Cuvée Alex Le Rouge (Jurassian Imperial Stout) - BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
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Ratings: 184 | Reviews: 105 | Display Reviews Only:
3.35/5 rDev -7.2%
Sampled on 04/23/2009 at The Beer Table (Brooklyn, NYC)
500ml. Swingtop bottle into Tulip glass
This brew pours a 1/2 finger creamy tan head and is midnight black in color as would be expected. The lacing is beautiful, but diminishes quickly. The nose on this one is of vanilla, black pepper, a touch of soy sauce, and a finish of my grandfather's fedora mustiness. Taste is pretty much on par with the smell, but this brew just seems to be lacking something - can't put my finger on exactly what it is. The mouthfeel is too thin for an Imperial Stout and leaves the mouth feeling relatively clean. Brew could be very drinkable due to the alcohol being well masked, but the broad spectum of flavors and that lack of something made it more enjoyable to finish versus ordering another.
Overall, a decent brew, but lacked some character that would have made it a much better interpretation of the style.
04-23-2009 16:28:54 | More by mikeyv35
3.65/5 rDev +1.1%
Pours black with short-lived white head, that disapears into a ring around the side of the glass. Aroma of a bit of bourbon, vanilla, and spices. Taste was to me, more of a sour than a RIS, lemon (again the sourness), bourbon. A below average mouthfeel, not what I would associate with a stout never mind RIS. Sourness did not detract from drinkability, oddly. A bit of smoke and chocolate. Interesting.
04-22-2009 01:32:32 | More by Sammy
3.68/5 rDev +1.9%
330ml swingtop bottle purchased on a recent trip to buffalo. sampled march 28/09.
pours deep brown, almost black yet still not quite opaque. a thin dense tan head forms, quickly dropping to a thick ring around the glass that seems to last forever and leaves lots of spotty lace.
aroma is wild. alcohol. sour lemon. bit of malt vinegar. i can definitely pick out the pepper and tea mentioned on the label. feels like a bit of oolong tea specifically. milk and dark chocolate. coffee. touch of caramel. this is unlike any other imperial stout i've had - except perhaps madrugada obscura from jolly pumpkin.
taste is neat. dark and milk chocolate. cocoa. bit of coffee. lemon and malt vinegar. light alcohol. oolong tea. pepper. touch of caramel. vanilla. woody and earthy. touch of floral character. leather and tobacco
mouthfeel is good. nice big body, but with a fairly dry finish. medium-low carbonation level.
drinkability is pretty good. balanced and interesting. the funky and sour component is something new and lends an interesting character, but i'm not enjoying it as much as the jolly pumpkin madruada obscura. i LOVED the abbaye du saint bon-chien from these guys, but this one isn't wowing me.
03-29-2009 03:41:37 | More by grub
3.15/5 rDev -12.7%
500 ml swingtop bottle, thanks to grub for sharing.
Pours a dark reddish brown, slightly opaque, almost black, thin tan head forms, quickly settles to a medium ring around the glass, some lace spots stick, decent retention, looks alright. Smell is weird, tea, spices, cinnamon, caramel, some light chocolate and roast, red wine, lightly acidic, raisins, licorice, quite sweet, very different. Taste is very weird, spices, some caramel/brown sugar sweetness, vanilla and licorice, raisins, lemony tartness, tea, apricots, molasses/licorice and vanilla in the finish. Mouthfeel is light o medium bodied with medium carbonation, smooth for the ABV. Very strange flavour profile, not sure I like it, but its definitely interesting. Thanks Russ!
03-29-2009 03:28:59 | More by Viggo
3.98/5 rDev +10.2%
Just shy of black and virtually no head. No lacing to speak of.
Aroma was spicy and of black pepper & deep fruits. Dates perhaps.
Flavor was interesting and had the same black Pepper along with licorice & tobacco. Flavor was nice but not quite as deep as I had hoped. Slight vanilla the more I sipped my way through the glass.
