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L’Ambrée D’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber - Brasserie Thiriez

Not Rated.
L’Ambrée D’Esquelbecq / Thiriez AmberL’Ambrée D’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

56 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 2
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez visit their website

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Local name - L’Ambrée D’Esquelbecq
US Import - Thiriez Amber

Description on US bottle label:
“Daniel Thiriez painstakingly crafts his rustic farmhouse ales in a rustic farmhouse brewery in the beautiful countryside of French Flanders. This brisk Amber Ale is really a luminous golden-red. It is perfectly balanced, with a soft, fresh hop bitterness playing off a hearty whole-grain maltiness, and accented by an entrancing nose of earth and spice that is typical of French farm-country brewing.”

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 10-12-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida


4.8/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into an impy pint, Thiriez Amber is a real gusher, pulled from the cellar and thrown in the fridge for about an hour wasn't enough to stop it from filling my glass with 90% foam, spilling on the counter when the cap didn't come off immediately, and slowly over foaming as I let it sit a second. When it's all said and done, it's hazy amber with very fine dark particle sand a sugary looking, medium bubbled head that leaves pretty heavy, foamy lace.

Smell is classic BdG, strong sugary caramel malt that is amplified by the fruity farmhouse esters that I love so much, very candy like, but not in a simple syrup kind of way, more complex.

Taste is also heavy on the sweet fruity esters and malt backbone, a little iron, and dusty hops on the finish. Just so damn good. So much flavor, but smooth and balanced and easy drinking, just incredibly well done, exactly what I want from a BdG. I have come to really love low ABV, full flavored beers, and this one is about as good as it gets, save for extra dimension provided by wild ales!

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, medium light bodied, with a nice chalky bite of bicarbonate drying it out.

Drinkability is the tits. Can you ever have enough? No! I want to suck on this all night...and a have some more when I wake up!

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2008 05:45:48 | More by ccrida
Photo of putnam


4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Scented delicately of cinnamon, vanilla, blueberry paste and caramel, this very amber colored liquid produces a mouthful of glazed nuts, chipped concrete and brown bread flavors. Very clean, yet unmistakable as a farmhouse ale. Tangy, bruised peach and nectarine fruits toy lazily with mildly astingent earth and nutshell flavors. There is nothing aggressive or gaudy about it, just serene, shy farmhouse ale prettiness. Drink it with boullion and boiled leeks.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2005 20:29:28 | More by putnam
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, capped and w/o freshness dating, bottle calls this a "rustic farmhouse ale", not sure how it lands in the "American amber/red ale category"?... Pours cloudy, dark amber, with active carbonation and lots of tiny bubbles continueing to stream upwards. Head is light tan, frothy, long lasting and leaving coating and thick lacing. Nose is brightly of citrus peels and some light chocolate. This ia a brightly flavored and tasty brew, notes of vanilla, honey, citrus, chocolate, caramel and toffee,yeasty breadyness, floating under the surface, lovely stuff, complex, smooth and nuanced. Well worth a try, yes they do brew world class beer in France!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2006 17:07:51 | More by Billolick
Photo of JamnesCameron


4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass, pours a deep amber with a big three fingered light tan head. The head drops slowly, but remains around a finger's depth. Some solid lacing.

Aromas of big toffee malt. I can tell this won't be as dry as my favorite saisons, but this is Biere de Garde, meant to be maltier. Some dark fruits. No real hop aroma to speak of.

Flavors of toffee, tobacco, dark fruit, a nice layer of sweet maltiness. There is likely enough hop bitterness to keep it from getting too sweet, but you really can't pick it out. Finish is medium, with toffee and dark raisins hanging on for the ride.

Mouthfeel is medium, chewy. Good level of carbonation.

Overall a very nice BdG. One of the better examples. Seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 22:26:23 | More by JamnesCameron
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange that carries a brown touch. Nose is slight antiseptic. Flavor carries the same. A bit wilder than I would have expected really. Slight citrus is there (oranges). But the antiseptic really keeps a constant presence. I have to say that it's really dry too. Feel has a well bodies liquid and the carbonation is slightly lower. It's interesting that this is a biere de garde. It strikes me as fairly wild. Overall this is something worth trying, but you really need to be open to the slight funk that lambics and wild ales bring to be able to fully appreciate this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2008 00:28:14 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Certainly pours a nice amber color, a mix of red and copper notes. The beer is incredibly well carbonated, it in fact starts to foam out of the bottle as soon as I pop the cap, and lots of floating yeast bits are kicked up and make it into my glass. Luckily it makes it's way into my glass with out spilling a drop. The myriad, of quickly cascading streams of carbonation keep aloft a fluffy, three-finger thick, amber tinged tan colored head that forms a rocky surface as times wears on. Malty aromatic notes of caramel and toasted grain are joined by a light fruitiness reminiscent of tart plums and raisins and a spicy yeast character that evokes notes of clove, pepper, and perhaps a hint of ginger. Overtime a nice sour sweet apple note becomes quite prominent and pleasant.

