La Choulette Ambrée | Brasserie La Choulette

BA SCORE
87
very good
94 Ratings
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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:
12
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 70
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of thierrynantes
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33cl., 75cl.), tasted in 2003.

Appearance : An amber color, fine and tight foam.
Smell : caramelized sweetness but not excessive
Taste and mouthfeel : spice aniseed flavours, caramel, delicatly hoped.
Drinkability : good beer in the style "bière de garde", less sweet than the Jenlain, more bitter.

Review translated from french 7-9-2008.

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Photo of uturn
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of rajendra82
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The packaging consisted of a green 750 ml bottle, with a champagne style cork, and a wire cage. When the cork was pulled, a satisfying pop revealed that the yeast had been nicely active in the bottle. Poured into a 16 oz wine goblet, the body was clear amber red with moderate carbonation, and could be easily mistaken for a wine. The aroma was also somewhat wine like, with notes of cherry and oak and very little if any hops. The taste was smooth and refreshing. The body was very dry and woody with an astringent tartness, but almost no sourness. Fruits like cherries, red grapes, and pears were also abundant. Floral hops showed up in the middle of the peppery finish. Mouthfeel was surprisingly full. This Bière de Garde tasted much maltier than my previous experiences with beers from the related style Saison, and exhibited fewer funky flavors. Overall this was quite an enjoyable beer, which will most definitely turn me into trying more of its brethren.

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Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color, bordering on brown, with some bright highlights. The smallish head leaves a bit of lace on the glass. The aroma is low on esters and skews toward the malt side, with plenty of bready, almost German malts and a dusty tobacco note. On the palate, big carbonation and smooth, sweet maltiness alongside some dextrins. There's a bit of orangey fruitiness evident on the edges. Good acidity toward the end. The finish is long and a tad sweet, while the mouthfeel is full and malty overall, with a bit of hop acids at the end and plenty of soft carbonation throughout. Overall, this is a tasty biere de garde, skewed toward the malty side, without much of the herbal/earthy notes often found in beers of the style. Still, it's a rich-yet-light, interesting beer that would probably be great with food and cheese, so still a definite thumbs up.

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Photo of bditty187
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber-gold in hue with significant coppery highlights. The liquid shows a slight influence of sediment. When backlit this beer shines! The head was slightly off-white in color; at the apex the head was a healthy two fingers in height. The bubbles were rocky and dense, head retention was very good, and it slowly faded to a clumpy cap. It started creating lace before I started removing the beer! Overall the subsequent lacing was spotty and unimpressive. Still this beer looks good. I’m keen on the nose, there is a lovely balancing act between vinous notes and caramel malt. The fruitiness is heavy on grapes with kisses of pears and figs. There is a seamless transition to a charming caramel aroma and even some doughy qualities. Candied sweetness. Interwoven throughout are hints of spiciness that are largely nondescript. And then comes some mildly funky (barnyard and horsy and mold) notes with hints of pepper. Finally there are kisses of alcohol heat at the back, towards the end. The potency of the nose is moderate, the complexities are softly spoken but I do hear what this beer is saying. Inviting. The palate is dry with loads of caramel flavor and little sweetness. I am not sure how this is accomplished... but I like it. The malt offers doughy qualities. Caramel too. Like I said the sweetness is minimal. Flavor is big. In the middle is some raw apple cider that is lightly spiked with ginger and cinnamon. At this point the beer turns slightly dry and vinous notes emerge, grapes and hints of licorice. At the finish there is a firm mix of hop bitterness with a raw earthy undertone and some peppery notes. This is quite contrasting from the malt “sweetness” (it really isn’t that sweet, I am beating a dead horse here). The aftertaste is just a little warm at the back of the throat with a caramel, fruity residue that sits on the tongue. This beer is very diverse with its food prospects. I think it would be good with many things, from elegantly prepared steaks to pasta (with a light red sauce) or even hearty fried fish (like walleye). Honestly, this beer would be perfect for gourmet pizza. Hell yeah, ignore all the other food babble I dished out, this beer would be a KILLER with good pizza. Anyway. This beer is very solid. I like it a lot. It is not a world class Bière de Garde, so what. I it is a damn good beer. Medium in body, the carbonation is moderate but very airy, this makes the mouthfeel fluffy and relaxing with just enough bulk to support the flavors. This beer isn’t overly complex. At no point was I blown away but at no point was I bored. This is a very good beverage. It is very drinkable and (like I said above) it has endless future possibilities. I bought this 750ml bottle in Ames, IA last spring; it has been in my cellar since then. Find it. Drink it. You’ll like it.

PS: The label says 8.0% abv.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Spied this unusual brew on my inaugural trip to the Vin de Pays store in downtown Long Beach. I am familiar with La Choulette brews and as I have yet to Review this one I fancied it was time to pick up a bottle.

