3 Monts Amber Ale On Lees - Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

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3 Monts Amber Ale On Lees
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BA SCORE
89
very good

146 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 146
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.22%
Wants: 19
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: frank4sail on 08-22-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 146 | Reviews: 76
Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a golden straw color, with 2 inches of creamy head.

S-Amber malts, grassy, earthy hops, sweet citrus, fruity Belgian yeast.

T/M-The mouthfeel is dry and prickly, accentuating the earthy, bitter hop profile. I'm surprised at how aggressively hoppy this beer is. The amber malts provide backbone, but not much flavor. The finish is a melange of slick, fruity yeast and bitter hops.

D-Not bad. Different than I expected. I would drink this again.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."

--Sir Edmund Hillary (the first man to climb Mount Everest)

Sparkling tangerine with lemon yellow edges and an outstanding crown of whipped cream that is somewhere between ivory and sandstone. The foam is melting in gorgeous fashion and is sticky enough to grace the glass with loads of finely stippled lace. Great right out of the gate.

The nose is more amber and earthy than most bieres de garde. My preference is for gold (paler malts) and herbal-spicy, but this one will do just fine. This offering has some major work to do to be as good as the standard 3 Monts. Let's see how it compares.

Grande Reserve Amber Ale Sur Lie is damn good beer, but it isn't quite as delicious as plain ol' 3 Monts. Then again, everyone's palate is different and yours may disagree. Again, it's strictly choice of ingredient related, not quality of brewing related.

In color parlance, the malts definitely taste amber. They also taste slightly toasted nutty. Did Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre really use roasted malt for color? The hops are more hop bitter than hop flavorful, so this must be pretty fresh beer (the bottle was manufactured in '10). This is good stuff, but it doesn't make me want to dance a jig... or whatever they do in the French countryside.

Despite a controlled foam explosion on subsequent pours, and lots of visible bubbles, the mouthfeel is less active than it could be. There is a gentle creaminess, though, and it's all pretty enjoyable in the end.

3 Monts (3 Mountains) Grande Reserve Special Ale is a quality biere de garde that can't hold a candle to its non-Reserve sibling. It's still an easy recommendation for those who have any interest whatsoever in the style. Sante!

Photo of Damian
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a clamped and corked, 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at CT Beverage Mart, New Britain, CT
Served in a tulip

The beer poured a crystal clear amber color with a frothy, two-finger, bright white head which slowly faded to a thin film. Spotty drops of lacing trickled down the sides of the glass.

The aroma was amazingly smooth and fragrant. Malty rich and rather spicy with a pungent yeasty quality. Caramel notes were apparent. There was an intriguing fruity and flowery component to the nose that can be found in some of the better abbey ales. Estery. Crisp and fresh.

Rich, caramel malts came through strong in the flavor profile. Smooth, spicy and nutty. Somewhat woody. A touch steely. Fruity. Notes of apples and pears were noticeable. The finish was crisp, dry and refreshing with just a touch of bitterness.

The mouthfeel was outstanding. Soft and pillowy. Ultra smooth and frothy with a rich, velvety effervescence.

At 8% ABV, I found this beer to be amazingly drinkable. If there is such a thing as a farmhouse session beer, this would be it.

3 Monts Grande Réserve Spécial Ale defines style and grace in a beer. This simply blew me away. Definitely keep an eye out for this release.

Photo of puboflyons
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 25 fl. oz. bottle with a mark of 11-20. I am not enthralled by the metal ring that holds the cork. I had to pull out a screwdriver to get it off. It was not terribly convenient. However, once I made it through that process I was presented with a beer that poured golden yellow with great clarity, about three inches of frothy head and good carbonation and lacing. The aroma boasts a wheat element and a vague spiciness akin to a Belgian Abbey Ale. The body is creamy and bold. The taste was generally on the mellow side with a bountiful wheatiness, creamy maltiness, and a dry hopped ending. A pretty good beer altogether.

Photo of SFLpunk
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Production code 11-20, whatever that means. 750mL cork and cramped brown glass bottle. Had to use a cork screw...what are these guys thinking with this closure???

