Ch'ti Blonde
Brasserie Castelain

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French Bière de Garde
Ranked #147
Ranked #42,676
3.54 | pDev: 12.71%
Brasserie Castelain
Notes: After brewing and fermentation, CH’TI beers is kept for long weeks in storage tanks. In the calm and cool (0°C) environment, the beer matures, develops a finer taste, perfects its aroma and acquires its natural and characteristic sparkles. It is here also that the beer obtains its balance, finesse and gleam.
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Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 92 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by robertfulwiler:
Photo of robertfulwiler
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750mL cork and cage bottle.

A: golden color, very clear. decent head retention, good lacing.

S: apple, a little yeast.

T: very malty/cerealy. a tiny bit of bitterness as it went down.

M: moderate body, medium carbonation.

D: Not too interesting for the style. Its fine to drink now but I probably won't buy again.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of thierrynantes
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (33cl), tasted in 1999.
Appearance: golden blond colour
Smell: aromatic nose
Taste and mouthfeel mouth round bitterness well defined, balanced
Drinkability: a good "bière de garde" in french from the brewery Castelain

Review added 11-18-2007, translated from french 2-13-2008.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

no idea how old this (33cl) bottle is - found it chilled in a bottle shop in Center City Philly.

A: tall, spongy off white head, fell fast - yellow-orange like a lion - sediment in suspension?! - noticeably hazy

S: bright - light fruit and a honeyish malt that shows increasingly candy-like, light caramel and later toasty and burnt sugar notes

T: moderate, dense creamy caramel - slight overtone of grass stalk - bit of yeasty spice late on the tip of the tongue - aside from the heightened sense of concentrated (caramelized) malt, it tastes like a relatively normal (Belgian) blonde ale

M: smooth like caramel - almost slick/syrupy back off the tongue - little bit of an alcohol sting up front - does end up fairly dry - would i want to drink a lot of these?...

O: what is unique in its (malt) flavors and mouthfeel are about all that makes its ale noteworthy - all in all, it's okay - i could see having it again if I came across it on draft

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Photo of BucBasil
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the stubby 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

S: Slight yeasty character and breadiness over a bed of light fruits.

A: The beer is more subtle than expected, with a slightly vinous backbone but a bready and yeasty character infused with light fruits throughout. Very refreshing.

F: The beer is very very carbonated with lots of bubbles throughout. Very prickly and almost soda like in feeling.

Overal, a good beer. The brew is very refreshing but is somewhat subtle. This is good on a hot summer day but also doesn't make it stand out very much

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Photo of torrenju
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Nickls
3.46/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a frothy white head that held just OK, not much lacing; crystal clear orangeish yellow hue

S - Some sweet apple aromas; a little bready; pretty uninteresting actually

T - Light hoppiness; dry earth tones; some mild fruitiness; pretty middle-of-the road, but not bad.

M - Thinner body; dry; tiny bubbles of carbonation

D - Not bad drinking as it's inoffensive but not the most interesting in the style range. Verges on macro in terms of the feel and taste of the brew

Overall, not a bad brew, but I won't need to revisit.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pale straw with loose white head that speckles. Nose is barrel and bubblegum yeast. White grape and pear up front, a bit of honey, and spicy hops. Light body, sweet linger, no heat.

Reminded of chablis! Summery, but not as much character as other in the style.

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Photo of atis
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear pale golden with large and soft white head that slowly fades to a small patchy layer that lasts till the end of the glass, small downsliding lacing. Aroma is sweet malty, some caramel.

Taste is citrusy malt, some herbal hoppy bitterness, faint fruity esters with rather dry finish, light citrusy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium-light with average carbonation, no alcohol could be felt.

Overall, very good one, although it felt too light. Very, very drinkable and alcohol could not be felt at all.

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Photo of malmquna
3.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can find this in tall-boy 50cl cans at the local grocery store. Right next to the Leffe Blonde. I'm surprised the cans aren't more widely available.

