3 Monts Flanders Golden Ale - Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
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Ratings: 404 | Reviews: 267 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +26.9%
750mL corked light brown bottle which makes the beer look browner than it really is. Best before 22.12.07, presumably brewed on that date in '04. My first biere de garde, to my memory.
Appearance: Surprisingly pale - I didn't realise it would be such a nice pilsenery pale gold colour. Looks good in a Tripel Karmeliet glass, the closest one I could get to the modern 3 Monts glass shown on the website. Lots of effervescence - medium to small bubbles, with incredibly fine ones forming from the scoring on the bottom of the glass. Interesting to see the two sizes at the same time. Good head retention, lots of creamy lacing. I was going to give it 4.5 but I decided its appearance is remarkable among beers of its kind. The best thing of all is that could almost be a cheap lager but holds so many mystical secrets within, not least its 8.5%abv.
Smell: Lots of components to it, but hard to separate them into their individual smells. I'm finding it hard to distinguish the scent of my beer from the brie and wholemeal crispbread I'm eating with it (the crispbread is very bran-like and adds to the rustic appeal of the brew). Rather grassy, pilsener-like hops are the first to be identified. A very light malt smell is pleasing, because it almost smells like the light beer/low alcohol beer unfermented malt smell, only without the nastiness - that unfermented malt smell has a nice sweetness to it, but also a harsh astringency which makes it undrinkable. This has that sweetness, a kind of innocence, even though the beer is strong. The brewer has cleverly designed the wort so that it contains a high concentration of those chemicals which give light beer a modicum of charm, and yet also has lots of fermentable sugars. Smell is overall pleasant, organic-smelling (free from adjuncts, obviously), but hard to distinguish.
Taste: Very pleasing. It's been a long time since a beer like this has got me this excited. Makes me want to go out and party - perhaps that's the alcohol creeping up on me. Flavours: aforementioned toasted malt, bitter yet fascinating hops, sweetness but sourness at the same time, alcohol numbing the taste buds. There is something that makes me think this beer is almost a dud, like a cheap lager - maybe that's the way it looks and its ease of drinking. But it's incredible. I'm giving this beer a good review so far, but that's probably because it's really what I felt like, and it exceeded my expectations. I don't know if this beer is my friend or my enemy. If I didn't love it, I'd hate it, but that doesn't go for everyone.
Drinkability: If only I could have another one.
Complaints: The lip of the bottle drips while pouring it. Otherwise, this beer is difficult to fault.
07-24-2005 09:25:53 | More by Weizenmensch
4.83/5 rDev +22.6%
Package: 750ml (1 pint, 9.4 oz) stapled & corked, heavy brown bottle. No date or ABV information. Labels differentiate this from the Grand Réserve by a gold band in place of black and by labelling this Flanders Golden Ale. Back labels are beige and black respectively. The regularback label emphasizes this as a fine companion to cheeses, charcuterie, and grilled meats (which applies to the GR as well); and includes an admonition to serve cool but not chilled. Cork stamped, 11/11. This particular bottle was bought about 18 months ago and properly cellared.
Presentation: tulip glass at ~50º. The heavy staple is easily removed with the blade of a waiters corkscrew (or a screwdriver), but the small edge of cork above the bottles mouth makes using a corkscrew (or pliers) recommended.
Appearance: Unlike the Grand Réserve, this is not labelled sur lie, but they definitely coat the bottom of the bottle. Opens with the same vigor and gunsmoke; pouring a similar if slightly paler cloudy yellow. Generates the same tight, dry head with substantial, sticky lacing.
Smell: Similarly complex if a touch heavier on the malty and floral elements and a bit less on the dry, biscuity aromas.
