977: Le Merle

Name: Le Merle
Brewery: North Coast Brewing
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Fort Bragg, California
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 7.9%
First Brewed: 2007

Tasting Notes
Complex aroma of citrus, pineapple, and a touch of gumdrop (allspice) spiciness on the nose. Full bodied and a very creamy on the palate, but with a bright tanginess that livens it up, it is all balanced by a soft bitterness. Long, spicy-fruity finish.

Ricky’s Thoughts
How cool… to have a beer named after you. Of course, only if the beer is good. But this beer promises to have some hints of fruit in there. Fruits and spice that is.

The first thing I notice is how big the bottle is. I like it that some of these beers have big bottles. A big bottle, since we are splitting the beers amongst us, provides a full pint a piece. That’s more beer to enjoy, and more time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

This beer looks like a wheat in the glass… perhaps a thicker, more robust Blue Moon. But smells nothing like a Blue Moon. It has a spicy nose, but a certain sweetness that is some of those fruit notes I keep reading about. The head is quite frothy too, which is unusual for lighter beers. (Yes, I did a proper pour.)

At first you are hit with some subtle carnation, but then you are just covered with utter sweetness. The beer explodes on the back of the palate and settles into a smooth, sweet aftertaste that quickly turns almost warm… those spices that I could smell a few minutes ago. The aftertaste lasts for a LONG time too. It just sits there, making you want to enjoy that rather than another drink. A big bottle could last someone a long time if planned accordingly.

The beer has a pretty high ABV too, nearly reaching 8%. So taking your time with a big bottle might be your best bet. The beer is good… not great, but very good. However I fear a beer like this won’t be very memorable. Taste is too complex to really explain, and since it’s such a new brew not sure I would even remember what it’s called unless staring at the bottle.

Bottoms up people!

Rating: 3/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
One reason we picked this beer today was because we are both craving beer… the diet we’re on has us mostly limited to one bottle (usually the bottle for this blog) a day.  We end up splitting the beer, so we each only get half.  Which means, if it’s a small bottle, we don’t get much.  And this was the largest bottle we had, so we each got a full pint.  Yay!

The beer poured out with a very full, foamy head.  It looks kind of like Blue Moon, and it smells very citrusy as well.  It’s a thick, golden color.  The smell is that of a faint citrus smell.  Let’s see what it tastes like.  I’m almost not ready to take a drink yet.  It’s been sitting for a couple minutes, and most of the head is still there, so it’s still foamy.

Wow, this beer has a VERY powerful citrusy taste!  It tastes a LOT like lemon.  I’m not sure I’ve had a beer much like this before.  The closest thing I can compare it to is a wheat, but it’s not really a wheat at all.  A wheat might only have a very slight citrusy taste, but this one packs a punch.  It’s like the lemonade of beers.  It’s good, but very different.  I’d say this would make a great beer for the summertime.  I could definitely see myself sipping this outside on a hot day.  I’d buy it again for sure.

Rating: 3/5

976 bottles of beer on the wall…

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