The taste is dry and spritzy up front, but leads to a fruity sweet note that is magnified by the caramel malt notes. The sweet malt notes and fruity yeast character remind me of sweet plums and fragrant apples; these notes actually linger for quite some time in the finish. The finish also has a lingering, lightly astringent bitterness to it, which adds a nice balance to the sweetness. This beer is so well carbonated that the spicy, zesty, almost peppery character of this beer is magnified in the front of the mouth as you first take a sip of this beer.

This beer is light and refreshing, yet still manages to have a nice heft to it that makes it a bit satiating as well. Refreshing, yet satiating I really how the beer strikes a balance between these two, disparate descriptors. As the beer loses a bit of its spritzy carbonation it begins to become a touch more satiating, but it is still not heavy or chewy. The malt character is quite nice here as well; I really like how the best Farmhouse Saisons can have such a pronounced malt character despite all of the other exotic yeast characters and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2006 22:52:01 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jisak74

4.25/5  rDev +9%

05-02-2012 20:06:10 | More by jisak74
Photo of farHillsBrewer


4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Recommendation: Have a large pitcher on hand for the opening.

This beer was truly an experience. My wife won it as a door prize and it aged a bit in my cellar but had been in the fridge for at least a month. One word describes the opening ceremony: Eruption. I lifted a corner of the cap and felt like I was wrestling a rattlesnake for the next few minutes. We got 2 eight ouce glasses out the 25.4 in the bottle. The rest was on the floor, sofa, tables, vanity and some unfortunately down the drain, as it continued foaming over while I was mopping up.

All that aside, this was a very enjoyable brew.

When the foam settled back into liquid form it was a hazy reddish brown. The yeast was obviously stirred up by the cataclysm of the opening. The head was snowy white and hung on till the glass was empty. The lacing was somewhat less than expected. I couldn't help noticing the sweet yet spicy aroma which included some citrus notes.

The carbonation provided a tingly mouth-feel that eventually turned into something quite nice, adding to the enjoyment.

The taste was a complex malty blend of sugar, toffee, with some raisin and apricot and some peppery spice, along with the faint sourness associated with belgians. The flavor was long-lasting and finished with the pepper and extended with some satisfying hoppiness.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2007 16:39:53 | More by farHillsBrewer
Photo of polishkaz


4.25/5  rDev +9%

06-10-2012 02:46:24 | More by polishkaz
Photo of Mattias


4.25/5  rDev +9%

01-27-2013 22:22:45 | More by Mattias
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear amber golden with an off-white tall and frothy head which fell very slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was earthy with a notable citrus punctuation. Further, the aroma was fruity with a bit of grass and an bit of herbal and floral character. Somewhere behind all that lurked a smidge of spice and a hint of caramel.

The flavor was earthy and lightly citrusy with a nice bittering level. The flavor contained a bit of a tea (not astringent however) flavor and a caramel flavor that complemented the entire experience. The flavor was fruity and lightly floral (can a flavor be floral?) with a bit of light spice thrown in just to add even more complexity.

The finish was dry with a lasting hints of caramel, earthy hop presence and light citrus with a fruitiness that continued long and pleasantly into the aftertaste. The body was medium light and the carbonation made the beer seem creamy.

Not an American Amber, but more of a Belgian Pale Ale, although the beer really wasn't that pale. In Farmhouse Ales by Markowski he names it in the Biere de Garde category with just a bit too much hops. With more malt backbone I could buy that, but for purposes here I'd just call it great beer!

