Review of North Coast Le Merle

26 Aug

What’s up everyone?  It’s time for another craft beer review and I want to thank you for checking in.  Today, I’m going to be trying the Le Merle from the North Coast Brewing Company located in Fort Bragg, California.

It’s been quite a while since I last had a brew from North Coast, so I’m kind of looking forward to it.

Let’s check out the website,, and see what it has to say about this beer, shall we?

Le Merle is a rustic ale, pale in color, inspired by the rich brewing traditions of the Flanders region. Abundant hops and a Belgian yeast strain contribute exotic aromas of tropical fruit.

For all she has contributed since the brewery’s founding, North Coast Brewing is pleased to honor our Merle, Brewmaster Mark Ruedrich’s wife, with Le Merle (the Blackbird), a subtle sophisticated Belgian-style Saison beer.

Ok.  Let’s try it.


This beer came in a 25.4 oz. bottle with an ABV of 7.9%.

It poured a hazy, orangish/yellow color with a white head that was greatly sized.  It was rocky, soapy, soft and fluffy.  The retention time was very nice and the lacing was patchy and cobweb”y”.

The bouquet released some lemon along with tones of wheat, yeast, spicy coriander and a light touch of clove. Some floral and grassy fragrances came through as well while a very light banana smell coalesced with a light funkiness.

More lemon citrus and light banana were found in taste.  A nice bite of pepper too.  The clove seemed a bit muted, yet the yeasty/wheaty components were more than accounted for.  The funkiness was there, but it was somewhat subdued I thought.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Crisp, snappy and mostly dry with a touch of bite.  Even though a bit of warmth was felt from the pepper and the alcohol I also found it to be somewhat refreshing.  The carbonation was rather lively and a decent shot of flavor was left behind after each sip.

No doubt about it.  This was a solid beer.  It had a lot going on in both the aroma and the taste.  Not mention that it was a fairly attractive beer standing in the glass also.  The drinkability was very good and I had no trouble at all in finishing this entire bottle by myself.  It’s listed as a Farmhouse/Saison style, although I found it to be very similar to a Belgian Tripel with the clove and banana aspects.  Either way, if you guys have the opportunity to try the North Coast Le Merle… don’t hesitate.  It’s a good beer that could surly satisfy most craft beer enthusiasts.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.0 out of 5

Grade:  B+

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Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Country: USA, North Coast


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