3 Monts Flanders Golden Ale | Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

very good
285 Reviews
3 Monts Flanders Golden Ale3 Monts Flanders Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-20-2001

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Reviews: 285 | Ratings: 491
Photo of Weizenmensch
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Mouthfeel: Smooth.

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.

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Photo of Dantes
4.82/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 “regular”back 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.

Cost: $5.99

Presentation: tulip glass at ~50º. The heavy staple is easily removed with the blade of a waiter’s corkscrew (or a screwdriver), but the small edge of cork above the bottle’s 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. It’s 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 don’t 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 d’oeuvres like the cheese, charcuterie, and grilled meats suggested by the label.

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Photo of Lukie
4.76/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of drperm
4.72/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

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Photo of putnam
4.72/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of cokes
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of dmarch
4.68/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of atigerlife
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of orangemoustache
4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle, opened with a corkscrew, into a chalice at around 50F. Crystal clear gold beer with relatively few small bubbles, forming a two inch thich white head that collapses to a cap fairly quickly. Heavy lacing follows the beer down the bottle. The nose is subtle, showing pear, apple skin, pineapple and a slight hint of clove, and perhaps anise or licorice. More of that on the tongue, with a mellow spiciness and a light caramel note, with a soft bready overtone. The beer finishes dry. Some prickliness especially on the finish. This beer is super easy to drink.

An outstanding and well-balanced beer, like a cross between a tripel and a super saison.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.54/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: spot on pour: crystal clear yellow beer with a massive foamy head that slimmed somewhat but never went away; plenty of fine-bubbled lace

S: bright, fresh hop and yeast aromas, reminded me of grassy fields in sunshine

T: flash of spice, then an easy, clean taste that becomes almost champagne-like; some light citruses, subtle woodsy and pale fruit flavors weave throughout.

M: very drinkable, brightly effervescent, clean finishing; tantilizing on the tongue. Finishes right between sweet and dry.

O: super classy pale from the same brewers that give us Gavroche (also considered a biere de garde here (but a darker beer, more like a red ale, to me)). 3 Monts is a quality brew - could be France's equivalent to Duvel, but lighter-bodied and with less taste profile complexity. This is typically not a go-to style for me, but this is certainly a go-to beer. Evokes thoughts of the summertime, farm gardens, and blue skies.

Nicely crafted.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright, sparkling gold, big bubbly radiant white head that quickly dissipates. Lots of complexity in the aroma: spicy and grassy, grainy and sweet, very earthy and sort of musty. Tastes initially of bitter spicy hops, becoming more grainy and producing a nice little sour note. Very grassy and earthy becoming more malty as it warms, with the sourness becoming more pronounced and lots of musty "barnyard" flavor creeping out. Mouthfeel is light and airy with a dry finish. Hugely drinkable, a very good example of the style.

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Photo of rastaman
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

well, i am never dissapointed by this brew, robust, yet subtle at the same time, amazingly round palate, bitter, savoury, a regular in my fridge!!! Original rating (well it was actually a re-rate of a original rating) starts here: i'm growing hopelessly addicted this beer. which probably isn't good for my bank balance. Light gold in colour with little head. Aroma is of oak, malt, wet paint, kerosene and also a vinous smell aswell. Quite a full body, salty, bittter, oaky and vinous flavour. Theres one thing for shore though this beer is awesome, sit back and enjoy.....

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Photo of goochpunch
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a bright gold with a foamy white head. Nose is bready, crackery, grainy with soft, fruited yeast, and a bit of floral hops. Flavor is overall sweet and richly malty up front. Bready, honeyed malts with floral noble hops. Slight acidity and dryness in the finish make if refreshing in spite of the initial richness. Mouthfeel is moderate in weight with a prickly, strong carbonation which works so well with the flavor profile. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip.

A - Pours a really nice clear classic Golden colour with a large fluffy head that retains real well and laces.

S - Nice grassy aromas with plenty of hop and grain.

T - Bits of spice up front that turn grassy. Hints of sweet brown sugar and cinnamon. Yeast is very noticable in a nice way.

M - Medium body and full carbonation

O - On a hot day you could drink this all day long. The alcohol is very well hidden. A great beer.

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Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle had cork held in place with a piece of metal that's not swing-top (odd, that), wrapped in yellow paper, poured into tulip glass:

Pours golden with a two-finger white foamy/ pillowy head that descends very slowly to half the original size. After sipping, it falls to a thin, lasting cover. Patches of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of sour/vinegar soon replaced by sweet grain and a grassy undertone. A whiff of fruity alcohol passes. by.

The taste is of sweet grain, a bit musty. There's an herbal/grassy bitterish twang. Alcohol is there, but in a fruity way. As it progresses, a honey sweetness dominates and an apple, melon, orange peel fruitiness mixes in. There are some sourish notes, but under the sweetness. A touch of bitter mixes in in the sweetish finish. Very complex, and changes with each sip.

The feel is champagne-like, yet not too fizzy or bubbly.

Changing complexities make this one a very interesting brew. Despite a touch of alcohol coming through, there is a honey sweet smoothness (without approaching cloying) and an intriguing taste that keeps this one moving along. Easy to drink despite abv and complexities.

