St. Amand | Brasserie Castelain

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85
very good
83 Reviews
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St. AmandSt. Amand
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Castelain
France | website

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 TheEclecticGent
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - This beer pours a slightly hazy orange-amber color. Looks good and looks like what I expected from a Biere de Garde but maybe a tad more orange than most. Some head (2 mm) dropping to just swirls by the second sip.

S - Got a bit of a flat smell, some spices and maybe aged fruit. A hay like note in here. It's got that wet cardboard smell that always worries me a bit.

T - Tastes flat as well. Yep, it's got that wet cardboard flavor as well that I don't like. There are some spices in here but they are muted and the dominant flavor is that strange malt flavor that I call "wet cardboard".

M - Mouthfeel is flat, with very little carbonation.

D- Not impressed.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.72/5  rDev -28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

St. Amand French Country Ale. Pour is phenomenal; a cloudy orange-amber with a massive off-white head. Sadly, the rest of the beer doesn't live up to this. Aroma is floral and earthy, with some hay. Taste is one-dimensional. All caramel malt and bread. Flat mouthfeel. Very boring beer.

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Photo of popery
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is darkened copper with an exuberant head. The smell is malty and sweet with a mild hop character. The flavor is tart lemons and some acceptable but uninteresting malt. The blend of flavors is pleasant, but the beer is somewhat disappointing overall. My score seems a bit high considering I wouldn't recommend it. The beer is too sweet and watery for me. Ultimately, the malt flavor is somewhat uninteresting. On the other hand, this is the kind of beer that I would enjoy trying in its home country.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(from notes taken early august 2008)

750ml bottle. "best by" date of 16/10/08. possible batch numbers of L7198 and 15:36

poured into tulip

clear, honey-tinted, deep amber, caramel color. lots of off-white head. some lace.

maltose sugar and carmel in the nose. apple juice. faint spices. hay and whiff of yeast. phenols faint in backend. hints of yeasty fermentation.

flavors similar, but just lighter overall. malt mixes with phenolic and aforementioned fruit notes. grassy, hay-like hop gives mild bitterness, ligers slightly into a semi-dry, off-sweet finish. traces of malty caramel and phenols in the aftertaste.

smooth. fluffy, moderate carbonation

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Photo of winky13
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this refrigerated at the local bevmo. The deep amber hue nicely accompanies the lightly effervescent brew. Very lightly hopped and not as sweet as a Belgian. The wife liked the nose. Liked it but for the price would head towards a similarly priced Belgian dubbel.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - poured a three-fingers thick dense and creamy tan head into a snifter that left thick sheeting and lace. billows nicely and really coats the glass. the body was a bright amber color.
s - malty caramel and vanilla aromas.
t - malty, earthy and citrusy hops with a honeylike sweet finish.
m - medium slick mouthfeel.
d - highly drinkable.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Rich medium amber color. Nice rustic one finger head.

Aroma: Malty a little sweet.

Flavor: Definate malt on front. Some seweetness and a little bitter on the end. The flavor felt a little watered down in my opinion. decent but not great.

Body: Highly carbonated yet fairly smooth.

A nice beer but not my favorite. It is enjoyable enough but would not go out of my way to buy again.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Beerenauslese
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Luscious transparent orange-amber color, pours a three-finger head that lasts, leaving mounds of cappuccino foam, then thinning into lace.

Smells of clove and cinnamon spice and tropical fruit.

Tastes flat, nothing special leaps out. Spices are faint, a little bannana, a little citrus, but otherwise the flavors are murky.

Mouthfeel is flat, with little carbonation.

A pour of this is OK, but one is enough.

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Photo of nickfl
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers of off-white head, topping a perfectly clear, amber-brown body. The head has sufficient staying power and leaves nice rings of lace as it recedes.

S - Malty with light caramel, toasted malt, and toffee.

T - Sweet and malty up front. Notes of toasted malt, caramel, and just a hint of spice. Some fleeting notes of roasted malt in the finish, along with molasses. The sweetness lasts into the finish and is not quite, but almost, cloying.

M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a fairly sweet finish.

D - The malt flavors are powerful, and while they are accurate to the style, they border on overpowering and kind of hurt the drinkability of the beer. Aside from malt, there is not much going on here, and I would like to see a bit more complexity in a farmhouse beer.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh, a biere de garde, I wish there were more readily available. Found this one at Total Wine in North Miami. Rather boring-looking label with a generic description of "French Country Ale," but you just know that there's a real beer within the contents of that boring bottle.

A - Popped the cork and poured; it's darker than I expected. I was expecting something light and cheery, while this is a kind of sinister-looking amber with a bit of a glow to it. No matter - nice head, good lacing to be seen.

S - There's some subtle stuff going on here. A bit of earthy hop, wet hay - definitely somewhat "farm-y." Some honey-toast as it warms. Ever so slight undercurrent of mustiness, courtesy of the native yeast.

