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La Torpille | BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)

very good
25 Reviews
no score
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La TorpilleLa Torpille

Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Switzerland | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Paddez on 02-12-2005

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 43
Photo of baumaxx1
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance -
Pours a murky, brown colour. A small one finger head forms on pouring and quickly dissipates to a thin film. Mild effervescence is observed.

Smell -
Dark fruits - cherries, plums, red grapes. A hint of licorice. Choc chip cookie malts.

Taste -
Follows the nose, with strong dark fruit presence. A hint of walnut, and a strong bubbly red wine quality. Hints of spice, cinnamon and a bit of pepper when swallowed. Plenty of tart.

Mouthfeel -
A mild fizz. Feels quite creamy, a hint of thickness and stickyness. Refreshing and dry.

Overall -
Strong flavour, good smell, and has dessert like qualities. Plenty of complexity to be able to pick out different flavours. A quirky beer to enjoy, but probably not more than one in a sitting.

 749 characters

Photo of Vbbabe208
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A great fireside beer. Spicy notes are apparent and complementary. A drier alternative to a mulled wine. I wish the smell was as heavenly as the taste, but the color and mouthfeel help to counteract this. Though it is the Spring, I look forward to finding this beer next winter!

 278 characters

Photo of sbauer
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from 33cl swing-top bottle.

A: Slightly cloudy, light mahagony. Little or no lacing. Minimal head.

S: Oak, slight burnt cherry. Fruity Belgian yeast aromas.

T: Tart cherry and woody finish. Some hot esters.

M: Medium bodied. Well-carbonated.

O: Great Belgian brown ale, delicious wood and cherry flavors. Would buy again.

 333 characters

Photo of russwbeck
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought overseas in a plane by my good buddy. Best by April 2013.

A: Viscous brown pour with hints of red when light hits it. Right around a finger, but no more, of head builds up and disappears quickly. Hardly any lacing is left behind.

S: The first thought I had when I took a whiff of this was: tart? Now that I've taken a few more, it smells more malty than tart, with plums, other dark fruits, and ester-y Belgian aromas coming through.

T: The characteristics of tartness are there again, but much less so on the taste. Plums, clove, spices (cinnamon?), and sort of a mustiness I didn't expect. The tartness comes and goes, sometime featured at the front, sometimes hidden at the end. Certainly a strange taste, but not unpleasant by any means.

MF: Thick and heavy body, much more so than I would have guessed. Decently drinkable, my palate is a bit confused by this beer so I took a number of little sips. The taste did begin to wear on me before the beer was completely gone.

O: This was a really interesting beer that I'm glad I got the chance to try. I can't say I'd have my buddy bring me back another bottle, but I might get it again if I saw it in a bar.

 1,171 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.22/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a large fading head.
Nose shows heavy brett with spices and a bit of chocolate.
Similar flavours. Acidic notes, chocolate, lemon. A bit weird, in regards to having the brett in with the richer, darker malt. Doesn't quite work.
Carbonation seems a bit excessive.

 283 characters

Photo of Parrotshake
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somewhat reminiscent of a beer I had fairly recently, Jolly Pumpkin's Noel de Calabaza. It's practically raining soured Belgian Dark Ales up in here - by practically I mean this is the second one. I kind of wonder if this isn't more of an Oud Bruin. Regardless, it's nice. You got your caramelly and plummy notes and chalky yeast, granny smith and balsamic vinegar all at the same time. Very lightly bitter.

This is surprisingly thin bodied and fizzy for the style and gravity of beer we're talking about. It's actually very refreshing. You could have a couple. I only have one left and I think I'll save it until the next time I have confit duck, or something. Liked this a lot.

 680 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer with thanks to beermasons and pours a murky mahogany hue which leaves a two finger creamy head that stays and leaves lacing here and there,the smell is dark fruits,bready malts,fruitcake and raisins soaked in honey,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and has tastes of ripe dark plums,bready malts,raisins soaked in honey,fruitcake and finished with a cherry sournesss and overall a nice drop that has abit of everystyle in it and very drinkable with its ABV well hidden behind the sour/sweetness.

 505 characters

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured in a small BFM snifter glass.
Enjoyed at "La Ferme du Château", Lausanne region.

