18 July 2018

The big 3

I was not aware that ubiquitous French beer 3 Monts was one of a series, but it turns out there are loads of them, including 3 Monts Grande Réserve.

For some reason I was expecting this to be dark, perhaps because of a subliminal association with Chimay Grande Réserve, or maybe just because of the stonking 9.5% ABV. So I was surprised to see it pour a pale copper colour.

It smells sweet and calorific, like oaty biscuits laden with honey or treacle. The flavour piles in the alcohol: pear drops, primarily, but other hard sweets too, like aniseed balls, rhubarb-and-custards and chunks of clove rock. I'm guessing it's a lager, as it's remarkably clean for all the boozy heat. Unfortunately that also means it lacks complexity. Once you've got your paper bag of sweets the game is over.

I bravely soldiered through the entire 75cl bottle by myself, which you're probably not meant to do. It got a bit sickly in the second half, so I recommend both sharing it, and having some hearty food alongside: strong cheese or game won't trouble a beer as robust and unsubtle as this. Add a shot of cognac afterwards for the full French farmhouse experience.

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