T - Very nice. A hint of sour to begin, some substantive grassy hop, and a honey-toast sweetness tracking with the aroma that is perceived rather than fully tasted. Moderately dry and quite refreshing.

F - A slight grit in the feel, maybe attributable to the local water. Beyond that, it's weight on the palate is extremely light. Well-carbonated but not terribly sharp.

D - Another excellent biere de garde from Castelain. You can enjoy the 750 with no trouble, and not feel too guilty about it. Enough going on to keep you interested, light and refreshing enough to keep you drinking. Would pair well with nearly anything, but this is one of those beers that makes me wish I was sipping it outside a Parisian cafe, watching the women walk by. The French can't brew beer? I call B.S. on that one; there's more than enough evidence to the contrary.

If you see this dull-looking bottle on the shelf, buy it.

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Photo of Poser
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber in the tulip with a frothy top. Light aroma with some citrus and hop tones. A floral, malty start that continues throughout. Hops are subtle which gives it a pleasant sweetness. It's a citrus texture on the mouthfeel. This would probably go great as a desert beer after some sushi.

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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.

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Photo of edbeered
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle(750ml), this pours a hazy reddish amber color, with a small white head that dissipates quickly and minimal lacing on the glass. The smell is slight but malty. The taste is complex, with lots of frutiy flavors present, especially cherry and raisin, along with a toffee or butterscotch maltiness. This beer is suitably rich in flavor, yet light on the tongue. This beer is comparitively light in alcohol(5.9%ABV)for the style, and is very drinkable. This is a very nice brew and worth getting if you can find it.

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Photo of Nipitato
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a caged and corked bottle at Marty's Liquors in Allston, MA.

A: Reddish bronze brown. Opaque. Very thin splotchy white head.

S: Musty malty aroma with a background of apples and cinnamon. Slightly sour. Overall very nuanced and quite mellow.

T: Musty malty flavor similar to the nose. Malt has some caramel characteristics. Some spiciness. Sweet fruit (cherries and raisins) esters add character. Mildly sour taste throughout. Nuanced and complex.

MF: Medium body. Highly carbonated. No alcohol warming.

D, notes: I like this beer and would go for it again. Complex yet easy to drink.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dispensed from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Magic Chouffe tulip glass. Dark copper colored beer with a small, white head. Somewhat dense but disappears rather quickly and leaves littles trace that the beer was there.

Aroma is sour yet sweet, and slightly musty. Sour, green apple aromas with the tartness of an apple pie. Somewhat yeasty.

Sort of lacking in overall depth. Thin on the mouthfeel. Tangy, sweet, slight hop bitterness, plenty of caramel malty flavors. Light and refreshing but a little thin on the mouthfeel. Finishes dry as a bone and exceptionally clean on the palate. A good sessioner Id say.

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Photo of drperm
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL from the Hendersonville Co-op. Also easily found at Bruisin’ Ales in Asheville. St. Amand pours a handsome -- no, gorgeous -- copper color with plenty of generous head, even when poured slowly. The nose is extremely complex -- clay soil, caramel, butter, farmland, and fresh aromatic hops are all in there, along with some more elusive intangibles that are conjuring up all sorts of images of rural Europe for me. On the tongue, the caramel sings out with a spritzy edge, the hops keep it interesting, and the butter moves to the forefront, but what really does it for me is a slight sour twist towards the end -- reminiscent of those Flemish Ales that I’ve recently fallen in love with (such as Duchesse de Bourgogne). This says to me, "drink with food!" Much better than Castelian/Ch’ti, as far as I’m concerned. Take it for Thanksgiving Dinner.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11/17/07- Received as a gift from a fellow craft beer drinker.

Presentation- 750ml bottle both caged and corked. Some kinda best by stamp on the back label. It's either good through 2008 or 2014...thinking 2014 unless France has 14 months on their calendar.

Appearance- Darker golden approaching amber coloring. Full one inch head on pour. Leaves a nice almost 1/4 inch frothy white ring when it settles. Good patches of lacing remain.

Smell- Scents of muted fruit, a bit of grain character as well. Fruity bitter hops and a touch bready.

Taste- Rather hoppy this brew is. Wasn't expecting that. Fruit flavors are there. Not really strong and not super fresh, but leave a decent flavor behind. Tastes a touch grainy as well. Almost like a cross between a Saison and a pils. Interesting.

Mouthfeel- Highly carbonated with a mild bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not bad at all. Nothing jumps out as being great or spectacular, but definitely quaffable and quite easily sessionable I'm sure. Always hesitant by trying French brews, but in this case they proved me wrong.

