La Meule | BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)

88 Reviews
Read the review
La MeuleLa Meule

Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hopsaplenty on 06-07-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 152
Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apparently for the first time ever in the United States, on tap at Max's last night. Kudo's to the owner Casey for somehow managing to finagle a keg of this stuff.

The beer pours a hazy light gold color with fair head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is pretty subdued, though as it warms I do get some light honey and a hint of sage, with some noticeable tartness in the background. On the palate this beer is pretty impressive. One gets some more sage, honey and tartness, but there's also some noticeable white pepper and hoppy bitteness in the finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and the beer has a crisp, spicey finish. Abv. looks to be pretty well disguised, though the spicey finish makes this beer a sipper.

A very nice, very intriguing beer from this Swiss brewery.

 790 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

Hailing from Switzerland, and an oddity in the beer world, La Meule is a lively Blonde Ale flavored with sage. Very active carbonation produces an intense head that nearly pours out of the glass, with a cloudy yellow hue. Fresh sage and a light honey-like maltiness dominate the aroma. Rolling crispness lends a fluffiness to the moderate body. The sage flavor is expressive, the first flavor to smack the palate. Spicy throughout, from a blend of alcohol, hops and yeast. Dry malt flavor provides an almost translucent base for the spiciness and sage to play off of each other. Bitter component from the yeast distracts the taste buds for a moment, but seems more a signature than an annoyance. Suggestions of honey and wild flowers come to mind, but the sage stays for the duration.

Very interesting, though we don't know whether to drink it or cook with it. Paired well with prosciutto, fresh buffalo mozzarella and beefsteak tomatoes.

 1,042 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed in the Swiss Mts. with sage.

A: Pours a clear lemon color with a huge rocky 3 finger snow white head that lasted for most of the drink leaving a nice sticky lacing behind.

S: a nice yeastiness with lemon bread, sage, and sour citrus.

T: Initially the flavor starts out tart, with some sour lemons, some spices, and a smooth wheat malting, along with dried fruitiness (pineapples). The hopping is spicy, with some light peppery notes. Reminds me a little of a Hoegaarden but just not as spicy or sour.

M: light, and oily. On the finish is some sour citrus notes and wildflowers which Im guessing is coming from the sage.

D: Overall this is a nice golden ale, very smooth sourness. Good overall.

 709 characters

Photo of albern
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is an essential one to try because it will give the reviewer a clear indication of what the spice sage tastes like in a beer. I have tasted and smelled hints of this in other beers and didn't know what it was and could not properly identify it. Now I know, and so will you because it is overpowering in this beer. The beer pours a rather light golden color with a white soapy head, some retention and lacing. The carbonation is modest and the mouthfeel watery and crisp. It is a refreshing beer to an extent. The aroma is all about the sage, but there is also an unpleasantness to the smell as well, similar to household cleaner or detergent. In any case, the aroma is pungent and unmistakable. The taste is all about the sage. There is a tart lemon or lime rind and citrus to the beer too. The finish is mouth puckerish, tart, with some bittering hops, tea like in quality. The aftertaste lingers a bit long and the dry puckerishness continues. The beer is worth a try if you want to know what sage tastes like in a beer. If not, and you don't care, than I wouldn't be recommending this beer in its own right.

 1,120 characters

Photo of phisig137
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A- Pours a murky light brown pine color, with a one finger head. Froth falls quite quickly, and only a slight ring remains.

S- Very interesting how this changes as it warms. Smells exactly like boiling wort when it is fresh out of the fridge. As it slowly warms to about 50°, the aroma begins to change to spicy sweet sage. The aroma almost tickles the inside of your nose like the fuzz on a sage leaf. A bit one sided, but quite nice.

F- Up front, the flavor is dominated by malt sweetness and honey flavors. Actually it almost tastes like a few gravity samples that I've taken. The flavor does a 180 in the middle, switching over to pure sage waves, and a relatively firm hop bitterness on the finish. I'd be willing to bet that the sage is added a few times in the boil, because it is quite complex. This isn't the typical sage you taste when cooking, but round, green, spicy, smooth, and interesting. Yeast phenols linger like black pepper on the tongue.

M- Actually, pretty bad. Low carbonation, and terribly thin mouthfeel. I think yuengling may have more mouthfeel than this.

D- pretty good, but still a bit of a sipper. Tastes mighty good outside on a hot summer day though.

Overall, I'd buy it again, and I'd definitely serve it with saltimbocca. It is not quite a sublimely delicious or earth-shatteringly complex and different as Bon Chien, but it still holds its own. Any fan of wierd, different, experimental beers should seek this one out, along with all the others from BFM.

