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Gavroche | Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

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453 Ratings

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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Ratings: 453 |  Reviews: 241
Photo of Bisho
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer this one, a nice surprise! I was curious to try it after being aquainted with its French stablemate 3 Monts.

Dark red/brown beer which produces lots of carbonation as it pours. Settles with a massive creamy eggwhite head.

Very earthy smell with a tartiness and sweet overtones of malt.

Very big maltiness taste to it which is good because it rounds out the bitter tartiness of the flavour. I can really feel the malty caramel milk overtones which make this drop rather unique!

Very bubbly and the malt lingers on nicely in the mouth well after it's gone. The high ABV is barely noticable to mine (although I know it's there because it is still rather warming) and I find myself reaching for the next one with ease!

This brew should be served at room temperature or if you must, ever so slightly chilled.

Good drop!

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

330 mL bottle in an oversized wine glass

A - hazy amber colour with way too much head, 70-80 mm which dropped slowly to a thin layer.

S - yeasts and bready malts, initial smells were masked by head

T - Bready malts, yeast, some bitter hops

M - medium bodied with carbonation noticable, along with alcohol

D - nice and tasty. very good to drink although alcohol would prevent multiples in a sitting

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

33cl bottle: This one pours a slightly hazy, amber color. There was a fairly big ecru head that dropped away rather quickly. The aroma is nice. It is somewhat bready, with some faint caramel malts. Some faint fruits in there also, as well as a light amout of earthy hops. It is a bit "tingly" on the tongue. Some dark fruits, caramel, and a dryness in the finish. Pretty decent.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle with no freshness information poured into my duvel tulip glass.

A- uh oh, this one was a gusher. the body is a reddish brown color with a really large foamy beige colored head. small spots of lacing left behind on the sides of my glass.

S- the nose is mostly bready malts and caramel. earthy hops as well. i think i can faintly detect the alcohol in here.

T- the taste is alot like the nose. it starts off with bready and caramel malts. there are also earthy/musty hops in here. the alcohol can be tasted, but very lightly.

M- medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. moderate warming from the alcohol.

D- this one was a bit of a chore to struggle through. doubt id get another one.

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Photo of CHickman
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish amber in color with a 1 1/2 inch creamy/foamy tan head; very nice lacing that sticks to the glass and leaves markers as it goes down with each sip. Smells mostly of sweet malt, with some fruit and wine-like oak.

Tastes of sweet malt, orange peel, light hops, light spices, some roasted malt, dark fruit, cinnamon or coriander; very smooth and creamy with light to medium carbonation. Very nice complexity where the malt sweetness starts off, followed by fruit and some spices, then it has a crisp finish that's malty and tails off with some more malt that's roasted, delicious and dry. A medium bodied beer that's got excellent flavor with some alcohol kick, but in a good way.

An overall great beer that is Belgian in style and complexity, even though it's a French beer; clearly the Belgian influence has dominated the taste of this beer, which I am thankful for. It went down so nice and easy that I had a second with dinner the Gotham Bar and Grill in NYC.

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Photo of Zorro
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish brown colored beer with a massive tan colored head.

Strong scent of barley and wheat bran. Scents of apple, tobacco and leather with a slight smoky scent. This beer has a distinct raisin bran scent to it.

Starts out bone dry with a herbal hop aftertaste that tastes most like tobacco. Little bit of caramel and faint smoke and apple flavors. Overall though I do have to say this is much drier and less flavorful that I expected from the scent.

Mouthfeel is medium.

Interesting beer but not one I think I will try again. For one thing it is far drier than I expected and secondly it is under-flavored to me.

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Photo of PBoegel
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle into a Corsendonk Chalice. Amber to burnt orange with a thick two inch dense rocky head. The light tan head leaves plenty of lace.

Aroma is wood upfront, oak, birch, fresh cut maple. Followed by dates, dried cranberry and burnt brown sugar, fresh toasted bread. The alcohol begins to slide underneath as the beer warms with a slight fruity malt tone. Some notes of chalkiness that can often be found in dubbels and tripels. No hop aroma.

Flavors are a blend of oak and maple with a pronounced sour cherry and fresh baked pie crust. Alcohol is warming and blends well with the dry finish and slight dried fruit sweetness, apricots and raisin like. Very reminiscent of wood aged cabernet sauvignons. No hop flavor.

The beer finishes dry but pleasant. The mouthfeel is light but not subtle. Very effervescent, combined with the alcohol makes the beer feel drier and cleanses any sweetness in the finish. There is a fair hop bitterness to the beer but it is over taken in the mouthfeel by the dryness of the finish.

A very well made beer, with vast character and a degree of freshness or house character that has in my opinion been lost in many larger Belgian style brewhouses.

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Photo of Viggo
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ritzkiss for opening this one.

