gavin (7) - san francisco, California, USA - DEC 1, 2005 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
this beer is great. crisp and complex.
availability seems to be near nil.
i’m told the brewers all are terminally ill or something and have a hard time keeping up production as of 12/05.
TAR (2627) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - APR 16, 2002
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Huge head that sticks and stays until the last swallow. Aroma hints at toasted malt, caramel, honey, peanuts, fruit, and a very subtle hint of hops. Flavors remind me grape jam, chewy malts (like a quality Scottish ale), which showcase their complexities as well as any beer I have tried, bread, and English hops. The mouthfeel is what will separate this from anything that dares to compete; which is creamy, very chewy, and round. Tries to finish dry; so balanced, as hops and malt try like heck to outshine one another. I could go through a case of this in a week. It would pair mighty fine with many foods as well. Scored this in Chicago and only bought one. I highly recommend going to all the trouble it may take to find this delectable treat. It’s gotta be the best Biere de Garde on Earth. Tantalizing!
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - AUG 1, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: OCT 22, 2005 Beautiful!Thick glowing amber liquid with off white lasting head.It clings to the glass in a ring all the way to the end.Aroma was extremely chewy caramel,earthy,hearty and short lived spicy/sour hop aromas. Huge clean malt flavors are the showcase here.The hops are barely noticable in finish and eventually just faded away.Replaced with a sweet,winey,alcohol finish.First of it’s kind for me.Excellent!!Thanks for sharing,Kev!
Rastacouere (6174) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 31, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 1, 2012 Great orange-amber body. Eternally lasting 1-inch foam. Very deep aroma although never aggressive. Makes you feels like you’re the one who is lucky to study it and not the subject that is lucky to be studied. You are lucky to smell this and must offer proper efforts to grasp that terrific rusty character that is hard to pinpoint, but offers such a subtle earthiness to compensate those wet hay flavours and mild hops that seems to have a german origin as unlikely as it is (styrians?). Rather complex when you dig it with the perfect level of sweetness. Palate is a killer, just the right yeast character, perfectly peaking through the copious rustic flavours (basement, hay, wet cask wood, must etc.) Very dry finish, malty. Delicious, one that has you sucking your tongue afterwards. Highly drinkable, splendid spongy texture, foamy, hiding its high carbonation through an unreal quaffability… I must concur with the general opinion that this thrones the bière de garde style…Big props to JPDipso!
I confess I find it a little sweeter than before and slightly less deep in yeastiness. A top BdG, but more of a 4.2-4.3 than a 4.5.
I changed my mind again. The last two bottled I drank hit the spot flawlessly. Perfect earthy, deep yeast character pairing extremely well with the sweetish, full bready, gently toasty malts. Adorable and unique balance yet one that varies from bottle to bottle, but always remaining good, a bit like De Dolle or Fantôme in its best years. Rather phenolic/spicy for the genre and this adds another layer of complexity. Very drinkable with its 7% ABV remaining not felt at all. Really, that’s pretty much perfect in its style.
tiggmtl (4544) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 1, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Sharp, citrusy, earthy, lightly fruity yet spicy aroma balances carefully between sweets, fruits and spices. A different nuance is revealed with each inhalation. Beautiful deep copper coloured body with lots of visible tiny bubbles and strong tan head that lasts throughout and sticks to the glass. Earthy caramel with dark fruit tones and hints of apples blend nicely with the spicy notes and the perfect balancing bitterness toward the finish. Beautiful soft palate with gentle bubbles and medium-light body is a celebration on the tongue. Bottle enjoyed with MartinT, muzzlehatch and Rastacouere.
cvillebeer (134) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - MAY 9, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
I have been looking forward to this one- biere de garde is not a style that I am very familiar with, although is broadly similar to Ommegang’s Hennepin with which I am very familiar. This pours a frothy amber that produces the paerfect head that lasts and lasts, forming that little mountain of foam in the middle of the glass looking just like whipped egg whites. The aroma is rich with malt, fruit and subtle hops. The moutfeel is very smooth and the flavor balanced with slightly sweet malt flavors melding with fruity yeast esters and a balanced finish, neither too dry nor too sweet.
beerbuzzmontreal (3487) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 19, 2005
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle at The Moan and Dove. Hazy golden color with yeast in suspension, thin white head. Amazing aroma of spices, yeast, fruits and barnyard. Amazing flavor of fruits (apples), yeast, barnyard and spices. The body is light to medium with a dry mouthfeel and lively carbonation. Excellent, mind-blowing beer, it’s insanely well-balanced and complex, every elements fit and stick together as a team.
muzzlehatch (4420) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - DEC 6, 2002
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bright reddish/copper hue, big foamy head with moderately fast dissipation and good lacing. Nose malty, caramelly, some cherry notes (flander red ale reminder), maybe just a hint of alcohol and ammonia. Very strong and distinctive. Flavor is wonderful, with vanilla cream at the very beginning, farmy lambic-type hints creeping in, huge malt, and an extraordinary smoothness just barely pierced by hints of alcohol and spices like cloves and coriander. Buttery finish. Absolutely wonderful, with one of the creamiest most quaffable textures I’ve ever experienced. Wish I had more than the one bottle.
DrGonzo (625) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - APR 18, 2004
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Seriously folks, buy this beer, drink it, and love it. Wow. Fiery amber color, huge white head that hung around for the entire glass. Strong aroma, hops, wine, barnyard funk, fruits and honey. Palate is incredible, the carbonation is soothing. The fullness of its body tops all other bieres de garde, and dominates any wine I've ever had (not that we should be comparing here). I can't even describe the complexity of the malts in this, just beautiful, rich and almost creamy, dough and bread; somewhat dry finish. C'est fantastique! Bottle found at Julio's Liquors in Westboro (go there).
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAY 29, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Clear amber with a big rocky light tan head. Very nice malt slightly sour citrus musty aroma. Toasted toffee, bitter cocoa are followed by musty sour malt, yum-yum! Beautiful body, medium dry finish. This is a really nice beer, my expectations were very high and this beer exceeded them.