 1,498 characters

Photo of Foxman
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours a very hazy honey golden amber. A thing finger of white head dies off unceremoniously. The lacing is ephemeral and flighty.

In the aroma, the first thing that steps out is the sage, earthy and lightly bitter. Underlying doughy grain is joined by a crest of candy sugar.

Upon tasting, the malt is momentarily caramel before a thick honey and sugar sweetness is itself aborted by the spicy bitterness of sage and some crisp esters of yeast. A trailing swirl of tart apple further crisps the presentation, and the finish is lingering, very dry, and non-descript. In so many words, it's awkwardly rapid and fractious.

Medium bodied, the feel is a high point, with a soft but peppy lilt on the palate.

Sage with a leg of lamb, or even chops, is simply sublime. Sage in a beer, at least this one, is out of place, gratuitously bitter, and a detriment. Take the herb out and it's less than memorable, but with it, it's memorable for the wrong reasons. It's drinkable enough to finish the bottle, but not enough for another...ever. A sage man might say, no sage, thank you.

 1,082 characters

Photo of rallison
2.45/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a cloudy golden with a 1 finger white head.

S: Spicy and funky. Smells a bit of gym socks - I thought this was infected, but a couple people also mentioned some funkiness, so I'll put this review in.

T: Very herb-y - I assume from the sage - with an astringent, dry bitter finish. Some funky flavors in the taste too. Maybe it's infected, maybe this is just how it is supposed to taste (I'm thinking this is just not a great recipe). Regardless, not very good.

M: Well carbonated.

D: Not very, considering the smell/flavor.

Not recommended.

 554 characters

Photo of NCSUdo
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.15 oz, flip top bottle

A: Pours a hazy deep golden/peach color under a fingers worth of white head. Some lace, some retention.

S: Some fruity undertones with obvious spice from the sage. The spice reminds me of a marinara sauce, like for a pizza. That may sound wierd, and it is a little, but it isn't bad.

T: Again, spices are prevelant with hints of the yeast that is floating around. Still seems to take on an Italian spice type note that is very unusual, but again it's not bad. Mostly dry in the finish with some of the spices sticking aroound.

M/D: Mouthfeel is very nice, creamy with a fullness that surprises a little, but still on the light side. Drinkability is a paradox for. Would I sit here all night and drink a bunch? I could, but the spices would wear on me. However, the way the spices present themselves to me, I could easily see having a nice Italian or Mediterranean dinner and going through a bunch of these. An unusual beer for sure, but very good.

 991 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a dirty beige color ale with a big foamy head with good retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of Belgian malt with some spices (sage). Taste is also dominated by some nice Belgian malt notes with some sage also easily noticeable. Body is full with some limited filtration and great carbonation. Very well done and sage provide an interesting edge to this Belgian ale.

 385 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled 1-9-2007. Pours a cloudy straw gold with a big off white head. Nose is yeasty, but gently floral as well. Flavor is quite unique. Starts off like a milder Belgian style brew and then you get an acrid flowery edge to it that leaves a plant-like aftertaste in your mouth. Feel is carbonated but light in punch from ingredients. I think it is drinkable, but for people who are not into this style, I can definitely see them not liking this at all since it is such a unique production. But for me, I'd probably give it a go again. Even though the price is a bit high.

 571 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Winking Lizard in Columbus. The beer is a honey color with a medium thick and frothy white head that burns off steadily. Stringy lacing. Floral aroma with yeast and spices along with a bit of malt. Medium body with a pleasant spice/herbal character. Flavors of yeast, sweet fruit and malt are all present. The finish is dry and mildly bitter. Pretty solid from start to finish.

 387 characters

Photo of bruachan
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

winking lizard beer

tall foam is kept alive (in fact, is it growing?) by massive carbonation from below. the bottle is right in calling the beer golden, though any darker and we're talking amber

fun nose all sorts of smells: yeastiness, pilsner sweetness, herbiness

i admit, i don't know what sage tastes like, but there's something in there that i haven't seen in a beer before. as this is my first sage beer i will deduce that mystery flavor to be mr. sage. i can dig it, too. there's a lemon zing in there, which probably comes from hops

 543 characters

Photo of baos
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks like I got some of the last of this.

11.5 oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Huge 5 finger plus head that dissipates to a half a finger. Good head retention. cloudy blonde appearance. Lots of sediment.

S: Champagne with sage. I didn't realize I was getting into a herbed up beer. Green apple notes as well.

T: Sage with bitter hop bite. Beeswax and floral hints. Harsh at first but as it goes down it really tastes good and very balanced. Finishes dry.

