Saint Sylvestre 3 Monts Ale

st-sylvestre_3montsBrewer: Brasserie de Saint Sylvestre, Cappel, France
Style: Strong Ale
ABV: 8.5%

Description: This ale, which hails from the Flanders region of northeastern France, is Saint Sylvestre’s flagship beer. Brewed in the traditional way, it combines a pale malt base with hearty Flemish hops, fermented using top-fermented yeasts, and then conditioned in wooden barrels. The name itself (3 hills) refers to the three hills in Flanders – Mont Noir in Belgium and Mont Cassel & Mont des Cats both on the French side of the border.

Tasting Notes: This brew as a lucky find, which I happened at one of the better purveyors in Victoria (they are good at stocking what one might consider obscure brews). It also quite the pleasant sampling, consisting a crisp, bubbly, but also smooth and refreshing beer, that has an oaky profile that is reminiscent of a stiff white wine. The flavors also call forth a good northern French ale, with a firm and fruity malt base, a mild hoppy kick, and champagne-like effervescence. Given my fascination with Belgian and Flanders beers, I will be seeking out more of this brewery’s products!

Appearance: Straw golden, clear, thick, bubbly head, good carbonation
Nose: Strong malt, hint of oak, mild herbal hop notes, Flemish yeast 
Taste: Crisp, slightly fruity malt, mild herbal hops, strong oak, yeasty effervescence
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor, slightly bitter, lingering oak
Overall: 8.3/10