Gavroche | Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

very good
238 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2001

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Reviews: 238 | Ratings: 442
Photo of Mitchster
2.05/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

11.2oz bottle, 4 pack for $10.99 at Merchants. Pours out to a sparkingly clear burgandy, although this is bottle conditioned and there is yeast in the bottom, it somehow evaded the pour. Forms a voluminous soapy head with superior retention and solid sheets of lace. The ose is a letdown. I was expecting a farmhouse ale and this is more like a Eurolager that was brewed in Greece or Spain...i.e-Damm and Ceres. Grassy hoppiness and alcohol and mild fusels sting the nose with odd phenolics indicative of a warm ferment. The mouthfeel is relatively smooth despite the high carbonation and has a medium-dense body and a semi-astringent finish. The taste is less than expected...peppery fusel alcohol, doughy middle, toast, way too much fact, the most of any beer in recent memory. Bitterness is medium strong and chemical in nature, like hop extract. Honestly, there really isn't much more here to describe.

Not a good beer..again reminds me of something Ceres would brew. Chemical, hot, boozy..this beer just sucks and I feel totally ripped off for buying a 4-pack of this.

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Photo of biegaman
2.4/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought expecting to be either very pleased or very disapointed. Unfrotunately, it was the latter. Foul smelling. Simply foul, yeast notes gone arye. Plain unattractive appearence, clouded and murky straw yellow. Looks polluted. Head diminished all but immediately. Mouthfeel is thin and flat, like warm soda. Alcohol fairly noticable. Flavour is generally distastful, lacking in any character. No saving grace in the flavour department, an odd blend on the palatte. Over ripened notes but of ... not sure what exactly. Drinking tihs beer was like trying to read fuzzy writting. Difficult and gave me a headache. Generally off balance, drinkability very low.

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Photo of charlesw
2.49/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

(Hey! They've got it at the Charles St! Why haven't more of you tried it?)
Poured a cloudy, muddy brown with a huge head. Of course, the bottle is much of the head problem as it has a long, constricted neck with makes the brew pour in spurts. So, huge, tan head made of thin bubbles that die down quickly enough.
Smells fresh and lively! Citrus and maybe alcohol?
Then there's the taste... Wow. Is this a strong flavored beer, or what? Right in the middle of the back of the tongue... Dark caramel, bitter and then - poof! It's gone! Rapidly the aftertaste comes in and it is ALL about citrus - all over the mouth. Very unpleasant. As others noted, it is quite complex - even hard to pin down all of the different flavors that go through my head as I drink it. It is this very melange, this complexity that makes me give it such a poor note.
It is nice and creamy on the palate and leaves a nice honey-like film in the mouth (if only it didn't have that sour aftertaste!).

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Photo of ultralarry2006
2.61/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle. Leaves a big, crazy, foamy, three-plus finger tan head that, almost immediately drops down to one finger, and has excellent retention, and it leaves very good lacing. Body is a slightly hazy coppery amber. Appearance is going to be this ale's high point.

Smell - herbal, grassy Euro hops, and sort Euro skunky at that. As for malt, there are the weak and sour aromas of figs, apricots, and malt biscuits.

Taste - like the smell. There is a flood of herbally, skunky Euro hops on the tongue, and a weak and sour wash of figs and apricots. Not very good.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, slight sourness puckering, and slighly semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is not very good, and so it is not sessionable, and I certainly would not have it very often, if ever. Finishing the 4-pack was a chore.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.63/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Orange-red body, hazy yet homogenous. Big billowy head, this beer take a little while to pour. The head fades slowly, leaving a little lace. Smell is sweet malt and a little earthy, a touch of honey. Taste is sour with sweet bready malt and a little pepper. Bland, but also touches on cloying. I don't like it, too sweet, annoying. Mouthfeel is sharp but also a little buttery smoothness. I wouldn't consider getting this again.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
2.73/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice amber color with a fizzy head that quickly disappeared leaving no lacing. Pretty light in color for a red ale, but I've never had a French Red Ale. Looks a little more like a dark IPA.

S - Very malty and grainy. With my eyes closed it almost reminds me of a lager, and not a good one. Reminds me of a PBR that someone threw a little bit of apricot into.

T - Full flavor with lots of malts. Slightly sour flavor that is mixed with caramel and toffee. Not really pleasing to the palette.

M - Medium body with decent carbonation.

O - Not really sure what this is supposed to taste like. Kind of skunky and weird.