It brought to mind a variety of possible food pairings. I'll have to get a few bottles more of this to try with different combinations at a food and beer experiment with my friends. By chance, I had the second half with kielbasa and pierogies for dinner, and it went very well together (though I could think of other good possibilities as well.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was so ridiculously easy to open. I mean come on, unwrap the foil top, take a scissor and pop the staple off, and remove the cork as normal. Is that so hard genius? (lol) Anyway this beer pours out a nice light blondeish/golden colour with a big, fluffy white head of foam. The aromas are all lemon peel, various spices, french yeast, malt, hops and more. The taste is zesty, hoppy, spicy, lemony, and lovely. The mouthfeel is soft on the tongue, yet sharp and warming on the finish. The drinkability is great. Viva La France!

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Photo of chogm54
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Poured from corked 750 ml bottle (bottled april 2014). No sediment in bottle. Reviewed from notes:

Pours a golden clear liquid with ample white creamy head. Very highly carbonated. Grassy, malty aroma. Taste is fantastic -slightly sweet, with a zesty fruit tang and a dry bitter finish. Light to medium bodied, I'm amazed at how well the 8.5% abv is masked. I have never had as a carbonated beer (noting it is top fermented) - almost like champagne. A very good beer.

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Photo of daryk77
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml caged bottle, no date indicating when it was brewed.

Appearance: Deep golden color, very clear with minimal lacing. About a half inch to an inch of head stays for a minute then dissipates to 1/8 inch that clings to the sides.

Smell: Fruity esters are present but not overwhelming. Can also notice some alcohol smell and a slight hint of spiciness from the hops. Overall, smells like a biere de garde though not too earthy.

Taste: Very smooth, carbonation is present like most Belgain beers. Not very bready, more spicy through the combination of hops and alcohol, but not overbearing, well balanced. Ends with a bit a of bitter/ alcohol tang that I find enjoyable. Does not linger too long in the mouth.

Mouthfeel: Great body, this must be where the malt comes in though not super present in the taste. Contributes greatly to the mouthfeel, balances very well with the carbonation.

Drinkability: definitely high up there. Could easily drink several 750ml's in a sitting. Though the alcohol is present in the taste it is very enjoyable and adds to the overall taste/mouthfeel. This one is balanced just right making a great choice.

oh by the way, this is a great value at $5.00 for a 750ml bottle, can't beat the price vs. quality, would gladly pay $8 to $9 for a 750ml.

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4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased some of these babies at a Piggly Wiggly for a little under $7.00. I know, expensive, but its a good occasional brew. I am new to Biere de Garde, and I now am in love with it. It is in a brown bottle with an oblong golden label and an annoying metal strap ontop of a cork. When you get through the "obstacle course" of entry containing the mines and "booby-traps" you can enjoy this tasty beverage. I poured this golden ale into a snifter and had about an inch of head that leaves pretty quickly. The carbonation was perfect to me, lots of bubbles espcially in a snifter. The smell was great, like honey, brown sugar, medium hops and a goon malty smell. Now for the taste... This is a good beer, pretty hoppy and almost like candy. Pretty sweet but not overpowering, a good ratio of sweetness. kind of fruity, as it got warmer it had an after taste of an apple maybe, just a hint of a delicious golden apple, also as it warmed, i noticed that the warmer it gets, so does the throat most likely because of the alcohol which is very evident from the beginning. The 8.5% ABV will creep up on you quickly, I was giggling like a schoolgirl after about 2 in a row. This is a great beer and is probably now one of my favorites, I like the beginning the middle and the end of this beer, well not the end because that means it getting empty, but you get the point, I highly recomend this beer to anyone.

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Photo of Rickus
4.49/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: A superficial look suggests an unexciting pilsener. Beautiful pale yellow color. A sticky, delicate head that collapses rather fast. Intricate lacing. S: Iron. A whiff of fermented apples. T: Oh my lord! I didn't expect that. A rich, well-ballanced taste. Sweetness. Some sour apples. Pleasantly sour and bitter aftertaste. Again some iron.
F: Delicate carbonation. Cider or champagne? Difficult to determine. A dry finish, some might say harsh. O: A great best beer to drink on a sunny afternoon, and at any other time. Original and very well-balanced. I want more.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.49/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - wow is this pale, a very pale yellow in color, however it wells up a very thick white forthy head that settles out at a finger thick

S - hmmm, a very good aroma, a hoppy, honey sweetness, balanced with a crisp clean aroma

T - WOW, really well-balanced, there is a delightful honey sweetness balanced against a hoppy bitterness, even a slight hint of berriness in back, like blackberries, i dunno maybe im crazy

M - very well balanced, sweetness, bitternes, what more could i ask for, hmm, a great beer from France, down go my predispositions

D - high, a great beer, i could drink this i much higher volumes, if youve never tried this, but have seen it at your liquor store, GO BUY IT...NOW!!!

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3 Monts Flanders Golden Ale from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
3.94 out of 5 based on 491 ratings.
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