Medium bodied and not quite creamy...
Nicely drinkable. Good, but not one I'd chase again..
03-28-2009 20:14:47 | More by Reagan1984
3.55/5 rDev -1.7%
dkachur provided this curious brew... thanks, Dan! Shared along with CrellMoset
A: Deep brown to the point of being black. Head is quite fizzly and recedes quite quickly.
S: The pepper is there straight up, with vanilla following behind. A roasted malt.
T: A big fruit flavour. The pepper is not a strong flavour but comes out on finish. Apple like... Prune? Malt and a sugary touch.
M + D: A mild shimmer of carbonation, but a little pepper bite on the very end. Don't love it, don't hate it. It was quite interesting if nothing else.
03-22-2009 15:59:24 | More by Proteus93
2.6/5 rDev -28%
Very black in the glass and capped with a medium firm khaki colored foam. Keeps a good skim always present and laces out in big spots and globs.
Aroma is mild at best of a slight tangy fig and a bit of pepper and metalic tannins.
Taste is a super quick tang of mostly cherry, with touches of berry, raisin, and fig. Semi soured with cream on the side. Slight metalic notes and pepper are off the back end within its semi warming finish. Hardly anything to it really. Very basic and unimpressionable.
Feel is a quick off tang of soured darkish fruity stuff and sits pretty light in the overall body for what all other Impy/Dbl. stouts are. Where's the creamyness, where's the stoutyness. There's no length other then its quick hit of tang and that is it. Again, quite subpar, seemingly basic, with an offness about it thats hard to place but easy to discern as off and bordeline upsetting to have wasted a clean glass with pouring this stuff into one.
Quite possibly the worst stout I've had and one of the worst beers I've had in a long time. Avoid unless you like wierd sour/off stouts.
03-16-2009 22:29:58 | More by tavernjef
3.85/5 rDev +6.6%
On tap at the Blind Tiger
Pours a dark brown with a creamy brown head, that leaves a small amount of lace. Smells of roasted chocolate at 1st, with vanilla, dried fruit, cherry and some licorice. Taste is of dark chocolate, vanilla, sweet fruit, cocoa, berry. Mouthfeel was porter like at 1st then thickened, started sweet, tart, dry and finished dry and roasted. Overall I still like my Imperial Stouts from the US, but not a bad brew
03-16-2009 15:51:34 | More by bonbini26
3.6/5 rDev -0.3%
03/03/09- Purchased at Holiday Wine Cellars in Escondido, CA.
Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a date strip attached to the flip top. Poured into my Duvel glass.
Appearance- Black in color pour. 1/2 inch quickly receeding head. It does, however, leave a lasting slight rim. Light spots of lacing upon finish of the beer.
Smell- Dark roasted malts, a light sour fruity note as well. Some dusting of chocolate also. Pretty nice.
Taste- Not really into sour stouts. It's not bad though. Has a lot of peppery spice to it. Along with some chocolate malt flavor, mild hops and some sour like fruits...all the flavors combine decently.
Mouthfeel- Mid range carbonation...more sourness in the aftertaste along with some deep malty flavor.
Drinkability- Sour stouts are not my thing, but considering, this one was pretty good. Worth trying if it's your cup of tea.
03-04-2009 15:43:53 | More by GClarkage
4.3/5 rDev +19.1%
11.2 brown glass swing-top without a notch on the label. Grabbed this at Publick House Provisions in Brookline, MA on my trip back from the EBF. Couldn't wait to get home and open it!
Appearance: Pours a fairly dark black (brown hues) with one finger of cream colored head. Leaves a little spotting as it fades.
Nose: Smells like a bourbon barrel aged stout. Vanilla is prime, a little smoke, sweet black molasses, heavily malted cereal grain, and maybe a suggestion of pepper way out.
Palate: Creamy at first, going crisp and medium bodied. The tea creeps in and starts sweeping things on the tongue with a crisp astringency. Flavors of dried vanilla bean, tea with cream, an a whisper of something like lemon zest.