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Photo of DerBayer
2.73/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My first biere de garde ever and so far not impressed. Looks pretty enough dark ruby to light chestnut with bits.

Smell is faint and slightly sour doesn t give away much. The taste is slightly sour with herbal medicinal notes and noticeable alc - not great...

In all not a keeper but wouldnt turn it down

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Photo of revdrjbob
2.84/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I think this was my first Bière de Garde, and I had to BA search the beer beer before finding that out. Brewed by the same Fenchies that do 3 Monts, which is awesome.
Poured into goblets a rich clear bronze with a huge white rocky head that clung to the glass the whole way down. Very Belgian indeed.
Aroma... well initially, none, then malt and yeast, a bit dank and cellar like funky, then back to the malt again. Very little to no hop aroma, but that expected.
Initially the taste was a bit lacking as well, not very Belgian (or French) for that matter, quite malty and toasty, and not really what I was expecting. But, the description of the style says that hits the mark, so clean cut really. Mouth feel was good, plenty of carbonation, and not too hot for it's 8.5% abv.
Overall a nice introduction to the style, but I think I'll overlook it next time at the bottlo.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.85/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The color is almost red/brown with a slight tint in the head that has a little retention with a lacing that stays nicely. Sour wood, apple, cinamin, and plum are flavors making it more complex. This beer is fruity and then earthy with a slightly sour finish. It's woody with some suddle flavors. The mouthfeel is a little off, it's harsh and full of carbonation. Overall I wouldn't have another of these particular beers right away.

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Photo of UnionMade
2.94/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very classy presentation, with an unusually shaped bottle. The neck is slim, rising to a bulbed top, reminiscent of very old style bottles.
Pours a hazy reddish brown, topped with a voluminous head. Surprisingly good head retention, better than average for a belgian/french style ale. Sticky lacing clinging to the glass in streaky clumps. The aroma is rather uninspiring, unfortunately. Rather metallic, immediately, approaching something like an ancient, rusty beer can, some relic you'd find in the woods. Dusty, wooden malt lurking beneath, along with petrified fruit, watercolor paper and walnut hulls. Watercolor paper has a unique sort of scent and flavor, probably because it's sized with some sort of glue to improve its relationship with the paint. I can't help but think this has been sitting on the shelf for quite some time. The flavor isn't so bad, but the malt is very muddy and tends towards wooden, papery, nutty flavors. I think I was just expecting something different, a little more vivacious. This is very much a wedgewood blue kind of beer. The epitome of muted tone. Really nothing bright about this, kind of like seeing an Edward Hopper painting in person. Angular colors, with an empty sort of feel. Floral hops are well presented in the finish, opening up the flavor a little. Powdery and nutty at the end, with charged carbonation.
Not very impressive. The packaging and price tag led me to expect something much, much better. Not bad, by any means, just unexciting. I'm guessing my bottle wasn't at its peak, so I might revisit this if I were assured of its freshness.

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Photo of Ant777uk
2.95/5  rDev -22%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 3.5

Look is not the best...not very deep, and too foamy..!

Smell is not the best either, though is promising. Quite citrussy, though also a bit tramp bierry...and similar to bubble bath.

Impressive taste, though the alcohol flavour does not quite unite with the overall experience. Still, from memory, currently my favorite French beer. Not that there is much competition...

Feel, kind of like bubble bath also

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Photo of kojevergas
2.98/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

33cl bottle served into a Gordon tulip in a cafe in France. Cost was 5 euro. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice soft cream, great thickness, and wonderful retention for the high ABV. Colour is a clear gold.

Sm: Clean cream, bacteria, wood, maybe some pine, and barley. Mild in strength.

T: Wood (mainly pine I suppose), bacteria, some fringe esters (piney but fruity), and other tree-evocative notes I can't quite place. Complex if strange, but well built and balanced for what its trying to do.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but short of crisp or refreshing. A bit flat and muted. Not complementary of the flavours of the body.

Dr: High ABV is well concealed, drinkability is decent, and flavours are distinct. It isn't to my tastes, but fans of the flavours will enjoy it.

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Photo of brdc
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Small capped bottle poured into a tulip.

Reddish body with some orange highlights, an average white head with average retention.
Aroma, unfortunately like the taste, is bland. Some maltiness, faint, caramel, earthiness and possibly breadiness. Not a lot of spices, and anything that is noticeable is fleeting.
It tastes just OK, but it is very disappointing considering the brewery. A forgettable effort.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- The first gentle pour is a full glass of head. After a few minutes of resting the second pour reveals a crystal clear red body with a slight pink hue. There is a big carbonation of tiny bubbles and the head last for a bit making clouds on the side of the glass.