M: Bubbly and creamy, maybe a bit oily. Good

D: The first drink you take one gets a very unexpected blast of sage and hops, but as the flavors warms on you. Its a very good beer, get some if you can find it.

 667 characters

Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cludy orange-amber color with massive white head.
I had forgotten what sage smelled like, but this beer quickly reminded me of waht it smells like.
Taste is also loaded with sage, and this totally dominates all taste sensation except for a strong bitter dryness at the finish.
A nice enough beer, but not anything to seek out.

 338 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in my new Sam Adams Boston Lager glass (thanks to SA and BA), the beer pours a gold/orange color with pretty much no head at all. It smells like some citrusy/grassy hops, honey, lemon and a herbal smell that I assume is the sage that the bottle says the beer is brewed with. It tastes like I'm drinking liquid Ricola. The taste is very herbal, with some honey and yeast too. It's not bad tasting, just very herbal and a little bit bitter. That's the best way I can describe it. Mouthfeel is light/medium, finishes dry and with a good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good, the beer is very smooth and surprisingly very easy to drink. It's a unique tasting beer, very hard to describe but definitely worth a try. I'd buy this again sometime.

 753 characters

Photo of Hautacam
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this for the first time at a tasting with the brewer, Jerome Rebetez at My Place Restaurant in CT.
A hazy deep gold with a frothy white head that settles down to a film.
The smell is really interesting....nice sage and hop aroma....a bit unusual.
There is a good malt background ...some honey, but barley sweet...a bit of funk and menthol and a great combination of hops and sage. I had my doubts about a sage beer , but this is really tasty stuff. Dry in the finish...a nice lingering bitter.
Mouthfeel on the light side of medium.
Pretty drinkable.

 559 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well-bubbled gold with a fine particulate haze that is due to either yeast or sage... or both. The alabaster cap that filled more than half the glass on the initial pour is softy rocky and pleasingly plush. Although foam bridges connect head and glass, they don't result in an overwhelming amount of lace when they eventually break.

Before popping the swing-top, I took a quick trip to the spice rack to remind myself what sage smells like. After reading the label, I've learned that it comes from a hearty, evergreen shrub. There's no question that this beer smells like sage (and like spruce). I wasn't thrilled with the herb itself, but I like the way La Meule smells. Actually, I love it.

I can't recall having had a sage-infused beer before. I was skeptical at first, but it turns out that it works as well as coriander or cinnamon or just about any other herb or spice. The trick is in adding it to a quality beer and adding it in just the right amount. Both of those conditions have been satisfied here.

I think that most herbed beer is better when it favors sweet over bitter. Herbs can be bitter, and when used alongside hops, things can get out of control in a hurry. That's why I was pleased to see that candi sugar was used. This golden ale has just enough sun-ripened, sugar-crusted maltiness to offset the other flavors. I like this stuff more and more with each passing ounce.

The mouthful favors the light end of light-medium. Due to an expert use of carbonation, it works out well. I'm not sure I'd want a chewy sage beer since this sparkly, refreshing one feels so good in the mouth.

I picked up this bottle of La Meule last week because it looked interesting and because I was curious about what a sage beer would taste like. Frankly, I didn't expect to like it this much. It just goes to show that the list of things that can be used to flavor beer is much longer than most people realize. Recommended.

 1,938 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
1.91/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I didn't care for this beer. I saw sage on the ingredient list, which sounded good, but came off to me as quite medicine an anti-septic grape sudafed.

Warning, this beer is dangerous to open! I flipped open the swing top (the bartender refused to) and a good amount of foam rushed out along with a pretty good "whoooosh!" noise. The beer had a golden color which was fuller/darker at the top of the glass than at the bottom. There was lots of billowy head that couldn't stand up and kept flopping over the side of my glass. Aroma was of grape medicine. Flavor was a bit brandy-ish, but those notes were overwhelmed by a grape medicine flavor. Later, as the beer warmed, it came off as a bit minty. I didn't care for the flavor and found it not very drinkable. Mouthfeel was very dry and astringent, and didn't make me want to drink any more beer.

 864 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy pale straw color with a bountiful head that retains well and lines the glass with "Swiss" lace

Smell: Unusual wit-like aroma of coriander and lemon with clear undertones of sage present (although I might not have picked out sage had it not been on the label)

Taste: Starts with an herbacious coriander and lemon flavor with the sage making a strong appearance, mid-palate; after the swallow, there is an astringent, medicinal aspect that flows into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and effervescent

Drinkability: Doubt I will come back to this one, but definitely worth a try

 614 characters

Photo of cbl2
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3/17/2007 $4.99 33 cL 6.00% 6A marked on the label.