Notes: I wish this beer were cheaper and in a six pack, I'd drink the hell out of it! Worth the money, and I'll probably grab another the next time I see it. My only complaint really is the body is a *little* light. Other than that, perfect!
02-26-2009 01:41:44 | More by SFLpunk
4.13/5 rDev +14.4%
I could not pass up purchasing Cuvée Alex Le Rouge when I saw it for sale at The Foodery. A "jurassian imperial stout brewed with black pepper, vanilla, & tea" was not exactly something you can pass up the opportunity to try!
I poured the 11.2oz bottle into a pint glass (it is a stout, no?) and it had zero head (maybe not a stout?). There was effervescence along the sides of the glass, a lot like a Coca-Cola. The color is also identical to Coca-Cola, and mouthfeel is not too off from Coca-Cola either.
The "10.276% vol" of alcohol is not obvious, but the crazy layers of flavor sure are! It does indeed taste like black pepper and vanilla, although I did not come across any notes of tea as advertised on the bottle. Overall the taste(s) make it absolutely worth trying.
As for drinkability, it takes quite a while to down a glass as the flavors are a little bit (not too much) overpowering.
Buy one. Try it. However, don't buy more then one.
02-15-2009 21:23:58 | More by MarcGetty
2.78/5 rDev -23%
I found this one at Bruisin' Ales in Ashville, NC yesterday. I really need a hand-fill growler, so I figured I'd put this one to the test. Great 11.2 ounce bottle with no freshness date. I had no idea Switzerland brewed a RIS, so here we go!
Pours an attractive clear, dark root beer/mahogany brown. After an agressice pour, I get a ¾ inch creamy dark tan head. Minimal spotty lacing seen up the sides of my over-sized tulip...
Nose is surprisingly limited. Some lightly sweet malts, cherry tartness and grassy hops are all I really get.
Medium bodied and medium to full flavored RIS. Very wet mouthfeel with a sour tang, (versus a bitter and hoppy one). Beyond the wetness (which is big), I get a subtle sour again mixed with sweet malts. I'm disappointed because I am not tasting the vanilla, tea or black pepper like the label suggests. It's frankly a weird beer overall. Glad I only got one. Unique, but not my cup of tea.
02-09-2009 20:16:29 | More by beachbum1975
3.6/5 rDev -0.3%
11.2 oz swing-top bottle.
Pours a dark chocolate brown. Looked a little murky. Creamy, purposeful, glass-crawling, peanut-shell brown head. Nose is an odd mix of tart cherry, chocolate, vanilla beans, bourbon (just a little), and earthy (peppery?) leather.
Starts off with tart cherry, and a bit of wild funk. Hmmm. It's not a puckering sour, but it is definitely tart. Earthy malt flavors mix with a bit of dark chocolate beneath the sourness. Some vanilla and even fruity malt (vaguely sweet) show up near the finish, with a crescendo of pepper. It's an odd mix of flavors, and not very imperial stout-y, but it's actually not that bad. In fact, it's a little refreshing! Mouthfeel is a little thin, however, and this definitely does not feel like 10%. Glad I tried this, but I doubt I will buy it again!
01-22-2009 02:46:48 | More by alexgash
4/5 rDev +10.8%
Poured from a flip-top 11.2oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.
A: Pours a dark cola-brown or black tea brown color that shows a slight lightening at the edges. This is capped by a creamy, khaki-colored, one-finger head that sticks around for quite a while yet doesn't leave much in the way of lace in its' wake.
S: This one features subtle aromas of chocolate, blackened malt, vanilla bean, alcohol, cherry, dark fruit, and (as mentioned in other reviews) a slightly sour lactose aroma.
T: Interesting mix of dark chocolate, black pepper, and cherry. Also along for the ride are vanilla, sweet dark fruit, cocoa, tart berry, lactose, citrus, and alcohol.