Appearance: Crystal clear bright amber gold with thick off-white head that won't quit! Lots of lacing and great retention.

Nose: Some faint roasted malt amidst a lot of pale caramel and some blossom-like floral quality that I presume comes from those Flemish hops?

Palate: Bright and crisp with carbonation and a nice bitterness right off the bat. Caramel, some old leather, lemon pulp, a little earth (soil) and a faint citrus-basket note on the finish. Crisp and clean.

Notes: A delightful Biere de garde! Excellent example of the style - clean, crisp, & refreshing. Flavorful but not cloying. ABV is well hidden.

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear bronze with a huge fluffy, off white head that dissipates slowly leaving nice lacing.

Aromas of apples and pears, white pepper, honey and toffee. Smooth alcohol nose is detected.

Taste of light fruits (apples, pears, white grapes), biscuity malts, honey and sweet toffee. As the beer warmed an apple cider taste started to dominate. Well balanced flavors with slight alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is light, smooth and crisp with lots of tiny bubble carbonation.

Overall a nice subtle beer, no big flavors, no "wow" factor.

Photo of timtim
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i usually revisit this one every fall, but just really had a craving for it, so I opened one up on this hot summer night. Benchmark for what I consider strong biere de guarde. Amber with an off-white head that holds very well and leaves some lace as it goes. nose is malt, lime and honey (to me) followed by spice and grain and sweet grain and spicy grain and must and barn and a hint of rum soaked raisins and of course the sylvestre signature relatively hoppy euro-hoppiness... taste is complex and well balanced and i'm really seeing the similarity to its belgian counterparts. it's almost like a semi-sweet, darker, roastier and spicier saison. medium body with a nice slight pricklyness and dry, warming sensation in the finish. very well done. extra drinkability points for it's food pairing capabilities. great reference point for learning about the style.

Photo of RoyalT
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - This is a deep, rich, mystic orange in color with a massive, tight-bubbled white head that rises to greatness on an easy pour and shows terrific retention. This is a picture to be had for sure.

Smell - The balance of the nose is extraordinary. The horse blanket is of the purest kind and the yeasty sourness is just enough to jazz up the bouquet. The malts are luscious and give a light structure to the beer and lastly there's a nice hop overcast just for balance.

Taste - The flavor is equally balanced. The horse blanket is impeccable. It has just the right balance of must and funk. The light yeasty sourness is just enough to give the flavor a little lively zap. The hops surround the flavor profile perfectly and the light malt base adds the fifth dimension.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied with terrific carbonation and a tingling sensation that is both exciting and entertaining. There's just enough dryness to keep you gulping and the malt adds a wonderful smoothness.

Drinkability - Southampton is the only other brewer I've found that could match up with the quality of this offering and that effort is very non-traditional. The subtlety and balance of this French version makes this a classic. Highly, highly recommended for anyone seeking out the style and especially for a first-timer.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with visible carbonation. Nice foamy & creamy white head has good retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Has a spicy and earthy aroma with some hops, yeast, and I suppose a bit of grasses.

Taste: Initial malty flavor with a bit of sweetness. Slowly gives way to spicy notes from the hops and yeast, finishing with some barnyard funk. Yeast and malt sweetness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very light-bodied and quite smooth. Light carbonation.

Drinkability: Stronger ABV, but not really apparent in the taste. Drinks well.

A mellow and enjoyable beer of this style. Pretty tasty, but not overwhelming. I've got some goat cheese here and will partake of both immediately!

Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a bottle of this at State Line a couple of weeks back. I drank the regular 3 Monts this past week and then this a couple of nights back, and again tonight, for a proper review. Many thanks to joe1510 for putting this on my radar.

Pouring a brilliant copper/amber with exceptional clarity, the first pour is crystal clear. A dense, eggshell-white head is present with exceptional retention and gorgeous lacing. With high carbonation, this looks beautiful.

