Le Batteur
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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French Bière de Garde
Ranked #129
Ranked #36,667
3.68 | pDev: 10.05%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Notes: Delicate pale malts with a touch of wheat and Tettnang hops are fermented in wooden foeders (formerly used for wine) with three different strains of Brettanomyces yeast and Pediococcus. The end result is funky and fruity with a bright, tart finish.

This beer is one of three that make up our Jazz Series. The French term for a drummer, Le Batteur takes its name from a component of a classic jazz trio.
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 84 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of UsedMalt18
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a glass,
this beer was a bright yellow with a white cover, there was a little haze, nice lacing,
this beer had aromas of sour fruit – lemon, pineapple, grapefruit and some faint orange in the background,
brett funk, some spice and hints of herb, notes of aged sour fruit, faint wood and light malt,
the flavors were light sour citrus fruit, pale malt with a little bread, a little spice,
some malt and fruit sweetness,
there was a light sour bitterness at the finish,
the mouth feel was light medium, it was creamy on the lips and there was average carbonation,
the nose had more funk, sour fruit and aged fruit notes than the flavor,
I enjoyed the nose more than the flavor, a nice drink.

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Photo of superspak
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/19/2019. Pours lightly hazy pale golden yellow color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big tart tart lemon, lime, orange, peach, pear, apricot, mango, melon, red/green apple, white grape/wine, oak, hay, straw, herbal, floral, grass, wheat, cracker, and white bread; with lighter notes of peppercorn, leathery/musty funk, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, wine foeder, and and moderate pale/wheat malt notes; with big strength. Taste of big tart lemon, lime, orange, peach, pear, apricot, mango, melon, red/green apple, white grape/wine, oak, hay, straw, herbal, floral, grass, wheat, cracker, and white bread; with lighter notes of peppercorn, leathery/musty funk, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate Brett tang/tartness, and yeast/wine tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart/tangy lemon, lime, orange, peach, pear, apricot, mango, melon, red/green apple, white grape/wine, oak, hay, straw, herbal, floral, grass, wheat, cracker, white bread, light pepper/leathery/musty funk/vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, wine foeder, and and moderate pale/wheat malt flavors; with an awesome malt/tart/tangy/spicy balance, and no puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Fairly crisp finishing. Light-moderate increasing dryness from tart/tang/spiciness and carbonation. Medium-plus carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/grainy, and acidic/tangy/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 6.1%. Overall this is an awesome wild Biere de Garde. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, wine foeder, and and moderate pale/wheat malt flavors; very smooth and fairly crisp/refreshing to drink with the mellowly acidic/tangy/tannic/drying finish; great soft feel for the style. Awesome well rounded Brett/Bacteria/Saison yeast complexity and wine foeder presence/integration; with a great pale/wheat malt backbone against acidity. Minimal residual sweetness with crisp dryness. A really enjoyable offering, and impressive style example as expected of the brewery.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm drinking mine on tap at the Pig & Fiddle on 14 Sept. 2016. It arrives hazy gold under a thin white foamy film. It has a citrus and light bread crumb nose with spice and traces of over ripe fruit to banana in the background. A pleasant lemony tartness runs through the palate with a mildly tart start followed by some yeasty fruit notes and then a return to more tart notes. The malt smooths out some of the rough edges of the tartness. The tartness is medium while the malt is medium to medium light. The body is medium light and the carbonation is above average. This is a very refreshing and agreeable summer beer.I rate it 85.

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Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap @ Blue Door Pours a golden yellow color with a fresh white some streaks of lacing. smells of belgian yeast with spice and bready malts. slight tart start with spritzes of lemon/citrus some spices and pepper with a grassy saison finish. Mouth feel is dry and crisp very refreshing with lingering tartness and white fruit. Enjoyed this one alot

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Bulldog-Uptown in Minneapolis.

Easy drinking, nice de garde, but not memorable.

A – Pours a cloudy golden straw, minimal head, zero lacing.

S - Some lemon, crackers, mild funk, the aroma was generally lacking though.

T - Some bitterness in the middle.

MF - Medium light body, dry finish, some sharpness in the finish, good carbonation.

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Photo of corby112
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Cambridge in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a slightly hazy, very pale golden yellow color with a half finger white head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring.  Sporadic spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly bland aroma with bready yeast, light fruit and faint floral hops.   There's a touch of grassy hops along with some apple, pear, bread and biscuit.

