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La Bête Des Vosges | Brasserie Artisanale des Vosges

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La Bête Des VosgesLa Bête Des Vosges

Brewed by:
Brasserie Artisanale des Vosges

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mattmaples on 08-20-2003

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 34
Photo of mattmaples
4.34/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Beast of Vosges is a French amber that has a wonderful aroma and flavor. It pours a light amber / brown. The big aroma is of dark cherries and malt. The flavor is malty smooth with just a hint of flowery hop at the end. Although when you think of France you think of wine, they do make some mighty fine beer. For example check Yeti and belzibuth.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.22/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a couple well aged bottles for half price (this one store by me always puts stuff that's been sitting around a long time on sale for half price - so very often I am getting cool stuff like this cheap).

A very interesting taste. Complex, well balanced. Very drinkable!

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.96/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had my first bottle of this at Portland's great Concordia Ale House; had to take one home with me. This review is from the bottle that made the cross-country journey back home.

Pours out the color of unfiltered apple cider, with a thin ring of dishsoap attempting to be a head. Love the color, but that poor head looks like a bad/expired beer to me.

If the aroma is anything to go by, there's plenty of life in this beer. It's basement-musty in overall vibe, with elements of baked apple, white pepper, Belgian candi sugar, some alcohol heat, mustard and funked yeast. Right up my alley.

Flavor remarkably brings in all the aroma hints at, with bread dough and raw yeast emerging prominently after several long sips. Nice smooth caramel riding out in the finish, plus donuts. Donuts? Yep. Not even a specific kind of donut, just donuts. Check it out and see if I'm nuts or what.

Mouthfeel seems a little thin, even worn-out, with carbonation desperately trying to the push through the thin, skim-milkish body.

Really good, and plenty of depth, but the variety of flavors never totally cohere. I remember the bottle at CAH being livelier...I suppose this might have some age on it, judging by the looks and mouthfeel, but luckily the flavors and aroma are intact. It's good enough that I'd easily drink it again.

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Photo of stevoj
3.79/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber/copper in color with a toffee sweetness. Head is minimal, aroma is sweet, raisins, brown sugar and caramel. Taste is same, toffee, caramel and touch of spice. Smooth and oily, this is an easy drinker.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this while touring Verdun, France.

This brew is a gusher, and produces about three fingers of light khaki colored cranium. The body is mildly hazy, and is copper in color.

The aroma is fruity in the way of fig and other dried dark fruits, and has hints of vanilla and cherry.

The taste has a zing of cherry and caramel, with a fig finish.

Overall a decent beer with complexity. A slick mouth feel that finishes with a warmth from the ethyl.

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Photo of ADR
3.67/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very hazy pale brown, kind of dull color. Head is medium-bubbled and light in color. Necklace-like lacing on the glass. Aroma is all malt, caramel with some maple syrup sense. Carbonation is on the lower side, hops are minimal, malts are showcased by the set-up. Honeyish, some sense of cashew nuttiness, slight yeast vibrancy. Bitter comes on slighlty near the end, a trace of an alcoholic sense catches up on further sips. Decent brew, a little thick for quaffability, but no real flavor problems to my tongue...

Source: Liquid Solutions

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Photo of tjd25
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had to fight ot get head, but it proved to be dense and creamy, in spite of being thin. The body is of a nice amber color. The smell shows very nice notes of red fruits with a wooden character. Sweet, yeasry, and slightly citric. The taste is overpoweringly of yeast, raisins and wood, with some subtle notes of chocolate and deep, thick and almost chewy notes of hops. You feel the 8% abv, quite warming. Quite winy, almost mouth puckering. The mouthfeel is quite round, but not overly smooth, just ok. Interesting, but you can’t have too many of these, the Beast of the Vosges will kill you. This cheesy comment was written to try to equal the cheesiness of this beer’s name. Sorry.

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Photo of fartingdog
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought this on a recco from the guy at Plumpjack, who compared it to a barley wine, so of course I bought 2 bottles.

Pours a hazy amber color with a quickly receding head. Smells slightly fruity (raisin? rum?) and the sweetness of candi sugar. Taste is slightly sweet with familiar belgian yeast undertones, but it's a bit thin and watery - much thinner than one would expect from the style, color and aroma. Alcohol warming on the swallow. This is a decent beer, easily drinkable and worth a try - seems more like a French version of a winter warmer. At 6 bucks a bottle, I wish I'd just gotten 1, tho.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.59/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the chalice lightly murky and amber with practically no head at all and nothing lasting to lace at the glass.

The aroma was strongly nutty and malty with dark fruits, raisins most notable. The aroma contained a very slight bit of tartness and some Belgian yeast spice presence.