Taste: This starts sweeter than the Grand Réserve, with a slightly less hoppy note and a fuller, fruitier body. However, these are all fairly subtle differences and vary slightly bottle to bottle. Overall, this is probably a bit less structured than the Grand Réserve
Mouthfeel: The alcohol warmth is a bit deeper here (although I believe the Grand Réserve is slightly higher in ABV), enhanced by the extra honeyed sweetness that also lends this a greater sensation of viscosity. Displays the same superb carbonation.
Drinkability: Again, super-drinkable. Its only a matter of taste and mood that might differentiate one over the other.
Backwash: Stands along with the Grand Réserve as one of the finest beers available. I dont care if one calls it a pale ale, Belgian strong ale, or Bière de Garde (my personal choice); this is one of the finest bibulatory experiences you can find. The extra dryness and structure of the Grand Réserve makes it a better match overall for food, but this is perhaps better for rich hors doeuvres like the cheese, charcuterie, and grilled meats suggested by the label.
06-22-2004 19:41:05 | More by Dantes
4.8/5 rDev +21.8%
Amazing looking beer. Pours golden with the carbonation continuing up the glass into a beautiful 1 inch high fluffy head that sits like crystal atop the glass.
Fresh grass, beautiful lemon citrus from the hops. Touch of alcohol comes through in the back of the aroma.
Lot's of spice with an earthy quality. Grassy taste with some cloves and cinammon. The back of the palate is quite bready with the yeast qualities.
Moderate body, with lively active carbonation, which tingles down your throat with each mouthful. It is so incredibly refreshing on a hot day, and is easy to drink. I could get through a couple of bottles of this with ease.
12-26-2007 13:29:46 | More by Lukie
4.75/5 rDev +20.6%
I have found a new favorite Biere de Garde, for sure!
Appearance: yellow with a white head. When I say yellow, I mean Miller-Lite-yellow. Mountain Dew yellow. Chamomile beer, really.
Aroma: Grass, hay, yeast (Flemish yeast! ahhhh), hops. Wonderful without overpowering
Taste: Spring water, clover, hay, candi sugar-sweetness, pears, boxwoods. Delectably intoxicating to the tastebuds.
Palate: Spritzy with a sour finish, leaving you craving for more.
Overall: A truly excellent craft farmhouse ale. I've about decided to stop trying American craft "Farmhouse ales" because they simply can't compete with the real thing (exception: Hennepin and anything out of Quebec). This would be amazing with French cooking -- rabbit, quail, coq au vin, anything you'd serve with Champagne. I can't wait to buy a case and stick it in my cellar!
06-02-2008 02:12:31 | More by drperm
4.75/5 rDev +20.6%
Pale, clear gold. Substantial, fluffy white head. Sweet nose of oak vanillin, tangerine peels and clay. There is a fragrant, soft, green quality to the aromatics as well. Think of chewy, spring apple-tree buds. A deep, resonant palate of sweet earthiness introduces tightly stitched layers of fresh sheep's milk butter, lemon peel, liquified granitic minerals, hay and down comforters. Supple and powerful with a sunny, approachable demeanor. Sweet alcohol drives this.
10-14-2002 13:09:08 | More by putnam
4.72/5 rDev +19.8%
Gold with swimming particles capped by a puffy and clinging white froth.
Plenty of funk on the nose. Farmy and dry, with notes of sourdough, alluminum, pastures, lemon peel and black pepper.
Taste is intricate and ever-changing. Initially (and cold) it begins cracker-dry with an assertive herbal hop lean and plenty of biting yeasty spice. Unfolds further as it warms, Cameos from white grapes, black liquorice, vanilla, lime, cherry skins, and pears. It retains its peppery dry yeast component, bringing with it traces of horses and fallow fields. Fruitier still as it approaches room temperature. More honey with a white rum alcohol sensation.
It maintains a delicate balance between creamy and spritzy. Gloriously gulpable, but show some control and savor this one.