M: Started off a little on the porter side of things but thickened considerably as it came up to temp. At the same time sweet, tart, and dry (Perhaps from the tea? Or the alcohol?) Nice dry & roasty astringency. The black pepper does a little dance on the tongue, as well.
D: Overall, I liked this. I felt the alcohol came off as a little hot and boozy, but I liked all the other stuff going on in here enough to help me overlook that. Interesting, to say the least.
12-16-2008 01:48:02 | More by GbVDave
4.1/5 rDev +13.6%
A- Pours the darkest possible black, with a one finger creamy head. I held a flashlight up to the glass, and it didn't let any light though... even around the edges. Even after 10 minutes, a thick cap of foam covers the top of the glass, and leaves a good amount of lace behind.
S- A little ho-hum here. Slightly vinous and lactic, with a touch of astringency. Interesting, but not overly complex.
T- Here is where it picks up. There is a lot going on in here, but all of it buried under a gentle sourness. The pepper is immediately apparent on the back of the throat, with some warming vanilla following in the finish. Astringency, whether from the roasted malt or the tea, is present from front to back, and marries well with the pepper notes. Again, a slight sourness is present, becoming a bit more lactic as the beer warms. Three very distinct and conflicting flavors that were played to play nicely. You've got to dig to find them, but very interesting.
M- A bit on the thin side, especially for the style.
D- Even with the high alcohol, it is VERY well hidden. It would be easy to gulp this if it weren't for the delicate complexities that you wouldn't want to miss.
Overall, another winner from BFM. This definitely isn't your typical imperial stout, but is a very interesting take. Once again BFM manages to pack incredible complexity into an otherwise ordinary style. The more I have from BFM, the more I love them. This is on the expensive side, but I'm glad that I picked it up.
12-08-2008 00:00:49 | More by phisig137
3.5/5 rDev -3%
Plenty of carbonation as it completely blew out the flip-top when I raised the lever. Poured to a deep dark black brown color with a nose of chocolate and coffee with a hint of licorice. Dark tan head lingered awhile and left okay lacing, but the taste was a nice follow-up to the nose. As the beer warmed, the 10+% abv began to make itself known in the nose, flavor and finish, which was warming and slightly sweet.
My first Swiss beer was not a disappointment. In fact, this should be what the St. Bernards carry in those little barrels.
11-30-2008 03:35:33 | More by kimcgolf
4/5 rDev +10.8%
11.2oz flip top bottle.
Poured a dark black color with a large sized off white head. Aromas of roast, coffee, chocolate, smoke, and some pepper. Tastes of chocolate, pepper, dark fruits, vanilla, coffee, and some smoke. Alcohol hidden.
Notes from 3/1/08
11-25-2008 14:13:41 | More by hopdog
3/5 rDev -16.9%
Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Split three ways w/ dkachur and proteus93 - my portion poured into an Allagash flute.
Appearance: Pours a deep, dark, thick black with a fast-fading one-finger slightly off-white head.
Aroma: The pepperyness is definitely there, and the tannins from the tea lend a distinctly tart, sour note. A faint vanilla note, but I am nonetheless frightened. Prune is the predominant fruity note. There's some faint chocolate in the background.
Taste: Tart apples, grapes, pears, and cherries, with some faint roasted breading in the background. Tastes like pain. There's some faint chocolate in the background, leafy notes (either from the hops or tea ... yeah, probably from the tea), a few lighty fruity notes. A smoky note, too, strangely enough, probably from the spice - dkachur gets cumin, and I don't disagree.
Mouthfeel: Mildly carbonated, a little tart and bitter from the tannins and light fruits.
Drinkability: This one was ... weird. Very strange, almost incredibly so. The alcohol was certainly well hidden, despite the high and strangely accurate (10.276%!?! Significant figures, anyone in Switzerland?) abv% level. This one's weird, and worth trying once just for the experience. One of the weirdest beers I've ever tried, hands down.