The flavor was lighter than expected with caramel, slightly sweet in flavor, but not overly so and not cloying. The caramel also had a bit of chocolate and a strong candy character. Some light spice was present but was not pronouced since the beer was essentially flat. At times some light butterscotch flavor was notable.

The finish was even heading toward dry with just a light bit of caramel and spice lasting into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation was minimal. The beer did contain a sizeable alcohol presence and left a strong warming impression after consumption. Carbonate this puppy and we might have something, as is, kinda lifeless.

11.2 ounce bottle.

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Photo of Zet
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Amber colour with a decent head of foam. Lovely smell of fresh grassy meadows: hopped in a good way i guess. Taste is not so special though: grass again and some fruits (peach?) in the background, but pilsner malts are quite dominating in the taste. Perhaps a longer maturation might do this beer some good, because esters seem to be in low supply. It is quite refreshing though, which is enhanced by the grassy smell, so this would make a good springtime terrace beer, if the abv doesn't scare you.

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Photo of kinger
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

O-la-la this is a dandy. Murky orange-brown pour, nice creamy white film sits atop the beer and leaves spotty lacing. Thick malt nose with a prominant sour fruitiness, I'm thinking fermented peaches, apricots, and a little banana. Mouthfeel is also thick and creamy with a very noticeable alcohol bite that finishes with a smooth burn. Sour malt flavors complimented by a strong sweet alcohol kick. The fruits are still there, I keep thinking of this as being "Harry Buffalo-ish" for beer. Really warming and satisfying, it took me quite some sippin' time to finish this treat.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Apricto colored with rootbeer highlights. Cloudy with a very small head that fell quick...off white with a blue tint.

S: Molasses, caramel, brown sugar, almonds and prunes

T: Toasted nuts and clover honey start things off. Has some sensations of pecan pie filling with fig. Finishes with vanilla, lightly bitter with some melon. Overall very simplistic and not a lot of depth.

M: Medium body, soft and somewhat thin

D: Good flavor but watery. Could have gone further with this beer...has a decent base to start with.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.49/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from a 330ml labeled as an "amber ale" into a goblet. Only "foam" was comprised of bubbles created by agitation from a vigorous pour. Quickly popped into a subtle ring with a bit of haze. Earthy greenish amber in color, similar to apple cider... or more apple cider vinegar. A bit of haze from the yeast poured in. Just a touch of spots of lacing down the glass. Funky overall.

aroma is somewhere between a strong american amber, a scotch ale, and a dopplebock with some malt sweetness, malt breadiness, and a definite golden fruit sweetness on the nose. Apricots, figs, golden raisins, pears and banana aroma fill out the malt profile. Hints of fermenting fruit with a touch of sour and belgian-esque funk mixing in there.

taste is slightly unexpected given the aroma. Smells mostly like a strong, malty and sweet amber, but the taste is significantly odd. The caramel malt and candi sugar is definitely there, but there's a subtle yet definite belgian yeastiness. Caramel sweetness keeps the yeast at bay, and the fruit notes re-emerge hearkening apple fritters and scones with fig jam. A finish with a touch of bitterness, a touch of yeast, and a touch of warming alcohol.

Fairly thick body with a surprising amount of carbonation given the lack of foam and head. Still relatively low carbonation with some sugary slickness that allows the sweetness to linger with the alcohol warming burn. Not a bad one for sipping.

Funky is the first thing that comes to mind overall. Both in a good and bad way. The yeastiness adds an interesting note to an otherwise fairly neutral beer. Nothing way out of the ordinary in any area, but its all just a touch funky and different. A solid and warming beer for sipping, although I can't really say what this one has over other beers (of multiple styles). maybe worth a try?

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark orange with a small storm of particulates. The head is small (even after a semi-vigorous pour), is pale golden beige and is soft and nearly featureless. It's currently sitting at a fat one finger with an abbreviated collar of lace as the only glass coverage.

Even with repeated sniffs, the characteristics of the nose aren't obvious. It's sweet and fruity (apples? peaches? apricots?) with a significant alcohol presence; like fruit brandy, or more accurately, fruit liqueur. There's a hint of spice as well, but no more than that.

The flavor is... different. La Bete Des Vosges doesn't taste much like a BSPA, but then I'm always open to interesting variations on the theme as long as they're still good. The jury's still out on whether this one qualifies as good. Sweet, fruity and alcoholic is the Cliff's Notes version of the flavor profile. Unfortunately, the various elements don't fit together as tightly as I'd like. The seams are definitely showing.

