La Mandragore
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)

La MandragoreLa Mandragore
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #232
Ranked #24,895
3.83 | pDev: 8.36%
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Very Good
La MandragoreLa Mandragore
Notes: La Mandragore is our winter black beer, comfortable and rich in taste.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 46 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis from England

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled and possibly bottle conditioned but definitely has a flip top
Pours a very dark brown body with decent enough tan head
Big dark berry aroma
Tobacco and Pimms flavour

Apr 13, 2017
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tkdchampxi from New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tastes more like a stout with a hint of Belgian, than a Belgian strong dark ale... Simply not enough Belgian yeast character, or dark fruit flavors. This tastes roasty - with notes of chocolate and coffee

Pitch black, and very smooth.

Overall, nice but not what I was expecting

Aug 13, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.41/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I always hear people praising these guys so hard, but I have never had one I much cared for until now. This is so so good, on tap at backcountry in boulder. A Belgian dark strong, but a lot more than that, it's mild nature makes it dangerously easy drinking, and the yeast, oh the yeast! Muted lusted almost black brew with a faint amber glow in bright light. Permanent inch if cream head in it, not receding at all. Nose is malt driven, not quite roasty it bitter, definitely modified not just fired, with some dried berry notes and the yeast, which us ancient and dry and rustic and sort of saison style without the funk or the spice. Rich in feel, big and creamy, bright carbonation, lingering finish. The taste ranges from cocoa to blueberry to Belgian yeast to coriander, must, white pepper, minerals like iron, straw, and dark bread cooked on open fire. As complex and nuanced as you can find, frothy but light in some way. Hard to explain without tasting it, there us nothing else like this at all in my experience, and it's culinary applications are infinite. I now need more beer from these guys, this special beer has me convinced. Wow! This is elite level stuff, just insane.

Mar 01, 2015
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SABERG from Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from draft at Armsby Abbey into a modified tulip.

A - Dark color, creamy white head, delicate carbonation. Lacing lasts forever.
S - Dried fruit, fresh broadleaf tobacco, chocolate and plum. A hint of citrus and toffee.
T - Delicate, fruit not to sweet. A slight bite, and cocoa combine.
M- Medium bodied, carbonation leaves a clean palate, rounded out with a pleasant linger of sweetness, finishes with a slight floral snap.
O - The first time I have had this, the serving was perfect, the quality is impeccable. I see this is listed as a Belgian Strong. I could support that, this is a creamy delight to be sought out.

Jun 16, 2014
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sbauer from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 33cl swing-top bottle.

A: pitch black, a bit cloudy. no lacing or head.

S: black licorice, dark cherry, gasoline, plus hints of tropical fruit.

T: tart fruits balanced with dark licorice or or coffee flavors. not a lot of hops coming through. lot black malt aftertaste.

M: medium-heavy bodied. medium carbonation. a bit sticky on the palate.

O: an interesting nighttime beer. tart mixed with dark, intense flavors.

Dec 25, 2012
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eduardolinhalis from Switzerland

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark brown almost black color. Cloudy. Forms a small beige head. Good retention and a small layer lasts forever. Only few lacings left

S: Sweet smell of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Brown bread. Notes of alcohol in the very end

T: Follows the nose. Roasted malts, dark chocolate and yeasts

M: Medium body and low carbonation. Roasted malts aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Excellent BFM specimens. Strongly recommended

Sep 22, 2012
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thierrynantes from France

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Clem (Nantes) and tasted in 2011.

Appearance : dark red color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : roasted malt and vinous aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : slightly sour with notes of malt, roasted malt, and coffee.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian strong Ale. Drink at cellar temperature :-)

Jan 18, 2012
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Cavery from California

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

small bottle looks to be about 12oz (can't read the bottle!); shared with Klym

poured into tulip.

A: Extremely dark nearly opaque brown, more like an off-black. small rapidly dissipating foams that take on that classic egg shell appearance. Microfiber bubbles form a ring around the waterline of the glass. Looks just fine, but the bubble formation and dissipation was a bit disconcerting.

S: A strange roast coffee smell, there's a tart sweetness that I can't quite place. There's like a dash of vinegar in this coffee, but not enough to make me think it's misplaced or even infected. It's more of a tart sweetness than a sour. It vaguely reminds me of boiled cherry tomatoes. A buttery note of almonds and cashews perks my interest.