08-27-2003 15:37:04 | More by cokes
4.68/5 rDev +18.8%
Ok, nobody can tell me that the french can't make beer. It takes a lot of trouble opening it. Corked with a swing top bar. I couldn't figure it out, cut myself trying. The beer was worth it. The most gorgeous thing I've ever seen. Perfectly clear golden color with a large pillowy white head that would last forever, as if I would wait that long. A little spiciness with some vanilla. Very clean tasting. Very light in body. Worthy of being one of the worlds top beers.
11-19-2003 22:57:53 | More by dmarch
4.65/5 rDev +18%
One of, if not the strangest corking methods that I have ever seen. Brown 750ml bottle with a cork 3/4 inserted, then strap a strip of metal over the top.
Pours out a beautiful golden yellow with a small head. Tons of streams of bubbles work their way up. Smell is big and yeasty with hints of malt and nuts. Some chalky lemon as well.
Taste is very lively in the mouth. Taste starts out mild and well balanced then sort of explodes. Lemon cake and yeast are there. As well as some honey and wax. The ending is all grass and metallic hoppy notes. Ending goes at least 15 - 20 seconds. Very complex overall and one that I am impressed with. So light on it's feet but packed with tons of flavors.
I realize this beer has been around for some time but I am more and more impressed with French beers lately. A true pleasure and well priced at $7.
03-21-2008 00:46:06 | More by CharlesRiver
4.63/5 rDev +17.5%
Had at Chambar in Vancouver.
Pours golden, clear, with small bubbles rising. Large white head.
Aroma of hay, farm, honey, peach and slightly peppery.
Taste is clean, crisp, refreshing. Peach with some light hops. Yummy.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and cleansing.
Overall, very drinkable. Delicious. Highly recommend this one. Goes nicely with food.
04-12-2010 03:45:32 | More by atigerlife
4.6/5 rDev +16.8%
Intense fresh fruit and clean hop in the nose. Pale champagne look with lots of bubbles and a white head. The white head sheen is lasting as is the persistant lace guest that follows as you drink. This is a rich crafted, high octane golden ale. The ABV is apparent in the original taste but is mellowed by a complex fruity (peach) and spicy (phenolic-clove) backbone. The brew improves and softens as it warms. Do not drink it cold! The finish has slight hints of bannana. Complex, bold, smooth and fruity. It is something to savor.
08-29-2002 12:22:00 | More by frank4sail
4.6/5 rDev +16.8%
Brown 750 ml bottle, corked with that wire thingy. No dates.
Pale straw gold. Bright. Intense lines of thin carbonation. A gentle pour produces a rocky white head of epic proportions. Head holds reasonalby well & leaves some patchy lace.
Hints of anise & musty earth. Hints of herbaly hops in the nose as well.
Somewhat sweet up front. Biscuit & baking bread. Some more anise & some sublte fruity notes. Herbal hops bring it home with a flinty dry finish. Medium body, fine carbonation. Sublime.
09-24-2005 04:02:31 | More by xgrigorix
4.6/5 rDev +16.8%
Pours a brilliant and bright gold with a two finger cap of fluffy white foam that resembles snow covered hills as it slides slowly to a paper thin covering. The nose is slightly sweet and grainy with floral grassy notes,like I just opened the window on a early spring morning,wow this is nice. I must admit that I was a little apprehensive when I purchased this,because my last experience with a Flanders Red was not so enjoyable. I will never let my naivety rule my beer purchasing again,I made a wise decision picking up the 3 Monts! I will try a Flanders Red again,but for now I think Biere de Garde is the top dogg. Upfront it's a bit spicy and complex with light fruits(pear and white grape) and graininess that is earthy and seemingly aged to perfection. Subtle alcohol warms the belly and drys the pallet. The carbonation is something I have never experienced,it's very soothing and soft,a nice contrast to the peppery flavors that bite the tongue. This is one classy azz beer,I feel like I'm drinking something fit for a King.
10-28-2008 04:57:33 | More by orangemoustache
3 Monts Flanders Golden Ale from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
88 out of 100 based on 404 ratings.