Pours a lightly hazed copper/orange, thick off white head forms, drops to a thin layer, some nice lacing sticks all over the glass. Smell is neat, sweet and sour, caramel, citrus and tangerine, lemons, lightly tart, honey, a bit funky, pretty interesting. Taste is similar, sweet and sour up front, toast, biscuit, very fruity, citrus, lemons, sugary and tart finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with high carbonation, pretty unique beer. Thanks Eric!

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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!

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged, pours a dark burnished orange, light caramel head with good retention, swirling bubbles feeding the foam.

Nose is toasted malts, loads of caramel, light floral hopping, maybe some Saaz in there too.

Lots of caramel malts in the taste, almost tastes vienna lager like with the caramel base, except this has a huge syrupy body, much thicker. Lots of floral notes, oranges, lemons, nice drying of the cheeks in the finish. Key part of this beer is the ample carb in my mind, without it the thick brew would sit in your mouth and overwhelm it - as it is, it floats and dances through leaving all the right notes in your mouth.

Nice brew, not something I would drink regularly but a nice surprise. Not a hint of the alcohol, easy drinking.

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Photo of birchstick
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - brownish red with a great-looking head

S - sweet, caramel malts with dark fruits

T - This a pretty interesting ale. Starts off with some sweet malt, which fades into a number of different fruits - tart green apple and plum. There is an earthy oakiness and a touch of smoke on the finish. Definitely a distinct taste.

M - nice carbonation tickles the throat on the way down. The abv is insanely well-hidden in this.

D - I was expecting this to be a French red ale but was pleasantly surprised, being that I wasn't a huge fan of my first encounter with the style. I will definitely seek this one out again.

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Photo of Evocatus
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Takes multiple pours to get it all into the glass. Once finished, it has a nice deep amber color with a thick beige head that lasts for a good amount of time. Smells a little bit fruity, like apples; however, the scent isn't too strong. Taste is a mix of bitter hops and fruit. It goes down pretty smoothly with a slight tingle on the tongue when it first touches the mouth. Overall a good beer from France which is somewhat surprising for a country mostly known for wine, champagne, and cognac.

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Photo of dgfair
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into my Chimay goblet.

The first pour is very foamy, and it requires a couple of pours to get it all into the goblet. Color is a beautiful reddish amber with a frothy tan that sticks for a long time and leaves lacing all over the glass when it finally dissipates. Beautiful beer.

The smell is fruity upfront with nice aromas of apple and pear backed by a wonderful sweet pastry yeast. As the beer warms, a slight peppery mustiness comes through that provides great balance to the original sweet scents.

The first taste is somewhat doughy with a slight touch of candy sugar sweetness, followed by a touch of booziness at that swallow. Aftertaste sticks around for a while with the booziness and breadiness lingering. There's a slight touch of dark fruit, maybe plum or fig that begins to come out as the beer warms, but still not enough to overpower the boozy must.

Overall, not a very drinkable brew. Definitely a slow sipper that you will want to allow to warm before drinking. An interesting mesh of a biere de garde and a flanders red, but still leaves something to be desired.

 1,107 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from bottletrek or liquidsolutions (i forget), by way of stevemcqueenjr

330ml bottle, with "order 1008" printed on the back label.

HUGE gusher! lost about 1/4 of the bottle before i could get it into my duvel tulip.

deep orangey amber, almost red tints. hazy with gushed sediment, plus particles. huge, 3-finger, gush-induced foamy head, eventually fades to thin layer. good lacing.

aroma: malty and bready, with apple/pear esters and lots of caramel. grassy and herbal, w trace of cinnamon, faint farmhouse character and gentle phenols in back.

taste: hops are surprisingly assertive but still only mildly to moderately bitter. they are grassy, hay-like and herbal. matches well with the bready, mildly sweet, caramelized malts and mildly fruity apple esters. slight nutty note as well, almost biscuity. faint spice and phenols in back.

light to medium body, smooth, with just a touch of astringency, perhaps some from the phenols which peek in just towards the finish. carbonation is a bit fizzy (probably due to the gushing), but can give fluffiness.

a shame about the gusher. knocked off on the [appearance] score just a little.

 1,139 characters

Photo of eat
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the first French beer I've ever tried. I'm actually not sure if I've even seen another French beer before...I would have thought it to be a risky pick but I checked the grade here before I went to buy it. Perfect beer to be drinking here in Quebec for la Fete National du Quebec. That's right...the francophone Quebecois here celebrate today as their "national" holiday. National as in Quebec the nation.

This poured a massive head that isn't going anywhere. I poured it into an over-sized wine glass and I'm not even sure how I'm supposed to drink the little beer there is at the bottom; the head is so big and isn't moving. Finally it starts to recede and leaves some pretty crazy lacing. The beer itself is absolutely beautiful, one of the nicest colours I've ever seen in beer form. Dark, golden honey colour with some red in it. I don't throw around 5s; this beer couldn't really look any better.

Strong yeasty, astringent smell. Floral strawberries, yogurt, candy, some background hops and lots of sweet, caramel malt. Delicious.