T: Up front acidic sweetness that pierces through roasty notes. A little bit of smoke before a slightly sulfuric egg noodle note. This really actually isn't off-putting, it's just an unusual flavor created by the collision of tart sweetness and light smokey roast. I find this kind of intriguing, but I'm not sure how much I like it. Lots of Asian cuisine notes come into here that makes me contextualize the tartness in the realms of soy sauces. A mildly acidic sting hits the back of the throat.

M: A medium-light body that is saved by a pleasantly buttery coating. Though I will say that the mouth coat of butter really contributes to the taste experience of eggs. I actually don't mind this so much, but I wish I could see more evidence that this is a deliberate connection. A lingering and funky sensation of dry tartness puts this in a weird place for me. Which is what lead me to say cherry tomatoes. Points for a consistently savory experience? I don't know, it's pretty strange.

O: This beer seems like an interesting experiment. I appreciate the unusual salty instead of sweet savory experience in here, but I feel like some ingredients are really alienated in the process. The flavors come in waves and dominate the former, and there really isn't any synergy in any of the flavors. Certain notes collide, while others are left in the dust. Really this isn't badly made, it's just an entirely different spectrum of flavors than I've ever had. Wildly different, but not so coherent. A work of beer expressionism that I currently see as being more like blobs of paint.

Jul 24, 2011
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Klym from California

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle compliments of the famous Simon-- thanks! Pours into a snifter and shared with Cavery.

A: Pours an oilish brown that turns black as the liquid piles up. A small clearish white head starts out and dissipates pretty quality. At certain angles the colors don't seem quite consistent, seeming considerably browner and more transparent at top than any other part.

S: Roasted grain, pistachio, asian plum sauce, a touch of black licorice and a tad of yeast.

T: Hmm, quite different from other belgian strong dark ales I've had. All of the nose is still there with a little udon noodle, a little worstecher/soy sauce/vinegar mix kick in the end and some red licorice sweetness in the mostly bitter and tangy finish.

M: Lighter bodied than most belgian strong dark ales, but a good amount of fine carbonation throughout. I feel as though there is a small tarry residue left on my tongue after each sip, but it feels packed with flavor so I'm not sure if it's interesting or bad. Small tingle and bite in the roof ot he mouth and center of the tongue.

O: This was interesting and I certainly don't regret getting the bottle. Don't think I care much whether I ever have this again but I certainly think a serious BSDA lover would find something original and different here. Also, there is a lot of subtle complexity in the flavors here and I think you can go many directions in interpreting the notes. A fun drink to ponder and pretty tasty to boot.

Jul 24, 2011
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crusian from Oregon

3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from pixieskid and Simon in Paris, two amazing BAs.
Am I the impy one that can clearly see on my bottle and the picture here that this beer is misspelled? I had a hard time finding it here.
La Mandragore...

Slight POP at the open and pours a nice dark brown/black with a wee bit of head. Aroma is pungent... smells like olives... that's all I get. This isn't promising... I think this may be a bad bottle.

Taste is odd... maybe this isn't bad... maybe this is supposed to be like this, because it doesn't taste bad. It does have a sourness to it, but it not overwhelming. this is not for everyone. There is a bit of coffee and char on the finish, and it is a bit salty as well. This is a beer definitely on the outside of the spectrum, try it if you like different beers, but be warned...

Apr 12, 2011
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sogrady from Maine

3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A slightly sour ale, dark brown in color, the Madragore will play to certain tastes but didn't do much for mine. The fruit notes, maltiness and sour finish left it busy for me rather than balanced, while the alcohol was at times more up front than was appreciated.

The body is medium, which is to say it's thicker than a golden but thinner than a stout. Perhaps it's better off cask as one of the other reviewer's stated, but off draft at least, it's not something I would seek out.

Sep 15, 2010
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John_M from Oregon

4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask, of all things, at Max's today. According to the tap handle, this is the 2007-2008 version of this beer.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown/black color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is fairly simple, albeit still attractive. I get some light coffee, cherry, vanilla and some interesting earthiness. The flavor profile is actually considerably better then the aroma profile, much to my surprise. There is considerable chocolate, light coffee, vanilla, a touch of anise and a hint of booze (which in this case, enhances the flavor profile). Mouthfeel is likewise pretty impressive, with a soft, creamy, plush mouthfeel and a long finish. Drinkability is quite good, with the alcohol barely an afterthought.

