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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

59 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 59
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 2
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez visit their website
France

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)
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Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of weissbierdrinker
weissbierdrinker

Belgium

2.65/5  rDev -32.2%

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.

11-16-2009 23:38:18 | More by weissbierdrinker
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

2.73/5  rDev -30.2%

Got a gusher here. Foams over and keeps foaming and foaming after I pop the bottle cap off. Even after I pour what I can into a goblet, the bottle continues to foam over.

So this beer is an orangeish amber color. Dirty white head. And LOTS of it. More than half my glass to begin with. Aroma is lemony, pepper and yeasty. Some hay as well. Herbal hop traits too. Taste is candy like in swetness, but earthy in the hop department. The mouthfeel is quite spritzy and very gaseous. Not impressed.

05-01-2006 02:09:41 | More by Bighuge
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

2.78/5  rDev -28.9%

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.

07-08-2012 19:04:25 | More by rarbring
Photo of Richardberg
Richardberg

New York

3.2/5  rDev -18.2%

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

02-14-2010 04:09:11 | More by Richardberg
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

04-30-2014 00:08:11 | More by Sammy
Photo of CasanovaCummins
CasanovaCummins

Nevada

3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

08-13-2014 00:29:43 | More by CasanovaCummins
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

3.33/5  rDev -14.8%

Presentation: 750ml green glass bottle. Sealed with a shiny gold plastic covering on the neck leading one to have the impression that it may be corked, but once easily removed (thanks to one of those nifty pre-installed sliver tab thingies) it revealed a large simple brass crown cap. Main label has a country feel to it, but seems to be a US import version. Listed at 5.8% Alc. Vol., but with no freshness date. Imported by the Shelton Brothers.

Description to the left of the bottle explains:
“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.”


Appearance: As with the Blonde, but worse, heavily carbonated, simply over carbonated and it’s not funny! Even after a quiet untouched week in the fridge the opening immediately induces a frothy leak. The first glass is all foam and the second is not far off, after a glass and a half is evacuated from the bottle the forth in the bottle continues to expand upwards and out. Something is dreadfully wrong here. Aside from the user issues when it does settles, the egg-shell head has an expansive foamy appearance and make-up and when it settles it is still at least 1” thick. Hazed light brown body with golden orange sunset flashes at the base of my Maredsous Glass. Virulent streamers and a few pin prick sized yeasty bits in the hazed body too if I’m not mistaken. Once it settles down, it doesn’t look too bad.

Nose: Struggled with this one, I really didn’t seem to get much of anything here. A candy sugar sweet malt trace in and amongst some soil and an earthy smell. Strange to say the least.

Taste: Along with the nose it has a slow start. Toffee malt, freshly turned soil and a hint of caramel, which reminded me of some 1 pence soft chewy toffees that I bought in England as a child. The earthiness is balanced with a sweet caramel angle which stays. Finish has a smidgeon of hop interference, but it is short lived, and retains the sweet malts at the death.

Mouthfeel: Over-carbonated, burp juice extraordinaire. Medium depth starts to lighten as you get to the back of this one. The punishing levels of dissolved carbon dioxide are not only annoying with the constant top-ups but a little too much in the long term also.

Drinkability: Nice enough but I soon started to get a little bored with this one, it just sort of, dies off. Somewhere along the line it had the promise to be something special but just ends up as a solid Amber Ale with the merest farmyard hint.

Overall: I had the distinct pleasure to visit Brasserie Thiriez way back in April 2003 during my annual Easter Belgium trip with Wakefield CAMRA. At that time I wasn’t too taken with the range of beers to be perfectly frank and the Amber was my least favorite of all of them when I sampled it at the brew at the Brewery. Even now with some improvements, it still not one of my favorites. Needs to do more to earn its “farmhouse” moniker, right now, if you’ve ever seen the Thririez Brewery you’ll know what I mean when I say, that it is too stainless and clinical and still AAA - An Average Amber, at best. An Amber Alert Thank You to BigHuge for sending this one West, much appreciated.

