La Choulette Ambrée | Brasserie La Choulette

BA SCORE
87
very good
94 Ratings
THE BROS
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La Choulette AmbréeLa Choulette Ambrée
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie La Choulette
France
lachoulette.com

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 08-03-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
94
Reviews:
70
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
9.32%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 70
Photo of marcobrau
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of sneaks2210
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of samEBC
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Archemedies
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 545 characters

Photo of ucis
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 480 characters

Photo of codewarrior
3.02/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

 836 characters

Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 2,386 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 995 characters

Photo of corby112
2.96/5  rDev -25.4%
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.

 450 characters

Photo of PartyBear
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
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

 797 characters

Photo of Tone
4.17/5  rDev +5%
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.

 461 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 834 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
3.14/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

 937 characters

Photo of oldhippie247
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 456 characters

Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 451 characters

Photo of aquatonex
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

 415 characters

Photo of pinotboy007
3.85/5  rDev -3%
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.

 395 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 470 characters

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

picked this up to try out of curiosity. it pours a nice amber orange color with a nice offwhite head. this one didn't work for me as well as some other biere de gardes I've had as this was more of a marmalade and caramel effect than what I expected. Bottle notes its from 4-25-07.

 280 characters

Photo of Biscuit033
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml C&C

A: Clear copper/amber with a two finger head the settles quickly but leaves nice lacing.

S: Malt, flowers, earth, and some metallic notes.

T: A lot of malt character and flavor sans the sweetness, bready, floral, and slightly roasty.

M: Very crisp and dry.

D: This will make a good pair with some goat cheese and honey. Goes down with ease despite the 8% ABV.

 374 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl Green cork and caged bottle, poured into two Corsendonk stemmed tulip shaped glasses.

The pour was in one almost smooth action, but the second glass ended up with a few pieces of sediment. Otherwise the beer was a lovely amber, a little lighter than a typical Belgian Amber beer but with the same good biege foaming head. The beer was opened 4 months after the Best Before Date.

The aroma was like a fairly sweet malty biscuit straight out of the oven.

Good flavours throughout, this is a well balanced beer and I really enjoyed it. The 8% doesn't knock your socks off, but you know it's there.

The French beer scene is a lot better than most poeple realise, this is a good example of what they are missing.

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La Choulette Ambrée from Brasserie La Choulette
3.97 out of 5 based on 94 ratings.
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