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

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78 Reviews
3 Monts Amber Ale On Lees3 Monts Amber Ale On Lees

Brewed by:
Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by frank4sail on 08-22-2002

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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 160
Photo of timtim
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of Jon
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Here's an interesting French offering. My first biere de garde, 3 Monts proved to be a choice accompaniment to a turkey dinner. Pours a golden color with a thick, creamy white head that makes its presence known. Nice residue of lace all the way down the glass. Smell is big on earthy tones -- fresh cut grass, hops, etc. Exhibits a somewhat sour, yet balanced taste and a clean, prickly mouthfeel. Fairly easy to drink, this goes great with food. A truly unique brew.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with a very unusual and complex closure system. A cork stuffed way down (requiring a corkscrew to extract) and strapped in place by a rigid piece of metal. Over that is a shrink-wrapped golden plastic cover.

After finally opening the bottle, I pour it into my goblet. For being labeled an "amber" it has a very pale appearance but I guess there is a hint of red. The pale golden yellow ale has great clarity and incredible head that just continues to grow. When it eventually settles, it leaves some great lacing behind.

Aroma is complex and unusal too. Funky, floral, earthy, and sour. In fact, it's great. I just don't know how to describe all of the details.

Flavor is quite nice too and, as I've now come to expect from this brew, unusual and complex. The first thing that stands out is the bready nature of the yeast. It has elements of french baguette and it goes nicely with the floral funk. There is layers of fruit and spice as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and surprisingly not that high in carbonation. Given the appearance, I expected it to feel like champagne.

Overall a wonderfully complicated beer from begining to end.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL corked bottle into a tulip. My bottle indicates 8.3% ABV rather than the above-noted 9%.

Appearance: medium amber-orange hue with a crystal-clear body and a very light effervescence. Head is two thick fingers of frothy ivory foam leaving a nice lace as it dissipates. Attractive.

Smell: lightly fruity malt aroma with a pear character and a hint of apple, although not cidery at all. A very subtle hint of spicy/phenolic character is also present, but it serves merely to liven up the aromatic palate. Light, but quite nice indeed.

Taste: malty with a bit of a grainy component, but quite balanced. The pear and apple qualities are still present, and there's a little bit of a hint of toastiness as well. Finish has a hint of bitterness which is well balanced. I find that I'm really loving this beer. Wonderful!

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a well-integrated carbonation. You'd never think of it, based on the lack of apparent effervescence, but this is a very well carbonated and highly creamy concoction. Love it!

Overall: I bought this beer on a whim, knowing nothing at all about it. I am so glad I found it -- this is a delicious treat from start to finish.

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Photo of yen157
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After getting past the interesting cork arrangement the beer poured a very pretty honey color with a rocky, eggshell head. The aroma consisted of sweet malt, and peppery, perfumey hops. Before it warmed up a bit alcohol was too big of a flavor. Once it warmed everything fell into place. Bread and honey on the palate and some wood (American oak) as well. While not very sweet at all, it finishes even drier. Very complex beer and beautifully crafted. My review surely does not do it justice. I’m glad the store was out of the “regular” 3 Monts, and I had the extra dollar to spend on this one.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 11 20 printed on the back label (best before date?). Pours lightly cloudy golden orange color with a nice 3 finger fluffy white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice foamy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big pear, grape, citrus zest, pepper, clove, herbal, floral, earth, grass, hay, light funk, bread, and yeast spiciness. Damn nice aromas with good balance, strength, and complexity. Taste of pear, apple, citrus zest, pepper, clove, herbal, floral, grass, hay, earth, bread, light funk, light honey, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, pepper, clove, hay, grass, herbal, floral, earth and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance and complexity; nice spicy/malt flavor balance; zero cloying flavors on the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a lightly slick and very crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Biere De Garde! Great flavor balance and complexity; very smooth to sip on for 8.3%. This is extremely crisp and delicious stuff.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
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

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Photo of frank4sail
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is brewed once in the spring and once in the fall.

Just getting the cork out of this bottle is a problem. There is no "champagne" twisted cork stopper it is a "wine cork" held in with a bent wire. You will need a wine opener for this one. Slightly musty/malt/earthy nose. Golden in color with a touch of orange. It has a thick slightly off white head. Nice lively carbonation in the goblet and the head and lace are framed well. The malty base to the taste is a tapestry for subtle flavors of dry tart fruit, smoke, and white pepper. The mouth is complex with original silk smoothtongue, followed by lots of bubbles and a dry finish. The beer is very good and improves as it warms. A very creamy lasting milkshake of a beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
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”.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of metter98
4.23/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of rodrot
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured an light amber color with a massive head that I had to keep scooping out with a spoon or else it was going to run out all over the counter. The smell was malty with notes of fruit, caramel and bread yeast. Taste was impressive, with flavors of caramel, jolly rancher candies, fruit, yeast and Belgian candi sugar. I could notice some alcohol bite as the beer warmed. This beer was medium bodied and very easy to drink, almost a dessert in itself. It reminded of a lighter version of a Dubbel. Who knew that the French could make such a tasty biere? Recommended.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An orange/amber beer with a slight haze. Has a medium creamy off white head and a little bit of lace. There is a predominate sweet applecharacter in the aroma.With a spicey hop background. The taste starts with a sweet and sharp citric nip. Followed by a big caramel flavor. A little sour and very dry on the finish.
At times it made me think of biting into a caramel apple.