Fuller bodied than expected and a lot more interesting than the nose suggests.  Subtle crisp hop bite up front with some grassy saaz flavor along with some hay, subtle earthy resins and pine needle.  This is followed by bready yeast and sweet light fruit notes, notably apple and pear.  Not terribly complex but well balanced, crisp, refreshing and decently drinkable.  Not as good as some of the better French/Belgian examples of the style, but this is pretty nice interpretation with an American hop twist.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at World of Beer - Naperville.

It's been an awfully long time since I've had a new Bell's beer, so I was pretty jazzed (get it?) to find this during my random trip to Naperville. It pours a clear golden-straw topped by a half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises barley, light flowers, a hint of earthy yeast, and sweet flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, though the yeast is a bit more expressive now, providing an extra bit of earthy spiciness (or spicy earthiness...it's pretty tough to tell the two apart), and there's a stronger contingent of grass. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a solid brew, though not the most representative of the biere de garde style. That said, I'd easily drink another of these if offered. Consider this the tourist's version of the drink, the more easy-going "light" version. Something like that...

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Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that died down and left a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Sweet aromas of malts are present in the nose along with hints of adjuncts.
T: The taste has flavors of sweet malts and corn adjuncts along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation
O: I wouldn't really consider this to be a true biere de garde as it doesn't have any flavors of earthy yeast.

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Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at churchkey in dc.

Pours a cloudy golden color with an amber hue. There isn't much head at all. I'm getting Belgian spice in the nose along with a mild citrus note. The flavor is light and full of yeast spice. This is an extremely dry beer. Just a bit herbal. The finis is bone dry.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Of the three beers that comprise the "Jazz" serries, it's this one that comes the closest to capturing taste and texture of French farmhoue ales. But even with it's grounding in pilsner malt and woodish accents, it preferrs a simplified palate compared to more authentic versions.

The beer opens with a glowing gold color that diffuses light through an even yeasty haze. Capped by a stark wihite cotton-textured foam, the ale retains the session and laces the glass spottedly with a quiet confidence.

Pilsner-like aromas fill the nose but bring with it the fruity lemon and apple accents that Belgian saisons enjoy. But without the spices, the biere de garde relies on corkish wood notes to achieve balance and complexity.

More of the same manifests in taste as the full pilsner flavor commands the flavor profile. Bready and somewhat grainy, the beer seems to borrow a moderate wheaty taste to give a fuller taste. Pleasantly acidic and with a kiss of hay, both the hops and yeast work to impart intrigue and refreshment.

Fuller in body than either German lagers or saisons, the beer's added heft is rich, creamy, and bready throughout- only waivering a bit through the middle palate in order to allow the mild sulfury acidity, tame hop bitterness, and alcohol warmth to assiste the the balance to finish.

Even with the notes of wood, acid, wheat, and hops, the beer is still rather tame and simplified when compared to the more rustic, earthen, and often well cellered versions of norther France of sourthern Belgium.

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Photo of deebo
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap as part of Bells tap takeover at Bulldog uptown
A-served in a tulip this beer is hazy, color is an orangish golden with a thin white film skimming the top
S-clean malt, some lemony citrus zest
T-clean barley malt. Plenty of lemon like yeast esters with a very crisp quick finish
M-highly carbonated which is desired with the characteristics of this brew. More body than I would expect given the clean malt character
O-I like this one, clean and crisp with a little body and flavor that goes down easy

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Photo of escapegoat
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overall, a very refreshing beer and one that I wish was more widely available. I'd definitely keep this on tap in the kegerator for the first half of football season if it was commercially available.

A - Golden, honey colored with white head
T - Bready with slight lemon sweetness
M - Refreshing and light

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Photo of TheBear11D
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz on draft at Bell's on 7-8-11

Pours a nice light yellow which is cloudy with a decent white head that lasted a good bit and leaves mild lacing.

Has a decent aroma of citrus, lemon and bread. The citus hops are mild.

Lemon citrus hops lead the way in the flavor profile with bread and a hint of sweetness from the malt.

Fairly light body, somewhat sharp but clean.

Overall this is a pretty enjoyable beer, but Bell's carries high expectations and this is not quite amazing.