750 ml capped bottle. Thanks to dmeadows and OneBoxBIF for this beer I had been searching for!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2005 23:53:38 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of IanSpindler

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +9%

03-17-2014 23:15:44 | More by IanSpindler
Photo of schnarr84

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +9%

08-05-2013 02:37:32 | More by schnarr84
Photo of Jredner


4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pint 9.4 oz bottle $9.99. The aroma is sweet candy sugar, sweet malts, mild raisin notes, some citrus and spice a soft floral aroma that is very inviting. The body is a bright copper/amber color and supports a massive three fingers thick head that is ivory white, fluffy and lasting. Fore is dry and grainy with toasted breads, mild baked raisin and caramel flavors, honey and sweet malt. Very tasty. The carbonation is biting and gives some crispness to the rounder, lightly sweet base flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2007 18:05:56 | More by Jredner
Photo of PEIhop


4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Perfect Pint from Sam Adams

A - A beautiful deep-honey color with much carbonation. The head is extremely bubbly but quickly subsides into minor froth.

S - There are fruit notes here: apple and pear. The fruit is balanced very nicely by caramelized malt. Hop presence is very subdued, however grassy, floral aromas gently waft from the glass.

T - The taste parallels the nose but with one exception, the introduction of grape notes. This adds more complexity without compromising the wonderful aromas.

M - Light-bodied with a lot of carbonation.

D - This bottle went down VERY easy...very enjoyable and thirst quenching. If you haven't tried this farmhouse, it's definitely worth seeking out and trying.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 00:19:22 | More by PEIhop
Photo of shapudding


4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lot 1107, dated 12/05. Hand carried back from the brewery by a good friend!
Unclear, amber, with some carbonation seen rising up through it. No real head at all, just a bit of white dusting and some dusting gathered in a ring. Amazing aroma! Fresh tobacco, maybe styrian hops? Nicely hoppy scents, slightly skunky, but good. Smooth feel, low carbonation, you just barely notice it, but by no means flat. Nice hoppiness, caramelly malts, bit herbal. Catching scents of chocolate towards the end... sweet, milk chocolate, but there is no flavor of chcocolate. Very good, very drinkable, very freakin’ special.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2005 20:40:06 | More by shapudding
Photo of TheycallmeTim

New York

4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Hennepin flute.

A--Thiriez hearts bubbles. The carbonation on these beers is insane, although this bottle was more tame than others (of Blonde and XXtra) that I've had. Still, head was a good three and a half fingers of chunky off-white foam. It does die quickly, though, and gets eaten up by a deeply red, auburnish body with flecks of all sorts of stuff in it. Thiriez to me is the goldschlager of beers.

S--The fruit on this is very present, both citrus and stone. I'm getting mango, apricot, some cherry, and a little bit richer plum or even prune. Damn. Some back-end esters bite you with clove intensity, too. The yeast isn't pronounced on the nose as much as it is in their other beers.

T--Another fun, wild ride, as you traverse fruit and even wine vinegar spectrums, with a hint of breadiness behind the sweet and sour. Not for the faint of heart--Thiriez beers challenge me and this one was no exception, but it, like Ommegang's Rouge, ultimately makes me happy I got on board. The balance for the complexity is incredibly, as you get even a little bit of what one reviewer said beautifully was "dusty hops." For me I only got a trace feel of that at the end, but it was enough to impress. Not nearly as piney and fresh as the dry-hopped XXtra or Blonde, with a deeper malt character, but that just means it's just right for weather that includes a nip of winter wind.

M&D--Both are excellent, although the ABV is a touch high for such an inviting beer. Hey, can't complain. Overall the creamy champagne feel is where it's at--I'm sleeping in the hayloft tonight. Viva la funkay!

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 22:12:40 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of Evil_Pidde


4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber, hazy pour with a quickly disappearing tan head. No lacings. This is the darkest Biere de Garde I’ve ever seen.

S: Fresh grass, honey and spices dominated by fresh fruits; oranges, pears and green apples. Faint sourness in the back.

T: This is very dry and fruity, almost like apple cider. A bit more maltyness than usually. Yeast and some spices. Otherwise the taste follows the nose.

M: Long bitter and dry aftertaste. Body is medium (actually rather full, considering the style) while carbonation is mild to medium.

O: A very nice Biere de Garde; perhaps the rich malt is a bit too much for some – I loved it!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 11:58:23 | More by Evil_Pidde
Photo of sleazo

New York

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a rich reddish golden, with a big foamy white head. Lacing is tight but a bit sparse.

S-Black pepper intermingles with a rich musty scent and a bit of sugar.

T&M-More of that black pepper hits you upon first sip. The effervescence pushes more spice around the mouth. This is followed by a candi sugar sweetness that coats the tongue a bit. There is then a vague noble like hop bitterness in the aftertaste. The phenolic characteristics really come out as it warms. Very well done.