Poured into a glass, this beer is nearly yellow in color, with plenty of carbonation but no real head to speak of after a minute or two. There's nothing really notable about the way this looks in a glass.

The smell is quite nice, however, with some sweet malt mixed with some very slight hop aroma. In the mouth the feel is good, but somewhat overpowered by the high gravity (6.4% abv). Regardless of the higher alcohol content, the flavor still contains considerable sweetness. Some bitterness comes in at the end, but this beer is not altogether hoppy.

CH'TI is not the best example of the Bière de Garde style. I'll limit my consumption of it to sitting at home in front of the television or over a low-stakes card game.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in a Trappist chalice.
This is a crystal yellow beer. Smells fairly good. Reminds a good Belgian blond (close to Leffe, perhaps...). Not bad for a French beer. Despite of the 6.4%, you do not feel much alcohol, which helps the drinkability. It should be a good option for a sunny day, followed by a barbecue and listening to Gainsbourg... :)

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Photo of NightINgale
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: All white, thick, beautiful head at first, then the clear golden liqiud rises. Rather nice lacings.

S: Malt, sour notes, yeast and spices. Rather mild but still complex. Grass and green apples, some pears as well. Buttery notes in the back feels wrong.

T: Yeast and spices. Red berries and green apples. Grass, nettles and some hay. Sourness and malt.

M: A mild buttery part of the smooth full body isn't right. Mild carbonation and a pleasant, but short sour aftertaste.

O: The buttery notes brought down the ratings. Otherwise not too shabby.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a stange cylinder glass at a conference dinner location.

Appearance: Clear bright gold. Thick white head upon pouring, died back to a thin foam across the top. Some strands and sheets of lacing noted.

Smell: Floral hops, some malt sweetness under the hop aroma.

Taste: Nicely balanced between floral / herbal hop flavors and biscuity malt sweetness. Hops are nicely tuned to counter the malt sweetness, but not be too bitter, and the malt is not too sweet to clash with the hops, very nice.

Mouthfeel: Just right carbonation. A little sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: Very drinkable - fantastic with food. Kind of wish I had it in a different glass as I think the smell may have come out more, but otherwise a good beer. Definitely one of the better French beers I've had.

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Photo of bellebouche
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, served at 6 degrees, poured into two Stella style continental glasses. Served with food (Blinis, Lumpfish Roe, Créme Fraiche, Shallots)

Pours Bright, crystal clear, golden light amber. Large head falling back to a few mm of head which then falls back further to a peripheral ring of bubbles only. No head retention.

Little discernible smell on initial pour.

A sip of the pouring foam and I had a massive waft of citrussy hops.

Taste is all hops, great structure, caramel notes. Alcohol is not present and the beer has a light foamy fine mousse (not unlike 3 monts) making it very very drinkable.

A delightful beer - highly recommended and a great accompaniment to food.

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Photo of AmberMan22
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a pitifully small 25cl bottle. I wish it were sold in much larger quantities.

This bière de garde pours a slightly hazy, light copper color. The head is fairly unimpressive, but the surface at least retains coverage the whole way down. Specks of lacing clling to the glass, though not as much as I'd hope.

The smell is of light toasty hops, alcohol, and a touch of hop bitterness. Smells good.

It tastes good too. The alcohol is certainly present yet not overwhelming. There is a distinct and assertive toasted malt flavor, backed by some hop undertones and bitterness. It makes me feel like I'm drinking an ever-so-slightly dialed back Maibock, so I like this quite a bit. Left with a dry, bitter/alcoholic finish.

The body is a strong medium heft, which is impressive for a beer of this color. Carbonation is present but non-interfering. Creamy feel.

I love this beer. I don't care how it looks, I care how about everything else and that's where it scores well for me. I enjoy Maibocks quite a bit, so finding something slightly dialed back just hits the spot for me. Plus, with a ~8oz bottle, at 6.4% you could knock back plenty of these for a good session.

