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 puboflyons
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the 750 ml. corked bottle. Sampled on March 2, 2013.

The corking system on this needs some work. What other beer requires me to use a screwdriver and a corkscrew to open the darn thing?

The pour is a medium to dark amber with reddish hues and a long lasting tan head. It is a nice looking beer.

The aroma is of malts and yeast mainly with a vague hop element playing up the rear along with a sort of fruitiness.

The body is about medium with a slight astringency.

The taste did remind me of a red because if the unique bitter malty/hop character and there was a kind of butterscotch feel to it. It wasn't a bad beer but it is not something I would go for regularly.

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Photo of MCain04
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at purple pig. tulip glass.

a: amber body, white head, decent lacing and moderate retention.

smell: a little bready with some hops.

taste: very malty, some hops, a little sourness, mild bitterness.

mouthfeel: smooth, moderate carbonation, dry.

overall: not a bad beer. I'd drink it again, but not for $12 a pour.

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4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Orange, amber, clear after first pour. 3 inch beige head with long retention. Constant stream of carbonation keeps the head up. Thick lace.

Sharp, slight acetic. Phenolic. Fruity.

Earthy malt. Almost peaty. Spicy. Can't pick out a typical hop flavor but definitely enough to balance and dry out the finish.

Fine carbonation. Full bodied from the bottle conditioning - coats the mouth. Nice.

Overall this is a very nice beer. Complex but very drinkable. Worth finding.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out with a huge head that never gives up; the liquid underneath is a cloudy amber color; plenty of lacing action

Smell: Malty as a Marzen, though there is something vaguely vinous underneath

Taste: Very malty, up front, with a ton of caramel flavor; by mid-palate, there is a hint of wood, vinous flavor and yeast and those flavors add another dimension to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: I was really expecting something different from this brewery; this is not a bad beer, but it is very sweet and that aspect overwhelms the other things that could otherwise make this a more interesting beer

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Photo of pkalix
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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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 BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl Bottle (funny shaped thing) best before 17 Mar 2014: poured into a Duvel glass on 28th Sep 2012.

Huge, huge head on this pour: good job I was prepared and used the Duvel glass: looked good actually, the snowy white mountain of foam filled the glass before I could get all the beer out the bottle. I had the sediment laden remains later. The colour of the body was a copper/orange/deep amber and clear.

Mixed bag in the aromas: once the smells could get through the head I found some malty molasses and spicy hop notes, add floral and nut esters with maybe a cherry/almond tart floating in the middle.

The taste seemed more 'yeasty' than the smell would indicate: again it was a mixture of flavours (like the nose), the alcohol playing its part too. Originally on the sweet side, but the hops kicked in mid-sip and the finish was boardering on bitter. Interesting and well worth finding, yet another French beer I've enjoyed.

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Photo of GMB
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Even the gentlest of pours gives rise to a head that greedily occupies 3/4 of my glass and refuses to budge. A bit of patience and the most gingerly of pours allow a sparkling red amber to assert itself in the glass. A swarm of delicate bubbles rises from all directions, supporting the tenacious head. Streams are not visible here. This beer has come alive. Other BeerAdvocate reviewers have described this beer as "hazy" and "cloudy." Neither adjective accurately describes the brew in my glass. Held up to a gentle ceiling light, this beer lets through clear rays of red. So why only a an appearance score of 4.0? Can a head be too frothy, too sticky (i.e., leave to much lace), and be too assertive? If so, this is it...

The aroma of dried cherries dominates the nose, but is supported by a welcome cast of herbs and floral aromas. Do I smell Chrysanthemum? Also present are some earthy yeast characteristics. Alcohol moves to the fore as the beer warms and becomes dominate by the bottle's end. If the purpose of a beer's initial aroma is to intrigue and excite the palate, this beer has done so perfectly. But, as we shall soon see, even the best laid foundations do fracture.

The taste is almost perfect at first: The tastes of dried cherries, unsulphered apricots, and currants are tossed about by appreciable yet indistinct floral notes. But as the beer warms, its alcohol content rears its head and throws all flavors out of balance. What was an intriguing floral character turns sharp and bitter. This beer falls apart towards the end. The malt, whose sweetness at first supported the beer's floral notes, is overpowered by the sharp, bitter taste of alcohol. Darn. How shall I judge this beer?

