere de Garde.

A: Mahogany with rich creamy head, dissipating quickly.

S: Caramel sweetness with hints of fruit and tobacco.

T: Sweet in the extreme, sweeter as it opens up. Light and too thin in its flavor. Aftertaste is hollowy sweet, like diet soda.

F: Thin, almost limp. Maybe this bottle is off?

D: On re-consideration, probably not as bad as I initially reacted, but still couldn't drink the whole glass. This beer was served at the recommended temperature, but I found it only to be drinkable at temperatures signifigantly below and above the recommended serving, and then, not in large quantities.

I have a suspicion my bottle was off. Look forward to retrying at a future date if I come across this again.

Oct 19, 2010
Photo of SPThirtyThree
SPThirtyThree from Colorado

4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Corked and caged. The beer peers out from the bottle slightly reddish in color, which is somewhat surprising. After popping the cork, the beer overflowed and foamed (with no end in sight!) until I was able to get some of it into a glass.*

I'm not all that familiar with French culture - maybe this is the Brasserie La Choulette's idea of a gift.

This bière de garde is a brownish amber, contrary to how it looked in the bottle. Low clarity, and a huge, three-finger, rocky, sandstone head. After the head finally subsides, a thick layer of cream persists atop the beer.

S: Spicy and estery notes dominate, especially at warmer temperatures. The nose has a faint sweetness, that, when combined with the spiciness, give a distinct wildflower honey impression. There is also a funkiness emanating from the beer, a slight barnyard character. The esters are reminiscent of peaches and grapes.

T: La Choulette made a very well-balanced beer here. It's much lighter and fruitier than the nose suggested, but slightly tart. It is just bitter enough to have an astringent "dryness," but that counters the strong, sweet, caramel flavors from the crystal malts. There is also a saltiness and distinct earthiness/spiciness from the wild yeast. There is also a metallic, coppery taste like that found in Chimay Grand Reserve. Acetaldehyde also lingers, giving the apple-like tartness, and a character that resembles wine. High carbonation helps to offset some of the stronger and provides balance. I can't praise the effervescence too much, however, since the overcarbonation punished me upon uncorking.

The flavor and degree of sourness remind me a bit of the Duchesse, although I doubt they would be very similar if compared side-by-side, as the Duchesse is a Flanders Red.

M: Creamy upfront, then slightly astringent, and a bit sticky like apple juice.

D: High.

If you're in the mood for a slightly sour beer, this one is great. It's extremely complex, and although it may be a bit heavy on the sweet malts, it delivers surprises with every sip. This farmhouse amber would be a low-mid A were it not for it's rendition of Mt. Vesuvius on my countertop. However, because of a rough start, I docked the appearance to give this it's B+ rating.

* I should point out that I opened this one around 55° F, and that further chilling would have reduced, and possible prevented, the foaming.

Aug 01, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp from Colorado

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750mL green glass bottle, corked and caged, dated 19-06-09.

Opened in celebration of finishing the semester - yea!

Served cool and poured into my St. Bernardus Watou glass, the Ambrée has a hazy copper color with an inch of head and good retention.

Aroma is complex - spicy, funky, and a little winey. The latter is not what I'd describe as oxidation but more like dark fruits and red grapes.

Flavor is quite nice - a little like a doppelbock that's lighter in color and body. There is the similar caramel-sweet base with nice spice notes and a bit of toasty grains. The flavors have good depth and complexity but it's not overwhelming. Light fruit flavors like apple, cherry, and grape, help to balance out the spice.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with just the right amount of carbonation. Alcohol is present but fairly well-hidden given this beer's strength.

Overall really nice, not what I was expecting (Biere de Garde was more of a Saison in my head) but still very enjoyable.

May 12, 2010
Photo of corby112
corby112 from Pennsylvania

2.96/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber color with lighter red hues when held to a light source and a thin foamy yellowish head that quickly fades leaving no lacing.

Very subtle light fruit aroma with hints of earthy hops, spice and faint hops. Very bland and uninteresting.

Fuller bodied with much more of a malt presence than expected. Slightly spicy with citrus and dark fruits. Medium carbonation which helps the mouthfeel. Alcohol not well masked. Average at best.