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Photo of jampics2
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Night Town during Cleveland Beer Week. The entire Bell's Jazz Series was featured for the first time ever in Ohio.

The beer is certainly the lightest of the bunch. The color is reminiscent of straw with some orange and gold notes mixed in sparingly. The beer has a bit of haze but isn't as cloudy as most French farmhouse ales. There's a nice white head that quickly recedes and doesn't leave a ton of lace, but Le Batteur is still a nice looking beer overall.

The smell is slight tartness with some bready malt and some citrus notes. On closer examination, there is certainly some lemon zest and touch of orange peel. The malt is sweet and reminiscent of freshly baked bread crust and crackers. A touch of herbs show up as well, mostly clove and a touch of pepper. The yeast is a bit "old" with some slight musty and sour touches from the wheat but not a lactic acid sharpness. The smell overall is basic and refreshing, but not too expressive. There are little to no hops.

The hops do add a touch of earthiness and grass to the flavor, but they're certainly not in the driver's seat. The malt tends to dominate with some cracker and a touch of sweetness. The yeast adds some complexity and some esters that give some lemon zing and a bit of orange citrus notes. The beer is certainly tart but not sour or wild at all. A touch of herbal notes are present as well, with some pepper and clove. The beer is certainly light for a Bière de Garde and has more in common with a lighter Belgian style like a witbier. The taste is pleasant and has some refreshing qualities, it's quite appealing for the Belgian beer lover.

The beer finishes dry with some lingering tartness. The body is light to medium and the carbonation is rather lively and makes this more smooth than creamy. There is a touch of stickiness but then the lemon zest lingers and makes this not too sugary. The beer is very drinkable and refreshing. I'd love to have this on a summer day, but even in October it's like a bit of sunshine in a glass. This is worth seeking out if you're into the lighter Belgians, but the rather straightforward yeast leaves me wanting more esters and complexity.

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Photo of pdoran10
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at happy gnome.

presented to me in a snifter with two fingers of white head that leave decent lacing. color is hazy golden yellow. nice looking beer.

smell is musty belgian yeast that features pepper and humid old basement smells. not super strong smells, but very distinct.

yeast is the star in the taste. spicy peppercorn, bread, hint of belgian funk, not much else going on in the taste. hops not really detected. not a fan of yeasty breadiness as a standalone in the beer, unless the yeast flavors are better.

mouthfeel is chewey but dry with moderate to high carbonation really well made in the mouthfeel.

too much bready yeast going on here for me to want more than one.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Autumn Brew Review. Pours a straw yellow golden color with a white head. The aroma is that of biscuity, wheaty, and malty. Honestly, it might just be me but it smells like a strong pilsner. Medium/light mouthfeel. Sweet malt upfront taste with a lingering bitterness from the hops. Some toffee type taste as well. Overall, not bad.

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Photo of mothman
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jazz Series #1

Pours a white head. Color is a light straw yellow. Very hazy.

Aroma: Yeast, some lemon zest, grassy hops, coriander. It is kind of sweet in the fruit profile. Very basic. Not much here.

Taste: Grassy hops, yeasty, lemon zest, coriander, cloves, bready malts with a hint of caramel. Not much here.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and crisp. Lighter bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends clean, but dry.

Overall, a very simple beer. Very basic. Nothing to special, but it was cool to try it. It is somewhat drinkable.

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Photo of bsp77
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Number one (of three) in the French Jazz series - The Blonde

Serving glass: Poured from tap into small chalice.

Appearance: Pale cloudy yellow with thin white head.

Smell: Strong yeast with nice bread and peppery notes.

Taste: Very bready and yeasty, somewhat sweet. Pepper and citrus come through toward the end.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium sugary body, but slightly drying at the end.

Drinkability: The most thirst quenching of the three Jazz beers, but the least interesting.

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Photo of tpd975
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the "Jazz" series. The Drummer French Blonde Biere de Garde.

A: Pours a pale yellow with a bit of haze. Nice tall white head, lite retention with no lace.

S: Aromas of light citrus, more lemon than orange. Hints of crackers and a bit of sourness.

T: Clean and dry. Nice crisp citrus with hints of crackry malts. Light herbal grassy notes as well.

M: On the lighter side, crisp, fairly dry in the finish.

D: Good, solid offering. Liked the amber better, sorry I missed th brune.

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Le Batteur from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 84 ratings