The mouthfeel is appealing, though too much froth gets in the way at times. Towards the end of the bottle, however, the aforementioned alcohol-derived flavors impede the appealing qualities of the frothy mouthfeel.

Dark golden raisins, chocolate, almonds, and roasted meat are all delicious pairings. This is a complex and intriguing brew. I intend to pick up another bottle of it in the morning.

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Photo of Tone
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy, orange/copper color. One inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of slight pale malt, hint of caramel malt, hint of hop, hint of wheat, hint of yeast, and slight alcohol. Fits the style of a Biere de Garde. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of wheat, slight pale malt, sweet malt, hop, alcohol, hint of yeast, and a slight hint of metallic flavors. Overall, except for the metallic notes, a good appearance, body, and blend. Also, this was a more malty Biere de Garde than I've become accustomed to, but still good.

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Photo of PancakeMcWaffles
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber colour, head is creamy, white and about 2 fingers thick, good head retention, leaves little lacing;

S: Malty, slightly fruity (apple-ish) and little caramel, some spicy aromas and a underlying scent of alcohol;

T: Spicy, very little fruit, leaves with a tartness, the alcohol is rather present, mild hops, malty sweetness stays for a long time ;

M: Medium bodied, maybe a little too much carbonation, good mouthfeel;

O: Decent Bière de Garde, not the best in my opinion though.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark burgundy body, a nice finger and a half of dense head with excellent retention and spotty lace.

S - Strawberry, raspberry, red wine, herbs, garden bed.

T - Vinuous with sugar and lolly sweetness, red berries and alcohol warmth.

M - Moderate carbonation, full lively body.

O - Quite boozy but an enjoyable biere de garde nonetheless.

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Photo of draheim
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL (code 13 20) into a saison glass. Pours a clear amber w/ a 2-finger beige head, thin lace.

Aroma is caramel malt, fruit, apples, pears, spice.

Taste is sweet bready caramel/crystal malt, fruity, balanced by bitter hops. Malt profile reminds me of a Marzen/Oktoberfest.

Mouthfeel is light & crisp w/ a nice dry finish. Rich malt backbone leaves a lingering aftertaste.

Overall, a tasty, flavorful Bière de Garde. A little heavy and malty for my taste but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had the pleasure of trying this on a visit to Chicago. Haven't seen this one on my side of the country thus far.

Deep reddish color and a sticky beige head. Notes of berry and malt on the nose. Alcohol was easy to detect, slowing down my intake. The fruitiness was tastefully injected in the flavor along with those malts and a little yeast. It felt a little too sticky in my mouth.

Being my first Biere de Garde, I was quite surprised at the flavor profile and am definitely interested in having another.

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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 Fatehunter
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Two fingers of head, a hazy red/amber color body.

It has a rich malty smell. Not much else though.

Tastes of sweet malt, wet barley, mild bitterness. Tasty and hardy.

Lots of carbonation, medium body.

An enjoyable beer. Maybe a bit too much carbonation.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: medium amber with red-orange tint; fat head of wonderful foam

S: herbal hops, some earthy/woodsy notes

T: woodsy, some sharp spices; tangy yeast, muted sweetness, bittering hoppiness but also some very wine-like characteristics

M: chalky, dry, medium-bodied but very crisp and fresh

O: this is almost like the red ale of farmhouse ales - a delight for a summer's day on the farm, but with some depth and heart

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Photo of Derek
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this before and wasn't impressed. I've aged this one and it's (Best before) 24.01.10. Definitely better with some time to develop, but I'm still not a huge fan.

Hazy amber-brown with an off-white head, thin ring of retention leaves a little lace.

Aroma of brown sugar, cotton candy (strawberry & raspberry), hint of sourness.

Flavours of raspberry jube-jubes, strawberry jam, brown sugar, biscuit, hint of flanders sourness, golden raisins, hints of papaya and mango with a little tertiary alcohol... and it's a bit too musty for my taste. The phenolic spicing has really faded in the cellar (nicely).

Overcarbonated, light residual sweetness.

Overall, it's approachable but not overly enticing.

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Photo of kjyost
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked bottle poured into a weizen glass (that's why there was at the place I was visiting).

Tons of white head (almost half the glass at times) and a clear amber body. Notes of pepper, and a light esters with a deeper sweetened malt backbone. Not bad, though I was expecting a bit more in terms of dryness, pepper and esters to be at the forefront without such a malty brew. Glad I tried it though I am not sure I would go get it again...