05-30-2006 02:55:49 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.48/5  rDev -11%

Overcast overripe apricot with so much carbonation that the beer is very nearly opaque. As I type, there's a slow-motion eruption of foam from the bottle that hasn't slowed in the several minutes since the crown was cracked. The foam in the glass is ecru in color and is as airy and insubstantial as it gets. Not one shred of lace actually sticks to the glass. I love the rustic look of the beer though, even more so as it becomes murkier and murkier with each successive pour.

I like the nose too. This isn't the most aromatic or the most complex Biere de Garde that I've ever smelled (all five of them), but it's grain-like and yeastspicy and even a trifle hoppy. As I continue to sniff, I'm not as enamored as I was at first. The head is nearly gone; maybe the best parts of the aroma went with it.

The flavor is the nose in liquid form. I've always thought of Biere de Gardes as one of the more complex styles. Thiriez Amber isn't all that complex. That isn't to say that it isn't good, just that the flavor profile is a 'what you taste is what you get' sort of proposition. Actually, it isn't all that wonderful. The beer needs a flavor hook and hasn't really been given one.

As advertised, this is one of the least hoppy versions of the style that one is likely to run across. I still had high hopes that there would be enough toasted maltiness and enough spiciness to get the job done. The beer certainly doesn't lack whole grain flavor (Grape-Nuts cereal) or spiciness, but there's nothing to tie it all together, no spark to light the fuse and get the mouth party rollin'.

I'm not so sure that the yeast strain is so wonderful after all. It seems to me that any Belgian yeast worth its salt wouldn't allow such an unfocused flavor profile as this. I'd like to be able to say that Thiriez Amber could at least be enjoyed with all manner of artisinal cheeses, but it would probably lose what little personality is possesses after the first bite. This isn't bad beer at all, it's just that my disappointment is bringing out more negative comments than positive ones.

The body is acceptable. The mouthfeel could use a little help. What started out as one of the most bubblicious beers that I've ever seen, is now very nearly flat. With regards to carbonation, the beer passed from 'too much' to 'too little' without ever stopping at 'just right'. I'm not sure what the cause is, but the brewery would be well advised to fix the problem. Thankfully, my bottle of Thiriez XXtra didn't suffer the same fate.

Thiriez Amber isn't a Biere de Garde that I can recommend. I find it interesting that the most delicious and most accomplished version that I've ever had--of what is one of the most Belgian (and French) of all styles of beer--was brewed in Michigan, USA. For the time being at least, Jolly Pumpkin's excellent Oro De Calabaza is the style leader in my eyes.

06-24-2006 22:21:59 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of safaricook
safaricook

Netherlands

3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

05-10-2013 11:43:48 | More by safaricook
Photo of BJSmit
BJSmit

Netherlands

3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

05-29-2014 19:10:40 | More by BJSmit
Photo of rhenning
rhenning

New York

3.58/5  rDev -8.4%

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.

02-10-2010 02:36:18 | More by rhenning
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

03-31-2008 15:11:33 | More by avalon07
Photo of ATPete
ATPete

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -7.2%

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

05-05-2008 18:13:50 | More by ATPete
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

08-28-2011 22:52:24 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of tjd25
tjd25

France

3.68/5  rDev -5.9%

It started as a jeyser, I probably lost half of the bottle. My floor smells like beer now... By the time I had tried to clean it a bit, there was still a very silky head on the glittering orange ruby color body. Smell is nice and intriguing: some dark malts combined with a sweet and citric fruity aspect, hints of chocolate, and a grassy and woody hoppiness, quite sharp and fresh. Some pilsner-malt graininess in the taste, sweet and dry. Citrus, wood and light hints of chocolate combine to give the brew thickness and solidity, and the result is a very good mouthfeel: dense, full, round and smooth. I didn't like the aftertaste that much though, grassy and citric, slightly mouth puckering. Quite weird for an amber beer. I wouldn't imbibe my floor with that again.