11-12-2008 05:42:35 | More by CrellMoset
4.13/5 rDev +14.4%
I picked up a few bottles of this in November 2007 at the brewery from their 10th anniversary party.
The beer poured a black opague color with an inch think head that is brown, bubbley that ran away quickly.
The aroma was a bit smokey, dried fruit with a touch of sweetness.
Taste is smokey and a bit oaky. There are some pepper notes but the main character has some dried fruit and chocolate. Very nice beer.
11-08-2008 22:09:55 | More by ggaughan
4.35/5 rDev +20.5%
draught at the Solothurner Biertage 2007 - very dark brown, almost black coloured; firm and stable beige foam; roasted, almost smokey with notes of tea, vanilla, pepper and chocolate; oily and full-bodied; rather low carbonation; a late and solid bitterness; aftertaste of vanilla and licorice with a warming alcohol touch - very complex and deeply pleasant
10-19-2008 18:15:58 | More by Bov
3.73/5 rDev +3.3%
Pours with a creamy, dense, initially two-finger thick, somewhat browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is quite black colored though it does show flashes of clear, dark chocolate brown when held up directly to the light. The aroma is an interesting mix of chocolate a perceived tartness, smoked almond aromatics (a mix of salt, smoke and toasted nut notes), earthy city roast coffee, a definite spicy wood-like note, a slight must note, as well as a distinct, toasted nutty character that seems to finish things out. After a bit some soft fruit notes of plums left too long under the broiler become noticeable as well. This has an interesting, very complex, yet hard to describe aroma.
Quite dry tasting and actually fairly light, especially considering the strength of the beer. My suspicions of the sour aromatic notes are confirmed towards the finish as this has a definite lactic character to it. There is a slightly smoky, salt-leaning almost peat like note here that mixes with the tartness to remind me a bit of the ocean. While tart it is only lightly so, the beer is very dry with no real sweetness noticeable at all. A very earthy leaning, slightly smoky seeming . The finish also has a faint vanilla note that adds just a hint of perceived sweetness that also makes me noticed a prune-like flavor and some tart plum flavors as this beer warms up. I am not sure what the tea adds to this beer, but I wonder if it influences the smoky notes, the woody character, some tobacco notes, and a certain leafy-like sort of tea quality that becomes a touch more noticeable as I work my way through this beer. This has a nice roast finish to it, though this definitely competes with the tartness to be noticed.
This is quite easy drinking for an Imperial Stout of this strength. The only thing that keeps me from drinking this faster is that it has some really interesting, unique flavors that are quite subtle. This beer is defined by the balance the many competing, yet intertwining components achieve in the glass. This beer has got to be drastically different than when it was first bottled, but it has certainly developed into an interesting departure from the traditional Imperial Stout. My biggest complaint is that it is perhaps more complex than it is good tasting; it almost seems like a better intellectual exercise than a truly tasty beer.
Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ
09-21-2008 06:24:34 | More by Gueuzedude
2.53/5 rDev -29.9%
Oh boy, this is not what I was looking for in a beer for the evening. I'll admit that the list of ingredients on the bottle (black pepper, vanilla, and tea) intriegued me at the shop, and I was hoping for a unique experience with this one. Unfortunately, this "imperial stout" is laughably thin and so acidic with tannins from the tea. Tastes more like wine than beer.
When poured aggressively, a creamy tan head forms and then settles to a fine layer atop the opaque black beer. Smells fruity (grapes) with some chocolate, vanilla, and wood. Tastes fruity with some red fruits sneaking in. Perhaps the acidity is masking the 10%+ ABV. My guilty pleasure for this beer is the black tea finish. I just continue to wonder where the big malts are.
It hasn't been too difficult getting through this beer as I try to figure out what is going on. It got a little better as it warmed, but I will not be revisiting this one again. Especially not at 9 bucks/11.2 oz bottle. I think I'll drink something straight forward now to alleviate my confusion.