This is another one of those beers that lacks a center. The various flavors go this way and that, in and out of focus, never really making a commitment. The finish is marginally better because it's more aggressively fruity. Although the incompletely masked alcohol is consistent with the 'S' in BSPA, I prefer the power of this style to be due to flavor rather than arrogant booziness.

Like the French themselves, I have a hard time figuring out French beer. It isn't often that I score drinkability lower than taste. I did so in this case because this offering is more interesting and odd than it is pleasurable. I love the big orange dog on the label, the exact color of the beer by the way, but he's more 'La Batard Des Vosges' (mutt of the Vosges) than 'La Bete Des Vosges' (beast of the Vosges).

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Photo of Muddybuddy
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I picked this bottle up today in order to expand my horizons and try somthing not only new to me, but from out of the country as well. There is no date on the bottle and no clue to its age.

Appearance: Light amber that would have been translucent, but I poured about a third of the yeast remaining in the bottle in on purpose. It has a very light head that mostly dissipates quickly, but leaves a dense island in the middle of my pint.

Smell: Smells highly of banana and vanilla. There is no hops aroma present and very little malt aroma present.

Taste: There is a distinct malty flavor to this beer which is accented by some slight alcohol warming. The bananas that were present in the aroma make their way to the taste as well as possibly an "oaky" taste that isn't entirely unpleasant. There is a little "roasty" flavor that comes through on the end of the taste that makes this a more robust flavor than I would have guessed from the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Thick and slick, with restrained carbonation.

Drinkability: This is, for me, only a one/per night type of beer. I don't think two of these would hold up well for me.

**My French is rusty. Can anyone tell me what the name is, translated to English? I can get "The Beast of the ___" and that's it. Thanks in advance!**

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Photo of blakesell
3.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter.

Appearance- Beer pours a darkened gold with foam lacing the sides. Lacing rings the sides of the glass, no head outside of that. Beer looks fairly flat.

Smell- Rich and malty sweet with alcoholic phenols. A hint of sweet fruits like raspberry. Malts dominate. A bit wortlike in the scent.

Taste- Malty and lightly oxidized with a bit of paper on the tongue. Malted sweetness coats the mouth. Some hops but hardly noticable, noble hops. The beer claims to be an amber? I suppose.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, lightly carbonated, slightly warming, not overly warming. Medium bodied.

Drinkability- For the price, I would not repeat. But not a bad beer overall.

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Photo of Zorro
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber colored ale with basically no head formation.

Smell is sweet and a mix of sweet tea and faint fruity apple. Slight toffee candy scent.

The taste starts out sweet and quite malty close in flavor to a Scotch Ale than anything else.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Average drinkability is being generous here. Tastes like it needs more time in the fermenter to finish.

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Photo of silenius
3.19/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I never know what to expect when I find a beer from a smaller Eurpoean brewery that I've never sampled. Could it have been sitting on the shelf for years? There is no date on the label, and is that dust I see on the bottle? Nope. Or at least it is a lot less that some of the other bottles I see around it. That's about the only way I know to judge how long a bottle has been sitting around if it is not something that would turn over quickly. Glad to say that this bottle doesn't appear to be too old.

Pours a foggy tea-brown amber with an active head that doesn't do much lacing.

Smell is a bit complex with sweet malts, honey, candy and nutty smells mixed with some spicing that kind of reminds me of apple pie - or a least a little apple tart. Pretty good.

Taste confirms the nose with sweet syrup like flavors with a nutty drying and dark spice to cut the cloying flavor. It isn't too sweet, but it is verging on it. Aftertaste is more like a coke than a beer.

Mouthfeel is on the slick side with a general lack of carbonation - kind of like a slighly flat cola.

The more I drink, the less I like it.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.12/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 2006.

Appearance : amber/brown color (slightly veiled), with tan foam head (not persistent).
Smell : alcohol, caramel, honey.
Taste and mouthfeel : sweet and malty, bitterness.
Drinkabiity : an average beer in the style Belgian strong ale.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

La Bete Des Vosges has almost no head, just a thin, off-white film. The appearance is a dark, murky orange, with lots of brown solids floating about. Some bubbles are streaming up, but no lacing is left behind. There is coffee-like sediment left at the bottom of the glass. The aroma is of over-ripe fruit, like prunes. It also tastes like prune juice more than beer, and is closer to brandy or wine than beer, as far as flavor goes. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and it’s a gamy liquid. The finish is not unlike fruit juice, but there is a barley presence in the aftertaste. Well, this is an unusual beer, to say the least. However, I did slowly sip it, and enjoyed it more as it went. I say it’s worth a try, if you can stomach it.