D-not too high in alcohol but the sweetness does get to you a bit in the end. i was happy to share this one. Still it is one beer and one brewery I would seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2007 03:38:19 | More by sleazo
Photo of muttyd


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very different looking bottle when compared to the one in the picture.

Pours a very hazy amber with an absolutely massive white fluffy head. Head persists throughout, sticks all over the glass. Aroma is very musty, grassy, and has an apple fruit sweetness. Flavor is similar to the nose; sweet/tart apples, pale mallt sweetness, and finishes with a slight metallic/acidic sourness. Some grassy hops in the finish, but it is muted by the yeast spice/funk character that is associated with a saison. Llight to medium body & well carbonated. Slightly more malt forward than your average saison, but this one is still very refreshing. Drinking really well on this hot, dry day in Boston.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 01:19:50 | More by muttyd
Photo of Dukeofearl


4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A gift from my east coast buddy Gail... thanks!

I hadn't read about this before I opened it, and I guess I was expecting something in the Brown/Brune/Dubbel area stylistically (not sure why I thought that, but I did).

Massive foam arose from this well-chilled baby (a last minute decision, I couldn't wait) as I popped it for dinner of baked fish with Peach salsa and a pear salad. Pours an orangish/copper/golden (but more brown in the shadows) with a large foamy head, which slowly dissipates.

When there was a lot of head, I really felt I smelled a reasonable hop profile. Aroma is malty, with several interesting flavors- vanilla, cinnamon, sweet apples(?), light fruits and honey. I first thought the hop profile was there, an perhaps it is, but it is really more of the organic yeast-based farmhouse aromas (which really come out in the flavor) that remind me a lot of DeRanke XX Bitter (not that whole beer, just that aspect of the beer).

Flavor is more subtle, although I must admit that a spicier part of my salad did hurt my palate- burned some of it away, shall we say? But the dominant flavor is the farmhouse, around which the other flavors (from the aroma) dance. Gentle and easy drinking in a quite pleasant way.

I like this, but to be honest, I don't think that this was the beer I was in the mood for when I drank it. I won't let that affect my scores, though.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2005 03:10:00 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of carln26


4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a hazy copper color with a bubbly tan head. Nice nose, less spice forward than many beers of this style. It’s more about the yeast. Just a ton of yeasty bread dough followed by light spice, a little cardamen, some white pepper. There is some dark fruit dates, and a little pomegranate on the finish. Flavor has more of the yeasty quality, I really find that refreshing. More spice than I get on the nose, I think this beer may have a little pepper in it. The heat on the finish feels more like pepper than alcohol, but I could be fooled. Loads of sweet malt come through midway. More of the pomegranate, dark caramel, a little bit of pear. Nice light mouth feel, Good drinkability. The only thing I don’t like about this beer was the shower I got when it opened. It was a little too carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2006 20:17:36 | More by carln26
Photo of tai4ji2x


4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml brown glass bottle w/ cap, no date found. (more recent batches use a green glass bottle, with a golden plastic wrapper around the cap.)

from notes, tasted in june 2009. poured into duvel tulip.

deep amber honey color. nearly clear on first pours. tho subsequent pours all have particles of sediment afloat. ENORMOUS head formation, with overflowing meringue icebergs! off-white and fluffy like a latte. slowly fades to constant thin layer, replenished by etching. puffy foam. consistent big rings of lace, w/ curtain in between.

aroma: apple, pear. caramelized maltiness. gentle grassy hops, spice/pepper and herbs, w/ gentle to mod phenols. faint farmhouse character. more ripe apple and herbal notes into the end.

taste: apple fruitiness, light caramel, gentle euro hopping w/ mild to moderate bitterness. moderate phenols bring up the spiciness (nutmeg?) and herbs (parsley? coriander?). complex, but just a tad on the watery side.

light to medium body, w/ some light astringency from phenols. crisp w/ otherwise moderate, fluffy carbonation.

taste score should be 3.8, and overall drinkability 4.5; numbers are adjusted to reflect this.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 14:28:42 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of weeare138


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to dickinsonbeer (dick-in-some-beer)
Appears a hazy light gold with a chunky head that is from the 3/4 Liter bottle that spewed like a mother in labor.
Smell is of plum, grapefruit, spices, and doughy bread.
Taste is of the same aromas.
Mouthfeel is smooth, mildly sugary, and balanced.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2006 20:01:03 | More by weeare138
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2.6%

04-04-2014 23:03:20 | More by jrenihan
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L’Ambrée D’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber from Brasserie Thiriez
87 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.