All notes on beers in the style

Bière de Garde

Ommegang
Bigger and Bretter

Old bottle (obviously) Oh how the mighty have fallen. Ommegand in 2022 is a shadow of its former self (another conversation altogether), and this beer takes us back to a different time when the brewery was truly a great force in the USA. Tremendous pop on opening which delays my fears of the beer losing its carbonation after this amount of time which is a great thing, BUT if I am totally honest. even though the pour, head, retention and lace are all excellent, it doesn't drink very highly...

Thiriez EXTRA (dry-hopped French farmhouse ale)

750 mL bottle purchased at Knightly Spirits in Orlando, FL, USA. Capped. This beer was distributed in Atlanta for years and years during the mid 00s, and I am pretty sure that I've had it before, but apparently never took any notes so here we are. This is likely an older bottle, but there is no way to tell. As such I was concerned because this is a low ABV beer as well, so the expectations were low. Opens with an encouraging pop. Good. Pour is dull, light brown/straw/gold, not particularly...

La Dame De Peronne

22 oz bottle from DrDogBeer as part of Secret Santa 2009. Thanks Tom. Pour gives a chestnut brown color with a vivid, lively look. Good clarity and some decent head, lace and retention. The beer looks inviting. This brew is all about a complicated array of malts with some hop presence in the finish. There are a lot of competing sweet malts jostling for attention, and in the end I feel it gets a bit muddled. Too complicated in the malt department. The other dominating feature is the earthy,...

French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde)

Very different look to the bottle than the current picture in the BA db; this is a regular, 22 oz bomber with significantly different label but it is definitely the same beer (BdG etc.). Pour is lively with a decent, well formed head. Body has amid-brown pour with some surprisingly lively carbonation. Nose and tastes reflect a slightly rustic, quite earthy organic note with e earth tones and notes continuing quite strongly through the beer. Plenty of malts without much trace or hint of hop...

Gift Of The Magi

2008 vintage. 750 mL corked & caged. ===DISCLAIMER=== OK, right off the top this *could* be an infected bottle so this review is written in that context. Re-reviews to follow when more data is gathered but for now I want to record my thoughts at this stage. Take it or leave it, but it would be interesting to see if anyone has had a similar experience. === VERY disappointing lack of pop on opening. Clearly there is a carbonation issue here, but as we all know, LA has had its fair share of...

Biere De Garde

750 mL, corked & caged affair. Pop is average and plenty of foam "gushes" in a controlled manner. Not a "gusher" as such but some foam. Poured into the Duvel tulip the pour is not "dark" as such, but is a distinctly, amber orange color with plenty of yeasty, fine sediment. The sediment introduces some cloudiness. Head is plentiful but leaves quickly and does not produce much lace. Sweet alcohol in the nose with some Tripel like Belgian notes. It's not until we get to the taste that things...

Bière De Mars

Obviously a relatively new entrant to the GA market, I picked this up at Tower on Piedmont, Atlanta, GA, USA. $10.99 (I think) for the corked & caged, typical Ommegang presentation. Batch #2, October 2008. Nice, reserved gunsmoke on opening. Poured into the Ommegang chalice, this beer sits in the glass as a clouded, honey orange brew with significant lace and a nice spotty film on the surface of the beer. Nose has a very mild Brett presence and a little English lemonade. A touch shandy-like in...

Avant Garde

Additional Notes  03/10 Thanks go out to Penney for the chance to try this one again. From The Foodery in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Perhaps a little less bock character than I remember but still not especially BdG-like. Still a unique beer and to be honest this seems a LOT different to my earlier experience. Obviously large batch differences at work here with the usual LA quality control issues. Original Review 10/08 750 mL corked & caged affair from a recent trade. Nice pop on opening and a...

Saint Landelin La Divine

$8.95 (I think) from Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. 750 mL, swing top, slender bottle. Striking golden clarity on the pour into the Duvel tulip is accompanied by a large, fluffy head and some serious lace. It looks GREAT, but a little too "clean" for a BdG! It looks a LOT more like a Belgian Pale, or perhaps (because of the amazingly golden color) a Euro Strong Lager. Anyway, it looks GREAT but it also "looks" out of style (if that is possible). It looks almost identical to...

Goudale

Pretty new arrival to GA, distributed by GA Crown I think. $8.69 for the corked and caged 750 mL bottle from Tower on Piedmont. Excited to try this, looks promising. Rustic looking label that brings back memories of my scores of happy summers drinking in Gites in France & Belgium. Best Before 09.28.09 with a batch #? of L11.2.13. French language on the label. Label has 8% on it rather than the 7.2% in the BA db. I wondered about the best glass for this and was debating between the Duvel tulip...

