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St. Amand | Brasserie Castelain

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BA SCORE
85
very good
83 Reviews
THE BROS
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St. AmandSt. Amand
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Castelain
France
brasseriecastelain.com

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-23-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
83
Ratings:
104
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
14.02%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 104
Photo of BenZ
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure if my bottle was old, or what, but I picked up some very different things than the other reviewers. The nose was very pleasant, with hints of fruit, coriander and lots of sherry. The taste reminded me of a Flanders Red Ale that I have had, except that the flavor was only about 1/3 as strong. There were other flavors in there as well: maltiness, maybe the slightest hint of saaz, and the classic Belgian esters. This beer was fantastic, and if it was a fluke, it would be too bad. I'll try it again if I ever run across it.

 537 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged 750ml from Waterbury Beverage, Waterbury, VT.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a thick 1" off-white head, over a clear, copper brew. Big bits of foam lace throughout the drinking experience. A slight sour aroma accompanies the malt and hops smells, making for an interesting orchestra. Taste is primarily of the medium (caramel) malt, but a hops crispness is present throughout. Mouthfeel is somewhat effervescent, but the overall package seems to work quite well. Disappointing only to see that this brew isn't more widely enjoyed by the masses.

 576 characters

Photo of Thrasher
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL flip top bottle. Dark amber with big head which vanishes. If you ask me, this beer is identical to Ruddles County Ale. Rich, malty, sweet, delectable. Heavy apple cider qualities, chewy, a tiny dead bit of alcohol in the middle. A mild dryness and a little bit of spice denotes the hops. Nothing to discern it as French or even Belgian. No present yeast; I guess it had already done its job by the time it was bottled. I swear, it tastes just like Ruddles. Which is fine by me, Ruddles is one of my favorite beers. Just not what I expected from a biere de garde. Perhaps its a fraction sweeter, and lacking the creamy British mouthfeel. Anyway it's damn good. Maybe even tastier than Ruddles.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a nice and clear amber/ruby color. Totally clear. A massive white head retains fairly well, but dissipates to a 2 finger billowy foam crust leaving very nice lacing.

Nose is loaded with nice fruit flavors. Some slight sour notes in the nose. Slightly vinous.

Wow! Now THIS, THIS is Biere de Garde. A fantastic brew. Opens up with a nice belgian-like yeast note, then flowers into huge fruit flavors. Plums, a bit of raisin, and a very nice creaminess. Some biere de gardes are a bit too sour (im talking to you BFM) and some are a bit too malty (im talking to you La Choulette) but this one is just where It oughta be. The finish has a nice touch of dryness. Some slight spice in here as well. Man, great stuff.

Mouthfeel is a touch, just a tiny touch to thick, and could be a bit drier on the finish. Carbonation is right where it should be, but maybe a tiny bit more would be ideal.

Drinkablility is quite solid here. Could easily session this brew like crazy. It is a touch heavy for the abv, but aside from that no real issues.

Overall, Wow! Biere de Garde has never been a favorite sytle of mine, but this one could totally turn that around. Many Biere de Gardes just have that slight something that if changed would make it great. Well, this one has that something. A great Biere de Garde.

 1,316 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has been sitting in my fridge for a few days. Thought I'd finally try it.

Color: Pours a decent amber color with a one-finger head.

Aroma: Spicy with raisin aroma. Malty. Inviting.

Taste: Smooth with some spiciness and hints of raisin in the middle. Smooth and nice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and impressive. Warming.

Verdict: A complex ale that doesn't fail. I have no idea why I was avoiding it all along. The best example I've had so far of this style.

 461 characters

Photo of marc77
4.57/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy garnet hue, covered by a light tan uniformly thick, creamy head that leaves intricate lace. The aroma is a combination of mild bubblegum esters, acidic sweet kiwi - like fruitiness and powdery, dry cocoa, w/ an undertone of acetaldehyde and yeast must. Maple sugar like sweetness in flavor is ensued by biscuit malt and light carob. Esters complement the malt profile to yield a dark, mellow, fig like fruitiness. The light hop bitterness is well integrated and perfectly offsets residual sweetness without interfering with the malt profile. Moderately bodied, w/ a creamy smooth mouthfeel that belies the relatively low strength. Finishes w/ a hint of toasty malt and bittersweet chocolate, but clean otherwise. St. Amand is truly a delicious brew. The overall balance and depth of character is stunning, considering the relatively low strength (5.9% ABV) Superlative drinkability due to its lightness on the palate-- It's a joy to drink. Reminescent of a dubbel / brown ale hybrid.

 997 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
4.62/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sunset orange/red in color, with a thin, wispy top. A nice looking beer, with an attractive enough bottle, though the French have a long way to go to catch up to their neighbors to the East in terms of creativity on this (and other) measure(s).

Lots going on in the aroma. Fruit hits the nose first, with orange and apple dominating the field. A bit of coriander spice blends nicely with an herbal/floral hop character to create an overall very inviting boquet.

Sweet in the mouth, but light enough in body and well-spiced enogh to be refreshing. But this beer achieves drinkability without sacrificing anything in terms of the complexity of the flavor. Don't be fooled by the first sip -- there's more to this beer than first appears. Mango, apple, and more citric fruits water the mouth mid-palate, and sit atop a caramely malt base with a somewhat bready flavor and just a tinge of oak. Nicely hopped at the finish; each sip leaves you wanting another.

I was, for some reason, not ready to be impressed by this beer. But I was pleasantly surprised! A great summer beer that shouldn't be saved for summer alone.

 1,122 characters

Photo of blakesell
4.72/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 750ml caged and corked bottle into a pilsner glass.
Bottled 03/07

Appearance- Initally, I didn't think it had much carbonation when I popped the cork, but soon after while sticking my nose in to get a scent, I got a good amount of carbonation right on it. Beer pours an amber golden with a great head of carbonation quickly dissapates to a wafer of foam over the top, lacing clings to the glass in larger sized bubbles.

Smell- Thick and malty like a good marzen with enough lightness to still be refreshing at noon on a Sunday. A touch of cinnamon and cream frosting on the nose.

Taste- Enjoyable big malt upfront. Balanced and malty. No detectable alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Medium full bodied and moderately carbonated, refreshing and effervecent.

Drinkability- This is a great drinker, not too big with alcohol, malty enough to have enough balance. If this came in 6 packs I would drink this again and again. Beer for keeping, but good fresher as well.

 966 characters

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St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
3.78 out of 5 based on 104 ratings.
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