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Gavroche | Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

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Very Good
459 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

Style: French Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 459 |  Reviews: 244
Reviews by StonedTrippin:
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

oh this beer is gorgeous! an absolute stunner and a perfect example of the biere de garde style as far as i am concerned. its in a corked bottle with a metal bar across it, warping the cork, looks like it did everything it could to escape, never seen this type of packaging before. the beer is old, but i dont know how old, no date on it other than some code that reads 19 19 that we cannot make sense of. its probably at least five years, i know this hasnt been distributed to colorado in at least that long. wasnt sure what it would be like now, but its amazing, the very definition of "beer for keeping". the pour is amazingly vibrant, shockingly lively even, hard to control a huge tan head from filling the glass instead of the liquid, and all the bubbles are impressive, its like champagne, obviously very mature and perfectly bottle conditioned over time. insane complexity to the aroma and flavor too, not just french ale yeast but something farmy and interesting without being wild at all, not burnt out from time in the least, and even though there is a little oxidation to the malt, the beer somehow seems fresh still. i get all kinds of crazy nuance here from wildflower honey to maple to red apple, baked crystal malt, barley soup, dried herbs, white wine brightness, its incredibly interesting and its almost refreshing when cold, more and more evolved and unique as it warms. soft slate mineral profile, cider, toffee, its not as dark and malt heavy as some of these can be, the yeast has chewed right through that if it ever was the case, and this drinks awfully easy for its strength. a total delight to drink and to share and to contemplate, one of the best in this style i have ever had, probably improved a lot with careful ageing, based on the poor reviews here. id like to try it fresh to compare, but this was an experience. an early beer highlight of 2019 for me!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, with one of the strangest, yet eventually simplest (thanks, honey!) cork enclosures that I have ever seen. A beer that apparently celebrates the lowly newsboy, and is also part of a seasonal gift pack available in Alberta, with one glass per bottle, which is two glasses too may, IMHO.

This beer pours a clear, medium copper amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, silky, finely foamy off-white head, which leaves some random swaths of splattered fuzzy lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of bready, lightly biscuity pale malt, soused apple and pear puree, a bit of oily nuttiness, and some floral, earthy hops. The taste is somewhat sour bready caramel malt, middling earthy yeast, some well proffered orchard fruitiness, earthy, leafy, and somewhat spicy hops, and a rather subtle booze warming.

The bubbles are quite frothy, and a bit fizzy, the body medium-light in weight, and generally pretty smooth, nothing else taking further issue with the status quo. It finishes off-dry, the bready malt putting down roots, the yeast planning for their late spring vacation, the fruit aping in a somewhat garish manner, and the sole efforts of the drying alcohol almost appreciated by this point.

A beer redolent of the French countryside? You bet, unequivocally. The best part, however, is the relative lack of yeasty offsets, which usually seem to bleed over for this style, yet do us the favour of forgoing that altogether here, leaving us with a pale malty, kind of obscured boozy beau of a bevy, if you'll excuse my French.

 1,559 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, 1320 bottle coding. Pours very hazy/cloudy reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, apricot, cherry, pear, apple, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, wood, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance an complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, apricot, cherry, pear, apple, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, wood, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast earthiness. A fair amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, cherry, apricot, pear, apple, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, wood, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately crisp, and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Biere de Garde style. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,488 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Dec 2017. Acquired ages ago from a webshop. Described on the label as a top-fermented beer; named after a character from Les Miserables.

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A rich coppery-reddish hue with good carbonation and some light floating sediment. Yields a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding to a persistent surface layer. Some lacing.

S: Aroma of rich caramel malt with hints of barley sugar sweetness, grain, fruity yeast esters, subtle earthiness and faint stewed leaves. Perhaps the merest twinge of oxidation, but this doesn't detract from the character. Very nice.

T: Tastes of sweet caramel malt with notes of grain, barley sugar, fruity yeast, mild leafiness and a hint of earthiness. The booze is extremely well hidden. Little bitterness to speak of, with a lingering grainy sweetness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with lively carbonation and great body. Superb texture; creamy with a touch of fizz. Aftertaste of caramel malt, grain and fruity yeast.