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Photo of clickpush
3.09/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: 33cl bottle to tulip glass. Beer fizzes upon pour but leaves absolutely no head. Cloudy ruby brown body that seems to have a lot of sediment in it. No bubbles, no head. Quite boring.

Nose: cider spices: apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel. Crisp yet faint.

Mouth: Slightly bitter with a warm finish. A touch of watered down sweetness with a seltzer mouthfeel. Caramel and brown sugar, some grass notes in the hops. Boring and unrewarding, definitely not worth the price.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.87/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 11.2 fluid ounce (330ml) brown bottle sealed with a simple brass colored crown cap. Main label is just as the one pictured in the DB, though I note that my bottle is sans neck label. “La Bête Des Vosges” is listed at Alc. 8%. By Vol. Described as an Amber Ale. No freshness or Best Before Date.

Appearance: ‘Allo ‘Allo, what do we have here!? Hmmm shocking looks, flat and limpid with a murky amber torso that has a flabby demure presentation. The last top-up from the bottle raises a hint of activity but it’s only a beige colored broken head that lasts as long as a French Cavalry charge. It’s soon vanished into thin air and leaves only a bubbled mass. Zero carbonation.

Nose: Some feint hops mix with soft Devon toffees in the caramel entrance…..and middle…..and erm ending….hmmm….well that was easy, what’s next, oh yeah, Taste….

Taste: Caramel and some sweet malts with a fruity finish and……OK now I’m struggling, I know I could add toffee again even though I added it for the nose and I hate repeating myself but it adds some words so what the heck. Rather simple and easy to figure out, unlike Les Français. No really I love France, no I do, don’t laugh, we have to have somewhere to send our Nuclear Waste.

Mouthfeel: None of the declared Huit% alcohol anywhere, maybe it surrended!? Oh there I go again. Oh well, nuff said, no more Frenchie Jokes….hey how many French Soldiers does it take to change a Lightbulb!?? Four American Ones! I’m here all week……

Drinkability: Nothing off-putting at all about this one, yet it just bores me after only half the 11 ounce bottle. Nice enough but I may as well be drinking a Soda. Fair enough, Mon Ami.

Overall: The Beast of Vosges is a bit of a soft Pussy to be honest. It is another interesting French newbie though, the second this week after the incredibly intriguing but far more appealing Cimes Yeti. I may pick up another Yeti (or rather wake up with one like I usually do after a heavy nights drinking) but I’ll pass on this one. I’m not sure what’s funnier, my jokes or the apparent seriousness of this beer. And I never mentioned Frogs once……

Music: AC/DC - Highway to Hell ……’bout time I got back home.

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Photo of flagmantho
2.81/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich brown-amber hue with very little effervescence and some yeasty floaties, but not too many. Head is a thick finger of frothy ivory foam.

Smell: interesting floral nose; very soapy like floral gum candies. Sweet, but not much else going on. Not my favorite, but not repulsing in any way.

Taste: the same as the aroma in just about every way. Some malt backs up the floral taste, but the overall effect is quite cloying. I'm not a fan.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation factor. Not too bad.

Overall: this beer has its ups and its downs. If you like this kind of floral flavor, it may work for you. It doesn't work for me.

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Photo of champ103
2.72/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a murky and unattractive brownish/orange. A very small bubbly white head forms with pour retention. No lace.
S: Dark fruits of cherries and bananas. Caramel malt and yeast. Simple but enjoyable.
T: Pale and sweet malts. Light/thin banana flavor. Yeast and diacetyl. Blah.
M/D: A medium body that is way under carbonated. Really thin and watery. Not hard to drink. Not much alcohol, but just not very interesting.

Just blah. Nothing that is really good, and nothing that is really bad. Huh hum in every way. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.69/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Where’s the head? This is flatter than a pancake. I almost threw out my elbow trying to work some foam up in the glass. The body is a dingy brown. Not pretty.

Smell – This one has a nice, fruity bouquet. I can pick up a lot of summer fruits like peaches, watermelon, star fruit, and a few others. There’s some light cinnamon spicing in there and a bit of alcohol. I can’t pick up much of a malt base and the hops are almost AWOL but otherwise this is a pleasing nose.

Taste – The fruits from the nose make their way to the taste, but the lack of a good backbone and absence of hops disappoints.

Mouthfeel – Way too flat for a BSPA and barely medium-bodied. It seems by reading a few other reviews that this is common and not a “bad bottle” situation, otherwise I wouldn’t post the review.

Drinkability – This was tough to drink, but the nice fruits and complimentary alcohol kept things going. I hate to be the lowball here but I’ve had first time homebrew efforts at this style that were better.

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La Bête Des Vosges from Brasserie Artisanale des Vosges
78 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.