10-12-2004 21:01:25 | More by tjd25
Photo of OldSock
OldSock

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev -4.6%

Appearance – 750 ml green bottle with gold shrink wrap from Julio’s. It pours with a 3 finger creamy white head that lasts for the duration. The beer is a haze free amber-orange with rapid streams of bubbles. Surprised to see a so-called farmhouse ale be so clear.

Smell – Light malty aroma with just a hint of yeast funk. Bready, with some vanilla, dull compared to what I expected.

Taste – Almost lagerish, definitely leans more towards Bière de Garde than Saison. Very clean flavor, toasted malts with a hint of nobel hops and a little alcohol. It is towards the sweet side of the spectrum, but still pretty well balanced. It’s a fine flavor, just a bit on the boring side, particularly compared to the other tasty offerings from Thiriez that I have had the pleasure of sampling. With the yeast swirled in for the last glass, the beer gets a slightly spicier flavor that I enjoy considerably more than the beer straight, this also gives the beer a more appealing hazy appearance.

Mouthfeel – This had a medium-full mouthfeel with sharp carbonation at first that quickly bubbles itself flat.

Drinkability & Notes – One of the more drinkable farmhouse style ales out there, mainly because of its subtle flavor and alcohol on the low side. Amber is a good intro to French/Belgian farmhouse ales for those afraid of funk and unidentifiable flavors, which are sadly two of my favorite things.

10-20-2005 02:57:07 | More by OldSock
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

03-21-2014 04:11:56 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of rallyr32
rallyr32

New York

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

03-05-2013 06:46:36 | More by rallyr32
Photo of uturn
uturn

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

04-17-2014 20:48:55 | More by uturn
Photo of samEBC
samEBC

Belgium

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

08-22-2013 20:22:40 | More by samEBC
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

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.

12-24-2010 16:01:14 | More by jsanford
Photo of thierrynantes
thierrynantes

France

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

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"

03-16-2008 11:27:06 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%

Lightly hazy, peachy-coppery in hue with some amber highlights as well. I really like how this beer looks when backlit. The head was off-white in color, at the apex the foam was almost two-fingers in height. The bubbles quickly faded to a thin soapy cap, which lasted more or less the entire consumption. There was no subsequent lacing of note. That is too bad. Overall, I like how this beer looks but it could be better.

The nose is interesting. It smells like yogurt mixed with apples, cinnamon, traces of caramel, plus some biscuits. At the back is some honey and vanilla… the finish is very grassy with some hay. The bouquet is complex and, in a way, all over the place. The maltiness is kind of light, there needs to be some kind of backbone. The moderately-low potency hurts the vibe. Still, all the little aromas come together and create a pleasant and inviting bouquet. Nice.

The nose didn’t lie as the palate is very much what I expected it to be. There is a minimal malt backbone, which is okay. Caramel flavors do provide a foundation of sorts along with a kiss of biscuit and residual sweetness. In the middle is a weakly spicy moment, some yogurt, tropical fruit, apples, and wheat. Damn! The more I sip the more I like this beer. It is very tasty and complex enough to keep my interest. Plus the abv is low. This is a damn good session beer. Apples in the aftertaste with a kiss of nuts, dry. This is a quality beverage.

Medium/medium-light in body, low carbonation but the mouthfeel fits the palate very well. It is delicate… just like the palate. Right on.

This is a very drinkable beer. I very much like it. Now is this something I would be in the mood for often? No. It hits the spot today and I would think this would make a great session beer or a great beer with baked fish. I purchased by bottle in Iowa City. Worth a try.

11-09-2005 14:38:38 | More by bditty187
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

03-13-2013 01:15:38 | More by metter98
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

01-17-2009 19:49:09 | More by donkeyrunner
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L’Ambrée D’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber from Brasserie Thiriez
87 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.