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

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L’Ambrée D’Esquelbecq / Thiriez AmberL’Ambrée D’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber

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BA SCORE
87
very good

66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 10-12-2004

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 43
Photo of RobinLee
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber color with tan/off-white head.

Aroma is lemony funk, hay, spicy earthy hops.

Taste more or less follows the nose, with a touch of added malt sweetness. Finishes clean, like a lager, pulling you to go back in for another drink.

Carbonation is nice and fine, great mouthfeel.

Interesting, my first foray into biere de gardes. I can see the parallels between this and the Belgian saison tradition.

Photo of AlexFields
2.95/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Not loving this. Slightly tart, and odd. Love the blonde but this is just a little strange.

Photo of pat61
4.54/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thiriez Amber pours a clean creamy orange amber with a little haze and a 2” off-white foamy head that quickly dissipates. Caramel and fruity notes dominate the nose augmented by spice and floral notes. Light short cake covered in stone fruit and a trace of caramel dominate the palate with a moderate hop accent on the finish and a touch of tartness for balance. The carbonation is superb with fine soft bubbles that give a luscious mouth feel. It is very smooth and thirst quenching. The body is medium.

Photo of draheim
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL into a tulip. Pours a clear amber w/ a 1-finger head.

Aroma is tart and oaky, earthy, a little sweet.

Taste follows nose. Amber malt, oak, and a sour earthy quality.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied w/ a semi-dry finish.

Overall a unique cross between a saison and a Flanders oud bruin. Nice.

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is nearly clear amber in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. A careful pour resulted in a two finger high off white head that gradually died down, leaving a large pillow of bubbles in the center of the glass and a thick collar around the edge.
S: Light aromas of sour apples and pale malts are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has a light amount of sourness with notes of grainy malts and apples as well as some hints of earthy yeast.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes unique for a French bière de garde because it's a little sour (but not to the degree of a Jolly Pumpkin beers) and pleasantly adds an interesting twist to the taste. It is quite easy to drink and the bit of sourness also masks some of the grainy malts and earthy yeast.

Photo of biboergosum
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - no US description on this label - pure francais, bebe!

This beer pours a murky medium-dark golden amber hue, with two fingers of fizzy, foamy faded beige head, which leaves a few sparse islets of lace around the glass as it hastily drops away.

It smells of sweet, musty bready caramel malt, some earthy, faintly funky yeast, overripe plums, subtle prickly spice, and soft grassy hops. The taste is more semi-sweet bready malt, some further defined spices, nutmeg and soft cloves, chiefly, which render an obvious gingerbread or cookie note, with a twinge of edgy white pepper, a lessened fermenting fruitiness, and dry, hay-like, wild grass hops.

The carbonation is a tad frothy, and more or less meek overall, the body a somewhat unstable medium weight, though this does little to affect the steady smoothness. It finishes with a trend to all things dry - crackery malt, dried fruit, musky yeast, and ashy, leafy hops.

A decent farmhouse amber ale, the inherent fruitiness rolling nicely with the friendly yeast jabs, and an agreeable, varying hop bitterness helping keep things interesting. A wee bit complicated, so better if you've the time to sit back and contemplate. Otherwise, it also slips down alarmingly fast, if that's your bag.

Photo of rarbring
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A brown/red brew, almost clear, an off-white head that is very short-lived, fizzy, leaving no lacing, small curtains.

Smelling dusty and old cellar, dried yellow peas.

Starting sweet, some brown bread, red fruit marmalade, old wet concrete and some bitter metallic finish.

Little carbonation, fizzy bubbles, rather soft and slightly oily texture, medium body.

Not interesting enough, just too sweet and a bit off.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Old discounted 1pt 9.4 oz green bottle. Not expecting much for $1.99

A-Pours dark copper with a violently carbonated head. Head fizzes and pops and the carbonation rising from the glass is incredibly aggressive. Head crackles down to a quarter-finger layer that leaves dotted lacing.

S-Aged apple cider. A previous review describes the smell as 'musky'. Musky is the perfect word for the nose. Smells like a barn. A tiny bit sour. I am expecting this to taste strange.

T-A bunch of strange flavors here. The flavor ends with a lasting dried grass/hay flavor. Oats and grains. Funked, and yeasty. Distilled fruits. Apple syrup. Unique flavor.

M-Carbonation is wild and expressive. Taste lingers forever. Medium bodied with a sap-like feel. Sugars coat the palate.

O/D-For 2 dollars, I do not care how old this beer is. Judging from past reviews, this one held up quite well during its extended stay on the shelf. Very different. Adds a new dimension to my tasting experience.

Photo of PEIhop
4.2/5  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.

Photo of muttyd
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of jsanford
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this bottle in the back of the cooler at my local shop. Think it's pretty old, this doesn't get distributed to us anymore.

