Saturday, March 24, 2012

St. Amand French Country Ale

St. Amand is a 5.9% ABV Biere de Garde style of beer that is brewed by Brasserie Castelain in Benifontaine, France.  This is a French farmhouse style of ale that roughly translates to "beer for keeping," as these beers were brewed with the intention of storing them for the warmer months of the year when conditions were not as good for brewing.  This is made with malt from Champagne and hops from Alsace.

The beer pours a deep, yet bright, orange-copper in color.  There is a large, thick, creamy, and foamy head that is off-white in color.  The aroma is very malty, malted grain and sweet potatoes.  The taste follows the aroma, adding some caramel sweetness, but immediately and well-balanced by just the right amount of floral and grassy hop bitterness.  The mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, well-carbonated, but also with a creamy element added by the thick head.  As the beer progresses, a woody/earthy note also becomes apparent.  A very malty, but very good, biere de garde.

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