S- This beer has a soft brown malt note that has a bit of wood and cardboard note to it, but is otherwise a very clean smell.

T- There is a soft roasted sweetness that has a hint of raisins and wood to it with a slight tartness that turns more bitter at the finish. There is a faint fusel alcohol note that increases as the beer warms and unfortunately brings out the bitterness aswell.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat that increases as the beer warms. There is a fizzy texture at the end that really cleans the flavor of the tongue.

D- This beer is a bit dull with not many flavors and those that are there are not very interesting. Especially at this price point I was expecting at least a little flavor.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.09/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Into a Corsendonk Tulip...

A - Lots of attractive head with nice staying power. Attractive amber body.

S - Not a very strong aroma here. Some mild tart and spicy cider like aroma barely works it way out of the glass, even after swirling intensely. Did note some grassiness. What is there is nice, but it's just too "eh" for me...

T - Starts out mildly spicy, then allows for a mild/bland apple cider like tartness to take over. This is all balanced out by spicy and grassy hops, almost dubble like. Not much of a finish, or much of any flavor at any point....

M - Not bad, full and slightly crisp.

D - This beer is not the worst thing ever, and I would venture to say that many people would enjoy this lightweight. I respect subtlety in beer, but this was just seemed weak... Won't look for again...

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Photo of stcules
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Amber colour, tending to red, almost raspbery. Good froth, medium persistence.
Fresh and inviting smell, sweet, fruity, with berry-fruit (raspberry, blueberry). Then a warm malty body, with even caramel and toffee. The malted note are sweet, but not annoying, wrapping and inviting. Almond? The alcoholic level is perceptible.
Some points of bitter hop, more evident in the aftertaste, from which they comes up in the nose. And then sweetness and alcohol in background.
Quite good body, but maybe not enough for the alcohol level.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a snifter glass. No bottling info that I could see. Was a clear amber color with a some carb streams. It had a good sized tan head that stuck around for quite a bit before settling into a good collar and some wisps. Good quick sliding lace with none sticking.

The aroma was grainy malt, light spicy yeast and a tiny bit of funk. Pretty mellow aroma and really had to sniff to get much. Wish it had more spice to it. The taste was sweet and malty but not too sweet. The funk really didn't show in the taste. Again, it needed something more to stand out. Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Overall, I was a little disappointed as this one was a bit pricey and almost didn't get it. Not bad tasting but rather very lacking in taste especially compared to other recent Biere de Garde's I've had. New to Texas. Rotation - one and done due to high price and not much flavor [N;N]

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Photo of OompaMentor
3.14/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Brewer bottles many styles of beer under the name Gavroche. The picture shown is the French Red Ale which is a Biere Sur Lie (wine beer), not Biere de Garde as noted as the style. Poured the French Ale into a snifter.
A - brown caramel color with lots of carbonation; if you pour to fast you will have lots of head
S - very slight smell of cherry
T - a light port wine with slightly tart fizz
F - fizzy

Overall, an okay beer.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.14/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy hazy light orange look with that fluffy big big stone colored head, really nice.

I'm finding little to smell, just a grassy round nose, average at best.

The taste is lacking any definition, very mild malt with some metallic notes, not great, not bad. Heavy and well carbonated, a nice summer type ale but lacking any distinction, not a great one for this style, much better ones out there. A big let down from the appearance.

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Photo of Franz4
3.14/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle poured into a chalice

A- open the bottle and a champagne like explosion covers the counter. What I get into the glass has a robust head that settles rather quickly. Color is a translucent reddish brown. Explosion leads me to believe there may be more to this bottle than intended...

S- has some wine-like notes to it, grapes with a touch of toffee in the background.

T- Taste is of dark fruits that have turned. I'm getting dates and the taste of fig newtons.

M- Highly carbonated, I'd like to try a bottle of this that's not quite so explosive.

O- this is a "meh" beer for me, it could be the style, or it could be the bottle, not sure yet, but I guess I'll just have to try a few more to find out.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.14/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Well this was certainly an odd find in a quiet little small Canberran suburb bottleshop. I’ve never heard of Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre, but I do quite enjoy a good Bière de Garde (3 Monts and Jenlain spring instantly to mind) and in my quest to catalogue and review every awesome beer this world has to offer it of course made its way onto the TBB (To Be Bruviewed) shelf in my fridge, santé!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: As per my standard beer opening policy since the HaandBryggeriet Kreklingøl destroyed my last keyboard: I open all beer bottles within the immediate proximity of a sink - lucky for me, as this one is a gusher. Aside from this it presents a hazy reddish amber body with a dense foamy 1cm beige head. 6/10.