Not quite as nice as I was expecting it to taste but not bad at all. Pretty sweet but in a nice way; it tastes something like the beer version of a strawberry sundae or something. Creamy, fruity; nice dry, bitter aftertaste to balance it out. The ABV is perceivable but is blended very well into the mix.

I really love its thick, creamy feel. Medium bodied but very creamy with a low carbonation. Fits the taste perfectly.

This is a bit too sweet to drink a lot of or to drink it often but I'm definitely enjoying this. I'm going to have to check out some other French beers, I'm impressed.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330mL brown glass pry-top. Back label dated BB 07.03.10. Bought at Super Marché Rahman in Montreal.

Appearance: Poured into a tulip glass leading to 2 fingers or off-white creamy head atop a cloudy brown brew.

Nose: Rather muted with some slightly sour stone fruit notes, some light caramel and milk chocolate notes. Almost like chocolate covered cherries.

Palate: Medium bodied and with crisp/sharp carbonation. Lots going on here. The chocolate covered cherry thing continues and is met with strawberry and light toffee/butteriness. The palate is really sharp at first, but as the carbonation releases the taste buds, they are overwhelmed with fruit and dark candies.

Notes: Had no earthly idea what to expect from this beer. I bought it simply because it was from French Flanders. Stunning beer. Wish we could get it here.

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted on January 31st, 2009. From a 750 ml bottle.

Pours a red color ?!? wow strange would have thought yellow or amber...

The head is so big with huge bubbles. The head is very cloudlike.

Aroma: Some fruit with spices.

Taste: Similar as aroma however, I distinguish malts too.

Drinkability: This is a beer to have while eating in my opinion. Not something to drink alone.

Not a bad beer but not a session beer too.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.34/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge initial head that disappates towards the end of the lass. Retention is decent. Color is moderately clear amber.

Smell is wonderful. Phenols of apricots and plum come out intensely with a touch of clove. As the beer warms up a nice hint of black current pulls through.

Taste has a good amount of residual sweetness. Raisin, toffee and a touch of fruity esters namely apricot and plum provide an underlying complexity that makes each sip more and more though provoking.

Residual sweetness on the palate with a touch of creaminess.

This is a damn good beer. I don't notice the 8.5% abv, I drank this beer as fast as I would a 4% abv kolsch or hefeweizen.

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Photo of swizzlenuts
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

S: Smells like apple sauce and a mild fruitiness.
A: A muddy brown with an orange tint. Good one inch head, but ends quickly.
T: There is apples and a berry flavour. Very reminiscent to wine. Slight sour/tart finish. Just not as balanced as I'd hoped.
M: Medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation.
D: Not really. The wine flavour is just too over powering... maybe it needs a bit of age.

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Photo of Monsteruss
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's been a long time since I've had a french beer. When I first poured this beer, i knew this was looking to be

a great ale. For one, the light wheat foam was rich, smooth and lasted till the end. The color of this red ale was orange amber and was begging to

be tasted, so I abliged. It had a light body with a hearth mouthfeel. It's heavy yeast taste was very apparent. It also was rich and complex witha

light fruity aftertaste.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.14/5  rDev -17.2%
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 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 Kensai
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, never thought I would fall in love with a French beer, but here I am!

This is definitely one of my favorite ones and I'm looking forward to trying more of this 'Bière de Garde' style.

The bottle is dark and sturdy, one of the best I've ever seen for a beer. When you pour it you see its beautiful orange-brown color and a healthy rich foam. The smell is sweet earthy.

Take a sip and you realise this is an unusual beer, not your average lager or ale. The taste is very complex, not at all bitter. A sweet malty aftertaste is really what I like in beers and Gavroche delivers exactly that.

With an ABV of 8.5% you are above average for this style of beers so be warned if you consume many in a row...

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mid amber hue, quite clear, with a huge fluffy head of yellowish white bubbles. Looks pretty damn good, and very much in the expected style for a Biere de Garde.

Dark, rustic, slightly organic notes on the nose. Dark, almost currantly sweetness to it too, and maybe just a hint of spiritous alcohol. Quite sweet, but with that earthy organic flavour always lingering around the back. Nice. I like this type of beer.

Again, it's grainy, organic and earthy on the palate too. Notes of cereal, backed with a lightly bitter alcohol heat. Finish is very dry, with a lingering grain husk and earth flavour. Nice, rustic, raw and unpretentious.

I didn't notice the ABV until after I'd finished it, and I was surprised it was so high. It's a nice beer; a dusty, dry, but refreshing brew.

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Photo of champ103
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear orange color. A huge creamy beige head forms a gently recedes. Chunky lacing is left behind.
S: A subtle grainy and malty aroma. Sweet honey, a light fruitiness, and musky.
T: A grainy and honey flavor that follows the nose. Too sweet for me though. Pretty much cloying.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A smooth and easy beer to drink considering the high alcohol.

This is interesting, but right now it is not for me. Maybe this will grow on me as I try this a couple of more times.

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Gavroche from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 453 ratings
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