A: Pours a dark amber to brown cloudy color. Forms a medium creamy white bit yellow head. Retention is low and some lacings are formed and left in the glass. A lot of sediment can be seen floating around

S: BFM trademark. Spicy and tart in the nose. Quite vinous too. Also caramel, caramel malts and yeasts. Notes of fruits like apples and grapes

T: Taste is also spicy and tart. Vinegar. Fruits. Caramel malts and yeasts. Very light earthy bitterness. In overall an acid and dry beer. Very taste, nevertheless

M: Medium body and low carbonation. Tart and mild bitter aftertaste

O: Not an easy beer and quite tart for the style but, quite drinkable anyway. BFM expected quality. Recommended

 798 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at the Pour House, Westmont, NJ

Another decent brew from BFM. Dark burnt-orange/brown with a small, quickly receding head. A strong pungent aroma of fruit and spice. Light and sweet taste with a sense of alcohol, kind of similar to a tripel. Medium mouthfeel with a little bit of a syrupy feel. Moderately drinkable, but probably no more than a glass.

 370 characters

Photo of headlessclown
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cloudy dark brown. Thin head and almost no retention.

S: A bit of tart and a bit of spice - black pepper? Not sure I like it.

T: More of the same from the aroma - very lightly tart with a bit of black pepper towards the end.

M: A bit on the heavy side, low carbonation.

D: Not too bad, and has an interesting taste, but not highly drinkable.

 356 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours a very hazy brown with a thin head. Smells lightly spicy, prickly, fruity, and slightly smoky. A little smoky and even the slightest bit of band-aid up front in the taste, luckily this is quite subtle. These flavors are followed by some light spicebox and some fruit. Very dry, and somewhat tart, and quite smooth in the mouth with a drying finish, and lingering spice. Fairly interesting, but if it went anymore in the medicinal direction from age, it would nosedive quickly in score.

 531 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

You know you're starting off well when you're not sure if you're pronouncing the beer's name properly when ordering. This one pours a hazy amber orange-brown (yeah, it sounds redundant, just trust me and imagine a slightly borderline color scheme...sumpin' like 'at...) topped by a finger of ecru mini-foam that stays on for an extended period. The nose comprises tart berries, sour grapes (kinda wine-like), green apple, and cinnamon. The taste maintains this sweet fruitiness with notes of tart white grapes, mandarin oranges, and a good amount of brown sugar. The body is medium, with very little carbonation (almost none) and not much oral coating at all. Overall an interesting brew, but not one to be particularly sought out.

 766 characters

Photo of Nickls
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

Pours with a nice finger of eggshell colored head that doesn't hang around for very long; light hazy brown hue.

Very vinous in the nose; red grapes; light malt sweetness; some sour fruitiness; medicinal and earthy notes. Flavor is a little less sour than suggested in the nose; only a faint touch of fruit sweetness; some sourness and acidity; has some spice to it as well. Lighter body with bubbly carbonation. Interesting enough drinking, and one of the better offerings from BFM's more regular lineup.

 520 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Served in a snifter glass. The beer is an opaque dark plum/brown color. There is a thin grey head of tiny bubbles that leaves even lacing. It has a sweet, dark fruit aroma. I'm picking up dates and raisins. The beer has a very unique favor. Vanilla and cream soda come to mind. There is also a dry alcohol component that is present initially and lingers after you swallow. Some sweetness pops out in the aftertaste. It has a medium body and a little bit of mouthcoating. There is some carbonation present, but nothing amazing. The mouthfeel is probably this beer's weak point, if you could call it that. I enjoy this beer, but I can see why some folks wouldn't like it. The beer is great for drinking slowly, by itself.

 743 characters

Photo of atis
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours murky dark brown with small head that immediately dissipates, leaving off-white patches, loads and loads of yeasty sediment. Aroma is spicy darkish malt, fruity sourness.

Taste is bittery herbal, dried fruit, hints of candi sugar, fruity and slightly tart finish. Mouthfeel is quite think with too much carbonation and mild alcohol warming.

Overall, an interesting Dark Ale, but I do not think I could drink much of that stuff.

 435 characters

Photo of lownote
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap beer poured with a reddish hue that was fairly interesting, with nothing distinctive in the smell. A little fruits, spices. Beer tasted sour with a medium body. A little sweetness was felt at the end, but not much. Really, its a beer that must be sipped, but enjoyable.