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a clear reddish orange amber with active carbonation. Very nice fine, two finger off-white head constantly renewed by carbonation. High retention and finally left massive lacing. Aroma is sour light fruit, cherry and apple with a faint sweet malt. Taste is quite different, light fruit; apples, pears and stone fruit. Slightly tart, but with a sweet caramel malt backbone. Very interesting. Finishes rather abruptly with crisp, slighlty oxidized fruit and sweet, slightly toasty malt. A slight hop kick in the finish. Light bodied, but active carbonation gives a pleasant spicey mouthfeel. Definitely hits all the Biere de garde notes with a bit of a Belgian yeast suggestion in the background. A tart but not overly sour ale I enjoyed this quite a bit.

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Photo of MattU
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

App- into an oversized red wine glass pours a deep ruddy copper with straw colored highlights. 2 finger head sticks around for a couple minutes then falls to a small layer of bubbles and leaves great lacing tO the end.

Aroma- notes of sherry vinegar and cherry followed by a light note of black pepper. Vague notes of malty sweetness and vanilla - gorgeous.

Taste- delicate malty sweetness with notes of toffee and caramel that quickly fades to a smooth dry finish. Tart cherries and sherry vinegar flash across the middle of the pallet. A vague sense of black pepper on the finish. Not even the slightest taste of alcohol, this beer hides the 8.5% very well.

Mouthfeel- smooth and delicate with spritsy carbonation. While the mouthfeel isn't heavy it's still full and lively.

Overall- exceptional beer. There's so many things going on with this beer but it's all in such tight and controlled harmonious balance that nothing overwhelms anything else. So deceptively smooth and refreshing. Outstanding brew.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a LaTrappe chalice.

A: Medium-dark amber with a fine head. Slightly cloudy. Looks substantial.

S: Smells malty, woodsy, faintly like a stinky cheese.

T: Belgian yeast character punctuated by a long lingering bitterness. Again, a touch of washed rind cheese.

M: Heavy fine carbonation lends a unique thickness to this beer.

O: Not a total standout but certainly very well done.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Curious to see this at a local French restaurant with a small but very Franco-centric beer list.

Poured into a stemmed Troubadour tulip: Three fingers of sturdy beige head over a deep amber body with lighter orange highlights, translucent only. Heads to a thick coating & leaves some tall lacing around the edges. Very attractive beer, good color & composition. Lacing slides back down & leaves the glass clean.

Fruity smell up front, like peach, apricot, passion fruit, with a sweetness like hard candy: a little bit honey, a little bit butterscotch. Mild toasty, bready quality.

Taste has some of the fruit & candy character, but more subdued & couple with a sharp leafy bitterness & a dryness like seltzer. Not hot, but dryly boozy & with an aftertaste like slightly unripe berries. Not bad, but a bit more challenging & without all the sweet, pleasurable aspects that the smell promised.

Surprisingly crisp & sparkling, with a flinty, almost sharp finish. Again, not hot, but dry on the palate.

Took an unexpected turn in the taste & texture, not enjoyable but again not quite delivering on some of the sweet promises made in the aroma. Still, given recalibrated expectations, I'd do this one again, as it offered something unusual.

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Photo of EdTheEdge
4.83/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a ruby tinged brown from an 11.2oz bottle into an ordinary pint glass. A wonderful thick, creamy light tan head builds up rather quickly when pouring which requires multiple pours to fill the glass.

The color in the glass is striking as the tan head contrasts rather nicely with the reddish ale making this an aesthetically appetizing beer.

Smell is grassy, fruity, malty and not very hoppy. But there is a freshness in the aroma blend that I really enjoyed.

Taste. Well that's what this beer is all about. I really enjoy a well thought out non complicated beer from time to time. Gavroche is one of my favorite all time beers. It is refreshing and not overbearing in taste. The ingredients are well balanced and I can not detect much alcohol at all. Many of the reviews emphasize fruity flavors. I don't get that I do get a perfect balance of fruit ,grapefruit and strawberries, and malt and a slight hoppiness.

I enjoy the dryness of this beer and carbonation is perfect. This beer hardly leaves an aftertaste if it does it‘s a bit of hops. Gavroche is a very clean tasting and refreshing beer.

Overall I'd have to give this beer near perfect scores. I've had it several times over the past year and each time I have enjoyed it more each time. When I don’t want a Hop Bomb like and IPA a Gavroche usually comes to mind…

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