Pours a nice pale honey color topped by over an inch of tight fluffy white head that is slow to settle, and leaves behind some spectacular lacing.


Nose is dominated by honey and lemon and just a bit of barnyard funk. None of the sage that is noted in the ingredients is detectable.


Somewhat round mouthfeel leads off this herbally bitter beer that sweetens with a touch of honey as it warms on the palate. Finish is dry and bitter, with some of the sage apparent. Slightly overpriced at $4.99 for 11.2 oz, but worth trying once if for no other reason than to say you had some.

 685 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl swingtop bottle, including a paper seal marked '1-9' along the left side and 'A-F' across the top. A red mark above the 'C' means...uh...something...

Swiss Golden Ale brewed with sage, poured to a pair of small 'Millevertus' tasting glasses and shared with my wife as an apertif.

A: A hiss of air and a little carbonation fizz escape when uncapping. Thick layer of white yeasty sludge on the bottom of the bottle. Pours cloudy golden-wheat with tiny yeasty floaters. Head is almost 2 fingers tall, a cloud of puffy white bubbles. Bits of sticky, meringue-like lace.

S: Slight 'barnyard' wild yeast aroma, malty bread, apple, pear, and definitely sage/herbal dashes.

T: Loads of crushed apple, herbal spice, floral/meadow grassiness. Some mild sweetness of pear and melon with clover honey. Then there's the spiciness: sage is present, zest and finishing very dry. All very fresh tasting and reminiscent of the rustic farmhouse ales of Belgium & France. Quite good.

M: Medium to high level of carbonation gives a spritzy mouthfeel. Body stays rather light; crisp and dry finish. A little grainy but generally clean on the palate.

D: This beer made a wonderful warm-up prior to dinner. We both really enjoyed the dry herbalness of the flavors, the spritzy mouthfeel and the light ABV. This may not be a beer I'd have all the time, but in the right setting it borders on perfection. I hope we get to enjoy this beer again sometime and definitely recommend it.

Bottle acquired in a pseudo-trade with a BA Brother - thanks!

 1,545 characters

Photo of Bierman9
2.89/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Comes in an 11.15oz, swing-top bottle. Has some sort of freshness code (1 thru 9, and A thru F, with the 6 and the C marked) but I don't know what it means.

Popping the stopper produced an unexpected rush and gush of foam, though it thankfully stopped quickly. Poured into my small, Delerium Tremens chalice, it was an even mix of bier and stark, white foam. The head slowly, slowly ebbed back towards the slightly cloudy, golden-orange liquid. Has a fair amount of particulate within, as well as steady carbo rising up. The head is still a good, solid 1" of frothy white. The bottle has a fair amount of residue entrenched on the bottom. Despite all the foam, not much lacing is left behind. As for the aroma, well.... The label indicates the use of sage in this brew, so I can only assume that's what I'm smelling, not being familiar at all with that herb. It comes across as quite bitter, and almost medicinal. Body is a little short of medium, and there's more than ample prickliness on the palate.

Flavor is better than the aroma suggests. There's some mild, bready malt sweetness there, but hopping and herbing take center stage. The hops show up in the guise of a real earthy, grassy flavor. Quite the healthy dose of bittering action here. And the sage, again, adds more bitterness to the mix, as well as giving this bier a bit of a Listerine quality. Finishes a touch spicy (with the yeasties mixed in) and quite dry. I did manage to quaff the entire bottle, though I feel this is one of my least-enjoyed biers in quite some time.


overall: 3.1
appearance: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 2.5


 1,647 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.7/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Explodes out of flip top bottle with five+ finger head, settles to a thin layer leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color, yeast left in bottle. Hoppy/spicy nose. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is spicy and hoppy, malts are hidden, dry bitter aftertaste. $5.19 for a 330ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

 325 characters

Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Swing-top 33 cl bottle from Knightly Spirits in Orlando. Aroma is sweet and fruity with a potent spicy note that I rather enjoy. The body is a dull yellow/gold and holds a three fingers thick bubbly white head that is very lasting. Bitter and herbal at first with some dry sweetness and lots of floral spice and bitterness. Very crisp mouthfeel....nice drinking feel to it. Very nice brew.

 389 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a Belgian beer souped up with sage(say that quickly three times). Past expirey date from Oak Park in Joysey by almost a year. Champagne-like white yeast. The sage kicks in but was nicely aged, so it gives a positive taste impact.Smoothly done, good brewing.

 265 characters

La Meule from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
3.71 out of 5 based on 152 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.