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Photo of babaracas
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%

Pours a hazy brown tinted orange with creamy offwhite colored head, a few rings of lace on the glass.

Smell: caramel, sweeter bread, peach, mild earthiness, grain twang.

Taste: dried sweetened apricot, nectarine skin, sweetened bread, toffee, hefty earthiness, finishing with more dried stone fruit.

Medium-plus body, creamy carb, apricot jam finish.

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Photo of MarioM
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter

A: Nice clear Aorangi color with a fluffy white head made if medium to small bubbles. High carbonation and decent lacing.

S: Malty, sweet, caramel and a bit of musty cork aroma that us earthy and pleasant.

T: Sweet and malty with a hint of spice from the yeast and a touch of booze. Also a bit medicinal sweetness that's something I've never tasted before, not a bad thing even though it sounds bad but just unique and couldn't explain it better. Pretty mutch very malty, bready and slightly fruity with some booze.

M: Bready sweet malt lingers with some booze but not warm. Fruit like flavors linger and make for a nice thick full mouthfeel that's gentle but unique and fulfilling.

O: A very interesting and true to style Biere de Garde. Sweet malt and slight booze balance very well and make for a very satisfying complex and unique flavors. If you see this beauty try t, you will not be disappointed and will be intrigued by its subtitle uniqueness and french farmhouse character.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 750 into a tulip. No dates found on the bottle.

Orange amber with a tall white head that is very rocky and has good retention. Nice layered lacing effect as it falls.

Tangy fruit notes with some malt make up most of the aromas. There's also a slight mustyness paired with floral hops underneath. As it warms a bit, the yeast becomes more noticable.

Tastes a lot like it smells with a nice dry finish. Notes of grass pop are present in the middle. There's some slightly peppery alcohol in the finish that works well with the prickly carbonation.

Medium mouthfeel that helps make this a fairly drinkable brew.

This is my second BDG. Oro de Calabeza was my first, but I thought it was a BSPA at the time. The "farmhouse" aromas are interesting.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an oversized wine glass)

A-This beer has a nice deep orange hazy body with a big creamy bright cream colored head. The body is a bit to hazy to see carbonation. Nice lacing as the beer drinks.

S- notes of caramel, sweet flowers, wheat and a light toast hint make this smell very complex yet light and soft. A bit of oak and malt come through as it warms.

T- Light soft pale malt with some caramel notes and a nice hint of spice at the finish. As it warms more malt and a light toasted malt flavor comes through. A nice caramel malt finish has a bit of warmth but not what I would expect from 8% ABV.

M- This has a medium mouthfeel with a silky feel and a bit of fizz also.

D-This beer has a very soft yet complex flavor to it. The malt is really the star of the show and there is not a great deal of yeasty characteristics. Very well built and nice maltyness but a good session beer.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grassy, Pears, Nutty, Spicy

This beer rides on a whole lot of subtlety. From its stunning appearance to the impeccable balance and crispness, this brew really shows off. Leaning dry, it still brings a juicy ripe fruit element to the palate, along with biscuity and yeasty undertones. A subtle woody character is noticeable throughout. At 8.5 percent it drinks real easy. Pear skin and phenols with more nutty yeast in the finish.

STYLE: Bière de Garde | ABV: 8.3% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #99 (APR 2015)

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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!

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange, darker than expected, murky. Light white head. Big off-dry aroma comes out musty. It’s fruitier than most bière de garde with this dried mango, orange and peach flavour profile. Yet it’s just as rustic with this old cellar counterpart, lots of fluffy mustiness in there, notes of ashes, cask wood, uncleaned fireplace, hay… Nice range. Dry dusty palate, never very sweet, yet fruity. Spicy, feeling green (chive). It has a slight lactic bite to it mysteriously. Notes of bubblegum, smoke, cement. I guess what I like the most is how the yeast planes over the rest of the flavours. Big carbonation, medium body. Good, but no cigar.. and I expected one. Cheers TAR!

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A estery bière de garde. Fine carbonation. 9.5% ABV? Well that's wonderfully hidden. To have with a hearty meal. It's fruity but not too sweet for That style. Good stuff

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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!

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Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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3 Monts Amber Ale On Lees from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
4.03 out of 5 based on 160 ratings.
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