Etoile Du Nord | Brasserie Thiriez

BA SCORE
85
very good
57 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Etoile Du NordEtoile Du Nord
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez
France
brasseriethiriez.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DaveAnderson on 03-18-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
57
Reviews:
20
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
9.76%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
2
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. 'The North Star'. Wow, all of a sudden, I pine for the 1980s NHL. And apparently well-hopped, as well, with a faded '55 IBU' sticker on the side. Ooh la la.

This beer pours a tumultuous, quick save from counter mishap, medium golden straw hue, with a tower of 3D webbed foamy head, which settles to expose, in kind, a broad array of Thai inlet version lace.

It smells of zesty and yeasty tropical fruit at first, just before a somewhat sugary pale wheaty malt come along to even things out. The taste is pungent, kind of sour pale malt, mildly funky yeast, bitter noble hops - the citrus and earthiness holding each other back from the precipice - and some latent hefty and savoury spices.

The carbonation is still quite peppy and playfully intrusive, the body a stunted middleweight, and kind of astringent in its foray into smoothness. It finishes rather dry, the plucky hops, acrid yeast, and somehow overly perceptible booze doing one hell of a number against the base, back corner table graininess.

I suppose this could have been a normal as could be French saison, but with the big hop additions, all bets are off. I can't believe the listed ABV (5.5%) - there appears to be so much more, and the hops give a more than certain je ne sais quoi to the proceedings, lifting all aspects to a higher level. Yeasty, kind of fruity, and with a standard malt sweetness for the style. Can you see the fault lines, if only a little?

 1,446 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of VeganUndead
3.07/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of biegaman
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Etoile du Nord ("North Star") would shine much brighter were it not for all that bottle sediment shading the complexion much in the way dust does house furniture. While extra cautious pouring kept most out of the glass there's enough present to downgrade the appearance from 'polished gold' to 'dirty canary'.

It's difficult to know what to make of the aroma at first; a slightly perplexing combination of tart green apple, fresh herbs and leafy celery tops, it's definitely not your typical hoppy blonde ale. But I find myself more and more attracted to this crude, spicy earthiness and the distinct hint of honey that overlays it.

It's hard to believe that honey note comes from the malts given their dry, grainy, farmhouse taste; honey flavour from hops is highly unusual but has been linked to East Kent Goldings (Kent hops are used exclusively). Regardless, it's an innate match to the cereal grain and an ideal foil to the herbal bitterness.

I still can't get over this hoppiness: a long cry from the tropical fruits and piny resins we've come to associate with hoppy beers, these ones come through on the palate as very grassy, herbal (practically vegetal), have a wonderful floral component and finish somewhat minty. Different and delightful!

Listed on the label as a "blonde houblonnée" (hoppy blonde) but described by most websites as a Saison, call Etoile du Nord whatever you want, it's good. It's also a kind of beer you'll rarely (if ever) find from a North American producer - a mouthful of English hops isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I'm good with it!

 1,586 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours murky brown with a tall white light airy head that slowly sinks into great lacings.

S: Very typical for the style; nice balance between sour, yeast and spices. Dry malt, only faint sweetness. Very fruity; pears, green apples and rich oranges. Kind of grassy.

T: Dry and sour, malt. Rich fruitiness, much like the smell. Yeast and rich spices. Rich bitter hops – eventhough that usually is a very nice thing – here it’s almost like an off-taste.

M: Long bitter dry aftertaste. Body is light and carbonation rich, but never offensive – very smooth! Quite refreshing.

O: A nice Saison that would have been even better with a little less bitter hops.

 667 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into tulip 30/7/12

A hazy golden orange with a massive three finger head after a gentle pour,great retention and some spider web lacing on the way down

S loads of noble hops with a tropical twist earthy spice, some faint pear and hay, smells very strong and inviting

T a little toned down compared to the smell but still very nice, a little white pepper and even more earthy notes with some yeast

M a little foamy and airy, just need a few swirls, nice long aftertaste and a little grit left behind

O a nice hoppy brew with a nice yeast profile and nice earthy tones, went down pretty easily and I could drink another big bottle no problem

I'd drink this one again for sure, great smell and tastes solid something I could drink under a hot sun without walking sideways

 797 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

33cl brown bottle purchased from Cave à Bulles in Paris.

Pours a bright, slightly hazed golden colour with a bit of orange in its depths. Head forms a solid fine film that leaves great, intricate lace. Body is quite fine but light, and holds powdery carbonation. Looks good.

Nose is dirty, earthy and vegetative: exactly the sort of robust characters you get from slamming a beer with stacks of European hops, and I love it. Freshly snapped celery, wet soil, mushroom mold, with a lilting fragrance from the yeast that makes it a bit sweeter and fruitier. Great stuff.

Taste starts out very clean, but the hop characters here almost come out harsh. Strong tobacco ash bitterness on the mid-palate along with vegetative or bitter herbal notes. Luckily, these clear up towards the back with a fragrant buoyant yeast tone to provide and end to the ash character. The bitterness continues, but it's fortunately very clean by the end, leaving a lingering resinous character that builds up the more you drink.

Feel is light and very clean. It makes it very, very easy to drink.

Don't think I'm slamming the characters on the palate: this is just the sort of bitterness I'm not used to, but it most certainly has its merits, and it's certainly the type of thing I think I could grow to love. Right now, an overhopping with these earthier hops seems like an acquired taste that I don't have, but give me a few more of this beer and I'll probably be extolling its virtues until the end of time.

 1,491 characters

Photo of BAsbill
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of samEBC
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of jrenihan
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale amber with a large lasting head.
Nose shows spicy noble hops, faint vegetable notes, sweet light malt and spicy Belgian phenols.
Similar flavours , quite hoppy with more spicy and grassy notes alongside light grainy malt.
Good high carbonation works well.

 266 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled and possibly bottle conditioned
Pours an amber golden hued body with decent enough thick white head
Aroma of lemon barley water
Tart citrus wheat inessential
Good saison

 179 characters

Photo of Mattias
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of tom10101
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Kmat10
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of kwjd
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of KeyWestGator
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of safaricook
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of rarbring
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hazy pale orange brew, a high white head that settles slowly and leaves good lacing. Good curtains.

The smell is sweet and malty, porridge with brown sugar, but also hoppy grass aromas. Some spices, clove, cardamom.

The taste is less sweet, some upfront brown sugar, then bitter oranges and clove, grape-fruit peel.

Medium low carbonation, slightly sticky, a medium body, a coarse dry finish.

A heavy sweet aroma that is not noticed in the beer which is lighter and drier than expected.

 492 characters

Photo of BenBreeg
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of thierrynantes
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Le Souffleur de Bières, and tasted in 2012.

Appearance : hazy yellow color, with nice foamy head.
Smell : hoppy and grain aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : malty flavors, with dry hoppy finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the Belgian style Saison.

 281 characters

Photo of brandon911
4/5  rDev +5.5%

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Etoile Du Nord from Brasserie Thiriez
3.79 out of 5 based on 57 ratings.
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