Oro De Calabaza

750 mL bottle from Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. $11.99. Batch 229. I've given JP plenty of grief in the past for putting funk into ALL of their beers when to me it is only appropriate with SOME styles, and NOT appropriate all over the map. I stand by that assertion, and I still get annoyed when we get funk, Brett and acid in beers that shouldn't have them. Having said that, here's a style that ought to lend itself wll to the JP treatment, so I expecting a nice brew. Poured into...

Garde Dog

12oz single from Mac's Midtown, Atlanta, GA, USA. Part of the $7.99 mixed sixer that they peddle. Pour is a simple, dark urine colored body underneath a head that is gone very quickly to reveal virtually no lace. Small bubbles of carbonation do persist, but they do not seem to contribute to the head in any way. Grassy and grainy nose, with a similar taste along with some extra sweetness. Some herbal hop notes, but the whole package is pretty muted. The macro-lager sweetness is a little cloying...

Perdition

Thanks go out to jgaston for the trade. 750 mL, corked & caged affair. Batch 002. Poured into the Duvel tulip. Significantly darker body than I was expecting. Plenty of floaties in the glass too. Nice head, but relatively short lived and not much lace. Some tart funky yeast in the nose, but all fairly muted. Tastes reflect the nose. Yeasty tartness is the overwhelming sensation with a bitter finish. Some unsweetened grapefruit also present in the ending. Not quite as smooth as I was expecting,...

Bière De Mars

750 mL bottle, Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. $7.99. Well, I just don't get it. This is simply another typical JP, over-funked beer. Don't get me wrong, I like funky beers but PLEASE don't label them as something they are clearly NOT. I don't mind style guidelines being stretched either, but making a "Brown Ale" or a "Wit" funked, just doesn't cut it - why not call them ALL American Wild Ales?? Nice head on the pour with a decent brown color. Unfortunately everything is overwhelmed by...

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien

2005 Vintage. ABV is higher than listed on the BA database (at least according to the 750 mL bottle). The Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA. Dave cracked this one as part of an "informal" tasting on a Friday afternoon. Just as well, because at $40 a bottle I wasn't crazy about springing for this! Attractive bottle and packaging. Pour is dark burgandy/browinsh with a lack of clarity, some smallish head and zero lacing. A thin film of spotty lace is left on the surface of the beer. Some large...

Castelain Blond Biere De Garde

Purchased at O'Reilly's, Hilton Head Island, SC, USA. 750 mL bottle corked & caged. Interesting. This drank like a "baby" Saison. Slight earthy farmhouse nose and tastes, but much sweeter with less funk and dry character. The typical robust, rustic notes were toned down to give a definite pineapple sweetness that was quite pronounced. Good yellow color with nice head and lacing and some chill haze. A good "intro to a new style" beer with plenty of crossover potential. Easy to drink, with the...

La Bavaisienne

A collosal (and I mean huge) snowstorm effect on pouring, with what appears NOT to be yeast sediment, rather something that looks like coagulated proteins. Looks DIRE. Perhaps a bad bottle, but difficult to tell. This is certainly an old bottle, but this should age with no problems so perhaps it was not kept well. Anyway, without any date on the bottle I feel justified in reviewing it anyway. Nice head, but the body is disgusting looking. Very mild, English bitter type aromas with a definite...

3 Monts Grande Réserve Spécial Ale

O'Reilly's, Hilton Head Island, SC, USA. Corked and "Clamped" rather than Caged, 750 mL bottle. This is a special beer indeed, that I simply classify as a great, "Light Belgian Pale Ale". By that I mean that if such a thing existed as a "light" Belgian, I beleive that this would be it. HUGE, and I mean HUGE, frothy head, with massive retention and beautiful lacing against the backdrop of a orange/golden body. Nose is honey sweetness that gets more intense as the temperature climbs. Taste...

Jenlain Ambrée

$2.49 Ziggy's, Chattanooga, TN, USA, single 11.2 fl oz bottle. Poured into the Trois Pistoles chalice, we get an amber pour with some soapy like head and very little lacing. Aroma is excellent with a lot of sherry and rum like aromas. This is both a good and a bad thing. It's good because it smells delicious, but bad since it creates a mental picture of the taste that is richer, thicker and more complex than the mouthfeel, and ultimately the taste, delivers. Taste is alcoholic liquor, that...

3 Monts

O'Reilly's, Hilton Head Island, SC, USA. 750 mL bottle. To me this is VERY typically French, and much more of Euro style lager than a Belgian. Label and bottle give a very rustic, farmhouse packaging look. Not sure if this is deliberate or designed (I expect), but it works for me. Very rich, astringent alcohol taste that is so common in French beers. All the way up from Kronenborg 1664 to the craft beers this is a very common and recognizable trait. This is reflected in the aromas too, with a...