Apr 30, 2010
Photo of PartyBear
PartyBear from England

3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep burgundy colour, with a rapidly fading tan head, and heavy fine carbonation. 3.5

Aroma: The initial aromas are a strange hybrid between winey grapes, and ripe wheat. There are hints of sourdough in there, with a mild citric lemon. Lots of spices, and clear notes of aniseed. 3

Taste: Lots of savoury wheats, grains, with a strange taste of plain salted crisps, very weird. There is a noticeable alcoholic taste that pushes through after this, with a bready sweetness, pepperiness, and some vanilla. The aftertaste is bittersweet, and slightly clingy. 3.5

Mouthfeel: Heavy and oily in the palete. The carbonation is quite lively, maybe too much. 3

Drinkability: Some very strange flavours in this one, quite unique. Probably couldn't manage more than one. Well worth a try. 3.5

Oct 08, 2009
Photo of Tone
Tone from Missouri

4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, amber/brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and good lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, brown sugar, citrus, and slight pale hop. Fits the style of a Biere de Garde. Mouth feel is smooth and sharp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale hops, alcohol, tart malt, sweet malt, slight citrus, and brown sugar. Overall, a darker and more malty biere de garde than I'm used to having, but still rather good.

Sep 02, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle courtesy of RomanW70 (thanks Dan) served in my ST tulip. 25.04.07 indicated on the label. Poured a hazy, plum color with a three inch off-white head that sizzled and popped as it receded into a frothy quarter inch cap; sheets of watery lacing, but no legs. Nose was dark fruit, vinous and somewhat acidic with a hint of chocolate towards the back. Taste follows nose, with a bit of sourness/astringency at the finish. Mouthfeel is light and sparklingly effervescent with a little bit of prickliness across the tongue. I've had the opportunity to try a few Bière de Gardes, and I tend to not really enjoy the style. That being said, this brew seems a little closer to a belgian strong dark in style, and I was pleasantly surprised. As such, my rating reflects the beer itself and not its attributes relative to the style.

May 27, 2009
Photo of chinabeergeek
chinabeergeek from Massachusetts

3.14/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml green bottle. label has notches for dates, but none are marked off. instead, there is a printing of "18.06.08". it SEEMS this is a "best by" date, since that's what it is on the sans culottes bottle...

poured into tulip.

clear gemstone amber with copper tint. nice head gradually fades to wispy layer. great lacing.

aromas of fruity apple and caramel, almost candy-like. malt is indeed quite caramelized. whiff of grass and earthiness and trace of farmhouse character, plus phenols and maybe spice.

flavor is very malty sweet, mixing with apple-like esters and sharp phenols, with the sweetness approaching a cloying quality. gentle grassy hop gives a mild bitterness, but the spicy phenols come back and blend with that cloying sweetness, lingering into the finish as well.

not too thin, decently smooth, but slightly watery. lively carbonation, but not enough to completely wash away that sweet, phenolic, cloying character.

Feb 05, 2009
Photo of oldhippie247
oldhippie247 from North Carolina

4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great coppery-amber with an off-white head that appears more fluffy than creamy.

A nutty aroma dominates the nose, with caramel, bready maltiness playing back-up.

The sweet caramel and hazelnut aromas follow through on the palate, slowly giving way to a mild caramelized malt and hop bitterness. Wisps of apple brandy and walnuts also appear, conjuring up pairings with camembert or delice de bourgogne.

A great artisanal French biere de garde.

Feb 02, 2009
Photo of bonkers
bonkers from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. The beer is rum brown with a fluffy white head. The head recedes quickly, leaving some lacing on the sides. The aroma is earthy and sweet. It is sweet on the tongue, with taste of caramel and alcohol. The beer is medium bodied with above average carbonation. The beer is smooth and easily drinkable. This is my first Biere de Garde so I do not have any thing to compare it to, but I do like this beer.

Jan 02, 2009
Photo of aquatonex
aquatonex from New York

3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours darkish copper, not much light coming through. Short head, dissipated, leaves a very thing ring and slight swirl of lace. Not that carbonated. Slightly sweet and nutty nose, a bit of malts as well. Taste is also sweet up front, a little caramel-y and nutty, some dates or some other dried fruitiness. Its strength is noticeable enough to make it enjoyable. It's a bit thin going down, lighter as it should be.

Dec 23, 2008
Photo of pinotboy007
pinotboy007 from Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Arrowine, Arlington, VA; had never seen it before.

A - Burnt copper/amber/dark iced tea color with a khaki-colored head that settles to a shoulder with modest lacing.

S - Malt, dates, cinnamon.

T/M - Complex malt, dates, peat, cinnamon, tea and caramel. Beautifully silky and creamy without being too dense.

D - A food friendly ale worth grabbing if you see it. Very nice stuff.

Sep 27, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass a very nice clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy/fizzy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island in the middle of the glass and some sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, with some spice and yeast. The taste sweet, malty, yeasty, and a nice touch of spice. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a nice one, thanks Joe.

Sep 26, 2008
La Choulette Ambrée from Brasserie La Choulette
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 102 ratings