A 750ml standard looking green glass “Belgium” style flat bottomed beer bottle. Simple unmarked thumbed cork is restrained with a silver cap and cage. Main label has this listed as “La Choulette Ambrée”. Described as a “Biere De Garde Artisanale Traditional French Ale”. 8% Vol./alc. Has one of those really annoying “miss-clipped” main labels, but it has a date stamped on the bottom of the label “14.10.06” so I guess I’m still good to go!

Appearance: The gunsmoke once the cork was easily popped was impressively dominant as it rested above the bottle of the mouth, it still lingered and swirled in the air as I carefully poured. Chestnut brown with some glowing amber when backlit. Head starts with a decent 2” rising cap but settles slowly, leaving some ringed blotchy lacing, before it settles to a nice ¼” thick Vicar’s collar. Firm conditioning that seems a little lazy though towards the bottom of the bottle, the slow moving streamers in the body lend a laid back feel.

Nose: Projects a strong caramelized sugar start, this soon edges with figs, dark fruits and a heavy bold spicy malt profile which all blend together rather nicely. The aromas have a dull dowdy and soil laden earthy facet to them which depresses the overall enjoyment but adds a funky aspect that gently reminds you that is a Bière De Garde Ambrée.

Taste: Brewed from Flanders and Hallertau Hops, as well as Pale and Special Malts it does tend to have an Earthy tone to it. The Pale Malts are quite fruity and exhibit a thick feel. The hop bitterness is peat like with a rich soil feel to it. Tends to exhibit a bitter-sweet honey dimension which sits as a backdrop to the more tangy fruity aspects.

Mouthfeel: Light and airy, the caramelized sugar never gets to be sticky or sickly sweet, but it stays in the background and always threatens to. The soft carbonation easily spreads the good word of the flavor Department whilst allowing the rich textures of this Bière De Garde Ambrée to sinfully expand across the tongue.

Drinkability: Far easier than I expected, more Bière De Garde than Ambrée, but it melds the two nicely into a mighty quaffable brew.

Overall: Surprised me I have to say, I first sampled this years ago on a trip to France and the Fermie-Brasserie Beck and their marvelous Hommelpap. Back then I recall this being less palatable, but now, it impresses, maybe it’s changed, who knows?, I do note with interest that my penciled entry into my Woods/Rigley Beers of France book from the late 90’s has it listed at only 7.5%, interesting. Cost me $8.99 and whilst it is at the higher end of what I usually pay, it did not disappoint. Well worth a try, or a revisit if you were disappointed first time around like I was.

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Photo of NClifestyle
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a great beer to have with the turkey today.
Poured from a wine sized bottle, slightly hazy ruby orange color, with thick bubbly head on top. Nice layer stays around, no lace, at least not in the wine glass I was drinking from today.
Smells of gentle peach/orange with hints of wheat, mostly light malt aroma.
Taste is a touch sweet and slightly spicy. Similar to a wheat beer, some caramel sweetness at first, then a spicy rush that yields a quick hot bite in the back of the mouth.
A light to medium mouth feel, some carbonation and tingle, somewhat dry mouthfeel.
This beer goes great with Thanksgiving food, and probably with other varied meals as well. I wouldn't choose this beer at the bar, but would find it again for drinking at home and with dinner.

cheers...

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy calls this beer the "French Defender". Pours a orangy amber color with a thick, soft beige head. Big malty aroma with hints of fruit and mustiness. A bit fruity (concord grape) in the taste, with an ambery, biscuity and nutty malt profile. Yeasty with a honeyed sweetness as well. Finishes a bit dry and smooth. Recommended if you like the biere de garde style. Alcohol is noticable, but surely not overwhelming.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice, this beer looks great sitting in a chalice.Tawny reddish brown with white lacing. malt on the nose with hints of hops. This is a very rounded amber farmhouse ale. Autumn flavours make this almost like a French Fall beer. A slight Belgian type finish lets you know the region. Very drinkable and quite straightforward in its approach.

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

BB 14-03-08. Nice and due to good feed by the prearling bubble well lasting light beige head and anberbrown beer. Nose is fruity apricot and strawberry, bretty and wheatmalty with nice phenolic hoptouch. Good taste though missing bitterness IMO and bit yeasty hangbitter. But next to that bretty, tasty, bit of sourness and overall tasty. Well carbonated and easy drinkable brew.

 379 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.

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

Mmmm....my first saison (although some call it a biere du garde). This beer pours a beautiful slightly cloudy caramel colour. The head is dense, thick and white, almost like whip cream.

I can detect the scent of malts, spice and caramel. A very soft, pleasant scent that doesn't overwhelm: everything is well balanced, and no one flavour dominates.

Taste wise, the malts are a bit stronger, but there is the flavour of caramel, raisins and spice. Though this is a "summer" beer, the flavour is suited to winter as well.

I feel this is a little thick and syrupy going done, and the high ABV does limit drinkability. Nonetheless, this is an excellent beer and I will be buying it again.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Extraordinarily hit the spot before and during a French meal. I will have to find this again and give it a review.

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Photo of sixtyteeth
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of samEBC
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

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.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

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