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Photo of jonworth
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Coppery, loses head quickly, leaving very little webbing. Honey and something else -- almonds? -- on the nose, but a little too cloying. Fairly complex taste, with more flavors and spices than I could ever hope to identify. The depth of the flavor is somewhat overshadowed by an astringent follow-through, though. It's not bad, but at it's rather high price point I don't believe I'll buy it again.

[750ml bottle, poured in a mug]

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Photo of SilentSabre
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$8,69 corked and caged 750mL Camp Creek World of Beverage East Point / Atlanta, Ga. USA
Very interesting. I do not recall having ever had this style before, but I really enjoyed it. It poured a burnt orange colour with a bit of chill haze, and had a 3 finger foamy cap which slowly became pitted and craggy as it died down. Looked very nice, almost as though it belonged in an ad. I must have poured it just right.
Smell was fruit, yeast, and a bit of a candied smell present, as well, almost akin to honey roasted or candied peanuts. Curious. The yeast smell was easily the most prominent; very bread-like.
Taste seems to be a multitude of things, including, yeasty bread / dough, fruit, bitter hops, and a slight bit of a sourness. The hop bitterness in this was rather pleasant and unexpected. Ales of this sort (Belgian / French country ale, farmhouse ale) nearly always have more of a sourness to them than anything else. The lovely bitter hop finish was a delightful surprise.
Mouthfeel had a bit more fullness to it than I would have though by simply looking at it. It is certainly full bodied and rather heavy, all things considered, anyway. Nevertheless, I found it quite drinkable and will certainly pick up another 2 or 3 750's to have on hand. A lovely surprise, indeed.

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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.

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Photo of IdentityAles
2.76/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter (tulips where dirty) around 40 F.

Nose: earthy, sour tartness, with hints of sweet apples and a little orange, all in all clean. (not what I expected)

Appearance: beautiful, copperish in color with a very nice candy apple red hue. Small, off white head that collapsed very quickly.

Taste: Candied apple sweetness, hints of honey, with a slight spicy hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, which helped cut the sweetness a little, but a little much for me.

I guess I would call this a drinkable, sweet, session style beer. Not my cup of tea though.

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Photo of Zorro
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the glass this is a reddish gold colored ale with a smallish white head. I would describe the color of this ale as an aged bronze color.

The smell is very strongly herbal and buttery with a little bit of rose and grass with a faint sour scent.

The taste begins sweetish and malty with an unexpected coffee flavor. Caramel, butter and coffee are the main flavors here. There is a chocolate caramel flavor present that I also didn't expect. Interesting chocolate and caramel ale I didn't expect, I expected something closer to a Saison.

The mouthfeel is good.

An interesting beer, but not one that I will likely try again. It is OK but rather expensive and just not that spectacular a beverage.

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Photo of jettjon
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 750ml caged cork bottle, decants with a pop. Dated 3/8/07; I’m assuming this is a “best by” date. Consumed on 6/10/07. Into a cervoise a pale, hazy mahogany color with Champaign-like carbonation. Thick, creamy brown tan head, about one fingers worth. Slow fade to a clumpy cap and good sheet-like, sticky lacing. Sweet malt and herbal hops on the nose. Earthy barley malt flavor out front tempering lightly peppery hops. Weak tea flavor, suggestions of honey; subtle overall. I find this brew light yet with a decent hop/malt character—an FPA perhaps? Mouth is semi-viscous with gentle carbonation smoothing things out. Wet on the edge of watery, but in a good, thirst-quenching way. Drinkability is very good; it’s simple and enjoyable with a subtle yet not boring flavor. ABV at 5.9% is suitably light for this style.

Overall: I’ve really been getting into saisons of late, and this one is a nice take on a light summer drinking ale. A bit darker and hoppier than a saison, still, very good in its own right. I’d have no reservations buying several more of these to sip on a hot day.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a copper/amber color with an off white head. The aroma is dominated by the malt, caramel and just a touch of slightly spicy hops. The taste is predominately malty with some spices.The drinkability is very high and it is not difficult at a ll to drink a whole 750ml. Overall, this was an enjoyable brew that is recommended.

On a side note, on doing some research on Bénifontaine, France where this beer is made, it is interesting to note that it is brewed in a very small town in Northern France with a total population of 278 (1999).

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Photo of bruachan
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i've been sitting on this one for a little while. kept it in the fridge for some good aging

the head is nice and fluffy and spews forth spicy hop aromas. the aroma sports some toasty scents. the beer's color is a dark amber—on the way to brown

it's malty. not dynamic, though. there's some hop flavor in there, too, to add some depth, but the malt needs more help than the yummy hops can offer. as it warms spices emerge and in the end it turns into a decent brew, as some of the toasty elements exhibited in the aroma appear in flavor

i'm not going to write home about it but if i were in europe and discovered this pouring from casks in a small cafe i would never leave (perhaps that really isn't about the beer)

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St. Amand from Brasserie Castelain
85 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.
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