O: Excellent - a fantastic biere de garde. Looks lovely, while the aroma and flavour are a delectable blend of grainy caramel malt, fruity yeast and subtle leafiness. Rich, creamy body. Very drinkable; the 8.5% goes virtually unnoticed. A classic - well worth sampling if you have the chance.

 1,377 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very heavy, durable glass bottle (12oz?), pours a hazy reddish orange with creamy foam topping. looks different but i can appreciate the
smells like a higher powered malty ale, a little sweet....
sweet and fruity at the front, an over-ripe fruitiness midway and a little bitter at the end. tastes a little wine-y too- the over-ripe fruitiness is a product of that wine-y taste. it even sems to have a little 'kriek" in it.
overall, not bad. i understand the pride that goes into making (most) a product and i enjoy all the different styles for what they are. this is a good beer.

 579 characters

Photo of Franck
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of poskok
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of grover37
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HopBelT
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of glid02
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Tower on Piedmont in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy brownish-copper color with a towering off-white head, I have to wait and let this one settle before finishing the pour. The head recedes into a medium-sized pancake on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted malts with hints of berries. Once the beer warms a bit a small amount of funk comes out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Until the beer warms there are only lightly toasted sweet malt flavors with hints of berries. Once the beer warms there's a very small amount of funk, but the aforementioned flavors are still dominant. Slightly dry finish. There's not a whole lot of evidence of the 8.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness with carbonation that's surprisingly not over the top after the amount of head in the pour.

Drinkability is good. The beer is certainly easier to drink once it's allowed to warm.

Overall this was a beer that I enjoyed, but I'm still trying to fully appreciate Biere de Garde's so maybe I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have given the style. Still, it's worth a shot.

 1,102 characters

Photo of Ian_B
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spointon
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from an 11.2oz brown bottle into a tulip snifter.

A= This ale poured a color unlike any I have seen in a beer before. It was a cloudy but bright orange/pink/amber color with a 3/4" lively head. The head slowly dropped to a 1/4" cap and retained that throughout the tasting. Only minor lace spots on the glass.

S= At first very muted, but once is warmed a bit this ale opened up to produce a sweet malty base with a bit of caramel to it. There was also a lot of fruity esters and some spicy, peppery alcohol in there as well.

T= Very complex profile of flavors here. I first noticed the malt sweetness, caramel, and surprisingly a slight hint of purple grape skins. Beyond that, there was a spicy phenolic note in the middle followed by an dry finish with some alcohol giving some heat. Very pleasant.

MF= Medium bodied made to feel lighter by the very crisp carbonation - almost a Belgian effervescence.

D= An unusual ale that I enjoyed very much. Its unique flavor profile would probably limit me to one or two at a sitting, but I still consider it to be a very drinkable beer.

 1,101 characters

Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Slynger
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gavroche French Red Ale. Hmmm, don't think if I have ever had one of this style before.

The color is a deep orange turning to deep gold in the bottom of my glass. A big, fuzzy, off-white,orangey head sets atop.

Smells of biscuity malts and earthy, grassy, hops are joined with light, tart, fruit and Belgian yeastiness.

Medium bodied with full, fuzzy, Belgian sized carbonation. Flavors of toasted biscuits with thin slices of tart peaches and apricots. Grassy hops and black pepper spicy yeast take over in a lightly dry and crisp finish.

Nice one here. Really enjoyed it. Kind of a Belgian Red-Irish Red combo. Wouldn't have guessed it was 8.5%. Very drinkable.

 667 characters

Photo of Chuffbomb
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of wajacobs
3.26/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at ABC in Long Beach.
It pours a deep amber with a big lasting white head. The aroma has a faint soapy fragrance and cellar musty-ness that gives way to some nice floral hoppy note The flavor is mineraly with just a slight grassy sweetness up front that gives way at the end to a tart acidity. Gavroche is an extremely light and refreshing beer with little CO2 explosions that contantly tickle the senses.

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Photo of Eric_Standard
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A lovely and deep reddish brown topped with a creamy off-white head. Active carbonation and a heavy head.

Smell: Honey scents, maltiness, a bit earthy, but rather clean and simple.