The nose is wonderful. Light, delicate and spicy, there's a rustic, lightly earthy character to it. Doughy like rising bread. Grassy hops are present with a touch of lemon, mildly wet-twig like. A little honey too.

The palate opens with a moderate hop character, more than I remember the regular 3 Monts having, quite herbal and mildly lemony, a little grassy too. There's a delicate undercurrent of spice through the palate, with a little pepper, along with a light honey, mildly floral, all of which are carried by a delicate bready character. Dry with earthy hops on the finish, this has a lingering light spice character. Light in body with high carbonation, this is quite prickly on the tongue, just a touch more than I'd like. The finish is wonderful, though. This really is a beer that I would love to serve at a meal. Excellent stuff

Photo of metter98
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured deep golden yellow in color with a large white head. There is a light to moderate amount of carbonation and good head retention properties.
S: There is a light aroma of earthy hops, fruits and pale malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, yet is stronger and also has some hints of spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and relatively dry. There is a good amount of carbonation.
D: This beer is very easy to drink as the alcohol is completely masked. It would go well with food because none of the flavors are very dominating.

Photo of Pleepleus
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a tough time opening this bottle with a plastic covered metal staple protecting a deeply embedded cork. Had this one with Hyland and Moxley. Poured into a tulip glass a golden straw color with white bubbly inch of head that reduces to a solid sheen with heavy lacing. Had an orange, grass and spicy nose. Light fruit spice and Belgian yeast flavor, light and dry without a strong alcohol taste considering the 8.5%. Very, very drinkable with a crisp clean dry feel.

Photo of Pahn
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. No bottled on date. Fairly nerve-wracking to open considering the depth of the cork.

Appearance: Careful pour down the side of the glass yields a two inch, pillowy off-white head that dissipates slowly without leaving any lacing. Pours a clear golden amber, with lots of bubbly carbonation rising from the bottom. Spotty lacing.

Smell: From the bottle: White wine and pepper. Then zesty, citrusy witbier. Then prune and plum esters as from a quad. Then skunky macro malt. Then big sugary raisin. This beer is winning points before it even makes it to the glass!

In the glass, i get sugar, apple, and some bready malt. Some odd funky notes pop up now and then, and the aroma gets breadier. Very interesting.

Taste: First sip follows the nose but less complex; sugary with apple notes... tastes like a mild Belgian golden ale with an apple juice-like finish. Some harsh but not unpleasant alcohol cuts through the middle and finish in subsequent sips. There's a faint earthy, banana note.

The taste quickly develops an irritating tartness without much flavor to back it up. There's very little hop flavor, but a decent bite up front. At times tastes like bitter fruit... like learning that you're eating a part of the fruit that you're neither supposed to nor want to. No funk at all. The flavor is confusingly distinct from the aroma, which is a shame. There's a somewhat stale flavor, like a warm American macro.

Deeper into the bottle, both the flavor and aroma kind of settle into a sugary, earthy breadiness. It's not very interesting, but it's an improvement on some of what was going on earlier. This is a confusing beer.

Mouthfeel: Just about medium-bodied. Occasional chalkiness. Usually juicy. Not bad.

Drinkability: I guess I don't understand this beer. It changes quite a bit, but the different notes it's offering are often unpleasant, and (with the exception of some of the aroma) rarely interesting and never anything I haven't gotten before somewhere else (done better). I don't really know why I would buy this again, which is another way of saying that I'm not going to buy this again.

As I said before, this beer is confusing, but for all the wrong reasons. The flavor just doesn't make any sense... it's not like it's exotic, or "challenging". It's not challenging; I've tasted apple juice before. I've had loads of sugary, bready beer before. But the notes that pop up just don't amount to anything even resembling a harmony. The flavor isn't terrible, but as a whole the beer is less than the sum of its parts (and its parts aren't particularly interesting in the first place).

The experience of drinking this beer was: inhale some amazingly diverse and good aromas, get flavor that goes from bland to bad to okay, settle into an unremarkable, somewhat too sugary but decent beer. High to lower, to lower, to blah. Not what I want from a moderately expensive bottle of beer.