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Photo of Geiseman
5/5  rDev +41.2%

Photo of ThaCreep
2.98/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On the nose, we think of lager but with a subtle touch of brown sugar. The body is light, scent, with a bitterness that makes it dirty mouth while she is far from good. A feeling of artificiality complete the observation that beer is just ordinary. Pleasant to drink but there are much better unless you're an absolute fanatic of"Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis" movie

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Photo of Mattias
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Satyr179
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of TheBrewo
3.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of classic gold. It holds virtually no head, even on a rough pour. There are, however, bubbly bits clinging around the edges of the glass, with a thick hazy film over the top of the liquid. There is moderate haze, but complete opacity is not approached. Carbonation looks to be standard, but the bubbles rise slowly, as if the beer is sticky and syrupy. The first thing noted about the aroma is a sickly, fruity sweetness of overly ripe strawberries. This leaps around lightly toasted malts, and faint bubblegum esters. There is also a dank mustiness about it, but at the same time it is as if that earthiness is hiding something synthetic, like a plastic-smelling hair product. Curiously complex, to say the least. As we sip those toasted malt hit up front, and are quickly met by a surprisingly strong hop bitterness for a balance. Here, too, there is a faint apple flavoring that flashes across the tongue, adding some residual sugar to the mix. Moving through the middle we become better acquainted with the grains used, while that musty, yeasty aroma begins to take form in flavor. This helps round out the finish, where the hops return with a bit of sugary sweetness to balance. The very end is characterized by a final, boozy washing. It has spice, of raw cinnamon and dark herbs, which add a bittering to the alcohol. The aftertaste breathes grainy, and slightly metallic, with some more fusel alcohols and faint hop action. The body is light to medium, and the carbonation is medium. The mouth is left slippery, and then astringently dried. There is not much coating, but a nice light creaminess forms to each sip, likely due to the carbonation. The abv is standard and the beer drinks easily for the style.

Overall, what we found most enjoyable about this brew was picking apart the complexity of the aroma. The strong musty earthiness is actually quite inviting, and asks the drinker to dive down deeper. What was even nicer was how many of the aromatic credits made appearances in the flavor, with a surprising cameo from some bittering hops right out front. We found this to be a nice example of the style, as a whole, and were pleased that it was able to contain many of the primary characteristics of it within.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light, orange to straw colour with a thumb sized white head that has a thick, bubbly looking appearance.

Fruity smelling with hints of apple and pear, there is also a sort of floral smell to it and some background skunk. Not too complex smelling but a nice aroma to this one.

Fruity tasting hops and an overall sweetness along with some bitter following this. I could taste an almost cider like combination of both apples and pears with a little bitter of spice, other than that there wasn't too much else going on here.

Medium bodied and smooth with a fruity sweetness to the beer and medium carbonation.

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Photo of dirtyskunk
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark clear amber. Decent head disappears quick, no lingering cap or any lacing. Lots of visible carbonation the whole time. Looks like apple cider.

Smells good from the outset, like apple cider with some mild herbal and floral hop notes. No spice or malts or musty funk, all of which I expected. A little boozy as it warms.

What a surprise, this tastes like cider too. Slightly tart. Mild noble hop characteristics. Moderate bitterness is contributed to by some medicinal phenol sort of notes. Mostly I get the apple flavor, a tiny bit of lemon, with medium sweet caramel malts and the very moderate floral hops and bitter phenols.

Too carbonated for me, and otherwise thin. Not super impressed or pleased by the prickly mouthfeel. The only thing saving this is the dry finish. After sitting out for a while and warming up/losing carbonation, it has a softer

Nothing here is bad, nothing is too much, it's well balanced. But nothing is terribly interesting either. Overall this is a mild improvement over Leffe as far as regular beer choice goes here in northern France, although it's so close to cider I would just buy that if this didn't have a leg up in the ABV.

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Photo of TinFang
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Morningstorm
4/5  rDev +13%

Ch'ti Blonde from Brasserie Castelain
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 92 ratings