Taste: Earthy and musty yet crisp and fresh at the same time. Some sweet undernotes, but rather dry with a nice, balanced bitterness. A hint of a muted, barely there fruitiness, like dried berries. Toasted/roasted notes throughout. A bit of malty and yeasts flavours bouncing around. Alcohol flavours are prominent, lingering on the tongue along with a pleasant herbal spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and creamy, really quite good.

Overall: Very very good, quite complex and interesting. My first Bière de Garde (or any French beer for that matter), and if this beer is in any way representative of the style, it's going to quickly become one of my favourite varieties.

 871 characters

Photo of bobsy
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my second biere de garde from Saint-Sylvestre, and I'm still getting to grips with the style.

Pours a radiant gold, with a large rocky head, that never really died becuase of multiple steady streams of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Some sticky fingers of lace were left behind. The aroma is kinda weird. Upfront its very grassy, with lemon and floral notes, but under that is a huge toasted malt base, and the smell of a new rubber duck (work with me here).

The flavour has elements of a euro strong to it. There's a prominent sweetness, and evident alcohol. Toasty caramel malt provides the springboard for lemon and honey, and there's even a touch of metal in the finish. Certainly there's a lot of redisual sugars left over in this body. Its quite sticky and syrupy - a situation which is fortunatly alleviated by high carbonation. A warming feeling in the lower throat lets you know that this beer packs a punch.

I've rated this to style, and I think its a good example. However, I don't think its a style taht will ever really appeal to me though - all the examples I've has so far have been a bit sweet nad brutish. Hopefully my biere de mars will change that oppinion.

Thanks Eric for busting out the bottle!

 1,242 characters

Photo of Skud
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Rayek
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip. The code on the bottle and cork is 19-19, which means?

A: Straight up copper with an ever so slight haze. A big, cloud-like copper-tinged cap slowly falls to a patchwork pillow. Leaves generous chunks of lace.

S: When cold the aroma is nothing to write home about. Add some warmth and things get interesting. Toffee dominates no matter the temp. Vinous grape and cherry aromas give a hint of red wine, while a glint of pepper adds extra interest. A light lemon sourdough funk rounds things out.

T: The taste doesn't quite live up to the nose, but letting the beer warm helps. Bittersweet toffee is front and center. A lemon, pepper and coriander spice adds good balance to the toffee. A sourdough taste comes on late. Alcohol adds some heat as the beer goes down, but its flavor is well masked.

M: The body is quite light for the ABV. The beer is dry and slightly puckering. The carbonation feels about right.

D: The nose and appearance are this beer's strong suits. If the flavor had lived up to the nose, the score would be even higher. Overall, I'm very happy I grabbed this.

 1,105 characters

Photo of TylerofLA
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of babaracas
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear orange tinged dark red, two fingers thick of cream colored and very dense creamy head. Settles slowly to a half inch, thick sheet of lace to the end of the glass. Smell: lots of caramel, notes of cherry, dates and peach; toasted honey wheat bread, sourish bread note, subdued spicy hopping. Taste: date bread, caramel, stale grain... then a weird tonic water flavor...then herbal, caramel and toast in the finish. Aggressive, too high carbonation, sticky finish. Mid-sip the carb ruins it, but otherwise it would be quite good.

 541 characters

Photo of ThaJokerWild
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of SLeffler27
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Builds a fluffy off-white head four fingers tall and seemingly lasts forever as it slowly turns rocky leaving a thick coating of lace on a Unibroue tulip glass. Gavroche is translucent dark amber with clouds of carbonation within.

The aroma is surprisingly subdued, mostly that of lemon and dried straw with a spicy background of pepper and a nice malt balance.

Earthy, fluctuating between sweet and bitter, ultimately settling on the bitter side. The finish is long, bitter and super dry. Specific flavors include apple and pear with oak and a hint of rye bread. There is a lightly acidic touch, similar to very dry champagne.

A vigorous carbonation gives way to a woolly texture and full body. The alcohol is as expected in this very dry and slightly astringent beer.

This is a fine, relaxing beer that warms well while reading. A nice tribute to exuberant youth and freedom lost.

 886 characters

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Gavroche from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 459 ratings