08-05-2008 00:51:44 | More by qchic
2.95/5 rDev -18.3%
Poured from my 11.2 oz bottle with swing-top cap. Very attractive looking bottle, with a, interesting lable.
Ingredients clearly printed in detail. No freshness date on the bottle.
Poured a jet black with no transpareny or glow around the edges. Into an oversized merlot glass.
Head was big and fluffy. Creamy brown in color, very nice retention that really hangs around for the life of the beer.
Smell is rich and malty with a molasses/ black licorice quality. A spiced fumieness with a hint of alcahol at the knose.
Taste is very odd, but original. I cant say I've ever tasted anything like this ever.
Starts out simple and smooth with a slight touch from the carbonation. Thin mouthfeel, with a thickness that gradually steps into play.
Sweetness through the middle then at the swallow, this foreign bittering flavor comes in. I cant say I recognise it or can compare it to anything really.
Some dark tea like flavors, a grape like wine quality to the taste, in a white wine chardonay kind of way.
No alcahol warming, this is one strange Brew!
Cant say I love it. Cant say I dislike it either.
I'm left wondering what this is. Its not beer, or is it? hmmmm
07-19-2008 20:06:49 | More by Buebie
2.98/5 rDev -17.5%
This is labeled as an Imperial Stout brewed with black pepper, vanilla, and tea.
Appearance: Poured from the 11.2oz swingcap bottle into a snifter. The beer is a pure black color, even when held to light, and is topped with a quickly dissipating 1 finger thick tan head.
Smell: Vanilla is immediately evident, as is a woody character. Bittersweet chocolate is evident, as is a tobacco richness underneath that may be coming from the tea added. Finally some hops show up for a fleeting moment, and spiced fruit finishes things out. This is one seriously complex aroma...
Taste: Surprisingly the tea flavor jumps out first, and it is very sweet, somewhat fruity, and not an altogether pleasant introduction to the tastebuds. Very shocking first taste, but once you get used to it, things seem to get better. Fruity flavors become more and more pronounced, revealing raspberry and sweet cherry flavors and the beer progresses along the tongue. The huge, almost overbearing sweetness carries through the finish, leaving a slightly milk chocolatey flavor in the mouth. No hops to be found in this sugary bomb.
Mouthfeel: A bit thin, but the right amount of carbonation and a smooth finish.
My final thoughts were, "What the hell did I just drink?" This was a great workout for the nose and tastebuds, but unfortunately, the whole thing just didn't come together very well. Maybe with some age, it might work, but I doubt it. I don't think I'll be picking this one up again.
07-12-2008 03:42:04 | More by BucBasil
2.17/5 rDev -39.9%
Paid $9.99 for an 11.2 oz bottle from City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA. Poured into a snifter.
As written on the bottle:
Ingredients: water, barley malts, hops, cane sugar, yeast, Sarawak pepper, Russian tea, Boubon vanilla.
This Cuvée was created in the honor of the Jurassian revolutionist Alex Le Rogue. Enjoy this wonderful Cuvée at about 10°-12° Celcius (50°-53°F), with a crunch of bitter Chocolate or a Cigar. Cuvée Alex Le Rogue can be sequestrated for a few years in a cellar.
A very small head after an very aggressive pour of this thick brew. Black as night. Lacing coats thick, but falls quickly.
Smell is somewhat lacking in strength, especially for a Stout variation. Malts foremost, but hints of dark chocolate and alcohol.
Tastes a bit funky. The malts are masked by the complexity of other flavors; leafy hops, some yeast, chery sourness similar to a Flemish Sour and a variety of other flavors I can't really put my finger on. A lot going on, but nothing is triggering the pleasure centers.
Full bodied. Thick and creamy. Smooth finish. Mild carbonation.
If you are looking to try something different, this may be your ticket, but I guess I'm not too big of a fan. The hefty price tag on this one makes the decision even easier for me in the future.
06-28-2008 02:46:41 | More by ibbjamin
Cuvée Alex Le Rouge (Jurassian Imperial Stout) from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
82 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.