S: Overripe pear and apple esters with a truckload of brown sugar, hints of earth and dark fruits. Another Christmassy brew after the excellent Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale (2014), will Gavroche measure up to that fine Ale? 8/10.

T: All of the above (overripe pear/apple, brown sugar, a lot of earth, dark fruits) with a bit of a metallic twang. There is some graininess that presents mid-palate as well that shows Gavroche as no competition for 3 Monts or Jenlain Bière de Garde’s, a shame as the aroma was quite promising. The finish is both dry and lightly herbal hop bittered. There is an aftertaste of burnt sugar that sticks around far too long. 6/10.

M: Mid to light bodied (surprising given the 8.5% ABV) with an almost heavy-handed carbonation. 4/10.

D: Overall it feels like a lot less care has gone into this brew than both the 3 Monts and Jenlain Bière de Garde’s, although some of what I’ve said above could possibly be attributed to poor handling of the beer at the small (mostly Bogan-beer) bottleshop I purchased it from. Otherwise this tastes like a cheap French/Belgian Tripel that I normally avoid (as there are some brilliant French/Belgian beers out there already). 6/10.

Food match: Fillet au poivre with cognac sauce, eshallot and green beans.

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Photo of xylophonica
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a La Trappe signature glass.

A - Massive head; the bottle erupted when opened. Good finger or more of actual head on top, retention solid as well. Darkish-golden amber colour.

S - Dark liqueurs. Oak based aromas such as port, red wine and cherry dominate. Very woody. Cherry aroma seems to be more prominent as it's drunk.

T - Cross a dark berry flavour (such as cherry) with a good port and a dash of wood. Carbonation is noticable but not overpowering. You will notice the alcohol content at 8.5% but it's not enough to stop drinking.

M - Nothing special here, nice amount of creamy head but the dark flavours take over.

D - Not great. It's ok but I do feel like I've just drank a glass of carbonated port. Not quite a red lambrusco feel but almost a darker version of that with more port overtones.

The elements of this drink would make a fairly decent red wine or tawny port. As it happens this is a beer and as such is slightly disappointing. Can only say that Trois Monts (also from this brewer) is a much better drop and I will be running out to get that to make sure I'm not imagining things.
Is it a coincidence that the label on the bottle actually looks like a wine label?

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Photo of LazyL
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A hazy rusty dull copper with an enormous soft tan foamy head. There is an slight dome of foam trying to resist spilling over the edge of the tulip glass. There is a malty alcohal scent and some nut notes on the nose. The taste is earthy with some honey and a slight boozyness. The mouthfeel is heavy and somewhat dry. This is not as good as I remember.

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Photo of weeare138
3.17/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mughugger for opening this up at the original "Tasting in Paradise". We got into a conversation on sour beer and neither of us knew what style this one was. It said something like, "French Brown Ale" and we were thinking it was something much different...
Appears a hazy amber with a small light tan head that quickly fades out. A few remnants of spotty lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of malty toffee, roasted grain, mild spice, gentle fruit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas that also has a bready yeastiness combined with the sugary, grainy, caramel flavors that leaves me feeling a bit underwhelmed.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, malty, sugary, with a little bit of spices hanging on till the semi-dry finish.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Impossibly corked with just a contorted nub of a cork scrunched down with a sort of packing crate staple gripping the bottle lip. Weird. I used a screwdriver to pry off the band and to inch the nub up enough I could grip and pull with my hand. Most awkward bottle closure ever.

Poured all head and took a long time to settle down (and each subsequent glass refill again erupted into all head, even when just the remnants of the bottle were being poured in the end). Color is reddish orange (or dare I say simply amber, both unique and yet not). Smell and taste have hints of caramel and some very mild hints of orange or other fruits. Mouthfeel was average.

Hey, I'm glad I tried my first French Red Ale, I recognize the quality and enjoyed it, BUT, the truth is it's not much more than just any beer and in a blind taste test with the head already settled down I would have had no idea of this beer's foreign pedigree and just scored it a little above average.

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Gavroche from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
3.78 out of 5 based on 442 ratings.
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