A - Pours a dark orange-amber with a huge foamy head that dissipated quickly. Lots of gnarly "floaties".
S - Aromas of honey, flowers, pepper and herbs, and pears with a gentle caramel malt backbone.
T - Similar to the nose, more pears, herbs and pepper. the honey notes really dominate this for me, though. Almost like carbonated, alcoholic honey. Quite tasty.
M - Medium-light bodied with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel that surprised me. Highly carbonated with a dry finish.
D - Nice and drinkable, especially in lieu of champagne as a meal-starter.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of Richardberg
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - poured into a pint glass. Enormous white head leaps out of each pour, even an hour after the bottle was opened. Doesn't retain too long but leaves a fair bit of sticky lacing. Beer is a hazy yellow-orange -- really hazy -- enough to be totally opaque despite the light color.

S - golden malts, farm funk, cider, bit of white pepper & lemon zest

T - main smell components appear as you'd expect, but the more subtle elements (peppery/zestyness) don't. somewhat unpleasant aftertaste, dunno how to describe -- not bitter -- acrid? soured? (in the sense of "rotten", not "acidic") overall character is ok but too weak for a light ale that's nearly 6%.

M - light body, well carbonated but not as ultra fizzy as the head might indicate. main complaint: it's very watery.

D - moderately easy to drink but not especially enjoyable

Photo of rhenning
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4 fl oz green bottle purchased @ Met Foods, Brooklyn and poured into Ommegang chalice glass.

Hazy bronze in color, a gentle pour yields 2.5-3 fingers of fluffy bone white head that recedes to a smattering of foam within a minute or so. No lacing to speak of.

Nose is sweet, consisting of pear, warm apple cider, a pepperry spiciness/mustiness that I can't quite put my finger on, light yeast and a touch of alcohol coming through.

Taste generally echoes the smell, without many surprises; Malty sweetness right up front that sticks around throughout the palate, tree fruit cider, a bit more hop presence than in the nose, but less perceived alcohol as compared to the smell.

Mouthfeel is medium and pretty thirst quenching. The haze makes the beer look more viscous than it actually is.

The bottle went down pretty easily so I gave it better than average marks for drinkability. It's just a little sweet and juicy for more than a couple of pints.

Photo of weissbierdrinker
2.7/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a muddy amber color with a thin head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell is of musty fruit, carrot, and some kind of trash smell I can't describe.

Taste is of peach, carrot juice, etc. Not very pleasant at least to my taste. Looked like it would be a good beer, but it's not. I'll try something else.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first Biere de Garde.

Cider colored with a large, fizzing white head. Constant jetstream of tiny bubbles emitting from the glass bottom. Good retention. A little heavy on the active carbonation as foam shot out as I opened it and proceeded to spew even when left on the counter.

Smells farmy. Earthy fruits such as spiced apples and vegetables like squash come to mind.

Tastes of heavy, bready caramel that mellowed out into roasty apricot and fall fruits. Yeasty, somewhat musty, character. Aggressive fizzy carbonation.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

Photo of ccrida
4.77/5  rDev +22.9%
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!

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of ATPete
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on draught at the Thiriez Brasserie.

A- Nice amber brown color, semi opaque, with s small and quickly dissipating white head. Some lace.

S- Farmy, earthy, herbal, some fruit notes of cherry, grapefruit and some hop.

T- Tastes much like the nose, a little bit of funkyness, overall a good malt structure, semi tart.

M- Medium feel, tiny bubbles and lots of them.

D- Very good

Photo of avalon07
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from one of the big bottles to a tulip glass. Started as a deep amber color - which changed to a brown when I poured the remainder into the glass - with a very thick consistency. Lots of sediment. Huge amount of head and good lacing.

The smell was pretty interesting. It had a somewhat funky, barnyard aspect to it, but was also rich in hops and spices.

As far as the taste goes, the aforementioned hops and spices made the biggest impact. There was a slightly acidic quality to it, though not overwhelmingly so.

This had a good amount of carbonation, but, as I said, the finish was a bit acidic for my taste. A mixed bag on the mouthfeel.

This is decently drinkable beer, though not my favorite. It is nice to see the French can actually do beer well.

Photo of thierrynantes
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (33cl), tasted in 2006.
Appearance: Beautiful orange-amber color, white foam head persistent
Smell: beautiful aromas and malted roasted
Taste and mouthfeel : bitterness well balanced
Drinkability: a good beer in the style "Bière de garde"

Photo of NoLiberty
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

App: Cloudy hue and amber-orange color. Good head, not huge, but lasts the whole drink.
Aroma: Total apple and apple cider. Sweet and crisp. Really nice and different.
Taste: Apple all up front, clean and light malt middle and cool hop finish. Wet and sweet. Nice.
Mouth: Mild, light bodied. Wet with light carbonation.
Drink: Good beer, very drinkable. Pretty unique.

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L’Ambrée D’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber from Brasserie Thiriez
87 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.