Piste Noire Biere Ambree, What Is It Like?

Piste Noire Biere Ambree, which I think translates as Black Piste Amber Beer. It comes from the Brasserie Des Cimes, a brewery located in Savoie in the Auvergne Rhone Alps region of Southeastern France. So there will be a ski slope or two. But what is this amber beer like?

Piste Noire Biere Ambree then is a decent beer, but way too sweet. It pours a deep amber colour with a generous off white head. On the nose it hits with a malty caramel with a sort of powdery aroma too. The taste is a strong toffee malt with a dark berry fruit and a honey sweetness that is very strong. It is sweet and sticky with no bitterness to balance it.

A little bit too sweet for me, but I am sure it has its fans.

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Piste Noire Biere Ambree Review

This beer is courtesy of my good friends Suzie and Tec who recently went to the Rugby world cup in France. This is the beer they brought back for me, so thank you guys.

I like an amber beer, so have been looking forward to cracking this French beauty open. It stands in a tall thin 330ml brown bottle with a ski scene set against the French alps. All the writing on the back is of course in French, so not sure what that says.

It pours a deep amber brown with a generous two finger off white head. This fades quickly to a thin cover, while the tiniest of bubbles rise up the centre of the beer.

The nose hits straight of with a generous aroma of malt caramel. A powdery sherbet like smell sits over a slight dankness. Then there is a honey like sweetness that sets off alarm bells for me.

In for a taste and straight out the gate is that caramel malt with the feel of sweet toffee. A dark beery fruitiness comes through that feels a little heavy and over ripe.

Then there is that honey sweetness that gives it a mouthfeel of sweet and sticky, almost like a syrup. There is no real bitterness to relieve you of all the sweetness.

What Does Piste Noire Biere Ambree Score?

For me it is too sweet with no hop bitterness to balance it. Sorry Suzie and Tec, I really wanted to like this beer, but it feels honey sweet and just a little sickly. If I’m honest, I struggled to finish it, which has never happened with beer before.

At 5.9% ABV it is not a session beer, but I am not sure you would want more than one anyway.

It gets a pretty low rate my beer score of 2.9 out of 5.0 from me.

M’Lady likes it a little more than I do, Lou says “A strong caramel flavoured beer, sweet tasting with a hint of blackberry.” Lou scores it a little higher at 3.4 out of 5.0.

Brasserie Des Cimes

Brasserie Des Cimes A French Brewery

Brasserie Des Cimes, which I think translates to ‘Brewery Of The Peaks’ started life in 1998. It produces a range of Craft beers right in the heart of the French Alpes.

It is hard to find much out about the brewery, however there is a connection to the Routin Group who are French master syrup makers. However they sold the brewery some years ago with Targa Capital involved somehow.

Like I said they make a range of craft beers, which seven of them have won medals this year. Including Piste Noire which grabbed a Silver medal at the World Beer Awards.

So it can’t be a bad beer then, maybe I just got a dodgy bottle.

Brasserie Des Cimes Beers

What else has this brewery got to offer, well it seems like a good few award winning beers. I know my experience with the Piste Noire has not been a positive one, but like I said maybe I just had a bad bottle.

There are a few of the beers in their range that sound great. Here are a few that I would like to try out, hopefully my experience with these ones will be more positive.

L’Abominable Biere Brune

L’Abominable is a brown beer, a Belgian style strong dark beer. Unfiltered and slightly spicy it has notes of roasted cereal. On the finish it has a delicate bitterness, why be delicate, gives us full on bitterness.

It weighs in at a strong 6.0% ABV, so not one for a session. I just hope this one is not as sweet as the Piste Noire.

Yeti Biere Blonde Forte

Yeti is a strong blonde beer described as robust and surprising. I hope the surprise is a good blast of bitterness.

It kicks with spicy and floral notes that give plenty of malts and hops in the flavour. Sounds okay, but treat it with respect as in weighs in at a hefty 8.0% ABV.

Nothing wrong with a strong blonde beer, but 8.0% Vol is up there, so go easy.

Aiguille Blanche

Aiguille Blanche is a white biere that is brewed with coriander and curaçao which is interesting. So expect spice notes and maybe a subtle bitter orange flavour over a malt base.

This beer is unfiltered and comes in at a more sensible straight 5.0% ABV, which means it is just on the fence of session.

I like a white beer, so will look out for this one.

Final Thoughts

Brasserie Des Cimes also produce an Imperial Stout as well a Rye IPA and an American IPA too. I would like to try them too.

The Piste Noire to me had a homey sweetness, and I don’t like honey in beer. There is no mention of honey in the ingredients, so I am not sure where it comes from.

Having said that, the brewery was connected to a Syrup maker, is there something in that maybe?

I might just be putting two and two together and coming up with five.

Anyway, my Piste Noire experience was not the best. If you have tried this beer, or any of the Brasserie Des Cimes beer, then do share your thoughts below. Let me know how you got on with it.

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