Have had this beer on draft before, and can't say I was all that impressed. However, on cask this beer is much more impressive, and is a beer I quite enjoyed.

Jun 10, 2010
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HeyItsChili from South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle of this from Tom's Beer Box in Chur, Switzerland.

A - Pours pitch black with a nice khaki head. Little bit o lacing.

S - Roast malts, spices, dark fruit, chocolate, little bit of sour tinge.

T - Dark fruit, hint of chocolate, with a sourness that plays off the bitter dark chocolate. Spices.

M - Slightly thinner than medium bodied, nice carbonation.

Feb 17, 2010
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atis from Finland

3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with foamy brown head that fades to dense layer, patchy lacing. Aroma is funky sour malt, dried cherries and dried fruit in general, one of the best smelling beers I have ever had.

Taste is fruity, kind of ripe fruit type, slightly sour and alcoholic bitterness, becoming astringent towards the rather dry finish. Mouthfeel is very light with prickly and slightly above moderate carbonation and noticeable alcohol warming.

Overall, the aroma was fantastic, the taste not so, it also felt too light.

Oct 06, 2009
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Georgiabeer from Georgia

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brick Store Pub. I like this beer quite a bit on tap- more so than several of this brewery's beers in the bottle. Pours a very dark brown with a head that fades to a thin cap but leaves some decent lacing. Smells sour and oaky, and even a bit woody, but this is restrained. Not unpleasant at all. The taste is pretty funky with some woodiness and borders on the medicinal with overripe fruit. Tannic and brambly. I like this sort of beer, but I could see how it would put some people off. The mouthfeel is tannic and spicy from the wood. Very interesting sour, but getting toward the extreme of the range- like a very ripe cheese, this won't be for everyone.

Jan 14, 2009
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ynnpar from England

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beer Table in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I liked this one much better than the Bon Chien but think that it has some similar problems. Very dark in color with little to no carbonation, no head, no lacing. There's a sour smell that isn't promising, but unlike the Bon Chien, the sourness in this one is cut by the deeper richer flavors. As another reviewer put it, half stout, half sour. I'm happy to have tried it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to have it again.

Nov 19, 2008
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ATLbeerDog from Georgia

4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at The Brickstore Pub - Pours pitch black with a hefty 1 inch head. Very light lacing clings weakly to the glass. Awesome smells of tart, sour notes, with cherries, raisins, and Belgian yeast dominating. First sip is chocolate with bitter and fruity sour notes. A rather light bodied beer with nice carbonation and mouthfeel. Half Stout - Half Sour...This beer is simply amazing. World Class!

Oct 15, 2008
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gford217 from Georgia

3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Brick Store poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark, dark brown that settles in almost completely opaque in the glass with a rocky tan head that shows good retention and lacing. The aroma had some chocolate and roasted malts but with a sizable spiciness and a hint of sour in the nose. The taste is supported by toasted malts and has a hint of chocolate. Spices are even more prevalent in the taste as well as a definite sour kick in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and a bit of sour zing in the finish. This is an interesting brew but not too memorable for me.

Oct 11, 2008
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Phyl21ca from Canada

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of honey and light roasted malt notes. Taste is sweeter then expected with less bitter notes then expected and more dry fruits and honey. Body is thinner then what I was expected with some medium carbonation. Interesting and different for sure but not necessarily something I would go for very often.

Jan 02, 2008
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Bov from Switzerland

3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottled, 2004 version - dark black colour with a fast disappearing foam, toasted aroma of black chocolate, a bit oily with a good malt body, some sourness and some bitterness, the finish is dry, coffeish with notes of licorice - better after some troubles with the 2003 version

Jan 15, 2007
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ggaughan from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Monk's Cafe BFM tasting. The beer was served in a 11.15 oz swing top bottle. Very nice presentation like all the BFM beers. This beer poured a deep brown color with a thick foamy white head and good lacing. The aroma was intense with coffee and chocolate notes. The description of the beer from the brewere is a "strong dark mild ale for the winter in the Swiss Alps." The taste seems like it was meant for this purpose as you pick up some alochol in the taste but mostly you get spice, a bit of chocolate and tasted malt. Very enjoyable although a bit heavy.

Jun 08, 2006
La Mandragore from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 46 ratings