Photo of Billolick
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Belgian bomber w/o freshness info. Plastic covering a cork, kept in place by a metal bar, interesting task to get this baby open. Pours clouded light orangy amber, under a lovely, airy, long lasting off white head. Leaves thick blobs of nice looking lace. Nice looking beer. Faint nose, I got just a wee whiff of some musty and some light flowery fruitiness. Delicate Biere de garde, notes of light pepper, honey, leafy hops. Quite drying finish. Love the style. Enjoyed this one, but it seemed a bit on the tame side. I'd prefer more of a flavor punch, maybe I have been drinking too much San Diego style DIPA lately...

Photo of rtepiak
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a copper gold with an off yellow head. a rather assertive carbonation that burns the tongue. i suppose i would recommend a heavy pour. a nice sweet ester honey and belgian sugar cane sweet. fruit, piney cellar crisp, and quite dry on the tongue. mint coriandar, licorice. a nice herbal. nice a cellar temp.

Photo of TylerSC
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first review, so it is apropos that this is the first beer that began to open my mind to craft beers.

This beer is one of the selections at a local indian restaurant (which, incidentally, does not have a liquor license). I remember thinking "wow, this is a $12 beer" (it is only $9 at the store for a 22oz).

I love this beer - it is very drinkable and has a lot of flavor.

Photo of emerge077
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

High maintenance bottle...a staple over the cork that's slightly annoying, then it needed a corkscrew. 12-18 printed on the cork, and "order 3043" lasered on the back label. Who knows how old this is...it's been at my favorite shop for awhile.

Pours with a finger of foam, maintains a thin skim. Retention is pretty good, despite the limpness of the head without lace. Reddish orange with strong carbonation. Looks more like an Oktoberfest than a BdG. Light banana or green pear aroma, it's fairly muted, nothing remotely farmhouse about it really. Strong carb and astringency is the first thing I notice, with nice pear/banana notes and nuttiness at the end. Some dry cider characteristics, without any apple sweetness. Alcohol is too apparent. The more I drink it seems more like a bastard Duvel clone, coupled with the heartiness of a Märzen.

At $10 a bottle, i'd choose Jolly Pumpkin over this every time.

Photo of robbyc1
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fantastic white head, fluffy and unique, clear slight orange look, really nice. Had it in my Duvel glass.

Nose of belgian malt, yeast, and the deep nose of peach and some must, but no horse blanket I expected.

It's taste is more like a Belgain golden ale, except the finish is really nicely dry, very nice. I'm savoring it, great deep taste.

Really nice easy drinker, nice heavy mouthfeel, dryness is great, wow, keep it coming. Just doesn't have a funk, but that's OK, otherwise I'd put a 5 up. Easy drinker by itself, with some lunch food, with cookies, with anything, it's a great treat. Wow.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

It's a 750ML bottle with a gold wrap and cork and single metal bar that holds the cork in. I've never come across this before. Ok, I figured it out. ;^) The cork has a 12-18 on it, what ever that means, and I pulled it out with my fingers without too much trouble.

It pours about a 1" of light golden liquid and the rest is foam. Hehehe...this is going to be an adventure! As the head slowly recedes, I'm seeing a lot of sticky lacing. Good so far. A slow, careful refill reveals more of the appearance characteristics. It's a clear amber gold with lots of tiny bubbles.

The smell is sweetish with strong notes of caramel malt, some earth, and lots of fruity tones. And when I say strong, I should say complex as the overall fragrance is on the mild side. Very good smeller though.

The taste is also sweetish. Some caramel but more of a candy sugar sweetness, and some earthy husky flavour, some graininess, with some nice citric tones that works well to subdue some of the sweetness, not allowing it to get out of hand. And....when I swish the ale in my mouth, I get a touch of pepper and some fruit. Very nice.