 276 characters

Photo of Seanibus
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delicious and rich.

Pours almost black, radiant purple, with a big fluffy bright white head with great lacing. Smell is powerfully phenolic. Flavor is woody and tannic, with a huge phenolic bite. Anise. Plum, cherry. Very dry. Mouthfeel is dry and thin.

 254 characters

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty complex, with cinnamon, red hots, light smoke, raw meat and funk. Flavors on the palate aren't quite so complex, consisting of some light sweet malt, but with spice, light sour, and tea. Pretty interesting. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is not bad. Not sure I could drink a lot of this, but it's interesting and not bad at all.

 460 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.92/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Opaque, murky, dingy-looking brown body with an off-white head. Bless them for serving it up in a slender tulip goblet, but it does nothing to negate the beer's fairly repugnant appearance.

Smell: Darker malts accentuated with spices and layered with an underlying sourish background note of deserted fruits and one single drop of lacquer.

Taste: Dusky dark malts with only a very slight amount of sweetness. Perceived taste of soil-strewn, gnarled wood bark. Lightly tart, lightly sour pulped fruit liberally seasoned with stale cinnamon, spice, and a pinch of dried herbs. Slight earthy bitterness. Then, it's back to the exuberant earthiness and tastes of soiled fruits until the dry, thankfully short finish. All in all, this just comes across as rather discordant.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, I... I suppose it's possibly tolerable in (very) small doses, but, really, this isn't one that I can, in good conscience, recommend. For me, this Torpedo was a dud.

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Photo of glid02
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of dark fruits - plums and raisins - with a good amount of Belgian candi sugar.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Candi sugar and dark fruit flavors up front, with a robust malt backbone that tastes slightly toasted. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the glass and could have a few more.

Overall this is an interesting BSDA - it's got more malt flavors and less sweetness than most others in the style. Worth a shot.

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Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a swing-top from Drinks of the World, and according to the label this is a Biere de Garde.

Pours a murky brown in my glass with an off-white head. The aroma and flavor both have deeply herbal funk element, which is an interesting effect. It reminds me of a slightly bitter and sour herb medicine, but not in a bad way, there are also lovely dark fruit esters rolling around to add to the complexity. This one is something different - a beer to think about. Give it a try if you can find it.

 501 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear deep amber color ale with a big foamy head with good retention and some nice lacing. Aroma of sweet Belgian style malt is enjoyable enough. Taste is a mix between dry fruits (plums and figs) and some candi sugar notes. Body is slightly thinner then expected with some great carbonation and no alcohol was apparent. A bigger malt profile would have benefited this beer.

 391 characters

Photo of Bov
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy dark brown colour under a little stable beige foam; aroma of prune and ginger with some cookie-like maltiness and more undefined spices in the background; good rounded malt body and a decent bitterness; long fruity and malty finish - a solid, well-made brew

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Photo of ggaughan
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the BFM tasting at Monk's Cafe the other night. I think the brewer only brought 1 or 2 bottles of this from what I was told. The beer poured a deep brown color with a medium tan head, nice bubbles. The nose of the beer was slightly bitter, fruit tones and a bit yeasty. The taste was full of spice and fruit notes with a balance of bitterness. The taste was also a bit toasted which is pleasing, The body was medium and very drinkable if more was available but I enjoyed what I was able to have.

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Photo of Paddez
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I found this in small shop in Neuchatel in Switzerland. It looked intresting enough to pick it up, although it was rather pricey.

The beer itself is dark amber-brown in colour. A hard pour produced a medium-sized head that dissapeared almost immediately, leaving behind virtually no foam or lacing. Some sediment to make things more intresting but overall slightly dissapointing.
Aroma's are of fruits and yeast.
The taste is rather intresting. Lots of woody, spicy and malty flavours wich are accompanied by a strong dry taste of bitter coffee. There's a yeasty undertone. Pretty intresting and rather complex.
The mouthfeel wasn't as good as the taste though, the cardbonation was too aggressive. The soda-like fizzyness of the brew was over the top.

Overall though, this is an intresting brew that is certainly worth trying. It had a lot more authenticity than I expected.

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La Torpille from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
85 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.
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