The Brew Site

French Beer Week: Les Sans Culottes

Brasserie La Choulette’s Les Sans Culottes (or more properly named Bière des Sans Culottes) may well be the iconic beer of France: a golden Bière de Garde that checks in at 7% alcohol by volume, served up in a 750ml champagne-style bottle, corked and caged, with a label (on the export version) depicting iconic, classical artwork of the French Revolution.

(Artwork that in 2000 Missouri found offensive and suspended the marketing/distribution of the beer in the state. Because the woman waving the flag and defending the barricades is bare breasted—nevermind that the painting is a classic of French Romanticism and has been featured on school textbooks and even money.)

It also helps that Les Sans Culottes wins awards and was mentioned often by the late Michael Jackson. It’s a good beer—indeed, it’s that good a beer. And it’s available on Liquid Solutions so you can try it, too.

Appearance: Cloudy golden orange with a big fluffy white head and great lacing.

Smell: Sweet and farmhousey; fruit with a touch of sour, spicy characters like orange peel, maybe some anise, some coriander, cardamom? Some vegetal aromas with a musty impression, though mild.

Taste: Nice and tasty—beets and a hint of white pepper, crisp pilsner-y malts. The “beet” character is prominent in the sweetness (candi sugar) and there’s an earthy character kind of like mushroom… quite good actually. Light but hearty with nice golden Belgian characteristics; mild but flavorful. Touch of alcohol as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium with a lively, colorful presence on the tongue; nice spicy-earthy aftertaste lingers.

Overall: As good a Bière de Garde as I’ve had—exemplar of the style.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of A-. On RateBeer, it scores 3.44 out of 5 and is in their 83rd percentile.