The mouthfeel is just a notch below medium and works well with the medium carbonation. The alcohol is not present at all as I get no warming...well..not at first. It does look like it's one of those sneak up on you brews after you're deep in the session but I don't have a problem with that as I'm not going anywhere tonight. Ahhh...so silky smooth and so damn tasty. There's a certain majesty I feel sipping on this Grand Reserve Special Ale. One mighty fine brew.

Thanks again Joe for another real treat!

Photo of sammartin68
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very good beer. This one have a blond color. This is rare for the % in alcohol. The smeel is good, it's like a tropical frout and a touch of acoohol. In mouth that the same. A touch of tropical frouts + caramel and alcohol. A good drinkability. So, this one is a good choise but not the better.

Ps the bottle is very hard to open...

Photo of Sammy
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A real farmhouse. Horseblanket aroma with beige head. Tasty and drinkable biere de garde. Grassy, grainy, sweet start and bitter but balanced finish. Understated carbonation, and grainyness with some creaminess. Not the best but still a good example of the style, and a superior French effort.

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jpm30 for this beer.

A: Dull, antiqued copper with some chill haze to it. Head is powerful and frothy, leaving lots of lacing and sporadic piles of foam after ever sip.

S: Thyme, rose pedals, orange blossom, dark honey with the foundation of the smell being cider.

T: Starts out stark and mineralstic with a shimmer of old yeast. Cardoman, vanilla and perhaps some clove move in and begin to fill the mouth with flavor. Nice beer, very herbal…tastes almost homeopathic. Quality spices flicker at the tip of the tongue, offering only a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander with attractive low level vanilla continuing through the entire beer. Finishes a bit boozy but still attractive.

M: Medium body with a quality viscosity

D: I really liked this beer. Had an ultrafine balance that only comes from superb craftsmanship. You don’t make a beer this delicate on dumb luck. Highly recommended.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 pint, 9.4 oz bottle into a chalice...
Apperance is a blonde, champagne colored bubbly ale with an off-white colored head that is retained well but leaves no lacing. Very appealing to the eyes. The nose is also pleased, as fruity notes prevail (oranges, plums, raisins, peach, and alcohol). Hot damn this thing smells good, very well balanced.

The taste is intricate yet mild, which is not a knock against the beer. Some organic, earthy notes are immediately present, something along the lines of wood or grass. It is balanced by a sweet butterscotchy/vanilla note. The carbonation makes for a light feel on the palate which is a definite aid to the taste. Great drinkability, great beer. Well done France, well done...

Photo of Nesued
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 750ml bottle, corked and clamped. I used a rabbit wine cork-puller to open the bottle.

Appearance - Nice amber/orange color, with a hazy view and a good bit of "wispy sediment". The pour was amazing with the formation of the largest head I've seen in many a pour!! After waiting for at least 10 min, I was at last able to comment on the lace that was left after the dissipation of the head (at least down to one-finger in depth). The carbonation, previously invisible in the bottle, was at last able to be seen. I nice lively amount with an ample supply to the retained head.

Smell - I would describe this as a fruity base of citrus/apple. A nice clean quality with not much beyond the basic esters to draw you into a "guessing game" of what else is there.

Taste - A very understated taste. A warm caramel taste that was even more pronounced when the beer warmed to close to room temp. I cannot for the life of me pin down a broader taste than the caramel, with a hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel - Wow, what a smooth feel. Very silky with the carbonation just adding a slight depth to the feel.

Drinkability - This beer will knock you over if you don't respect it. The 8% ABV will remind you however. This is one smooth brew that is exceedingly well balanced and would have you quickly reaching for another, and another. Well done on this one!!

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2000 – drank in 2004 – The bottle opened with a big swish and poured a light brownish beer with a huge bubbly head with excellent retention. Aroma of alcohol with a mix of spice. Carbonation is perfect with lots of bubbles coming back on top of my glass. Taste is a mix between a strong Belgian ale with a mix of a good well aged port. The alcohol is mostly sensible in the aroma but undetectable form the taste. Overall, this is a beer that aged well and is true to the name “bière de garde”.

3 Monts Amber Ale On Lees from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
89 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.